Two Hearts Beat As One

I have found the one whom my soul loves. – Song of Solomon 3:4

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To my strapping son and his beautiful bride ~

When love came knocking,

I’m glad you both answered the call for each another.

Wishing you both a Happy and Blessed 2nd Year Wedding Anniversary.

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The Wind Beneath My Wings

You are God’s gift to me. From day one, I was drawn to your tenderness, warmth and laughter, and loved your adventurous spirit for the outdoors and watching you with my children. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for choosing me and to remain by my side as my amazing hubby, confidant and best friend! You still light up my life and are the wind beneath my wings. May the Lord continue to watch over you and give us precious years together, believing that the best years are yet to come. I love you.

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I Cry

 

Usually tears bring me to write. Something that touches my very core. Something that moves me. Something that triggers passion, emotion – a memory, a thought, an image, or a prayer.

Lately, I’ve been silent. Silent in writing. My drive for writing once ignited with words and expression within the depth of my soul had to be released by putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, now nebulous and dim from what it once was.

I admit this year has brought about shock, uncertainties and even dread. My tears flow. Lord, what has happened? God, what is happening?

America: land of the free and brave! Are you still among us?

I sang as a child:

America! America! God shed his grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

And:

This land is your land. This land is my land
From the California, to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

 

Who can forget singing proudly in school with friends:

 

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father, brothers all are we …

 

Lord, I can’t speak for others. No one can walk in my shoes. I certainly cannot walk in their shoes, nor would I want to. We all have our own crosses to bear. But please lift this burden from off of us and lighten the load, I pray. You are a God who is able. But even if You chose not to make the pathway easier, or the roads brighter, then help us as individuals and help us as a nation to allow You to be God again in our lives, at home and abroad, and within our own family.

I chose You, Lord. Whether I understand things or not, whatever tomorrow may bring, I know that I need You more now than before — and that has not changed. Your Word says there is a season for everything under the sun. Although I am not liking the season we are in right now, I know that You’re not a God of confusion but of peace, for You are merciful and Your love never ending.

Humility, respect, order and compassion is all it takes. Heal us, oh, Lord. We are sick, we need a healer. Please heal our hearts. Please heal our land.

“It is the LORD who goes before you.

He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.

Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

 

 

 

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New Year’s Birthday Bash

A late post–better late than never–worth sharing, especially with all the negative happenings in our world of late.

So what does one do when a New Year’s Baby turns 40?

She throws a Masquerade Party!

My baby girl, who many call my mini-me, lit up the room when she entered. She threw one of the best parties ever. It was so much fun to dress up and see the different outfits and masks others wore. With great decor, music, dancing, food and just plain fun, what more could you ask for?

Here is a video and a few photos. Hope you enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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She Hurts No More …

A horrific day for our country. In shock, I watched the Space
Shuttle Challenger break apart and burn just seconds into its
flight. Five men and two women tragically lost their lives for
the good of all humanity. They lived their dream by serving
others. I may not have known them personally, but they died
as heroes.

Three months later, on April 3, 1986, sickness reduced an
eighty-six-year-old unsung Puerto Rican woman to skin
and bones as she lost her bout with cancer. She wasn’t affluent.
Refined. Or famous. But she was loved. Adored. And my
heroine.

When Mama called me and told me about Grandma’s final
moments, sobs stuck in my throat. She expressed how she
had sat at my grandma’s bedside, terrified, while listening to
her breathing in short, laborious rasps.

“Your grandma’s parting words were, ‘God is calling me
now,’ and then she gazed up at the ceiling.” Mama spoke dolefully.
“So, I asked her, ‘How do you know?’ But she didn’t
speak anymore. She closed her eyes and I held her close.”

Mama’s trembling voice was broken by sobs. “I . . . told her
that I loved her. And I said to her, ‘you carried me for
nine months.’”

I pictured that heart-rending image of Grandma’s gentle
countenance and Mama struggling to convey her love to her.
And I thought, Oh Mama, she carried you longer than nine
months. My insides ached, knowing that in her heart and
prayers, Grandma carried us all.

