"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength"

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Plan of Happiness

I think one of my most favorite part of my religion is the Plan of Salvation aka The Plan of Happiness. Happiness can come from knowing where we are from, who we are and where we can go.  The Plan of Salvation gives us the answers to that and gives us an over view of the purpose of our existence from the very beginning to the very end. This is a picture that I have found to show you what I am talking about...

Well my sweet little girl was asked to give a talk about this in Primary at church, we incorporated this and the plan that we have for our individual lives as well in her talk. It was so great to sit down with her and have a chat about the Plan of Salvation and to see her little eyes light up as she understood it and then we talked about how we each have our own individual plans for us as we live here on Earth and how if we listen to the Spirit those plans can help us with the Plan of Salvation as well..if that makes sense. I wanted to share her sweet and simple talk, maybe it will touch you the way that it touched me. Little children have such faith, especially ones that have lost a parent, they seem to understand so much and there are times that I draw my strength from them. 

Hi my name is Alizabeth Joy Flake and just like you I also happily accepted Jesus’s plan for us before we came to Earth and that is when the plan for me started. I was then born on January 14th 2008 to a loving Mom and Dad and 3 brothers. In our home we are taught of  Heavenly Father, and the plan he has for  his children which is called the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness. There was Pre-mortal life, we were born, we live on the Earth as righteously as we can, we die and then we go to spirit world and wait for the judgment and resurrection and get placed into one of the degrees of glory.  We are also given plans for each of us as we live this life but we don’t know what it all is yet, that is part of  living and learning here on Earth. Sadly part of the plan for our family included my Daddy going back to Heaven early in my life, I was 1 when he died from Colon Cancer but because of the plan we know that we will see and be with him again. 

I don’t know what our plan has in store for our future…Will I become a singer? Will I be a Mom? Will I serve a mission to teach others about the plan? Will my brothers do what they want like becoming a basketball player, a business owner like our Dad, and working as a Police Officer? We don’t know.  But I do know that whatever the rest of our Earth plan is that it is designed to bring us happiness in 2nd Nephi 2: 25 it says Adam fell that men might  be; and men are, that they might have joy.  I am so thankful for the plan of happiness because it makes me happy, even on the sad days when I miss my Daddy I know that because our Heavenly Father loved us so much and gave us this plan that we will be together again, until that happens I am excited to see how the plan continues to bring happiness to me and those around me. 

Its often hard when you are in the thick of things to think "Its all good, this is all part of the plan of happiness" but that is what our Father in Heaven wants for us. As a Widow I have had to work really hard to  remember this and to apply it in my life. Its definitely hard to follow the plan at times and remember that it is designed to bring us happiness but it is easier as I do the things I am supposed to..especially when I lose myself in the service of others. Jeffrey R. Holland from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."  The truth spoken by this remarkable man is what keeps me going and clinging to the plan of happiness!!!!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Advice From One Widow to You

I feel like I have talked about this before but it is on my mind so if it is a repeat, sorry about that! Life is kinda with out many adventures right now and like I said, this has been on my mind so just bear with me. There are many times that when I hear about a newly widowed person I wish that I could talk to their close friends and family and give them some pointers about what to say, what not to say and what a newly widowed person needs. We all know (or if you don't know now you do) NOT to say "I am sorry for your loss" (they aren't lost, they died), "If you need something call me" (in most cases we have no idea what we need because we haven't gone though this before...tell the widow what you are going to do for them like bring her dinner or something), "He/She is better off now" (umm...really? What could be better than being by my side?). You get the point right? So I have thought of a few things that may help when someone you know becomes widowed and if they aren't helpful its helpful to me to just put this out there.

*Let them serve you: we need to get out of ourselves, so letting us help you or others takes the focus off of ourselves and our grief and back to others. On the flip side don't be offended if we don't call for help. We know that you have your own life and family and we will do everything in our power first before we call for help.

*Don't assume that they don't know how to take care of themselves. I think the most offending thing I heard after Clint died was someone calling a family member of mine and telling him that he was passing the torch to him to take care of me. What!?! Who in the world gave them a freaking torch in the first place, it wasn't me and it certainly wasn't Clint...I would have kicked his butt if I heard him say something like that to someone and he knows it. I am a grown woman who has lost her spouse, not a child who has lost their parent and I sure as heck know to take care of myself and my children.

