Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Stroke Story


On Thanksgiving Night (2014) about 8:00 p.m. Completely unexpected, and definitely unplanned, I had a dense and rather severe Ishemic Stroke.
 I am here to tell you of the power of prayer.  We believe it was the faithful and heartfelt prayers of MANY that helped me to survive this stroke.  Miracles do exist.
I am 47 years old and in my opinion...way too young to be having a stroke!  Many  people agree with me.  I am way way too young.  How did it happen? 

The doctors are still trying to figure out that out. They told me I was a complex, complicated patient in that my symptoms did not match what they usually see. Because my recovery was so quick, they believed it was a migraine cluster headache, that can mimic a stroke many times.  I have never had a migraine head-ache in my life and don't suffer from a lot of bad headaches.  My original stroke symptoms were very severe, but it wasn't until the first MRI came back that they saw that I did indeed have a dense severe Ishemic stroke. 

The confusion for the doctors and for us is that  I have zero risk factors that we know of yet.  I have very low blood pressure, low cholesterol, I am not diabetic, do not smoke, and exercise fairly regularly.

 Not quite a full week later, I am doing good for the most part. I can tell my brain is still healing and not 100% back to normal, but hoping I will make a full recovery.

*Disclaimer:  Please excuse any weird typos you might bump into while reading this.  In some cases you might have to read between the lines.

 It is very therapeutic for my to write what happened to me, and many people including family members are still asking questions of what my stroke was like.  Since Thanksgiving, I have been reading other stroke stories, and I haven't found any stroke stories that were just like mine.

 My Story

 It still seems very surreal to me, as if I am writing this about someone else.  Since having the stroke, I am just now beginning  to realize it actually happened to me. Yet, I am still not in full acceptance.  It still feels like a weird dream I had.

 I am going into full detail as I tell this as you will see all the moments that my stroke could have hit, but didn't.  Skim past the details if it is too long for you. 
Thanksgiving Day (2014)  was as normal as Thanksgiving Days can be.  I started the morning running a 5K with my daughter Aubrey(20)  and sister-in-law Amber for a dear friend who is recovering from breast cancer.  I am definitely not an avid runner, but I do run once or twice a week on the treadmill, and run about 2 5Ks a year. I probably exerted myself a little more than I should have, but after the race was over, it felt great and my recovery was really easy. What I am trying to say is, I have had harder 5Ks.  We all kind of want to attribute the stroke to the 5K, but at this point that is not a cause for my stroke. The doctors said,  I would have had my stroke during the race, during the exertion period if that was the cause, not later that night. 
After the race we went home and prepared our portion of the Thanksgiving Dinner. About 1:00 pm, we went down to my in-laws house for the big feast.  I remember eating normal serving sizes and not over-eating like I can do at Thanksgiving.    After that we hung out, played games, and I was feeling a little weird from the run, just kind of exhausted. My lungs felt kind of stripped from the cold air we ran in and  I had this deep urge, to just go sleep. I tried sleeping sitting up on the couch, but I was super uncomfortable, and in pain.  I remember telling my husband, I just need to sleep.  Which I did. I went and found a quiet room  the house and layed on the floor and had a great cat-nap.

About 4:00pm, I had this weird desire to just go back home and take out my contacts and put my glasses on.   I look at this as a little prep that was going on for what was about to happen later. 

About 6:00 pm that night we went Black Friday shopping with some family members.  I have been Black Friday shopping many times, and this was the one year I absolutely did not want to go. I just didn't care !   Out of tradition, kinda, we went.  This is one of those annoying sales when one sale starts at 6:00pm , and the other at 8:00pm.  At one point we were planning on staying for the 8:00pm sale, but the things we wanted were already taken by having to have special ticket which we didn't have. Like I said earlier, we just weren't into it, and decided to just go home.

