Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday musings

Do you ever just get thinking? The kind of deep thinking that can't really be resolved?

I ran across this site yesterday and I have been thinking about it ever since. I relate to this family. They have 6 beautiful children that are all still young. I can not imagine what my life would be like if I had a trial like that? How do you do your mothering when you are sick and know that your life is going to be cut short? How do you decide where to put forth your effort when you have so little energy and life left to give?

It just makes me feel a little sad. I don't know how you would handle knowing you won't be there to raise your little people. I can imagine you would want your husband to remarry but you would worry if the new wife would love your husband they way he needs to be loved our love your children the way you would?

SO then I got to wondering, am I really living? And I think the answer at the moment is... not really. I want to live with more purpose.

This lead me to wonder what my dreams are? What am I working towards for the long haul?

Big dreams-
See all of my children in the temple!
Raise hard working loving children.
Save for and then buy our forever house.
Be the kind of mother my children can be proud of.
See the world with my husband.
Run a marathon.
Write a book to help women find happiness in the journey

Then I started to think a little more simply and wondered what small things do I want to do?

Little dreams-
Start swimming again
Keep my home looking nice with good food always available
Teach Joshua to read
Create/craft more with the kids
Plan my lessons for church before Saturday
Blog/journal more
Write stories from my life, from my parents lives, from my grandparents lives
Exercise greater discipline

Its just a start but at least it is a step in the right direction. Baby steps and are still steps forward.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A burden lifted and a sigh of peace

I have struggled with IBS for 7 years now. Probably longer but during my pregnancy with Joseph things seemed to get much worse. Almost a year after I had him I was in pain every day. It was pain I could manage but not enjoyable by any means. Once I realized, with the help of divine guidance, that what I ate was causing me problems I was thrilled. I quickly changed my diet and felt much better. I was so grateful to find relief I did not mind what I lost. Going with out animal protein seemed like a small price to pay.

A couple years ago my symptoms had changed and some of the foods I could once eat I no longer could. I seemed to have more pain then before for reasons I could not always tell. This lead me to seek for answers and after several tests the Dr's concluded that they believe I have IBS.

When I finally excepted there was nothing to be done but continue to watch what I eat and to mange my stress I went through a period of frustration and anger. I was mad this was a problem I will always have. I was upset that I could not eat what others could eat. I was sick of the same old foods. I was tired of not getting to eat the foods I wanted. All the complaining I did only caused me greater pain. I emotionally felt a huge burden with no end in sight. I was kicking against the pricks so to speak.

Then I finally came to the point where I began to again really except that this was my lot in life. I was not sure if it was just to strengthen me or whether it was to help keep me healthy so I could enjoy a long life. I started to again rely on my Savior to help me endure this burden. To submit to it with humility.

Over the past several months I have noticed Joseph has had an increase in stomach pains. His stomach hurts to the point that at times he would not want to eat dinner or even a special treat. He has been constipated for months and I was worried about him. I talked with his dr and she thinks he might have IBS. My first thought was one of relief. Now we can start to help him because we know what it is that is bothering him.

But then later that day I allowed doubt and fear to overcome me. I cried for my sweet boy. I was filled with empathy because I to well understood what this meant for him. I worried for how this might effect him. I worried he will feel left out when he couldn't eat the things others could. I worried about the pain he might have to deal with over his life.

I have been praying to know how to help him. Each person with IBS has different food triggers and I am not sure what his are yet. We have started by taking him off of all dairy as that is the most common trigger. Today I made a choice to add fasting to my prayer.

The lesson I taught today was all about Matthew 11:28-30. As I taught my lesson I again realized my deep need to be yoked with my Savior. To allow him to help carry my burden that it may be made light. As I was preparing for this lesson on Friday I was given this idea. I gave one boy, a wrestler, several encyclopedias. I asked him how long he could carry this burden. He said a couple minutes, maybe. Then I asked him, "If I offered you a tool that would make carrying these burdens easy would you take it?" I then gave him a rolling suitcase to put them all in. He was so cute. He walked around the room with his books. I asked him if he could carry them all day long now and he said, "oh yeah." Then he said, "This is fun."

Our Savior is that tool. When we allow Him to help us carry our burdens they can be light and even fun. It wasn't until I was teaching that I realized how much this applied to my sweet Joseph and the burden of IBS. The spirit testified to me of how much I need my Savior and that as I rely on Him all things are possible.

As if this beautiful lesson was not enough I was given even more. During our next class the lesson was the perfect compliment to Matthew 11:28-30. What I learned there I will forever hold dear to my heart. The past 7 years of trial and error with IBS made me understand the way our bodies work with much greater clarity. So much so that when my son complained of stomach aches I had some ideas what might be the problem. I learned how to alter meals excluding foods that cause troubles. It is something I can do now with very little effort.

Because of all that I have suffered I can save my son much of the pain I have had to endure. I can teach him because I already know and understand. Because I have been there I can understand what he is going through more fully. I can fight for his health and well being because I know it so well. I understand what it feels like to go for periods of time with no stomach pain and to feel such gratitude when those times come. I would go through it all again so that I could learn all I needed to learn to help my son.

Wouldn't we all do that as mothers? Take the pain so our children don't have to? This new perspective has made my burden light. My Savior changed my very thoughts so that I could find peace among this trial. So that I could even find joy (or "Fun" as my student said) in the journey.

Someone brought us chocolate covered strawberries tonight and Joseph was very said that he could not have any. I took it as a challenge to see what I could make for him that he would enjoy just as much if not more. I had bought him some soy chocolate and peanut butter ice cream the other day for occasions such as this. We melted PB and poured it over the top. He smiled so big to realize he got this special treat that no one else did. I would say he might have even thought it was fun.

So for tonight, I will sleep easier. I will rest more peacefully. I am yoked with my dear Savior in this burden. I pray that I may continue to seek him in my life and throughout all of my trials.

I leave you with this cute picture from Valentines. Now here is to finding even better treats then candy covered chocolate cupcakes.