Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Refiner's Fire

Life isn't always rainbows and unicorns--even if we're following the yellow brick road. You know, that pathway in which Heavenly Father wants us to travel? Things here at home haven't been any earsier. Though my reasoning of moving sooner than later sounds Heaven-sent, it may not be. There are many things I need to do before heading south:

1) Sale of our house

2) Finding a place to live in Texas that is suitable for our needs

3) Qualifying for both

4) Paying off debt before then

5) Try to save a down payment for a new home

6) Making ends meet ...

And not necessarily in that order!

It seems the odds are against us moving sooner, doesn't it? Just because it feels onerous doesn't mean I should drop my quest, right?

Things don't always fall perfectly into place when we follow the Lord's will. Remember Job from the Bible Stories? He was favored of the Lord, yet, he faced many trials. Though we can't compare to Job to his degree of struggles, we can with the fact that we strive to honor Heavenly Father and are still grappling with our new pathway.

Things here at home haven't been easy. Some things have actually become more difficult and I'm faced with having to decide what needs to be done--and soon. Once I do, I take that to the Lord and then make my choice. Some of these are tough! But standing from distant point, I can see how it could lead to a better circumstance than if I had ignored my difficulties.

This brings to mind this heartfelt story of a woman who lost her family:

Press forward, and take heart! You are not alone...

Friday, October 30, 2015

My Journy of Faith: This Weak Woman Without Her Man

So we have decided to have a yardsale. Yes, even after I read the Yardsale Queen's awesome tips! The kidlets were NOT intimidated. Impressive... I spent the day hanging every article of clothing after having washed them a week before. I was shocked when I saw that the amount of clothes only filled half the size of a 6 foot closet. Here I thought we had more! Maybe with the baby clothes ... and there are a lot! I just need hangers for those.

So, our scripture of the day was this:

Ether 12: 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Little did I know how true it would become later that evening. One of my weaknesses is all consuming: it affects my mental state, our finances, my family, our resources, my time, and my daughter's unavailability at her job (she babysits Babykins so I can use the gas efficient vehicle for this task). LOL... I had volunteered to drive 3 students to school, both morning and afternoon. Well, it is a combined 40 mile drive a day, 200 miles a week. Yikes! I've tried to get the other two moms to help, but they aren't available.

With my hubby being gone, and my having to deal with this added stress had me suddenly think of this scripture:

1 Corinthians 11: 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

I matched the two inspiring and oh-so timely versus and a light bulb exploded inside my head: Since I know it is our pathway to head to Texas, why wait? Why wait until the school year is over? I need to be with my husband. It is ridiculous to wait so, so, sooooo long, right? I mean, if it is Heavenly Father's will to move up there, why not expedite it? Why prolong the inevitable?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Secretly Wondering

If you've been following my blog since 2011, you'll know that my writing career has been strange. I've been sharing with my wonderful IWSG how unstable it has been. It has, in my honest opinion, been spiraling down no matter how much I fought for it. I've been facing all sorts of rejections, and no, not the kind you get after sending a query letter. I don't have enough fingers to count them all, but let's just say, they would certianly discourage a debut author!

As it turns out, in a Priesthood blessing my hubby gave me, the Lord had mentioned that now is not the time for my career, to keep it as a hobby alone. I need to focus on my children, my family. During that time, every one of them suddenly faced a crisis within their own right. I cried many nights for guidance on how to meet their needs. I had to be vigilent and available--still do.

As time moves on, I am forever grateful to my Father in Heaven because I had honored Him and set my career aside for family. If I had not, would I have had an ear to Heaven's line when He whispered, "It is time to move"?

I secretly wonder what blessings Heavenly Father will bestow upon me and my writing come that future day? Even so, I hope to hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Isolation

I've never had a problem making and keeping friends. When I first moved to Utah at 21, I immersed myself in many friendships. After marriage, I had no problems keeping the friends from before. As time marched forward and the further north we moved, the more difficult it became to make and keep friends; all the ones in the past have either moved out of state, or we fell out of contact--but when we do reconnect, it is as though time had not passed.