My grief came in waves. Looking back, I know God spared
me from becoming hopelessly morbid and consumed with
anguish. Grandma wouldn’t have wanted that. Knowing she
no longer suffered, I believed her final heartbeat didn’t mean
the end but the beginning!

I wanted to celebrate her life when I journeyed back to
help with her memorial.

Once a plump woman, Grandma had lost so much weight
in her final days. She had always loved a simple white Easter
dress that belonged to me and requested that when the time
came we’d bury her in it. My dress fitted her perfectly then. I
also asked that everyone wear white instead of the customary
black garments at her funeral.

White carnations—Grandma’s favorite—covered her
opened casket. I stood, my eyes caressing her still face, now
so thin. Vivid images of her life jumped in my thoughts. I
saw her on her knees pleading to God to be merciful to her
loved ones. I recalled her many prayers of gratitude for another
day. I pictured her lips mouthing words as she read her
Bible, with her index finger pointing to the sentences across
the worn pages. I could still hear the sound of her soft voice
calling my name. I remembered the merriment of her laughter
after listening to one of my silly jokes.

Hot tears blinded me and I couldn’t blink them away.
In my mind’s eye, Grandma came to me. I could hear her.
Feel her. Touch her. Her love, her hugs, her kisses embraced me.

We honored her memory and her passing from this life
into the next.

A gentle breeze blew the heat of day; the sun hid behind
the clouds. The scent of rain permeated the air.
As it started to drizzle, my heart comforted. Grandma always
considered it a good omen if it rained on the day someone
laid to rest.

Before long, her coffin lay in a crypt next to her cherished
husband, my grandpa.

At last, Grandma’s labors had ended. Thank God, she
hurt no more.

(Excerpt from Chap. 37 “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” by Mary A. Pérez)

Footnote: Dear Readers, on this Mother’s Day coming up, gone from us for more than three decades, I remember my precious grandma who I mentioned in my book. Matter of fact, both Mama and I miss her terribly. Grandma was the undisputed, caring matriarch of our familia; a ray of sunshine in our entire existence. She rarely complained or thought about herself. She was a selfless soul, showering love and kindness to others. Impeccable in my eyes, she truly was our unsung hero. We cherish her memories.

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I Dreamed a Dream

I often think about why is it that when we become older, the dreams we once had begin to fade? As children, we have no hangups or limitations with our imaginations in what we can do or in who we can become! We dream about becoming an astronaut, a firefighter, a singer, a painter, an actor, the best athlete ever, or even president just to name a few. We even dream about falling in love and living a life happily-ever-after.

But then reality kicks in and before long, we become consumed with agendas and dead-lines. We are up to our neck with studies in trying to get ahead, or we’re drowning in work trying to make ends meet, or in raising a family that we have no time for self — these all take precedence and so we put our dreams on hold … or the dreams once dreamt simply fade away.

Or perhaps someone spoke death over us:

Grow up.

You’ll never amount to anything.

You’re not smart enough.

You’re not good enough.

I want a divorce.

I don’t love you anymore.

You’re too old.

It’s too late.

It’s over.

Been there. Done that. I’ve walked on some of these roads. I know the feelings of hopelessness and devastation. What feels like the end isn’t always the end but a new beginning. No matter the outcome, don’t let your dream die as mentioned in the last stanza of Les Misérables: Now life has killed the dream I dreamed …

 

Yes, life happens. Seasons change and our perspective may shift. Today is Day 35 that I am working from home, and it is Day 21 of our state’s Stay-at-Home mandate due to COVID-19. These past few days, I have been doing a little self-reflection. While most days I keep myself occupied, other days, I can become a bit melancholy. These are indeed challenging times and remaining in prayer is what keeps me whole and in positive spirits.  (Devotion: Philippians 4:6-9 )

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Resurrection Day

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow! 🙌🏼 in Him we live and move and have our being! 👆🏼

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Celebrating our 26th Wedding Anniversary

Hi fellow bloggers,

On a daily basis, we find ourselves navigating uncharted waters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My household and family members are taking the necessary precautions to ensure safety all around. We are also caring for my elderly Mama at our home and desire to keep her in the best of health possible.

