Monday, March 24, 2014

Missionary Countdown!!

Three months and counting!!
Miguel's homecoming date 
has been adjusted by two days.
See you June 24th!!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pressure to be Perfect

A while back I wrote a post about how I wasn't really great at anything, but I was okay at a lot of things.  There is the inner pressure to be perfect.   I want to be the perfect daughter, wife and mother.  I want to decorate the perfect house, cook the most delicious meals where everyone enjoys them, create the perfect scrapbook, or write the best blog post ever.

That inner desire to be perfect can be debilitating.
I don't know why its there, I'm not even sure where it comes from.

In our various religious organizations we are taught to try to be like Jesus, and He was perfect.

The message that often gets lost on me is that He offers me His grace because I am not perfect nor can I ever be...without Him.

It's a balancing act really...

But by my struggling for perfection and trying to do everything perfectly, I've realized it is like spitting upon my Savior, and I definitely don't want to do that!

Yes, it is good to strive to do your best, but that guilt when I'm not, is where Christ comes in.

His grace makes up that difference...

Even in my mediocre scrapbooks or my severely lacking meals...

Because through His grace and love, He knows the intent of my heart.  He knows that I want to be the best to honor Him, and that is enough.

Through Christ I will always be enough...

How wonderful it will be some day to hear "Well done, thou good and faithful servant...You are enough."

Do you struggle with trying to be perfect and the guilt when you come up lacking?

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Miguel's Missionary Moment

"Well this week has been pretty sweet!!! We had 32 total lessons!! So this week has been great! There were a lot of lessons and new investigators. We didn't reach our focus of 4 people at church, we only had one.  Three of our other investigators told us the morning of that they weren't coming. We did have the one investigator, though, come who we were having a hard time getting her there, and she loved it. This week we found several promising people and Loraine is still going strong. She missed church because she was really sick so we went by and gave her a blessing. 

Things are really picking up for us. I honestly have no time today.  I gotta go.  Sorry mom!!

Elder Hamer!"

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

One Word and {MMB}

There was that one time BACK IN JANUARY that I wrote a post for MMB.  It just showed up yesterday...But, hey, we all need a little reminder and motivation whether we chose resolutions or One Word.

Please join me on MMB and Throw out your resolutions for good...

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Friday, March 14, 2014

What 16 looks like

This is ladybug and her wonder woman pose or superman, yeah, superman...she's a big fan.

She turned 16 on the 4th and broke her mama's heart.  
I told her when she was little to quit that growing up, and she was exasperated at 5 years old and said, 
"I don't know how to stop!"

I don't usually make a big birthday deal...we celebrate with family and offer small gifts.  
But, 16, that birthday is a monumental birthday.  
She can date and at some point, when "I'm ready", 
She can drive.

Can you tell what Ladybug's favorite color is?  

I love mason jars, and decided to use them for putting out the treats...
We used them for cutlery, too.
Cutlery...that's a funny word.

What an amazing, sweet, smart and righteous daughter Ladybug has become!
I am grateful and feel truly blessed.

*Happy Birthday to you printable here
*Celebrate banner printable here

The 36th Avenue
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Time is a thief can't stop continues on unless it is daylight savings and you fall back and even then you have to give back.  Time has been on my mind a lot lately and not necessarily because of Day Light Savings.  No...the passing of time has brought on the aging of two of my children.

My oldest turned 22 last week and my baby turned 16.  Not that they changed over night or anything, but in my mind they have.  Time is like a thief and it has stolen yet again.  Where has their childhood gone?

I lament the passing of time...It is agonizing sometimes to watch.

Each time I look in the mirror I wonder who is this woman staring back at me, and where did my own 16 and 22 year old self go?  Every wrinkle is a reminder of the passage of time and of living.

It's sad really, and also sweet.

It's about the destination and how we get there that matters.  Time continues on and we press forward living the best life we can, and being the best person we can be, because we want to matter in the end.

I want to matter.

When I look at my 16 year old, I relive where I was, evaluating where I am, and focus on where I am headed...jogging down this pathway of life.  And, despite my heart's lamentations of time, it's all good.

Time is often a welcomed thief...

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Basketball and Missionary Work {Miguel's Missionary Moment}

March 3, 2014

"This week was pretty great, we had a lot of teaching and we taught a total of 34 lessons.  Loraine has decided to be baptized on the 22nd! She had been praying about the date and she wanted to do it, but her member son thought it was to soon. One day she called us and the first thing she said was "I'm getting baptized on the 22nd." It was sweet!  She loved church again and is on track.  We have talked a lot about opposition and she says she is getting it but she recognizes it so that is great! We also had a girl named Desiree come to church.  She is the 19 year old daughter of  a less active member. I haven't taught her yet because I have been on exchange both times.  She is praying about baptism.  We have a bunch of other people we are teaching.  There is a guy named David we took on a church tour, but he got called into work right before church.  Hopefully he will be there next week.   

Some crazy stuff went down this week!! I went to a Pentecostal church on Sunday.  It was crazy because they didn't teach any type of doctrine.  They talked more about the tacos they would be selling after church more than Jesus! It was just so different to me! People were collapsing and yelling and like climbing over pews and blessing people! I felt no spirit at all!! It was way fun to watch, though! Also we totally played basketball with some kids 2 on 8.  They were little kids it was so funny. They were like talking crap before we started playing.  Also Elder Rindlisbacher is a stud here is a picture to prove it. 

Hamer out!!"

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Turns out I was just really sad...

