Looking Back: Seeing growth from 7 to 11 months out

Looking Back: 
Seeing growth from 7 to 11 months out

October 1, 2013

Last night  I was rereading journal entries as I searched for answers to help a newly widowed friend.  I came across this entry from 4 months ago.  It reminded me where I was in this journey then and looking back I can see now how far I have come.   

That is so encouraging to me!  

I see how the Lord is shaping me.  

I can see how those experiences made me turn more to Him, 
and I can see how turning to Him brought me the peace, comfort and 
added strength to get through these trials.  

My house still hasn’t sold.  I just found out that I have to replace one of my AC units, so the the financial issues still remain.  A few weeks ago my 14 year-old slacked off with school again, but despite the problems that still remain, I have been given the ability to deal with them.  

I’m not a stressed out frazzled mess.  I am very much at peace.  

I know that the Lord is in control and I am content with that.  I have seen miracles happen in my life as He has aided me.  I don’t know what the future or even tomorrow will bring, but…

  • I am content to get the daily support and direction from the Lord.  
  • I am content to have less things
  • I am happier about serving others.  
  • I love and empathize more deeply with people.  
  • I am so much happier with the person that I am becoming than I was with myself a year ago.

Trials are hard, they are not fun,

 but I no longer wish them away.  

I know that I need them. 

So I say, “Come what may, and love it.”

“Mistake to send the Hand Cart Company out so late in the season? 
Yes. But I was in that Company and my wife was in it. . . . 
I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. 
I knew then that the Angels of God were there.
Was I sorry that I chose to come by hand cart? 
No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. 
The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful
 that I was privileged to come in the Martin Hand Cart Company”
– Francis Webster, Member of the Martin Handcart company.

June 9, 2013

What a week! First ‘A’ hit a deer on C’s birthday while driving my car.  Actually the deer hit the car on the side at the front wheel, rolled down the side taking off the front mirror and denting the door.  When I called the insurance I learned we had a 2000$ deductible and they would raise our rates 30% if I claimed it for 3 years ( totaling another 10,500$). The first appraisal was 2800$ then they called back and said they quoted the wrong mirror and it would actually be 4800$. To make matters worse R and C came down with the stomach flu.  C insisted on going out to famous Dave’s for his birthday dinner and then threw it all up out the car window on the way home.  ‘A’ power washed the car off and I cleaned the inside.

Sometimes you have to wonder why 

when it rains it always pours. 

Of course I found out about the appraisal increase minutes before I had to take E to counseling. I was upset in the car, stressed about what to do. I didn’t want to go, it was such bad timing, but if you don’t cancel 24 hours in advance then you still have to pay so I went anyway.  In the car I was talking to myself, 

I’m just going to have to sell my car.  I can’t afford to fix a car that costs that much.”  (I was upset about that because Scott bought that car for me because I liked, and we picked it up in Germany together.  It was such a fun trip. And it is the first car I have ever really felt attached to.  I don’t know if it is the car or just the jester that he did for me just to make me happy.  It wasn’t practical, but I said I liked it and he bought it.).

I said I would have to drive the C class and get something different for the kids.  E piped up, 

“Oh good then I can pick what I want.”  

I shot that down immediately, 

“You will have to drive whatever cheap used car I can afford.” 

E replied, 

“That’s not fair, A and C got to pick their cars.”

Then I proceeded to tell him all the ways that life was not fair now.  When we got to the counselors we were both steaming mad.  I brought up E lying to me about stealing A’s iPad to sneak watching more TV. Then the whole car conversations came up and it turned into a big yelling match.  The only good thing that came out of it was the E said that he felt that his Dad didn’t love him as much as the other boys because he spent more time with them- building the car. 

 I can understand why E felt that way.  

He was just getting to the age that C was when they started the car.  It was going to be his turn to have those teenage years with his dad and he got gipped on them.  He was put off by his dad who said, 

” It will be your turn as soon as Alex is gone.”  

E was also in a lot of trouble with his attitude about school, his work ethic and his lieing that was going on before Scott died.  We were both really frustrated that we couldn’t help E to change and that he was so insistent on not changing.  It is very hard to watch a child make choices over and over again that you know will not bring him happiness.  I am such an anti-procrastinator that I don’t deal well or understand people who are procrastinators.  Neither did Scott. Neither one of us was getting anywhere with E nor did we have a clue how to do it.  In the car ride home I apologized to E and told him that he need to talk to his dad about some of these things and forgive him.  

I told him that he would feel his dad’s approval
if he would do that.  

We also talked again about lieing and how that prevented him from feeling his dad and the spirit.  I don’t know? Maybe it was good after all to at least get that out.  I don’t know if we are going to go back.  

While I was in counseling Alex kept texting me websites to buy the parts cheaper.  I finally told him when he called. I couldn’t talk now.  For 85$ an hour, I didn’t have time to deal with that too.  When I got home we looked at the site.  I decided to order the mirror parts there- it saved me 1400$.  We will see of it works out.  The reviews were either really great or really bad.  

In order to pay for the car, I decided that I needed to sell some things. I sold the pool table and then I listed all of Scott’s BBQ supplies, Big Green Egg and our pool patio furniture.  I sold the Egg and all of the BBQ supplies before 8 am the next morning and the patio furniture that afternoon after just getting the deck boxes on Craig’s list.  I made enough money to cover the repair for the car.  

It was a miracle how fast everything sold.  

That night I came down with the stomach flu.  I spent the next morning writhing on the bathroom floor.  A gave me a blessing and the stomach cramps calmed down.  I was able to sleep the rest of the day. That morning the guy came for the pool furniture and I had to send E out to get the rest of the money and help them load it up because I was too sick to get up and A and C had gone to SAMs to get the food for E’s campout.  

When so much bad seems to pile up and everything seems to go wrong,  it causes my faith to falter. 

I start to wonder why is everything so hard?Why does it seem that everything goes wrong when I have already lost so much?What am I supposed to learn from this?Why is this better for me?  I just don’t see the big picture? Show it to me so I can understand why?  

I kneel and pray and pray and pray for strength to get through each day, for peace, for acceptance of God’s will.  I confirm that I know his plan has to be better than mine even if I can’t see it now.  I try to trust that He will take care of us, obviously not in the way that I was planning on, but in a way that has to be better for us in the long run.  It’s so hard for me as a planner to watch the weeks go by and see my house not sell. Oh, Heavenly Father help this all to work out some how and help me to be happy again.  I know I will be when this life ends, but I know I need to learn to find happiness despite all of the trials.  

I don’t want my kids to remember me as a dismal, discouraged, sad mess.  

I get glimpses of it every now and then. When I think I have things under control something always spirals it out of control again.  I know I’m not as bad off as Joseph of Egypt or Joseph Smith or Job.  When I look at their lives, I see they had to wade through affliction longer than 7 months.  They weren’t living in a nice house, they were in jail or had everything taken from them. All were innocent of any wrongs that caused their situations.  I was temporarily sick, I still have my children.   Things were much more lost for them and yet their experiences refined them and gave them the faith to do things later on.  

They would not have been who they became if they had not gone through the refiner’s fire. 

What I really want is to be made celestial and the refiner’s fire is not comfortable, but my children an I NEED this experience otherwise it would not have been given to us.  We have important things to learn so we can later do important things for the Lord. 

“Heavenly Father help strengthen my faith.  Make it sufficient to stretch through this trial.  Help the burdens to appear light that I can bear them.  Help strengthen me emotionally so I can be strong for my children.  I need strength beyond my own, I need angels beside me to help buoy me up.”

  I know that I have the right to ask for that,
 and everytime I do,
 I feel the added strength that gets me through.