Dec 24, 2013

Christmas Grinch

This Christmas has been a lot harder than most. I normally get into the Christmas spirit, get my tree up, get the stockings hung, and have lights out on the house. Not this year. I asked Dave after Thanksgiving if he cared if I didn't put up the tree this year. I have been so exhausted and haven't felt great this year, and the thought of decorating for Christmas was overwhelming. He said that would be okay, but that I would probably regret it. In my head I just figured that the only reason you decorate is because you have kids right? I also send out Christmas cards every year. When the company screwed up on my card and I didn't get them to send out, I felt like Christmas was pointless. Why even try?! Nothing is going right, and I don't have anyone I really have to do Christmas for. You could call me the Christmas Grinch this year. Then something happened to change my mind. 

As I got all my presents for friends done, and delivered, I was feeling sad and a little depressed. I have never felt this way around Christmas. As I tried to figure out what was causing my sadness I realized what it was. I don't have any kids that I get to spoil. I was throwing somewhat of an adult fit because I don't have any children. I was so down and depressed, when I got a text from a family member telling me that they were pregnant. I felt like my heart stopped. I felt like I got punched in the stomach. I stopped functioning at that moment. Dave and I were watching TV and I couldn't tell you what the last part of the show was about. All I could think of is that God wants to rub it in my face yet again that I can't have children. Twist the knife in my heart a little deeper. I was done.

The next couple of weeks, everywhere I went I only saw the pregnant women. I saw women buying pregnancy tests, girls picking up jewelry were pregnant, I saw babies everywhere. Was I going insane, or was everyone in the world pregnant?!  I was so mad I can't explain. I was making jewelry to clear my head (something that I do often. I sit at my desk and hammer the crap out of jewelry) one evening when I got the feeling that I needed to call this family member. Up to this point I hadn't responded. I hadn't congratulated them, I had even acknowledged that I got the text. At that moment I realized how selfish I was. This wasn't about me. This was about a beautiful baby that is going to enter my family, and I should be thrilled. I should be so thankful for this precious new life. I picked up the phone and called. That phone call changed my Christmas.

As I sat on the phone and talked to this family member for 2 hours, I cried, I was honest, I told them exactly how hard this was for me but how happy I was for them. I shared in their excitement, I expressed my joy at getting to be an aunt again, and I let them know how much I loved them. More than anything, I let go of myself, and cared for someone else. I put someone else before me. That was something I hadn't been doing thus far this Holiday season.

This past week has been a whirlwind.  Even though I didn't get the tree up, my spirits were lifted by talking to this family member. I realized what an amazing thing life is. I realized just how special my Savior's life is to me. This is the time of year we celebrate Christ's birth. His coming into the world to save the soul of men. What an amazing thing. Because this family told me they were pregnant I was able to focus on others. I was able to focus on the birth of my Savior, and all he's done for me.

As I get ready for Christmas tomorrow, I sit here next to my husband. No we don't have kids, no I don't have presents under a tree, I don't have elf on a shelf, I don't have last minute Christmas shopping to do, and I don't have a baby girl or boy wrapped in my arms. But I have the arms of my Savior wrapped around me. I have his strength, his love, his guidance, and his friendship. He's blessed me with the greatest thing nothing can buy; the love of my husband. He's given me my soulmate, my best friend, the love of my life, the pure joy in my heart, and the reason I wake up every day. He's given me the greatest gift I could ever ask for, the gift of everlasting love. Something that he freely gave to all.

Although I don't have a tree up, and Dave and I aren't wrapping gifts for little ones right now, I can find comfort in the love that my husband as for me. I can find peace in knowing that God is in control of my life, and as long as I follow him everything will work out as it should. It doesn't always work out like I want it to, but it always works out the way it needs to.

I hope each of you have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful Holiday, and a very Happy New Year. I hope as you spend time with family, friends, or by yourself, that you know that you are loved. That you have peace in your heart that your Savior loves you.  He died for you.  He came to this earth so many years ago, to live a life of serving so that we could have all that we do. Take time this Holiday season to thank him for the gifts that we have. Find peace in your life, and love in your heart, and have a very Merry Christmas.


Dec 5, 2013

To be "Well Loved"

I heard someone today say that their greatest wish for a friend in their life was for that friend to be "Well Loved."  What a beautiful wish.

This statement got me thinking about what it meant to be "Well Loved."  As I thought about this my sweet Dave came into my head and it made me smile.  I have had a few relationships in my life.  I have had really bad ones, some that were okay, and some that I even thought were Real love.  I thought I knew what love was back when I was in these relationships.  Maybe I even was in love, but I had never been Well Loved until I met Dave.  I now know what it means to be "Well Loved."  It's now my greatest wish for everyone else as well.

I know I've talked about Dave many times on this blog.  He's been my rock, my best friend, my biggest supporter, my strength when I've been weak, and my happiness when I'm sad.  He's truly my everything, and I can't imagine life without him.  He's the most amazing, loyal, hardworking, dedicated, and loving man I've ever known.  He's bright, driven, motivated, and best of all, he's nice.  

Dave embodies everything I wanted in a man as a little girl.  He's everything that my Dad hoped his little girl would one day have.  He's a lot like my Dad in so many ways which is why I think I love him so much.  And most of all, he treats me like I'm made of Gold. He's respectful, a gentleman, eloquent, strong, and he makes me feel SAFE, which is so important to me.

