Friday, July 17, 2015

A Child's Memoir

   (Warning- There is a bit of rambling that happens!)

   Ever since we started to talk about divorce, and remarriage in my Family Relations class, I felt like I should share my personal experience with that.  I've given some brief backstory in other posts, but I've decided that I'm going to share the whole thing, or as much of it as I can remember anyway:) 

    When I was in high school, I knew there were many kids around me who came from single-parent or re-married homes.  A lot of them had gone down a path that I personally would never go down. And I remember thinking a lot of times that I could very easily be just like them, and how grateful I was that I wasn't like them. Even though I came from a "broken" home just like them, we reacted to the situation in different ways.
    I was only 8 years old when my parents got divorced (for those of you who are Mormon will recognize that this is the baptismal age--yes, my parents got divorced the year I was baptized).  Since more than half my life was "father-absent," I can only remember glimpses of when we had that "perfect" family.  I remember the Christmas my dad got us a beagle puppy, and how dang excited I was about it! I was even allowed to choose her name (I picked Chloe--I got it from Smallville because we used to watch that show).  I remember going to places my dad performed at and loving listening to him sing and entertain people (he would sing at restaurants and stuff--he sang songs by Sinatra, Dean Martin, the "oldies"). I remember doing a parent-child talent show at my elementary school where me and my dad sang a duet using a Frank Sinatra song (I also remember being terrified to sing in front of people in a solo-ish setting...I still am that way).
    All these good memories allow me to remember a time when everything was perfect, at least in the eyes of a child, they were perfect.
    A couple years after the divorce was finalized, we moved from Michigan to Utah, so my mom could be closer to her family.  I was basically the only one at home (the youngest of 6, 4 of whom were living on their own, 1 was practically an adult) when the divorce happened.  Before my brother (the "practically an adult" one) left to serve a two-year mission in the Dominican Republic, I remember telling him how much I was going to miss him because I felt like we had become really close since the divorce happened and I was scared to see him go.  Over the next two years, my mom and I really bonded and for a while, she was practically my best friend.  When my brother returned home, things hadn't really changed, except he was now on the search for a wife (whom he married a year later).
   So when the time came that my mom was engaged, I'm not gonna lie, I had a really hard time with that.  After having my moms attention for the better part of a decade, I felt like she was being "stolen" from me and I felt alone, in a sense.  I was still having a hard time with it, so when the marriage happened, I honestly didn't think I would be able to go (not only scheduling issues) because I didn't know if I could handle watching my mom go off with a man who was not my dad. Since it was such a difficult thing for me, I was hardcore praying because I wanted to not have those feelings and I wanted my mom to be happy.  Suffice to say, things are better now.  It's still hard, but I think I'm becoming a better person because of it.

    (Whew!) After that long story, I just want to end with saying that very rarely are divorces the answer.  In fact, 70% of those who report unsatisfaction with their marriage reported satisfaction with their marriage 5 years later, if they stayed together.  SEE??? Divorce is not always the answer when things get hard in a marriage.  You might be thinking, "What do you know? You're not even married!" And yes, that is true...but I also know that marriage is the most important thing a man and woman could ever do, apart from bringing children into this world, of course.
    I am INCREDIBLY grateful for the Gospel.  Without it, I don't think I'd even be the same person. I don't want to even imagine what type of person I'd be, because I know it would not be good.  When things get hard, we just have to remember to keep on going.  We will fail, but the most important thing is that we get up, try again, and keep moving in the right direction.


I am far from being a parent.  So I can't say that I know what it's like to be a parent firsthand, but I have been able to glimpse what it would be like.
During my break from school, I go home and work.  While I'm home, I get asked to babysit my nephews practically every single day.  I love my nephews, don't get me wrong, but handling 3 little boys under the age of 6 can be tough, as my sister can attest.  I don't think I ever realized how difficult parenting can be till I started to babysit my nephews.  So from my experience with them and with being in my Family Relations class, I would like to think that I will be able to improve my parenting ability.
When it comes to parenting, one of my BIGGEST pet peeves is saying someone's a "bad" parent.  Yes, there are the exceptions to that where the parent really is just not good in any sense, but I like to be optimistic about parenting and think that there's a "good, better, and best" (thanks to Elder Dallin H. Oaks!) way to parent.
Parenting is a learning experience, much like it is for the child.  Parents may go with one way of punishment because it's something they read in a parenting book, but later they find that punishment was ineffective with their child, so hopefully they would realize what it is their child needs and find the appropriate punishment.  As the children learn about the world around them and test their abilities, the parents do as well.
Becoming a parent is a HUGE deal to me.  As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a mother.  This opportunity is a blessing. I think so many people throw that away and it's really devastating to see that become some sort of phenomenon in our world.
We have a Heavenly Father who wants us to return to Him and become like Him, and the best way we can do that is through parenting.

Until we meet again:) 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Fathers Love

   We talk about how vital the role of mother is, but the role of father is just as important.  Like I've said in previous blog posts, I was only 8 when my parents divorced, and during (and since) that time, I was living with my mom.  So for the past 10+ years, I haven't had much of a father figure in my life.  I'm not saying that to blame anyone, because it really isn't anybody's fault.  I'm saying it to show a point just how important fathers are.     
   In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," it says, "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." I KNOW the MOST important thing to take from this is that fathers should do these things out of love for their families.
   Fathers only want the best for their children.  Growing up, hearing "no" from a father is only his way of saying, "I don't want you to get hurt." Naturally, the child would only rebel and go against what parents say because they want to experience things, no matter the consequence.  Then the children later find that their father only said no because he loved them so much, he didn't want to see them get hurt.  Our Heavenly Father does the same thing.  Whenever we get the feeling (or prompting by the Holy Ghost) that we shouldn't do something, it's Heavenly Fathers way of saying, "I don't want you to get hurt." I think that is the greatest comfort to know of: no matter how we live our lives, Heavenly Father only wants to protect us from the things that could be harmful to us or others because of His love for us.

