Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter brought Gratitude

Here's grandma Karen on the porch after church on Easter, so it's not a surprise that everyone is not feeling their best, maybe too much candy and church services that wear kids out. (But grandmas enjoy) You can tell my age when you look at my oldest and first grandchild, Damon. He is 6 and in the first grade. I love to talk to him, he is very attune to what is going on with me. Next is Annaliese, then Kenya , Kalia, Kyla, and Allie. Hey, where are the twins, MIS and CHIEF??

Oh, here they are with the rest of their cousins BEFORE church. Grandma Karen had gone to practice with the choir for the Easter program and she was so hoping that the mothers of these little ones would remember to get pictures before they got messed up. Notice MIS (Malakai) has a new haircut, (much to mother's dismay)

I have so much to be grateful for this year. I had all of my grandkids together for Easter, and 4 days later I learned that my PET scan for this year was COMPLETELY CLEAR of cancer.
What more could I ask for?

This is Kenya, now 9 mos old, in her Easter dress, still a delight to be around :)

This is Kyla, she is almost 2 and she is a spitfire!!! She was so quiet the first year of her life, and now she is making up for it. She lives in Springville. My favorite thing about Kyla is that she will lovingly come to you and immediately put her head down on your shoulder. It touches my heart.
I am so amazingly blessed to have FOUR daughters, and now they are all about the same size. they can all wear each other's clothes and shoes
Tara, then me, Kimmy (now 15),Krystal, and Heather, (yes, Heather and Tara traded hair :)

Two of my son in laws with their little ones, Wayne is Tara's husband with Malakai on his lap just a day after Malakai (age 2 1/2) shaved his own head with electric clippers (Tara had to finish the job) Then next to him is Jeff (Krystal's husband) with Kyla on his lap. The couch is an old one from my front room and we put it on the porch for a while, (nice temperature this Easter Night)

Here's my 4 daughters again, (honestly, I can't get over Heather's hair)
This sweet one we haven't had many pictures of her. Maybe because she was usually crying the first few months of her life. This is Annaliese, Heather's 5 mo. old. Heather had a hard time trying to figure out why she cried so much. After MANY doctor visits to MANY different kind of doctors, many things were ruled out, and after a LOT of prayers, Heather felt that she needed to be on a formula without any corn in it, very hard to find by the way. After a week on Aliemuntum sp? ready to feed, little one started to calm, eat, not have rashes, and get some sleep. Heavenly Father always knows what is wrong, He is just letting us find the answers when we are ready to listen to Him. This is a bubble one of the kids blew her way, what a sweetie!
This last one is Kalia, Heather's 17 mo. old, (yep, she had them close, taking after her momma.) I guess something has made her cry on this easter morn..... (certainly not her naturally curly hair after her dad and her great grandpa Bama.)

Yes, I have MUCH to be grateful for.
This morning, I attended a meditation group for cancer survivors. It has taught me to relax, and not let the stress of the word "cancer" get to me. Each time I am learning more how to control my anxiety. Today we went to a place that we love (in our minds), while calming our bodies with deep breaths. I saw myself with long blonde hair again in the celestial room in the temple. Then we were to focus on gratitude. We would breathe in gratitude and feel it in our hearts, and breathe out and away all negativism. I can't tell you how much this helped me today. I started off the day feeling VERY anxious. I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for these grandchildren, my own children, and a son that will finish his mission next week and arrive at the St. George airport after 2 yrs of being away. Then the grateful feelings expanded. I am so thankful for a great husband, and the priesthood, and His blessings that he gives me when I ask. I felt so amazed at how much my heart has changed over the past year. While I was in this celestial room, I saw lots of things in white, representing so much peace and purity to me. I could almost see the Savior walking in to the St. George temple in that sacred room, all in white of course. I could almost feel my mom and dad near by.
I felt loved. I felt grateful.
Yes, Easter brought Gratitude this year.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Something Wonderful is Happening

I would have done this post 2 weeks ago, but I kept worrying about what pictures to put with it.
Finally I have realized that the feelings of my heart can put pictures in your minds. I am working very hard to stop worrying so much. I have worried myself into so many emotional fits, it's really ridiculous. I have learned firsthand that worrying only creates havoc with my heart, soul, and especially my body.
I have been seeing a counselor about my anxiety and she gave me a paper with "self-defeating' beliefs that many of us have.
One was, "IF I WORRY ENOUGH, EVERYTHING WILL TURN OUT OK". I have accepted the fact that I have had this belief safely(that's an interesting word) tucked away in my brain and have made it part of my life for the last 30-50 years. It IS SELF DEFEATING ! This is war, I have to destroy the enemy!!!

