Friday, November 23, 2018

Deployment, Pregnancy, and Hope

It's a little odd to think of my husband being gone for a year, especially now that we just found out we'll be having our third baby. It's a mix of emotions, and even though I didn't realize it at first, it seems like (at least on my part), I'm in a grieving process.

We didn't think he'd been getting deployed- it seemed everyone had already had their things figured out. About 2 weeks after we'd found out I was pregnant, we were pulled aside on our way out of the Marine Corps Ball and told there was a chance my husband would be getting deployed. Two weeks after that, we got word that he'd be going to the Middle East for a year.

Since finding out I've been rushing to figure things out as well as trying to cope with whatever emotions have come my way. I can't say I'm sad, but I've had moments of sadness, as well as anger and everything else that comes unexpectedly like excitement and fear. Of course I don't want my husband to be gone, I don't want to be without him while going to school, working, taking care of our babies and pregnant to top it all off, but I'm also not just going to sit here and act like I'm in a terrible situation.

When it comes to anyone's situation while their husband is deployed, I know that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. When it comes to moments of weakness- which I know I'll have- I might cry and complain to myself because I miss HIM, but I know that I'll be in good hands while he's gone. I have my in-laws who have gone through the same situations, who have dealt with multiple deployments, fears and tears, and they're more than willing to help me, support me and even cry with me along the way.

I have my entire husbands family and my family- parents, step-parents, brothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins, great-aunts and uncles- I mean seriously, the list is absolutely endless. We have all these loving family members who have expressed their love for us and willingness to help with anything. I honestly don't know what I'd do if had married into another family. His whole family has been there for us in the past when we've needed them, so I know I can trust them and count on them.

We also have amazing friends who have helped us with our kids, or bringing meals to us in the past, friends that are family. Friends who have shown us that we can count on them and who are ready to help us with anything we may need. We have an amazing church family as well that have expressed their love for us and have continued to help in any way we've needed. We've been helped many times by those in our ward, and we know that they're also waiting to serve us with open arms any time we need.

Between so many people I know that I won't be alone or go without anything at any point during during my husbands deployment. The hardest part about dealing with knowing that he'll be gone is that I cry a LOT. I cry because I'm humbled to receive so much love from those around me. I'm humbled to know that even if my husband isn't here my kids and I will always be taken care of.


It's odd in happy way to know everything will be okay. Of course there's a part of me that knows I could throw myself a pity party, feel sorry for myself, etc. But I know better than that. I know that none of that will help me, worrying and being scared won't do me any good, and it sure as heck won't solve any of my problems. I could sit here and cry and be sad the entire year he's gone and it still won't make the year go by any faster.

Either way, I got stuff to do. For the next year I'll be busy anyway. I have endless amounts of homework to do, lots of trips to the dinosaur museum and reading with my kids planned, I know people in our family will need my help, I have work, next summer I'll have a new baby to take care of, next semester my clinicals will start and once my husband gets back I'll only have one year of nursing school left, woohoo!!!

There's a lot of work to do, but I'm grateful for a husband that often reminds me that "the hardest part about our life is that we've been blessed with so many opportunities". We have trials, but I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father that has sent me so much help, an endless amount of love and support, and most of all, for an eternal perspective. I'm beyond humbled to know so many good people and to know that they've all been placed in my life by a divine orchestration. Trials in this life can seem endless, but it makes
it so much sweeter knowing that the blessings are eternal. ❤️❤️❤️





Pictured above: Army of Helaman coins gifted to us from my husbands aunt before his deployment.



Saturday, September 22, 2018

Waiting Mode- The Struggle of Having to Be Patient

Recently I've been on "waiting mode", and I hate it. It requires ALL of my patience, makes me stress and most of all, it forces me to look at the things I've been dealing with from every perspective- good and bad. I'm the kind of person who will make lists when I have an important decision to make. I'll make a list of the pros and cons, pray about whatever my decision is and go with it. But recently, a lot of the decisions in my life have NOT been up to me.

