Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little Taste of Job

I posted this yesterday on our family blog and thought I should share with y'all.

These past couple weeks have been dooseys. I've had a few health problems which all collided this week making it Job-worthy (at least to me). So here's the back story:

Problem 1---My knees.. and NECK? Go figure. I've always had bad knees; chalk it up to the genes (my mom and aunt both had knee surgery growing up). It really hasn't been a big deal; I get an occasional ache here or there and then it passes. Well, back in March my left knee started clicking when I went upstairs. I didn't think it was a big deal, until it started hurting. So, I scheduled an appointment with a Chiropractor. While I was there I mentioned a constant neck pain that I have; again I didn't think anything of it. They took x-rays of my knees and neck and found bone spurs in my knees and severe whiplash in my neck (FYI: never go on the Boomerang ride at Seven Peaks in Provo, UT---that's when I got my whiplash). WHAT? So much for being minor things; my chiropractor was more worried about my neck, so I currently go to the chiropractor once every two weeks because, frankly, that's all we can afford.

Since she didn't really do anything about my knees, I took that problem to our family practice doctor. I ended up getting MRIs around both knees. It showed no bone spurs (whew) but some kind of problem with both my meniscus and one ACL and it also showed the beginning stages of arthritis----great.... So he referred me to Physical Therapy. I've actually enjoyed it a lot; I've learned exercises to do at home and I'm in my last couple of weeks (good thing because we're going to Seattle next week...). The clicking is now occasional and I hope it goes bye-bye soon.

Problem 2----umm...well... I won't go into great detail with this one but I've had more issues with Annabelle, feeding her and clogging. For a couple of months I got into the pattern of getting a clot or two a week, thinking about calling my OBGYN and then the next day it'd go away. Finally, a couple weeks ago, I gave in and called her office. They wanted to see me IMMEDIATELY--- so after begging my amazing neighbor/friend to watch Jared for a couple more hours (thanks again) Belle and I were off to see the doctor. She took one look at me and said, yeah, you have an infection, but they took a sample just to be safe. A week later, just after finishing my first round of medications, her office calls and says the culture came back resistant to the medication I just finished so they are prescribing me a stronger one... great.... unfortunately... that leads to problem three... we think...

Problem 3----REALLY? In the middle of problem two, I get a weird leg rash. So I go to my dermatologist and he gives me more medications---- Yikes! That goes away after applying my meds for a day, so I stop, which is what he told me to do. This past Saturday, after romping around in a grass field for family pictures (stay tuned for those) I noticed at home, that I had a small allergic reaction around my armpits, so I take a benadryl and think nothing of it--- until it wakes me up in the middle of the night because I'm itching subconsciously. Sunday morning, it was bad, luckily I was able to cover it up for church and hope it didn't get worse. Greg and a friend gave me a blessing and it was the first thing that really helped all day. I felt like it would get better, and it did, before it got worse. By night fall, I had it on my legs too....and by the next morning it got larger on my arms and on my torso.

Nothing really helped the burning itching pain and it never went away. So, yesterday, I went back to the dermatologist. He determined that I'm having a reaction to my stronger antibiotic that I stared taking a couple days before the rash appeared. So, he gives me something to stop the reaction and tells me to stop taking the medicine. I call my OBGYN to get the okay to take my new medication while feeding Belle, and she gives me a new one for my infection---one that I'm not allergic to *crosses fingers*.

Mostly I'm typing this up because I want to document what I've been going through the past couple of months. I'm not doing it to complain (okay, maybe a little). I've had a hard time trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be learning from all of this, because I found myself thinking 'one of these things I can handle, but all of this, come ON!' I started to understand, even in the smallest form what Job had to have been feeling when trial after trial came his way. After starting to throw a pity party, I always found myself coming back to the Savior; it didn't help at all that our lesson was all about the Atonement.

Yeah, I've had worse pain. Ovarian cyst---worse. Labor--- WAY worse. But, in that moment I felt helpless because nothing was helping. Until I remembered the One person who's felt it all. Not only does he know exactly what physical pain I've been through, but also the emotional trials along with it. He can take it away. Yesterday, when I was having issues with all of this, I got I church gem in my inbox titled: "severe trials, supreme blessings" My first thought was, what? really? It was from President Uchtdorf's talk from last priesthood session. He was talking about the Kirtland era of Church History and how it was a time of great trial but also great blessings, he then said: " 'Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me' (D&C 88:63). As the Saints of Kirtland drew near unto the Lord, He truly did draw near unto them, pouring out the blessings of heaven upon the heads of the faithful."

