I don't think it's possible for us to have challenges one at a time. In my short life [HUGE PLUG FOR MY BIRTHDAY! I'LL BE 29 ON THE 26TH! HOORAY FOR ME!], I have witnessed how difficulties, challenges, and great big disasters always seem to come together. For example:
- Last year, we didn't just have a baby, accept a new job, and move two states away (all within 3 1/2 weeks). We also had extensive flood damage in our basement because of a frozen pipe. (If you really want to know, you can read more here.)
- Then there was that time that Brandon lost his job and we had a baby 3 weeks later. And had purchased a brand-spankin'-new Tahoe 3 months earlier. And we didn't get a permanent job for 6 months.
- Or that time I developed heart arrhythmias from my asthma meds, and so we forced our cat to be indoor/outdoor (long story) and we lost him for 4 days, only to find him in our neighbor's yard near death.
- Oh, and remember that time (1997) when we lost Princess Diana AND Mother Theresa in the same week!? What was that all about?!
- But a good friend of mine takes the cake. Last year, her sweet (and severely diabetic) husband was in a car accident with their three oldest children (all under 7 years old) while she continued to suffer acutely from her fourth pregnancy (she loses weight when she's pregnant; in and out of the hospital, etc.). The miraculous blessing from that accident was that they all were unharmed. But talk about trials! All at the same time! And yet I never heard her complain. Not once. That could be a topic for a different post, though. I would entitle it: "The most Christ-like woman I've ever met". But I probably should get permission first. Huh. But I digress...
- And now? For me? My PPD doesn't seem to be PPD anymore. It might just be D. Or PMSD. Is there such a things as PMSD? Or maybe it really is just PMS. My MIL warned me about this, though... Anyway, I'm struggling with these emotional/mental problems, and, of course, it's right at the time when we're planning on more change in our lives. More BIG change. Figures, eh? The worst part is what a monster of a mother I've become. I'm forgetting my responsibility to raise righteous children by being righteous myself! I'm forgetting that if I expect my children not to yell and belittle, then I cannot yell and belittle! I absolutely hate how I act --and so I'm changing it (keep reading!).
- Our insurance paid for almost everything and we got a brand new wall, brand new carpet, and new window wells, not to mention the fabulous experience of living in the Bay Area this last year. Oh, and our baby rocks.
- Our marriage was strengthened ten-fold and we learned about patience and respect.
- I saw what I needed to do to be on top of my health; I learned to love my body; I learned to really love our cat.
- I learned that Mother Theresa deserved ten thousand more coverage about her life than Princess Diana. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Di fan, but hello? Mother Theresa was...Mother Theresa!!
- Whenever I feel bad, I have to remember that it could be worse. And if it is worse, I have to remember how the Lord has blessed me, and know that He will help me get through it all. I also know I have such wonderful examples around me of those who struggle but never lose faith. I never want to lose faith, and so I cling to these experiences.
- I will probably struggle now with Depression for the rest of my life and now I know it's triggered hormonally. But I've found some things this last week that has helped enormously with my PMS problems:
- An understanding husband (go HERE to see the funniest clip ever!)
- Not speaking what I'm thinking/feeling in the moment I think/feel it. If I wait and let the rise of freakishness pass, I do much better.
- Reading my scriptures. At our Stake RS Enrichment night, I went to one of the best classes I have ever attended. It was about daily scripture study. I learned how reading the scriptures daily will make my life better --something I have heard constantly since I was a child. And yet, it never occurred to me how desperately important it is for me, as a mother, to read the scriptures on my own. I'm not sure why or how, but the Holy Ghost knew that I was ready to listen this time, and here I am, a mere three days later, testifying to all of you that reading the scriptures daily will improve your lives. It has to! And it will.
- Sincere prayer. I'll tell you, that RS enrichment night just rocked! There was this fabulous skit by a sister, kneeling and saying her prayers, and offstage, you heard the "voice" of Heavenly Father. She was just going about her repetitive prayer, and HF was asking her a whole bunch of questions, which took her off guard. The point was that we need to make our prayers sincere and conversation-like, since when we do pray, we are actually talking with somebody. This isn't some Rameumptom we're sitting on, here. God knows us each individually and He wants to hear from us individually. I learn this each time I take the time to pray with purpose. I testify to you that God hears our prayers and He answers them.
- Remembering: I just have to remember that I am strong and that I get through my PMS episodes each month without fatalities. I have to remember that my children are amazing creatures and need their mother to be healthy and kind. I have to remember the charity my husband is showing toward me when he lets me berate him and holds me when I don't deserve it. I have to remember.
Yes, when it rains, it certainly pours. But you see, after the rain comes green growth, renewed resolve and sweet, sweet reserves of fresh water. Nothin' but optimism here, people! (for now, anyway).