Thursday, October 01, 2015

Update on My Mind Amongst Other Things

This last weekend, we went to Michigan as a family. We drove (only 8 hours without stops!), and it was actually a very uneventful and semi-easy (as much as kids cooped up in a car can be) drive. Granted, our children are now used to driving for days on end, 12 hours a day, traversing the country at untold speeds (okay, usually 70mph). But, it being Autumn, and as most of the drive was through Pennsylvania and Ohio, it was quite pleasant!

We stayed with our good friends, the Fishers, and proceeded to fill in the weekend with the BYU football team fireside (very nice), the BYU football game (amazing stadium, great experience, horrible, horrible, horrible game and agonizing loss), the General Women's Meeting (just what I needed), and a stop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, for a lovely picnic lunch. The entire trip was exactly three days.

I have a million things on my mind. I'm not sure how to sift through them all and break it down into coherent thought. There is just so much going on in the world, in my schedule, in my brain, in my relationships with other people... I need to write it out, though, so I can make sense of it all. 

First, with the whole End of the World preppers movement, the Blood Moon (of which we saw a lot of, Sunday night, before the clouds covered most of it and we decided to call it quits and head for bed), the Pope's visit to Philadelphia (which we missed, unfortunately), three apostles dying and three more being called this weekend during General Conference (I assume), the General Women's Meeting, and the laws of the land shifting to the morals of society --I have been pondering a lot on Prophets, religion, chastity, morality, and where to find truth, safety, and peace. 

Second of all, I feel a great desire to change or shift the culture of my immediate family. It stems from the realization of my responsibility to oversee it and how I can mold it when I am able to discipline myself enough to represent it without hypocrisy. Up until now, I don't think I was capable of having that discipline. It may still take a while. But the desire is deep and I feel an urgency to have it up and running before my older children are grown and gone. 

Thirdly, I've been thinking a lot about relationships. Mostly friendships and what part I may play in the creation and demise of them. It's been difficult for me, as I've gotten older, to look back at my behavior in the past and realize that I've caused pain. Pain I can never rectify, pain that might not even exist anymore, but pain none-the-less. I've also been thinking about the future and the relationship my kids will have, specifically marriage. What can I do now, to ensure that 1. they will have the confidence to find someone worthy of their love, and 2. I will be the type of mother-in-law that their spouses will love and respect? I know I can't control a lot of it, but what can I control, and how will I implement it? This goes back to the family culture thing. 

Lastly and fourthly or whatever, I have been thinking about mental illness and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I promised an update on my mind, and here it is! In list form. Of course: 

1. I've been consistently taking medication and going to therapy for over 18 months. Medication has changed here and there based on situations (pregnancy, postpartum). Therapy continues to be necessary for my ability to sort things out and have an objective point of view to show me why I may feel how I feel, where I can change my thought processes, and what I may really desire. 
2. The medication and therapy have given me more energy (although I'm not exercising like I should, yet) and more motivation to be the kind of homemaker, mother, wife, friend, and overall person that I want to be. 
3. I do not feel outside pressure to be more than who I am. What I desire comes from within myself and from a truly, humble hope to be whom God wants me to be. I'm tripping and falling all over the place as I stumble on the path to God's Will, but I'm trying. I'm learning how to heed the Holy Ghost again. I had to start over because the Depression clouded everything... but it's becoming clearer to me. 
4. I am very aware that I can slip at any time. I still have trouble, occasionally, and I need to be gentle with myself. I give myself days off when the stress or exhaustion is too much. 
5. Life is REALLY hard. It will never be perfect, and I will never be perfect (in mortality). But my faith is strong because I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and I have a testimony of the work He is doing through His church. Every happiness in my life is because of Him, the covenants I've made, and doing my best to follow His doctrine. The older I get, the deeper this testimony has become. Experience is a great teacher (the best?) and I've learned that there is NOTHING more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is everything. Everything. By it, every truth and goodness is illuminated, through it, every evil is exposed, and because of it, every pain, sin, and loss will be rectified.


swedemom said...

I have been thinking about the same things: prophets, families, chastity, gender identity, etc. I have some people complain about the family focus and say that the church is worshipping the family instead of Christ. I have to disagree. We NEED the doctrine of family in our time more than any other civilization because of the erosion and frightening things that are happening.

I'm also trying to make changes as a woman and mother in improving my relationships with my children and spouse.

Devon said...

Love this! You have such a great perspective on being 'enough'. And you are such a tremendous writer! I'm so glad to know you (and I can attest that you are doing a remarkable job as a mother, even with an imperfection or five thrown in). ;) I love your way of thinking and making sure you are following the Lord. It's inspiring for me. I'm grateful you are so good at sharing!

Amanda D said...

I really admire you, Cheryl. Always honest, always working on improving. I just love it. Your family is so fun, and I'm glad you got to get away. And, hey! The Cougars won last night!