Thursday, December 1, 2016

Writing

Earlier in the Fall I had a severe case of ennui. Ennui might be the wrong word. I didn't know what was happening in my life. I could list all the things that seemed misplaced about life but most of them I've forgotten, or moved on from. I didn't know where my life was going, and I what I wanted to do to be me. Not a wife, not a mother, not a daughter, or primary leader, just me. After praying for a long time it became very clear it's not yet time to learn Spanish, but that I should write. Even if it's just a little bit a day. (Just kidding about the Spanish, that was not clear, I'm just not sure I'd have time to write and learn Spanish at this season of life.)
Guess what I haven't done. Write.
It's not that I've been too busy painting, well I have and actually that's mostly it. But I've never sit down just to write. Does it mean blogging or writing? What to write?
I keep meaning to find a mouse for a laptop and turn off the track pad, because I HATE track pads and write.
Recently I've been wondering what the heck is wrong with me?
The answer is I never started writing. But where to write and what to write?
I guess I should just open that word document, and go for it.
Instead I wish I was moving to England.
Spain fell through, Colombia fell through. And twice now for about 45 minutes my husband toyed about moving to the UK. Actually the first time it was a few weeks. Instead I live 5 minutes from the chapel I attended as a child.
Things I was never going to do.
1. Get married young
2. Have a baby in college
3. Move home
Darn it! I've stop saying things I'm never going to do. The worst part of moving home is, we do actually kind of love it here. It makes the ennui worse.
That and coughing kids. Young children that couch for years of their life they cause me to question the Plan of Salvation. Yes that seriously tests my faith. Like more than you could know.
The writing though.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Favorite thing

Between caring for little ones who can't care for themselves for 10 years and a couple of years of unrelenting mental illness, I didn't know who I was. For the past few years I wondered what I liked independent of my children. Finally the other day it hit me. My favorite thing in the world is traveling the world and wandering around the streets of a new city during the evening. Preferably with my husband but I've always like just after dusk even before I met him. I'd prefer an international city but honestly any where will do as long as I'm not constantly around a crowd. It feels good to have something I like.

On a related note, 50 weeks ago I was in Madrid Spain. Lately, I miss it pretty much every day. My husband worked during the day and I did my own thing. It was amazing I've never sightseen alone. I mean sure I love to travel with others and prefer it but to be independent was liberating. And to not have to accommodate anyone else was also a relaxing. I spent every waking minute accommodating mini mes, who thank the Lord are beautiful but driving me to my wits end. I needed a week to be me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Been thinking...

I've been thinking about this song for a while. Since I recently heard someone sing it live. Been thinking but that's it.

Only Hope by Switchfoot

There's a song that's inside of my soul
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
I'm awake and in the infinite cold
But You sing to me over and over and over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

Sing to me of the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands


And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

I give you my destiny, I'm giving You all of me
I want Your symphony singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs, I'm giving it back

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only yours
I pray to be only yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A small house

If my husband and I had an unofficial motto it would be this,
President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.
President Hinckley said it in October 1998, his talk To the Boys and to the Men. To say President Hinckley and President Faust had an influence on my life, would be an understand statement. They were probably the most influential people not related to me when I was a teenager.
President Monson has also been influential but he did not die near the same time as them so he has continued to influence my life as I've grown up.

Back to the quote, vernacular quote is, buy a small house pay it off quick and always have a smile on your face. That has always been my husband and mine unofficial plan. This summer we had to realize that sometimes the Lord has bigger thing in store. Literally. My husband had an experience to look for more home then we were looking for, but those are not mine to share. Me on the other hand I had many as you know if you read. What I finally came to know is the Lord expects me to invest my retirement not just put it in a savings account. In the case what if the Parable of the Talents is actually about money and just not just talents. Our house are investments. I know not everyone's are, but ours are. Mortgage speaking even though our house is much bigger we are paying about the same as we were when we first bought our last home. 

Its been far for me to take President's Faust story as a parable and not a literal direction in my life. I really wanted a small home. I am learning to enjoy my large house but I wanted a small house. And I've learned the Lord is teaching me far more humility this way.

Lastly, I will say this is only personal advice for me and my husband. If anyone were to ask me financial advice it would always be President Hinckley's. But people don't ask me financial advice. I buy most of my furniture second hand and always hope and maybe I should pray that someone will give me handme downs for my kids to wear. So I don't look like someone that people want to ask advice from. 

Religious Public Speaking

In case you just happened to stubble across my blog through google, I will explain something. In our church we have a lay ministry, meaning no one is paid to serve. We call our pastor a Bishop and he holds a regular job. He does not write a sermon every week, instead we take turn giving a sermon or a talk. Usually 2-3 teenagers or adults speak any given sunday. Teenagers are usually asked to speak for 5 minutes, while adults are asked to speak somewhere between 15-20 minutes. I'm not sure what other people's lives are like but my husband and I normally are asked to give a talk about every two years, if you move its more likely. For example you may be asked to speak before you move and in your new ward or congregation after you move..

The other night I complained to my husband its not fair. You jot down some bullet points and get up there and give the fun talk. You always pull out some story that I've never even heard even though we've been married for more than a decade, and everyone thinks you are fun. I write 2-4 rough drafts, lose sleep. Then while you are sleeping I type up a 7 page talk. You share the fun story, and I talk about how I better came to know God as I struggled with depression or something equally as lame. You get to look like the fun one and I get weepy.

My husband started laughing and said,"the jokes on them, I'm not the fun one".

For the sake of posterity I thought it would be fun to tell my process.
I am given a topic and I start researching it usually that day if not the next day or so. I let it mull around in my head for a while. Then I hammer out a talk in the next day or two. I like to get my to do list done, unless its cleaning then I like to stare at my phone. I get a rough draft typed and I think good, now I don't have to worry about it for the next week. A day or so later I then can't sleep and write an emotional mess of my deepest convictions. The next morning I think that would not be what should be shared in a public form, that must be for my journal. (No I do not have these things organized in a journal if I did do you think I would be blogging?) I am not embarrassed at all by my second draft and would be willing to share it with people in a smaller setting its just not really proper for a large group. I continue to jot down notes during this time, and then a night or two before I speak I sit down and write a combination of the two talks into something nice and flowing. Something far too long to give in 20 minutes.

THEN...
Then, when I get up there I don't even know what I've said. I try to listen to the Holy Spirit and give the talk the Lord wants me to give. I mostly go off my notes, but I differently. I share more then is written and also less than is written at the same time. I don't even know what I've said half the time. Although I look out over the congregation while I speak I try not really to make eye contact. Once I sit down I look out at the congregation again except this time they aren't looking back at me, and I wonder what in the world did I tell those people because I can't remember, and I know its not the talk I prepared.

Two talks ago, I decided wrote a talk. First Draft. I knew it wasn't the talk the Lord wanted me to give, but it was the talk I wanted to give. It was filled with mostly quotes from church leaders, and absolutely NO personal stories. It was wonderfully vague and full of doctrine. As the day of my speaking assignment got closer I wasn't sleeping well. The night before I said, ok, fine, I'll write the talk you have been telling me to write. It was chalked FULL of personal antidotes and fewer doctrinal quotes (still plenty). I was not thrilled and I had known plenty of my fellow saints for about 4 years so I told them that this was not the talk I wanted to give but it was the talk I felt like the Holy Ghost told me to give, so here it goes...

Of coursed everyone liked it, I don't mean that pridefully. Even though it sounds like that. For whatever reason as a teenager I was usually asked to speak twice a year, and by the time I was 17, I had the opportunity to give a 25 minute talk. I come from a long line of eloquent speakers. Saying public speaking is one of my talents is like saying the starter of the high school basketball team is good at sports. Not only was it something I was born with and have worked on over the years. I really don't say this pridefully.

