Life’s Hard Lessons

While I am not sure why I had to deal with all the trials and hardships I have been asked to endure, I know I have learned a lot. I have learned things I might not have learned in any other way had I not gone through those things. That is kind of sad that I had to endure such hardships to learn these things, I do wish there was an easier way, I am grateful for all I know however.

I have learned empathy and compassion for others. I have learned endurance and how to deal with difficult times. I have learned fortitude and acceptance of others. I have learned to not judge others because we all go through things. I have learned to have faith and trust in a Higher Being. I have learned about unconditional love from Heavenly Father. I have learned who to trust and who to not trust, and still not become cynical. Life can be a hard teacher.

When I was a kid I had times when I had respite from the difficulties of living with an addict. I had times I went to visit my grandparents and I spent weekends with my dad and stepmom. I was able to go on some vacations and get away from it all for a short period of time. Those times were great, and I felt like I lived a “normal” life, but then reality would kick in again and I had to go back to my house with my mom. It was a let down each and every time! It’s like when you are having a great dream and then you are awakened suddenly to something unpleasant.

I am thankful for those hard lessons life has taught me, I just wish I could have been taught them in a little bit of a nicer way!

Picking Up the Pieces

Living with a parent that is a drug addict is incredibly hard. I don’t think others can fully understand how trying it is unless you have lived through it. Trying to balance between self-preservation and caring for your parents can be quite taxing.

My mother is a recovering drug addict, and there are still so many challenges. Right now I at least don’t worry about her having a sudden drug overdose because of drugs. However, she is almost like a young adult or teenager at times. She hasn’t learned to cope with anything because she didn’t have to when she was taking drugs. Another side effect is she has become somewhat of a hypochondriac due to the fact that every ailment she has use to be covered up by drugs.

As her daughter it is hard to see her struggling so much to cope with life. It’s hard to see her flounder but yet SHE thinks she can do all things. Do you know how challenging it is to see your parents behave like a teenager, but have the freedom of a grown adult?! I wish I could giver her a crash course in life so she can learn the things she doesn’t know right now.

I feel like it’s almost like when someone gets out of prison after years of being on the inside. Which she kind of was in a prison of drugs. The world she is in now is different than the one she remembers years ago before drugs locked her up. I do wish I could do more to help her, but some things she has to learn for herself. Even if it means she could fail miserably.

Think of the Blessings

Recently my kids and I decided to go exploring, and one of our tires went flat. It was more worrisome because we were in a place without any cell service. I started to panic a bit because I had 7 kids with me and no way to call for help. I took a couple deep breaths and we all stopped, folded our arms, and I said a prayer. I prayed help would come and we could get to a place to get a new tire put on our car. Not two minutes later a state highway patrol car pulls over and offers us the help we needed. He was able to call AAA and he called around to get some quotes from a few tire places to find the cheapest one! 

Shortly after we had called for a tow truck it showed up and he loaded our van onto the bed of his truck. He drove us down to a tire shop and instead of charging us for the full tow price he cut the fee in half! He also made sure we went to a decent auto repair place and they had a tire in our size! 

This whole situation could have turned out much worse; I am no stranger to difficult situations I have had my fair share of them. I took the time however to see the Lords hand during this whole ordeal.  As we were driving down to the tire shop I took the time to appreciate the beauty that was surrounding us. I was ever so grateful that a state highway patrol man showed up just when we needed him. I also hope that kind tow truck man is blessed for the help and kindness he offered me and my family by lowering his rates. 

This whole situation reminded me, once again, how Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. Ether 12:12 says, “For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them’ wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.” It also reminded me to look for the good in even the most difficult of situations. It would have been quite easy to fall into a downward spiral of despair. I could have justifiably been so upset and angry because of the situation my children and I were in. I had prayed before we left that we would be safe. I had asked God before we left if this was right to do. I didn’t get any indication that we shouldn’t go on this trip. I didn’t get any indications or promptings that we shouldn’t go.

This is not to say tears weren’t shed on my part, it was a much longer day than I had anticipated. However, I know I saw the hand of God so many times. This is how life is more often than not, we deal with the ups and downs that come our way. If we take the time to recognize the good things and all the ways in which God is looking out for us, discouraging situations can be made bearable. President Thomas S. Monson said “If we… consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.”

I am grateful to have such a loving Heavenly Father that allows situations like this to happen, to bring me back to the path of remembrance. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be put in places where others are allowed to serve me and my family and receive blessings as well. I am still thankful for that officer and the tow truck man that helped my family. I pray they are still being blessed for their help and service. 

In this world of turmoil and strife it can be all to easy to get down because of that which surrounds us, but if we can learn to see his hand in all things we can learn to have hope. We can have our faith and testimonies magnified. We can grow closer to Heavenly Father and figure out how difficult situations can help strengthen us, and help us to become the people he sees in us. 

It can be hard to look to those challenging times as something that are good for us, but they are in the sense that they help us to draw near unto Him. As we draw near unto Him, He will draw near unto us. I never doubted when my children and I were on that road that we were ever alone. He was watching out the whole time. He is always watching out for us. 

