Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Frustration

I cannot believe that it's been 3 months since I last posted. Soooooo much has happened since then. Our lives have been changed in several ways.

First, the car from the guy in West Valley ended up not being what we wanted. But we told him what we did want, and to let us know when he found something for us. (We still haven't heard from him.) I spent hours scouring KSL classifieds for a car, and found an '06 Toyota Sienna (van) that had a salvage title for only $5800. We drove through a torrential rainstorm to Utah county and test drove it, loved it, bought it. :) It's very nice, all leather with all the whistles and bells, and so under our budget. It was a miracle and we were led to it, we know.  We sold Jordan's car in less than 48 hours, which was also a blessing.

About the next week, we got a message that DaVinci Academy was opening a branch in Logan, and asked if we were interested. DaVinci is a charter/homeschool thing where they provide the materials and an extra curricular day, and the rest is up to you to homeschool. I'd considered it; my cousin Diana has been with them for a few years. We have talked about homeschooling for so long, and suddenly we were faced with the reality of it. We spent Friday and Saturday talking about it, with the kids, just us, and praying. We were also refinishing the kitchen table. :D Suddenly it hit me so hard - this is what we were supposed to do. I just started sobbing; partly out of fear and partly from excitement, maybe some anxiety. But I just knew that it was right.

So, Monday, the kids went to their last day of public school, said good-bye and I checked them out. Holy cow - it was scary and exciting all at once!

Since then, it's been a ride. Good and bad, but always knowing it's what is right.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Humble pie

Humble pie has been served a lot lately. But in so many good ways, and I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has been oh so patient with me in all my awfulness and depression.  Since the last entry, so much has changed.

After that Sunday where I wanted to scream at the bishop (hanging my head in shame now), I decided that I couldn't take all the horrible feelings I was having. I went on Tuesday to West Haven to look at a house for rent; I was literally ready to get up and move out of town because of everything. We saw the house; it was too small, but we liked the idea a lot. However, Jordan and I both felt that running away wasn't the answer. Because I was down there, I went to see my friend Tammy Ault.

She was sympathetic, but basically told me that I needed to talk to both the bishop and RS president, Denise. I hate talking to people about hard things. I'm awful at it, and so much better at being passive aggressive. :(

So by Thursday night, I gave in and called to set up an appt with the Bishop - for Sunday morning. Then I texted the RS president, asked her to come over. I decided to talk about the things I was struggling with, and especially about the girls night and visiting teaching. I had some hard feelings for her, which I was ready to give up.

We talked, I told her everything I was feeling, how angry I was at the Bishop, about my depression, my grandma, everything. I cried, a lot, and she really sympathized, and apparently I misunderstood everything about the visiting teaching and girls night. I felt so relieved and like a huge burden was off my shoulders. She said that she would "put a bug in the Bishop's ear" about everything, maybe soften him up a bit about things.

Saturday night, Katie (Primary pres.) stopped by with a loaf of bread and more Mormon guilt, in the form of a letter. The letter told me how she had fasted and prayed, and never had a clearer answer as to who should be the 1st counselor (me). It made me feel awful. I cried. I told Jordan that I hadn't even prayed about whether I should take the calling, I just felt like I couldn't handle it. So, I went and prayed about it, told the Lord that if He wanted me to be there as the counselor, then I would do it. But I needed His help to do it because I was SO overwhelmed and depressed and struggling. I cried, and then just sat and listened. I really didn't feel anything - no reassurance that He would help me, nothing saying I didn't need to, nothing. I went to bed, resigned that I'd feel better in the morning.

But I didn't. I just felt blah. I cried to Jordan "Why, after I decided to have faith and accept the calling and do my best, do I feel so awful still? I'm trying to show my faith, and do what has been asked, but I just don't feel better!"

We went to meet with the Bishop, and I had a very sick pit in my stomach. He asked me to tell him what was going on; I told him everything about my family, my grandma, the depression - everything. I told him that I had decided to go forward with the calling, and have faith that I would be strengthened and able to fulfill it. It was crazy - he talked about his MIL and SIL doing the same type of thing to his daughter as Rachelle and grandma have with me - apostasy talk and all. He talked about how I needed to put myself and my family first right now, and even though I had resigned myself to do the calling, and have faith, he felt very strongly that I needed to be released and focus on my health and my family.

I was shocked, to say the least. In fact, the entire visit made me shake my head in wonder and confusion. He touched on or counselled us on several things in such a way that later, Jordan asked if I thought maybe the Bishop had bugged our house! He said everything that we needed to hear, and was so reassuring and kind and understanding - so completely opposite of everything I had expected. After he offered the release, I felt so much relief and lighter. I suddenly understood why I hadn't felt the ok to have and show more faith and do the calling. The Lord understood where I was, and what I needed, and I needed to show that I trust Him.

I came home, repenting of my blaspheming all the way. I felt so ashamed at how upset and angry I'd been. I realized a few days later that my reactions were just another evidence of how "sick" I've been, how the depression has been affecting me. The entire thing also showed me that I need to be less reactive and more trusting that the Lord knows me, knows my needs and my abilities and limits. I'm so grateful for that!

