Saturday, April 30, 2016

Are We There Yet?

 I have a confession: I am not a lover of winter.  That can be problematic, given that I live in Utah, and winter can last from October to May ( and sometimes June).  Don't get me wrong, snow is beautiful.  I love it when I can gaze at it from the comfort of my toasty warm kitchen with my nose pressed against the glass of my back door.  Hot chocolate.  There definitely has to be a steaming mug of hot chocolate {and mini marshmallows wouldn't hurt while we are at it} involved in this scenario for it to be acceptable in my book. But if I have to go ANYWHERE {and sometimes that means anywhere outside of the confines of my comforter} I curse it.  I don't love being cold.  I don't love wearing a thousand layers.  I don't love that my bff the sun hides behind dismal gray clouds.  Bring me HEAT.  Bring me frosty cold Dirty Diet Cokes.  Bring me COLOR.  Sometimes winter can seem interminable to me.  Seriously.  And it doesn't help that Mother Nature is rather bipolar where I live.  It can be 70 degrees one day and snow the next. 

I have another confession: this has been a rough winter emotionally for me.  Life is crazy and can have as many ups and downs as the emotional roller coaster-esque whims of Mother Nature in Utah in April.  I was contemplating said ups and downs this morning and I looked out my window and noticed something that I have looked at a thousand times in the last couple of days, but have not really SEEN til now.  We have these beautiful flowering trees in our backyard and a spectacular view of the Wasatch Mountains.  As I gazed out at this beautiful scene mother nature painted for me I noticed a funny juxtaposition.  Through the vibrant pink blossoms I could see snow capped mountains.  Spring is officially here, but apparently the mountains haven't gotten the memo yet.  It is still a cold and dreary day, but there the blossums are vibrant as ever as they blow in the wind.  It may not feel like it, but spring IS here.  And these gorgeous blossums reminded me that the warmth of summer is close ahead.  So now I have a choice to make.  I can focus on the startling fuscia reminder that dreary times will soon end.  Or I can curse the gray clouds that are here today, and try to melt the frigid snow on the mountain tops with my lazer beam stare of hatred. 

Life is like the seasons.  Certain seasons seem never ending.  Others seem to be over in the blink of an eye.  But they always have their turn in the cycle and then they end, leaving their mark and passing on the baton to the next one.  If we had eternal summer here in the desert of Utah we would not have the water that the snow pack provides for these beautiful flowers.  Our lakes would dry up.  We would not be able to water the golf course {and then my better half would be on suicide watch}. If we only had winter... well, do I even need to elaborate on that one?  My (oh so wise) 9 year old daughter told me today, "Mom, when it's super hot in the summer, I sometimes think I am ready for the snow.  And when it is super cold in the winter I think I am ready for the summer."  Whether you are Team Winter or Team Summer, they each make you appreciate the other.

So, for now, I guess I will hunker down for a few more weeks in my cacoon and dream of burning rays of sunshine beating down on me. 

This too shall pass.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Open the Shutters



One morning, after a long sleepless night, I looked toward my bedroom window.  My room was still quite dark, but I could see burning rays of orange and red trying to escape through the slats in the shutters.  I thought to myself, "Wow, it must be a beautiful sunrise out there."  And I laid there in bed watching these bright stripes grow brighter.  As I looked away I noticed the stark difference of the dark abyss of the far corner of my room that faces away from the slats in the window.  It reminded me of the darkness that had surrounded me the night before as I desperately tried to will my body to sleep.  I looked back at the window and noticed the red and orange getting more and more intense as the sunrise progressed towards its ultimate crescendo.  Something hit me really strong in that moment: no matter how much brighter and more intense those rays got, and how hard they fought to break into my room, they were extremely limited in the brightness they could add to my dark room- until I took some action.  Realizing this, I sprung from my bed and threw open the shutters.  I was figuratively thrown back by the intensity of the burst of light that instantly enveloped my room.  With the exception of the corners that stood out of reach and direction of the light, the darkness was immediately chased away.  For darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, it is immediately cast out.  However, as much as that light wanted to burst in and bathe me in its warmth, it was held back by the laws of physics.  It could not burst through the slats, I had to open them and move them out of the way.  Too many times in my life, I become complacent to lay there and just enjoy the little slivers of light that are lighting up my world, but if I would only get up and open the “shutters”  I would find so much more waiting for me on the other side. 

