Wednesday, November 19, 2014

dont pick it up

i mentioned in my previous post that i was able to attend sabbath worship on sunday. this is an event that has been rare for me since early september due to our surprise. i don't know if i have ever had to miss too much due to pregnancy woes, but remember, i am old. i am a 35 year old woman with a full uterus and my glory, the 20's were meant for child bearing.

i was able to go to church. miracle. and the thing is i have been praying for for a while are that life would slow down and i would be able to plug in. i feel like we run, run, run. i am in charge of a schedule that has to be perfected with all of the obligations, events, and talents we are trying to cram into this busy season of life. i have longed for days with babies on my lap where our outing for the day was a walk around the block, a few good books, a close examination of the best afternoon snack, and devotion to a punctual, flawless bedtime routine. it has all been replaced with choosing the best things, priority given to each child's most earnest desire to nurture one specific talent at a time, and then - fitting in regular family things.

but i have stewed and worried about a baby fitting in with our madness. is it healthy, wise, fair to a baby? god has a funny way of calming troubled hearts.

there is nausea, Nausea, and then NAUSEA. I mean, i have had some. but this time. i had SOME. and i could hide it okay the first 6-7 weeks as long as no one was breathing within a 20 foot radius, or as long as no one had used an offensive hand soap, or...... well, you get the picture. and then the migraines started. and it's mostly a convoluted, long tale that i am glad is lifting but it was 5 weeks in a dark room eating apples and carrots. and a dark room would get the best of anyone after a while. there is a sinking despair when your most earnest prayer is for there to be a cloudy day so you can go downstairs and avoid where sun creeps thru certain rooms. and there is also some part where hope gets lost. early on, there were a few weekends spent down because it looked like i was loosing the baby. the doctors nurse was kind and gentle, offering to have me come up and have some blood tested or an ultrasound performed. but when i thought it thru, i knew that none of those things would save a pregnancy. so i prayed that if my body was able, this pregnancy could be saved. and that's when the migraines started. which translates to a significant shift in hormone production in my case, the very thing i needed. it's often interesting how the very things that seem to try us the most are the answers to our hearts desire.

in a dark room for a long time it wouldn't surprise anybody to think that i got nutty. i lost any social confidence i had (which isn't measured on any large scale to begin with), i became sad, depressed, emotional, and susceptible to immense negativity. i felt like everything was stripped away and worried that i would be locked up until spring. i lost my umph. i usually have enough umph and excitement about certain things for 3 people, but it was gone. my heart was so heavy. i felt myself slipping into a place with walls so high i couldn't see.

but then there was this small prayer that i could be normal, that a part of me could return.

i was sitting in a pew sunday when the speaker was reading an excerpt from the Chris Williams story: Let it go: A true story of Tragedy and Forgiveness. (there is a wonderful mormon message clip on it, or there is a book) he had just read Chris's reaction to feeling that his wife and unborn child had been killed, his other child in the back seat had been killed, but the child directly behind him was going to live. he described receiving the knowledge as factual versus emotional. then his eyes rested on the car in front of him that was tipped upside down. the one that had just struck his car at a high rate of speed, head on, killing all of these people, the driver in a drunken haze. he describes this voice as the voice of the savior, and it said, don't pick it up, let it go.

i have heard this story over and over. and over and over. it is an incredibly powerful story. i don't think any one person would say they are exempt from having thoughts of this scenario being their worst case.

and the thing that hit me the most was if this was the worst case, the worst possible event that anyone could imagine happening and the advice from a loving savior was to let it go, not to pick it up, why on this earth do i waste time everyday picking things up? if i really know that jesus christ has atoned for my sins, if i really know that he went to gethsemane and forged a new heart, specifically for me, plowing thru every emotion, trial, burden i will ever feel, and felt it, but without sin for me, why do i pick up meaningless things daily that forge a sinful heart? why do i pick things up that cause me to judge others, harness anger, and the like?
the other part that was so profound to me was that we have a choice. even though we do have a way paved individually to rid us from the burdens of picking things up, we can choose not to pick it up and to let it go. that doesn't mean we will be exempt from the healing of gethsemane, it just means we can progress spiritually at a rate that increases knowledge versus carrying things around that profoundly diminish progression.

i sat with tears brimming in my eyes, spilling over as this all sunk in. and then, i prayed. really, sincerely prayed that i could remember this. that it would penetrate my heart, my thoughts, my actions, my attitude. i knew that the way the story struck me was my personal revelation. my days have been filled with the thought over and over, heidi, don't pick it up. the thoughts that have seemed to cripple me are met with, let it go.

i got sick last night. it was a rough day. the NAUSEA was unpleasant, a migraine hit me right as we were to leave to cheer easton on at one of his last basketball games. i was quick to pick up the thoughts that have been ruining me, but quicker to say, this too shall pass, don't pick it up. and i did. and today, it's a bit rough too. the day after those hard ones always feel unsettling but my heart, it's full of gratefulness that i can let it go. that i can choose not to pick it up. and suddenly, i know my prayer is answered and i am plugged in.