Anyway, so the last time I talked I sat down looked out over the congregation and there a few people visibly crying, like Kleenexes wiping eyes and such. And I thought oh golly gee! What did I just tell these people? The last time I talked I knew the Lord would inspire me to share a personal trial so I thought ok, I'm ready. I prepared it a mix of the way my husband does and I do. Then the day before my talk I was kind of having a melt down. My husband said what is wrong, I said its bath night, we have no food, and I still haven't prepared my talk. Before I said that I thought I did. So he bathed the kids while I went grocery shopping. Then he went to bed while I hammered out my 7 page talk. Yes, the Lord and I have a pattern. I wish we could skip to the third draft, but he is apparently more concerned about me learning than my ease. I should just accept this method as our relationship and stop being jealous of my husband's. For one, he works better on the fly than I do, he likes working under pressure, I like being prepared. He doesn't ever take notes when he is in school. When I was in school I took notes over everything the professor said then reread them and my textbook before a test. Clearly my husband and I have a different learning pattern.

The most awkward part is, Later a friend said, your talk was so good. Thank you. You are a really good public speaker. Thank you. Your husband is too. A follow with what I thought was a sheepish smile while I tried to come up with a response. All of a sudden she excitedly says, you already know that don't you?! How do you response to that?

Funny thing is I can't actually remember being nervous to give a talk. I'm sure in my past I was, as a child in Primary I know I was. Last time I was speaking, I lifted my hand up, I often talk with my hands. When all of sudden I realized it was shaking uncontrollably. So I gently put it back down on the podium and hoped no one noticed. As long as it was on the podium the shaking was contained. I later mentioned it to my husband, he totally noticed. I don't mind scripted public speaking even if I go off topic, but I do hate saying prayers in public. I'd rather always prepare a lesson or talk. A year ago I had to realize no one, I mean no one ever remembers a prayer, unless they are too long. So I'm good. Its helped me not hate saying them, but I don't volunteer, that and reading aloud. As a dyslexic I never volunteer to read out loud.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

One last thing

I forgot the hardest part about accepting the primary calling.
Remember how my husband spoke on putting your spouse first?
I hate that my husband's and my callings never line up.  When he is teaching primary I am in Sunday school without him and vise versa. I never get to sit in 5th Sunday 3rd hour meetings with him because he's normally with young men's. Before the callings were issued Brent asked, are we going to be primary team teachers?
The answer of course was no.
We just want to hang out together during church. But apparently the a Lord wants us to be busy not on date night. 
Also I know this is unusual but we have really amazing gospel doctrine teachers.

Heavy and Humble

I've been walking around with a very heavy heart this week.
After today its humbled.
A week ago I sneaked into primary to watch my sunbeam be the spotlight. It was overflowing with cuteness. His favorite temple.... D----- the one closest to us
Favorite scripture story... the Nephites (rolling on the floor emoji, I love his answer)
Favorite thing to do... a pile of matchbox cars and a toy screwdriver, no explanation needed.

As I stood in the back I thought I got to stop showing up to support my kids in primary, they are going to recruit me. Then I thought nah, not me.

Later in the day we met with the Bishopric member, he was going to give my husband a calling. For some reason I didn't really expect to get one the same day. He asked me to serve in Primary, as a CTR 5 teacher. (You probably don't know this but I have spent more time with CTR 5s then any other age in the church.) I hesitantly said yes, then mumbled something about it being a while since I was in Primary because of anxiety and depression. More mumbling. He then said, I think you should know, both of these callings came from the Lord while we were kneeling as a bishopric and praying.

*facepalm, glass shattered, etc*

You see four years ago I was a primary teacher and I had been a primary teacher in various wards for about 5 years. They released me because I was big pregnant and grumpy. And they needed a Relief Society Meetings Coordinator. I spent the next few years in Relief Society with babies, sickness, RSV, depression, anxiety and my various RS callings. 15 months ago or so I was released from my Relief Society calling. It took a few weeks to get a new calling. I told many of friends, I will try to accept any calling they give me, but if they call me to Primary I will say, I'm not saying no, I'm just saying you and I will both go home this week and pray about it on our kneels and meet back together next week to see what the Lord wants. There is no way Brother Key could have known I said that 15 months ago, when he told me we prayed about this on our knees.

I then spent the next 6 days searching the Lord for peace on this calling. There were a lot of desperate pleas uttered as prayer. Things I realized
1.
Not quite the same message, but what I was referring to in my earlier post, the Lord prepares a way for those he calls.
2. My husband helped me see the primary is probably most in need of a master teacher. (a reference I'm sure you won't know.)
3. I don't know, its hard to relate spiritual prompting to English. so count this one for the next 15

Today my husband spoke in Sacrament meeting. We got there and apparently I was panicked, because my daughter got chastised for complaining she never sits by me. (She spent 40 minutes sitting on my lap last week.) Then we realized we forgot her talk, so I jumped up and said, I'll go get it. I really enjoyed my next 10 minutes in the car. I also put on anti-anxiety essential oils when I grabbed the talk. I didn't really enjoy my time, I more sat that wanting to bang my head against the steering wheel. I silently screamed I can't do it, I can't do, I can't do! Alternated with stop thinking about it, obsessing won't make it better. So I get back during the opening Hymn and my husband whispers, "I need to sit on the stand." "Ok" "Will you be ok?" "Nope" and I smile while he stands up to get on the stand. 

I intermittently offered silent prayers of I can't do it! While my husband smiled at me for the stand. Did I tell you what his talk was about? Putting your spouse first, and eternal marriage. The talks on eternal marriage were more about helping your spouse with children. My youngest either threw fits in the aisle, or he asked to go potty. I took him to go potty 3 times during sacrament meeting, he went potty all three times. (We potty trained him this week.) He wanted to go a fourth, but I really doubted he was on the verge of an accident where he already had emptied SO much. I'm sure my constant parade was quite entertaining for the ward since my husband was speaking on eternal families. 

After church I realized it was good my husband couldn't sit with us. If he was there to help I probably would have had a panic attack. I was so close to leaving all my children on the pew by themselves and going to sit in the hall on the couch. 
The bishopric guy who called me, was released today, he was asked to bare his testimony he talked about callings being given by the Lord while they were on their knees and praying. Just in case I forgot, the Lord told me again.
The Sunday school teacher said, in the sight of the Lord a sunbeam teacher is just as important as the prophet because those sunbeams are so important to the Lord. (I had one last week in Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society.) 

I talked with the Primary president a few times today, I think she is seeing some hesitancy from me, I keep telling her its fine. I wonder should I mention, its nothing against primary, its just been a lot of years of depression and anxiety. In the past when I taught primary I wouldn't let my children touch me or sit on my lap during sacrament meeting, or for a couple of hours of church. Its been less then a year I've actually been able to help my husband in sacrament meeting with my children. I'm just not sure I'm ready to go down all these paths again. 

Over and over, I thought "the Lord is more concerned with our progress than our comfort." (Which is a heck of a lot better than I can't do this.) Being a lazy millenia makes me think, I wish he was more concerned with my comfort, because he never lets me get comfortable, with every milestone I gain he sends a curve ball. I'm pretty sure he does in fact want me in Primary, but I'm not actually sure why. If you are Mormon and reading this you, probably can see the writing on the wall, but I am missing it. Please DO NOT contact me, I don't need you to tell me what I'm missing. I'll see it one day, or at least in eternity. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Understanding why

I've thought it was weird that we prepared to move internationally twice and didn't go though twice. (We've actually tried more) Brent's said well it helped get us ready for this move.  True but I'm sure I could have gotten ready other ways.
The only thing that's really rung true to me is when Colombia fell through. We found out while on vacation at my parents house and my brother was there at the same time.  He said to me maybe Brent just needed to know you'd follow him.
Today I read a blog post from a marriage therapist that rang true:
"That’s what dialogue is. It’s a conversation with one another – rather than at one another – that is designed to reveal the deeper meaning of a particular conflict. Dr. Gottman refers to this as the “dream within conflict.” Whenever the dream or hope or aspiration for the relationship is ignored, problems arise. But when those dreams are revealed and understood and respected, it creates space for the relationship to become more meaningful than the problem."
https://www.gottman.com/blog/p-is-for-problems/
At the time the time I did not know how to respect his dream without buying into it. I knew it was destroying our relationship. As I've mentioned I went into general conference with one question.  Who has got to give because our relationship can't sustain this disagreement.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chocolate Cupcakes

