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:)

Love One Another

We've all seen those romantic comedies where guy and girl fall in love, something happens to break them up, they find their way back to each other and live happily ever after.  But let's be real for a often does that really happen?

I think we all, to a certain extent, have this misconception about love.  We have seen many movies like this, no matter where it takes place, who's involved....the story is just the same.  But does that mean love doesn't exist?  Well, as an expert (not really), love doesn't only come from your significant other.  There are many types of love.  There's familial love, friendship love, and of course romantic love-the love we see in all those movies.  But there's another type of love that is just as important, if not more, than the others, and that is Christlike love.

Too often, I think, we forget about the love Christ has for each of us.  When times are hard, we feel that there may be nobody to turn to when, in fact, there is.  The love Christ has is so immense that He was willing to sacrifice His life for us.  He was willing to put our eternal happiness before His mortal pain. This Christlike love could also be referred to as charity.  In the Book of Mormon, Mormon taught, "Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (Moroni 7:45).

I think it's important that we remember to "love one another" as Christ taught.  No matter how difficult it may be at times, we should find a way to put ourselves in the shoes of another and see life the way do, so that we may better understand them.

Until next time:)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The World Is Changing...And So Should You

   Do you ever get the feeling like what you have to say doesn't matter? Like your opinions are irrelevant or unimportant?
   I have.
   And how is it that even though the Constitution clearly states that we have the freedom to express our own views and opinions and to worship as we would like, we still get "dumbed" down (in a sense) and our opinions get thrown out the window?
   In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, because it was the way God intended. Yet, no matter how often Church leaders express this to the media, we still get persecuted for not changing our stance on marriage, especially now with marriage equality being called into question. And it seems like it's becoming harder and harder for any religion, including members of the LDS faith, to express these beliefs without being called "hater" or "homophobe" or any other name.
   As the Young Women's Theme states, "We are daughters [or sons] of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him." We are children of God, and He really does love us.  No matter what struggle we go through, we have a Heavenly Father who will always encircle us with His loving arms and guide us back.  He wants us all to return to live with Him again.  What we go through here in mortality is insignificant in the eternal perspective.  But sometimes mortality is all we can see, and it can be hard to look beyond.
   For those of us who know someone who may be having same-sex attractions, we have been counseled by Church leaders to love them, no matter what.  When it comes down to it, that's all we really can do.  It doesn't do anybody good to "disown" those we love.  We need our family.  We need the support and love they give us.  Aside from all other things in the world, our relationships here in mortality are the only things we will keep in eternity. 

Now, these are just my own thoughts and feelings, and I don't mean for them to offend anyone, but if they do, I'm sorry in advance.

Until we meet again :)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mamma Mia!

   Mamma Mia! Another week has gone by! And what a week it has been....Sunday was Mothers Day, and every day since has been crazy.  Hectic, even! Anyway, this week in my class we learned about the importance that culture has on families.  See, when I think of culture, I guess I think more along the lines of tradition, which is a part of culture, but not the defining aspect of it.  If that were the case, then American culture would not be what it is today.  Now, after learning different things in different classes, to me culture is the tradition, the clothing, the food, the mannerisms, etc. So how does culture affect the family?

   Well, that's simple, really.

   The way we grow up, what we learn, what we do as a family, what we eat, how we interact as a family and with other people; all these play a part into the family and culture.  For me, I've got two rather interesting heritages.  I'm both Italian and Scottish.  (Funny enough, those are both places I'd love to visit, but that's neither here nor there.) I love both those sides of my family.  Growing up, we didn't do much by way of surrounding ourselves with either culture.  I would've loved to have, but I think it was just based on where we lived.  Anyway, I'm rambling now.... :)
   Apart from the cultures we have within our own family (through ancestry), we become a part of a culture within our community.  For me, part of my growing up (and probably the most crucial part) happened in Utah.  So I've been surrounded by the Mormon Culture.  I've seen the good and the bad.  I've seen how it brings people closer to the Gospel, and how it can tear people away. A few months ago, I read an article titled, "4 Ways That We Can Fix Mormon Culture."  The author of that article brought up some really good points about what has happened with the culture and how those within the culture kind of have this "better than thou" attitude.  Which I've unfortunately seen.
   I want to end this post by sharing a quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, which says, "As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences. The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples."

Until next time :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

It's Mothers Day!!

  In honor of the holiday, I decided to write a little bit about Mothers day and how special my mom is to me:) I absolutely love my mom!! Being the baby of the family, I have lived alone with my mom for many, many years.  Growing up with a single parent had it's hardships, but I honestly believe the Lord was watching over us and blessed us along the way. 
  Single parenting sucks.  I'm just gonna put that out there. And the unfortunate truth is that it is becoming a common part of society.
  Veering away from the single-parenting thing for a minute (don't worry! I'm coming back to that.)....There's a theory out there regarding the family, and that theory is called, family systems.  Kind of self-explanatory, right? You'd think so.  The idea behind this theory is that each person has a role they play.  In many cases, this "role" is being forgotten.  Mother or father, their role is to provide for and care for the children.  In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it says, "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness...teach them to love and serve one another, observe commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live."  Whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that parents are responsible for raising their children to be "law-abiding citizens" and to be respectful of one another.
  Coming back to the single-parent thing....There may be families who had a parent walk out on them--just up and leaving.  For whatever reason, the parents failed to fulfill their duty.  They didn't fulfill their "role."  They lost sight of what it was they were supposed to do in their family, whether it was to provide by earning the money, or to nurture by loving and caring for the children. 
  Before I head out, I want to share a quote from one of my favorite books growing up.  It's called Love You Forever by Robert Munsch: 
   "I'll love you forever,
    I'll like you for always,
    As long as I'm living,
    My Mommy you'll be."

Happy Mothers Day!!

Until next time:)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

So Why Families?

     By the title of this post, it might seem like I'm anti-families.  I'm not.  Just to make that clear.  In fact, I absolutely love families! Sure there are times where I just need to shut myself in my room to get away from my family, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who does that:)  This week, in my Family Relations class, we talked about many things that are tearing the family apart. Did you know that the average household size is 2.56 persons?  Did you know that people are putting children off to a later time in their lives, thus producing less children? Did you know that as of 2014, the employment rate of mothers with children under 6 was 64.2%? Did you know...did you know...DID. YOU. KNOW? But the fact of the matter is, whether you know or not, this is TRUE!!! And it's heartbreaking.  I'm not condemning anyone to an eternity of misery for living this way, if they do.  It's their choice how they want to live their lives. I just want to express the importance of families and what they mean to society.
     Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are very family-oriented.  "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25) The purpose of the fall was for Adam and Eve to have an eternal family.  The commandment we are given, starting with Adam and Eve, is to have families.  As part of The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it says, "family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." As the future generation, we take part in raising other future generations to become heirs to the Kingdom of God.  We want them to know the same happiness and joy we have felt in being a part of our own family.
   Whoever reads this, whether you are a Mormon or not, I encourage you to read The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  In it, you will find what the purpose of families should be, and I hope we will all take it and apply within our own homes!

Until we meet again:)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Little About Me!

My baby nephew and I!
My name is Sarah! As of right now, I am a General Studies major, but I want to change it to Child Development with a minor in Piano Pedagogy. I am a sophmore at BYU-Idaho. My hobbies include: baking, playing the piano, and watching TV (A LOT!!). I love to spend time with my family.  Like with many families, spending too much time with them can be frustrating.  But we are taught in the scriptures, "Love one another."  Something I have to remind myself of on a daily basis.

This is where I leave you.  For now.  (I said, "a little about me")

Until we meet again :)