Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grateful

Sometimes when we look at the cards we are handed we want to walk away from the game. Sometimes our trials help us learn how to be thankful for something. As Thanksgiving approached I became aware of some of the things I am most grateful for. Not one of my most prized treasures came without struggle or a deep longing. Not one came without feeling a hunger and thirst.

At the young age of 6 my older sister, Sharmayn lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis. It was at 6 I learned about death and life beyond the grave. At 6 I learned that my parents faced sadness too as well as wounded hearts. At 6 I learned that memories are to be shared not stored away in a box. At 6 I learned that sometimes things just happened. That life dreams can be changed. Ten years later my brother, Shawn, met his wife, Carol. At 16 I gained an amazing Sister In Law. We have become the best of friends. Sisters if you will. We have shared clothes, secrets, dreams, sorrow and most importantly Joy. For several years after Sharmayn died I hungered for a sister to share my life with. In no way has Carol replaced the love I have for Sharmayn but today I am grateful she is my friend and sister. I am grateful we can be mothers together and share our joys as well as our sorrows with.

When I was 16 my dad invited me to tag-a-long with him on a business trip to Bolivia and Peru. It was my parents way of helping us see the world a bit. Get a good look at what others had.... or maybe lacked having. We spent an afternoon in a hospital where small babies suffered from malnutrition. I personally saw beautiful babies well beyond hungry level. Who were skin and bones... Who cried out in pain... Who's bellies were bloated. I have never felt hunger in this way. NEVER. When our children speak of feeling starving I am always taken back to this defining moment in my life. I am grateful we have the means to protect our children from this hunger.

When I was 21 I choose to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I loved serving my brothers and sisters. I love speaking of my beliefs of Our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. My companion, Sister Empey and I were assigned to an area of L.A. where we were housed in apartments located on the L.A. Temple grounds. One morning as my companion and I were preparing to leave we noticed a man walking around looking at the different buildings. Thinking he was lost we offered help. He said that he was in Los Angeles on a buisness trip. His hotel was located across from the Temple. Out of curiosity he came. He spoke of a feeling he had never felt before. He stated it had entered his heart the moment he crossed the gate doors. What is this feeling he asked. Sister Empey and I spent hours with Boehmi. Sharing our beliefs, our love for Our Savior, Jesus Chirst, teaching him the Plan our Heavenly Father has prepared for us... Boehmi was from Nepal. The closest church to him was a 2 day travel. Boehmi had a strong desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. After meeting with our Mission President. Our President calling Church Headquarters. Teaching Boehmi all he needed to be taught in order to take the steps of baptism... Boehmi was baptized. All done in ONE day... A true MIRACLE. The next day Boehmi was to return to Nepal. He spoke with excitement of the gift he would be able to bring back to his family. I have never felt the hunger that comes with a lack of knowing things of God. I am grateful to have this knowledge. To know of the Plan of Happiness Our Father has created for us.

After serving in L.A. I came home in hopes to find someone to swing in a tree K*I*S*S*I*N*G... TO love and marry... to have babies in baby carriages... I tried a few boys on for size and none fit my glass slipper. After breaking hearts and having my heart broken...in stepped my fine Prince, Marc-a-Roni. The perfect fit. Our Father had a large part in us finally meeting. I am grateful for my "Sleepless In Seattle" moment with him. I knew he was the one... It just too me longer than to know it was real. That he would be mine for Eternity. I am ever so grateful for my sweet husband. I am grateful for the love he shows me. I am grateful he is the Dad he is for our children. I am over the moon in love with My Marc-a-Roni...This man of mine is amazing...

4 years after our wedding day we had 3 beautiful children. Marc and I felt the hunger of longing for another child. We knew the path we would take to add children to our home would be different then the first 3. We hopped on the roller coaster ride with both feet. We realized along the way the ride was very unpredictable. That not all agencies were honest. There were times I felt knee deep in thick mud. Not knowing who to trust and where to turn. The desires and HUNGER in my soul became all consuming. We were giving a trial September 2008 that I am now grateful I have had. Fail adoption can burden the soul. The moment I turned to Our Father He began to heal my broken heart. My soul began to mend. Just days after I handed my burned to Him our son, Noah, was born. What joy filled my heart. A month after Noah's adoption was final I felt a strong urgency to prepare our homestudy. To jump back on the ride in search of the void I felt. In a few short months we were matched with a birthmom named Katherine and a birthdad named Johnathan. In July our daughter, Zion was born. The hunger I felt as a mother has helped me become the woman I am today. I truly am grateful for the trials we have been given. I have learned through them not only to look to my Father but to hand him the burdens that are so heavy and He will mend my wounded soul.


Our thanksgiving preperations started on Wednesday afternoon. For the past 5 years we have celebrated Thanksgiving with our dear friends. When you don't live near family your friends become family. And that is just what the Veigels are to us... Family.
When I was a young girl my job was to break the bread for the dressing... the job was passed to Jordie a couple of years ago... This year she gained a helper in Hyden... although she said he was in it just to sneak some bites!


Melissa taught Jordie how to make her special homemade rolls...

Prescott was happy to learn too... again... he was happy to help as long has he got a taste of the dough!

Noah thought that all he had to do is look like he wanted to see what was going on and I would not notice that he was trying to sneak an uncooked roll... But I am one smart Mama... He was given some fruit snacks in exchange and sent on his way!





After dinner naps were had by all... Well not all... Jordie and Hyden held down the fort. And the Justesen's went to Planet 51... I am grateful I was able to take a Nap...




After the movie and naps we all met up together again for pie or Whipped Cream and leftovers...






*Do you see the family resemblance?*

Before the night was over Jordie taught Ammon how to make Ramen noodles for a mid night snack... Such a shame when there are yummy left overs in the fridge. But, you know how the saying goes.. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a year.... Ammon has now been taught the art of Ramen.... he won't starve on his mission...

FOR THAT I AM GRATEFUL!

8 comments:

Breona said...

Dang cute post kier!! You indeed have many things to be Thankful for!! We are so blessed, I pray to always be able to recognize an acknowledge those blessings! You are a star! I lov your kids and wish we could come play!!!! Miss you. Do you have any future plans for Utah??? Let me know.

LisaLee said...

Thanks for sharing, I do remember that story about you and Empster. What a great memory you had for sure. I love you and thanks for sharing this beautiful post
Love ya Sista
Smithy

Alaska Law said...

What a wonderful post!

hxr said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nana said...

What a beautiful post. Zion's eyes is like a clear beautiful glass.

KC Mom said...

What a great post...truly a post of gratitude.
I think Zion grew even more while we were gone!
You've got a ad commentor...you might want to get him off!

Simple Sayings said...

Kiera-it is so humbling to count our blessings. I too count you as one of my greatest blessings. Just as you wanted another big sister, I always wanted a little sister, so once again the Lord knew the desires of our hearts and blessed us. Thanks for giving us a peek into your Thanksgiving, it is a close second since we couldn't be together-- but the Disney countdown chain is getting smaller every day. We can't wait to see you all!

Sam Ransom said...

I love the nap photos. Especially Ammon and Jack. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful list!