Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas time again

As I sit by the Christmas tree typing this post I wonder. Wonder about a Christmas with children filled with so much joy and laughter. I wonder about when it will happen or if it will happen...how many more Christmases will go by without Santa coming to our house? It's no secret that this is my favorite time of year. I love decorating my house, planning holiday performances for my students, hot chocolate and cookies (although year gluten free and I warm up dark chocolate almond milk for the hot chocolate lol), cooler weather, and preparing for the birth of Chirst...starting a new year. So many wonderful things to be excited about. But for some reason this season also serves as a reminder of all the years we'd hope we would have a child to share it all with. It's astounding to me how many years have gone by like this. When I think about it though, I really do try to remember the part of Christmas that represents hope for us Christians. There are times when I feel so spirit filled and I don't care about what is happening in my life because I know Jesus is walking along side me through it all and all I pray for is to help me do His will...fulfill the purpose He has for my life. So I have these strong faith based feelings but then during certain times I revert back to the sad feelings. I guess that's part of being human, right? These conflicting feelings inside really had me confused...for example, am I being fake to myself when I think I'm trusting in God because obviously I still have strong feelings and an emptiness when it comes to having children? I spoke to a priest about this and what he said really made sense to me. He said you know you've worked through something or completely trust God when you feel 100% joy and peace about your situations and life because your hope and faith is in Him...you know that He knows better and true happiness in life is surrendering it to Him. Wow! That's what the saints do. Clearly I have a lot of work to do. We all do. I'm not at that point yet...not at 100%. I am grateful for the spirit filled moments where I experience that kind of joy and peace but there are definitely moments (like certain points during Advent and Christmas) when my frustrated and sad feelings come out. My goal right now is to continue to work towards one day being with God in heaven...having more moments of true peace and joy and less of the frustrated ones. I have to give myself time, probably a lifetime, to get to that 100%. I've fooled myself into believing that you have to be one way or the other...I would get upset with myself when I would lose some of that joy and peace. I'm definitely not at 100% so I have to be able to pray and ask God for help through the harder times and as I said before be grateful for the times that I do feel that peace and hopefully those moments will become more frequent. Well, I didn't think my post would take this direction but I'm glad I was able to put my thoughts somewhat together :) 

On a lighter note, I had such a fun filled weekend! I accomplished so many physical activities that I've not been able to do since my surgeries such as running a race, a 19 mile bike ride through downtown Miami, and running what Miami people call Goliath (aka the Rickenbacker Causeway). The last one (Goliath) I actually had never done even before the surgery. It was a 6 mile run and about a mile of it is up and down the highest peak we have in this city. Although I don't think I lost any weight this weekend from all the eating we did, I feel so motivated again! Conquering these obstacles is such a metaphor for life. Besides the physical activities, I greatly enjoyed decorating the house (it looks so cosy and magical this time of year). We were also able to have a pretty sane thanksgiving with both sides of the family (no major drama). I really enjoyed the cooler weather we got on Thursday...we took the dogs to the park that day and it just so pleasant. We saw the movie, Frozen, which I really enjoyed (loved the song Let it Go...very symbolic for where I am in my life). I also got to see one of my students perform in a musical that I helped her audition for...I was so proud and she was just so happy to see me there...beautiful experience...made my heart melt. Later that night we had David's aunt's 60th birthday party. It was a formal affair so it was fun to get all nice and dressed up for it. We really don't get a lot of those opportunities for fancy parties lol! Then we ended the weekend with hot chocolate and cookies by the fireplace. Looking forward to the rest of the Christmas season...so many wonderful activities yet to come :) 

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I've come to realize that I do very well in nature. I feel so close to God when I'm immersed in His magnificent creation. I feel so peaceful, relaxed as if time stops for that time. Where I live, I only have the Everglades (which is swamp land) and we have the beach. I live pretty west so it takes me about 40 mins to get to the beach. It's always been such a production to go. Recently I had been having some sleep issues and I was told to go to the beach and get in the water. I was desperate so I was willing to try anything. I had never been to the beach by myself so I had mixed feelings about it. I ended up going one day after the gym and it was just so good for me. I absolutely loved it and I slept that night and every night since. So now I try to come every so often before work when I'm feeling anxious, frustrated, or overwhelmed. I come and I pray and just listen to and watch the waves, take a short walk...take a break from the craziness of my life. Take a break from thinking about everything that stresses me, the medications, the appointments, the disappointment every cycle, my business, paying bills, etc. Whether it is the ocean, a meadow, in the mountains, or in a nice green park with big beautiful trees...I find the best medicine is to just be in nature. 

