Tuesday, September 4, 2018

heard in my house

this conversation just happened the other day. its worth documenting.

*background info*
i have breast fed 7 babies. its been hard, but i've done it. and so when #8 came along, it was a no brainer for me to breastfeed again. except... it wasn't working. after two weeks of life, she had lost weight and would not gain. at all. she would not make it back up to birth weight. and doctor was getting worried. i went to a lactation specialist and everything, but alas... the choice had to be made... and i went with bottle/formula... because i needed her to gain weight. however, it was heart breaking for me. this is my last child. i was prepared to really soak up this last time to breast feed and bond with her. i had prepared everything for this time- i had bought tons of new nursing clothes and nursing needs. and this news was just... devastating to me. not in the plan. so... needless to say, i have been depressed. like woah.

during one of my breakdowns about it, i sobbed to my husband.
Me: i just feel so sad! i feel like she doesn't even love me. or need me. ANYONE can feed her. i don't matter.
Husband: look, the thing is, Holly, i barely even interact with our kids. and they ADORE me.
Me: -----



Saturday, June 9, 2018

I haven't thought this through...

I haven't thought this blog post through, so I am just going to blabber on about my life at the moment...

Tomorrow my oldest daughter (kid #2) turns 10 years old!  What?!?!?!  Let me tell you what I hate about birthdays... MAKING CAKE!  I miss Sam's Club so truly, madly, deeply.  (Good song reference right?  Circa 1999.)  Here's the true problem though...  I wanted to surprise her with a unicorn cake, but then we didn't have time to mix up everything before bed, so now we have to do it in the morning AND I freaking forgot to buy a unicorn horn (aka rainbow twisty lollipop)!  This is a problem people!  A serious problem!

Now I have to come up with a way to make a horn for my daughters unicorn without going to the store?  Random interweb peoples who don't read this... do you have one that you can magically poof over to my house tonight?

As a side note we might be moving within a few months, so that's unexpected and I feel a little bit crazy about it.  How will I survive without my people?  How will my kids survive?  Where will we end up?  Will we just be in Tucson for a few years?  What will become of us?  Will we be forced to stay in the desert forever?  hahahaha.  We can be happy no matter what (I hope).  I just don't want to settle, but I also don't want to live with the mentality that the grass is greener, so that's a hard balance to maintain...  Anyway, back to the grind (AKA present wrapping and job searching).

Sunday, June 3, 2018

conversion story

today we had stake conference.
if you didn't know, 'stake conference' is a fancy mormon phrase for 
'area meeting with a large group of church members listening to local leaders council'.

during one of the speeches, i found myself struggling to listen, so i pulled out one of my tricks to stay engaged, which was this: ask myself what I would say if I were asked to speak on that subject.
i feel like this technique helps me stay focused during the meeting and challenges my thoughts and lazy bad habits.

and the topic was this: My Conversion Story.

well, we are told that everyone is a convert, even if they are born into the church, so then, what WAS my story? what would i say if i was asked to share something like that?

here it is:

i was born to two mormon converts. my mom and dad joined the church together and a year later were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mesa temple, along with my three older sisters. six years following, i was born- the first one in the family to be born into the covenant.

this meant that i knew nothing different than the mormon church. i never saw the huge change that my parents had made, i only saw my moms deep commitment to live the standards of the church and saw my dad serve along other priesthood holders in various church callings. i never missed a week of church. i grew up with all the dreams of a typical mormon girl: baptism by my dad at age 8, achieve my personal progress medallion, get married in the temple and raise a righteous family. in fact, i even thought i might serve a full-time mission one day. i never thought anything or anyone could burst this bubble of perfection. i never challenged these beliefs.

things were going along... just as planned. until one thanksgiving day when my dad died suddenly from a massive heart attack. i was just shy of 7 years old. my world came crashing down and the perfect dreams i had were now in question. this wasn't supposed to happen to me and i just didnt see it coming. my innocence and security were lost. how could i possibly go on without my dad?

my mothers firm testimony, which was already obvious to me before dad's death, now became a blazing and undeniable torch to light the way. she buckled down even harder in sharing God's plan with her kids and manifesting faith and prayer regularly. she was so certain that the church was true and never doubted the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. her firm foundation in the mormon beliefs cloaked me in a blanket of comfort and enabled me to pass through my loss. i came to rely on her stubborn dedication to the church and felt i knew where my dad was, and that everything would work out. it saved me.

