Thursday, October 23, 2014

Marriage advice from this girl

Since the marriage advice post, I've had several people ask what my marriage advice would be.
I suppose I could say one thousand things but all you really need to do is watch this video:

Do that.
Do what this man does every day, every hour, every minute and you'll have a good marriage.
No.  You'll have a great marriage.

I think it's obvious that not many of us are in this same situation so how can we do what he did?

Before the stroke, I was neglecting most of the things that my husband really needed.
He doesn't ask much 
he just needs food,
and clean clothes,
and a tidy place to do his homework.
He loves getting attention from me
and he needs a listening ear.

He's pretty easy to please but I still managed to neglect 3 or 4 or 5 of these every single day because
I was "too busy".

It has been nine weeks since the stroke and our marriage has improved in huge amounts.
All it takes is a made bed to crawl in to at night
and a chance to sit across from each other at our dinner table
-eating a warm meal and discussing the day.

It took discovering that the dry cleaners down the street launder and press men's shirts for $1.99
and the press stays in much better than mine so he can wear them more than once.
That means that I don't stand at the ironing board all day and he looks and feels like a million bucks.

All it takes is listening to a few TED talks or Conference talks to get all the laundry folded
and put away
so that his early mornings aren't spent going through laundry hampers trying to find matching socks.

It takes listening.
Really listening - like the kind where you put away the computer and turn off the phone.
The kind where you look into the eyes of the person speaking and you don't try to think of an answer because you are just there to listen.

You know what has happened?
He calls me lots more.
He wants to talk about work and school with me
and he makes me laugh...
you know, like best friends do.

And all it took was a little bit of SERVICE.
Haven't the prophets been telling us that for years?
If you serve each other then you'll love each other
or if you need to love someone then serve them (or something like that).

Strokes are bad
but mine was good
because it is really whipping my life - and everything in it - into shape.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

True Love


This is enough to make me want to sit down and have a good cry.
Can you imagine sacrificing your life for hundreds of thousands of people that will never even 
love you?
or say thank you?
or acknowledge what you had done?

It seems that His name is used more to make fun or to show anger than in reverence.
Can you even imagine???
Go ahead and put yourself in His shoes for a hot sec.
Heartbreaking.

So, what can I do to make sure that He knows that I love Him 
and that I am so grateful for His sacrifice -
the greatest sacrifice of all?

That's partly why I'm here - on this blog.
I love Jesus.
You might as well know it
but I hope that I don't have to type it out for you to know it.
Hopefully you already know it
and HOPEFULLY, by my being here, you can come to love Him too.

I'm not sure that there is anything more important that I could do with my life than to love Jesus and help others to do the same.
So, if you don't love Him right now, try to.
Kneel down and say a prayer
or open the Bible and read in Matthew 27 and just get an idea of the humiliation that He suffered for you and me.

Let's just try to love Him and see what He can do with us.
He will make us greater than we could ever imagine
but we have to love Him.
It should be easy for He loved us first.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Marriage according to the Misiego Women

With what I call 'my new life' I am trying to make things better than they were before the stroke.
Mothering, marriage, housekeeping, spiritual study, my relationship with God, everything.

With our anniversary last week, I have been thinking especially how I can make my marriage better.
The list is LONG and I have a lot to improve on so I asked for some advice from some of my favorite women.

I cannot imagine marrying into a better family
I fell in love with Javi's family just as quickly as I I fell in love with him.

When we met, four of the six siblings lived in Utah and his parents were visiting from Spain because his baby sister was having her first baby.
I was quickly thrown into the mix and within a few weeks, Javi's five year old nephew asked me when I was going to become his aunt.
We spent the majority of our date nights with one of his siblings (and spouses) and I began to understand how "cross-cultural" marriage works.
By the next summer, five of the six siblings were living in Utah and the sixth came out from Germany to be part of our wedding.  

I remember, on our wedding day, looking at the (then) four women who had become my sisters and I couldn't imagine anything better.
First of all, they laughed continually.
Second, they all had extremely strong marriages and with all the horror stories I had heard of how difficult marrying someone from a different culture is, I was so grateful to see it working so well.
(don't believe everything you hear...cross-cultural marriage is just like every other kind of marriage)

These are the people that I have looked to for marriage advice.
I've never asked them, I've just watched them and I've learned all kinds of things.
So, recently, I asked them for their best marriage advice and it was really quite telling.
I was shocked to discover that I could have guessed what each of them said because it is what I have noticed most about their relationships.  

So, here goes.
BTW these TOTALLY apply to dating, engagements, breakups, etc.
These pretty much apply to any time that you need to interact with a human being...or animal

SARA
is the second oldest.  She married a Brit and is expecting her fourth child *A BOY* soon!

When Ben and I were in the Celestial Room of the Temple the sealer told us to look at the mirror in front of us, there was another mirror behind us. 
He then said 'look at your own reflection in the mirror' and when I did I could only see myself
Then he said 'now look at your spouses reflection', and that was when I could see ourselves over and over and over again.
 He explained when we look out only for ourselves and our own desires, wants, and needs there is no progression
BUT when you put your spouses desires, wants, and needs before yours that is when we can progress as a couple. 
It is all about compromise.
 Is it easy? 
Of course not! 

BRITTNEY
is married to the oldest boy. I have spent the most time with her and I consider myself so blessed.

 Be respectful, especially when you talk to one another.  Don't demean the other person or make them feel bad or dumb.  Your tone of voice can make a big difference in how well conversations go.

 Think before you speak/act.  Think about how it will affect the other person, and if it's something that you know will bug them or make them feel bad, don't say/do it.

Have a sense of humor!  Laugh a lot, even when it's hard.  

