Friday, August 29, 2008

Nine Months...

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Six years ago, Aaron and I were on our honeymoon. Aaron took me to Florida and the Bahamas. Everywhere we went, we stayed at the nicest places and ate at the nicest places. Aaron wanted us to have the best honeymoon ever. Well, mission accomplished... it was the most amazing honeymoon I can imagine. What he didn't realize, though, is that no matter where we went, it would have been the greatest honeymoon... because I would have been with him. Here are some of the highlights...


Aaron and I build this 'sand flower'. I love that he was willing to build whatever I wanted to build.






One funny memory of the top left lighthouse: it is called the 'Ponce de Leon Lighthouse'. On our drive to go see it, Aaron kept saying the name of the lighthouse in the best foreign accent he could muster. I would say it normal and he would say, 'No, no, no... its Ponce de Leon.' I can still hear the accent in my mind. I tried desperately to get him saying it on video, but he always managed to catch me when I would secretly turn the camcorder on. It is one of my favorite memories from this trip... he was so happy and playful and it was so much fun. We had a great time together.




These last two photos were taken on August 29, 2002... exactly six years ago today.


I still can't believe the time that has passed since Aaron passed away. It feels like yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like an eternity.

Instead of focusing on the difficult feelings these days bring, I wanted to write about a blessing happening in our lives. I want to share my gratitude.

When Aaron was here with us, I was a stay at home mom. I am still a stay at home mom. I have done a few things to try to make a little extra money to pay our bills, but nothing that comes close to covering it. We are receiving survivor benefits from the government, but even that doesn't cover our bills each month. I am not writing this to get sympathy about our finances, I am trying to share our faith promoting experience and the love of our Father in Heaven.
Somehow, we are being blessed to be able to cover our bills each month. Each time I think we won't be able to make it the next month, our tax return will come, or we will receive generosity from kind people, or Aaron's truck sells, or else some of Aaron's furniture will sell at his mom's store. (of course not the furniture he built, I could never sell that... other stuff he bought to resell.) When I brainstorm about our bills each month and how much we have, it doesn't make any sense that we are being able to pay them. I have been reflecting on a scripture all month long that explains why we are being blessed in this way.

'Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'

I am writing this for the sole purpose of sharing my faith promoting experience of the law of tithing. The fact of the matter is... things don't add up in my mind and I don't want to question the blessings we are receiving. We are paying our tithing, we are being helped to meet our needs... and I am grateful.
I can't express the gratitude I feel for the loving and giving people who have done so much for us, through word and deed.
Our Father in Heaven knows our needs; each of us individually. He is mindful of us all. I know this.
Yes, we are going through a trial that I wish we weren't having to go through. It is difficult, it is painful, it is heartbreaking... everyday. BUT, we are being blessed as well. We are receiving the promised blessings from the Lord. He is giving me strength and courage that I didn't even know I was capable of having. Some days, I don't feel strong or courageous; those are the days that I still go through the shock of wondering if this is even real... days that I am still waiting to wake up from this bad dream. But other days, I feel the strength and courage that I am being given by our loving Savior and I am able to look at the world with hope.
And for this, I am truly grateful.

Missing you more and more, Aaron. I love you...

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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures and beautiful words, Leslie.

Love to you,

Jane

Tiffany said...

Yet again, I, a stranger, am touched by your faith.

Mindy said...

The blessings of tithing are amazing. We have had similar experiences when Brandon was out of a job. Somehow, impossibly, the money is there. I am so thankful for Heavenly Father's love and care for each of us.

Love you!

dani said...

leslie,
your words are a true testimony to the goodness of our Father in heaven.
sweet girl, your photography is amazing. work it!!!
love and prayers,
dani

cynphil6 said...

Leslie,

I find myself "checking in" on you
in your blog, and I find it interesting that it's 9 months and this is Labor Day weekend... if it's not too personal, tell us about your "labor day" with Aaron Jr. I'd bet that has some good memories too!

Tithing is a wonderful, and as you say sometimes mysterious blessing! Many times when our bills were stacked higher than the
cash I would wonder how on earth we'd make it. I'm so happy your testimony is strengthened through your tria. Aaron Jr. is so lucky to have you for his mom!
Love and Prayers,
Cynthia

K and K and kids said...

Amazing pictures. Wonderful memories. Our Heavenly Father loves you and he will ease your burdens anyway he can. Love you Les.

