Saturday, February 26, 2011


I think I'm over the hump of dealing with my emotions over sending my son on a mission. Now the reality of funding that mission has set in. He worked hard and saved enough money to get everything he needed before going, with some leftover to help us out a bit, yet we still have a monthly amount to scrounge up. How is this going to work? On paper, it doesn't.

We discontinued Comcast, so have no more TV or land-line phone service. We are selling my husband's truck (no bites just yet), which KILLS him (he loves his truck) and little fishing boat (he loves that too). We cut back on food and any other extras we could find. Things are still tight, and quite honestly, we weren't sure how we were going to make those mission payments.

When we read accounts in the scriptures, or modern-day stories of people who are attached to their material possessions, we think (or at least I do) of how selfish they are, and materialistic, and I become judgemental and wonder why they can't see what they're doing and just let go of those "things" and look to the greater good. Now that we have to get rid of some material possessions, I find myself in a position of true mourning.

My husband's truck has been so good to us. There's nothing wrong with it, and it has served us well. It's not only a comfy ride, but we have used that truck countless times to help our children move, or haul things from one place to another, help ward members and neighbors in various ways, tow broken down cars, pull people out of snow and mud when stuck, haul stuff to the dump, tow the boat to favorite fishing spots, loan it out to others, help with service projects, "flags", etc., etc. I think a LOT of people are going to miss our truck. :)

And then there's the fishing boat. A purchase from my husband's brother; lovingly cared for by brother and my husband. Fishing has been my husband's one stress reliever. He has made memories with our children for the past 10 years, taking them one at time for some Daddy/daughter or Daddy/son time, just fishing and talking, eating jerky and whatever else they scrounged up early in the morning before heading out. Good talks happened on the lake while waiting for the fish to bite. Fish were caught, cleaned, and later cooked and eaten. The boat came with us on camping trips, along with tubes to pull the kids on.

Once these items are sold, all we'll have are those memories. It makes me sad to let the item itself go, but how grateful I am for the good times we've had.

It seems silly to mourn for the loss of such things, yet I do. But we learn that life requires us to make sacrifices, and there are better things to sacrifice for, which makes it worth it.

As I sit down to pay our bills today, rather than try to figure out how it's all gonna work, I remind myself to have faith. I know I need to pay our tithing and mission payment first, then I figure I'll just have to juggle the other bills as needed. But we have been blessed in many ways already, by others helping out. Still, I sit there in my room, surrounded by bills, the checkbook, the calculator, working out the numbers one way, then another, when one of our children walks into the room, expressing a desire to help missionary brother. We are handed what might be considered "the widow's mite", and the warmest, most peaceful feeling floods through my soul.

Everything is going to be alright. I love my family. We are so blessed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is it worth it?

I said goodbye to my son today for two years. Through my tears, I silently ask myself if this is worth it.

His room is quickly emptied and then filled with another son's stuff. His guitar is laid to rest in the storage room. I already miss the music he made with that instrument. Items of clothing are donated to DI, others are left behind for his return. Bedding is washed, but I catch a whiff of his scent on his pillowcase and dissolve into tears once again.

I can't help but think of what and who he will miss; his siblings, especially one brother who will be on his own mission when he comes home; his nephews and niece; the birth of another nephew or niece, and who knows what else.

For me, I will miss his mere presence, his smile, his laugh, his teasing manner, his generosity, his humility, his strength, his integrity, his testimony, his patience, his calmness, his love.

I mourn for the life as we have known it. Things will never be the same. Change has taken place once again.

If I were to dwell on these reasons alone, then NO, this would not be worth it at all. But wait...I think of all the growth that will come to him with this experience. I think of the man he will become. I think of the diciple of Jesus Christ he is, and of the many other lives he will touch. I think of how this sacrifice on his part, will return to him blessings unmeasured, which therefore, makes it no sacrifice at all. I think of the language he will learn, the communication and public speaking skills he will develop, the ability to do everything on his own now, the need he will have to rely on God everyday and how his relationship with Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ will be cemented. How selfish am I to want to keep him home all to myself? I would not want to deny him of this wonderful experience.

So once again, I hug my son tightly, express my deepest love for him, and then let him go. I bravely wave goodbye as five other missionaries surround him at the MTC and he walks away, yet I know he's in good hands.

Yes I come home and cry some more, and will probably continue to do so for a while, but I know the benefits far outweigh any sacrifice I selfishly think I am making.

