Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just WHAT is she doing up there?

I don't know why my mom was taken from us.

I don't know why she didn't live to 100 like we all thought she would. But I believe there IS a reason.

I like to imagine what she's doing up there, what that reason is. I think she's up in heaven writing.

Revelation 20:12 (New International Version)
12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

When I found this verse I felt like it confirmed to me the reason why she was taken. The Bible clearly mentions books, then the book of life. It doesn't say (that I've found) who the author of all those books are. Our lives are being recorded in books and somebody has to write that.

Could it be that she's writing up there? Of course I really don't know, but something tells me she isn't just sitting up there on a cloud floating around. She wouldn't stand for that! She never sat and just did nothing! ha!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Normal

How long do you think it takes until something different because the new normal?

How long do you think it takes for the deep wound on a heart to turn into a thick red scar?


When I wake and remember...she is gone, it seems crazy. Absolutely nuts.

She taught me about heaven and now she's experiencing it. Surreal.

I don't want this to be the new normal. I don't want the wound on my heart to heal and become thick. Toughened with time.

But time keeps passing...

We all have to go on and she keeps slipping father into heaven.

I keep thinking, why did she have to die? What are we supposed to learn from this? Why do we learn at such a high price?

Monday, November 24, 2008

God's answering that prayer!

It didn't take long for God to answer my prayer below!

The Sunday after my prayer, I attended a birthday party with friends. I've waited years for the opportunity to share God's love with this particular group.

What do you know but the subject of faith just happened to come up and my God given moment was before me.

I'd like to say I opened my mouth and some spiritual gems just fell out and my friends listened on in amazement.

But the truth is, I started to sweat and breathe funny, my mind went blank and I wondered if I was going to blow it.

All I could think of was how real God is to me, how personal and sweet. A constant, ready help in times of need.

This one guy was doubting the validity of the Bible and I asked him "do you want to know how I know that God is real?" He eagerly responded, "please tell me, I'd love to believe."

I shared with him how God is a personal God who meets our individual and unique needs. I shared how my mother had just died of a brain tumor and with God's help she died with amazing peace and grace. Something that without Him would have been impossible.

I didn't get the guy's response as we were interrupted and the moment passed. Someone else could have responded so much better, but with me God works on a basic level and all I can do is share what He means to me.

I wish everyone could experience just a drop of His love. I promise if they'd only get a taste, they would never forget it or able to escape that kind of love.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cutting the cord

Sunday my pastor used an illistration in his sermon, once he was in a hot air ballon and the pilot let him try lift off.

He pulled the cord...

Nothing happened.

Pulled it again...

Still no lift off.

With laughter the pilot informed him he forgot to release the cord holding them down.

The great question was, "What is holding you down?"

"What's keeping you tied down in your walk with the Lord?"

Is it your job? Your husband? Your wife? Your kids?

What's keeping you from soaring?

I heard the pastor say, "Some of you are wonderful Christian's. You know Jesus. He's your Savior, your friend and He means a lot to you. But some of you will never reach all that He has for you, because you are tied down."

I had one of those unique moments when every sense sharpens, everything unimportant dims and you know, you just KNOW the Lord is speaking to you. Your heart races, your breath quickens, you strain to "catch it." You know it's a life defining moment you really don't want to miss.

For weeks my heart has been searching, wondering... why am I tied down?

In my corner of the World it's very dark. Most times the light in me, trying so desperately to get out is the ONLY light.

My life is THE mission field.

Daily I walk alone with my Savior.

I have no partner to pray with, no friend to hold hands and pray with.

It's just Jesus and Jennifer.

At times it's fear holding me down. Fear is binding and crippling.

Sometimes it's approval seeking that ties me down.

My mom often told me how God has put me in a unique situation to be a witness, a light to a lost and dark world.

With tears rolling down my face I prayed for helping cutting that cord.

I prayed for unique God given opportunities to speak the truth to a dark and lost world.

A world that is desperately and tightly holding it's hands over stubborn deaf ears.

Monday, September 22, 2008

An Atheist Reaps God's Blessing!

I'm shouting to my roof tops, can you hear me?

The heavens are rejoicing that our God is faithful and true!

Do you remember back in February when I prayed asking God to bless me so I could have money to give to my church? Do you remember how God answered that prayer and my husband made some money in a trade and in turn wrote out a check to my church? Checkout this link and read the bottom post titled: An Atheist Puts Faith Into Action: http://its-all-about-him.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html

In February I told my husband God loved him and wanted to bless him and this was only the beginning! I told my husband to just wait and see what God was going to do for him!

My heart is bursting from joy at seeing this prayer answered!

God has caused a turn of events at my husband's job and the blessings are pouring down on my husband. While I'm so thankful this is providing our family the opportunity to move into a house with a pool, it's not even this extra blessing that is making me sing!

It is seeing my husband's faith work out! It is in knowing God wants my husband, is calling to him, is loving on him! WOW! What an AWESOME GOD who loves us SO much!

Before my mom died, I asked her that when she got to heaven to please ask God to have unusual mercy on my husband.

I know she did and I know God is showing my husband His wonderful love and mercy!

Now my desire is to give again! Let's see what my husband says about that! Will he close his fist or will he open it once again! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A day of tears

Yesterday my mother-in-law kept Lorenzo, my 2 year old for the morning.

Claudia was in school.

Mommy was at home falling apart.

I rarely have time for tears. I'm busy being the mommy to two small children.

But yesterday I just sat and wept and relived the summer.


I miss my mom so much...

Last night after Claudia's bath, with dripping wet hair, she started sobbing. Break your heart sobs.

With alarm I asked her what was wrong, between big gulps she squeaked out, "I want my nana."

I gathered her in my arms to comfort us both and asked her why she wanted nana.

