Would you like to translate this into another language?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

#1's Weekly Email: Week #19

I give up on the Tagalog to English translation. Sheesh. I'm going to have to go to the new missionary in our ward to see if she can translate for me. For now, sorry. You're going to have to suffer through it like I do.

I completely agree with #1 about what she says about the gift of tongues. How in the world would someone be able to speak a new language in a matter of months without it? I remember each day I woke up in Japan, on my mission, wondering if the language would still be with me that day. It was granted way beyond what was earned.

I'm so happy for m'girl. So glad she's loving life.

I have to share also that we received a phone call this week from one of the senior missionaries who lives near #1. He said a number of things that made me very happy. Can I share them here at the risk of sounding too braggy? He shared that #1 tells things how they are....Hmm....I don't know where she'd get a trait like that. He also said, "That girl of yours has the gift of tongues. She can speak Tagalog!" He also said that she was very obedient. I think of all the things he said, that one made me happiest. If she's obedient, I know she'll be safe and that she'll reap the blessings for her obedience.


So this week started out the way it normally does. P-day, working, teaching.

Tuesday - Working and anticipating finding out what's gonna happen. The text was supposed to come at 6. 6 comes around, no text. 7, no text. 7:30, text! Eeep! Freaking out over here. Sister Ja and Sister C are being transferred and Sister Je, Sister Ja, and I are all training! We walked home very fast and began packing. Sister Je and I were both freaking out. We just finished our 12 weeks and we're already training?! Paano yen?

Wednesday - We get up at 5 and travel to the mission home. In Iba, Sister C gets off at the bus station. She is now the Sister Training Leader in [another zone]. We then continue to the mission home. Surprise surprise, Sister S, Sister T, Sister P, and Sister W are all training too! :D Happy day. Family reunion at the mission home. It's amazing to think that all of us just finished our 12 weeks and we're training already. Astig talaga yen. Sobrang masaya kami. We got paired up with our trainees. Sister L is my trainee and she is awesome. She's happy all the time like me and she learns so fast. She was quiet at first but now we're really good friends and she's not quiet anymore.

Wednesday -  first day of work. Because I'm the trainer now, I have to do all the talking. Everyone is amazed that I can speak the language as well as I can. They always ask me how long I've been here in the Philippines and then they're shocked when I say only 3 months. Hahaha I love the looks on their faces. I am so grateful for the gift of tongues. I'd never be able to do this without my Heavenly Father. 

Thursday and Friday - pantid days, meaning that no one is home because there is an election going on right now. I learned yesterday that the candidates go from house to house.... Wow.

Saturday - Baptism! Sister E got baptized. Before the baptism we asked her how she felt about it and she would always say "normal-lang." but after her baptism she said she felt really happy. YAY!

Sunday - We were worried that Sister E wouldn't get to the church on time because she has two little boys and she is usually late. We prayed so hard that she would get there on time and when we got there, she was already there. Heavenly Father answers prayers and she knows that the church is true :D Happy happy day.

So yeah. That was this week. Hopefully this next week, people will be home. The election ends today.

I'm still happy and so glad to be serving my mission here. Missions are the most awesomest things ever :) 
So yup. Yun lang.

Inaro kata mo haliban (I love you all in Sambal. I'm trying to learn Sambal. There are a lot of different dialects here and Sambal is what the natives speak here. Pretty darned cool)

Have a great week! Thank you for all your prayers and support.
-Sister Hess

The Feelings of a Ten-Year-Old

Some things just need to be kept for posterity's sake.

Last night, I asked each of the kids to sit down and write a special letter for their sister for her Christmas book. Not their usual here's-what-happened-this-week letter, but something with their feelings in it. The book will be taken Monday to ship out, so today is the day that everyone writes. I got one child to write his last night so there wouldn't be such a time crunch today.

This morning, I read that letter. Here's what it said:


"My testimony is that Joseph smith translated the book of Mormon and that jesus christ will come again. I also know that jesus christ was born under a star that was brighter then all the others i also know that he will come again and that missionaries will help everyone i hope that is what you are doing.


