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

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 46: Kindergarten Field Trip

We lived in Oak Harbor, Washington.  It was lovely there, from what I remember.  I enjoyed it very much.  I started school in Oak Harbor.  In my memory, my school (it was a whole building just for Kindergardeners) was high on a hill.  At the bottom of the hill was the Navy Exchange.
At Christmas time, we took a field trip and walked down the hill to the Navy Exchange.  I loved my teacher.  I think her name was Mrs. Wagner.
 
We sang songs in a big open area in the building that had the NEX.  I remember a woman either patting or pinching my cheek and commenting about how cute I was.
 
As we walked back up the hill to school, Mrs. Wagner was worried that it might start raining  because there were lots of clouds.  So, she started to sing "You Are My Sunshine".  She asked us to sing with her to make the request stronger.  And then asked us to sing louder so the sun would hear us.  I remember just belting out that song as loudly as I could because I loved her so much and wanted her to be happy.
 
I think the clouds did move, but maybe they didn't.
 
Look for the story about my experience of rain in Oak Harbor.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 45: Temple Trip 7-21-15

Today was, overall, a wonderful day. We went to the Temple in Dallas.
One strange thing to note is what seemed like hyperactivity of Police. We saw SO many on the interstate and in the city. WAY more than normal. Wonder if there is any connection to Jade Helm 15. We also saw what looked like a high-speed chase in progress... thankfully, it was going north when we were headed south. So strange. And since we don't tune into any local-ish news, we don't know if what we saw was publicized. ahwell
My experience in the Temple today is one I hope I will remember in the same way I remember the one in which I felt the presence of the woman whose work I did. THAT is an awesome treasure. I look forward to hugging her some day!
The Endowment presentation this time was the one that I have seen most frequently since coming to Texas. I like it a lot. I felt, for almost the entire viewing time, as though I were receiving a download of spiritual data... for lack of a better way to convey the feeling. I did experience at least one moment I can readily verbalize.
In my mind I saw a wave labeled... like I did when I was in grade school. Picture of wave. Line coming from top, box around the word "crest". Line from bottom, box around the word "trough". As a sort of narration, but not a part of the picture, per se, I felt "repetition". And so it is. Another experience with the "seasonality" of life. This one, in particular, referring to the highs and lows. And not all are the same at the same time. While one wave breaks, another rises... all over the place. Repeatedly. So too in the movement of humans in all the various ways we move... mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually....
Before I went into the Temple today, I'd read another message from a long-time friend. I'm pretty sure she's already made her decision. It seems that she is down the path as others I've tried to help in the past. And down so far she's not going to come back the way she left. It seems like she's sorta just looking for me to say, "Okay... yeah... I get it. Well, maybe that's right for you, then." But I cannot. Because that's not true.
However, I don't think there is any way she would hear any version of that from me as a positive thing or loving - even though that's what I would be trying to convey. Why? Because in at least the last two communications she has conveyed a feeling of offense regarding something I've said. And I'm tired of trying to explain myself to yet another person who is projecting their own insecurities onto my blunt/directness. Communicating with people is becoming so burdensome most of the time lately. I just feel exhausted at trying to figure out how to say something so someone will not be offended! I mean... heck, if these same folks actually KNEW me, they wouldn't take offense when I mean none and they'd KNOW when I did. I guess that's part of the problem... so few of us ACTUALLY know or truly attempt to get to know another being.
I digress. I wanted to share what I need to tell her so that I'll remember it for whenever I feel like Heavenly Father says it's the right time for me to tell her what I feel He wants me to tell her.
Basically, it is this:
You are hacking at your own foundation with your fears and questions. Perhaps you did not have a solid foundation into Christ (THE Rock)... I have no real way of knowing. I believe Heavenly Father has given us all a good guide for overcoming fear and confusion: go back to the basics. If we doubt basically everything, go back to whatever is most basic that we do, for sure, believe in, and build from there.
Perhaps that means we go back to knowing that God is our Father and we're not really sure about anything else.
