Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Thankful with Making It My Own {part 2}

Oh my.  I am writing this a day early and I don't know if I'm quite ready.  Actually I've just been putting it off, knowing I'm going to shed a tear or two {million} and hope I can put all of the thoughts swirling around in my head in to a meaningful {and cohesive} post.  And while it is still easier to just say Hey Look what I made, I'm starting to agree with Kathleen Kelly {and Heather}, that, "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal."  So folks its about to get personal up in here.  Bear with me while I explain how I even got to the point where I can have an I'm Thankful week(s) and mean it...

In May there is a holiday that I could do without.  It rocks me every year and I wonder why I don't just pretend to be sick that day so I'm not sitting in church hearing about how great Mothers are.  Before I go any further here is my disclaimer that this has nothing to do with my Mom.  My mom is fabulous.  And I'm not saying I'm a bad mom or Ivy isn't a miracle in my life.   But being reminded every year in a much bigger way than an every day tiny ache in my heart that I can't have kids is just not how I want to spend the day.  This past May was no different and maybe even worse because I was finally facing the fact, that really, I would never have another tiny person in my stomach kicking me in the ribs and giving me crazy heartburn.  I was focusing so much on that fact that I was forgetting to be thankful for my sweet little girl, outside of my stomach, kicking me in the ribs and giving me heartburn. Do you know what forgetting to be thankful does?  It makes you not very happy.  Everything starts to be wrong, and hard.  

"If we were all to hang our troubles out on the line, you'd pick yours and I'd pick mine." 

My grandma said that to me this summer.  It was more in passing than anything but I know it is what shifted my thinking.  Just the tiniest bit, but enough to start changing my heart.  To not be so selfish, and to think outside my own small world  Not too much later  I stumbled on to Heather's sweet blog.   I can't even say what an impact it has had on my life.  I was inspired by her ability to move forward from really hard things and her desire to find positive ways to do that.  And I finally grasped what I knew, but didn't get.

"It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop"
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

So I started trusting God and my own ability to move forward.  Because He won't give me something I can't handle.  I started choosing to be happy.   I started remembering to be thankful . And do you know what remembering to be thankful does? It makes it so everything isn't so wrong, or so hard. Making those small, but very big choices has made me a better mom, friend, wife and more the person that I want to be.  And while I can't say I would be in a hurry to pick my troubles from the line, I can say that having a grateful heart makes it a little bit easier to take them down and accept them as my own.  

And that my friends is a little bit of how and why I'm so happy to share I'm Thankful Week you.  It only took about 4 hours and 20 tissues to get my thoughts just right in writing, so don't go thinking its going to be a regular thing!  Its hard! 

 I  need to say that forgetting to be thankful for Ivy in no way means that I wasn't thankful for her.   She is my greatest gift I've ever gotten, and I'm forever grateful for every second.    Except maybe the getting kicked in the ribs and heartburn. ;)



  1. You are amazing in every possible way. I think of you and this trial often and try to make sense of it, which obviously I can't, but I always find myself thinking how lucky Ivy is, how evident your love is for her, and how blessed your family is to have one another. You are a tremendous mother, to Ivy and to all the kids around you and we are so lucky to have you in our children's lives.

    And this sharing thing? You sort of rock at it. Love you Jenn!

  2. oh jenn, i wish i lived next door to you so we could sit and drink coffee, and pick our troubles off the line together. it's so much easier to do together.

    i'm so glad you shared this and you did it beautifully!! i pray that God wrapped you up in a warm blanket of comfort after writing this post so that you can feel at peace with "being personal".


  3. Thank you, thank you so much for sharing this with us! The more I get to know you, the more I just love you! I think you are absolutely amazing and love how, despite having this huge trial, you've been able to have great attitude and perspective...it's hard to do, and you do it with such grace. Ivy is the cutest little girl ever and is so lucky to have you for a Mom!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. Oh honey, this was just beautiful. You spoke from your heart and I loved it. I too am a bit teary-eyed thinking of you. Praying our God will wrap his loving arms around you, that you will feel his presence and his love and know that others care-


  5. Okay I have more than one tear. You are a wonderful person and friend Jenn. I am thankful for you.


  6. Thanks for that sweet message. You are a dear friend and I love checking in on what you are doing. I think I get to know you better each day even though we have been millions of miles away for a long time. Thank you for sharing your heart!! Love you.

