Yes... surprise, surprise. A lengthy, wordy post from me. I don't expect anyone to really read it... I know I have a hard time reading posts that are all words. A few nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night from a distinct thought. That I needed to share a recent experience I had. I obviously didn't, but the yesterday I had a lesson about leaving a legacy of hope for my children and the generations that follow them, and I just had to record a few thoughts down. Maybe not for anyone now, but my grandchildren or great grandchildren or who knows. Maybe it is just for me. I don't know. Anyhow, I hope those that do read this feel the love that I have for them and know that I wish every bit of happiness on them, and hope that this strengthens or builds their testimony.
So... here we go. I just want to share a few little stories that I know God lives. That he LOVES ME. And that he continually leads and guides me, and blesses me when I follow his commandments.
Lately I have been really, really struggling. It probably can date back to March of this year (2014). The big day we found out that we'd be moving across the entire country from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles. Sure I was excited for the new adventure. But the stress for affording the move, getting rid of most of our belongings and figuring out how (& where) we'd be able to afford it was consuming me in anxiety. I honestly thought the only way we'd make it work was for me to live in Utah with my family and for Ryan to sublet an apartment. So much weighing on my mind all the time, it was hard to see the bright side of life. I won't go into details, but preparing for our move was horrible and it just felt like it wouldn't work out. That this trial ahead of us would be unbearably hard. That I wasn't strong enough. I just wanted to cry all the time. But the first day on the road driving cross country we found out that we got off the wait-list for housing. A pin hole of light punctured through that darkness surrounding me. I can't begin to tell you how much of a relief that was to find out that even if it would still be hard. We'd be able to be together.
Another story I want to share is a HUGE miracle. It was on our first Saturday all together as a family and we decided to go to the beach. Everyone was excited and lathered up with sunscreen. We gathered up our stuff and packed our lunch and were off to the beach. We got there and everyone was whining and grumpy, and didn't really seem excited to be there. Zak was acting lethargic (he actually ended up throwing up!), Emily wouldn't nurse well and Abby ran in too quickly to the ocean and totally got spooked and didn't want anything to do with the beach anymore. The only one who semi had fun was Sarah. But she got grumpy because we decided that we should leave early (I think we were there for about 2 hours). Not fun. Well. We packed up all of our stuff, and began to get everyone loaded up in the car. We stopped by the showers and rinsed off a bit and then were on our way home. By this point Ryan and I weren't exactly happy campers either. Ryan asked about his phone, and I told him it was in our beach bag. Along with my phone, our wallets and keycard to the apartment. He offered to pull over so I could bring it up front and I told him to wait until we got to the gate and I'd hope out and grab it so we could get in.
So we drive the 10-15 minute drive back to our apartment. I hop out to get the keycard to open the gate... and our beach bag was not in the back. Amongst all of the juggling of things and children, it got left on the boardwalk right out side the showers, right by the all the heavy, heavy foot traffic. We were shocked and terrified. We rushed back to the beach. It was SUCH a long drive. The entire time I was praying that it would all be okay. I didn't know what we would do if our wallets, phones and everything got stolen, but through my deep worry I felt peaceful. That I knew that even if they were stolen, it would all work out somehow.
We finally made our way back, and there amongst all of the people walking around was our beach bag. Just sitting there. Untouched. I hopped out and grabbed it and quickly dug through it to find our wallets & phones. They were safe. I know that this was a tender mercy from our Heavenly Father. He knew our needs and helped to watch over and protect us. Sure they are just things, and it would have worked out if they had been stolen. But this was a testimony that he LOVES me! And that He knew I needed this witness of His love.
Another simple story I wanted to share is of the promptings of the Holy Ghost. It is hard moving and making new friends. Especially when you stick out like a sore thumb with 4 crazy kiddos. The people I have met are so nice and wonderful, but it always takes time to get to know people and find people who understand me and who I can really talk with. On one day that I was feeling especially lonely I was reached out to by three different friends from different times in my life. I keep in touch with them all, but I know that they were prompted by the Spirit to send me a little hello. It wasn't anything major. One was though some simple text messages, and they other two were private messages on facebook. It once again let me know that the Lord loves me. And that he knew what I needed, and that was to feel like people who I know and love still remembered me. That I didn't move away and get forgotten. I still feel lonely at times, but I know that it will get better the more I try to reach out and let people get to know the real me.
The last thing I wanted to share is really quite silly. But meant SO much to our little family. The girls have joined a little running club at our school and it just makes them so happy to get out and move in the mornings and see how strong and amazing they are for doing it. It is a great confidence builder for them. We after the first day Sarah's running shoes rubbed a huge blister on the back of her heel. We taped it up really well so that she could still participate the other two days that week, but I knew that she needed new shoes. Figuring out our budget out here has been stressful. For figuring out how to budget in a surprise $20+ this week was stressful. I decided that I would just have to make it work, that she needed new shoes so we went out on Saturday to find a new pair of shoes. The night before I was looking up shoes in various stores and decided the best spot would be to check out Payless shoes. So I got the kids ready to go, and right before we left I had a thought to just check out Ross first. It is on the corner of the block we live (like literally less than a 5 minute walk). I figured it wouldn't hurt. I wasn't even sure they had kids shoes.
We went in and their selection wasn't the best. All of the girl shoes were covered in sparkles, bling and totally too girly for Sarah. And all of the boy shoes were big and clunky... or high tops! I was discouraged. Abby was having a blast trying on shoes, so I decided to just look through for possibly miss placed shoes in Sarah's size. Sure enough, as I looked around I found a cute pair of teal blue Puma's. That were perfect for running, and not all glammed out and girly. I gulped as I went to check the price. I was sure they would be more than $20. To my shock they were on clearance and marked down to $0.49. You read that right. Forty-Nine CENTS!! I am guessing it was a return someone made and they marked it way down to get it out of their inventory. I know that I was prompted to go to Ross (which I've never really shopped at before), to find this incredible deal. A miracle to once again show me the love of my Heavenly Father.
I don't know who read this, and where your stance is in regards to religion. But I want you to know that I know God lives, that I am His daughter and that He loves me. I know that the actions that I make today not only affect me, but my children, and their children, and all of the generations to come. I hope that I can be a walking example of God's love to others and that it will help to lead them to Him. That I can be one to strengthen the chain of Faith, and not the link that broke. Heavenly Father loves us, and He wants us to be happy. By serving others and keeping His simple commandments we will find that happiness and pure joy.