December 4, 2019

Resilience

Walked into the room to these two smiley faces...made my day. 😍😍

So, I have been taking some classes on childhood trauma, and today in a video something really stood out to me. They were talking about traumatized children and adults and how each of us have things from our past that trigger us to our fears—no one being exempt but especially people who have suffered severe trauma. They shared some examples of parents responding out of fear to their children, and children reactIng to their own triggers. At the end of all the examples the question was asked, “What do you think makes the biggest difference to help these children cope?” My first thought was: obviously perfect parents that never ever react or get triggered and know how to handle and guide their kids through their fear. The teacher’s answer is what really stuck with me. The children who are the most successful in overcoming trauma and working through their fear aren’t the ones who have perfect parents...they are the ones who have parents who get triggered, make mistakes, say they are sorry, and make things right. 



 We don’t lead by example by being perfect—in that world our imperfect children have no room for making mistakes—we lead by showing them that mistakes are fixable, and that asking for forgiveness is empowering. We lead imperfect people the best by being ok with being imperfect ourselves...and having enough humility to admit when we mess up. So hats off to all of us imperfect parents...our kids have hope after all. πŸ‘ŠπŸΌπŸ˜œ #kicktraumaintheface #yougotthis 

November 21, 2019

Keep baking

Monday morning I was making breakfast and talking with Kaleeya and Tytus as they sat very chatty at the bar. In between flipping crepes I was trying to get all the clean Sunday dinner pots and pans put away so we could see the rest of the counter top. In mid sentence Tytus stopped, pointed and half laughing joked, “Hey Mom...maybe just buy a new pan that doesn’t have your life history on it.” I looked down to the oldest cookie sheet man has ever known...with two last names scribbled out and one more written boldly. We all burst into hysterics—I haven’t laughed that hard in such a long time. These kids are so witty. 

Since Dateline first told about Emmett’s affairs and shooting 6 years ago, and many other murder mystery shows have since, I always know when an episode about our story—or Dr. Phil—has aired again. I gain a lot of new friends, but I also find enemies—messages of hate trying to make me feel as if I should be ashamed of myself. This week has been one of those weeks. Yesterday as I read a message from a very passionate soul, I sat stunned at the gumption of her direct words about who she believes I am. In a moment of being human, I let her words enter my heart. Weirdly enough they came in the form of my own fears...”Wow. Your relationship with a cookie sheet has lasted longer than any marriage you have had”. 

It’s true. This cookie sheet has literally stood by my side longer than these five kids got to see their father and longer than I got to be Jordyn’s mom. I remember the exact moment we started out—me and this cookie sheet. We thought we had the world at our fingertips. We dreamed of one day cooking Christmas ornaments with tiny baby hands. We dreamed of the cookies we would bake on their first day of school. Birthday cakes and card game trays on road trips. Brand new and shinny it glistened with promises of years to come. We both couldn’t wait to get started. 

As I stare at this old cookie sheet, I have begun to realize how different real life has been from the one we imagined...but...most of our dreams have come true. We are both a little stained and burned in some spots...but we have lived our dreams—just in a whole different way than we had planned. Well guess what? I made cookies on that tattered little pan and they cooked just as they always have. They were delicious and toasty brown—just as they were 15 years ago—and everyone loved them. 

I used to spend a lot of time feeling ashamed that life has handed me so many struggles—and just as many last names. I used to think that happiness was never having to change—living without loss and failure. I used to think that what others thought of me was important. Now I know...this was always the plan. We get to keep finding our worth even when others can’t see it. 


Kind of like my little “life history” cookie sheet...we all find ourselves in different circumstances. Some might be ideal, others might be a season of maturing and growth. We might get burned. Some days we might do the burning. We might get lost for a while when we get dropped behind a broken drawer. We will make mistakes, forget to set timers, forget to prepare for the heat, or forget to dust ourselves off...but we are still worthy of making greatness. Capable of bringing smiles simply by doing what we were created to do. Bake cookies. Live life. 

You aren’t alone. You have been burned and sometimes forgotten. You have felt broken and have looked back and wished you could shine like you used to. Just keep baking anyway. You  have so much to offer, and if no one can see it right now...just know your worth simply by all you can do for others. Know your worth doesn’t come from another person—but from within. Truths about who you are will never be replaced by what another believes you to be. Truths about who you really are don’t come from years of searching...they come by moments of remembering. You were born for greatness. Keep baking. 






November 9, 2019

The ending

Every time I struggle in a moment of weakness—as I am triggered to the anger of the hurt others have caused me and my children—I repeat this message over and over in my mind. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” (Lewis Smedes)


As a person who fights to forgive an actual prisoner, I can promise you that the chains he wears are nothing compared to the chains that have many times tried to hold me back. They have the power to turn my heart black in a split second and fear to empower my every insecurity, every thought, and strangle every breath. Forgiveness in this story isn’t for him...it’s for me. So I can be free. 


