Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thoughts, ponderings, questions,...

     I often wonder if I am doing what my Father in Heaven would like me to be doing.  I have learned and had to relearn that when my will is aligned with His will then things go better in my life.  That doesn't mean that life is easy or perfect when that happens it just seems that even when challenges come it is easier to deal with them.  The last few years when my kids get home from visiting their dad it seems they always have something to tell me that I struggle to know how to deal with.  A couple years ago it was Cassidy telling us that her dad told her she shouldn't get married in the temple and that having a goal to marry a return missionary is not good because it narrows her options too much.  For me that was difficult to respond to for several reasons. (and maybe herein lies my problem - perhaps I over think everything)  My first reaction was to just be irritated or even angry but you have to be careful how you react especially with teens and preteens so that they will be willing to ask the next time they have a question.  Also with divorce situations you are not supposed to "talk bad or negatively" about the other parent (man thats hard sometimes!).  Anyhow - one of Cassidy's questions at that time was "why" would her dad say something like that.  My answer to this was the only thing I could imagine and that if things continue how they are going her dad will not be able to be in attendance at the temple when she goes.  For me this was the only logical answer I could come up with - still not an acceptable comment in my opinion but that's not the point.  We also talked to her about her goal of marrying a return missionary - which in my opinion is a good one.   However we told her she shouldn't rule out someone who for one reason or another has not served a mission.  We talked to her about looking at the whole person and making an overall judgement after all serving a mission does not automatically make one a good husband and not serving does not equal a bad man.  We talked about looking at things like how he treats his mother and other women in his life, looking at his goals for the future, how he reacts to stressful situations, is he honest, does he honor his priesthood and other questions.  Hopefully when the time comes for Cass to get married she will look at the examples around her (both good and bad) and make a good choice for her future mate.  I am more amazed all the time at what an important and life altering decision that choice is. 
     Back to my current dilemma however.  This time on the way home Ammon was telling us that his dad told him it was ok to drink "a little" alcohol as long as you are responsible about it.  He said Jerry told him there isn't anything wrong with drinking as long as you don't drink too much.  Honestly it is so hard when stuff like this happens because for just a minute you just want to scream.  It's not that I never imagined I wouldn't have to deal with questions about the word of wisdom or the church being true I just never really thought the seeds of doubt would be planted by their father.  Barry and I talked  to him about how "just a little" can still be a bad thing - like you wouldn't want to drink a glass of water with "just a little" urine mixed in.  I'm sure in the beginning we sort of jumped on his case "just a little"!  Poor kid he was just asking or telling or something like that.  We talked to him about the word of wisdom and the promises that go along with it.  We told him that the lady that hit us had just "a little" alcohol in her system when she was tested.  Its true that she probably had quite a bit more at the time of the accident but even that little bit clouded her judgement. 
     It was a hard conversation to have with at 13 year old.  Especially because he has done nothing wrong.  I get so afraid sometimes.  Afraid of what the future holds.  I don't know how to deal with stuff like this.  I have considered talking to Jerry's mom and dad and maybe get some backup that way.  Not that I want them to talk to him - that won't do any good but just some support to let the kids know that this isn't just their mom - its also how their dad was raised.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon on the way home from Albuquerque in Alma chapter 24 and verse 30 jumped out at me.  (go ahead and say it I might just be the most judgemental person alive)
"And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things."
I don't know how to bear testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel to my children and not appear to be trashing their dad.  When they are in Texas they go to church with Jerry and his wife Jamaica - they go to a christian church - very similar from what I can gather to the Calvary Chapel in Idaho Falls.  It is a good christian religion but are also quite anti-Mormon.  When the kids go there they hear good christian beliefs and also things that aren't true that go against the teachings of our church.  I struggle on some level because its not like I just decided one day to live this life and stand in condemnation of a life we lived.  This is the life we were supposed to teach our children together.  This is the life that Jerry was raised with.  This is the life that all the rest of his family leads.  This is the right way to live.  I have a strong and powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have had experiences that have taught me beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is true.  Does that mean I don't have questions about life is sometimes the way it is? No Does it mean that I struggle to understand certain aspects of the Gospel that are way over my head? No Does it mean that i don't struggle and ask God for answers? No But I do know that the truths taught in the scriptures including the Book of Mormon are true.  I know that I get closer to my Heavenly Father by reading its words and i know it is true scripture.  I feel like the Book of Mormon is a part of me - a friend that I can turn to in all things.  I know that we are not supposed to judge.  I don't know how to deal with my ex-husband and the things that he teaches our children in his home.  I can't talk to him about it - I have been there and done that and it does no good - makes it worse in fact.  I don't know who to talk to about this.  Barry and I have gone round and round and still don't know the best thing to do.  I want to be a good example to my children.  I want them to grow up with strong testimonies and a desire to be happy.  I know that following the principles of the Gospel does not guarantee that we won't have trials or difficulties in life.  But I also know that they will make life better.  I was listening to a talk recently and it talked about how the end has already been decided.  Christ will reign and Satan will be defeated and bound for eternity.  The only thing that hasn't been decided is where we will be individually.  Whose side will we chose?  Satan knows that he canno win in the end but he also knows that he can take as many of us down with him as we allow.  I don't want what he offers.  I know which side I am choosing.  And yet is seems that little things get in the way and I don't know how to keep it from happening.  I have such angry feelings towards my ex-husband.  I have worked on this a great deal.  I have turned things over to the Lord on multiple occasions.  And I suppose this is what I need to do again.  I cannot control what happens in his home.  I cannot control what my children are exposed to - I can ask their Father in Heaven to watch over them and protect them at all times.  I can ask for His help everyday to  be the best parent I can be.  I can ask Him to tell me the words that I should say to my children.  I can ask Him to send peace and comfort to my soul.  Can I ask Him to convince Jerry of the error of his ways?  I don't know the answer to that.  Sometimes I just have to talk my way thru things and sometimes that means talking to myself - I doubt any of this even makes sense to anybody else.  But somehow I do feel better having talked thru it a little. 

1 comment:

mh said...

Karin, I just love you. you are such an example to us. You are an amazing mom. Your kids may have to come to their own conclusions, which is hard and scares me about my own children, but you have shown them the right way to be happy. No matter what they do they will some day remember what you have shown them. Thanks for your strength and love for God.