Thursday, October 5, 2017

We All Hurt A Little

On Sunday a tragic event took place. At the same time I was experiencing a pain of my own that I was going to make light of until I heard about the Las Vegas Sniper Shooting.

At approximately 10 pm I was, what we call Merchantaining, at The Emporium on Main Street at Disneyland. I was standing there at Disney's 2017 Collectibles when a guest picked up a mini Mickey Snowglobe and another accidentally fell off the shelf and broke. I assured the guest it was fine and we would clean it up. I positioned myself in front of the counter and motioned for a Cast Member to assist me in cleaning it up. I also asked another Cast Member to bring me a Pro-towel (they're a bit thicker than a regular paper towel) and I proceeded to fold it in quarters to make it even thicker knowing that I might encounter broken glass. We cleared off the backpacks and calendars so we could clean the liquid off the shelves easier. I took my folded Pro-towel and proceeded to wipe the shelf when I felt something sharp cut the tip of my ring finger on my right hand.

OUCH! It was just a tiny sliver that punctured my skin so I immediately went to the back office to tell the Lead I had a sliver of glass in my finger. I carefully pulled the tiny piece of glass out and squeezed the tip of my finger to make it bleed to be sure any trace of glass was out. The Lead said I should report the injury to the Cast Health Center so I went. I couldn't believe the amount of pain I was experiencing from this tiny puncture in my finger.

While at the Health Center they had me write every detail of what and how this accident happened. After spending 10 minutes writing this with my injured right hand I was experiencing more pain that went from the tip of my ring finger through the middle of my forearm to my elbow. My arm was really hurting from this tiny cut on my finger.

The nurse had cleaned the cut with alcohol and it really stung! The she placed a butterfly bandage on it and gave me extras to keep the cut covered for a few days. She said not to allow it to soak in water for a few days. She also said if I was experiencing any throbbing pain I should hold my hand above my heart until it subsides. Yeah, it was throbbing a bit so I kept my hand about shoulder level for a few minutes.

I was suppose to be heading to my break just as this incident took place. When I returned from the Health Center and was at the Back Office they reset my break and I was allowed to take my break. It was 11:15pm at the time. So there I was with my finger bandaged up and thought about taking a photo and sharing it on Social Media that I had my first work related injury happen to me. Well, I starting scrolling on Facebook when I saw a friend's post saying that 70 were injured at a Festival in Vegas. I quickly looked up on Google what was happening in Las Vegas and read the news about this sniper attack. Suddenly the pain I was experiencing with my finger dissipated and the pain went straight to my heart. Oh.My.Goodness! Unbelievable!

On my way home from work I turned my radio to a news station and listened to the story that was unfolding. I thought how silly of me wanting to share about my own pain when there were lots of people experiencing horrible pain and suffering. Some things aren't worth sharing on Social Media when you hear about terrible things happening to others. I thought I don't need to share about my own small incident. My finger and my arm were still hurting but I didn't have to tell the whole world.

Then next morning I woke up and I needed to change my bandage. I still felt the pain and I thought for such a tiny, tiny injury it sure can hurt! At that moment I felt God say to me, there is your story to share. So here is what I learned in this moment that I feel God wants me to share with you...

In I Corinthians 12: 12-27 we learn about Diversity and Unity in The Body. I want to focus on verses 26 & 27 which says, 

