Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Road Block of the Unknown Fear

Fear. We all have felt the power of fear from time to time in our lives. Today however, I realized that to cast out fear requires complete trust to do that which you cannot see, touch, or hear. 

The last two weeks I have sat pool side. Dreamy right? However, the first few days were far from dreamy. I watched the fear in my children. The fear of the water. Especially a particular child. This child LOVES water. I could not keep him out of puddles. A drop of water could get him wet from head to toe. So naturally I thought the first time I took him swimming he was going to LOVE it. He didn't. Major anxiety and panic attacks set in. He hated it. So much so that he would barely put a toe in. For two years I couldn't get this child to leave the stairs or the kiddie pool. He would at times try to conquer his fear by climbing down the ladder to only get back out again.  The fear of him being consumed by the water was real and very, very scary. We tried floaties, holding him, bribes, and forcing him. Nothing worked. For a child who LOVES water it was puzzling....until today. 

His great love in life is water and the fun of a large amount of water was held back by his fear. I couldn't help but relate to the journey our family has been on for the last 4 years. My major setbacks were because of fear. Fear of people, fear of the unknown, fear that I couldn't trust the Lord, fear that this would break our family instead of making it stronger. Fear that somehow I was loosing my partner in crime because of the demands that were placed on him. Fear of everything. 

Today was a proud moment. For a couple weeks I have watched a teacher little by little get my child into the water. Someday's it was by force. Others it was by convincing him to trust her. Little by little he learned to trust that she would be there to pull him from the water. She also taught him tricks to help him get to the side for safety when the water was above his head. Some days it was heart wrenching for this mama. I heard his fear in his voice and could see and sense his lack of trust. He always felt the water would be all consuming. Today however, the kid couldn't keep his head out. The joy of the water finally came over him. His excitement and pure joy for the water he has always loves was so heart warming. He swims. Eyes in blowing bubble swimming. The smile says it all.

It got me thinking of my own journey. Leaving the stairs to the unknown has been frighting. Having the Lord take me and put me way out of our comfort zone has been a struggle. It allowed for fear to be a companion of mine for a long time. There have been so many times the Lord tells us to jump and I simply could not. Last November I changed my course and was just simply making peace that I would never "swim" in this calling. I was okay with that. However, I am glad that the Lord was not. Today I feel like I am swimming. Little by little the Lord has taught me to swim. At times it was easy and in a place where I could "touch the bottom". Then there were the times that I had to learn to swim to him. At times I felt I was abandoned to figure it out on my own. 

However, just like my son had a teacher standing far back to get him to swim to her the Lord expects the same. He is always beckoning to us. Always. The callings we are given are a huge way he is beckoning to us to come to Him. Someday's I have had to regroup and readjust my boundaries and priorities to find my focus on him once again. Learning to swim in the Lord's kingdom is thrilling and amazing. Ministering is the highest amount of joy I have ever experienced. The Lord has taught me how to minister in my family, in the church, and in the community through this calling. This has become who I am and I love that. I am so thankful for the confidence I have gained because of this calling. I felt so lost for so long in this calling, and to now sit and know where we are and where we are going is a very humbling thing. So, I don't know what the Lord has in store for us when that day comes for release. However, I can look back and see he really is in control. Faith and fear cannot exist together. So, today I hope all of us can replace fear with faith. The Lord is in the details, we just have to jump.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


It is no secret that my husband being a bishop has been extremely difficult. There have been times of really high highs where the work feels rewarding and peaceful.  However, I have had a lot of really low times. Finally, after 3 1/2 years I think I know why. I have been on a journey to pin point why this has been so hard for me. Aside from individuals being so mad with decisions, gossip, and loneliness I don't think that is the true reason.

Over Thanksgiving break we went away. It was the best week. It was the only week we have had in 3 years to just be us. I had my husband back. I had missed his carefree nature, and his amazing ability to lift the load in our family. We went to church in a new place. He could drive with me to church. He sat with me. He ever took the baby out and kids to the bathroom. Ah-mazing! As I sat in sacrament meeting I picked out the bishops wife right away. I could sense the load she carried. I could sense the struggle. I could for a second feel as if I was watching me. I got tears in my eyes for her. I wanted to embrace her and support her. My heart genuinely ached for her. But through her I learned why for me, this journey, has been so difficult.

