September 11, 2013

Counting Blessings Instead of Sheep.

Since we had no idea where we were going to be living down here in CA, we put our forwarding address as my parents and they have been sending all of our mail on to us. A few weeks ago, I got a big envelope of mail and it included our August edition of the Ensign magazine. Now, I am not faithful at all with reading the Ensign, but as I got it in the mail, I felt like it needed reading, so I opened it up one day as I was eating my lunch and started reading the First Presidency message by President Eyring entitled, "Recognize, Remember, and Give Thanks". After reading it, I (ashamedly) kind of forgot about it and went about my day. But the last few weeks have been so filled with blessings, I felt I had to share my experiences. For those of you who haven't had a chance to read it, please, take 5 minutes and do. It is such an awesome talk! I linked it up in the title of the talk above, so just click on it and you'll be on your merry way to reading it.

I've kind of had a hard time with being a mother lately. My faults and flaws seem magnified and there are moments where I am sure I'm just not cutting it. "I'm ruining my kids", I think as another episode of Little Einsteins plays in the background. "Why did I decide this is what I wanted to do with my life?", I think as Claire throws yet another tantrum and hits Declan. I was having a particularly bad day a couple weeks ago. There had been tantrums and crying and whining and hitting and I was near my wits end. When Dallin came home from work, he asked if he could go to the gym. That was the last thing I wanted him to do, but I knew he had been under quite a bit of pressure at work and needed some "me" time, so I said yes. As he left, I decided a pity party was in order and I thought about how hard my day had been. Then I kicked myself in the bum, said, "BUCK UP, BUTTERCUP!" and opened my Mormon Channel app on my phone. The first two videos to catch my eye were about having children and the joy and blessings they bring into our lives. I was reminded, quite powerfully, of the blessing these two little spirits are in my life. They fill our home with joy and laughter, with love and hope. As I sat watching these two videos, my heart burst with gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who knows my needs so personally and who can give comfort in the way I needed it most. I needed that reminder more than anyone else could have known, but my Father in Heaven knows me perfectly, and so sent that important message of peace to my heart. I cried and cried and hugged my children close and gave thanks for my sweet blessings. It was just one of the MANY tender mercies I have received lately.

Our ward here in California is amazing. AMAZING I tell you. The first week we were here, I can't even tell you how many people approached us and asked if we were new, where we were from, what brought us to the area, did we need anything? Dallin and I felt so welcomed and overwhelmed by the obvious love this ward has for its existing and new members alike. The last two weeks, we have met new, amazing friends, been invited to 2 families homes for dinner and have been treated so well, I feel like we've been here for years, instead of (almost) 2 short months. I am an outgoing person by nature, but I am not the best at going forward and introducing myself or reaching out to others when I am in an unfamiliar place. I feel like, once again, my Heavenly Father knew just what I would need to help me adjust to living in this new and different city.

As I sit back and think on my life the last few months, I could tell you about the hardships and trials I have had to face, but I think the more important things to acknowledge are the blessings I have received instead. Bing Crosby had it figured out when he sang, "When I am worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. Then I fall asleep, counting my blessings." So tonight, it'll be my blessings I'm counting instead of my worries and cares.