Sunday, March 29, 2009

Never the same

These past few months have been very challenging for me. I have undergone a lot inside as I have struggled to change my heart. It has been a very painful growth process at times.

But it is incredible how, when I look back, the times of trial are always some of the choicest times, because of what I've learned and become.

Months ago, I knew that if I chose to undergo something that the Lord wanted me to do, I would never be the same again.

He was right. I'm not. And I hope I never will be. The feeling I have in my heart today is one of gladness, of a deeper understanding, compassion, and love than I have ever known.

Even though there have been so many painful times associated with following what the Lord would have me do, I know for a surety that I could never be happy doing anything else. Following Him may require great struggle, pain, and challenge, and though it may be agonizing at the time, for I'll admit I do struggle with pride and I am so far from perfect, there is nothing He could ask that I would consider "just too much." The alternative would be to draw back from Him, and I just do not want that. He has given me everything I have. I want to give something back.

My heart!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

If I were a Richmond...

My girls love Fiddler on the Roof. :) They think Tevye is a hoot, and they love to sing and dance like him...this involves much bum-shaking. :) But more on that later.

The other day, my two older girls were dancing and singing, and I overheard "If I were a Richmond!! La la la la la..."

I chuckled to myself and asked what they had said. "If I were a Richmond, mom. Our favorite song."

"Oh! That's nice....but I think he says, 'If I were a rich man.'"

"No. It's Richmond. I listened."

"Ah. Well, why do you think he is singing about wanting to be a Richmond?"

"Because, mom. Everyone wants to be a Richmond!"

LOL LOL LOL :)

I love being a Richmond, too!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Feel my brain!


Today in school, my 5-year-old wrote her first real story. Something longer than a few sentences. She was pretty excited. By the time she was done, she was tired. She finished and held onto her head for a minute.

I asked her if she was okay. She looked up and said, "Mom, feel my brain! It's growing!!"

Here is the grand accomplishment:




It's called "Alooki." (She got the name from the girl in her new favorite book, The Three Snow Bears.)
Alooki is a eskimo girl. She is 6. She lives in an igloo. Her brother and sister broke her fishing pole! She tried to glue it! It didn't work. Next she tried to tape it. It fell apart. She asked her mommy for help. They fixed it. She said "yay!"
I'm pretty proud of her, and her growing brain!! :)

How do you want to remember it all?


Time is getting faster. Can you just feel that?

I think we all can. As I watch my children, I often think about their world. While I try to do what I can to make it better, there is so much that is out of my control. But there is so much that I do control, and it is easy to forget just how important that part is.

Sometimes I let my kids play with the camera. I think it's good for them to explore their world. I like to go back through the pictures that they take and see things from their perspective.

It's very enlightening. It gives me a little idea about what they're thinking and how they see things. :)

I was going through some pictures that our 2-year-old took the other day. Of course, most were blurry and of my feet or knees, but this one made me stop:



Obviously, she took it during school time. Our 4-year-old is working away on her ocean habitat, the baby is looking on, and I am busy teaching our 5-year-old something that she's apparently very excited about. (She does love practicing her doubles.) :) Though it's blurry, I cherish this little glimpse at our day. That is a peaceful, happy moment, where I am doing my best as a mother. Nothing grand or overblown. Just happily loving and teaching.

That's how I want to be. How I want to remember it. How I want them to remember it.

Too often, I know that I let myself feel tired or stressed or a bit grumpy. Too often, I say, "Not now," or "Maybe later," or "After the work is done."

But their childhood is racing through my fingers like water. Everyday, they give me life. I want to give it back to them in abundance. I only have them for a little while. It goes so fast. I want to love them every moment!

The work and the messes are always there. But they won't be. I need to remember that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recent thoughts

I haven't been as much of a blogger lately, have I?

I think it's for several reasons.

1) School has been very busy! But that's a great thing. :)

2) I've been very busy in my very little spare time working on some exciting projects I have going. Yay! But more on those later.

3) Here's the big one. I've been thinking a lot lately. Yes, thinking, which I know should seem like it would lead to blogging, but my thinking has been so deep and personal that it's been hard to put up here just yet. It's also been hard to put into words. I have been examining myself very deeply and have found a lot of things that I want to change. It's amazing how much different I am than I thought I was. Recent struggles have really opened my eyes to my heart. I'm working on a lot of changes right now.

My family has become more important to me than ever before. It's always been a top priority, but it's even higher now. It's different.

So, for today, I just want to say that I love them. I dearly, dearly love them, and I want to tell my girls I'll try harder to be better, and that they are more precious to me than anything I have or want. And to tell Matt that he is my life, and I know he can do all of the great things he needs to do.

I Love you, baby, and if everyone loved like this, what a different world it would be.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Change the name??

My 5-year-old daughter was sitting next to me was I was blogging yesterday. She read the title of my blog, sat up, and became a bit agitated.

