Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Accepting Discomfort; Gaining Confidence!

This morning as I was catching up on my emails and studying my scriptures I was affected by two similar issues; the current protests of Prop. 8 in California against the LDS Temples and members and the past issue of the last days of battle in the Book of Mormon, specificially that in Mormon 1 & 2.
I felt such sadness for those in California who have had to deal directly with the persecutions for their beliefs against homosexual marriage and the thought arose 'if the church didn't take a public stand on their position on Prop.8 then none of these protests would have had to happen.' I also then quickly realized that while the protests may not have happened, neither would have come forth the opportunity for the sifting process between the weak, mediocre, and strong believers in Christ. I believe this situation really leads us to all ponder on where we stand. Sure, we can all put on our pretty clothes and go to church every Sunday, but what do we do when our homes, families, and careers are attacked because of our beliefs? Do we shrink away in humiliation for fear of what will happen to us temporally, or do we stand strong in our beliefs and firm in our faith and the gospel of Jesus Christ knowing that it really only matters what he and our Heavenly Father think of us. As noble as it sounds to stand firm in your faith, the huge amount of pain, similar to that experienced by the Pioneers years ago, is a reality and nothing to be excited about.
In Mormon 2:25-26, I was struck by the firm foundation the Nephites appeared to have when the Lamanites ran from them in fear, but when the Lamanites actually encountered the Nephites in battle, the Lamanites found the Nephites were not as strong as they had previously appeared, but rather were weak like unto their brethern because they did not possess the strength of the Lord. Therefore, my thoughts lead me to wonder; is my appearance of strength enough in preparation for the future battles of my life? Would I stand firm in my faith even when my family was under persecution? Would I be willing to fight for my beliefs, or just profess them comfortably among my friends and family who share the same beliefs? How strong is my testimony, really?
Finally, I realized, as the kids and I read our short scripture story this morning during breakfast about Christ raising Lazerus from the Dead; days after he had passed, that while Christ may save us from our trials and our afflications, it may not happen until days after the fact. That, of course, is not what I wanted to hear, but the important thing I learned from that short story and these other thoughts is that there really is a very important reason FAITH is the first principle of the Gospel. Where do my loyalties lie when I am tried, publicly or privately? Where do I allow my thoughts, fears, and attitudes to rest during these crucial times?
I've learned a lot these last few years, and while a break from learning due to intense life changing trials is extremely enticing, without these trials I never would have been prepped for the last day, and nor could I even have had a chance at being "lifted up at the last day" if it weren't for such discomfort in my life. What a blessing the gospel of Jesus Christ is to me in peace and in peril!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter! Like Father, Like Son!

Before I share this story you need to know that I love being married to my husband all day long, but as soon as my bedtime hits, I absolutely hate having to sleep in a bed with him or any other person, ask my bedroom companion of many years; my sister Brynn. He loves to cuddle, touch, or even breath in my space and it drives me nuts. I am actually a huge grump when it comes to this issue because sleep is so important to me and over the years he's learned to be patient, yet persisitent. He still tries to go to sleep while touching me and I do all I can to have nothing of it for many reasons, but mostly because he is a human heater. He just radiates heat and I can't concentrate on sleeping with a heater touching my arm or leg. Anyhow, it's been a battle for many years and continues to be so. Evidently, our children have caught on...
This morning as the kids and I were chatting about their night of sleep, Halen, 6, was a bit grumpy and I asked her why. She replied after much thought (as if she wasn't sure, but she needed to search deep for a reason to excuse her behavior), "Well, last night when I was trying to go to sleep Harris kept asking me to let him sleep with me in my bed and I just kept telling him, "No" He wouldn't listen so finally I yelled, "No you can't sleep with me; I need my space!"
I had the hardest time not laughing at her comment because it was so similar to my own feelings with Dave. Hmmm? Halen is the cold hearted independent sleeper and Harris is the warm cuddly bear looking for a friend. Just like their parents. How ironic!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Happy Halloween!

This Halloween was the first Halloween in years that I've thoroughly enjoyed because my kids thoroughly enjoyed it. In years past, Halen has been too timid to actually go and get candy at the doors of our neighbor's homes and therefore Harris wasn't too fond of the idea, thinking his sister knew something he didn't. Brigden was too young to understand the concept to begin with. This year everything changed. After the first house, Halen ran back to me on the sidewalk yelling, "Mom I did it. I said trick or treat." Just a reminder, she is 6. Not your typical 6 year old, eh?
Anyhow, Harris and Brigden followed her example and within an hour or so they were running from door to door. Brigden was not afraid at all and his only problem was that his candy bag weighed more than he did near the end of the night. He wouldn't allow me to help him by carrying his bag, but it did put him in last place at every door and he even had to skip a few doors so he could catch up, but did so with a huge smile the entire time. They loved it and I loved the parent tax (1-2 candy pieces of my choosing) at the end of the night! We had a blast being together, but were sad that their Daddy, Dave, couldn't be with them since he had to work. Such is the life of a responsible Daddy sometimes.

Halen was Sleeping Beauty, I was Malificent (Sleeping Beauty's enemy), Harris was a Pirate, and Brigden was Spiderman.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jesus is watching you!

Over the last few years, I've tried to instill in my children that whether or not I personally witness them making their own choices, whether to tell the truth, say their prayers, etc, their Heavenly Father is watching them. I've never really known if my words were sinking into their little heads or not until a few days ago I realized Harris had lied to me in telling me that he had completely cleaned up his room after quiet time, only to find one of the boxes still left out later that evening. I pulled him off to the side and reiterated the importance of telling the truth, i.e. he would not be able to be with his family in heaven if he continued to be disobedient (pretty harsh eh, but this kid needs harsh realizations to get it) and even though I didn't see him leave the box out at first, his Heavenly Father sure did so he wasn't fooling anybody.

Well, the very next day after Harris triumphantly announced he had cleaned his room completely after quiet time, I skeptically said, "Harris, are you sure?" He frustratingly responded in a tone exemplifying his surprise that I even dare question him, "Yes, Mom and Jesus saw me!" With that the conversation was over and he knew it. He was right on.

I love those moments when you realize, "Hey, I am making a difference, and how cute are my little stinks!"