"I want nana to color with me and paint with me."

A sadness seeped deep in my heart, a knowledge that nana will never again paint or color with Claudia. Something so simple, yet so important.

I tried my best to comfort her and promised I would paint with her today.

Today I have a date with Claudia to paint.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

She came to me!

My mom came to me! In my dreams that is!

I remember after my grandma died, my mom told me she'd pray God would give her dreams of her mother. And He did. She had many wonderful dreams of my grandma.

I've been praying the same thing, asking God to give me sweet dreams of my mom.

Last night my prayer was answered!

I dreamed I was at my aunt Becky's house and all the family was there. I was down stairs and looked up to see my mom coming down the stairs toward me. We embraced tightly in a long hug. The embrace felt so real, it was so sweet, so warm, so deep...

She pulled back from me and said, "let me see my ring." She took my right hand and held it in hers looking at her wedding ring that I now constantly wear.

I asked her "mom, are you sad that you no longer wear this ring? That you're no longer with us?"

With tears of joy streaming down her face she responded, "no, I'm so proud of you and feel blessed you now wear my ring and carry on."

In my dream I told her, "well mom, one day I'm going to put down your ring and join you in heaven." She was nodding her head saying, "when you put the ring down is when we'll see each other again."

I woke up with tears on my cheeks and my pillow damp.

Immediately I praised my Lord for this wonderful dream! What a loving, caring heavenly Father I have! He is worthy of all praise and glory.

I believe this dream is an answer to prayer.

Yesterday was a very tough day for me. Darkness clouded my heart, a shadow swept over my mind and loneliness crept in, cold and ugly.

I picked up the sword of Truth and quoted Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I fixed my mind on what is true- I'm a child of the most High King, on what is lovely-one day I'll be walking in heaven with my loved ones, and on what is excellent and praiseworthy-my God is a great God and worthy of all praise and honor.

Light pierced my dark mood and peace and joy took it's place.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Traffic and pocket Bibles

Every morning Claudia, my 4 year old has to be at school at 7:30am. She started pre-k which apparently is the new kindergarten. She has homework everyday and is quickly picking up Spanish as that is the language spoken at her school.

We live about 4 minutes away from her school with no traffic. But traffic here in the mornings is HORRIBLE, it takes me 50 minutes round trip. Most of that traffic is standstill. There are so many cars, so many people, so many schools in such a small area. You just have to patiently wait your turn to creep up slowly to the school and then scoot your child quickly out the car door. And be very careful not to hit your side mirrors with other passing cars as you twist and turn your car to fit through too narrow streets, lined with illegally parked cars.

I don't like wasted time, so I take a small New Testament pocket Bible with me and read and pray the Psalms as I sit and inch my car along.

The other day I pulled my pocket Bible out of the glove box and looked at the cover. A picture of Jesus sitting on a mountain side preaching looks back at me. I remember when I got that Bible! My mother took me to a Christian book store and let me pick out whatever I wanted. She loved to buy me Christian reading material, she said it was a good investment.

That day I picked the pocket Bible and took it with me on our Orlando vacation. Early mornings sitting on the balcony I would read, then later share with my mom that great finds I came across.

While sitting in the car the other day reading, it dawned on me that almost every single Bible I own was bought by my mom. All different sizes, covers, translations, and study Bibles.

The loss of my mom has left a gaping hole in my heart. I ache, I miss her, tears don't do justice to the pain. But while looking at that pocket Bible, I realized my mom gave me something that can never be taken away from me, never lost, never die and slowly it's filling up that gaping hole. It's the living Word of God!

Wow! What an investment she made! One that will pay off big time! It's as if she always knew I'd need all those Bibles. While she isn't here to guide me in my adulthood, she gave me something that can!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The wisdom of a child

Javier and I rode in silence down the road. It had been a long day and riding in the dark in silence was a comfort.

A huge plane broke the night sky and flew overhead, heading to the nearby airport.

Claudia excited sings out "oh, look a plane! Look Lorenzo a big, big plane!"

Claudia, ever eager to chat tells Lorenzo "I remember going on a plane to nana and papa's house!"

In the nonchalant way only a child can speak she continues, "But nana's dead now."

Lorenzo picks up on this and chants "Nana's dead, nana's dead, nana's dead."

"Look, Clau-ya!" He says, his two year version of Claudia's name.

"Nana dead like this." He rolls his head back against the cushion of the carseat, eyes closed, jaw slack, mouth open wide.

Claudia ready to impart her wisdom as the older sister, puts her hands up in the air as if to say hold it and with breathless excitement exclaims "oh, oh, oh, I know, I know!" "Lorenzo, Nana is in heaven now! She's not dead. She's in heaven with God and her heart."

For a rare moment everyone in the car is quiet, reflecting...

Something new dawns on Claudia and she asks "Mommy, how did nana get to heaven?"

I sit there trying to quickly come up with the best answer, knowing my atheist husband is also listening. What pressure! In my quick pause, Javier throws in "she took a plane!"

Before I could even think, I head the words coming out of my mouth, "No, Claudia. Jesus came down and took nana up to heaven with Him."

The beauty and truth of that simple statement daily wraps it's arms around me and comforts me.

I look forward to the moment when I share with Claudia in detail how nana went from papa's arms to the arm's of Jesus. That sacred, holy moment when nana let go of this world, of papa's hands and grabbed hold of her Savior's.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

37 years

37 years is a long time. Today, August 14th would have marked 37 years of marriage for my parents.

To say "would have marked" is very hard for me type. I still find it unbelievable she is gone...

Don't you?

Before my mother got really sick she sat my sister and I down and went through her jewelry. While it was incrediable difficult, I'm so glad she thought to do this with us. It means the world to me to know she wanted me to have some of her pieces.

