Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tender Mercies

Not entirely sure why I post these things here. Maybe it's to help someone who may be struggling too. Or maybe it's just because this is as close to a journal as I'm ever going to get.

I want to share something personal that happened to me Sunday. Lately I've missed a lot of Sundays at church due to incredible headaches or work, and I kind of think God was just waiting for me to show up so we could have words. See, I've really, truly been struggling with the status of my job in my life. I hate that it takes up so much of my time, and that I feel so responsible and that it pulls me away from what I know in my heart to be what I'm supposed to do on this earth.

5 years ago, I accepted God's entreaty to write for Him. Last summer, I became so concerned about temporal needs that I got a job. At the time it felt very much the right thing to do. I even got a blessing. And, to be blunt, I still don't know why getting this job was the right thing then and isn't now. Perhaps it's just because of how it's taken over my life. One promotion. Then another. And suddenly it's all I think about.

Back to Sunday. I was in the middle of Sacrament meeting, filled with inner turmoil, when very suddenly I heard in my head these words, "Quit your job and write."

Immediately I balked. "No! We can't afford to live if I quit now. Bryan's income won't support the family by itself! I can't. I want to, but I can't."

Again. "Quit your job and write."

Those of you who have had the holy spirit overwhelm you understand that it creates a physical response. My whole face opened up. My eyes were leaking. My nose was leaking. (I don't cry like one of those dainty movie people) I was shaking all over. You simply can't DENY the spirit when it hits you so strong.

Obviously, since I'd just become a sprinkler in the middle of Sacrament, my family noticed. The girls asked what's wrong. Bryan asked what's wrong. He passed me a note because I couldn't speak. I wrote it out to him. And I added that I needed a blessing and a quiet place to pray. So we got up and went to a room and I cried all over his clean white shirt and expressed all my doubts and fears and yet knowing it's what I have to do.

Quit my job and write.

After I'd settled down a bit and run out of tissues, he gave me a priesthood blessing. It was simply a confirmation of what I already knew but had temporarily lost sight of. My first calling is that of Mother. My second is that of Writer. Then the other things come into play. I need to pray more. Go to the temple. He has things for me to do, and, with faith, He will take care of our needs.

I know this. And I have let my job interfere with mothering my children. It's certainly derailed my writing. So, deep breath and plunge. Sometimes I feel the net is there to catch me, but it also has deep holes just big enough for me to fall through. I'm not perfect. My faith is not perfect. But I'm trying.

God's timing is exceptional. That night at work I got a call from one of my son's friends about something my son had done. If I had faced that, and the ensuing fallout, without that blessing and renewal of purpose, I would have been at a loss as to how I would work my job, help my son, and still make everything work out.

I keep forgetting this is God's concert. We're just the instruments in His orchestra. It's NOT up to me to make everything work out. It's up to ME to let HIM in enough to provide the answers we need.

Friday, September 7, 2012

But I'm Too Busy

This is about as partisan as you will ever see me. I'm going to *gasp* share some of my political opinions.

One--we live in a REPUBLIC, not a DEMOCRACY. If you have trouble with this, look the meanings up. Or recall reciting the National Anthem, which we used to do in school. Remember that part where it says "And to the Republic, for which it stands"

Yeah. It helps if we first educate ourselves on what we actually practice.

Someone I greatly revere once said that the United States was not in danger of losing its liberties because of an invading army. But rather by the slower effects of apathy in the average American. To me this means when we vote for someone--not because we know anything about them--but rather because we like their name, their party affiliation, it "feels" right, etc. Or we just don't like the other guy.

I want to point out the old saying that actions speak louder than words. I am much less inclined to listen to what a candidate has to say than to look at their record and see what they've actually done (or not done).

Now, I'm saying this to you as much as to me. I have been guilty in the past of not properly educating myself before voting. Sometimes I've even not voted because I don't know anything about the candidates and don't want to make an uninformed decision. But I'm changing. And, because I know I'm not the only person out there to have done these things, I'm making a public plea.

We need to know the people running for office. I don't care if it's the treasurer of the city council or the POTUS. Take a little time and do a bit of research so you can make an informed decision come election day. And, for the record, if you're making an informed decision on who you vote for, I DON'T CARE which candidate gets your vote. That's your personal choice, and one of the things I love most about this country.

A couple hundred years ago, when voting was till pretty new, people in this country took this sacred responsibility very seriously. Nowadays, not so much. I've heard many who don't believe their vote will count. I guarantee you that if enough people who don't believe their vote counts actually voted, it would make a difference. And, I also believe that each voter who doesn't vote hurts the process. Yes, that's even when that nonvoter was me.

If you don't like the way things are being done, educate yourself and do what is in YOUR power to change it. On the city level, on the state level, on the national level. And don't tell me you don't have time, or you are too busy to take the time to research each candidate. We are all busy, but each of us can make time for the things which are truly important.

Apathy is our true political enemy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Precious Gift

Last night God gave me a gift most precious. I can't describe to you its worth, so I will tell you what happened.

I met my daughter.

Ten years ago July 17, I miscarried. Though we named her and treated her as part of our family, a part of me was unsure. Did I carry a spirit within me, or had my body just grown an empty vessel that had never belonged to anyone? (Even though I don't believe God does it that way, I still wondered)

But now I know.

Her image is already fading from my subconscious, but I'll describe her for you as best I can. She had long hair that was the lightest brown, almost blond. Her eyes were those of someone much older, much wiser, and I want to say they were blue.

