Saturday, December 20, 2008
we made it to our new little home safe and sound (through the craziest snowstorm i've ever seen and many not so small miracles) and got settled in and mostly unpacked just in time to pack up our suitcases (sans gloves, beanies and snow shovels) to head for real home.
and here we are. it's amazing what a paradise i grew up in. the skies are clear and blue, the trees and grass are green as spring, the air is only about 50 degrees warmer than any air i've felt in the last few months, and oh- family and friends are near. paradise, i tell you.
we will be here for 2 weeks and i have never been so excited to relax and soak it all in... the food (which, by the way - i highly recommend planning your next pregnancy around thanksgiving and christmas! it's awesome!), the music, the lights, the little boy loving on his grammy and papa, the spirit of the season.
i wish you and yours the best time of the year. i hope you all find yourselves at home.
"At Christmas, all roads lead home."
~ Marjorie Holmes, American writer.
Friday, December 12, 2008
so, we don't leave until tomorrow (as long as all goes as planned), but today is our last day with the internet and i wanted to be sure to record my thoughts as we leave this little life here in rexburg.
last night as i knelt down to pray i thought about what a crazy adventure it has been to be here for the last 6 months, and (hormonal as i am) completely lost it. though i may have complained to no end (sorry clint) and i may not have totally understood all the reasons we had to come here, i do feel as though all went according to plan (not MY plan, of course) and feel blessed to have had this experience and also, of course, to be moving on from it.
just a few things that i've learned from life here in rexburg:
1. i can do anything if i feel like it will be beneficial for my family in one way or another - even if it is outside of my comfort zone.
2. while san diego will always be home to me, i can make a home wherever i am if i put my heart into it.
3. family is everything. i would never ever have survived this journey without owen and clint, and having our families so far away has been more difficult than i ever imagined. i am so excited to be closer to family, or at least to an airport.
4. i can make friends. i was so nervous when we came here that i would never find friends since we were so different from your typical byu-i students, but i have made some great friends that i hope to be in touch with for a long time. really, most people have something in common - kids, crafts, being poor, you name it. though i may be 10 years older than some, we still have common ground to stand on.
5. anything worth having is worth sacrificing for. we may still have a long road of school ahead of us and many years of sacrifice, but i know it will be well worth it in the end.
6. i can love and support my husband by making dinner and keeping a clean house. i know this sounds somewhat obvious, but it's amazing how i've tried to avoid it in the almost 4 years we've been married. now that he is so busy and i literally can't do his homework, go to class, or take his tests for him, these are things i can do.
7. owen doesn't care where he is as long as he has us to love and entertain him. he could care less that there is not a target nearby, that he wears hand-me-downs, or that it is freezing outside. he is happy when we are happy and will adapt to whatever situation we provide.
8. humility is easier to learn when you are willing. if you try and submit mostly, but hold on to the last bit of control as long as possible, the process isn't any easier, quicker, or less painful. the opposite is true, in fact. i can't say i've really actually learned this yet - but am in the process and hope that i can learn from my mistakes and just give in already.
9.when you go without, you appreciate so much more in life - be it friends, family, the sun, the mall... you name it. did i tell you how giddy i was driving through provo when we went to look for a place? the same town that used to send shivers down my spine and give me a stomach ache... but now - oh wow, how i will appreciate happy valley in a different way than ever before.
10. god knows me and my family and has me in mind. we have tried hard to recognize the blessings that have poured into our lives since leaving behind so much and we have seen his hand more visible in every day than at any other time since we've been married. it is harder to feel sorry for yourself and your situation when you see how much you are given each day and how truly merciful god is.
so long little rexburg. we are grateful for what you have taught us!
p.s. no posting for awhile... just to warn ya!
"To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world."
~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), American president. Presidential message (December 25, 1927).
Thursday, December 11, 2008
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
(O Little Town of Bethlehem.)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
"Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Risen with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings,
Hail, the Son of Righteousness
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace.
Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King."
-Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Monday, December 08, 2008
clint took a turn in the rocking chair while owey tried to get some rest between bouts of sickness and i set up a makeshift bed on the floor and tried to get a little sleep. halfway through the night, we traded posts and it was my turn to rock that little boy and hope to somehow give him comfort and help him at least feel loved and safe in the midst of so much yuckiness. i tried to sleep with his warm body curled up next to mine, but my mind was so full of thought that sleep became impossible. how is it that a huge piece of my heart was wrapped up into this little boy? and how would i ever cope with letting it walk out into the world and exist outside of my safe and loving arms? if a little stomach flu was enough to send me into tears and heartache, what of bullies, broken hearts, and bad choices? would i get a thick skin and learn to deal with all that my boy will face in this world? or is that just part of the life of a mother? feeling so much love for someone else that it sometimes (literally) hurts?
as i sat pondering these things, i couldn't help but think of my own parents and of course my Heavenly Parents. how they must ache when we do. how they must wish they could make it all better. how they must long for our happiness and safety. and yet again, while rocking my sick little boy, i was taught once more the miracle of motherhood. this is what i need to be learning. this is why god wants us to have children and begin to understand what he feels for us. oh how He must love us!
ironically, i found myself sick as a dog last night and it was my turn to ask "why?". without a mom and dad to rock me and comfort me, i instead turned to my sweet husband and his priesthood. at least then i could feel of his love and safe arms, and of the love and compassion of a loving and healing Heavenly Father that wishes to bless me. oh how grateful i am for that knowledge and for that power in my own home. and while i don't wish to ever have that flu again, i am grateful for the tender mercies shown to me as my humbled heart was given a glimpse of things eternal.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
"Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. To us He has said, 'Come, follow me.'
As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others." – President Monson
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Truly He taught us
To love one another;
His law is love and
His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break
For the slave is our brother
And in His name
All oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in
Grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us
Praise His holy name!
Christ is the Lord,
Oh praise His name forever,
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim
His pow'r and glory
- O Holy Night
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
"What is the lesson for us today as we enter a new Christmas season? Who will minister to those in need? Who are the angels that will prepare the way for His return? As we sing the hymns of Christmas and speak of angels sent to earth to witness the Savior’s birth in the meridian of time, may we rise to the occasion and minister to those in need in our day. May we be reminded of our promises to 'bear one another’s burdens, … to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places … and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that [we] may have eternal life' (Mosiah 18:8–9).
I bear witness that Christmas is a season for angels. As they ministered to the Savior and others in the 'meridian of time,' may we, as angels of mercy, minister to other families and to those in need in the 'fulness of times' so that the Lord’s work may move forward." –Merril J. Bateman
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? - Dr. Seuss
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
"Christmas is more than trees and twinkling lights, more than toys and gifts and baubles of a hundred varieties. It is love. It is the love of the Son of God for all mankind. It reaches out beyond our power to comprehend. It is magnificent and beautiful.
It is peace. It is the peace which comforts, which sustains, which blesses all who accept it.
It is faith. It is faith in God and His Eternal Son. It is faith in His wondrous ways and message. It is faith in Him as our Redeemer and our Lord.
We testify of His living reality. We testify of the divinity of His nature. In our times of grateful meditation, we acknowledge His priceless gift to us and pledge our love and faith. This is what Christmas is really about." - Gordon B. Hinckley
Monday, December 01, 2008
"if we are to have the very best Christmas ever, we must listen for the sound of sandaled feet. we must reach out for the Carpenter's hand. with every step we take in His footsteps, we abandon a doubt and gain a truth." -President Thomas S. Monson