For me, she gave her wedding ring. What an incredible honor. I wear it daily on my right hand, only taking it off at night. My dad let me take it back home with me and I'll be forever grateful.

I'll never forget after I put it on my finger and showed him, he looked at me with such pride and love shinning in his eyes and said "I'm so proud and honored for you to wear it." That meant more to me than I can ever express. I'll never forget the look of love and pride my dad had for me in that moment. I feel sure my mom was looking on in pride at him! In that moment I felt her legacy being passed on to me.

Her wedding ring that I now wear is a symbol of undying love, faithfulness, and commitment. It stands for 37 years of what I pray to be.

It is a constant reminder that love is a commitment. That marriage CAN work! 37 years ago my mother made a vow to love my dad unto death, and boy did she ever! Like wise my dad made a vow to love unto death and I've never seen a person do that like my dad did. He never left my mom or gave up on her. In a time and world where people are giving up like crazy, my dad never failed to love her or be there for her. He was her hero and he lived up to that word in every sense.

When I wear her ever familar ring, I feel like a piece of her is with me. When I soap Claudia's hair, I'm reminded she wore this ring when she soaped my hair as a child. When I make her famous meat balls, I'm reminded she wore this ring when she made meat balls for us. I think of the people this ring has touched while praying for those in need. I think of the hundreds of task she did all while wearing this ring. There's a lot of history, a lot of legacy, a lot to live for and a lot to live up too.

In a hard to describe way I feel her with me, helping me, encouraging me, cheering me on. I don't feel like the same mother or wife anymore. Everything has softened and there is a peace about me. Even those around me have commented saying there is a glow about me, something different.

I close for now saying thank you for support and prayers. I know many haved emailed me or sent cards and I want to say that it means the world and has held me up when I felt like falling down.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

God speaks to a child

Last night I was reading a Children's Bible my mom bought Claudia before she got sick.

We just finished reading My Little Ponny and Claudia picked out her Bible and opened up to the Parable of the Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46.) I was amazed this story was the one she picked and felt it was God speaking to us through his Word. In bold letters the story topic read: Heaven is more wonderful than anything on earth. We should let nothing on earth keep us from heaven. I will thank God for making heaven for me!

The next story she picked was the parable of the net (Matthew 13:47-50.) In bold the topic read: All Christians will go to heaven. Heaven is a wonderful place. I love God. I will go to heaven!

Two stories on the topic of heaven, direct from the Word, written so children can understand and see pictures and from the very Bible my mother picked out for Claudia!

Heaven has been a hot topic for Claudia lately. She's fascinated with it and trying with her little mind to understand.

We talk often how nana is in heaven. Nana had her birthday party in heaven with Jesus (August 2nd) and we pray every night for nana. We pray: "Dear Jesus, Thank you for this day. God bless nana in heaven." We've always prayed for our family each night and after nana died, there was a giant hole in our prayers. How could not pray for nana? God put it into my heart that we can pray for her, for her blessings in heaven with Him!

Claudia's hit me with some hard questions. After the funeral we went to the grave. Julie and the four kids and I walked up to a fresh mound of dirt, with beautiful white roses on top. Tons of flowers surrounded.

Claudia said: "mommy is nana in that dirt?" I swallowed hard and had to say, "yes, honey she is." I'll never forget the look on her face. She couldn't believe her sweet nana was down there. With pouting lips and tears in her eyes she shouted "NO FAIR!"

She's later asked me how can nana be in heaven if she's in that ground? I've explained that nana's heart is in heaven. The part that makes nana who she is, is with God. She asks all the time if we can go there. Last night in her prayers she said: "Dear God, bless nana's heart and please bring her back to us."

These are hard times but God is good through it all! I can already see a major blessing from all this pain. Heaven is now a much talked about subject in our house! That is not a small thing, living with an atheist! Now there is a Holiness, a reverence that even Javier can feel!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

She's gone

My mom passed away peacefully in her home Monday July 21, 2008 at 6:42pm.

I wasn't with her when died. I arrived about an hour and a half later...

For two months I'd been with her, daily watching for any slight sign of change. I studied all the Hospice materials, peppered each nurse that arrived with questions, read countless online accounts... all so I could try and time it and be there when she passed.

I was in the car on I-95 heading as fast as I could to her when dad called. This was a call I didn't want to take... didn't want to hear. His words to me were "Jennifer, you mother is healed. She's in heaven." And like that she was gone.

When I arrived back at the house after she passed, dear friends and family were there. They kindly took care of my children so I could immediately go to my mom.

I went to her bed and sat beside her and put her arm around me and wept. It's hard to described that moment with my mother. I knew my mother was in heaven, her spirit still very much alive and not dead like the shell before me. But I moaned and wept and grieved anyway, with her arm around me and kissed and smelled her sweet dove soap scent. It only made sense to me that my mother should comfort me during the worst moment of my life.

I finally said goodbye to my mother. Trust me, I haven't lost my faith! I KNOW I'll see my mother again in heaven one day. But if makes sense I was saying goodbye to the woman who birthed me. The mother who held me and cared for me, nurtured and guided me. Even though I know I'll see her again, I know I'll never have that experience again and I had to say goodbye to that...

I feel a supernatural peace over the fact I wasn't with her when she died. I know it's supernatural because I REALLY wanted to be there, I spent two months away from my husband so I wouldn't miss the moment. Yet I missed it by less than two hours.

Matthew 6:8 reads "...for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."

You see God KNEW exactly what I needed! I believe it wasn't meant for me to be there when she crossed over for several reasons. Yet he allowed me those precious private moments of saying goodbye.

My heart is full of so much more to say but I'll save that for later. I know that despite whatever comes my way our God is a great God. A wonderful, beautiful, loving, caring, amazing merciful God!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm with my mom!

