Sunday, April 4, 2010

 Happiness and Hope

Disclaimer; Many years ago, (I was probably 20ish) a kid I worked with made a comment… "Anj, you dress like a different decade every day."  While my clothing style has matured since then, you could still say I'm eclectic.  A little of this and a little of that.  There is so much beauty in the world I soak in what I like and toss the rest.  It turns out (which is no surprise to moi) that my blog seems to be the same.  A little of this and a little of that.  I've spent a lot of time on creative stuff… mainly because it's easy.  I have loads I could share.  And it is a big part of me. However there are many parts of me I'd like to share.  One is my faith.  I don't want to surprise any of my readers that are here for the "crafty stuff."  This blog is about all things that make me happy.  And my faith is indispensable to my happiness.  Thanks!

I recollect sitting on a plane.  It was a small plane transporting an even smaller group of people.  It seemed rickety and unstable.  My nerves were already on end, so this did not help.  Our destination was the Toronto Ontario airport.  I was scared to death.  I was about to begin my 18 month journey as an LDS missionary.  I was apprehensive about what life would be like.  The idea of knocking on doors both scared the tar out of me and made me want to puke.  It seemed 18 months would last an eternity.  That I would never actually return home.  I recall looking out the window, down at the snowy earth below and jotting some thoughts in my journal.  I wrote…"Well- right now I'm looking down on Toronto Canada.  Guess I made it…. So right now how do I feel? Nervous, scared, curious, wondering what on earth I'm doing here.  Am I really a missionary?  I don't know jack. Will I like my trainer? Who is my mission president, what is he like?  It really is weird.  One moment I'm excited- the next I want to go home…  No mountains, flat as can be.  I'm going to miss Mount Olympus.  It always has marked home….I want to be a good missionary. What a truly grand experience.  To grow up- and to serve the Lord as I do it.

Seven years later…

We received some painful news.  I was 5 months pregnant with our third child.  Another daughter.  At an ultrasound we discovered this little girl wasn't like our other two.  We would only have her for a moment after birth and then we would witness her return to heaven.  
My heart broke that day.
In the bible we read a story of Christ and the apostles crossing the Sea of Galilee. 
"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Mark 4:37-38
I felt this way.  Suddenly surrounded by a great storm. Alone, broken, scared.  
I was in a heap, on the floor of my closet.  I was crying.  Bawling actually.  It was the ugly cry… snot and all.  I was heaving, pleading, begging and crying out… "I can't do it, I just can't do it. I'm not strong enough."  I was afraid.  Fear had crowded my soul.  Then a hymn played through my mind over and over, soft, sweet, like a lullaby. Finally the tears subsided and peace filled my heart.  It was quiet.
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" Mark 4:39-40 
Now I could hear what HE was trying to say.  It was at this moment things were clear.  Completely trusting God.   Knowing he loved me.  Knowing there was a reason and a plan.  Knowing I might not be strong enough but HE is.  He would carry me. HE is stronger than the winds, the hail, the storm. Again I said to myself... deep breath - close eyes - move forward.  
 I left my heart on an alter and stepped back.  
This  is when everything changed for me.  I found happiness, understanding, courage and above all hope.  Every kick, every hiccup was special.  I remember telling her I'd miss her as I'd stroke my belly.  I told her about her sisters, her father, me.  I did all I could to bond with her while she slept within me.  It was all the time I had.  And now instead of resenting it, I was grateful for it.  Every moment. This remains the most precious experience I've had in my life.  I count myself blessed for it. I knew my little one wouldn't be healed.   I knew I wouldn't have her for long in this mortal state, But I know I will hold her again in the heavens.  And all because of the death and resurrection of Christ. 

I remember another time, again on a plane.  This time as I glanced out of the window I saw Mount Olympus.  I was home.  The 18 months that once felt they would never end flew by.  I looked back on my mission with fondness.  I gained a perspective of how quickly time goes.  How home is always close.  Sometimes things that seem like they'll never end are the opportunities we need most in life.  Where we learn and grow the most.  

I can't help but wonder, that before I came here to earth, I had the same excitement and fear I felt on the plane to Canada many years ago.  Did I think it would never end?  I now know things end.  The storms will pass.  Time will march on, and one day I will return home.  Perhaps I'll recall those Mountains that marked home for me so many years ago.  I'll look back with affection at the experiences life gave me.  I'll have my Evie.  Her bones no longer bent and small.  Her heart and mind whole.  Then I again will tell her, tell her of her siblings, her father, of me and most of all the healing power of the Savior.
"It is fitting that during the week from Palm Sunday to Easter morning we turn our thoughts to Jesus Christ, the source of light, life, and love. The multitudes in Jerusalem may have seen Him as a great king who would give them freedom from political oppression. But in reality He gave much more than that. He gave us His gospel, a pearl beyond price, the grand key of knowledge that, once understood and applied, unlocks a life of happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
The gospel is the good news of Christ. It is the revelation that the Son of God came to earth, lived a perfect life, atoned for our sins, and conquered death. It is the path of salvation, the way of hope and joy, and the assurance that God has a plan of redemption and happiness for His children.
The gospel is the way of discipleship. As we walk in that way, we can experience confidence and joy—even during times of peril, sorrow, and uncertainty."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Happy Easter


  1. Thank you so much for sharing that. I have yet to face difficult challenges in my life, I know that they will come, I just hope and pray that when they do I will face them with the same courage, and unbelievable faith that you have. One of my favorite scriptures is D&C 78:18...And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. How blessed we are with the knowledge that families are forever!

