Monday, August 10, 2009

The Evolution of Me

I swear it was just last week I was lamenting about yet another birthday sneaking up on me.
Yet here I find myself on the Eve of the Anniversary of my birth, again!
Somehow the years keep passing faster and faster.
Where is the pause button?

Last night my wonderful sister-in-law who is actually more like my real sister, Lisa had a wonderful birthday dinner for me at her house.

I asked if I could make my own birthday cake. She said of course (she loves my cakes almost as much as I do)!

You see, I like to make my own cake because I like to know what's in it. I don't want any box mix filled with heaven only knows what toxic chemicals, so I feel much better making them from scratch, with wholesome ingredients like butter and sugar!

I was telling my really real sister about my birthday cake this morning and she insisted it was just not right that I had to make myself a birthday cake.
She is still traumatized by the time when she was a kid, I believe it was just after my parent's brutal divorce, when my mom literally forced her to make herself a birthday cake.
She said even now she would rather go without a cake than have to make her own.
This conversation got me thinking about myself.
I did not have the ideal upbringing, far from it. My parents divorced when I was very small.
I don't know many of the details of what happened way back then.
I have heard my moms version of the story and I have heard my dad's version.
Surprisingly they are completely different.
Polar opposite in fact.
As I was growing up there was not a lot of love in my single mother home. My mom struggled with depression and rarely put her book down long enough to look me in the eye, let alone have a conversation about my life.
My dad struggled with alcoholism and always lived far away. Visits from him were slim to none. When he did come around I felt scared and confused as to how I was supposed to act around this man who claimed to be my father.
All these circumstances did not play well on my self esteem.
I felt unloved, unworthy, I wondered why I was so unlovable. I wondered if I was even worth loving. Most times I felt like a shadow.
I had no voice of my own and making a decision was like trying to get oil from a water spout.
And conflict? Forget it! I would have rather crawled under a rock with a rattle snake than face any type of conflict.
Yet somehow forces were at work with me. When I was a teenager I had many very influential friends and church leaders. Many of whom I thank to this day for their love and examples of what family is supposed to be. I saw their families and I knew that I wanted a good happy family of my own when I grew up.
Through the principles of the gospel I learned that our choices determine our futures.
Good Choices=Happiness
Bad Choices=Sadness and suffering
(I had seen that 1st hand from my parents)
I decided as a young adult I needed to be living the kind of life I wanted.
I struggled through the feelings of abandonment and found safety in my Father in Heavens love for me. To this day the power of the Atonement has made me the person I am now.
I still have my struggles, but boy, have I come a long way.

This morning I found myself telling my sister, "I love myself just as much as I love my kids, why shouldn't I make myself a cake?"
Did you hear that? I love myself!

I am confident in the woman I have become. I love my home and my family and I know what I want for them. I love the fact that I home school my kids and that I can do it with confidence and love. I love our mini farm and giggling children. I love making healthy meals for my family and knowing I am giving them the absolute best that I can. I really do love who I have become. I feel like my Father in Heaven loves me too and is daily aware of me and my hopes and dreams. All of my dreams for myself way back then have come true, and then some! I feel like, with His help, I could climb mountains.

Oh wait, I already have!


Emma said...

What a fabulous birthday post! I didn't know much about your home life growing up. But I always thought you were so sweet! I'm so glad you are a confident woman, and doing what is best for you and your family! Happy Birthday!!

Kent said...

Sara, you need to know that I love the woman you have become too! You have exceeded everything that Mom and I could see in you when we excitedly approved you for our daughter-in-law. You have fully met and exceeded all that could be desired in a wife for my "great" son, and met and exceeded all that we could have wanted for a mother to our grandchildren. Happy Birthday one more time!

Amanda said...

Sara,happy, happy birthday!! I hope your day is special- you deserve it!
Your post was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

Karen said...

Sara, you are and always have been a wonderful person. I'm so glad you know it, too!

And Happy belated Birthday!

The Lazy Organizer said...

Happy Birthday!!! You are an amazing and happy woman. I am working on being more like you.

My kids think it's a privilege to make their own birthday cakes too. You mom just wasn't tricky enough!