This story has been in and out of my head for 6 months now, as I reflect and wonder what I was suppose to learn.
(I hope its not a repeat if it is, now you know what my mind is like.)
Back in February my second busiest time of the year, when I have 3 birthdays in 2 and half weeks and a holiday, I knew my visiting teaching sister also had a birthday. I couldn't exactly remember when it was in the month but I had been her visiting teacher for three years so I knew it was sometime.
We went and visited our other sister in the morning, and it was a heavy conversation, she mentioned some not pleasant parts of her childhood. And since the point of visiting teaching is to bare one another's burdens I was glad she was sharing with us. But I went home exhausted. I had about an hour and half before the next visit.
The spirit plainly told me take out the chocolate cupcakes from the freezer and frost them. For the last day or two the spirit had been gently nudging me to defrost them and to have supplies for frosting. But let us recall I had already made 3 birthday deserts in the last three weeks (my baby's birthday is 2 weeks before my husband). I had addressed a good 45 valentines for school. Each dessert and holiday prep was a monumental accomplishment of love will beat the anxiety. (And let us not forget I mean mental illness anxiety, not I'm negatively excited, I mean I can barely leave my house, crippling anxiety.)
So all these promptings fell on exhausted ears. I wanted to listen and act I really did, but I just didn't quite get there. My heart was heavy like a sandbag and my feet felt like stones. When I drove home from my first visit I thought go buy chocolate frosting, I drove right past the store, I two tired and hungry toddlers in my car, and I could barely walk through a parking lot with them on a good day because my anxiety had flared up so much.
Six months later I honestly can't remember if I had frosting stuff at home, I think I did but I can't remember now. I think I at least had cool whip, we like chocolate cake and cool whip in our house.
I remember a few times hearing take out the chocolate cupcakes.
I never listened, I got distracted with caring for my babies, with feeding them, and myself. I was so exhausted surely the Lord must know that. Of course he did.
Well it was time to get to our next visit, my two toddlers and I were late, and it was during naptime. But it was the only time that fit for my partner and my sister we were visiting. While we were there, our sister said today was her husband's birthday.

And he always complains that she never has time to make him a chocolate cake. And this year was no different, she was so busy all morning. She had an afternoon of getting her high schoolers to various needs.
.
.
.
.
*Head held in shame* Except it wasn't, I played cool. I didn't want those other two ladies to know the spirit told me multiple times to bring chocolate cupcakes.
.
.
I felt awful though.
.
.
.
and embarrassed
.
.
.
After a few days of shame I finally told my husband about it. He was very sympathetic to my regret.

I spent weeks wondering how did the Lord expect me to run faster than I had strength?

He knew of all people how tired I was. How overwhelmed.


Then the answer came, I don't remember the reference but it said when the Lord prompts you he will always give you strength to accomplish what he asks.

Looking back I wish I had the faith to complete a miracle.
But I didn't and sometimes we don't.
We can't beat ourselves up.
We can only move forward with faith.

Saying next time I will be better. Next time I will be able to morn with one sister and lighten the burdens on another all in one day, and care of my family. But if I had the strength for all that, my family would probably have had cold cereal for dinner, and I would have had take out. And we would all be happy and tired.

Other days I think how is her procrastination my fault? Its not. Plain and simple, if she truly cared about making a chocolate cake she would have made it happen. But she didn't and that isn't my fault, but we all would have felt the love of the Lord that day if I would have shown up with chocolate cupcakes. The spirit would have been strong and we all would have been blessed. It wasn't my fault, but I missed the opportunity to bless.

Instead I learned a hard lesson.

As I keep reflecting on this experience I think I've learned far more since I missed my opportunity then if I would have listened.

Part of me says, doesn't all the other treats I dropped off at her house over the years count for something? All the times she said oh thank you so much, I was so busy that day, so my kids ate those for dinner.
Apparently I should have been dropping off dinner all those years.

They did count. And the righteous desires of our hearts also count. But it was a hard lesson to learn, one I will probably think about for years, but not out of shame, instead out of hope. I will always wish I listened to the spirit, and taken out those frozen cupcakes. I will always wished I didn't miss the opportunity to bless a family but at least I've learned a lesson from it.

Now when I'm in the store instead of thinking I'm too tired to be friendly I can be a listening ear. I can have the faith that the Lord gives strength to those who listen.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Madrid Spain

A few weeks ago on the 5th Sunday of July before our last lesson started the teacher had a slide show of LDS temples playing. I honestly wasn't paying attention to it, I was slightly paying attention to my husband's conversation with the guy next to him. When I looked up to the screen and saw the Madrid Spain LDS temple. Immediately it was a confirmation that we where we suppose to be. Even if it wasn't foreign. Even if I don't see an opportunity for my 3rd child to become a polygot.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Thinking about the North Pole

Last night at dinner my 10 year old said to his little sister, during the summer at the North pole the sun never sets, and in the winter its always dark. She replied I know.

A few weeks ago my sister told me about a conversation she had with her daughter about fairies. I was thinking about that North Pole fact. The South Pole is same, except the summer is during the North's winter. I know that fact is true. I know people/scientists have experienced it. I have been to latitudes that have long summer days and short winter days so I know it gets more extreme the farther north you are. I have been to places near the equator where 365 days a year the day is exactly 12 hours. The sun rises at 7 And sets at 7. There is no deviation. But yet I have a hard believing that the North Pole has times during the year that the sun never sets. I know its true but I can't believe it.

How many times in life do we ignore something because we can't make sense of it, even though it is indeed true? There is absolute truth even if our brain cannot comprehend, even if it confuses our heart.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ratification

We close in 10 days so on Sunday we checked out our new ward. It's in the building I attended senior primary in. I remember my brother's baptism in that building. It's a little odd. A lot.
When we pulled up I thought its not to late to turn around now. My 10 year old from the backseat turned to the 2 year old and whispered are you nervous or excited?
I knew before I moved down here I'd recognize a few old timers in my ward. (It was the Lord preparing me, a gift of the spirit so I don't freak out.) During first hour, I noticed my stake president from when I was a teenager. He signed my ecclesiastical form for my BYU application. (The stake split has twice since then.) During the choir's musical number I recognized a woman from girls camp, turns out she in the Stake YW presidency. (Now mind you they aren't old, I grew up with their oldest children at stake youth activities, I mean old timers like they have been here for 20 years.) I eventually recognized my youngest son's Nursery leaders as leaders of YW in my old stake.
This ward is where we are suppose to be but by the end of the day I felt panicked.
My husband wrote on FB:
"I had an interesting moment of homesickness/ nostalgia at our new ward building today.  I had a very distinct impression that reminded me of the first time attending in monument Colorado.  Basically it was a spiritual confirmation that my family was in the right place. I was then flooded with memories of all the great people I met while living in Colorado and how great that period of life was for us. It is good to know that our first time showing up to our actual ward here is off to an equally memorable start."
He was so confident when he walked out of church. Which was a good reminded to me of the spiritual ratification I felt through my meetings. All through the lessons someone would say something and it would remind me of something that happened over the last two years to get me to where I am today. Some gospel principle that would remind me of a spiritual impression. Or some conference talk or reference.
For me moving back home hasn't been the easiest thing. But I do know its where the Lord wants my family. I can't deny that. Although in my insecurities I keep trying. I need more faith. More courage.
That's why I keep blogging, my family needs this history, I need it. I can't forget the feeling I got when the realtor brought me to Allen. Its interesting that I prayed for weeks to know where we should be. The spirit didn't tell me right away, instead we were left spiritual bread crumbs, we were able to cross off places on our list, look at we thought we wanted. Slowly the Lord tested our faith before he gave us the answer. He didn't give me an address right off that bat, I wouldn't have believed that without the Work.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Primary