26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
This tiny sliver that cut the tip of my finger caused a lot of pain within my body. When we hear of terrible news that happen to people most of them we can relate and hurt along with them. It may even be the tiniest thing that happened but deep down it can cause a tremendous amount of pain. I've been watching and listening to the news and my heart aches for those that lost loved ones in this senseless murdering spree. Just as this tiny sliver of glass that entered my body the pain traveled up my arm and even two days later I can feel the pain inside my forearm to my elbow. I know I will heal from my injury but it is amazing how much one can hurt on the inside from pain that has been inflicted on the outside.
There are many people hurting right now. Just as 1 Corinthians 12 states "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it." The people of Las Vegas are suffering. The people from other states that knew people that were there at the Route 91 Harvest are suffering. America is suffering and ultimately the World is suffering. We.Are.Hurting. The only one that can release us of this Hurt is God. 
I am so glad to hear people being interviewed giving thanks to God that they are alive today. Each of us should be glad that we are alive today. One guy is sharing on his Facebook page "We aren't guaranteed tomorrow." Many are sharing "We weren't concerned with skin color, your religious beliefs, if you are Republican or Democrat, we were there to help save lives."
We.Are.One.Body. No matter who we are or where we are, we are connected. We are one body.
That little sliver of glass that entered my body reminds me of the evil that is out there ready and waiting to inflict it's pain on us. I didn't see that sliver of glass that night when I went to wipe up the liquid from that broken snowglobe. We don't know the pain that awaits us around the corner. What we do know is the hope we can have when we know God. 
I am focusing on 1 Corinthians 12: 26b that says "If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." Today I'm hearing the stories of those that committed heroic acts. People who helped to save others during this horrific tragedy. They gave no concern for their own life. They wanted to help as many people as they could and some were injured during their acts of heroism. Others will forever be affected by the visions they will always picture in their minds.
Whatever we encounter in this life if you know who the Savior of the World is you can bear the pain this world can inflict on you. If you don't know The Savior you can ask me to introduce you to him or maybe you have a family member who knows him or a neighbor. Talk to them. Open up the conversation. Turn off the news and let's start talking.
Everyone has a story to share. I encourage you to share yours.
May God bless us all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"Wait! Wait!"

I want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart for all the Birthday wishes. I am thoroughly blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends.

I don’t know how many of you feel that a Birthday is just a Birthday. It comes and it goes. Many of you know I was preparing for this Birthday as I feel it is a very Special Birthday to me to make note of. I turned the age of the year I was born. When I was young I couldn’t fathom being 40 let alone the age I am now!

I remember sitting in my 3rd grade class and having my teacher, Mrs. Pierce, talking about the Lord’s return and she said she didn’t expect He would come in her lifetime but that The Lord would most likely return during our lifetime. As the years passed I would pray the Lord would “wait” until I was done through High School. Then I wanted the Lord to “wait” until I was married. Then I wanted the Lord to “wait” until I had children. Then I stopped asking the Lord to wait. I never imagined I’d live long enough to see Grandchildren and now I have 5! Wait! Wait! Where did the time go?

Now I stand at the beginning of a New Age. I had already been planning and knew that this Birthday was going to be Special and I did want it to be BIG! It would have been nice to have had a huge celebration and invited many of my family and friends but there has been so much happening these past months there was no time to plan. I know though that God has Bigger Plans for my life and life with my Husband, Duane. He enters into a New Decade in Life later this year so this Birthday year is bringing huge changes for us.

I know I can’t ask The Lord to Wait on His return anymore. I don’t even want to. I am truly blessed beyond measure and whether the Lord Returns tomorrow or if He chooses to take me home to be with Him I know I am ready. He IS Lord of My Life. He is My King and I am His Daughter. I am not afraid of tomorrow and I love what it says in Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” 

I remember looking forward to each decade birthday. My thirties I finally felt like I was a grown up. My forties I felt I had gained much wisdom. My fifties I felt like I had arrived and didn’t need to impress anyone! I have to admit that a couple months ago as I was contemplating my birthday coming up I realized I was right around the corner from this next decade and thought, Oh My Goodness! I’ve lived more than half my life! I don’t have much time left to make an impact or leave any kind of legacy! That thought only lasted a few hours as I knew God was already working in mine and my husband’s lives.

So whatever time we have left I know I have to live it for The Lord. Because the only thing that matters in this world is what we do for the Kingdom of God and Lives are the only thing in this world we can take to Heaven with us. God has Huge Plans for Husband and I. We know God has it in our future to make a difference in people’s lives. I am excited to see what God lays before us. I pray that we are able to take that Step of Faith in the direction he has us going in. Sometimes I wish God would allow us to know how this is going to turn out. I do have all the confidence that we are headed in the right direction.

