Monday, March 28, 2016

Working Mothers

I just first want to say hats off to every working mother out there. I don't even care if they "chose" this or if you "need" to work. Truth is, what they do is very hard. Today I worked outside of the home. I work on a VERY part time basis for the charter school where my kids have their homeschool program. I admit that I love it. I love teaching the children. This has been the first time I have worked outside the home since Turner was born. This week I am doing a lot of subbing and so it feels a lot more like being a full time real working mother. I am so glad that I still get to take my children with me. It is exhausting to work full time and then come home and have laundry, dinner, house work all waiting for you. It just is hard and I am amazed by all of you that do that everyday. 

I find it interesting in this crazy world that there is such a competition about what is "harder." Like if what you do is harder than you are a better person than I am. I see this all the time among mothers. Trying to battle the "being a stay-at-home" mom is harder than working or vice versa. Why do we only find our worth in doing hard things? I honestly have to say that I am the expert on making life harder than it needs to be, but I come by this organically and am grateful that I don't feel the need to do it to prove something. 

I am very thankful that I get to stay home with my family. I use to cringe when people said things like that to me, "oh you are so lucky that you get to stay home with your children." I cringed because I didn't think it was a fair thing to say to me. I work very hard to stay home. Our income isn't such that staying home is a luxury. In order to stay home I have had to learn how to garden, can, shop at the thrift and do without. I scrimp and cut corners and stretch wherever I can. Yet, I have learned that I have been very blessed by these experiences and for that I am so thankful that I am lucky enough to be able to stay at home with them, or take them to work with me when the need arises for me to be a working lady. 

I am also thankful to know that God loves all of us crazy mommas that are just trying our best everyday to love and take care of the little spirits He gave us. Hats off to all of us!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday

What I want my children to know about today:

I love Easter! I love spring! I love new life, warm sun, blooming flowers and buzzing bees. I love dying Easter eggs and jelly beans. I love new Easter dresses and fancy meals with family. I love family.

It is because I love family, I know that heaven wouldn't seem like heaven without my family near. I am so thankful for Easter. It is because of Easter that eternal families can even be. See, Jesus died for you, and for me. He died that we could be make whole again. He died that we could repent and become better. Jesus felt our pain, He felt our sorrow, He is the only one that can even know our own unique and individual pain. It is because of this, we can go to Him and know that He understands exactly what we are going through. Not kinda, but completely.
I can not even began to understand how the Savior could have accomplished such a task, all I know is that I believe He did, and for that I am truly grateful. Believing didn't come easy to me. My testimony has been fought for and continually is held onto by deep, passionate prayer, scripture study, song, temple attendance, church attendance and by making the choice to believe over and over again.
I do believe though, and because I do, I have seen miracles in my life. I have felt my Savior's love. I have felt His arms around me when I needed to. I have witnessed miracles in the life of those around me. I have watched as people have been those miracles to each other.
I love my Savior. He truly is real to me. He is as real as any other long distance friend that I have. I can't see them, but I communicate with them. Maybe it isn't through text, phone, or face time that I communicate with my Savior. The modes are different, but just as real.
I know that He died, and was resurrected. That is what I want you to know today my sweet children, that I believe. I love Him. Because of Him, we get to be an eternal family. For that I am so deeply grateful.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Traditions or memories?

This week has been a crazy mess. It started over a week ago when we I awoke to not one, by two kids throwing up. And one by one the dominoes fell until just as of yesterday we were ALL feeling better. The past Easter traditions just didn't happen this year. Normally we celebrate Holy week and discuss the Savior and the last week of His life. We celebrate Palm Sunday, the feast of the pass over, and Good Friday. This year we discussed Palm Sunday and the cleansing of the temple, and dyed eggs. And that was it. 
Dying Easter Eggs
It made me think of the Easter traditions growing up. We got Easter baskets on Saturday so we could focus on the Savoir on Sunday. We got new Easter dresses and had a great feast. I remember a beautiful Easter hat one year. I remember dying Easter eggs, but not a lot. It doesn't mean it didn't happen every year, I just don't remember it every year. I wonder what from my childhood was really a tradition or what was a memory. I thought a lot about what the difference is, but mostly about what I want my children to remember. 
2016's Family Easter Basket
I want my children to know that the Easter bunny, the chicks, the eggs all represent the new life that we experience during Spring. This new life is symbolic of the Savior and the new life that He gave us by dying for us that we can live again someday. I want them to know that the Savior went through so much because He was motivated by the love that He has for us. Not just us as a whole, but EACH of us individually. I want them to know that Easter is my favorite holiday, not because I love daffodils and chicks (although I do) but because it is the holiday that makes all the others worth celebrating. Without Easter, the rest doesn't mean much. I want my five little human beings to know that if it wasn't for Easter, we couldn't live forever with our Father in Heaven again someday.

We dyed some eggs, and there will be a family Easter basket in the morning, but I hope that by our worship tomorrow, we will have a chance to thank our Savior, Jesus Christ for His eternal sacrifice, and really feel it.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Force Field

           A couple of weeks ago at *Stake Conference, Max, my (gulp) almost eight-year-old, was drawing some awesome pictures in his notebook. He was particularly proud of the one shown here. As Max was explaining to me that it was a picture of him. He was being attacked, but his home was a force field. I loved that while there were fiery bombs exploding above his home, he was all smiles. I really loved that he had an apple tree under his force field, cuz' you know, a boy has got to eat!
         I remember feeling, in that moment, such an awe of his picture. It was as if he had taken my job as a mother and put it all into one picture. This is what I do as  a mother I try to protect my family while teaching them to fight the enemy. The enemy isn't as obvious as the missiles in this picture, but just as real. I wish, at times, I could just put up a force field and be on my merry way. I know this fight will be won someday. I already know who wins, I just hope to keep my family fighting on the right side until then. 
"The armies of God, which include 'legions of angels fighting with us on the other side,' are larger than the armies of the adversary." Elder Larry R. Lawrence 
Full article HERE

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Almost there

I watch her as she learns to get down from high heights. She dangles off the dining room bench. Her hands are stretched in front of her, hanging on to the opposite ledge for dear life. She starts kicking and shrieking. She is certain that she is about to fall to her death. Her toes are a fraction of an inch from the floor, yet to her, she might as well be 100 yards up. Her support team surrounds her, cheering her on. "You are almost there!" "You can do it! ""Just drop!"  We all shout. She takes a breath hopes for her dear life and then drops the half inch to the floor. She starts strutting around, pretty proud of herself. She has done it!

I often feel like her. Right before I am about to accomplish something great (or ordinary--let's be real), I kick and scream and everything inside of me doesn't believe I can do it. I have come this far, and I am certain I will fail. It really all depends on the voices I listen to. Do I listen to the still small voice that lets me know I am almost there, and I can do it, I just need to let go of my insecurities and take the plunge? Or do I listen to the voices that say as soon as I let go, I will be doomed? Can we ever accomplish anything great and still hold on to safety and security? What if she didn't believe us? Would she still  be hanging on? What could I accomplish if I just let go?

So many question brought up by just watching my baby grow-up!

It is REALLY hard sometimes

To watch them grow is the most  heart-wrenching-joy-inducing-wild-roller coaster in the whole world. I want to soak in every moment. The joy, the tears, the giggles, the finger prints, the tiny mate less socks. Some days it is so hard I wish I could call it quits. I am so glad I can't, because motherhood seems to keep redeeming itself.