Since I'm living at my parents house this summer my records were transferred to their ward. They gave us callings for our 2 months here. They called me to be the team teacher in Valiant 11 year old girls. Bizarrely ironic since this building is about to have a 20th anniversary and 20 years ago I was a Valiant 11 year old girl. Except then we were called Merrie Miss. By the time we moved into the building I was too cool for primary. I was a strong willed child in class with other strong willed girls. Mighty miss would have been a better name. The boys were very quiet the girls couldn't be shushed, stereotypically  it opposite. As I became an adult I realized I was not in the right. But at the time I felt like they were babying me. I had adult siblings, teenaged siblings, and I had senioritis for primary. Good teachers teach the gospel, great teachers teach the gospel and never under estimate their students.
As I've come across past teachers from my childhood I've apologized to them for some of my behaviors. The general response was its fine you were 14, that's how they act, or whatever age I was at the time. (I don't think I was constantly disrespectful but I definitely had multiple phases.)
I've often been given the challenging class when I'm a primary teacher. When ward members ask what class and I say it the general response is oh, that's the hard class right? My response is yes, but I was a challenging child in primary so what comes around goes around. I get them, these are my people. (ok, I haven't always had hard classes but I've had plenty. I once had more than 10 5 year old boys in my class and that wasn't even one of the top contenders.)
Yesterday I said to my team teacher this is my penitence. Then I immediately followed up with nah, it's probably the Lord saying it's fine, you are forgiven. I was surprised by what was said, I've never once thought that about my primary teaching. It was definitely the Holy Ghost talking. I have to admit its a freeing feeling.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hope not quite Faith

Last week I was listening to conference when President Utchdorf's talk He will place you on your shoulders and carry you home" came on.
In the end of his talk He says,
If mortal hands can transform rubble and ruins into a beautiful house of worship, then we can have confidence and trust that our loving Heavenly Father can and will rebuild us. His plan is to build us into something far greater than what we were—far greater than what we can ever imagine. With each step of faith on the path of discipleship, we grow into the beings of eternal glory and infinite joy we were designed to become."
The spirit whispered that's an answer to prayers. I didn't know exactly what was the answer so I have been studying it.
I realize maybe what it is now.
Some how over the years I bought in to Satan's lies. I started to believe as a stay at home mother I wasn't capable of more. I worry about my children growing up because what do I have in my life other than them? If they grow up I won't have anything left. I started to believe I need the chaos in my life. So when he says, "If mortal hands can transform rubble and ruins into a beautiful house of worship, then we can have confidence and trust that our loving Heavenly Father can and will rebuild us. His plan is to build us into something far greater than what we were—far greater than what we can ever imagine."
I have hope that he will take me full of scars and turn me into something more than I can imagine but right now I'm not sure I believe.
Right now in my mind I'm a pile of rubble and I'm not sure how I'll one day a beautiful cathedral.
For pictures go here:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/he-will-place-you-on-his-shoulders-and-carry-you-home?lang=eng&_r=1
Lastly I'll add its embarrassing to admit this. I think, shouldn't I have the faith it takes to believe this? But I don't its only a hope. (Satan is ruthless he kicks you while you're down. The Lord would never make me feel guilty that I have hope in a concept. But Satan does, he doesn't even want me to have faith but yet he tells me I'm inadequate for not having it because he knows how to mock faith from every level.)

A house

Just so you know. We bought a house, we close in exactly a month.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. I didn't want a large home, my husband didn't want spend more than a $1200 a month, but like I said the Lord works in mysterious ways.
As I said I had the distinct impression you don't have to buy a small house to prove your spirituality.
We put an offer on a second home and ours was not chosen. There were literally no homes on the market we were interested in, we had seen everything. So I decided we should go to the temple since there were no listings to see. Afterward Brent said he had the impression: you should up your budget you know you can afford more. (If you know us you know we're very frugal.)
And now we are under contract to buy a house more expensive then he wanted and about 1000 sq ft more than I wanted. But it feels like the right choice.
I'm now struggling to remain patient.
The house has great bones the only thing the inspector found was it needs new windows. But cosmetically it could use some work but we hardly have any furniture. So now I've been praying to know what we need to be comfortable and what would be frivolous. Both furniture and cosmetic. Luckily enough all the bathrooms are updated.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Three year old's confidence

Yesterday Turbo was a nightmare, all morning long. We ran two errands and then we were going to stop at the library. He didn't want to stop and so he was screaming in his carseat. I told him J wanted to go and so I told him we could go. Turbo didn't want to go though, he wanted to go back to grammy's. I told him not until we went to the library. More screaming. So I dropped J off at the door (Grammy, his sister and cousins were inside) and was planning to sit in the car with screaming Turbo. (Poor Ikey)
We pull into a parking spot and Turbo asks why aren't we getting out? Because you said you didn't want to go, and I'm not taking you in there if you are screaming.
He stopped screaming and told me, I just want to go to Toddler time, you never take me to toddler time anymore.
I didn't know you still liked toddler time, I didn't think you liked it so I was giving you a break. He replied he still liked it, and wanted to go.
I said, there probably is not any toddler time going on right now and we will have to look up the time and come back.

He confidently replied there is one.

We walked in the building and you'll never guess what was happening at exactly 11:30 am? Children and mothers were walking into Music and Movement for Toddlers. He knew there would one.
I asked if we had to pre-register. The librarian responded normally yes, but we have plenty of room today.

It seemed like a miracle.
My three year old was actually happy for an hour of his day.
I didn't want to throw him out the window for an hour of his day.

I think it was a miracle, I pondered on what it meant while I fell asleep.

The Lord blesses us even when we are angry at the world.
The Lord blesses us more than we comprehend. Even if we don't recognize a blessing doesn't mean it didn't happen.
We don't have to be happy to receive blessings.
The Lord gives us blessings even when other mortals don't think we deserve them.
The Lord loves my children more than I can comprehend.
The Lord wants my ornery child to be happy. (But I do believe he cares more about our progress then our happiness.)

Do you know how many days I thought, we need to go to the library before we actually went? I had only been planning to go for 6 days.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Perspective

As a teenager I found it doubtful when people said they could open their scriptures and read the exact verse they needed to hear. It has definitely been true for me these past few months. I'll be overwhelmed and the next conference talk in my queue will answer what I'm struggling with. Today I opened gospel library. And this was where I was:
1 Nephi 17
3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.

I'm not in 1 Nephi 17, nor is family study. I'm not sure why it was there.

This Saturday we'll have been here for a month. Still no contract. I never expected being here let alone a month without having an end date but I guess its not 8 years. That puts it in perspective.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A miracle

I was suppose to post this on the 17th.
A miracle happened today. I went to pay my last energy bill from my old house and realized it was overdue. Opps! I asked my mom if the mail was already picked up? yes, yes to everywhere. I would have had to drive across town to get it out today. I decided one more day wouldn't hurt, too much, hopefully. A few minutes later I was supervising my oldest and my nephew swimming, when I noticed the mail truck drive by the other side of the fence. I quickly ran inside and grabbed my bill. The mail truck had stopped in front of my parents house, I asked her if she could take my bill. She said yes, took it and then drove off. She didn't even deliver mail on my parents street!

I needed that miracle. The confirmation that the Lord is watching over me and is aware of everything. What's the scripture? Aware of the sparrow in the tree, how much more than you?

Google came up with Luke 12:
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
But I'm not sure that's it.

Maybe Doctrine and Covenants 84:
82 For, consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, are not arrayed like one of these.
 83 For your Father, who is in heaven,knoweth that you have need of all these things.
 84 Therefore, let the morrow takethought for the things of itself.
 85 Neither take ye thought beforehandwhat ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.