This just made me smile too much not to share.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


A friend shared this on Facebook yesterday. I LOVED it. I had never heard this song before.

I have to be honest, and knowing where my brain is right now, you won't even question why, but as I watched it, I thought, "I wonder where these guys served their missions." Funny, huh? Yup. I'm a bit fixated. But seriously, what a great looking group of guys. I mean that in the way that I wouldn't be unhappy watching my daughters date any one of these guys.

As friends have commented on it, I have been drawn to watch it again. This time, though, I was caught by the words in this song. Let me share those with you....

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big and brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

This was EXACTLY what I needed this morning. I have been silent. I have been holding my tongue. So many things to write and share, but I have wondered who even cared. Well, I've decided who cares if anyone cares. I need to "let the words fall out."

Now, I just need to watch this video a few thousand times a day to remind me what's really important. I need to be brave.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Hubbub Over Missionary Blogs

Quite a bit of controversy has arisen over missionary blogs. There is even a big campaign right now about making them all private so that anyone who wants to read them has to ask the moderator for permission.

What?! Making missionary blogs private just seems so counterintuitive. From what I understood, there was supposed to be an increase in missionary activity online. Not less.

There is so much good that these young people are doing. To make these blogs less accessible on the Internet would greatly decrease the evidence of some of the greatest good that is going on in this world today. I'm sure you'd agree that we can all use every bit of good we can find.

The argument for private blogs is completely valid. Missionary safety is the biggest concern.

It is so great that a missionary's family members and/or friends will jump in to help record a missionaries experiences, but as a moderator for a missionary blog, if you have limited blogging experience, you may not be aware of the concerns or the safety issues. There are definitely some Internet etiquette and safety rules that need to be shared.

The fact of the matter is that in this day and age, you can't just throw every nitty gritty fact out to the world and expect everyone to be kind and courteous with it--let's think pigs and pearls, shall we? As members of the Church, we like to think that everyone out there is basing their lives on faith, hope, and charity and is trying to better themselves, but to be real, most people are not. There are people out there with questionable motives. Think: Seek "that all men might be miserable like unto [themselves]" (2 Nephi 2:27).

I have seen family blogs where the sidebar contains beautiful pictures of each of the family's children. Under each photo is the child's full name and date of birth. I just cringe when I see this knowing that ANYONE could do really evil things with just that information alone.

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. We just must be wise.

In order to help you avoid some potentially bad things, let me give you a quick crash course....

First, let me state, just like the safety of your home, if someone desperately wants to get to you, they will find a way. You do all that you can and take every precaution available and then trust that everything will be fine. 

Here are a few precautions (I know there are more, so if you have found something additional that works, I hope you'll leave a comment so we can all benefit from what you've learned):

  1. Write as if you're writing to the most depraved person that walks the earth. Never let your guard down, and never put too much information out there. If you have your doubts and wonder if what you're writing might not be appropriate, take that as your warning and cut it out.
  2. Never use names. Of course, the name of the missionary will be obvious, but protecting the
    identity of other missionaries, investigators, family members, etc. is of utmost importance. Instead, use a first initial or some kind of descriptor for the person you're referring to.
  3. Never, under any circumstance, speak ill of ANYONE (from companion to governmental system and everyone in between). This is one of those "Hmm....should I include this in the blog?" kind of questions. If you question it, delete it. So what if the post ends up being three words long? You just don't do it no matter how truthful it may be. It is just too damaging in the long run.
  4. If you must place a mailing address, only include the address of the mission home. The current address is not a good idea for two reasons. First, it obviously makes a missionary more accessible to anyone who might want to harm him/her. Second, these addresses change frequently, so mailing to them just isn't the best idea. People can send mail through the mission home. It may take a few extra days for a missionary to get whatever it might be, but it's just better to preserve the missionary's safety.
  5. Never put a map of the area where a missionary is serving on a blog. I actually think I have one of my daughter's first area. I was so excited about her first assignment that I was sure the rest of the world would be too. In hindsight, that was super dumb of me. I will never do it again. No matter how excited I may be.
  6. Be SUPER careful about the photos you post. Either the missionary needs to ask the permission of those who appear in the photo to put it on the Internet, or photos need to be limited to the missionary whose blog it is and possibly his/her companion.

