stuffing

Oct 13, 2014 by

The day these bad dreams started was the day I stuffed down a comment about being molested. It seems to be a pattern in my life: I don’t say things that will cause others to feel guilt or feel hurt. I protect other’s feelings by not speaking up.

Now don’t get me wrong, I CAN and DO say hurtful things. Far too often thoughtless comments burst out of mouth and I end up wounding someone deeply. But it seems to be the pattern of my life that I excuse other people’s behavior by not saying “You have hurt me!

I have been trying to figure out why I do this for many weeks now. The counselor I had an appointment with tried to get to the bottom of it and decided it is because I don’t value myself enough to say something.

That didn’t sit right with me. It could be true, but it doesn’t feel true. Richard and I have talked and talked and talked about it and it doesn’t feel true to him either. I think that is often the reason people don’t speak up, but it just doesn’t seem true for me. I do value myself. I have great self-esteem and believe I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to. I am not at all the picture of a victim.

And yet, I often stuff my feelings deep down inside and refuse to tell people how horribly wrong their behavior has been or how terribly they have hurt me. I even have one person in my life who continues to abuse me in many ways and I allow it to happen. It infuriates me that I will not stand up and put an end to it.

And see, see what I just did. I won’t name names. I won’t call this person out into the open.

WHY??????????????????????

I do feel lighter than I did several weeks ago and I am really truly smiling and feeling joy again, but the pain is still here. I woke up on Saturday night with ANOTHER kidney infection…the third since this all started. And Sunday night was another sleepless night. I prayed and prayed and prayed for sleep to come, but instead I lay there tossing and turning all night long with numb arms (something must have moved out of place in my upper back and is causing my arms/hands to be numb) and wide-awake mind. And now it is Monday night, nearly midnight, and I can’t sleep again.

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grl 2014

Aug 25, 2014 by

grl 2014

We have been home from our camping trip for over two weeks and I FINALLY got my pictures uploaded. I’d give you a list of excuses, like laundry and health and a very long to-do list, but really, I just haven’t done it before today.

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This year I was able to be in my mountains for 16 glorious days. The first six days we only had my mom and three of my kiddos. It was so, so lovely to eat super simple meals, lay around camp, read, watch the children swim and kayak, and just. be. still. The weather was beautiful without a cloud in the sky on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Then on Tuesday it rained for 12 hours straight. We stayed in our tent all day long and played games, read books, and told stories of Grandma and Grandpa for the My Family project our Stake is doing right now.

Our home away from home.
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Wednesday night my brother Scott arrived, Thursday my sweetie and Keziah showed up, Friday my sister Mikelle and her family joined us, along with my brother Stephen a bit later in the day.

After those first four days of perfect weather, we had rain. Lots of rain. Rain for days on end. Puddles and mud and raincoats and umbrellas were plentiful. As soon as the rain let up to drizzle mode, everyone would burst from our tents ready to play or fish or do ANYTHING but stay in the tent. There were non-raining moments and sometimes hours every day and we used those to kayak, fish, and warm-up by the fire, but it seemed every day had some rain (or hail!) packed into it.

I fell in the shower and dislocated my tibia a few days before we left, so I had to be super-duper careful the whole time. My whole knee was sore and the ligaments weren’t holding it in place well at all, so I spent most of my time lying in my chair or tent. I was able to kayak down the river three times – twice for five whole miles. Oh, the joy! I love kayaking and it was heavenly to get out on the water and actually move instead of lying around like a stuffed lobster.

Fisher spent most of his time fishing, searching for frogs and snakes, kayaking, and avoiding the camera. Here is one of the few photos I got of his whole face.

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This is what usually happened the moment he noticed the camera pointing his way.

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One day I had to go to town to register the children for their iFAMILY classes and brought back ice cream in a cooler for a fun camping treat. Since there is no way to keep it frozen, we had to eat 12 creamsicles and a box of ice cream in one sitting. Poor us, eh?

