Monday, May 10, 2010

Be Grateful

Dave and I both have our "pre-marraige" story. Long, each of them, but gladly they come with happy endings--a marriage sealed for time and all eternity. While Dave may have opted for someone to help him through his illnesses so he wasn't quite so alone for quite so long, and I may have preferred to NOT go through the sadness of divorce, what we have now is long-lasting gratitude in our hearts for one another. Why is it, we most appreciate what we work the hardest for? I suppose it doesn't matter--perhaps we should work hard for all that we do have, so we appreciate what we are given each day. Especially those people who are closest to us.

There is so much to be grateful for, when we think of it, and blessings continue to come by the dozens. I hope to always be able to be blessed with the ability to see what I have, love what it is, and be thankful for it. After all it is better to "want what you have, than to get what you want".

Sunday, May 9, 2010


On Mothers Day, I stop to think for a moment about the Mothers in my life. Starting with my own Mom who has been an inspiration in ALL things. Strong in her beliefs, strong in her physical goals, strong in her leadership, strong in following what she knows to be right. One of the things I have observed about her is her ability to NOT think too much. If something needs done, she does it. If someone needs help, she helps them. If someplace is void, she fills it. My mom is an excellent example of a truly Christlike individual who offers love and compassion to all--no strings attached. Simply put, I want to be like her. Sadly, there are many women out there who, for whatever reason, can not have children. My mom leads the kind of life that they could follow--offering a motherly influence to all who they come in contact with.

Granted, there are times when I catch myself after having instinctively said something and thought "did my Mother's words just come out of my mouth?" So what if they did? It just means I am one step closer to my goal of growing into her shoes :) I have been blessed to have her all my life. She is my set of training wheels right now, keeping me up when I am unsteady--I do not look forward to the day when the Lord takes her back and leaves me to ride all on my own.

Dave's mom lives just around the corner and also plays a wonderful role in our lives here. I see clearly, where Dave gets his consistency, patience, generosity, and strength. She has endured a great deal of physical trials and continues to aim her focus on her family through service. Her talents hang on the walls of all of her kid's homes, where her heart also dwells. She waited a long time for grandchildren, and clearly loves to have them a part of her life. We are lucky to have her influence in our daily lives.

Of course, I also reflect on my experience as a mother. Motherhood has been all that I hoped it would be. I only wanted to be a mother, growing up, and still if there was only one thing I could do in life, it would be to be a mother. My children have changed my life. Each of them have brought out in me, qualities that I would not have had without the experience of living with and learning from them. Dania has a focus and drive like non other. She will go wherever she wants and will not take no for an answer. I hope I will be able to remember her righteous motivation to achieve all good things when she is grown and moved onto her own life somewhere. Tori-Laine has taught me valuable lessons in taking time to enjoy the simple and beautiful things. I am not one who normally sits and enjoys a good book, or soaks up the sun, or gets engaged in a great story--but she has brought that much-needed, softer aspect into my life. Benny of course has brought laughter and smiles and joy beyond measure. He reminds us everyday that "Sunday will come" no matter the trials we endure, the promises and blessings of the Lord will come in their own time. He is our family's Sunday.

Grandmothers and great-grandmothers have also helped shape and form my life, for which I will be eternally grateful. It all comes together and creates an amazing picture. I know that my Father in Heaven has a plan for families, and I know that the part we each play in the plan is a critical piece to the overall outcome. "I stand all amazed" and look forward to the day we are all together in the eternities sharing, loving, and continually offering the support we do each day, as mothers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The First Step Back

I started running again this week. I never should have taken that "recovery week" after the half marathon in March. One week lead to two, three, four, and five. Now here I am, running as though I never ran multiple half and even full marathons. Ouch. As I started again this morning, Day 2 of getting back to running, I thought how much my workouts are like my life in the gospel. There are big spiritual events in life that can often take a lot out of a person--tempting us to step back and "recover" for a while instead of keeping one foot going in front of the other. Before you know it, a "recovery period" can turn into a lack of drive and motivation to progress in a spiritual way.