Matthew 11:28

“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  The word “rest” has come to have a whole new meaning for me.  I used to think of it as “a break” from my burdens.  He’ll give me “a rest”.  I think a deeper meaning has been hiding here for me to discover it.  I picture the Saviors open arms when I read this scripture and I picture an offering.  His offering.  He has given me so, so much to be grateful for.  But if I will come unto him, open up my shutters so to speak, He will give me “the rest” of all He has to offer.  That is what is waiting for us.  And it is so much more than we could ever imagine for ourselves.  

And that sunrise WAS even more spectacular that I had imagined from the confines of my comfortable bed. 

I’m so grateful for “the rest” that is available to me and my family. 

#30DaysOfGratitude

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's been a long time, I know. And if anyone is even reading this, this post does not mean that I am back full time. I have missed writing. I have REALLY missed writing. But life is crazy and I have an addictive personality...

Anyway, I felt like I should share a talk I gave in church this last December. It was the Sunday before Christmas. I was just a few days shy of giving birth to my sweet rainbow baby {aka... chubby chubberoo} . And the bishop {aka: hubby}, or rather the Lord requested I speak on this specific, tender subject. If anyone tells you it pays to have connections in the bishopbric they lied to you my friend... I'm just sayin...

Anyway, here it is.

2 ½ years ago my husband came to me and said, “I think we need to have another baby.” I just laughed at him. Why is that so funny? My baby, Samantha, was only 5 months old and Hunter had just turned 2. He insisted, “I know it seems crazy but I really feel strongly about this. Will you at least pray about it?” I said no. I didn’t need to. I knew what my answer would be… I also didn’t necessarily want the answer that I would receive… not just yet. But, when the Lord calls you answer and within weeks we were expecting our 3rd child. We found out a couple months later that another little girl was going to join our family and we decided to name her Savannah. A lot of people made sure tell us how crazy we were to have another child so soon... and I agreed. We would have 3 children under 3 all in diapers for several months. But I also knew that this was not just a spur of the moment decision we had made, we had been inspired that this was the right path for our little family. Or, rather, my husband had been inspired and I reluctantly agreed! The pregnancy went great, and I felt as good as a pregnant mother chasing two little rugrats around can feel. We looked forward to our due date of March 20 with excitement, but also a bit of anxiety. I knew that I had no idea what I was in for, and it scared me to death at times. But I always referred back to 1 Nephi 3:7 “I know that the Lord giveth no commandment to the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which he has commanded them.” I knew it was true, and I knew that the Lord would provide a way for us to make it over the challenges that raising 3 tiny children would bring. On February 8, 2008 I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and we went in for a routine dr. appointment. We were hoping to be in and out quickly so that my husband could get on the road to a stake scout camp that had been planned for that weekend. Our world was rocked as the dr. told us, “I can’t find a heartbeat I’m so sorry, she’s not alive anymore.”

My husband didn’t go to scout camp that weekend.

The rest of that night was a bit of a whirlwind. Brett’s parents picked up our kids and we headed to the hospital to deliver our little girl. I actually felt really strong throughout the night. The spirit was very strong and confirmed to us that this was the Lords will and that everything would be okay. The nurses dressed her in a beautiful white dress and a tiny little bracelet and brought her to us to spend a little time with her. I felt okay. Then the moment came to hand her over for the last time. It was really hard to hand my baby off to a total stranger that wasn’t going to bring her back. For the first time that night I felt hopelessness. The man holding her looked into my eyes and told me, “I promise we’ll take good care of her.” And at that moment I heard another voice. Not with my ears, but deep within my heart. A voice that chased away all hopelessness and filled my entire body with warmth it said, “So will I.” The spirit spoke to me and I knew it was the words of our Savior talking directly to me.

