Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 60: The Rain in Oak Harbor Washington

My Mom told me this never happened... and maybe that's true.  But this is my story as I remember it.  And, in my memory, this happened way more than once.
I loved Oak Harbor, Washington.  Maybe that's because it is there I can pull up my first memories.  I have no idea why I cannot remember before I was five years old.  I think it is rather strange to not be able to remember before 5, but perhaps it's rather normal?
It rained very often in Oak Harbor.  I have learned since, that it rains a lot on that side of the Rocky Mountains.  It may rain more often in Oak Harbor than a little farther East into Washington State... I don't know about that.  I do know it rained a LOT there.
It didn't rain in the dark all of the time, or even most of the time.  In my memory, the rain fell just as often with the sun shining bright as with it hidden by dark clouds.  I remember finding myself in misty rain while playing in the sun really often.  And there were even many times when I could see the drops falling down, but they never touched the ground.  And back then I was pretty close to the ground (little kid), so I could readily see the truth of this observation.  That's the part my Mom says never happened, but in my memory is has always been and will continue to be what is true for my story!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 59: My Stories

Stories are my life.  My life is stories.  They are, indeed, what lives are made of... really.  Even a plant’s!  Or rock’s!  Everyone and everything has stories.  If only we could know them...
I love to share stories.  Both mine and those I hear.  I just prefer not to do so directly from my mouth.  Why?
My words, as they flow from the tips of my fingers onto the digital page flow like lovely water.  Similar to the various ways water flows in many ways on the surface of our lovely earth.
But try to speak them and the flow is hampered.  Somewhat similar to a dam forming at my teeth… and the words to form the stories in my mind and heart… they get stuck.  The flow stops and the lake forms… not a natural lake, but the forced kind... the man-made kind.  And I feel stuck.  The stories don’t mean exactly what I meant them to mean when I speak them.  So, I usually don’t speak my stories.  It’s so much nicer to believe that the story is as I meant it to be when I write it.
Of course, there is the reality that any reader will bring their own garbage to interpretation of my tale.  And so, perhaps my meaning is just as mangled as a result.

But at least, I know that the words were just right when I left it!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 58: Thoughts about the Mandelbrot Set: Planetary

Think of the solar system, the universe, the galaxy... We are one.
I am a planet circling the sun (Tori focus on Christ).  I have rotation and revolution in my path that is one continual round through this life.  Through my course, as on earth, there are times when I am closer to the son and times when I am farther away.  There are times when I am facing away and may know the light, but not feel it.  There are times of eclipse, too.
This system perspective enables me to see even more clearly how and why others in my life may not like it when I change.  My path is easy for them to be around, until I change.  And then, they must either also change or be in continual discomfort, or depart.
Each family is like a solar system.  Hopefully Christ is the "son" but oftener it is an emotionally abusive person upon whom all focus, rather than Christ.  Each person in the family has their set course, which is determined, in part, by "gravitational pull" of their own mass as well as their own relatively to the others in the family.
The larger community is then a universe, varying portions of it depending upon which type of community (neighborhood, town, city, nation, etc) one is considering.  Our world would then be like unto the galaxy.
All one.  One together.  The same and always different.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 57: My Sixteenth Birthday

It's likely he got the idea from someone else's life.  My Dad, though a genius, doesn't have many original ideas.  And, really, when it comes right down to it, he doesn't often execute his borrowed ideas very well.
We didn't have much of a relationship.  The main time my Dad interacted with me was to punish/discipline me or to hit my leg when he thought something was funny while we watched TV together.  Seriously.
So, I wasn't too excited about the prospect, but yet... I was totally excited.  My Dad was taking me on a date.  My first.  He told me he wanted me to know how boys should treat me, so he was taking me on a date to model what I should expect.  I'm sure that effort would've been more successful if I'd actually valued myself at all.  I didn't, which I'm sure is a result of generational curse stuff as well as not feeling like my parents valued me much at all.
I remember that he held the door for me.  He took me to dinner.  And then to a movie... in a movie theater!  We watched Beauty and the Beast.  I really enjoyed the movie.  It was my favorite Disney cartoon movie for a long time after that date.  I'm sure that's because of the date, really.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 56: Pregnancy Series, The Second Miscarriage

