Monday, April 26, 2010

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

I should tell you about all of the funny things my kids have been saying and about how I painted my front wall again--yep, the same one I had just painted, and about the wonderful visit I had with my parents and Audrey and Seth this last weekend, but I had a hard day today and that's all that is on my mind right now.

After my last miscarriage and accompanying experience, I was scared that I would never feel comfortable getting pregnant again. However, as I prayed about it, I felt comforted and the desire to try again soon returned. Since then, I've been telling Heavenly Father that I would like to get pregnant again, and have been asking him to bless me with another pregnancy when the time is right for our family. Apparently, the time is not yet right for our family, because for the first time, we have been unable to get pregnant. On one hand I am very discouraged and disappointed about not being able to get pregnant, and on the other, I am grateful that Heavenly Father will not bless me with another baby until I am ready. I think what discourages me most of all, though, is knowing that I am not ready.

Many of you know that I got pregnant only a couple months after Brian and I got married, but I lost the baby at about 13 weeks. And although I was devastated at the time, as the next couple years passed, it became obvious to me that Heavenly Father was only showing me a little mercy by keeping a baby from me for a little longer. The timing had not been right.

A couple years later, I got pregnant and had Camp. By that time, I had learned a little more and Brian and I had figured some things out and life was pretty easy. In fact, I thought the whole mothering thing was a piece of cake. I'm afraid I began to be a little over-confident--so much so that when Camp was about nine months old, we tried and got pregnant again. Well, eighteen weeks later, I miscarried for the second time. And once again, it didn't take long before I was praying to thank Heavenly Father for not allowing me to get in over my head too early.

I'm dragging this out too long. What I'm getting at is that I have learned, and feel grateful that Heavenly Father has not given me babies until He knows I am ready for them. It's just been difficult admitting to myself that I am indeed not ready yet. That means I am not a perfect mother. That means I'm having a hard enough time with three kids. That means there are a lot of things for me to work on and lots of things for me to learn. It means I need to humble myself and be willing to change. Those are hard pills to swallow. Oh, and I know. The timing could be off right now because of things other than my not being ready yet. That's true, but I just feel like my not being ready is probably the biggest part of it.

It seems that way because truthfully, mothering as been a struggle for me lately. I love and adore and enjoy my children, but recently I have really been struggling--mainly with Camp. Brian and I have had a really, really tough time figuring out how to handle and discipline him appropriately and I have reached a point of complete discouragement and desperation. And while praying and reading my scriptures has been a great source of strength and help for me (like I've mentioned before), it has become clear to me that I need to be doing a little bit more. I need to be earnestly seeking revelation. I need to spend a great deal more time on my knees just thinking and listening. I need to simplify. I need to study. I need to be patient.

I lost control of myself today, and I am embarrassed by and ashamed of the way I handled Camp. Soon after, I found myself on my bedroom floor whispering, Please forgive me! Please help me! Please help me! Please help me! I waited.... I wanted to be faithful and feel counsel come to me, but I was so desperate. I called my mom and my sister who helped me focus and start developing some goals and a plan of action. Partly I felt guilty for not just letting some answers flow into my mind, but mostly I just felt so grateful to have a mom and sister through whom Heavenly Father has guided me so many times.

I'm now writing on Wednesday. Tuesday went so much better than Monday had. No losing control. No crying on the foam pad of my sheetless bed. No feelings of complete desperation. I felt hopeful and determined to start again and devote all of my time and energy to keeping myself in control and handling my children in the way that will ultimately be the most effective and the most productive. I'm reading Parenting with Love and Logic again. Ever heard of it? I know there are probably lots of great resources out there, but this happens to be one that I have read and has really made sense to me. It's funny because as I read it I am thinking, Man, I NEVER would have thought of this on my own, but it just makes so much sense. My sister is totally a Love and Logic parent, and while she may not be a perfect parent (and she may be), she definitely has what I am looking for: control. She has control of herself and of her kids. And she doesn't have control of her kids because she is a drill sergeant and finds a way to force them to do everything she wants them to do--in fact it's just the opposite. She has control of them because she has control of herself and doesn't let the way they act govern the way she acts.

So anyway, Brian and I are going to figure this out. Wish me luck. Pray for me. Don't be alarmed if you don't see or hear from me much. I'm just busy breathing deeply and focusing all my energy on choosing my words carefully and keeping control of myself. If all goes well, we will have a much happier home and a much happier family a few months from now.

P.S. I just put Dan in her room for hitting Jane and soon after I walked away, I could hear her crying, Mom, I need to go potty! Of course. By the time I got back into her room, it was already coming out all over the carpet. Breeeeaaaattthhhheee.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Love, Anner B

Dear Mom and Dad,

Now that I am a mom, I understand that nothing brings a parent more happiness than seeing the success and/or accomplishment and/or happiness of a child. So I want to share with you a little victory I've experienced of late(as a result of your example)--that I think will make you lean back in your chair and smile.

When I was growing up, I knew you both loved the scriptures because I saw you reading them heard you discussing them on a very regular basis.
And because of your example, I wanted to love the scriptures, too. I certainly valued the scriptures and believed and appreciated what I read, and I read them pretty regularly because I trusted what you and my other leaders taught me about their value in my life, but I hadn't gotten to a point yet where I truly loved them like you did. I wanted the value and power of the scriptures to be clear to me because of my own experiences.

And guess what? After years of practicing what you taught me and living through my own experiences, I have come to really love the scriptures, too. I can feel their power in my life. It's kinda like magic. I read the scriptures; I am a better mother. I read the scriptures; I am a better wife. I read the scriptures; I am just a better person. Along with praying, reading my scriptures lifts me to a higher place or something--making me more spiritually minded, I think.

And guess what else? I've discovered something else that is even more amazing: the Book of Mormon is so much more than just 500+ pages of words of wisdom. It is exactly what it claims to be: another testament of Jesus Christ. It has seemed that every other verse I am being reminded of the Savior's atonement and it's saving power, and of his mercy and willingness to continuously gather me 'as a hen gathers her chickens.'

So anyway...just thought you'd be glad to know I'm comin' around....
Maybe someday I'll even love reading Isaiah.