*I know some people in my church have heard an Apostle say that it took him about a year after his wife's passing to feel confident to make decisions, while this is sound advice PLEASE don't throw this in a widow's face when she needs to make a decision...depending on the circumstances some decisions can't wait. Also when she goes to make a big decision don't assume that just because she didn't come to you to make this decision that she didn't talk to someone about it. When I moved shortly after Clint died I talked to my Mom, my Bishop, my Stake President and my Cousin. So many people thought it was just a spur of the moment decision because I didn't talk to them about it. My decision consisted of lots of prayer, fasting and consulting with people that I felt would give me some solid advice.

*When the widow feels ready to date or at least test the waters please don't send them hate mail. When I started testing the waters I heard so many things like I wasn't honoring his memory, I had love once and needed to let others have a turn, and the kicker...I must have never loved him in the first place if I wasn't wanting another spouse. This topic gets me a little hot around the collar, what most people don't know is that when dating first crosses our minds we feel those exact same things but we do need to test the waters. I was 27 when I was widowed and the idea of being alone for the next 60+ years depresses me as I am sure it would you if you would stop and put yourselves in my shoes and actually think about it.

*If she happens to have some life insurance money after the death and uses it to buy a newer house or car don't assume that she is just buying the newer things because she has to have top of the line things or she is profiting off of the death. Just remember that we would give every cent back to have them back but the one person that we would go to with house problems or car problems is no longer here to help us so having something newer takes a little of the stress off their shoulders for a while. On that note...if you don't have life insurance GET IT NOW!!! I mean it, nobody wants to have another bill to pay but if something was to happen to you, you would want your family taken care of. I would suggest Primerica, they have great policies at amazing prices...google them if you have to...just get 'r done!

*Do talk about the person that died, don't avoid talking about them or favorite memories. The spouse and kids that are left behind love to talk about them so that it makes them think that that person isn't forgotten and depending on the ages of the kids (like a few of my kiddos)  these could be their only memories of the parent. Also, if you are one of the awesome people thinking of or currently dating/marrying a widow or widower just know that talking about the late spouse every so often is normal and needs to be allowed, especially if there are children still in the picture. Lets face it, if you have children I can guarantee they will talk about their Mom/Dad so the same consideration needs to be given to the children whose parent has died. 

There is a part of a  scripture that comes to mind when I think of the best way to help a person who has lost a loved one...it is: the first part of Mosiah 18:9 it says Yea, and are awilling to mourn with those that bmourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort....  Overall what a widow needs is unconditional love, support and maybe a person she can call  to bring the ice cream and have a cry fest or even watch a chick flick!! She or He (even the widowers, even though they seem to get more support and encouragement to remarry...which is a whole nother post all together, lol) need to know that no matter what, where they go, what they do that YOU will be there to love them, support them, cry with them, laugh with them, rejoice with them, and be there to help them and their children for as long as you all shall live!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Beautiful Heartbreak

So its been 14-ish months since I last wrote on here and let me tell you...its been a roller coaster. Two days after Christmas of 2012 I went on a blind date. My wonderful friends set me up with a guy they know, actually my friend's husband worked with this guy. We had probably the LONGEST first date ever...he is a police officer and was working so we met up for dinner. Then he asked if I wanted to go on a ride along with him, of course I said yes and we had a huge call come in and I was stuck in a police car until 5am!! It was so fun and we hit it off so well that I gave him my number and told him to call me.

To make a seriously long story short we dated for 8 months. I was totally and completely head over heels and happy. All of our children (my 4 and his 2) hit it off with us and each other. We did things together just about every day. He met my Mom and my sister and they both really liked him. I saw him on July 4th and everything was great and...I haven't seen him since. He hasn't responded to any calls, texts or email and let me tell you...to say that is has been hard would be the understatement of the year!

Not only has my heart been broken but my children's hearts as well. They loved him and his children. Finding a man to date as a LDS widow is hard enough but when that relationship ends is even harder because when things end you start grieving all over again. I have gone through the whole entire "cycle of grief" many times since July. Not only have I been dealing with the cycle of grief but not getting any closure has also caused me to question everything about myself and try to figure out what it was about me that caused this to end. Did I go into depression? Yes! Has it been hard to get myself out of it? Yes! I have been trying to "get over it" but I was so invested in this relationship that I have had a really hard time. One of the hardest things have been trying to find the delicate balance of mending my heart but not letting it turn to stone to protect myself.