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Since I was not able to do much of anything, Blythe took over my mom duties and took the kids on hikes and other adventures. While I was gone to town Blythe took the little ones on a short hike to the cave and big rock. Another day she took them both on a kayak trip to the other side of the lake – two miles across! I didn’t think they would make it, but they rocked it.

After the rainy days started, we woke up to crazy fog each morning. Mom liked to say we were “socked in.”

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Umbrellas and rain boots were a staple.

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Foot soaks to get the filthy feet clean were enjoyed every few days. I can take a lot of dirt, but even I have my limit and must insist on children’s feet being scrubbed clean before they can enter the tent.

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We also had full bath days and several shampoo the hair days, but somehow I made it the entire two weeks without a single bath or hair washing. It felt really, really lovely to bathe all that dirt away when we got home.

We celebrated Blythe and Andie’s 18th birthdays with presents and fake pudding, raspberry cheesecake for Blythe and a fancy store-bought cake for Andie’s.

Blythe wasn’t too happy about turning 18.

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Andie gave her a skirt from Nepal. Miss Andie is a world traveler and recently spent three weeks working in a school in Nepal with her mom.

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Grandma gave her a set of Holy Tabbs, an awesome scripture marking program I can’t wait to implement in my own scriptures.

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My mom has called her Sooger or Shooger Bunkin since the day she was born. It was her name even before she was named Blythe.

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Blythe’s yummy, but totally fake raspberry cheesecake with 18 candles making an 18.

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We had our favorite camping meal of fried potatoes, onions, peppers, and zucchini for her birthday dinner and then topped it off with some fish.

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The two girls went on a kayak adventure on Andie’s birthday morn and I caught a pic of them as they came back to camp.

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Then we had yummy cake.

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We gave Andie a big bag of our homemade granola. She loves it and we try to make her some every time she comes to visit.

During the sunny moments, lots of fun was had at the lake.

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Fish were caught and mostly released, but quite a few were brought back to camp to eat for dinner.

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The girls went on a heart kick, wove flowers in their hair, and tried to make hearts out of their bodies.

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This all fell apart into pure silliness.

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Then they settled on a beach heart.

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On our last day, we took the kiddos over to the lodge I lived in as a little girl with my grandparents. I told them all sorts of stories about their great-grandparents and the magical times we had together.

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These are the steps my grandfather made…forty years later and they are still there!

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This is the double-seater outhouse up on the hill that Camille and I always used when the lodge bathrooms were full or we were playing on the spaceship rocks.

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The rock we used to run up and down. You knew you had “arrived” when you could do it without hands.

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I spent a lot of time staring at Square Top this year. I was supposed to climb it to celebrate my 40th birthday, but my body is not able to do so. It has now been three years of camping without even being able to go on a small hike. A few times when I was left alone at camp, I sobbed tears of heartbreak that I wasn’t on top of my mountain. I was supposed to do hard things, see new vistas, and have an amazing girl adventure with all my bestest friends. I let the grief pour out of me and really mourn the direction my life has taken. It felt good to really, really cry. To really, really admit how hard and how sad this all is. I can see the blessings and I can put on a brave face, but I am sad, deep down to my little toes, so sad that I cannot climb my mountain or do so many other things I love.

Goodbye to my mountain for another year.

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We ended up leaving about 9:00 pm on Saturday night so we could make it home for church on Sunday and as we pulled away, we finally got a full moon. Goodbye moon. My favorite moon.

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play, puppies, prom, and hmmm, i can’t think of another p word

Apr 11, 2014 by

Disclaimer: I’m sorry my posting has been so erratic lately. Between my family’s needs and wants and my own body’s needs, posting keeps falling by the wayside. I find when I do take the time to post I dump out an entire novel and this post is certainly novel length…at least in blog land. I finally uploaded some pics and now after months of no photos whatsoever, you get to be hammered by a gazillion.

