Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thank you to my dear friends and family who give my life meaning! I named my blog, Simply Joyful, for a reason. In the scriptures we read that men are that they might have joy! I started this blog after a period in my life where I certainly was not in joy. In fact, I found myself in so much pain, darkness and depression that I didn't know how to get out. Lucky for me, my husband (who is my hero) got me the help that could put me on a path to healing. I believe that there is opposition in all things. I'm not always crazy about that principle, but I trust that God knows better than I do. I've always loved and longed for spiritual things and experiences. I just didn't understand that by going on this path to the extent that I did, I would come face to face with darkness, which nearly destroyed me.

Today I feel joy! I feel peace! I feel gratitude! One of the reasons I have these feelings is for unbelievable family and friends who witnessed me falling from my path and stepped in with love to help guide me back. I have family and friends that dropped everything they were doing and spent time with me to lovingly point me to the right direction. There were others that met the needs of my children and family when I was incapable of doing so. I've been surrounded by angels on both sides of the veil.

Losing Olivia was the catalyst in my life to truly wake up! I wouldn't have every day with my children. I needed to make sure my priorities were in the right place. Too often I forget or get busy and get a different wake up call. Being a mother is working in partnership with God, and he can make anything beautiful!

I was writing my son Christian recently who is serving a mission for our church in Chile. I included a quote in my letter from a book that states:

"Man has learned to do magnificent thingsbuild pyramids, construct bridges, erect towering office buildings, lay down highways. But as man builds, nature immediately begins to undo his work, rusting away the iron and decaying the wood. On the other hand, if man plants, nature proceeds to complete his unfinished work. Man sows a seed; up comes wheat. Man plants a sapling; up comes a tree. Such is the difference between working alone and working with God."

I would rather build with God than on my own any day!
I feel gratitude to my Father in Heaven, for stepping in and creating beauty from ashes in my life. These are a few of the flowers in my garden today! I love planting flowers and creating beautiful gardens! He is the author of beauty! When I look out into my garden I feel grateful that He has helped me create and see the beauty around me. Thank you my dear family and friends for your sunshine and influence in my life!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Memorial for Memorial Day

Since my daughter is buried in San Diego, and we can't be at her grave site on Memorial Day, I want to honor her by sharing my thoughts that I shared at her funeral 4 1/2 years ago. How grateful I am for eternal relationships! Olivia, I love you....xoxoxo

Never in a million years could I have prepared myself for the events that have taken place over the past week. Thank you for sharing our burden, for easing our pain. We’ve felt your prayers. We have been so overwhelmed at the love that we’ve felt since the loss of our beautiful daughter. I don’t know how anyone could make it through something so horrendous without family, friends and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'd like to share a quote from one of my favorite books, The Chosen:
Human beings do not live forever. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity……What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than a blink of an eye? I learned a long time ago that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man (or girl) who lives that span, she is something. She can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant.

Five short years ago to this very day, Olivia Grace traveled from her native land of Korea and was placed into my arms. My joy was exquisite and the bonding instant; absolutely no different than when I had given birth to my four other children. I was in love! The joining of our hearts on December 19, 2000 was the culmination of an incredible spiritual journey to bring her into our home.

There are many things that I do not know in this world, but I do know that Olivia was meant to enter our home. The call was strong, although at times, the flesh was weak. There were countless times through the adoption process that I would fall to my knees for strength and assurance because of my own insecurity to do such a thing. We already had four children of our own and I could have had another child, but it was clear to me what the Lord wanted. Because of that assurance I told Matt: “I don’t dare NOT follow through on these promptings.” Olivia’s name comes from the allegory in Jacob 5 about the Olive tree. She would be as the olive branch from another part of the Lord’s vineyard and be grafted or sealed into our family. Grace means a blessing from God
Although the pain has been unbelievably intense and I’ve agonized over and over and over the heart wrenching events of the past week, today I feel peace and blessed knowing she is safely back to our Father in Heaven and the Savior, Jesus Christ. Just hours before her passing, she asked me to cradle her in my arms and hold her like a baby. I know the Savior is doing the same for her.

Many of you have asked if there is anything that you could do. You've already shared our burdens, helped ease our pain, mourned with us, but there is something I want to ask each of you to do in Olivia’s honor. I would give anything to have more time with Olivia. You have that time with your own children, and so do I with my 4 beautiful, incredible remaining children. Please give your children a thousand more hugs and kisses, play more games, read more stories, take more walks, have more date nights, be more patient and loving, eliminate cross words, and cuddle with them…… like there is no tomorrow. LOVE – the most powerful force on earth


Family photo the day Olivia was sealed to us in the Bountiful Temple.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Begin Again in 2010

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day, and she said that her family had a new motto for this year ---- Begin Again in 2010. They had some discord over the past year and decided as a family to start the year out fresh rather than hang on to old baggage and tension. I thought that was a great catchy motto and have been pondering the idea of "Beginning Again in 2010".

In the scriptures we read that men are that they might have joy. If that is the purpose of our existence, then why isn't everyone joyful? One of the surest ways to find joy is to live in the present! I've learned this the hard way as I desperately tried to hang on to the past. Joy might also slip by us as we are focusing and planning on the future.

One of my goals for the new year is to stay riveted to the present. I have many wonderful friends and family that do a great job of living in the present and just "being". The above photo is of my husband and two sons on one of their many outdoor adventures. Matt definitely knows and strives to live in the present. You've got to check out my dear friend Stefany's blog that captures the beauty of being present and living in each moment. I promise it will be worth your time -

I really love this poem that I just came across by Helen Mallicoat and wanted to share it:

I was regretting the past
And fearing the future....
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
"MY NAME IS I AM." He paused.
I waited. He continued,




Have a joy filled day with love and light!!