Thursday, August 15, 2013

Life Lessons

I'm sitting here with my sweet, colicky little angel doing what we do at 11 p.m. on bad nights. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and semi-crazy I am feeling really grateful. This was a good week for me spiritually. I gained a new perspective that I hope I can implement in my life and really learn to live this way more consistently. This week I had the privilege of attending the funeral of my paternal grandmother, Lyle Jackman Swensen. Growing up I did not get to interact with her a whole lot because we lived so far away. I got to know her better when I moved to Idaho to attend BYU-Idaho. When life got stressful or hard I would take weekend trips to Grace to escape the pressure. Grandma and Grandpa were always there and always willing to accommodate me and my roommates. I really appreciated that. It was nice to know that I had family away from my own immediate family and that there was always a safe place to land when life wasn't fun. I enjoyed those quiet, peaceful memories that we made during those years. However, I feel like I got to know a lot of things I did not know about my grandma this weekend and I was profoundly touched by the spirit I felt as we gathered as her family.  Here are some of the lessons I learned from my grandma this week: 

My grandma was real and she was humble. She did not put on a show for people. What you saw was what you got. She was genuine in all she did.  My aunts found a life history that she had written and they were able to read from her own words her life story. It was simple and profound. Her great character came through and she taught me about loyalty, sincerity, humor, and love. I am grateful that she took the time to do that.  It was a teaching moment for me and I am thankful she kept that record of her thoughts and her feelings. 

I also learned that family comes first. My grandma raised 8 children in a tiny home. I honestly do not know how she did it. It boggles my mind.  They did not have much in the way of luxury, but they had more than they could have ever wanted in love. As I listened to her children tell stories and reminisce about her life, it was such a testimony to me that our children don't need things. They need our time, our concern, and most importantly they need to know we love them. They need to know that family comes first above anything and everything else. Even if they are not making the decisions that we as parents wish they would, they need to know that they are loved and worthy of that love. I believe that her children knew that no matter what they did, who they were, or the mistakes they made they always had a shoulder to cry on and someone who believed in their potential. She loved each one of them where they were at in life and would be there for each of them no matter what. That was evident to me in watching all 8 of them cry together, laugh together, and remember together. It instilled in me a desire to worry less about the things that don't matter and teach my children to love each other and value their family relationships above all else. 

 I learned that humor helps. We never know when things are going to happen. Life has a way of teaching us and humbling us in ways we do not expect. It is ok to laugh at ourselves and our situation.  If we can look for the good and the positive in every situation we find ourselves in we will be a lot happier in life. We may as well enjoy the time we have because life passes too quickly. As I sit here with my sweet baby on my lap I need to learn to enjoy these moments because all too soon she will be grown up and not need me like she needs me now. 

Lastly, I learned more about my grandma's faith. She loved the Lord. She cared more about what he thought about her than anything else. She was not afraid to die. She was not afraid to face her creator because she lived consistent to what she believed. She was not perfect. Her life was not always pretty, but that was ok because was at peace with herself, her decisions, and the way she carried herself in life. What a testimony!! I sincerely hope that when I get to that stage in life I can look back and say I did the best I could with what I had and the Savior made up for the rest. He took my flaws and my faults and helped me become better. I hope my children will gather around and share funny stories about the good and hard times. I hope they will know above anything else that I loved them and that I cared about them. I hope they know that I really do love the Lord. I hope they can find their way to having their own relationship with their Savior. I hope that when it is my time to go I can be at peace with myself and the path I have taken in this life. 

I am so thankful for my grandparents. I am grateful for my parents. I'm thankful for Jeremy's parents. I am thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who allows me these teaching moment. I hope that I can put them into action in my life. I hope that I can learn from them and not just let these teachings fall by the wayside. My sincerest desire is to live with my family forever. Both my immediate family and my extended family. I am grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and the understanding that these precious relationships can be perpetuated beyond the grave. This is was life is all about. 

After the funeral we were able to meet with my family and Jeremy's family and have Savannah's baby blessing. I am grateful to our good bishop who accommodated us and made this happen so that my parents could be part of it. I am thankful for a good husband who honors his priesthood and was able to give Savvy such a beautiful blessing. I'm also happy that her blessing dress wasn't too huge and she was able to wear it without it falling off:)  Here are some pictures of my beautiful girl and our lucky family: 

My dad, Jeremy's brother, Jeremy's dad, Jer, and Bishop Eschler

Jeremy's Parents

My parents and sister

Britton with his "necklace of power :)"

Mommy and Savvy

Love my family!

Beautiful girl

So thankful my dad could be here and be part of this

My sweetheart(s) 

Jeremy and his best friend from high school, Kyle

Thankful for Jeremy's family and their love and support

My mom and dad

Savvy also had her two month appointment this week. Sweet girl is up to 9 pounds (She gained 3 lbs in   6 weeks!) and is 21 inches long. She is still struggling with colic, but we love her and will keep her anyway! She LOVES to eat and is happy most of the time. She still tolerates her big brother loving on her and is a joy to have in our home. I am one blessed girl. Love my little family! 

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie, that was beautiful! We love you and your family so much.