I made it to Jacksonville! I'm staying in my parent's home and visiting with my mom!

My sister and I arrived last Wednesday and have spent a week by my mom's bedside.

It was a shock seeing mom, she was unresponsive that first day and we couldn't wake her. It's one thing to hear how your loved one will get sleeper and sleeper and then slip away, but it's another thing to be standing over your loved one calling out "Mom! Mom!" and get no response.

She's since had moments where she's awake and alert and knows who we are and tells us she loves us. My heart longs for her to get up... I feel like I've cried a thousand tears. I miss my mom SO much. It breaks my heart knowing she's in her room, helpless in a hospital bed.

One night I was crying, the pain so real I didn't think I could get a hold of myself so I pulled her big Bible off the shelf and decided to turn to those pages for help. She had a green post-it note marking this passage:

Psalms 103:1-5

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

So I did just that, I started praising His Holy name and joy and peace came all over me!

There have been many hard moments through all of this but when I praise Him it all fades away...

This morning I climbed in bed with my mom and held her hand and sang with worship music playing in her room. Together we praised our sweet Jesus, I kept thinking how all her life she's loved and lived for Jesus and soon she'll meet Him face to face.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A shoebox full of letters

Tonight I came upon a shoebox full of forgotten letters and cards, most of them from my mother. What a blessing to stumble across these letters! When I first moved to Puerto Rico, I didn't have a computer so our correspondence came through the mail.

I spent an hour pouring over my mother's words. Her voice jumping out at me. Tears of joy from laughing, remember the good times. Tears of pain knowing she'll soon be gone. In many ways she's already gone, no more letters, no more cards.

Soon I'll have to post some of her words...

Tomorrow the kids and I leave for Florida. We're headed for Tampa for now. I'm hoping to soon head up to Jacksonville. I'm trying to do what's best for my mom, and having two young children running around might not be best for her confusion. I want desperately to be nearby so I bought one way tickets and will at least be only a car ride away from her. I will be there until the end waiting... It's been hard being away and only seeing her through her blog. I long to lay beside her on the bed and hold her hand.

Claudia broke her arm last Thursday. I thank God it wasn't worse. She's going to mend and be just fine! Although I cried all the way home from the ER, realizing I should be calling my mom and telling her all about it. I thought to myself, "well I guess this is how it's going to be from now on, good or bad I'll never be able to share things again with my mother." You know, sometimes a person just wants their momma!

I'm not sure how often I'll be blogging, my sister doesn't have internet so it will be at least a few weeks...

God bless you all out there. Don't forget to tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them, don't wait! In a blink it could all be gone.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"What kind of God..."

"Allows brain cancer to happen to a person who has lived all their life serving, loving and living for God?"

"What kind of God allows such tragic things to happen?"

These were questions recently posed to me...

With great confidence my answer was...

"An omnificent God who sees the bigger picture. An all knowing God who knows exactly what each and every one of us needs in this journey called life."

God has a plan for my mom, He knows exactly what she needs. The same is true for all of us.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says... "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live..."

The fact is we have a choice set before us. There is abundant life in Christ and unique blessing in the Word of God.

I choose life. I choose to turn to God and obey Him, follow Him.

Maybe there is someone out there facing a hard time, questioning how God can allow such bad, painful things to happen. I believe God knows exactly what you need and will provide for you. It might not be easy but choose life with me, choose the blessing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The sweetest voice ever!

Last night I talked to my mom!

She's been so weak, not eating or drinking and barely able to whisper but she had a little rally yesterday.

My dad put the phone to her ear and in a clear voice she said, "Hey Jennifer!" I wish you could hear how she sounded. So gentle and sweet! I thought I would never hear her voice again, I can't tell you how good it felt to hear her.

I did most of the talking as she's so weak that she can't form her words clearly. She gets tired quickly. At one point she wanted to pray for me, like she always has but she just couldn't. So I took over and prayed for us. I called upon our sweet Savior, Jesus for peace and comfort.

I felt His presence with us both. Even though I couldn't touch her, I felt such peace and comfort from Jesus that it was as if I was giving her a hug.

A little bit later I was talking to my dad and mom whispered out, "I feel splendid."

We are living out the truth that even though hard times come, Jesus comes in such a surprising sweet way. His peace so real that at times I feel wrapped in His arms.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'll see you soon

I've said before I'm not going to tell my mom goodbye.

With mom, I don't believe in goodbyes.

I don't understand why she has to leave this earth so early, I think we all thought she'd make it into her 90's. Not unusual for our family. However in the big scheme of it all I believe we are a breath away right behind behind her.

I left on Thursday and before leaving I wanted to let her know I was heading back home to Puerto Rico, to my son and husband.

I arrived at Hospice very early and sat by her bed watching the clock tick down the hours and minutes, knowing soon we'd be separated.

An hour before I left it was just the two of us in the room. She was sleeping peaceful and I sat by her bed, holding her hand and looking at her. It was a sweet moment, I prayed over her and committed her to Jesus. I told Him I gave her over to His care and trusted Him completely with this precious treasure whom I'm blessed to call my mother.

Before I left I held her close and told her I was leaving. She was alert and looked deep into my eyes and understood what I said. Her first concern was Lorenzo, my two year old. "Poor Lorenzo, he's been away from us for so long." She said.

We hugged and she held me tight and kissed me over and over saying "I love you." I pulled back, looked into her beautiful green eyes and told her I'd see her soon.

As I turned away she whispered "Be at peace." I turned back saying "mom, I'm at peace and you be at peace too. Everything was going to be ok."

I walked away looking back over my shoulder and our eyes locked.