When I asked her what was wrong, she said, "Mommy, I think you should change the name of your web site."

"Oh? What to?"

"It should say: 'One big mom, one big woman, and some kids.' Because I'm big. I'm not a 'little' woman."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Never enough time :)

This morning was perfect.

I woke up next to Matt, so warm, and three of the four kids were snuggled in bed with us. The fourth soon followed, and we laughed and hugged and were so happy.

Time seemed to slow down, and our blessings were so clear. I could have lived in that moment. :)

And all my time
Is yours as much as mine
We never have enough
Time to show our love

-Trespassers William

Friday, March 20, 2009

Untroubled Faith

I guess it's obvious that lately, I've been pondering a lot about life, the future, and what to do and feel about everything.

There have been a lot of things lately that have happened that have been hard to accept and understand.

Luckily, I guess I've been here before enough times to have finally gained a faith that it is truly in the Lord's hands.

But some days, that knowledge doesn't come as easily as on others. These past few days have been a bit of a struggle in that way. I feel so motivated to reach and to push and to stretch and to grow, but the struggles that come with it bring doubtful thoughts at times. And it seems as though this past year, and especially since we moved, everything I ever thought about myself or my life and future has been challenged to the point of wondering some days who I am at all. I feel so motivated and impelled to grow, but these challenges have seemed so discouraging at times that I have often wondered if I even have the capacity to grow into what I desire.

It seems that the harder I push, and further I try to go, the more difficult it becomes. All of us have felt that way, I know. But this has been different lately. It's hard to explain.

Of course, I have found myself praying for help the past few days.

Help to hold on to any confidence that I once had in myself and my worth and abilities.

It is amazing how quietly we are led at times. Sometimes, we look for the big, wide answers and miss the whispers.

Today while I was making the billionth cookie for a ward activity tonight, I found myself listening to a talk I'd had a prompting to listen to. I saw a talk entitled An Untroubled Faith. I laughed when I saw the title, because it is so much what I am working on.

In the talk, James E. Faust speaks, among other things, about Joseph Smith. He said:
To have a fair appreciation for the greatness of Joseph Smith’s mission, we must step back and view the grand panorama of it all. To me, the only logical explanation for the majesty and success of his work is that he saw what he said he saw, and he was what he said he was. What he restored is so complete, so all-encompassing in concept, so majestic and awesome in potential, that only God himself could have been the author and motivating force behind it. The fruits of Joseph Smith’s work, so plain for all to see, are also a testimony of the divinity of his work.
I'm not comparing myself to Joseph Smith, or any of my trials to his. (In fact, I laugh at my own when I think of his.)

But, when I heard that today, something spoke to my heart. "Only God Himself could have been the author and motivating force behind" my own desires for growth. There is no doubt that He motivated Joseph, so why not me?

And we all know that what Joseph was accomplishing was "majestic and awesome in potential." Could it be that I, too, am "majestic and awesome in potential?"

I believe so.

Believing again that the stirrings inside me are of divine origin gives me hope. Joseph must have wondered why it was all so difficult. But he must see it now with such joy. I, too, can try to learn from that perspective, and not allow myself to be so discouraged by things that are difficult, but rather, be grateful for the divinely inspired process that is going on in my life.

In all of us who welcome it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I always love you

I was tired today. It's been a busy week, and this was a rough morning. I was sad, and I was a bit grumpy. The kids started to act up, and I got pretty upset. I got too mad, and quickly regretted it.

I went to the girls and told them I was so sorry. I started to cry because I just felt so bad, and so frustrated inside today. Do you ever feel like there is no one who would really understand how you are feeling? I knew that if I prayed, there was One who would understand, but after being so grumpy at my girls, I didn't feel like I could honestly and worthily ask for help and understanding.

As I cried and tried to apologize to my girls, my 4-year-old quickly jumped up and ran to me and threw her arms around me, and said, "Oh, mommy! We forgive you! We just always love you."



I hugged her close and just breathed in her loving little soul. The girls all forgave me and hugged me, and I was taught such a lesson in those few moments. What astonishing truths we learn from our children. I felt such love and such compassion from my children, and through them, I felt it from the Lord, too. It was as though I could hear Him saying to me, "I forgive you. I just always love you."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mormon Temples

Nighttime pondering

I've been in an off-blogging funk lately, probably because all week I've just been off inside. It's been such a confusing week, full of such happiness and blessings, but also full of confusion. Time seems so crucial. Sometimes, I feel like I'm standing still. Other times, I feel like it's all going too fast. I feel like I'm watching my children grown up before my eyes and I'm not doing everything I need to. Other times, I feel like I am desperately trying to change and grow, and nothing is happening.

Tonight I just couldn't sleep. My mind is so full of questions, so much wondering. What should we do? What is going to happen?

I got up and did some laundry, but felt drawn to my blog. I went back and started reading. It is astonishing to witness the learning and growth. I can see that right now, nearing the end of a difficult experience, discouragement is coming to my mind, trying to erase what I have learned. It is amazing how discouragement and fear can cloud and try to take away such goodness in us.

