Sunday, August 10, 2008

Life is an amazing journey

We never know what we will be called upon to experience and endure. All of you know how much I love each of my children. If anyone was to ask me about any one of them I could give you a list a mile long about their strengths and gifts. When each of them were born, I thanked my Heavenly Father for the gift of their life. When they were little I could hold them and love them anytime I wanted to. I guess you could say I had a false sense of security about how I could protect them. Somehow I would always know what to do and how to do it. Of course I would always love them and they would always love me no matter what.

I was going to be the best mom ever. I was never going to make mistakes. Its interesting how life teaches us that we are not always in control. Our children are given to us for a short time. It's wise to use that time wisely. Did I do everything well? No, I did not. Have I made mistakes? Yes, many of them. I am sorry for that. I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time. We all come to parenthood with the same resume. No experience. Each child is different, they have their own personality and responses. They each get their own life situations that begin to shape who they are and who and what they become.

We knew that before we came to this earth, that we would have choices to make. We knew that we would make mistakes. We would be dealing with all kinds of opposition, pain, sorrow, guilt, sin, health issues and you name it. We were still excited to come and experience this life and prove to our Heavenly Father that we were worthy to be in his presence after this life. No matter how often I weed my garden, the next day I can find more weeds. Do I hate my garden? No, I want to tend it lovingly and remove the weeds so that the flowers can live in a healthy enviroment . We need to do this in our lives as well. Recognize that we are not perfect and remove the imperfections ( if possible)so that our spirits can dwell in a healthy body. Some imperfections require additional assistance. Such as medicine or sometimes counceling. First we have to recognize that there is a problem. We cannot fix someone else. We can only work on our own selves.

I still remember when I learned about the power of forgivness. We had just moved here from Texas. I felt that a certian person was at fault for some pretty tramatic situations that we found ourselves in. I had no control over it . First of all we left in the middle of the night and came here leaving a home that we had purchased. We had no job and still had 5 children and a dog living with us. Without going into detail about what happened to cause this I will tell you what happened to me. I spent my time reading the scriptures and listening to good music. I surrounded myself with positive things because I felt like I was about to be consumed. I was filled with righteous anger. I felt I was justified in feeling this anger. I still remember praying about it to Heavenly Father saying things like. Please take care of this other person that has caused our family such distress. I didn't think I had to do anything else. A very loving Heavenly Father taught me different. I had a dream. I still can recall it like it was yesterday. Heavenly Father was standing next to me. The person that had offended me was also with us. I had my arms folded in front like OK Heavenly Father will tell him and punish him and I will be on the front row watching and finally justice will prevail. I was anxiously awaiting the feeling of justification that was to come to me by watching him being punished by Heavenly Father. Suddenly I looked into the face of that person who was crumpled and crying. He was in such misery I was suddenly ashamed of myself for wanting to see something like that. From that moment on I was a different person. I could forgive him for what he had done. I apologized to him for wanting to see him in such misery (in my dream) .

I learned that day the power of forgivness. I know that we will be forgiven for our short comings if we are willing to forgive others theirs. A sweet peace came over me and I began to live without the canker of hate and anger that eats away at the soul. Satan is very powerful and he knows our weakness also. We get to choose whom we will serve. I promise peace comes when we apply the principles taught in the Miracle of Forgiveness and by living the Gospel.

After seeing Michelles blog about wanting justice, it reminded me of my experience. I wish I could help her to know what I know. I wish I could go back and have a do over. I wish Michelle knew how much everyone in this family loves her and misses her and Chris and the kids. I wish I could tell her that it is her that left the family. We did not leave her. I wish she knew that I don't sit around and talk bad about her. I keep hoping a miracle will happen and she will learn to forgive.

What would justice look like to her? I don't know for sure. I can only guess that she wants me destroyed. At least it feels like it. It has been a very long journey since that awful day. I don't love Michelle less, I want to see my grandchildren every single day. No one can take their place in my heart. 2 years is a long time in a childs life. What will they remember about me and grandpa? Will they know how much we love them? Whatever happened that awful day has long since been paid for. The loss of 3 grandchildren is great. Nothing will ever bring that time back. What a waste of precious precious time lost forever. Can we go on? I believe we can over come anything if we want to. I don't believe hashing up old dirt will help anyone. I do believe we can make things better if we want to. The Savior died for both of us Michelle. When you get tired of carrying the burden yourself, ask Heavenly Father for assistance. You will feel peace again in your life. You will once again feel the love and support of your entire family. We are here waiting with open arms.

Rick and I had an amazing week this week. We were host to 2 thirteen year old girls from Uganda. It filled a hole in my life being an empty nester and it served some children that had nothing. They were so polite and repectful. My responsibility was to feed them breakfast pack a lunch for them to eat during the day and then pick them up at 5:00 p.m. and then feed them dinner. They were to go to bed at 9:00 to be ready for the next day. They performed at a Methodist church on Friday and then went to Park City to have another family host them.
I loved it! They called me Mum. They helped me to know what they could eat for lunch and breakfast. I was going to fix pancakes and Shanice. one of my girls said no thanks, can we have rice? We ended up having scrambled eggs and juice with toast. I want to share some of the pictures we took while they were here. My other girls name was Josephine. I told them when they left to remember where their room is.