I have turned to relationship self help books, talking to a few close people to get a different perspective, turning to the Scriptures to find something that would help and all of those things did but not all the way. Since I am a very musical person I figured there had to be a song out there that could help me and surprise...there was! There is a song by Hilary Weeks that I have heard lots of times but it didn't touch me until trying to get over this heartbreak. These are the lyrics of the song, Beautiful Heartbreak:

I had it all mapped out in front of me, 
Knew just where I wanted to go; 
But life decided to change my plans, 
And I found a mountain in the middle of my road. 

I knew there was no way over it, 
So I searched for a way around; 
Brokenhearted I started climbin', 
And at the top I found... 

Every fear, every doubt, 
All the pain I went through; 
Was the price that I paid to see this view; 
And now that I'm here I would never trade... 

The grace that I feel, 
And the faith that I find; 
Through the bitter-sweet tears, 
And the sleepless nights; 

I used to pray he'd take it all away, 
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak. 

I never dreamed my heart would make it, 
I thought about turning around; 
But heaven has shown me miracles, 
I never would have seen from the ground. 

Now I take the rain with the sunshine, 
Cause there's one thing that I know; 
He picks up the pieces, 
Along each broken road. 

Every fear, every doubt, 
All the pain I went through; 
Was the price that I paid to see this view; 
And now that I'm here I would never trade... 

The grace that I feel, 
And the faith that I find; 
Through the bitter-sweet tears, 
And the sleepless nights. 

I used to pray he'd take it all away, 
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak. 

I would never trade... 

The grace that I feel, 
And the faith that I find; 
Through the bitter-sweet tears, 
And the sleepless nights. 

I used to pray he'd take it all away, 
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak.

Sadly, this beautiful relationship turned into a beautiful heartbreak. I am still on the mend with this whole situation but I have learned this: I fell in love, 100%. I loved this past year more than I thought I was going to. It was a huge testimony to me of the capacity that our hearts have to love, loving more people does not diminish the love we already have for others, it increases it 100 fold.  I am thankful for this guy and that he showed me that I am fully able to love again, I am also able to love children that aren't my own and the idea of having "step-kids" excites me, I have no regrets with this relationship and because of it and how it ended I have been able to stretch myself and strengthen my faith in my Savior who took me by the hand and lifted me up out of the depths of despair during those long, tear filled nights. I look forward to the day that a man will take this Widow and love her for her and love her children as his own, until that time happens I will continue to learn and improve myself from this beautiful heartbreak

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Poor Me

I have known for a while that I needed to write something but honestly...my life has been so stinkin' boring that I couldn't think of anything to say!! I mean I don't want to be a whiner and just write "poor me" posts all the time, gosh I need some adventure in my life!! Sadly this is going to be a "poor me" type of post, I have had a pretty hard time lately with my self esteem.

Clinton did such a fabulous job of boosting my self esteem...he would compliment me, thank me, tell me I am beautiful, be proud of me and my talents, basically he loved me no matter what. Just yesterday I was having an off day, I haven't had too many of those. I have battled with depression most of my adult life but thanks to some miracle from my Father in Heaven I haven't had many issues with my depression since Clint died. I know that is backwards but I feel like he took that trial from me to help me get through the trial of losing my husband. Sometimes thought, it sneaks up on me. I had a huge list of things yesterday that I couldn't lay off about myself they were:

1. My cold sore-yeah I know how lame is that...to be depressed over a cold sore, but I couldn't help it! I was feeling great, no stress (well I wasn't feeling stressed) and out of the blue a cold sore the size of Mount Rushmore appears by my lip. It felt like I had a neon sign on my face all day and people were staring at it. Honestly, I only really was upset by it because I have just started a new job where I interact with people all day long and lets face it...who wants to talk to a girl with Mount Rushmore on her face?

2. My weight-so I guess since seeing my nurse last month that I am feeling much better, so much in fact that I have GAINED 8 POUNDS!! I mean really, who in their right mind gains 8lbs in a month? I feel huge! Granted my face doesn't look so sickly anymore but I can't accept the fact in my brain that this has been a "healthy" 8lbs. I have gone from eating toddler sized portions (if I could even eat that much) to normal portions and now I get all bloated from eating and I kick myself from eating all the food on my normal sized plate. This I suppose is a battle in my head but I am terrified of gaining back all of the 100lbs that I have lost.

