unanswered prayers and waiting

I have come to realize that my life has truly been blessed…made up of a series of “unanswered” prayers.  Truly my life has been richer thanks to a loving and all knowing Heavenly Father who has granted blessings for my family and I that we are entitled to…those that will make us stronger, wiser, and ultimately, who we are to become.

Sunday, as part of the lesson on prayer, I was asked to share a time when I was prompted to ask for something in prayer. And…what would I say to someone who feels like his or her prayers have gone unanswered?

President George Albert Smith explained that we should live so near to our Heavenly Father that when we bow before him we may know that the thing we are asking will be pleasing unto him, and if it isn’t granted in the way that we ask it we may know that the blessing will come to us that we are entitled to and that will really be a blessing.

Our first 3 children came so rapidly that the designer and I seemed to be simply trying to catch our breath!  My health was very poor by he time the explorer was born…three long and difficult pregnancies.  I was physically and emotionally spent.  We decided that we must wait until my health improved before we became pregnant again.

Nine months later (about the time I would usually be pregnant), after much inner struggle and frustration, I prayed.  Apologizing to my Heavenly Father…that although we were very willing and desirous, that in truth, I was not physically or mentally ready to welcome another sweet soul into our family.  I just couldn’t do it.  It was a difficult confession and realization.

Warmth came over me as I felt His love and response.  He was not upset at me.  He loved me and he was simply waiting for me to realize that it was not time…that it was too much for me to handle at that time.  He knew my heart and he would help me heal if I would be patient.

2.5 years later, we felt that our family had been greatly blessed, my health had miraculously improved, and we were ready in every way to prepare for another child.

I have been pregnant 3 times since last summer.  Unfortunately, no baby to hold.

Much prayer and thought: we are so blessed with these three…maybe this is it…should we keep on trying…or be content with what we have?

The answer has come over and over again: there will be more.  

We have no idea how many, when, or how they will come…but they will come.

What a blessing and absolute treasure it is to be a mother and parent.  I am now happy and willing to welcome them whenever they arrive.

Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part.  Here are 5 things that are helping me heal and endure while I am waiting for the right blessing for our family, and that might, in turn, help others who feel their prayers have gone unanswered:

  1. Wait upon the Lord (Due Diligence)- One of my favorite scriptures that has helped me through so many waiting periods is Isaiah 40:31 But they that await upon the Lord shall brenew their cstrength; they shall mount up with wings as deagles; they shall erun, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.   Within the margins I’ve written: self examination, meakness, serve, keep the commandments, and hope.  We must do our part.  There is much we can do to make the situation ripe for the entitled blessings to be ours.  Much like the gardener, we too must prepare the soil, prepare the site for the appropriate amount of sunlight, consider if the seedling and plant will need protection from wind and harsh conditions, and commit to water it regularly, before the blessed seed can grow.  This process can be different depending on the blessing we await.  Do all that your heart tells you and then pray to know what else needs to be done.
  2. Pray for those with the blessing you are seeking - One of my best friends became pregnant just before my first miscarriage and she was terrified of a similar fate.  In my heart I felt her baby would arrive safely, but I really didn’t know.  The only thing I could do was pray.  It has been a amazing blessing and healing experience to pray for she and other family and friends that are pregnant or with small children.  I found myself desiring to pray for those I barely knew or didn’t know at all.  Being able to celebrate the births around me has truly been soothing.
  3. Pray for those who are also seeking/suffering - You may know others who are courageously enduring a similar trial.  Again, praying for others has helped me immensely.  If you don’t know of someone with your same challenge or trial, pray to know…or simply ask our Heavenly Father to strengthen others who are suffering as you are. Undoubtedly, He knows who they are.
  4. Be the answer to other’s prayers - When a best friend (hundreds of miles away) told me of her most recent trial…which she’d actually been enduring for over a decade, my heart broke.  How I wished to be there with her…to help she and her children.  As I pondered what I could do from so far away…the quiet answer came: serve those around you.  And very soon, all around me, I found opportunities to help and lift other’s in their struggles.  It is my prayer that others near my dear friend are doing the same for her.
  5. Become.  Allow the experience to refine & strengthen you - One of the most invaluable things I’ve learned is to allow ourselves to be changed, and bettered at the Lord’s hand.  Truly, I don’t want to miss out on all the Lord is teaching my family and I.  I pray that our family will be closer, kinder, find more joy, and love each other more in the process of becoming all that Heavenly Father has in store for us.
My deepest sympathies and prayers to those of you struggling with an unanswered prayer…or that have loved ones who are waiting upon the Lord.  May we strengthen each other and love those around us even more.   xo ~ katrina
ps.  Here is a video of the builder and his siblings in their rendition of 5 Little Monkeys to brighten your day :)
5 little monkeys5 little monkeys
http://vimeo.com/42648951