Monday, November 17, 2014


i am performing my semi annual blogging duties here.

my absolute favorite series of books are the Sarah Agnes Prine series. the first book is "these is my words". i read the series at least once a year. i always learn something about myself between the lines. i love the years her house becomes so bustling with children that her entries are sporadic and feel busy. i have given myself some leniency with the details of our lives when i know we are hard at work living and bustling.

there seems a golden point in parenting when all kids do not need monitoring revolving around bodily functions. there is some amount of freedom and a sense of arrival, if you will, once this occurs. there are four people we have monitored thru physical need and you think, maybe we are done. well, at our house, one spouse was praying we were done. and for a few years i had to be okay with that even though i knew we were not. bringing it up caused some tension. i also knew that i didn't want to wait too long. let's be honest, i am a short person and carrying large babies has posed some physical challenges for me. i knew aging anymore would not contribute to helping any infirmity.

last year, i prayed really hard that if we were supposed to have another baby, that the unnamed spouse would be filled with a knowledge that this person was a part of our family and that we needed to make it happen. i prayed and had faith that it would happen because i just know these things. i was however concerned that i would be strong arming someone if i put pressure on or guilt. so i was quiet. absolutely silent about it but i kept praying. within a few months that redhead came home from a temple trip and he knew. he knew and he was happy about it which was the part i had forgot to add in to my prayer, it was a bonus. he was ready. ready for a baby, he knew like i did, what kind of a baby it would be and how crucial this person was to our progression. but i was not quite ready. because...

girls like me dont get to plan due dates, dont get to gather excitement about pregnancy. girls like me have to prepare for disappointment, time passing, accepting whatever due date that comes, and building emotional walls to prepare for the disappointment. so, i said to scott, all my married days i have longed for a baby in may. a baby born when RSV is dead and allergy season is over. when the kids are out of school and carpools and extra curriculars are over. when the germs gathered at school cant come home for three months and when everyone is home to drink up a baby. when our only job is to lounge poolside with snacks and shade and sun and memories.

and he said okay. lets try for a may baby.

so, we waited a bit and i started building the walls. not thinking about anything baby. guarding myself against any cute baby, equipment, clothing, bumps, all of it - i shut it out. and to replace it, i started a cake business. because that's what any normal, logical person would do. they would immerse themselves in baking for days on end, for birthdays, brides, family parties, and the like.

but then,

there comes a surprise. and there's a may baby. due the week school gets out. and i know, this is meant to be. and i can't help but get weepy most days.

it's been hard. i have known sickness i never knew was possible. there is no longer a cake business. instead, there is this part of my heart that is full and the funny thing is, i never knew it was empty. the house is dirty and my husband is exhausted. he is doing it all right now. but, things are looking up. i went to church for three hours yesterday and it required no pill. i completed what was asked of me. i worshipped, i partook, i felt this burning in my heart and i thought to myself - welcome to the second trimester.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

for kyle

in a little over a week, my baby brother enters a new phase in life. he follows mormon tradition and says, i beleive now i will go and do. he has been called to serve an lds mission to the people of mexico.

the older i get, loving two little boys of my own, the thought of missions always hit me different/harder. it's a little more emotional for me thinking of what it entails to send a boy off in the world on his own, using every skill you have ever taught him, to survive in the world.

i only lived with kyle for 4 years before i was married, so our normal family connection is a little different. my kids however, look to him like a sibling and i appreciate that on every level. he has been glue for our family, the late in life baby that garnered a whole lot of looks my parents direction as my mom was 38 when she had him. he was the best decision they made. he is such a good, focused person. he works hard, he is a stoic person. he does what is asked of him and he does it well. i hope my kids know its because he "knows".

i know that he knows who god is. kyle is coming out of his shell, leaving all comforts of the youngest child, essentially the only child the past few years, the comforts of a first world country, because he has put the effort into cultivating a relationship with god and that gives him enough strength to share with others what he knows.

it's not just about god either. if we know god, we know that jesus christ is the way. sometimes the world suggests we "find jesus" as if he is something only a few will find. if only the world knew what sheri dew stated: "jesus christ is not our last chance, he is our only chance. he will show us the way because he is the way." our achieving an eternal reward will not be by the skin of our teeth as my mom always tells me. our eternal measure will be fulfilled by abounding grace and mercy. abounding.