We got home about 7:45 pm. As soon as I walk in the doors at my in-laws house, my two youngest girls 9 and 11 years old wanted me to drive them home to get their pajamas so they could sleep over at Grandmas.  Normally I would procrastinate since I just got home....but I thought...let's go now!  So I drove 3 little girls to our house and was back home at the in-laws in 10 minutes.

As soon as I walked in the door this time, Amber (23), my oldest daughter started telling me the shirts she just barely bought at Bealls did not fit good and she wanted to return them.  She planned on just going the next day, but I told her, no...go now! (I have no idea why I said that, in reality the next day would have been a much better idea. It turned out that her going shopping and returning at a crucial moment,  was a  great tender mercy)  So she took her sister Rebekah (14) to the store to return her shirts.

Everyone started eating left-overs and pie and we were getting ready for a improve skit game downstairs.  I ate a little bit, then decided I would go to the bathroom.  I took my tablet in there so I could read my emails.

Keep in mind that physically I feel completely fine.  I have a mild-medium headache, and I don't feel any different at all.

The Stroke Hits
 My stroke hit while I was in the bathroom.  I remember standing up to button my pants, and then the next thing I remember is being in a different far away place mentally, and not remembering HOW to zip up my pants.  I stood there frozen physically and mentally in a DAZE. I could not remember how to zip, and I was going in and out of sub-consciousness. 

I did not have any pain, I didnt' fall over and collapse, nor was I was  aware I was  having a stroke. I remember feeling dizzy, confused, some double-vision, couldn't talk, and my face drooping.
My stroke hit the left side of my brain, and so my whole right side was effected. I think my brain was trying to send messages for my right side, but it couldn't  respond.  I still remember having this goofy grin on my face, which now I realize  was the right-side of my face completely drooped.
I made my way to the bathroom door,  and once again was completely stuck in my subconscious state. I was far, far, far, away. Everything was very foggy and not really there.   It was like being in a deep deep sleep and someone is trying to wake you, and you just can't wake up, although your eyes are still open.  I stood there trying to figure out to open the bathroom door.  I kept bumping the door knob but didnt' know how to turn it.  I was in this place for a while, going in and out of awareness and kept coming back to the door knob. 
My nephew (10 years old) came upstairs and was on the other side of the door as I was messing with the lock and the door knob. I don't know still, if I got myself out, or if I just loosened the lock enough and he was on the other side and pushed the door open.   Somehow he was in the right place at the right time and helped me get out. (Thanks Marshall!!)
I was deep into my loopy state and made my way to the couch, completely unaware of really anything at all.  No one knew I was there, and I just sat there, slumped over, going farther and farther into my stroke.

 My new problem was that my tablet was on my lap I was trying to figure out how to get it off my lap and into my bag. I tried to lift it a few times, but my brain couldn't figure out how to get it off my lap.  I tried lifting one end of my tablet, and I just couldn't do it.  I then, went into a far away foggy place where I could no longer connect with the outside world. I could sometimes hear, and see in a loopy foggy way, but I couldn't speak or move my body.
Sometime later....( maybe 5 minutes?)  my daughters Amber(23)  and Rebekah (14)  came home from shopping.  Amber saw me on the couch and in her bubbly personality says excitedly, "Hi MOM!!"  She wanted to show me what she just bought at the store. I was vaguely aware of her. I felt like I should acknowledge her and respond, but I couldn't connect at all.  I heard her say my name, and knew she was next to me, but I couldn't speak, move, or connect to her.   She told me later how she could tell I was trying to tell her something, and a few times I tried to stand up, but couldn't. She also told me how I kept  showing her my tablet, but she didn't know what I meant by that. 
She tried a few times to talk to me, and when she figured out something was wrong with me, she told Rebekah to go get Dad and tell him that Mom is not responding.  Beckah went downstairs,  and in that time Amber noticed my face was  drooping, and she knew I was not alright.
She then ran downstairs and said, " Dad! Mom is not OK!  Her face is drooping and we keep trying to talk to her and she is not responding." This was a private conversation that no one else heard in the room.  Than my husband, Richard, ran up the stairs and as soon as he saw me, he  knew I was having a stroke.  He kneelt down in front of me  and said. "Susan, Susan!" "You are having a stroke!"  "I am going to take care of you!!"  "We are taking you to the hospital!"  Then he instructed  Amber to go and get Kyle (future son-in-law).  So Amber runs back to the stairs and yelled for Kyle and no one listened. They responded with, why are you yelling?   Then Amber said, "My mom is not OK. I think she is having a stroke! "  Then Kyle first, then all the uncles sprint up the stairs to get me into the car. 

