Merry Christmas Prayers

Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday Jesus. What a beautiful time of the year.  

Wow how this year has flown by! I will admit that I haven’t been as prepared as in the past. Somehow July ran into December without a pause. Where did the time go?  I gave myself this pep talk Norah you will not freak out, you will remain calm, you will enjoy your family and you will Not lose sight of Jesus. After all isn’t this a time to enjoy life and reflect on the upcoming year? As I began the process of centering myself in preparation for the busyness of Christmas,  I received another request for prayer for yet another loss.  My heart quickly shifted and I though oh no not right before Christmas Lord, not right before the best time of the year.  I remember getting that unbelievable call right in December years ago. That memory is still so vivid.  Sergio lost his mother suddenly weeks before Christmas, this left our family in shock for years to come. No one even wanted to think of Christmas and no one was feeling the faintest bit jolly, instead we were mostly feeling guilty at the thought of engaging in any kind of delight.  Can we please cancel Christmas this is too painful, was what I remember thinking.  We couldn’t cancel Christmas for the world but we did in our hearts. That year I can honestly say I don’t remember Christmas at all.  It’s all a blur.  A couple of years ago a dear friend of mine lost her young son right before Christmas and my tiny community mourns this loss so deeply. His family is missing him in ways that cannot be explained. With this prayer request I am reminded once again how the holidays can be something less than jolly.  I reminded to offer up prayers and to reach out to those who have an empty seat at their holiday table and an empty space in their hearts.

I am not meaning to be doom and gloom, but this reality of pain during the holidays is one that my heart has asked me to address.  Not everyone feels Jesus during this time of year.  Some in fact are questioning everything about Him. They cannot bear the thought of even getting out of bed during this time much less celebrating anything.  I am almost positive that they wished they could push these feelings aside for the sake of others and often wear that fake smile all the while wanting to crawl in a hole and cry until this time has passed.  Until they can be reunited with the one they so badly miss.

The reminders of the one they have lost rings loudly.  All the special tender and quick way they celebrate with their loved ones are now gone.  It’s just not the same for them it will never be the same. Pushing through the pain requires strength beyond measure for an unknown time.

This year remember our friends and family that struggle with the sting of loss.  Extend an invitation, a smile, a hug and some quality time.  Be gentle and comforting.  Let them know that not only have they not been be forgotten nor has their loved ones. Acknowledge that their lives have forever been changed, share stories of their loved ones.  This can be your gift to them.  Honor the ones they have loved and lost. Most importantly pray.

 
Dear heavenly father I ask that you comfort my dear friends and family as they are so badly wanting to enjoy this season. Help them with their pain and agony over this huge loss.  The hole they carry in their hearts is unspeakable.  Help me to speak your will into that hole.  I ask father that you help me not get so caught up with life and preparing to celebrate your birth that I forget why you came.  You came to bring us hope and salvation.  Please help me to remember that as I wrap each gift someone near and some one far is wrapping one less gift this year.  Someone near and far needs me to reach out and love on them.  Lord I do not always understand why pain happens but I do understand that even before we were born you had our lives planned out. That with faith in you, you will in your time reveal why events happen the way they do.   Lord help me to keep my eyes open to the needs of other, help me to see that I can make a difference by getting on my knees and by the giving of time.  Help me to not get so wrapped up in my life that I forget the ones that are struggling wanting this time to pass.  Lord give me the words to speak comfort and give me the ears to listen.  Guide me to the places I need to be and guide my thoughts.  I ask that you make me a person that reflects comfort and compassion. Please Lord help them to see you and to seek you during this hard time and the years to come.  Help them to feel the spirit of their loved ones,  and to honor them in a way that helps fill the hole in their hearts.  Lord please guide each and every one of us to reach out to one another in need, letting your presents be felt everywhere.  Fill my home, my community, my church, my work place and my heart with you.  Happy Birthday!