Something that has happened only one other time after her surgery occurred. It's hard to describe but it's as if our souls were communicating without words, we were connected. Our hearts speaking to each other. In my heart I felt her comforting me and I heard "this isn't goodbye, we will see each other soon."

It was a mother and daughter knowing the time had come to be separated, not wanting to say goodbye. In that moment it was as if we both knew we'd always be connected, death can't sever us and soon we will meet again.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I'm leaving tomorrow with Claudia to return back home. My two year needs me and it's time to return to him and my husband.

My mom is doing better... if that's the word to use. She's eating, responsive and Hospice is sending her home tomorrow.

It breaks my heart to leave her. I can hardly bare it. I want to be with her when she arrives home. I want to help with her daily care.

As the day wore on it really started pressing on me that I would be leaving her tomorrow.

I sat close to her bed and held her hand, just staring at her as she rested. Then I climbed up into bed next to her and held her hand. Tears started slipping down my face as I caressed her soft hand.

I couldn't stop the tears from falling as I thought about my sweet mother, the woman who gave me life would soon be making the transition to eternal life.

I was on her left side and she turned and looked me in the face and when she saw me crying, her sweet face instantly became full of concern and she started crying. She can't bare the thought of those she loves in pain.

Instantly I felt terrible for making her cry, I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for upsetting her. I've hardly shed a tear the whole time I've been here. What good are tears? A million tears won't change a thing... Right now she needs to see and know her family is going to be ok.

I quickly dried my tears and tried to cheer her up. Thankfully the sad moment for her passed...

When I could I slipped away by myself outside. Hospice has beautiful grounds. I wandered through a garden to a far away bench by a small body of water and I cried and cried. I sobbed until I got it all out, mad at myself that I lost control and she saw my tears.

After a while I washed my face and put eye drops in and went back to her... I held her hand again, trying to breathe in her sweetness.

Immediatly, she asked if I was ok and with a calm steady voice I told her what I believe with all my heart: "Everything is going to be ok! God told me that from the beginning! Even though we don't understand, we know that He is with us and won't ever leave us!"

I really do believe that. I don't understand how everything is going to be ok, but I hear Him loud and clear saying that.

The Wednesday night my mom called told me the news of her brain tumor, that night while in bed I felt the Lord whisper into my heart that my mom was going to die but it was going to be ok! I even told my atheist husband that. I told him I don't understand it but God is telling me, it's going to be ok.

Right now I'm angry, I'm hurting but I'm going to believe His word and I'm going to trust Him!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Seeing the inside of Hospice

Claudia and I arrived to Jacksonville, Florida Friday afternoon to visit with my mother who has terminal brain cancer.

We drove straight to Community Hospice Center where my mother has been since Thursday night. It's a beautiful place, the outside looks more like a large, fancy home than a place where people...

Well, you know...face death.

The inside looks like a nice hotel. I'm glad my mother is a beautiful place with the best of care. I've never seen doctors and nurses so caring and loving. Her doctor is a Christian!

My mother has taken quick downward turns.

We will know more tomorrow morning.

Today she slept 22 hours, more or less.

She is completely at peace, happy and briefly opens her eyes to say "I love you's" to those around her. Last night her last words before falling asleep for the night where "What a good day. God has been so good to me, I'm so blessed."

I got to spend the night with her Friday and Saturday night. I helped take care of her with the little I could. I put makeup on her and applied chapstick when her lips got dry. It's amazing how these little things have meant the world to me.

The only way I'm able to face this is with Jesus holding my hand. I feel His presence and peace. The thing I feel most from Him right now is His amazing strength.

Thursday night after I last blogged I was crying and feeling so sad and all the sudden I felt the REAL presence of Jesus...I felt Him crying with me and I felt the presence of guardian angels.

It was the most amazing feeling to be utterly alone in the lowest point I've ever felt and suddenly find that I wasn't alone... Jesus was with me and He was crying and grieving with me! From that moment on I've felt strength around me and I've done things and dealt with things in a manner I never thought I could.

Jesus continues to awe and amaze me. You know, I never expected He would cry and greive with me... I kind of thought He was above that, you know? I mean He is God after all.

But I shouldn't be so surprised, that IS what I love so much about Him. He knows me better than I know myself. He's my best friend and He's real.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What your prayers feel like...

I've been told over and over how I'm being prayed for... I'm sure it's a few hundred praying for me specifically.

Do you know what your prayers feel like? Like a wave of sweet, quiet peace.

My dad called tonight not too long ago and said they'd taken my mom to urgent care hospice. They are trying to get her nausea and vomiting under control.

As soon as heard his voice on the phone, I knew he was about to say something of importance and I braced myself to hear something bad. I dread the moment I hear she's had a seizure or has gone into a coma...

I know you are praying for me because I can feel a peace surround and quiet me. To be honest I'm not too happy with God right now, but regardless of my feelings I'm going to trust Him and His Word.

One of the hardest things about all this are the kids... Alexander, Nicholas, Claudia and Lorenzo. Those are their names and Nanna means the world to these kids...

My poor sister is struggling with when and what to tell Alex and Nic. It makes my heart break into more pieces thinking about how this will affect especially those two boys.

But I'll tell you, the Lord spoke into my heart and said they are going to make it! Nanna might be leaving this world but Jesus isn't and He's going to stick by us and those kids and see them through.

There are no words to explain or describe the peace that only God can give. When things don't make sense...He gives peace...When times get too tough...He gives peace

I really don't understand why this is happening, but in the end it doesn't matter...I'm determined to follow His love even when it's so dark right now that I can't see but a foot in front of me... I can't yet see the big picture.

I leave tomorrow morning with Claudia for the states. I pray for God's mercy and my biggest hope for this trip is that Claudia gets to sing with her Nanna one last time.