Richard  and Kyle carried my out to the car. I have a very vague recollection of this.  I was thinking how silly it was that they were fussing over me, I could vaguely sense the sheer panic of the moment.  I thought if I just stopped acting like this, they would know I was OK.  I felt no pain whatsoever, and was not afraid of anything.  The place of my sub-conscious I was in, was a peaceful, place of no worries.  Kyle sat behind my seat in our suburban, holding on to my shoulders as my husband whipped around corners and down the 3 streets to the hospital.  He told me during this, "Mom it is going to be OK. God knows that we still need you"

We get inside the hospital and they literally get me into a wheel chair and zoom me back into the ER room. I barely and  remember any of this. I was going in and out of consciousness. I have bits and pieces of seeing events, people, etc. I could sense the panic in everyone: my husband, son-in-law, mother-in-law, and all the doctors.  I was literally just losing it....peacefully, but very fast. 

 I lay on the ER table, the doctors and nurses began ripping my shirt off as fast as they could and connecting things to my chest.  They threw a hospital gown on me. Still had my pants on the whole time. After doing a few tests like, "grip my fingers, and talk to me, they got me on a table and ran me down to get a CT scan." My daughter Aubrey said they went right past her, and I didn't recognize her. She said I had a glazed look and just kept staring through everyone. 

Prayers going UP

While all of this was happening, my family began calling and texting everyone they thought should know. Prayers began going up to heaven really fast.  At home, at my in-laws house, they all knelt down and had a family prayers when they whisked me off the to ER.  Richard called my parents, who in turn called my 6 brothers, who in turn called all of their children. Everyone stopped what they were doing and had a family prayers. Some of then who are in a different time zone had already gone to bed, woke up and joined the family prayers. One of my brothers was Skyping with children, and they stopped the Skpe and prayed. Amber texted her best friends at college and they stopped what they were doing and knelt and had prayer, and we are still hearing experiences like this of prayer from family, friends, acquaintances, and people who don't know me at all, but know members of my family.  Thank-you to ALL of you.  I believe it was the sincere heartfelt prayers that helped me to recover in a miraculous way.

 A lot of things happened in the ER that I am totally unaware of.  For an hour and a half I was in this peaceful place in my subconscious where every once in a while I would get a glimpse of what was happening around me, but I had no power whatsoever to connect or speak. And, everything was in a far far away foggy place and not real.  I think I moved my eyes from side to side, and maybe my head.

 I remember once, coming to, and seeing my husband kneeling down next to my hospital bed stroking my hand and telling me I had the most beautiful hands he had ever seen.  Another time I remember seeing him gripping his head and crying into his hands. 

The Miracle happened at precisely the right moment

At this point, Salt Lake had a their helicopter going and ready to come and life-flight me. The doctors had the paperwork drawn up for it, and were ready to send me to Salt Lake.

Then I turned to my husband and wanted to talk, and then I was able to speak and ask him what was happening. 

Richard shouted...."she talked!  she talked!!"  Then everyone rushed to my side of the bed. Although everything was very sluggish, I was talking and that made everyone extremely happy.  The first thing I noticed was an IV in my right arm. I have zero memory of that being inserted. It talked to the doctor, husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, Amber, Aubrey, and Kyle. All one at a time as only two people could be in the room.   I called my mom, called my daughters who were at home, and had this miraculous amazing turn around recovery.  Everyone was thrilled to hear my voice. 
I then was talking via satellite to a University of Utah Stroke specialist, or neurologist. She was asking me questions about what I had experienced and how I was feeling.  Twice they had me read first grade words on a paper, and identify simple pictures, and tell them what was happening in this picture.