I took my boys to primary. They were a little nervous and so I stayed through singing time with them. I noticed that this bishops wife was in the primary presidency. I immediately was a little jealous almost of her place outside being a bishops wife. She had a, created by the Lord, a  support circle. She didn't have to go looking. She didn't have to try so hard to be accepted. It was there. She was handed it. I realized, that is the struggle that sums it all up. I am a creature who wants to be included. I want to be included in circles of friends. I want to be included in my husbands life. I want to be included in the work that I have such a passion for in the church.

A person who has the need and desire to be included often feels like when they aren't there is no place for them. Callings in our church provide a place. They provide a group of individuals that you get the opportunity to get to know and become close to. Now, this isn't to say I don't currently have a calling. I do. It is one of the few that isn't on Sunday and usually not during the week. It is once or twice a month to see if others visited their sisters. I have loved it. I have learned a lot from it. But, when you feel you want more, and can do more, it is hard to be satisfied with just that.

Take for example the following story. Usually, callings are not a discussion between my husband and I. I normally do not know what is going on. Occasionally, I do. This happens to be a time where I could put pieces together and know what was going on. I knew a certain calling was opening up. This particular calling is the one and only calling I have ever desired to have. So, I sat anxiously waiting knowing I would probably be considered because of my music background. I wanted the calling. I know that sounds horrible but I did. Primary music leader never sounded so wonderful! However, I was told "well they considered you, but felt it would be too much of a juggle for you". Complete devastation entered my heart. For a week I had thought about how nice it would be to be included. To have a weekly focus. To be in a room with women I wanted to get to know. I was heartbroken, but I was also pretty upset.

I was upset for this reason: I feel I was robbed of my agency to decide what is a juggle for me and what is not.  That isn't how callings are suppose to be. I felt the Lord saying "I am trying to include you, but the imperfections of man stand in the way". And what do you do with that? Now, I know that the Lord will make this all work out. And I know He will try in other opportunities. But, for now I hate feeling that I get feelings projected on me of how I would feel. Maybe in their eyes it would be a juggle. But, they have no idea the struggle it is to not feel included.

Now, the ironic part is the person extended the calling asked to have a little bit of time to think about it, so I get to be the sub. And I am very, very excited about it. However, last night as I was finishing to put the last of my plans together, my heart was a bit sad that the song props will simple sit in my files after subbing a couple weeks. But, I do hope in a very small way that they will see that it isn't a juggle. It is the very thing I need to heal my soul. My prayers of wanting a opportunity to serve more will eventually be answered. For now however, it is the ache in my soul that make this journey hard.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Set Backs

Set backs.....had any of those before? This week has been a "set back" week for me.

In the beginning we got many comments. I will spare you details, but so bad that I couldn't even eat. I had no idea how to navigate through them. Going to church was more like forcing myself  for my kids. They were hurtful and shocking. This went on for the first 2 1/2 years of my husband bishoping. I can't even describe the feeling, thoughts and pain I went through personally and as a family. I pulled back from everything. I went from an outgoing person to an introvert. It was tough. It also didn't help that I spent those two years completely in pain and sleep deprived from new born times two and pregnancy. So, this obviously compounds the problem. I finally had the nerve to sit down and be heard. The first one went amazing. I had never felt the atonement quite like that. The second was a bit more challenging. No fault was taken and apparently it was all me. That was a bit harder, but I made it mostly through. Then....when I had major surgery I took that time to read and ponder and figure out how to not take it personally. I DID IT! The burden that had been on my was finally lifted! I felt so free! Until.......t.h.i.s.w.e.e.k. (Bonds that Make Us Free"....amazing book!)

I was serving and got the comment that my husband is incapable. How do I not take this so personally? I am not sure I have the answers for that. I felt this week that it was just a major slap in the face. My husband never stops. He is constantly serving this ward. All the peace I found I felt went out the window. Except for the fact that I can process through it this time. But. It doesn't change how hurtful this was. Unless one has worn these shoes, another female does not and can not understand! But, in case anyone is wondering this calling takes blood, sweat and tears. And a whole lot of that! We are tried and tested to our very cores.

The upside to all of this is my prayers have been my only life line. I have spent many days on my knees frequently and many nights pondering the work we do. The Lord calls incapable people and he magnifies them in a miraculous way. He calls people who he can do his work through. He realizes they are imperfect and not capable of perfection. The Lord also puts us in a place where so much learning and refining is completed. So, I do hope to find my place of peace and grant the grace that I wish so badly they would grant to me.

