Wednesday, December 24, 2014


It's early morning Christmas Eve and my head has been reflection on this past year. I have been so emotional realizing the things I learned, the way I grew, and the grace that I feel has changed me. I may not be able to put this all in words but I am going to try.

Bishop' wife. Written and said doesn't seem their is anything to it. However, it is one of the most challenging refiners fire I have ever been placed in. You are broken down to the very core. Every weakness you have known in yourself is magnified and increased and more are shown that you never knew existed. The fire is so hot and at times I have felt nearly burnt. I have questioned the reality of the Savior. I have felt the depths of loneliness and despair in a way I never though imaginable. My relationship with my husband changed. The conversations became more crucial and the fight picked up steam between good and evil and we had to choose. Thankfully, we always choose each other and we always choose to win. And we are winning. We have learned more about each other. We have been more vulnerable. More open. More honest. More together. This never came easy during this year, but our relationship was taken to greater heights. Nothing that is worth it I have realized will ever come easy. That realization perhaps changed the course of this experience. In the end I want to be standing tall next to the man I married many years ago. And so far I am.

I have always said I want to forever be a disciple of Christ. I want Him to know I will do anything that is asked of me. The trust of the Lord is huge. While I was going through the refiners fire this year I did not see who I was becoming. It hasn't been till the last couple weeks that I feel I have seen the light, the horizon, the gift of refinement. I have a knowledge of grace that I have never known. Grace to forgive, grace to bring peace to relationships, grace to see the Lords plan a little bit clearer. Grace to love others when it seems impossible. Grace to have a better view of my children the way the Lord views them. I never knew the depth of grace. I finally feel I reached a new level of grace to simply be at peace.

Peace. It was something I yearned for this entire year. Back in January I had found it, but when the stakes got higher and chaos broke out I lost it. Come September/October I found myself being okay with the thought of bitterness. Bitterness for the time spent in this calling and the lack of togetherness I felt. Bitterness for the lonely days. Those who know me know that my number one goal was to not become bitter. I wanted this time to look back on with fond memories. I finally accepted it wasn't meant to be. I met with the stake president hopeful to get some advice or prompting to help me. I was done. I felt defeated. All I remember telling the stake president over and over again is I want peace. I want peace. I want peace. I want nothing more to be a disciple of Christ and I feel far from that. Leaving his office I didn't feel a direct one answer, but I felt placed back on the path to lead me in the direction I wanted to go. But I was still in search of peace. Peace to know I am okay. Peace to know the Lord is okay with me. Peace in what I am suppose to be doing. Peace. I only asked for peace.

As time went on I wasn't so sure I was finding peace. Until one day. My visiting teachers came by. One shared in passing about peace. That peace was not given by the Lord in the ways of the world. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, I give unto you."(John 14:27)....At that moment I knew I was searching for worldly peace. It never occurred to me their was a difference. And I also knew I would never find peace in the eyes of the world.

So, my thinking changed. Could I find peace in the midst of 5 crazy loud busy busy children. Peace in a ward where we give so much. Peace in my relationship. Peace in myself. Perhaps that's the one I wanted most. Peace within myself. This brought on the reflection of this year and I realized I can't have true discipleship to the Lord if I am not refined to the very core. It won't happen. At least not for me. The path of discipleship is hard. But, as I reflected on this something changed. I saw clearly the miracles and tender mercies I have seen throughout this year. To forgive those who had not been so nice, to overcome sickness, to feel strength beyond my own, to follow promptings, to serve, to have ends meet with so little means while between jobs, filled with contentment. I realized in these reflections that this is where the peace is at. Peace is not a smooth sailing time for weeks. Peace is recognizing the Lord. Seeing His miracles. Seeing His hand. Peace is knowing I am doing the best I can in hopes to be better. I don't want this season to end. I want to carry this with me. Finally, in my search for peace I have found it. And it is not in the ways of the world. I see yet another side of the Lord. He truly is the Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Real and Raw....

Here I sit. Laundry piles fill my room. Toys clutter my floors. Dishes fill my sink. Sticky goo is scattered on the kitchen floor. Tooth paste lines my bathroom sinks. And I sit in my room. I am coming off of a difficult time. It hasn't been pretty. I have many questions. I want answers. I feel my head spinning in a bazillion different ways. I want normal. I want me. I want my life back.