Tonight Claudia prayed this with me: Dear Jesus, Please touch Nanna. Please be with Nanna and help her feel better. Take away her tummy sickness in Jesus name. Amen.

Now I ask, how can He deny the faith of a child?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Come home soon

That's the call I got last night from my mom.

We've talked several times about me going up again for a visit, but nothing finialized.

Last night she called and said to come soon...

She's losing feeling in her lower limbs...

Oh God...

I've booked the trip and will be leaving On Friday, May 2nd for a week.

I'm taking Claudia and leaving Lorenzo home with my husband.

I'm praying for one last chance to make memories and spend some quality time with my mom.

I can't believe this is happening, I wonder when the shock will wear off.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

She gives me courage!

I haven't had the heart to blog much lately. I'm so sorry I haven't updated, despite comments questioning how I'm doing.

I'm sure most who read my blog know my mother has terminal brain cancer and probably read her site too and therefore have seen her message on youtube. But in case you haven't seen it here is a link:


I sobbed after seeing it. What a woman of faith and courage! There she is, facing terminal brain cancer and the woman is a faith warrior!

I talk to her up to 3 times a day and I've never heard her complain, doubt or question.

Her faith will not wavier, can't be shaken and will not die!

I know her well enough to know what her secret is! She's in love with her Savior, Jesus and they walk side by side. Her dewelling place is in the vine and man is she rooted in deep!

I don't know about you, but I want that! Seeing her life makes me even more hungry for Jesus! To be so in love with your Savior that He holds you tenderly. Helping you through the worst most possible moments of your life turning them into joy!

That's what Jesus can do for you, for me and what He's doing for her.

I've been having a tough time accepting my mom's cancer. There have been lots and lots of tears lately. I guess I could sum it up by saying I don't want to accept her cancer, I'm not happy about it and I honestly don't feel like turning to God for help to get me through this tough time.

I guess God knew even two thousand years ago I'd need Jesus. There's one person right now I can't turn away from and that's Jesus. He knows me better than myself. He knows about pain, suffering and death. He see's my tears, feels my heart break and knows my plight. He's taken up my cause and He will not let me go!

All I know to do is call out to Jesus and seek Him. Apart from Him there is nothing for me.

Friday, March 28, 2008

April showers bring May flowers?

Psalms 84:6 NLT When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

When I opened my email today I received this verse in a daily devotional.

What hope I find when I turn to the Word!

This verse to me says: "Jennifer, when I lead you through tough times I will be with you. Helping you through even when you can't see your way. All the weeping and pain, I will turn into pools of blessings!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm not going to say goodbye

God is so awesome, so good to me!

I just spend a wonderful week with my mother. The kids and I got to spend quality time with her. I know this time was a gift from God. He's so good to us!

My mom seemed almost her old self. She played with the kids, bathed them, fed them, read to them, painted with them, sang to them.

My dad took the kids to zoo one day so I could have some alone time with my mom. We sat around her kitchen table and talked and talked... things a mother and daughter who are best friends can talk about. I'll never forget her advice and words of wisdom. I wrote down some of what she said and I know I'll pull strength from her words. She quoted scripture, we prayed together, we praised God together.

To be honest I was a little nervous about this trip. Afraid how I would react to her. Would I cry at odd times? Could I hold myself together? Would it be painful seeing her, all the while knowing this could be the last time we... eat at Red Lobster together, go to Starbucks, attend church and worship side by side.

Would this be the last time I saw her smile, read to the kids and best of all give me advice? When I was a teen her constant advice annoyed me, but she never gave up. She tucked little gems into my heart that I now use as a mother, wife, friend, and Christian.

Sometime during the trip I felt the Lord speak to me. He whispered into my heart, "this isn't goodbye." I understand now what He meant when He spoke to me in November and I felt Him say "it's going to be ok." I didn't know then what that meant, how can my mom dying be ok?

The Lord has impressed upon my heart to keep my eyes, heart and desires on heaven. This is how I am going to get through this.

I'm not going to say goodbye to my mother, ever. For whatever reason she's being called home early, leaving us behind. Now is my time to respond to the call God had put inside my heart and continue to become the woman of faith He made me to be.

It's going to be ok because death is not the end. It's a temporary seperation. As long as I keep my eyes on heaven, the pain and fear fade away and joy creeps in! Then I think of my sweet Savior. I picture His face and call out His name and I feel such love and peace. It's hard to describe.

I'm not going to run from my pain. I'm not going to hide from it and I'm not going to be afraid. I'm facing it side by side with Jesus and with Him it's not hard!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Fight for your Faith

I'm in a fight for my Faith.

I wonder how many people feel this way?

So far in my walk with Christ, I haven't felt like I'm coasting through.

I'm at a point where I could go either way. Ever feel like that?

I'll be honest and say sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. Following Christ.

Don't get me wrong, walking with Christ is amazing and at times thrilling. But sometimes this old world pulls me down and I feel beat up.

Sometimes I don't feel like "rejoicing in my suffering" as Paul calls us to do. Sometimes I feel like numbing my suffering.

Sometimes it all seems like too much, the pain...

And then...

What I think is the most important verse in the Bible is whispered into my heart: 1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails

I've been pondering over this verse for days and I realize what draws me to God is His love. It's that simple, nothing more and nothing less. I'm convinced if it were anything else I would surely have fallen to the wayside by now. He's got me hooked with His love.

What keeps me hanging on is His love. Then you know what I found?

Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Circumstance can't separate me from His love. Pain can't separate me, depression can't, fear can't, this world can't.

And so I fight for my faith with Christ as my intercessor. I cry out to Jesus and pour out my problems. I'm fighting because I'm not going to let my own neglect to remain Christ be the thing that separates me from God's love.

Where are you today? I call you to FIGHT for what is yours! Don't let the thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy take from you what is YOURS!

