Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Family: By a Lady, the Church and the Prophets

I was not the only one who chose to do a blog for this assignment. 

I wanted to share this blog wth anyone who is reading mine that wants more about the family and the words of the prophets, videos and links to Church sites.  

Great Job Wendy! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happiness secret

            I figured it out; the secret to happiness amid the chaos of life and the painful reality of death and losing people we love. It wasn’t something that happened all at once, but when it hit me, I just knew. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way and by no means perfect or profess to have all the answers. I am quite flawed, full of imperfections and idiosyncrasies. I have not had a life one would consider dull or easy. I am both a dreamer and a realist. I am a paradox of contradictions. When I was a teenager and into young adulthood I prided myself on the fact I did not need to learn from the mistakes of others. I would make my choices (despite what other knew or believed) and come what may. I have always taken the blame for the hard knocks I’ve had in life. This comes from being self-aware and knowing that I make mistakes and I am not a victim of life. My choices, good and bad, have consequences.  I am also realistic enough to know there are a few things in life that happen to us that we don’t get to choose.
            We were eighteen months apart. She was my buddy and my best friend from the beginning. I loved her and I was jealous of her at the same time. At times I wanted to be her and other times I wanted to beat her up. I loved to listen to her and teach her. When I was five years old she was almost four, I would come home from kindergarten and teach her everything I learned each day. She would gobble it up and learn with me. By the time I was in 5th grade and she was in 4th grade she was able to skip a grade and move up. She was 16 when we stood side by side at our high school graduation. I held her hand as she gave birth to her first baby that she gave up for adoption. She held my leg and helped me through the birth of my son. When I moved out of state we talked every day. We were more than sisters. We were best friends, partners in crime, the greatest improve team and the yin and yang of each other’s lives for 34 years, until she went off and left me for good. She just up and died on me and our family one day. There was no warning, no preparing. One day we were stopping at every rest stop from Disneyland to Phoenix to hug and say bye to each other as our fun-filled, month long multi-family vacation was coming to a close and the next time I saw her, one month later, she was in a coffin.
That was 3 years ago.  A few years before the death of my sister I met a man who I only knew briefly. This man was the most crotchety, grumpy, angry, self-centered man I ever met. He was my mother-in-law’s husband. My step-daughters called him Mr. Rick. He was their step grandpa years before they were born, yet he would never be known as grandpa. Mr. Rick was not happy about the fact that his wife’s son stayed geographically close to them and remained in constant contact with his mother. This man disowned his own family and expected his wife to cut ties with hers as well.  My mother-in-law loved her only son who was 17 when she married Mr. Rick. By the time I came into the picture they had been married over 15 years.  Mr. Rick had a very hard time with my son.  When he turned 3, we stopped getting invited over to grandma’s house. I knew Mr. Rick did not like my husband, but I could not help but feel it was more than just that. One day my mother-in-law told me about Mr. Rick and why he was no longer welcoming us into their home.
Thirty years earlier a tragedy over took Mr. Rick’s life. His three year old son was boating with his mother on a lake at a city park when he fell into the water. Neither the mother nor her boyfriend could swim so they did nothing to save the little boy. He drown that day. I think Mr. Rick died that day, too. My son and I were no longer welcome at grandma’s house because he was a three year old boy. I vowed to myself the moment I heard this sad, sad story I would never be like Mr. Rick. Life is for the living! How could he choose to live in darkness for the next 30 years? Self-medicating with alcohol and pot instead of enjoying the family, life and people around him; selfishly hurting others and making them sad because he felt pain.  For the first time in my life I knew I could learn from others mistakes. I knew his view on life was wrong.
When my sister died I was in shock. I went through the stages of grief. This was something that happened to me that I did not get to choose. Why did we stop and hug at 6 rest stops in a row? We were being silly and having fun. We had no idea we were saying good bye for the last time.  When she was gone I felt like a part of me had gone too. This loss was harder and cut me deeper than the death of my biological father at the age of 14, and the death of my child who was born prematurely and lived for only 30 minutes. This was my sister. My shadow growing up, my confidant, my best friend. What was I going to do? I was not going to be overcome with darkness like Mr. Rick that was for sure. I was not going to be a victim of life. The darkness and depression that once plagued me in young adulthood was not going to be a way of life for me.
The answer; the big secret is this: Every motivational poster and inspirational uplifting quote that has had a meme made out of it is true. You get to choose happiness. There is always a silver lining. Life is for the living. Live a life you love and love the life you live. Happiness is not out there, it is in you! Choose to remember the good and push out the sorrow. Grieve for things, people and times you have lost, but don’t live in grief and sorrow, depression and pain. Grieve and live! 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

My family

I believe in Eternal Families.
We can be together forever.
We can have happiness in this life and the next.
It is not easy.
Some days it doesn't seem worth it.
Sometimes it is too overwhelming.
Some days even the best, strongest, smartest most together person you have ever known has a bad, bad day.
Some times it seems like it will never be able to be happy, or better, or perfect.