3. My voice-throwing up and acid reflux is not, and I repeat NOT good for your vocal cords. Since June I had been throwing up quite a bit and the majority of the time I would wake up in the middle of the night with my throat burning due to the fact that I had stomach acid in my throat. I have been singing but not to the best of my ability. There is a version of O Holy Night that we are singing in my choir and the sopranos go up to an A, easy peasy right? Wrong...normally I can sing that no problem but these last few rehearsals I am singing along get to that point in the song and nothing...I mean nothing is coming out. I can't hit the note, heck I can't even sing anything for a few minutes. I have serious vocal fatigue after rehearsals and I can't even talk normal afterwards. I am worried that I have some damage to my vocal cords from the stomach acid but I have no insurance so I can't go see a Dr to have that checked out. Singing is my only talent and it gets me through the hard times...what am I going to do if I can't do that anymore?

4. My house and car-these two things have been put on the back burner these past several months. When I was really sick I could really only do the necessities just to get us  by. My house needs deep cleaned and my car...yuck...desperately needs to be cleaned out and detailed. I feel so overwhelmed with it all that I don't even know where to start. I am finally to the point where I don't tire easily anymore and so I can do a little at a time with it all to get it in order but it is just frustrating that I can't do it all right now.

5. My job-now don't get me wrong this job has been a huge blessing but it has been a mental challenge for me to be ok with it. I have been a stay at home Mom for 9yrs and even when I was first married I only worked for fun and I was supposed to be a stay at home Mom for the rest of my life because Clinton could support us. I know my kids are self sufficient they are 10, 9, 6 and almost 5 but it is hard to not be here for them 24/7.

6.My loneliness-oh how I miss having that one special person to love me no matter what my faults are. I miss having someone to hold and hold me, someone who cares about my day, someone that can help me with my kids, someone who calls me or sends me flowers just because. I know that I am not alone but I still feel lonely. I have so much love to give but nobody to give that love to. I didn't realize how much I missed having all that and more, until this week.

So as I was sitting at home all day long dwelling on those 6 things plus all of my other short comings I went on to facebook and starting browsing around my LDS Widows and Widowers group and all of their postings. This is an amazing group of people...people from all over that have joined a club that nobody wants to belong to. This group has amazing strength and wisdom, yes we do at times bicker like siblings but we have so much love and respect for each other. Anyways they were sharing some scriptures that have helped them lately and a couple of them applied to me, they were:

"Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks; waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament - the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted." DC 98:1-2

"But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come." DC 59:23

 "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious, and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more." DC 78:19

This last one isn't a scripture but a quote from an Apostle of my church, he said  “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1917–2008), “Come What May, and Love It,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 28.

Wow, talk about an eye-opener!! The Lord hears my prayers and if I continue on in righteousness I will have peace and eternal life. The Lord will make up for my loss, I just have to be patient and wait for that to happen. Lastly, I need to be thankful for everything that has been given to me so that I can continue being blessed. Such simple truths and they are things that I can forget when things get overwhelming. It is time for me to do better and put these to use. I have started a gratitude journal for the month and it has been such a wonderful thing for me to do. I have been able to see all of the blessings in my life. I can't wait to share them with you when this month is over. I hope that maybe you have learned something from this "poor me" post that can help you overcome your "poor me" days.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A little matter of life and death

Normally I have issues with the month of September for some two pretty valid reasons 1. My Mom's house caught on fire 3yrs ago with my two sons and my sister in the house and 2. 3 weeks after my Mom's house fire is when Clinton passed away. So I usually have a hard time with this month because it is so full of memories and sad times. This year though I thought it was going to be different for me, I was ready for it and  was ready to turn it into a positive month but apparently that was not to be the case. I have had several other people that I know die this month and I have been sick for more than half of it. The sicknesses wouldn't normally be that big of an issue except for one of them it really became a matter of life and death for me. It all started the day the chicken-ka-bob tried to kill me.....

Let me preface this by saying that 2 1/2 yrs ago I went to Mexico and got the lap-band done, I didn't want to leave my kids orphaned because of my weight and also a guy straight up told me that I would never find love again as long as I was that heavy. *Sigh* the things we do for love, right? Anyways on with the story...