 About 2 weeks before the miscarriage Jmy told me that I was going to die in 5 minutes.
A few days later, Jmy told me I would die soon.
I was shocked and hurt and scared.  My toddlers have a tendancy to be prophetic speakers of God's words that I can't seem to hear on my own.  So, I was super scared.
The spotting started about 10 days later.
I missed church on January 11, 2015 because I'd had spotting the night before and a good bit of pain.  No more spotting until the 14th.  The 15th was the main day of the miscarriage.  Jessie worked a job at a nursing home on the 14th and went in for the 15th.  Because it was a bad situation, we'd made arrangements for him to come home in the middle of that day if certain criteria were not met.  When we spoke on the phone, I learned that he would work all day.  I told him I was definitely having a miscarriage (he hasn't known anything about the pregnancy at all until the night of the 14th when I was pretty sure I was beginning to miscarry).
Josh and my Mom were in communication with me.  I'd asked for prayers via Facebook the day before and updated with information about the miscarriage to ask for more prayers.  As a result of communication with Josh, he suggested that maybe Jmy's words had been pertaining to the pregnancy loss.  Immediately it all fit together and I felt an immense peace and calm.  I was able to immediately understand that the baby had died about two weeks ago... so my body was sweeping out what could not grow.  I had been very worried that my body was pushing out a viable baby.  So the peace and comfort in my heart and mind was amazing.
I was still sad Jessie wouldn't be around to help me through, again.  When he told me he would be working and he asked if that was okay, or something... I told him I understood and ended the conversation.
He surprised me by coming home with flowers and a movie in hand.  The flowers were ALIVE flowers.  The movie was, in my opinion, more his kind of flick... but still.  He sure was trying to be loving and thoughtful!  It worked... and helped!
I'm so thankful he was home because I needed to have a funeral.  He dug the hole for me and didn't tease me or anything about it.  We did have the funeral and the peace and comfort in my heart, mind, and spirit enabled me to pass all of the big clots that first day.  I felt a moment, as I lay in bed, where I had the choice to hold on or let go.  I asked God to make me able to let go and heal quickly and I believe he sure did!
The process took only a week from start to finish.  I did have spotting a week after the end of the miscarriage, but it was only for one day.  I still felt very tender and gentle toward my body a few weeks after the miscarriage finished and was not ready to be intimate with my husband yet... both because I'm not ready to consider becoming preggie AND because I want to give my insides plenty of time to be fully well.
Interestingly, Jessie's isn't completely okay with this. I'm pretty sure I know why, but it didn't change my circumstances and feelings.  So, I honored my needs.
All in all, this miscarriage was much easier to process through and deal with.  I'm very grateful for that!
As a note, and not "official" miscarriage stories, but definitely miscarriages to me... Before I got preggie with our current newborn, I had two slips... one in each of the preceding months before I got preggie with our current youngest babe.
Slips, to me, are miscarriages that happen either right before or right after you get a positive on a pregnancy test.  The first month (April 2015) I didn't get a positive, but I knew I was preggie.  The blood came before it should have.  The second slip, in May 2015, I did get a positive on a pregnancy test.  The blood came late.
I ordered Progessence-Plus from Young Living and started it as soon as it arrived.  I feel certain that God Led me to that purchase because I got preggie AND kept the baby!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 55: Preagnancy Series, The First Miscarriage

As of this writing I have had two.  One between Jmy and EmJ.  I bled that one out at the end of June 2012, which was a year before EmJ was born.  
Honestly, I think it was EmJ and she just needed to be born in June!  
The more recent miscarriage started January 14 was, I believe, twins.
The first miscarriage
I found out the baby was dead via an ultrasound.  I'd been so very happy to be preggie.  Jessie was, perhaps, less thrilled, but accepting, for the most part.  I think he was relieved when I had the miscarriage, though.
Perhaps I was in denial about the whole thing.  I certainly didn't really want to let go of the pregnancy.  I didn't feel supported or loved by my husband and believed I needed both of those things.  I'm sure all of that made the whole thing more difficult to endure.
My feelings of loss and pain were enormous!
My friend, Ellen, came to bring me pain medication.  Jessie was at work.  I was so hurt and angry that he went to work and left me alone to deal with this traumatic event.  He was being paid salary, so missing a day or a week... he'd still get paid.  But he believed he had to go to work.  He has, in my experience of him, put his efforts for school and work before my needs.  So this was just another slap in my emotional face, as it were.
I'm sure my feelings about his absence made it all way worse.
I also did not really fully mourn the loss during the process of it.  I think I was just so in denial and so hurt over Jessie's choices that I wasn't dealing with the actual processing of the miscarriage.
I picked up the tissue I thought was probably the baby out of the toilet and then put it back and flushed.  That hurt more than anything, I think.  I felt like I should've honored myself... the time invested in that pregnancy, and the baby more than flushing it down the toilet.
It took me months to deal with the loss of that pregnancy.  I may have been okay by the time I was preggie with EmJ about 3 months later.  Maybe.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 54: Pregnancy Series, My Sixth

