Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 months

Halloween 2014

A Letter to Our Neighbors

First Ride on a Horse

I love date night!!

Mann Hair Studio

What Hailey does with my phone..

YW to Missionary

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch


Usually it is really easy for me to forgive. I consider it a spiritual gift that the Lord has so mercifully given me because it is really hard for me to hold a grudge against people. I may be upset initially but once time has passed, I realize how insignificant the offense was/is and I am able to see their reasonings a little more clearly which allows me to give them the benefit over the doubt and forgiveness will fill my heart. But, there have been a couple of situations and people in my life who it has not been so easy to forgive. They are the ones that have required a lot of time on my knees praying for the Lord to soften my heart as I seek forgiveness. There is a person in my life that I'm struggling to forgive right now. I seriously hate feeling this way about anyone but for whatever reason the hurt feelings just seem to still ache with pain. I don't see this person very often but when I do I feel like I can't get out of the room fast enough. The hurtful actions took place a year ago, which is way too long for me to be harboring them. I just don't know why I can't let it go. About 10 years ago, Cory and I were living in Fayetteville, NC. Our stake president, President Catlett, was one of the most Christ-like men I had ever met. He loved everyone and it didn't matter how busy he was, if he passed you in the hallway, he would stop and talk to you as if you were the most important person in the world. I always looked forward to hearing him speak in stake conference. Cory and I both felt so much love for him. He could speak as bluntly and forcefully as he wanted and we would feel nothing but humility and a desire to do better. He was just that kind of person. I will never forget a particular Saturday night adult session of conference. Cory and I had been fighting previous to the session and as we sat on the bench we would hardly even acknowledge one another (I can't remember for the life of me what we were arguing about but I'm sure it was really dumb). I anxiously awaited for the spirit to soften Cory's heart. I awaited his arm reaching out to me as he softly whispered "I'm sorry" in my ear. Well, that was not what happened at all. I don't remember anything that was said the whole evening, except for one sentence spoken by President Catlett in the very last talk. He said, "Whatever it is that has been said or done to offend you, just let it go." So I did, and so did Cory. At the end of the talk we were back into each other's arms and apologies were offered. I think of this counsel quite often in my life. I have had to use it over and over again. It seems so easy, and yet, at times it is so very difficult to do. How grateful I am for a Savior who not only redeems me from my sins and fallen nature as I sincerely turn to him for help and forgiveness, but he also redeems others from the same. So, I am officially deciding right now to lay this heavy burden of a grudge at his feet, to just let it go and let God purify my heart. I know that as I ask the Savior to heal my heart, the forgiveness will come, not just for the offender but for me as well. Thanks be to God for the gift of His Son.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Nickname

I LOVE the picture that Hailey drew of our family the other day. If you notice, at the top is Clairisa and Kelly (my brother who died as a baby) watching our family from up in heaven. Every time I walk by our fridge and see this picture it brings a huge smile to my face. This morning Hailey was practicing writing the names of everyone in our family (I swear this girl is SO smart and driven...I'm so excited to see all that she accomplishes in her lifetime). After she had them all written down on a post-it, she brought it to me to make sure that she had everyone's names so she could start writing them herself. There was Katelund, Cloey, Hailey, Makayla, Cory, Lainey, and "MOM". Then she said, "I did your real name, not your nickname Melissa." How funny is that?! Sometimes Melissa really does feel like a nickname instead of my "real name" of Mom. I hear the word "mom" all day long by five sweet, sometimes not so sweet, little girls. I'm not going to lie, there are times that I cringe when I hear that word being yelled from the other room as they are looking for some validation of why they should be the one to get _________ (fill in the blank with anything and everything you can think of) instead of their sister. But, overall I thank God everyday for the blessing it is to be called "Mom" or "Mommy". There is so much debate in the world of the roles of women in society. This has never been something I've struggled with. I know my purpose and my role and I wouldn't want it any other way. The other day when I was at the dentist with Hailey, Makayla, and Lainey, I was asked, "You have five girls? How do you do it?". I wasn't really sure how to answer that but I said something about how much I love having five girls and how although sometimes it is chaotic and hard, I love it nonetheless. I also told him that I believe that being a mother was what I was born to do. I know that is true, and I know that my role as a mother will have greater influence in this world than any other accomplishments out there. President Hinckley said the following, “Women who make a house a home make a far greater contribution to society than those who command large armies or stand at the head of impressive corporations. Who can put a price tag on the influence a mother has on her children, a grandmother on her posterity, or aunts and sisters on their extended family? “We cannot begin to measure or calculate the influence of women who, in their own ways, build stable family life and nurture for everlasting good the generations of the future. The decisions made by the women of this generation will be eternal in their consequences. May I suggest that the mothers of today have no greater opportunity and no more serious challenge than to do all they can to strengthen the [home]” (Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes [2000], 152)."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Feeling Incomplete

I hate not running. For the last three weeks I have been trying to heal my achilles from what I believe is achilles tendonitis. I am literally going crazy. It is amazing how much running has become a part of my life and my sanity. I don't run to be the fastest runner ever, nor to be a size 2. I run because it makes me feel alive. It rejuvinates my body, mind, and spirit. It makes the thankful for the body that I have, the health I am blessed with, and the beautiful world that God created. It just makes me so happy. While I run I listen to gospel centered talks and speeches from the Mormon Channel. I couldn't run without doing this. It is the perfect way to listen, ponder, feel the spirit, and refresh my soul. It's the perfect combo. So, now that I'm "resting" (how does a mother of five children really rest anyways?!), I'm feeling so.....so unfulfilled. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mother and homemaker, but I have learned that in order to be my best self. I need that hour or two of time in the morning to go run....by myself. :) I have tried to have running buddies, which I really do love but after a couple of days of this, I find myself trying to figure out times that I can get a second daily run in so that I can do it by myself and with my earphones in. I am supposed to "stay off my foot" for the rest of this week and then next week I will try to begin running again. Next Saturday is the half-marathon that I have trained SO hard for! I definitely over-trained and over-did it in an attempt to be super prepared and beat my last half marathon time of 1:58. Now, I will most likely not beat that time, but I don't even care. At this point, all I care about is running again, even if I'm slow or out of breath. I guess time will tell. Meanwhile, I will just continue to "rest" today as I finish my reorganization and decluttering project in the girls' bedrooms.

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