Let me tell you a little story about my Dave.  I know you've heard a lot, but this one is very recent, and meant to world to me.  For those of you that know Dave you know he's not dying to be the center of attention.  Dave lets me shine.  He lets me have the spotlight, and he sits in the wings supporting me.  He's always on my right side, but he let's me be the outgoing, spirited personality that I am.  We work very well with one another.  We're exact opposites, but perfectly complete.

A few months ago the Oprah Winfrey show called me again to see if I would do an update show.  This will be the 4th time I'm going to be on her show.  Every time I've gone on, I have gone on without Dave.  The main reason is  because we weren't married.  This time I wanted him to be with me.  I knew he wasn't going to like the idea, because he has no desire to be on TV.  I wanted him on for me though.  I wanted to show off my husband.  I wanted to show the world how proud I am of the man I married.  I wanted the world to see the incredible man that I get to share my life with.  I wanted him by my side on TV, just like he is in real life.

When I asked Dave about the show his first response was a resounding "NO!" It makes me smile to think about because I knew that's the answer I would get.  As another month went by while the show was getting things in order, I would bring it up every once in awhile and ask him again.  He would brush it off, and move onto the next thing.  I would always drop it knowing I would bring it up again.  Sneaky, I know.

As the show got closer, and things started to progress, I knew that they would be wanting to film soon.  I sat Dave down one night and bore my heart out to him.  I told him that I knew he had no desire to be on TV and let people see his life.  I told him that, that wasn't the reason I wanted him on.  I wanted to show the world how proud I am of the man I am married to.  I wanted to show off my life, and what I have.  I wanted to have the people understand who have watched my show in the past, how great my life has turned out.  I wanted to show a happy end to my story.  I wanted to show them how happy my life is.  I wanted to show them not only the woman I am proud to be, but the man that helped me get there.  That's why I wanted him on the show with me.

After a couple of days of letting him think about this, and having the cameras start showing up at the house, I brought it up again.  I asked him very sincerely if he would consider being on the show with me.  He hesitantly said he would.  I was beyond thrilled.  I don't think I have squeezed him that hard in a long time, and of course, Me being Me, I started to cry.  I thanked him over and over and told him how much it meant to me.  I knew he was doing it for me, and that meant the world to me.

When time came to film the episode, there was a part that was just for Dave.  They interviewed him for the show, about how he felt about certain things pertaining to me.  The questions were based a lot about how sick I am all the time, and how I struggle daily. It was about how he felt, and what he goes through watching me suffer.  As I watched the film of the questions he was asked I started to cry.  I have never been so deeply touched in all my life.  I knew then what it meant to be "Well Loved."

Dave is a very strong, and tough man.  He puts on a very good front for people, including me.  When he has hard days he never complains.  He never tells me when he's hurting, he never tells me if he's struggling, and he never whines about anything.  All he cares about is how I'm doing.  When he gets home from work, he instantly starts helping me with the house.  Dave does the dishes, the laundry, he cleans the bathroom, he basically does anything he can see that I need.  If I have had a tough day and he can see how weak I am, he doesn't even need to be asked, he just simply does anything I need.  He will make dinner for us, go grocery shopping, vacuum, and fold the clothes.  Last night he sat on the floor for 3 hours and put necklaces together for me because I was just too exhausted.  I'm crying right now thinking about how much he does for me.

Now that you know that let me share with you something that he said during this interview.  He was asked "How do you cope with Jill being sick?"  He said that he constantly worries about me.  There isn't a minute of his day that goes by while he is away from me that he isn't worried that something is wrong.  He is constantly concerned that I am doing too much, or that I am in pain.  He is always wondering about what I am doing, or what I need him to do.  He said that I am on his mind 24/7.  This is how he copes though....

"I cope with Jill being sick by being with her.  She is so much fun, and so positive that I don't really have to cope.  She is so happy that even when she's hurting she's smiling.  Jill's positivity makes coping with all that we go through so easy.  Our life is hard because of what she goes through, but you would never know it if you met her.  She's always thinking of everyone else, and even when she's had the hardest day she still tries to do everything for me when I get home.  She's just so much fun.  So I wouldn't say I cope, because that sounds like I'm suffering through it.  I would just say that we have the best life ever because of the love that we share, and how much fun my wife is.  She makes me happy even when she's hurting, and she makes life fun even when it's hard."

Wow.  I feel like I put my husband through so much.  I constantly worry that he feels jipped in this world because a month after he married me I got sick, and that will never change.  I worry all the time that we don't do more of the things that he would like to do.  How wrong was I?  

To know that my husband loves our life so much, and that he doesn't mind any of it was incredible to hear.  To know that he loves everything about me, and thinks I'm happy all the time blew me away.  I think I'm a brat at times because there are days when I just don't want to deal with being sick anymore!  I feel like I complain to him all the time, and make life miserable.  LOL  Funny how you see things so differently about yourself.

Dave truly loves me.  He loves everything about me, and he wouldn't change a thing.  It's amazing because I feel the same way about him.  I'm so lucky, and I truly do have the most amazing marriage on the planet.  I can't believe how blessed I am to have my soul mate as my best friend.  I never thought I would have a life like this.  Even when it's hard it's fun.  Dave is right.  Our life is hard, but we enjoy every minute.  Not only do I know what it's like to finally be Well Loved; I know what it's like to Love Well