Thursday, February 24, 2011

This life we live

My oh my, what big eyes you have Ashlyn
Saying goodbye to Jason before he left for his mission and we left for Texas.

So I'm not very good at this blogging thing...big surprise. When I have something I can't wait to say I write about it in my journal, good or bad, happy or sad. It's one of the most therapeutic things I've discovered in my life, thanks to my 12th grade english teacher that required us to keep a journal my entire senior year. It's changed my life and I'm now on my 12th journal. Thank you Mrs...? Oh I can't remember your name, but you changed my life. So when I do write something on this blog it's usually when I feel happiest, which is why I probably always come across on this thing as a constantly happy person. When I need to vent my poor journal hears about it, or actually my poor husband, I should say, and then my journal.

In a Relief Society meeting not too long ago I made a comment about the struggle I have to overcome myself and my own weaknesses. After the meeting the lady sitting next to me said "wow, you always seem so put together though." Her comment made me think about life. I have my challenging days...yes, I definitely do. I feel just as insecure as the next person does. I remember growing up and being so anxious to go to college, serve a mission, get married, and have a family, and thinking that life would be so perfect. And then I went to college. I was so homesick the first semester and went home a lot. After that first semester though I fell in love with BYU-Idaho and never looked back, dreading the day I would have to graduate and leave. And then I dated Jared. Not at all a fairy tale story there, not like I'd always dreamed of. Jared and I have admitted this to ourselves a million times. It was a blast to date each other and we have some wonderful memories of that time, but oh wow, it was rough. It was so up and down, up and down, dating, not dating, dating, not dating, holding hands, not holding hands, would I serve a mission, not sure anymore but dating Jared, now not dating Jared (just for the record, this was mostly my fault it was so dramatic, not Jared's). But wow, what an important time in our lives for the both of us together.
And then I served a mission. All I can say is that it was the hardest thing I've ever done, and I mean brutally hard in all ways...emotionally, physically, and spiritually...I honestly thought I'd never make it through eighteen months of it day after day. But it was by far one of the single greatest blessings I have in my entire life.
And then I got married. That's been better than I ever thought but certainly not because marriage is a fairy tale like I dreamt of when I was little and watched "Beauty and the Beast." Marriage is just real life, plain and simple. You agree, then you don't agree, so you figure out how to agree. You work hard, play hard, laugh hard and cry hard with and for each other a lot. And then we started our family. I always thought being pregnant would be such a wonderful and rewarding experience. Um, not for me, I guess because I hate being pregnant. I just make it through one day at a time. And I don't even have it bad. I'm not too sick and I don't get too big, but that doesn't matter. I still struggle and cry a lot at night wondering how on earth I can make it through four more months, then three more months, then two more months, being pregnant. It's just uncomfortable, can't sleep, feel sick, clothes don't fit, I feel self-conscious, my skin breaks out, lots of pain, and I spend more time in the bathroom than anywhere else. I literally just grin and bear it and try to smile. I have to read a lot of talks from the Prophets where they talk about how motherhood is the noblest calling. This pumps me up, otherwise I just cry. But then the baby comes and that's it, your heart is wrapped around that baby forever. So now I'm a mom and it is the most incredibly rewarding experience I've had and am having, but, let's be honest here, it's totally exhausting. There is not one other thing I'd rather be doing than staying at home all day with my two little girls because I love it and them so much, but I have countless moments where I think "how can I go on?" And then I call my mom and cry for while, and somehow, because she made it I can too
My whole life I've always prayed that the Lord would send me out in the mission field, some where "out there" where there aren't so many members, where missionary work is desperately needed, where I can make a difference, so I can give my family a similar experience to what I had for ten years growing up in England. I've always dreamed of this, always, since I was a little girl. Then it happened.....what on earth was I thinking when I prayed for that? I didn't comprehend that I'd be giving up so much of what I love and am most comfortable with... all of my family, friends, people with similar values surrounding me everywhere, peace and tranquility, the beauty of Utah and Idaho, dry weather, nice cool beautiful falls and winters. I got what I dreamed of and now...? It's tough. I do not, I repeat, do not like hot weather. I do not like city life, I do not like dealing with traffic everywhere, and I love nature. I am right in San Antonio, Tx, one of the biggest cities in the United states, nice and hot and humid. Just remember, I prayed for this, but not this at the same time. I can't tell you how many times I prayed and prayed, during this last fall semester, that Heavenly Father would please please please find somewhere else for us to be...but that was not His answer and so here I am, learning to find joy in living here.
So life is full of ups and downs. We take a big deep breath and go on. And yes, I am really, truly, deeply happy, in spite of it all.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most meat is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey....delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."