1. My Daughters. I wish I could explain the swelling of my heart when I think about them. It's like The Grinch who Stole Christmas, "...in Who-ville they say That the Grinch's small heart Grew three sizes that day." That, and I start to cry because I love them so much. Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. It regularly displays my weaknesses, selfish tendencies, and inabilities in sometimes blinding light. However, that being said, I have never known such amazing little people who love me. Unconditionally. Who value me and what I say and do, and who depend upon me like no other. It's scary sometimes and freaks me out, but it's also instilled in me the desire to work to be better and to stand up for what I believe so they can understand who exactly they are and the awesomeness of that statement. They are amazing. AMAZING! Each one has her own special abilities and gifts and talents and drama, and I am sooooo blessed and grateful for my daughters and the opportunity that I have to know them. I thank the Lord for them each day.
2. My Husband. The other day I had a quote, "I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom." (Author Unknown), and that is how I feel about Super J. I waited (and waited and waited) a LONG time for him, but he is so worth that wait. And I'd do it again if I had to. After I graduated from Grad School, I was very blessed to have two job offers in one week. One would take me to Michigan, where I would be a few hours away from a friend who I had casually dated, while the other led to a small town in Missouri with few "eligible" guys my age. I prayed and pondered and I felt I should take the one at UMR, but I never had that burning witness that, "YES, this was what I should do!" until about almost a year later. I remember I was in the computer lab with another librarian and we were shutting the computers off after a class, and I had this amazing sensation that I was where I needed to be. Talk about overwhelming. I knew I had made, absolutely, the right choice. Years after we were married, Super J and I were looking at our respective journals. Turns out that at about the same time I was getting that confirmation, Super J had made the decision that after he came home from his mission (he was serving in Belgium at the time), he'd go to Rolla to prepare for a doctoral program in Utah. How blessed my life has been because of those two choices. I love my husband, who is also my best and most constant friend. I'd love him from the bottom of my heart, but for him, my heart has no bottom. He is such a gift, and I'm so so happy to be in this companionship with him.
3. My Testimony. This one continues to grow and, hopefully, strengthen. I'm so blessed to know where I come from and where I am going and who I am. When I was a child, I learned a simple truth: I am a Child of God and that Jesus Christ is my Savior. As a Young Woman, I learned even more that I am a Daughter of God. There is such power in those words! When I was 14 and my parents relationship was failing, that truth and the words in the Book of Mormon which I read for the first time that summer, provided a rod of iron upon which I was able to cling. When I was 21, I learned for myself that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and became a prophet. Those anchors have impacted almost all my decisions that I have made in my life, one way or another. In times of ease or times of hardship, they continue to guide me along the path. And I'm so grateful for that! And I'm working on keeping it that way.
Today's thought is a quote of a quote, as quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley,
"One of my favorite newspaper columnists is Jenkin Lloyd Jones. In a recent article published in the News, he commented:
"'There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks, to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and ravishing wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear, the divorce courts are jammed.
"'Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .
"'Life is like an old-time rail journey--delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.'"
Even when life is hard, I am thankful for the ride. For my family. For my daughters. For my husband. For my friends. For my Savior, Jesus Christ, who has made this all possible.