Of course, the emotional basket case that I am, I cried as soon as I read that and said, 'message received.' I'll do my best, even though it may seem small, because I know I can get through what this life brings with my family, my faith, and the Lord by my side.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just a Thought

Since I've been using Mormon-Ads as my pictures, I thought tonight I'd just share the picture and let everyone 'think' about it... don't forget to read the scripture.
I've been thinking about thinking lately. Our thoughts are so powerful; it is the place where our agency is born. It is where we learn and grow; forming opinions and ideas which create and define us.... and it's up to us to invite the Holy Ghost in to help them stay clean and happy. This does not mean there won't be a struggle, but as long as use the Spirit as our guide, we have the chance to wipe the slate and be clean again.

Remember, remember what is important and what's not. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Green-eyed Monster

Recently in my 8-year old primary class, we have been talking about being covetous or jealous. It was a little hard to explain why jealousy is a sin. They kept asking if it was okay to want things that their friends have or the stores have, or what is on the tv and I found myself repeating the same thing over and over, "If we are jealous of what other people have then we are not being grateful for the things that we already have that God has given us."

A few years ago, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a conference talk called, "The Other Prodigal" in which he examines why the brother that has always been faithful and blessed is suddenly jealous of his brother who has come home from filth and hardships that left him a broken man. I personally felt a slap to the face when Elder Holland gave this talk in 2002. That was the year that my brother and my father came back to the church and I had to hear about how wonderful they were and I was literally acting like "the other prodigal." It took a lot of repentance and a change in perspective, but now I look at their lives and instead of being jealous of the attention that they receive, I can rejoice in their happiness with them.

" Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies...Brothers and sisters, I testify that no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn’t measure our talents or our looks; He doesn’t measure our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Power of Our Voice

My seven month old is currently discovering the power of her voice. Up until this point, she has been a very laid-back baby; hardly ever cries to let us know if something is amiss. She'll usually go longer between feedings and changes then she needs to.

Case in point, the other day was witching hour at our house: nap time. Getting two kids down at the same time requires more energy than I ever realized. I usually pick one and get that child down, then move on to the next. The two-year-old is usually first because his nap time is more consistent each day.

After getting him down, I sat next to my daughter and played for a little while. She seemed okay the whole time we played, until she wasn't. She started whimpering, looking at me and then used her new found skill, her voice, to let me know sometime was wrong. I picked her up, she wiggled and didn't stop talking to me. She wanted my help, so she let me know. I finally connected the dots and placed her down for a nap. The look she gave me as I set her down told me how grateful she was for my help and that I was able to finally understand her.

Walking downstairs, I realized this is how Heavenly Father must feel sometimes. We are our own agents, always being watched over by a loving parent. However, no matter how much He loves us, He will not help us unless we communicate our needs to Him. We need to take the time to kneel in prayer to Him.

It's not that He doesn't want to help us; we need to want the help as well. We have been given that choice through our agency. Once we know He's there, just like my daughter, we communicate our gratitude for all He does and continues to do for us.

It's amazing the things you can learn from a seven-month-old.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Conference Ensign

I have been wanting to post on this blog for the past two weeks. Every day I feel like I want to share something, and then I completely forget. I think it must be the new mommy brain (or lack thereof). Anyway, I am finally remembering and having time to post.

These days I spend much of my time nursing my son. While I am doing this there really is not a lot I can do besides watch a movie or read. So I have decided that I should be spending the majority of my time reading. I have finished three books and in the span of about 1 week I read through the entire May 2010 Ensign with all of the conference talks. I have never read through an entire conference issue before. I have read conference talks here and there, but have never really made time to sit down and read the entire issue. I must say it has been a wonderful blessing in my life. Each day I have had something meaningful to ponder about. And each day I feel like I have done something productive with my time. I don't know about you but when I feel productive my self confidence goes up and I am a much happier person. There are so many wonderful messages shared by the leaders of our church. It is there job to lead us, but it is our job to follow. I have found over the past few weeks that I can fulfill my duty of following our leaders by studying and pondering on there words. I hope that we all can put a higher priority on reading and learning the words of the prophets of God. Hope you all have a good and productive week.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Article of Faith 13

"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul- We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
I memorized this article of faith one Sunday when we had a sub in our primary class. I thought so much of myself after that because it was the longest, hardest, article of faith to memorize in my opinion. Now, having that message easily accessible to my awareness has allowed me to discover for myself in my life what is part of the gospel. Sometimes it seems increasingly difficult to decipher with so many conflicting ideas, or just thought pathways out there. Do you ever just wish you could go live in a tent in the woods and not have to hear all the fuss and the hub-bub of everything?