We recently got word from the Marine Corps that there may be a deployment happening- one in which my husband could possibly get deployed. It's been forever since we found out about it (at least it feels like it!), and now we're reaching the end of September with no final answer. If this deployment does happen, he'll leave in December, and all I want to do is prepare for it- but is he even going?! We have no idea, nobody knows the definite answer, so I've been forced to be patient- which is killing me. This one is totally out of my hands. The Marine Corps lately has just been...something else.

I've been waiting another long eternity for my U.S. Citizenship interview, which is another issue entirely. After being in the United States for almost 17 years I finally have a date for my citizenship oath ceremony!  I think out of all the issues I've been dealing with recently, this is probably the one that has caused  me the most stress and worry- and if you've dealt with immigration issues before, you may be or have been on the same boat. I've constantly had thoughts like, "Am I, or could I get deported and have to leave my kids and husband behind?" even though all of my paperwork has been up to date.

At one point I renewed my green card but I never got it. I still don't know till this day f someone stole it from my mailbox or if it was just some mailing issue, but that's probably one of the most stressful things that happened during my immigration process (aside from waiting for my citizenship test date-which I got to on the day of and had no idea I was going to take it that day, but still passed! YAY!).

On top of it all, my second semester of nursing school started about a month ago and I just got a part-time job. Talk about overworking myself! haha This is the way I like to be though. Constantly moving and doing productive things. All of my time is dedicated to taking care of my husband and kids while keeping up with all my school work and managing our home.

I hate to admit it, but I was often finding myself wondering, "What the heck am I doing? and how can I make it better?" because it often felt like things were NOT going my way, or at least not the way I planned. I don't know why I've complained so much, when all I needed to do was shut my mouth and listen instead. There were things I need to change and now after I have changed some of these things it's clear for me to see that God has (and has had) a plan the entire time. I just became blind to it and couldn't see it because I was so focused on unimportant things, some of which are and were too ahead of me.

The last few weeks I've been waking up early, before my kids wake up, in order to read the Book of Mormon, take a shower, get ready and do my make-up and write a to-do list for the day. I know that doesn't seem like a huge thing, but it's changed my life in a way I didn't realize was possible. It just seems that when I prioritize and put God first that everything else fits right into place and works out. I've been so focused on what I wanted and what I planned, that I put the things my Heavenly Father has asked of me aside and did whatever I wanted. I can see the difference now, and I love being able to accomplish so much more in a day. Not only are my goals clearer, but the reason behind them as well.

And that doesn't mean all my problems have gone away-they sure haven't! But now I can handle them better, I know they're not forever, and I also know my Father in Heaven is backing me up, even when I don't feel adequate enough to handle some of these issues myself. Most of the time the Lord sends my husband to comfort me, but other times it's a simple scripture verse, or a 3 second cuddle from my babies to keep me from stressing further about some unimportant issue.

 Life is a struggle, but it's a pretty amazing struggle. Just when I thought "that's it, I'm exhausted" I've received Heavely help and earthly comfort through family and friends. I've turned to the scriptures for guidance and protection, and prayed for understanding. It hasn't been easy- I don't think it ever will be- but it has been SO SO good. I'm beyond blessed to have had the opportunities I've had and love those around me. I can't wait to see how things turn out, so dear time, please hurry!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tonsillectomy: Humbled and Greatful

Recently I had a tonsillectomy,  and I must say it has been anything but easy. And even with all the expected and unexpected trials, I have once again been humbled by the love my Father in Heaven has for me and my family.

From the moment I decided to get my tonsils taken out, it just seemed like everything fell right into place. The date for the surgery was on a Friday my husband and in-laws wouldn't be working, my dad and step mom came back from vacation that weekend and took the kids while my hubby worked, my mom and stepdad came by with flan, which I'd been craving, a neighbor babysat so I could rest...honestly, the blessings have been endless.

