I can honestly say the last 7 years have been work.
4 moves, 3 children (2 miscarriages), 1 more college degree.
We could have done things a little differently – I could have put off having babies till I was closer to the age of 40 – I mean, it would have been a lot easier to get my husband through school without kids.
We could have stayed in Texas.
Dan could have avoided extra school all together and just started a career…
Hahaha, we would have taken way more vacations.
More time on the beach, just the two of us.
No diapers, no night time feedings or arguing over who was more tired (Mom or Dad) and which deserved the nap or night away with friends.
It seems we choose to follow Robert Frost and that darned road less taken.
In place of warm naps on a sandy beach, we get warm baby snuggles.
In place of extra vacations, we are saving for a debt-free house.
In place of the Texas economy, we are enjoying lovely Missouri summer evenings and country life.
I think there are many times in life we might ask ourselves, “what was the point of going through that, just to have it end?”
My time away from the blog, I’ve been more fully embracing the life I have chosen and living my life to the fullest. So full, I am crashing to bed earlier and earlier each night.
and, I’ve also been experiencing more joy.
So my thoughts come from a place of deep reflection brought on by personal trials (that have turn to triumphs?).
As I knelt – or crumpled – next to my bed last night, wondering to God why some things happen – a thing that brings you joy was abruptly taken away – what was the whole purpose of that?
My question did not come from a place of anger, but a sincere desire to know why.
Here is what I felt after reflection:
When we lose something we love, we should never regret how we loved.
When we choose to fill ourselves with Love, it begets more love.
Bitterness and sorrow begets more bitterness and sorrow.
There have been many things I used to regret in my life.
For the things I can’t change, I will no longer feel regret. For the things that I can change, well, I’m taking the time to turn them around. For many things, it’s never too late, to make a change.
Some of those changes have been inspired by reading. Reading of scripture (which I consider history), and reading of non-scripture world history.
The clarity of my goals came while reading about the Siege of (Leningrad) St Petersburg in 1941 – that lasted 872 days – leading to the death of about a million civilians.
During the siege, a Russian composer by the name of Dimitri Shostakovich (what a fun name to say!!) wrote his Symphony No. 7 – not only did they hold a concert in the physically starved and bombed out city – the concert was broadcast on speakers outside the concert hall to allow those who couldn’t enter the packed building to listen and some directed toward occupying soldiers. As bombs fell, it was the banner of “cultural resistance to atrocity.” (Read more here)
While I don’t wish to create enemies at the gate, it is inevitable that others will choose to make me their enemy – for any manner of perceived wrong (hey, I’m not perfect, but I don’t go out of my way to hurt people).
It comes down to this:
I don’t wish to have enemies. I don’t want to create any, for those who choose to make me their enemy, I choose to not to fuel the flames of anger, but will fan the embers of love and beauty.
I’m still trying to figure how to do that.
It starts with not arguing, not gossiping, finding something else to put my mind on, and so on, listening better.
This is my new years resolution. That doesn’t mean that I don’t ever feel the desire to reach into my computer screen and punch someone’s face, because on rare occasion, I do feel that way.
However petty I have been up to this day, I am choosing to learn how to be better today and tomorrow in the face of opposition. This is what I have decided to work on, in my small way, to change the world.
Here is one thought that I have that “makes a man.” Being Fearless. There are a lot of people in this world that walk in the shadow of fear…but this post is actually about love.
I’ve been thinking about love – could it be that Valentines Day is this week? Yeah, probably.
I’m going to tell you my love story. What was I looking for in a man?
Love to me was always something different from the novels and movies about “love.” It was never a crazy feeling of infatuation. Of course I had feelings of infatuation before – but I am remarkable good at ignoring those – I like to take the logical approach. The times in my life I felt infatuated with a guy – I usually told him how I felt with the reasoning that he would do one of two things 1) date me, so I could figure out if I really liked him 2) go running in the opposite direction and save me some wasted time. It was a wonderful system.
The first time I decided that I was ‘in love’ with someone, I was 23 years old. We were very good friends – who started spending more and more time together – because we really enjoyed one another’s company. It eventually got to the point where he asked me how I felt about having 12 kids…..with him.
I’m a nice Mormon girl, always have been, and this particular young man was a nice – non Mormon – guy. He invited me to meet his family. His family didn’t treat me well. Here I was willing to forgo the Temple marriage I had always expected would occur with a nice Mormon boy for this non Mormon boy who I felt was the best thing to ever happen to me and his family of “super Christians” treated me as unwelcomed. Yeah, some “Christians” still haven’t worked out the part about being “Christ-like.” I was still willing to stay with this nice non- Mormon boy, but he didn’t stand up for me and would just say, “they’re crazy.” I don’t like being treated poorly. I made it easy for him to choose, I left.
Now, my understanding of being “A Man” takes into account what mother thinks – but, if you love a woman, you leave your mother and father and “cleave unto your wife.”
So, painful as life was waiting for a Man to come around – there were so many wonderful things I was able to do during that time.
I’m always grateful for that missed opportunity in my life to not marry a boy. Life is full of missed opportunities – for our benefit or our misery. I waited for love to find me and he did.
When I did meet my future husband, as handsome as he is, I didn’t not have immediate infatuation for him. I considered him my acquaintance, then friend and that’s where our love began. I have been blessed with generous and kind In-Laws, but had they been antagonistic towards me – my husband would have renounced his parents and married me anyway, because he is a Man.
Monday is the start of another week – happy lovers week – keep the love alive.