I know he is doing what he needs to do, I know the blessings that come, and even as my heart aches, I loosen those apron strings for one more son. It's time for him to fly, and I know this son of mine is ready to soar. Yes, this is worth it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My big boy needs his mommy

I took my soon-to-be-missionary son to an ear specialist today. He has been having problems hearing, always saying "huh" to everything we said. It was annoying us at first, as we thought he just had selective hearing, but we finally had it checked out a month ago. The Dr. cleared out his ears as best he could, gave us drops to continue for 3 weeks, but the problem remained, so we were referred to a specialist.

I remained in the waiting room while he went back to see the Dr. I wanted to offer to go with him, but didn't want to embarrass him. He's a 19 1/2 yr. old boy (man?) who towers over me. So I waited, and waited and waited. I started to worry, and wondered at one point if he needed me. I began to get agitated. He came out shortly after that and told me the story.

The Dr. had to do some very invasive work on his ears, touching the eardrum many times (very sensitive), using tools that caused so much pain, my son wished he had been put "out" for the procedure. This is a kid who has been known his whole life for having a high tolerance for pain. However, for this particular procedure, he said at one point his eyes were watering (he doesn't want to admit he was crying) and he thought to himself "I want my Mom". It broke my heart to hear him say that. I should've gone in there with him in the first place. But at least he knew I was right outside, not far away. I'm so glad the problem was rectified before he was in the MTC and sent to a Dr. without me (which happens often this Dr. said).

We had a wonderful time driving home because we could actually have a "whole" conversation, where he could hear every word. It opened up a whole new world to him. I stopped and got him a burger for a late lunch and as I handed him the bag, he said "wow...these bags are so noisy!"

I'm so glad my son is feeling better now, and it melts my heart to know he still needs his mommy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mr. Springville

My son competed in the SHS Mr. Springville competition, which concluded tonight. None of my other sons participated in this particular activity so I had no idea what was involved. It was quite the major undertaking.

First he had to apply and be accepted into the competition. The application process was more than just signing a piece of paper saying you wanted to enter the contest.

Then all this week there were daily competitions: Leg Day, Costume Day, Cake Day, Poster Day, and Improv day. There were several weeks of early morning rehearsals for their opening dance number, which was SO good. They had to have a talent, which was shared tonight in front of a packed auditorium, there was a swimsuit competition (very modest and humorous actually), a formal-wear competition, and so forth.

Tonight was especially nerve-wracking for my son as he tried to psche himself out for his comedy routine (his talent). I was just as nervous as he was. I want my son to feel succeess. He just didn't want to bomb, and embarrass himself. Well once he got on stage, he did AWESOME! He had the crowd in the palm of his hand. They loved him. I was laughing my head off, but it's even more gratifying to hear everyone around me laughing too.

My son didn't take home the crown, but I couldn't have been more proud of him. He did a very brave thing. All the other kids did great with their talents as well, but they either had others participate with them, or they had music as their companion. My son took a risk and had to put himself "out there", and even the MC guy, who does comedy for a living, told me afterwards that my son "killed it!" I also saw my son's dedication to all that was required of him, which is good preparation for life itself. I love this kid.

If you care to check out the competition, you can google it and look for Mr. Springville "live" (or something like that.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Rosy Life

We had a disappointment today. Our married son who currently lives with us (along with his wife and little boy) has worked so hard to get to a place where he can provide for his family. He has a good job, but it is only parttime. He has tried to prove himself as an employee, bent over backwards to develop a good reputation, gone the extra mile, accepted extra shifts and assignments at the drop of a hat, and FINALLY a fulltime position opened up. He was well qualified and applied for it. He interviewed not once, not twice, but THREE times (which is a great sign). He had to take tests, he had to go on a "drive-along", he had to complete paperwork with the HR department. He interviewed well. The three "big-wigs" who did the interviewing, really liked him and narrowed it down to my son and one other guy. They took a week to make their decision. The other guy got the job.

The first emotion we feel is a sickness in the pit of your stomach that precedes despair. Then anger sets in. We know "the other guy" has only been with the company a very short time, and yet his 20 years in retail, spoke louder than the experience my son has to offer. Well how long does my son have to wait to get that experience so badly needed? Sometime, SOMEONE'S got to give him a shot and let all his other great qualities speak louder than his younger years that rob him of being able to claim years of experience.

All I want is a rosy life for my children. Of course I know there must be opposition in all things. Of course we all deal with disappointment throughout our whole life. Of course "life isn't fair". Of course in years to come we may look back and see why things happened the way they did. But for right now, I just want to fix things for my son. I want to see him rewarded for his efforts. I want OTHERS to see what I see in him. He and his family deserve a bed of roses. Unfortunately, those roses have thorns. If I could pull them out for my children, I would. But instead, I just hurt and ache for them.

God bless this wonderful son of mine.