I've been in awful pain, which has been difficult not only on me, but my husband as well. He's had to balance taking care of the kids, the house, his new job, all while still making sure all my meds have been taken on time, giving me priesthood blessings, etc. He's been a great nurse and friend, I couldn't ask for more.

Most nights since the surgery I've been in so much pain that I'd find myself on my knees due to the pain, so the thought came to me to pray for relief from pain.  The funny thing is, I'd end up praying in gratitude,  for things I already have.  It's not something I meant to do, but this experience has brought me many moments of unexpected relief. 

The thought of Christ's suffering has also brought me great relief and hope, in the sense that He suffered and Atoned for my sins, so that I can have an opportunity to stand before my Heavenly Father. I knew from the beginning that recovery from a tonsillectomy would be rough,  I knew I wouldn't die. But Christ knew that He'd be killed and was still willing to go through with the Father's plan in order to be example to us, to me, that we can rise again.

Although I hope to never experience any pain like this again, I know even if I did that I could endure through it. Some trials are meant to be endured,  and hopefully during or even after we can see what purpose it fulfills and what we can learn.  I cannot say I'm greatful for this pain,  but I can confidently say the Lord has humbled me once again,  and reminded me that His love is abundant and timely. 💕

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Momo's (Danny IV's) Birth Story


Momo (as we call our baby Danny) turned 1 last December, and it seems like his first year flew by. I've wanted to write his birth story from the moment he was born, but it seemed like every moment was so rushed with a toddler and a baby that I'd get distracted. Add a puppy to mix and things almost got out of hand!lol

**TO SKIP STRAIGHT INTO LABOR SCROLL DOWN**

I feel like Momo's birth story is SO different than Luna's, and to me it feels like it started a long time before he was born. To me it actually started right after I had Luna. Since I had a C-section with Luna I felt so determined to NOT have another C-section that I kept being led to different people and sources that could help me prepare for another baby. One of these people was a friend of mine named Kira who is a birth specialist, and we became very close during this whole process.

For me, having a C-section was traumatizing. Not that I had a horrible experience or was mistreated (like in some cases), but I just didn't feel like I needed it and didn't realize it until after I'd had Luna. My body is very sensitive so I felt terrible, I couldn't sneeze, cough, anything without feeling extreme pain due to my scar. Even when it came to taking a shower, it took a week until I was able to shower on my own, so thank goodness to my husbands job letting him have a week off!

With my next baby I wanted change. I wanted to feel empowered, and I KNEW I had the power within me to be able to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section), but I also had lots of FEAR.

Now, if you've talked to me about birth (or anything spiritual)in person during the last 2-3ish years, you probably know I've been working on focusing on God in order to get more clarity and wisdom on various different things. With this new baby, the first thing I did was reach out to my Father in Heaven for help getting rid of my fear of giving birth. I wasn't scared to become a mom, or even to have another child, but I was afraid of the pain and helpless feeling that I'd experienced with my C-section. With my husband and Kira by my side (and of course my entire family of thousands jk..lots of people lol) I started to work on some of these things I wanted to accomplish.

The very first thing I had to do was get rid of my fear of giving birth. I didn't immediately know this, I actually had no clue. It was through lots of questions from Kira in order to get to the root of the problem, and lots of encouragement from my husband that I was directed to ask Heavenly Father what I needed to do. Getting rid of that particular fear was first. I know this may sound like a totally foreign thing to some, but let me tell you....I had NO idea God could REALLY give you clear answers. I mean, I'd received some answers here and there, but not SO clear like when I started to really question, or better inquire and LISTEN for answers.

There were many things I did in order to get rid of this fear. Most were simple, like reading my scriptures, praying and focusing more on Christ DAILY. I seriously made an effort to focus more on the Savior, because my understanding was that only through HIM would I be able to get past my fear. So I continuously prayed and I had a experience. It was an experience very sacred to me so I won't share details, but in that experience I clearly heard the voice of the Lord letting me know that I needed to TRUST him, and everything would be alright. At that time I thought I DID trust Him, but now looking back I definitely didn't as much as I do now. From that moment on instead of focusing on my fear I focused on Jesus Christ, His teachings, and most of all on how I could TRUST Him even more.