The different Primary manuals are available online. If you have a smart phone, you can download LDS tools and get all of them in one place. Otherwise, you can surely download them via desktop or laptop, too. If I was feeling as confused as my friend, I'd go to the nursery manual and start with the very first lesson and read it and all scriptures, songs, and whatever mentioned in it. And not just read it, but read it prayerfully... with a desire to know the truth... and a complete willingness to do what the Lord would have me do. That last part is a pretty big key that lots of folks leave out when asking God questions.
For instance, Jessie (my husband) has asked God if the Book of Mormon is true. He hasn't read the whole thing, so that's part of the problem... but he's also not willing to make the necessary changes - the changes that would be absolutely necessary if he were to receive The answer. He's not willing to make those changes. He's NOT willing to give away all his sins to know the truth.
I'm not saying that I (or anyone else who has a solid testimony of the restored Gospel as it is in the LDS church) am free of sin and that's how I can have a testimony. Definitely not. I am saying that I'm *willing* to give away all my sins to know the truth. Line upon line, here a little, there a little... I have "favorite" sins I'm struggling to overcome just like anyone else. But I've overcome others that I didn't think I ever would! In and through Christ Jesus ANYTHING is possible! I know it, because I've lived it!!!
The other main thing I felt Father directed me to convey is this: I'm pretty sure my friend (and others including her son) have misunderstood the word perfect and perfection.
As a result of this communication with my friend, I spent some time looking stuff up in the Celestial Room (only paper scriptures there) and found myself understanding my friend's misunderstanding... feeling like I can see exactly how she has misunderstood and what the words she's misunderstood actually mean. However, I have also received direct and firm instruction that she needs to learn these things by her own effort. It is not mine to give.  And, honestly, I think the same is true for anyone reading this and wanting to know what perfect and perfection really mean in the scriptures as God used them through humans.
I'm hoping that if you doubt, you'll go back to the basics AND look into what God means by perfect and perfection....
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I just feel like I want to describe this "spiritual download" because it was so cool! I haven't experienced anything like it to this magnitude before. The only time I've experienced anything similar has been in relation to meditation and that has been wonderful... but this was... I don't even know how to describe it right now! I felt, in a way (and this is sorta silly, I think, but it's really true), like I was the genie, realizing my cosmic power! Like in Aladin! heeheehee I feel like I'm laughing inside right now because it just sorta sounds goofy. Anyway... it was wonderful!
Perhaps this wonderful experience is a sort of gift... I mean, I've been trying so hard to help my friend to see the truth. And nothing has helped. It definitely feels like another special Confirmation experience similar to the one I had so that I know that Joseph Smith really did what he professed and so that I would know this church is where I needed to raise my children. It's definitely of that caliber of an experience. And maybe Father has given me this additional Confirmation as a gift because of my efforts with my friend... because I have been attempting to convey to her that IS true - even though He knows she's taken some of it the wrong way.
Evelyn and Chris both said something very similar to me while they were here. I mention it because, although I disagree with it very much for various reasons, I feel like Heavenly Father had them both say this thing to me so that I would both understand and be able to obey His direction to me that I NOT share all that I learned today. They didn't say it at the same time... and different conversations sparked the statement... and they weren't necessarily together when they said it... and it was said in different ways by both of them. But they both told me, basically, that it is very dangerous to give people what they haven't had to work for spiritually. I believe this principle is often (though not always!) true for any type of giving... I mean, look at the welfare problems! Anyway... I disagree because there have been SO many times when the forward motion I was able to make came as a result of someone just TELLing me truth straight out. But, I guess, as in SO many ways, I am not the norm in this regard. Because I've definitely already had the experience with my friend that she needs to come to know certain things for herself and she has not valued the knowledge I have come by... not really. Not in a "yes, I understand" sort of way. Anyway... just another example of what Jessie has said frequently: "God is an AWESOME planner!" He surely is!

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