Wow, it's been a litle while and I need to catch up. First of all, I have to acknowledge how somewhat lonely this month has seemed to be as two families - some of our dearest friends - moved away just following Christmas. There aren't a lot of people our age here in Payette so it seemed a big blow. We had become such good/fast friends (got together so often and talked almost daily on the phone with eachother) with these two families, and our kids became as close as siblings almost instantly, that it was hard to see them go. We shared our tears in our goodbyes and promised eachother we'd keep in touch and thankfully we have. But I wanted to share with you some thoughts that I've had through the experience (and I say experience because it truly was, without family closeby, our friends quickly became our family and it was so hard to say goodbye).
Cash Lizzy and Rachel - playing in the water at the Wilcox's while washing their van - summer of '08
Cash and Jackson getting eachother with waterguns during water party at the Bazils - summer '09
Cash and Jackson lounging and playing it cool at the Ussery's home - fall '09
Fishing trip with the Usserys, Wilcoxs, and Rynearsons - fall '09
(Cash caught his first fish at this trip - will post about it later)
Bazils and Wilcoxs at the Ussery's home for Kate's 1st birthday celebration - fall '09
Even before our friends started packing things up I began to wonder how thier moves would affect our family. I forced myself to look for the positive and realized that an opportunity would come to our family through this experience. Our own little family could grow much closer as we turned again to eachother more for play, entertainment, conversation, etc. I determined that it was the perfect time, as the new year rolled around, to refocus my efforts as a mother in our home. Without spending so much time with friends, I could find more time to sit down and conciously teach my children to play better with eachother, I could take the time to sit down with each of them and get to know them better, help my kids fill a void, from moved away friends, with my love and attention, and much more. I began to realize that although I've always tried to put my family first and make sure they were most important to me, maybe they still weren't as important as they should be to me. Through all my ponderings, I determined to make more certain that my family was always my first choice, and my relationship with each member was stronger. I guess you could call all this my resolution.
About the time I started "resolving", I began reading a book I borrowed from my mom. It has quickly become one of my favorites and is called "I Am A Mother" written by Jane Clayson Johnson. It is an absolutley wonderful book, reminding all mothers to be proud of who you are - you are a mother and nothing is more important! A couple thoughts from the book:
More than sixty years ago, the First Presidency said it all when they called motherhood "the highest, holiest service...assumed by mankind."
...Satan has declared war on motherhood. He knows that those who rock the cradle have the power to rock his earthly empire. And he knows that without righteous mothers loving and leading the next generation, the kingdom of God will fail.
If the day comes when we - meaning covenant women of God - are the only women on earth who find nobility and divinity in motherhood, so be it. For "mother" is the word that will define a righteous woman made perfect in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, a woman who has qualified for eternal increase in posterity, wisdom, joy, and influence.
-and those thoughts are found in the forward to the book alone (written by Sheri Dew). The entire book is amazing and again, made me want to refocus my efforts as a mother in our home. The book was truly inspiring and I hope that I can reflect upon it often, especially on those days I'm dressed in sweats and can hardly find time to shower let alone do hair or makeup after being up all night with one of the kids - I can remember that "Snow White is still pretty in rags" and that my job is of the ut-most importance.
On top of all that, I began taking the second (and last...sniff sniff) "semester" (I guess you could call it) to the parenting class I took last fall. I continue to be inspired on a weekly basis through it's teachings of gospel principles and how to consiously teach our children those principles. BTW I remember getting many comments from others interested in the class and this is the information I found out for you: it is an adult religion class offered through BYU-I called Positive Parenting, taught by Carleen Tanner here in Nampa but by others hopefully closer to you so you could take the class. I was told anyone interested should go to the following website: byu.edu/ce/arc
And again, throughout these past weeks and throughout this experience, it has again been confirmed to me that our Heavenly Father is ever mindful of us and our struggles and desires of our hearts. It's amazing the way our Heavenly Father answers even unspoken prayers by placing opportunities in our path (such as a good book or class/teacher) to help us get through hard times and uplift us. I am so grateful for the inspirations of the Holy Ghost that have guided me to my resolutions that I believe can truly make an eternal difference if I can but better refocus my efforts as a mother. Wish me luck!