Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Word for the New Year

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The last couple of years, I have joined some of my blogging friends and chosen one word or phrase that encapsulates all my goals and ideals for the new year. 

Last year I took the phrase "Law of the Harvest" and began applying it to my life, especially in our homeschool. We definitely made some strides, and I am grateful for the lessons I learned about being more consistent. I still have a long way to go, but I can see that we have improved. And improvement is progress, right?

Ups and Downs

I feel like 2014 held some of my biggest, most difficult trials, and also some wonderful blessings. I've seen several people online saying how glad they are that 2014 is over-- and I kind of agree. 

But the good things that did happen in 2014 were worth it, including:
  • Two children serving as missionaries: one in a part time service mission, one in a full time proselyting mission.
  • The birth of our beautiful and beloved thirteenth child.
  • Simplifying our homeschool group to offer classes only to youth aged 12 and older. (I'm the chairman.)
  • Being cast as the Narrator in a musical program for our church based on the parable of the Ten Virgins.
  • Welcoming home one of our missionaries.
  • Learning more about high school transcripts, preparing my high schoolers' transcripts, and teaching other homeschool parents about keeping records for their homeschooled high school students.
  • Giving my very first keynote address to a winter homeschool convention.

Creeping In

The last few days, I have discovered something that I am not proud of; gradually, imperceptibly, I have let a huge amount of cynicism into my heart this past year. 

It surrounds how I feel about homeschool, and the methods I have used in my home. It has also come as a result of letting go of things I had always hoped and dreamed for my children. It appeared as a result of mistrust of some close friends, the choices of some loved ones, and maybe also because of the loss of both of my grandmothers this year. (Though I know they are in a much better place, now!)

As an optimist, dreamer and idealist, I am astonished at how much negativity has been able to sneak into my soul. It scares me, in fact! 

I am NOT a negative person.

But in the winter of my trials, I have forgotten who I am. And WHOSE I am. And that in the midst of the "cold and snow," light and happiness can still be found.

Looking Up

And so, I am looking up this year. I am gazing into a much brighter, lighter future-- not because I think all my problems will disappear with the power of positive thinking.


It's because I have HOPE in salvation because of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

And so that is my word for 2105.


With love,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dealing with Discouragement

"The almost impossible thing... is to hand over your whole self to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead."
~C.S. Lewis

Dear friends and sister-mothers,

As you probably noticed, the OFM blog has been pretty quiet for a few months. I have been going through a rough year with one of my children, and it has made me feel like I have nothing to contribute to other mothers. 

The enemy has really filled my head with all kinds of bad thoughts about myself, my family, my abilities and all my efforts:

"Who do you think YOU are?"

"You have no business trying to help other moms."

"You can't even take care of your own kids."

"You have nothing worthwhile to contribute."

Once upon a time, I thought I could not write. I had some discouraging things happen in school that made me believe that I would never be a good writer. But then I started blogging and gained some confidence. Next, I took part in a class where we had some writing assignments, and I started to really fall in love with the writing process. And as a mother, I found that I needed to write to record my ideas and feelings about motherhood in order to process everything I was learning.

After that, I wrote with confidence and enthusiasm! I had a wonderful time, and even attended a writing conference, and talked with a publisher about the possibility of writing an OFM book.

And then, LIFE happened.

It might sounds silly, but motherhood suddenly became not just difficult, but impossible to succeed in. And so why would I want to write about it any more? Realizing that I could do everything "right" and still "fail" made me lose hope in many things. 

Luckily, my circumstances also turned me more fully to Christ. I found that I needed Him more than ever. And I found that I never, NEVER can do everything "right"!  Only HE can. 

I have been really inspired by some posts my son's "mission mom" has shared here, here, here, and here. She has reminded me that I can apply the Savior's Atonement to my life. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I need Him every moment of my life. We ALL do! None of us can make it without Him.

And if that's what difficult times teach me, then I am willing to go through them. Because I have my Savior on the journey with me, I can deal with whatever life throws at me. And I can write about it here. So, thanks for still reading.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Happy, happy Christmas Season!

I hope we all ponder and act on the Reason for this wonderful, joyous, glorious season!!! :-)

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