Our neurologist came next and began talking with me as he was trying to understand how I had a stroke and what might have caused it.  During this conversation, I felt my right side of my face, mainly my mouth droop and I could not control it or stop it. This concerned everyone all over again, and I had another CT scan injecting different fluids in me to see other things.
I spent the rest of the night in the hospital in ICU and had an MRI scheduled the next morning.  Richard slept by me on a fold-down chair, holding my hand all night. Sleeping in the ICU is an experience that neither me or my husband have ever experienced. (not a lot of quality sleep) They have an important job to do there, and I am grateful for all the care I received.
The MRI test results came back and confirmed I did have a dense Ischemic stroke. I have learned that WHERE a stroke hits determines the damage and  disability.  If our brain and all the veins were like a tree with all of its branches, my stroke hit in the tips of the branches. That made my recovery so much better than most. If it hits in the trunk or father down the tree, than the results are not as kind. 

Thank-you all for your prayers and thoughts and concerns.  I just pray that the doctors will find out what caused it. I have wonderful doctors who are trying to figure out why a person with no stroke risk factors, still had a stroke.  I am recovering really well, and my only symptoms now are dizziness and some memory lapses.  I am positive I will have a complete recovery as my brain heals.

Just as much as I want to know the hows and whys of the stroke. I want to make sure that spiritually, we learn from this experience. Was there a message from the Lord in this?  I don't want this experience to have been in vain. I want to be better because of it. I want my family to be better because of it. 

We had a huge wake-up call   to not take each other for granted. To love each other more deeply, to stop worrying about the things that don't really matter, and to stay connected with the Savior everyday.  I am sure more lessons will come as time passes.

THANK-YOU ALL for your prayers!!!  Even if they were just silent prayers of worry or concern from your heart. They were heard and we have been blessed because of it!!!


THE WARNING Signs of Stroke-click this link


More info on Ischemic Stroke: click this link.

(it has pictures that illustrate my condition exactly but I was unable to add them to this post.)



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Instilling Testimonies in Children

our family in 2011

I am the mother of eight children who all happen to be daughters.  A unique situation I am most proud of more than any other thing I have accomplished or achieved in my life. I most proud of being a mother. 

Instilling testimonies in our children at a very young age is what our divine role of mothers is all about.  Whether our children take the seeds that we plant in them, is thechoice. It doesn't, however, take away from  our divine role to teach our children about the Savior and their purpose here on earth.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, one of our beloved prophets from the past, said in November 2000,
"You have nothing in this world more important than your children.  W hen you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out." 

The world looks to us to uphold the sanctity of marriage and family.

Long ago, Heber G. Grant, another prophet made a profound statement. Ever since I read it, it has pierced my mind as something this is true and that I need to remember.

"The mother in the family, far more than the father, is the one who instills into the hearts of the children a love for the gospel...and wherever you find a woman who is devoted to the work, almost without exception, almost without exception you will find that her children are devoted to it."
Our second daughter mission bound to Argentina
This really emphasizes our role to spiritually nurture our children and instill within them a testimony, by first knowing and having a testimony ourselves-paying the price to know for ourselves.  They can't know, if we don't. 

We also can't pretend. Testimony doesn't pass through to our children if we are only pretending or going through the motions. We have to know and pay the price required to know.