It is truly through these set backs that I ask myself again "why am I doing this?" And my answer is because I love the Lord. And doing his work is the only important work we have to do!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Three Whole Years

This month marked three whole years we have been doing this calling. I never in a million years thought I would ever see this day in the beginning. I love this time to reflect and realize that we have had so much growth. It is still a roller coaster, but the highs are much more frequent then the lows. At this point, dare I say, I am almost afraid for the husband to be released. I don't remember what life was before, and I don't long for those days any longer. I don't want to go back to me the way I was before. I am loving the person this calling has turned me into. The growing pains to get to this point have been very, very painful, but the joy is indescribable! There is so much joy in serving the Lord. The opposition is usually present, but I have slowly learned ways to combat it. I want to make a list of the good that this calling has provided.

         1). My relationship with Heavenly Father and my savior Jesus Christ is so strong. I feel so close to them. I rely on the strength through the atonement daily. I plead with my Heavenly Father often.
         2). I feel I have truly learned to pray. As a missionary I knew we could pray and see miracles. But the way you believe as a missionary always seemed different to me. I have come to know I can plead, petition, and truly believe to see miracles.
        3). I have come to listen to the Holy Ghost better. I love having the Holy Ghost. It has been my guide to how I can reach out and serve and where my place is as a bishop's wife.
        4). The scriptures are my life line. I have never read the scriptures with such yearning as I do now. I go daily to them in search of knowledge and answers. Daily I am given literal gems of knowledge and often hear the Lord speak to me.
        5). The atonement has never meant more to me. I simply stand all amazed. The Lord truly knows us and knows how to succor our needs. I frequently rely on the strength, forgiveness and enabling power that comes through the atonement.
       6) I am a better mother. I still wish I was 10 times better, but truly I know I am better. I know what is the absolute most important thing to teach my children. I want them to dedicate their lives to the Lord. To be stretched by Him and to serve Him always.
       7) I feel my foundation in the gospel has been made stronger.
       8) The sacrament is a need. I need to make those covenants weekly to get by. Most weeks I feel I am taking everything to the altar and placing it all there as I partake. I know I take many weaknesses, shortcomings, sins and joys and place them there and start over the next week. It truly is a sacred experience so many times.
       9). I have learned to grant more grace. I am in no way perfect, but I know I am better. Everyone is trying and doing their best. The Lord is teaching all of us.
      10). I love that I am married to a righteous priesthood holder who places the Lord above all else. We have seen very real and tangible blessings because of his faith, dedication and service.

Writing this list makes it very real in my mind that all the good, bad and ugly days are completely worth it. The view keeps getting better and better in a sense. Serving the Lord requires sacrifice. He always has and he always will require that of His people. And I want to be part of His people. At the end of the day I came to a point where I feel the Lord is sanctifying me. He is knocking off all my rough edges. I am forever grateful for His mercy, kindness, grace and love.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Embrace The Way You Tick

When my husband was called as bishop I began to feel every watchful eye on me. It became uncomfortable and in some situations unfair. I felt I couldn't be me. I went through a period of soul searching to figure out who I am. I always felt I knew who I was. A go get her get it don't type of person. I LOVE to be around people...and I am also fine by myself. And....I am a planner through and through. I tick on routine. It is in my blood. I am not a fly by the seat of my pants, or care free enough just to let things go. It is simply not me. And I am okay with that. can imagine the first year of this calling. It was hard. Nothing was planned. I never knew what to expect. It threw me for a complete loop and I got to the point of not functioning. I could barely eat. I couldn't sleep. I would have church nightmares. Everything as I knew it came to a stop. I had no idea how I was going to make it through. 

My husband and I had many back and forth conversations of how we could change things. I finally needed a routine. I needed to know what to expect. We needed boundaries. Yes, people need the bishop, but I also had many little kids who needed a dad and I needed a husband. I needed our family to be in tact. So, we came up with a game plan. Boundaries were put into place and a routine was established. I felt free again. I can expect the same schedule every week. It starts at the same time and usually ends at the same time. I know when to expect him home each night and we communicate when things are different. It is a night and day difference. 

Embrace who you are and what makes you tick. If you tick on having one night a week of no interruptions do it. If you need to cut out a day of appointments do it. You need to embrace you. Who cares if people think you are a needy wife. In some way shape or form all wives have needs and its important to not push those aside. Here is how we live a happier bishops family life.....

