Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Stark Reality, Maybe, Maybe Not

Back in 2006 Doug wanted me to start a blog. I kept telling him no. I didn't have time with 12 kids. Funny huh, I can do it now with 18? I didn't want to blog mostly because I cared too much about what others thought of me and I had to project the image that I was close to perfect and could handle anything. If I blogged then others would see that I wasn't so perfect or maybe very far from perfect, and life could get out of control way too often. If others saw that then I had to admit it too as well as open myself up for judgment. That was just too hard. I was so far from perfect. I had just come out of having 4 children 18 months and younger with 7 children 6 and younger and a total of 12 kids. NO ONE can be perfect in that situation! Heavenly Father was going to show me that I needed Him more than I thought and teach me more about the atonement.

I had no idea how much I had to learn. It seems the more I learn, the more I learn, I have yet to learn. OK, did you have to read that three times to make any sense? The number of children at basically the same stages of life had it's moments of trial. On top of that I also had a daughter that I now call "The Gardner Of My Soul". She has shown me the weeds in my heart that I didn't know I even had. I also had a child that broke anything he could get his hands on and then would laugh not because he was diabolical but because he truly thought it was the coolest thing he ever saw. This is the same child that broke his arm at 1 year and didn't cry. We only realized there was something wrong the next day because he wouldn't use his arm. Anyone that has had this issue knows there is far more to that behavior than meets the eye. I was under a lot of pressure from myself and I just couldn't keep up.

That is where the atonement comes in. I had to learn that I couldn't do all of this on my own. I could only give the best I had and come to terms that what I gave was my best even though some days I was a miserable failure. Even my worst day was the best I could give because I always had intentions to be better, to work harder and get just a little closer to Christ every day. I never gave up. But it just wasn't enough. I couldn't be perfect. I had to learn that Jesus Christ atoned for my sins of omission and commission. He knew I could not be the mom that I wanted to be nor the one that did everything perfect all the time. Somewhere he had to make up the difference. I learned about the principle of justification. I gave what I could and Christ made up the difference by healing the wounds that I caused or comforted when I couldn't and a myriad of other shortcomings that I had.

I guess in that process I began to learn that I didn't have to be perfect. With letting go of my imperfections I also learned that others don't expect me to be perfect. But mostly that my Father in Heaven doesn't expect perfection right now. He is teaching me as we go and He knows that I can not be a perfect mom to His children but He is OK with that. When I feel that others are possibly judging me then I look to God for His approval. I have had a lot of practice in that area. When you lead a life like mine you open yourself up to all kinds of judgment. Through our growth I developed a thicker skin and one day I realized that what others thought was not so important to me anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle but no where near as bad. When someone tells me that we have such great kids and we have done a good job I tell them. "If I take credit for the good behavior then I have to take credit for their bad choices too. These children are great because of who they are not because of us as parents."

So now that you have too much background I will get to the point of this post. I have debated over and over again if I was going to continue with this blog. After one very difficult experience with a commenter I was going to be done. I have had to get on my knees many times asking if I could quite the blog. I kept getting the same answer. I needed to keep going. That brings me to the past few days. Do I blog the way that I try to live my life? That is, being real. Or do I put up a bunch of cute pictures so people will fall in love with what they perceive my family is and gain a better attitude about big families and adoption? I have struggled with this one. I have come to the conclusion that I need to just be real and open up. I need to write about the struggle through the grief process. Write about the happy moments and the embarrassing things. Write about my children and our family life. About our testimonies of the Savior and the things we learn. Through it all I need to stay true to myself and be very real in hopes that our experience will touch someone that needs it. Knowing they are never alone on this big earth and that their Father in Heaven loves them too.

I now promise that I will do my best to show you who I really am. And maybe....I will come to discover who I really am in the process.


 
 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. I love your blog and I am so grateful that you decided to keep writing. You help me through many tough days as a mother as I read your inspired words. Thank you!

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    1. Shayla, I have always loved you. You have been such a good example to those around you. In the few times I have heard or read on your blog that you were struggling I have worried and prayed for you. You are a true mother in Zion.

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  2. You do not know me, but I am SO GRATEFUL that you have decided to keep posting on your blog. My husband and I have nowhere near the children that you have, but I know that the only way I got through some of the things in our family was with Heavenly Father's help. I know you are a wonderful example of a daughter of God who not only has many children, but who has a great desire to help each one of them back to their Father in Heaven. THANK YOU for what you add to my life and to the lives of all who regularly look at your blog.

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    1. Mom, thank you for the support. In this life we just can't have too much support and love. Thank you for keeping me going!

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  3. You know I love this one. I like the real and not the fluff. This is just an awesome post and you must keep blogging because there are hearts that you will touch and you have already touched mine.
    I like that thought of being defined by Christ and our Heavenly Father instead of others. If we could all open up and be real; I think we could serve one another better. Thanks for this one and blessings and prayers for you all!

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    1. You are ever my biggest cheerleader. Don't ever stop.

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