This pregnancy has been significantly different from the others.  First, I'm sure, because of oils.  Second, because I was so much more clearly focused on Faith.  And Third... because of our choice of lifestyle.

Some of the highlights (which I so name only because they are the things that stand out the most, not necessarily because all of them were super positive):

-I didn't feel baby move much at all until right around twenty weeks!  (Super late compared to the preceding pregnancies.)

-Jessie ended up mostly unemployed through the majority of this pregnancy.

-He decided to quit smoking.

-My children caught lice and we ended up having it for months.  I attribute that, in large part, to catching it again after being free of the ghastly buggers for less than two weeks AND the difficulties inherent in the way we choose to live.

-I took a two-night, one-day, time-out in our camping van.

-My Uncle Matt killed himself (January 2, 2016).

-We took our first 'staycation'... the reason for it was so battle the lice bugs... we simply do not produce enough electricity in the winter to use a blow dryer on three girls' heads!

-When baby started moving so I could feel him regularly, I felt frequent movements all over the place.

For the rest of the story, click HERE.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 53: Pregnancy Series, My Fifth

I just "knew" EmJ was a girl from early on.  This was my easiest pregnancy as far as the physical side of things goes.  However, it was the most difficult emotionally and spiritually.
Jessie and I were having a really difficult time from before EmJ's conception.  Things just got worse and worse.  I definitely experienced prenatal depression during the pregnancy, which was, in itself, upsetting because I was so  close to being healed of depression, generally, I thought.
I also had a miscarriage before I conceived EmJ.  That miscarriage was really difficult and traumatic for me (I'll share about it in a post after this one).
Eventually, the children and I went to visit my parents after Thanksgiving and before my birthday (also before Christmas) in 2012.  We left very soon after Thanksgiving... it was such a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.  Probably our best to that point.  So it was a major bummer to feel like my marriage and life was falling apart after it.
I have come to believe... come to understand... that both Jessie and my family lines have generational curses and/or emotional dark spots around pertaining to that period between Thanksgiving and Christmas... perhaps covering both of those holidays.  I haven't figured out exactly what, but it's like an energetic pall that impacts us.
When we can define a problem, we have made the first step toward solving it.  However, I've known the problem for a few years now and still have not figured out how to resolve it.  I am working on it, though!
So, my four children and I stayed with Mimi and JPa for almost 3 months.  It was an important experience as I was able to see some things about my brother John and my Dad that I couldn't have seen if I wasn't there during that time.  I know I was supposed to be there.  I'm not happy that I was there under the negative circumstances that Daddy and I were experiencing.
We returned to Florida some time in March (before Ria and Jmy's birthdays) and EmJ was born on June 10th.  I just knew she would be born on June 10th from the very beginning.  I'm so happy she was because my sister has two daughters born on that day.  I don't know exactly why, but that's just been special to me from the very beginning of my pregnancy to grow EmJ.
I was in labor, but it was the night before EmJ would be born when I heard from my yet-to-be-born-baby that one of her middle names should be JOY.  I'd already settled, for sure, on Evelyn Margaret, so Joy fit nicely after that, in my opinion.  And it seemed perfect to me that we would call her by her initials.  It sounds like we are saying "MJ"... like Mary Jane.  But we know we are saying her initials.
Labor started in the evening on the 9th.  It was manageable.
I woke during the night to more difficult contractions.  I was able to faith my way through most... so it was hard work, but not painful.
Later, I felt like I wasn't able to maintain as good control and things started to get painful.
Eventually I woke Jessie up.  He brought the big brown leather chair to me in our bedroom and I was able to labor in that a little bit.
After a while, very early in the morning, Jessie called Karen and told her we thought it was time for her to come.  She did.
When she arrived and checked me, she told me I was 7cm dilated.  I was really unhappy to hear that because I was concerned that I would go another 12 hours just as I had with Jmy.  I should've been okay with that... I should've trusted my body and my baby more.  But I didn't.
I went to the bathroom and applied essential oils to my belly, to the inside of my left ankle, and did accupressure.... which is how I started labor to have Jmy.
The labor became very difficult and painful.
When my midwife, without my permission, broke my waters, I felt a horrible snap and a tremendous pain radiated out from my right hip.  I couldn't stand up as a result.  I just knew (didn't tell her, but it shouldn't have mattered because she should've asked me to break my waters - rather than doing it without my permission!) that EmJ was supposed to be born in the caul.  I feel so sad that she didn't get what she was supposed to have!  Her birth was way more traumatic for both of us, but especially her, than it was meant to be.
Immediately Karen felt there was cause for concern (she found meconium in the amniotic fluid) and had me move from standing up next to the crib to lying down on my bed and pushing.  EmJ was born with only a few pushes.  She was breathing very easily, but I knew she was far more disoriented than she should'be been.  I just feel so badly that I didn't protect her better... in a LOT of ways!
EmJ was born in Mama and Daddy's room, on the same bed as Jmy, in the same house as Jmy, in Florida.  EmJ was my smallest baby at 8 pounds and 2 ounces!  2 ounces smaller than Ria.
You can read more... perhaps including lots of redundancy... about EmJ's birth from when I originally wrote about it HERE.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 52: Pregnancy Series, My Fourth