Do any of you feel this way? Who am I? Where am I going? (Saturdays Warriors fans now have that stuck in their head:)) Why can't I move on? Why do I feel this way?

I am in a place as of late that I feel the adversary literally with me at every step I make. Pounding me. Mocking me. Shouting at me. Hounding me. I feel a lot of days I have no escape.

This morning I got out of bed. I had been awake since 3:15am. Between the time change, kids crying, and bishop wife nightmares I simply couldn't sleep. I had memories of the last few weeks. The criticism, gossip and complaints all weighed on my mind. I thought of my dad who just got diagnosed with cancer. I thought of my 5 children that I would be with in a matter of hours. I thought of the baby I want, but a body that no longer works.  I thought of the person next to me and how I felt like we were strangers. Finally, at 6:00 I rolled myself out of bed to get ready. Get me ready. Get kids ready. Get lunches ready. Get backpacks ready. Feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. As I went upstairs to get socks so I could go to the bus stop with a few extra minutes I knelt in my closet with the lights off (so I wouldn't be found. It worked.) and simply cried to Heavenly Father. "I can't do this anymore", "What does thou want of me?", "I want my husband back", "I can't face today", "I am not strong anymore", "I am broken", "I am lost", "I am confused", "I am lonely", "I am afraid of feelings of I am not good enough and mainly the feeling of I don't have a place in this church or in my home", "I can't handle the opposition anymore", "I miss him", "I miss him", "I miss him" "Please send someone to rescue me today. I can't do today alone."

Most of these questions were not answered today. But I was rescued. A simple text of "how are you doing" by a few different friends meant the world to me. One has been in my shoes. She has carried this weight. She knows the struggle. One who I haven't heard from in a while to simply ask how I was. It felt so good to catch up. She made me smile when she told me at her RS meeting some weren't saying kind things about the bishop. She stopped them. She told them its hard. I admire that. Oh, what a difference that has got to make. I talked to my other great friend who has no clue what these shoes are like, but could still sympathize and listen and feel sorry and sad for me. That was all I asked for. I needed rescuing and I was rescued. I don't expect tomorrow to be different. But tonight I can ponder and know that for today I was rescued. And tomorrow I hope it will give me enough strength to combat the adversary. To push forward. To fight. To come to a place of understanding once again. To not call and plead for release.

Please know I think about each bishops wife. And if your not a bishops wife go hug one. They could be having a rotten day and need rescuing. Thank you for those who followed the promptings to rescue me today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Rollar Coaster Ride

Recently, I watched one of my new favorite movies out there. It's titled "Emma Smith". I watched it on netflix for those interested. It is all about Emma. Her life. Her joy. Her hardships. Her faithfulness. I served a mission in Kirtland and so I have ALWAYS adored Emma. For whatever reason my heart always went out to her. I often would think of her while reading a story about the prophet Joseph Smith. I could recognize that yes the prophet did amazing work, but he had a wife by his side. I always admired the support she gave to her husband. I always new the love she had went deep for him. Watching that movie kinda brought it all together and I always had another profound thought....

Those of us who are focused on building the kingdom will ALWAYS have opposition. Especially those called to serve over a group of people. Always. It will never go away. It may subside, but never go away. 

The past few weeks I have learned to embrace that. We are in the hottest part of the refiners fire as the wife. We loose everything. (or at least I feel I have) When the stake president told me I would loose friends, I kinda thought "oh. Not me. People know me for me and I have friends." Well sure enough as the weeks and months passed on the on set of loneliness settled in. It is my biggest battle. Still 18 months in most days I am filled with loneliness beyond any level I have ever felt. You see, I THRIVE off being social. I thrive off conversations, get togethers, girls nights, date nights, games, social events. All of it. It is part of who I am. I have had to pray and learn how to thrive in other ways. How to develop a more rounded personality. How to find ways to serve others to fulfill that need. Sometimes the oppositions are what truly become our greatest blessings! 

I will embrace opposition! I know I have grown to accept it when my husband received a HUGE pay cut out of no where. And I can still smile and say "we WILL continue to do the Lord's work and all will be well". That has never been my first response, nor do I usually embrace trials with a smile. But I will. I have grown. I will grow and the Lord will provide. I trust that! 