You may ask, “What is it?” All I can say for now is, “Wait! Wait!”

I leave you with this scripture verse:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3: 20-21

Thank you again for all your lovely Birthday wishes and blessings. I love you all!

Daughter of The King!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Everyone is asking questions regarding the new job my husband recently acquired. I’d like to give you a little insight as to how this all came together.
February 17, 2015 was the day Duane was laid off from his job. This happened to be the eve of Lent and I had half jokingly told him that he should give up work for Lent.  He did do exactly that and did spend his time looking for work. We used this time to pray and seek God’s direction. Duane has also felt God calling him into some type of ministry although he wasn’t sure what that was to look like either. He met with a good friend that has been in ministry a number of years and listened to his counsel. It appeared that God was telling Duane to put ministry on hold for a little longer. Duane had also been talking with a former manager from his previous employment who had moved on to work with another company. This man encouraged Duane to apply for a position with the company he now works for.
In the meantime Duane did apply with another company and once he received their offer it was evident that although it would have been a comfortable job to have, their salary came in much lower than Duane’s previous job was paying him. We could have managed but it would have been a struggle to get ahead.
When I told people about Duane’s impending job layoff they would say “God has something better in store.” As much as I would have liked to have believed that, I thought we had it pretty good as it was. How could it possibly get any better? We continued to pray for God’s direction and for his provision. God was faithful in always providing for our family and thank you to all of you that helped to contribute with gift cards and cash or checks. I had given up yeast during Lent and also since we needed to cut back on our spending I gave up shopping for groceries except for milk and eggs. Our pantry is full as well as our upright freezer so I wanted to use up the food in there. It's amazing how full our pantry and freezer still are!
The last two weeks Duane has been talking with his friend at this particular company and on Good Friday he had the official interview with this company. It pretty much sounded like he had the job but the next thing would be to hear what their offer for salary would be. As it turned out they wanted Duane to give his proposal. He started crunching numbers until he came up with an amount that sounded decent. Well, they declined that first offer. We thought for sure they would come back with another number but asked if he would submit another amount. All this was going through what engineers use called a “Job Shop.” The gal working with him asked if he would take X amount of money and he said he really would prefer XX amount of dollars. We were on edge waiting to hear back. We thought we would hear back later in the day since it was at 6:50am on Tuesday, April 7th when Duane spoke with the job shop representative.  We prayed together that the company would accept his second offer. We were sitting on pins and needles the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday. Finally early on Thursday morning, April 9th, Duane received the call that the company accepted his 2nd request! What a sigh of relief! Duane was once again employed and if you know anything about being a “Job Shopper” these guys make BANK!
For those of you that said, “God has something better in store,” you weren’t kidding! This is absolutely beyond our wildest dreams! In fact on Tuesday morning at 4:30am the Spirit woke me from a sound sleep with these words, “In Your Wildest Dreams.” I looked up some images on the internet with that quote and came across Ephesians 3:20 which I posted on Thursday morning as my first announcement that husband had a job.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