Be comforted

Today knowing there was literally no house on the market I wanted to buy I was lost in wondering what we should do. My brain was very foggy from my head cold and so I was a lost sheep today.
They only part of the morning I felt at peace was when I took my kids swimming. Nothing like enjoying the simplicity of motherhood to bring peace.

Tonight I was reading President Erying's address from October 2015 Priesthood Session, titled You Are Not Alone In the Work. He tells the story of his great grandfather Henry Erying's mission service:
Henry wrote in his journal, “Having had dreams before which were literally fulfilled I had faith to believe, that this also would be and consequently commenced at once to prepare for a start.”
(A few paragraphs later it says:)
Henry described his joy, saying, “Thus my dream was literally fulfilled.”
His joy came from a confirmation that the Lord had been working with and watching over him. He learned what is true for all of us—that the Lord’s servants are inspired to know the Lord’s will."

Even though I started the talk earlier I finished the talk once Brent and I were in bed and I shared the story with him. I then said, I guess that is why this move hasn't been hard. Well hard but not impossible. (He knew what I meant.) People ask where we are looking for houses and then they ask why there, I have no answer other than that is where the Lord directed us. To some I'm sure this move is crazy, buts its normal to me because this is not the first time we've done something like this. I have complete faith the Lord will tell us where He wants us because He has always has in the past. Ever since I picked my college the Lord's told me where he wants me after I've studied it out in my mind.

After I finished the story to Brent I opened up our Book of Mormon reading. We were on Alma 17:10
And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.

Tonight was a tender mercy. I've spent the last 24 hours wandering in spiritual darkness so I'm grateful for renewed faith. (I know 24 hours is a fly speck of time to wander in spiritual darkness.)

Always learned

This house hunting has been one of the most interesting experience of my life. I guess I'm learning how to listen to the spirit and pray for what the Lord wants for me not for what I want.
Two weeks ago when our first offer was out there, I was praying that our offer would be accepted if it be thy will. Then two or three days into it changed one day. I found myself praying for something different. That I would have the faith for what the Lord wanted. When I found myself praying that I was slightly surprised.
Yesterday I started my Sabbath prayers unexpectedly again. I prayed that the Lord would renew my faith as it falter. I thought that was an odd prayer as right there my faith was strong.
Last night we found out our second offer wasn't accepted. I was not suprised it never really felt right to me. But then once I was in bed a deep panic ran over my virus inflicted body. (My children gave me a cold.) I have literally looked at every listing in the town that the Spirit has told me to move to.
Sure in the light of day I realize that there will be more houses but... It is a discouraging process.
I spent the night sleeping poorly, grinding my teeth and going through all the listing that are still out there wondering which one could work..
Anyway back to the reason of this post, in February 2000 Boyd K. Packer had an Ensign article titled Teach the Children, he said, "I once heard President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) say, “I always know when I am speaking under the influence of the Holy Ghost because I always learn something from what I have said.”
In the last few months I've often found myself learning from a comment I've made in church. Lately my prayers are no different.
I also feel like I need to ponder on this quote from President Packer. "Some wait for compelling spiritual experiences to confirm their testimony. It doesn’t work that way. It is the quiet promptings and impressions of ordinary things that give us the assurance of our identity as children of God. We live far below our privileges when we seek after signs and look “beyond the mark” for marvelous events."
Am I looking for quiet assurances or grandiose feelings? I've had grandiose feelings when moving my family to a new home but mostly I've had quiet assurances that it will all work out.

Then again I also believe what Elder Hales taught in Spring Conference this year in his talk entitled The Holy Ghost.

"The Holy Ghost provides personal revelation to help us make major life decisions about such things as education, missions, careers, marriage, children, where we will live with our families, and so on. In these matters, Heavenly Father expects us to use our agency, study the situation out in our minds according to gospel principles, and bring a decision to Him in prayer."

"I remind all of us that the Holy Ghost is not given to control us. Some of us unwisely seek the Holy Ghost’s direction on every minor decision in our lives. This trivializes His sacred role. The Holy Ghost honors the principle of agency. He speaks to our minds and our hearts gently about many matters of consequence."

"Each of us may feel the influence of the Holy Ghost differently. His promptings will be felt in different degrees of intensity according to our individual needs and circumstances."

That last quote explains why some moves have stronger impressions then others. The Lord tailor's my needs to my circumstances. But yet I don't know if I'm being too picky and I should get something. Or if the Lord is testing my patience for something better. That is the question we've been wondering/searching.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Embarrassed

The other night I realized all the things I'm posting on my blog and I was embarrassed to be so frank. It seems to be the other bone I'm being thrown lately. Time to blog. I'm not sure I want time to blog. This has been an exercise in what I need not want. The house I would have chosen I just kept thinking ahh wait, no need to put an offer. The house I frantically put an offer on so they'd take down the listing is pretty much what I've been saying I won't buy. It feels right...
But that doesn't mean they'll pick ours....

Doesn't mean

As I've stated I fasted and prayed about this move I really felt like it was the right choice for my family.
So its been quite shocking to how hard its all been. On Sunday in church my little boys were being quite disruptive. I was so frustrated that they were being so combatant with me. And eventhough they weren't cooperating I was on, I was helping them fold their arms, whispering scripture stories. Holding them, ignoring them, I tried all sides of the spectrum and nothing was working. I was staying calm but still nothing was working. Then the spirit said, "Well done my good and faithful servant you are choosing the right but that doesn't mean its going to be easy."
It aplied to both childcare and choosing where to live.

Oh heaven help me in my childcare duties.  If I l leave the room without Turbo her cries and every time I turn around Ike has broken more glass. He isn't doing it to be naughty each time is an accident. He's just so busy. Plus my daughter is so needy it's like having triplets instead of my Irish twins. (They aren't actually Irish twins. But they look enough alike and are enough of a handful that in public older ladies often ask me about my Irish twins.)

I felt like moving was the obedient thing so I thought it would be easy. I'm not sure if any of this has been easy. Our house was on the market 3 weeks longer than anyone thought. Now this real estate market is so hot its hard to find anything. We made an offer on a house we won't find out for a week. They also had a cash offer. Hopefully that falls through and they pick us. I've been praying fervently. Sunday morning all of sudden my prayer changed. I didn't ask to get the house I prayed to get the right house. I'm suppose to go look at more listings incase they don't pick ours. I just don't care! My kids are fine while I'm gone but fall to pieces when I get home and are so awful for me the next day. Every time I feel like complaining and ask the Lord to throw me a bone he gives me time to listen to conference. Not really the bone I'm looking for I guess I should be grateful.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Its about faith

As I mentioned I've had supreme doubts this last couple of weeks. For almost 3 weeks I've been pleading with the Lord to tell me where my family was specifically suppose to live. Although I was receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost I wasn't receiving what I thought I needed to know. I got a few it will work out, a not here, a lot of yeah we can do this and a stupor of thought but no this is where your family should live.

I wanted to feel where my family should live.

I needed to feel where my family should l live.

It wasn't happening.

I wondered if it was my fault. A few months ago I found myself angry with the Lord. I felt like I had made no decisions in my life and just kept doing what he told me to do which had resulted in my dreams going unfulfilled and me ending up in a boring thankless life. The Lord let me throw my fit for a while. Then thr spirit told me I'm aware of everything you've ever wanted to accomplish. Your life is not over and I'll turn your dreams into more than you can image. I am the potter and you are the clay. You only have a short portion of your life to have babies then we'll work on what's next.

So see this was all my fault. Since I complained The Lord was going to let me figure this next portion out. I wasn't ready for such things.