This pregnancy was good.  I was not as active.  We lived in a different part of Florida in a house we'd bought a mortgage for.  I got preggie almost immediately after we moved in.  I think I had my first miscarriage, but it was so soon after conception that I don't "officially" count it because I couldn't have gotten a positive on the pregnancy test at that point.  So, that was my first 'slip'.
I didn't really get out to walk.  And didn't get very active.  I probably ate too much chocolate and other sweets.  I'd done that with the other children, too... to some extent.  But this time, for whatever reason, I gained weight like crazy.  40 pounds, to be exact.  Because of that, and a couple other details, I just knew I was preggie with a boy.  I didn't tell Jessie because I didn't want him to be totally let down if I was wrong.  I knew for sure I was right when Karen (our midwife again) told me to let Daddy check for parts.  Jessie cried like a baby again when he realized he had a boy.
For the full story (a three part series in itself, check it out HERE).
I readily remember that when Karen, our midwife, arrived, I was 7cm dilated.  I was very happy to hear that.  Everyone was sure our baby would be born very quickly.  He was not.
It took about 21.5 hours for him to make his entrance into the world.  He was also very high... not engaged the way Karen wanted him to be.  But I still pushed him out quickly.
In only two pushes, to be exact!  My fastest to that point.  He was a blue-chord-around-the-neck-baby, but not as limp as Kat when she was born.  Karen put oxygen in front of his nose and he pinked right up.
Once again, I felt the same miraculous heart expansion and capacity-to-love-growth that happens at each birth.  It is just amazing!  Jmy was another 10 pound 4 ounce baby!  He was NOT as fluffy as Tea, though.  He was just solid.  And has remained solid ever since (now five years old!).
Jmy was born in Mama and Daddy's bedroom, on our Kingsdown bed that I bought for $800 from a lady who had horrible allergies in Virginia, in Daddy's "castle" house in Florida.  I remember lying down diagonally and Karen, being sorta wedged in between the wall and me on the bed.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 51: Pregnancy Series, My Third

This time around, I held my tummy in and tooks walks with my older two almost every day.  I was determined that I would not have the difficulty pushing that I had with Kat's delivery.  Thankfully I did what needed to be done and it was much better when it came to pushing.
This pregnancy was my first in Florida.  It was easier for me to get out of the house because of where we lived.  I took Ria to ballet (with Kat along, of course).  Kat would watch and wish to join in... she did most of the exercises in the waiting room, at the door, while watching Ria.  I also took the girls to story time regularly.  I also met with a dear friend of mine pretty regularly to hang out because her Victoria is the same age as mine.
Karen was my midwife.  She was quite good and good for me.
When I was 2 weeks "overdue," Karen was worried and I suggested homeopathics.  She gave them to me and I started them.  Immediately went into labor.  Labor lasted 3 long, painful days.  It was not pleasant.  I should've trusted my body and baby more.
Finally at 10cm dilated and able to push.  I think she was worried because Tea was not engaged as much as she expected or wanted to see.  She gave me the go-ahead to push and I did.  Within five minutes Tea was born.  Holding my tummy in and walking had definitely made a difference!
Again, we didn't know what we were having.  I was pretty sure she was a girl because, again, I'd dropped 7 pounds during the pregnancy.  I was just as happy to see that I was right as I was with each other birth (when I'd been wrong).  
Tea was perfect.  Crazy-full head of black hair that looked almost like a wig on my first ten pound four ounce baby.  She was short, too... so she had ROLLS!  Absolutely adorable rolls!  Her cheeks were so chubbs that when she was laid on her side, the cheek that was up in the air drooped over her mouth!  She definitely had Micheline Man arms and legs from birth! When she was born we needed to stimulate her a little bit, Karen held the oxygen close to her, but she definitely was not blue or limp.
Tea was born in our living room, on our brown couch which was given to us by my friend Heather in Florida.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Birth of our GrA boy