Just a week ago, I came home and found that the Bishop had left a loaf of yummy bread at the door, with a note saying that he hoped my day was great and he was thinking of me. Another bite of humble pie. :)

So...another bite came in this way: After finding out that we had to have a co-signer and a lot of money down in order to get a loan for a new van, I've felt so discouraged. Jordan's car is dying and it scares me everyday when Jordan drives to Ogden. It's old and needs to be retired. But we really can't find a way to get into something. Jordan will be getting a bonus in a few months for $7500, but that's not really enough to get into something better and have an emergency fund. And I'm not sure his car will last that long. We've been so discouraged.

Also, I've made nearly $700 lately in furniture sales and was going to get a few things to make the work easier. However, last week, I got a notice that I hadn't paid the .01 on my 100.01 bill for Rocky Mountain Power bill, thus ending the payment program and making the entire balance due by the 11th. I was sick to my stomach! A penny! Oh, I cried, I screamed, and then I stopped - and decided to pray about it, for help and understanding. After that, I was calm, discouraged, but calm, and decided to not fight them. Just pay the entire amount. There went all the money that I had made for the furniture. Gone - all to pay for the stupid huge bill from the Clinton house. Oh I was sad and discouraged. But I decided to remember my humble pie, and not scream or cry too much more.

Four days ago, on Saturday, Jordan and I went to get the mail. It had been days, and I found several envelopes from Travelers Insurance - the company of the kid that hit us last Memorial day. What we read SHOCKED us to the core. I got a settlement with the lawyer last spring, but we decided NOT to go forward with the rest of the family because they were ok. And we didn't want to keep dealing with the lawyer. :D Well, Travelers wants to close the case, so the offered us a settlement (with the agreement that we won't come back for more later) for Jordan and each of the kids. To the beautiful total of $9400!!!!! We both just sat there in shock - not believing it! We had never expected a penny from them, let alone nearly 10 grand. Monday morning I called to verify that it was real, and then screamed and did a little dance!

We've felt that we really need to use it to get us a new van. The guy in West Valley that we were trying to buy from last time told me to let him know if we were ever ready to buy. I've felt that we really need to work with him; he only gets one owner, immaculate cars to sell, and then fixes things that possibly might go bad soon, and sells them at such a great rate. People are raving about him and he has a lot of repeat customers. I messaged him last night about if he had anything in that price range; unfortunately, he didn't.

This afternoon I was car shopping on KSL again, and found a great Honda Odyssey van for sale at a great price; I texted the guy, and realized that it was the same one from last night that said he didn't have anything. I was confused! He texted back and said that it was pending sold - the people had until 5:00 tonight to finish the sale; he'd let me know, but don't count on it falling through.

At 5:30, he texted me to say that the people couldn't come up with the money, so it was still available! He said to me "This NEVER happens! Your prayers have been answered!" I cannot believe it, except that the Lord really seems to be trying to tell me to listen, and TRUST him, and stop reacting so fast. We are going to see it tomorrow! I cannot begin to say how grateful and blessed I feel right now! God is good, and I know He is helping us in so many ways.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Not getting better yet

In fact, yesterday was a monumentally bad day. I told Jordan that I wanted to tell the Bishop to "F*#@ off"...wow. I've NEVER felt that so strongly about someone, and never about a bishop. I'm still trying to decide if it's valid, or if I was just totally out of control.

First, I need to insert a little story about my grandma. Because I don't have enough stress or depression, she called me on Friday and we talked for 2 hours. Remember how Rachelle called and wanted me to join their "group"...? Well, grandma is a part of that as well. And they are both so sure that I'm more "awake" and so they can talk to me openly and freely about their true feelings. My grandmother basically came right out and said that she's going down a road that most consider to be apostasy, but she considers it to be the right, "true" road. She said that she can honestly get a temple recommend, because she's sure that Pres. Monson was called of God; "the people get the Prophet they ask for. So they've gotten a Prophet for the people - letting them do what they want, and not correcting." Something like that. She's sure that he's going to be leading the majority of the church astray, and that he's not listening to God, but whispers from the other side. (!!!!!!!!!) Then, saying that the rest of the leadership is corrupt, otherwise we wouldn't keep having bishops like mine (who are complacent, or lazy, or just don't care), and that is why she doesn't come to church any more. Then she launched into the temple films, and how they've changed them to say that we'll be loyal to the Church instead of the Savior, etc. Holy cow, I just about had a breakdown. It's just all too much! But she's saying this to me because she thinks that's where I'm going, and she wants to help me keep going there!

So after that total and complete disaster of a call, I just felt awful and distressed and ready to just give up!

A few weeks ago, Dave Richter (2nd counselor) came over and asked if I would accept the calling of 1st counselor in the Primary. My head was *screaming* "NO!" but I've never said no, and so of course, despite my inner feelings, I said yes. I've regretted it ever since.