So today I had my nice quiet time at the beach but I also had some adventure!! I wish I could have taken pictures but my friend came by an hour after I got to the beach and brought her surfboard and we went surfing!! I really wasn't planning on getting in the water today but I figured "you only live once!". The last time I surfed with 8 years ago! I had a blast! I love a little impromptu adventure. I was able to concentrate solely on getting on that wave and standing up on that board. Again, I forgot about everything else going on in my life for a moment and just enjoyed the opportunity God provided me with :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Life theme songs

I find it so amazing how music is such an important part of my life. I usually go through so many theme songs with different events or stages in my life. Listening to songs from certain stages of my life puts me back emotionally to where I was when I used to listen them. I heard the other day the song my husband and I danced to on our wedding day and I can feel what I felt that marvelous day...I remember how while there were 250 other people in the room, I remember looking into my husband's eyes and seeing so much love and it felt like it was only the two of us in the room. It was a moment we were both waiting for a long time. I think of my cousin, Katie, every time I hear the song "I Believe" by Blessed Union of Souls because during her entire trip to visit me back in 2001 we were obsessed with that song and I can remember how I felt when David was driving me home after an intense hour long good bye with her and crying in the car listening to the song. It's bittersweet because I have amazing memories with that song but also I can feel what I felt that day saying good bye...not knowing when I'd see her again (which ended up being for my wedding 5 years later). Those are two of many examples of songs that bring me back to certain places in my life. I had a great uncle that developed Alzheimer's when I was about 7. It was sad because he was such a fun loving kind of guy...always the life of the party. Anyways, I remember he was at my parent's house one Christmas maybe 8 years ago and by this time he was barely functioning. He barely knew how to speak. Well my grandmother asked me to play an old Cuban song on the piano, La Comparsa. My grandmother told me that back when they all lived in Cuba all her brothers and sisters and cousins would get together and listen to one of their cousins play the piano (they would have so much fun singing along) and La Comparsa was one of their favorites when she played it (very difficult piano piece). So that Christmas I played it and my great uncle became so emotional when I played it. He had no memory, couldn't speak but the music sparked something in him which left the whole family in tears. It goes to show how music is not just a memory but it touches you to the soul. It sparks feelings so deep and for me can express my deepest emotions. So I was just contemplating that as I was listening to my song for "right now" in my life. It's called Sovereign by Chris Tomlin. It's exactly what I need to hear and pray a lot these days. Here's the link if you want to listen:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Still no sleep

I've had a rough couple days of no sleep. I'm not exactly sure why I'm so anxious. I have so much to be thankful for. My marriage is doing much better, I have great people in my life, and I have a job I like and a roof over my head, food to eat, etc. So what's bugging me? I know I've been struggling with feeling God close to me. I've realized that I haven't established a personal relationship with Him. I've been reading and learning and I understand about having faith, hope, and love and what it means but have I been putting it into practice? I want God to be my best friend, my father. I want a mutual relationship. I want to live my life according to His will. But I think so far I've done it on my terms and I have not allowed the Holy Spirit to move and work in me. It takes letting go and allowing myself to guided through prayer. I have to will myself to drop everything and follow my Heavenly Father, but I have to be able to let go of control and allow God to be God for me. Control is something hard for me to let go of. Having control is how I have gotten through life. I grew up in a home where I couldn't trust the people who were suppose to love me most and I got through it by maintaining control of my life. Taking care of myself and not 100% relying on people or God. I think I need to read more from God's word (the bible), and start with baby steps. First step is realizing that God's love is perfect and is the only love that will never let me down. I know I've realized that already, however, I need to believe it with my whole heart. I've been working on changing my negative thoughts to biblical thoughts. I've already seen a huge change in me. My mindset has changed to the point that materialistic things don't bother me anymore. Things of this world don't even bother me. If I lose my job or we have to sell our house or whatever it is that is going wrong I know that God is with me and will give me what I need to get through all those situations. One way or another they work out. That is already a huge change for me and a lot of peace in my heart as a result. But have I trusted God with my heart? Have I truly given my life and heart to Him? I'm working on it but I would be dishonest if I said my past has not influenced a lack of trust. It's time to let go of all of it because I can trust God. Even when I don't feel him near, He is always with me. 

Besides that, I have no idea what is causing my anxiety...I feel that I need to just live life from a place of hope and being ok with feeling discomfort knowing that God will not abandon me and He sees what I don't see. 

