Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stuff Happens

      When the dread pirate and I came out to Cali, ('s been over 3 years!! Yikes!) We didn't bring anything with us.  I mean nothing, nada, ze-ro.   We were not sure where we were going to live, or how it was all going to play out.  So, we left everything we owned in a storage unit in Ogden.  Over the years, every time we went home I would go through and bring a few things back with me that I needed.  A car load here, a few boxes there. And it still didn't seem to make a dent in all that was in there!  I mean was the bottomless pit.  It didn't help that all the "wedding stuff" that I had used forever was all over the place, either.  Every time someone needed anything, I would send one of the girls into the black hole to gather iron stakes and lanterns or votives to lend to the friend in need of "wedding stuff".  Digging....and more digging, then throwing it all back on top at the end.
      I held on as long as I could people...with an iron fist...protecting my earthly treasures.   But slowly, I have been loosening my grip and letting go.  I have been offering up furniture and dishes and things to my kids, who actually had homes.  While their vagabond parents had a transient life.  I was surprised to find out that most of my stuff wasn't that exciting to my kids....What?  You don't want all this lovely crap?  In April, when I was there babysitting for Kindle, I opened the big door of the unit, and it looked like someone had picked it up and shaken it.  It was time.
     Rob and I flew back a few weeks ago to unleash the beast.  This is where you can hear the music start...."So we loaded up the truck, and moved to Beverly....Hills that is...Swimming stars..."  (love that banjo music).   Imagine a huge truck with plastic bags and mattresses tied on with rope and you would not be far off!  OK, I'm exaggerating....but I felt a bit hill-billy-ish.  We took it all up to Claire's house (dear-heart) and put it on her back patio.  Then I spent the next 3 days going through every box and separating it out into piles.   It was totally like an episode of hoarders.  The thing is this, though....I AM NOT A HOARDER!  (say it with me now...)  I AM NOT A HOARDER!  I just happened to have a lot of stuff.  Does this sound like denial?
     What I can't deny is that it was super emotional.  I did a lot of crying...because it felt like each box that I opened revealed a certain memory from my life. If I get rid of that thing....will I forget the memory of my wonderful, beautiful, life that was?  Is my life about what I have or don't have?  Will my life ever be the same as it was?  I started thinking about Sariah, moving into the wilderness leaving everything she had behind.  Even she murmured a bit.  It was hard.
     After the separation of the wheat from the tares....we had a big yard sale on Claire's front lawn.  I have to say was therapeutic.  Kit said it best, "There is nothing like having complete strangers turn their noses up at your stuff, to make you realize that it's really not that great."  She was right.  It was good to let go.  My life won't be the same as it was....and I think that's OK.  Change is inevitable, not impossible, and not always bad.
     We were able to sell/donate at least half of what we had...33 years worth of accumulated stuff.  Then rented a small truck to bring the rest back to California.  I've been finding places to put what I brought back, but have been looking at it with a different eye.  Do I really need this, want this, or love this?  Or am I just hanging on from fear of letting go of a former life?  Besides, my life right now is pretty darn good....even without all the "stuff".

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lamb of God and baby Shepherd

I can't tell you how many times I have opened my blog in the last couple of months, clicked on new post, and sat staring blankly at the screen trying to figure out what to say. It's not that there is nothing new to say, it's that there is SO MUCH to say and I have no words that describe my feelings. My brain keeps whispering "Just the facts, ma'am. Keep to the facts"...but I know that will never do my feelings justice. So take a big breath people....I feel a long wind coming...

Just after my last post, we finally found a small house that we were able to get into. It has a great big back yard, (wonderful)...that needs a ton of work (poo!)...I mean "poo" as in needs fertilizer. A lot of it. It will be a challenge, but it will be great! It's great to have Nina and Levi here with us, and Levi says he is really liking the work. It makes a big difference. So right in the middle of all the moving stuff, I was taking an accounting class, and trying to pack everything and trying to pull everything together for the ward choir's Easter Program...and my friend Jen asked if I wanted to join an interfaith choir at Temple Hill to sing in a special program called "The Lamb of God". I said "sure..." Are you kidding? Like I don't have enough going on already? Something told me that I HAD to do this. I had seen it the year before and cried through almost the entire thing! It really is the most beautiful thing. So I agreed and started attending the practices. I will just tell you here right from the start, this program has been incredible to be a part of. It has made me think about the Savior and his atonement in such a personal way....I feel more drawn to Him than ever before. I have found myself singing and humming this music all day every day! It is powerful and moving and amazing. (Here is a taste of some of this inspired work)