But the the question arises....what about preserving the actual record? When you've cut it all apart, what will you have left? Here are a couple of thoughts.....

  • Before you post anything on the Internet, make sure to copy and paste the original email somewhere--a word document is great. Then print it and place it in a page protector in a binder.
  • Here's what I do....I have created an additional private blog. I have invited no one else to view it. Each week, when my family writes to our daughter/sister, I copy and paste these into posts on this blog. When my daughter writes, I copy and paste those as well--unedited. The pictures she sends are also placed there. The plan is that one day, shortly after she returns home, we will upload this blog to a book-making site and format it to be printed into a nice book for her.

Oh, I have one additional comment to blog overseers....
image: chaseartist.com
One of my friends once said that in the comments of anything online is where the "Trolls lurk." This isn't always the case, but there just might be times when a troll happens along and writes a negative comment. This being the case you don't just want that showing up on your blog. So, please make sure that in the blog settings you have it set so that comments always go through you first. How do you do this? Let me show you.....

Log into the blog
Click on "Design" then "Settings" then "Posts and Comments."
Where you see "Comment Moderation," click "Always" and type in an email address.
.....And voila! You're good to go.

After you've done this, all comments will show up in two places--your email inbox and the "Comments" section after you've clicked on "Design."

So go ahead and write your missionary blog. Share it with the world, and while you're at it, take a little perusal of  Matthew 5:14-16. Just beware, the fierce winds are blowing. We must do what we can to not only keep the flame burning through our protection of it but see that this flame grows to the point of filling the earth.

Getting It All Figured Out....Again

This blog has kind of turned into my daughter's mission blog. I haven't intended for that to happen, but I'm trying very hard to control my computer time during the day. This makes it hard to blog as often as I'd like to. I have so many things I want to write about and will soon. Life just needs to even out a bit. I have kids who need their mom's help with homework in the afternoons, so that's taking a lot of my time. I have to push other tasks into what used to be blogging time. Once we get it all into a good pattern, I'll be back writing more.

Thank you for your patience!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

#1's Weekly Email: Week #18

I'm having a super hard time translating her Tagalog. The online translators just aren't doing it for me. I asked her to translate herself, but she only did the very first sentence. Ah well. I tried to do my best.

Anyway, enjoy!

My training is almost over! :D I cannot tell you how excited I am. 

This past week has been good. Yes, I'm still happy. Yes, I'm still working hard. The food is still really good. The people are still really nice. And yes, I'm still really really white. 

So this week, our focus has been Sister E. She is a investigator, and she is fabulous. She has two little boys and they've both got crushes on me. A is 7 and P is 5. They are quite a bit obnoxious but they remind me of my little brothers so it's ok. Sister E is married but her husband is working in another city right now so it's just her at home. It's really hard for her because not only is she running the single mom scene right now but she's also pregnant. Sobrang mahirap sa yung mga nanay dito sa Philippines. When I become a mom I'm never going to complain because I know how hard it is for moms here. And our focus has paid off. She's going to be baptized this next Saturday :) Sobrang masaya kami

Lets see... What else to tell you... We have transfers on the 23rd. We find out what happens tomorrow. I could either be training or have a follow-up trainer... I'm excited to see what happens. 

Ummmm ano pa.... Oh! So you know how we have planning and evaluation every night? This is when Sister C tells me what I did right and what I need to improve. There were three times this last week when I didn't have anything to improve! Whoa... I think my training's almost over :D Yay yay yay yay! :D I'm so happy. So what else... Mom asked for lots of details so I'm trying to think of some... 

Hmmm  nothing else for now. I know that this is where I'm supposed to be right now and I'm so excited to see who I become from all my experiences. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I love you all.

Mahal na mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess (Barbie)

Sobrang mahirap sa yung mga nanay dito sa Philippines = it's hard for the moms here in the Philippines
Sobrang masaya kami = it is our pleasure (?)
ano pa = what
Mahal na mahal ko kayo = I love you so much (?)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

#1's Weekly Email: Week #17

Hello People of the world! 

