Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Cup Was Filled

This is a long wordy post, no pictures, just thoughts and feelings.

Today was a day of emotions.  A friend that we attend church with had a baby 2 weeks ago and the baby was born and looked good, but shortly after her birth she was sent to a children's hospital with some health problems.  After many tests, medical intervention, a lot of prayers, thoughts, good vibes, and more prayers her baby passed away.  I found out this morning before church and I felt devastated for the family.  I found out and told my husband and we both just stared at each other not knowing what to say or do. We continued to get ready for church and when we go there you could say many red eyes and somber faces.  

The Bishop announced that the baby passed and you could hear the collective sigh of the congregation as though someone punched everyone in the gut at the same time.  We were all saddened and many shocked by the news.  Church, all three hours, were very somber.  We all had quiet prayers for the family, prayers of comfort, prayers of strength, prayers of what can we do to help the family, prayers for understanding...I am sure the list can go on.  The theme that took place was coming together in times of need, trial, loss, etc.  The family expressed, through the bishop, thanks for the prayers, the visits, the thoughts, etc.  And informed us that even though their sweet baby passed away they were doing really well.  

Having the gospel in our lives makes hard things easier to bear. Not necessarily making the trial easier, but dealing with the trial is easier.  This family is an amazing family, and it is hard to see this happen to them.  It is hard to see it happen to anyone. We are not best friends with this family, but we are friends, so to watch friends go through such hard times is hard to watch.

Today I learned what it means to sorrow with those that sorrow.  I have gone through my own losses, I have watched another friend of mine loose her child after a month and many surgeries, I have watched friends and family members struggle, but today I truly learned what it means to sorrow with those that sorrow.  I am not sure what made today different, but as I silently shed my tears of grief, anguish.  I felt as though I lost my own child.  The feeling was overwhelming.  I do not know if it is because I am now a mom, or the spirit touched me in a different way, I do not have the answer, but I pray that because I was sharing in my friends sorrow today that she could feel we are making her burden lighter, that she knows we feel her pain and that we want to help. I always understood the phrase, we need to sorrow with those that sorrow, or at least I thought I did.  Today I truly understand what it means.  

Church went on and this sweet family was the center of church today, every thing that we talked about, came full circle to this family.  We did it out of love and admiration of how the Lord chose them to be the parents of such a sweet strong child that would be called home only after a few weeks of life.  As I sat and listened to comments and lessons, my admiration grew for these parents.  

Usually I ask the questions of "why me"  I have not had the easiest past few years.  My dad passed away, we lost a house we were trying to buy, my husband was unemployed for a few months.  I was struck with health problems, we have had to share a house with others since my dad passed away, we have not had the best of luck health wise and financially. I could go on with the struggles that we have some people know about them, but I have also dealt with many emotional battles that only Jeff knows about.  It has been hard.  I think what did I do to deserve this plight, why me, why cannot I be lucky enough to have my own place to live in, why did my dad have to die so fast, so unexpectedly, why.....why.....why.....Today my attitude changed.  My attitude changed from why me to why not me.  Why am I not lucky to have such a sweet spirit be born to me that will be called home in a few short week? (not that I would want to go through that, but it is thought of being strong enough to handle that) Am I not strong enough to handle the trials that others go through?  Are others strong enough to handle the trials I am going through?  Am I stronger than I give myself credit for?

When people find out that both my daughters were born with a cleft palate, their jaws drop and the first question I am usually asked is, how did you do it?  I reply what choice did I have?  Having children born with a cleft palate is hard, I am not going to lie, but it is not hard.  I think of all the things that could have gone wrong, all the health problems, defects, they could have been born with and I am thankful every day we only got cleft palates.