I expected though in the beginning that the opposition would end at some point. Now, I am to a point of knowing it will not. It is a matter of embracing it and charging forward and not getting stuck. I truly hope that I will weather this well. This calling has become an absolute joy. It is now part of our lives and our family. It is what we have to do and desire to do. It has tested me to the very core of "will I serve God?" It has pulled at every heart string and then some that I never thought possible or even know I had. And it will continue to. The best part is we are being taken care of. We are learning and growing and stretching in ways that are just plain uncomfortable, but the end result I know is truly amazing! The Lord is amazing! He knows exactly what we need and if we let him, he will turn us into the person he sees us as. I love His work! So, because I love it I have embraced the phrase "come what may and love it!" 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Be A Doer

Recently, my Mr. asked me to give the 5th Sunday lesson. I along with my Mr. discussed some huge concerns that we were seeing. It has weighed pretty heavy on my mind and heart to see women who are sad and feel they don't matter. Women who don't see the goodness and joy. I have always enjoyed womanhood and the opportunities that would present themselves. I have always been blessed with a clear vision of what I want and what I must do to get there. Being a mom has added to it and to be honest came very naturally for me. Now, don't get me wrong....I have bad moments and days....but I love being a mom to my kiddos. We have a blast together!

Back on topic

So.....the 5th Sunday lesson....before Mr. had asked me I had read the story of Mary and Martha. Not the typical one we hear about where Mary is at his feet while Martha is preparing the meal. The one where they seek the Lord to heal Lazarus and the Lord arrives after Lazarus has died. There are SO many good, good points in this story. But I felt the love the Lord had for them. And that's is what we are missing in our busy lives. No matter what we are doing or how much we have on our plate the love of the Lord and the love we feel is our driving point. It is why we say yes to any calling. It is why we do our home and visiting teaching. It is why we have the desire to serve and be happy. Love is a magical thing! It can mend hearts, gives us the power to forgive and gives us the strength to turn to the Lord when we are overwhelmed. It is why we commit. So....without rambling on more, here is the out line of the talk I gave. I learned so much more then anyone. But I soon hope to have my family saying hung huge on my wall....."be ye doers of the word".


Finding Joy and Love in Your Service to the Lord

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

The second is like unto it “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

So….lets start with the first. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind.

I want you to think about ways that you feel the Saviors love. I want you to think about this while I share a story from the scriptures.

Mary and Martha (John 11)

Do we believe that the love our Savior has for us reaches this depth? You can really sense the great love the Savior had for both Mary and Martha and Lazrus.

So in what ways can we feel the Love of the Savior?

I have two questions for you.
1.    Do you believe IN the Savior?
2.   Do you BELIEVE the Savior
The word IN changes the depth of the belief we have in the Savior. So how can we first feel the love of the Savior more in our lives and two how can we show that love for the Savior in our lives.

The Savior teaches us in the scriptures that “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21)
This starts the parable where He likens us unto a wise man or a foolish man. It is based off of a single word…..DOETH

James 1:22 states “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

So clearly from these scriptures the love we feel and the love we show has a huge part to do with what we do.

In the Savors ministry we read on many accounts DOERS of the work.
In Matt 8 we read about a leper that comes to the Lord. He asked the Lord “if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” He was not just a hearer of the word, but a DOER. He sought the Lord. Went to him. He asked him to heal him. He did not sit by waiting for the Lord to come to him. Can you imagine the disappointment if he would have? Would he have been healed?

More examples of this includes:
*A centurion, beseeching him and explained that his servant lie sick with palsy. The Lord healed him.
*A women diseased with a blood issue touched his garment and she was healed (Matt 9:20)
*A ruler came and worshipped Him and then asked for his daughter to be healed. She was healed (Matt 9:18 )
*Blind men followed crying asking for him to heal them. He asked if they believed him. He then healed them (Matt 9: 27)
*A man was brought that was dumb and possessed with a devil. The Savior cast him out
We see from these examples that every single one put forth some kind of effort. Weither it was to touch his garment, bring someone to him, or simply ask for a healing to take place. In none of these examples did they simply sit by and wait. They were DOERS of the word. Not only were they DOERS, and not only did they believe IN the Savior, but they BELIEVED the Savior. And not only were they doers, and believers, but they clearly had love for the Savior and they felt the love the Savior has for them.