the next hurdle to cross, however, was being baptized without my dad. i asked my friend's dad to baptize me and during the ordinance i felt such a strong spirit and warmth- i could not deny it. to me, it was obviously true. i really truly believed i had in fact received the gift of the Holy Ghost as my companion. i could FEEL a difference inside me. i was new.

time went on and i made a lot of mistakes and struggled through my growing up years. being a single parent was hard on my mom as she had deliberately chosen not to remarry, and her stress and burden were great. in addition, being so much younger than my sisters created a lot of loneliness, even though i benefitted from watching their life choices and what came of them. but at least two of such choices were positive: my two eldest sisters were called to serve as sister missionaries. watching this whole process and witnessing their fire for the gospel and Lord really astounded me. it ignited within me a desire to be a missionary myself one day, and i told myself that if i was 21 and not married i would definitely go.

when i reached my teen years i began attending seminary. this was an eye opening experience for me because i had never had such an in-depth look into the scriptures and had someone expound them to me in such a way. even though my church attendance was weekly, it wasn't really nurturing my testimony and instead was more focused on social and cultural aspects of life. we did have 'family night' and family prayer and morning scripture study at home, but i wasn't really feeling it. however, i never ever doubted my mom's feelings about the gospel- she seemed to ooze with emotion and passion about it all.

thankfully i was surrounded by some stalwart youth who shared my mormon beliefs and it was pretty easy to find myself dreaming about mormon boys and hang out with girls who didn't discourage my standards. my mom made things very clear when it came to expectations and i didn't get into much trouble. i just did what i was told mostly. and then... i graduated.

graduation from high school was great, but my new found freedom was confusing to me. i knew i wanted to graduate and i knew i wanted to get married and have kids, but i wasn't sure how to get from A to B. wasn't some guy supposed to come and sweep me off my feet and carry me into the sunset? wasn't life supposed to be smooth sailing and perfect from here? my three elder sisters were married now and had all been sealed in the Mesa temple. i wanted the same thing for myself and yet i had no idea of how to get to that point. i was certainly boy crazy... but... all the boys i knew were mission bound and i was suddenly stuck trying to figure out life. it was a very confusing and difficult time in which i managed to make a lot of mistakes.

well, without pouring my sins before you, lets just say i hit a very low point by age 20 and found myself at the bishops office- trying to repent and find some sort of ground to stand on. maybe now was my moment to serve as a missionary, i thought. after all, it seemed to have worked for my sisters! so sure enough, after much preparation, i began the paperwork and received my call before my 21st birthday. i was headed to Boston Massachusetts.

my mission, however, was nothing i expected it to be. it challenged me in ways i was not prepared for. i had been naive to think that the mission would just take up some time before i got married... it was a refiners fire. it was not just an easy breezy 18 months of bringing others to Christ, but instead i found myself barely turning MYSELF to Christ. i ran into many obstacles and quickly found out how childish i was and insecure in my testimony. i was in one of the most 'education focused' parts of the US and no one gave a rats behind about me and my sheltered perspective. Boston was a melting pot of cultures and people and it took a long time for me to appreciate it. thankfully i had some amazing companions who challenged me to rise above doubts and keep going. i had many experiences that anchored my commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and sprouted seeds of hope and faith. i began to delve into the words of Christ daily and developed my own study habits, which changed my life.

yet, by the time i left Boston, i still did not know how to go from point A to point B. i had served my mission and still wanted to get married... but how? i came home with an intense desire for independence- to prove myself. which, in reality, was probably one of the worst things i could have hoped for. now, more than ever i really needed to surround myself with good people and rely on the counsel and help of those who loved me. i had set some goals for myself and didn't know how to accomplish them. but thankfully i had already made up my mind to go to the singles ward, and mingled with faithful youth with similar aspirations and difficulties. this turned out to be crucial because that was where i met and fell in love with my now husband, Jeff.