My friend sent me an email today from one of her devotionals where some of the info made sense to me:

“Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7a GW)
One of the reasons people struggle with contentment is because we’re always looking for explanations for why things happen in our lives. God doesn’t tell us why most of the things happen in our lives, and that just ticks us off. Why doesn’t God tell you why everything happens in your life?
Because he’s testing you. He’s testing you to see if you will let go of control and learn to be content, whether he explains it or not.
God doesn’t owe you an explanation for anything, and you wouldn’t understand it even if he gave it.
But even if you did get an explanation, it still wouldn’t take away the pain. You’re not going to know why most things happen until you get on the other side of death.
God isn’t going to give you an explanation. But he will test you.
I remember when I was a little kid that the only time our classroom in school was quiet was during a test. The teacher would say, “No talking! Take your pencils, and fill out your tests.” Even the teacher would be silent.
When God is silent in your life, you’re going through a test. When you don’t hear God and he feels like a million miles away, that is a test! The teacher is always silent when the students take a test. When God is silent in your life, your faith is being tested. Will you let go of control, or will you grab on more tightly? Will you learn to be content?
When you’re going through pain this next week or next month or this year, you don’t really need God’s explanation. You need God’s presence.
“Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7a GW).
Talk It Over
What are you angry with God about that you don’t want to admit?
In what way is God testing you right now? How will you respond?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Not a sprint but a marathon

So I've started to change my diet towards the anti inflammation diet. I've been able to do the gluten free part, take out processed foods with any unnatural ingredient, I've cut my diary down to only pure organic and hormone free cheese blocks, I've tried to avoid trans fat, and changed cooking oil from olive oil to coconut oil. While I do need to improve still on some of those changes, I feel like I'm getting the hang of it. Now the number 1 thing the books say to cut is sugar and refined starch. That has been challenging. The way I'm choosing to look at this is that changing my diet as a lifestyle change is not a sprint but marathon.  I work really well when I set rules or goals for myself so here are my rules for this week:

Rule 1:
So this week my goal is to limit my daily sugar intake to one food item with sugar a day. My daily usuals are dark chocolate almond milk, having a piece of dark chocolate, frozen yogurt, or a gluten free cookie. So ths week I can't have them allin one day...one serving of one sugar containing item a day.  Eventually I want to limit it to once or twice a week. 

Rule 2:
I need to lower my carb intake for weight loss purposes. Ever since starting the life style change I've eaten carbs like gluten free pasta or rice. The last two weeks I've cut my carbs to only lunch and no carbs at night. It worked out ok but this week I'd like to limit my calorie/carb spike to one meal a week (not a weekend marathon lol). 

Rule 3:
Exercise daily! Even if it's something small...do something everyday.

So let's see how this works out this week! 

Last night

So I had an amazing weekend. I got to do what I love to do...sing and not just sing anywhere but sing at my favorite place...church. I got to stay with a great friend and have some amazing conversations, I ran a mile and a half for the first time since my surgeries (to think I used to run half marathons) which reminds me how awesome it is to have support. The most I've been able to run is a mile straight and that was only during times that I had a lot on my mind. But running with a friend and having that motivation and support helped me exceed my goal of running a half mile and pushed me to new limits. I think today is going to have to be a yoga day on my ipad  for exercise because last night I just couldn't sleep. I'm exhausted. I did actually fall asleep around 5am so that's actually a good thing. A few years ago I used to have major problems with anxiety (especially at night) and I just wouldn't be able to sleep. I get this feeling in my stomach and no matter how tired I am that little anxiety feeling in my stomach does not let me sleep. It is so frustrating and then I get so disappointed with myself that I allowed myself to get so anxious. I start to feel like I'm moving backwards. I've come so far with dealing with my issues and when this happens I feel like such a failure. Usually I can just pray myself to sleep. I'll tell myself to not worry about tomorrow or the future that it will take of itself. I thought my trust in God was better than what I displayed last night. It reminded me of some of the conversations I had with my friend this past weekend. When I'm anxious, it's usually a result of some type of fear or lack of control. Sometimes I do find it harder some days than others to not worry and have all the answers to life. I want to have that peace from truly being able to leave myself in God's hands. Trust in His perfect love for me. Trust that what He's told me is true...that He will never abandon me; don't try to make sense of things right now...just know that He will never abandon me. Sometimes I let my thoughts take control of me and last night I felt that finding my way back to sleep was very difficult. I felt like I wanted answers from God and I wanted to be able to place things in perfect order in my head...I wanted control. I wanted to how, when, why. I honestly think that my biggest problem is that I try to control the faith that I have instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to move within me. I have to not think so much and let go of the control. I grow and take my greatest strides when I let go and not worry about how I'm going to get there...just peace knowing the Holy Spirit will guide me there. The only way I was able to get myself to sleep was to constantly pray to God "I don't know how to fix this...give me the grace to stop feeling anxious and get through this night...help me still my mind and find rest in you". I would pray that and the feeling in my tummy would go away and maybe a couple minutes later return and had to pray that all over again. I finally did get to sleep but it took me praying that over and over for a long time. So what have I learned? That I need to be gentle with myself. That I don't need to know all the answers or how I'm going to get to that place of peace I want to be. I'm human and I get anxiety sometimes. If I look back I can already see so much growth that has taken place and I have no idea how I got here but I know I have to keep on going and when I fall just get back up again and keep going. When I really think about it, I can find good in every aspect of my life. I'm so blessed. I have so much goodness in my life and gifts from God which makes it easier to get back up again and keep going. I'm still somewhat anxious but I'm hoping if I let go and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me, that it will start to fade. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Random thoughts...

