Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Our Weekend!

We have had a great few days.

I was in Ellensburg one day last week and drove down a street to find these lovely flowers.  I love this wild flower look and wanted to stop and take a picture.


So I turned right at the end of the block to pull in and take a picture of the flowers.  What a cute surprise!  I parked right in front of Mater.


I got a picture of him too, because I thought my grand kids would love to see him.  The flowers were fun to see, but the photos just don't show the beauty that I really saw.


I do appreciate how some people try to make their part of the world a beautiful place to be.  This look is so much more lovely than weeds and garbage.


BrittanyJo came home for the weekend.  She and I were going to head to Longview to get her patriarchal blessing.  My parents volunteered to come our way which saved her the extra travel and allowed her to be with her siblings and nieces and nephews here.  (I have awesome parents!)  

It is a wonderful thing to have a father that is a patriarch and can give these beautiful blessings to his grandchildren.


We stopped at the cemetery on the way home from church Sunday.  My parents wanted see the headstone.   Auger and Akleigh often like to ride home with us after church and they love to stop there too.  We saw another bunny today, but it was pretty quick at getting out of our way.


Auger read everything on the headstone as his Grandpa Rodeback pointed out each word, name, and date.  


We happened to be there when David and Shawna came too, so we got to see them for a few minutes.



Oh!  Auger saw his name too, as he read his Grandpa Kieth's name on their headstone.  



Our house was filled with family and noise and fun and love Sunday evening.





BJo is back to Rexburg and my parents are back in Longview and it's just the three of us again, but it was a great weekend.  (Missing them already!)

A bit of farm life over the weekend - Auger was with his dad checking the circle in the Timothy. Thomas (while up on the circle) got a picture of Auger standing in that field, trying to find his way around.  Our crops are growing, and so are our children and grandchildren.



Oh, almost forgot - I wanted to share this photo too.  While in Ellensburg getting my hair done I saw this picture hanging on the wall.  It brought a smile to my heart.  These 12 Man signs and flags often do since they bring back fond memories.




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Seminary


Today I continue my thoughts after yesterday's  My Dream  post where I said this -
"I know that our loving Father in Heaven is aware of my crushed dreams and my need to come up with a new dream.  I know He knows that I don't really want to, but need to if I am going to be ready for the blessings that await me and my spouse and our family.   I also know that He is giving me the nudge I need, after several months of mourning and sitting stagnant."


My nudge came more as a "kick in the pants" and in the way of a calling to serve.  The hardest calling I have ever been given.

A few weeks ago I was invited into the bishop's office and he asked me to teach seminary this fall. WOW!  That came as a huge surprise.

I was not pleased at this assignment and wanted so badly to decline the invitation, (like many other invitations of late).   Something inside wouldn't let me even though my fears were overshadowing me with an almost tangible, definitely stressful, darkness inside.

Luckily there was a light shining through strong enough to pierce the darkness - a LIGHT that was telling me that I must accept this call.

So when I finally composed myself enough to speak, I told the bishop that if he was convinced, without any doubt that this call was from the Lord - not just something that they (the bishopric) thought would be a good idea - then I was convinced that I must accept this call.  He assured me that he had never been so sure.  I will obey!


So the last few weeks I have been studying and reading how to become a seminary teacher.  It has been a challenge for me because I still have that inability to concentrate and focus for an extended period of time.   How can I spend hours studying when I cannot concentrate for even one hour at a time?

This has been a great help!

Well, with what studying I have been able to do, I have come to a conclusion that this new mind set of mine could actually be a blessing in disguise - it is suggested that we spend no more than 2 hours a day with our preparation. Oh Bother!   I don't think I have ever spent so little time with preparation for a talk or lesson.

I am the kind of person that spends every waking moment on my next project and with today's mind set I don't have enough waking moments to do that for seminary 5 days a week every week.

With all the pre-learning that I need to do to help me be a good teacher I am currently spending more time than two hours a day trying to prepare myself  (it takes place several times a day with a few focus changes in between).  I just wanna be the best I can be.  I hope my mind can recall what I have been learning when it comes time to use it.  I know that the best thing I can do is to let the Spirit guide me.



One of the first things I read and viewed was a message given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland to the CES Religious Educators on Feb 6 2015.  I listened to and read that message and felt it was precisely what I needed.  It was so personal for me.  Not just as a seminary teacher, but for everything I am presently going through in life.  I really needed those exact words, even at the very time I read it.  So I put a note on my computer monitor to remind me.