There have been many times recently when I make plans and think I know how my days are going to go… more often than not though things don’t go according to plan! It can be quite frustrating actually! I have been working on learning to rely on His timing more than my own. Asking more of what He wants me to do, and learning to accept things that aren’t according to plan. These tend to turn out to be  things that I or those in my family may have need at the time. Maybe sometimes He needs me to just slow down a bit, or offer time or service to someone I might have overlooked in my busyness. 

As we learn to accept His will and plans for us we can find greater peace and comfort in our day to day lives. As we learn to find comfort in our trials or hardships we can recognize more of His hand in all things. I know this to be true because I have seen it so many times in my own life. 

A Story to Tell

Everyone has a story to share, and when we share our stories we can learn to see others in a different light. It can help us develop a sort of love and understanding of where others are coming from.

It is my greatest desire , and it has been for a few years now, to share my story to others. It hasn’t been easy, and I have received some negative feedback from some. However I have had much more love and support from others.

I heard once that when you can talk about hardships from your past that you are healing. I do accept those things that have happened to me, and I want to help others that are going through difficulties as well. I want to help other know they are not alone, and that others are there for them.

When I was younger I went through a really tough time. Then as an adult things weren’t much easier. I still get overwhelmed with emotion at times working through the things that happened. Four years ago I started down what would be a long and arduous journey. I never thought things would ever get better. I am so thankful I was wrong! I am thankful I have a place to share my struggles and triumphs.

Learning a Lesson

Lately I have been pondering the trials I have had to endure over the last few years, which thankfully things are a little better right now. I have wondered for a long time why I was asked to go through such awful experiences, and I think I am understanding a little more now. Although getting to this point was treacherous!

Recently I was traveling with all the kiddos and we were going to go on a mini road trip. As we were traveling I kept saying a silent prayer that our vehicle would be able to withstand the trip, and then the tire blew out! I am so thankful where we were was the best place this could have happened, we were close to a turn off on the side of the road. However we had no cell phone reception (seriously how did we live without cell phones?!) I prayed for something to happen that wold allow us to get some help from someone because we had no spare tire (that’s another long and boring story).

While I was dealing with a bunch of hot and tired kids that needed to go to the bathroom (all of them had to go at the EXACT same time), a police officer pulled up! I was never so happy to see those red and blue lights! The officer had a way to call AAA and he was able to get a tow truck sent out for us. We were relatively close to a tire shop and they had a tire in my big ole vans size! We had to wait for a couple hours as they fixed the tire and put it back on the van, at this point I was becoming a little discouraged.

I began to think and wonder why Heavenly Father didn’t tell me or warn me of this happening. I would have most likely stayed home if I would have known! Then this thought came to my mind… what if that kind tow truck driver needed the blessings he received for helping me. That wonderful man charged me less than half the price he was suppose to charge me to tow my van as far as he did. I am so thankful for his kindness, and that he took pity on a mom traveling with 7 kids alone. Then the tire guys charged me about $40 less than they originally said they would. Perhaps seeing a mom that was overwhelmed softened their hearts.Whatever the reasons for the tender mercies I received that day I am very thankful.

This brings me back to the beginning of my post. All of the things that happened that day would have most likely crushed me; I would have cried and broken down had this happened pre-2013. However, because of the trials I have had to endure during the last few years I wasn’t crushed. I was able to have a strong resolve and trust in my Father in Heaven that things would work out. I didn’t even worry about the how because I was sure things would work out. I couldn’t say I would have been able to handle it so well a few years ago. Knowing this brings me a little comfort and peace that all those hardships DID in fact have a purpose.

Long Hiatus

It has been quite a few weeks/months since I have posted anything on my blog! Having a baby will do that to a lady! We welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family recently and I have been busy caring for and getting to know our little angel! I am so thankful for my family and the chance I have to have children. I know this is a gift that is not afforded to some unfortunately. I hope you will forgive my hiatus, but I will be making an effort to get back into the swing of things!

Feelings of Loneliness

About three and a half years ago I experienced the worst kind of heartache I have ever known. It was one of ultimate betrayal and deception, it was as if my whole reality was completely shattered and turned upside down. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartache on anyone, and anyone that has felt this know you are not alone. Now is not the time I will write about what happened, I am still working through it myself, but I am closer to feeling healed from it each day.

I know now that this kind of heartache is one that has not been felt by many. I know this because more times that not I heard from others, “I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re going through”, or “I wish I knew how to help”, or “I can’t believe you’re having to go through all of this, I can’t imagine”. The response I remember most is when I was told, “You could write a book about all of these things, because they are almost unbelievable that one person is going through all of this”. I frequently found it baffling that I was having to go through one knockdown, knockout punch after another. It felt like a never ending trial, and also the worst year of my life (yes it was for a little over whole year).