In John 13:34-35 We read the Savior teaches the people “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, the ye also love one another.
He tells us twice to love one another.
Then in verse 35 he stats “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

“The love the Savior described is an active love. It is not manifested through large and heroic deeds but rather through simple acts of kindness and service.” Elder Ballard

So. Going back to the statement to be a DOER of the word how do we do this?

I will start by reading a scripture in 3 Nephi 17:7 The Savior is teaching his people. He asks the people to go and ponder what he had just taught and then he asks them to PRAY about it. And to prepare there minds for the next day. When he cast His eyes around the multitude He saw they were in tears and looking toward him steadfastly as if they would ask him to tarry just a little longer. He had compassion upon them.
He says to them:
3 Nephi 17:7 Have ye any… (Emphasis that all of us fit in this catergory)
He is beckoning to His people to BRING them to Him. This applies to us everyday.
“BRING THEM HITHER” They again were not just DOERS of the word, and they not only believed IN the Savior, but they BELIEVED the Savior. But not only were they doers, and believers, but they loved the Lord and they felt the love he had for them. And he healed them.

He is teaching us how to show the love for others and how to show love to the Lord, by stating to “bring them hither”. Let’s remember in the Lord’s example of healings some of the healings came because others had “brought them hither”

So in which ways do we show this love for the Lord by bringing others to Him in our lives?

What stops us?

When we feel the love of the Savior in our own lives we have the desire for others to feel it as well.  

But some may feel overwhelmed or that this check list is much to big. Or that we don’t have the time.  So, how do we do it all and get to the point where we have the joy of this life. After all when Adam fell we are told…..Adam fell that men are, and men are that they might have joy.
To me joy is more then happiness. It is a sense of peace, empowerment, calmness, excitement, contentment.

So how do we get there. It starts with the choices we make today. We can always be a little better and do a little better. But How?

The Savior tell us in Matthew 11:28-30

“… because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power.” Elder Bednar

We simply get there through the atonement. (fill in with quotes from Elder Bednars talk)
It encompasses everything.
It makes our burdens light
It frees us from pain, guilt, sorrow
It empowers us to get more done then we have the capability to do on our own.

Do we not only believe IN this but do we BELIEVE this? Do we believe we can be better? Be strengthened? Be forgiven? Let us do anything to must do to get to that point of belief so that we can feel the fullness of joy.

Let us take the opprotunities we have been given to lay part of this foundation. Let us rejoice! Let us be a doer ALWAYS.

When we truly believe that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father we will believe in His plan and His purpose. We will feel his love and be able to share that love with others.

Testify of the atonement.

I encourage you to read as families and individuals Elder Bednars talk The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality”

I also encourage all of us to go home to our families and set three goal individually and as families.
1.    One for ourselves individually and as families of ways to can become closer to the Savior
2.   One for our callings. (includes home and visiting teaching) How can we strengthen those we serve? Love those we serve? And find joy in serving both individually and as families?
3.   How can we strive to strengthen our ward family individually and as families.

Show Video from Elder Eyring

Let us feel joy and peace in his service as Elder Eyring stated. Let us choose this day to follow him and show love to the Savior. Let us choose to show love to others always.
After all…”Hasting the work has to do with the Excitement we all feel about sharing the message of the gospel. It’s a natural process that comes out of Love.” (Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson general young womens president)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Words

Words have always been a sensitive thing of mine. I kinda take them to heart when I shouldn't sometimes. And. In the beginning of this new adventure words meant SO much more to me then what anyone meant by them. I was extremely sensitive.

Now, before I go on please know we will all have different experiences. We are all in different phases of life. I happen to be in the thick of it years. The ones where you are running around like a mad women trying to get it all done. And. The kids are getting older, so a couple are independent, but over half are not still. So....getting kids dressed, fed, changed, changed again.....and again.....if you have boys you know what I mean! Ha! Picking up, keeping it together, beds made, laundry washed, dishwasher emptied, letters written, house vacuumed and kept somewhat orderly.....sound familiar yet....I am in the thick of it. I love it. I wouldn't want it any other way. But. I would also assume as kids grow the change happens where the load goes from psychical exhaustion to emotional. So, its okay if you think "WOW! This poor wife she really is having a hard time!" Well....I was....and it was okay. Hard times are good refining moments in life!