The super quick synopsis if you're really not super interested follows.

Active labor: 4-4.5 hours

Transfer: to hospital somewhere around midnight

GrA born: 2:23am by c-section

I was in a room with him less than an hour after he was taken out.

About 5 hours later, I was rolled away for emergency surgery.

In ICU for just over 24 hours.

Back home my mid-day Sunday, April 3rd.

Staples out, Friday, April 8th.

Gardening by Thursday, April 25th.

If you want more details, click HERE for *the rest of the story*.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 50: Pregnancy Series, My Second

I was no longer working as a teacher during this pregnancy.  I was way more sedentary.  I did not hold my tummy in really at all.  I still dropped 7 pounds during the pregnancy, but it definitely was not really apparent.
Kristi was my midwife.  She was, technically, not able to be fully legal yet in Virginia.  So, although she did attend my birth, we did not attach her name to the paperwork for a birth certificate.  That complicated the process of getting Kat's birth certificate.
My pregnancy with Kat went well.  I was tired and lonely a lot... not entirely used to being a Mama to one and worried about how I would add another.  Worried about whether I could love a second as much as the first... silly things like that.  I was probably still experiencing some aspects of the post-partum depression I had after Ria's birth.
I was two weeks "over due" with Kat when Kristi asked if I would be willing to use homeopathic remedies to try to get labor started.  I was willing because I could tell she was very concerned.
The homeopathic remedies did start labor, but it was a long and drawn out labor because it was not natural.  It was more natural and tolerable than Pitocin, but still not my body's starting the process itself... or the baby starting it... or the both of them working together.  It was unnatural.  I wish I'd been more courageous and trusted my body and my baby more.
I was in labor for 2 days to give birth to Kat.
Pushing took a long time this go-round.  I'm sure that's because my abdominal muscles were really unfit.  I may have pushed as long as 40 minutes.  I can't remember for sure.  Compared to the 11 minutes with Ria (which includes the time it took me to move from the floor to the bed), the time it took to push Kat out was long and arduous.
When she was born, we did not know what we were having.  We thought we wanted a boy.  I saw that we had another girl and I was ecstatic!  I couldn't have been happier with our second adorable black-haired, 9 pound 8 ounce baby girl!  She was born a blue baby and very limp because her cord was partially prolapsed when she began crowning and it was wrapped around her neck a couple times.  Her unresponsiveness was worrisome. Kristi pushed the cord back where it should've been before I finished pushing Kat out.  One baby was out, Kristi described how and I performed the kiss of life.  I breathed life into Kat.  She pinked up very well after that.
I learned very quickly (immediately?) that each child grows its parents hearts... it's as if, immediately upon birth, my heart is so much bigger that I have exactly as much love for the second as I had for the first.  It's amazing!
Kat was born in our living room, right in front of our couch, in our little trailer in a trailer park Virginia.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 49: Pregnancy Series, My First

