Thursday, May 26, 2011


Two weeks ago today, I attended a Relief Society meeting. Relief Society is a woman's organization in my church. Go here to learn more. To be honest I don't remember everything that was said, only bits and pieces. But what I do remember changed my whole outlook on my life right now. For a long time now I have been living in the past. By that I mean I would see old pictures of myself and see home movies of my self and I was longing for the way I used to be. It was killing me to see how fun I was, how much energy I had, what a good mom I was to my children. Then questions would follow such as, why can't I be that person again, how come I can't have that kind of energy to play with my kids? I was really struggling. I almost didn't go to the meeting. But then my husband surprised me and came home early for the weekend. He told me to go so he could have some alone time with our kids. After the meeting I knew all of it was an answer to my prayer.
During the meeting one women in my ward spoke about the stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. I've heard the stages before but what I didn't understand was how to apply them to my life. She explained, first off that the stages are not just step one, then you move on to step two, and so on. You can go back and forth from stage to stage depending on the day. Then she described how the stages apply in our life for more than just grief. She drew a picture of a house on the white board and talked about our lives. When you look back at your life you can see certain dates or moments in your life that make it change. For example when you get married, or graduated from High School or College, or when someone you know dies or is in an accident. Those moments make a line in our path. As She spoke she drew a vertical line representing those moments, then drew a bunch of squiggly lines after it. She explained that after that moment or moments in your lives (the vertical line) you go around and around through the stages of grief (the squiggly lines). It might be that you are in denial for a long time and then angry for a short while but then you go back and forth between bargaining and depression. It isn't always a straight line to acceptance, and it might take a while to get there. Then she went on to talk about acceptance. She said some powerful things. Being able to truly be at the stage of acceptance you have to realize that you're not back at the normal you used to be before the moment hit your path and a vertical line was drawn. You have to realize that you're at the "new normal".
The whole time she was talking I pictured my life, the moments where there were big changes in it. And of course I looked back on one of the biggest moments, the moment I was in the hospital with pancreatitus and gallstones. I remembered sitting there in my hospital room crying to my husband, asking him, what does God want me to learn from this? I was in panic mode. I could feel that this trial was going to be long and hard. I was past the denial and anger stage and I was already at bargaining. Then over the past 3 and a half years I saw how I have gone back and forth through the stages of grief. I began to truly understand what she was talking about, but it wasn't until after she talked about the 'new normal' that I realized that I needed to change my outlook on my current life. I was never going to be that same person I was. I've been through a lot both physically and mentally. But I could still be a good mom and have a good life, just a different one, and new normal. It was one of those 'Ah ha' moments like Oprah describes. :] I left the meeting feeling so uplifted and closer to my Father in Heaven. He wanted me to move on and I needed to move on. The last two weeks have been so much different for me. I am more at peace than I've been in a long time. I'm happier with myself. I have more energy and have even started working out again. Something I used to do all of the time. In short I've made a lot of changes. I've accepted that this is how I am now. I can still find answers to better my health, I haven't given up. But I can accept that I'll never eat a hamburger from Wendy's again. :] My life is different, but it is still a good life and I owe that to my Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Family Home Evening

In my church they encourage families to set aside a night each week to hold Family Home Evening, usually Monday nights. It's a time where you can be together as a family to learn and teach principles of the gospel. Either my husband or I have always taught the lesson. Our children rotate leading the song, saying the prayers, choosing an activity, and choosing a treat afterwards. Well yesterday during the day I noticed my oldest son, who is 7, was reading his scriptures on I had the thought to have him give the lesson for Family Night. I told him he needed to start thinking about it. As time got closer I asked him what he was going to have the lesson on. He suggested a couple of things, then I suggested one thing. He didn't agree and he choose to have it on Prophets. To help him I printed off a little page about what a prophet is and then a page talking about our current prophet President Thomas S. Monson.
After the opening prayer he just took over teaching. He first asked my other two children, "What is a prophet?" He called on his sister who replied "they go up to Heaven to talk to God to see what he wants us to know. Then he comes back to earth and tells us what God told him." She almost had it right, all but the actually going up to heaven part. I was taken back and amazed at how well he had taken over, and what a good teacher he is already. I couple of times during the lesson I tried to help guide him. Then he would say, "But mom I have something else to ask." Then he would ask questions such as, "Can you name some of the prophets?" To which my children named a couple past prophets. Or "Who was the first prophet?" Great questions. Then at the end of the lesson I explain to him that he needed to bare his testimony. He wasn't sure he knew how. I told him to tell his siblings what he felt in his heart about the things he taught in his lesson. This is what he said all on his own without my help, "I'd like to bare my testimony that I know this church is true. I know that we have a prophet and that he tells us what God wants us to know. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen."
I was so proud of him. I was unsure about the whole thing. I didn't know if he was old enough to teach a lesson. He proved me wrong. It was a wonderful experience for me to be apart of. I am a lucky mother of some amazing children.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


This weekend my husband took me to visit one of my Grandmother's grave. She died suddenly 9 years ago. It was really hard for me. I know that I'll see her again. The Savior made that possible. I can still miss her and know that truth. She was an amazing woman. I was lucky to attend a college in the town where she lived. Every Friday or sometime during the week, I would go visit her. She would talk to me, feed me sometimes, loved me always, and then kicked me out so I could go have a social life while she finished my laundry. :] We were close when I was younger too. I didn't have any girl cousins my age on that side of the family. There were 4 boys older than me that I always tried to hang out with. When they wouldn't let me, she was there to pick up the pieces and then we would do something together. It is because of her that I love playing games so much. Every week up until she died, she was apart of a group that would get together each week to play games. I always thought that was so cool. :] There are many more wonderful things I could tell you about my Grandma that made her so special to me. The reason for this post is because of that visit and it being Mother's Day I have been thinking about my family. More specifically the women in family, both past and present. There have been and continue to be wonderful examples of faithful women who accomplished many things that surround me. I was fortunate to know both sets of my Great Grandparents on my mother's side of the family and one set of Great Grandparents on my father's side. One of my Great Grandmother's survived the great depression being a milliner, making hats. She was very frugal until the day she passed away at the age of 97, also 9 years ago. I am so blessed to come from the family that I do. I am who I am because of these amazing women and the example that they have set for me. I look forward to the day when we will all get to see each other again. I am and will be eternally grateful for the Savior's atonement that makes that reunion possible.