Sunday, May 13, 2012

To My Children on Mother's Day

When I married your dad 42+ years ago, to be honest, you were the last thing on my mind.  I was kind of naive and just believed whatever should happen, would happen and so our little family began.  You know what!  Looking back, what was supposed to happen, did happen.  Our first born, you Heather, came along just 9 months after we married.  You Jason, were born just a year later.  We had to wait 4years to get Jamie and then we lost her too quickly.  Jenny came along soon after that, I believe out of her choice to help us.  After all the trauma, there was a big question!  Should we, could we, have another child but I knew there was another one to come and so we took that blind leap into the unknown and you Micah were born.

Dad and I were just talking this morning about which child we would choose to do without.  Of course, the answer was easy.  None!  Each of you has added an amazing dimension to our lives and we would never choose to do without any one of you.  We would do it all again, in spite of all the problems we had getting you here, in spite of some of the heartache and pain.  Why?  Because you are literally all we have in this life.  You are part of our family and our most precious relationships.  You are each different and wonderful in your own ways.  There are things we cherish about each of you.  I even have names for you that are descriptions of my feelings about you.  They are private and special and maybe some day I will share them with you.  You are the joy in my life.  Nothing else I do compares to the feelings I have about you, my children.

All of you have one thing in common that is very important to me.  That thing is your caring, giving hearts and your energy to help others become better and to try in your own way to make this world a better place.  I wanted to say this at our "farewell" but I would have to have choked it out through the emotion.  I see so much in each of you that makes me proud to be your mom and grateful that even though it was hard, I decided to have each of you.  You are amazing, wonderful human beings.  Thanks for choosing to come here and let me be your mom.  It is a wonderful journey we share and I am looking forward to many more adventures with you in this life.  I love you bigger than the sky!  I want you to know that if I did not believe that I was doing the right thing in going on this mission, I would never leave you, my family, my most precious gift!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Timely Fast

Last week Jen and Tim suggested that we have a fast about many issues that have beset our family of late.  We have had a couple of kids out of work, Ken and I unable to get visas, sickness both physical and emotional and a couple of other serious issues going on inside our immediate and extended family and with friends as well.  As I was preparing for the fast, I got wondering what the basic principle behind fasting is.  I asked Ken and he didn't seem to have a satisfactory answer for me or himself.  We looked it up in the Bible Dictionary and a couple of other sources.  We still found nothing that really satisfied our basic question outside the fact that it is to help bolster spiritual strength.

We did fast and invited many to join our fast with us.  Many of you did joing us and let us know that.  I'm sure that many more joined us without letting us know you were doing so.  Still I was not sure just what a fast was supposed to do until this morning when I came to a very personal understanding.  You see some pretty "specific" answers came in a very obvious way.  Bill landed another job this morning.  He now has two jobs that between them will help keep his family fed and housed and clothed.  We were informed that we could apply for our visas and between Thursday afternoon (before the fast started) and Monday afternoon, we obtained our paperwork, got physicals (again), had the blood work done (again), had xrays and returned the paperwork all finished to the travel department of the church at the church office building in person.  I think we are really on our way.

All of this was an obvious benefit of the fast but as Ken and I knelt in prayer this morning to give thanks for these events, I was struck by all the many other times we have fasted and by the many times that the results have not been so obvious.  We have fasted many times for Micah to be able to find a way to care for his family.  Our interpretation of that has most often been that he would find a job.  That has not been forthcoming but the way has been provided for him to go back to school while still keeping his family cared for.  I had confirmation this morning that this was the way that he is supposed to be going for the future well-being of he and his sweet family.  Many other things have been made known to me in that "still small voice" that have not been huge manifestations of something immediate but they are just as real.

Today is Jamie's 37th birthday.  It has been a tough day.  Some of her birthdays have been this way.  I want to know what my 37 year old daughter would be doing now.  Would she be as beautiful in every way as her sisters?  Would she have a family? Would she be as big a part of our family as our other children still are?  Would we have 20 0r 22 grandchildren instead of 18?  Jason and Aretta have been through a similar experience.  36 years ago, many people fasted for us to make it through the "worst experience of our lives".  We did make it and we have made it through many, many tough things since.  I have decided that fasting is not to provide the answer that we are looking for but the strength to accept the answer we need.  Looking back on the answers to so many fasts, I see that the answers were always the right ones, I just didn't know it at the time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

To Everything There Is A Season

On the way to the Transient Services Office today, I couldn't help but think about all the changes that are happening in my life.  I also couldn't help but think of my "past life".  I was always busy being "Molly Mormon" and being appropriate and worrying about how things looked and what I wasn't getting "fed" and so on and so on.  You women know the drill.  It took me a long, long time to figure out that "to everything there is a season".  I wanted to be everything to everyone all at the same time.  I really thought it was possible to "have it all and do it all". 

