Sunday, July 4, 2010

independence day

Photograph by Lolli.

I have lots of thoughts bouncing around in my head. And lots of emotion in my heart.

Yesterday we got to go to Brent's brother's house in Nephi for dinner and fireworks. It was so much fun. My sis in-law Nietra's family were there too and we played games and the kids all ran around and jumped on the tramp and played in the dirt. Who could ask for anything more?

The kids and I were even given a special treat: Mercedes and Cooper were invited to spend the night. There is nothing as exciting to my kids as a cousins' slumber-party.

I'd forgotten how easy it is to get just one child ready for church (my lowest-maintenance one - the Linkster). It was a heavenly morning for me. Quiet and calm and peaceful. But as we began to sing the opening hymn this morning, I suddenly felt like BARFING. Big time.

"What on earth is going on with me?" I thought.

I could tell that my stomach problems were "nerve"-related. My dad was on the other end of the pew holding Lincoln, with my mom between us. We were singing the Star Spangled Banner and I was fasting for Brent's safe return home this week. I was thinking of him standing in formation at a hot desert base in Afghanistan where some very mean people are continually showering him with rockets. I was thinking of how excited I am for us to be a complete family unit again, and of how very much I miss him. Then I thought of our first 4th of July together: fireworks at Thanksgiving Point and then our first kiss on my parents' front porch. Three months later we were sealed together by Elder Clayton in the Salt Lake Temple.

And now he's been gone for nine months. Sleeping every night in a far away place where people would love to kill him and his fellow soldiers. I realized why I suddenly FELT so much. Usually I have a Mercedes and a Cooper and a Lincoln distracting me. I don't have time to think of feel! It's nice to know that there's still a "me" inside of me, but I am very grateful that I've had three sweet and spicy children to tend to this past year. Focusing on them and their needs distracts me from mine. What a great blessing it is to be a mother!

After church Lincoln and I took a blissfully looooong nap, and then Sting and I drove down to Nephi to pick up the big kids. They were hitting and yelling at each other as I locked Coop into his car-seat, and I thought of how much I'd missed them! I was away from them for just long enough to not even be frustrated by their fighting. They both conked out as soon as we were on the freeway, and two sleeping kids, Sting and I drove home in peace.

On this Independence Day, I am thankful for my agency. I'm thankful that I have a loving Father in Heaven who listens to me, a Savior who understands me, and the Holy Ghost to comfort me. I am grateful that there are still citizens of this country who are willing to sacrifice their very lives in the name of FREEDOM. I am thankful for parents who love and take care of me and my children. I am thankful for a husband who "thirsts after righteousness" and is gentle and kind and always loving. I am thankful for family and friends who love me, warts and all.

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