To this day, I've had difficulties keeping friends and couldn't figure out why! It's easy enough to say hi, to do cute things for them; I love pixing cookies, fresh loaves of bread, even drawings for my friends' sick children, and dropping off watermelons on the side doors!

In fact, my entire family has been as the square peg. I have to admit, yes, this hurts, it does. So, one day (which, after all these years, I've finally decided to pray over it) and not too long ago, I decided to take it to Heavenly Father (yes, this was before we discovered our mission to travel to our personal promised land in Texas). I asked Him if our isolation was something He desired. Yes. I felt the Spirit burn in my heart. It is no coincidence...

It then came to me that friendships have not been forged and strengthened as they have in the past so as to make our move obvious for when the time comes. The Lord does move in mysterious ways and not as we'd always hope for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Not Small and Alone

photo by A♥ via Flickr

First, I'd love to wish my sweet Peanut a very Happy 16th Birthday! He has been a *huge* and wondrous help around the house whilst the hubsters is gone--rescuing batteries from inside the sink (Babykins thought they fit right nicely in there!), repairing door hinges, making dinner, decluttering hubby's tools around the yard, mowing lawns, changing diapers. He's going to make his future wife VERY happy! J

Now, with my Journey of Faith...

This one is a rather personal story, but is pertinent to my journey of faith and I have no doubt someone out there may be feeling and wondering exactly as I have. If so, my heart goes out to you. ((Hugs))

I was sitting in church, waiting as the sacrament was being passed, and I thought about how I fit in the Lord's plan of things. How I am at church without my husband, how far away he is ... and the time it would take to be united again. My heart cried out in prayer, knowing that, because I am honoring His will, He will qualify me for the calling He has set forth for me to do.

Suddenly, I was filled with a peaceful feeling and felt angels surround me. I felt Heavenly Father's love flow through me and I couldn't help but cry! Okay, not outright bawl, but I had a difficult time controlling the tears. I felt empowered and and cherished. Not small and alone ...

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Tender Little Mercies

It has been busy here as I'm starting to work on our impending move. We've gathered many shoes, clothes and toys to rid ourselves of. I'm debating whether to have a yard sale or donate to the local thrift store. My kids don't mind a yard sale and I'm not sure about it yet. Though it probably isn't a big deal, I feel I'd need to pray over that decision, considering how much is crowding my "plate" as it is!

So, these are the sites I’ve studied over concerning having one. They are so cool: & I plan to read them over with the kids for Family Home Evening and we’ll have a discussion if they still want to hold one or not. If not, that’s fine, we can just donate it to the local thrift store!

My hubby has been busy working that he is exhausted by the time he gets "home" to his barracks. On his day 4 of work, I cried in prayer because of our distance as well as sparse communication. I begged the Lord to please let me feel His love for me.

When I stepped from my bedroom, my 10 year old son handed me a hand-drawn card with many hearts and words written "I love you, Mom." He also handed me a cute heart made out of his Legos. My burden immediately lifted and I pulled him into a hug.

"What brought this on, sweetie?" I smiled through my tears.

"I just thought you needed it."

Oh, yes. What great timing he has! And he didn't even know I had just been  crying seconds before seeing me!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Dream Big!

All of my hubby's life, he's been wanting to live out in the country. He grew up working on a farm. He grew up taking care of cows and horses and chickens. He's not afraid of getting into a hobby farm. He also wants to invest in deseret and a few pigs and maybe goats.

I am a city girl. I was raised a city girl. Do I want to die a city girl? Nope. Having fallen in love with horses while in elementary school and studied and read up on them all the days of my youth, I am not shy to living on many acres and the challenges that come with that sort of living. In fact, my kids are looking forward to that kind of life! I do plan to homeschool.

Maybe my writerly muse will awaken from his deep slumber and hurl me into a whirlwind of inspiration? We shall see.

We are aiming for our big day to happen when the school year is out. I pray that things fall into place and we have a painless transition!