Mind you, at this time I wasn't pregnant...Luna was about 8 or 9 months old?

Fast forward and almost year later I was pregnant with Momo and I was so excited for Luna to have a sibling! Aside from that happiness, I did NOT like being pregnant..not the first time or second time, as pregnancy is simply not a fun experience for me! lol

**LABOR**

I went into labor on Sunday Dec. 4th, 2016. It was around 10 or 11am when I started to feel bearable pain. I actually debated on whether or not I should go to church since my labor pains were just beginning. I started to get ready but decided not to after losing my mucus plug in the shower!lol So I stayed home, and since I REALLY wanted a VBAC I did everything I could to get that little boy into my pelvis so he could come out as smoothly as possible. I cleaned my entire house, made food for the next day or two, danced, danced with Luna, danced some more, bounced around the house on my exercise ball..and that weekend Daniel had drill so he was gone until 6pm, and came home to a wife in labor (how exciting!) haha.

Around midnight I really started to feel it. I tried to sleep cause I was SO tired but I was having contractions every 3 minutes or so. I didn't want to go to the hospital yet because I knew I wouldn't be able to labor comfortably there, and I also wanted to keep moving/walking around (which I felt like I couldn't do at my hospital because of their policies). So I stayed home, and at 5am I finally told Daniel that we needed to start getting ready. We got our bags ready, and left Luna with my brother and went to the hospital which is about 45min away.

I don't remember much about the car ride, except that Daniel kept asking if I was okay..Maybe he thought I was passing out cause I kept my eyes closed since it felt like it helped with the pain. Thankfully, by the time we got to the hospital and I changed over, I was already 8cm dilated (YAY!), but since I'd had a C-section previously I had to take the epidural (since it was the hospitals' policy). It was around 6/6:30am when we got there, I got the epidural around 8am, and at about 10:30 I was told I would start pushing soon.

I felt so calm about having this baby, I think because I was mostly excited to NOT be pregnant anymore! lol But Daniel on the other hand..was doing jumping jacks, push ups, etc. cause he was so nervous that we were going to have 2 kids. Two WHOLE small humans that we were responsible for! haha It's a lot of pressure for a daddy! 11am came around and I started pushing for small periods of time, but it wasn't until noon that things got real and our sweet nurse told me this baby was ready. My water didn't break with Momo, so the doctor broke it at some point before then.

I started pushing, and soon realized this was nothing like Luna's birth. I was afraid for Daniel because I thought he was going to pass out. It was only me, Daniel and the nurse in the room this time around and I thought maybe it was too much for him. I also thought this because I am personally grossed out by the birthing process haha I have no doubt it's an amazing and miraculous process, don't get me wrong..but I am also grossed out by it! lol Well, the nurse was helping to count to 10 and had Daniel join her and eventually he was counting and cheering me on (which was awesome!), and I felt SO powerful.

I knew that I could give birth to that baby, and I could feel that we were surrounded by peace and love. I was so excited that my little boy was coming, but I was also exhausted and wanted to just take a nap..but since that wasn't an option I kept pushing and when it was almost 1pm Daniel was INTENSELY cheering me on and urging me to not take long breaks! Momo's head started showing and then I realized that this was almost over, and finally he was born.

He didn't cry when he was born, but when they put him on my chest I could see his curious little eyes looking around. It felt so nice to finally be done pushing, and to hold that HOT baby in my arms. I don't know what I was expecting, but definitely not for him to be so hot!LOL They took him away to get cleaned up, get shots, etc. and again daddy went and stayed close to him to keep an eye on him and make sure everything was okay.

