Saturday, November 08, 2008

Preparing For Change

I have a young women's lesson to teach tomorrow. The subject is "Preparing for Change." Change has always been a common event in my life. The first real eventful change that I remember was when I was in third grade and my best friend moved. The next was probably around the same time, when the boy that I had a crush on decided that he was done being my friend. I remember these events because they made a lasting impression. As a little girl, these changes influenced my self image as well as the way I looked at the world around me.

As I grew older some of the changes that took place in my life were life changing, like the death of my grandmother when I was in seventh grade for example. And some were just the facts of life, like moving from grade to grade in school. Some have been the source of my greatest joys, serving my mission, marrying Leif, and having children, for example. And other changes have been the source of my greatest sorrows, like the loss of my twin daughters.

Change is inevitable. Some changes are life altering and some are just the natural season changes of life. So how do we prepare for the life altering changes that are destined to happen in our life? I ask myself how I was prepared for the changes that have taken place in my life.

First, I think I have my parents to thank for the the first two preparatory steps that took place early on in my life. I was raised with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I had a family with a strong bond of love, despite our dysfunctions:) The foundation that I built my life on from a very young age was founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has been my rock and my source of peace through some very dark times.

Second, I have always accepted that trials are given to us to refine us, not to punish us. This acceptance has given me a drive to always seek for the purpose and learning in every time of change.

Third, I was taught a valuable principle by a wise seminary teacher during my junior year of high school. I was struggling with one thing or another... again, and instead of trying to solve my problems (which I preferred) she gave me an ensign article by Richard G. Scott to read. She had one particular paragraph highlighted in the article. This is what the third step of preparing for change was for me. "Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in [faced with] a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness." From that point on I became a fighter. Not always the best fighter, but when life gets hard, I have found that I don't like to stay down very long. It has taken years of trial and error, and I will have to continue the fight as long as I am on this earth. But Fight I Will!

So to me the three steps to prepare for change are:

1. Build our foundation on Jesus Christ and His gospel, and stay connected to family members who lift you up and bring you strength.

2. Understand and accept that trials are given to us to refine us, not to punish us. And seek to learn from every trial.

3. Fight to be free of despair and to serve again with happiness.

These three principles may seem simplistic when one is not in the midst of a heart wrenching trial. But when the storms rage and the refiners fire burns, they will be grateful for the preparation that took place ahead of time.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Remembering My Rhea

I'm trying to figure out how I'm feeling tonight... I started reading a blog about a family who recently lost their two year old. Though uplifting, it got me crying and remembering feelings that I had two years ago tonight. I'm not sure if I am feeling empathy and mourning with those that mourn, or feeling my own loss. My loss seems long ago and I didn't know my daughters more then 8 days in this life. I am not belittling my loss, I just can't imagine loosing one of my children that I had already begun raising.

However, I have noticed one thing between this woman's story and ours. They are carrying the mantel of peace that the Savior gives those in mourning if they will accept it. That was an incredible time in my life...

Two years ago tonight I held my little Rhea for the first, and last time. Many emotions are pouring over me... I haven't felt them for many months. They surfaced from reading this other mother's account of her loss. Leif warned me not to get too deep into it. It was a wise warning. But I think crying is healthy. I don't know how I feel... Probably just sad for my loss. I will forever be in wonder and awe of the fact that I can feel the loss of my girls so strongly even though I did not have them long in this life. It is incredible!

As I was reading this other blog, I went back to the posts that she had written about life leading up to their loss. Life was so normal. However, there were a couple of things that made me sure that the Lord knew the journey that this family was about to face. It is so interesting to think about how life can just go on as normal every day, and then something like the death of a child will happen suddenly. And for that family, they will never look at a day in their life with the same eyes again. We never know what tomorrow brings!

What a Crazy Week!

For all that has happened this week, I'm actually pretty calm:)

Monday: I cleaned up the house and unpacked. Leif moved the old fridge down the stairs with his dad and brought up another one to our kitchen .

Tuesday: I woke up feeling motivated and strong. Jakob and I proceeded to paint our kitchen floor. What I didn't know was that oil based floor paint is STICKY and takes FOREVER to dry! We had to eat out for dinner because the floor was not dry. I only got the center of the kitchen painted. It looks great. But now I have to figure out how to paint the rest and still be able to function in our house... Leif and I went to vote. God Bless America, and Please bless our new President with strength of mind and integrity!!! Praise be for the success of Prop 8 in California and Prop 102 in Arizona. Marriage between a man and a women is still considered sacred in America!

