Friday, September 21, 2012
Today while at the Mayo Clinic, a man asked me "have you been born again?" It took me by surprise, since I was not even remotely having any type of conversation with him to begin with, however, I answered "why yes, yes I have and thank you for asking"
During the day I have thought about that question and wondered HAVE I BEEN BORN AGAIN? Not being able to get my mind off of it, I decided that man asked me this question for a reason, not sure what HIS reasoning was but it sure has made me think.
I know in some religious beliefs, people are known to use the term "born again" as meaning they have given their life and self to the Lord. If that being my belief then I would say "yes I have been born again"
For me, being "born again" means each and every time we are faced with a challenge, (and by a "challenge" I mean a life altering challenge like being sexually abused or life threatening, divorce, death of a spouse anything that causes your life to change) instead of turning it into a negative force that destroys everything in its path with anger, including your soul, your able to step away, give it time and ask the question "what can I learn from this?" with that being said I think I have been born again several times in my life.
I have been angry, very angry with the man who abused me and the mom who walked away from me. I have felt the fear of rage take over my whole being to the point of wanting to take my own life. I know what it feels like to have no control over what is happening to my body and to be enraged almost to the point of hatred. I have mourned the death of my brother and blamed myself for the "what ifs"
Every single time I experienced these emotions, they dug deeper and deeper into developing a person who was negative, angry and depressed, taking it all out on others including my own family. The 1st turning point for me was when I faced my fear (my dad) and confronted the abuse--this was my first "born again" moment, it was at that time I realized I cannot control anyone else, how they act, how they respond or even how they lie. It was at that moment a light bulb went off in my head--"I am in control now, I control how I will respond, how I will learn and how I will teach my children to forgive" The 2nd "born again" moment was when I had truly forgiven him, when the calm after the storm came, and I knew he could no longer effect me or my children, I wrote an email to him after 16 years of no contact and told him I had forgiven him and that I hoped he was living a happy life--6 months later he died, and I was at his bedside.
I was "born again" when I finally forgave myself for so many things I had done to offend others, after reaching out to them and apologizing truly letting go of my actions and words that had hurt others, I gave it to the Lord and hoped those people would forgive me too. This included forgiving myself for the death of my brother--
When I was diagnosed with cancer--I was not quite ready to accept this new life I was going to take on, but I was "born again" when I faced it, prayed and pleaded with the Lord to forgive me and help me to be a better person, I KNOW HE DID.
Most recently I was "born again" when I went to the Dominican Republic and lived the life of my missionary son for a couple weeks--He will never know what that meant to me, and how proud I am of the work he accomplished while he was there--what a great experience I can check that one off of my bucket list, but I will never ever forget it--Oh, I love Weeyum, and now appreciate even more the son who came home a man.
All of us, have challenges in our life, and if you say you don't well get ready to have it scheduled on the calendar because the Lord will not put us here on earth without challenging us and testing us, it's just that some people have different challenges than others.
Recently a dear friend of mine who I greatly admire and love wrote me a loving email, this is a portion of what it said "
and my response to him was "of course you would, because that's the kind of man you are, and one of the reasons I love you and your family so much " but I also said this to him "how can I complain when I'm the one who agreed to live this life?" We all agreed to live our life, so live it, love it and learn from it.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Surgery was successful, all I remember is going to sleep in the OR on Wednesday and waking up on Monday ha ha. My days are all off, I drove all the way to Scottsdale for a doctors appointment I don't have until tomorrow. I have to admit I loved getting out of my bed and seeing some sunlight.
Today I saw the Dr. he took out the sutures and the nose brace, but unfortunately for me the stints have to remain up my nostrils for a couple more weeks to give the bones time to heal correctly. I have black and blue around my eyes and cheeks, I've had to control the pain with drugs but am quickly getting off of those. Now I'm dealing with keeping food down, even a few bites of anything. Kayla has been bringing me peanut butter banana smoothies, it may take all day to drink but it tastes good and stays down, so I know I'm getting some protein.
|Now isn't that beautiful?|
I'm not someone with a whole lot of confidence in myself or my abilities to uplift and help others. I know some incredibly talented people, they have worked hard to become musicians, singers, athletes, cooks, authors, scrap bookers, doctors, attorneys. PA's, radiation therapist (I love them) I could go on and on, the point I'm trying to make is when she said those words to me two things went through my mind
#1. What a bunch of crap I have nothing to teach anyone, and if for some reason she's right, I don't want to do it anymore, find someone else to learn from. and then came # 2. Change your prayers. To my dear sweet friend thank you for giving me something new to worry about... Ha ha I love You.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
|view of the beach love the white sand|
|Chloe covering Blake in sand|
|He loved it|
|the best part|
|watching Weeyum finally get to play in the D.R. water|
|he had to take off his trunks to clean off all the sand|
|this was a great finish to our day on the beach|
|Eric and I in the Caves of the waterfalls|
Eric asked Weeyum if there was anything he did not get to see or do while he was serving, and then told him we are going to do it. We spent the day at the village in Puerto Plata and beaches, then went to the 27 waterfalls. Eric and Blake hiked up to do 12 of them, Chloe and I stayed back and only did 7. It was beautiful, the boys said "next time we are going to do the all 27" Chloe and I are good with 7.