there will always be apostacy. it makes my heart hurt but i am no stranger to it. utah mormons are always shocked when we tell of the amount of apostacy we saw at an ivy league university. the reasons for abandonment were no small feats. there were facts/reasons/books/knowledge that took years to accumulate. people can throw away a lifetime of god's love by hanging themselves up on the smallest detail. the smallest. it becomes obsessive and a lifetime of anger, frustration, and hurt gets thrown at the very thing that heals. the very peace of life is cast aside due to brewing anger that isn't extinguished thru the merits and mercy of him who can heal.

we are all on spiritual journeys here on earth whether we acknowledge it or not. we are progressing towards god or we are not. either direcion is crucial for our eternal destiny. how do i know that the way the LDS church does things are the dictates that mandate heavens entry? my life has been layers of confirmation and also times of doubt, frustration, and self inflicted darkness. i have found that our bodies are meant to worship. i believe that is how god created us. the mountains beckon awe, seasons encourage deep emotional stirring-a need for connection. the order of god's creations suggest his ways are ones of process, journey, struggle, growth but above all order. our body's need to worship can be tilted either way. worshippers of self, pride, world, money, intellect, imagery, materialism, intellectualism, can feel just as fulfilled/justified in life as those who choose to direct their worship to god. i believe in satan. he is just as real to me as god's abounding love. he also begs for our natural ways of worship. so many times he wins.

i was listening to one of my favorite talks a few weeks ago by henry b eyring and one thing that stuck out to me this particular time was when he said - "if the foundation of faith is not embedded in out hearts, the power to endure will crumble." i needed to hear that so i could know where to draw from. i was struggling with enduring, hope, faith. i think it's a daily struggle for anyone caught in the thick of thin things. i appreciated that line. my foundation is embedded, i just needed to remember that. and because of it, i can endure. it's that simple.

so kyle, this is what i know. i see the creations under his direction and i know that there is a way to him that entails order, direction, work, and love. his plan is perfect, and because we are not, there is no road/journey/belief that his plan can not find a place for. every detail of our lives have been accounted for so that we can return with him. there is no struggle, doubt, pain, wrong, loneliness he did not account for and it's because he wants every one of us. every single body he gave life to, he wants returned. he longs for that parental love returned in order and worship, respect and understanding by us.

now, go and do. find and serve, our knees our bent on your behalf. loves.

Monday, February 3, 2014

hanakapi'ai falls trail

there comes a time in every couple's marriage when they get the green light feeling that they can travel together and their hearts won't burst from missing their kids and their bank wont weep for a year from the cost.

it happened to us.

it was brilliant, wonderful, amazing, and fantastic.

hawaii it was. oahu and kauai.

we went with some dear friends, and of course thru the course of the trip they became more dear. traveling with loved ones deepens bonds.

i went for the beach. i went because my soul craves taking in god's creations. that sounds gummy and so forth, but deep inside me i don't crave adventure or thrill seeking activities. they are fine and i don't mind them, but i don't seek them. i seek out the opportunities to be still and know god and i find that the earth's beauty is essential in that endeavor.

oahu was filled with non-stop activity. we were tourists, taking in every sight possible. while i could chronicle all of the activities, the two that were the best for me were taking in the north shore swells that were something for the record books and waikiki beach. we were able to sit behind yellow caution tape and watch the waves. it was purely magnificent and healing. the waves were beyond description and i kept thinking how lovely it was that we were taking in the north shore at such a rare time and with such power and force. as we made our way around the island we hopped out of the car and walked to the laie lds temple. all temples are special but i had a moment as i walked with my friend in front of the grounds where i could see everyone i loved in white. the two of us were quiet for a moment as we were taking in the smells, the scenes, the peacefulness and we both commented to one another that this was celestial material. feeling loved and seeing beauty has to be of heavenly merit.

we finally squeezed in a few hours on waikiki beach which was so refreshing. we saw sea turtles, skin that should have been covered, obscene exercise routines, inside jokes were born and the like.

we all knew that when we went to kauai it was about living like a local. we were somewhat true to that. there were some touristy things that we indulged in everyday for the thrill seekers in the group but my lazy hawaiian beach dreams were fulfilled. we stayed on the north side in the hanalei bay area. i have never in all my life seen such beauty. to sit at a beach with a mountainous back drop, waterfalls pouring off every cliff, and waves crashing all around, it was profoundly spiritual for me. the first beach we were at i had hours of spiritual awakening. it was like all the funk and fog of daily things lifted and those quiet whisperings were suddenly the new volume in my head. scott was back and forth snorkeling with his buddies. i had quiet moments of deep reflection. i love taking the chance to be still and see god. scriptural phrases poured thru my head the whole time that helped me get a re-charge and perspective that only a mother can appreciate.

the trip wasn't about escaping my daily duties or drudgery, it was about taking a second to re-group and re-charge, figure out where my marriage is, where my spirit's progression stands, and how i am doing at fulfilling my responsibilities to the four souls who claim me.