Sometimes I think that kind of situation might be ideal, but then I think that being alone would not be very fun either. In fact having such easy access to other people's opinions via internet social networking is quite a blessing much of the time! I am a member of a group that is about helping families who want to succeed in cloth diapering their babies. (Many people view this as quite a challenge since they are used to disposables.) It is easy for me to ask a question in this group on my computer and quickly get responses from others experiences. 

Therefore, the whole "hiding in the woods" scenario probably is not ideal for long periods of time. Maybe I will just plan a nice camping trip and feel rejuvenated when I get back. Anyway, what I would like to emphasize today in this post is that even though there are a lot of good things out there to be involved in....a lot of "praiseworthy" or "of good report" things and they totally overwhelm us sometimes....we need not run and hide in the woods from utter exhaustion of "too much of a good thing". If you are ever feeling like this, just have a moment to yourself to reflect on all the societies and peoples of the past who did not have these blessings. Think of the prophets of old who foresaw our time and probably were thinking of all the great and wonderful things that could be accomplished easily. Think of the prophets today who do what they can to spread the gospel around the world and are always relying on us to BE the gospel. They count on us to shine our light and wake up the world. 

How easy it is...

how easy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spiritual Application!

I absolutely love fifth Sunday lessons; I love being able to having another testimony of the Bishopric. Since we had family in town, I was able to take notes and delve into the topic.

A few months ago, all of the regional leaders in our area had a training with Elder Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Our Bishop was so touched by how it was done that he spoke to the youth a couple months ago (my husband works with them, so that's how I know) and then the adults this past Sunday.

We were asked to come to the meeting with questions about our multiple stewardships, be they in the family or at church. And, not just any questions, but the type of questions that keep you up at night. He then stated: When a problem is present, there needs to be a reinforcement of doctrine or principles. Well, in order to reinforce we must first understand what doctrine and principles are.

Doctrine is truth revealed from heaven about eternal progression. It answers the why questions in life. Elder Bednar explained there are only 3 or 4 doctrines: Nature of the Godhead, Plan of Salvation, the Atonement and an unknown (it was implied that either E. Bednar was still trying to figure this one out or didn't want to give it away because it's meant for own discovery). These doctrine, eternal truths, set the foundation for everything else in the church and in life.

Principles then are guidelines for activity which grow out of doctrine. They answer the what? question; things like faith, obedience, repentance, everything in the scriptures, etc. Our Bishop reminded us not to get too rapped up in classification. The importance is in how we apply the doctrines and principles in our lives.

Applications of doctrine and principles are very personal and can change throughout time and circumstance. Applications cannot be taught by an every day mortal human being; they must be taught through the Holy Ghost through personal revelation. We use personal revelation to apply revealed principles like the Word of Wisdom, Sabbath Day, repentance, etc. in our lives and do so; but what may be good for one is not what was revealed to another.

Does this mean one is right and the other is wrong? I don't know, but what I do know if two trying-to-be righteous individuals are using the gift of the Holy Ghost to make right decisions, then they must both be right. The key there is we know if it's right for us by our own personal worthiness. We need to be worthy of the Holy Ghost in order to make decisions with his help.

What we can do is use our illustrations (experiences) of how personal applications of doctrine and principles work in our lives; which I think is exactly what we do with this blog! "I read this the other day," or "I was thinking about..." is usually how our posts begin. The spirit is talking to us; wanting us to share how it helped us because then we help each other. We try to grow closer to Christ, and each other, by sharing our own personal experiences of how we applied the gospel.

This whole hour was a big A-Ha! moment for me. The gospel is much simpler than we think. My husband wonderfully shared when the Bishop spoke to the youth, but I didn't write it down so I forgot. I remember how when he shared with me how I wanted to turn around and share it to my Spirituality sisters and everyone who would listen. I'm so grateful for inspired leaders who take their stewardship responsibility seriously and strive to spread the happiness around.

Let's never be afraid to share our 'secret weapon' because it's a something that helps us all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On America

We had a great time celebrating Memorial Day yesterday, and at the end of the night, when I was dead-tired, I opened my Book of Mormon to read my five verses and I got this perfectly-timed gem from the Book of Ether:

Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written. (Ether 2:12)

I am so proud to be an American, and that we, as a nation, are generally a God-fearing people. I'm so grateful for my liberty and the men and women who work so hard to preserve our freedom.

Photo courtesy of jcolman.


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