Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Journey to the Center of my Heart

Every mom knows that as much as you are trying to teach your children everything they need to know to launch into the world, in the end, you learn more from them than you could ever teach.


Some of the lessons are less fun than others.


I think that's why you don't see as many blog posts about teenagers.  Also, they can read.  And be offended and/or embarrassed. But am I letting that stop me? Nope. Because this year I have learned a very large, very important, very painful lesson. And sharing is caring.


Ah, how to begin? I have a daughter...she is lovely.  Ever since she was a baby her smile has been like sunshine and as she grew her quick wit kept us all in laughter.  Like every mom I tried to teach her all the things I thought would make her happy.  One of those things, a really big one, was my religion.  It has been the anchor in my life, my testimony of Jesus has sustained me through the hardest times, and I wanted to gift that to my child.


But my beliefs didn't sit well with her. She has always had her own mind and when I tried to tell her how to dress, and eat, where to go and who her friends should be, and especially what she should feel and believe, well she just hated it. I did try to do it the right way, her Dad and I are pretty easy going most of the time. Sheesh, just writing this-it is so hard to explain. She didn't want to do anything bad, she just didn't feel what I feel, so everything else seemed like faking. She didn't want to have to fake it to fit in our family or have our approval. It made her mad and sad. Oh, and feisty.


I, on the other hand, felt that what we were trying to teach is true, with a capital T, and if I couldn't teach it then I was failing in my most sacred job as mother. So I wouldn't give up. In fact, it took God a lot of different notes for me to get the message. The message wasn't that I needed to give up, it was that I had already done what I was supposed to do and it was time to let my beautiful girl's spiritual life be between her and Him. That was hard to hear.


The Spirit speaks to different people in different ways, it even speaks to the same person in different ways...particularly if said person is having a hard time getting the point.  In my case it took at least three hits before I could acknowledge to Marc what was being said to me.  I guess to start I had a general "unease," a feeling that the path I was on (insisting that she do what I said because I knew it was right and I said it) wasn't really working (HA!) for us. Then one afternoon I was in 9 year old Ellie's class listening to presentations on California missions and each and every one of those astute fourth graders listed the Priests forcing their religion on the natives as a "con" of mission life. And the Spirit whispered to me, "See?" 


Then a few days later a really beautiful young mom who I admire and know through my church congregation was cutting my hair and telling me how when she was younger she needed to figure things out on her own and explore her own spiritual path. She said that the best thing her mother did was to support her in finding her own way. And the Spirit whispered again, "Let her be."


Later that week I told Marc how I was being directed and he agreed that we needed to rethink our approach. Then the penultimate message came, we were listening to General Conference, a world wide broadcast where the prophet, apostles, and other leaders of the Mormon church teach and preach twice a year and Elder Larry Y. Wilson was speaking about parenting. He said this, 

"We simply cannot force others to do the right thing. The scriptures make it clear that this is not God’s way. Compulsion builds resentment. It conveys mistrust, and it makes people feel incompetent. Learning opportunities are lost when controlling persons pridefully assume they have all the right answers for others."

It was like a light bulb (finally) went off in my head and my heart. This talk is parenting gold by the way, if you want to read it click here.


So. There.  I have shared my journey. Judge gently my friends, parenting is tricky but worth it. I am so happy being mom to my own wonderful children.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day a la Teenagers

I did have a really great Mother's Day. There are times my friend, when having teenagers is challenging (IMPOSSIBLE), but at times like these (holidays that are made better with presents and cooking) it can be an advantage.


And boy can mine cook! Here's what they made for me because I am their favorite mom:
Fresh bruschetta on toasted french bread, bacon wrapped scallops, and pasta with parmesan, peas, and fresh parsley. It was so good! Better than many meals I have eaten in fancy restaurants. 

And for dessert, feast your eyeballs on this!
Pots of chocolate cream to dream about.  I am a lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky Duck MOM!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Turkey Lurkey

 Another thing I like about our house is that we have wild turkeys. It is pretty funny to hear them gobbling up a fuss out there.


Of course our dog goes crazy. A couple of times he has almost caught one, but it turns out turkeys can fly. The very best part about the turkeys is that Marc can stand outside and do his extremely realistic turkey call/song/cry and when he does the turkeys all gobble back at him.  


You can't pay to see something that great.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Home Owners



We bought our house. I am so happy.I love Springbrook Ranch and I have learned serious appreciation for many a previously unnoticed blessing by living here. In The Book of Mormon it says, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things," and in the Doctrine and Covenants (additional Mormon scripture) Eve says, "It is better for us to pass through sorrow, that we may know the good from the evil."


Yep, it is a true principle. Just think, if we hadn't lived for three years in a house that was for sale I would never have felt the tremendous joy I now feel knowing that NO ONE can call me to let me know they are coming in an hour to poke through the dirty secrets of my house otherwise known as the garage and laundry room.  
This is the mini orchard, two plum trees, two apricot and two apple.
And they can't make any stinking offers on it either leaving me frantically searching the internet for viable rental options that keep our kids in the same schools. Because we own it! And it is MY big project now! Ha!


Living here has also taught me to be happy when my kitchen sink has hot AND cold water, to feel satisfaction when I cook a meal with only two burners on the stove, to be grateful that I have my own room that I don't share with a nine year old daughter, and to absolutely love the cool California nights that blow through that room and allow me to sleep even though we don't have air conditioning.


Yes, Springbrook Ranch needs a lot of TLC, but I am dying to get to it.  After holding back on home projects for so long it will be fun to start putting all the things I have imagined into practice! Marc is so excited. I am not just saying that. Actually, we both agree that working on making our space beautiful feels like the rhythm of our life and we look forward to getting back into it. He just worries that I'm going to spend too much money.  When have I ever done that anyway? Luckily, there are a lot of things we can do that are inexpensive but will make a big difference in how the home looks, feels, and functions.  I get a big thrill out of making a beautiful improvement using more time, creativity and elbow grease than money.


And I'm excited to start sharing them here too.  




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