That night and next day are mostly a blur since I was so tired, but I remember Daniel was able to stay with me the whole time and help take care of Momo. This time around I felt so much better that I was walking around shortly after, I could get out of the bed without assistance and I even showered by myself, which I couldn't do after my C-section till a week later (shower without help). When we went home I felt like I had a lot more energy (even though I was exhausted), and Daniel went back to work after 2 days. It was so fun bringing that little boy home, especially to a sister that LOVED him. She even picked him up and carried him to me a few times saying "mama I got the baby", and if I left Momo somewhere she always reminded me "mama you left the baby!" haha

I love them, both my little babies and I love that I get to raise them. There's nothing better than the smell and sounds of a new baby, and there's nothing more sad than seeing them grow up so fast. 💖


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holding on to Spiritual Pain

I've been thinking about this post for a long time (like many others I still intend to write) but this week someone opened my eyes to understand this clearly.

There are SO many branches to this topic, but the pain I'd like to talk about is not physical pain, but spiritual pain. Now think with me for a minute and answer the following questions. If you say (or think) "yes" to any of them, keep those answers in mind.

-Have you ever felt hurt, sad, angry, or any negative feeling because of something someone did (or didn't) do?
- Have you ever felt anguish, sorrow, or any other negative feeling because of something YOU did (or didn't) do?
-Have you ever felt helpless, hopeless, or any other negative feeling because of a certain situation you couldn't control or your current circumstances?

The reason I chose these questions is because these are things I HAVE felt, and for the most part, I'd say it's safe to say MOST people have felt this at one point or another in their lives.

For a long time I held (and I'm sure I still hold on to an extent) on to a lot of pain, anguish and guilt. Some of it was because of pain caused by those around me. Some of it was due to my own poor decisions, which I acknowledge and hold myself accountable for. And, some of that pain was caused due to my circumstances or situations that were out of my control.

I grew up knowing and hearing about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, or repentance and many times heard the term "giving your pain to the Lord", but I didn't truly understand these concepts till recently.  Truth is, I STILL don't FULLY  understand them, but now I understand how to access them, and I'm actively learning how I can do more through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and say "oh yes, I know exactly how it works, here's the formula,  you should try it", but I will tell you of a few personal things I've done to find MY OWN spiritual healing. My hopes in telling you this is that you'll turn to the Saviour himself and ask for guidance on how you can find your own spiritual healing through His Atomnement.

1-Created the habit of prayer
The first thing I did was actually to create the habit of prayer. This way I could learn how to speak to my Father in Heaven, and I also practiced listening to His voice. To some this may be a no-brainer, but although I've prayed all my life, I can't say I always did it with an open and humble heart.

2-Read my scriptures
This may also be common sense to many, but I haven't always been able to read my scriptures everyday. There are still days that I don't read them, life happens-but the next day I start again...and again, and again, with the hope that I'll be able to read my scriptures every single day and never miss.

When I say scriptures, I mean the Bible (Old and New Testament), The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. And although I say "read", a lot of the times I had to actually study the scriptures and other historical sources to figure out why such things happened in such continents,  and why it was acceptable back then, etc.

There is a reason why Christ taught in parables through  the scriptures. We're all at such different levels of understanding that only when we go to Him can we get true answers and clarification.

3- I asked for help
I always prayed to God to ask for help,  but there were times that I was guided to other people to ask for help.  The Lord knows us. He knows our struggles, and He also knows how we learn best.

In my case, He knows that I LOVE to learn with my hands, and by helping those around me. Many times, He has put people in my path for me to help in one way or another, and THEY had an answer I'd been looking for, or a suggestion of a book I needed to read, or even words of comfort while I was going through a hard time.

I can't begin to tell you how many words of comfort I have received as I've lost count by now. He knows us. He knows me and loves me,  and He truly wanted me to get to where I am today (and beyond).

There are other things I've done to seek spiritual healing, but I'd say these 3 covered the "base" of where I started.

At the top of my head right now I can think of 2 specific events that I needed to heal from. I'll give you the general idea without getting into details since the other individuals involved are still a part of my life.