My first primary pres. meeting was so overwhelming and I came home and cried for half an hour. It's just one meeting after another, and then they've gotten all excited about Missionary meetings, so we have those too, and weekly visits for missionary opportunities, and baptisms coming up and meetings for those, and visits before those, and on and on and on. And on top of all that, teaching Sharing time once a month, and then planning for the primary program and oh yeah, there's a full-day scout training on the 13th that I am supposed to go to and.... GAHHHHHH!!!!!

I've struggled so much with this, and finally came to the conclusion that I need to tell them that I cannot do the calling. They haven't even set me apart for it, so it shouldn't be a huge deal...right? (insert eye roll here)

After crying off and on for days about it, and finally saying a prayer asking if it's ok to turn down the calling, and getting a peaceful feeling about it, I decided to tell Katie that I can't do it. We had our presidency meeting, I felt awful and sick and grumpy through the whole thing, I asked her if we could talk after. As I started to tell her that I'm just having a horrible time, I started bawling. I do not cry in front of people. I just don't. At least not since a few horribly embarrassing times in high school (which usually involved boys, or more often, my witchy mom). I was so embarrassed to be crying to her, but told her that I am just so overwhelmed with so many things going on in my life, that I just can't do the calling. In a moment of insanity, I did tell her that I'd be willing to play the piano in primary (since they need someone desperately), and probably because I was hoping that would lessen the blow.

She seemed to understand and accepted it, and gave me a hug, told me it's okay, and I left. I went to bed feeling a heavy dose of mormon guilt, but also a sense of peace.

The next day, Katie showed up, wanting to talk. She told me how she couldn't sleep all night, worried about me, wanting to help, etc. (Really, just trying to figure out how to convince me to keep the calling, I think) She said that I haven't been set apart, and she's sure that will take away the burden and stress of it. I tried to explain that it had nothing to do with not being set apart, that it's all the meetings, the responsibilities, and really, my depression is not getting better yet. She said they could just step in and cover for me for now...I told her that would just make me feel worse and horrible for not just "getting better". She reluctantly accepted that, and left.

Sunday, I made sure we were late, and sat in the very back. I sat there, recalling the words to a Tenth Avenue North song called Losing. About forgiving others, and that you don't need an apology to be able to forgive, etc. I'm so irritated at the Bishop and his lack of concern, and easy "It will be okay" attitude. I want nothing to do with him, and do not want to meet with him and don't even want to go to church. Grrr....

Jordan came with me and we sat observing Primary at the back. It was weird an awkward, as I was supposed to have done sharing time, but haven't even been to Primary, and was in no place to do it, so Dana taught it. I felt so awkward and uncomfortable. At the end, Katie came an sat by me, saying that she'd gone to tell the Bishop all that I'd said, and talk about it. He told her that he won't release me right now, and handed her a talk to give me - told me to read that and he'll talk to me in the next week or so. The talk is about how to not feel overwhelmed and handing it all to Christ.

I came home and BLEW UP!! He has NO CLUE what I'm having a hard time with, and seems to just be guessing and grasping whatever he can.  After the conversation with my grandma, this was NOT what I needed! He wouldn't just come talk to me, he sent someone else to give me a talk, and assume that he knows exactly what my problem is! And fine, if he won't release me, that's his choice. But it's my choice to STOP GOING TO THIS WARD! And I'm ready to! I'm so beyond sick of him and everything about him.

You know, I guess the problem is that I'm a fine actress. Should've had a lead role in the musical. Cuz I can put out that I am fine, and be social and kind, and smile, but I'm dying inside! I'm fuming, I'm bawling, I'm a disaster. And since I put on such a good show, no one believes me. They think I'm just making it up because I don't want the calling or don't want to do whatever is being asked. Guess what? I've always done my best in all my callings. I've taken callings I didn't want to, I served a mission with the worst and hardest of companions, walked when I was dying with a kidney stone, stayed on a mission when I could've gone home. Stayed with my husband with a porn problem, even when a few bishops and councilors thought it ok to leave, and not only stayed, but continued to try and improve the relationship. I had a son with autism who threw 3 hour tantrums and I didn't hit him, or give up. I AM NOT A QUITTER!!! Okay? I am just at a point in my life where I need a break. I am down, depressed, I'm dealing with an abusive (emotionally - at least toxic) family, a ward I hate, a house I hate, I'm worried about my kids at school and all the Common Core crap and their ability to learn, we took out bankruptcy last fall, money isn't getting better, Jordan's job's been up in the air, constant critisism from my mother, a grandmother and aunt who are going apostate and recruiting me, a husband who is still struggling with his addiction, and DEPRESSION.