So now everyone wants to know who Duane is working for? The Job Shop Company that hired him for this contract is “Intertek” which hires globally. Duane’s full time position is based in Corpus Christi, TX as a Piping Materials Control with Mossi and Ghisolfi Group. His tentative start date is April 20, 2015. I’m reading through his compensation, benefits, nature of employment and contingencies package as I’m writing this. Wow!
This is a one year contract and is renewable until the job is complete. At first we thought this job would require a move to Milan, Italy.  M & G’s home office is in Milan and for Duane to become familiar with them he will be required to work his first two months in Italy. As part of overseeing Materials I believe he will also travel to India and China and then will be in Corpus Christi, TX where the Plastics Plant he will be working on is being built. Duane will also have a home office here in our home as he will be able to come home to visit for a week at a time every now and then. He still has to work while he’s home that’s why the need to set up an office at home.
Duane knows that God is stretching him beyond his comfort zone with all the traveling he will be doing. I’m pretty sure God is preparing him for something more down the road so this is part of the Grand Plan God may have for him in the future. It is exciting! This job will allow us to finally get ourselves fully out of debt and then position ourselves well for our retirement years or actually for our “Second Act” in Life. Even with Duane working with M&G we have things we will be working on during this time also. I plan on keeping my position at CCV but will want to adjust my schedule to free me up to do some traveling with Duane also. This job also gives Duane the experience he needs to ramp up his resume. It gives him certain responsibilities that employers want to see cultivated in a person that may be seeking management positions. So this is a good move for Duane’s career.
Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with us in prayer. God has been so good! I came across this Italian saying while looking at travel packages to Italy, “La Dolce Vita” which can either mean “The Sweet Life” or “The Good Life.” I think we all wish for that day when “Our Ship comes in,” I know for sure “Our Gondola has arrived!”

Here’s to “La Dolce Vita!”

Monday, August 4, 2014


Now as I reflect on my trip these past 12 days I thank all of you that followed me during the course of my trip.There were some great photos I captured during my travels to and from Oregon. It was a lot of fun to share with you special moments or just share my photos and have you comment on them. It’s one thing to travel with one or more persons but when you feel like you have so many others enjoying the trip along with you has made it all the more fun!
This photo sums up my travels:

I mainly took this photo for the “Story Road” sign but as I look at it and the various roads that go off in different directions I thought of how this represents our lives. I thought it was kind of humorous to see that billboard to the right side saying, “Fortune is Calling.” Are you waiting on Fortune? What direction is your life going? Are you allowing life to happen to you or are you making life happen? I choose to make life happen. I do realize sometimes there are things that happen in life that are beyond our control but instead of allowing it to debilitate you. Some people get stuck where they are and sometimes you have to call the Tow Truck to come help and either get you off the road, fix a flat tire or just give you a jump because your battery died. Either way you look at it you need to make the best of your circumstances or whatever you drive through. You can take the high road or you can take the low road. You can continue straight or you can turn left or right. The idea is to keep on moving as best you can.

I hope I have been of encouragement to you as I travel along my road. I know one of you are already inspired to go visit “Trees of Mystery.” Many of you may not have the means to travel so I welcome you along as I travel to each place that I share on Facebook. I also hope that if you are able you can join one of our Young at Heart tours we do around Southern California. I try to choose interesting and sometimes obscure places. I do thank many of you for giving your suggestions of places for me to visit during my trip to Oregon.

I wanted to share with you a couple of stories that were the highlights in my trip. One you can see in the photo here and the other was an incident that happened. 

While driving through the Redwoods and seeing the fog I thought what a bummer. Then the higher we drove you could see the Sun’s rays shining through the trees and fog. I imagined in my mind taking a photo like this, standing under the rays with my arms outstretched. I am so glad God made it happen! This was an amazing God moment!

The incident that happened is where I felt God giving me His blessing. We had just had dinner at Hunan Home’s Restaurant where we finally had our Chinese food. This is the same restaurant I took our YAH people to last summer on our YAH Tour to San Francisco. The hostess remembered my mom when we had celebrated her birthday when we were last there. On the left is the photo of my mom and the hostess.

To continue my story, I had parked the car down the street 3 blocks away. (I happened to parallel park perfectly too!) While on our walk back to the car there was a black guy sitting on the sidewalk near the street corner with a cup held out asking for change. Too often I walk past such people and may leave some change or a dollar bill but this time I thought I’d go ahead and leave him a something more than a dollar since I didn’t have any loose change. I dropped a $5 bill in his cup and continued on my way as the guy gave his cordial “thank you” then about 5 seconds later I hear him give a yell, “Whoa! GOD BLESS YOU!” and I returned with, “God bless you too!” Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts me to do things spontaneously and this was one of those times. I felt I was hearing the words from God “I” Bless You, from this black man. This is an image etched in my mind and will hold in my heart that I can only share in words.