Just reading and remembering has helped me to remember something:
I am loved. WE are loved. It's all going to be just fine. We'll be led in every step, even when it's not clear at the moment.
I just wanted to write it down.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Unfolding as it should



I find myself again today, striving to have faith and patience. I find myself, once again, waiting.

I found myself on my knees again, moments ago, pleading for help to wait, to have patience, to be at peace. And in that moment, I realized that I have a quiet, sincere conviction in my heart that has been there all along...that everything is happening as it should. That our Father truly knows all, and that He is making sure it all goes as it ought to.

I found myself thinking of my sister...she has waited so long, through such weary and dreary times, for something that her heart has longed for. At last, she has come to it, and her joy is all the fuller for the wait. And what she continued to remind herself, is what I continue to try to remind myself:
And whether or not it is clear to you
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should
.


Therefore be at peace with God...

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.


-Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Somehow, the knowledge that Heavenly Father wants it all to happen like this is so comforting, and brings me such quiet.

So I will wait.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A funny picture from my day...




This picture sums up my day pretty well. :)

Love it. :)


Monday, March 9, 2009

Stolen hearts




Not only has aunt Libby managed to steal uncle Joe's heart, she's stolen some little girls' hearts, too! What's not to love? We love you aunt Libby! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Waiting

So often it seems we are waiting. There are many things I am waiting for right now.

At times, I have not felt patient while waiting. I have felt different things...

Frustration.
Anger.
Pain.
Sadness.

But when I do try to be patient, I feel different things.

Quiet.
Light.
Peace.

I know which set of feelings I'd rather have. But it's just so natural and easy to feel the other way.

I'm trying so hard to be better, but this morning was difficult for me again as a realization that I needed to keep waiting for the good things I hope for again settled on me. I kneeled to pray. I was very sad, and really, that's all I could say. "Father, I'm so sad. Please help me."

As my day has gone on, I have tried hard to do my best. I feel that I have been blessed to notice the sun shining and the fresh breeze rushing past. I have noticed the sound of beautiful music and the sound of my children laughing, and have felt that my Father truly is near and knows.

As I opened my scriptures to read this afternoon in a quiet moment, I heard Him talk to me.

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
(Isaiah 30:18-19)

I found myself wondering at those words...the Lord waiting? I don't often think of Him waiting. But as I pondered on my life right now and all that I am striving so much to do and to be worthy of, and all of the waiting that seems to be necessary for me right now, I could feel Him waiting, also. But maybe He's waiting, not to punish me (not that I thought He was, but you know what I mean), but rather, "that He may be gracious unto [me.]" How could waiting to bless me with certain things be the same thing as being gracious unto me?

As I thought about it, light and peace came back to me. I thought back on all of the times that He has waited, and asked me to wait. They were painful times, difficult times, and, eventually, joyous times, as I learned to draw nearer to the Lord, to find happiness in the blessings I had, and to want what He wanted for my life, rather than what I wanted. Each experience I recalled was choice to me, and though painful, was more than worth the price because of what I grew into. I realized that here I am, in the middle of another chance to grow and to become more.

Truly, the Lord is waiting right now, but I feel that it is so that He can be gracious to me, in allowing me a chance to grow and humble myself. But I do know that He "will be very gracious unto [me] at the voice of [my] cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer [me]."

A perfect evening


What goes great for dessert after a perfectly happy dinner together with our giggly bunch?

Tickling and wrestling with daddy. :)



Here's what the baby thought about the silliness:



These people are my life. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smarties


I know it's probably odd for a fully grown woman to love Smarties as much as I do, but alas, it is true. I cannot get enough of them.

They are so cute. So easy. So sweet. I keep eating them. If I have a full bag lying around, I'm in trouble.

I find that the more I eat of these lovely little empty calories, the more I want. And the less I want of any real food. Today half my day is gone and I'm wondering what real food I've had, in relation to the amount of sugar sitting in my tummy.

I find again and again in my life that it's the same with so many "empty calories" that this world has to offer. It's so fun, so cute, so easy to get sucked in by a simple little thing. If I only see or hear or do a little bit of it, it seems harmless, right? But gradually, it starts to "ruin my appetite" for anything real.

But just as my body feels incredible after I shun the smarties and partake in real food, so my spirit does when I leave behind the empty calories of the world and feast on what's real.

Let's eat!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just in case...


Tonight during scripture study we learned about David and Goliath. The girls were wide-eyed and fascinated while daddy told the story. We like to help them realize the lesson in the stories, so at the end, their dad asked them, "So what do we learn from that story about David?"

Of course, we're hoping to discuss how much the Lord loves us and protects and helps us if we are trying to do the right things.

Our 5-year-old answered, "That you should always carry some rocks around in your pocket in case you meet a big mean guy."