Monday, December 9, 2013

My Broken Heart

After spending a week reflecting on what God has been doing in my life I scrapped my original blog. Last Sunday I should have given an update so rather than giving you day by day info I thought I would reflect on the responses I have received from friends that have given me such encouragement and about the time spent in Big Bear.

When my friend Evelyn found out about my health condition she called me and told me about a dream she had. She said that she could see the Holy Spirit moving in and out of my body and then she saw the Lord take my heart and kiss it. Another friend, Jeannie, told me that she sees this all as a Spiritual Battle and that she is praying for me.

Whatever is going on I can feel the prayers of everyone and it is such a wonderful feeling. On Thursday we had the Hymnspiration Festival with Steve and Rachel Ragsdales. Steve sang in the quartet for The Haven of Rest Ministries on the radio for a number of years and still sings with them now and then. Steven’s wife, Rachel, is a wonderful pianist. Rachel shared a story with us that I would like to share with you. Rachel shared how she was decorating her Christmas tree last year and had placed her favorite ornament on the tree. Awhile later she had heard a crash and discovered that her favorite ornament had fallen and broken. The ornament was a ceramic heart shape with a manger scene in the center of it. The heart part had broken into pieces but the manger scene with Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus had stayed intact. Rachel went on to say that this showed her that there are many people with broken hearts but if Jesus stays together in the middle you can get through most anything. After Rachel shared her story Steve went on to sing, “Don’t Be Surprised.” In my first blog about my health condition I shared that I know God can choose to heal me in a wink of an eye and Steve’s song reinforced that but you know sometimes you feel there are things you must go through in this life so I pretty much felt that “I would be Surprised.” I want to share the words from Steve’s song with you…

Rachel's Broken Heart
Don’t be surprised when God is near
And miracles appear
After all, He hears you call
He hears you pray
Don’t be surprised what God can do
Or when the dreams you’ve dreamed come true
When hopes arise, take this advice
Don’t be surprised

Don’t be surprised when God appears
In your night of tears
And says, “My child, don’t be afraid,
I am here”
Don’t be surprised if in the trial
You start to laugh and start to smile
When fear subsides and joy arrives
Don’t be surprised

The blessings of the Lord should come as no surprise
It’s His tender, loving nature to provide
Don’t be surprised when God is near
And miracles appear
After all, He hears you call
He hears you pray
Don’t be surprised what God can do
Or when the dreams you’ve dreamed come true
When hope arise, take this advice
Don’t be surprised.

I had some friends that were concerned about me going up to Big Bear. This trip had been planned for several months so I was looking forward to going and my kids had assured me that I could just rest while I was there. I had a couple emails I sent to the doctor to see if there were any concerns about me going. The nurse called me back and said that I should be fine but if I felt any pressure in my chest or pain that doesn’t go away I should immediately go to the ER. Well that was reassuring! LOL

It did turn out to be a wonderful time in Big Bear. One particular morning, and I shared this on Facebook, I felt that I needed to get a picture at the front door. I had been laying in bed looking out the window and I saw the clouds speeding by so I went to get a picture at the front door and I started video taping. The wind was picking up and as I stepped on to the front porch it felt like the Holy Spirit was meeting me. You can watch in this video how the light snow sweeps across the street and it wisks right up to me. It was an incredible feeling. I had wished it would have wrapped itself all around me but later in the day we drove over to the store and as I went to the car a gust of wind with leaves come up to me and wrapped itself all around me nearly blowing me away. I laughed and smiled, looking up and said, “Okay God, I feel you! It was such an incredible feeling! I was expecting to go to Big Bear and to meet God there since I was at such a high elevation. It was beautiful seeing the beauty all around in the mountains and especially to see the snow lightly fall all afternoon on Saturday. It was a wonderful weekend and so glad I was able to share it with some of you on Facebook.
During the week since I had been in contact with my doctor and telling him I was still experiencing the palpitations he gave me the referrals to have a Stress Test done and the Echocardiogram. Now I feel we’re getting somewhere. I already had my appointment set up with Cardiology to get the heart monitor so it worked out I was able to make my other appointments for the same day on Tuesday, December 10th. I’ll save those stories for my next blog. Until then, thank you so much for your prayers.