Sister Hess here with your news from this last week here in the beautiful country of the Philippines.
Working hard always and striving to ignore all the stares still and all the calls of "Barbie! Barbie!"

This week has been harder than usual because of course missions are definitely not sunshine and butterflies and unicorns always. This week we didn't get to teach a lot of people because they aren't ever home. It's really frustrating but we're happy anyways because we trust in Heavenly Father and know that he will support us and that everyone will hear the Gospel in it's fullness eventually here on Earth

We got to watch General Conference this weekend. There were a lot of talks that I didn't get to hear but the ones that I did get to hear were amazing. I definitely agree with President Monson when he said that this was the most inspirational conference he's been to. I learned so many things. My journal is almost full of amazing quotes and inspirational things. Can't wait to get the Liahona

The best part of conference though was the feeling afterwards. It renewed my desire to help these people and share the gospel with them.

So not much new to share and my time is almost up. Thank you for all your prayers and support. 

I love you all. Until next week!
-Sister Hess

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference Thoughts: My Mom's Journey

 It's been 183 years since the Church was restored--in 1830. There were six members. There are now 15 million.

 Last year at this time, there were 58,500 full-time missionaries. Today, there are 80,333. It's astounding to think that last year, it wasn't even a thought in our home that we'd have our own missionary out in the world, but here we are, a year later, and she's been gone for some time now. Someday soon, I'll share the miracle that that is.

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).

"After all that's been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel." --Joseph Smith

 It is to fulfill these words that missionaries are out, all over the world, searching for those who are seeking the truth.

I got to thinking yesterday about my family's history in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was not a "family tradition" to be a member of the Church. I do not have many pioneer ancestors who joined the Church back in or around 1830. I have one--the Riddle (my paternal grandmother's maternal) family. My paternal grandmother's father joined the Church later on as did my paternal grandfather and my mother.

Specifically, I got to thinking about my mom yesterday. And even more specifically, her search for truth. I got to thinking about the remarkable person she was (and is).

I have shared this before, but my mom's mom died when my mom was six. It was 1934. This has always been an astounding fact to me. The world was at war. The Great Depression was on. A very unsure time in our world, and a little girl loses her mom to cancer. In my mind, a great tragedy.

I have often wondered what it must have been like for her. Yesterday, my mind retraced these thoughts but from a different angle. What was it that made her so wonderful?

I had concluded, a long time ago, that these experiences from her childhood, played a huge role in that. But, yesterday, I thought of her journey....of her faith.

When she was a teenager, she attended a Lutheran summer camp with a friend. While there, she stood at the meeting when the pastor announced, "If you desire to follow your Savior, Jesus Christ, please stand." Before the end of the camp, she became Lutheran. She became very active in the youth activities of the Lutheran church. I find it ironic that most of my dearest friends are practicing Lutherans. She continued to attend Lutheran services throughout her teenage years.

I don't think it was until she met my dad that she even knew what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was. Her dad, when he found out that she was dating a "Mormon," was very unhappy. He got so he wouldn't let my dad step foot in his house.

When they married, to appease her father, they did so in my dad's parents' home. It was NOT to happen in an LDS meetinghouse.

In 1959, my mom joined the Church. When I asked her why, she shared with me that it was because my dad and she wanted to be able to answer my sister's questions as they knew she would have them as she grew. They wanted to be united in their answers. They felt that they were to be had in the faith of my dad's family--the LDS faith.

I never knew my mom as a new member of the Church, but I know people who did. I have met people who loved and helped her as she "got her feet wet" in her new faith. I am grateful to those people. It's been so fun to cross paths with them and learn a little about what it was like for her back then.

My mother was a very happy person. She was solid in her faith as long as I knew her.

The Church provided her with answers she sought for herself and for her family. She found that she could be bound to her family through the ordinances in the temple. I believe those are the things she searched for more than anything else--to be tied to her family eternally.

As I look back on these things, I have to chuckle when I reminisce on the fact that, just prior to his death, my mom's dad was listening to the missionaries. He passed away, before he could have baptized himself, but my, how his heart had softened. He saw the good it did in my mom's life and the great things it did for our family. He wanted that for himself as well.

