Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Emotional Bank Accounts

Every Monday night we set aside a few hours to have quality family time that we call "Family Home Evening", aka FHE.  In our weekly FHE we will have an agenda that includes: opening song, opening prayer, scripture, lesson, activity, treat, and closing prayer.   Each person takes turn rotating assignments.  Yesterday Nathan taught the lesson on "Emotional Bank Accounts".  We have, as an ENTIRE FAMILY, fallen a little short in helping to fill each others bank accounts, but have instead made severe withdrawals in the way we have interacted.  I'm afraid we may all feel as if our accounts are in the negative, because there has been a little more contention and teasing between family members.  In this lesson we discussed ways to make deposits and things we do that make withdrawals from others emotional bank accounts.  We made a poster with the different behaviors.  Then we each made our own jar with stones inside for us to keep track of how we are doing.  The goal is for our stones to be in everyone else's jars, instead of our own.  Each time we do something to make a deposit for a family member, then we take our color stone and put it in their jar.  Each time we make a withdraw, we take one of our stones from our jar into the negative jar and one of their stones comes out as well.   The goal is to fill each others Positive jars with a variety of eachothers stones and keep the negative jars empty! I love this object lesson, because it will help us see how quickly we can build eachother up or empty out one another's emotional bank accounts.

Family home evening is such a blessing for our family.  It takes effort and sacrifice, but it is quality time where we can discuss, learn, have fun, and work together as a family to help us become better people and a stronger family. Life gets busy and can be very hard, but the efforts will be well worth the eternal blessings.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Too Long!

It has been way too long since I have posted.  I plan to write more about all different things, but for today I need to write about the last few weeks.  As our 3 year mark approaches I have reflected on the last few years.  I'm thankful for my journal and blog, because the first year is a blur.  The second year was a little better and time continues to help heal. Milestones, anniversaries, and trauma from the loss of other families often reopens that wound back to day one.  Those emotions and feelings are unforgettable.  My heart has been broken and I have cried several times for another family in our area who lost a child recently.  I have many times just wanted to go find the mom and hug her, even though we don't know eachother.  I have wanted to call.  But just as it was with our experience, I have NO IDEA what to say or what to do! There isn't anything people can say or do to take the pain away.  BUT, I do remember feeling the overwhelming love and support of family, church, friends, and community with phone calls, messages, notes, visits, packages mailed, meals, random door bell ditched goodies, and the list goes on.  We can't say or do much during these times, but we can do small simple acts of love that go a long way.  If you are ever at a loss of what to say or do, just do what you feel in your heart.  You have NO IDEA how small and simple those small acts go for the ones hurting so bad.

           I hope that I can continue to find strength daily to be the person God has intended me to be so I can be with my family forever. I hope I can pay forward ten fold the acts of love and kindness that helped lift me up during my darkest hour. It is a daily battle and I hope that at the end of each day I can rest knowing I have done all I can to help others, show love and kindness, compassion, and Christ like love to those around me, those who despise me, and especially to those who call me mom.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beckett's love

This morning was a great morning, where I again felt my Heavenly Father's arms around me.  I took Beckett to the grocery store after we dropped the kids to school.  We went to the grocery store that is directly across from the cemetery where Easton's body lays to rest.  I decided we would stop on the way home to just enjoy a few moments remembering my sweet boy.  Beckett was excited to get out of the car at the cemetery when I asked if he wanted to visit Easton.  He kept smiling and saying "Easton" over and over.  We sat together on Easton's bench as we looked at all the pictures of Easton on his headstone.  Words can't describe the beauty we enjoyed this morning.  The sun was shining through the trees, birds were chirping and flying from tree to tree.  The weather was perfect temperature, and mosquitoes weren't eating us.  Beckett was saying Easton's name, over and over again.  It was a glorious morning as I enjoyed watching the joy on Beckett's face and the happiness in his voice as we enjoyed a few peaceful moments remembering Easton.  Beckett saw me getting teary eyed and he just nested into my shoulder and put his arms around me.  I know he could feel my love and pain.  Beckett knew I needed it! I know Beckett knows Easton.  Sometimes I wonder if Beckett and Easton see eachother and have conversations together often.  To some people that thought may be far fetched.  But I know and have a strong testimony that our loved ones who has gone before us can be near, especially at times when we need to feel them close.  I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that allows us to find peace, feel His love, and recognize our blessings even when we are hurting or going through difficult times.  My heart aches for those who experience trials in their life without that knowledge.  I know how hard life can be even having faith and strength as I feel my Savior's love.  I couldn't imagine going through difficult things wihtout that faith and strength.  I know Beckett was sent to our family for a purpose, as were all of my children.  I am thankful for the morning we shared and the love I felt from my Father in Heaven through Beckett today.  It warmed my heart more than words can explain. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Daily sorrows