Wednesday: I woke up feeling like I had swam a million laps. My muscles ached! I didn't think the painting was near that strenuous. Throughout the day I realized that the fridge that we brought up is having problems as well. When the fan turns off it makes a loud clunking sound.

Thursday: Still really sore. Leif had a choir practice in the evening. Leif came home and told me that the temperature gage on the car was showing HOT, uggg! A long day and a long night. I tried to get Caleb to sleep at least 3 hours between feedings. He did fine except the time-frame between 1 and 3AM. Jakob fell out of bed around then too. Jakob then climbed into bed with me at 5:30:) Leif put him back to bed. So my sleep was broken up, as usual.

Friday: I woke up sick! I have some type of virus again. My throat hurts and my body aches and I have a fever. I am alright as long as I have IB Profin. Our car had to be towed to the shop this afternoon. Something is leaking out of the engine area. Wonder how much that will end up costing... Today marks the two year anniversary of our little Rhea's death. I will write more about that tomorrow. This evening I chose to go against better judgement and enjoyed a large bowl of Peanut Butter Panic ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. Ahhh, everything's all better:) For now...

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Full and Fun Trip

We had a great time this weekend up north. It was a short trip. But it was worth the drive. We arrived to my parents home on Thursday night. Friday morning we met my mom, Jason and his girlfriend Hannah at Gardener Village. Of course it was full of people. But a lot of people and their kids were in costume and it was a lot of fun. Jakob wore his ghost costume and loved to hide behind the "photo shoot" spots and then jump out and scare us. He also loved dancing on a large platform of stones. He was the center of attention for much of the day.

That afternoon we went to lunch and then took the kids home for naps. While they napped all of us adults opened my parents costume closets and went crazy trying on costumes. By the time we had decided what we wanted to wear my parents bed was covered in a stack of costumes. I wore a mystic witch costume. But Leif was the most creative:) He went with a Dracula costume with a twist to it. He was going for the look of the guy on Labyrinth. He wore a blond curly haired wig. The guy on Labyrinth had straight hair, but it was still hilarious!
That evening Leif and I took Jakob and Caleb to the mall for some trick or treating. Jakob had a good time. We enjoyed it because it was inside, concentrated, yet not too busy. After that we went further up town to the Marriott hotel. We went to the murder mystery dinner show that my brother and parents produced. It was AMAZING! The singing and dancing was awesome and they kept us entertained the whole night. The kids even enjoyed it. Jakob participated in the dance contest. He was a bit overwhelmed during the contest. But after the show he went up on stage and danced the night away. Leif and I joined him and it was a fun family memory. A great Halloween! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Hunt!!
The next day we headed further north to Brigham City. We went to a birthday lunch for Leif's grandpa. Good company and good food! From there we went to his grandpa's house and played in the leaves. That was only the second time in my life that I've played in leaves. It was again, a lot of fun and good memories. After we played for a while we walked over to the cemetery. We took some time at the girls grave. I brought two little stones that said Peace and Love to set on their headstone. Leif surprised me with a rose for me and a bouquet of flowers for the girls. It was very sweet! We of course took pictures and talked a bit about the journey with the twins. Jakob is becoming a lot more aware of the fact that he has sisters. Sometimes he will randomly mention them and talk about how he misses them. Family ties are an eternal bond that we can't really comprehend in this realm of life.

On our way home from Brigham City we stopped at Deseret Book. I am so excited about my purchases! I bought a new set of scriptures. But I also bought a replica version of the original Book of Mormon. It reads like a story rather then verse by verse. I LOVE It!!! I am able to just sit down and read as if I am reading a novel. Love It!!

Sunday morning we had a brunch with my family (those of us who are around.) My mom made taco soup in a bread bowl, MMM! We then ate huge ice cream sundays, Delicious!! We drew names for Christmas (as siblings.) (Everyone call mom to find out who you have:)

We headed out after lunch and drove home in a down pour of rain until Fillmore. I bought the book on CD Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites. We had a good time listening to that on the drive. Good series! We got home that evening and immediately, it was Back to Reality! Our fridge went out while we were gone.:( So we lost some of the food in it and now we need a new one. Luckily, there's an extra one down stairs until we can get one that is the right size for our family.
Right now I'm working on catching up with homework and putting my house together. Wish me luck!
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