Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The One About Burdens

I stop myself whenever I want to blog about spiritual things.  I've become more guarded knowing less and less about the audience that reads them.  But I think if my troubles and answers helps others, then it's worth it.  Even if it's just one person.

Lately I've been pretty...we'll say frustrated, with my body.

Of course you know I had my ovary attacked by a cystic teratoma in January.  It ate the whole thing, so the doctor ripped it out.  Which was fine.  

Then February through May marked a sort of see-saw approach to getting sick.  First I'd get the stomach flu, then my back would go out trying to reclaim the house from the stomach flu.  Then I'd get the stomach flu again...well, you see how it went.  

I missed a lot of life, it felt like.

I was pretty grumpy a lot.

And then other physical ailments struck me.  I was feeling a huge desire to shout to the Universe, "C'mon!  Enough already!"

But I didn't really think I had any right to complain or be frustrated.  So many other people were suffering so much more in other ways, I just couldn't bring myself to feel, "Woe is me."

I sort of lost my own identity, if that makes sense.  I was still a mom, a wife, a Sunday School Teacher, but...when it came to me, I just had to deal.  No time to fret and worry or feel down.  I didn't feel like I deserved a pity party.

And maybe I didn't.

Maybe I don't.

But I realized recently that it's not a pity party I was denying myself.

I was denying myself a very special relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I lost that identity someone in there.  Because I didn't want to "bother" Him with this stuff.  I didn't want to sound ungrateful for a pretty great body.  I was afraid if I opened up, the "why me" statement would slip out and then I'd get the plague.  

I didn't understand that, "We are not and never need be alone.  We can press forward in our daily lives with Heavenly Help.  Through the Savior's Atonement we can receive capacity and "strength beyond our own"." -Elder Bednar, April Conference 2012

What he said later in this talk really slapped me in the face, "I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lies and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all lone - through sheer grit, will power, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities."

I feel like I've missed so many opportunities to humble myself and ask for help.  Because I didn't want to be healed, necessarily, I felt like those blessings weren't for me.  "The unique burdens in each of our lives help us to rely upon the merits of mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."

Physically, I feel beaten.  I don't want Heavenly Father to take away my burden but I have forgotten that I can be strengthened in it.  "And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord" (Mosiah 24:15)

What am I going to do with this information?  I'm going to ask for a blessing from the Priesthood.  I'm going to pray and be grateful for my body in the ways that it functions, and asked to be strengthened in the area's it lacks.  I'm going to, hopefully, learn to rely more on my Heavenly Father.  Not because I don't want my burdens, or feel that I can handle them without Him, but because, why would I?  

One last quote from this fabulous talk:

"Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities - but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and short comings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us."

If you can say you don't suffer from any of these in your life, then you are truly blessed.  But if you do, then you also are truly blessed.  Because you get to rely on our Savior, the Atonement, and our loving Heavenly Father.  No better help, love or support can be found.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The One All About Brett

Father's Day.

I have many excellent fathers in my life.  My own dad, who gave me life and could easily take it away again.  My step-dad, who helped my mom raise me; not an easy feat.  My father-in-law, who taught me the art of shoving toys in babies diapers.

But most of this week my mind has been on Brett, and the type of dad he is.

When I was about to give birth to my perfect angel first born, I had low expectations of Brett as a father.  Not because he wasn't an awesome man.  On the contrary, it was because he exceeded perfection that I naturally assumed he would have to lack in some aspects of life.

Also, his dad thinks babies look like aliens with giant heads.  So, having been raised by a non-baby-lover, I thought, "Like Father like Son."

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Oh boy, I couldn't have been more wrong.

Brett held Cohen to his chest within the first minutes of his little life.  He clung to him, kissed his tiny bald head, looked into his eyes and talked to him.

Like a man.

He talked to my new born, precious angel baby like a man.  And hasn't stopped since.

His goal in life is to not let his children feel unnecessary sadness.  I mean, maybe he didn't set out to do this, but he's accomplished it.  If they're upset over something trivial, he bangs his head into the wall to make them laugh.  He pops his nose.  He makes fart noises.  He is obnoxiously loud and hilarious.  He warns them not to laugh, which, invariably, makes us all crack up.

But he also cares very much that they understand the why's behind everything.  Before any of our kids can whine, "But whhhyyyyy!"  Brett is three steps ahead, saying, "Do you want to know why we're doing this?"

Often he explains it in simple terms.

Sometimes he attaches scriptures to it.

Always, he backs it up with love.

He hugs.  He high fives.  He drives them to soccer, to dance.  He goes out at night to bring home ice cream.  He keeps us knee deep in candy.

He wakes up with them at night so that they have a happy(ish) mom in the morning.  He reads bed time stories.

He works so hard.  He chooses to work from home to be closer to us.  He takes time to be with his kids.  He takes time to read scriptures, to join FHE.

He kisses me in front of the kids.  He shows them how to love their future spouse by loving me in front of them.

He gives us all confidence.  He helps us all grow.

He is a great example of Heavenly love.  I'm so grateful for him.  And I know are kids are.

Happy Faja's Day, sweet man.  I love you.

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