Friday I had 5 girls and we had a movie marathon night. We watched 27 dresses and Freaky Friday. I went to bed at 3:30 a.m. I think they finally went to bed at 4:30 a.m. Rick was a good sport and asked them if they wanted to go to bed. One said no, "This is a slumber party" . They loved pizza and it was fun to watch the movies with them and watch their faces. These were children who were starving before they came here and had no parents. What a great pleasure it was to serve them. They said thank you all the time. I loved every minute.
They are so cute!! Welcome to the family Shanice and Josephine. We love you. Thanks for the visit.

Well, maybe I've talked so much it won't let me post the pictures. I'll post this and then try again Sorry


Michael said...

I saw the pictures before I read the blog and had no idea what was going on, and was just wondering why on earth there were so many African girls in your basement. Now I know.

Also, thanks for the post about forgiveness. What a powerful dream, and what a perfect answer during that trial. I guess what we do know is that prayers are heard and answered, we just don't know when the answer comes.

Thanks, again, for that post.

Diane said...

Beautifully written Pen. Thanks for sharing your heart. I've watched and listened over the past two years. So much pain. You have truly come to an understanding that only comes through sorrow and pain. You have endured this well, and have become a better person for having gone through it. Only you're not through it yet. We can all just hope it will end soon. Our arms are right there with and ready. Love you!

Also, Shanice and Josephine are beautiful!!! They will remember their time with you forever. You will always remember them too. What a great experience.

pzierse said...

AMAZINGLY,BEAUTIFUL!, It gives me chills and tears in my eyes. I am so proud of you I could burst. There is no one on this green earth that has been through more than you. I always stand in amazement at all you do. I have never seen anyone more generous and giving. Your heart and home are always open to anyone anytime. Thank you for sharing and for your inspiration!!! Love ya Pat

Kimberly said...

What a touching post! If I were there with you now, I would wrap my arms around you and give you a big hug. I know, from personal experience, that the Savior knows our pain and wants nothing more than to carry our burdens and make them light. I am so grateful, as I'm sure you are too, that we don't have to carry these burdens alone. I know how much you love your children and want what is best for them. If I could, I would take all of this pain away from you and make everything better tomorrow. You are definitely someone I look up to and admire. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring us all! Love ya!

Becky Glover said...

My heart is breaking for you. But you are such a tough person with a great heart. I have been so mad at my Dad I could scream as I am sure he has felt towards me. But to hold on to that has to be exhausting. Just know that time heals all wounds no matter what happens and maybe if we all pray hard enough something great will happen and she can let go and you can be with your daughter and grand babies again soon. I hope so...I love you

Robyn said... sure know how to make a girl cry! As a mother, I can't imagine how hard it is to feel like you've lost one of your beautiful babies. I hope Michelle reads this and feels your love, and more importantly feels the Savior's love. I know you can both overcome this. I love you, Penni!

Grandma Hand said...

What a beautiful blog and a tribute to the Savior's love for us all. If I could have taken this pain away from you these past two years I would have. I know that you are first there for someone when a helping hand is needed. You have been there for me when I needed help. Penni, we all want this behind us. I know that we are given tests in this life but it depends on how we handle these things that come about. Wendall and I have such a special bond with Michelle that this has just torn us up. You are my daughter and I have known your strengths and also weaknesses but you always, always find a way to get through them and you are my beautiful daughter and I don't want you to hurt anymore. I love you with all of my heart.

Tina said...

I know what is feels like to just want to MAKE things all better and change the past or wish for things differently but there is a reason for everything, I know you know. I have to remind myself of all that you just shared and thank you for the reminder which I continually need of knowing that I am not here to do this alone. None of us are. I have learned about how much the Savior loves us, not just that he does. I have felt (I'm sure a faint glimmer) of that love by how I feel about my own children and others. Nothing compares.
Mercy and Justice are a part of His perfect plan, which is what we know we can rely on whole heartedly...knowing HE is in charge. And Faith that HE can heal our hearts, even when things we want so badly to change cannot be changed except by anothers choices.
I have learned that my dad is an amazing person, aside from his habits, and that even though I want so much more for him, I love him no matter what. He was not the model father, but it doesn't matter anymore. I love him despite that. That is what the Savior has taught me. And, he has taught me forgiveness. If I don't forgive, he cannot forgive me.
And anger. Well, me and anger are unfortunate partners all too often. It gets the better of me and my judgement more often than I care to mention but there again, I know HE can heal me and calm me and remind me that I am not in control, HE IS.
I love you. I'm so sorry for your hurt. I don't know a lot of the situation but I know that love is all the matters now, and one day the blessings will come from your pain, suffering and regret. We all know those feelings and are sharing it with you.
And I love Michelle with all my heart and would love to have a reunion with everyone there!
Love you always!