19 August 2011

Mortality–Our Temporary Home

I read an article in my Relief Society newsletter that recommended this song, Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood.

Rebecca P.  wrote it was one her daughter was thinking of using at her commencement. I immediately thought about the concept of death, as a commencement. I don’t know if this is what she was talking about – but to me it was a beautiful thought. Death – is not the end, it is only the beginning, the commencement, of the next stage in our eternal life. A life that didn’t begin at earth. We are eternal spiritual beings. Birth, no conception, was also just the beginning of a new stage in our spiritual life. I say conception, because I believe, very strongly, that the spirit enters the body long before birth. I have long loved this quote -

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

I looked it up – and found out that is is from Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest, who was a very wise and spiritual man. I enjoyed reading his quotes on thinkexist. I would love to learn more about him. As much as I have always loved and saw the truth in the above quote, I love this version, also by Teilhard de Chardin  even more.

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience.
You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience”

This human experience is sometimes very difficult, but it is made even more difficult when we fail to realize, or forget, or ignore, that we are spiritual beings. Just like our bodies need food and water, our spiritual bodies need scriptures, prayer, meditation, and fresh air. When we ignore our spiritual needs all else falls apart, but as another friend reminded me, President Ezra Taft Benson said, WHEN WE PUT GOD FIRST in our lives, all OTHER things will fall into their proper PLACE or fall out of our LIVES! (The Great Commandment – Love the Lord, Ezra Taft Benson,Ensign, General Conference Issue, May 1988)

I am recommitting to do just that, put GOD first in my life. The promise is amazing, if I do my part, everything else is life will be better, better than I can even dream.

We must put God in the forefront of everything else in our lives. He must come first, just as He declares in the first of His Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3).

When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.

We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives.
(The Great Commandment – Love the Lord, Ezra Taft Benson,Ensign, General Conference Issue, May 1988)


    16 August 2011

    The Problem at My House

    I wrote this a couple of days ago. I just never posted it. I’m posting it now so that my post tomorrow will make sense. I’m also go to set the post date to the date I should have posted it, even though I am posting it late or early Friday Morning I think I wrote it Monday or Tuesday.



    There’s a problem at my house, and I’m afraid the problem is me. I’m really struggling right now, with everything. I thought I could handle losing Holly. I really did. I happened to run into the Bishopbric the evening we found out there was no heartbeat – and I told them I would deliver the baby on Thursday, and I expected to be back to church on Sunday. Everything would be OK, I had been through this before.

    I was very obviously in denial. At that point, I still didn’t believe that the baby was dead, I was sure that there had been some mistake, that I had felt the definite movement that morning, and since then. I spent hours that night searching the internet for stories of ultrasounds that were wrong, and a heart beat was found at a subsequent ultrasound. And I found them, there was a shred of hope out there. Barely a sliver really, these had been ultrasounds and much earlier gestations, ones where a heartbeat had never been detected before . . . maybe the baby’s heart just hadn’t started yet and needed a bit more time.

    The next day my parents came by with doughnuts for breakfast and took the kids away for a previously planned workday at my sisters house. I requested a blessing before they left – and so my husband and my dad gave me a priesthood blessing. Brad anointed, and my Dad was voice for the blessing. I don’t remember most of what was said, but I’ll paraphrase the small tidbit that I do remember  “the baby was taken at this time so you can begin healing.” That was so not what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. As I spent the day alone I was able to take a step on the healing process and move out of denial, to accept that I was indeed carrying a dead baby.


    Fast forward . . . and I mean FAST . . .  9 weeks. I haven’t hardly had a moment to breathe. Our vacation was amazing, and I was able to let go of all of the hurts, trials, and responsibilities of my daily life, well at least I left most of them behind, anytime you are responsible for 5, and intermingling almost constantly with 11 there is bound to be some stress on the mother. Maybe not let them go, but leave them behind. It was a nice break, and I didn’t want to come home and have to pick them back up again. Life, however must go on, and they are my burdens, and I must deal with them.

    Life has been so hectic, so crazy. So fun. Honestly, we have had an amazing summer. We have done so many fun things. Vacation. Family. Friends. Swimming. TV. Cousins. Family Reunion. Computer. The list goes on. I have really enjoyed planning fun things for my kids to do – and then doing them with them. It just got to be to much fun. No downtime, for the kids, or for me. Ok, not true. We slept every night. I slept a lot less than the kids. I needed “MY” time. I searched the web. I wrote blogs. I facebooked. I read books. I avoided dealing with my emotions. I surfed the web or played games until I was so tired that I could go to sleep without tossing and turning first. Sometimes it worked.

