Monday, December 23, 2013

What I Know For Sure

I will be the first person to admit that I don't have all the answers.
I frequently question if I'm doing a good job at this thing called life.
I hope that I am.
I am beyond hesitant to even attempt this blog post, but given the circumstances, I can't help but feel compelled to. 
Last Friday same sex marriage was made legal in Utah by a federal judge.
I am a Mormon by faith, no secret there.
If you know anything about Mormonism, you know those two things don't mix.
It's like oil and water.
I believe in my faith, The Bible, The Book of Mormon and living prophets as much as I believe the sun will rise in the morning. 
It's a part of who I am, I truly believe I am who I am and where I am today because of my faith, it shaped my life and I live it as much as I possibly can.
If you know anything about how I grew up and my family circumstances you will believe me when I say my faith literally saved me.
I clung to it like a lifeline when everything else unraveled around me, it saved me from dark paths and bad choices.
I wish I could go into more detail about that, but this is not the post for that, maybe another time.
As much as I am Mormon, Mr Bird's sister is lesbian.
She and her partner have 2 beautiful sons.
Their lifestyle is just as much a part of their life as my Mormon faith is to mine.
They live it, they breath it, they love it.
They have been together since before Mr Bird and I even met, I don't even know for sure how long they've been together.
I do know their oldest son was 3 years old when I met the Weaver clan.
And can I say, he was absolutely the cutest little boy I had ever seen to that point.
 He literally captured my heart from day one.
He was always so happy and kind and giving.
And his eyes, they were to. die. for.
I could go on and on about him.
A few months before Beano was born they had another son.
Their second son is Beano's favorite cousin.
They are our favorite people to go camping with and to Bear Lake with and to have at Weaver Sunday.
So can you see my dilemma?
The dilemma the Weaver family has faced for over 15 years?
This week in particular I am feeling torn between my faith and this part of my amazing family whom I love dearly.
It feels as though a gaping whole has opened up and is dividing our family in two.
It breaks my heart and I have no idea what to do about it.
None of this changes how I feel about my family.
I still love them to pieces and would do anything for them.
With opposite views on this hot topic in this state it's easy to think that one of us is wrong.
One of us has to be wrong, and I honestly don't know which one of us it is.
I have not seen an angel or heard the voice of God telling me one way or the other, and as far as I know, neither have they.
I guess it's just one of those things we'll have to wait and ask when we stand before our maker when this life is over.
But for now we each think we are right, respectively.
So again, like so many times in my life I admit I don't have all the answers.
But here are a few things I do know for sure:
  • God loves each and every one of us the same, no matter if you're black or white, rich or poor, Mormon or Jew or Muslim or lesbian or anything in between.
  • I only pretend to know what I am doing most of the time.
  • It is not my job to tell people what to do, I have a hard enough time deciding what I should do myself, let alone getting these 5 small people who call me mom to do what I tell them to do.
  • I love chocolate so, so much and eat it anytime it's available to me. 
  • I am not perfect, nor will I be in this life nor will any of you, so can we all just get on with the serious business of loving each other already?
  • Christ is the answer, I have complete faith that He is the only one that can and will make sense out of this for us one day, and it will be all right.
  • Every single person was placed on this earth with agency and the right to choose and to live the best life we can, the life that makes us happy. We answer to no one but God.
  • My Mormon faith is my truth and makes me happy just as much as their life makes them happy and is their truth.
  • I have no idea how those two things can both be truth, yet they do seem to be. Or  are they? I'm so confused.
  • This life is short and we find happiness when we love one another and find ways to bridge the gap.
  • I have enough of my own sins to worry about without worrying about if what someone else is doing is a sin or not.
  • All we need is love, and chocolate. Every single person craves love and acceptance (and chocolate, unless you're one of the weird ones that doesn't).
  • This is getting really cheesy, embrace the cheese.
  • Being hurtful and judgmental and even having a greater than thou attitude are not attributes I want to have. 
  • Family First, always and forever and no matter what!
  • I can not stand the thought of having this issue divide our family or ruin future camping trips.
  • I would do anything for my family, even attend a same sex marriage, because I love them and I know that that act speaks volumes of the love I have for them, I really would do anything for them.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beautiful Burdens

Today is Winter Solstice. 
The shortest day of the year, and the first day of winter.
From here on out, slowly, the daylight will linger a little longer until eventually there will be enough sunlight to call the days Spring.
In Utah the winters are long and cold and stunning.