So....back to words. Words affect my mind for many many days at a time. The first week my husband was bishop this was said....."I don't think I can talk to you anymore. You are now a bishops wife". Wow. How do you take that? Confusion swept over me. My name was changed in an insist. I went from Me to Bishops Wife. That saying set my tone. I became to wonder if everyone thought that. And. I swear they did. How about this one......"WOW! You have it all together!". I often wanted to burst into tears, but smiled and grinned cause I didn't know what to say. Now....I feel like I have it more together but I don't think me personally will every have it all together.....until....well....I'm perfect....and we all know that doesn't happen in this life so....hmmmmm.

But how bout the "We love you", "We pray for you", "We appreciate your husband", "Your amazing", "You still need friends to", " Here's a dinner. I know you must be so busy", "Can I help?", "Can I watch your kids and give you a break", "Your doing great", "Thanks for your service", "I thought of you today", " is chocolate"......see what I am getting at.....

This calling above all has taken a mental shift on my mind. I have had to force myself to change my thought process. I cried over and over and over at the one or two hurtful things said to me that I missed the joys in these sayings from the beginning. Once I let that shift happen my heart was full. I loved all those around me. I loved me more. And.....yes....perhaps....I am starting to love this calling and shoes that I fill in it. I am learning how to embrace it....make a an instrument for the Lord. And. The best part.....I have a glimpse at true happiness and how to choose it. This calling for this aspect worth it.....I personally have been brought closer to the atonement. I needed that. The Lord knew that. He allowed me personally to be refined. A tender mercy for sure.

How are you wives doing? Hanging in there? I think about you all! I pray for you all! I KNOW these are big shoes to fill! Please feel free to ever ask questions, vent, scream, rejoice, share,.....Here is support!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I want to now go back and fill in details. That nitty gritty stuff but first the word hope is on my mind. We had a lesson today in RS about hope. And.....the best Mr. stayed home with sick kids so I could go and enjoy church myself! Someone may or may not have laughed that I "made" the bishop stay home with his sick kids instead of being at church, but it was his will I swear! 2 months ago I would have been in tears, but I laughed at the comment and didn't care. Sigh. Relief that I may be getting somewhere!

So. Back to hope. A sister shared that Elder Holland shared with her and her husband that the one thing you cannot live without is hope. That thought struck me. I so believe that! Those long, hard, lonely, tedious days were filled with hope. I hoped it would get better. I hoped I would be happy. I hoped that I would enjoy this new journey. I hoped that I could love ALL of these people. I hoped that I would not disappoint the Lord. It was through that hope that I found the strengthening power of the atonement. Through that hope came the desire to serve. The desire to be motivated. The desire to make a change. And it happened. I smiled walking out of there thinking: the days were so long and hard, but my hope is what pulled me through. And I have a stronger hope because of that.

So to all those bishops wives who are merely having a rough minute, hour, day, week, month or year hold onto your hope. Hope equals work. Lets do it!

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Atonement

January 1 came. It brought a newness I wanted. It brought the desire for change. I love setting "real" goals. I am not a work out everyday goal setter. Not that  that is bad. I just know I fail with the thought alone. :)

So, my goal was more of a focus. I would focus this year on learning the strengthening power of the atonement. I fasted for it. I prayed for it. I constantly thought about it. I realized something amazing. It encompasses so many aspects.

One of the many nights I lay awake. I heard the baby and got up to realize he had a high fever. We are talking 104.7 high fever. Scary. I was scared and I knew at any moment he would start puking. I ran a luke warm bath to help it come down and gave him medicine. And I waited. We sang. We snuggled. And I waited for the puke. And sure enough it came. I called for my husband to come and help. He came threw me some wipes and got back into bed. Now don't be angry. He was exhausted. It was not his character to do that so I knew he was super exhausted. In that moment though I was at the low of all lows. Here I am....I don't know who I am. I have lost my routine. I have lost my comfort. I carry this massive burden of supporting service. All while carrying the weight of 5 kids. Five little kids. It became to much at 2 am. So while I was getting a baby back to bed and cleaning up the puke I knew I was staying up until I had answers.