It joins a thought on the other side of the monitor that I wrote a few months ago after having an inspirational moment one day (after Terry's passing).



Both of these help me focus and put things into perspective.


As much as I wish I did not have to accept this call and that I didn't have to start with the most difficult course of study (for me personally), I have had a few personal witnesses that it is the right call for me at the right time for me.


Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual
 course of study


Because I have had a few simple yet profound personal moments bearing witness that this is the right thing for me to do I have found myself almost becoming excited about teaching seminary.  That is a very strange feeling, and I expect it will continue and become a more constant feeling as time goes on.  So again I am experiencing good and joyful at the same time as bad and terrifying - seems wrong but it does happen to me often. I hope that someday the light of the good and joyful will far outweigh the darkness.

Being a seminary teacher will require so much, but it will be worth every effort.
Is it true that the harder the test the greater the blessing?  I hope so, because I have so many prayers sent heavenward for my children and their families, and I promise to do everything in my power to help those prayers (and maybe I can even call them dreams) be realized and come true.


So with this difficult assignment and all that will be required of me to fulfill it well, I feel my Saviors love for me and for my family.  And I will hope that tomorrow it will "turn out better than I think!"

It isn't going to be an "over night" change, but I can feel that the change will come, line upon line, one step at a time, one tomorrow at a time. And this is one change that I do look forward to - it is something that I desperately need.


I am reminded of a message Elder Bednar gave, so I'll close with that - Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease

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 may 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.





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Dream

I'm rambling this week ...


In yesterdays post, Spouse First!, I mentioned that my dreams must change -

"My dream of sitting out in the yard beside my husband, holding hands, enjoying the beautiful scenery, which would include our wonderful family around us, is no longer a dream I can create in this life." 

Serving a mission together in our "empty nest" years can no longer take place the way we dreamed it would.  Retiring and visiting our children and grandchildren together requires a new dream.

We often hear that we can make our dreams come true if we want to bad enough.  Well, that just isn't going to happen here no matter how much I want it or how hard I try.  There are many changes in the way my dreams will take shape now.

Image result for the word dreams
image from google search

Naturally, out of necessity, I am searching for a new dream ... still not quite sure if I really want to, but very sure that I need to.  I need to move forward and make life more meaningful.

Looking forward has been one of the hardest parts of this stage in my life.  It is a challenge that seems tremendously overwhelming, even teetering on impossible.  It's not part of the dream I always had, it is more like a nightmare that I can't wake up from.   The self centered human inside tells me that I don't want to continue this dream.  I don't want it to become the reality.
Like I could change it!

Wishing for what was won't change what is. So we keep moving forward.
But it's a hard thing.  (Ok, now I sound like Laman and Lemuel in the Book of Mormon stories, and that is a real eye opener if nothing else is.)  I must remember that I can do hard things!
  

I know that our loving Father in Heaven is aware of my crushed dreams and my need to come up with a new dream.  I know He knows that I don't really want to, but need to if I am going to be ready for the blessings that await me and my spouse and our family.   I also know that He is giving me the nudge I need, after several months of mourning and sitting stagnant. (Yip! showing no activity; dull and sluggish, inactive, slow moving, lethargic, depressed, declining, dormant.  I was becoming, but not becoming anything good.)


I couldn't continue on that same path I had chosen and I knew it but was doing nothing to change it. I just thought it would happen later, giving myself at least a year after Terry's passing.  I was okay with that, and actually in some ways will miss that.  Well, one can only rationalize so long before rationalizing becomes a very real part of life and we then miss the opportunities awaiting us.  So, I am trying to push myself to do more hard things, a little at a time, and it's becoming a work in progress.


“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” –Eckhart Tolle
image found on pinterest
"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it."

Anyway,  as I was cleaning and rearranging things in the house the last couple days I came upon this frame I purchased (to use several years ago at my mom and dad's 50th anniversary - okay, that's another dream I will not see come to pass for Terry and I - it never will end you know - something will always be there to remind me).
Okay, what I really meant to say was this -
I found this frame that I purchased, but loved the quote and never put a photo in it after removing the picture we used at the anniversary celebration.


personal photo

Every yesterday
is a memory of
Happiness

Every tomorrow 
is a vision of
Hope and Love



Indeed!  The "tomorrows" that were happening in my life had become motionless. There wasn't always a focus on Hope and Love.