 In June I went to AZ and had my nurse tighten my lap-band so I could lose the last 20-30lbs and finally hit my 100lb mark. I realized on my way home that it was too tight because I had a hard time drinking water but when I lose weight it also loosens the lap-band so I  figured I would be ok but I have had to eat really crunchy food or soft food. One day this month my sister Valerie bought chicken-ka-bobs for dinner and I grilled them up and we ate them and after my first bite of chicken I realized something was wrong. Apparently I didn't chew the chicken enough (we are told to chew our food at least 30 times before swallowing)  and I created a blockage. 

I have never had a blockage before so I wasn't sure what was going on but I had a slight idea, I kept on throwing up but the chicken wouldn't come out. I really thought that if I threw up enough that would dislodge the chicken and I would be ok. I spent the next six days not being able to eat or drink anything and throwing up. I was surprised that being so dehydrated that I still had stuff to throw up but I did, there was no relief from it. 

 I was starving, severely dehydrated and amazingly still throwing up when I felt I had nothing left in me. My urine was dark, dark yellow/brown. I know you are wondering why I didn't go to the hospital. I thought about it over and over again but I don't have any health insurance or money to go there, I am still paying on my broken fingers from last year. It got to the point where I really couldn't walk, if I had to go anywhere I had to crawl and that would take all of my energy, I kept a bowl by the couch to throw up in. All I could do was drag myself out of bed and lay on the couch where Alizabeth became my nurse during the day. If I felt cold to her she would cover me up and take off the blanket if I felt hot, she would sit right next to me and talk to me. Every time I think back on this I just cry when I realize how scared my baby girl must have been. She was so brave, she really has it in her to become a nurse, she would even try to get me to drink but I just couldn't 

I remember the first couple of days but the next 4-5 days are a blur. I had a friend ask me how I was (she knew I was sick but didn't know with what or how bad) and I told her I was in and out of consciousness, she laughed but little did she know that was the actual truth. I don't remember much of those days but I do remember thinking "a person can only survive 7 days without water...how many days has it been?" The morning of the 6th day I asked Heavenly Father not to take me but if he had to then to please wait until my sister got home so my kids didn't have to deal with it alone I can't believe that I actually had to have that conversation with Heavenly Father but right then and there I knew that I would not leave my kids orphaned, as much as I love and miss Clint I am not ready to see him yet. My kids need me here way more than he needs me there and I let Heavenly Father know all of this and that if I could stay then he needed to tell me what to do. I had no idea who to call and I didn't have much strength to make many phone calls...I needed an answer and the strength to do what I needed to do. 

Suddenly I had a clear mind and I made the phone call to my nurse in AZ. Her first response was for me to get to her asap so she could take my fill out of my lap-band but then I reminded her that I was in ID. She was so nervous and told me a couple of things to try and if it didn't work then I promised her to get to the hospital. Thankfully the couple of things she told me to do worked and I was able to keep down a teaspoon of beef broth. When Valerie cam home from work I let her know that I called that nurse and what she said to do. The look of relief was imminent on her face, she was so worried that she was going to lose me if she couldn't convince me to go to the hospital and she was eager to get started on what the nurse said to do. I had to stay up all night sipping a teaspoon of beef broth every 30min or so but I was finally getting fluid into me. She sent me a prescription that would open my esophagus and force through the food that was causing the block and with that, the bags of ice I had on my chest to get the swelling in my esophagus down and the sipping of beef broth I was finally heading in the right direction.

Honestly this may not sound so scary to most of you but I have never been so scared in my life. I know several friends who were hospitalized for what I just went through and they too were close to death. It truly was terrifying and I know now that it isn't my time to go. I am still really weak and tired all the time, I need to up my water intake but my lap-band is still too tight so I can't drink more water. I now worry about the effect this has had on my organs but I can only hope and pray nothing too bad has happened. I hope to save up money and get to AZ and get my fill out so I can get my body recovered properly. I told my friend that this ordeal rocked my world,..and not in a good way. This has really shaken me up and at the same time opened my eyes to what is really that important in my life...my kids. This life is for so much more than all the rushing around that we do...running errands, cleaning the house, taking kids to and from more practices than is good for them. Our family should be our biggest priority I remember reading this from  "President David O. McKay:

" 'The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.' (Family Home Evening Manual 1968-69, p. iii.)"