  • Most of their testimony will begin from watching YOU live the gospel and seeing you in action! When they see how you pray, how you go to church, how you read your scriptures, and how you represent the Savior everyday of your lives, it will sink deep into them. 
  • Another way is having high expectations for them. You do not need to sugar-coat the gospel for them to want it. Nor do you need to water it down. Expect high things and great things, and they will live up to it.  Expect them to be reverent, expect them to fulfill family responsibilities, expect them to partake of the gospel to its fullest.
  • Teach them.  Teach them from their earliest age and don't stop. It just gets more and more fun with their age. Make Family Home Evening matter. Take advantage of spontaneous teaching moments throughout the day.
  • Don't back bite about the church leaders. 
  • Seek to have the Spirit in your home.
  • Have family scripture study everyday that you can and family prayers.  This will be a spiritual shield that will guide and protect your family. 
Teaching and instilling testimonies in our children is what will matter most in our lives. No ifs, ands, or buts around it!

*Although this post was directed to strengthening mothers in their divine role in the home, husbands and fathers have a key role as well.  I would add that husbands and fathers have a key role in helping their children come to know for themselves that Jesus Christ is their Savior as well as a testimony of all the aspects of the gospel. He has a key role teaching in Family home evening, and teaching moments throughout the day, and at the dinner table. It should be a team-work operation in our homes. 

Family Proclamation to the World: By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Testimonies of our Living Prophets-Thomas S. Monson

We are led today by prophets....seers....and true revelators.
They are true prophets in every sense of the word.  They have been called of God. They are holy and pure and speak by the power and authority of God. They testify of our Savior.

  They prophesy, they  reveal God's will and word to us, and they can see around corners and know what is coming.  They are keenly aware of everything that is happening in the world.

They are some of the smartest men to have ever walked the earth.

They are prophets!
As Conference is approaching, I want to remember and remind myself what our prophets said to us in our last conference in April. 
Our Stake President has taught us that if we are not studying the words of the prophets between conference sessions, then we are not following the prophets.
So let's study what was spoken to us and try to prepare our selves to receive more.

This post today will focus on the words of our prophet President Thomas S. Monson.

*all italicized quotes are from the leader highlighted
*all image sources are library

President Thomas S. Monson

 Be Strong and of a Good Courage (Priesthood Session)
Principle: True courage is living  what we believe.
"Inasmuch as the trend in society today is rapidly moving away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, we will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which we believe. Will we have the courage to do so?"

His usage of the word "trend" reminds me of how important it is that we don't follow every trend that crosses society's path.  This is not church doctrine, this is just my doctrine for my life, but I feel there is some danger or at least some caution should be implemented in following trends. Even if they seem harmless.  Society likes to take trends to the extreme, and if we are not careful we are in that stream and can easily be taken away. The spirituality of our family suffers. We have to be careful. Trends can take us quickly away from the values and principles the Lord has given us.  I guess what I am saying  is... "I agree!! President Monson!"  If we do get swept away momentarily do we have the courage to stop and to defend what we believe? 

“If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!”
The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. Every day of our lives courage is needed—not just for the momentous events but more often as we make decisions or respond to circumstances around us."

"Said Scottish poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson: “Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.”  
When we have true courage it is usually from within and very few know the courage we muster up each day. 
"... inner courage also includes doing the right thing even though we may be afraid, defending our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintaining those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or of social status. He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular."
"We will all face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. 
May each one leave here tonight with the determination and the courage to say, with Job of old, “While my breath is in me, … I will not remove mine integrity from me.” That this may be so is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen. 

(Sunday morning session)
Principle:  As we come to understand the love God has for us and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our capacity to love others increases.
"We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellowmen if we do not love God, the Father of us all"
"Every day of our lives we are given opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us. Said President Spencer W. Kimball: “We must remember that those mortals we meet in parking lots, offices, elevators, and elsewhere are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve. It will do us little good to speak of the general brotherhood of mankind if we cannot regard those who are all around us as our brothers and sisters.” 

