“The great plan of happiness revealed to prophets is the plan for a happy family.
It is the love story between husband and wife, parents and children, that renews itself through the ages” (Boyd K. Packer).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keeping Quiet

It's such a hard lesson for me to learn.

In my pride, I think I'm so full of good advice.  And maybe sometimes I am.

But there is one place where my advice is almost never welcomed in the way I think it should be.  That relationship between mother and oldest daughter is tricky sometimes.

But I've learned two important things.

1.  When she starts to complain, keep my mouth closed.

2.  When you're tempted to offer solutions, instead ask what you can do to help.  Then be quiet and let her talk.

So simple, yet often so difficult for me to remember!

Moving Forward in Faith

I gave birth to my sixth child two months ago. At the time, my next youngest was four and a half years old. I'd gotten rid of all the baby stuff. I wasn't really planning on having more children.

It sounds so funny, but I think Heavenly Father knew that I needed this baby.  Two years ago I felt that I was drowning in motherhood.  Not that it was too much, but that I just couldn't work up any enthusiasm for all the things I usually love: the cooking, cleaning, schooling, and just being mom stuff.  I would cry and Josh would hug me, but neither of us knew what to do.  I guess you could call it a really moderate depression because I was definitely still functional, and didn't feel sad, per se, I just didn't feel enthused about things.

It was a hard thing for me to feel in that condition that having another baby would be a good idea.  I think that's why it took so long; why there is such an age gap between the two youngest children.  I had to finally humble myself and tell the Lord that I would do His will and if that meant having another child, then I would do it.   It was a hard thing to say, since I didn't feel any joy in the mothering that I was already doing, but I also honestly felt that I was ready to submit.

It was probably only a week later that I found out I was pregnant.

The first part of the pregnancy was rough.  My feelings hadn't changed - and I was dealing with morning sickness and all the other aches and pains that accompany pregnancy.  There was also a lot of emotional stress as my mom ended up having emergency surgery and an outcome of that was that she was diagnosed with cancer the weekend I discovered my pregnancy.

Around month 7 all my aches and pains and hormones cleared up and I felt AMAZING.  I felt amazing clear up until the day I delivered.  I have felt amazing since then.  I have felt so much joy and gratitude for the blessing of being a mother.  I feel totally overwhelmed by the busyness of having six kids and keeping up. We are still in “new baby” mode and sometimes I feel as though I am failing miserably in balancing my myriad responsibilities. However, that feeling of not being able to keep up is so different from how I felt before; in addition it is couched in so much joy in my daughter that I hardly care.

We named our baby Faith. Every day that seems more and more appropriate. It took faith to welcome her into our family. Her presence has strengthened my faith in God and His ability to know what we need and to bless us in ways we don't expect and can't possibly anticipate.