Norah

Norah

A wife to a man in wheels. Sharing my life with all of the struggles in hopes to open up the highways of understanding, compassion, love, and hope.  Follow me as I tread through.

Keep Rolling On With Us On Social Media

Today marks 22 years of marriage and to many more! #keeprollingon

A photo posted by @thewheelsofgrace on

We share our stories not so you know what we've been through, but so you're not afraid to share your own. Tell us, what's your story?

Posted by The Wheels of Grace on Monday, February 22, 2016

My Free Will

It is obvious that Norah and Sergio are great people, and I’m lucky enough to be their daughter. Growing up I never realized I was a free spirit until I heard people described me that way. It was not a trait I knew I possessed. I know my parents didn’t...
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Hands That Are Thankful

Hands That Are Thankful

The table is set and we are ready to feast.  I look around at all the faces that have come to join us, I cannot help but think of all the stories that are within their hearts.  This group of souls have traveled down different paths but today have rested here to eat drink and be merry.  We are so different in so many ways, being family is what we have in common.

This who we are………

He lost his entire home with its possessions to a fire, years later he buried his wife. He is a widower raising a teenage daughter.  He loves the sweet potatoes, here he goes for another helping.  Go ahead add as much sweet to your life as possible.

Just recently released from prison, he is working to rebuild broken relationships and taking this opportunity to soak in all that he has missed.  Listening to stories of new adventures and laughing at old shared ones.  Where is the red chili he asks?  It’s color is deep and its taste can leave a burn, a sting.  It’s worth the flavor of familiarity.  This is what he seeks the deep familiar things in life. Even when it burns the aftertaste brings you back home.

She lost her mother at a very tender age, cares for her disabled father and young son. She’s on her own.  Loves the mashed potatoes.  You take this solid thing soften it, mash it up, add spices and it becomes something tasty.  Life is tough sometimes we have to soften it up, add spices and enjoy it.

At a young age he was orphaned.  Family unity is important to him.  Peace and quiet is what he enjoys most.  Possibly because of his hectic chaotic first years on this earth? Because of us he has no choice but to be ready for the attention that this whole bunch of people bring.  Slowly he embraces it.  This group of loud people are what you call family.  He hides some of the green bean casserole not because he’s afraid that he will not be feed.  He has overcome that fear long ago, but because he has an ornery side.  A side that makes you forgive him as he also eats all the dinner rolls.   

Life has not been an even road for him.  Not a smooth path it’s hard bumps, dips and valleys sometimes get him lost. Getting off track from time to time he picks up the pieces and regroups.    You cannot have gravy that is  too watery and you don’t want it lumpy, you pray that it is smooth.  You also need it to be just the right amount to cover over the things you love, bringing more flavor. Like gravy you may need to be whipped getting all the lumps out.

She carries many scares, many broken times. Today she is doing what she enjoys the most in life, being with her family.  Family is her everything.  Her favorite at the table are the cranberries.  On  her plate full of earth tones it brings a beauty in its color.  Different from the rest in taste and in texture. Most of the family would rather not add this to their plates but because of her and encouraging us to try new things, to not judge by the looks of things, we include just a little. This brings a little sweet to our forks.  

This little beauty too has had to grieve loss. At a young age she taken in by family to be loved and cared for.  There is no secret that at times she is confused as to why her bio parents could not care for her.  As she navigates the why’s and how comes she prepares herself for the beans.  Yes beans, and if you would be kind enough to heat her up a tortilla even better.  Because she too has lost so much so young.  The family all jumps up to give her what her heart desires.  You want a piece of pie after that we all ask?

Beautiful little man is the baby of the family and because of this we do our best to not spoil him too much.  He spends half his time with us and the other with his father in the city.  Because we have to share him it’s hard not to give in to his every desire.  You want how many dinner rolls?  Yeah six is a reasonable amount don’t you think?