    I didn’t deal with the emotional issues as they came. One here – one there. A misspoken word. An imagined offense. An insensitive remark. Oh, the tears were there. I cried, huge, racking sobs. I yelled, and cryed to my husband. Why am I being treated this way. I wrote in my journal. Sometimes I prayed. It seemed easier to just ignore everything around me.

    I think the problem at my house is me – and I’m ready to run away. I need a break. I need to regroup. I need to find peace.

    15 August 2011

    Love begins . . . Grief never ends


    It’s been almost 9 weeks since the day of my ultrasound. The day I was looking forward to for so long, longer than you may think. I was pregnant, and my girls were old enough to really appreciate and learn from my pregnancy. I had invited both of my older daughters to come to the ultrasound with my husband and I. I was so excited, and so were they. We were going to find out if it was a girl or a boy, and I was going to start teaching them about the wonders of having a baby. We were going to watch videos on prenatal development, I was going to let them help me pick out new clothes, get the room ready, meet with a doula, tour the hospital, and a birthing center, etc. I was so excited, I was just waiting for the time when they could see the ultrasound, and feel the baby move.

    That time never came however. I’ve experienced many ultrasounds, including a few traumatic ones. I had it when the ultrasound tech stops talking, but keeps looking, and then suddenly they are gone, but will be right back. That is never a good sign. There is silence in the room. No one knows what to say. I pray, silently, and squeeze Brad’s hand. We’ve been through this before, several times. I plead, let it just be a small problem. MaryAnn scared us like this, but she is beautiful. Please let my baby be alive. Although, I’ve seen enough ultrasounds to be able to understand when they are looking for a heart beat – and the little lines that should have been wavy, weren’t. How can I go through this again. Oh, my girls are here. I had such high hopes, such plans. This will be the second time Rebecca’s been with me to hear the news that there isn’t a heart beat. We’d already seen this baby’s heartbeat 7n weeks ago, and I heard it only 4 weeks ago.

    That was brutal, the 16 week checkup, the doctor had such a hard time finding the heart beat. I had been so worried, and it seemed like it took 10 minutes for him to find the heart beat., and it hurt so bad, as he pressed the little wand into my lower abdomen over and over, here and there, trying to find the heartbeat while I tried not to breathe, and pray, and not cry all at the same time. Finally, thankfully, he found the heartbeat, and sent me home.

    The tech came back in a said that the doctor wasn’t available right away and to just keep waiting. I told her I didn’t want to wait, for her to just tell me what the problem was, that I had been through this before. Honestly, after that I don’t remember. I hope that in my silent prayer I had gotten to the “Please be with my girls” and “help us through this” and “Thy Will Be DONE”.  After that I was numb. And in denial. and shock. I wanted to know the plans, and go home and cry, by myself.

    Many parents are surprised by the emotions they feel after a miscarriage. They often feel shock and disbelief. Life seems unreal for a time. They express depression, anger (directed at themselves, their mates, a doctor, God, or even life in general), guilt, irritability, lack of interest in normal activities, sadness. Many experience irregularities in sleeping or eating. Some feel anger or sadness in the presence of babies or pregnant women. (Coping with the Heartache of Miscarriage, Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard, Ensign, July 1989)

    I've felt these feelings, asked these questions, found peace, and yet needed to revisit them again, and again, as I've had multiple losses, and anniversaries of those losses. I’ve learned how to handle grief, and forgotten. I’ve bottled up the emotions, and tried to move on, not realizing what that was doing to my attitude, my personality, my relationships, my soul. I’ve mourned. I’ve cried. I prayed. I’ve read many books. I’ve healed, some. I’ve found peace.

    I’ve brought more children into the world. I have learned to love them a little more. To cuddle them more often. To treat them a little more tenderly. I’ve become more Christ-Like. I hope. I’ve struggled. I’ve grown. I’ve had another miscarriage. I’ve regressed. I accepted, on some level, God’s plan for my life. I tried to bypass grieving with a blanket statement of faith. That didn’t help. The pain came out in other areas of my life, for nothing can ever be created or destroyed, just rearranged.