I’m not an “important person”. I’m not an incredible above average person… although I allow and often ENCOURAGE my husband to tell me so anytime he feels so inclined…. BUT the Savior of the world spoke to me. He didn’t appear to me as he did to Joseph Smith. He didn’t raise my little girl from the dead as He did Lazarus. But he spoke peace to me. He knows me so well that he knew the 3 little words that would take away the pain that no one else in this world could. And He took time out of His busy schedule for one insignificant sheep.

Can any of us deny that being a mother involves sacrifice? The greatest story ever told begins with a humble 16 year old girl facing explaining to her fiancĂ© that she has not committed adultery, but that the child she carries is the child of God conceived by the spirit. She travels a long distance “great with child", gives birth in filthy stable, and spends the next several years in hiding from people that want to kill her beloved child. Ultimately, she helplessly stands by her sons side as he suffers an unimaginable death.

Just like each of us, Mary faced many defining moments in her life. Moments when she could choose to go one way or another. She could choose to let events taking place make her bitter, or to make her stronger and bring her one step closer to the Lord. Losing a child was something I never imagined I could handle or bear, and it was certainly never something I thought the Lord would ask of me. But the moment came. And my husband and I had a decision to make. We could choose the path that this would set us on.

Joseph Smith taught the law of sacrifice in these words: “For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his honor, and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children and even his own life- counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ- requires more than mere belief or supposition that he is doing the will of God; but actual knowledge, realizing that, when these sufferings are ended, he will enter into eternal rest; and be a partaker of the glory of God.”

Bruce R. McConkie said, “Sacrifice pertains to mortality; in the eternal sense there is none. Sacrifice involves giving up the things of this world because of the promises of blessings to be gained in a better world. In the eternal perspective there is no sacrifice in giving up all things- even including the laying down of ones life- if eternal life is gained through such a course.”

Did things go the way I wanted them for my daughter? No. Just as I was accepting the call to add her to our family and getting excited about it she was “taken”. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I know she’s mine eternally and I just have to wait. And when making the decision to add another child to our family I resolved that I would not do it until I could honestly tell the Lord that I would accept whatever plan he has for her as well. So far so good as far as getting “my way” with this new baby. However, being a mom sometimes means taking on the challenges without the guarantee of earthly rewards. But we all know the eternal rewards far outweigh the earthly ones.

I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a personal one. I know that He didn’t just take on the sins and sufferings of the world… but for each individual person that has ever and will ever live in this world. I know that He speaks the truth when he promises us all that He has. That everything we experience in this life, the sacrifices and the joys, are leading up to something infinitely bigger.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

PRAY FOR KIM!


This is my friend Kim and her cute little family.

Kim is a young, fun, amazing mother and friend.

Kim found out today that she has a tennis ball sized tumor in her brain.

She will go in for brain surgery tomorrow. They won't know until they get "in there" how deep it is or if it is malignant.

Kim needs your prayers!

Anyone willing is invited to participate in a fast for Kim Truman tomorrow. Please pray for her that all goes well so she can enjoy a long life with her cute little family.

PASS IT ON!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SPEED DEMON

Haha... so true.

Don't get in my way on the road.

I'm in a hurry.

I have important places to be.

I'm a Dale Jr. reincarnate.

I..... drive a mini van.

...and I have precious cargo buckled in the back seat...

...IIII'm..okay... a speed demon at heart. You're probably looking at ME in your rear view, and I'm probably sucking in the fumes of your exhaust pipe wishing I could will my Honda Odessey to fly past your.... Honda Pilot...? Seriously is anyone reading this driving anything other than a "family sensible car"... is anyone reading this at all anymore since I've been slacking in my obsessive blogging habits...