My heartfelt prayer; Dear Jesus, It really is all about you! I'm angry, I'm depressed, I'm sad, I'm hurting... I don't want my mom to die. I want her to live. Dear Jesus, I'm hurting... I'm drowning and you need to throw me a life line! I trust you and I put it all back into your hands. Be with me today and everyday. I invite you into my day, may I feel your sweetness as we walk side by side.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It seems that God just won't let me forget what He's promised me.

Just recently I've seen maybe four or five rainbows. That's very unusual to me.

The other day I was feeling down and looked out my kitchen window. There before me was the biggest rainbow I've ever seen. Just beautiful! It was like God reaching down and gently reminding me what He promised from the very beginning of this cancer journey with my mom. He promised He would never leave me. No matter what happened, He would be there.

Some days I don't feel like praying. Some days I don't feel like doing anything. But even then He doesn't leave me.

I'm learning that God is even more amazing than I ever thought, and I had a pretty high opinion of Him before.

It's pretty amazing that when I'm at my lowest, He reaches down and just loves on me. At times I can feel myself being held by Him.

Monday, February 11, 2008

An honest question with a pure heart

Dear Jesus,
Why does my mom have to die now? Why does my mom have rare brain cancer? Why does such a bright, loved, wonderful, needed person have to die so young?

Dear Jesus,
This hurts so much. I wake in the night and can't sleep. It hits me all over again. My mother has cancer and is going to die. My throat gets tight, burns and I feel sick to my stomach.

Dear Jesus,
Yesterday my four year old, Claudia, said to me "mommy, I don't want my Nanna to die. I LOVE Nanna and she loves me too."

Dear Jesus,
Do you hear that? Claudia doesn't want her Nanna to die, she loves her and Nanna loves Claudia. They have a very special bond. Claudia is her only granddaughter.

Dear Jesus,
Why don't you heal my mom? Right now? Just go and heal her. I know you can do it, so why don't you? You gave me my mother, you know how close we are. You know what she means to me and to our family. Why? Why now?

Dear Jesus,
I know you can't answer my questions right now. I don't really expect answers. But by asking you these tough questions I am telling you how much this hurts and I give the problem to you. You can take the pain, the fear, the doubts, the hurt. I feel your compassion and your love for me and I trust you completely. Your love and peace is so good that I will follow you even when you lead me into the shadow of death with my best friend, my mother.

Love, Jennifer

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Vistors from Friendly Atheist:

I am amazed anyone from from Friendly Atheist would be interested in my story. Due to some recent comments I felt the need to post directly to these new readers.

My mother has a glioblastoma multimforme brain tumor. Stage 4 terminal cancer, given 6-9-12 months to live. I ask that you don't come on here and call me names. I receive immense peace from my faith during this terrible time and I don't see any harm in that. I respect everyone has a right to their own beliefs, I'm not interested in converting you. In fact despite what you may think my goal isn't even to convert my husband.

This blog is from MY point of view. How I see things. I've never quoted my husband wrong or lied. He did say (almost 3 years ago) he would divorce me if continued going to church, but I asked him not to do that and like I said our marriage has been restored. I believe due to prayer and devine intervention. I've not added all conversations of what he's said, it would simply be too long.

My husband does NOT define himself as an atheist. He simply says he doesn't believe in ANY God. When you die it's like you go to sleep forever. Beyond that he doesn't know or care to know. I use the term atheist because to me that defines someone who does not believe in God or a God or a higher power.

I just asked my husband if he believed that trade came from God. His words were "I think it was skill and coincidence." His exact words.

Today is my 10th wedding aniversary and we are happily married, he knows about my blog. He knew my parents were ministers when we married but I was away from my faith (not an atheist) so religion and issues of faith were not an issue.

I am very open regarding my faith because I feel I have nothing to hide. We all have what I believe is a God given right to believe whatever we want.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

An atheist puts faith into action!

Guess what God has gone and done now?

You'll never guess!

Two weeks ago I requested offering envelopes from my church. Each person is assigned a number and they give you a box of envelopes with your number and predated for each Sunday.

I had it in my heart to give something to my church. I've never been able to give much over the years, just a $20 in the offering plate here or there. My atheist husband almost divorced me over attending church, no way would he allow me to give money to church. Instead I've given my time, helping with the Ladies Bible study. Teaching Sunday school.

But God put a desire in my heart to give some money. I took that thick box of envelopes and looked down at it and said to myself "what am I going to do with these? I have no money to give." Instead I gave my desire to God. I prayed: "God, You see my heart but know I have nothing. So You are going to have to work a miracle and give me some money so I can give. And not only that but You're going to have to get my husband to give me his blessing, because I won't give behind his back."

I left it at that and didn't worry. I put all the pressure on God, knowing there was no way I could do all that. Only Him.

A week later my husband, a stock broker mentioned he made a little bit of money in a trade and I replied "well that doesn't surprise me, because I prayed God would give us some money." I almost mentioned to him "just wait and see what God is going to do next!" But I don't claim to have profetic words so I kept it to myself.

Thursday morning my husband walked into the kitchen grinning ear to ear and said "Your prayers are working! I've just made a decent amount of money on one single trade." Anyone see the financial news of Yahoo being bought by Microsoft? ; )

He danced around the kitchen and I replied "Ok, now I'm gonna tell you." I pulled out my box of envelopes and told him the whole story of how I wanted to give some money to my church but didn't have any. So I prayed God would give me money to give. My prayer had been answered and less than two weeks later at that! God works fast!

I explained to my husband that God loves him very much and wants to bless him beyond what he can even dream of. This was just the start! I explained how when God gives us money like this, especially a direct answer to a prayer, we have to KEEP OUR HAND OPEN. Give it back to God and the flow will keep going. If we take the money and close our fist, the flow is stopped. (I learned that from a dear family in my parents church, the Santiago's.)

