Totally Crisped!

You know how it goes...there is good news and there is bad news...always!!
The good news: I finished school and have my social work diploma!!
The bad news: it took almost every ounce of sanity, organization, thinking power, and blood that I have!

And yes, all those exclamation marks are needed but don't come close to expressing all of this!!!!!

Five classes was really too much for this girl to do, but with the Lord's help through many miracles, I was able to finish.  There were a lot of classmates I started out with that didn't finish this grueling program so I feel pretty blessed. I can now say that I am a social worker.
So how has school changed me? I have realized that I am a critical thinker, I just keep a lot of my opinions to myself.  I have learned to share those opinions more and in the process have gained some self-confidence.  Funny story, when people who have only known me as a mom found out that I got high marks, they were astonished.  Yes, I would tell them, not only am I smart, I am very smart! And I CHOSE to be a mother and raise eight children!  It was definitely harder than anything I have ever done and will continue to stretch me to become more than I could have ever become on my own.  That is what the whole process of marriage and parenting is all about.  It is about being totally self-less, following the path of the Savior.

Yesterday I was helping a friend finish off some seminary work and we were reading about Christ and his temptations in Matthew 4.  I recalled hearing a quote from Elder Bednar regarding Christ's temptations spoke of in Matthew: They are all temptations that focus inward.  Christ, however, sets the example for us for, at the conclusion of this encounter with Satan, probably needing extra strength and help, he realized John was in prison. Instead of having angels comfort himself, the Savior sent the angels to comfort John (Matthew JST).  He turned outward instead of inward.  The natural man turns inward...seeks to satisfy his own needs...Maslow even wrote a whole hierarchy of needs based on the fact that we must fulfill our needs first before we can be fulfilled!!
While I am not discounting what Maslow's point was, I do believe that the greatest progress we can make is when we put aside our own agenda instead focusing on serving those around us.  It is through doing this, that we truly become better people.  It is interesting to note that Dr. Neufeld, who is an attachment guru, says that our unfulfilled attachment needs from our childhood can best be met as we meet our children's attachment needs. Again, through focusing on others, we can actually have our own needs met. What a different perspective than the general population takes!

So, while I was turned inward finishing up my schooling, I tried to spend some time focusing on others, but the view got pretty cloudy.  There were too many A's to chase, too many excuses, too much exhaustion and too little leaning on the Savior. A bit crispy to say the least! The most important things got put lower and lower on the priority list and connections started to get thin.

While the next while came naturally for me, things I was longing for, in retrospect, I realize that I was physically starting to spend time where my priorities actually were.
I made some time for a date night or two with my sweetheart and then headed to Calgary to spend time with my newest little granddaughter and my daughter who is gracefully working on her role as momma. It was neat to see the dedication and enthusiasm she invests in this important job she has.

Next was a quick trip home to do a one day intense house clean with two great friends to get everything ready for the next visitor: my father-in-law from Ontario.  He has a lot of stories and I arranged things so that he could spend a bit more time with his grandkids here. My oldest son, his wife and their three delightful girls came for a visit. We got lots of visiting in...lots of fun with such great company! The granddaughters were cute as could be and enjoyed Gumpo reading stories to them.  Matt couldn't remember Gumpo reading to them and how much he loves little kids so it was fun for them to see him in a different light. It is always great to visit with Matt and his family and to see how they are growing and progressing.  
Next it was off to Lethbridge to meet the whole gang of kids for dinner with Gumpo and then to pick up my mom and head back to Lacombe.
It was a nice meal with the other married kids and grandkids and Seth there to visit.  We enjoyed the time we had together and some of the kids went back to C's to visit with Gumpo before he headed to his next visit at his youngest daughter's house.
The next day I started to get a nagging feeling that I shouldn't rush home.  I spent time visiting with my family down there, helped C get ready for the impending birth of her next baby, and was able to get some rest.
By the following week, I learned that Ron and both boys at home had gotten fact one night, J was so sick he threw up for hours. We kept in touch on our cell phones through the night...encouraging him and finally getting him to wake up his dad for some physical support.

By Thursday I was still down south and feeling like I shouldn't go home.  I had arranged for my Mom to continue her visit at my oldest sister's house, and decided that I needed to know why I was feeling like I needed to stay down south.  I prayed to know the answer and then got to work calling around for something totally different.  I found out that a nasty gastro-intestinal bug was going around in my home town..really knocking people down.
I realized that if I went home and got it, I wouldn't be able to come back to help C during her c-section.  So I changed my plans to stay there for an extra week.  We were able to finish all the preparations for this new little baby, I was able to visit my other daughter down there and spend time with those grandkids there.  Again, a totally different direction than I had envisioned, but a fun time.  I was able to visit with my sister-in-law again which was very nice as I haven't seen her since last summer.

When the day for the c-section came, I was able to attend the birth of another grandchild.  I had always wanted to be a midwife, so being a birth support person is one of my favorite things to do.

I spent mother's day away from home, but my son-in-law, grandsons and daughters worked to make the day special for me.  I enjoyed the time with all of them.  But, I must say that I was missing my hubby a lot.

So, after the birth, I was excited that he and our two still at home sons came down south to visit the new baby...and me!  We had all the grandkids in one place which was a whole lot of mess and a whole lot of fun!!

We had a few crazy days between the hospital and home and then went back home to spend time with our two grandsons to give C a break.
Hubby was still sick, grandkids got sick, I got sick, and all around was a crazy but fun time.
I drove the grandkids down on a Wednesday night and picked up my mom and drove home on Thursday night.
So Friday May 24thwas the first day back to my own home with just my little home family since April 29th!!

Now, I am just working on clearing out my perspective glasses...looking at what matters most ...securing connections with those who are most important to me...and cleaning up the physical mess of a tough semester of school!

And the miracle is, although I feel a bit overdone, I know that I can simply change my focus and lean more on my Savior and have a complete recovery!!


  1. Thanks mom. This reminded me of my perspective! Luv ya


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