But at the risk of sounding cliche'... don't you love sentences that start that way? ...neither do i. Take another look at the words on that rear view mirror. I'm not winning any races on the road (much to the annoyance of every man on the road that is horrified that I'm not driving 100 in the slow lane of the freeway..... them and every Honda Pilot driver... thems crazy people)

But I'm winning another race.

My opponent- Grief.

Grief puts up a good fight. He is fast. He is clever. He is a he because he knows how to push my buttons.

But I am faster. And now he is in the rear view sucking in all the fumes from my exhaust pipe.

I don't drive a mazzarati. I didn't need anything fancier than my Honda Oddesey. You see, grief, while very persistent, can be be outrun. If you take even one small pit stop, he will catch you again. If you look back for too long you lose momentum and he's right on top of you. But if you focus forward and just keep driving you can beat him.

You will never completely lose him. If you look in your rear view, he will always be there waiting for you to give him a chance to overtake you again.

However, if you just keep moving forward, objects in the rear view DO seem smaller than they actually are, and DO appear to be losing.

ps... Honda Pilot drivers aren't that bad...I just long to be one of them.

...I did hear that they have a supressed fear of killer trout, however... and that's a little silly...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Have you ever had a best friend? Someone that is there for you through the good, bad and uuuugly? Someone that you love with all your heart and without whom you may just cease to exist? And have you ever had that perfect, sent from above, friendship tainted when she marries a total jerk? Seriously why do seemingly perfect girls pick loser partners? I know everyone should get to choose who they spend the rest of their life with, but come on... aren't they thinking of their better half? The half that had them first before jerk face stepped into the picture?

I am sorry to report that this was the fate of the glorious relationship I had with my BFF of 18+ years.

We were the BEST of friends. She was there for me during the awkward, gangly "still wearing my pink plastic glasses from 4th grade even though I was in 9th grade" days. She never left my side on the nights I sat at home when everyone else got asked to the dance and I was overlooked. She was there to celebrate with me the day I FINALLY got my period and entered womanhood a million years after everyone else.


She was my best friend.


And she was/is beautiful.

Let me introduce you to her.





Isn't she gorgeous?


For those of you out there that are saying to yourself, "Wait a minute! I thought I was your best friend!"... ummmm do you know me? Because anyone that truly knew me would know of my love for this bosom buddy of mine and would not be threatened by it, but would instead embrace it.... and in doing so fall in love themselves and fight me for a piece of her affection.


Here is the jerk she married. I hate him with every fiber of my being.His name is Thunder Thighs. He showed up in our life right around the time I graduated high school and he has been the constant companion to my beloved icecream ever since. I used to have her all to myself, without her wretched Thunder Thighs companion.


She is still there for me and she always will be. And don't get me wrong, I still revel in her companionship and find comfort in her embrace... but it will never be the same. She still shows up to keep me company when Hubs is out of town... but Thunder Thighs is always tagging along after her.



Curse him!



I've tried every trick in the world to get rid of him... now there's only one thing left to do...



I'm going to start seeing this guy on the side in the hopes that he chases Thunder Thighs away...

I don't like him much more than I like Thunder Thighs... but it's worth it to get my best friend all to myself again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Day of Reflection

Today is the one year anniversary of the birth of our angel baby, Savannah.

Do you think anniversaries are a funny concept?

Let me elaborate

A marriage anniversary is a day that you celebrate your marriage to your sweet heart. A birthday is an anniversary of someones birth where you spend the day celebrating that person. If we're continuing on with that same pattern I guess an angel anniversary is a day to celebrate someone that has moved on to the other side.

I had a friend once tell me she hated mothers day. "Don't do nice things for me one day a year just because you are supposed to" she would say, "show me you love me all year because you do!"

Good point.

Although I must admit I DO love birthdays, anniversaries, mothers day etc... any day really that provides and excuse for a celebration.. especially if said celebration involves icecream or chocolate covered strawberries.. anything edible really.

But we should probably celebrate life and those that we love all throughout the year.