    I will be thinking of you and your family and your precious little Evie and hope you have a wonderful Easter!

  2. Anj,
    Your blog is a source of inspiration. Sometimes a little bit of creative inspiration and sometime a little bit of spiritual inspiration. I remember Evie's Day so well and feel so blessed that you invited us to share something so special with you and J. I think you are a remarkable women and I'm glad to call you sister. I love you!

  3. You continue to inspire me. In more ways than you know.

  4. Thought about you today. XOXO

  5. Love you. Thanks for your thoughts. They are appreciated and Evie is remembered.

  6. Beautiful Anj! You are truly inspiring, and a great strength to me!!!

  7. Thanks for all the kind comments! Becki, that scripture is perfect, thanks! Love to you all!

  8. Anj, I have thought about this for more than a week now. It brought me to tears. You are so strong and beautiful, both inside and out. I'm so glad to know that you will get to be with your sweet little Evie again. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

  9. That was beyond beautiful. Thank for sharing such a personal story. For strengthening me this morning as I sit here and read.

  10. My family lost an Evie, too, after having her only a little longer than you lost yours. It's hard to reach that sense of peace, but I'm so glad that you had your faith to help you. It makes all the difference in the world to know that someday we'll see them again, and in the mean time they're happy and not in pain. Thanks for sharing your story. It means a lot to know that other people have been through the same thing and come out strengthened in their faith.

  11. Anj, I don't normally comment on blogs. I admit it's been a few weeks since I read your blog (I hope you don't mind that I linked to yours from mine). Tonight I was catching up reading and came across your Easter post.

    Thank you! You have such an eloquent way with words that (as I'm sure many can attest to) we feel like we are experiencing life right beside you.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. I needed that. You're a bright spot in my life- have been since those wonderful 18 months in that snowy little town.

    I looked up to you then as a missionary and continue to look up to you today.

    Soldier on my friend, you are doing the Lord's work.

    Love you!

  12. that was a beautifully told story! Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. You are a wonderful person - I can tell from afar! Much Love, JEN

  13. After you kindly left a comment on my blog, I wanted to look at yours. I was scrolling through, and found this sweet post. It brought so many feelings and memories back. I delivered a little angel baby that we named Molly, last fall. It is good to see you so well adjusted, and with such good perspective. The post you commented on in my blog (rocket themed room for my son) was the result of desperately needing a big project in January (when my Molly was due, and my arms were empty). Maybe our angel daughters Evie and Molly are friends in Heaven, and are proud of their mama's blogs :)

    Sending you my love this day :)



  14. You do not know me and I dont know you but your blog and your words are an inspiration to me. Thank you!

  15. Anj, I know you wrote this post awhile ago, but I was reading your blog tonight. I was inspired by all your talents. This post was the most inspiring. You are a woman of great faith. I can't image what you have gone thru. I can't put into words how much admiration I have for you right know. Thank you for your faith.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this! I stumbled across your blog through a friend. On Oct. 13 We lost our baby girls! We were having twins and words could not explain how excited we were! We were even more devistated when we heard that we would lose them! My world seemed like it had ended! I couldn't go on! I couldn't do it! I cry everyday and miss them more than anyone could know but it is because of the plan of salvation that I get through everyday! How blessed I feel to have this knowledge and know that it is true! It has helped to hear other people's stories and see how they have grown and lived through things like this. It makes me feel like I can do it too! Thank you for sharing your story!!

  17. Hi,

    I just found your blog through a link on a friend's blog. I am so impressed. First I was mesmerized by your crafty skills!!! I am a scrapbooker, so I appreciate everything that is hand made and you are definitely an inspiration! But as I kept reading, I found this post. And it touched me deeply. Thank you so much for sharing it! My son is leaving on a mission in three days and I am a heartbroken mama - so your post made me realize how quickly the time flys and how good this will be fore HIM! Your post also touched me because I have lost 7 pregnancies to miscarriage and one was at five months. I remember them telling me "the news" as well like it was yesterday and you reminded me of how our families will be together for eternity. Last, you touched me because you were willing to share your faith on your blog. I hesitate to do that. I try in little ways, but am never sure how much to share. So this makes me brave - and feel like I can do it. Thank you for all of these things. And for making me cry today because I don't cry often! Come visit me at my crafty blog at "". I would love to be friends with some one like you!!! Suzy

  18. my heart broke for you when I read this. I am pregnant w/ my #4 boy, and have watched so many friends go through almost this exact same thing. You are a strong woman- and you are an inspiration to so many of us. Thanks for ♥sharing your thoughts and story ♥


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