Sunday: Hardest day of the week. It requires the most work and energy. I have not mastered my Sundays being a delight but I know what to expect. He has early meetings and usually will not get home until 4. Usually at 3 I call to see about what time to know what to expect. 

The week: My husband is always home on Monday, Tuesday, Friday. Youth night he is usually gone till 10 and Thursday are his meeting nights he is gone 7:15-10:00. 

Saturdays: Hit and miss. Sometimes there are things but usually involve the entire family.

Throughout the week I know he will always sit down to dinner with us. I will always have a Friday night date. We will always be together for FHE. 

Once this was in place I could function again. I knew exactly what to expect. There are no surprises. Yes emergencies come up, but they are few. You have to establish what an emergency consists of. When things come up for the family...which they will we both know I can say "block this day" and it is blocked. I am in charge to be sure my husband is where he is needed when he is needed. This means school events are scheduled on both mine and his calendar. 

Now to some this could make them want to jump off a cliff. That is why I am telling you how I have been able to embrace the way I tick. This is me. This is how I can function and keep a happy home. How do you tick?

(Any topic you would like me to expound on I would love to hear.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


December. Need I say more? For me this is by far the most difficult month for us. It's our third December as a bishops family. I can't pin point why a month that is suppose to be so joyous is my hardest month. In fact it is so hard I feel January first should be a bishops wife holiday. I contemplate having cake and ice cream. Maybe even pick up some balloons. It can be titled "Happy We Survived December Day". Do you feel like this? Am I just completely crazy?

I recently deleted all my social media pages. It was way to hard to feel like I never got a break from the ward. It was hard to see the cliques and the exclusive groups. It was hard to heal from negative judgement seeing their faces each day. I have never felt more free. However, it means I miss out on the bishops wife group. I miss those ladies! I miss the discussion. I miss being able to say "times are tough" and have people get it. Today is one of those days I wish I could go get a boost from those who know how difficult and challenging this place is. It is hard. Very hard. I wish others understood that I give everything for my husband to serve. Everything. So hooray for January first. 3 Decembers down. Potentially only 2 more to go. How are you holding up this December? Is it hard for you too? Comments welcomed.:)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Joys

The life of a bishops wife always has its ups and downs. However, 2 1/2 years in we definitely have more ups then downs. The work is becoming joyful. Our relationship has deepened. My desire to serve the Lord more has increased. I want to be His disciple. I want to know that when that day comes of release that we did our best and succeeded because we learned how to plant our hearts even more firmly on the Savior.

I simply stand amazed at how the Savior cares for us. I have had many sweet miracles and blessings where I have felt the Savior aware of me, and so close. It is amazing. The longer we are in this calling the more I learn about Him. The more I trust Him. The more I want to share that love with others.

Recently, I had the privilege of listening to President Eyring. He said a phrase that has caused me to ponder this calling. No one understands the sacrifice this calling takes until you have lived in these shoes. Someday's it seems overwhelming and too much. Some weeks my husband and I are like ships in the night. We hardly see one another. Other weeks we get lots of time with one another. We raise a large family. Their is always somewhere to be and someone who needs something. Some weeks the task may seem a bit much when we also share our time with a ward family. I went in to listening to President Eyring with many of these thoughts on my mind and a tender heart. I wanted to be spiritually filled. I wanted the Lord to speak to me. And He did. One sentence changed my entire perspective. He said "if you understood the blessings nothing would seem like a sacrifice." He was chocked up. I could tell he knew more then me. The spirit had taught Him more then what I knew. I walked away with a new resolve. I wanted to be better. I wanted to stay calmer when the stakes are higher. I wanted to support more. Be more joyful when duty calls. It has changed everything. I am not perfect. I still have many moments where the feelings of loneliness and despair creep in, but I quickly remember President Eyring and plead with the Lord to again see the tender mercies and His hand and to be strengthened by His strength.

I have come to realize that this call is a great blessing. It is a privilege. It is a great growing opportunity if we make it. Building the kingdom of God is what matters most. It brings the greatest joy and fulfillment. It is at times hard to juggle building the kingdom in my home and also allowing time to help build it through callings, but the Lord strengthened us. I have come to know that I am nothing without that strength. It has been a hard uphill climb to see it all from this view, but so worth it. Never would I change this. The Lord truly refines us and strengthen us. I simply stand all amazed!