I was working as a teacher.  My first year in that job.  I was worried what my peers and boss would think of me being preggie, so I held my tummy in all the time.  I was a size 18 when I began my Ria pregnancy.  I dropped 7 pounds during the pregnancy.  I did need to wear maternity shirts and pants by the end, but not by much.
This pregnancy was wonderful.  I felt so pretty and happy.  It was really wonderful. Except for the stress of my work.  That was pretty rough.
And then there was the ultrasound.  It suggested that our baby's heart might be turned wrong and other parts of her underdeveloped.  We "had to" have another ultrasound.  We were trying to get accepted into a midwife attended and run birthing clinic in the hospital.  We were not accepted.  Not because of the heart thing, that turned out to be nothing.  There was no problem.  There was no problem with her at all.
Probably good that we weren't.  Laurie MacPherson-Smith was our midwife - upon recommendation from Claudia Shafer, our birth-class instructor.  She was good.  Not as good as I would wish... apparently she'd had too many babies born in a certain way... so when it looked like Ria might be born in that way, she had me change my position which was more painful than anything prior to it... and I had a very painful labor to birth Ria.
Jessie didn't review the birth class information.  He didn't do what he was supposed to do to help me.  I felt very much on my own... because I had a wrong expectation that my husband would do certain things.  He could've, but it didn't happen that way.
Neither of us had any way of knowing how completely and utterly I would "lose" my ability to stand up for myself whilst in labor.  It's amazing how different... how much sweeter I am in labor than any other time in my life... how much weaker and unable to speak for myself.  At least, that's how I was for the first five.  I hope I will be differnt for the next since I've been doing SO much work to become a new woman in ways imperceptible to most folks.
Jessie was present for much of the labor and for the birth.  He did the best he could under the circumstances.
The day before Ria was born, we had a visit with our midwife.  She swiped my cirvix.  She did not discuss that with me before she did it.  If she said anything about it, she didn't help me understand it fully.  As a result, she broke my waters.  I know she did, but Ria's head blocked them from coming out until much later.
I went home and promptly worked my butt off.  That last shot of energy was spent on cleaning.  I didn't realize fully that I was in labor.  I hoped so, but didn't know KNOW know.
She felt like she had to do something because I was, according to the way of figuring out when a baby is "due," nine days "late."  It still upsets me that she started my labor in that way.  It's because of this unnatural start that I ended up in so much pain at the very end.
When I laid down to sleep around midnight, waters came gushing out.  The contractions became horribly painful immediately thereafter.  I'm pretty sure I mistook Ria moving after contractions for contractions.  It was all a ball of pain to my mind.
I was probably way more dilated at home, but the drive to the hospital, though short, was excruciatingly painful.  When they checked me there, I was only 3cm.  I was so upset.  I tried all kinds of things: bouncy ball, walking (though not much), kneeling, showering.  It was all just horribly painful.  I was fearful.
A little bit before 1pm (I think), I was ready to push.  My midwife told me to squat down and push with the next contraction, while holding on to some handles under the bed.  I did.  Apparently, Ria crowned with that one push. Pushing was blissfully wonderful.  It was a relief and a release from the torturous pain of the laboring process.  Because of the crowning, Laurie told me to get up on the bed.  This is the moment that I needed my Mom or Jessie to step in and tell them that I would NOT move, that I was good where I was, and the baby would be born right there.  Neither of them did so.  
That move was horribly painful.  Probably more painful than anything before it.
I labored for 22.5 hours to give birth to Ria.
After moving onto the bed and getting into position there, I pushed another two or three times and had Ria out.  I was extatic.  It was glorious to hold my baby.  I'd previously thought I wanted a boy.  I looked.  I had a girl and could not have been happier to have her!
Our sweet, black-haired 8 pound 4 ounce baby girl!  She didn't cry when she was born.  The nurse tried to rub her into crying.  But I wouldn't let her.  I knew Ria was fine.  I knew she didn't need to cry.
She had such a very serious expression on her face from the start.  She didn't smile at me until she was nearly 3 months old... even though she smiled at her Daddy and her Mimi!
Ria was born in a hospital in Virginia.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 48: Memphis Jim Boy

As a young girl, I heard stories about dogs we had when I was a baby.  There was one that was super patient.  When it got tired of me doing something it, it would put it's paw on my chest and sit me down.  That dog jumped a fence and ran away... purportedly because it got tired of my baby ways.
There were others, but I do not remember them.  I don't even remember any stories about them any more.  They ran away or were lost, it seems.  Always, it seemed they ran to get away from me.
Children tend to desire a pet.  Someone to love them no matter what, they think.  There is no real thought of or care about the time they require... the work necessary... children just want the pet for love.  My siblings and I were no different.
After, I imagine, years of begging, my parents decided to get a labradore retreiver.  And since my Dad was involved, it had to be a full-bred, registered dog.  Nothing but the best, of course.   He had visions of dog shows and a breeding program, I'm sure.
We got the puppy.  A cute male that my Dad promptly named Memphis Jim Boy.  We called him Jim or Jim Boy.  But since it was going to be a show dog, in my Dad's imagination, it had to have a long name befitting a ribbon winner.
There was lots of admiring and cuddling with the puppy was very small.  Eventually the newness wore off and our attentions moved elsewhere.  My Mom ended up taking care of the dog more than our Dad or any of us children.  And then she neared the time to deliver Ben.  She was tired and unwilling to have to take care of that dog and a newborn as well as everything else she had to do.
It was still traumatic to have our dog torn from us... or, at least, it was for me.  I may not have done well with it, but I sure did love it.  But then, he was just gone.