I now know with out a shadow of a doubt that my family is going to be my top priority and I also learned that I have an amazing life ahead of me full of happiness and love. Sadly it took a brush with death to teach me this, maybe I am just that stubborn. I am now looking forward to my future with great excitement, I can't wait to start the wonderful life that lies ahead of me. I am also so grateful to still be here to day to write this story for you, life is good and should be filled with those that you love. So live it happily and 

“Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great purpose in heart.” - Gordon B. Hinckley

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Birth Leads to a Day of Mixed Emotins

I am pretty darn excited because I just had a very first happen to me but at the same time I am sad because I don't have that "special someone" to call and tell all about it. My sister Robin had a beautiful baby girl on Monday, August 6th at 4;38pm. Her name is Emma Rae and she was 7lbs 6.5oz, 20in long and absolutely the sweetest thing ever!! That was the first time  have ever been in a delivery room that didn't consist of me having a c-section and stressing if my baby was still alive or not. I feel so blessed to be able to fly out to Missouri and be here for Robin and Eddie and I feel even more blessed that they asked me to stay in the room with them while Robin delivered. 

It was the most amazing thing to be a part of, I am in total awe of the strength of the Moms as they go through such a hard thing and then seeing on her face that the sweet gift from Heaven was totally worth all the pain. I now know how Clint and my Mom felt when I was in labor with my oldest son, Mathew, you want so badly to take their pain away and feel completely helpless but then you swell with pride after she delivers the baby that it just makes you cry. It is completely emotionally and physically draining!!

After Emma was born I was completely beside myself and I wished so badly that I could call someone that loves me and I could tell them all about it and have them share in my joy but I don't have anyone and then that night I sat and thought about all the dates I have gone on and my annoyance with it all and then that put me in a bad mood so I ate some cake. lol I almost got on the computer and blogged out my emotions but I hate blogging when I am in a bad mood because then the whole blog is negative and nobody likes a "negative Nancy" so I have taken a few days to think about it and am now ready to blog. :) So let me tell you about what I have discovered about the types of men I have dated..

I am almost positive I have said this before but I will say it again, being a widow in my church is a hard thing. Most men are looking for someone they can spend Eternity with and since I am already sealed to Clint that puts me out of the running (due to some technical stuff that I don't care to explain right now, just take my word on it). So I need to find a man who will love me, my kids and be OK with us being married "'Til Death Do Us Part". 

Here are 5 categories I have lumped the men that I have dated into:

Never Married Man: now I haven't gone on a date with a guy who has never been married  mostly because they hear the word "widow" and they high-tail it in the different direction. I have danced with a never been married guy and when I said I was widowed he said "hmm...please excuse me" and leaves me standing there in the middle of the dance floor while the song is still playing. Yep, pretty humiliating.

Divorcee: I have dated a some divorcees and actually in a relationship with one guy. It was pretty good at first and he was accepting of the fact that I couldn't be sealed to him. Then I found out the truth about him...he was still married (they were going to file for divorce but hadn't yet) and he was dating another girl while he was dating me and legally married to his wife. Never in my life did I think that I would be cheated on while being the "other woman". As soon as I figured that out I dropped his sorry butt and he is now officially divorced and actually married to the other girl he was dating. So lets just say that after that fiasco, I have some trust issues with the divorcees...you know like not getting the whole story. Yeah, I felt used, betrayed and so horrible after that. 

Widower: now I am going to be truthful here and say that my ideal companion will be a Widower, they will understand more of what my children and I have gone through and more accepting of my sealing with Clint...well most of them. I have dated some Widowers and they are great men, granted it takes some getting used to when you can openly talk about your deceased spouse  but it is nice to not have any jealousy from either person about the previous spouse because you are in the same boat. The biggest issue I have found is that Widowers are in high demand and there are thousands of Widows for them to choose from. There is always someone prettier, skinnier and more interesting for them to choose from. They also tend to befriend you, give you attention that you have been craving and then push you aside for a new friend. I am still trying to figure them out. lol

God's Gift to You: this category can consist with men from any of the previous categories. These men are interesting because they come off as so nice, considerate and even tell you that they don't care that you are a Widow. They start looking for things that you are interested in and seem almost perfect and then when you decide its not going to work for whatever reason then they turn pretty mean. They then go on to tell you that nobody else is going to want to marry you because you are a Widow so if you ever want to find happiness then you better not call it quits or you will be alone for the rest of your life. They also let you know that they will "sacrifice their Eternal happiness if they marry you but they would do that for you". Yeah I didn't want that hanging over my head for the next 60+ years.