I lay in bed looking at the ceiling contemplating my life up to this point. What got me here? Where had I gone? I counted my blessings. The tender mercies. I came to realize I had been strengthened by the atonement but I needed more. I needed peace. I needed answers. I needed to borrow the balm of Gilead. I needed to know I mattered. I needed to know I had a place. And so the counting went on. It took me back to the day of asking if the church was true. That day was a game changer. I made a promise that day. I promised if I knew it was true I would do WHATEVER the Lord wanted me to do. With that thought came an overwhelming amount of peace filled with the spirit. I literally felt the burden lifted. The weight was gone. I felt the Lord told me "This IS what I want YOU to be doing". I hadn't had that conviction yet. The spirit I felt was amazing and all in a matter of minutes the weight, blindness, and burden of this calling went away. I woke with a new light. I jumped out of bed. My kids were fabulous sites to see. I knew I could do it. And I am with the help of the Lord. I repented. I apologized to the Lord that I had not kept my end. And I moved forward.

The atonement was my answer. I can see it in a whole new light. And so with that makes those hard long and impossible days worth it. It hasn't taken away the roller coaster of being a bishops wife, but it gave me new eyes to see and new ears to hear. Even on hard days I still feel light. I don't feel the burden. It has been lifted. It is an amazing, wonderful, powerful thing.

And so maybe you are reading this as a bishops wife who googled looking for answers. Looking to see if you can find anyone that simply understood. Just know the peace does come. I can honestly say serving is a wonderful thing. I cannot wait to share what I have learned having a new perspective. I would love to hear from any of you reading this as well. I will never look at a bishops wife the same. I hope I will always remember the long hard days just to remember to reach out and serve those who are probably having long hard days, but masking it well with a smile. We are all famous for masking it all with a smile. :)

Vacation Came and So Did Reality

Mid December finally came. We loaded the car with a week of supplies including three doses of antibiotics for three kids. We were off to what others say is the happiest place on earth! Disney!!!!!!!!

I had never been before and for months I set boundaries. We now had boundaries on the calling and protection on our family, but I still needed to get away. Mr. and I could not be happier. No phone calls, texts or email checking was allowed until kids were in bed at night. It was wonderful!

The drive down however was not so fun. A child was sick and when we stopped realized he had another fever. I cried. We all needed this vacation so bad and it included a vacation from being sick! As we walked into the hotel I looked at John and mustard up all the faith I could to ask. I knew my baby needed a blessing. But I wanted a blessing of complete and immediate healing. Did I have the faith to ask for that? I had so many doubts. I knew I have a bit. I knew I could asked humbling knowing I was not worthy of such a blessing. But I asked. When the words were uttered that immediate healing would be granted, I cried. I was humbled. I was weak. I felt the love that I yearned for. That blessing and miracle I witnessed would carry me through the remainder of the month.

Needless to say the vacation was heavenly. So heavenly. We were us. We were us alone. We were together 24 hours everyday for 8 days. It was grand. And then the drive home happened. Neither wanted to go. We both wanted to stay. We had lived for 8 days. It was so so so wonderful! We cried starting the drive home.

Reality slowly hit on the way home. I felt the weight again. I felt the hardship, the burden, the anxiety, everything. I couldn't do it and I knew I certainly didn't want to. The weight of it all continued to wear on me and seemed to hit much stronger then when we had left. Mr. was gone a lot. Tithing settlement was in full force. I was completely alone all the time. I had more sick kids. I had more to do with the holidays. My tree wasn't even up. I didn't feel it this time around. I stopped eating. I stopped sleeping. The stress became unbearable. And it came to a cross roads. Either I ask for him to be released or I figure this out. But how?

Well, that talk on the atonement. I read it. I knew what I needed. But I had never felt this side of the atonement before and had no clue where to start. So I started with a goal at the new year. I needed strength. I had heard the atonement covers that. So I started. I prayed and fasted for the strengthening powers of the atonement to over take my life. I was done. I quit. I was just going through the motions at this point. It was scary to see yourself slipping so far down. It was scary to watch the weight I didn't have fall off. It was scary to think I had no testimony and it was quickly slipping. How, in a service of saying yes had this happened. All I wanted to do was serve, but not in this way. Feeling worthless has taken over. I faced the adversary daily. I had to get out of bed and use every ounce of energy to fight. The energy was nearly gone. I wanted friends. I wanted outlets. I wanted a place. I wanted a home. I wanted more then anything peace. How do you find it? What has to change? What if nothing changes? Could my heart be changed? Could I change? Would I ever been happy inside and out again. Happiness is a choice. How could I choose to be happy despite my circumstances. January 1 was a welcomed date. It was a date that meant change for me.

