A Grieving Heart

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Our hearts are full of sorrow at the peaceful passing of our infant niece Patricia who napped and never woke. Our prayers are that angels will be strengthening their family during this tender time. #hugthoseyoulove #lifeisprecious #eternalfamilies #templelight #sealedtogetherforever

Peter & Jennie’s baby, Patricia Joy Smith, age 3 months, passed away on October 29, 2015.
My mother heart has ached for Jennie’s broken mother heart.
I have not experienced this same pain, but as a mother,
I can imagine the hurt of losing a child you love and cherish beyond measure.

The miracle for Peter and Jennie was not to have Patricia stay on earth in this lifetime for very long … but I know that God has other miracles in store for Patricia and their family. The miracle of the Resurrection … of eternal families … of healing and comfort that comes from our Savior’s Atonement.

A blessing in my life related to this circumstance happened this week that I wanted to note. A gal in my new ward, Leah Fish, commented last Sunday about her son’s death. I asked her about it after and she told me of the circumstance. My heart had been thoughtful of her pain and growth from losing a child.

Then Patricia died and we were all in shock at the sad death of such a perfect, sweet little one. I found Leah’s blog… and was glad to find some helpful information on helping others in their grief. This is not something I feel comfortable in, but as the Relief Society President, had to listen to the Spirit to know what to say in these hard situations. (One moment that comes to mind is when I visited dear Patricia Rex a few days before she passed away from Cancer. What does one say in these times? … …)

Today, with fussy babes in arms, Leah chatted with me in the hall at church about everything. It was so helpful to hear her advice.
1… that everyone deals with grief differently, even husband and wife … and she recommended a book Tear Soup that makes an appropriate gift for one who is grieving.

2… I realized that so much growth and change comes from these heart-wrenching life experiences. Perhaps some of the miracles… long-term… are the growth that brings us closer to understanding Jesus Christ and his Atonement.

Anyhoo, I was grateful to meet Leah and hear of her testimony and faith regarding losing and grieving a child. It seemed providential for all these events to occur during the same week.

Perhaps this was something I needed to learn in my life. I don’t know that I’ll be able to help anyone deal with their grief any better, but I would hope that I would be closer to the Holy Ghost to know what appropriate love can be shown.

On Tuesday we are taking a day trip as a family to Houston to attend the funeral for little Patricia Joy. My prayers are with Peter and Jennie and Dallin. Loves to family!

Stretching Opportunities

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I came upon this message ripped from an LDS Living Magazine when I was decluttering my closet.
It spoke to my heart.
I do not welcome stretching opportunities as well as I ought.
This is a time of life that is making me go beyond myself.
It’s just all the little things that add up each day to overwhelm my natural man self.

I believe that God intends us all to get to this point through one challenge or another.
It requires of us to look upward and outward for strength.
This is when we humble ourselves and realize that we are nothing without Jesus Christ…
That He is the reason we can be sustained at any level.

“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” (Alma 26:12)

My sweet Hannah shared this quote by Patience Loader Archer, a pioneer girl who traveled with the Edward Martin Handcart company.
She had such strong faith. She knew her strength came from God.

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These are other selections from her journal that showed her strength and courage [currage] … I love the spelling. The simplicity of her words. Her strength and testimony.

Archer, Patience Loader, Reminiscences, [transcript]. MS 6218, p. 57-92.

brother Richards and three other breathren adminesterd to him and blessed him and told him that he should get better and continue his journey and get to Salt Lake City[.] this seemed to give him new strength and currage[.] we rested there for a few hours untill three o clock in the afternoon[.] then we Started on our Journey again to Camp at Cuttlers park seven Miles from Florance[.] My dear father got up and came to the cart to commence to pull with me[.] I said father you are not able to pull the cart to day[.] he said yes I am My dear[.] I am better[.] the breathern blessed Me and Said I should get well and go to the valley and I have faith that I shall[.]

this was asevere trial[.] here we had to [w]rap my dear father in a quilt all we had to lay him in[;] no nice casket to lay him away in comfortable but put into the grave and the earth thrown in upon his poor body[.] oh that sounded so hard[,] I will never forget the sound of that dirt beign [being] shoveld onto my poor fathers boday[.] it seemed to me that it would break every bone in his body. it did indeed seem a great trial to have to leave our dear father behind that morning knowing we had looked upon that sweet smiling face for the last time on earth but not without a hope of Meeting him again in the Morning of the resurection for he had been afaithfull servant of God and bore testemony to the truth of the gosple of Jesus Christ nombers of times and we Know if we his children follow his example that we will Meet our dear father again and be reunited with him to dwell in unity and love all through eternity and as our dear Mother and we girls traveled that day[,] it was a verey Sorrowfull day and we all greeved greatly[.]

Floral Frame shared by The Painted Arrow
Quote by Julie Beck
Designed by Heather Smith

Grace: Relief from Suffering

Have you heard the whisperings of the Spirit to do something …
Something you’ve never done before?
Something like email a stranger who carries an incredible burden
to offer support and comfort and prayers.

Such as happened to me with Kara Tippetts with Mundane Faithfulness.

Only I can’t figure out how to contact her via email.
So perhaps she will never read this message…
but when the Spirit calls, I’m learning to hearken.
and thus, all these thoughts may just be for me and my spiritual education.

But … My heart has prayed for Kara & her family.
I felt inspired to put her name on the temple prayer role.

My prayer is that she will receive the miracle God has in store for her…
perhaps the miracle of being strengthened with might by His Spirit. (Ephesians 3:16)

Kara is a woman of faith. She has written much of Grace and of strength in trials.
I whole-heartedly agree with her perspective on Grace.