He became paralyzed from a car accident that broke his back.  While he was still recovering mentally from this life altering accident he lost his wife suddenly.  This left him alone to raise a family.  The battles of loss have left him  fragile.  Because of health concerns we do not allow him too much food but let him have a small piece of pie as long as he promises to stay out of any more sugar.  In order to give him the opportunity to bless his family he was in charge of roasting this turkey.  Although we ate later than we would of wanted,  his perfect turkey was worth the wait.

She was raised by a teen mother and a paralyzed father.  One would think that was a rough upbringing.  That she would have tales to tell.  Well I am sure she has some but not the ones you would expect.  Sure her life was different and it took a long drawn out process to come out to be favorite. A tamale. This  in not just an hour process but hours sometimes days process to come  with perfection.  Life to her is an art, art takes time to perfect.  Just like food you must not rush this You must not only enjoy it but live it and share it.

He came from a dark place and was shot as a teen and left for dead.  He is more alive than ever.  He rides life in a wheelchair.  He loves life no matter what obstacles may come his way.  His love for pecan pie is one that he cannot deny.  You must break through the hard shells of the pecans first.  This most important ingredient is set aside to in time be a layer over a very sweet place.  Pecan pie is hard on the top but soft and so very sweet in the middle.

She was a young lost girl, searching for answers.  Searching for love.  At fourteen she meet her first true love.  Her daughter.  Her daughter made her continue to fight to find not only the true meaning of love but the meaning of life.  She’s married to the younger man in wheels and funny thing is she unlike him would prefer ham over turkey any day.  A honey glazed ham to be exact.  This is what life should offer be like, salty and sweet.  Best when together.

To the table we come broken,  we all have a story, we all have a past, we all have cried rivers. We all have been in the deepest valleys.  Here we are side by side to be thankful.  Thankful that was have each other, thankful that we can push all aside and be free to be who we are.  To be in a place full of grace, kindness, compassion and a place of understanding.  Understand that we are all different but when we are together was are the same.  We are family that Keeps Rolling On.

Norah

Norah

A wife to a man in wheels. Sharing my life with all of the struggles in hopes to open up the highways of understanding, compassion, love, and hope.  Follow me as I tread through.

Keep Rolling On With Us On Social Media

Today marks 22 years of marriage and to many more! #keeprollingon

A photo posted by @thewheelsofgrace on

We share our stories not so you know what we've been through, but so you're not afraid to share your own. Tell us, what's your story?

Posted by The Wheels of Grace on Monday, February 22, 2016

Something I Love About Christmas

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Lighten Your Bag

Lighten Your Bag

 

In preparing for this school year each one of my children needed a new backpack.  The older two needed backpacks that could carry more books and supplies, my youngest had outgrown her themed backpack.  I shopped around for ones that would meet their individual needs.  Right before school started they each loaded their backpacks.  In this whole process of getting ready for the year I began to think of all the things I hoped they would leave behind.  Life has given them each so much extra baggage wrapped in pain, I often cry when I think back to the day I met each of them while remembering their circumstances.  I continue to pray that they will be able to unload some if not all the extra weight.  I realize that their stories cannot be changed and I do not begin to pretend that they will not struggle from time to time. As most mothers, I hurt when my kids hurt.  More than likely they will often carry more than they should have to. The loss of their bio parents and the neglect they experienced have created a weight that is difficult to put down without guidance and love.  Their losses are greater than most typical children their age. They carry an excess amount of pain that even I struggle to understand why my children should have to be weighted down so heavily.  

 

When I was in school I carried a lot of extra baggage myself, although some of the weight I carried was packaged differently it was labeled the same.  Loss, loneliness, the feeling of unworthiness.  I was a mother at 14 so my backpack was very full before I entered high school.   I had some friends but I didn’t have anyone that I could truly relate with.  Walking down the the halls with a very pregnant belly was a heavy load all by itself.  The weight that was in my backpack outweighed my unborn child.  No matter the plans that I believed would play out, and the support I believed I had, I felt alone.  Behind my smile was a very scared young girl.  I struggled to know where I belonged while in the walls of a school building.  On the days that I was reminded of all that had changed for me and all that would change, I loaded my backpack with shame and guilt.  I could feel it getting heavier and heavier each time I passed the teachers or peers that refused to greet me with kindness.  As I walked down the hall I would grab more and more guilt and shame.  By the time I was home my shoulders hurt from the extra weight I had packed in.  At home I tried to teach myself to unload and not place all those feelings back to carry again. The very next day I would start the process all over again.  