Testimony and Admonition of a Prophet
  • "Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears. Lamented President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Why is it that the [ones] we love [most] become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that [we] sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick?”The answers to these questions may be different for each of us, and yet the bottom line is that the reasons do not matter. If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect."
  • " I would hope that we would strive always to be considerate and to be sensitive to the thoughts and feelings and circumstances of those around us. Let us not demean or belittle. Rather, let us be compassionate and encouraging. We must be careful that we do not destroy another person’s confidence through careless words or actions."
  • Beyond comprehension, my brothers and sisters, is the love of God for us. Because of this love, He sent His Son, who loved us enough to give His life for us, that we might have eternal life. As we come to understand this incomparable gift, our hearts will be filled with love for our Eternal Father, for our Savior, and for all mankind. That such may be so is my earnest prayer "

Until We Meet Again ( Sunday Afternoon Session)
"I bear testimony that this work is true, that our Savior lives, and that He guides and directs His Church here upon the earth. I leave with you my witness and my testimony that God our Eternal Father lives and loves us. He is indeed our Father, and He is personal and real. May we realize how close to us He is willing to come, how far He is willing to go to help us, and how much He loves us. "




Saturday, September 6, 2014

Marriage vs. Divorce

"Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God"

I am learning ever learning, and what I am learning right now is HOW important the marriage covenant is.  My husband and I just recently celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary and I feel that is a great accomplishment in life!  Even with all those years behind us, we still don't know it all and we are always learning how to love each other more and how to strengthen our marriage.
If you want to know how important marriage is to the Lord and how He looks upon this covenant, take  a few minutes and read Elder Dallin H. Oaks talk from April 2007
Whaaaat?  Read about divorce to understand more about the importance of marriage?   Yep!! 
 It will open your eyes as you really study and ponder the message. Here are a few highlights from his talk:
  • A good marriage does not require a perfect man or a perfect woman. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection..
  • Divorce touches almost every family.  Some see themselves as the victims of divorce, others as beneficiaries, others see themselves as failures because of divorce, others use divorce as the  great escape.
The bottom line is that divorce has become commonplace for many marriages. It is the perfect out when you want to get out!  It is acceptable and understood and empathized with.  When a couple has a problem, instead of working at it, even getting counseling, they decide to just divorce and start over with someone new. They soon realize that every person has different problems, there is no such thing as 'the grass is greener', and all marriages take work!
"The concept that society has a strong interest in preserving marriages for the common good as well as the good of the couple and their children has been replaced for many by the idea that marriage is only a private relationship between consenting adults, terminable at the will of either."
"Nations that had no divorce law have adopted one, and most nations permitting divorces have made them easier to obtain. Unfortunately, under current no-fault divorce laws, it can be easier to sever a marriage relationship with an unwanted spouse than an employment relationship with an unwanted employee. Some even refer to a first marriage as a “starter marriage,” like a small home one uses for a while before moving on."
Am I the only one struggling with the "starter marriage" concept?    I feel is Hollywood-driven, wordly, and as wrong as wrong can be.  The marriage covenant is binding, and for LDS, eternal in nature. 
You date,  you make your choice, you pray about your choice, you make sure it is right, and THEN-when you get married and make those covenants, you and your spouse do all you can to make it work. 
 Looking lightly upon marriage takes away all the sacredness of the covenant.  Elder Oaks explained:
"The kind of marriage required for exaltationeternal in duration and godlike in qualitydoes not contemplate divorce.
WOW! Did you understand that?  Read that again! 
"The kind of marriage required for exaltationeternal in duration and godlike in qualitydoes not contemplate divorce.
Does not contemplate divorce.

In the temples of the Lord, couples are married for all eternity. But some marriages do not progress toward that ideal.
Because “of the hardness of [our] hearts,” (pride and selfishness take over)
And read this next part slowly, letting is soak in:
...the Lord does not currently enforce the consequences of the celestial standard. He permits divorced persons to marry again without the stain of immorality specified in the higher law.
So we don't have ALL the knowledge and ALL the revelation on the law of marriage and divorce, but the fact that the Lord is not "currently" enforcing all the consequences, is enlightening to me.  If He feels this strongly about divorce and it's consequences of which we don't have the full enforcement, I think we should ALL work harder at having strong marriages because there is so much we don't even get!