Spring is in the air which means sunshine, wind, and lots and lots of activities! In the past two weeks, we have had our big night at the temple, Homeschool Prom for Blythe, a week of rehearsals for two different plays, a week of performances for Blythe’s play with ACTivate and the Youth Symphony, colloquia, puppies born, music lessons, FHE with our friends who just returned from a humanitarian trip to Ecuador, board meetings for iFamily with elections coming up on Monday, all the usual stuff that normally fills our lives, and not much sleep at all. Thank goodness I have found my camera, my memory card, and my memory card reader so that I have been able to both snap photos and upload them of all our fun.

Whew! We made it. I almost passed out on Monday at board meeting so I forced myself to be very, very conservative this week with all the performances and stay put in my chair. I did not vacuum or sweep or sell concessions or do any of the things I normally do. I limited myself to one hour of being upright at a time and two hours a day total and I stayed true to those guidelines except on Friday when I went over a bit, but I was still good about taking care of myself. Big pat on the back for me – I did not want any of this exciting week for Blythe to be dampened by a passing out episode and my carefulness paid off. The best part is today I can still walk, so YIPPEE! If I can keep this up for another week, I should be back to exercising at my next appointment!

The puppies…oh, my they are so precious. The children adore them and spend time every day toting them around and loving on them. They squeak nearly 24 hours a day and none of us are getting very good sleep with all the noise, especially Keziah who has set up Sadie and her seven pups in a wading pool in her room.

They were born the night of April 2 and morning of April 3 over a period of about eight hours. Sadie will NOT give birth without Keziah sitting right by her, so it was a long night of dog doulaing for my girlie. There are four tan puppies, two chocolate, and one black. Please excuse the blurriness, trying to get a puppy to hold still is difficult, trying to get a child holding a puppy to hold still is nearly impossible!

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Here is Blythe in her Prom attire. My sister, Mikelle, was here and helped Blythe turn her naturally curly hair into lovely ringlets that would stay put all night. Blythe and over 100 of her friends had a fabulous time dancing the night away.

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I wasn’t able to get any pictures of Blythe during the play…no flash photography allowed and pictures in a dark theater don’t turn out. Here is a super silly one of Blythe with her stage make-up and costume and her crazy sister.

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Character shot.

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Both the character shots and headshots were on display in the lobby for guests to look at as they entered the theater – that way they could see what each actor really looks like and compare that to the character shot. Here is her headshot. I think it is my all-time favorite picture of her.

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Crazy cast photo…man I LOVE these youth!

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Last night we had the big end-of-the-year Youth Symphony performance. It was amazing! Three of the pieces were from Tchaikovsky and I fell in love the the March Slave – what a soul-stirring piece! They also played the Violin Concerto in D with an amazing violin soloist and the 1812 Overture with real cannons firing. The harp solo was light and magical – it almost made me want to become a harpist!

You can see Blythe warming-up in front of the big drum in the back. She still has her hairdo from the play she performed in a couple hours previous.

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The whole Youth Symphony! Lots of musicians squished onto the stage.

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In the midst of all the activities for the big girls, I try to keep life for my littles as calm as possible. They generally spend their mornings with me doing learning time. Fisher has set a goal to finish one entire math book during the month of April, so we are spending lots of time working together so he can accomplish his goal and earn a radio-control rat he has had his eyes on for months. Annesley is learning how to read and it is so much fun! Her words she has learned so far are me, meet, I, am, Sam, Mat, Ann, Nan, Mit, in, on, at, sat, sit, the, is, this, that, cat, hat, and mat. She has started noticing these words all over the place and is one happy little sounding out girl. They have been having fun with Annesley’s birthday puzzle.

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Our recent 10″ snowstorm dumped gobs of snow in one night, but by the next day it was almost all melted away. They built these snowmen before all the snow disappeared.

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Now it is time to get ready for Passover and then gear up for another week of Blythe’s play at the end of the month, the end of WUBA for the year, Keziah’s play in four short weeks, and my 40th birthday.