(Back to the anger. I've wondered why I qualify for spiritual answers when I'm angry at the Lord. Shouldn't be deny me those blessings if I'm not joyful? As mortals we often deny service to those who are grumpy. I've realized you qualify for certain blessings based on your obedience. When I'm going to church, trying to live up to my covenants especially my baptismal covenants of always remembering him and take him name upon me, reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, fulfilling my church callings, teaching my children to read the scriptures, teaching my children to pray, nurturing my temple marriage, looking for opportunities to serve those around me. When I'm doing all those things even if I'm hurt and confused and I'm angry at the Lord, If I'm still being obedient, I am receiving what the Lord has promised that the blessings of heaven are being showered upon me and the angels are unrestrained in my company. I'm sure the Lord would prefer me happy. Everyone prefers me happy, but he also knows I need to have the good with the bad so he's not going to punish me for my doubt as long as my obedience doesn't wane.)

Back to moving so see I thought I'd brought my lack of direction on myself for my previous doubt.

Wherever I brought my doubt up with Brent he would tell me it's because we ask to move here so we have to decide for ourselves. It's the 116 pages of manuscript. I would angrily tell Brent its not the 116 pages. I don't know what you were praying for but my prayers would have not led to that. The Lord wants us here. Even though I tell people this is your consolation prize because Spain didn't work out, the UK, Columbia, etc. This is not a consolation prize we are suppose to be here. I just don't know where....

...
.
.
.
I didn't know where. I was so distraught.
.
.
I didn't know where.
.
.
I don't know where.
...
.
.

(Can you feel the sadness? Because there was sadness.)
We would go into house and one of us would hate it.
We were both grumpy at each other, why doesn't the other just like this house already?
How could the other one like this house?
I asked Brent when is our realtor going to break up with us because we don't like anything and are wasting his time.
I'd get desperate.
I'd plead-- tell me.
I'd get a you could make this work if you want to...

Then we drove to a different town.

To recap, Town F was a no.
Town P was a stupor of thought.
My hometown was a you could make this work if you want to.

I don't want to. I purposely moved away 13 years ago. I purposely stayed away for 10 years. Where do you want me? Tell me...
I'm sick of looking at online listings to have them disappear before I get there. (under contract) I'm sick of walking into other people's houses. Tell me where you want me.

Then we drove to a new town. This was it. I couldn't believe this was it. This is where the Lord wanted my family. After a few seconds I wondered was I making this up because I was begging for a sign? No this is it. Looking out the car window, do I really want this to be it?
Then we got to a nicer neighborhood.
First house we looked at in that town was owned by Mormons, I could feel it the moment we walked in. After a few rooms I walked into a different room because I didn't want Brent and the realtor to see me get emotional that the Lord had finally answered my prayers.

The house was lacking some things I wanted like a game room. Was I suppose to buy this house? Or was the spirit just in their home? It needed a new master bath, and new siding, the realtor wasn't impressed he said it was over priced. So we went to the next house.

This was the house we wanted. Brand new on the market. (not a new build) Its a house we fit in now, a house we fit in 10 years from now, a house we could stay awhile.
That's what the Lord told me Monday night. Don't buy a small rental to live in, I want you to establish yourself. I'm mindful of your goals and dream, don't buy a house with an exit strategy.
Right before that he told me don't buy a house too small for your family. You will not prove your spirituality by buying a house too small. Buy a house for your kids to grow into so you stay awhile.

There is already an offer on the table. I'm not sure ours is good enough. But our finances are good, we pay our tithing, we've done all we can do. The Lord will make up the rest.
Whether that means this house or another... Only time will tell...
But it's about faith. Which is usually lacking but I'm trying my best.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

It hasn't been

In case you thought all this moving and house hunting has been rainbows and butterflies I want to set the record straight.
It hasn't been.
There are days I'm so angry.
So frustrated.
Days I'm in bed having a panic attack shaking because I don't know what choice to make for my family.
Who's idea was it anyway to move to the hottest market this area has ever seen.
If I was standing face to face to the Lord I would have probably screamed I don't know what you want me to do!
Instead I've had some very distraught prayers filled emotional screaming.

But I guess you have to opposition in all things. How would I know the spirit is talking if I didn't know the dark panic of this problem is too big and too tall for me to ever know. (By the way I hate this gospel principle I don't ever want to experience the bad.)

Through it all I'm sure the Lord is standing there patting my head saying there there just like when I toddler throws a fit because the park takes 10 minutes to walk to. I'm sure my spirit is only had the toddler equivalent. I'm just barely learning how to speak the language of eternities. I'm just barely learning how to walk by light.

Friday, June 3, 2016

THREE!

The other day I asked my 2 year old baby boy what his name was.
I do this often, he has a lot of nicknames and so it is interesting to see which one he relates most to at the time.
He said, "Ikey!"
I then asked how old are you?
He response "Three!"


We laughed he is 2, but his big brother is three and obsessed with three. Grandma then spent the rest of the afternoon teaching him he is two!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

2 weeks ago

Two weeks ago when I was near the end of packing but still had so far to go. I was eating breakfast and pretty panicked. I kept thinking hold it together. Motivational thinking was not really helping.
So I figured I needed to put first things first and do some light religious study. I know we are suppose to feast but light is better then none.

I opened my LDS Gospel library App thinking I'll pick I'll my conference talks where I left off. My heart fell I saw the picture of a seventy I didn't recognize. I started reading anyway because in my panicked state I didn't know what else to read. To make matters worse it was a talk about the Hymn book. I didn't care about the history of the Hymn book. Didn't the spirit know how busy I was?

It was Elder Steven Snow's talk Be Thou Humble from April 2016 General Conference. Now that I'm typing this I do see the irony.  After I finished my light study I also realized Satan didn't want me to study the talk. He didn't want me to have that strength which is why I was so upset in the beginning of my reading. It was exactly the talk the spirit wanted me to read.
In the second to last paragraph of the talk he writes,
"It should come as no surprise that President Kimball’s favorite hymn was “I Need Thee Every Hour.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks reported that this was the most oft-sung opening hymn by the Brethren in the temple during his early years in the Quorum of the Twelve. He said, “Picture the spiritual impact of a handful of the Lord’s servants singing that song before praying for his guidance in fulfilling their mighty responsibilities.”

When I finished the talk I looked up on YouTube the Mo Tab singing I Need Thee Every Hour. Immediately following the next video that played was Mo Tab singing I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go.
I needed to start my day with those two hymns. They are what I needed to hear to carry me through the end of packing. To give me the fortude to not fall to pieces in front of my kids every time I said good bye to a good friend.

The talk keeps giving. This morning I took my husband to the airport on the way home I was pondering many things. This was an answer to some of them.
"She based her text for “Be Thou Humble” on two verses of scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 112:10 and Ether 12:27. The verse in Ether reads: “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; … for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

Also since we've moved my older kids are bickering a lot with each other. So here is another answer to pondering.
"While nurturing their self-confidence and self-esteem, we need to teach them the qualities of selflessness, kindness, obedience, lack of pride, civility, and unpretentiousness. We need them to learn to take joy in the successes of siblings and friends. President Howard W. Hunter taught that “our genuine concern should be for the success of others.” If not, our children can become obsessed with self-promotion and outdoing others, jealousy, and resentment for the triumphs of peers. I’m grateful for a mother who, when seeing I was becoming too full of myself as a boy, would say, “Son, a little bit of humility right now would go a long way.”

I'm going to reemphasized one of those sentences:
"We need them to learn to take joy in the successes of siblings and friends. President Howard W. Hunter taught that “our genuine concern should be for the success of others.”

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In town

I don't think I could explain how much my life lately has been a leap of faith.

Three or your years ago I told Brent I wouldn't just up and move again. I just did. So I've desperately needed inspiration in my life.

Here is what has been spoken to me since I got to town: (Yes, these were literally spoken to me. I know my own thoughts and now after the deep abyss of my last postpartum depression I know how to distinguish between my voice and the voice of the Holy Ghost.)

1. Don't worry, your house is not yet on the market.
2. You can do this
3. It will be fine.

Last night I remember we spent the last 2 or 3 years looking for where we should buy our next home. Everywhere we looked in the springs was just not right for our family. When my husband suggested this move last fall I surprisingly said ok. I was surprised when I said it. It has seemed like what the Lord wanted for us but I don't know why....
( This is truly what is right for my family not my husband's consolation prize. Although I do joke about that.)

