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I struggle. That’s life right? Some days my very being is so filled with purpose and meaning I want to shout it on the roof tops and share it with everyone around me. And then there are darker days. Days you question yourself and your abilities. Days you wonder how you will manage the struggles of daily life.

I am learning to accept this as life. Not every day can be filled with overwhelming joy, wouldn’t that be fantastic though? The struggles bring me to the feet of my Savior. It’s in the midst of struggle I plead for and find peace in my Saviors love.

This last week was rough. All eight of us got sick. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to keep a positive attitude when you just don’t feel well.

But I was so grateful for a little reprieve in the middle of the week. I was able to make the trip to the temple. As I looked to my right and saw the steeple coming closer I felt peace rush over my body. I knew He was waiting to fill my heart with comfort and guidance.

From the moment I entered I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. Chaos will be aplenty in my life. That’s the nature of a large family. The opposite of that was felt as I sat in the temple and wondered upon the purpose of my creation. I was able to slow down and just be in that moment.

This scripture was brought to my mind.

And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

2 Nephi 2:23-25

 

If men are that they might have joy and joy can only come from knowing misery then…men are that they might have misery so that they might have joy.

That was mind blowing for me. Suffering and trials are essential to really truly feel joy.

When I was a newer mom I would get rather depressed when life felt very not joyful. I wanted to be optimistic and I wanted to feel joy but hard times came and days sometimes felt so long.

With some experience I have learned that a bad moment is really just a moment. Hope is always around the corner. A rough moment does not equate to a rough day or week or month or year, even thou sometimes that is also true. More often then not it truly is just a moment.

Today brings with it a new week and new hope for greater joy. Laura and I are attending the build your blog conference this weekend and we are hopeful to learn how to share our message with more people. To give to others a glimmer of hope and joy and purpose as we are striving to find it in our own lives.

As I pulled up to the temple Hilary Weeks song Find Me came on. I felt the words tell me that our Savior is waiting to “find us” we simply need to take the time to let Him.

Hilary Weeks – Find Me Lyrics
I tucked the pain away
So deep no one else could see it.
I guess I believed if I buried it
I wouldn’t have to feel it.
I tried to run.
I tried to hide.
But the shadow seemed to follow me.
Lord, won’t you please

Find me in my hidden places.
Come find me even where the shadows hide.
Strike a match, bring a torch.
Illuminate this deep divide and
Find me

I tried a hundred times
To find my way out of the darkness
But every road I took
Was leading me right back to where I started.
A place too deep
Somewhere too far.
I’m in desperate need of rescuing.
Lord, won’t you please

Find me in my hidden places.
Come find me even where the shadows hide.
Strike a match, bring a torch.
Illuminate this deep divide and
Find me

Find me in my hidden places.
Come find me even where the shadows hide.
Strike a match, bring a torch.
Illuminate this deep divide and
Find me

Susan

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When I was a young mom with only two kids I had a dear friend who was maybe ten years older and had 5 kids. Her youngest was the same age as Sarah.

During a casual conversation one day she started to tell me that she felt her mission was to be a homeschooling mom. I just didn’t understand what she meant. I was perfectly content to just be a mom why did I need anything beyond that. It wasn’t tell years later that I realized that was my mission. To be the best mom I could be. I had known that but I let myself get confused with the ideas of those around me. I let her mission distract from my own.

Now as my kids are getting older I feel my mission shifting. Not so much changing just being added upon. In each season of life I have tried to fulfill the measure of my creation in each season of life.

When my babies were all small I rocked them and sang to them and read to them. All of my time was devoted to them. Late nights were spent feeding and loving on them.

As they got into school we spent time learning and enjoying school projects. While still snuggling babies at home.

Then came sports and scouts and activity days for church. Conversations became deeper while we worked side by side doing dishes or while driving to and from their many activities.

Now they are all in school and I have time every single school day to myself. Over the last six months I have been pondering again on what my mission is. How do I fulfill all that God wants me to fulfill? What do I have to offer that is in line with my purpose?

I feel the Lord trying to teach me and guide me and make me into more then I would settle for. Like I wrote in my post last week about the mansion. I feel myself being stretched and at times it is uncomfortable.