I, like Kara, believe that God strengthens us through our trials.
I am still understanding the Atonement and learning to apply it during my own trials,
but I wanted to share with Kara the messages I’ve read on the Savior’s Grace in regards to Relief from Suffering:

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PDF file for The Atonement: Relief from Suffering Quotes

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PDF file for The Atonement: Relief from Suffering Scriptures

I believe in these things.
I believe in Christ.
I believe that His grace strengthens us daily.
These are gospel truths I am grateful for.

Sacred Life is in God’s Hands: Part 3 of 3

…This series of posts will appear a bit scattered and incomplete. My brain and heart have been processing so much these past few weeks in relation to the Sacredness of Life. These are just a few examples and quotes I’ve connected…

Kara Tippetts – Respect for Life Advocate
Has Terminal Breast Cancer & is mother to 4, wife to a preacher.

20140930-092002“It was a long, hard battle. Words cannot do the battle against cancer justice. We were left weary, broken, but changed. Suffering brought us closer to one another, to Jesus and our community. God has brought me through tremendous trials to prove Himself alone able to give me the strength for this kind of humility.

“It currently appears that I’m headed into another difficult battle. Join me as we seek to live faithfully in the midst of suffering.

“In the brokenness of our unmet expectations of life, will we look for Jesus and His abundant love? Or will we tumble into bitterness and anger that leave us utterly self focused and disappointed by the hard in our story each of us are asked to receive.

“Suffering is not the absence of goodness, it is not the absence of beauty, but perhaps it can be the place where true beauty can be known.”

I used to wake anxious when I heard the patter of feet coming toward my side of the bed, not wanting my sleep interrupted. Now, I hear the gentle patter and rejoice in the opportunity to smother one of my little loves in kisses and snuggles, praying that my love will carry them long past my last breath.”


Bruce Hafen:
The Atonement offers us three conditional blessings. We can be (a) forgiven, (b) strengthened, and (c) perfected–on the condition that we participate in those processes.

In terms that apply both to forgiveness and to the other conditional blessings of strengthening and perfecting, Nephi said, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”  Some people think this means the Lord won’t help us until we have totally exhausted ourselves. But the larger doctrinal context makes clear that “after” in this verse means “along with”—His grace is with us before, during, and after, we do all we can.

Said of Kara Tippetts:  Teaches us to move away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Most of all, she draws us back to the God who is with us, in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our pain into beauty.

Reading these women’s words and pondering related gospel principles have taught me:
Refinement in suffering,
Strength in the Atonement,
& Purpose in sacred last moments of mortality

Bread of Life

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Remember when I dropped off Kneaders bread & the above message … on Halloween afternoon to the gals I visit teach. Lame! But as lame as I felt to be a ‘last-day-of-the-month-sorta-visiting-teacher’, I wanted them to know I was thinking of them.

Why is visiting teaching so hard for me? Just DO IT already! Though reality is I’m sinking as it is with my family & this adds one more thing to do (plus, I stress about when to schedule so I’m not taking kids, or leaving family during busy evening hours)

BUT… there are blessings.
– I love getting to know sisters I wouldn’t have normally reached out to. Chatting with other women is good.
– If I actually read the message, it is so uplifting (more on this in a bit)
– Reaching out to others helps me stop being so self-centered … or my-family centered. I don’t know that I help anyone, but it strengthens me to look outside my present circumstances.
– Plus, if I make an effort, I don’t feel quite as guilty (r.s. president in me)

p.s. I loved, loved this message on the bread of life.
a few thoughts…
especially on friday, the 31st, i needed this message… that God gives us nourishment every day.
He will give us what we need on that day, if we look to him.
Like the Israelites who received manna from heaven each day, we can have that same blessing.
Pray specifically for things we need. Still make efforts to move forward. He will bless those efforts.
This entire talk by Elder Christofferson is worth rereading every once in a while.
Really great to feel the strength that comes from God when we come closer to Him.

GRACE: Part 1 – God will Provide

I woke up today with a bit of anxiety … grouchiness of some sort. It was not a restful night’s sleep.

There are many temporal matters my mind is stewing about:
– which 8+ passenger vehicle to get
– Feeling anxious to move to a new home & start organization afresh with more storage
– Jobs for Jimmy? Where does God want us? We felt so good about Maryland. Sigh…
– Flu Season? Enterovirus? I don’t have energy for anyone to get sick, especially the worry with a newborn this season.
– Last days stuff… I read too much in the news. Wars, Ebola Outbreak, boogie men, etc. KEEP MY FAMILY SAFE!
– Parenting each unique child with their strengths & weaknesses. Balancing all 6 kiddos temperaments.
– Money. Bleh. Winter Clothing for kids. Vehicles. Medical bills from baby. Braces. The BUDGET! Always $.
– Pride. I’m having vanity issues with vehicles. And wishing I felt cute in my clothes. Sigh…

But then I tell myself that FAITH is stronger than fear.
The thought: “GOD WILL PROVIDE” keeps coming to my mind.
These temporal matters will work themselves out in time.
All I need know is that if we do our part to listen to the Spirit,
we will be guided to make righteous choices for our family.

1 Nephi 17: 1-3
1 And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; … And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.
so great were the blessings
2 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, HE DID PROVIDE means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
grace nephi

During the 3 a.m. feeding for Scotland, I read part of Sheri Dew’s BYU Women’s Conference Message on Grace. It’s a powerful talk.
grace is divine powerThis message teaches me that Grace/The Savior’s Atonement
is for the every-day stuff (not just for the deepest and darkest moments in life.

The temporal matters I stew over,
the eternal matters of raising children.
The emotions I’m trying to control.
The tiredness I feel from giving to so many littles.
The priorities I’m sorting through in all moments of the day.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is there to provide peace in all these matters.

There are mountains ahead.
But our Savior will help us climb them.
grace is divine power