thoughts during the holidays

The first couple days of the week were pretty emotional for me…various circumstances, but mostly the lower pain in my back, confirming the fact that I’m not prego.  I will know for sure on Christmas…wouldn’t it have made the perfect Christmas gift?  I wonder how many couples have found out the good news on that holy day…

I’m happy for them.  And I’m happy for us.  I had a wonderful last couple days.

Part of that was a treatment with ZD.  She too confirmed my fears and is helping me heal and get my strength back.   Meanwhile she gave me some very wise advice…you know, the kind I’ve heard before, even shared with others: if it’s meant to be, it will happen…perhaps it’s not part of your mission…

And then she gave me advice that she feels is for all women:

  • find joy every day
  • strengthen your relationship with your spouse (everyday)
  • enjoy one another (in 20 years the children will be gone and all you’ll have is each other)
  • have fun together

So I’m recommitted.  To my husband, to our three unexpected blessings.

Call it another honeymoon, but my gift to each other this year will be that: each other.

I’m so grateful for all that we have been given: the most important things being each other.

Wishing everyone a few more blissful days before Christmas…may we find the warmth and joy every day! xo ~ katrina

on with the journey

Between everything else happening in our life, it has taken me a while to feel like I’m feeling good and ready to take on the next challenge…let alone, getting back to normal.  :)  Thanks for all your sweet comments.  I’m following much good advice, taking it one day at a time…making sure I make time to rest in case I need it.

The kiddos and I have taken long walks in the beautiful Fall sunshine.

They’ve enjoyed the leaves, again and again.  They love to rake them up into piles, put them in egg cartons and recycling boxes.  Sometimes they give them away.  Other times they remove them from our neighbors’ yards.  We love our neighbors.

And found ways to decorate the tree outside for Fall or Halloween (not quite sure).

They’ve painted new masterpieces and played lots of games.  They’ve been incredible, really: so patient and understanding.

The dancer helped me as we organized the clothes again, getting ready for winter.  I’m still nesting.  Still preparing for the next stage…whatever and whenever it may be.   It makes me feel good to nest and clean, so I’m going to keep on doing it till I feel a little more normal.

Physically I feel much better.  Emotionally, I sway back and forth.  I’m sure this is normal and that I’ll continue to feel sadness from time to time.

The designer called after a meeting for the new Draper High School (he’s designed all the landscape, outdoor spaces, etc…we’re so excited to see it built).  He needed directions to another site.  He asked how I was, and I admited that I’d had a hard time after trying to settle bills from the hospital and doctor’s office.

We have a health savings account.  We love it.  We can set aside what we feel we need and most doctor’s/hospitals will give you a discount if you pay during your visit.  It also gives me peace of mind that I’ll not be receiving another bill later.

We’d received two bills the day before saying that there was still a balance on my account.  After long phone calls with IHC and speaking to two (very helpful, btw) employees at the same time, they discovered that while paying for my Rho-gam shot, another patient was credited the amount I paid.  I actually felt a guilty taking the money back as I imagine that it went to the woman with 5 children (one of which had special needs), who were checking out at the same time.

