"Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. . . . Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried"

- President Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, July 19, 2015

To Give us Life...

The trial and condemnation of Jesus Christ are not unfamiliar topics in Sunday School, but today I was particularly touched by some symbolism in the story.  When the Roman leaders asked who they should free (according to the Jewish custom), Jesus or Barrabas, they chose the murderer.  Perhaps they were so desperate to do anything they could to do away with the man they viewed as a threat, but today, I thought about the fact that they chose someone who sought to steal physical life.  Jesus came to grant everyone freedom from physical death, and not only that but freedom we can’t even begin to imagine, spiritual freedom and exaltation with Him. 

He came not just for His disciples, and for those who faithfully followed Him, He came to offer everyone the gift of resurrection.  Yes, even those who cheered for His gruesome demise.

I wondered how many times all of us choose paths that lead to things that gradually steer us away from the path of discipleship, and even habits and vices that destroy our lives and others.  Why would we do that when the other choice is to follow the Prince of Peace and attain true freedom for our souls?  Because we are mortal, and we let ourselves be led away by that liar and captor we call Satan.  He tells us he offers more freedom if we just “do what makes us happy” and “what we deserve”.

Interesting though how much light and joy our souls experience and the increased ability to love and bless the lives of others when we follow in the strict paths of our Savior.  He truly wants our happiness, not to steal it, but to let it soar.  I am in absolute awe of this gift, this opportunity to be more than I could ever hope to be without Him.  He will not force us to follow Him, but in so many of His creations and kindnesses of His servants, He calls to us with a quiet, gentle voice, pleading, “Follow me and I will bring rest to your soul.”

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Newsletter

Our Christmas Newsletter didn't quite fit on our blog. Check it out at the link.
Click on each picture stack to view them all...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Full Steam Ahead!

Parenting, the great adventure... when you're up in the middle of the night with a crying baby it seems like it's going pretty slow, but then suddenly it's like being aboard a steam train headed.... well, somewhere... FAST, and you just gotta hang on and make the best of it trusting that in the end, you'll get where you need to be...well, part of this adventure has been a long one, and hard, very hard.

My son Luke is very intelligent, he has a phenomenal memory and is sweet, kind and thoughtful.  He is detail oriented and loves to learn, spending most of his days creating amazing car designs and maps, and reading the rest of the time.  He is a great snuggler and loves to wrestle.  Yet there was an outward shell of distraction, frustration, and intense feelings, and it just felt like something wasn't right.  I wanted so much for my child to reach his potential and have meaningful relationships with others, and be happy, after all, that's what the adventure is all about right?  I just didn't anticipate all this... 

He started with speech therapy at 3 1/2 then had social skills classes, then occupational therapy, then trips to several psychologists, then visits to an ENT, a Functional vision exam, a hearing test, and many trips to Seattle for iLS therapy.  Then more trips to psychologists, and then the Amen Clinic where he was finally diagnosed with ADHD Ring of Fire (that's the latest guess).  Then we went to a Sleep clinic for a sleep study, then a naturopath for food allergy testing now we're about to start Neurofeedback to see if we can't alleviate remaining symptoms and perhaps get rid of some of the supplements he takes several times a day.  The great news is that I just found an amazing pediatrician who seems like a Godsend.

When you've been to that many doctors, filled out that much paperwork and spent way too many hours researching different disorders, therapies, and tests, you begin to appreciate the complexity of the human body (especially the brain) and how far we are from knowing how everything works and fits together.  I feel like I have a little more compassion for the mother of that kid who's misbehaving or throwing a fit because sometimes they're doing everything they can and there's more going on there than the rest of us can see (sometimes the kid needs some discipline but it's not the cure all I thought it once was!). 

He has come so far, and I am amazed with how patient he has been with all of this.  He has endured, and boy, I have endured.  I wish I had been more patient because I probably spent a little too much time crying, and not enough time on my knees, although sometimes I multitasked those two...  When you're in the middle of a trial it's sometimes hard to know how long it will be until you reach the end of the tunnel of darkness and reach the light (I think that's where the faith and patience comes in).  I know that I needed this experience in my life to learn and grow because my learning curve has pretty much been vertical.  And above all I know that God has been aware of my struggle and heartache because all along this difficult road, there have been Sunday School teachers, Preschool teachers, friends, neighbors, all seemingly placed directly in my path so that although I was facing the biggest trial to date in my life, I wasn't facing it alone.  My husband gets super props because he has absorbed most of those tears, and he has been my lifeline countless times when I needed major support. 

I truly believe that as a mother I have been privileged to not only have these sweet children in my home to teach and love, but that when I need help with knowing how to do that, I get it.  There have been many times when I have followed the direction of the Spirit in parenting, and then later, a therapist or teacher recommended that I do just that.  I now credit more of my "great ideas" to divine intervention because they were so right on, and heck, I've never done this before!

My son got dressed without a fuss this morning, was happy about going to Church, participated, even created an activity for the children's singing time for me to use (that's my job :) and played with his sister this afternoon.... there was no sign of the opposition, distraction, frustration that there was before.  I know there will be hard days ahead, there are for every parent and every kid, but I feel like I'm coming out the end of the tunnel, and the sky is blue.  And that blue, is the most beautiful color I've ever seen.