Joann said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Leslie! I really enjoyed seeing pictures of you two on your honeymoon. Also, for the reminder that we pay our tithing for a reason! I too have noticed the little miracles that come from paying it. Thanks again. Love you!

Kristi said...

How did you get so many pictures of the two when it was just the two of you? That is some stunning timer work.
I loved your testimony and experience with tithing. It is amazing how the Lord has blessed you...and all of us when we are willing to give a 10th

Jennifer Miller said...

Leslie! This is your long lost friend Jenni Miller! I had NO idea this is the path your life has taken! I found your blog while I was looking at Karlynn's and I was so excited to see pictures and hear of how you and your family have been all these years. As I read through your blog I had to pause several times to take care of the emotions that were forming in my eyes as the memories came flooding back to me of the connection and understanding I felt with you and Lisa as we would talk about Bruce and Shawn (our brothers). I miss that. I miss you both very much. I would love to hear from you if you get a moment. My email address is jennisbenz@hotmail.com. Take care of yourself. You have an adorable son! Love, Jennifer Miller

Tawnie said...

Oh Man. I just left a comment and it disappeared. I am in charge of the money in our family and one particular time during school, we had nothing and I didn't know what we were going to do. The next day a check came in the mail from my grandma. I called her immediately to thank her. I will always remember that. I love life experiences!!! I am so thankful Heavenly Father was aware of what I needed and my grandma was in tune enough to follow her promptings. Love you Les!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your testimony on tithing. I read your blog all the time. I know you and I know Aaron. I went to school with Aarons brother, Steve. You are gorgeous inside and out. I would not usually comment on your blog, but your testimony on tithing is something that I have been fighting with for sometime and today I basically just threw up my arms and said I just can't pay it anymore. We don't make it, and we by no means live a life of luxury. Then I read your post. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing me back to where I should be.
You and your son are wonderful and I can only image how proud your Aaron is of both of you.
Keep it up, you are such an inspiration to so many you have no idea.

Leslie said...

ANONYMOUS,

i am grateful to you for sharing your experience with me. thank you. when i wrote what i did, i kept thinking i should change it or tone it down a bit. i thought it might be too bold or sound like i was bragging or something, but then i thought maybe my experience could help someone else, so as i posted it, i said a prayer that my words would be taken in the way that i meant them to be.
you have shown me by writing to me that my prayer was answered and i am eternally grateful to you for being willing to share your experience with me. it brought tears to my eyes and i realized again how much our Father in Heaven loves us. isn't it amazing how we learn from each other and our testimonies can be strengthened by each other? i think it is amazing.
you say i know you? now i am curious, but i understand why some people want to stay anonymous, so i will leave it at that.
again, thank you thank you thank you. you have brought a piece of joy to my soul today.
with love...
leslie *

Amanda Sue said...

Leslie, I am not sure if you remember me.. Amanda from Dr Youngs office. I just wanted to drop you a note telling you how absolutely amazing you are. I remember the day you had your little guy and what a happy experience that was for you. I was so blessed to be such a small part of that. I am constantly reminded of the Lords Tender Mercies in my daily life and I want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Shawn and Lily said...

Truly you inspire people you don't even know..... you are a cute gal and have the cutest son. Keep your chin up.

Anonymous said...

Leslie,
I am blessed everytime I read your blog. I am a stranger to you but you are truly an insperation to me. Thank you so much for all you are.
Steph

The Heiners said...

You continue to make me smile. Your pictures, your faith, the overalls, YOUR smile! Ü Thank you for always putting things in perspective for me.
You are in my prayers.
Brandy

Anonymous said...

Leslie,
Just another stranger inspired by your words of faith. I too am a stay at home mom and struggle with the little time I spend with my husband because he works so much. Thinking about you and your family makes me very grateful for even the little time I spend with my husband. I am so sorry for your loss and I pray you continue to be strong for yourself and for Aaron Jr. Your posts leave me in tears every time I read them. I am grateful that I know of you and Aaron and Aaron Jr. Your testimony on tithing was eye opening for me, as we too struggle. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom. I truley look forward to your next posts. I continue to pray for you and your family and the peace that you someday may receive.
P.S. It sadens me that I am unable to view your pure and simple beauty blog as your photography is BEAUTIFUL and it too was an inspiration to me.