(Part-1)The first happened when I was in high school and it was an extremely difficult emotional trauma for me. My parents were getting divorced, and like many other divorces it was a hard time for our entire family. There were countless nights where I cried (what seemed like) endlessly, and thought if any of it was my fault.
I'd think "How could I have helped my parents? What did I do? What about my brothers?" Etc.....
I clearly remember sitting on the kitchen floor (when nobody was home) and sobbing for what seemed like hours asking God if He was even listening. I remember feeling SO HELPLESS, but I also remember feeling like doing nothing wasn't the right answer.

I didn't feel like I fit in anywhere, not in school, church, etc. I didn't have any "bffs", but I had a few good friends who kept me occupied, and convinced to join different clubs in school. I started playing lacrosse, joined the debate team and the peer leadership team.

I can't say it was smooth sailing after that, but because I wasn't throwing myself a pity party and tried to stay focused in school I was able to accomplish little things at a time. Now looking back, I can see that during that time when I was crying on the kitchen floor is when my habit of praying started.

All I wanted was to know my Heavenly Father was listening, and not only was He there that night, but He'd been holding me all along-- listening. My healing didn't come from my parents getting back together and living happily ever after. It came YEARS later, as I looked back and realized He'd put good friends and church leaders to help me stay sane and lift my spirits.

My second story is also one of healing YEARS later, BUT it didn't have to be this way. When we need healing, the Saviour WANTS to help us, but at times we're not ready to receive that help, or in my case, I was too prideful. I chose to hold on to my pain and resent this person before choosing to forgive them.

(Part-2)When I started dating my husband, I KNEW I loved him and I wanted to be with him forever. And because I didn't want any harsh feelings from previous relationships to be in the way of my new relationship, I wanted to make sure I'd had closure with previous boyfriends, or guys I'd hurt their feelings/hurt my feelings (you get the point).

I decided to message the few individuals I had in mind, and I was able to have closure with them (which was awesome btw), except for one. Because I wasn't able to have the closure I felt I needed at the time, I held on to a lot of resentment for this person(although I was trying NOT to AND I didn't even notice I was doing this).

It wasn't until this week when a friend of mine said something along the lines of:

"There are SO many people suffering and holding on to pain unnecessarily. We have access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, why not use it and ask Him to take our pain away?"

I was so excited when my friend said this to me, and in that moment I didn't understand why she mentioned that, but I knew it was something I needed to use. It wasn't too long after that Heavey Father brought it to my attention that I needed to forgive this person, and in order to receive the gift of forgiveness, I needed to let go of this old resentment.

Let me say that again. I NEEDED to let go. I needed to let go and hand my resentment OVER to the Lord. It was only after I DID let go that I was able to receive His gift of forgiveness in order to truly  forgive this person.

I think a lot of times we can overlook the gifts God has given us, not because they're so grand (which they are), but because of the simplicity in which they come. Many times we expect some sort of grand thing to happen for our prayers to be answered, so the simple answers we get may pass us by.

We have the power to ask our Father in Heaven to heal us, and He wants to. It's up to us to do our part, to seek Him and His counsel in all things so that we may be guided by His hand. Why don't we? What's distracting us? Why do we forget to do the simple things?

What I lacked in the beginning wasn't the Saviour's presence--He's been here all along. What I lacked was faith, and staying consistent in prayer, scripture study and asking for help. 

I still have so much spiritual healing to do, this life can be traumatic in billions of different ways for everyone. But thankfully our Saviour has atoned for our sins, so that we don't HAVE to hold on to pain. He has prepared ENDLESS ways for us to be healed, it's up to US to ask Him how.

❤🙏
~Lyssa

Saturday, October 7, 2017

My Spiritual "Awakening"

Lately it seems like a flow of different topics have been coming into my mind, and I figured I'd write about them. Not all in this post, but I had to start somewhere because they're out of my comfort zone, and I don't want to ignore the need to write.

