This is more of a journal entry.
We have been here in Utah for three weeks now.
It is a wonderful feeling to know that I am welcome and loved, taken care of when I come "home". How truly wonderful my parents are. They've got their weaknesses like I do. But I grow each year to appreciate their sacrifices and characteristics more deeply as I parent. It's not an easy thing. They are some of the strongest most stalwart people I know. And such great examples in many areas. I am learning that their family paradigm has strengths as well as weaknesses that my family paradigm does not. We are simply different. Variety is great isn't it?
Hanna, my younger sister has been an absolute angel. Taking care of my kids, getting them dressed and fed every morning, plus her other responsibilities as far as house work, tending to her dog, Lilly, and whatever else Mom might ask of her at any given moment. Her sacrifice and selflessness is impressive considering her age (13). She is quite amazing...to me ~ and her talents are endless. I'm so thankful to have her in our family.
My brother Samuel went on his week long scout camp this past week. I have to say there was less drama and noise with him gone. But when he returned, my heart jumped with love and remembrance of his presence. I feel for him as I feel for my own son
And although he struggles most days because of his biological parents' choices, I honestly admire him for having the courage and determination to continue striving to improve. I believe that is a strength that came to us children in this household because of our parents' high expectations for us. What a blessing.
I had the opportunity to visit with my biological father last week for a few days. He enjoyed my children...but unfortunately is not their Grandpa, just as he is not my Dad. My Dad is a real man and took responsibility not only for his own children from a previous marriage (as much as circumstances allowed), but took on five new children and raised and loved us taught us through example and precept how to live a righteous life. The main difference between the two, is that one took responsibility for his choices, and followed through no matter how hard things got. And I know very well that it was not easy. He has earned the rights and joys of grand-parenting. My biological father is more like a distant uncle who because of his choices in life, has no claim upon his children or grandchildren-and there is simply no way for him to get back what was lost. After being married several times, having no sense of accountability for the many children he fathered, and pretty much giving the blame to the women who chose to "leave his domain" as to why his children were no longer his responsibility; he is a smooth talker, and makes excuse after excuse as to why he couldn't fulfill his responsibilities. In the moment, I felt bad for him-and was understanding because I know how hard life can be. But after thinking for a while, I realized that with the same circumstances others have chosen differently. And so my admiration for my real Father grows.
I enjoyed our time with all that side of the family, especially the special moments being able to talk to my Grandparents. My Uncle who is in prison seems to be doing well. I loved reading his letter all about the Atonement, experiences he's had recently in defending the church. He seems to be growing, but after talking to his daughter, she brought to my attention that he is good ay pretending. It's hard to know when someone has really changed after so many years of living a lie.
Then we went on to Northern Utah where I spent the night with my mother's older sister and the following night with her younger sister and what is left at home of their children. I have such incredible relatives. They are in valor equal to my own parents with certain strengths that I'd like to pass on to my children. I'm so thankful to have had some time with them.
My heart is just filled with gratitude for family.
Last but certainly not least, as I've reminisced on past memories growing up and been reminded of my wonderful childhood through hanging out with family, something came up to remind me what exciting things lie ahead.
Daniel called me last night and excitedly explained that I should probably finish up my degree soon.
This morning, he called with more information, letting me know of all the resources available right on base to aid in my education. I'll be able to take night courses on campus right there in Albuquerque!
And my treat for finishing my first degree, will be to attend beauty school.
My life seems to be moving forward after nearly eight long years of having babies, and struggling to fit into the mold of motherhood and wifehood enough to enjoy it. Between my sewing, schooling, small business and running kids here and there, it's going to be a little hectic. And honestly, I'm not sure where a new baby would fit into the mix (not announcing anything...just thinking). But I'll go forward in faith, and hope that everything works out according to my Father's will.
I love Him with all of my heart, and rejoice in His glorious plan of happiness which allows us all the privilege and responsibility of forming eternal families. This is the purpose of our existence ~ and we can all be assured that His promises are and will continue to be fulfilled. My life is living proof that because He loves us, He will be with us in our hour of need, and bless us with the tools and strength necessary to get through anything, and triumph as better individuals. I know Jesus Christ lives. And through coming to know Him, we can also live as He lives, and inherit all that He has. He is near to help us along in this unpredictable, sometimes disappointing and even torturous experience called life. He knows all our pains and sorrows, our daily struggles, worries and desires. He wants us to open up our hearts and minds and be teachable so He can work out our salvation. He has already overcome the world, and will show us how to do the same if we let Him.
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