Then I couldn’t control the emotions and began to cry as I thought of the child that we lost and the money we’d saved for him/her.  We’ll slowly replenish that lil’ nest egg as we can.  I was happy to have our money returned as I knew it would go to our next baby.

I was disappointed that while I’d tried to “take care of” everything that day so that I wouldn’t have to pay later.  And yet I was grateful to think about that member of our eternal family that we love so much.  The anger left me and I was grateful.

So when I was helping the designer and he asked how I was, I admitted that I was sad.  He comforted me by saying that he still feels the sadness come and go.  I’m so grateful we can carry one another.

Sometimes it’s nice to not understand so we can be strong for the other…

But other times it’s just nice to understand and mourn together.

Hoping that you’re all finding the love and support that we all need and deserve.  Remember, He’s always there for you.

Sending you all much luv as we continue this amazing journey together.  xoxo ~ katrina

ps. My brother joined us this weekend as we enjoyed  a new school in Provo whose landscape…I’m sure you can guess designed…this outdoor classroom was his favorite spot.

lost heartbeat

As mid-May showers were full of snow at Aunt Nellie’s funeral (our 3rd family funeral in a few short months), the designer and I realized that 2011 for us, was growing a theme: a year in death.  5 months later, it continues.

Loss.  Whether it was a best friend who moved away, a lost student body election, a rejection letter from a favorite school, defeat in a big game, not making the cut on a desired team or production, the job a heart really desired, or perhaps the building lot that received a stronger bid…

…Loss is not easy, and ultimately, it will either make us or break us…bring us closer as a couple, friends, and family…or pull us apart.

As I drove home from a seemingly never-ending day at the hospital, I realized, through my pain and uncontrollable tears, that the loss of our baby will bring many blessings if we will welcome and embrace them.

empathy – Over the years, it has become  increasingly harder to hear friends and family share the loss of a child.  Feelings of guilt raked my soul as I realized that we had been blessed with three pregnancies with optimal outcomes.  When offering my condolences, at times, they almost seemed trite as I truly did not understand what these women, couples, and families were feeling and experiencing.  It seemed that no amount of LOVE, tears, or thoughtfulness deserved to remove an edge of the pain.  I’m grateful for the many who have already carried us: friends, family, complete strangers, those who understood the pain, and the love of others who didn’t understand, but still brought us solace.  No, I’m not a breast-cancer survivor, but I pray for the opportunity aid and heal others with this newly found empathy.

{For any of us feeling alone or forgotten, complete empathy can truly be found.}

hopeAll the 3 year-old explorer could say through his sweet tiny tears, was that he wanted to go to the hospital and feed his baby. Yes, they each took it hard, but as we explained that we would try again, their faces lit up with hope and love for a future sibling.

cleaveNo doubt, loss throughout our marriage has truly brought the designer and I closer. We’ve sat for hours talking & sharing our desires, disappointment, pain, and sorrow.  In these deepest moments of loss, I find that we cleave just as we should as husband and wife: single thoughts and actions, no worldly distractions or noise, (as we call it), can penetrate the bubble of love we have for one another and our children.

{to my unmarried siblings, cousins, and friends: marry someone you want to struggle and grow with…}

plan & humility - The designer confusedly explained the irony in our first attempt at planned parenthood.  Our three freebies reminded us that there is a plan for our family and that our humility in accepting and embracing His plan for our family will result in more happiness and joy.

joyOne of the greatest blessings in loss is looking around at the treasures we already have.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a wife and mother, grateful for our 3 children and the joy and excitement they bring into our lives everyday.

To anyone out there who has joined our year theme of death or loss in 2011, (whether great or small), we offer our sincerest condolences and our deepest love and thoughts to each and every one of you.  May you find these difficult times as an opportunity for growth, hope, and future joy.

much luv,

the designer, the artist, the builder, the dancer, & the explorer 

ps. One of the designer’s favorite songs of all time: Lost by Coldplay…sounds particularly beautiful today…

pss. A drive in the mountains to see the colors and beauty were very healing.  :)