If you have someone in your story that is still suffocating your moments...PRAY. Pray to forgive. It might not change the chapters so far, but I promise it will change the ending. 


November 7, 2019

Brave warrior

I always thought it was ideal to have all my kids close together and be done by 30. I loved spacing them about two years apart and being “done” at 28—It is crazy to think about what my life would be if everything went according to MY plan. I can promise you it wouldn’t have involved infidelity or murder. I would have never had to face divorce or miscarriages or watch my children hurt in ways they could not even put into words. I would have never had to bury friends, aunts and uncles, in laws, cousins, and grandparents. I would have never had to battle depression, anxiety, or PTSD. The truth is we never plan to hurt, lose, be betrayed, or get knocked off our feet—but we do. And some how feel super surprised when we have a hard time getting back up. Looking back thinking, “Wait I thought I already did the hard parts.”

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In the war in Heaven there were two sides. One with the idea that life should be easy and we wouldn’t have to work to return home, then Christ told his plan where we would go through trials and our faith would be tested and each day we would have to fight to remember Him—nothing given. We chose the second plan. We knew coming here would not be easy, and that to make it back to Him we would have trials that make us strong, we would face hard things...one of those being given opportunities to trust in His plan. 

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So here we are. Doing just that. Living plans that require faith in more than just ourselves. Forgiving people who hurt us. Taking steps with one foot in front of the other each day, even when it is hard. Saying goodbye to people we love, saying hello to strangers that become family, holding each other’s hands through the hard, and living stories we did not choose. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, and yet life is pretty beautiful. Each day something giving us a little hope that we will make it through. Each moment a lesson to help us learn everything we have to learn to become those brave warrior spirits we were sent here to become. 


You are amazing. Your story is incredible, and no one could have lived through it...but you. And you are doing an amazing job. Hold your head high brave warrior!


November 5, 2019

Twins room

For everyone asking  about details on the twins room from my Instagram stories ... I am going to put some information here so you can find the things you were looking for.




Loft bed

Beddy’s Beds (zip up) (use code MOMENTS20 for 20% off!)

dressers


Similar to Ross decorations:

White fluffy Pillows

Gray fluffy pillows

Sparkle pillow

Knit pillows

Crate boxes

Lamp

Good mom

I woke up in the middle of the night last week and wrote down a few sentences—beliefs really—that kept playing in my head. A few days later Tytus slid my planner under my bathroom door and underneath the beliefs I had written he wrote, “Mom this isn’t true. Love, Tytus”

“If my child is in pain...then I am not a good mom.” “If my child isn’t happy...than I am not a good mom.” Two sentences that sound so untrue when you write them out...but in application are so hard to see that they are just insecure lies Satan wants us to believe so we spend our lives feeling like failures when our children can’t seem to find happiness, allowing guilt when our children are in pain, and ultimately not being the parents we truly want to be all the while hiding behind beliefs that shame our every move.

For three weeks, night and day I have had to do stretches with Kennady’s tongue, basically ask her where it hurts the most and stick my finger on it and rub and pull. The first few times I burst into tears as I listened to her scream—at a pain—in all reality—I was causing. I failed for days to remember that these stretches ultimately were for her good, insured change in her mouth , and a necessary part of her healing. During these same three weeks Tytus has discovered some realities about his past and hasn’t had an easy time handling the ‘whys’ we had all faced 8 years ago. So this night when I awakened to some beliefs that had been suffocating me I laid in bed pondering what parenting looks like without guilt. It is freeing! So many times we feel guilty when our kids aren’t happy...and many times go out of our way to make sure they are. Which ultimately—can and does, if left unchecked—creates children who are entitled or think the whole world has to revolve around them. Sometimes we fail to see it is the stretching and struggle that strengthen and heal.

Pain and unhappiness...we will feel them, and so will our kids. No MATTER what we as parents do. So. In case you are feeling suffocated by a belief that you can save someone from their misery or protect them from their pain...you can’t. But you can sure cheer them on as they figure it all out. Parenthood. You got this! πŸ‘ŠπŸΌ


October 23, 2019

Bostyn and Bailey share their journey

The twins were asked to share their story with Supergirls podcast here’s a link

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/supergirls-podcast/id1431865422?mt=2

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9zdXBlcmdpcmxzcG9kY2FzdC5saWJzeW4uY29tL3Jzcw&episode=YTFlYWVmYTQxZjRiNDM2ZmE3NWVhMGZhZmIzZWRkNmY&hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwiHvarruLLlAhUKnq0KHXFSBAwQjrkEegQIARAG&ep=6&at=1571835863818

October 10, 2019

Come meet me!