I am grateful for the faith of my mom, and I'm so thankful for those who taught her. I am so pleased to watch my daughter change lives and give back a little of what our family has been given through this wonderful church.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

#1's Weekly Email: Week #16

Just Keep Swimming

Magandang umaga po so inyo lahat

Nagpapasalamat po ako sa opportunidad to email you all tungkol sa yung work ko dito sa Filippines. hehe
So this week has been good. Lots of work and walking. 

On Monday, we taught a referral from one of the members here. His name is Dr. T and he's actually spent a lot of time living in America, in New Jersey to be exact. He is actually paralyzed in the right half of his body and has had surgery on his heart. He's an older guy. It was fun to teach him because I got to say some of the lesson in English. But at the same time it was so weird. I never thought it would be weird to say the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm just so used to saying Ang Panunumbalik ng Ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo. How odd... 

Anyways that was the fun part on Monday. 

On Tuesday, we found a family that the last missionaries had been teaching. We looked for them for forever and we finally found them. It's the E family. We taught the mom, M and her daughter, K. They're so smart and open. We asked them to be baptized and they said yes. Sana may maraming binyag on November 9th, Happy Birthday to me :) Hopefully this is the time for them to be baptized.

Hmmm what else.... Nothing absolutely amazing has happened this week. It's kind of been the same as always. We just keep working hard and sharing the gospel with everyone. Everyone still calls me Barbie but I'm used to it now. I just accept it. 

The language is still coming. Earlier this week, I did language study with Sister D, one of the senior missionaries here. I always forget how complicated Tagalog is. There are so many different ways to conjugate the root words. Wow, I am amazed that I can speak it at all haha

So yup, that's this week. The work is so fun and so worth it. Serving a mission is the greatest blessing ever. It's so hard but it's definitely worth it.

Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts. I love you all

Until next week, Kapayapaan sa labas <3
-Sister Hess


Magandang umaga po so inyo lahat = good morning to you all. 
Nagpapasalamat po ako sa opportunidad to email you all tungkol sa yung work ko dito sa Filippines = I'm grateful for the opportunity to email you about my work here in the Philippines.
Ang Panunumbalik ng Ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo = the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ
Sana may maraming binyag = Hopefully this is the time for them to be baptized.
Kapayapaan sa labas = (literally) peace out

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Come, Join Me

Last year, at this meeting, our lives changed. This time of year was when the announcement was made that the age of eligibility for missionary service was changed. This was when plans began for #1 to serve. Crazy to think of how this wasn't even a thought more than a year ago.

Feel free to join us as our family watches General Conference this weekend....

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Little Emergency Prep for the Weekend

I actually started writing this last Saturday. I had great hopes of attaching pictures, but I can now see that that's just not going to happen, so here you go......

This next weekend is General Conference. Part of our tradition this time of  year is to change out our 72-hour kits. I've got some work to do this coming week.

In the past, I wrote a bit about this preparation. Here is a link for you. I thought I might go out and purchase another wheeled garbage can this week. The two we have have never really been enough to store everything we need. And I would, if circumstances around here were normal, but who am I kidding?

Let's just say that I'm relieved that we haven't had to use these kits over the past six months....one of my children, who really had no clue what they are for, just thought I was hoarding snacks in the garage, decided that some of the things in those backpacks were really desirable. Let's just say that if there had been an emergency, the Hess family would have gone extremely hungry.

While I was cleaning out the garage this last time, I pondered about the luggage we have up in the far corner of our shelves. They just sit there nestled inside each other. Actually, one is the massive suitcase that got me into so much trouble in Japan. Ugh! Bad memories. Anyway, I think what I may do this time, until younger kids learn the importance of those supplies, is put our backpacks in those suitcases. The kids'd really have to work to get those down. For the adults, it wouldn't be a problem. Issue solved, no?

In the event of an emergency, we open the garage door, throw open the back of the van, and toss those puppies in. Seems like it would work.

I just have to make sure that the little ones don't see me putting them in there. Then we'll be good for another six months.