Jeff has been a huge part of my conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ because HE, himself, is converted. his testimony and experiences are so different from mine and he amazes me with his ability to CHOOSE GOD. that said, being married has been incredibly hard for me and seriously shocked me when it wasn't the perfect ride off into the sunset i had imagined. i do not know why i thought it would be easy, but its been a huge learning curve, and thankfully my husband Jeff continuously keeps his covenants and points me to my own. i am embarrassed to admit that i have wanted to throw in the towel one too many times when it comes to eternal marriage, but Jeff has never wavered. his commitment to living the gospel and keeping his covenants to both God and me, has been a huge strength to my testimony and conversion. i am forever grateful and indebted to him for his strength and constant love. our life together has had MANY ups and downs- too many to list, but each of them a link in my conversion process.

but i am not done with my conversion. it turns out that marriage in the temple wasn't the end of the yellow brick road and i am not 'home' just yet. the biggest refining fire that i am still deep inside of is a thing called MOTHERHOOD. Jeff and I have been blessed with seven children (soon to be 8) and i am not a natural nurturer or domestic goddess. i am seriously not talented in the arena of parenting and it is proving to be the hardest thing i have ever attempted. its not enough to fill a church pew with cute kids, its all about helping them in THEIR conversion journeys. this task alone is pushing me past the point of sanity and i am finding myself with nothing but feelings of inadequacy and completely overwhelmed. i have to choose on a daily basis to not give up and endure. there is no way in the whole wide world that i could do it without the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so inch by inch i grow in my conversion, daily, even with all the setbacks and horrible mistakes... i keep having to turn to my Savior and repent. conversion, to me, is synonymous with change. i find myself changing on a regular basis. change my heart, change my character, change my behavior and it just keeps going and going. realignment and resetting. its exhausting. but THIS life is the time to prepare to meet God, so i am choosing to have faith that God has a plan and i can make it back to Him through His Son Jesus Christ and the gift of His infinite and miraculous atonement.

conversion takes effort. i find myself sliding sometimes and succumbing to temptations often, and i believe it takes diligence and steadfastness if we are to become and stay converted. kindling the fire is harder than ever right now when i find myself so busy raising kids, but God doesn't leave me comfortless. He is there with His hand stretched out still.

this has been good for me to reflect on this journey of conversion, where i have been and where i am now and where i want to be. i now leave my current, yet developing testimony with you, that God lives. God loves us, and we CAN indeed know the truth of all things for ourselves through the Holy Spirit. my life has taught me and manifested to me that we do have a living prophet on the earth today and the priesthood, the power to act in God's name, is restored in its fulness today. the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the word of God as far as they are translated correctly. Temples are the House of God and can truly unite families eternally. we can pray to God any time, anywhere, and He does want us to come to Him. i leave these words with you, while humbly acknowledging and respecting that we are all on our own path and journey as brothers and sisters on this great earth, and i know we are each valued children of God.

in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, May 28, 2018

summer starts

let me just say that this summer is like no other i have ever experienced.
summers of the past have been busy, sure, but this summer takes the cake when it comes to jam-packed with too much to do and become. leading up to this summer i have had nothing but complete anxiety and stress. i could not stop it from coming. i tried to think of a way out- but nonetheless, it came just the same!

i think all the stress made me ill. the last week of school for my kids, i came down with a horrible head cold that felt like something horribly crafted to bring me to my death bed. i could not function. everyone needed me to function, but i just could not do it. i was not doing well. but here was summer... just around the corner... looming with its weight of anxiety and doom.

i barely made it to the finish line for the last day of school- and then it was here: our wretched summer. i had never dreaded the word before this year, but i was sick about it. my attitude seemed irreversible. i could not snap out of it. it was like i was simultaneously pushing myself forward while being hesitant to face the realities of it all... a strange 'stuck'-type feeling... like attempting to jog in quicksand.

and today? it all came to a head. a horrible, very bad climax. i honestly thought i could not survive it. i thought, 'and what shall become of me?' i wished i could simply vanish. nothing else would satisfy me... but i could not vanish. i was frozen as my life fell apart around me. it was awful.

but as i sat there- on the bathroom floor, completely hopeless, i pulled up my phone, hoping for some inspiration as to who to reach out to for help. no light or knowledge came to me, and i chose to check my email- just in case some random joy came from that. nope. all junk mail. i clicked on each email, deleting most, but came to one parenting letter from a person i subscribed to at some random point in my life. feeling desperate, the title caught my eye: 'FREE YOURSELF FROM ANXIETY'... and i proceeded to read it:

...If your chest or throat clamps down when you think of saying, “This isn’t working...” “You can’t go because I need you here...” “I need to make a big change… and I need you to help me work this out...”
Then there’s a part of you that needs to hear this:
Everything you want is on the other side of those hard feelings.
Clear thinking, relaxed mind, presence, lightness, play, ease, and knowing you can find the answers to any problem life throws at you without being overcome with anxiety... all on the other side.
The only thing in the way is fear. Nothing else actually exists in the now.
Fear tells you not to go there, not to risk conflict, abandonment or rejection. It tells you you’ll be disappointed so why even try?
You try because your happiness is on the other side of that wall.
Your ability to play and be present with your kids is on the other side.
But if you don’t take steps to stand to, and question, the fear you won’t be able to get there.
On the other side of what scares you is joy and fulfillment… laughing at the small stuff… trusting you can handle the bigger stuff…
What if you knew you could have total assurance that you weren’t messing anything up, and that it was all purposeful learning up to now?
Are you ready to stop envying someone else’s easier life, or stop wondering what you’re doing wrong that makes life so intense?...

the words floored me. i felt an awakening of truth in those words. here i was, trying to avoid all this pain and suffering... feeling despair over all the hardship and difficulty... yet, i suddenly saw that i needed to pass through it to get to the other side. it was necessary for me to face this mountain. only after i face it will i get to the other side. only after all this will i come out triumphant. i cannot have the joy and the peace and the happiness without it. i absolutely MUST do this. no matter how uncomfortable or anguishing, no matter how much sweat and tears... i cannot gain any other way. i cannot shape my family or myself without this sacrifice and exhaustion. this is not an affliction that i could have AVOIDED or that i am being PUNISHED with, it is simply a door i must walk through to get to the side i need to be on. and it is okay. its actually more like- VITAL and PIVOTAL to my growth and development. its just what i need to help me see what i really have and what God is capable of when i trust Him. facing my fears and feeling my anxiety, LETTING it exist without feeling guilty about it, and just... knowing that no matter how long my climb seems, there will be an end to it eventually- and i WILL come out on the other side of this. all the risk and disappointment will be WORTH IT one day. ONE DAY IT WILL. this will end. perhaps not soon, but it is exactly what i need and i am where i should be and i am going to make it.
i guess this epiphany sounds silly. its kind of vague, but it just feels so real right now and i feel so grateful for this turning in my heart because it SAVED ME TODAY and it honestly saved the next few years of my life. now i can face things. i can face the hard tomorrows that seem everlastingly long and dreary... because now i know a new truth: its all part of the plan. a glorious plan. God's plan. and i CAN call on Him, even though He won't change it. He will hear me because He knows its difficult. He will give me the strength to carry this cross because of its undeniable need. its my calling. my quest. my purpose. not my downfall. not my pitfall. not my setback. this is it. the path i am meant to be on and it will be oh so sweet after its over. 
all this has brought me to think of our first parents... because i feel as Eve expresses:
And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.
And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters. 
(passages found in the pearl of great price, Moses 5 v 4-12)
amen.
AMEN.
~holly

PS.... i am really digging these two songs from a girl i went to school with... they are so applicable to my life.

DIVINE

ASHES

Sunday, May 20, 2018

pluto

its funny how my last two posts are one word titles... and they rhyme.
but really, they have nothing to do with each other. well, okay, i guess they do.

this past week my husband and i got away for a trip celebrating our 11th anniversary.
building up to it was just horrible. i felt all kinds of anxiety about it and guilt. i felt just awful leaving someone in charge of my complicated and difficult life. i wondered what the outcome would be of my absence, and i was afraid of all the results. if everyone was fine without me, i would feel completely useless- and it would validate my feelings of my children not caring for me. on the other hand, if everyone was set back by my absence, i would feel awful for being so selfish and wonder if i made things too complicated on a daily basis- forcing me to reevaluate everything. i wondered how my children would measure up while i was away... would they be considered normal or out-of-control? how dysfunctional was our family through someone else's eyes?
the few days we were going to be gone happened to be terribly busy- schedule wise. i had ballet and library and meet-the-teacher night. there was homework to do and animals to feed. and i just wondered... was i pushing things too hard? but regardless of how much time and effort i put into preparing things for our departure, it never made me feel at ease. and no matter what i did to slow down time, the time for our trip arrived. and... we left.

once i was on the trip, though, i am glad to say, i tried my hardest to take the advice of my marriage mentor and JUST BE. it went against everything inside me, but the pay off was tremendous. i will forever remember that magical and relaxing time with my husband. he commented days later that he felt closer to me than he ever had before, and for me those words validated my efforts. i was rested and cared for, and our adventures were small but meaningful.