This whole trip was a blessing. Everything went well. God’s beauty is all around us and I want to experience as much of it as I can! I wish I could take you all with me but thank God for Facebook where I can connect with so many of you and share portions of my life with each of you that choose to follow my Excellent Adventures!

Look back at that top photo and decide how you plan to live your life. I have always said everyone has a story and I’d love to hear yours. Which Road are you taking? Are you living your "Story Road?"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Oh What Joy...That Floods My Soul..."

"Something happened and now I know..."

When I awoke this morning I had a flood of memories going through my mind. Today is my 2nd oldest son Bobby's 30th Birthday. I was looking through a little box of photos I have near my bedside looking for a photo for my next thought and I came across this one of him...

30 years ago. That is a long time.

Bobby did you get into the chocolate cake batter? That's bad!
Bobby replies, "No, it's goooood!"

Then I recalled 20 years ago my brother-in-law, Dan, passed away. Yes, my Bobby says he will never forget this day. This was the photo I was looking for when I came across Bobby's photo.
Jenny with her Daddy & Family.

Today I will attend the funeral of the Mother of a friend of mine. Her Mother, Barbara, had been a part of the Young at Heart Ministry years back but due to some health issues she's been home bound for some time.

Barbara Jane Hughes
12-14-32 to 07-01-14

Yesterday the daughter of my brother-in-law Dan had come to California from Mississippi to visit and we were able to meet up for lunch. Dan would be so proud to know that dear sweet Jenny is having her 9th baby. I'm sure he knows. A flood of tears just started in my eyes right now.

Life goes on...and these words had come to my mind, "that floods my soul." I couldn't exactly remember the song it was from so I googled the words. "Oh what joy" begins that sentence. I didn't think I was really feeling joy but with sorrow and sadness comes the joy. Life goes on. It truly does.

We talked more after lunch with Jenny. Grandma Vasquez was with us and said she's been feeling she is literally "shredding" her life away, she's been shredding years and years and boxes upon boxes of files, bills and what-have-you. She reminded us that when "she" is gone, "We're NEXT!" Yes, when Mom is gone we move up to her position in Life. Our children take our place in this world...and we're next.

Oh What Joy That Floods My Soul.
Something happened and now I know,
"He Touched Me" and made me whole.

Who can sing it better than Elvis?
He Touched Me

No matter what happens in Life I will find joy.
I will celebrate the 30 years My Bobby has had in this world so far.
I will remember the Life of My Brother-in-law Dan.
I will stand by my friend's side as she lays her Mother to rest.

Life is hard at times but Joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5New King James Version (NKJV)

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

TRUST & OBEY for there's no other way...

Trust & Obey

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

I have always loved this hymn and when I was on my way to Bible Study I caught the tail end of Dr. David Jeremiah’s message, “Obeying the Father” and this song, “Trust & Obey” popped in my mind. I had already written an email to my family and friends to give them the good news report from seeing the Cardiologist earlier that morning. It has been a long journey just from that initial Dr. visit on November 27, 2013 when I was given the news that I had what appeared to be LVH, Left Ventricular Hydrotrophy to January 21, 2014 and being told I have a small reversible defect passageway and suffer from PVC’s, Premature Ventricular Contractions, among a few others things. The Cardiologist was very methodical going down the list of the symptoms I had been experiencing and explaining what I’m feeling and possible ways to alleviate the problems. So I will do what I am able and hopefully have a healthier body in the long run.