Friday, May 27, 2016

6 months later

Six months ago I went to Spain with my husband. It was a terrible time for my family so prayed to make sure we survive if I went. My answer was a positive feeling so I went.
I got home and my anxious 3 year old was worse than it was when I left. It took months to dissipate I wondered why I went.
But now I'm here house hunting and gone for hours each day and he doesn't care. He trusts his grandma because she didn't abandon him in Spain. He always cares when I leave him. But not here.
#tendermercy
Now it makes sense.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Moving is dirty work

I started writing this on FB:
After driving 13 and half hours with my kids without my husband I took my children to the restroom in a McDonald's. Afterward we were waiting for our food to go. A little girl yells,
"GRANDMA, THAT LADY HAS A LOT OF KIDS."
"LEMME COUNT 'EM. ONE..." whether her grandma hushed her or we walked out the door I'll never remember. I was not offended, I wanted to turn around and say,
"I KNOW, RIGHT?"
Four kids equal so many bladders!
Plus we looked so raggedy after so many long days of moving. I won't mention how long it's been since we bathed and how many days my 2 middle children have been wearing their clothes. We packed up our lives, finished moving out of our house by 7:45 pm then drove for 2 days.
I'm not tired because I've drank too many Dr. Peppers but I am worn thin.
We change what city we want to move to daily. We been doing this so long we've cycled back through the same cities. For 5 days I had thought I wanted to move to city X. Tonight we drove around it and I hated it. I almost felt so defeated but the Lord knew my exhaustion and the spirit whispered, "your house isn't on the market yet." #tendermercy
I'm not really sure if I understood him correctly I've come to believe the Godhead does not speak the same language as I do and my job is to learn to understand their language. So the message might have been, "there there little one your house is not here." or maybe it's not on the market yet. Either way I was nearly in hot tears but thankfully that answer came quick.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Three things about their mom

A few months ago I was driving down the street and I thought I want my children to always know three things about their mom:
1. She didn't let fear stop her
2. She always loved their dad fiercely
3. She committed her whole life to her religion

As I contemplated on that list I thought yeah that's a good list. Some might think I should have on that list that I loved my children. Sorry it might make me a bad mom but that is not on my list. I think its far more important that they know I love their dad. Also I tell them daily that I love them, I hug them multiple times a day, I kiss them, I feed them, I clean them, I read next to them. I take them on vacations, I take pictures of them, the only thing I don't do with them is play toys with them. Which they can grow up and complain about that for all I care. I don't think children should be the center of their parents world.
As I continue to think about that list, I thought about the first. I've spent my adult live in search of being fearless, in a quest of no regrets. But that is not my natural personality I was a shy fearful child, and didn't try a lot of things because I was afraid of failing. I'm terrified of being rejected and failing, but I try to forget that be fearless, so if my children grow up not realizing that then I'll have succeeded in life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Houses and Tithing

A little history.
We bought our house 5 years ago at 209k. The offer we accepted is 100k over that. Which means we have a lot of equity to put into a new home.
There is a problem I don't like anything in our budget. So then we started looking at things 50k more than that. Still nothing. So then we started looking at things 50k less than our budget still nothing. 100k less still nothing. I'm not interested in any houses. I'm not sure what is wrong with me.

On Sunday we had a lesson on tithing. Howard W Hunter #9
Here's some quotes

We can expect that the Lord will open “the windows of heaven” (Malachi 3:10) and shower down blessings upon the faithful.

“William (talking to a clerk), you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Would you deny me a blessing? If I did not pay my tithing I should expect the Lord to withhold His blessings from me; I pay my tithing, not only because it is a law of God but because I expect a blessing by doing it. By keeping this and other laws, I expect to prosper and to be able to provide for my family.” - Mary Fielding Smith (Joseph Fielding Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith [Salt Lake City, 1938], 158–59.)

I had a strong impression, that as a full tithe payer I am entitled to certain blessings and I need to ask the Lord for a those blessings. I also felt strongly that what the Lord gives me will be enough but that's not always what I'm expecting or other people are expecting out of me.

Am I choosing a house through God or mammon? (I truly don't know because I don't like any houses between the range of $200,000 or $400,000.)

It might be too much to ask to get a 4 bedroom house within budget, 30 minutes from my husband's office, with good schools with a quarter acre lot. All of those are negotiable, and the only thing we don't compromise on is 4 bedrooms.

I went to bed firm in the faith that it will all work out.
Monday my husband found our dream house. My Texas 70s ranch style. 9 and 10s school ratings, .45 acre lot, 25 minutes from the work.
Of course it was under contract in less than 3 days. I never expected it would be there in 2 and half weeks.
Monday night my husband got a call from the realtor he is in negotiations with the appraisal company. It's coming back low.
Today I read an article that said house prices where we are moving have gone up 16% since the beginning of the year. I already knew that we've been watching the market since November. But it was so disheartening to read.

I had a crisis of faith.
Huge crisis. With the possibility of a lower sale price on our house.

My husband said you are always the one who keeps the faith. Nothing has changed. (That's not actually true but I appreciate his vote of confidence. Plus my husband has no guile and does not lie, he believes what he says.)

After a few hours and talking to a lot of friends I'm in a good place.

Who knows what house I will buy. Who knows what city it will be in. But it is out there and the Lord will tell us when we find it. And my family will be blessed in it and the Lord knows what our hopes and dreams are and our financial goals are. The best part of all this is the Lord is better at pointing to things that will get us to where we want to be in 30 years. He tunes everything else out and focused on his plan for Brent and I, my plan and Brent's plan.


Sometimes I'm dying in anticipation to know what we will end up in and other times I'm ready to just hang out with my friends here.

I cry about every other day because we are leaving..because I'm sad for a friend or happy for a friend..because children praticipate in choir..because I'm leaving a small town..because its cold here..because my 3 years old has another cold..because I caught his second cold..because we are moving..because my babies were born here..because my children have bffs..because I'm leaving friends..because the primary president made a baptism towel for Nat..because I'm tired all the time..so many reasons.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Spanish

About 7 years ago I decided one day I would learn spanish.
I was going to start once my husband finished his MBA. Instead we moved out of state and I didn't have instate tuition. 
Before I had been a resident for a year I got pregnant. Then as y'all know I had another baby.
We are moving, but my husband wants me to take a Spanish class after we move.
That's terrifying to me. I'm not sure what has happened in 7 years.
I won't be a resident, so I can push it off longer.
Hooray!

One day I will take a spanish class again. 
(Last time I took one was 8th grade.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Do you ever wonder?

Do you ever wonder what house I will buy?
I do.

Should I buy big, or should I buy small?
New or old
Where will it be?
How many square feet?
How far from work?
Mature trees?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It is what it is.

When my daughter was almost 2 and still cried hours a day a lady with 7 kids told me, there comes a time you have to accept it isn't colic. I pondered that for a while. What was it then?
A year later I finally got us some help. It takes a while to get the answers.
This lady's second child was her first daughter, who cried non stop for years. She said she honestly never got easier she just got different. If I would have ever had another child that hard I would have never made it to 7. I didn't have another child that hard, and my daughter is much much easier  now then she was then but I did had another colic infant who lasted longer than 2 months, who didn't sleep thought the night until after he was a year old. Yeah, I'm not making it to 7.

If I could have a guarantee that I would have a happy baby, or not be depressed or have a pregnancy where I could walk to the mail box, I could consider another kid, but there are no guarantees and I can never do that ALL again.

Life is what it is.

Some people have lots of daughters, some have none, some have two and some have one. Some have happy babies, some have sickly. Thankfully I've never had chronic illness in the family, but I have had two babies who hated being babies, another who cried when I picked him up. I also am still so tired after having miserable baby and a toddler with an anxiety. A friend told me, you have dealt with chronic illness, if depression lasts past the baby's first birthday, I'd classify it as chronic. Hmm, that caused me to ponder.

