|Heidi - 2013|
Life was okay growing-up. I don't look back on my childhood as being easy but...I do have some good memories mixed in with normal trials and even some difficult challenges.
After high school and a few years at Brigham Young University, I served a mission for my church to Mexico. There I learned a lot about poverty and suffering and yet, some of the blessings that come of a simplified life and not focusing on material goods. It was a time of awakening and a chance for me to open my heart to those around the world who struggle to put food on the table or shoes on the feet. I also witnessed injustice from the dishonesty of some big businesses who would take advantage of the less fortunate as well as corruption in government or groups within it.
I wanted to marry and have a family. I had looked forward to that from a young age. Yet, that blessing did not come to me early in life. It was painful to not have that desire met - yet, I continued to try to serve and do what I could in the world. This challenge also helped me to have compassion for those who also went throughout life with heartache and grief and unmet wants or expectations.
When I did marry, around age 30, I thought that I was finally at the end of my problems. I guess I just didn't know which end. :) It was a difficult marriage though I tried to make it work. I won't share too many personal issues on here but will say that my eyes were even more opened to the challenges that many face in this life. I've come to learn more of the addictions that affect and destroy homes and families. Some of these are not particularly the fault of the person with the addiction - but rather a consequence of some of the things they suffered in their earlier lives.
I have compassion for people and their challenges, and know that there are many hard trials that attend those in their inner circles. And...sometimes the innocent suffer the most.
Fast forward and I've been a single-parent for over 14 years; raising three children alone since they were 6, 4 and 3. Their heartache has become my own. Financial hardships have been plentiful. Food, clothing and shelter have not come easily. We've learned to live on little, produce what we could, be thrifty and...seek the Lord in all things. We've been creative in our housing so that I could be home with my children (which I felt strongly to do.)
I know that I'm not the only one in difficult circumstances. We each have lessons to learn in life and ways to be able to learn how to reach out to others' in their time of need. I've been grateful for any kindnesses shown to me over the years. Though I have come to realize that many people have no idea what to do with a single-parent (or anyone different than them for that matter). I've also come to be deeply grateful for those who do, and who have in kindness, offered a hand in any small way to my children who have suffered much.
The responsibilities of raising my children alone - in light and truth, coupled with funding them, teaching and nurturing, feeding and clothing and succoring them in their trials - has come at a great cost to me. It's been, by far, the hardest thing I could have gone through in my life, and yet, has also produced great blessings.
We chose to home-school because of particular needs of one child. I wasn't sure I could do it but it was doctor-recommended that I do so. With strong feelings about the importance of true education and the Lord's plan for the betterment of His children I made it a matter of much pondering and prayer and decided that, no matter what, I would do the best I could for my children. I knew that I had only one chance to raise them and that any sacrifice on my part would be worth it in the end. It was a great blessing. We pulled-together as a family and spent many hours together in reading and discussing things and learning to serve others.
I wouldn't trade any of the hardships for the blessings that have come to us as a family and the moral foundation that has been laid at home. I consider it a gift from God that I have had my children around me as long as I have. Though they have their 'spats' from time to time - they are much better friends than they would have otherwise been. This, I know for certain.
And, they each did spend time in public schools and have gained a greater understanding of educational options and how and in what manner they learn best.
This is our life in a nutshell. We continue to learn and grow and progress. Overcoming some of the heartaches has taken years. But we're better for the wear and hope that we've been successfully refined in the process.
I invite you to join me on some of the sites I've felt to develop. They are all at different stages and with different purposes. I believe that technology has been created for God's work. I have been honored to be part of that. Building Zion is dear to my heart. As I've studied much about the Kingdom of God on earth, The Second Coming, The Last Days, Preparedness, etc. I have been gratified that my small part has been online. I continue to hope and pray that souls will be touched in preparation for the return of our Savior and that we will all continue to do what is needful to overcome the world and put aside the things that are not of the Light.
My Other Sites:
Women of Light
All About Preparedness
Utah Valley Homeschooling
LDS Power Bloggers