I really don't know what to do right now. I actually got online and found a place to move - right by Jordan's job, a beautiful house in West Haven for only $1200 a month. But to move, we'd have to break the contract with Dunkleys, lose our deposit, and find money for a deposit. Jordan won't do it, unless I completely lose it, which I'm not going to do just to get my way. If I didn't know the Dunkleys as well as I do, I'd totally do it. But I know they'd be upset, and I don't want to do that. And moving will cost so much money again. I'm willing to sell a lot of furniture to do it though! :(

Ugh. Just Ugh. And this weekend is the Willits Family Reunion in Richfield. We were supposed to go down Friday and Saturday; I totally fibbed and told my mom that Jordan had to work late on Friday. So then Grandma called and told me to come down on Saturday, and stay till Sunday. With no way to get out of that, I told Jordan last night that he is going to suddenly come down with the flu, complete with nasty diarrhea and vomiting. He smiled and said ok. He'll even put on an act if someone comes by to check on him. Sweet - got out of that one. Sad that I'm scared to go to a family reunion for fear of the apostasy recruiters.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I really don't know what to title this. Maybe something like "depression - it sucks", or "can I just go back to bed?". Honestly, this is going to be a downer post, but I need to have it here for reference.

The meds Dr. Frogley put me on really put me into a tailspin. I actually quit taking them after 4 weeks. I ended up gaining a few more pounds; today, I'm at 152.6 lbs. My skin is constantly breaking out, I hate the way I look. I'm so unhappy with my hair, even though it's growing out and is in a very short bob; I miss my long hair. Nothing fits anymore; my pants are so uncomfortable that I usually wear maxi skirts or dresses, or yoga pants. I don't know if I've ever felt so awful about the way I look in my life.

But that's just adding to the real problem. I'm so down and depressed. I have never felt to depressed for so long. 2 weeks ago it just hit me hard, and I spent the better part of a week in bed, sleeping, or just laying in bed. It was a good thing my kids were content to just watch tv. I cancelled going out with friends; I even texted the SS pres. 20 minutes before church to say that I wasn't going to come and couldn't teach Gospel Doctrine. It was supposed to be my last time teaching, as they just called me to the Primary presidency.

I hate going to church. It sounds so awful, but it's the truth. The bishop has no desire to help us or concern for our situation. before we moved, Bishop Richardson called and told him everything about our marriage, the addiction, everything. Asked him to please call us in, continue to work with us, and care for us, and help us continue to progress. Jordan went to him finally a month ago, before he was supposed to travel for work, and said that the bishop just didn't seem to care. Said that every man that travels struggles, and that he would be fine. (And he actually did fantastic for 5 nights; then he acted out the last night. But that's another post for another day.) I was so frustrated and disheartened and angry that the Bishop - who knows all about the struggles we're having and was asked to help us - really has no desire to help us. He hasn't really spoken to us since we moved in, and now, hasn't followed up with Jordan to see how the trip went, or anything.

I don't want to go to church. I don't want a calling. I don't want to talk to people. Mindy Richter has been consistently texting, and trying to get together. Sometimes we do; it's fine. I don't feel any real connection, and really, if she didn't initiate something, I wouldn't care either way. I honestly just feel like crap. I know I'm depressed, I know I should get help, but I don't want to. A few friends from playgroup know somewhat what's going on, but not really. Jordan sees it, and we've talked about it, but I know he's frustrated and not sure what to do. I refuse to tell my mom.

I cannot figure out why or how we felt like moving up here was the right choice. We really loved that house, the Bishop was amazing, I was enjoying my calling and we were making friends. The kids were about to change schools to West Clinton, and it was close by Jordan's work. I hate living in Cache Valley; we pay more for groceries, it's too close to family, I hate this ward, I hate this house, I miss my old house with the big tub and the nice appliances and the sunlight and all the windows and the big yard with working sprinklers and 3 bathrooms and a fireplace and the unfinished basement for storage and so many things. I miss Winco and Target and the close by shopping in Clinton and a Relief Society pres who cares and really loves me and a Bishop who does too and so so so much. Why did we feel so strongly to come here? Why did we move? We aren't saving much money at all - we keep paying more for things because we're here and gas is costing a lot with Jordan commuting. I hate that he has to commute. I hate worrying about him driving and being safe; especially when he has to stay super late or in bad weather. GAHHHHHHH!!! I AM SO GRUMPY AND ANGRY AND UNHAPPY!!!!!!

We just go back last night from 4 days up in Island Park with the Dawsons and Morgans. I really didn't want to go, but we didn't think we could back out. We probably should have. They carpooled together, so they were always together, and even at the cabin, seemed to exclude us a bit. Our kids were totally annoying and irritating to Grant, and their son Noah. The sleeping arrangments sucked, and with little sleep, I felt grumpier and more irritated than ever. We spent most of the time at Yellowstone, just to get away. That was actually pretty cool; our kids loved it and that made it worth it.

We've been trying to get into a van because we are so cramped in that stupid car, and we want a baby eventually, and can't have 6 in the car. But, our lawyer has been subpar at best, and the bank just told us that we have to have money down and a co-signer in order to get a loan. We have neither. I just feel like everything is going wrong, and I'm just sinking deeper and deeper into a well of depression. And I kinda don't care. Which kinda  frightens me, and kinda doesn't. I kinda just keep hoping it will pass.