Today is one of those days where I would have loved to just skip past.  It seemed each kid had some kind of emotional melt down and I wasn't far behind. Kids have been fighting tons.  McKenzie is an emotional roller coaster. She goes from sweet to upset and having a crying melt down within a second, and this is unfortunately a daily occurrence now. I feel like a failure daily.  I can't seem to get the kids to be obedient when I ask them to do things nicely. They feel like using the word please when asked is really just suggesting they do something.   I just want to curl up and scream off the steam sometimes. But that won't do any good.  I am so tired. Tired of putting out fires, refereeing kids arguments, figuring out who started what, and being told I'm mean and don't love them.  The opposite is true. I do love them, which is why I don't want them fighting.  I love them, so I hold them accountable, so they know negative behavior has negative consequences and positive behavior has positive consequences.  I do love them, so I make them learn how to do their school work, play the piano, and work.  I do love them, which is why I expect them to behave and be respectful.  I knew when Easton died it would be hard on our family as we miss him dearly.  But in no way could I expect, anticipate, or prepare for what is happening to my children.  I can't even find words to explain it or a way to help it.  I feel like I try so hard to be consistent.  I pray hard to ask for how I can help.  I know we are all so blessed to still be here on earth to learn and grow.  This is a challenge that is very difficult.  More difficult than the actual loss of Easton.  He is happy and healthy.  I know where he is! As I watch my kids now, and myself, I don't know where we are or how we are doing.  I want to know and I try my best, but each day is getting more difficult.  I do know there is a reason.  I know I am not handling this trial with my kids emotions very well.  I feel like  I still have so much to learn that it is weighing on me.  So I need to suck it up and start learning and changing myself for the better, because my kids need me.  Their eternal lives depend on me helping teach them to be better, and for them to be better, they need a mom to set the example of being better.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Preparation or Paranoia

Last year about this time I started having nightmares that reoccurred several nights for a few weeks before Easton died.  I kept seeig him get hit by a car in front of our house. Each night I had the nightmare I would wake up frantic and sweaty. I would have to self talk myself with how I would handle this actually happening. I would always calm myself as I would think about the Lord's will and me having to recognize HIS purpose in all things. After Easton died, I realized those nightmares were preparing me to rely on my faith to get through such a difficult thing.

Last night I had a terrible nightmare that Beckett pulled on some Tv cords and pulled the large, heavy, flat screen tv off the wall and crushed himself to death. In my dream I was loading up to go coach Kenzie's softball practice and Cameron was in watching a show while looking after Beckett. Before I got out of the driveway the police came because Cameron had called 911 and they were close by. They cuffed me and pressed charges for accidental neglect resulting in a fatality.  Worst feeling ever!!  It is hard to put into writing the helplessness, pain, regret, out of control feelings. I woke up in a sweat again. Of course my biggest fear is losing another child. Even worse is being told I'm not a good mother, because I have lost a child to an accident. And even furthermore is losing a second child. As I woke up from this nightmare in a panic, I had to check myself again.  What if this nightmare were a reality?!  Of course I would hope this would never happen, but what if?  Am I just being paranoid or am I being prepared again?  I am going to say it doesn't matter, either way, I have to keep myself in line with whatever The Lord has in store for me.  I thought about Job in the scriptures. Job lost his wife, family, riches, everything except his testimony. He had been well to do, but when he lost everything he had, he still stayed strong in his faith. I hope I can be like Job in my faith. I really hope I don't get tested like Job was tested, but in my heart I have to know that if I was tested to that extreme, then I would want to be as strong and committed to my Savior and Heavenly Father.

I really hope I don't keep having these nightmares. But on a positive note, I do feel like I have a spiritual experience as I live out each nightmare, saddened by the loss, but strengthened to know I will find peace and calm during the storm as I recognize the Lord's will in my life.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What nobody told me about losing a child

I have read and talked to many people who have had a child pass away, but what nobody ever told me is that I would also lose a piece of EACH of my children when we buried Easton. (At least for some time) I know the grieving process is long and different for everyone, but what I have discovered the past few months is that I am having to learn to parent each of my children again. They each have their own way of processing and handling the trauma they have experienced the last nine months.  As a mom I am having to learn and adjust to the changes in each of them and try to be understanding of the difficult behaviors they're exhibiting. As challenging as it has been the past few months as these behavior changes have come to light, I have learned a few things. First, I have to understand that their world has been flipped upside down and rocked in ways I can't relate to.  I can understand that they are hurting and they don't even recognize their feelings and the changes in themselves as being related to the loss of Easton. Second, I have learned that it is going to take me being patient and unconditionally loving to help them find security, safety, and refuge.  As the kids exhibit these difficult behaviors I have realized they need to feel valued and treasured as much as Easton. When I begin to feel overwhelemed and frustrated with the kids choices, I have realized it is important for me to help them find their own self worth. This is very hard. There are days where I am just emotionally and physically exhausted, especially when the kids are grumpy, constantly fighting, and whinning over simple and small things that used to never be a problem. Every mom feels this struggle sometimes, but it has been magnified 100 fold with the constant battle to balance my children's hardships and grieving, my own grieving, and carrying on being strong for my children and husband, while still continuing on with all the other tasks of life we had before Easton died. I know that as we face this hardship together as a family, and focus on the eternal perspective of things, that over time our family will be healed and whole through our Savior's love and atonement. Until that time comes I will share what I am learning as I walk that path, and hope I can in some small way help someone else along the way.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Easton's Trees Clean Up

Packing the ornaments from Easton's trees were more difficult than I imagined.  I enjoyed putting the trees up and looking at each individual ornament.  I could feel so much love and support as each ornament arrived.  We labeled all the ornaments as they came in, if they were marked from the sender.  I enjoyed walking by the trees in their various locations.  I loved staring out my in laws back door at night and seeing the tree lights across the slough.  It made me feel so peaceful.  As I would stare at the lights out there it would make me think of what a light Easton brought to this world and the continued light he still brings as I think of him. 

I'm not sure what or why I felt the way I did as we packed up his ornaments.  Maybe every time I put something away for him is like letting another piece of him go.  I know he is gone, but his spirit is well and alive.  But, it is still tough not having him here physically.  Those ornaments were all physical reminders of Easton and the things in life he loved.  Although I love the physical reminders, I know the spiritual reminders are most important and more influential.  I am thankful for the physical things that help remind me and help me feel that spirit close.