April 12, 2014

Why I blog.

I'm not sure why I blog.
I'm not sure why I never, ever intended my blog to be private.
I never wrote to my family or even my friends, I have always spoken to YOU, whoever YOU may be.

I have never even wanted to appear better than I really am, on my blog.
(Although a little of that naturally happens because my thoughts, words, intentions, and desires are better than my ability to ACT on them.)

I actually TRY to show you my best and worst, so I seem normal.
I honestly don't know how I'm going to blog once I am all healed and reach that perfected state.  (ha!)

I have never tried to recruit readers.  I've left the finding part up to you.
I don't even make my ideas easy to read- because I'm unwilling to take the time required to edit and re-edit.
You get me raw, misspelled and very repetitive.

I am missing the gene in my body that is afraid to let people see me without make-up on.
Honestly, I think there is MORE HARM in portraying to the world that a life without hard things is the NORM.  It is not.
Normal is hard.
Hard is good.
Brother Eyring's mother said, "If your life feels like it is uphill, you are on the right path."  I love that.
Uphill lives are good.

Truth time-- I often feel compelled to blog.  Why?
Because I am a girl who grew up in a good, VERY DYSFUNCTIONAL family.
I can't even tell you the odd guilt I have admitting that out loud, but it is true (and I've said it before knowing how much it would hurt my mother if I admitted this.)  Sorry mom.  I love you.
(It is hard for me to talk about what I have experienced because I am still experiencing it and my past is very little about ME and a lot about the family I grew up with.)
When I was at BYU surrounded by thousands of darling teens, I realized just how "Dr. Phil" my immediate family was.
I didn't know what a functional marriage was like.  I saw them, like a child peering into a candy store window, but I didn't know what they tasted like. (My own mother grew up in a very dysfunctional home also.)
I didn't know naturally how to raise children (actually, teaching children is something that I did learn naturally from my mother-- she is a natural lover and teacher of children and that is the best thing about me, too) or how to have a normal home life.

I had NO IDEA how to be a wife, a good wife, a kind wife.
There are A LOT, A LOT of really amazing things that I learned from my family.
I love my family.  I THANK GOD for sending me to my family.
I come from good roots who were caught in the snare of adultery, addiction, pornography, and maybe wealth.  You name it, we've got it.

I was learning compassion and understanding.
I was learning about addiction (substance and sexual), divorce, abuse, mental illness, suicide, physical illness, love, forgiveness, etc., while my friends were learning how to dance and touring the world.
I would NEVER trade my past.  BUT- I did NOT learn how to create a functional family from my immediate family.

And so, I had to LEARN.  I had to SEEK.  I had to WATCH and experiment and analyze.
I had to discern the good in my upbringing and BUILD on it.  I had to make my past a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.
Today, functional families are the minority NOT the norm.

I latched on to good people and wrote them 10 page letters with my questions and they wrote me back.
People mentored me that didn't even know me.
I learned to love this church I belong to, because I saw great families here.
I read book after book seeking for golden tidbits of HOW.  HOW do you do this "family" thing?
So many HOWS were VERY hard to find.  I still interrogate those that I know who seem to naturally have a functional home.  Functional people do not naturally analyze how they do it, because what they do best they may never have had to LEARN.  I have to pull out of them their healthy thinking habits.  I love doing this. So much of 'function' and 'mental health' is learned by living.  Creating a functional family is like trying to loose weight.  You think all you need to do is DIET or take a PILL, but the truth is you need to change your whole view of food.  It's a lifestyle change, mental programming differences, not a quick diet fix.
Functional homes are so important.

The hardest hurdle for me to jump over (and I am only almost over it) is the idea that if I knew how, or was doing things "right", I could have a perfect home and a perfect family.  I really do not believe this is true.
Although, I have been in homes that FEEL very nearly close to perfect.  I know GOOD, GOOD families and I believe good families and functional homes ARE very possible.

I am friends with Gerilyn Merrill who is the oldest daughter of Julie Beck (a woman who I believe is a prophetess).  She once said to me (and, I'm quoting purely from my own impression of what she said), "If I can't do it, who can?"  At that moment, I felt a fire in my soul.  It was the first time that I really KNEW.  I said right back to her, "If I can't do it, who can?"  God did not make it so that only people with perfect parents are able to create safe, healthy, functional families.  He didn't.

It is possible for ALL of US, individually, no matter our past or current situation to CHOOSE the type of family we want to have.  God HEALS broken homes.  GOD let His own son be raised by a step-parent and an imperfect woman.  He did this because HE was never far, HE COMPENSATED.  God compensates for us too.  He is NEAR.  HE HEALS, HE TEACHES, HE INSPIRES, HE PROTECTS and when He allows bad things to happen, HE PROMISES that "All these things shall be FOR YOUR GOOD, and shall give thee experience."

He lets us and our children also be raised by imperfect people who He knows ARE "kind and dear" even underneath all our not very kind and dearness.

I have always felt compelled to share what I learn, in case there are people out there like me who NEED to learn it.

