Sunday, June 8, 2014

All That Is Unfair

Life just really gets to me sometimes. I know I spend too much time thinking. Maybe that is one of the downfalls of living alone. My mind has been racing lately as I have thought about my friends and family and the things that they are required to face. I just keep thinking how unfair some of these things are.

How is it fair that a perfect spirit came in an imperfect body and has to fight pain every single day?

How is that fair that a mom of three young children has a rare form a cancer that the doctors don't know how to treat and will most likely take her from her family?

How is it fair that there are so many unwanted children in the world, but those I know that would love and adore these babies are struggling to bring their own into the world?

How is it fair that a tender-hearted little boy is now faced with a disease that leaves him not feeling well and could potentially alter his future?

How is it fair that people leave this world, sometimes early on in their lives, and are taken home when we still need them and are not ready to let them go?

How is it fair that innocent children have to suffer because of choices made by those who are supposed to protect them?

How is it fair that people are faced with mental and emotional illness that tries to control their life and they are forced to live a constant battle?

The situations are endless. How? How is this all fair? As I have thought about this today a quote popped into my mind from a General Relief Society Meeting:

"All that is unfair about life will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

Life was not meant to be fair. It can't be. If it was we would not need our Savior. When I first heard this quote I thought about after this life, the resurrection, and that someday all of these trials and struggles really would be made right.

But now I truly believe that this means in this life too. Maybe making it right doesn't mean that it will go away. Maybe making it right doesn't mean that the sick will be healed. Maybe making it right doesn't mean that we will receive the desires of our hearts in the exact moment that we want them. Maybe it just means that no matter what, He is there.

Though we cannot see him, His arms are constantly wrapped around us. He knows. He is aware. He is watching. He is helping. We just have to trust that. We are not left alone.

I'm sure if you looked up the definition of "made right" it would not be defined as perfect, or how we want, or in the way we see fit. Through the Atonement, everything will be made right for us, how we need it. God knows where we need to go, what we need to experience, and who we need to become. Is it always going to turn out fair in our eyes? No, but He is always fair. It will be made right.

I guess what I have been feeling lately is that even though it is heartbreaking, and it seems that no one should ever be required to endure these things, and sometimes it is frightening, it really will be okay in the end. The Lord will strengthen us when need be. He will walk every step of every unfair situation with us. He will carry us through. He knows. He knows! It is on Him that we should rely. He is our hope. We can't let go.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Different Kinds of Angels

I heard a quote from Elder Holland once that stated there are angels among us, both mortal and immortal, that are helping us along the way. I always took comfort in this, knowing that Heavenly Father had not left me alone. There have been many times when those angels have helped me along and I have been so grateful for their presence. This past year Heavenly Father  blessed me with a different mortal angel, one who has had a greater impact on me than I thought possible.

My little niece Kate was born this last February. It was soon discovered that there were some complications. This little baby has been through the NICU, surgery, doctors, tests, feeding name it, she's probably done it. However, those are not the things I want to focus on. There is something special about this little girl. I have only seen her three or four times since she was born, but there is no doubt in telling that there is a special spirit living inside that little body.

I had the privilege of spending Thanksgiving with my family. Luckily we were all well enough that Kate could be there. I am drawn to this baby. If I could be around her, and hold her, and snuggle her, and hold onto those little fingers all the time, I would in a heartbeat. I got a chance to do this that weekend. Kate was having a hard few days, but in a quiet moment she let me hold her and she actually fell asleep. Watching Kate sometimes makes my heart hurt as I wonder about her future and what her life is going to be like.

As I have thought more and more about this since Thanksgiving, I have realized that Kate is a warrior. I don't know exactly how things panned out before we all came to this earth, but I imagine a perfect Kate bravely accepting the trials that would be hers. This little girl has been through more in the last year than I would ever want to encounter. And yet, I have seen her smile. I have heard her cute little laugh. I have seen the faces of her siblings light up as they talk to her, and her respond when she hears the voice of her loud, but oh so loving older brother. I have seen her cuddling with her mom in the moments that her little body isn't so uncomfortable. Kate braves the trials of her life, and I am coming to believe that she is here for us. And even more so realizing how much she is here for me.

I think about Kate all the time. I sometimes think about how it is unfair that she has to deal with all of this. I sometimes wish I could make it all better for her. But most of the time I think about how she makes me want to be better. Thinking about her makes me want to work harder, to do more good, to serve those around me. Life has hit hard lately, and I sometimes wonder if I am ever going to get my feet steady under me. But lately when I worry about this, all I think of is Kate, that brave little spirit on this earth in that little body. She is doing it. And if Kate can do it, so can I.

I am so grateful for this girl. For her beautiful eyes and crazy hair. For the way she smiles when you touch her face. For her wiggles and giggles when she gets tickled. For her joining our family. But mostly for that sweet spirit that helps me to know that everything is going to be okay. Love you always Kate. :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Respect For Young Mothers

I  have often gone out in public and seen young mothers battling their young children. One mom has a baby on her hip and is pulling a hysterical toddler behind her. Another tries to stop small hands from grabbing everything in sight and putting it in the shopping cart. Another tries to get all of her yelling children to sit down and eat dinner and stop putting on a show for the entire restaurant. The scenarios are endless. I must admit that I have looked at these mothers and thought "Oh you poor thing." or "Why are those kids acting like that?" Now, I don't have any children of my own and therefore have never had to try to take them anywhere. But this last weekend I got a taste of what these young mothers go through.

