Saturday, November 19


Ya know, when life throws you for a loop, my most common reaction is to hold it in and go it alone.  I don't want to impose on others or listen to the potential whispers in the halls at church or have that common southern phrase be used in reference to me.  You know it..."Bless her heart, she's to poor to remove that toilet paper from her shoe, she might need it later."

So, I was at our ward Relief Society meeting on Thursday and all my emotions, fears and prayers just bubbled to the top and in an epic emotional spewfest I told anyone who would listen how I was struggling.  I couldn't help it.  Call it hormones or call it the spirit moving me to share, but it happened.  And do you know what happened?  They put their arms around me and blessed me so abundantly.  A dear friend of mine took me home with her that night and gave me six bags full of groceries, plus an extra turkey she had bought on sale.  I ran out of Vitamin B to keep my nausea at bay and another sister brought me two bottles, which by the way is enough to last my whole pregnancy and then some!  But, apart from the physical needs they rallied around and shared with me their stories of times when they had gone through similar things and then testified that there is a way out, God never leaves us comfortless and will always provide a way for things to happen.  He never allows his children to be tried more than they can bear.

And now as I sit here reliving those feelings of friendship and sisterhood, I can't help but remember the scriptures from the book of James in the bible when he speaks of pure religion and what it really means to be a disciple of Christ.  I think that any time I read those verses, the memory of that relief society meeting and the faces of those sisters who put their arms around me will be forever ingrained in my memory.


Wednesday, November 16

Ties that bind

I made three loaves of bread today.  It's become my ritual.  2-3 times a week I make another batch to get us through a few more days.  But, our flour reserve is running low and i'm unsure how much more I can make.  But, today I have three loaves.

It's something I'm actually enjoying.  As I pour the flour in the bowl, I'm always transported to my childhood.  Growing up, we didn't have much, but I remember my mom always making bread and I remember getting a warm slice and buttering it and putting some jam on it.  It was always a treat.  As I kneed the dough, I think of all the women who have come before me in my family who had to make bread for their kids when there weren't stores.  Whenever Grandpa Bud sees me pull out those loaves of bread he says, "Looks like you've been busy.  I don't know how you get it all done, everything you do.  Ya know, my mom always made bread when I was growing up.  We used to hang around the kitchen and wait for the bread to come out of the oven.  The lucky ones got the end of the loaf.  It was a bigger piece of bread you know.  My mamma was a small woman but she was hard as nails..."(every time, never fails)  It usually grates on my nerves hearing the same stories over and over, but today I just smiled.  I could see her in her kitchen with her wood burning stove, her apron safety pined to her shirt and flour in her mussed hair.  Her time worn hands doing what they've always known to do to keep her family well fed.

I feel like my life has come full circle.  Eight years ago we moved here to help out after Norma passed away.  We felt so strongly that this is where the Lord wanted and needed us in his vineyard.  I remember trying to convince grandpa that he really didn't need to wash and reuse every piece of foil and every plastic bag, there wasn't any shortage.  But, today I found myself washing and reusing 3 plastic ziplock bags to put the bread in the freezer.  I used to think he was crazy for doing stuff like that, but now I can see the wisdom in the old adage Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or do without.


Tuesday, November 15

Well, baby #4 has finally relieved me of the constant nausea.  I think it helps that I started taking my prenatal vitamins at night along with an extra dose of vitamin B.  But, although physically I'm feeling better, my heart aches and I worry for the future.  Randall was laid off for the second time in two months at the beginning of November.  I love spending time with him, but I wish we could at least find answers to all the prayers.  Actually, I have a confession.  Today was the first time since Randall's layoff that I actually got on my knees and prayed.  I told Randall that I felt bitter, but I think it's more like I felt like "what's the point?".  I pray and he gets laid off, I pray and money stops, I pray and we eat beans and rice and even butter and milk are out of our price range.  So, I felt like it didn't do any good; like my words were falling on deaf ears.  So I stopped; no prayers, no worship, nothing.  Well, I say nothing, but I did participate in family scripture study and I helped my children say their prayers, but there wasn't anything personal going up to heaven from me.

But, this morning, I woke up to a quite house.  The first glow of day shining through my bedroom window and my first thought was we need a miracle.  And then I thought maybe all this has happened (baby #4, almost no food, no money....) in order for Him to prove to our family the He is a god of miracles.  That He is still there and does hear, but that maybe the answer is He is preparing us as a vehicle to perform miracles in the lives of my children and anyone that we may come in contact with over the next few years and throughout our lives.

On Sunday, all the talks in church were about enduring.  Not just enduring for a moment, but eternally and patiently.  And yes, I got it, loud and clear.  He was speaking directly to me.  I cried the whole time.  Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, but I think not.  He touched my spirit; spoke directly to me through countless scriptures.  So, this morning, in the stillness, I prayed.  I prayed for this man I love, I prayed for my babies to be feed, I prayed for our direction to be made clear and I got up and went to work.  I did the dishes that I hadn't managed to get to in days, I swept the kitchen, got Grandpa Bud ready for his doctors appointment, made hot chocolate for my kids from the last dregs left from last Christmas and did what I could to show my Heavenly Father that I am grateful for what He has provided for us.  We still have a roof over our heads, central heat and air, beds for everyone with blankets to spare, dishes, soap, HOT water, flushing toilets, telephones, fridgerator, car, books to read, clothes, toys, some food storage- beans, wheat, tomatoes and green beans, and most importantly we have each other.