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gc fills me up

Apr 6, 2014 by

Ahhhh, I love General Conference. We have spent the past two days camped out in front of our computer watching and listening to the leaders of our church teach us about living Christlike lives, giving our hearts to our Savior, family life, repentance, forgiveness, hope, courage, covenants, and love, most of all, love.

I usually take my children and several of their friends to Salt Lake for Conference, but my body has not permitted me to have such a big adventure the last few conferences. I can’t walk as far as is required to make it through the building and I don’t dare try to sit anywhere without having Richard with me to rescue me if I pass out. So, I stayed home and tried to create some memorable experiences with conference donuts, bingo cards with M & M’s, coloring pages, conference crowns, paper dolls, and lots of snuggles.

Today, in between conference sessions, we celebrated Jesus’ birthday with creamed eggs, ice cream, and gifts for Jesus. Having a birthday party for Jesus is one of my favorite family traditions. We usually have cake with a huge pile of candles we all blow out together, but my foot was so worn out on Friday and Saturday that I couldn’t bring myself to stand on it for more than thirty seconds at a time, so we had ice cream instead. Everyone writes down a present they want to give Jesus, then we share a little message about His life, sing to Him, and then eat the party fare.

This conference seemed to be custom-made just for me. I’m sure it touched other people’s hearts as well, but so many of the talks seemed to be written specifically for my benefit that my heart welled up with gratitude for a loving Father in Heaven who is aware of my heartaches and questions and poured out His answers to me in abundance. Now prepare yourself for the longest post ever. It is far too long for a blog post, but bear with me. Someday my children will read these words and know I loved them, God loved them, and there mother’s mothering prayers were answered with guidance on how to teach them.

Conference Top Ten

1. Elder Holland’s talk inspired me to live more courageously for truth AND to love more deeply, passionately, and purely those around me and to spread that love as far and wide as I can. Some notable quotes:

“You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school, or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled, or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion,” he said. “Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our ‘houses’ left unto us ‘desolate’ — desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods and desolate nations … (see Matthew 23:37-38).

His “comfortable Gods” section hit home with me…cosmic humanism has lots of good things that resonate with me, but loving others and becoming aligned with our inner selves isn’t all that is needed in this life, those things aren’t enough to save us and believing in a comfortable God that requires nothing from us doesn’t ring true to me.

“Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods and smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds. Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes — and this seems the greatest irony of all — these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of ‘comfortable’ God. Really?”

Loved his section on love changing the world.

“Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this plane in part because pure Christlike love was always supposed to accompany it.”

“Pure, Christlike love flowing from true righteousness can change the world.”

Then he said something with such power I felt his words leap into my soul. He spoke of the Priesthood keys and then testified with these words,

I am more certain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances are once again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpt and you sit before me in this conference.

Oh, his whole talk was wonderful, I loved it!

2. I loved President Eyring’s talk on choices, following the Spirit, and putting our family and family lines first in our lives.

Every day and every hour, you can choose to make or keep a covenant with God.

Words of scriptures and hymns will stay with our children. Fill their hearts when they are young.

3. Russell M. Nelson’s talk on letting our faith show…typing those words makes me burst into the new hit song from Frozen with a teensy change, “Let it show, Let it show!”

50,000,000 people CAN be wrong.

This really drove home the point to me that right and wrong are not defined by us as individuals, nor by popular majority. They are defined by God.

4. Richard G. Scott’s talk on focusing on the atonement of Jesus Christ as we teach our children about God and His plan for us sunk deep in my heart. The atonement is our everything and far too often I think we can get distracted from the central tenet of our faith. I remember in Little Men when Jo is teaching Nat about Jesus in such a beautiful way that Nat falls right in love with Him. This is what I strive for with my own children and his talk helped remind me to focus on teaching from a solid, personal, doctrinal foundation.

As a companion to that love, trust them. In some cases, it may seem difficult to trust, but find some way to trust them. The children of Father in Heaven can do amazing things when they feel trusted. Every child of God in mortality chose the Savior’s plan. Trust that given the opportunity, they will do so again.