There was one time (or maybe a few?) that I was trying to walk Jim Boy and couldn't control him... so I ended up dragging on the ground behind him.  He was a strong pup!  That’s one of my Dad’s favorite stories pertaining to that dog.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 47: Ask and Ye Shall Receive (a Lesson of Life)

As a bit of a forward:  I joined a group a few years ago in which we share compositions about Lessons of Life we have experienced.  Part of the aspects of our writing for this group is that we include two scriptures and two leadership quotes that add additional witness to our perspective (by the mouth of two or three... and all that).  I've written MANY of these, but share few here.  I am considering sharing more... but I balk because these are my pearls.  And we have been directed not to cast our pearls before swine lest they turn and rend us... and I've been sorely rent, my friend.  So... just one here and there for now.
Ask And Ye Shall Receive (written during our van living period during 2014)
recently read something in my meditation community by a woman who was asked a tough question.  The question has been nagging at me, too.  She was asked, "What do you believe that is keeping people from joining your meditation group?"  Well, I'm not trying to run a meditation group, but I do desire to have an influx of money for some things that I do sell and a business or two that I desire to build.
The woman who was initially asked this question came to the conclusion that she believed people didn't really want to hear what she had to say.  I'm not exactly sure what the root of my own belief is, but I'm certain I will find it as I prayerfully ponder over it.  I hope that through finding it, I will also be able to release it to the Atonement and be healed and experience the true Prosperity that Father has for and desires to bestow upon me and mine.
I know He has far more than I am receiving at this time because of an experience yesterday.  A man asked my  husband and me for a few pennies.  I literally had 4 pennies and a nickel.  I asked my husband how much we should give him and he said, "Whatever you have in your hand."  I had only what I've already shared.  I refused to be so ungenerous and took another few moments to find a few quarters in another part of my purse.
Even as I was putting together a few coins, and often in the last 20 hours or so, I've thought of this interaction.  While I was searching for the coins, I kept thinking, "If he'd asked for a few bills, I'd give it to him... I mean, I have a couple thousand with me right now!"  I rarely have much cash with me but because we'd just sold something I had a lot.  I wouldn't have given him all, as we need the majority of that money to just get by from day to day for the next month or so (until my husband gets a job).  But if he'd asked for more, I may have given him as much as $5.  But he asked for only pennies.  I gave him that, and more... and still wonder if I gave too little.
So now I wonder how much more Father has for me... but I just ask for far less than He would give! 
I truly beleive our Father in Heaven is the King of ALL.  Don't Fathers desire to bless their children?  Don't they want their children to have all that they need... ESPECIALLY if they are doing their pitiful best to improve and become all that He wants them to be?  I believe He does.  So, in addition to pondering over what belief I have that is holding me back, I'm going to ponder over what I need to ask Father for... and how!
The additional witnesses:
Matthew 21:22
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Doctrine and Covenants 84:38
"And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath  shall be given unto him."
"It is evident that He intends that we do our part.  But what, specifically, are we to do?  No one would expect to receive a result from physical law without obeying it.  Spiritual law is the same.  As much as we want help, we must expect to follow the spiritual law that controls that help.  Spiritual law is not mysterious.  It is something that we can understand.  The scriptures define it in significant detail." 
(D&C 82: 10, 1 John 3:22, 1 Nephi 15:11)  
"The Lord has the power to bless us at any time.  Yet we see that to count on His help, we must consistently obey His commandments."  Richard G. Scott General Conference Talk: Obtaining Help from the Lord, October 1991
"By keeping the covenants of the gospel, all of the momentary trials of life can be transcended." Paul E. Koelliker General Conference Talk: Gospel Covenants Bring Promised Blessings, October 2005

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