Here is what I am learning as I strive to understand my mission.

1. I don’t know what the future holds and the more I except that the happier I am. For when I truly embrace this fact I put my trust in the one who does know. I let go of my way and let God guide my path.

2. The Lords way is always better then my own. Always. Why is this so hard to remember at times? When I willingly obey I am filled with peace and a degree of growth I am so grateful for.

3. The scriptures truly are the words of God for us. I have finally come to learn this for myself. It’s only taken most of my life, I can be a slow learner but I’m beginning to understand. When I go to His words with a question or concern I have felt Him answer me.

4. We each have a divine purpose that is unique to us.

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When the skies are full of clouds and the sun is hiding it can be difficult to feel the warmth. But have you ever watched the sun emerge? Have you felt the hope and excitement when you realize you are like that sun? That’s what it’s like when you begin to recognize who you are.

Many years ago when someone I loved was struggling to find their purpose I could see in my minds eye a valuable analogy. I remember picturing him laying down next to a stone wall. On the other side of that wall was beauty and abundance beyond compare and more then one could hope for. The problem was he couldn’t see it. All he could see was the barrenness on his side of the wall.

If he sat up he could see the tops of trees and beautiful buildings but just barely. When he kneeled there was a crack in the wall that let him glimpse even more of the treasure waiting for him.

But when he stood the view was breathtaking. It require work to climb the wall but with the view in sight the challenge felt easy because now, he could see what all the work was for.

I feel I am right on the verge of standing up. I’m kneeling and I can get glimpses of what I am meant to do at this stage in my life.

SUSAN

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Life is hard. Like really hard at times. The last few weeks have been a mixture of ups and downs. Moments where I cried out of frustration but also moments where I felt a deeper sense of my purpose as a woman. Not just a wife and mother but as the person I am meant to be.

Last week I lay in bed feeling so overwhelmed and this quote by C.S.Lewis came to my mind.

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself

And I have to admit my first reaction was to reply, “but I don’t want to be palace. I like being a little cottage.” Over the following days I have come to appreciate more the wisdom of Heavenly Father. He knows I would truly be content being a little cottage. So he nudges me and encourages me along. He sends me wonderful messages through family and friends. Today the message came through my six year old Jacob.

He doesn’t want to learn to ride a bike because it is kind of scary and he doesn’t know how. Today we tried again and he just sat on the bike refusing to move. I tried encourage him and suggested it just start pedaling. He said to me “I don’t want to pedal. I don’t want to move.”

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As his mom I could see how much fun he would have once he learned to ride. I know the hard part will be just a small moment. If he could just pedal he would get to the fun part. He explained farther that he was afraid his legs would hurt or he would fall. I again reassured him that I would be right by his side helping him the whole way.

We could see his friends house and I asked if he could make it that far. His eyes lite up and he asked, if I make it that far can I play with him? Of course I said yes and all of the sudden he started moving. He rode the whole way and didn’t complain.

Tears came to my eyes. All at once I could see what Heavenly Father was trying to teach me. I too didn’t want to pedal. I wanted to stay right were I was. No pain and no growth. I had to stop worrying about my fears and concerns and just start moving forward trusting Heavenly Father would catch me when I fell.

Life will be hard at times. But hard is not a bad thing. Hard is simply hard.

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This beautiful quote is from Elder Hollands wife Patricia. Divinity is in each one of us. In moments like these I feel it’s potential in me. I just need to step out of my own way and let Heavenly Father make of me what He will.

Susan

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When my babies were little some days felt long. Like pull your hair out, when is it bedtime, I need a break long. My face must have shown the exhaustion I felt because complete strangers, usually very sweet older ladies, would tell me to appreciate every moment as time will go by to fast. 

I wanted to understand what they meant but I was to new in my mothering to really grasp it. And then it hit me. All at once I understood exactly what those ladies meant. 

Thursday morning my son Jared got his drivers license. I was so excited for him. The thrill of freedom and independence. I remember that all to well. Selfishly I was also excited to have another driver in the house, with six kids I’m driving here there and everywhere. He had practice that afternoon and I let him take our car. 