It took some serious experience to teach me what a myth that thought process was.  Hind sight is 20/20 is an appropriate thought in that perspective.  After I had worn myself out in many ways and ended up in the hospital, a long retraining process began. 

In Tai Chi yesterday, we got into a conversation about doors opening and closing, you know the one, when one door closes, another door opens.  I used to think that was a bunch of bologne until Tai Chi and the real application of the gospel taught me differently.  It really is true.  We are constantly "reinventing" ourselves and if we choose to see it, the law of attraction goes to work in our lives and we become something new.  We become the person for the season.

My new season is my favorite season.  It will be fall in New Zealand when we get there.  That has always been my favorite of the 4 seasons.  The air is crisp and mellow, the colors are bright and amazing, there is a wonderful harvest of many beautiful and delicious things, the earth is preparing for winter and the long rest she gets to take.  I want to be crisp and mellow, bright and amazing as I enter this "new season" of my life.  My dad used to say, when you asked him which part of his life was the best part, "The one I'm in!"  I want this to be an awesome season of my life but I am the only one that can make it that way.  I'm ready to join in the harvest.  No I am not ready for the "long rest" yet but I'm going to try to keep on reinventing until that happens.

In re-evaluating my life, I have thought about all the things I have done, helping with the deaf and all their many issues, learning sign language, being a "roady" mom with my rockin' daughter and the bands, getting a martial arts black belt at 51 and then going on to get 2nd and 3rd dan belts as well, becoming a Tai Chi teacher,working in the temple and at the Missionary Training Center and the Transient Services Office.  I have raised a beautiful family, all of whom I am proud.  They are my most amazing gift but it took me all these years to see that the way I view it now.

I had a season for raising a family and I think in spite of my shortcomings, I did it well.  They are all productive, important parts of society with the desires in their heart to make this earth a better place in some way than when they arrived here.  I had a season for growing myself, graduating college, getting other honors of sorts and doing all sorts of things I never saw myself doing.  Now it is my season for going with my husband to a far away place and helping others fulfill the seasons of their lives.  Fall is coming and it is my favorite season.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Call From the Lord

Getting ready to go on a mission has been a busy and interesting experience.  We started the process months ago with the idea in our heads that we would fill out our papers, wait a few weeks and would soon be opening a mission call!  WRONG!!!  The paper work was the easy part.  It was gathering all the medical info that older couples have built over the years that took most of the time but it did get submitted and the wait began.

Wednesday, Dec. 21, we finally received our call.  Actually, Ken went down to the post office and picked it up.  Then, we waited all day wondering what was in it.  It is kind of funny how you don't dare think about where you might go.  We did not "ask" for a specific place as many told us we should.  We wanted to go where the Lord really wanted us to go and there is not a place on the whole application that says anything about "please tell us where you want to go" although many who have never filled out papers insisted there is.  We both had thoughts about what might be "ideal" like Hawaii or Tahiti or New Zealand I'm sure.  Then your head gets running with ideas about what you would really not be thrilled to do, places that are too cold or too hot or too remote etc. Then you start to get ideas of where you wouldn't dare possibly think you could go like Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand. LOL! It's a little bizarre the thoughts going through your head.

We called our family and set up a time to meet either in person or by Video Phone.  We didn't invite the whole world because we wanted this to be a family thing.  When I opened the envelope, it seemed like an awful lot of papers came out but somehow Ken grabbed the right one.  As he caught a look at only where we were called, he sank back in the chair, said "Oh wow!" and began to cry while the rest of us were saying, "Where, where?"  I can't remember if it was me or him that said, "New Zealand Wellington Mission."  I was so excited because it was one of those places I didn't dare think of.

We had both decided independently that it didn't really matter where we went but to have it be some place we both had dreamed of going was almost beyond belief.  Sometimes when you put it in the hands of the Lord, He really does surprise you with something sooooo amazing that you didn't dare to dream.  I sure hope we live up to His trust in us and our dreams.  We really do want to be good and faithful, profitable servants.  I can't wait to become a "kiwi" and start working in a beautiful place with more of God's wonderful family.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Meaning of Family

Here we are ready to begin a new adventure and so many thoughts.

We had our family Christmas party last night and it was as Heather said, "bitter sweet".  We had our traditional chicken soup and a birthday cake for all those with December birthdays including Kenny, Benson, Jenny, Joseph Smith and especially Jesus.  We also had a visit from Santa who didn't want to be seen so turned the honors over to grandpa who read a story and then handed out gifts.  We missed Micah, Sarah and their kids who were in Albuquerque with Sarah's family and also Codie who had to work.  The kids and adults were very generous in including those who were missing by "donating" gifts to them.  It is questionable however whether some of the gifts were really sacrifices.