    It is birthday time again. Yesterday was Kyle's birthday, and usually we can celebrate his life, short though it was, but this year is so much more difficult, as the grave has been freshly dug to bury his sister with him, and we once again have to wait for the grass to grow and blend in with the surroundings.

    I will have to patiently answer questions like, "How come Holly doesn't have a headstone?" and "When will they be alive again?' I will have to be brave, and calm, and set a good example for my kids, even if I feel like laying down on the baby grass and crying and crying. October is still a long ways away, and we've already said "goodbye to Holly" and it wasn't even time to say "hello".

    Grief is not a behavior. Mourning is a behavior that occurs within grief. Generally people believe that when the socially recognized period of mourning has ended, so does grief. Grief continues, with episodes of mourning. (CiCi found this somewhere – I wish I knew where.)

    Grieving is never done. If it was it would be like saying we never loved. Doctrine and Covenants 42:45-46 tells us the mourning is appropriate, even when we know that death is part of the plan, and that our babies will be saved eternally.

    45 Thou shalt alive together in blove, insomuch that thou shalt cweep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not dhope of a glorious resurrection.

    46 And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not ataste of bdeath, for it shall be csweet unto them;


    The Encyclopedia of Mormonism states, “Mourning not only is appropriate; it is also one of the deepest expressions of pure love" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Death and Dying).  We had more than a moment with Holly and Kyle, our love grows even in our grief, we strive to live our life so we can be with them, again, in the eternities.love begins in a moment copy

    10 August 2011

    If I Listen with My Heart

    I am constantly amazed at the wonderful resources produced by the church to help us teach our families, not only in print, but online as well.

    I am not musical, so these songs and videos are wonderful for me to use to teach my children the impact of great music in their lives. Here is the link the page with 8 songs that were printed in the Friend, with sheetmusic, audio, and sometimes video.

    This is the video that we watched during our afternoon devotional today.

    LDS.org - Friend Article - If I Listen with My Heart

     I say afternoon devotional because we haven't been getting out of bed and eating breakfast until about 10am, so it is afternoon before we are sufficiently prepared for devotional. After devotional I have been reading Prince Caspian to the kids, until I am to tired to keep my eyes open and then I lay down on the couch and take a nap.

    We have had a rough and very busy summer, and we are relaxing this week, however, everyone is starting to feel like they are ready for more structure, so next week will see a return to family breakfasts, and morning devotionals, and regularly scheduled bedtimes. I think it will be good for all of us.

    The Skin that I’m In

    I'm slipping back into a skin that I'm not sure that I want to be in. Ten days of vacation from home, school, grief, work, church, menus, callings, yard work, responsibilities, homeschooling, friendships, etc was nice. Not lazy, or boring, super busy as usual. I still had 5 kids to watch over and ensure that their basic needs were met, food, clothes, sleep and shelter, and their emotional needs were still paramount in my thoughts and actions.   It was nice to leave so many other concerns behind, although we went so many places and did so many fun, touristy types of things.

    As usual, carving out a bit of time for myself was difficult. I desire that time at night, but am often to tired to be real productive when I am winding down from a long day. I sometimes try to wake up early, but it never seems to fail that if Mom is awake early, and wants quiet time, so are the kids, of course, if their are chores to be done they might stay in bed all day.

    Part of me wants to just move on to a new normal, start over, be free from past worries. From past experience I know that ignoring the issues, or trying to hide them deep inside is not the answer. I need to deal with my issues in a productive manner, or they will deal with me in a non-productive and harmful way when I least expect it.


    There is no end in sight to the ocean, and it's force is powerful. You can stand on the sand, dip your ankles into the water, but it's pull is nearly irresistible. The waves call to you to come in, to feel the power of the tide. Heavenly Father's love is greater than the ocean. He wants us to come home to him. He sent his Son to save us from our sins the way the waves wipe out all traces of human presence in the sand. Forgiveness and Repentance are as available to us, as writing our concerns in the sand, and having them washed away by the LOVE, Peace and Hope that is found in the Ocean Waves.

    I know that I can forgive, I know that I can find that peace in my life, and I Heavenly Father wants me to, and I know that I need to, but it won't happen magically. I have to take the effort. I need to find the time to pray, to meditate, to write, to acknowledge my own contributions to pain that I feel. I need to write my fears, feelings, errors, and offerings of forgiveness in the sands of my soul and allow Heavenly Father to wash away the pain and infuse my soul with peace.

    I want to again find peace in my own skin, and have the energy and emotional strength to BECOME . . . more than I am.