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It was a strange feeling watching him drive away.  With Jared now only 18 months away from a mission the time I have with him under my roof is slipping away so much faster then I realized it would.  I was not prepared for the emotion that was coming. 

We have spent the last year teaching him to drive. At first he needed a lot of teaching and feedback. And now he is on his on. This seemed symbolic to my mothering. 

Over their lifetime you hold them so tightly. You show them the way. You fail and you try again. You teach them to do the same. You pray for them. You share your testimony with your words and your actions. You study the scriptures side by side. You laugh and you cry all while trying to teach them the purpose of life. And then one day they will drive away. You hope all that you taught was enough and then you pray again that God will hold them in His arms since they are no longer in yours. 

In that moment I wanted to go back to the slow days. When all that was hoped for was snuggles and reading time. Dancing in the kitchen and lots of tickles. 

Jared is one foot out the door. That’s what you want for your kids. To be independent strong adults. Boy oh boy let me tell you I sure will be one of those older ladies giving strangers advice about taking in all that life has to offer. One day at a time. Because it will slip through your fingertips.  Today I really truly feel it.  

I’m going to snuggle my little and not so little people today. 

As I was typing this the song “Stand Still” by Hillary weeks started playing. 
If you need a little reminder to hold your babies closer I suggest having a listen. Grab a tissue before you do.

Susan

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Laura and I get to dress up in formal attire and go to a gala. How fun is that to be a princess for one night? I have to admit though, my first thought was apprehension. How am I going to find a dress that is inexpensive and fits my body and that I love?

See I have been struggling with my body imagine. I’m heavier then I care to be and I just assumed I wouldn’t enjoy looking so closely at the issue. But in the process of trying on dress after dress I realized something. My extra curves don’t change who I am. My spirit is still full of life, regardless of my size. As I learned to except that I began to love what I saw. I embraced the changing beauty my body has to offer.

Have you ever had a friend who was just so amazing and then they changed something about their appearance? Either they lost or gained weight? Or maybe they got a little older or had a lift here or there or here and there? Did it change your friendship? Did it alter the way you saw them? In my experience I have loved them just the same. Truly, it didn’t change one ounce. For good our bad. Today I’m striving to love me the same way I love those dear to me.

Susan

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When people find out I have 6 children they usually give me some kind of strange look and questions are asked like, “how are you still smiling?” Or “how do you look so sane?” Yes my life is filled with craziness but more so it is filled with a lot of love. That deep abiding love can cause heartache at times and also satisfying happiness.

I feel like this video could have summed up my life. Motherhood really is the hardest thing I have ever done. And like the woman in the video I also can attest that it is the most important thing I will ever do.

Watch the video and let us know how you relate.

Susan

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The other day as I ran/walk I listened to this CES fireside
His words really had me thinking. His talk is all about intentions. Why do we make the decisions we make? Find our own personal whys in life can be the difference between success and galling short.

As I contemplated my whys I thought about this blog. Why do I want to share my thoughts and feeling with other women?

Let me step back and share a story. When I went away to college I felt a little lost. I didn’t really understand who I was or my divine nature as a daughter of God. I wanted to. I just had no idea how. I felt unloveable and broken.

Rachelle befriended me. She became one of the most caring friends I had ever had. She laughed easily and wanted to help everyone. One night we were discussing some boys (big surprise) and she said something in passing that became a turning point in my life. She said to me “isn’t it great to know that you are worthy of a boy like that”. To her it was a small passing thought. To me, I was changed. I pondered if what she really said was true. Was I really good enough to be loved by a righteous man? Was I really good enough to have genuine love in my life?

I call her my life changing friend. It was several months after this that I met Ryan. I firmly believe her faith in me helped me to hope for someone amazing. In essence she helped me find my true love.

I could share many stories like this where a friend or teacher or book has said something small that has left lasting impact in my heart.

And here lies my why. I hope to give back what has been given. I pray that by some small thing I share or say I can lift a burden or make the light shine a little brighter in someone’s day.

I saw this on Instagram and felt it summed up my why.

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Susan

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Wherefore for web