Then, some thing happens. And the hope comes back. And love can take over.

I am so lucky and grateful to be the mother of two awesome, wild, crazy, boys.
I am glad to know we can be a Forever Family.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Second Paragraph

“All human beings—male and female— are created in the image of God. Each is beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premotal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

A new semester of class has begun. This semester is on the Eternal Family. I have known my whole life that families can be together forever. That Heavenly Father has a plan for us. A plan of happiness. A plan of salvation. A plan of family.

In 1995 the presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came out with a proclamation to world. It was not just to the church members, but to the whole world. This proclamation was sharing doctrine on family. The essential piece of the plan of happiness. (Did you know there was a Plan of Happiness? There is!)

I can't remember what I felt about this proclamation in 1995. I knew that I loved all people. I new that I had a biological father who was gay. I knew I was being raised in the church by two goodly parents who loved the Lord. I knew I wanted children but I was on the fence about needing a man. I wanted to be a mother more than anything else.  I was 18 and knew nothing about how my life would be in 2016.

I can tell you as I start this class and commit to learn these lessons with a prayerful heart and an open mind I will share what I am touched by and what I learn.

I am a single mother thrice divorced with 2 sweet boys who I have with me all the time. They talk with daddy but he is in another state. We attend church. We love primary. We want our eternal family. I was partially wrong as a youth. I was partially right. I do not need a husband to know my worth in the sight of the Lord, the eyes of my children or myself.  However, after being married in the temple and having the "traditional" family, and growing up and maturing a bit I know that I want a husband, I want the blessings promised. I want the partner in life. I want my kids to have a Priesthood holder and a loving Father.  I will continue to be the best person I can be and follow the Lord and trust in his time.

So, as I said above, over the next several weeks I will be sharing some of the insights and things I am learning.

Thanks for reading! Come back soon!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tender Mercies

In the church we often hear the term “Tender Mercies of the Lord.” In the Book Ether chapter 6:12 the Jaredite people thank the Lord for tender mercies. There is a great talk by David A. Bednar in the April 2005 General Conference.  He stated, “Since last October I have reflected repeatedly upon the phrase “the tender mercies of the Lord.” Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15).”

What tender mercies of the Lord can you identify in your life? 
Tender is defined as, “showing gentleness and concern or sympathy.
Mercy is defined as, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
Is it ironic that for me I view one of the tender mercies the Lord has blessed me with is the ability and desire to recognize tender mercies I receive.  The Lord forgives. The Savoir provided a way to satisfy mercy and justice. The most awful thing I have done in my life has been forgiven of me through the atonement of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior.

I had a baby who was born too soon and lived for about 30 minutes before his breathing ceased. There was no way he was going to live. At the time my bishop who came to give me a blessing and help my parents and I said something I hated and thought was so stupid.  I had wanted nothing more in life than to be a mother.  During my first marriage we were unable to have children. My bishop tried to offer theses word of comfort, “At least you know you can get pregnant now.”  At the time I was not in a place in my life to recognize tender mercies or the significance of the Lord’s timing.  Looking back, what a tender mercy that knowledge could have been to me. And knowing what I have always known, that we live again has been a huge tender mercy in my life. I will know this child of mine.

My boss at work has done little thing just by being his Christ like self that have helped me in my career and personal work life balance life.

My friend came and put my kids to bed so that I could finish an assignment I waited too long to do before the dead line.

I made it to church in time for the sacrament and my kids were quit so I was able to hear the prayer.

One friend stopped talking to me. The Lord put another in my life.

The Lord’s tender mercies could be acts of love and service from His children here on earth. They could be giving you peace in a time of sadness. They could be getting every green light when you are running late for work in the morning after taking an extra two minutes to pray before leaving the house.

As Elder Bednar shared. They are personal.  My hope and prayer for each of you reading this is for you to continually recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in your lives.