I know that we all have power to create goodness.  I know that burning desire, I have prayed that prayer, "Oh God, make me better.  Teach me HOW to do this.  Bless me, change me, lead me, guide me, show me the WAY."
I have felt His tutoring.  But, it was NOT as instant or easy as I thought it should be.
Learning hurt, but it WAS possible.
My family is NOT perfect (far, far from it).  But, I DO have that home, I DO have those children.
I know what they are feeling as they come into my home and stop.  They ask why it feels so "quiet".  They comment on how my kids are always so well-behaved.  People ask me questions and pour out their souls to me, like I still do to those I have learned from.
I know what they are feeling.  It is not ME, it is HIM.  He DID help me to have that kind of home.
In part, because He knew I would help you.

I talk about poop, I say damn, I show you messy counters and do not deny sassy kids.

And somehow, through it all I have learned to love YOU.
I feel humbled to hear that people read my blog.
I love to meet blog friends in real life, because I feel that you are really my friends.
You know ME, even better than I know myself sometimes.

I need to clean up this blog of mine to make it more easy to navigate.
I'm always concerned when I get comments or emails from people who feel like they are blog-stalking my mommy blog because they don't actually know me in person.
I write to strangers, because I believe strangers are friends.

Isn't it interesting how you can read one comment, like this...

Anonymous said...
I am not Morman. I was raised Catholic, but actually just am not a believer at all anymore I found your blog almost a year ago when I had percreta. Lost my baby at 18 weeks, lost ability to have more children (it was my second pregnancy) and almost lost my life. I still wonder why my baby had to die - I guess I am just not as deserving. I suppose I keep reading your blog despite any religious undertones - you really do come across as a nice person and genuine.

April 11, 2014 at 7:03 PM

And have your heart swell with love for this unseen mother.
You love her too, don't you?
Friend, how I wish you lived near me so I could hug you and cry on your shoulder.  Because I would.
I would cry for your pain, cry for your angel baby, cry for your lost uterus, cry for what might of been.
And then, I would look you in your eyes and tell you with FIRE in my eyes that YOU ARE NOT LESS DESERVING.
Unfortunately, God's plan never included the idea that "Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people."  It actually seems the opposite.
God himself allowed His Son to DIE after being rejected, abused, and suffering.
The most holy men and women I have heard about have lived a life of suffering.
Somehow, God knows that suffering purifies and edifies our soul, if we let it.
You, my sister, are blessed in this awful trial.  God needs you to comfort and mourn with someone else.
So, he blessed you with this life-changing, hard trial.
I'm sorry.  I love you.  I can only imagine your pain.  (Wish you could come love on my chunky boy for a few days.  I share.)

I have to go.
I'm speaking in a couple hours about social media.
And, I just had to take a few minutes to say-- THANK YOU for reading what I write.
Thank for being my virtual/real friends and mentors.  Thanks for cheering me up and believing in me.
Before, during, and after my near-death experience.

I feel so grateful for this little blog.
In a way, I think it saved me life.
In another way, I think it has helped me create a life that I love.
You are my friends.
Life is good. 


Erynn said...

Thank YOU for being you. I am strengthened by your example. You always offer just the advice that I need to hear. Please never stop blogging.

Debbi said...

Thank you for blogging! Good luck with your talk today. I wish I could hear it. Thanks for replying to me the other day too. You are amazing and real!

Elicia said...

I am glad that you blog because I love reading it. I hope that you continue to do so. Even when I don't agree with what you are saying I still love to read what you write about because it is important to have convictions. Thank you for including US in your life. I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I appreciate you sharing your stories, dreams, hopes, and fears with us. I appreciate you always keeping it real.

Carrie Crosland said...

I needed to read that. Thanks Jen.

Pam Ward said...

Thank you for sharing your authentic self! I'm not even sure what brought me to your blog, but I think it's about your unique pregnancy. I've always been fascinated by the miracle of pregnancy, since I was 12. All I ever wanted was to be a mother, and that never happened for me. I accepted that and started a pet rescue, and said if God wants me to have a baby, he will put one in my arms. Promptly forgot about it, and then I got a call from my cousin, asking me how I feel about babies? I said I like them, why. Well she knew about this baby about to be born that needed a home, and long story short. He is my son! He is 10-1/2 now and the joy of our lives. I believe with all my heart that God sent him to us!

Anyway, I love, Love, love reading your blog. I am not Mormon, nor particularly religious. I grew up Baptist, and believe in God, but no longer in religion. I feel that organized religion comes between me and God, but I am totally open to the fact everyone finds their own way to God that works for them. I love your kindness, and forgiving self. I love you and your family Jen!

So God bless you and yours and all of your readers. I think you help a lot of us! Big Hugs!!! Pam

Unknown said...

Well I'm crying now.. Good tears, Spirit tears. Thank you Jen. You are very loved

ashley said...

Oh Jen, thanks. You spoke to my heart tonight. Again. :) hugs!

Melanie said...

Thank you:)

Catherine Andrews said...

Thank you for being willing to say what you feel. I love reading your blog because it is real and we all need to feel like someone else is going through the same thing as me. That makes me feel better! Thank you!

Catherine from Wyoming

Amber said...

Thanks for your sharing, I really appreciate your thoughts and I learn from you, thank you!

Katie said...

I was led to your blog through Gerilyn. She is someone I admire greatly . Your blog has changed my attitude about motherhood. I have found 3 things that help me be a better mom...1.daily prayer, 2. Daily scripture study, 3. Reading your blog. :) thanks Jen

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