  7. Jenn,
    Thank you for sharing something so personal...I shed a tear or two while reading this as well. You have such a kind soul, I feel blessed to have stumbled upon such a sweet family. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Jenn-
    Thank you for being so brave and sharing this with us. It truly shows who you are inside and out and you are beautiful. It has been such a priviledge to get to know you this short time here! I wish I could stay just so we can continue! But at least we have out blogs to keep in touch!
    I seriously love you and who you are and what you can do. My heart aches for you and I will pray that this trial will get easier to bear.

  9. Jenn,

    I think you are wonderful at sharing your thoughts, and I am grateful that you did. There is so much power in writing and the self-realization that comes with it.

    Thank you for creating this wonderful week of women who inspire!

  10. Often times our challenges in life just have no ryhme or reason to them that we can see. Thanks for sharing this little piece of yourself and who you are. I think you're one strong lady! :)

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this Jenn! You are so wonderful!

    In Relief Society on Sunday, we had a lesson on President Monson's talk about Gratitude (i wonder how many other Relief Society lessons were taught from the same talk...). The teacher said something that has been on my mind ever since. She said that the opposite of wanting is gratitude. Maybe I'm just a slow learner, but when she said it, something just clicked and I want to try to live that little saying every day.

  12. I loved your p.s. And I love you/ya(whichever sounds less weird) it takes our hearts along time to heal from our greatest trials...you'll get there and see how it helped refine you and grow you in ways you didn't think possible. Thanks for the quotes. Have a wonderful thanksgiving with your loving family Jenn.

  13. I want you to know that I think you are amazing. Your choosing to be happy has influeced me. Especially since I am in OR! :) You are truly a gifted person, and I know that your life will be richly blessed with the things your heart deisres most! Loved your Thankful week!

  14. Jenn,

    That was beautiful, and beautifully written. :-) You are very wise.



  15. I am grateful for beanies. It's been super-cold down here in Eugene and beanies have been keeping me warm. It's amazing how much body heat you lose out the top of your head. I have 4 beanies, which may be a little in excess, but I wear em' all. A beanie can be the difference between being miserably cold and toasty warm.

  16. Man do I miss you. Thanks for sharing Jenn. You are a beautiful person and thanks for reminding me to be thankful for what I have this season.

  17. dear jenn,

    you are a wonderful writer, & i'm so glad that you put this message here. it's so nice to have such a well "said" reminder to be grateful.



    p.s. i ADORE the name ivy - so very pretty.

  18. Oh Jenn!

    Thank you for sharing.


  19. Jenn, Even though I was able to have four of my own (nyah was a miracle!), it was devastating when they told me not to have anymore...I could die, or the baby. I took having children for granted and gained a new perspective for all of my friends that couldn't. God will bless you. He did with us and it took 6 years before our prayers were answered. You are a great person, mom, and so glad you expressed your feelings of thankfulness. Love ya Jenn!

  20. oh jenn!
    i am just getting caught up from the past few days....and my heart is full. i know EXACTLY how you feel. and i do mean exactly.
    it's hard being a mom, and wanting more kids, and knowing they'll not be nurtured in your womb....i run into plenty of people who think i'm selfish for not having more children....then there are the others who think i'm selfish for not being satisfied with the one i have. it's so difficult to help onlookers to better understand. so instead i ignore it often in my own thoughts....or i slap on my go-to smile to hide the pain. the statement "when it's God's timing, it will happen." escapes my lips so often that i sound like a broken record. i know the statement is true, however a lot of me hopes that timing comes much quicker....or that a miracle beyond miracles just happens to unfold for us. then there's the other part of me who feels like a complete failure. that's the part that can't get over the fact i can never give my husband a child of his own....and that we'll not have 9 months of sharing in the developing magic we created together.
    i'm sure most of these are not new thoughts....i just mention some of them so you know you're not alone! i'm in awe of your strength, your talents, your beauty, and your perseverance through it all. i only hope i can follow in your example of valiantly moving forward one step at a time. thank you for sharing your heart, your thankful week, and especially this thankful post! makes this past spring's TOFW mean that much more, not to mention the hug we shared. we're sisters in more ways than either of us realized.
    have a wonderful weekend, filled with love, peace, and family!


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