We had freezing rain the other day in the wee hours of the morning. 
By daylight the drops had turned to flakes which stuck, then froze fast to the ice encrusted world at our fingertips.
The result was nothing short of stunning, magical and breathtaking.
Every time I look outside this is what I see.

 I can not think of any thing more lovely for Christmas, which is just days away.
Talk about a Winter Wonderland, up close and in person.
But if you look closely at the trees you'll see something else.
Some of the branches are bending beneath the weight, literally breaking off and crashing to the ground.
A huge branch of one of the gnarled together bunch of trees at the end of our road broke beneath the heavy snow and ice, blocking the road for a short time.
Other branches on our tree lined road are hanging so low that our suburban hits them as we drive past.
How can something so beautiful be so heavy to bear?

This time of year, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and thus the putting into motion the grand plan of salvation God has in store for each of us and our families, I find myself asking the same question. 
His plan is simply stunning.
The love, the simplicity, the design.
To think He sent a Savior so that each of us could overcome sin and death takes my breath away.
I wonder that He suffered for me.
For my shortcomings and blatant sins, which are many.
For my heartbreaks.
At times I feel as though my heartstrings strain at the weight and are ready to snap, much like the fragile branches under the thick snow and ice.
A few short days ago my dear brother-in-law, Brad, lost his battle with cancer, and did he ever fight the good fight!
He never backed down, not for a second.
I still can hardly believe that such a mighty man as Brad can possibly be gone.
He is the newest angel in heaven, watching over his beloved wife and children and grandchildren.
He was too young to leave us this way.
How could he go with most of his grandchildren still unborn, one in the womb this very moment?
Then, a couple days ago was the anniversary of my mother-in-laws passing.
The sting of my children's sweet grandmother being taken is still so fresh.
It's been six years and their memories of her are beginning to fade, which absolutely crushes me.
The loss of my mother figure, my example of how to be a wife and make a marriage with a difficult man last, seemed more than I could hold.
My heart is broken.
I haven't made it thorough a day this season without the tears falling in torrents.
I seem to be going through the Christmas motions, mostly for the kids.
But along with the tears there is incredible joy and peace and gratefulness and beauty.

At times like these it's vital to think of God's beautiful, flawless plan.
Logically we know that death is a certain part of that plan, it simply would not work if none of us ever faced death.
I can't help see the beauty of it, as well as the burden of this life, which for those of us still here, must go on.
It's up to us now to square our shoulders and bear the weight of it all. 
But we need not bear it alone.
"Come unto me!" He said, "For my burden is easy and my yolk is light."
So here's to yet another Christmas season encrusted in sorrow and joy and beauty and life and grief and gratitude for a tiny babe born in a stable.
I wonder if Christmas would be so beautiful and meaningful without the depth and weight of all the sorrow and our absolute dependence on His Only Begotten Son.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mini Me

Lately  M&M is Doodle's little shadow.
She loves her big sister so much and wants to be like her in every possible way.
As soon as Doodle gets home from school the two of them are stuck together at the hip.
I love watching the two of them together so, so much.
It does my mother heart good.
Doodle wanted a little sister for so long, and now she's finally big enough to play with.
Doodle will crochet leashes and attach them to her little sister and lead her all around the house.
And M&M just eats it up!
She becomes a doggie one minute and a horse the next.
Anything to have time with her big sister.
I think Doodle's really excited to start her own sister Saturday just as soon as the two of them are big enough.
It wouldn't surprise me if she started it the Saturday after she gets her driver's license!
Doodle has taken harp lessons for the last year and a half.
Just like everything else, M&M follows her to the harp as she practices.
She sits in on every lesson, most of the time on her teacher's lap.
Whenever Doodle leaves the harp uncovered M&M is right there, plucking the strings.
It's not long before Doodle or Mr Bird or I comes over and tells M&M not to touch the harp.
It is easily the most expensive thing in our home.
Our rule is that you have to take harp lessons in order to touch the harp.
Doodle is very protective of it and even gets upset if Mr Bird or I touch it.
Thant's one thing about harpists, to say they are protective of their instrument is a gross understatement.
They can become like a mother bear protecting their young.
So it was no surprise that when we went to play music at my sister in laws house one Sunday evening (her daughter, my niece, is Doodle's harp teacher) and they let M&M play the tiny harp she immediately became very protective.

Little man came over and sat next to her on the couch and the first thing she did was look him straight in the eye and with a glare that would stop a terrorist cold in his tracks said, "DON'T TOUCH MY HARP!" 

Ah, the sign of a true harpist!