I did find something a few weeks ago that I'm hoping will help; I saw an ad on LDS Meridan Magazine website that is for help with depression and mood disorders. It's called EMPowerPlus Q96 - is a vitamin/mineral combo that's supposed to balance out emotions and help with depression, bipoloar and other mood disorders. I've been on it for 8 days and I'm really hoping it starts to help. I don't want to go on an anti-depressant; the side effects are not worth it. But I know that I need something.

The kids start school in 3 days; that will help. Carter won't start until Sept. 1st though. Good thing we felt like homeschool wasn't for us right now. I hope that my family comes out of my depression ok - I do worry so much for them, but can't seem to do much about it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

One month later....

Here I am, a little over a month later, and I am feeling the exact same way. Honestly, I'm grateful that I have a strong testimony of the Gospel, not so much of the church, because the church - the people in the church - make it so hard to want to stay active.

I realized again that being alone is something Satan is using against me. As I read through the last post, I felt as though all the same things could be said in this post. I'm so discouraged, and down, and since the beginning of the month, there've been things happen that gave me courage, and helped me believe it was going to change. And then when it all goes back to nothing, it hurts even worse.

If I do not talk to anyone at church, no one acknowledges me. Bobbi sat me at least, but that was it, and when the class was over, she left without saying a word to me. I keep telling myself that something is going on in her life, that has nothing to do with me, but that is keeping her from reaching out as she once did. She seems withdrawn, and yet, I notice it most with me. Mindy also seems friendly on the surface, but it feels just that way - on the surface. And no one else reaches out or even says hello. Of course, Lindee is becoming a friend, but she's in Primary, so I rarely see her.

I'm also struggling so much because I don't feel well. These supplements that Dr Frogley has me on are killing me. Well, I guess that technically they are helping, but it feel like the opposite. I've gained 6 lbs in the last 4 weeks, and inches, too! My pants aren't fitting, I'm constantly bloated, constipated, and hurting. I feel awful because I feel like I look awful. So my self-confidence is taking a hit.

And because I really needed something else to stress me out, last Monday, my aunt Rachelle called and wanted to talk to me about something. She has been part of a group, but she wouldn't tell me specifics, that she wanted me to join. It's a group of ladies who are all over the nation, and they either have special gifts, or are trying to develop special gifts. Gifts like Cathie Sampson - who can communicate (???) with the other side of the veil, people who do energy work, vibration, etc... Not everyone is LDS, nor even Christian, but all women. There are 3 "circles" and as you advance in the circles, the potential to receive "gift money" increases. But the idea isn't to get money, apparently, it's more to share gifts and camaraderie. Rachelle kept saying that she's felt impressed to share this with me for several months, but she's been scared to because she's afraid I'd think her crazy. But she and grandma, aunt Verlene, and Cathie are part of the groups. I guess after you advance to the 2nd circle, then you are eligible to receive phone calls. In the calls, people share and teach you their gifts. She said it's been such a healing thing for her, and brought her closer to Heavenly Father, and that she thinks it would be such a wonderful thing for me, to heal and grow, because I'm "awake". More than most.

Being "awake" apparently means that I'm more aware of the things going on in the world...and she wouldn't specify, but I'm sure she means that she thinks I'm more open to different ideas. Which, I am, but not that would go contrary to the Gospel.

The biggest thing about all this that upsets me is that she says they keep it secret. But "not secret because it's bad, but because it's sacred". I don't see this as a sacred thing, and so I see it as secret. And Satan works in secret. Her husband and kids don't know, and my mom doesn't know, and she was concerned that I'd tell them; she even suggested that I pray about it, and then consider telling my husband, if I felt it was necessary. I don't keep things from my husband (other than my somewhat unhealthy addiction to Tom Hiddleston that comes around now and then!). :D

And she says that it's brought her closer to Heavenly Father, and built faith, but I also know that she and my grandma, and Cathie, have big issues with the leadership of the church. Specifically the prophet. They don't go to church all that often, (I think Rachelle does, but the others are inconsistent at best) and do not attend the temple often. So...it's good, they say, but it's seems to be replacing the essentials of the Gospel, and it's supposed to be secret. I also think that there is a lot more to it, but she's not telling me.

Anyway, I felt very uncomfortable about it, and prayed and still felt very uneasy. After 5 days of stewing about it, I finally called her and told her thank you so much for thinking of me, but I didn't think it was for me. She was understanding, and kind, but obviously let down. It worries me for them. But it comforts me that I could see it for what it is, and not get sidelined by it.