The Stake President

Sometime around October, or earlier I don't remember, Mr. went to a stake meeting. There the stake president asked how I was. My husband hides a lot and keeps me close to him. He doesn't share the truth with people about me. He has the upmost respect. So, I hope that gives an idea of how bad off I was when Mr. told him I was struggling. They talked and decided I should meet with him. When Mr. came home to tell me I had a meeting I was not pleased. How could I go take someones time when as the wife I knew how that felt. But, the day came and the nerves were all over the place.

I walked in sat down. He asked how it was. One word was all I could say......"crap". I asked him if he really wanted honesty because he may regret asking. :) He then asked me to tell him the highs. I told him working with the youth and being around them more was a treasure to me. I love the youth of the church. The spirit they have, the hope, the happiness it just all radiates. They didn't judge me for being a bishops wife. They embraced it. It became my comfort. He then asked the lows. He asked me to expand as to what "everything else" meant. So I started.....I never see my husband, he meets with other women, he drops everything, being told "I don't know if I can talk to you anymore now that your the bishops wife, the meetings, the lonely Sundays, the lonely nights, the tears, the pain, the burden, the thought that your not your husbands life anymore, so yes......everything else.

He then counseled me some of the best counsel. I wish all bishops wives could have. He first told me it is normal for the relationship to be more heated then before. The stakes are higher. Their will be more crucial conversations because of the stakes being higher. You have two choices. Crucial to silence or crucial to violence. Meaning, you go silent its no longer worth the fight, or you scream and yell. He counseled that I needed to find a good medium. That my friends is not an easy task.

He also mentioned that what I felt was nagging was not. What a relief. Me saying no was a needful thing. He compared it to a new puppy. If you let go of the leash the puppy with run and get lost. My part was to hold that leash. To say no. To help him say no. To guide him. To encourage him. All while pulling him to keep him close to us as a family otherwise he will run off doing great work, but in the end loose his family. That is the last thing they want to have happen! I know that would be the last thing my husband would want to have happen as well.

He taught me about an emotional back account. When that is full it is easier to let them serve. At that time mine was bone dry. We needed to come up with things that would help fill this up so he could serve with out making me feel not needed or worthless. My cup would be full and it would make it easier for him to fill other peoples cups with counsel and love.

The meeting had only begun when it ended. He handed me a talk on the atonement. Told me on a hard day to read it. It sat in my car and then on my nightstand for weeks until I finally cracked it open.


Summer soon came and I couldn't have been more thrilled! A sweet HUGE tender mercy was I was prompted to make a summer calender. Complete with daily activities. Places to go. Things to do. A reason to get out of bed and make the most with my children. It was the best summer!!

Reality hit more near the end of that summer. We went on a family vacation and on the way up was hectic. I was mad. I was sad. I missed my Mr. I missed my old life. I felt like I kept looking back and it prevented me from looking forward. I didn't know how to over come this feeling of fear every time he got a call. Or loneliness every time he had to go. I felt the entire weight of our family on my shoulders. I had taken out more trash then ever before, made more dinners that I ended up eating alone. And had more feelings of resentfulness then I cared for. Getting out of bed was a chore. So here was this vacation that I thought was mine. We would have a whole week of just US. Boy, I was so so so so so wrong. Texts came constantly. I suddenly felt like a back burner of my husbands life. I felt I was just a title to give him this position. Their had not been a single day I had not cried over my new life and reality. We were told it would be hard, but their is nothing that can prepare you for the depth of just how hard! The weight was just so heavy.

During this difficult time I could still feel the Lord beckoning to me. I prayed daily to recognize the tender mercies to know He was aware of me. I felt them. They came in many forms. Friends who brought meals on random days, cards, phone calls, texts, and flowers to name a few. I just hadn't learned yet how to release the burden I carried. It was taking its tole. It didn't help that my hormones were all over the place since he was called as bishop when my baby was only 6 weeks old. And my hunt started. All I could ask for was peace. Heaven only knew how bad I needed it.

The following months were awful. I had sick kids for three months. We caught everything that was going around. To name a few: hand foot mouth, colds, ear infections, more colds, stomach bugs, more stomach bugs, pneumonia, more ear infections and more runny noses. To top it off I started to see mice coming into my house. No one thought the problem was a big deal except me. My dear Mr. bless his heart thought they would just find there way back out. I knew differently. It pushed me over the edge. I couldn't handle my own house any longer. Our landlord had an orkin guy come out twice and just when I thought we nipped the problem in came another beast. Finally, after many attempts my landlord came out, found the hole, patched it up and we were good to go. But, life was still overwhelming. So much so, that depression set in. It was probably always there, but I could see it. I could sense it. I had postpartum after my second child. It's ugly stuff. I had over come it once. I was determined to over come it again. I made the choice to fight. And fight I would do.