I told my husband I wanted him to decide on the amount to give back to God. But I told him "remember what you give will effect what you get back!" Trust God and let Him show you how He loves you!

This morning my husband wrote out a check. I won't say the amount. That actually doesn't matter, but it was more than I thought he'd give.

I put the check in my envelope dated February 3rd and told my husband "You have just put faith into action!" You have trusted God and now wait and see what He will do with that faith!

I can't tell you the JOY I felt at being able to give back to God what He gave me through a miracle! There are no words to describe that feeling! It was almost 3 years ago my husband said he would leave me if I continued attending church and now my husband wrote out a check and gave money to God! WHAT A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Today I got the news my mother has lost more vision. With this news comes the worst thoughts...

As I listened to what first my mom and then dad had to say on the phone, all I could respond with was, silence. Several times they had to ask if I was still there. I would assure them I was and could only say "I just don't have any words." There are no words to express the grief, sorrow, pain, or fear. Only silence.

I decided today was the day to listen to the cd of the sermon my uncle Ronnie preached the Sunday after my mother's surgery. The day her life hung in balance. My mother mailed me a copy and I'd been waiting for the perfect time to sit down and listen.

As my son slept in his car seat, I sat in the car and listened. It was a wonderful, faith filled sermon. Absolutely marvelous. In his sermon he spoke on Psalms 77. It starts out with the psalmist crying out to God with no evidence that God was responding. Then in the 10th verse he changes and remembers what the Lord has done in the past. I finished listening to the cd and carried my son upstairs to my apartment.

Out of my silence, somewhere deep inside my soul started pouring forth praises. It was all that would come out of my mouth. I could only speak forth how perfect, how fair, how just, how wonderful my God is. How true His Word is. And then I felt a strong pull to get my Bible out. I kind of fought that thought, as I had a lot of housework to do but the urge wouldn't let go so I got out my Bible and set it on the kitchen counter.

As soon as I set my Bible down, the passing thought came to me "what should I read?" Before that thought could even be completed, a strong wind blew in from my kitchen window that faces the beautiful Caribbean ocean. The wind quickly caught the pages in my Bible and before I could grab hold the pages settled down.

There in front of me was the 77th Psalm. The words jumped out off the pages and I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I couldn't believe the Lord had opened my Bible right to the same psalm my uncle read in his sermon!

I got to crying and laughing! I stood there laughing up a storm! I grabbed hold of my Bible and started shouting out that psalm! I probably read it out loud 10 times. Each time I read it the Word soaked into my soul and revived me. It brought life to me and victory. I stood there laughing, thinking every time I hear bad news, the Lord reaches out to me and with clear, direct signs I get the news of the Lord and it's victory and life!

Psalm 77
1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah
4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired:
7 "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Selah
10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High."
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
13 Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Monday, January 21, 2008

This is so hard

Trusting Him at times is so hard for me. The more time slips by the more I feel myself wanting to hold onto my mom, tighter and tighter. What's going to happen to her? I keep hearing that question bounce around in my mind. Is she going to die? Are we going to be grieving her soon? Or are we going to be shouting for joy that she's healed? Which is it I keep wondering... They both are opposite extremes that it keeps my emotions on a roller coaster at times. Most times I just feel numb. It all seems too surreal my mother is asking God to extend her life.

Today I opened a devotional email I get everyday and here was the scripture for today: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Corinthians 2:9).

Guess what? I can stop asking myself what's going to happen because according to His Word, NO eye has seen, NO ear has heard and NO mind has imagined what God has prepared for my mother!

Whatever it is it's going to be GOOD! Thank you God! You are a good God! Thank you for speaking to me, even when I have a hard time trusting you! You still reach out, ever eager to speak to me through Your Word. You never leave me or foresake me! You are more than awesome, there is no word to describe You!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

He's watching out for me

I'm back home after being in Jacksonville with my mom for almost 2 months. Most know she has stage 4 brain cancer and given six months or so to live.

Yesterday I had a really down day. Fear and depression overcame me and I felt utterly defeated. All I could see ahead was darkness and sadness. I felt like giving up the fight. Then my phone rang. It was Brenda, a sister in Christ from my church calling to check up on me. The call was short and sweet, although church and bible study wasn't mentioned it was just the reminder I needed to get me to Bible study the next day (today.) I almost didn't go but that call was the push I needed.

Driving there I decided to pray. My prayer was simple it was something like this "Dear Jesus, I can't help I how feel or some of the negative thoughts running through my mind, but I can control my actions and how I react to them. I choose to attend Bible study today and I'm going to your house to receive strength and comfort. Please help me when I weak. Be strong for me."

When I sat down for Bible study guess what the topic was on? Divine Healing! The pastor's wife, leading the study, finished up an audio tape lesson they had been studying while I was gone. The last part just happened to touch on Divine Healing. She shared scripture and personal experiences of how God can heal. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I sat there in awe as God reached down and touched my heart through scripture and the pastor's wife's words.

She had no idea I would be attending today and in fact after the study told me they were supposed to finish up that last part weeks ago but got distracted and she even questioned why that last little part got delayed. But now it all made sense, that part was for me and God had been working on that for weeks!

During the study, the lady who called me said yesterday she had an unusual intercession of prayer after she hung up with me. She didn't know who she was praying for but when she finished praying at 4:17pm she knew beyond a doubt that her prayer was heard and something had changed.

I know that prayer was for me! That prayer helped bring it all together! Brenda said yesterday she asked the Lord what he wanted her to do that day and the Lord told her to call me.

Wow, once again I'm blown away by the awesomeness of my God.