Your personal testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a powerful tool….there is no doctrine more fundamental to our work than the Atonement of Jesus Christ. At every appropriate opportunity, testify of the Savior and the power of His Atoning sacrifice. Use scriptures that teach of Him and why He is the perfect pattern for everyone in life. You will need to study diligently. Do not become so absorbed in trivial things that you miss learning the doctrine and teachings of the Lord. With a solid, personal, doctrinal foundation, you will be a powerful source for sharing vital truths with others who desperately need them.

As I retyped those words, I realize he is speaking of sharing the gospel broadly, but while I was listening, I only heart him speaking of sharing it with our children. All of my thoughts were centered on teaching my children and nurturing their faith in their Savior.

5. Quentin L. Cook’s talk on family history work and temple work was beautiful. I love researching my ancestor’s lives and lines – it fills my soul on a deep, incomprehensible level. I find my feelings surrounding temple work to be almost impossible to describe – the profound peace and joy must be experienced for one to understand.

We need to be connected to our roots and branches. The thought of being associated in the eternal realm is indeed glorious.

We finally have the doctrine, the temples, and the technology for families to accomplish this glorious work of salvation.

5. President Uchtdorf’s talk, ahhhhh. Breathe, read, ponder, breathe some more. Oh, how I love that man. His words bring great calm to my soul and hope to my heart. His ability to connect with the humanness and the divine in each of us is soothing, lifting, and beautiful.

I have had the sacred opportunity to meet with many people whose sorrows seem to reach the very depths of their soul…Often their grief is caused by what seems to them an ending. Some are facing the end of a cherished relationship, such as the death of a loved one or estrangement from a family member. Other feel they are facing the end of hope – the hope of being married or bearing children or overcoming an illness. Others may be facing the end of their faith, as confusing and conflicting voices in the world tempt them to question, even abandon, what they once knew to be true. Sooner or later, I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift. It can happen to anyone. No one is immune. Everyone’s situation is different and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.

We can be grateful!

It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances – whatever they may be.

This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.

Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges. This is not a gratitude of the lips, but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind.

There are some days I am able to be grateful in this situation. There are many days I am grateful for. There are many days I am full of grief and lacking hope. On those days, I am going to turn to these words and let God teach me to be grateful in.

6. Sister Stevens shared a lovely reminder of our Heavenly Father’s deep and abiding love for each of His children.

Our Heavenly Father reaches out to each of us with His infinite love.

I learned you can feel peace in the midst of turmoil.

And she shared this quote from C.S. Lewis, my favorite author, from Shadowlands,

I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I am helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.

7. “It’s the load.” I need to write this on my wall so I see it every single day. These words may very well become my new mantra that helps me see more clearly and get through hard times. Elder Bednar shared a story of a man who got helplessly stuck in the snow while going to cut wood up in the mountains. He loaded his truckbed with hundreds of pounds of firewood and the weight of the wood allowed him to get unstuck.

It was the load. It was the load of wood that provided the traction necessary for him to get out of the snow, to get back on the road, and to move forward. It was the load that enabled him to return to his family and his home.

Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load: ‘Is the load I am carrying producing the spiritual traction that will enable me to press forward with faith in Christ on the strait and narrow path and avoid getting stuck? Is the load I am carrying creating sufficient spiritual traction so I ultimately can return home to Heavenly Father?’

Sometimes we mistakenly believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness.

Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that truly matter most.

Oh my goodness. I needed those words. I can feel the load I am carrying changing my soul. I can feel Christ transforming me, every so slowly, I am being changed. But, some days I don’t want to be changed. Some days I want to go back in time a few years to when I had a working body and could go, go, go and do, do, do. And these words “it’s the load” are going to be a source of connection for me. Connecting me to Christ. Connecting me to Father. Connecting me to their plans and purposes and desires. I can remember those three little words and allow them to work in me a softening of my heart and a greater desire and willingness to share my load with my Savior whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.

8. Elder Packer’s talk was bittersweet. He looked so old and fragile, yet his words were powerful and full of hope.

Many things cannot be taught, but can be learned.