Sometime right after that, I got a call from Kindle...she and Ben had been chosen by a birth mom for adoption. You know what this does for me right? It ties me up in knots of emotion! It's been a history that reads like a roller coaster ride when it comes to this. We have had total exhilaration, joy, and fear, most every time we hear this news. Exciting but scary...This time was no exception, and even more twists than usual. The baby was already diagnosed with CRS(Caudal Regression Syndrome)...a syndrome that is terrifying. Don't google will scare your socks off! I called Kindle and asked her, " Are you sure you want to take this on? This is too much, Kindle...maybe you need to reconsider..."(my fear was getting the better of me). But Kindle and Ben had been literally directed by the spirit to pursue this. Now I am SO glad they listened to the Spirit and not to me! The birth mom was scheduled to be induced on March 18th, but sweet baby boy came early and was born on February 28th.  He is truly a miracle boy...There is so much to this story that it would take a novel to fill in all the details.  Kindle has written more here that you should read.  But What I really wanted to get to was this....Through this whole adventure, I have been literally blessed daily with the feeling that the Savior is personally involved with this story.  I have felt his love and concern for Kindle, Ben, and Isla, and little baby Shepherd.  It has not been without ups and downs, but I have come to trust that He is in charge and has been guiding this whole process, in his own time and way.  Through this whole process, these words have been swirling through my my mind...."Here is hope....I am the resurrection and the life....Thou wilt make me whole....Gloria, for my Savior lives! and I know this man.  It has strengthened me more than you can imagine. More of the words to the music that I have been singing are these:

So trust in God through all thy days;
Fear not, for He doth hold thy hand;
Though dark thy way, still sing and praise,
Sometime, sometime we’ll understand.

The entire months of February,March, and April have been spent either on my knees praying for guidance, begging for mercy, or singing His praises.  I want more than ever to know Him who is our Savior and Redeemer...Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful for His love.

Jesus, my Savior, Lord, and King,
What greater name could e’er I sing?
What greater joy than from Thee I know?
What greater debt than mine to owe?
O how my words in vain impart
What glows within my grateful heart.
No tongue could ever right declare
What tender love is written there.
Ten thousand gifts could I employ
To show my praise, my thanks, my joy!
All of my life, yea, all my days,
Still not enough to sing Thy praise!
Ever I’ll sing Thy praise.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Changing my Mind...

I have just one question on my mind today.....How in the wide world did it get to be January already!  2012 rushed past me like a hurricane...and sure enough....just as I was settling into my ways here..changes have come to my doorstep again.  These are good changes, though.  I'm starting to think that maybe ALL changes are probably good in some ways.  It's just that I'm usually so darn scared of them, that I think for sure that it will be hard.  I'm visualizing a caterpillar all snug in it's cocoon...until the space is just too darn small and it... must...stretch...NOW!

Levi, and Nina have come to Cali to live with us! My first thought...YIPEE! My second thought...Crap...we gotta move! Man!  I just got a patch of grass....DANG!  I've spent the last week searching Craigslist and other rental sights for places that would fit us all. This is one of those "things" that always gets me worrying..."What if we can't find a place? Are we gonna be dead on the side of the road?"...(Why is it always the side of the road and not the middle of the road....for cryin'-out-loud?)  It's a real challenge for me, until we finally get into a place. I know that it won't be long and the right place will be before us...but just now, I'm still looking. (and worrying)

I have a friend that I admire very much, who moved his whole family to Cozumel to live...just because they wanted to have an adventure. I asked him before he you speak the language? A little.  Have you ever been there? No.  Do you have a place? No. "We will just work it out...", he says.  I have to admit...Sean is a hero in my eyes. He lives with no fear or worry, and just moves about the earth with joy and excitement.  I've decided to be like that...Ok the real story is that I decided that yesterday! After losing out on one place I was all depressed and feeling like Heavenly Father doesn't love me (my "go-to" emotion when something disappointing happens)...then I ran across Sean's blog and began to read...and feel better!  and more positive.  And that maybe the future will be exciting and full of good things...and that maybe we were not meant to live in that place and that there might be some place BETTER!  I FELT BETTER!  Listen, I'm not saying life GOT better....I'm saying that thinking positive made me FEEL better!

So that's my thing for 2013...I'm gonna try to feel better.  I mean my life is pretty dang awesome, most of the time. *

*Insert picture of "Kevin" from home-alone coming out from under his bed saying..."Hey, I'm not afraid anymore..."  That's me..."AAAHHHHH!"