 Sometimes I feel like climbing to the highest mountain top I can find (I may have to leave Florida for that) and shouting to God "I'M READY!! What else do I have to go through for me to have a baby?!!" It's a daily struggle to turn to God and trust that He has my back. So I pray and tell Him to give me the grace to get through this day. Instantly I start feeling blessed and grateful. I think about the fact that He and our Blessed Mother brought my husband and I together, that God blessed us with our first child. She was an ectopic but the pressure is off. To most people it would seem like my family is a family of 2 but in reality we are a family of 6 including our doggies. There's God, David, me, Adrienne, and my pups. Life goes by in a flash but one day (hopefully a long while from now) we will all be together in heaven as a family. I have a family and I hope that it only continues to grow because I want a big family and I hope that I can have children with me in this world as well. There's a sense of peace knowing that Adrienne is a saint a heaven with our Heavenly Father...isn't that where we all want to be one day? There's a peace knowing that she didn't have to suffer in this world. I would have done anything to have her with me right now but that's not my choice. Now more than ever I've come to the realization that God has a purpose for us. As long as I'm alive there is a purpose for me. I can lose everything and everyone in my life but as long as I'm alive God has a purpose and will for me. We also have free will so we have a choice to follow God's will or reject it. We are all made in the image and likeness of God...all of us...and we all have choices in life. I've also realized recently there is evil in this world and it's important to not live in denial about that. Evil wants to push us away from God. I believe that if God literally brought my husband and I together that there must be a godly purpose for us. Evil wants us apart...evil is creating obstacles. But what evil doesn't seem to understand is that the more we conquer those trials and obstacles the stronger we get and the closer to God we become. It's not easy and sometimes we do fall but when surpass our trials we grow closer to God and grow as human beings. We learn. God has a purpose for us. I'm not sure what it is...it could be something simple in our eyes or it could be something huge. Maybe if it is revealed later that we are meant to children that those children have a significant purpose? I don't know yet what it is but I do know that Jesus told me not to try to make sense of things...just know that He's always with me and not going to abandon me. I know that I can say that some of my greatest trials in life have also been some of my greatest gifts. I've said this before but I would be a very different person right now if I would have gotten pregnant 6 years ago. I've grown so much and I have a much deeper faith that will hopefully continue to grow. I do feel stuck right now in my life and it's a daily struggle to let go that void in my heart and give to God. Sometimes my prayers are profound and I feel so spiritual and sometimes I have blah moments where I complain and ask God how much longer, what else do I have to do, I feel like my life is on pause...waiting.... and that's when it all comes full circle and I have to pray for grace to get through.

 I think sometimes we have to learn to live our lives with the discomfort instead of hiding it or pushing it aside. It is a discomfort for me to go month after month again without getting pregnant. Taking tons of medications, getting sick, watching so many people having families, and then my period comes (one of the most consistent things in my life...never ceases to come). I don't know when or how this will all turn out and I have little control of when and if I do get pregnant one day so this is a discomfort in my life that I have to be ok with living with for now. I have to trust that God is with me and continue to live  my life with that discomfort and feel that it's ok. It's ok. Remind myself of so many blessings in my life and be ok. On a smaller scale it's just like losing weight...for some odd reason after each surgery I gained 10 pounds and can't lose them for the life of me. It's frustrating and I feel uncomfortable with the way I look and feel but I'm trying my best to be healthy and I have to be ok with that discomfort for now until the weight starts to come off.

I have no idea if this made sense to anyone. But these are my thoughts and sometimes we have random thoughts and those thoughts lead to other thoughts, etc. I'm sure there's something good in here even if it is random!