To be continued.

The Day Had Come

April 22 will be a day that is forever in my memory. As we walked in and sat down I felt a million eyes right on me. People knew. Was is that obvious? Mr's parents came, but they visit often. And then my four year old announces to those with in ear shot...."My Dad's the new bishop." The sacrament ended and it was straight into business. I remember being humbled seeing how many arms went to the square to say they support and sustain. I was humbled. The tears flowed. The 17 month old went crazy. Thankfully I have great friends. One of which I could pass him to knowing I wouldn't need to worry about him the rest of the meeting. I just had the baby. My husband squeezed my hand and I knew that was the last time I would have his help and companionship during church. It was rough.

 Finally, it was my turn to speak. My last talk was at the funeral of my friend. I was just as nervous to get up there again. Me....a bishops wife. Why? How? What? Me? I can't remember what I said, but I remember the spirit being there. After the meetings I was in a whirlwind. All I kept hearing was "congratulations". Are you serious? I didn't ask for this. I didn't pray for this. It wasn't something I wanted to achieve. And I get a congratulations. Where were all the "I'm so sorry?????" :) I loved hearing how many said the spirit had prompted them with who it would be. I was thankful. We are so young. 31 to be exact. I knew others would need that prompting to support and uplift. But, I in no way felt it was an honor to be called "mother of the ward". I was already the mother of five and that was plenty for me.

In the first few weeks it was a new high. I received cards of support and wisdom. Texts. Phone calls from dear friends and ward members. They were the tender mercies I had no idea at the time would pull me through.

Then reality of it all hit. The late nights. The all day Sundays. The weight. The worry. The burdens. The highs. The lows. And the adversary. The adversary came strong and with full force at me. I couldn't get a handle on it all. I mourned the loss of my husband. But my goals remained the same and I was so determined to accomplish that this in fact would be a memorable time with GOOD memories. But How????

The Phone Call

It was March 30. A completely ordinary day. My youngest was 6 weeks old. My oldest 7. We were cleaning having a family day when my husbands phone rang. I knew the look. I knew who it was. I was immediately in shock. This couldn't be happening.

A few months prior to this phone call I received one of the worst phone calls of my life. It was my husband. He called to tell me to stop what I was doing and say a prayer for our current bishops wife. She had been in the hospital and took a turn for the worst.  So I did. I listened to the heart wrenching prayer by my then 4 year old. She asked plan and simple that Jesus would make her okay. And he did. Just not in the way we all hoped. He took her back to her heavenly home that night. I had to sit by my husband and he made call after call after call after call to every member informing the of her passing. It was agonizing. It was hard. The world lost a wonderful person. I lost a dear friend. 

My heart was sad and still is. But time went on and no changes were made. We were happy. We watch a dear man loose his wife and still serve the Lord. It's humbling. And I had not thought that my Mr.'s calling would change. He was the elders quorum president.  But the call came. I have seen the look time and time again when he gets a call from the stake. They wanted to meet the following Sunday before church. 

That rest of that day was a blur. We tried to not think about it. We tried to reason that he was just being called as a counselor. In fact I was sure of that until 3 am came. I shot out of bed knowing. I knew what the Lord wanted of us. And I cried in disbelief. So, we got up and got our 5 kids ready and off we went. My life will never be as it once was.  

So, with the six week old in arms we got to the church. The Stake President first took my husband in and within seconds it was my turn. I sat down and heard him say "I am here with direction from church head quarters........" the tears immediately started. "We would like to ask your husband to be the ward bishop. And we want your support. Will you support him?" All I could do was nod my head. I had snot draining wild and tears that wouldn't stop. He gave us some counsel. And sent us on our way. I wiped my tears and mascara off my face and had to go sit in church. The baby started to cry thank heavens after his blessing and I escaped to the mothers lounge to cry  more tears. Another sister walked in to ask if I was okay. My response was the spirit was just in abundance! This would be our secret for THREE WEEKS. The longest three weeks of my life to say the least. 

To be continued.......