But again, after today at church, I wonder - What is wrong with me? Why am I not making friends, or feeling like people aren't interested in knowing me? I'm not sure if it's even about me at all, or just that they are all happy in their comfort zones, but either way, I feel the need to again reevaluate where I am in life, and what I'm focusing one, and how I present myself. I know that I am working to be the best me, to bring the Spirit more in our home, and to teach the Gospel to our family, but I need to be more humble, prayerful and searching.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Today is Easter. It has been a day full of energy, and sunshine, and food. We stayed up late to watch Netflix, which wasn't the smartest thing, so we had a hard time waking up. The kids found their Easter baskets and were excited to tell us about them. We made a strong effort to focus on the REAL reason for Easter, and so they got chocolate and candy, but they also got a scripture board book, and picture of Jesus, and an art pad. I really wanted to try and get a good family picture, but it didn't work out well. The kids weren't happy to be taking pictures, and that made me grumpy. So...the pictures look staged and unhappy. Which was accurate. :( I hate that I let it make me so upset, and the way I talked to the kids was awful. Way to ruin the Easter Sunday.

Because of all that, we were late getting to church and had to sit at the front.  Not too big of a deal, but the kids were restless and grumpy and tired. Braden fell asleep after complaining that he had a headache and felt dizzy. After a decent sacrament meeting, I took him home to get some medicine and rest, then we headed back out.

I've heard several times (mostly from Mom) that it takes at least a year to be able to really settle into a ward/neighborhood. I need to be patient, and look for ways to serve and reach out to those around me. I need a friend, and I'm lonely. I still really feel like I just don't fit in here. I've sat alone every Sunday in every meeting, unless Jordan is there. I try to talk to the sisters, but not often does anyone initiate conversation with me.

After church, we hurried to my parents house for an Easter dinner. Heather and Greg and their kids (except of course Elder Willits!) have been there for a few days to visit. It was good to visit together, and it was a good time. Mom had a little Easter egg hunt for the kids, which of course they loved, and then we headed home.

Something is really working on me, and I'm having such a hard time right now. I feel down, sad, lonely, and grumpy. Yesterday I went with Ashleigh to Ikea. It was fine, fun even, sometimes. I realized that we have so little in common; I wonder so often why we are friends. It's hard because we have such different views on so many things. She is very supportive of me when I am struggling, but mostly when it means that I get grumpy, swear and get mad. She's always on my side, which is great, but it also means that I feel like when I'm around her, I'm not my best self.

And right now, I feel such a pull to becoming my best self. But I also feel such a strong pull to say "to heck with it all" and live the way that is easiest. I can tell that Satan is aware of me, and my righteous desires, and he is working so hard to discourage and frustrate me.

I've had the thought many times in the last several years that I might need to homeschool my kids. And lately, it's constantly on my mind. But I am scared to death! I can barely handle my kids right now - how on earth can I be a full-time homeschooling mom?! I'm not a great mom - I'm so impatient and unkind and selfish. But I don't want to be! One of the speakers today talked about how we can become better, through the Atonement, and have a real change in us. That's what I want, but I don't know how to do it. It's terrifying because what if I fail? What if I don't change, and can't change and I'm stuck being this version of me...the version that isn't who I want to be? I don't know how to become different. My family doesn't even like me now - I'm dull, too serious about things they think are not (should not be) important. Trying to change might make them dislike me even more.

But I want to believe that I can become that person that I want to be. I want to be the person who makes everyone feel good just to be around; the person who radiates the Spirit; who is kind and loving and compassionate and looks for the best in everyone.

I feel like there are times where that person is there. Yesterday I felt great about the way I looked. I felt beautiful. And so I smiled at everyone. I was courteous and patient and confident. And people noticed me and smiled back, and stopped to compliment me and talk to me. Last week at the temple several people complimented me and told me what a beautiful person I am. So...it's got to be in me...right? Is that why my family doesn't like me? Because I prick their consciences? (Unknowingly) Because they are conscious of their shortcomings when they see my strengths?

I don't know. I just know that I'm having a hard time. And I want to find answers and a way out of it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring has come!

Today I was able to go to the temple for the first time since we've been here. It makes me sad that I hadn't pushed harder to get there; but Satan has worked hard to keep us away. Since moving here, Jordan and had been fighting non-stop and arguing so much. The feeling between us was so hostile, and angry. Finally, over General Conference weekend, we worked it out. It was hard, and sad, and angry, but in the end, it was needed. He is now going to a group meeting every Tuesday night, and I commited today to go to the temple every Tuesday morning, while Carter is at preschool. We need to be doing the most important things first, and this is a good start.

A few days ago, at my parent's house, my mom handed me a stack of famiy names to be done at the temple. 3 were in need of initiatory first, then the rest all needed endowments. I haven't done initiatory in so long, so I was excited to go this morning. It was wonderful. The temple grounds are blooming - the magnolia trees are incredibly beautiful, and I love them! The sisters that work in the initiatory area are so wonderful, and happy, and the Spirit is with them so strongly. I felt such peace, and gratitude to be there. As I looked the names of the family members I was standing in for, I realized that they had all been baptized and confirmed in October 2009! 5  years they had waited for the rest of their work to be done! (I realize that time is different on the other side of the veil, but they had already waited as long as 112 years!) It stirred something in my heart that made me want to do them all today! Of course, that isn't possible, as each one would take up to 2 hours. But I commited to getting at least 3 of them to receive their endowments in the next 2 weeks.

