Today is my birthday! Yes, my actual birthday! I know it’s Labor Day to the rest of the United States – but to my mom, it was really Labor Day all those years ago! Haha. A lot of people have the day off work today, but not the people at Dancing With The Stars! Mr. M is working very hard today to get ready for the upcoming Season Premiere – so I’m here with the girls, enjoying our day just us…like a regular Monday. 🙂
We had a great weekend, though! I have a lot of fun things to post this week. First, I wanted to tell you about this party we went to on Saturday. We have friends whose son has the same exact birthday as me (!!!) – and each year, they throw him a beautiful birthday party. The girls always look forward to it (and so do the grown-ups)!
This year, the party’s theme was “Army” – so they had a big rock climbing wall, and an obstacle course – and lots of Army themed things. Ginger (6) was a big fan of the rock climbing wall – she climbed up and down this thing for about 3 hours!
Climb every rock wall, forge every stream, follow every rainbow until you find your dream! 🙂
Violet (3) was a big fan of the obstacle course – and the cake! When I asked her what her favorite part about the party was, she said it was the delicious red velvet cake!
Paprika (9) did the 3 legged race, got her face painted:
And ran around the party playing with the other kids!
Ellie (7 months) was the hit of the party! Nobody could believe how chubby and cute she is…I have to say, I agree. I know I am a little biased. 🙂
The best part of the day, of course, was just being together. Lately, I’ve felt so awake and alive in every moment. When I look at the world, I see a miracle in every single thing I encounter – from each blade of grass to every single flower – this world is so miraculous in the details. Sometimes it almost feels like too much to take in all at once!
I think about how sad I was after Vivian and Annemarie died – and how at other times in my life, I’ve felt so low. And I guess the lesson from all that is to just keep going. Even when it’s darkest, just keep going because eventually the clouds will part and things will get better.
It’s amazing to me that after so much grief and heartache, I could ever feel joy again. Seven years ago, I really wanted to die (not in a morbid way – haha) – I honestly, just wanted to die and be done with this life.
And now, I am able to experience this amazing joy on a regular basis and I am so grateful for each and every day I’m given here, to learn lessons and to walk this path with others. It is such a gift. I’m learning how to not take it for granted, and also how to not hold it too tightly. I am practicing how to enjoy each moment with gratitude and then let it go.
So – not to get TOO churchy on ya – but I have to tell you about something that’s been happening to me! Shortly after the twins died, I started getting messages from God. That sounds BIG, right?! I know. These messages had always probably been there – I just started to notice them more often after 2008, when I was desperately seeking answers about why bad things happen.
This one Bible verse kept coming to me. It actually came to me first in a dream – before I even knew that it was a Bible verse. Even though I went to Catholic school, I didn’t study the Bible much at all and maybe even avoided it, to tell ya the truth. Ha! Well – this message came to me in my twilight, waking time – in a dream-like state of consciousness.
The message I received in my sleepy, dream-like state was:
Nothing in death or life, in the past or in the present or in the future, here on Earth or in another realm, will separate you from God’s love.
I thought – that is so weird! What does that mean?!
Well, after that, my eyes popped open and everywhere I went, I started seeing reference to this one particular Bible verse, Romans 8:38-39.
Romans 8:38-39 says:
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.
I am not sure, but I think it says basically JUST what I heard in my dream!
When I mean I started to see it everywhere – I mean everywhere! Blogs I read would reference it. Then I would type in something on Ebay or Google, and it would pop up in the search results. I would be at a store and see a reference to it. It was everywhere!
At that time, one of my friends, Katherine Wolf, had a brain aneurysm and nearly died, and as part of her very long recovery, she asked people to memorize that part of Romans! Seriously?!
Also during that time, I began to have prophetic dreams about certain people, including Katherine. I had a dream that six years later, she would become pregnant with a baby boy, to be a little brother to her son, James. I had this dream when she was on life support and it looked like she would probably die. I told her this dream during a holiday party in 2008 – and I think she might have thought I was crazy! Maybe?! She was in a wheelchair, eating through a feeding tube, and permanently paralyzed on half of her body. I have to tell you, she did become pregnant with a healthy baby boy six years later, and she just had him! I also had another dream that she and her husband would become motivational speakers and tour the country inspiring people – and that also happened!
Anyhoo, I’ve continued to receive many messages through the years, and Romans has continued to follow me!
Yesterday, I went to an Open House for a home in my neighborhood. One of my good friends is putting an offer in on the house – I hope she gets it! – and so I wanted to check the place out!
I walked into the kitchen, and what did I see staring right back at me?! This “sign” (literally!) 🙂
I looked up Romans 8:28 on my phone, and it says:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
And I thought to myself: Of course I’m seeing this today! I felt like it was a message just for me in that moment, on the eve of my birthday. For the past seven years, I have been living with Romans 8:38-39 – and uncovering its meaning. I really struggled against its message for quite some time, I wrestled with it – and tried so hard to understand what Paul wrote in that verse.
Two years ago, when I had my first spiritual enlightenment experience (which is probably a book I should write), I came to know deep in my core, exactly what that verse means. But seven years ago, when this verse first came to me, I had a hard time believing that God works for the good for those who love him. I think I might have even thought it was a bunch of hogwash, based on the hurt, and heartache, and the injustices of the world. I just didn’t understand…but I do now.
With that being said, I am so glad to be where I am today – and I am so grateful for this journey of life. It’s been quite challenging sometimes – and yet, it is SO BEAUTIFUL!
I’m so glad that I kept going. I hope to keep learning and growing in my understanding all the days of my life (and beyond). And that’s what I’m thinking about today, on my birthday! 🙂