Friday, September 24, 2010

Doing this

I sat in a group of fellow grad student counselors yesterday, explaining why my life is hard right now. I basically have a 30 hour a week job (my internship) like the rest of them, but I also am taking six classes with a total of 30 assignments due throughout the semester. Crickets chirped, then they all told me I was crazy and needed to drop classes and graduate a year later.

Hmm. There are plenty of reasons for "doing this" that I did not share with my classmates. But, dear readers, I will share them with you:

1) My end goal in life is not to be a family therapist. I desire to a mother.
2) Motherhood has not been "happening" the way I figured it would, so the Lord provided me this in-between time task to increase my ability to love and nurture children when they do come.
3) When children DO come, I want to be out of school.
4) School costs a LOT of money.
5) A LOT of money needs to come to our family to pay for the said experience, as well as any necessary arrangements for children to come to our home.
6) The longer I am in school, the more tuition rises and number of classes increase.
7) Whether or not I get to be a mom in the near future, I need to be done with school to progress our family's future.

Thus, I grind through, supported by the Lord and my husband, cheering friends and family members, and apparently NOT my fellow graduate student counselors.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Thoughts from my dad

I've had similar thoughts to this for a long time now---an email from my dad to my brother serving as a missionary in Japan:

Dear Paul, September 19, 2010

We had a life changing experience at our Empty Nester's FHE on Monday night. Yes, they let us come even though two of our four have flown back to the nest for a short rest. Dr. Raquel Cook came to our back yard, and shared some lessons that she has learned from Nine-Eleven. Nine years again she lost over twenty co-workers from the attacks in New York.

Raquel grew up in Utah County, and even graduated from BYU. But a nagging anger consumed her, and Raquel had to get out of Happy Valley. After graduating, Raquel lived in 38 different countries in her 20's; India, South Korea, China and Saudi Arabia to name a few. When asked if she was ever in danger traveling around the world, Raquel responded that the only place in her life that she had been mugged at gunpoint was in Salt Lake City. Utah. Go figure???

The Lord allowed Raquel to meet and work with Mother Teresa in India. While intending to merely meet her, Mother Teresa put her right to work helping to comfort Lepers, providing compassion and comfort to these outcasts.
Prior to meeting the Dalai Lama, Raquel Cook was instructed to prepare by fasting from speaking for an entire week, which was next to impossible for her. Raquel's goal was to asked for help in dealing with the anger that consumed her soul. But in not being able to articulate her thoughts for that very long week, the anger question was swept away, and was replaced with a greater desire to have more compassion for others.

In London, while doing her Master's degree, Raquel lived with Muslem, a Jew, a Christian and an Atheist. These five women developed a warm openness, and shared in great detail their beliefs. Her Muslem friend would shared passages from the Quran, and Raquel would offer latter-day scriptures in their evening devotionals. They were both amazed at how much they had in common. Before parting, her friend gave Raquel a Quran with engraved on the cover, and hugged her whispering "You have made me a better Muslem". "You have made me a better Mormon".

Yes, in unusual and remote locations, Raquel kept running into members of the Church. She has been endowed in the Temple. Raquel sees so many parallels in the many religions she has learned of. We're not the only people who cloth themselves with garments. God speaks in so many ways to his children throughout the earth.

On the way to work with an investment firm on September 11, 2001, Raquel was rescued from under a parked car as the buildings were falling around her, and thrown into a darkened basement where she wondered if Armageddon had arrived. Surviving the attacks on New York City, Raquel walked through thick ashes fearing she was walking on the dead consumed in the furnace of the explosion. Life shattered with loss, reliving the nightmare over and over, and then rebuilding her life, Raquel turned her energy towards teaching students at American Fork High School, and now at UVU. Many have been lifted through her vision.

Raquel Cook shared a powerful summery of her sojourn through many lands and cultures with these words; "I studied Taoism in China, and I read the Analects of Confucius. I've visited temples in Asia and mosques in the Middle East and cathedrals in Europe. I have immersed myself in 38 countries and attended religious ceremonies of Jains, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Baptists, Mormons, Shintos, and Native Americans. I've been to the Vatican and the Ganges and Mecca and Salt Lake, and never in that tim e or in any of those places did I meet a single person who was different from me."

We are children of the God who loves us intensely. Love, Dad

Friday, September 10, 2010


Overwhelmed in two ways. First. . .

My tension headaches, itching ears, and sore jaw that I can pop back and forth are back. They came as I started seeing clients at my internship. So far I have a client who was abused by her Mormon stepmom until she was 18 (my client is a recovering meth adict and in her 40's now), a 10 year old whose alcoholic mom can't see him until she can get clean and sober, a 27 year old woman whose husband forced her to get an abortion and now makes comments like "you killed my baby" to attack and control her, a woman from South Korea who has a 4 year old boy whose been acting out the violence he saw his dad act out on his mom (strangling) and now is kicked out of preschool while his mom tries to work 2 jobs at Japanese restaurants, a family with three kids and parents who plan on divorcing when their 9 year old turns 18, and a young couple who are both in recovery from heroin.

I have been a caregiver my whole life and if anything is going to teach me that I am NOT powerful enough to "fix" other people, heal other people, or change their lives--this internship will.

Second. . .

I am overwhelmed by the compassionate love of Jesus Christ. Overwhelming sweetness, calm, peace, and POWER washed over me as I read the words of Isaiah moments ago:

For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.

For the Lord God will help me. (2 Ne 7)

Wow. Strength from above, yes, the enabling power is swarming in my heart right now. . . And then he speaks even MORE directly to me and people like me who feel the need to do it all and never feel like it is enough:

"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light?

Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand."

I'm stunned. I am NOT powerful enough to "fix" other people, heal other people, or change their lives. . .but He is.