 

I would love to say that I have mastered unloading my backpack and keeping it light. The truth is that I transformed my bag all together,  It is smaller and it has different compartments to it.  It has secret pockets some with zippers and some with snaps.  In the new bag that I carry I do not allow myself to carry so much stuff.  In some of the secret places I have the tough stuff, it’s still there.  At times I can use it as a reminder of who I once was and to share it as a learning tool.  I also carry a bigger load of Grace.  This is carried in the biggest compartment of my bag.  I fill enough for myself and for others around me.  The beautiful thing about Grace is that it is light and fluffy.  It weighs very little and it covers over the heavy stuff.  I now have to dig through Grace first in order to find the smaller compartments filled with the heavy stuff.  I love grace, it brings beauty to my bag.  

I will encourage my children to make their backpacks lighter.  I will show them to carry Grace, compassion, and mercy by teaching them that they should not overload their bags, it will only bring them more pain.  I want them to share what they have in their bags, to take out the heavy stuff to expose it, maybe they will choose to leave it out realizing it’s painful weight.

As I watch them leave for the first time this year I whisper a prayer in each bag.  Asking God to guide and protect them.  

 

Even though my bag is now smaller and its contents are slightly different, I can use my past experiences to guide them in downsizing their loads.  I do not have the same kind of stuff that they have but I do understand some of their pains and I seek to understand the pain I have not experienced personally.    

 

This new school year gives my family opportunities to grow and to let go of weight. Putting down loss and feelings of loneliness and unworthiness.

 

Is there stuff you need to stop carrying around? 
Is there stuff you set down but then come the very next day and put right back in your bag?  

 

Together let’s take an inventory of these items and dig into why we continue to carry them.  Let’s take time to acknowledge our loved ones carrying extra baggage and help them unload.

 

I cannot imagine how much faster we will Keep Rolling toward our goals when we are free from the heavy load.

 

 

Norah

Norah

A wife to a man in wheels. Sharing my life with all of the struggles in hopes to open up the highways of understanding, compassion, love, and hope.Follow me as I tread through.

A photo posted by @thewheelsofgrace on

We share our stories not so you know what we've been through, but so you're not afraid to share your own. Tell us, what's your story?

Posted by The Wheels of Grace on Monday, February 22, 2016

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Back to School: My Extra Cup of Coffee

This morning as I began my day with a fresh brewed cup of coffee. I was overcome with a feeling of hope and possibility of what the day would bring to me and my family. It’s hard to explain, It’s a sensation that overcomes my body I feel at peace, all my worries are taken away at this moment and my thoughts are clear and focused. This is the time that I am able to see why I do what I do as a father and a husband for my family.

 

This is not a new thing for me, I actively seek to see things that remind me of my journey. I want to see the path I have traveled to make a new life. I want to be reminded of how wonderful it is to be alive. Things as simple as being able to sit on the deck, the one I that I built with my own hands, and have a cup of coffee while I watch the sun come up or looking cross my dining room table at all the back to school supplies that we had to buy because school is about to start. I get excited for the kids, they get a fresh new start at making new memories and adventures that could last forever. This is when I take a deep breath and say a prayer to the Lord. I thank Him for the opportunity that he has gifted me with. I tell him how honored and grateful I am to have Him believe that I could handle the responsibility of taking care of my family, for always providing for us and for having patience with me even when I don’t listen to his instructions. I end my prayer telling the Lord that I appreciate having another day to witness his awesome power.