So, I've got a bit of extra grocery shopping to do this week. I'll be using the money from the "Emergency Prep" envelope. Now, the debate....milk jugs or Ziploc bags? Here's a helpful link with a great video for this kind of thing. Ziplocs might just be a little too easy to get into for our family right now.

The list for the Ziploc bag idea is a bit different. I'll include that in another post this week, so you can see and follow it if you decide that works better for your family.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Mama. A Mommy. A Mom. A Mother.

I am a mom and am becoming a mother, but I need to work on still being a mommy. My mama days are over. I have done my midnight feedings, changed ooooodles (emphasis on the ooo) of diapers, and done the strollers, the cribs, and everything that comes with infants. I am pleased and feel blessed to have experienced this seven times over. Wow! What a life!

As life has moved on, so have I. I believe I am best suited to being a mom. I am good at teenage problems. I love to talk to my adolscent-aged kids. I like their friends, and I like what they do and how they do it. I love their independence and their ability to solve problems. At this age, I appreciate the fact that, for the most part, they want me around and don't necessarily need me.

I'm finding what I struggle with, though, is being a mommy.

When you have a household that runs the gamut of motherhood, transitioning from
one level of mothering to another is quite a challenge. You've enjoyed most of the things of that last season so much, but as that season ends, you find yourself ready to leave all of that behind and move onto the next phase and all that comes with it.

The first thought on my brain this morning, as I woke up, was the fact that my littlest children need a mommy. They need someone who will take them by the hand and walk them to the park. Sometimes, they might even need a push or two on the swing.

This is where I struggle. I somehow want to lump them all together and have them all be as self-sufficient as my teenagers, but we all know that that's silly. These little ones need someone to walk them to school. They need someone to be up early to get them breakfast. The oldest, however, need someone at the cross-roads. They need a mom who's there for them when they walk in from school. They need someone who's up so they can talk to them after a date.

Some days I feel like I must be everything to everyone. Some days this is overwhelming. But, when I stand back and look at life and where we've come so far, I can see SO clearly that my time of being mama, mommy, and mom is so very short.

Here I am turning into mother. Mother is allowed to spend time alone. She can even shower any time she wants to without someone knocking on the door. She has to find excuses to read picture books and then she sneaks away in the back corner of the library to do so. Mother is different. I'm not sure I'm ready for being mother. Mother sends packages to far-away lands to those who once called her mama. She worries about new and different things....Things she never even imagined as she administered all those doses of children's medicine to feverish little ones all those years ago or as she took photos of them getting off the bus on their first day of Kindergarten.

I feel blessed to still be mommy and mom as I turn into mother. I'm grateful for this gentle transition. I look back and feel the glee in my heart that diapers are no longer part of my life. I look back with fondness on trips to the park, the fountain, the library for my older kids' enrichment, but I am grateful to still have those trips. I just need to learn to discipline myself and keep squeezing these things in between Eagle projects and trips to the DMV. I am happy that I am allowed the chance to ease my way into this last and longest lasting role of motherhood. I fear that this role will be my biggest challenge.

I wonder now....if I'd known, if I'd been able to see just what this was going to be all about....Would I have done things differently?

As I woke this morning, I realized that my littlest kids still need a mommy. In many ways, because I love the mom role so much, I find myself rushing....Rushing to get past the diapers and the strollers and all that comes from mama-hood and now rushing to get in and through mommy-hood.

This morning, upon awaking, it was as though there was a stop sign placed in my way....A chance to pause for a few moments and look at what I'm rushing past....A warning to not wish it all away. As the role of mommy comes on so strongly for these little ones of mine, I feel the urgency this morning, that I can't push that away. It is mine to embrace. It is mine to do everything with that I can. It's mine to bless their lives with.

So, for now, I get up early. I get myself ready, so that I can help them
with their needs. This, right now, is my reason for life. This is my obligation, but this is my joy. Someday it will be gone, and I will be nothing but "mother." When that day comes, and my children are the mamas and dadas, the mommys and daddys, the moms and dads, will I be able to look back on my own life in those roles and feel that I set the best example I could? Will I feel that I taught them how to fit these roles well?

That must be my focus today while I am still a mommy and a mom.

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