Maybe we are all stronger than what we give ourselves credit for.  I have many friends and family who have kids with life long health problems, I have a few friends and family who have lost babies in the first few weeks of life, I have friends and family who have their own health problems, marriage problems......OK we all have our problems.  But I am coming to realize that we are all stronger than what we give ourselves credit for.  I would in no way shape or form wish the trials that I have watched friends and family members have gone through on anyone not even my enemies.  I would not wish my health problems, mental problems, short comings on my enemy because what I have been through and am going through is not easy, it is not fair, but it is life.  Just because we cry ourselves to sleep a night once in a while, maybe some more often than others, does not mean we are weak! It means that we are being strong.  We strong because we wake up every morning to face a new day, it means we are  strong because we are able to keep our selves in check during the day to get our tasks done, to raise our children, to go to work, etc.  It means that we are strong because God has chosen us to handle the trial and not someone else.  Crying is an emotional release.  I am not sure about you, but I HATE to cry.  But once in a while after a good cry it is amazing at how much better I feel, how much clearer my head is, my perspective on my problem has changed.  It does not mean we are weak, it means we are strong.  If we were weak we would give up, we would walk away from our marriages, we would walk away from raising our kids, we would walk away from jobs, we would walk away from life.  But we don't we wake up in the morning and do it again. Sure it gets old, sure it is hard, sure, just like you, I wish I had an easier life, without problems, no yelling matches with my children, with not getting frustrated with my get the idea.  But at the end of the day I count my blessings, even in the middle of a dark, dreary, nothing has gone right, this was a terrible horrible no good very bad day, can I give up, when will I catch my break - mood.  I am than able to realize how lucky I am.  How amazing my children are, how I am lucky to have a roof over my head, to have a husband that is supportive, to have a job where boss understands the importance of families, and understands that no matter what is going on at work, my children and my husband come first and if that means leaving early to take care of them so be it.  I have been blessed with so many things, but I some times loose sight of my blessings when things get tough.  I sure do wish things were a lot different, but I am grateful that things are not a lot worse. So I decided that I need to start giving myself more credit for how strong I really am.

A quote that came to my mind today in church was "If you are too busy to read your scriptures and pray, you are busier than God ever intended" I am not sure who said it or where I read it but I love it.  As I thought about this quote I had some questions pop into my mind
Where do my priorities lie?
What can I do to conquer the noise in my life so I can become more in tune with the spirit?
Do I place to much emphasis on what society wants me to do and not enough in what I should do?
Will being organized help me feel less noise?
Cleanliness is next to Godliness - what can I do in my home to be cleaner/neater to feel the influences of Christ? I always took this figuratively.  But as I have gotten older I can that when I walk into a home that is clean and organized how good I feel when I am there, there is no feelings of being overwhelmed, I feel like I can concentrate.  But when I come home to my mess I feel overwhelmed, lost, that I am in a house not a home, that I have to much noise going on to truly feel the spirit and to be happy.
Am I teaching my children how to feel the spirit?

It is days like today during church you realize how blessed you are, you can see areas in your life where you can improve and need to improve, you realize that the people you go to church with are not perfect, that they all have there struggle, but we are all there to help and learn from each other.  It is day that when you get home from church you wish you could sit in silence and ponder all that was said.  It was a day where I felt loved, accepted, appreciated, and even felt the hand of the Lord in my life.  I learned that I need to take a different approach to life, and change my attitude, it is not easy, but it is something that I need to work on.  I cannot wait for Jeff to find a job, for my kids to start school, for us to be in a house or apartment where every square foot is ours to spread out in, I cannot wait make my life better, to be happy, to be able to raise my children how I want.  I need to start today.  I need to start today to change MY bad habits, to change the way we live, how we eat, the organization of my house.........Today is the day that change starts.  Sure I will fall, I will have bad days, but what is important is that everyday I make the effort to be better, to be more organized, to be kinder, to be healthier, to make changes so I am happier.

I am grateful for what I do have, for the blessings that are in my life, for the people that are in my life.  Today my heart has been filled with a prayer for my friend and her family as they are going through a rough unfair time in their lives, but I can also learn from them.  I am grateful that I have the challenges I do have to learn from them and hopefully one day in the future to be able to help someone else.

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