The title of this blog is “My Broken Heart” and not meaning it emotionally. It’s that my heart isn’t functioning properly so something is broken in it. I can laugh and I can smile because I know God is doing something wonderful!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Greatest Adventure!

"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

O, come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer
Thy Spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shades of night
And death’s dark shadow put to flight
Rejoice, Rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel!

Yesterday I started my 28 day Devotional for Advent with She Reads Truth: Emmanuel. On the first day we are told to listen to the song O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and write down the first verse. The group The Civil Wars sang 3 verses and I copied them above. I could have stuck with just the first verse and apply it to myself with feelings of mourning in lonely exile here until the Son of God appears. I couldn't just stop there. I am seeking wisdom which the next verse says, Thou Wisdom from on high and He place’s everything in order. I need Him to show me the path of knowledge and he will teach me her ways to go. I needed to hear the last verse also, I need His dayspring to come and cheer and His Spirits by His advent here to drive away the shades of night and death’s dark shadow put to flight.

I am looking for something miraculous to happen within these next days of advent. I really have given myself 3 months to see what changes happen as I am facing the Greatest Adventure in My Life! I have been to so many places this year from Hawaii, to Mexico, to San Francisco, to Palm Springs, the beach and maybe soon to Big Bear. I have had so much fun visiting all these places, facing the unknown only to discover God’s beauty all around me! I have seen the vast ocean, a beautiful rainbow, walking on a volcano, a wondrous water fall, the power of waves crashing on the beach, the glory in a Sunrise and the Majesty of God in a Sunset. All these have been magnificent but I know they will pale in comparison to what waits on the other side of eternal life with God.

I have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Left Ventricular Hydrotrophic Cardiomyopathy. In most cases this can be treated with blood pressure medication for high blood pressure. That’s not my case. I don’t have high blood pressure; in fact I have rather low blood pressure. Also with most cases of LVH the left heart valve has trouble pumping blood through. In my case the valve is pumping too much blood into my heart causing various symptoms. I will be going through a series of tests in the coming weeks to figure out exactly what is going on. In my reading up on this type of heart condition the first thing I can do for myself is to lose 10 pounds off the bat. I would pray that this might be a simple fix but being that I don’t have high blood pressure or smoke and if losing weight doesn't help then chances are this is a genetic disorder. Keep me in your prayers as I face all these medical tests. I would pray that answers would be found during this Advent Season. 

I went to church this morning and I love the series Pastor Jeff is doing, “Reflections”, and the overall theme in the Christmas decorations around church is, “Coming Home.” I will be “reflecting” on my life of where I’ve been, where I am currently in life and where I am going in the future. I will either be “Coming Home” to be with my family and friends or “Coming Home” to be with My Lord. Either way I see it as a “Win, Win” situation.

My Advent devotional song for today is simply called “Waiting.”

I will be waiting 
With my heart laid bare
Would You come
I will be waiting 
Simply waiting here
Till You come

I don’t know if I will be able to journal every day but I will do my best. God’s Grace has been foremost on my mind for a few weeks. I know God is teaching me something. It is His Wisdom and Knowledge I am seeking through all of this. I just know in the end, the path will lead me Home.

AFTER THOUGHTS: I’m listening to music in the background and I’m hearing the song playing, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” God is so good!