If we have made the choice to marry, made covenants that are eternal or at the very least for this life, we need to do all we can to keep our covenants. 

My mom has a saying:" We spend all of our lives trying to overcome our childhood"  There is a lot of truth to that.

We all have a past and a childhood where we became the people we are.  We all respond differently to life's many situations.   Marriage is all about developing Christ-like attributes of faith, hope, virtue, knowledge, humility, diligence, obedience, and  love. 

Elder Oaks cautions:
"I strongly urge you and those who advise you to face up to the reality that for most marriage problems, the remedy is not divorce but repentance. Often the cause is not incompatibility but selfishness. The first step is not separation but reformation."
  • The remedy is repentence
  • Selfishness is the root
  • Reformation is the first step (don't be afraid to seek personal/couple counseling if needed) 

 Believe it or not, reading and studying this talk on divorce has really opened my eyes.  Seeing how the Lord looks upon divorce has enlightened me and strengthened my understanding of how He must look upon  marriage.
My resolve to love my husband more and to strive to honor my marriage covenants has been strengthened.
[There are so many men and women who have done ALL they can and try as they might, their marriages end in divorce. I have several very dear friends, that with all of their best efforts and countless prayers, and with much heartache, their spouse decided to leave the family.  My heart goes out to those people!

 The Lord will make up the difference and will bless you and take care of you! 

Other marriages where abuse or other serious sins are involved are an exception as well, and Elder Oaks addresses that more thoroughly in this talk. I encourage you to read that. ]

Thursday, July 24, 2014

We Are Mothers

A little venting is in order today.....I know, that is very emotionally immature of me, but I have to get some things out. Don't worry, nothing too personal, just mothers stuff.

I am seriously hurt when I see people I know and love purposely turn their backs on trying their hardest to be good mothers. I guess it is the time and age we live in.

" Men's (and mother's and wife's) hearts will fail them." 
The "really?" or "I cannot believe you did that?" consume my thoughts for a moment.  My heart bleeds for them and their children, and just the whole MOTHERHOOD cause which I believe so strongly in.

Have you heard the quote..."As the family goes, so goes the whole nation and whole world." --Pope John Paul II

How about this one..."As the MOTHER goes, so goes the family" 

Try as we might, we cannot separate ourselves from our divine, sacred role of mothers.  We are mothers.   Always.  Everyday.  No Matter What.  We set the tone for our families and lead our families according to our examples.  The family follows our lead, both the spoken and unspoken.

I will be the first to tell you I am not the best mother.  OK, well maybe by daughters would tell you that. They see my personal imperfections the most.  But regardless of our individual weaknesses, we must not give up the cause of MOTHERHOOD. 

This is NOT the time to  sow our wild un-sown oats from our teenage-hood.  We are not teenagers living in motherly bodies.  It was time to give all that up a lo-o--ong time ago.  We Are Mothers.  And need to act like it. 

We need to stop this mentality that is from the adversary meant and devised only to weaken mothers and eventually destroy the family, that it is OUR turn for everything.  That is such a needy and selfish way of thinking. It upsets the balance of the family.  As we are going out having "our turn", who is doing our role in the home?  Well, the children and husband are. They are at home waiting for their wife and mother to be done doing "their thing".   This "having our turn"  doesn't even strengthen us, like it promises to do.  It just emotionally detaches us from our sacred role as mothers and wives. 

It is not our turn, it is the Savior's turn. Not ours. Everything we do and are, needs to be what He would do and what He is.  We take His place in the home.  We are the healers and the nurtures. Just as everything HE did was about the Father, everything we do needs to be about the Savior.

We need to be the example of leading ourselves and our children to Christ.
Here is a great Mormon Message about Men's (and women's) heart failing them,
and that what we need is