 

I do this because I never want to forget the struggles of growing up. I want to shield my kids from ever having to feel the pain of not having enough money for new shoes, clothes, and how it made me feel.  Doubt, shame, and regret are not feelings that a young boy or girl should have when starting a new year at school.

 

I wanted to be like the other kids, I wanted to have new things, I wanted to feel like I belonged.

 

The disappointment and agony that I felt sent me down a path that I wish I can go back today and tell the Sergio,back then, not to do it because the price would be too high to pay later.

 

I believed how could anything good could come from a person like me. I was the kid that had a permanent desk in the principal’s office because I was a disruption. I was the kid that the teachers talked about ending up in prison or dead and that I had no future. I was the kid that you would double check that your purse was safe or that your car keys were put away because they could disappear. I was the kid that you would see in the back of a cop car acting like this was an ok thing being handcuffed and taken to juvie. I was the kid that started putting poison in his body so he would feel better about who he saw in the mirror.

 

Growing up I can’t say that as a young boy or man I ever let my mind just wander in the world of possibility, let alone hope. My resistance came from fear of being disappointed at not being able to achieve any of my dreams, goals. I learned at this age that I was different than everyone else and that my future was already set for me. What I had done was let my fears be greater than my dreams or goals.

 

Amazingly this is when the Lord gave me an unusual blessing. It seemed to to come from out of the blue. I was laying in a bed fighting for my life from multiple gunshot wounds believing this was the end and that my life was going to finish the way it had been predicted my whole life, as a waste. I wanted more from my life I just didn’t know how to change my world and thought it was too late. This is when my blessing was given to me. In the darkest moment of my life He stepped in and made His presence know to me by removing the fear of death and inserting the possibility of life. Even though I would never walk again I felt hope. He taken my doubt, my regret that I had lived with and replaced it with hope and opportunity.  I had tried to live my life my way and had made a mess of it, but now with God’s presence in my heart I could see the right way is through him. As I look back at the process that opened my eyes to his way I still feel the pain and hurt of the past. It has been hard to get to the place I am today, but I am filled with hope and joy because it’s a new day and the possibilities are endless for us all.

 

As I drink my morning cup of coffee today and see my kids school supplies and backpacks sitting on my dinning room table. I get a smile, I wasn’t supposed to be here to see this. I can’t waste any time, I need to be involved in their lives, this is my mission.

 

I need to help guide my children through the maze of doubt and regret by sharing my past mistakes so they can see that I wasn’t perfect, not even close to it, and I don’t expect them to be. Maybe I can help keep them from losing their way by telling them that they matter and that they have worth. I can show them that with hard work and perseverance their goals and dreams can be obtained. I can work hard at providing for them so they never have to worry about being hungry or not have a new pair of shoes to start the new year.

 

I want them to know that I will always be here for them, that even when they stumble and fall. I will be here. I want them to know the source of my strength comes from the Lord. I want to help guide them to God so they can see that God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle he helps us handle what we are given.

 

I have to have an extra cup of coffee so I can have more time to imagine what great things the Lord has in store for my children and my family.

 

Today I’d like to encourage you to pick up an extra cup of coffee and say a prayer for all of our children starting a new year at school, that they may be safe, that their minds be opened to the world of learning, and that their goals and dreams shine as bright as the sun.

 

Remember To Keep Rolling On.

 

 

Sergio

Sergio

The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17

A photo posted by @thewheelsofgrace on

We share our stories not so you know what we've been through, but so you're not afraid to share your own. Tell us, what's your story?

Posted by The Wheels of Grace on Monday, February 22, 2016

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Mother’s Day Scare

Mother’s Day Scare

A few weeks ago my mother and I enjoyed picking flowers at our local greenhouse.  She was excited to finally get the opportunity to choose flowers that would add beauty to her yard.  This trip was to be taken weeks prior.  Every year on Mother’s day I buy her flowers or I take her shopping to enjoy our time together. I know she enjoys any chance she gets to hang out with me.  Lately with both of our busy schedules we don’t see each other as often as we should.