I have known for a long time that I have needed to take better care of my body and there was always an excuse to wait for tomorrow. Sometimes the Lord has to intervene in order for us to wake up and pay attention to what we are doing to our bodies. When I saw my Dr. back in November of last year I had set in my mind that I wanted to know everything that was going on within my body so from blood tests to nuclear tests I have a very good idea of what my body is doing and saying to me. My body says, “Let Me Live!” My Dr. says, “This is what you need to do.” God says, “Trust & Obey Me.” I do have to say that when you are faced with the possibility that your life may end soon you are faced with two options. One you can run away and by running away I mean you can run from God and pretend that everything is okay and not live in reality. Option two is to face your situation and know that God will equip you with what you need to help you face your fears. I chose the second option and felt I was growing closer to God even though I had no idea what the outcome would be. I had to Trust & Obey God.

While I have been on My Greatest Adventure a friend of mine has a 16 year old daughter that is on her own journey and she is truly fighting for her life. In watching how she was dealing with her health issues she gave me the strength “I” needed to continue on my own journey. In her own words Ashlyn's says ... "Would I rather this not be happening? Um, yeah ... but my focus will remain on God. I know He's got this & He will take care of me."  I wrote on her Facebook page; “I am amazed at the great faith God gives to his children.” I knew what I was dealing with had to happen in order to hear what God wanted me to hear. God does what he has to in order to get our attention. I also knew I had to “Trust” God in this. In watching how Ashlyn has been handling her situation I was amazed in seeing how God gives us the strength we need to go through various times of our lives. The confidence, the courage, He is Our Everything! It’s just so sad that sometimes we have to go through the difficult times in life in order for us to lean on God to help us through the rough times. I would hope that those that have followed along on my journey have learned something that otherwise they may not have experienced themselves. Don’t wait for God to allow something to happen in your life in order for him to get your attention. God wants relationship with us. That’s why he created us. “We” are the lonely creatures of this world and when we don’t have God in our lives we feel like the world is against us. When we HAVE God in our lives he gives us the strength we need when we the world IS against us. I still have a lot to learn and I look forward to what God is teaching me each and every day. It’s an amazing world God has placed us in. I am taking life a little slower these days. Not just cause it’s good for my health but it’s good to be able to stop and enjoy every aspect in life that God has created.

I am looking forward to taking my hike up Garcia Trail. We recently had the Colby Fires and the fires swept across the hillside where the Cross stands at the top of Garcia Trail. When I saw the photos of the cross still standing uncharred that gave me the Hope from God that I would continue on and that I would make that hike! I’m looking forward to losing my goal weight and make that hike on Saturday, March 1st at 10am.

What has God been telling you to do? Don’t wait until something drastic has to happen to you before you do anything about it. God wants us in close relationship with Him. I’m currently in a Women’s Study with Beth Moore, “Stepping Up a journey through the Psalms of Ascent.” I am ready for the next level in my journey towards God. As I continue on my journey I am excited to see what God has in store for me in 2014. I may make my plans but God will guide my steps. I hope my life has been of encouragement to you. It is the wise person that learns from others experience and/or mistakes.

My daughter, Duana, shared with me a blog that she had read earlier that day I sent out my email to my family & friends regarding my health results. I am so encouraged when people share with me stories they have read that relate so well to what we go through in life. This blog begins with the quote, “We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.” ~Elisabeth Elliot. It’s a good blog and I encourage you to read it for yourself: Intentionally Focused Health

I am also encouraged by my friend, Lorrie, that posts her devotional on Facebook every morning. Today’s devotional was exactly on what I have talked about here. “Strive to trust me more and more…” Lorrie posts an abbreviated version of her devotional and you can read the extended version here for Weds. Jan. 22nd: Trust

I also encourage you to keep up on Ashlyn’s Journey:

God bless you as you continue on your journey. I would love to hear what God is teaching you in your life.

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!

Friday, June 15, 2012


Viva Cristo Rey

I saw the movie For Greater Glory the true story of Cristiada this evening. My husband and I don’t make a habit of going to R-rated movies but this was being promoted on Christian radio and sounded like a movie we should see or should I rather say, “stand behind.” This was a war between the people of Mexico against the atheistic Mexican government.

There is much about Mexico’s history I have no idea that went on. This particular story I was never aware of. the Cristero War where the Catholic churches were shut down in the 1920’s era. It is an amazing story of courage and a people that took a stand for what they believe in, the cause of Christ, freedom, family and faith.