I wasn't sure if I would have a goal I would want to reach after all of this. When I went to look on my Facebook this morning I caught a quick glimpse of my younger brother at the cross on the top of Garcia Trail. Facebook had reset with new statuses and I kept scrolling to find my brother’s photo but didn't find it. I know that will be my goal, to get to the Cross. Once my heart is healed I will make that trek up Garcia Trail and have my photo taken with the Cross at the top!
My brother Larry. He said he would do this hike with me when I'm able.
This disease could have happened to anyone. I feel that God was looking around at my family, my group of friends, the people I work with and said, “Yes, I know Beckie can be a shining example to show my Glory and my love to those around her.” I know I won’t walk this path alone. I know I will have the prayers of those that know me and possibly even those that don’t know me. God could do a miraculous healing on my body in the wink of an eye. I know God wants me to go on this journey as the Greatest Adventure of my Life and I can’t wait to see what is waiting for me on the other side!

Be obedient to His Word.

In the words of my son, Bobby, "Soli Deo Gloria" (For the Glory of God Alone.)

Beckie                                                                                                     12.1.2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Letter From Debra Lois

Happy 21st 
Birthday in 
Heaven Debra Lois
May 4th, 2013

Today has been a rather emotional day for me. I honestly thought when I woke up this morning I was doing just fine. I was excited to put Debra's Poem together and share it with all of you on Facebook. Looking for photos to go with Debra's Poem kind of sent me for a loop. The first photo I came across was just so sweet and touching. I know my girl has been watching from above...

My Dawna had text me and asked if I wanted to meet at Forest Lawn at Noon to see Debra. I later found out that Duana and Sydney would be joining us also. It hadn't even dawned on me that since it is Debra's 21st Birthday we should have a Toast with Champagne! That was a great idea Duana!

We sang Happy Birthday to Debra and it appeared Debra even blew out her candle. We always have an Angel Food Cake.

We took Sydney over to see her Great Grandpa Johnny since he is at Forest Lawn also. We all miss him oh so much.

Once the girls left I felt I needed to go see Debra by myself. I felt she had something she needed to say to me...

This will have special meaning to most family members but I don't mind others reading what My Debra had to say to me and her loved ones.

White butterflies always remind me of Debra.

A Letter From Debra:

Hello Dear Family,

Today I am celebrating my 21st Birthday in Heaven. I am so glad Grandpa Vasquez is here to celebrate with me! Uncle Doc is here too and I've so enjoyed hearing their stories about all of you! I can't wait for the day you all arrive and I know it won't be any time soon. Uncle Doc has been here just as long as I have. We went through orientation here in Heaven together. Uncle Doc is such a kick! God allows him to smoke a pipe. He figures what harm could it do him now? It's so funny to hear Uncle Doc when he gets irritated and says, "Weeell craaap" in his deep voice. We've all adjusted to that "C" word from Doc.

I tell you I was so excited the day I was told that Grandpa Vasquez was going to be arriving soon. I've been having fun with Baby Vasquez all these years and I enjoy meeting many family members like all the Great, Greats, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. The one that really surprised me seeing though was our Uncle Dan. I had only been here  little over a year when I was told he would be arriving soon. I was a bit too young to understand why God brought him home so soon. God reminded me that my Uncle Donnie was brought up here at a much younger age and then He said I brought you here to live with me at an even younger age. Then he asked me would I care to trade places with any of them? I responded right away, "And be separated from you?!" I couldn't imagine that! I'm home! Heaven is my Home and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Grandpa Vasquez has shared some of your stories with me and I couldn't imagine having to go through any of that. I know you wonder why you have to go through some of the hard stuff but God assures me that he is just helping to make you stronger. You have to be strong in order to live on earth. Maybe that is why God brought me home so soon. God knew life on earth would be much too difficult for me. I may not have survived any way. I've been spared all that you are going through. Don't be sad for me. I've had a full 21 years here with My Lord! You may think you have a "relationship" with God now but let me tell you this...You have no idea how great it is until you reach Heaven! I tell you..."He's Out of this World!" Keep reading God's Word it really does help you to have a great life on earth.

Grandpa Vasquez, Uncle Doc, Uncle Dan & Donnie all send their love. We'll continue watching over all of you from above!
I Love You!
Debra Lois

By the way Grandma Vasquez, Aunt Lois still hasn't fessed up about the purple Popsicle. I've had the greatest time getting to know Grandpa. He's so much fun!