Her favorite song was Tiffany's "Could've Been" and that's a bit more poignant than I want to dwell on right now.

In the dream, she was a child of about 8 or 9. In the dream, we had a special magic that we used once a year around Christmas to make an extra-special holiday for our family. It was the kind of magic that, if you told anyone about it, you would lose it. The woman we met through that magic knew my daughter. She spoke of her--her favorite places, her favorite things--and sparked a search. I wanted to find my daughter, to see her, to hold her--but I just kept missing her. I'd talk to people who had seen her.

But then, suddenly, she was right in front of me.

She crawled into my lap and let me hold her. And I was crying, just like I am right now. I knew in my heart this moment could not last. God had granted me a brief time with her. She knew it, too. That's when she asked me to sing for her. And I did, in my broken, emotion-choked voice.

I understand now, that while our time on earth was so brief, she's up there in Heaven waiting for me. She is a part of my family. She is a part of my eternal life.

And I can't wait to hold her again.

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's Pretty Here

It's been so long since I posted here I forgot how nice the blog looks. And, really, this post could go anywhere I blog--my personal blog (here), my author blog, or my Friday spot at MMW--but I'm posting it here because it's more a testament of what's going on in my life than what's happening in the writing world--even though writing is part of my world.

It all started June 22--you know, the day BRAVE came out in theaters. Bryan and I decided it would be fun to drive our girls up to the closest theater (30 miles away) and surprise them by seeing the movie. We made it about 20 miles and the car died. Just. Died. It made a weird whistling noise like it was a futuristic car powering down.

I had just barely started a new job, so I reasoned this challenge was a blessing in reality because if I DIDN'T have a job we'd have no hope of paying for repairs--and due to the nature of Bryan's job we have to have 2 cars. It's not a negotiable issue--though I would gladly do without the gas prices if I could. Blarg.

Besides, so many people stopped to help us it was really a reaffirming experience in the study of the human spirit.

So--now it's July 2. Since the car broke down (and sat at the shop because they were backed up and didn't have time to look at it), we lost our clothes dryer, the toilet broke, the twins' bunkbed broke, and Friday the driver's side passenger window on the Durango decided to stop rolling up.

Sunday I fasted. People ravaged by fires in their areas need rain. Then I drove the kids 30 miles to church with in the truck with a broken window. Here's the thing--it created a vacuum inside the vehicle that caused so much intense pain in my ears I almost couldn't drive. It took me 20 miles of that to figure out that if I rolled down another window it would ease the pressure. Yay me. Boo for the migraine I dealt with the rest of the day. Evidence this morning suggested I may be working on another sinus infection and I haven't figured out what my health benefits are yet.

So right now we have a borrowed car and a huge pile of laundry. Bryan goes back to work tomorrow and I'm not off again until Friday. The kids need clean clothes. My idea of doing small loads and air drying them seems like a ton of work now--but I'll (read we'll) probably do it anyway.

Sunday I looked at all this stuff and thought, "I'm about to release a book and all hell breaks loose. Coincidence? Of course not."

Here's the thing--I deal. It's who I am. Stuff happens, I get bummed or discouraged, and God pulls me out of it and we get stuff done. Oh, and it's not all bad news. We still haven't gotten our tax refund yet, which isn't much but will help. And I just found out I have some money in a retirement account from 2008 that I can access. And both Bryan and I still have jobs. We have family helping us. But sometimes, it's hard not to feel discouraged.

I don't post all this on FB because that's not the side I want to show the world. I don't want to whine, complain, or moan about life's challenges. Without challenge there is no growth.

So I'll just keep growing.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Today I took my son to the ENT to evaluate his health. This has been a trip a long time coming. While he's been to the doctor many times for various issues, this is the first time he's had spectrum allergy testing and monitoring of his breathing both before and after a nebulizer treatment. While I'm grateful for the advances in medicine that will allow him to find everyday relief from things he's just learned to live with (like not tasting food, not being able to breathe through his nose, or not being able to go the night without his rescue inhaler), the visit was not easy.

They took blood. He got shaky, dizzy, and almost started hyperventilating.

They made him breathe into a little tube hooked to a computer several times. No, more than that. He almost passed out. He had to do this both before and after the nebulizer.

Because he's a 13 yr old boy, I was able to easily rectify any discomfort or distress he experienced with a quick trip to the store. Soon he was on his way home with a pack of donuts, root beer, and beef jerky.  I figured he could use the blood sugar boost and the rare treat increased his happy spirits.

I doubt the appointment for his nasal imaging or the follow up appointment to discuss his issues and treatments will be as traumatic as this one. We walked out of there with 3 new prescriptions for daily maintenance/prevention and a strong antibiotic to clear up any lingering infection from his being so sick a couple weeks ago.

As I sat there watching the doctor analyze and evaluate my son, it occurred to me how much of what she was doing I could benefit from. Though I did finally have my deviated septum fixed, I still have my tonsils and adenoids, have chronic breathing trouble, and still snore at night (apparently quite a lot). I doubt they'll do anything for my tonsils anymore because of the increased risk doing the operation on adults, but sometimes it'd be nice to breathe, or maybe not snore so much. Still, this is something that I've just learned to live with. It's how my body is.

Maybe, just maybe, we can do for my son now so he won't suffer from these problems so much as he gets older.