on one of those adventures, we found ourselves at the Lowell Observatory. this star-gazing spot is quite romantically nestled in the pines of flagstaff. the weather was nippy and i was happy to see my man in his leather jacket, which always makes me swoon. after glancing through the gift shop, we sat through a science show, which inevitably left me with more questions than answers. i am not scientifically minded and by the end of those short 20 minutes, my brain was full. but off we went, to yet another presentation. this one, located at the top of the hill, was given by a man with a pointer- that he waved at a circular screen. he discussed everything BEYOND our solar system, and he did so rather enthusiastically. but no matter his fabulous presentation skills, i was falling asleep! my thoughts had already reached their maximum, and without the ability to doodle or take notes, i completely shut down. i knew, however, that my man was in heaven, so i tried my best to adjust myself frequently and rubbed his back in order to appear content. when it was over, everything inside me wanted to run away. at this point, i wanted to be back in the hotel room with the covers over me, toasty and free from FACTS. i already had tons to process from our day, but my husband stood up only to move closer for the NEXT class. i tried to 'buckle up' as she began her presentation on our solar system.

thankfully her voice was loud and screechy, making it harder to block her out. and somehow i pushed through- all the way to pluto. this was important, because i was actually very curious about that silly little sphere. all my youth, while i was in school, pluto was a planet. then one day my sister, who was married to a science nerd, announced to me that it was no longer a planet, and i figured it was a fluke. i had no idea why it was removed from the list, and therefore felt like it was an invalid conclusion. in my mind, pluto continued to exist as it always had- a real, actual planet. but that night, as i listened to a complete stranger delve into the facts of it all, i suddenly found room in my tiny brain for more information. and shockingly, i agreed with it all. i now felt a change of heart in regards to pluto, and i no longer consider it a planet in our solar system. it all made perfect, logical sense.

more importantly, though, as i realized the new head count to our solar system, i realized it coincided with the number of kids we have. and i drew a parallel that gave me much needed closure. i have such a hard time saying we are done having kids. i honestly feel like i could have at least four more. its hard for me to see myself as being done and it feels so incomplete, even though technically its very even: four girls and four boys. healthy, to boot. who could possibly ask for more? and with all the stress that eight kids close in age brings, along with my own insanity and my husbands burden of providing for and dealing with us all, not to mention the fact that i am obese- you would think that i would be more than happy to throw my hands up and say, "THATS IT! WE ARE DONE!", which, in all honesty, i have done mentally five million times. but the truth of the matter is, i have lost myself in this role of bearing kids, and though i feel despair at my failures to raise them well, i find hope in bearing them because i wonder if i can get any better at this gig. having kids is fulfilling my childhood fantasy of being a mother to tons of kids. and though i have already woken up to the fact that motherhood is a LOT harder than i imagined, and even though its obvious that i do not have a gift with kids or parenting skills that people hope i compile into a book one day, i still find it fulfilling and stretching and humbling and noble and good, and i feel stubborn about letting go of my dreams of a huge family. i want to have kids until my body gives up... or forces me to stop. i don't really want it to be my choice... i want it to be God's. and yet, as i sat there thinking about those 8 planets... how different each of them are, and how miraculous they are... i said to myself, "maybe i just think there is a pluto. but in reality, there isn't. i need to just accept that there are 8 planets... kids. 8 is God's number for our solar system, and it can be my number of kids. and it will all be okay."

our visit did not end there. next, we looked in a telescope, looked through memorabilia and saw a tour of the huge telescope that so many famous people have peered inside of. but eventually we found our way back to the car, and i mustered my favorite moments of it all amid my husband's excited pontifications. then, as i blurted out my conclusions from the pluto part of our visit, my husband responded with a sigh before a humorous toned, "well, if that is all you got out of the night, holly, i'd say it was worth it."


only time will tell, i suppose :)

Monday, May 14, 2018

farto.

i have a daughter with a stuffed horse named sparkle.
only, she can't really say the name right.
the 'sp' comes out as an 'f' and the 'k' comes out as a 't' and the 'le' comes out as an 'o'.... like this:

sp- ar-k-le
=
f- ar-t- o

its awesome. and every day, as i listen to her ask for this horse or sing to the horse or play with the horse, over and over again... it makes me laugh. good ol' farto.

anyways, this past week was interesting to say the least.

on Thursday, oddly enough, i felt like a new person. i was looking at my week, where i was, what was coming up, and how far i have come over the years. and as i pondered on mothers day this year, i said to myself, "for once in my life, i feel pretty good about mothers day... i should blog about it."
i was really feeling good about some breakthroughs with parenting methods and felt like i was prepared to make my mothers day great- without depending on others to make it a certain way for me- i was taking charge of my life.

