However, the holiday break was definitely not filled with seminary study. It was filled with family and Christmas and a wedding, a new year and a few other things keeping my heart, mind, and soul a bit preoccupied, and now I need a week to catch up from all of that ..., that's just not gonna happen.
The beginning of our holiday vacation was Friday, 18 December 2015 - no school or seminary because of the winter weather conditions. I missed seminary, but luckily we already had our Christmas lesson so I had given the students their Christmas gifts - Temple Socks.
These socks are to help remind them to walk in the ways of the Lord, which will lead them to the temple and to all of the eternal blessings awaiting those who do follow Him.
With no seminary and no school I thought that Friday would be a good day to catch up on my cleaning and decorating and laundry and organizing and preparing for company and Christmas and wedding, but instead it became a very emotional and nonproductive day. However, looking back now it was a beautiful day that holds a memory that we treasure. It was the day we received what we call our CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
The short story is that on the way home from BYU-I (18 Dec. 2015) BJo was in an accident.
She slid off the road at the exact place that another car had previously slid off. That car was still there and the three passengers (students from BYU-I) were out at the tire trying to put chains on.
BJo found her truck heading straight for them and began to honk the horn to warn them of the danger. One gal saw the truck and was able to move out of the way, avoiding any injury. The other two were not so lucky and ended up tangled in their tire chain, drug with the truck, and eventually pinned under the back tire of the truck (one in front of the tire, the other behind the same tire). The gal that was uninjured saw her two friends under the back left tire and thinking they were dead, went to check on the driver (BJo).
Connor was traveling in his vehicle a couple minutes behind BJo and stopped to help. A local fireman also stopped to help. BJo called 911 and soon other emergency responders came, but they seemed to be more interested in the story than in actually helping. Thanks mostly to Connor and the first fireman, the two students (a young man and a young woman) were eventually freed from the truck and taken to a nearby hospital. After a few hours they were released, and walking out on their own, one with a cracked rib and one with a cracked vertebrae (I think) and both with many bruises and aches and pains. They were definitely hurt but alive, and not paralyzed or disabled for life.
BJo, Connor, and the group they were with (a 3 car caravan with a total of 7 young adults) went to the hospital to check on the injured young adults and were met with a type of friendship that touched their hearts.
At first sight, this accident seemed to be one of death and destruction, but after prayer and long hours of emotional and physical torture, the outcome was much different. There have been several things brought to our attention that help us know that the Lord had a hand in all of this, from the beginning (even before they left for college that fall) to now. We have seen the Lord's hand in our lives and we are grateful for the divine help given during this tragic experience.
BrittanyJo was blessed to be able to feel her father's presence during this ordeal too, and we know that it was her dad's truck (instead of the small Ford Focus she used to take to school), and divine intervention that saved these four young adults from death and/or major physical problems. Walking out of that hospital on their own never seemed to be an option, but we are grateful that the Lord was watching over our loved ones and all others involved, and we know that the Lord has a plan for each of these young people - their lives are in His hand. My prayer is that they will each continue to follow Him so that He may continue to guide them.
FYI - The young man that was pinned under the tire has his mission call and will leave for that mission sometime in February. Our thoughts and prayers will go with him.
More FYI - the truck is totaled,
but we are grateful that it was a part of this day, and it is a reminder that Terry is present and still looking after his family in ways that we are not even aware of. Our love for him continues to grow, as does our love for our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. They are aware of each of us, and that includes each of you, and will be there for us in our time of need.
No one would have chosen to be involved with this accident, but we are grateful to have felt the love from above and to have another witness that we are loved and cared for and watched over. This time it definitely did turn out better than we thought.
Here is a photo BJo took last semester that speaks even more to our hearts than it previously did.
The view is in the mirror. This view fits well with the temple socks mentioned at the beginning of this post, and it fits well with our Christmas Miracle. The writing on the mirror speaks volumes as does the picture itself - OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR!