Everything done is done in Christ’s name.

9. Elder William R. Walker’s talk kindled in me a greater desire to teach my children their personal church history story – their ancestor’s conversion stories. I know that the stories of faith, courage, and sacrifice I grew up hearing of my Rollins ancestors tied me to the Lord and gave me strength and hope when my own nuclear family fell apart. My children need those same stories. They need the stories of all their ancestor lines. And after this talk, I am determined to find those stories and share them with my children often so that they to can be strengthened by a legacy of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The more connected we are to our righteous forefathers (and I would add foremothers), the more likely we are to make wise and righteous choices.

10. Elder Oaks’ talk in the Priesthood Session on keys, authority, and women has given me much to ponder. I feel God’s plan for his sons and daughters is glorious. I trust that, deep, down in the marrow of my soul, I know He is a God of love and right. Whatever He does is right, is good, is best. I don’t understand all the ins and outs of what is going on with His daughters (or His sons for that matter) in this day and age or even in this life, but I have great faith that someday we will be taught and will understand how His kingdom operates. And at that time, I feel I will be at peace with His plans and purposes for His daughters. I am not always at peace with them now, but I feel an absolute peace that I will have peace when it is all revealed.

I felt this conference was full of messages my soul deeply needed to hear. Now, I need to spend time pondering, writing, praying, and listening as God continues to teach me from these messages.

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the merry-go-round

Mar 31, 2014 by

Gratitude. Frustration. Spirit-filled. Tears of pain. Tears of joy. Grumpiness. Lack of compassion for those I love. Receiver of compassion from those who love. Desire to whack myself over the head. So, so tired of being whacked over the head with well-meaning advice by others. So much love given to me. SO MUCH JOY at the temple. SO MUCH JOY with my family. SO MUCH JOY…and yet, ARGH, I am still grumpy. I feel like I am on a merry-go-round with each spin around the circle bringing me a whole new wave of emotions.

I have been with extended family members for the past 2 1/2 weeks and my heart is full of a myriad of emotions – love and regret and gratitude and peace and joy and pain and forgiveness and sorrow and so much more. I feel spent…like I have done a triathlon without any training and need to spend the next long while recovering.

Thursday evening was spent in the temple with many of my dearest friends and family. It was a beautiful night full of tender mercies and blankets of love. I need to write a whole post about the loveliness of it all. Oh, the JOY!

Friday my foot was doing fabulously well. I was up and actually helping at gymnastics for the first time in six weeks! Hallelujah! My hopes of healing and getting back to building muscles were coming to fruition….and then ANOTHER accident happened. A one-second action of catching my falling Annesley that sprained a new ligament in my foot. ARGH. I really could scream, in fact, I think I need to scream or cry or something, but I haven’t let myself fall apart over it yet. I spent most of Saturday in bed with muscle spasms and soreness and frustration that my body was this injured over something so, so small. Meanwhile my mama cleaned and cooked and took care of all of us…such a nice break for Keziah, but boy, howdy, that dear woman did a lot of work!

Then, I put on my courage and smile and went to the first ever worldwide Women’s Meeting of my church and it was fabulous – I cried and rejoiced and cried some more. Then Sunday we attended church and my foot hurt and I was grumpy as all get out and was mean to my dear Richard and impatient with my dear Blythe and pretty much a porcupine to be around. This new pain brought up so much fear – fear of needing to spend my life in a bubble. Fear of not knowing how to care for my body. Fear of never healing. Fear of living in a wheelchair or worse, a bed. And then the guilt for letting fear in and acting on it. Oh my, I know better. I know God loves me. I know I am in His hands. I know my body can be healed. So, why do I let myself give in to fear?

Today was PT and more pain – the talus was in the wrong position, the ligament damaged and the muscle pulled. More time to heal this poor foot…time I want to be putting towards muscle building and can’t because it is taking so long for the ligaments to recover from the hippity-hop ball accident back in February.