Our last party before our mission was highlighted as usual by a video made by Jen which included the entire family.  She is getting better and better at this and it was a very fun and touching production.  Of course I could watch it again and again, a fact to which Ken can attest.  I really wanted to focus on the Savior this year and we had several nativities out as well as having ornaments that carried out this idea.  We had a family testimony meeting and it gave many a chance to express their feelings about past and coming events.  There were many tears and several heartfelt comments about various things.  I think it was a good, safe place for our family to express those feelings and hopefully after everyone has time to think them all over, there will be more understanding among us.  I have long believed the best way to deal with things is "head on".

After the party, Ken and I sat down for a "breather" and all we could talk about was how grateful we were to have such a wonderful family.  We feel so blessed to have all of these wonderful people in our lives.  Things are changing rapidly in our lives, marriages, babies born, graduations, mission calls and so on but we are all good as long as we stick together.  As Jenny put in the movie "No society is as precious as that of one's own family."  That quote is from Thomas Jefferson and expresses my thoughts exactly.  There in absolutely nothing that is more important to Ken and I than our family.  No matter how many join us, that will always be true.  Each one is precious and important and we are forever grateful that they are ours.

Our mission call is due soon and circumstances may change but wherever we are, our family will be foremost in our thoughts and hearts because they are part of us along with the gospel we love and in our minds, it is all inseparable!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Being Thankful

Certainly need to correct that last post. I was feeling awfully confused at the time but not any more. I did some work on thankfulness and it has changed those feelings a bunch, that and getting all our mission papers in. Now it is just waiting time and spending more time in gratitude for all I have. Heavenly Father has gotten me to a place where I am seeing more clearly and I'm really grateful for that. It seems that turning in those mission papers has changed my perspective big time.

Oh sure, I am still concerned about my family and myself and the missing one another and the homesickness or whatever.  I also know that it is the right thing on many levels.  It is a way to show my kids and grandkids that I will do the right thing even when it is hard.  It shows them what is really important to me and that I will do what is right no matter what.  I know it will be hard for them as well but they have helped one another so well through all our trials this year that I know they will be fine "on their own".  Imagine that, kids who have kids being okay without mom and dad!

I am sooooo grateful that my family is full of mature adults now who take care of their own children,
my grandchildren in such a way that I do not have to worry about them.  I have wonderful children and am so thankful that Heavenly Father sent them to me and through them has brought 18 other new lives into my life.  This is what means everything to me.

Several experiences recently have fully convinced me that all the distraction and noise of the world mean nothing if you don't have a family to share it with.  I have so much peace in my life because I know my family is involved in the right things at the right times and are doing their best to serve their fellow men and their Savior.  I don't think I have been this happy for a very long time.  Better enjoy every moment of it!

I often wonder how I became so blessed but one thing I know, I am truly thankful.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm confused!!!

I find it interesting that life can be going just "hunky-dory" one minute and the next it can be frustrating and unmanagable. Well, today is one of those days. It all started out ok but then I had to stand in one spot until my back and neck and hips and knees were killing me while I packed hundreds of cans of chicken to prepare them to be cooked at the cannery. I tried to "focus" on the "process" like I teach my Tai Chi students. Famous words these: Focus, Process, Product. It all sounds very good until I try to apply it to my life. When I do that, the focus gets lost in the process and the process gets lost trying to get to the product. It is all so confusing.

My next block of time was spent at one of my favorite places in SLC at this time of year, Gardner Village. Unfortunately we got there in the midst of the "Witches Festival" and while it was fun it was not relaxing as I had hope it would be. Children and mostly women, in gaudy outfits, laughing and talking and yelling loudly while music blared everywhere did not add to my peace of mind nor did the fact that I couldn't find the gift that I had envisioned for a good friend's birthday. When I realized that I had also missed my second newest grandchild's birthday it didn't help at all.

At Gardner Village and then again at Tai Pan, I watched as people furiously scurried about to try to fill their lives with more "excitement" and more "stuff". Somehow it didn't seem very meaningful to me. What did seem meaningful was the fact that I was trying to find "just the right thing" to make a friend happy. The other things that seemed right today were that I was spending this time with my sweetheart and that I had met an old friend from years ago and it felt just the same, as if we had never missed a day. It brought back many happy memories of doing something that I hated to give up but had to in a somewhat confusing change of roles in my life.

Confused? Me too! Confused that I can't find just the right gift or that I can't say the words that really express what I want to say. Confused at the feelings that are swirling around me right now like a whirlpool threatening to swallow me at any minute. Confused that the preparations for something that I really want to do overwhelm me and cause me and those around me pain through my actions. Confused that there is so much I want to do here before I leave but that I want to leave so badly now. Confused that I can't explain this to my husband and confused that when I try he doesn't understand. Confused that I want to walk in faith so badly but confused that it is so hard to actually do that. Help me Heavenly Father because I am soooo confused.