Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Perfectly Imperfect Life

Have you ever been scrolling through your social media feed and just thought, "does everyone have a perfect life except me?" Sometimes (especially with social media) we fool ourselves into believing other people have it all going for them. In reality, everyone has their struggles.

On the outside, everything in my life seemed just peachy for a long time. On my anniversary four years ago, I made the following tribute to my spouse on my Facebook page:

"Although my anniversary was yesterday, I couldn't let the chance pass me by to say I LOVE YOU to the man who was my first kiss, covered my yard with snow my first Christmas in the desert, was the pilot my first time on an airplane, is the father of our three beautiful children, works harder than any other person I know, moved to St. George mostly because he knew that is where I wanted to live, and has given me some of the best moments of my life. Forever and always Babe!"

It sounds just like a fairy-tale doesn't it? This was evidence to the world of a picture-perfect relationship. However, truth was that those words were from a woman who was trying to reach across galaxies to revive any life left in her relationship. My marriage was falling apart. I fought hard against the reality that I couldn't keep everything all together how I wanted. I finally had to let go of my perfect plan (my pride) and trust God with my life.

My marriage still ended in divorce. Looking back though, I can see how God had a plan much greater than I had for myself. He took all the ugly parts of life and of me and somehow brought them together in a way that made me better. He made me stronger. He taught me about forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and showed me who I am. I faced situations I would have never understood had I not lived through them. And, without ever imaging it was possible, He brought my family back together and my relationship is much stronger because of the nightmare we lived through.

This is not the story I would have written for myself, but it is somehow okay. The journey has been filled and is still filled with so many unexpected bumps, but because of a loving Creator, all those imperfections have worked together so perfectly for the good of my family.

So even if life seems so perfect on the outside for everyone else, let's be aware that battles are often fought privately and silently. Let's reach out and love everyone no matter how ok they seem. And let's stop believing we are the only one that is less than perfect. Stop comparing the worst parts of your life to the best in those around you. And most importantly, let's turn to our loving Father in Heaven who can take all the ugliness in our lives to create a perfectly imperfect life.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Truth Behind "I just don't love you anymore."

You cannot simply just fall out of love with a person. If you have, perhaps you don't understand what love truly is. Love is an action--it is a choice. Everyday you make a choice. You either choose to think of your spouse and choose to show them, or you don't. It's that simple really.

Sure, love can die. Just like any living, growing thing, love can die without proper nourishment. Laziness will keep a person from continually caring for the seed of love they have planted with another person. Neglect, as a product of laziness, is possibly the saddest method of killing love. What a tragedy when two people love each other, but sit by and do nothing to nourish their love until it is too late!

Selfishness and pride are also the weeds that will overtake the blossoms of the love you once enjoyed. Is it really that hard to be kind and thoughtful toward your spouse? Is it really that difficult to admit the ways that you are poisoning and depriving the soil of any nutrients that keep your love from growing? You may think that it is better to keep your pride at the cost of love. You may think you can just start over, but I guarantee you will never find something better. It will take work, humility, and unselfishness to grow new love. You obviously have yet to acquire those traits if you just allowed yourself to "fall out of love" in your last relationship so you are already set up for failure. And if you ever do figure out how to truly be in a relationship, you will regret that you didn't put the work into that first love because new love will never be as beautiful and it will require much more work to maintain.

So, let's stop with the lie that love just dies. That justification might make you feel better for a moment, but let's get real. You have some work to do. Choose to love your spouse every day. Choose to find ways to let them know you love them. Choose to be the person you should be for your love.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Why I Don't Have to Prove I Can Do Everything Equal to a Man

I struggle to understand why women feel they have to prove they can do everything that men can do. I don't get the argument when on the flip side it's clear that MEN WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO WHAT A WOMAN CAN DO! Yes, that's right. We, as women, were given this incredible power to create within our bodies other human beings! We have the ability to bear children. Is that not amazing? How in the world does that not empower every woman and make her cherish her God-given abilities? And as much as a man may want to have this miraculous ability, he never will. When did women stop seeing how incredible we truly are? When did women start feeling they had to prove they were everything a man is especially when a man will never be everything a woman is? Personally, I feel truly honored for the gender that I was created to be. I don't have to prove anything to anyone.

And as far as "just" being a stay-at-home mom...there is no "just" about it! I am a stay-at-home mom because I choose to be not because I am not capable of doing anything else. It is not less of a title or position then any other title I could hold. In fact, the title of "mother" is one of the most powerful and influential positions that a person could ever have should they strive to fulfill that role well. We, as women, have the power to shape the future. We can take the opportunity to raise up a generation that is better than the world has known.

As a side-note, just because I truly value my womanhood and the abilities I have been given as such, does not mean that I value men any less. I am grateful for the men who live what a true man should be. I feel blessed for those men who respect womanhood and take seriously the role that they have as fathers, priesthood holders, and husbands. What great responsibilities they hold! (Kind of glad I'm not them!). I cannot imagine the pressure to have a whole family counting on you to provide for every want and need. Every decision effects so much more than them. A man's failures can impact every member of his family, company, and what probably feels like the whole world. So can we all just quit trying to prove we are "as good as" or "as capable as" anybody else? It's the differences that make us unique and special and come together as a part of something bigger that blends so beautifully together.