So, here we are, staying at home and locked-down. I believe it is day number 14. Today is April 6th, our wedding anniversary. Usually, my hubby treats me to a romantic evening of wining and dining. Well, I’m here to tell you, he did not disappoint.

Our meal, under the stars, consisted of a well prepared tossed salad, mouth-watering rib-eyes, sautéed mushrooms and buttery baked potatoes – all done to perfection by my hubby. As the music played softly in the background, after our delicious meal, we even danced to a couple of songs (out on the driveway).

This is definitely one for the books!

I came across a short article to staying positive during COVID-19 pandemic and here are three points from psychologist Joshua Williams. He suggested:

  • Take a break

You don’t have to watch, read or talk about COVID-19 all day. It’s important to stay informed but not consumed.

  • Make time to unwind

Pick up an old hobby. Start a new one. Just do something you enjoy.

  • Take care of yourself

Mind, body and soul. Take a walk. Listen to music. Read something uplifting. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.

Good stuff. I will add, remain mindful of others. Pray for those who are hurting and if possible, extend a helping hand, even if from a distance.

While it is true that experts are saying we don’t know what the future holds, how about focusing on the todays instead? Focus on all that Almighty God has brought you out of in the past. Take one day at a time. Determination to making the best out of any situation is the key.

Let. Go. Of. Fear.

Be aware and remain updated, but don’t overkill. Believe me when I say how fear can grasp your heart if you dwell on the negatives! Instead, go for a walk, lay out in the sun, ride a bike, read that book (have you read my memoir?), clean out your closet, garage, and the weeds in your garden. Organize those drawers, closet pantries and photo album. Learn a new hobby or try a new recipe.

Or just have dinner out on the driveway.

 

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Then Came the Morning

Brokenhearted . . .
How can I bear the pain?
So many plans . . . permanently interrupted.
So many dreams . . . shattered.
Hopes . . . dashed.
All gone.
Why?
Why this?
Why us? Why me?
Helplessness . . . hopelessness . . .
Life will never be the same again.
Is it even worth living?
Where are you, God?

I’m right here beside you, my child.
Even though you may not feel my presence,
I’m holding you close under the shadow of my wings.
I will walk with you through this dark night.

Do not shrink from weeping.
I gave you tears for emotional release.
Don’t try to hide your grief.
Let it become for you a source of healing,
A process of restoration,
For I have planned it so.
Those who mourn shall be blessed.
I’ll be holding on to you,
Even when you feel you can’t hold on to me.

Seek my face, child of mine.
Receive my promise, impossible as it may seem now,
That joy will come in the morning.
It may take much time,
But I will heal your broken heart.
I know the night seems endless,
but MORNING WILL COME.
I have promised.

–From the Haven of Rest Newsletter

Note: I came across the above poem sometime ago, and wanted to share it with my readers. So many times we can’t see the light because of so much fear, darkness, despair, grief and pain. We wonder how long? How much more? When will it end? God, are you really there? Friends, please know that as long as you have a pulse, there is a purpose. As long as you have breathe, there is hope. And as long as you’re in your right mind, there are possibilities. Under the shadow of His wings, stay the course. One day at a time. Full speed ahead!

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

EASTER IS AROUND THE CORNER – THAT HASN’T BEEN CANCELLED.

 

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Stay the Course

Something worth repeating for such a time as this!

Reflections From the Heart

Help!

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

I don’t understand …

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

I don’t think I can anymore …

“All things are possible to them that believe.”

What’s the point?

“I will make a way when there seems to be no way.”

I can’t!

“You can do all things through Christ.”

I’m tired!

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I feel so alone!

“I will never leave you or forsake you.”

I am weak!

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His…

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