 Be patient and accept differences.  Differences are good - they balance things out.

 It's okay to go to bed angry.  Sometimes a good night's sleep can make all the difference.
(Can I get an AMEN on that last one???)

JAZMIN
is the youngest girl.  She married her prince charming from Colorado and I would have guessed that her advice would be something physical.  They are always kissing or cuddling or grabbing each other's tooshies and it is adorable.


Play footsie with your spouse every day! 
Let me explain...
 I am a stomach sleeper so cuddling at the end of the day is tricky ;) 
so every night I make sure that I play "footsie" with Landin so he can feel my touch and that simple gesture connects us! 
Even the nights that we argue or disagree on something and you just need your space, it's something I still do to show that I love him above all and always want him close.

JULIA
is the newest addition to the family marrying the youngest boy.  They've only been married for about a year and a half but every time her Jose walks into the room, everyone else disappears. Her advice is so perfect!


I once watched a lecture where the key speaker spoke about honor in a marriage
and from then on for me it's been all about honor.
 I'm not just talking about respect, but real honor
The kind of honor you show if you were meeting the Queen of England or your favorite super hero.
 I feel like when you greet your spouse at the end of a long day it should be like,
 "Oh my gosh I can't believe I'm in the same room as you! You are the most amazing individual, and I'm so excited and humbled to be in your presence." 
   When I've practiced that in my marriage I've noticed I'm more inclined to forgive and love my spouse. 

___________________________________________________________

Aren't they magical?
Oh, how I wish you all could meet them
(the best time to meet them is late at night during a made-up song competition...true colors)

I will reference this post again and again because these girls have really got it figured out
and you know what they say...
the man is the head but the woman is the neck!!!

What marriage advice is your favorite?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Zupas Angels

At 5:20 today, I stood at my fridge crying.
I'm completely embarrassed to admit this.
I come from a long line of strong women who pick up the pieces for everyone and never complain about doing something as simple as fixing dinner.
We are on day two of some rougher days and the thought of preparing dinner made me want to throw up...or cry, which I did.
I called Javi to find out when he'd be home and he said 

"Zupas just called and someone - who wants to remain anonymous - has bought us dinner.  
It'll be ready at 5:30."

Whaaaaaat?????
So then I cried even harder.  
How did these angels know?
It's like they could envision me crying at my refrigerator.

People are so so so good.  
I mean, so good.

Had these angels called and asked if they could bring in dinner, we would have refused, as we have with everyone who has called and offered.
We are so grateful for everyone who has offered but preparing dinner is something that I CAN do and as such, that I SHOULD do

but today was a tough one and I am forever grateful for these people that probably have no idea how much this meant to me.

Isn't this a wonderful way to serve someone?
Javi and I have been discussing who we can do this for.
This kind of goodness needs to be passed on.

I hope that my own personal Zupas angels are reading this and that you know how much I love you.

Thank you.
A million times, thank you.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What God Can Do

Oh, my dear friends.
It has been a quiet 14 months without all of you but I'm back today for a very important reason.

 I'm back today to tell every one of you that God knows you.
He knows you individually, emotionally, and spiritually.
 He knows the thoughts of your heart and your mind.
 He hears every single whispered prayer and he answers them.

 Ten weeks ago I was feeling buried.
 Upon moving back to Utah I took on several jobs that grew and grew and I was out of control.
Nine and ten weeks ago my daughter was spending 8-9 hours a day with a babysitter while Javi and I worked.
Ten weeks ago I started whispering little prayers that God would help me realign my priorities.
 I begged for things to stop so that I could be the mother that I had always dreamed of being.
 My house was a wreck, I wasn't cooking dinner for my family, and I certainly hadn't done any spiritual study in WEEKS (maybe months).

 So, I quit-and as soon as word got out that I quit, the phone started ringing.
Many beautiful opportunities were presented in which I could quickly fill up my time again.
 Two days after I quit (so this was eight weeks ago), I was driving down I-15 with my beautiful toddler in the back seat and

 I had a massive stroke.

 I couldn't speak.
 I couldn't read.
 I was confused and frustrated but from the moment it happened, I knew that everything was going to be alright.
 While driving down I-15 I felt surrounded by people.
 Those "people" took me to the next exit and got us safely parked.
Those same "people" told my dad through a 10 minute phone conversation-in which I muttered 5 words-where I was parked.
 He got in touch with my brother and a dear friend who rushed to where I was sitting, sobbing, and they gave me a priesthood blessing.
 In the blessing, I was promised that I would be sustained until I could get the proper attention that I needed (which became increasingly important as the E.R. doctor told my family that nothing was wrong and that I should go home and sleep it off).
24 hours after the stroke, I finally got a shot of blood thinner that began dissipating the blood clots in my brain.
 Three areas of the brain had already been damaged (the language sections) but within three days, I could speak again.

 God did that.
 God made me speak again.
 One week after the stroke, I sat in my neurologists office and he said

 "I spent some time going over your brain scans since I last saw you. If someone were to ask me to look at your scans and guess how you were doing I would say 'she maybe has the ability to say a couple of words and has lots of brain damage.' Someone up there must really like you."

 God did all of this for me!
He sent His Son to die so that I can be forgiven of all the things that I do wrong.
He gave the power to part a sea to a regular person just like me.
 He also gave the power to move a mountain to another normal person just like me.

 HE LOVES US, you guys, and He will fix us.
 He will fix us physically as He has done for me.
 He will fix us spiritually and emotionally and any other way that we need fixing.
 He WILL make the adjustments necessary to our lives IF WE ASK.

 I'm not going to say that having a stroke was the only way to fix my problems but I'm so grateful for it. Imagine that, grateful for a stroke.
 That sounds weird.