The other day I was diagnosed with moderate depression.  I was shocked.  But then again, not so much.  I went to the doctor to have my hormone levels checked since I am getting to that age of changing hormones.  Weeks of crying at the drop of a pin, loss of interest in things I used to love (like blogging), not able to do much besides lay on the couch curled up like a ball apparently are all indicators of depression.  The funny thing is, I didn't think I was sad.  He said that months sometimes years of stress can catch up with you, and the strongest coping person can sometimes succumb.

I didn't think I'd been stressed particularly, but then I thought back over the last few years...TJ left for the Air Force and Miguel left for his mission.  Both of which were very hard on me...For someone who has been used to mothering three for so long, I suddenly had to reevaluate who I am besides a mom because then there was one ( that girl).  I had my back issue last summer and then the surgery in September.  Being in constant pain, I remember understanding why someone would commit suicide in a similar situation.  Not that I would, but I could empathize because quality of life is all but diminished and waking up in the morning thinking, "Is this all there is?" while life goes on around you and without you, can be quite depressing.  Then the holidays came, and as hard as I tried to embrace a minimalist Christmas this year, I was still overwhelmed.  Then the weather, oh the weather!  For over a month, we were smothered under a blanket of inversion.  At times I felt like I was going to suffocate beneath this foggy darkness that I just couldn't rid myself of, there was no escaping it, and I so desperately missed the sun.

Being called to be the Youth Leader was a blessing with excitement and also stress because therein lies a lot of responsibility and expectations.  But the kicker, the one that broke the camel's back, so to speak, was when I learned my parents wanted to move 12 hours away to Las Vegas.  Poof!  A light went out, I broke, I felt like I had nothing left to give.  I was not worthy, worthwhile, why me?

I'm so glad I went to the doctor, even though it wasn't what I thought.  Going to the doctor gave me answers and choices.  I could go the medicated route or I could make an attitude adjustment.  I decided to adjust my behaviors and attitude.  I needed to get back to working out since I hadn't been able to run in so long.  I needed to enjoy all those natural, happy endorphins, watch what kinds of food I eat and diligently fill my soul with the Word.  Because, quite frankly, I should be the happiest person ever!  I have awesome kids, a loving husband, a good job, a cute house, the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.  Turns out I was just really sad, and an attitude change and faith in Jesus Christ will bring healing to my life.  I am stronger than depression and this is, yet, another opportunity for bravery.

And now you understand why I quit blogging, but then didn't...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

He Spoke

Do you ever feel like God is calling you?  Whispering to you from, well, everywhere?  I am hearing and seeing His call everywhere I turn and in everything I read.  I tell you, He is not happy with me.  I almost feel like a chastised child.  My Father is shaking his finger and me, and saying 'NO'.  You see, he heard I wanted to quit blogging, but His message is 'NO'.

I read a couple of things on the internet lately that had me wanting to yell at Him.  "I hear You!!", "I got the message!".

I read an article by Hannah Boning on (in)courage called "When I Sit On the Couch And Am Silent". She said, "Your words matter. Your experience matters. Your story matters. Your thoughts matter. You matter." She said this and I heard Him.

Another time, well the same day actually, I was reading from Chad R. Allen's blog, "The Best Way to Find Time for Your Art." In truth, I had never thought about blogging as my "art", but I am creating and writing so I guess it is art. He basically says, that if you don't do your art, no one will know but you, but in the end you'll be unfulfilled. Pretty smart words, and when he said this, I felt like He was whispering yet again.

While reading Nienie, she impressed the importance of preserving our stories at the RootsTech 2014 conference.  She said on her blog, "I think it is important to keep an account of your family whether you blog, scrapbook, take photos or videos -whatever you do tell your story and don't stop."

Sometimes these witnesses come in twos, sometimes in threes and sometimes as many times as it takes to get it through our thick brains. "I got the message!" "I hear You!" I hang my head in resignation and return to blogging with joy, love and acceptance of His desire for me.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Sugar Hill, Georgia and {Miguel's Missionary Moment}

February 17, 2014

"So this week has been up and down. Last week we had a lot of good things happen but the snow kind of slowed us up a bit. It gave us an opportunity to do a lot of service and to teach a lot of first lessons.  The investigators we had were pretty hard to meet with because of the snow. Westly came to a baptism this weekend, and he then decided he didn't want to be baptized.  He doesn't want to commit to one church,  but he reads the Book of Mormon like crazy.  I don't really get it. He knows the Book of Mormon is true, but he just cant wrap his head around the Church being true because of it! So it looks like we are going to be dropping him, and honestly nothing much else happened that stands out this week.
I am getting transferred to the Sugar Hill area as a Zone Leader.  I'll be in a sort of management position over other missionaries,  but whatever.  At least I get a car now!! That's all I got!
Hamer out!"

February 24, 2014
"Well this week has been really crazy! So dang busy! I really have like no time today.  I just unpacked and found out today we have to move, so i have to re pack! Awesome right???? But this week was sweet.  We taught 12 lessons to investigators with members present, and we have a ton of cool stuff.  But I will copy what I emailed to the mission president. but I don't have like any time today for a long email. 
This week has been really awesome.  I love the Sugar Hill ward already. Elder Rindlishbacher is awesome. We get a long great, and I feel we teach really well together. But this week we taught 12 lessons! It was sweet. We also had a lady come to church named Loran, and she loved it.  She couldn't stop talking about how great it was, and we taught her that day and she is praying about a baptismal date. We are also teaching a family of 6 tonight all of which are all baptismal age and the mother said she has been thinking about baptism a lot lately. It has been a very good experience. 

Sorry so short!!

Hamer out!"

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