|Theses guys could not wait for me to take their picture|
|he asked me "facebuke, right?" (translation Facebook)|
|I loved these cute school kids|
|they were shy at first but then didn't want me to stop|
|biggest and most delicious avocados EVER|
|not sure, don't care|
|Chloe and I enjoying our coconut milk on the|
way to the beach
|Eric and Chloe|
|they cut open the coconut with a machete then give|
it back to you to eat
|drying out the very raw meat--YUK|
Friday, September 7, 2012
Leaving La Vega was difficult, I kinda thought Puerto Plata would be a little less dangerous--NOT. There were times we were smooshed into vans like sardines--in a 12 passenger van we had 26 people at one time. The sliding door remained open for fast and easy access on and off, and also for the fact that there was no a/c. There were people sitting on other people's laps, people they didn't even know--for 50 Dominican Pesos (approx $1.25) to travel 20-25 miles, with stinky sweaty people, this is their life, while I found it amusing and interesting they all loaded and unloaded each time starting conversations with the people they sat next to. I love that !! American's could use some training in that area--how many times have you gotten on an elevator and no one talks to each-other? Try it next time, you may be missing out on opportunities to help someone in need, or at least cheer someone up including yourself.
On this particular bus the driver was quite professional and efficient at his job, a woman got on with her grocery bag (very small grocery bag) he took it from her threw it in his small trunk and off we went. When she arrived at her destination, he jumped out grabbed her groceries and left them lying there on the ground before she could even get out of the van. The passengers also know exactly what to do GET OUT OF HIS WAY ASAP. Blake said "mom imagine doing these rides for 3 or 5 hours with no a/c and in a white shirt and tie, transfers were just like that" Right before Blake got home I sent him a new white shirt and was surprised when he wore his dirty, perspired shirt home--the neck was filthy--now I know why--he wore it home because he is a Dominican now, and he did not want others to think he thought he was better than them. I hope he kept that shirt, it means more to me now.
|The Bus To Haiti|
|Beautiful View in Puerto Plata|
|Missionaries are not allowed to swim|
|I carved WEEYUM in the rock--he left his mark in the D. R.|
|Dominican Republic Flag|
The Villages and places he served were worse than I ever imagined them to be, he never told us in emails, all we ever heard from him was that he was doing great and working hard. None of the homes have air conditioning, something we in Arizona would not live without. Their homes were the size of my bedroom, the floors were dirt, no yards, the homes are built on top of each other with very small walk ways between homes. There is no privacy.
One night Eric, Blake and Chloe went to visit a family Blake knew who had invited us over for rice pudding. I was not feeling well and decided to stay at the hotel. Chloe and Blake got on a motorcycle, and Eric on another. Blake and Chloe were ahead of Eric. Eric, is a funny man, he wants to know spanish so badly and he does his best to communicate, but dang it he really does not know what he is saying ( I call his language FrenchSpanlish) the driver of Blake and Chloe's motorcycle took off, far ahead of Eric. The motorcycle driver for Eric said he needed gas as he turned down a very dark road, Eric jumped off and started running down the street towards where he thought Blake and Chloe would be--he said it was really dark and he ran for 10-15 minutes. Probably a good thing I was not there, I would of freaked out and had an anxiety attack for sure. Blake and Chloe were in the middle of the road waiting for him. Chloe told me later that she and Blake were really afraid for Eric. Luckily the Lord was watching over Eric and all was well as they arrived at the members home.
|Homemade Rice Pudding|
|Blake & Chloe with one of his favorite members|
Sunday, September 2, 2012
|Blake loves to eat the whole thing|
|yes, it is disgusting|
|I cleaned my plate--|
|I love the Diaz Family above us are pictures of Blake|
on their walls.
|Santo Domingo Temple|
|Weeyum talking with the Nunez family|
|Chloe's ready for dinner|
As we traveled from one mission area to the next we made sure our mode of transportation was as if we were missionaries. Weeyum knows this country inside and out, every little street, where to go and not go. Eric was trying a couple of times to spend a little more money and take taxis or buses that were less crowded or air conditioned, but we are so glad we did it Weeyum way, I was able to experience it and see it through Weeyum eyes. Every Dominican or Haitian we met who knew Weeyum in the field would say "Oh Weeyum, we love you" when I asked how his spanish was everyone of them said "perfecto" Of course Weeyum being the humble sweet man that he is would give all the credit to the Lord and the people for helping him.
Leaving La Vega was really sad for me, I could see the hurt in Blake's heart too. Good thing we have Face Book to keep in touch, and I fly with USAirways--hopefully Presudebt Diaz will be able to visit us in November. ♥♥♥ this man