Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christ is involved in the details of our lives

I wanted to share my experience of Bailee coming to our family 5 weeks early.  Even though it was not at all what we had planned, the experience enabled me to feel the love of my Heavenly Father and the support of my Savior during a difficult time.  This experience would have been much harder had I not felt that love and support during this time.  As I have reflected on how everything worked out, I have no doubt that Heavenly Father played His hand in this.

Bailee was born on Monday, November 10th--5 weeks before her actual due date.  That Monday started out as a normal day.  I was just getting ready to leave work to pick up Brielle when I started experiencing a strong pain throughout my entire middle--front to back.  Initially, I thought maybe it was gallbladder pain, as I have had that quite frequently the past few weeks.  However, no matter how I tried to reposition myself, the pain got stronger, lasting for nearly an hour.  I had poor Brook in the car with me, and I was trying not to show how much pain I was really in.  Finally, I decided to go to the hospital.  Of course, when I got there, the pain stopped, but I decided to get checked out anyway.  At first, it looked like I wasn't in labor and we would be going home in a couple of hours.  However, when they checked me again almost 2 hours later, I had dilated almost to a 4 and was completely effaced.  At that point, they scheduled the c-section.  I honestly don't think I would have known for sure I was in labor for another couple of hours because I barely even felt the contractions, even though they were showing up on the monitor.  I had the thought that maybe I had experienced that pain initially so that I would get to the hospital in time.

When Bailee was born, her lungs were under developed.  Before being transported to the UVRMC NICU, Jeff had the opportunity to give her a blessing of healing, with the help of the respiratory therapist who was there with Bailee.  He blessed her that she would respond to the treatments given to her.  Thankfully, we saw the fruits of that rather quickly, as she only had to be on the ventilator for 12 hours.

Over the next few days as I was forced to wait patiently in the hospital to be released, I constantly felt the companionship of my Savior.  I felt so much love from the many prayers that were offered on our behalf.  I had forgotten what a strengthening influence that can be, and I truly believe in the power of prayer.  I have had so many fears and worries about Bailee, about my girls, and about my body healing.  At every turn, Heavenly Father has been alleviating those burdens through people who have dropped everything to help us, and through helping Bailee to gain strength everyday and quickly learning what she needed to do to be able to eat successfully.

I have felt so grateful as something has happened everyday that has reminded me that my Heavenly Father is aware of us and of our needs at this time.  Even something as simple as allowing me the opportunity to read a conference talk that spoke to my heart and reminded me of things I had forgotten.  Satan has also tried to discourage us during this time, but in the talk I read today, I was reminded to humble myself and to rely on and acknowledge the hand of my Savior in my life.  Because I have been so busy over the past several months, I have forgotten to take time to ponder on the life and love of our Savior, and I have felt an emptiness where I have neglected that.  It has been so incredible to be reminded of just how amazing it feels to be filled with the love and support of our Savior when I feel so limited in what I am capable of doing.  Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives.  He wants us to be successful.  He wants us to turn to Him.  Our Savior is ready and waiting to help us whenever we need, if we but humbly ask.  I am truly grateful for that reminder.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Finding Faith: A Daily Exercise

I know my blog posts are becoming fewer and farther between.  Part of that is because I have been so busy.  Part of it is because I always have to work up the courage to share my thoughts and feelings so openly.  Even though it is not as scary as sharing verbally, it still scares me!

Jeff made a comment to me today that really struck me.  Someone had mentioned how Heavenly Father will never give us more than we can handle.  However, how many of us have at times felt extremely overwhelmed by what we have been asked to handle?  Jeff’s thought was that maybe Heavenly Father will never give us more than we can endure without the help of the Savior.  I reflected on the truth in that.  How many times, when perhaps we have reached those breaking points, have we suddenly found added strength and comfort because the Savior came to our rescue?  Suddenly these unbearable burdens became bearable.  I am reminded of a scripture from Philippians: I can endure all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me. (I know it goes something like that).  Maybe sometimes we are asked to endure certain challenges so we can learn to understand the Savior and what He suffered for us, as well as what He can do for us in times of need.  I feel very strongly that there is nothing like the peace and comfort, and strength that come from the Savior.  It is that feeling that nothing is impossible.  It is the feeling that I can hope for a better tomorrow.  It is the complete absence of fear.  It is true happiness and peace that nothing else can bring.  There is nothing else like that feeling.

