Monday, August 19, 2013

Of blessings and trials

It's been a long long while since I have taken to the blog...

Much has happened; it's called life.

Over the last few days I have found myself needing to express what I have been feeling and going through.

It's been an awesome summer. And a difficult one.

It's been trying and refining and it's been filled with blessings from on high, with random acts of kindness and love.

Joseph and I took the family on a looooooooooong road trip to Montreal. We had a grand time visiting with family and visiting the place of my youth. Joseph stayed with us for a week and flew home. The kids and I did some more visiting (an extra 10 days or so).

A day in Quebec City!
Then we took the road again accompanied by my mom.

We had a grand time visiting Palmyra, NY! We were able to walk through the sacred grove and feel the Holy Spirit testify unto us that it is a Sacred place and that God speaks to his children again through modern revelation.

The Sacred Grove

We also had the opportunity of watching the pageant! WOW! We loved it!

The boys with Laman, Lemuel, Nephi and Sam!

Then we had a wonderful time in Kirtland, Ohio! We visited the church's visitor center and the little village around it. We felt the spirit of the lord. We sat in the room where the school of the prophets took place on the second story of the Whitney store. we visited the Kirtland temple. We sang "The spirit of God" with others of our faith we had never met. It was both touching and humbling.

Kirtland Temple

We then made our way to Nauvoo,Illinois where we didn't even scratch the surface of all we could have visited...
Nauvoo Temple: Eli's Favorite part of the WHOLE trip home!

 But we had a wonderful time and we were able to attend the fair before the pageant started.

Potato sack races @ the Nauvoo fair!

The boys learned a traditional dance!

More dancing! My boys aren't the dancing kind but they had so much fun!
Matt and Zack also got asked to dance by girls... (read very red cheeks!)

 What a magnificent pageant it was! (I even met NieNie in the parking lot!).

The next day we went to Winter Quarters, Nebraska. We visited the visitor center and learned more about the trials of the early Saints. We walked through the cemetery. What a holy and sobering place. We also walked around the Temple.

Winter Quarters,Nebraska Temple with my mom.

We drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming that night. We pushed it hard so we could make it home more quickly on Saturday. We had a wonderful time but we were also ready to be home.

All week I had been reflecting on the life of the early Saints, on all they endured, on their gigantic faith. I had been counting my blessings. My soul was so stirred.

Saturday morning I woke up to a spinning hotel room. It was so bad I couldn't walk or stand without throwing up. I made it to the bathroom and cried. I called Joseph and told him I wasn't well. And I thanked the Lord for having my mom there with me.

I knew there was no way to make it on my own. I knew God would have to make up the difference. So HE did. A kind local bishop came with his son and gave me a priesthood blessing. He blessed me that I would get home. He blessed me to do the best I could and told me that is all the Lord required of me. Do the best that I could. I knew from this blessing the Lord wasn't going to heal me, but he was going to see me home safely. And I was grateful for the power of the priesthood. I was grateful for a loving and caring Heavenly Father. I was grateful for my Savior who could understand my pain and helplessness.

My vertigo lasted 3 weeks. The words of that blessing stayed in my mind. DO the best that you can. That is all the Lord requires. Some of those days doing the best that I could was laying on the couch taking my medications and be grateful for my sweet children.

I was blessed by the kindness of friends delivering dinners and checking on me.

Throughout this experince, I started having the feeling that something is about to change and require more from our family. I prayed and told the Lord I would do whatever He required of me, multiple times, multiple prayers.

I interpreted these feelings and associated them with a coming event: Stake conference.
We got a New Stake presidency yesterday. President Swanson, President Gross and President Carlson.
I felt the divinity of their call but no change happened for our family.

The feeling is still lingering. Though I now know better than to interpret it.

I feel like clay in His Hands.I feel that He is molding me, preparing me for things to come.I feel like I am being put through the refiner's fire. I feel like this summer was one of sanctifying and of learning.
It continues.

Once again, as it has happened before, I know the Lord is preparing me.
I am grateful for such a wonderful blessing. I am grateful for the forewarning of the spirit.
I know He qualifies those whom he chooses.
I know that whatever comes my way,
"awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)