on Friday? that all came tumbling down by the afternoon. i was getting suuuuuuuper tired and run down and my husband was as well, and so when we both got home we did not have energy for life and we expected the 'other person' to take the reins... only, neither one of us wanted to, which led to being super annoyed with each other. my husband annoyed at my lack of understanding and wanting to just nap after a hard working week, and ME feeling entitled to see his love for me by serving me and helping me with dinner, bedtime, and possibly a date. i will give you a hint: none of those things happened.

saturday was busy, but now that my husband and i were off balance, neither of us were getting what we really wanted, OR going about it correctly to get results. this led to not really connecting and not really getting much done. i mean, we still got SOME stuff done... but it sure wasn't done with a spirit of love and kindness. more like... eye rolling and minimal tolerance.

so sunday comes.
and there i was... facing my 'magical' motherhood day... and not really feeling it.
things were somewhat okay and i was pushing through until right after church. everything came to a head and i realized i had a choice to make. but even with that choice, an attitude change would have helped, and it never came. i just did it without any flying colors.
yep.... my 'sparkle' and sunshine day suddenly translated to my 'farto' and survival day.

where was i going with this?

well, i think i just wanted to say that i contemplated a lot yesterday about my favorite mothers. people around me that help me mother, help me get through mothering, help inspire me to mother, mothers that just do it right. i sent messages to family-related moms and got a few texts, received handmade gifts from my kids, and listened at church to everyone discuss mothers. i think we are all at different points when it comes to motherhood and what it means and how to do it. i personally think i am in the thick of becoming a mother, myself. i no longer believe that having kids makes me a mother. and i will forever be changed knowing that mother Eve was called a mother before she ever even had children. to me, that alone says motherhood is a character trait. a calling. a gift. i have definitely been given ample opportunity to learn how to become a mom and rise to the occasion, but i just haven't reached the point where i am the mom i want and need to be yet. many times i want to give up on my quest to BECOME a mother, it seems like i just make mistakes and never win. but having my physical family here before me, needing me to try, propels me forward and i get back up each day in hopes for one shred of success... whatever that is! i told you... i am still figuring things out.

but here, today, on this blog, i just want to say that Stephanie is a great mom. i look at her kids and think about all our interactions and how much i have gained from associating with her and them, and i think its made this move out to the middle of nowhere worth it.

happy sparkling/farting mothers day to all mothers out there.
lets do this.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

the struggle is real... and it ain't going anywhere.

Today my scripture study came in the form of a $1 word search book that I bought my kids.  They don't seem to care about it, so whatever, I'll just use it...  Anyway, I was thinking all about Christ's death and atonement.

As I searched for the word forsaken I really got carried away in what it all meant for Christ to suffer.  Forgive me, with this explanation, because my thoughts were really jumpy, but I thought of the literal pain he endured... the thorns in His head, the nails throughout His body, the stinging from the thrashings on His back, carrying the cross Himself despite all of this (which must've been crazy heavy!)...

I realized the literal pain He had to endure and my mind jumped to his 40 day fast which got me thinking about the emotional pain we endure and of how Satan came and tried to get Christ to leave his purpose behind.  It occurred to me that this couldn't have been the only time that Satan went after Christ.  Everyday we are each bombarded with evil spirits trying to break into our circle of light and bring us into darkness, why would it have been any different for Christ?

Suddenly it occurred to me that Christ was a clear example of not just a large sacrifice, but of the daily battle we all experience.  He wasn't exempt from Satan trying with all his might to tempt Him, to bring Him down, to create a teeny tiny fracture in His light.

Sometimes we focus so much on creating this perfect little world for ourselves that we don't realize that we aren't going to be able to create that perfection here on earth.  Each day we will be bombarded with evil spirits trying to reach us, each day we will have to fight off the emotional pain in our life and/or the literal pain.

Christ doesn't only know of these feelings from his experiences through the atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, but also from his own dealings with Satan and his daily conquering of evil spirits and temptations and keeping control over his mortal body, and putting off the natural man...

I'm hoping this inspires me to focus more on Christ and look to his light in the midst of my emotional breakdowns (which are just about every single day) and feel the strength and hope that I need to continue to push forward when I feel like the weight of life is weighing so heavily on me.