 Friend:  The person that you click so well with and start off as friends because you get along so well, you trust them and confide many things in them and then all of a sudden you see a possible future together but they still have you in the friend category. This category is the hardest for me to maneuver, with the others they either break your heart or you have a successful relationship. There is no dancing around the relationship status. But the friend category is one where you can be stuck in forever because you don't want to spoil the friendship by telling the other person your true feelings. This category still bugs me because I can't seem to find a good solution for it.

This is what I have been stewing over for the past several days and honestly I feel better about everything but I still have a sense of longing for a companion. I know it will happen in the Lord's time and I guess I do get some pretty good stories out of everything from the dating world. So until Heavenly Father decides to send me my companion I will just keep chugging on, writing my stories and for the next two days soak up as much newborn love as I can before I head home and back to reality!!!! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Did you ever have question that was asked to you as a teenager and you knew that if you answered what was in your heart it would annoy the person asking it? Yeah, I know there are quite a few of those types of questions but I am referring to one in particular that always made me feel that way. It was the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" question. I hated that question, it always made my head hurt which in turn caused me to have a major Dr.Pepper addiction. I think why it annoyed me was because I knew exactly what other people thought I should be come (a music teacher of some sort) and I knew my answer wasn't "acceptable" to society (a wife and mother).

I knew from an early age that all I wanted to be was a wife and mother...well after I got over the whole idea of wanting to become a baby doctor and a singer. I loved kids and I wanted to be the best mother and wife in the whole wide world. I was able to be a wife and mother for 8 1/2yrs, I had an amazing husband who worked hard so I could stay at home with our children. I eventually started selling Mary Kay so that I could have some girl time, extra spending money and he took care of the kids so that I could do that. Sadly all of that came to an end almost 3yrs ago, when my wonderful husband lost his fight to cancer.

You may be wondering why I am talking about this now. Well the truth is I realized a year ago that I am in need of a job. So I went to Dental Assisting school and enjoyed it (didn't love it but I caught on quickly and usually the pay is great) and haven't been able to find a job. When I think about what would make me happy I think of being a wife and mother. I am no longer a wife and have realized that I was a way better mother when I had a husband who would back me up and help with the load. My kids get survivor's benefits from their Dad and we have had several letters telling us we may not get their money on a specific month because they are running out of money. It has been a scary year for me, if we don't get that money that will leave my kids and I homeless.

I started looking at my options of what to do: I could push Mary Kay, I did well with it and enjoyed myself but I lost all of my customers when I stopped doing it all the time once Clint started getting even more sick with his cancer, so I will have to start all over. I could sell life insurance again but I tried last year and realized I only enjoyed that because I was doing it for Clint and he isn't here to be my partner in it. I have tried finding a dental assisting job but I have no experience and haven't found a dentist willing to take a chance on me. Then that opens a whole new can of worms...what do I do with my kids when I am working a full time job, how do I afford day care for all of them, how can I still be the Mom they need right now as they continue to adjust to life without their Dad while I am working full time? I have thought about giving voice lessons and doing preschool music classes out of my home but I don't have a degree or anything so why would people want to send their kid to a random person's house that "knows a lot about music and really likes to sing"?

Some days I just want to hide under my covers and forget about the job situation that is constantly raining on me like eeyore's rain cloud. This is just another thing that becoming a Widow throws at you, another problem that needs solved without the guidance of a spouse. I just have to remember that I need to have faith. I have been told that I will teach my children the meaning of sacrifice and I guess that applies to getting some sort of job and sacrificing my time with them and having faith that Heavenly Father will fill in the gaps. I came across this quote that really hit home to me "...the truer measure of sacrifice isn't so much what one gives to sacrifice as what one sacrifices to give. Faith isn't tested so much when the cupboard is full as when it is bare. In these defining moments, the crisis doesn't create one's character it reveals it."
--Lynn G. Robbins, "Tithing, a Commandment Even for the Destitute," Ensign, May 2005, 34

Our faith is constantly being tested and I hope and pray that the character that is revealed is one that we can be proud of. So off I go to try and provide for my family while having faith...this should be interesting!

oh, p.s. I am going to a Mary Kay meeting tonight so I guess I decided to start with that and see where it takes me. If anyone needs a Mary Kay consultant tell them about me or have them check out my website www.marykay.com/aflake    lol, it is shameful of me to promote myself on here but I gotta start somewhere!! :)