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.