I am so tired of this whole thing – and I need to NOT be tired. I need to gird up my loins and fresh courage take. I need to remember the bounteous blessings and tender mercies of the Lord. I need to remember this is a long-term issue without short-term solutions and dedicate my work for the long-haul: nutrition, muscles, energy work, and most of all, becoming a loving, courageous, obedient disciple of Christ in whatever circumstance I am in.

My mama played this song for me today and I sat there and tried to let my heart soften enough to cry and feel, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t let all the emotions of sadness and regret and fear and frustration come out. It takes a lot for me to cry…usually only happens the day or two before my period…and it has to build for quite a bit before the flood of emotions explodes out of me and the tears finally gush forth.

But, I need to let these words in to my heart and let them change me. I am so grateful for those around me who speak life to me…their words have given me light when I couldn’t see through the darkness, hope when I didn’t dare reach again, and courage when I didn’t have any of my own left. I want to speak life to those around me each day, especially my family members. They have all heard words of mine devoid of any encouragement, patience, or love when I really want to wrap them up in my arms and share the piles of love I have for each of them…and the love their Father in Heaven has for them. I think I will spend some time listening to this song every morning to help me remember to speak life to the hearts of those I love…and remember my Father and Savior who speak life to me.

Speak Life
by Mercy River on the album Come Alive

Somedays life feels perfect
Other days it just ain’t workin
The good, the bad, the right, the wrong
And everything in between

Though it’s crazy, amazing
We can turn our hearts with the words we say
Mountains crumble with every syllable
Hope can live or die

So speak life, speak life
Through the deadest darkest night
Speak life, speak life
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope
You speak love, you speak…?You speak life, you speak life

Some days the tongue gets twisted
Other days my thoughts just fall apart
I do, I don’t, I will, I won’t
It’s like I’m drowning in the deep
Well it crazy to imagine
Words from our lips as the arms of compassion
Mountains crumble with every syllable
Hope can live or die

So speak life, speak life
Through the deadest darkest night
Speak life, speak life
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope
You speak love, you speak…?You speak life, you speak life

Lift your head a little higher
Spread the love like fire
Hope will fall like rain
When you speak life with the words you say

Raise your thoughts a little higher
Use your words to inspire
Trouble falls like rain
When you speak life with the things you say

Lift your head a little higher
Spread the love like fire
Hope will fall like rain
When you speak life with the words you say

So speak life, speak life
Through the deadest darkest night
Speak life, speak life
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope
You speak love, you speak…
You speak life, you speak life

You speak life, you speak life

Somedays life feels perfect

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those bones have lost their map

Mar 7, 2014 by

Tuesday night I made a mistake and kneeled down on my bed with my foot bent underneath me instead of flexed like it is supposed to be at all times…and the bones shifted out of place. DRAT IT ALL! They are so confused about where they need to be and the ligaments are not helping to orient them at all, so they keep trying out new locations in my foot. I am so hoping we are not back at square one, the place we were at 3 1/2 weeks ago. The last few days have been pretty painful and Wednesday I gave into a bit of grumpiness again. I am trying to focus on the bigger picture of trusting God, loving others, and accepting what is so these these little setbacks don’t get me down.

Sometimes I feel I might never get better, but I am holding on to the firm hope that I can. I absolutely believe I can overcome these injuries, build my muscles, and help my body learn how to live effectively with its connective tissue. I know I will always have hypermobile joints that are prone to injury, but if I can get better long enough to build some muscles, I will be in a much better spot. Each step forward seems to be met with several steps backward (or are they leaps?) and I don’t know how many injuries and weeks spent in bed my muscles can endure before they completely atrophy. My entire body is getting weaker by the day and it is going to take some serious effort to build any muscles back.

Today several ribs are tender, my shoulders are uneven, and my poor foot is super sore, so it is another weekend to be spent in bed. But I am going to do my foot exercises as much as I can, play some games with Fisher and Annes, read some more Wilberforce, and get some good naps.