Hey guys! I am excited to finally be planning the next conference. It will be in Rigby, Idaho (by Idaho Falls) on Jan. 9th, 2020. Thank you for your patience and love the last few months as I adjusted and recovered. I will add in this post a video of some of the fights we had this summer. Also I will link here tickets to the event for my non profit A Reason to Stand. It is not a big auditorium like we have been using lately, so don't wait to reserve your seat. Can't wait to gather and see everyone again. .... ....

October 4, 2019

Love what matters

https://www.lovewhatmatters.com/i-feel-scared-is-everything-okay-i-need-you-he-told-me-to-stop-being-so-paranoid-woman-urges-to-trust-your-instincts-when-something-is-wrong-wishes-s/

I always feel honored  when I get emails from Love What Matters  asking to publish one of my blog posts!

September 20, 2019

Bounce back

I have been thinking a lot about the words “bouncing back”. We live in a society that prides itself on snapping back after we are knocked down. Athletes are pressured to be back on the court ASAP after an injury. After a tragedy we are supposed to “get over it” and move forward. Jr. High girls watch movies of “girls their age” facing boy problems and looking like super models walking through the halls of their school, and wonder why their bodies aren’t making those changes in the ways they “should”. Moms are supposed to take a few weeks after pushing a small human out of a very small hole😬and return to work without any hiccups...throwing on their skinny jeans and taking on the world. Celebrities cover magazines showing before and after baby pics just weeks after giving birth. All the while post baby women—in real life—stand in line at the grocery store still in our maternity sweats, wearing an oversized diaper, and praying that no babies cry or Niagara Falls will cover our shirts—staring puzzled at pictures of what we think everyone believes we should be...looking down at our “ruined body” and shaming ourselves for not being able to do the same. 

So what other option do we have than to hate a body not capable of what we think we know it is supposed to be? We don’t leave room for imperfection...and definitely no room for time. We want it now! Just like the latest phones and gadgets, we don’t want to wait. Our ability to bounce back depends on obtaining that “happiness” right now.

We have spent our lives hearing and reading statements like, “when I lose ten pounds then I will be happy”, “if my nose was just a little smaller...maybe the boys would like me”, “once I get in shape I am going to put myself out there”, “hate your body? Want to love yourself again?”. Demanding that to love ourselves we must be different than we are—and we must find a way to be like everybody else claiming that their rock hard abs is what brings them joy. 

So when does it end? To all the girls who have passed by the magazines and wondered if they will ever measure up. To all the boys who stand at the gym mirror and behind them scan a room of enhanced peck muscles the size of their entire body wondering why they can’t look the same. To all the moms who drive around vans full of babies and granola bar wrappers and walk them in to school on the first day in their pjs and a messy bun, passing all the “real moms” in their workout clothes talking about how they already ran 10 miles, baked cookies for after school snacks, and decorated their front room this morning. To all the dads who barely have time to make ends meet, let alone work on getting their high school six pack back. I stand with you. These jobs we do, these challenges we face, they are hard. And living in a world that tells us we need to always be striving to be what we once were—and what everybody else already is—is one of those challenges....and—guess what—they are lying to us. 

God didn’t ask us to come here to learn how to stay the same, or be just like everybody else. He sent us here to grow and change. He didn’t ask us to bounce back. He asked us to enjoy this journey. He asked us to come and remember that these bodies are where our spirit dwells. Perfection can be found in our spirit that rests inside—but our bodies are never going to remain constant...and they will in fact never be perfect. They will hurt, they will change, they will fluctuate, they will grow...and until we die they will continue to be a imperfect home for our perfect spirits that are here to obtain a mortal experience. Sometimes we will love how our body looks and feels on the outside, and other times we will be grateful for the parts that still work, but until we truly see ourselves for what is inside those bodies...the mortal experience will continue to disappoint. 


Who we are meant to be does not lie in the past, it lies in the future. We don’t have to bounce back. There might not be many days where we feel like we are bouncing forward but today let’s start with just putting 1 foot in front of the other. Those days when we feel like our current state has slowed us down... we have to start asking “What am I learning here that I couldn’t in any other way? While He has me slowed down, what is God trying to say to help me remember who He sent me here to be?”

In our journey to discover what is really eternally important we will find out that the more time we spend on others—and the less we spend obsessing about our bodies—that is when we will find joy. Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to bounce back. He wants us to spring forward. Through change and building resilience we will never be who we were before. We will become better. Today is what we have got. Live it. 

 
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