I'll see if I can forget the emphasis on dreams and focus more on a vision of Hope and Love for every tomorrow.


What a challenge!
But every challenge comes with a promise if we endure with faith.
I'm not expecting an overnight change, but maybe over the next few months.

In time, as I remain faithful and steadfast, my vision will become more clear and my dreams will take on a new direction and once again lead me to my happily ever after - one tomorrow at a time.




Monday, May 18, 2015

Spouse First!

A few weeks ago I found an article and started my own post to share my own thoughts and feelings on the subject.  I didn't take time to finish that post the same day I started it and have now returned to complete it.
Here is my post, beginning with the article I found that inspired a response to it.


Why I'll Always Put My Husband Before My Kids

Further searching led me to another great article about putting spouse first.

4 key reasons why it matters to put your spouse before your children  (Just saying - this is awesome!)

Reading those articles reminded me of Terry and me.


I will never regret the times we sat next to each other instead of letting our children sit between us, sitting next to him at the table instead of at the other end of the table across from him, walking down the sidewalk together with kids around us instead of between us, sitting in the car beside each other instead of one of us in the back with the kids (except when we had a student driver, of course), and also not letting the children in our beds with us (that was learned quite quickly after very few attempts when little ones were ill - it just wasn't worth it).

When we went to Seattle for Terry's transplants it was suggested that I take turns with others to be his caregiver, but we couldn't even consider that route.   There really was no other way for us - being there together was just the right way to handle it - and I am so glad we chose that way.  We felt bad that neither of us were with the kids, but we were doing the right thing.  Life is full of difficult decisions and requirements.


The first article I read closed by saying this;
"In a few years, our son and daughter will leave our home and when they do, I want to celebrate a job well done with my lover—not sit in a quiet house with a person who has become a stranger as a result of years of quietly drifting apart."

This is what I wanted too, but we all know that it didn't get to happen for me like that.

My dream of sitting out in the yard beside my husband, holding hands, enjoying the beautiful scenery, which would include our wonderful family around us, is no longer a dream I can create in this life.

The reality of that crushed dream is precisely another great reason I am an avid believer of  always put your spouse first.   It might be over sooner than you thought and you want no regrets. I do not regret the times we were together, putting each other first.  Sure I have regrets and could think of several if I let myself dwell there, but that is not a very fun place to go, so I try to avoid that place.

I do however need to admit that we did miss a few moments because I felt I had too many little children to spend too much time away from them for husband / wife trips.  We had talked more than once about the fact that we made up for that with our Seattle times the last few years, but I do miss that we didn't allow that to happen earlier in our lives.
I thought we would be able to do that later in our lives - I didn't know then what I know now.
(Let me also say that I do still believe that husband / wife trips can be abused and happen too often for some. It might turn out different for those who loose a child too early and spent all of their time off on business or pleasure trips.  That sounded wrong - surely too early is any time.)


My time with my husband wasn't long enough ... it was over too soon!
But I am deeply grateful for the time we did have together!   The time we spent married was maybe half the time we wished for, but Terry has indeed become a real part of me and I, even with a few regrets, do feel that our relationship was a "job well done".  What a blessing he has been in my life, and I believe he will yet continue to be a blessing in my life.


Just as Helen Keller said;
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.  
All that we love becomes a part of us.

personal photo of gift we gave to Terry's mother a few years ago, that made it back into our possession

 
Our love grew through the years and I keep praying that it will continue to grow.  After all, there will be many changes made by each of us before we meet again.

And for now my children and grandchildren can sit on either side of me without concern of steeling it from their father or grandfather.

Someday we will be side by side again and I look forward to that with great anticipation.  Will I get to hug him and kiss him and sit next to him and make up for lost time?  Will we have so much to tell each other or will we just know those things somehow?

The reuniting, however it takes place, will no doubt be glorious, and there will certainly be an overflowing of love and admiration.



The second article I mentioned above closed with information testifying of this
"When your marriage is going well, it improves every other part of your life."

That has to include the rest of my life too.
So, on that note, I end with a grateful heart!




Sunday, May 10, 2015

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!



Happy Mother's Day
To my mother!
To my daughters in law!
To everyone who has a mother! ;)