Over Easter weekend I was reflecting on some of these things I went through as I thought of our Savior and His suffering as He went through the Atoning sacrifice. When I was going through some of the hardest times I have ever known I frequently felt like no one else in the whole world knew how I was feeling. I felt so alone, and like such a burden on so many that had no idea how to help because they had never experienced what I was going through. It was a time of loneliness and despair, as I felt I was being asked to walk through these trials. I had never felt like such a solitary being before.

After a while of feeling this way, and realizing I wasn’t going to be able to find anyone that was going/or had gone through the same things as I was, I had to look somewhere else. It would have been easy to find other things to distract me from the hurt I was feeling, but I didn’t. Instead I focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered so much, and did so all alone, so I would never have to feel alone. I came to understand the Atonement wasn’t just for washing away our sins (which it is that too of course), but rather it is also there for us so we have someone there for us who knows exactly how we feel. As I studied more about the Atonement and how alone and utterly forsaken our Savior felt on that cross I was able to realize I wasn’t alone, not really. He felt those feelings I was having and He did so for me, as He did for each and everyone of us.

This is so very humbling to know and to feel that comfort and that peace. I am so thankful for His sacrifice, as much as I wish it didn’t need to be. I am thankful that I don’t have to walk alone, especially when no other human knows how I feel. This life would be a lot more lonely if I didn’t have this knowledge. I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend, and I hope you know you are never alone.

Darkness Catching Up

Have you ever traveled across the country and the sky is dark behind you and you can see the sun in front of you? You know that the darkness will catch up with you shortly, but you still hold onto what light is left in the sky. I feel like this applies in life too sometimes, well for me it does anyway. I feel like my past and all the experiences are that darkness ans that they are going to catch up to my present life and take over sometimes.

The other day I just started crying because of all the things that I have had to go through in my life. Not sure what triggered these feelings or why they were so overwhelming, but it just was. I don’t like this part of myself because I fear that I will never be completely whole, even though it’s what I want most. The things that happened when I was a child and a teenager, and then in my adult life with my ex-husband. There is a lot of emotional baggage I have that I have to work through and unpack–little by little.

It has been a long and difficult journey to work on these issues, and I tend to need reassurance at times to know that I’m not messing everything up in my life. I do the best I can and I hope for the best, but sometimes I get really discouraged. It helps me to remember how far I have come from where I was, and to know that it’s all right to have moments to break down (I just don’t unpack and live there).

I know in my life that the angel of mercy has been there to pick me up, and I know that my Heavenly Father never leaves me to suffer through those times alone. That offers me some comfort and peace. Knowing I am not alone to go through these periods of discouragement helps me to pick myself up and keep plugging along. We aren’t meant to continue to suffer after difficulties and hardships, we are meant to learn from them and let them strengthen us. That can be hard to swallow when you feel like a part of you is broken however. I have come to look at these hardships as things that heavenly Father is working on to help me be a stronger person, and to be able to relate to others as well.

I hope if you are going through anything difficult or trying, that as hard as it may be, that you can look at it as a way to become even stronger than you were before.

For the Love of Music

Music invokes many emotions, and I love it. I love this time of year and having Christmas music on all the time. I love the feelings of joy and happiness through such fun and spiritually uplifting music. Music is a great way to let feelings out and feel like someone at sometime knew how you felt and wrote it down.

I could talk about my top 50 or so songs, the ones that have meaning for me personally… who wants to read about that though?! I will share a couple of my favorite songs for this time of year.

O Holy Night by Gentri, and if this song doesn’t give you major feels then I don’t know what will. The video goes along so perfectly with this wonderful time of year.

Hallelujah by Pentatonix is beautifully done, and a wonderful song.

Mistletoe and Holly by Frank Sinatra because it reminds me of my grandpa. He use to always say “By golly” in the cutest way, something that has stuck with me all these years.

Silent Night by Michael Buble, he has a great voice and this song just fills me with warm feelings.

I wold love to hear some of your favorite songs and why they are favorites. This is the season of sharing after all!



The Most Wonderful Time of Year

I love Christmas time and all the happy warm feelings that surround us at this time of year. This year my church has established a way to bring the Light of Christ into our lives at this special time of year. Everyday there is a suggestion of things we can do to give gifts to others through service. It isn’t grand things, or costly things either (which I appreciate as I prepare for Christmas for 6 kids!). The things that are suggested are such things as visiting the sick or elderly at nursing homes, sharing favorite scriptures, and donating clothes.

As a person that has struggled financially for all my life I love the feeling of giving to others when I know I can’t monetarily. I love the feeling that service brings and I especially love sharing these things with my kids. Each day they ask me what we are doing the next day! They too look forward to doing things that they are capable of, and that feeling we get doing these things together.

Last week we went to a nursing home and visited people that don’t normally have visitors. I wasn’t sure if my kids would be on board to go see strangers, but they surely surprised me. We went and they loved it! My youngest especially loved talking to everyone and showing them her little toys and trinkets. They are excited to make soft cookies and go see them again next week. This is the real reason for this time of year, making ourselves more Christlike and remembering the reason for the season. I hope we can all do things that bring us closer to Christ, and feel the love He has for each of us.

If you would like more info feel free to visit this website and learn how we can all LIGHT the WORLD.