I went with my sister Bri to eastern Washington because she had to take pictures. She decided to bring her two little girls along, and asked if I would come along and keep an eye on them. "Sure", I thought "I've watched these girls plenty of times." So off we went. We arrived at our destination to drop Bri off, and she told me to just take the girls to Burger King and Haylee could play on the toys and eat. I told her I had to go to the bathroom. She informed me that I could go with both girls, I just had to have Haylee squat in the corner and hold Avery while I went quick. This seemed easy enough, so the girls and I started out on our adventure.

As we pulled up to Burger King, and I began gathering things up to take inside, Haylee started holding her stomach. "I think I'm going to have to go to the bathroom." I looked at her and she was hunched over. Great. I gathered up Avery and got Haylee out of the car. She was very rushed as we headed for the door. "Em, you're going to have to let me go to the bathroom first." In a normal circumstance I wouldn't have minded this, but we'd been on the road and I had had a lot of water to drink. I sighed as we walked through the door and Haylee yelled, "Which one is for girls? That one!" and rushed to the bathroom door. We walked in and the door to the bigger stall was shut. There was just the one long skinny one open. With Avery on one hip, and my hand on Haylee's back, we entered the stall. This is when the trouble started. This stall wasn't meant for more than one person. It was incredibly difficult to get the door shut past three people. With a sigh of relief I finally squeezed it past the three of us. With my not young mother mind, I thought everything would run smoothly now.

True to her word, Haylee HAD to go first. She sits down and starts holding her stomach again. "I don't know if I can eat right now. My stomach really hurts." She continues to grunt, and sigh, and hunch over, and sit up, and do every possible thing she can while still on the toilet. All this time I keep shifting Avery around, and think about how all that water sure rushed through me fast. "Haylee, are you done?" She looked up at me and starting holding her stomach again. "I don't think so." And so, more waiting. The kind of waiting where you want to tap your foot and peer over your glasses at them in hopes that your stare will cause some sort of speed up, even though you know that it's hopeless. She finally finishes and starts pulling off toilet paper...and more toilet paper....and more toilet paper. "Haylee, you don't need that much toilet paper, you're going to clog the toilet." So she rips it off and I ask her if she needs help. Of course she doesn't. I ask her several more times because when we're at home she makes her mom help her every single time, but she insists that she needs zero help. She can do it herself. She finally finishes, jumps down, and pulls up her underwear. She reaches for her pants, but stops and yells "I have to flush this! No one wants to see that!" She wiggles past the toilet with her pants around her ankles to flush it. "Em, did I have to use so much toilet paper because I pooped so much?" This is about the time that I'm praying that no one else is in the bathroom. I finally get her situated in the corner with the baby and am grateful that I can finally go to the bathroom when she yells, "Hey, do you have to poop too?" Well, not anymore. Any inclination I had to go went away when she questioned me about it. I hurry and go and then get us out of the stall. I get Haylee up there to wash her hands, and then realize I'm holding a baby with one arm and start to wonder how I am going to wash my hands. Feeling in a rush to get out of the bathroom I decided to wash my hands one at a time. Ridiculous. We finally finish in the bathroom and head out.

Haylee is still adamant that she can't eat, so we go out to the play area. Haylee rushes off to play and I'm left with Avery, which seemed like it would be easier. It was for like 3 minutes, until she realized that Haylee was playing without her. This is when she started to do "Jello dancing legs". She was all over the place. Holding on to a squirmy one year old is harder than you would think. Haylee passed by several times saying "Just 2 more times." Did she really mean 2 more times? Not a chance. She finally did start a countdown of just 4 more times down the slide. She finally finished and said, "I'm hungry now." Perfect. Bri had just sent a text to tell me that we should go hang out there with her. Haylee and Aves could eat quick and then we'd be on our way. I take Haylee up there and ask her what she wants. She keeps shouting out things she wants, and hanging from the counter. I finally get her food ordered and paid for, get her drink, and get her to sit down outside the play area. And then it starts all over again. She keep laying down on the bench and sitting up and getting down. And not silently either. "I'm going to pretend this box is like my lunch box at home!" "Can you open my apples?!" "Hey are those flowers fake?! I want to touch them!" "Hey, maybe you could touch them and tell me if they're fake!" "I'm full!" Full? She ate two chicken nuggets and like 5 fries. I told her to eat some more, but she couldn't possibly do it. I finally give up and she packs up her things and we get in the car. We drive over to where Bri is and go inside. Haylee instantly finds Uncle Walter and starts following him around. I talk to Bri for a minute and then turn around and guess what Haylee is doing... eating! She has an entire plate of food. Yeah, looks like you aren't hungry kid...

Anyway, while the situation was quite entertaining, it made me realize something. Young moms deserve more credit for everything they do. I spent like 30 minutes with only two little girls and I wanted to pull my hair out.   These moms do this all day, every day. I look at my sisters and sisters-in-law and am so impressed by all that they do. Young kids can be a challenge, but these women face that challenge every single day. They are great moms and I only hope when I have my own children that I can be like them. There kids are lucky to have them as moms. I guess the main things is, have more respect for these young mothers. Be patient with them and their young children. They are working hard and raising the next generation, and they are doing a great job.