Do you have any tips you'd like to share with us?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Our Good-Byes

With breath held, we made our way at 4:30 a.m. that morning to the airport. Blessedly so, as the airlines had given him the next available flight. It affected his reserved car as well as the second flight, and he was left "...take ... no thought for the morrow, for what (he) shall eat, or what (he) shall drink, or wherewithal (he) shall be clothed (D&C 84:81)." With two small bags, I kissed him good-bye. Good-bye...

Though my hubby lost his rental car, my angelic aunt and uncle stepped in and helped us and on their own accord without our asking! Oh, do they realize how joyful they made us?

Before he left, he had given us all a Priesthood blessing to preserve and comfort us against the long months without him. I am as Sariah of old.

Friday, October 23, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Taking the Leap

"I'm scared," my hubby whispered, "not if this is the right choice, of that I feel great peace. It is of the unknown." Yes, I know. We are living on a prayer, trusting in God. Taking that leap of faith from a piece of inspiration that pierced our hearts only 2 months ago! It is a leap of faith when you have a family of seven to look after. A life to start from scratch.

My hubby flew to Texas to take care of required preliminaries and flew back home 2 days later. After passing the prerequisites, they called him and asked if he could start that coming Friday. He preferred the upcoming Monday. Again, we invested in hundreds more to fly him there, but, as I dropped him off at the airport, he had missed his plane.

Dear Lord, I cried out as I turned back around on the freeway in prayer, is our faith ever being tested! Our funds depleting! Please, please provide a way as we are honoring Thee!

1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Living on a Prayer

We prayed, asking Heavenly Father if these inspirations were of Him. It was confirmed. So we made our choice. We decided that we would move. We would move from Utah to Texas. A place where we've never set foot as a family mere weeks before.

Moving forward with our choice and knowing that it is His will, our test of faith began. Suddenly, my husband's commuter car broke down. Shortly, the family car followed. All within a two week period. We invested over $1000 for both vehicles to get into running condition--and it took over a month to do so. I desperately needed a car to drive my high school son (along with his buddies) twice a day on a 20 mile drive. There was no nonsense about that.

One of my kids suddenly suffered health issues that had me weeping every night.

Though my husband's employer was unaware of our obedience to the Lord's will, things started going badly for my man. Stressful things. Things that threatened his employment despite his 110%. We prayed and fasted for guidance and protection.

He did receive an offer, though it offered impressive pay, after much prayer, it didn't feel right. We held off. Then came the next job offer a week later. We prayed over that one and it felt right. He interviewed with flying colors. As we looked into it, we discovered that he had to have a Texas drivers license. Not only that, but a Texas residence for that, too! He was to also take a driving test in one of the company rigs and a drug test.

Tight on finances because of the auto repair and traveling to Texas before, we took the dive and sacrificed to have him fly down to Texas for these things. Talk about living on a prayer!

Ever heard of angels watching over you? My aunt and uncle gave us wings. They gave us wings to fly!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Journey of Faith: No Coincidence

To my pleasant surprise yet not surprise, my hubby started looking for jobs in the surrounding area where my aunt lives. In his field, it is easy to get a good job. If you have a CDL, years of experience, hazardous materials familiarity, you're more than likely good to go.

He cast out a few good fishing lines and waited. I prayed, asking if this was the path the Lord wanted us to take, well, because it is a huge fork in the road; one which we've been down before.

It was only 2 years ago that we were inspired of the Lord to move 2 hours south of where we currently live. My husband got a job there and things were going great. We had an apartment, furniture. The kids were great! They were okay with the change. That's when everything went wrong. Bad things happened to my hubby at work. Too often. We then prayed about it and felt that we needed to go back. What? Go back?! Yes, go back.

There is no doubt in my mind of this choice. The warmth of the Spirit in answering our prayer was unmistakable. When the Church came out with this video, it only confirmed:

It was too coincidental to be coincidental and I don't believe in coincidences. Not when it comes to the Lord's hand in things. He is preparing us for something. ;Will we be willing to pick up and leave everything familiar behind because He wills it? Is our faith strong enough to obey?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Journey of Faith: The Seed is Planted

Once we arrived and I spoke with my aunt, and remembering our previous conversation on how we felt a strong pull to her hometown, she asked if we'd figured it out yet. I said that I had no idea, but that the kids couldn't stop talking about it, saying that they felt as though they'd left a piece of themselves behind (I did, too!) and we felt a yearning to return. Interesting, she replied. Interesting indeed.