Due to what I'll call a "spiritual awakening" a few years ago, I decided to REALLY study the scriptures and other Gospel related materials throughout the last few years. When I say "study" I mean truly study by reading, genuinely asking the my Father in Heaven questions, constantly praying and exercising faith that I'd receive my answers. I can't say I've received ALL my answers, but I've received many more than if it hadn't put any effort into it.

There's a saying in Brazil that I heard all the time growing up that says something along the lines of "if you look for it you'll find it", and as I've applied this to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,  I've found many things.  I've found that the tiny amount of faith I had has been increased,  my knowledge of my Savior has increased,  as well as my understanding of the world, specifically: why does so much bad happen?

Before my "awakening" I was just going with the flow if you will, and putting just about zero effort into the things the Lord and the prophets have counseled us to do. I wanted many things, like spiritual protection, answers about school and work, peace at home, counsel on how to be a new mother, etc. But, I wasn't reading my scriptures, rarely praying and my church attendance was about 50/50.

To some this may not sound like a huge deal, but looking back I can see how not being consistent in actively doing the things the Lord has asked, I was allowing (whether or not I noticed) the influence of the adversary into my life, my family and my marriage.

There's a misconception about the adversary (the Devil, Satan, whatever you want to call him) in our time, where people think he's this red demon with horns surrounded by flames, or some may even try to convince you he doesn't exist at all. I could tell you many many things regarding this topic, but I can assure you he does not work like the "boogey man" some imagine. He's sneaky and creeps into our lives little by little, whether it starts with negative thoughts or small addictions that lead you further and further down his path, you can be sure he's there.

I don't say this to make anyone fearful, my intention is to help bring that to awareness because sometimes we may wonder "why am I not getting an answer or feeling a connection with my Heavely Father?", when the reason why may be something simple. We may need to change a simple negative habit, or we may need to get rid of a series of things in our lives to strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Savior.

If you haven't already,  or if you feel you've been slacking like I was (and still am a lot of the time)  start doing the simple things TODAY. Start making constant prayer a priority,  whether you're driving or on your knees by your bed. You want protection and many other endless amounts of blessings?  Read your scriptures, follow His commandments,  ask Him questions and with genuinely open heart and contrite spirit seek those answers.

I promise you that God loves you, He wants to answer your questions,  He wants you to feel His love, He wants to comfort you, and most of all He wants to welcome you back home with a warm embrace.

Lyssa

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Heart of Gold

Hopefully I'm not embarrassing my husband too much by sharing this story, but it's his birthday! So why not? haha I had to highlight one of the reasons I love him and why others admire him.

A few years ago before my brother Amon passed away Daniel and I went to visit him and my mom. My mom needed help with something that required her and I to go out for 45min or so, and Daniel ended up babysitting Amon. Now, for those who don't know, my brother had special needs and had the mentality of an 8 month old baby. He required 24/7 care (although he could walk), so leaving him with anyone besides our immediate family was very rare.

Even though it wasn't an easy task, my sweet new fiance (at the time) took it on and my mom and I left. When we arrived he was giving my brother a shower because he'd had a dirty diaper. I remember feeling so many things (especially humbled) in that moment but I kept myself together and asked him:

Me: "How come you gave him a shower babe? You didn't have to do that"

and his response was simple:

Daniel: "I couldn't leave him dirty, I know I wouldn't want to be dirty"

Now, to many people that may not mean much, I don't know, but for me that meant the world. Here is Daniel who had never taken care of my brother alone before and he was giving him a shower because he'd had a dirty diaper. I know for a fact that wasn't easy for him, but he cared more about my brother's well-being than his own pride in that moment, and not once did he complain.

I'm pretty sure I cried that night because I was so humbled and touched by that. To me that was one of the most selfless things anyone had ever done for my brother. He could've called me and told me to hurry home, or waited, but he was too focused on my brother's well-being that he took care of him on his own.

I've always joked with him that when I grow up I want to be like him, and every time I tell this story I remember why. He makes me want to be more selfless, grateful, humble, and so much more.

Happy birthday my babe, stay loving and selfless.
You're the best man I know. 💗



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