The plan on this Mother’s Day was for she, my daughter, and me to get a light lunch and head to the greenhouse.  Later that day we would join the rest of the family for a meal and a time to celebrate all the mothers in the family.  We never made to that meal and we never made it to the greenhouse.  Instead we spent the day in the ER.  I would have never imagined that I would of experienced such a scare.  I thought that my mother was dying of a stroke.  A terrible feeling overtook my body and my mind as I begged God to not let my mom die.

After we headed out of the restaurant that afternoon I was almost to the car when my daughter grabbed by mother’s arm. She was complaining that something did not feel right.  As I approached them she said “Wait, wait something is not right” and acted as if she was going to sit down because she couldn’t walk. We assisted her in sitting down but she fell to the side of her body and was unconscious.  The moment she fell to the ground I asked a man that was just getting out of his car to call 911 and asked if anyone knew CPR.  I was in a panic and prayed that someone would be able to help my mother.  Still in panic mode I yelled inside the restaurant’s doors asking if someone knew CPR and every person’s head was nodding No.  My daughter quickly said “Mom, you know CPR.” The truth is I do, I was in hopes that someone could just take over and help my mother because I believed she was dying.  After I was able to focus, my 20 plus years of training kicked in.  I knew that I had to listen, look, and feel for breathing and check for a pulse.  As I placed my cheek next to her face I convinced myself that I didn’t feel, see nor hear breathing,  As I placed my cheek closer I could feel her breathing.  I started yelling “She’s breathing!” I started to pray and thank God that she was breathing.  As I continued to monitor nothing changed.  Everyone around me had a look of shock as my she laid on her side on the concrete directly outside the restaurant’s doors.  Someone gave me a jacket to place under her head.  I placed my hand on her back and kept my cheek up to her nose so I could feel her breaths on my face and feel them as her chest rose and fell.  Finally police arrived and very shortly after the sound I longed to hear, ambulance sirens.  

Watching my mother’s what appeared to be life less body taken in an ambulance was a terrible feeling of hopelessness.  Waiting for over 45 minutes for her to “wake” up seemed like an eternity.  In my head I tried to figure out what had happened inside of her body to make her fall to the ground.  The only thing I could come up with was that she suffered a stroke.  

While waiting for tests and doctors my mind raced.  I asked God why would he take my mom on Mother’s day?  I am not ready for my mom to die but I certainly did not want this memory on Mother’s day.  Every time I closed my eyes I could see her on the ground.  Even today when I think of that day the vision of her makes tears come.  A horrible fear overtakes me.

My mom and I over the year have had many struggles.  Even today we don’t see eye to eye on several things.  She is a very outspoken person and I chose to show how I feel. We now chose to respect that we are different and that being together is valuable in our lives. The thought of not being able to drive 4 blocks to her house for coffee on my day off pains me.

My parents divorced when I was 12 and at that tender time in my life she became a single parent to myself and two teenage brothers.  She was not an independent person and up until she got divorced she had relied on my father for her every need.  Most of her past years were spent being a wife of a soldier and caring for her young child.  After the divorce she set out to find herself and in that time I was trying to find myself.  Terrible timing.  I needed her attention when she was broken and searching for where to turn to repair herself.  Our relationship had suffered.

Over many, many years I carried so much resentment towards my mother.  I didn’t understand why she did the things she did nor why she would.  I was confused as to who she was as person.  Anytime I got upset with her I would go back to that 12 year old little girl needing her mother. A girl crying for her mother’s attention. As a child I couldn’t put together that she was fighting for attention and that she had needs as a person. The crazy thing I learned as an adult is that what my mother needed was for me to still need her.  As I was getting older and survived the many traumas in my life I had began to pull away.  Not allowing her to help nor comfort me.  I was paying her back for all the years that I felt she was absent for comforting me. I was angry that she hadn’t prepared me for the world outside my front door.  I was getting my life on track and I didn’t want to give her the any glory to my success.  If she wasn’t there for me than why would I want her in my personal life now. If she didn’t have the life lesson talks with me when I needed them why would I want her advice now.  I was protecting myself for being disappointed and from going back to being 12 years old struggling growing up.  