  The biggest act of love we all know is that of the Father's sacrifice for all of His children here on earth.  He sent His son, Jesus Christ, here to this earth so that He would suffer for our sins so that we may live with them again.  To me, that is the biggest act of love because no parent could ever imagine having to sacrifice their only (or any) child.  It just proves how much Heavenly Father wants us to be with Him again. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Communication is a big part of our lives.  We live in a world where technology is our biggest form of communication, but it's also probably just about the worst.  Ever read a text where you weren't sure if the person was being flirty, or joking, or being absolutely serious? I think we all have at one point in our lives.  That's one of the biggest concerns about our day and age.  We're starting to slowly lose that interaction we experience when we physically see how people communicate.  Whether it's by their body language, the audible tone in their voice or by their words, we can clearly tell the difference between how people interact in person vs how they interact through technology.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling, I've seen so many comments that are both harsh and hurtful on both sides of the issue.  And 100% of those comments were done on social media.  There were some comments I read where I could immediately tell the tone that was implied, others it was a little more difficult.  And the whole time I read those, I kept wondering if this whole back-and-forth thing would be better in person or not.  Sometimes I think it would be just as bad, if not worse.
So media has become a big part of our lives, that much is clear.   But we can't let it take away from the face-to-face interaction we experience.  That is so much more important and valuable than words that could be posted and deleted just as easily with a click of a button.

Until next time:)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Family Crises

There may be times when we're looking at the people around us and think they have the perfect life.  That may be true, but chances are that most people are having some sort of familial crisis.  Whether it's losing a close relative, divorce between parents (or their own divorce), addictions, marriages, births, etc., the list goes on.  Growing up, I always thought my family would be perfect, like there was nothing that could bring us apart and it was a fairytale ending (the good kind). That didn't happen though.  
I was only 8 years old when my parents were officially divorced.  I say officially because they were separated for some time before that.  I remember how tough that was on the family.  I got the sense that there were some feelings of betrayal between my siblings and my dad.  Me, being the youngest, I didn't quite understand what was happening, but I knew I still loved my dad.  When the divorce was official, my mom got custody of the kids, at least, those of us who were under 18 and still living at home.  After this crisis in my family, I saw it then and I still see it now.  While this event drove a wedge between my siblings relationship with my dad, it definitely brought our relationship with our mom a whole lot closer.  After my siblings left the house, I was the only child left at home.  My mom was pretty much my best friend for a while.  Spending all the time that I did with her made me come to appreciate and love her more
I love my family, even after everything we've been through.  I wouldn't say this was a traumatic experience, I would say that it has actually helped me become the person I am today.  And I can only pray and wish that I won't go through the same thing with my own family. 

Until next time:)

How the World Sees It

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are commanded to wait to have sex until marriage.  However, the world doesn't care about waiting till marriage for two people to be so intimate with each other.  The world promotes that physical intimacy before marriage is okay.  But what most people don't consider is there is a price that comes with that.  Something that can't be given back once it's been taken.
It's incredibly important that a husband and wife cleave unto each other.  When marital bonds are strong, chances of a spouse wavering are unlikely.  When the world tells us that having relations before marriage is okay, chances of the significant other wavering are more likely.
Now, going down a different path....We all are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father and He wants us to be happy and have what's best for us.  But how can we do that if we are taking something He's given us, which happens to be so sacred and pure, and basically throwing it back in His face by saying we don't care?  If we really cared, we wouldn't do that.  But if we have done something wrong, we can be forgiven of it.

Until next time:)

P.S. I know it's short, but it's short and sweet:)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mawwage is What Bwings Us Here Togetha Today!

To me, marriage is probably the most important thing a person could ever do.  Not only do you get to spend forever with your best friend, but you get to create a family with that person and raise your children in love.  Being the youngest of six, I have been to my fair share of weddings, starting from when I was only 6 (I think) to 19.  Most of these weddings were done at the right place, with the right person and by the right authority.  And I can only pray and hope that it will be the same for me. 

Among the happiness that weddings and marriage bring, I also have seen what brings the marriage apart.  I remember when my parents got divorced.  Yes, I was young, but I remember it was a pretty significant year--so much happened!  It was the year I got baptized, the year my mom turned 50, the year my sister graduated high school, the year everything just kind of came apart.  I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad by sharing this sob story, but I want to share what can go wrong if we aren't careful. 

I think it's a pretty universal misconception that things get better and easier once you get married.  For some, that may be the case, but for most everyone else, it surely isn't.  During the time of the divorce, I wasn't quite old enough to understand what was going on.  So when I was older and actually understood more, I asked my mom why her and dad got divorced.  I don't remember all of what she said, but the main thing I remember her saying is, "pride."  It all came down to pride.  No matter who's pride it was, whether it was hers or my dads, pride was the downfall of their marriage. 

We are warned about pride so often in the scriptures and so often by our prophets and apostles. President Ezra Taft Benson taught, "The central feature of pride is enmity--enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen."  If you're like me and didn't know what enmity means, let me enlighten you.  Enmity is hatred towards or being opposed to someone.  This is so relevant especially with today's standards of marriage being redefined.  We often find that we are in opposition with those who believe differently than we do, and we revert to attacking them, usually in a verbal manner.  The best we can do is teach them what is right through love and patience. 

Until next time:)