it was laced with laughing, and bonding, eating, and beach comparison.

one of the days i gave in to the busy ness of vacationing and submitted to a hike. a secret amazing beach, a waterfall you can swim under were the enticing words that got me. i would surrender to some physical work to see that. i pictured a blue lagoon greeting us with a mild jaunt up a mountain.

the previous night greeted us with a horrific rain storm. it howled all night, took out roads with the precipitation, and made some of the crossings impossible.

to get to the halfway point of the waterfall, we had to cross a fairly deep river. at one point because of the rain it was so deep some hikers were stranded overnight and had to wait to cross the swift waters. we happened upon the major crossing right as it was deemed passable. i traveled with tall people on this trip and water that was mid thigh for them was waist deep for me, making it trickier to cross such an angry water passage. the men were great and formed a human chain and pulled me along. once we crossed we realized we were out of cell phone range, it might start raining again which would complicate the waterway to get back, and we were running out of daylight and water. we quickened the pace so that we wouldn't have to add our marks to the board marking the fatalities on the hike. (there were 82)

we passed thru amazing bamboo jungles and terrain that was breath taking. some of it was lost on me as i didn't like taking the chances we were taking to see the waterfall. i have a very black and white personality and i really struggle with grey areas. as a woman who was being missed by four little people in utah, i felt like there was a definite risk of being stranded and loosing the feeling of vacation. we were loosing daylight and almost completely out of water. we started to loose the trail due to the large volumes of water pouring all around us. soon we had to start looking for things to help us decipher if we were on the right path. we had heard from so many people about this amazing hike and no one described to us what we were encountering. suddenly we realized there were pink ribbons tied along trees. they were trail markers. that's when we realized how much the rain had distorted the trail. the actual trail itself was comprised mostly of rock and dirt making the trail slick and muddy. we finally neared the top, feeling this exuberant, triumphant feeling only to be greeted with what i can describe as the force of a helicopter in front of us. the waterfall was overflowing with water and wind, showing it's power and authority. the water bouncing off the fall had us all covered and soaked in five minutes flat. one person tried to swim and the temperature was too cold. two others attempted it and could only dunk their heads quickly before retreating. i had to stand with my back to it as the force was taking my breath away. we couldn't snap any pictures of our accomplishment because the water would have ruined our cameras. we left quickly, defeated. our end reward wasn't at all what we had hoped for. it was too much to take in and enjoy.

the entire hike there were scriptural phrases coming in and out of my mind and i was being taught. i left the waterfall totally depleted of the excitement i had built up. my build up and hype was that it would be quiet and still. i thought about how that hike was so similar to trials, life's journey, and so on. our choices put us on paths that may be the same trail as others, but the lord has to power to shape the trail just for us. our hike was a bi-polar experience to everyone else's who had been on it. we saw the same fall but it was magnified. we had to work harder getting there, take more risk to do it, but essentially our destination was the exact same as everyone else's who had done it. i thought about the past twelve months we have been thru. i signed up to be a mom but i don't recall asking for torrential rain. my path felt so flooded this past year. i felt like i was on a trail that was going to wash out at any point because it seemed beyond what i could handle. but, i had pink ribbons all along the way telling me i was where i needed to be. we were doing what we needed to to finish the hike, to conquer the trial. when we got to the point that was the hardest with easton, we were exhausted and deflated, the final summit left us feeling weary and weak.

 at the end of the trail there was some sense of accomplishment. our physical efforts left our bodies feeling weak but there was a sense of completion, we finished what we came to do. i also felt like at the end of our trial this year that it was important not to lament on the downward part of the resolution. sometimes i have the tendency to got caught up in the sheer exhaustion of the trial, having a hard time giving it up, lamenting of the "hard" nature of it. it's important to get off the trail or trial. be ready for something else, ready for the next one.

i also thought about that hike in another way. i thought about how life's journey is only meaningful when we are on a path. if we stand at the trail head simply waiting for something, we never get to experience the good and the bad that adam and eve taught us about. i thought about how important our time on this earth is. every choice, action, reaction is crucial. we are in a testing period that we can never get back. the end reward is going to be so much more than we can imagine. sometimes life just seems like a simple hike, a jaunt if we listen to the account of others instead of engaging and finding out for ourselves. somehow the thought struck me that the magnitude of celestial glory or heavenly reward will be just as powerful as that massive waterfall. so much more than we can imagine or take in with our limited vision. the things that wait to award climbing trails laden with torrents and floods are more powerful than we can comprehend.

today is monday. monday after vacation is like eating purple poi, slimy, goopy, not desirable. and so, i will dream of ways to get back to tropical paradise and remember to take the trail/trials with grateful hearts.