I though this day might feel a little different, but to be honest it doesn't. I played Candy Land with my kids this morning. I dropped Mister Mischief off at preschool and Miss Thang and I headed to the gym. My mother in law and sisters in law came over for lunch. We ate, chatted, had fun as usual. I gave in and ate that cinnamon roll I swore I wasn't going to touch.

I thought I might feel the need to do something out of the ordinary, but I didn't. I thought maybe bad memories would come flooding back, but they didn't. I feel fine and I feel happy, because I have a really good life! I can honestly say that I am finally to the point that life feels normal again. I thought I would forever have this little cloud of "dead baby gloom" hovering over my head. I thought that from here on out the birth of my angel baby would define me. I thought I could never be like other people because my baby died. But the truth is, I can, because I have chosen to be.

I am forever changed, and for the better. I have learned more from this one gift from God than from a lifetime of good and bad decisions I have made for myself. I wouldn't change this experience for the world. There have been up times and down times, BUT I can say that the sadness is not hanging over me anymore. This was always the plan for our little family and I can finally say that I accept that and am moving forward. And it feels good.

But to make this not just a meaningless day I would like to share a few things I've learned from this experience. After all, it would be a wasted experience if I didn't make sure something good came of it.

1. You are much stronger than you think you are. God trusts you so trust yourself. Give yourself some credit.

2. "Man is that he might have joy" This whole journey through life is leading up to the ultimate goal of eternal happiness. We are to learn everything we need to learn to be happier than we can ever imagine. Can you really expect to find eternal happiness if all you do is chase after sadness? Eventually you end up with what you catch, and what you catch is what you were chasing after. Hard things happen in life, but there is still joy to be found in life... happening RIGHT NOW. Don't miss it. I can promise you that those things that are causing you heart ache in the first place will end up enriching your happiness in one way or another in the long run anyway.

3.You have to let yourself grieve, but you also have to let yourself be happy. Grieving is part of the healing process, but so is happiness. You cannot say that you are completely healed if you are not happy yet. But happiness comes from within. It comes from having trust in the Lord and faith in yourself. No one else can make you be happy. That is your own decision. Give yourself time to mourn. But when you feel like you are ready to let go of the agonizing grief let go completely. Don't look back. Rehashing painful memories only brings sadness and Satan will pray on you and use it to bring you down. It is okay to look back on the positive, beautiful things that have come from an experience, but allowing yourself to relive the pain over and over again does nothing good.

3. Helping others is the best way to heal. I used to think this meant being sad with others, but I'm realizing now that even better that that is to share with others how I found happiness again and what helped me in my healing process. Pain is comfortable sometimes, but doesn't heal your heart and bring you true happiness.

4. Other people will never truly understand. And that is okay. We all have different journies in life. I used to get so frustrated when others didn't understand my heart ache at losing a child I never knew. But that is not their lot in life. They have other challenges to face and other opportunities for learning. I will not understand some of the trials they face. You have to be okay with yourself. You have to really involve the Lord and decide what is the best path for you to take, without worrying what other people think. And you just can't judge other people for not reading your mind. At the same time I really try to keep this in mind when I do come across someone that I do not understand and try to think about how I wanted to be treated when I was misunderstood.

4. Any experience is a wasted experience if you don't use it to better your life and the lives of those around you. Good or bad. Be proactive. You can't always choose what happens to you in life, but you do get to choose what you do with it and if it impacts you for the good or bad. This is a hard one to accept at times, but it is absolutely true.


5. LOOK for opportunities to learn and feel blessed. This is great for any time in life, but especially during times when you are struggling to feel happy. The Lord has a way of jam packing a billion tiny little lessons into each experience we have in life. We just tend to analize the drastic ones more than the every day ones. We become much more effective in life when we use these to our advantage and also to the advantage of those around us. Life can be so much richer than just a three hour long shopping trip of terror with two screaming toddlers and someone that just happened to smiled at you with an understanding smile. It just depends on what you choose to focus on.

These are just a few things I've learned.

What would YOU add to the list?