While in the hospital and while I type I realized how much I do need her.  I need her to be proud of me and to say it.  I need her to continue to make the meals that she makes for me now in love,  I need and want to pick up the phone and ask her to help me dig into a project that I have put off for months.  I need to watch her come up to my door ready to help for the entire day if that’s what is needed. Whenever I ask I can see that her face lights up.  She needs me to need her.  She fights for me to ask for help.  She fights for me to let her in my world.  She wants to know about not only my accomplishments but also my struggles.  She wants to be apart of how I am currently growing.

When my mother opened her eyes she “woke up” kicking and screaming.  Usually I would want to scold her for how loud she was being. I would’ve rolled my eyes and said “Mom everyone can hear you”.  On this Mother’s Day I was so happy to hear her yelling.  I was thrilled when she yelled at the the nurse in a very annoyed tone,”It’s 2016” and witness her expression of do you think I am stupid?  I quickly stepped out and called my husband.  I told him that she was awake and yelling.  I laughed through tears as he asked what was wrong with her? My response was “I don’t know but I can hear her cursing so I know my mom’s back.”  He laughed as well.

We still don’t know exactly what happened to my mom on Mother’s Day.  She is being monitored by doctors and by her family. I do know what happened to me.  I realized how much I need my mom.  I need to see her face and to laugh at all the crazy ways she communicates. I need to watch how she takes pride in her tiny apparent waiting for me to tell her how cute it looks.  My children need and love her as she takes the time to be a part of their lives.  She is the person that adds so much love and flare to our family.  If she could have a meal with her family every day she would be the happiest.  I need her to keep me up to date with what’s happening in town with the reminder that it’s not gossiping Norah if it’s fact.  Oh how she cracks me up with her shenanigans.  I need her to show me where to find the bargains and to remind me that you can find treasures at second hand stores and garage sales while also reminding me that I have too much crap and I should get rid of stuff.  I mostly need her to see her worth in Jesus and to continue to be true to herself.  I need to have the opportunity to watch her learn how to love herself.

This week I was able to watch my mother replant some plants that she had placed in an unhealthy environment for their delicate nature. They were suffering in the heat of the sun.  I took her to a green house and she was able to pick plants that would thrive in the full sun.  Later that day she came to my home and brought the plant for me to plant in the shade where they would survive.  A valuable lesson my mother has shown me.  We can’t all survive in the same environment, sometimes we have to be uprooted and transplanted.

 Keep Rolling on

Norah

Norah

A wife to a man in wheels. Sharing my life with all of the struggles in hopes to open up the highways of understanding, compassion, love, and hope.Follow me as I tread through.

A photo posted by @thewheelsofgrace on

We share our stories not so you know what we've been through, but so you're not afraid to share your own. Tell us, what's your story?

Posted by The Wheels of Grace on Monday, February 22, 2016

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Decluttering Down Memory Lane

Its that time of the year at the Sanchez house. The time when the discussion at morning coffee stops being about how our past few days have been and starts becoming about all the things that we need to get done around the house to get ready for spring. To me this means turning on the water and making sure that all of the sprinkler heads pop up and work, that the old gas in the can is poured out and replaced with fresh, and that the patio and bench cushions gets pulled out to be dusted and watered down in preparation for the warm weather. I make it a point to stay clear of any kind of discussion that would have anything to do with me being inside decluttering, downsizing, or cleaning which seems to always be the direction that my wife likes to go down every year. But this year I was the loser in this department and the weather became my enemy, dang Colorado weather!  It  rained and snowed the whole weekend, trapping me inside and leaving me no choice but to cave to the will of my wife, which she took full advantage of by pulling out her list of things to do.