So, what does this mean? We knew this is what Heavenly Father wanted us to experience, but did he want us to feel this loss? To have an instinctive longing to return? But why?

"I think we're supposed to move there," my hubby said after I'd been mulling over the significance of our desire of returning a few days later. That thought had been playing around in my head, too. It took me by surprise to hear him say my feelings out loud, though.

The more we thought, the more we felt it to be right.

Monday, October 19, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Out of Place

The drive home was not as grueling as the ride to. Isn't that strange? We drove through beautiful Southern Utah and continued all the way north. It was dark by the time we arrived, and the kids were fatigued and sleepy. Once we entered our city, we felt like foreigners. Strangers in a strange land. More so when we stepped into our house.

My kids felt weird. I felt weird. We all noted how out of place we felt. I've never felt that way about returning home, especially after a 20 hour drive! We felt it was odd how, after only spending two days and half away, we felt so fast-rooted there.

Have you ever felt misplaced in your own home?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Stories and Places

During our stay, my cousin took me to visit my grandparents' gravesites. I felt a longing deep inside, mourning how I had not known them. I visited the place where my grandma was baptised, and many other places dear to me that I've never visited before and I've visited this beautiful city many times
before as a child.

The gravesite

Where Grandma was baptised (1915)


Amazing how my grandma found a love for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, even in those days! Her mother, my Great Grandma Maria, was busy as a medium, communicating with ghosts for a living, and thus, left Grandma to what she desired.

We also did some sight seeing. The Riverwalk is a romantical place no one should ever miss! It runs under the busy city streets, lined with businesses with open patios overlooking the river! I've always loved the stonework in the arching bridge walkways and the cobbled stone paths.

Riverwalk by street level

a Riverwalk garden

My family entering the Alamo 5 minutes before closing. Hehe

The Alamo courtyard

The entire time we were there, we felt right at home. We belonged there. My children absolutely loved it and better, the family!

Have you been somewhere that spoke directly to your heart?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Strong Pull

After sharing with my aunt how exciting it would be to pay her a visit--the last time I saw her was when I was 15--we set plans to visit in the early part of August. I shared with her how interesting it was how we felt a strong pull to visit and she wondered what would transpire.

She shared with us some very inspiring stories on how Heavenly Father had led her from Florida to Texas and how they followed without question, how the Lord had laid out a pathway for them and how much they were blessed.

With wonder in our hearts, we visited Texas, ecstatic to be reunited with family my husband and children have never met! The 20 hour drive was a huge challenge with five kids, including a toddler, from fights, to meltdowns, to incessant complaints. But we survived and felt blessed to have made it on one piece. We arrived from the 9th of August after having left the evening of the 6th and stayed until Tuesday midday on the the 11th. We arrived back home the 13th, midnight.

What is the craziest road trip you've taken?

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Journey of Faith: How it Started

Have you ever felt a push into an entirely different direction and couldn't explain why? This is what my family is going through and I'm going share our journey of faith here on my blog. A journey that will carry you through it all, even past the day of arrival... (I will post every day until I am caught up with current events and then I will post as things go along, please bear with me!)

As I child, I learned how much of a difficult childhood my father had. How his mother and sisters "abused" him. I've never heard it any other way. Then one day, May the 15th to be exact, I decided to get into touch with my aunt, his sister, and ask her what her side of the story was. I learned so much, and it opened my eyes.

Well, my aunt and I grew closer and we've spent hours on the phone, laughing and catching up. Then one day on June 11, a thought suddenly hit. I asked her if it was possible that we could visit her in Texas. She responded later that evening that we are welcome and how her daughter and grandkids are excited to meeting their cousins. Then on July 21, my hubby said that he couldn't shake the feeling that we should go down and visit Texas. Did he know that I'd been thinking the same thing? We both felt that the Lord had something for us to learn there. Guess what it was?

Have you ever felt inspired to do something without an explanation?