It's beautiful! It originally spoke to our hearts because of our first trip to Rexburg, with Terry. He gave BJo a blessing in the parking lot of that temple. He talked of a North star guiding us where we need to go, and though the temple is south of campus, it would be her guide while she was there. Precious memories.
Next up - Christmas! We had a great Christmas and enjoyed having family with us. Gifts were exchange, puzzles were completed, games were enjoyed, and all other excitement of being together.
Did you notice the half lit tree? That's the way it rolled this year - I ran out of lights and by the time I got them the tree was dead and I didn't want to put them on. It didn't bother me at all, until I had guests that were new to my home, that may never see another tree at my house again, and it made me wonder what they might think. Oh Bother! Maybe I should have come up with a new tradition and special meaning for that half lit tree, but then I'd have to think too hard. :)
Snow was a bonus and added some great fun for the kids.
We welcomed in the new year playing Nerts. I don't usually play card games, but gave in to this one. I was BJo's partner and though the first few attempts were slow, we actually won a couple rounds (not my doing, BJo could have played as the team ... wait, maybe she did and I was just there for moral support - they were giving to me, not from me. Oh Bother! Well, at any rate, we had fun!)
We spent a couple days making cookies and chicken puffs for the next celebration and after the New Year we had a wedding - Connor married Rebekah Richins (from Warden) in the Columbia River Temple - 2 January 2016. It was awesome and beautiful, but snowy and cold. That evening we had a wonderful reception in Warden to celebrate this union. Next day they came to open gifts and headed out again. We enjoyed this occasion and wish them love and success.
School was next on the calendar, so Anthony went back to school on the 4th and I drove BJo and a friend from Yakima to Rexburg to begin their next semester. The roads were most bad as we traveled down Adams, but once on I90 we were pleased to find them pretty good the rest of the way. We got them settled and unloaded gifts at Connor and Bekah's apartment. (Thanks to all of our wonderful family and friends who gave such awesome gifts to this newly created eternal family!)
Next day I traveled home alone, but not really alone. I felt a peace and comfort, and a help that was not my own. I am so grateful for the constant help from above.
At one part of my drive home I couldn't get radio reception so I played the CD already in the player. The first song was Glorious and I flipped to the last song, a song about 1 Nephi 3:7
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
I played it once and then again, the second time singing along with it, when a powerful feeling came over me. I know that the Lord has prepared a way for me to accomplish the thing which He commandeth me. He is aware of us and our every need. He doesn't always give us what we want, but he does always help us through what comes our way. He has given me seminary to help me accomplish this most difficult task of living righteously without my husband and I am grateful for it. He has protected my family, given us peace and comfort, and direction. He is helping us learn how to smile and be happy in these tough times through life. I hope and pray that we will always be worthy of His divine guidance and comfort. There is no good without it.
I stopped at Missoula on my way home, to check on the truck and after seeing it and visiting with both the body shop owner (where the truck is presently resting) and the tow truck driver that hauled it there, I saw and learned things that made me even more grateful for the Lord's hand in that terrible accident. We will miss that special truck. We tell ourselves that it is "just a truck", but we know it was more special than "just a truck" and it will remain more special than "just a truck". It became a protector and we love it even more. It will now rest from it's protective roll, but we know that it's owner will not, and we love him. We are at peace because we know that Terry is still a part of our lives..., forever.
That reminds me -
In the wedding ceremony the sealer told Connor that Bekah will be his only love forever and he told Bekah that Connor should be her only love forever. I loved that, because that is how I feel - Terry is my only love, forever! There is great peace and comfort in knowing that our love is forever. At times I feel like my life is going to be too long without Terry and I hope to not live to be very old because I wish to see him again soon, but I know that I still have a work to perform and personal progress to make, so I will do my best to make the best of what I now have to work with.
I almost forgot - we had a Christmas concert too
Wow, this took me way to long - I've really got to run now.
Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!