And this is why I've commited to go to the temple every Tuesday or Thursday morning. I have 2 hours on each day to myself; what better way to spend it than to serve those ancestors? I am anxious to call my great uncle Scott Hill to find out how many names he has waiting for work to be done. I am starting to really wonder about my ancestors, and wanting to know the stories, and histories, and all abou them. I know Scott has been doing most of the work, so I will call him soon.

It makes me very sad, though, that my grandma and aunt and mom have no desire to serve more in the temple. It isn't a priority to them at all; in fact, my mom hadn't been to the temple in over 2 years until a few weeks ago. How can they live in the shadow of the temple, and have no other obligations (such a kids that need sitters) holding them back, and not feel the need to go to the temple? I guess I've always felt that desire - ever since I received my endowments before my mission. After my first visit, my parents never went back with me until I got married. But I returned every week for months (until I left) with Ben Haslam's mom and sister in law, Elise. They, especially Ann, taught me to love the temple, and to find solace and answers there.

I wonder if so many of the problems and questions my family (and extended) has could be eased and peace could be found if they made a commitment to return to the temple often. I think it's so sad that they don't feel the Spirit prompting them to go, or they ignore it. I know my grandma Willits is so lonely without my grandpa. I wish she would make it a priority to return to temple often - even serve there as a missionary. I know it would change her life for the better, and give her peace concerning the questions and doubts she has. Same with Rachelle. Both of them especially question so much about the Gospel, and the leadership of the Church.

And this is why I'm committing to go as often as I can. I need the Spirit to guide me to make wise choices, to discern truth, and for strength to fight the good fight. There is so much wickedness in the world, and so much that I can do for good. My family, especially my mom, feel that I'm always on a crusade to save the world. The truth is, I've always felt that I have a purpose here - to help others see what they aren't seeing.  I'm not trying to save anyone, but have felt that if I can do any good, I want to do it. I want to be an instrument in His hands, to help my brothers and sisters. I know that I have a responsibility to do so, and I need the strenghth I get from going to the temple to remember that - especially when my family is tearing me down for doing so.

I also want and desperately need the help to be a better mom and wife. I'm not patient, or kind or loving enough with my famliy. I want to be the best that I can be, and to be that, I need a change of heart, mind and action. I believe that attending the temple frequently will give me strength and courage to do this.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wow. I had honestly forgotten about having started this blog. I'm so glad I found it again.

So much has happened in the last few months. We were all decided on staying in Clinton, in the house we were renting. Suddenly, we got a letter that told us that the rent was going up 3%. With what we were paying, it only added up to about $40. But...it was enough that we felt very strongly that it was time to move. It was a hard decision, one only made with a lot of prayer and fasting. (Well, we fasted once, maybe Jordan twice.) We loved our ward, we were starting to make good friends, and the house fit us nicely. But it was more than we liked paying for, and the utitlity bill was killing us.

We started to looking from Logan to Clinton for a new place. EVERYTHING in Weber and Davis county was over our budget, or in an area that I refused to put our kids in. So we started getting serious about looking in Logan. We found a place in Smithfield, a townhome that was brand new, incredibly nice, and I was sold! I saw it first, then took Jordan and the kids up to see it. I was sure it was the "one". But, as we left, my heart started feeling like it wasn't right. Jordan felt it too. I was on KSL classifieds every hour or so trying to see if any more rentals would come up. On a Thursday afternoon, one came up in Providence and I called on it immediately. It went to voicemail, but I left a msg. I soon got a call back - and it was from a lady I knew as the mom of girl I'd gone to school with. Cindy Dunkley was renting her house out. I told her we'd come see it the next day. We actually didn't make it until Saturday, but we instantly knew that it was where we were supposed to be. And she felt strongly, too, that it was for us.

We instantly started looking for a carpool for Jordan, getting the kids ready for the new school, and everything else that comes with moving. I sent the notice to the landlord that we would be moving in 30 days; he emailed back and asked why? He thought we were very happy there, and even had considered buying the home - all true. I told him that the raise in rent just put us over the edge of our budget and we needed to downsize. He came back with "What raise in rent? Your rent shouldn't be going up!" Apparently, there was a misunderstanding, or mistake. Either way, it wasn't supposed to have gone up. But since having found the house in Providence and signing on that, we just knew without any doubt that it was where we were supposed to be.

And every day we continue to feel that. We've been here 2 weeks now, and are loving it! The house is older - built in 1974 - so it's not half as nice as what we left in Clinton, and I really miss my shower and en suite. But, the yard is fully fenced and has a bball court, a swingset, sandbox, a firepit, and a great covered back patio with place for a hammock! It really is great, and we love it.