Sometimes I feel bad my children aren't mediocre and other times I accept it for what it is. (I know who wishes their children were mediocre? Me, an average child probably isn't all its cracked up to be but it sounds so nice. I doubt it even exists.)  

Some people love pregnancy, some people love newborns. While some of make sure our children eat food, any food. Other people are good a sports, other people are good at taking standardized tests. While others of have a great smile (what does that even mean, when someone says that?) Some people wear the color pink well, some people bounce back after pregnancy, other lose more than they gained when the baby is only 9 months old-- not healthy it classifies you as sick, other take years if they ever lose it. (Please never tell a person struggling to put on weight you are jealous of them, its not healthy and our society should not immortalize that. Its sick.) Some people have children who say, I love my mom, other people make their children cry because its time to sweep the floor. That's probably not mutually exclusive. Some love being friendly and throwing parties, others like me hid in the house. Recently I was told I'm a good listener. I almost cried I never imagined someone would tell me that. Some people get pregnant without even trying, some take months and years, other never get pregnant, while still even others pay doctors lots of money to get pregnant. I always wonder do those mothers love their children more? I asked my sister that when my daughter was about 20 months old and spent all three hours of church crying. She said, maybe in the beginning, but eventually they will hit a rough phase and wonder what they have done to their life. I'm grateful to be in a phase where I don't wonder what I've done to my life. It is what is.

Sometimes I wonder if I should see a therapist instead of keep this blog going? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Not what I thought

A old friend of mine had a baby last week. Although I am sublimely happy for her, I also had absolutely no jealousy. There was no oh I'm so happy for her, but why isn't that me, or when will that be me again.

A friend just came back to church after having her 6th child, her second daughter. She holds that baby and is off in la la land of love, when she stares at that baby you know nothing else in the world matters to her. Once again I'm very happy for her, no jealousy, I am so happy both for her, and both for my family size. 

I realized I'm not mourning what I thought I was. I'm mourning that my baby boys aren't babies anymore, that they no longer want to snuggle on the couch all day anymore. 
I'm mourning that I'm not longer the cute young mom with life mostly organized, I'm now the mom who looks like a tornado is swirling at all times, the mom who has more kids than you can quickly count, the mom who has more kids then hands. The mom who no longer brings fresh baked cookies to an event because what? doesn't everyone do this. I'm the mom that checks out the clearance bakery items because oh my goodness, I'm so overwhelmed we eat cold cereal for dinner. But at the same time retirement always stresses me out so clearance it is.

(On a side note, I recently realized there is a difference between busy and overwhelmed. Some people are genuinely busy but always hit deadlines, then there are other people who can barely tie their shoes they are so overwhelmed but its easier to say busy then let someone glimpse oppressive fear and exhaustion. Then there are those who scream busy every other day. I'm not sure why I don't know if it helps the stress or if they want their procrastination to be your emergency...)



 I'll never be this mom again. Sure I lived in chronic pain 24 hours a day, but emotions don't make sense.

Or this mom.
Or this mom.


Maybe it comes down to I'm not sure I'll ever be this mom again, I don't think he will ever willing let me get this close to him again.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pictures!

My blog has been a downer lately. I'm so stressed I think its all piling up.
But good news last Friday we accepted a good offer on our house. 
Zillow says our house isn't for sale anymore. I guess that is good news, since normally it says pending. :/
So here are our professional pictures. The best our house will ever look. It doesn't look this good in real life. 
First you walk in the front door.
From the opposite wall here is our living room.
Dining room
Kitchen
Opposite side kitchen
Here is our master upstairs
The girl bedroom
The boy bedroom
You have to go back downstairs to get to the basement
The basement
Oh and our powder/laundry room. I've never taken a picture of my laundry before.

Kindergarten Part II

I told my husband about my kindergarten stress last night, AGAIN.
He agreed that boy is so not ready for pre-k
From what I have seen pre-K where we are looking to move, is three days a week from 9:30-2:30.
When I told Brent that, he said that is way too long for him right now.

Long story short, because of where birthdays fall in the calendar, Turbo either starts Pre-K 6 months younger than J started, or 6 months older than J, and we both agree in Turbo's case 6 months older will be better for him.

I feel better knowing my husband and I are on the same page.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kindergarten

Have I mentioned how stressed I am about my 3 year old going to kindergarten?
Summer birthday are the worst!
If I start him in kindergarten when he is 5, he turns 5 two weeks before school starts. He will be in full day kindergarten and in my opinion needs to go to pre-k before kindie.
I'm not ready for pre-k this fall, I don't think he is either.

Or I could put him in kindergarten when he is barely 6. I think that is what I am going to do, because I can't picture him in 4 months sitting in a classroom letting a teacher try to teach him how to write his name.

Sometimes I fear the only reason I'm waiting is because I don't want him to grow up. Then I watch him and think about his personality and I think he'd be much happier spending the winter digging in the dirt and running around the park then listening to a teacher teach him the difference between a question and a statement.
Dirt is far more appealing then circle time right?
I actually have never met a parent who isn't happier with their child the oldest in kindergarten. Do you know someone? Do I want to hear their opinion? Will it help me make a more educated decision or will it just stress me out more?

Maybe not over it

Yesterday my husband and I were looking at stuff online for moving. We were upstairs and we came downstairs. Our babies had made the main floor a disaster. My husband said only 2 or 3 more years of this. I started crying.
Maybe it has nothing to do with my babies growing up.
Maybe its all the stress of moving.
Maybe its- my daughter was almost 2 and half when we moved. She now tells me weekly she is almost a second grader. My youngest is almost 2 and half.

Maybe my husband doesn't have any idea what he is talking about. They will still make the house a disaster in 2 years, but in his logic in 2 years they can be taught how to be useful in cleaning up their messes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Grandbabies

When you are only 31 it might be too soon to think about grandbabies, but then again maybe its just the right time.

A few months ago I texted my husband on the verge of tears, I'll never have another baby to love. His response sure you will, you have a grandbabies. Now that might be a really weird conversation but remember I've been dealing with mental illness.

On Saturday I finally came to terms with life, stopped mourning for what has never been. I stopped waiting for a dark haired daughter. My first was dark haired. Brent and I both had dark hair as babies.

Since then we've had three blond baldies. Plus my daughter doesn't have a sister, doesn't every girl need a sister?

Well as I'm sure I've mentioned I've studied and prayed about this for more than two years now, and I'm pretty sure my daughter doesn't have a biological sister. (Although in three years I'm always willing for a surprise. Don't hedge any bets, everytime I bring this up with the Lord he tells me how much he cares about my health.)

But still this dark hair baby girl... I love the children I have and I want them, but this dark haired girl, who wears bows in her hair and lets me pick out her clothes.
She'd be the perfect baby, she wouldn't be colicy and the hormones don't make me depressed. Plus she sleeps through the night, and the pregnancy didn't cause me pain everytime I moved my body. Yeah, clearly this baby is fictitious.

Then this weekend I came to terms with life. Even though I hate bathing kids, nothing like taking my Ikey out of the tub to make me feel forlorn. I wrapped Ikey in a towel cradled-held him and showed him us in the mirror, all of a sudden I realized how much he isn't a baby anymore! He was HUGE!

Then on Sunday it was like a bolt of light. Josh can have a dark hair baby girl. I don't need a dark haired baby girl, my children can have one, and I will love her like no other because I won't have to potty train her, or discipline her, and I can feed her candy. Plus I'll be sleeping through the night.

Oh how I can't wait for that grandbaby girl. I'm feel really good about my family size. I especially want J to marry a girl with dark hair. Ha ha, don't tell him that.


.
.
Ok, maybe I'm not done with my bereavement but I'm getting closer.
.
.
.
And now I'm embarrassed to be admitting this. But I feel far better since I've admitted my sadness instead of telling myself I don't deserve to be sad because I have four healthy kids.