This is a must see movie for Christians because I can see something like this happen in America. Little by little our freedom of religion is being taken away from us and before long we’ll be locked out of our churches, pastors will be hung or shot on sight for talking about Christ. We as Christians will be asked to renounce our Lord as Savior or be killed.

We must be prepared for what is to come. There are so many instances within the movie where you can see parallels of Christ and his disciples. Are we ready to die for what we believe in? This movie will challenge you in that respect, when you see this young boy being told by the much older priest as the Federales are coming to take him away. The young boy wants to hide him. The priest says to him, “There comes a time when you have to stand for what you believe.”

The dialog that goes on between General Valarde and Father Vega is the type of conversation many a person has had when they see so much bad going on around them.  Without giving too much plot away I encourage you to go see this movie and be convicted of what it does to you personally. The emotions you feel when the young boy Jose is tortured then walks his own “Via De La Rosa.” Then to see the impact this boy has made on the General. It took everything within me to keep from bursting out in tears.

Interesting that one of the female characters name is Adriana. The General is awaken to a voice that says, "the Child has to go before us!" CCV had the impact made on them through the life of a 15 year old girl named Adrianna. Her funeral service was a week ago. Adrianna had a huge impact on many people with her courage and was ready to see her Lord and King. Adrianna has gone before us. She has led the charge to not be afraid to face death. She is one amazing young woman and you see that in the life of Jose in this movie.

This is an incredible movie and I encourage you to go see it either in the movie theater or for sure rent it on dvd when it is available. If this could happen in Mexico I have no doubt that it will happen in America. Be ready to stand for what you believe. Viva Cristo Rey!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

“Make Each Day Count”

I just saw Titanic in 3D on the IMAX screen for the 2nd time this week. Both times I became emotional with the opening scene of the people waving good-bye from aboard the Titanic. Of course this was a movie made to represent these people but it serves as a reminder of the people that actually sailed on the RMS Titanic and as a person watching this movie I knew what their fate would be.

2,200 people were on board what was called “The Ship of Dreams.” You can only imagine the destination for each person on that ship. Some were coming to America to have a Dream Vacation of a Lifetime, while others came to make a new life. The fictitious story of Rose to her sailing on the Titanic was like a slave ship carrying her to a life she didn’t want. Jack on the other hand was a free spirit and by the luck of a draw he won his ticket to sail across the ocean on the Titanic. He had no idea he would never make it to the other side.

Here we have two lives with two different outlooks on life. Rose says, “I saw my whole life as if I'd already lived it. An endless parade of parties and cotillions, yachts and polo matches. Always the same narrow people, the same mindless chatter. I felt like I was standing at a great precipice, with no one to pull me back, no one who cared... or even noticed.” Then there is Jack who was invited to dine in 1st Class and he says to the group, 

“I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.The group all raise their glasses and give a cheer, “To make each day count!”

Those words resonated with me, “To Make Each Day Count.” We don’t know what tomorrow may hold. Sure we have our calendars and we plan but we never know exactly how things will play out. In a sense we are on our own Titanic and at this point we don’t know how our story will end. Near the end of the movie Jack tells Rose, You're gonna get out of here, you're gonna go on and you're gonna make lots of babies, and you're gonna watch them grow. You're gonna die an old... an old lady warm in her bed, not here, not this night. Not like this, do you understand me? 

Rose does survive and she grows old and she has a story to tell which she has been doing during the movie Titanic.

Rose is brought to the research vessel and one of the first objects she’s shown is a hand mirror that was taken from her State room, her response was, ”How extraordinary! And it looks the same as it did last time I saw it... The reflection's changed a bit.” She was 17 when she last held that mirror and now here she is almost 101 years old and sees how her reflection has changed. Rose doesn’t respond too well to seeing her reflection in the mirror but you can see how she’s worn her memories on her face. As you hear Rose tell her story you can still see a sparkle in her eyes and contemplation in her voice. A mirror has a way of forcing you to see things you might rather forget.