The best part is that the kids are thriving in school. School was so hard and awful for them, especially Braden, in Clinton. Here, they are doing so well, and loving it. They're making friends quickly, and learning a lot, and loving their teachers. One aweseome thing, for me, is that Braden has my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Hedin. :) Shelly has become a friend since marrying Jordan, as he grew up with them as neighbors and they are friends with Scott and Vickie. I knew she would take good care of my baby boy. :D And she is. He's gaining his confidence back, and remembering that he used to love learning, and school. I'm so grateful for all that has happened to get us here. We  miss our friends in Clinton, our ward was so great, but the new one is as well. And being home is so wonderful and strange. It's nice to be back with our family - the kids especially love that.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Seeing them thru His eyes

Last night I met with Kaylie's teacher for pt conferences. Mrs. Pope was Braden's first grade teacher for a few months when we first moved to Clinton. She was amazing for him, so I requested her for Kaylie. Kaylie has been having such a difficult time in Clinton. She's not been able to make real friends, and she's lonely. A few weeks ago, at the church with the other families on a play date, she told me that she makes up songs and sings to herself at recess so she isn't sad that no one will play with her. It just broke my heart. As the only girl, she ends up playing "boy stuff" more often, and never has real play dates. She's very sensitive and will crumple at the smallest correction or critisism.

As I met with her teacher, she told of how Kaylie is an amazing artist and that the entire class tells her so all the time. At those times, she sees such confidence and pride in Kaylie. But if Kaylie ever wants to tell her teacher something, especially about someone hurting her or another, she's won't look the teacher in the eye, keeps her head bowed, and mumbles. She's afraid. Her teacher last year really wasn't kind, or a good teacher at all. She learned to be afraid to talk to grown-ups about hard things. I have wondered what things I have done to foster that fear - although, it's rare for her to avoid eye-contact or mumble with myself or Jordan.

I came home hurting for my little girl. For the loneliness she must feel every day, especially at school. It makes total sense now why she begrudges Braden his alone time, and always wants to be near me.

That night my dreams were vivid, and awful. I dreamt that someone was taking our children (all children) and killing them, much like King Herod did in the Bible. The killed my little girl right in front of me, then moved to do the same to my boys. I plead for their lives, and for some reason, they left them unharmed for me. But heart broke and I sobbed for my little girl. I actually woke up sobbing, and scared, and having a hard time breathing. I couldn't shake the realism that the dream gave me, and I couldn't stop crying. I cried and then I began to pray. I prayed for the Lord to take the dream and those awful feelings away. I slowly felt peace coming back to me, and was able to shake those feelings. Then I went into the bedroom where all three of my babies slept. I desperately wanted to hold my daughter, and my boys, and smell them and know that they were okay. Instead, not wanting to wake them, I carefully touched her brow, tucked her hair behind her ear and kissed her head. She breathed deeply, a sign that all was well.

It still took me a little while to calm down and feel that I could sleep. My mind went to our friends, who lost their beautiful 4 year old daughter last year to a heart defect. I realized that I could suddenly, just barely begin to understand how they must be feeling. I thought of Lehi and Sariah - in my scripture reading I'm in first Nephi where they send their sons back to Jerusalem. It talks about how Sariah was so worried about her sons, and they were gone for several months! I thought of all the parents who have ever lost a child. And now, I think about our Heavenly Father, who went His Son to die for all of us. He watched as His Son, who created this world, was tortured and killed by those he made it for.

In His plan, we are given families, and trials, and our goal is to return back to Him. As a mom, I have struggled so much with being the mom that I wanted to be. I am impatient, unkind, hurried, and selfish. I often see my kids as burdens more than blessings. They make it hard for me to do "my work".

Yesterday, I saw this on Pinterest:

I have been going about my life as a mother all wrong. At times I may have done better, but right here, right now, I'm doing it wrong. I'm worried about packing, keeping the house clean, crafting, young womens, Jordan's family, my family, my friends and their struggles, the news, the governement, the newest episode on my favorite shows...so many other things that are distracting me. How often have I told my kids to wait to talk to me - I'm busy reading or watching or doing? 

And so, thus begins my new blog. I want to remember who I am and what I am here for. I want to look at my children and see them as they truly are: Sons and Daughters of our Heavenly Father. He loves them, he loves us, and I want to see them through His Eyes. I want to cherish the silly giggles and faces and idiosyncrises the have. As we were at the grocery store the other day, Kaylie was holding onto the cart and skipping along side me (I was hurrying a bit). She was so happy just to be with me, and happy to be there, and happy to be alive. It was a beautiful moment; one I don't want to forget. 

Today I will begin to see my children through His eyes - and love them as they deserve. I will treat them with respect. I was thinking about how they were valiant and elect Spirits in Heaven - reserved to come to earth at this time. Because they were righteous, and willing to come to earth at the time of war - the war between good and evil has never been stronger or more awful. They are here as warriors, and I need to respect those Spirits that made them worthy to be those warriors in the latter-days. I want to look for and recognize the personality traits that can be nurtured to help them be fighters. They will need to be headstrong and stubborn to fight the adversary. But I need to help them know what is right and prepare them to be those amazing Spiritual Warriors.