Worrying creates anxiety, and that is my enemy!

My Stake President told me once this last year that feeling guilt really is an enemy to the mothers and women in general. He said "Godly sorrow" helps us to CHANGE. Feeling guilty just makes us feel sick all the time. I am trying to recognize when I feel guilty and when I feel Godly sorrow and need to make a change.

Let me just say that feeling "concerned" about something helps us to solve problems, but 'Worrying' is to let it consume you.

Now, to the Happier News:
It's Easter Time, I have always loved Easter, but this year is ENTIRELY different for me.
I set a goal after I was finished with my treatments that I would take an institute class on the New Testament, and I would join the ward choir, and read everything I could possibly read about the Savior. I truly desire to get to know Him. I need to develop a PERSONAL relationship with Him and feel His Reality. I know I have never done that up to this point. I have had faith about Him, but have not KNOWN.

I started the institute class and immediately felt the Spirit. It was on the Four Gospels. Last week it ended, and it ended with the last week of the Savior's life, and His resurrection. How perfect was that?? It's Easter, HE IS RISEN. Also, guess what songs we have been singing in the ward choir? Easter songs about THE SAVIOR!! Could I have planned this any more perfect myself?? NO, it is put together by a MASTER CREATOR. I feel the spirit so strong when we are singing those songs, I can imagine the Savior himself standing at the back of the chapel, up high of course, that causes me to LOOK UP to see Him and to greet Him.

What else would He want to do , except check in on His loved ones,..... US!.......Especially those who have "Chosen Him", over the world. I am in awe of all He did for 3- jam-packed years, (and this being His only chance at being mortal), and then ending it in such a dramatic way, that it even made HIM shrink and hesitate to drink the bitter cup; yet HE STILL TELLS US WE ARE FREE TO WANDER WHERE WE WILL, he has no demands on us. He has invitations for us, and promises for us, and blessings galore waiting for us. We just need to become one of His partners. It is SO much easier than I have ever made it out to be. It's as easy as loving a member of your family that you adore, and that adores you back.

I am coming to know HIM personally, I am believing in HIS REALITY. I am feeling it. What a gloious way to feel at Easter time. I am SO grateful. I have been shown so many tender mercies from Him and Heavenly Father, and YOU, Their earthly angels. I know my mom is aware, and I will know in the future of her involvement in my life. Can I say THANK YOU again?
I KNOW that YOU were inspired to help me. It all starts and ends with His love.

I wonder sometimes why I am so lucky. I heard a song this morning sung by Jeff McLean, and it said ,

"A tender mercy

has come to me..

It came from heaven

I do believe

Maybe why I was chosen

is because I CHOSE to see

God's tender mercies

are for those who believe

His tender mercies

are for you and for me"

I was puzzled about being humble and knowing it at the same time, but I heard my answer in Conference when President Monson said, "I am your HUMBLE servant" That struck me hard! He is humble, and he knows it, and it does not make him PROUD at all!

I can say now, I am humble, I know it, and I feel tender, grateful, meek, and teachable. I am thirsting for more. I think I have been blessed because I CHOSE Heavenly Father and HIS SON. I have asked for their guidance every step of the way. I can see now there is NO BETTER WAY than THEIR way.

I just thought of a perfect picture when I think of the Tender Mercies I have been shown, you have seen this picture before, but I will keep it in my mind forever.

I much,........all of you......everyone.......everything,...........what a tender mercy to be blessed with LOVE, CHRISTLIKE LOVE.

Love 4-ever, Karen