It is time for my courage to persevere to emerge. Ready, set, shine!

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cyclops

Feb 21, 2014 by

Me: She is learning how to apologize by how you apologize to her. Please, please use a kind voice and look her in the eye and give her a hug.

K: The eye? THE EYE! She is NOT a cyclops!

Me: Oh honey, please, can you just apologize?

K: I am NOT making lunch if you are going to keep talking to me.

Me: Oh sister, please bring out your best self.

K: You want me to apologize to a CYCLOPS?!?

This girl. This loud, obnoxious, hilarious girl who reminds me so much of myself and brings me SO much joy is also a fireball of crazy contention in our home. Laughter and prayer are my only hopes!

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WUBA

Jan 28, 2014 by

OMSH! I am so excited about my WUBA class! This fun little acronym stands for Wake Up & Be AWESOME which is exactly what we intend to accomplish. Jen, my trusty co-mentor, and I have eight youth in our class who have committed to do hard things. The class we are teaching used to be called TJYC or Thomas Jefferson Youth Certification and is an intense reading, writing, and discussion experience. We decided to change up a few things, including the name, from the original TJYC class to make it a better fit for us as mentors and a custom-fit for our students.

Yesterday we met with our students for the first time and it was a blast! They are brimming with excitement, desire to learn and grow, and most of all, life. They are alive. So many of the youth I see today are kind of dead. They have glazed over looks in their eyes and sort of a “come on, just try to teach me something” attitude that breaks my heart. But these youth are still curious, determined to learn, and thoroughly refreshing to spend time with.

Our theme for the class is conviction. We want our youth to find the principle they can stand on and then speak and write that message with conviction. To accomplish this goal, we are studying Martin Luther, Patrick Henry, Abigail Adams, William Wilberforce, John Brown, and C.S. Lewis. Our students will read a biography about each individual, do a document study of a speech or essay from the person, and write a persuasive essay. They will also be reading several other books, reading others resolutions in the book Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE by Orrin Woodward and creating their own personal resolutions.

Yesterday at class we showed them this hilarious (and inspiring) speech by Taylor Mali. Oh my goodness, I love it so much. I WISH I had written it and delivered it, but since I didn’t I am going to memorize it so I can pull it out of my hat whenever it is needed. Here is another version with his voice delivering the speech, but the video is a cool typography display of his words. If you just want to read the text, you can find it here. Doesn’t that make you want speak boldly! Our students were laughing their heads off because they know, they completely know, our culture has been infected “by a totally hip and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?”

These students are in for an adventure in growth, working their butts off, and finding their strengths and weaknesses. Jen and I will be right there with them working at least as hard!

Tomorrow is the first day of iFamily! We are all silly excited to be back in the groove of learning with our friends. Fisher and Annes have their backpacks ready by the front door and their outfits picked out. Both big girls are in theater productions this semester and rehearsals start tomorrow! We have never had two children in productions at the same time and I know it is going to be a bit crazy with two different rehearsal schedules. Hang on, the next 16 weeks are going to be quite a ride.

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Read-A-Thon!

May 3, 2012 by

Read-A-Thon!

The books came last night after my Ozone Treatment and thanks to my superstar friends, Kat & Jess, they all got sorted, boxed up, and ready to be shipped out!

Kids playing in boxes…trust me, they are inside those boxes, but they wouldn’t poke a foot out!

Dutifully checking off all the books to make sure they arrived. I like photos from this angle much better than the front.

Jessica trying to teach me to smile like a movie star since the moment a camera is pointed in my general direction my face goes into some ridiculous configuration that makes me look like a goofball. See below.

Kat concentrating hard while Jess was giving me photo lessons. Every one needs a brilliant Kat in their life.

Me laughing so hard over the ridiculous photo shoot instructions that I peed my pants and couldn’t get up, so Kat and Jess had to lift me up and then laugh their heads off at my pee covered bum.

Thank you to everyone who helped make it a success! A lot of children are going to be diving into some beautiful books!

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