Sunday, October 21, 2012

What I need to Remember...

"He loves me the way I am.  He is my strength when I need help to stand."
"I am His Daughter" by Nichole Sheahan

I am writing today because I feel like I need to unload all of the feelings that have been building up inside over the past week.  Work has been so stressful lately.  I forgot how crazy this time of year is for my job.  And I don't know why, but it seems like Brielle saves her fussy days for when I am home with her on the weekends.  The hardest thing about that is that I am used to her being so happy, that I really don't know what to do for her when she gets like this.  Those two major stresses seem to have succeeded in pulling me into this weird funk that I sometimes fall into, where I dwell on all of the things I have not been doing right, or as well as I should, and I feel really down on myself.  For example, we had a lesson on service in Relief Society today.  I loved it, but it made me realize how much I have pushed this aside, and I feel like I have started to be really selfish.  I have just been too focused on me and my "problems" that I forgot to look outside of myself to see what is going on around me.  I am sure there are countless people around me struggling with similar feelings and feeling overwhelmed by their problems, but I have not done anything to help others in this situation.  In reality, my current stresses are small problems, and I would gladly deal with the stress of those problems than some of the other trials I could be facing or have faced.  I know that this is just a part of life.  I just had to get it off of my chest, and I realized something important today, amidst all of this.

No matter what happens, Heavenly Father still loves me.  Sometimes I think I am harder on myself than He is.  I found this song today that brought me so much comfort because it reminded me that I am His daughter, and He knows I am trying my best, even though I fall short everyday of what I would like to be.  It also reminded me that I am not in this alone.  I keep forgetting that when things get tough, I need to turn to Him to help me bear these burdens.  That is another thing that stuck out to me at church today--He has told us to "seek Him" and to "ask."  I can't be afraid to ask for the help I need.  He has never denied me that support before.

As I write this post, I am listening to this song on repeat: "I am His Daughter."  The spirit is so peacefully and tenderly wrapping me in this comforting hug.  I can truly feel of the love Heavenly Father has for me, and it is wonderful.  How blessed we are to know that He does love us perfectly and unconditionally.  He will never give up on us, no matter what happens.  I am reminded of this quote I have on my wall: "Prayer: When life gets to hard to stand...kneel."  This is so true.  Can anyone deny the peace you feel as soon as you fall on your knees and start conversing with Heavenly Father?  When you really pour your heart out to Him and start expressing gratitude for what He has blessed you with; when you plead for help, guidance, or comfort for something, with a sincere heart, not doubting that He will be there to help you, don't you feel of that love?  He is real.  He is always here.  He is waiting.  Our Savior is real.  They live, and they love us, and they are rooting for us.

There is something else that just came to mind that I have been reflecting on a lot lately.  That lately statement made me remember this.  I have been thinking about my sweet Zach a lot this week.  Honestly, I feel like his death, while it will always be sad not having him here, has become something so much more beautiful and amazing than I ever thought possible.  I have not doubt that he is also there, cheering for me and watching over me.  Knowing that I have my own sweet angel watching over me brings me such peace and happiness.  Thanks for being there Zach.  :)

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.  It really does help me to reflect on these things, and I hope I can pass it on to someone else who might be needing it as well.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Jeff!

"The greatest love story ever told was your own."

As we celebrate this exciting day for Jeff (he is 30!), I thought back to how we met.  It really is a cool story, so I thought I would share it today.  We met while Jeff was still serving his mission for the church out in North Carolina.  Well, obviously nothing happened right away, other than my mom fell in love with him and wanted me to write to him.  So I did.  He was obedient though, and he didn't write me back.  However, he did orchestrate a meeting between me, Mom, and his family, while he was still in NC.  So I met his family, and they took me under their wings pretty quickly.  So...several months pass, as I continued writing him.  He came home July 2nd.  Two days later, his sister invited me to watch her horse show.  I had a date that night, but while I was at work that day, I got the strongest feeling that if I did not jump on this opportunity now, it would be lost to me.  So I cancelled my date and went to the horse show.  When I got there, Jeff was too nervous to talk to me.  His mom invited me to this huge extended family get together that was celebrating her birthday that night.  I was nervous about that, but excited for the opportunity at the same time.  I went.  Well, Jeff and I hit it off right away.  We spent the entire evening talking about everything.  We mostly discussed his mission and things related to that.  There was literally an instant connection as we sat there talking.  For me, nothing had ever felt so right, as being in that moment.  We went on a real date the next night.  The next day, I went to his homecoming talk and spent the whole day with him and his family.  Monday came, and we spent that night talking out on my aunt's porch.  That's when we had our first "What if we did get married?" discussion.  (Are you following the timeline here?)  After we had that talk, I prayed the next morning that I wouldn't get freaked out about getting serious with someone, like I usually did.  Good news--I didn't panic!  After that, we didn't see each other for 3 weeks, as we were both out of town.  We did spend a lot of time talking on the phone though.  Ironically, the first time Jeff told me he loved me was after our first fight, over the phone.  It was still exciting though.  When I got home, he picked me up from the airport and kissed me for the first time.  It was magical.  Honestly, up to this point, every time someone kissed me, this little switch flipped inside, and I realized I didn't like the guy anymore.  It was weird.  So, when this kiss actually made me excited and left me wanting more, I knew this was real.  :)  The final step in the journey for me was when I prayed to know if I should marry Jeff.  I had the most incredible feeling completely envelop me, and I knew I couldn't deny it.  I knew he was "the one."  He proposed on August 17th--5 weeks after he got home from his mission.  Now, I wouldn't trade him for anyone in the whole world.  He is my other half, and my life would be incomplete without him.  And now we have 2 beautiful girls to add to that love.  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father lead me to Jeff, and that we have been able to share these last 7 years together.  I love you forever Jeff!