 

The list contained things like

  • Go through all of our clothes and declutter your closet
  • Go through all of our junk drawers and throw away everything that you don’t need
  • Properly store the things that are needed

 

These were my marching orders but deep down inside all I wanted to do was sit on the couch, pop some popcorn and have a Star Wars Trilogy marathon for the whole weekend. Wishful thinking buddy, your bubble popped, get to work that’s what I was told.

I had my orders. My plan was to knock them out as fast as I could. Nobody was going to make me enjoy what I was about to go through because I saw no enjoyment in decluttering. To me my closet and junk drawers did not need to be clean and organized I knew where everything was, it was organized chaos.

To my wife this was not acceptable we couldn’t go on living this way, it was horrible, the world would come to an end. Being married 21 years to my Puerto Rican queen has taught me a couple of things. When it comes to decluttering you better get on board because she won’t be happy. So I had to tell myself Sergio if momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy you better get this done or you’ll be in the doghouse till summer.

Our first and task was to declutter our linen closet. As Norah started pulling out sheets and comforters and pillowcases I instantly saw something happen in her face. Her demeanor changed you could see it in her eyes. Before we had started if you had looked into her eyes they would have said were on a mission, we’re going to get things done today. But something had changed in them, you could see that each time she pulled out a piece of linen that she would go into deep thought almost like into a trance or into a dream.

Physically I could tell that she was relaxed, she went from let’s get this done now mode, to a this is nourishment for my soul. It was written all over her face.

Once articles of our kids came out, like their sheet sets pasted with images of Dora the Explorer and Beauty and the Beast started popping out. It became clear to that this was not going to be just another decluttering day. This day would be a day of remembering our journey as a family. So we warmed up some coffee and got to work. With each new piece that was pulled we would stop and talk about what we remembered of it.

It was as if we had opened an album of out pictures some made us laugh and some made us sad. This was our story being told to us through the clutter in our closet. My eyes were opened to the sight of how much the Lord has truly blessed me and my family. The article that made the most impact on me was one that was found on the bottom shelf pushed to the back, wrapped in plastic. This piece has be in there for a long time and we had no idea what it was so we started to unwrap the plastic like it was Christmas morning.

It was my wife’s wedding dress. Instantly a smile grow on my face because I could see my beautiful wife wearing the dress on our wedding day. The feelings I felt that day returned to me in an instant. I must be the luckiest guy in the world because she’s about to become my wife. In that moment I saw my life flash in front of my eyes with images of all of the accomplishments that we we had achieved as a family. Our first home, decorating the rooms of our children and purchasing the sheets for our family. I was able to take stock of my life and enjoy the gifts that the Lord was given. This was good for my soul, I had forgotten so much and I was good to remember the journey. It’s easy to get so caught up in the Now that we forget to remember the How.

Maybe the bigger part of all of this wasn’t the cleaning or the decluttering, it was so that we had somewhere empty to put all of our new memories that we would collect of the next year. My wife uses this time to recharge her batteries, this is when she makes sense of everything about her and why she’s made the sacrifices that she’s made. She sees that her past mistakes were meant to guide her not define her. We all have to take a step back sometimes so that we can see the bigger picture. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so let’s make sure that the memories that we build today will last forever. Some will make us cry and some will make us laugh, but we must always remember that this is your story.  We should make it a goal to cluttering a junk drawer or a closet over the next year just to have a reason to come back to it and reminisce of our journey and all the treasures that we have collected. I will be more open to help in my wife now when it comes to decluttering next spring because I want to be part of remembering and sharing of the trip down memory lane.

Don’t miss the opportunity to slow down and smell the flowers and reminisce on life’s journey!
Remember To Keep Rolling On!!

 

 

Sergio

Sergio

The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17

A photo posted by @thewheelsofgrace on

We share our stories not so you know what we've been through, but so you're not afraid to share your own. Tell us, what's your story?

Posted by The Wheels of Grace on Monday, February 22, 2016

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