Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finding Joy in the Journey

To Preface:
I can't stand whiny blogs. They are no fun to read! So, I promise you that there will not be too much complaining in this entry. Unfortunately, there will be some... But I will also record the blessings that have been given, too.

It's been a rough few months for our family. It really has!

1) First, my husband became self-(un)employed in order to start his own business. And things became really tight.

The blessing
: Luckily, we had a large tax return, and used a lot of it to replenish our food storage. (In fact, we're still eating that same food storage now!)

2) We moved our family away from all our friends, our great ward, a beautiful place, and from all familiarity, to the place we grew up. We sold many many things, in order to pay our last month of rent and to provide moving expenses, including Russell's car, some big furniture pieces, and some musical instruments. (Don't worry-- we didn't sell off any kids...)

The blessing:
We ended up with exactly enough for the truck rental, and gas for our move. And, we were able to stay with my aunt one night, and with other dear friends one night-- at no cost to us! (Thanks, Ann and Celeste!)

3) We moved in with my parents. I'm 34 years old, and I moved myself, my husband, and our TEN kids in with my parents. It was difficult for them and us. We stayed there about 5 weeks.

The blessings: My parents were kind enough to let us invade their home and lives for quite some time. My kids got to get reacquainted with their grandparents, and with my grandmother, who is also staying with my parents. We also have been able to see more of our extended families now that we're back in the state.

4) Our daughter, Morganne, developed a HUGE infection in her top jaw that caused her upper lip to swell and hurt massively. She was supposed to have had a root canal in the Spring, but it got put off and then procrastinated when things started getting really complicated and hairy with our family.

The blessings: My uncle here in Idaho is a dentist, and he was able to get her a prescription, and then work on her, and get the root canal done. And he's allowing us to make payments, since we don't have insurance. Then my dad helped us buy the prescription, so that the infection could go away.

5) We moved into a darling log home out in the country. It's waaaaay out in the country, and it's not finished yet. The kids are all sleeping on the floor in the front room until the downstairs gets finished. For some reason, the guy who's finishing the walls downstairs is having a hard time making it over here, so the kids are still on the floor, and all our stuff remains in my grandmother's garage.

The blessings: Our landlords are friends we knew in Arizona, and they have been so understanding and kind to work with. They have lowered the rent for us so that we can actually afford to be in our own place, and they have done so much work on the house themselves, in order to get it ready for us to rent. AND, it turns out this house is in the same ward as my cousin and her family. What a wonderful coincidence!

6) All our stuff is in my grandmother's detached garage, and has been there since the beginning of July.

The blessing: My sweet grandma offered her garage for us to use, and has been so kind and patient with us coming and going to take some things out.

7) Our van, Ruby-Mae, died a sad, tragic death as we were pulling out of my grandmother's driveway with a load of stuff. Most unfortunate, is the fact that Ruby's malady is incurable. Her engine is toast, and we can't afford to replace it. *sigh* I loved my van! :-( Now we don't know what we'll do for a car.

The blessings: My sweet, sweet Grandmother has been lending us her car for the past few days. She has been such a blessing for our family during this difficult time! Another blessing is that we no longer will have a car payment.

How's that for an update on our lives? There have been many difficult things for our family to go through, but if it brings us closer to God, and makes us better people, I am willing to go through these things.

At the beginning of this journey, before things were really bad, I received a priesthood blessing from my dear husband. In that blessing, I was told that this was my handcart journey. I had no clue about all that was to come, but I am so grateful for the Lord's support and love through all of it. This quote from a member of one of the pioneer handcart companies helps me keep things in perspective:

"We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but … we became acquainted with [God] in our extrem[i]ties. “I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company”.

Here's another talk I'm going to read today: "Refined in Our Trials" by Elder James E. Faust

I am going to find more of the joys that still exist in the midst of my difficulties. Counting my blessings today has really helped. I am grateful for blogging, and for the joy that writing brings me, too.

Have a beautiful day! :-)


  1. You bring tears to my eyes and I think I'll sit down and count my blessings, too! One of them is having you for a sister-in-law! I love you!

  2. Awww! Thanks Mandy! I consider you a blessing and love you, too! {{{HUGS}}}

  3. Oh Rachel, Here is a Great Big (((((HUG))))). Won't it be wonderful when you can look back and laugh about this time?! My favorite words in the book of Mormon are "and it came to pass"... It never says "and it came to stay." Isn't Heavenly Father wonderful :o)

  4. I am sorry this was so hard on you. It sounds very much like our trip up here as well. We had all our food storage, sold everything, and moved to Idaho because God told us too... and then had the rug pulled out. We didn't have family blessings, just each other. And I look back and our family is tighter than the rest of our extended family because we've really had to cling to each other to get through some really rough stuff. My Mom one year when I finally gave in to a case of shingles started listing the top 5 stress factors of a heart attack. I had 4 out of those 5 I was coping with. It gave me perspective - that I had been boosted and given strength that most were incapable of handling. Watching you, I'd say the same thing.

    Please PLEASE call me if you need help - don't hesitate. There's no reason for you and your children to have to endure this while you wait for walls to be built. My Russell has worked in construction and he and some friends could probably make short order of your construction woes. We didn't have friends and family when we moved up - you do. Let's get you settled! :)


  5. rachel, hang in there. I have found that chanting "find joy in the journey" in my mind helps me through many things. I hope that you can continue to see the blessings you have and I hope that things can quickly turn around for you and your family.

  6. I was so happy to have you stay with us during your trek to Idaho. I have to say, that your family was one of the most WELL BEHAVED families we have ever had stay with us. (I hope I don't offend anybody who has stayed with us.) I miss you tons already! I'm feeling lonely without my friends from the valley (AZ), too.

    I'm so sad to hear of your struggles. I remember we talked about how this move would be a hard one for you...I'm glad that your van is the only thing that died. (Is that finding joy?)

    Like you, we are feeling the bite of tribulations and the bliss blessings. It is a very good practice to write down the trial and then then a blessing. I need to follow your lead.

    Our house is in foreclosure...but we are all together as a family.

  7. Thank you, everyone! I am so grateful for wonderful friends like you! :-)

    Luckily, the mudding guy showed up for a few hours last night, and is supposed to come and finish today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

    (Aine, thanks so much for your amazing offer. You are an angel!)

    Hugs to all,

  8. I'm so proud of you. What a blessing you are in my life. And your young'uns too!
    The Mom

  9. Rachel, I am sooo sorry! And thankful for your great example. You inspire me. Hang in there!!! I really miss our TJED group in the valley. Sniff Sniff!


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