Rose went on and lived her life just as Jack said she would. I find it interesting that we first see Rose using a potter’s wheel and she’s shaping a pot which serves as a reminder of God as the Master Potter who is molding us. You can see Rose has lived life by all the photos she carries with her. Rose learned to lived life to the fullest. This is what we need to be doing. We have our tickets and are on board our own Titanic and we need to navigate our way in this life. We have been given this opportunity like Jack stated to “make each day count!” Rose is 100 years old and is making pots. When did she learn to do that? She lived a long life and was able to share it with a group of people to help them understand what it was like to be aboard the RMS Titanic. Lewis Bodine shows Rose on a computerized simulator how the Titanic sunk with his voice making crashing sounds as the Titanic hits the bottom of the ocean. Rose begins to tell him how she remembered it.

Now you have your own life. What are we doing with it? Are you looking for adventure like Jack Dawson or do you feel like Rose living a life that you wish you could break out of? Are we making each day count or are we waiting to have that lucky hand dealt to us? Or maybe we’re trying to make our own luck as Cal Hockley says he makes his own luck as he stashed wads of money in his coat jacket as the Titanic is sinking. There is so much in this world to experience and so many ways we can touch people’s lives and make an impact for the Kingdom of God. Are you waiting for life to happen to you or are you making things happen? Don’t sit on the sidelines and play spectator. Chart your course. Look for where God has you to go and take advantage of opportunities offered to you. There are a few times that Jack tells Rose to trust him. God asks us to Trust Him. 
Don’t ever feel like you have to jump ship like Rose was trying to do when she first encounters Jack. God hasn’t brought you this far only to have you take things into your own hands and put an end to it. If you feel that way I pray that you have a Jack Dawson in your life that will tell you if you jump they will have to jump in after you. At times we do need someone to save us from ourselves and this is where Jesus comes in to place. God sent his son, Jesus. to this earth to save us from ourselves.

Rose made the choice to avoid Cal
We are sinful by nature. We all have something or many things that cause us to sin and it’s a struggle or temptation we deal with on a daily basis. Every day we have choices to make. We can trust in God and look to him to help us or we can give in to our temptations and watch it suck us into the deep ocean until we settle on the bottom like the Titanic did in the wee hours of April 15, 1912. The warnings were there. The Captain knew they were headed into a field of icebergs and though the ship was mighty enough the Captain thought he would be able to steer clear of them. A Captain with 26 years of experience sailing the waters which goes to show that even the best can be steered the wrong way or think they know what is best. When Rose is rescued she is sitting on the deck of the Carpathia and she spots Cal Hockley looking for her. At that point I see Cal as the Tempter and Rose made the choice to avoid him. It would have been a life of luxury for Rose if she married Cal but she knew she wouldn’t be happy living that life. The Tempter of this world can make things in our life look really good but in the end may only lead us to destruction.

As I am writing this and look at the date of April 15th I am reminded that I became a Grandmother in the early hours of April 15, 2012. I have a Granddaughter with a blank chart set before her. I have a blank chart set before me also as a new Grandmother. “Grand”. I just looked up the meaning of this word and it says, “Large and impressive in size, scope, or extent; magnificent.” That does sound more like the Titanic rather than a Grandmother. I do want my Granddaughter to see me in this way though. I want to be sure to leave an impression on her life. So like Rose I will continue to live this life God has given me and like Jack I will Make Each Day Count!

At the end of the movie Brock Lovett, Titanic’s treasure hunter, states, “Three years, I've thought of nothing except Titanic; but I never got it... I never let it in.” There are many that sail through life and may think of God from time to time. The main thing they have missed is that they have never let Him in.

As emotional as I get when I watch the movie Titanic I look forward to that day when God takes me home and I would hope to see many of those that perished that fateful night. I can’t wait to spend hours hearing each of their stories. I would hope to hear yours too!