Friday, March 28, 2014

Learning Patience and Empathy in Parenting a Teen. Wait, that Even Possible?

Learning Patience & Empathy in Parenting a Teen. 
Wait,.. is that Even Possible?

Monday was one of those really CRAPPY days!

Yes,  I said 'CRAPPY'... it happens to be one of my favorite words, and it was the most appropriate descriptive word I could come up with. 

Okay, so.... maybe it wasn't the whole day, but the evening... It totally fell apart.   

I got into a spat with one of my sons, and I looking back I think that argument is what really precipitated the whole problem. 

There is nothing like contention to suck the spirit out of your home.  Ever since my husband died, I am just so much more acutely aware of that. If the spirit goes out, my emotional state goes with it.

Anyway, I won't go into who the spat with was with or what it was about because my children are very sensitive to be singled out on my blog. Needless to say it was all based on the misunderstanding that started with a comment that I made.  I tried to smooth things over and apologize, but I got a typical teenage response. 

You know...communication would be so much easier if my children were 40 like me! But unfortunately, I am working with pre-adult souls. 

I've learned that communication with children/teens requires a LOT of extra patience. 
(It's probably, why they come that way... so we can learn

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teaching my children to make decisions on their own

Teaching my children to make decisions on their own

It is amazing to me sometimes how my prayers get answered.

Last fall when our house didn't sell, a way was financially provided for my children to stay in the school that they were attending here. We knew this was temporary, and last fall I felt the need to talk with my children about what we would do for school if our house did not sell this year. My son and I were on a walk and out of the blue we came up with the idea of them attending Central High School. The conversation happened just in time, because applications were due in a few weeks. Central has a special magnet middle school that my older two children had previously attended. We needed to see if a seventh grade spot would be available, and if my daughter would qualify. She had previously been grade advanced, but the new spot would require her to go back to her original grade. My son would have to repeat his freshman year in order to enter the IB program as well. At the time this idea seemed brilliant to me. It was an answer to all of my worry, plus I was looking at keeping my last two children home another year. (I had been dreading the day when they would leave home and leave me alone. ) My son was very young for his grade and holding him back would not be noticeable.  The IB program at Central seems like the perfect solution. Both kids were onboard, and we made the necessary applications.

Months later...

They were less thrilled about the option. Both of my children really wanted to stay in their old school. They were afraid of losing friends. I began to have my doubts that this was the plan that we should follow, but I didn't really see a way that we could afford to stay where they were. 

A few weeks ago, I laid out the options again. I stated all the pros and cons, and then told the children that they needed to pray about what was right for them. I decided this was a decision that more greatly impacted their lives than it did mine. Both children would be held back a grade level, and that would change when they would serve a mission, when they would leave home, and the friends they would have. 

Lately I have been getting my children more involved in our family decisions. I have been asking them to pray for confirmation about a lot of things. I'm going to write a separate blog post on one of those experiences as well... 

So this is what happened...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Opening Up and Speaking Out: My Voice, My Purpose

"My husband died in a plane crash with his father 16 months ago."  

That phrase always enters a conversation within the first few minutes. I watch the shock enter their faces, and they quickly offer an, 

"I'm so sorry."  

"It's okay," I reply.

 Then I begin to explain how our family is getting through this.  I tell them about my kids and our faith and about me blogging and trying to help others with their grief.  I share stories about Scott and my knowledge that we chose this trial. I share my spiritual experiences and testify of things that I know to be true now.

Why do I do this? 

I think at first, I just really wanted to talk about him. My kids hated that I would talk about dad with just about anyone, but I just couldn't help it.  I wanted everyone to know what a great guy he was.  I found that sharing helped me to feel better.  Not only that, but I found that people left me feeling inspired.  They wanted to be better husbands and fathers. They wanted to be kinder, and they wanted to know how in the world we were handling all of this.

Is it because I just can't get over my grief? 

On the contrary, it's because reaching out and sharing with others with the intent of helping them brings me peace and understanding. It helps me feel the love of the Lord in my life. 

This is what is healing me.

So in the grocery store, at the gas station, on the airplane, or just about anywhere I can strike up a conversation, these words come out of my mouth.
(My boys can even mockingly do my spiel in a high pitched voice... very funny actually)

Some people think I'm probably totally crazy bearing my soul to complete strangers ( I know my kids sometimes do!) However, I find that

Thursday, March 20, 2014

There is an unseen war going on here

The Unseen War

There is an unseen war going on here between good and evil,
 and our souls are the casualties.  

More and more I feel that life here on earth is an illusion...

It is a distraction to the real purpose.  Everyday we go through the motions of life thinking that the money we make, the chores we accomplish, the entertainment we watch is what it is all about. 
How fooled we are. 

Life is about the choices we make, the personal character growth we experience and the people we help. 

Everyday there are voices in our heads. 
Some tell us to focus on the material things of this world.  
They tell us to stay distracted and to stay selfish. 

Other voices tell us to feel compassion for others, 
to be a better person and to love people a little better. 

Before my husband died, I never thought about angels walking by my side through out the day.  I didn't think about evil spirits doing it as well. I think that is one of the Devil's tactics- to keep us in the dark about the real battle going on.  He knows that if we are aware of it that our defenses will go up and that his forces will be less powerful.  He knows that if we know what is going on that we will begin to bring out the big guns. 

So What are our weapons?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Putting the Pieces Together and Learning How to Fly Solo

Putting the Pieces Together and Learning How to Fly Solo

This journey is about so much more than grief. After I got through the deep heart wrenching pain, and came to terms with the death of my husband, I had to figure out the next step for my life.

What does it look like from here on out? 

Well, I can tell you this for sure. It doesn't look anything like it used to!

At first that seemed really bad. I spent some time grieving for the life I should of had. Then it was kind of scary because I was just not sure which way to go by myself. 

That's when I turned to God for direction. 

In all reality, I would REALLY like Him to this show me the whole path that my life is going to take, but faith doesn't work that way. I've learned that He wants me to trust Him  and look to Him each day for direction.  He wants me to turn my will over to Him...
to say 

"Whatever you have in store for me I will do it, 
because I know that's the best way for me to grow."

You see, I've come to the realization that this experience happened to me so that I could BECOME someone BETTER than I was. It happens to me so I could DO more than I was DOING.

I was reading a previous post, CHANGING DRIVERS, where I said, 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Will My Heart Fail Me?

Will My Heart Fail Me?

This life is an experience in PROFOUND TRUST

"Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do."

I watched this video clip this morning and it reminded me of my husband's plan accident.  As I heard Russell M Nelson describe the fire on the plane and it plummeting, I thought of Scott and his dad in our plane.  It was a great comfort to me to hear him say that he was completely calm because he knew that he was ready to meet his maker.  I thought of Scott and his dad and I knew that they had felt that same calmness.  I have felt that calmness too whenever I have turned to God.
"If you have faith, you can handle difficulties, knowing that with an eternal perspective that all will be well." - Elder Nelson
I have to go back and remind myself when new difficulties come, that the Lord is in charge of my life.  If I am trying to do what is right then He will take care of me in the end.  When I am struggling it is only because there is something important He is trying to teach me.

"Although it may not be welcome insight, the truth is that you will grow more rapidly through challenge and trial than from a life of ease and serenity with no disturbing elements.  The intent of your Father in Heaven is to lift you from where you are to where He knows you will have eternal purpose and unspeakable happiness." - Richard G Scott

People will be afraid in these last days... because they forget their IDENTITY and their PURPOSE.

Q: Who am I?  

A: I am a daughter of God and He loves me and knows me individually

Q:What is my Purpose?