Yesterday was the hardest. Those first steps back are always the hardest--whether running or scripture study. But today was better, and I expect tomorrow to follow suit. I suppose the moral to the story is, I ought to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even if I just competed an exhausting event. Even if it's a slower pace. Even if it's shorter distance. Even if it snows. Every day I'll move forward some, and through time I will remain strong enough for the next day's workout and any upcoming event that may await.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Be Humble

I once heard that no matter how grand the size of the tree, each leaf must return to its roots for nourishment. The roots Dave and I come from are both strong and deep, though different. He comes from a very academic family with University Professors in many areas. I came from farming roots on both sides. His side of the family is quiet and orderly, mine is crazy and hectic. It's interesting to compare childhood stories with those differences, and then realize that when it comes right down to the important things, we are are the same--equally yoked.

I fell in love with Dave for many reasons, but one that will continue to sink it's roots into my heart is how dedicated and devoted he is to living a steady, strong, devoted, loyal, selfless, Christ-centered life. We surely haven't made it to be "rich and famous" just yet, but I know without a doubt that even if we did, together we would return to our roots for nourishment daily. We are blessed to live near his side of the family and for the occasional visit to Arizona or Washington to visit mine. Our kids have been reminded regularly of the importance of family and where we all came from which keeps us humble and ever-reaching for growth.

Dave's family history is filled with amazing and sentimental stories that clearly depict how they all came to where they are... as is my family history. It is humbling to remember that we are somebody's family history and our stories will make a difference in their lives too.

Vacation Time

Hawaii became our family's getaway spot the first time we went... on our family honeymoon :o) We have been to the Big Island, Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, and love them all differently for what they each have to offer. My favorite thing about Hawaii is that it is so remote. I love the time we have together, away from distractions and phones and DVR recordings and homework and work work and community responsibilities, etc... Selfish, maybe, but I love to have my family all to myself sometimes.

Dania tries to keep a schedule, even while we're away, which is great! Otherwise, I think we might sleep through the entire vacation. Tori keeps us laughing and finds the funniest things in everything. Dave knows Hawaii very well so is a fantastic tour guide on drives or whatever. I'm just there for the ride. The closest Benny has come to Hawaii, is the summer 2008--I was pregnant with him.

We spent 5 1/2 weeks on Oahu that summer, which was a lovely opportunity to bond, just the four of us, before the baby came the following October. Why are there no pictures of me? I was swollen. REALLY swollen. My feet blended in with my knees, each the end of a large and tightly filled tube what otherwise would have been recognized as a shin/calf. The ocean water was amazing to sooth my feet, however, and I get homesick to go back even still.

Prior to that summer, we have had the opportunity to go with family over Thanksgiving and share a house. Maui beaches are amazing! And of course our family honeymoon to the Big Island--was unforgettable.

This year we will try something new and go to Jamaica together, as a result of a work meeting there for me. I look forward to the same things there, as I always do with Hawaii. A long way from home and distractions, and a short way to building more memories.

Be Smart

I didn't realize how glad I was to graduate until a year or so later, when it was once again "finals season" for the students at BYU. I associated the smell of the blooming trees and cool mountain air with stress and deadlines for so long, that even though I was thrilled winter was coming to an end, I had an instinctive pit in my stomach. When I realized, however, that was then free to enjoy the season for all it was WITHOUT those stresses, Spring meant even more.

How grateful I am to have had the opportunity to go back and finish up school. I'm even more glad to be done with it... completely done with school? No. I would really like to continue taking classes and learn as much as I can when that is possible again (when Benny goes to school in a few years). I love the atmosphere of BYU and actually miss spending time in the library, the "Wilk", having lunch with Dave, and just roaming around watching the love-birds. There is no place on Earth, like BYU, that is for sure. I am lucky to live so close.

Go Cougars!

Be Clean

Sundays are great for a lot of reasons. I feel like it is a clean start for me, my schedule, my family, my house, my goals, my goodness!! I grew up with a children's song that sang "Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday..." it goes on to talk about the many things we can do to prepare for Sunday in order to make it the best day of the week. While I may not prepare as well as I could or probably should, Sundays are the desserts of our days and we cherish them.

Benny's bath time, especially on Sunday, reminds me that I love to get things done--even things that I might tend to put off for later (as Benny likes to do with his baths). President Hinckley taught us to "be clean" among other things, and that is how I hope our family will always be. And while I'd like to use this to remind the kids to do better in their rooms, I hope more so, that they will remember to always try to do better in their hearts. To be clean from judging others and free to encourage; to be clean from fear and free with confidence; to be clean from mental clutter and free with order in their lives.

He that hath clean hands and a pure heart shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord, Ps. 24:3-5