Sunday, July 22, 2012

Big News on the Path to Progression ....

I've met an amazing man. He wants to take me to the Temple ... He asked me what I thought about eternity together. I told him I kind of liked the idea. He held my hand and gave me a ring.

I know that life together won't be perfect. Marriage can be tough! BUT ... I love this man. I feel good & calm & at peace when I think about him. I am more relaxed with him than just about anybody I know. He makes me feel safe and protected and cherished. We can talk about the hard things and still walk away from it caring about each other.

Going into a second marriage scares me a bit. There's a lot to process. It's not just two people coming together, but two families. So far, his kids and I get along well, his kids and my kids get along well, and he gets along well with my kids. Still, I'm sure that there will be bumps along the road -- especially when the four oldest are teenagers at the same time. Not only is there the blending of families, there's the simple reality that marriage comes with periodic problems.

Although I have some anxiety about marriage -- mainly, I think, because I've seen what it looks like when a marriage goes bad -- I have faith that it can be different, that it can be better, and that it can be beautiful. I have faith in the Lord and in the good things He has in store for my children and me. Mostly, I have faith in the answers that I've received to my prayers and in the answers that my children have received to their prayers. Just as important, I have faith in this man to whom I've chosen to give my heart and my hand. I believe that he will treat those things with care.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm a feast or famine kind of gal. For some reason, my life tends to run to extremes. (Unless we're talking politics, and then I'm just moderate ... ) After a full year of crazy difficult circumstances -- circumstances that just kept piling on -- which were occasionally interspersed with a couple of weeks where everything actually went right, the pendulum seems to have swung with a vengeance in the opposite direction.

I have looked forward to this summer for a very long while. It's the first time in several years that I haven't had an insane course load for school and/or work on top of that. (One of the great advantages of working in the school system? Summers home with my kids.) It does mean that things are a bit tight, but I've planned for it as well as I can. The idea of having actual unscheduled time to use as we want has infinite appeal.
Don't get me wrong; there's still a great deal to be done. We've got our garden plot to care for, I've taken up running (don't be too impressed -- turtles could be my running partners ... ) and trying to reclaim our home from the chaos that was the last semester. In addition, I've started working with a neighborhood friend on reading. Helping kids improve their reading skills is something I enjoy doing and a skill that I don't want to lose, so it's been fun to have that opportunity. At the same time, most of these things are done in my own time and at my own pace. Frankly, that's exactly what I expected from this summer. What I didn't expect was the abundance of blessings and opportunities that seems to be flowing in a steady stream ...

Those of you who follow my other blog may recall this post: More Funnies for the Journal. One of my friends has said that when my girls pray for me, big things happen. I'm beginning to think she's right. It seems that, for the time being, the famine has been revoked with a great deal of enthusiasm. This summer has held a lot of fun opportunities to serve. I've had lots of time with friends and family -- something that I've missed a great deal over the last few years. Stranger yet, it has been -- as my brother would say -- raining men. They have been cropping up all over the place. Dating, and threats of it, seem to have invaded my serene, laid-back summer. To top it off, one of those men has actually turned out to be someone I really enjoy having around, and he doesn't seem to mind being around either. Who knew?

This summer has turned out a great deal differently than I expected and infinitely better than I planned. Blessings have been raining down in abundance. Doors have opened, and I have seen God's hand in my life. In these unexpected blessings, there's been excitement and joy. I've been able to see how some of the challenges of the last year have played into setting up some of these new blessings and opportunities. It's at times like these that I am reminded that my Father in Heaven is not a distant or dispassionate God, but a loving Father who is actively involved and invested in my life. He does allow us to pass through the sorrow, but He always leads us to the sunshine. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I see America, not in the setting sun of a black night of despair ahead of us. I see America in the crimson light of a rising sun, fresh from the burning, creative hand of God. I see great days ahead, great days possible to men and women of will and vision. (Carl Sandburg, Favorite Quotations from the Collection of Thomas S. Monson, 196)

I'm so very thankful for this land on which we live. It is a land where, in spite of its challenges and difficulties, we have so many opportunities and blessings available to us. I'm more grateful than I can say for the safety that this country has provided. What a blessing it is never to rear my children in a war zone! We sleep soundly in our beds and trust that we will be safe. It's not because war and bitterness and hate aren't out there, but because, for the most part, they aren't here.

How thankful I am for the brave men and women, now and in times past, who have sacrificed -- often their all -- so that my children and I may live in safety and freedom. I cannot think of a greater gift that they could have given me.

I love our flag! It makes my heart sing when I think of the freedoms, the hopes, and the sacrifices that it represents. To me, it is a symbol of where America has been and all that America has the potential to be. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to see it fly.

Happy birthday, America! May you ever be free!