Sometimes it is hard to overcome our fears and worries long enough to recognize what the Savior can do for us.  We may forget He is there and think we have to do it all on our own.  Even the daily grind can become overwhelming as we try to be “Wonder Woman” or “Superman.”  There comes a time when we must recognize and admit our own limitations and acknowledge the need for Divine help.  At the moment, this is I what I am struggling with.  I have let anxiety and fear cloud my faith.  I am constantly looking for ways to solve all of our problems on our own, forgetting that Heavenly Father can do so much more if I am willing to put my faith and trust in Him.  I have to pray daily for the strength and faith to overcome my anxiety so that I can see His hand in all things.  Maybe I am looking for the wrong answer to my problems as well.  I think it has to be a certain thing we need to get us through.  But maybe Heavenly Father has a different plan that will give us just what we need to get through, and I need to trust in that.  It is hard when we are standing at the starting line, facing a mountain, and we cannot see how we can possibly climb it and get to the finish line on the other side.  But we have to have faith and start climbing, relying on the strength of the Lord to carry us through.  He will not let us fail.  We might stumble and fall a few times, but He will pick us up and carry us through the hardest parts.  He will get us to the finish line if we have the faith to rely on Him.  I also think it is important to remember that Heavenly Father cares about everything that is a concern to us.  We may not think a problem is important enough to trouble Him with.  But who better to turn to?  When we really don’t know what to do, there is always Someone that does.  Of this we need to remind ourselves everyday!  Every decision we turn to our Father in Heaven for, will only serve to increase our faith.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I am one of those people who always carries a little bit of fear in the back of my mind, worrying about what trials we might be asked to endure.  When I hear about some of the other things friends of mine are going through, or people I know, my heart breaks a little.  Part of me also wonders if I would be able to handle it.  Jeff and I have been faced with a challenge the past couple of months that has kind of awakened us to the fact that sometimes we will have to endure challenges that we cannot control.  We will have to find a way to get through it somehow.

I entitled this post 'Lemons' because we recently found out that our car we bought a year ago is in fact a lemon.  We were so excited about it because it is bigger, and it looks nice for being 10 years old.  Unfortunately, it came with some major problems.  As we came to realize just how steep the repairs were going to be, and there was nothing we could do but move forward, we prayed endlessly for help.  The answers to our prayers came in very unexpected ways.  The first answer that I got was comfort.  I felt sure that no matter the outcome, we would be able to handle it.  I felt that somehow things would work out.  This is what I tried to hold onto as the bad news piled up.  It was actually quite difficult to hold onto my faith in that answer, as we seemed to have every door shut in our face.  We kept praying for some kind of help with our situation.  I finally came to the conclusion that maybe Heavenly Father wasn't going to necessarily take this trial away from us.  He must have wanted us to have this experience for some reason, and He must have wanted us to work it out on our own.  Along with that, He did promise that we would be able to get through it.  This was just a big bump in the road.  Finally, after weeks of struggling with this, we were blessed with a miracle that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Heavenly Father did send us the help we so desperately needed in a very unexpected way, giving us more help than we could have anticipated.  More than I felt worthy of receiving, to be honest.  It came through some special angels here on earth, that we are so blessed to have in our lives.  We are so grateful to them for being willing to heed a prompting and provide us with answers to our prayers.  To us, it was a miracle.  We are grateful to our Heavenly Father for being mindful of us.  Even though we have had to deal with something hard, He has not abandoned us.

I also know that this is not the most difficult thing we could have faced.  I am grateful it has been something we are able to endure, and that it has been more of a challenge than a heartache, as trials so often can be.  I also learned through this experience, the importance of coming to the Lord with all of your concerns, and then returning thanks for listening and providing the answers that we need when we cannot find them on our own.  As I have pondered on this experience, I have also thought about how grateful I am that, from the beginning, Heavenly Father knew we would be able to get through this, and He blessed me with feeling that comfort, as well as having the strength to face the challenge.  It has given me the opportunity to feel of the power of the Atonement, because I know the strength was not my own.  It came from above.

While trials ands challenges cause us to have stress and worry, and many other emotions, He will never leave us alone in our troubles.  He will carry us through them.

So I picked this video because I feel like none of us are "Invisible" to Heavenly Father, and someday all of these challenges will become "Invisible."