Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lift up Your Head, Princess...Finding the Fun in Adversity

How true. I don't know who said this originally, but I loved the thought. We need to remember who we are, for we are daughters of a King.

Along that general theme, I stumbled across the picture below awhile ago, and it's stuck with me. The quote is from President Uchtdorf and the sweet graphic can be found at Holy Handouts.

I lost my husband to cancer eight years ago and was left to raise six children on my own. I can remember sitting down one night after a very ordinary day was done and feeling so frustrated. I pulled out my journal and started to write. Woe is me. Oh, the troubles I had faced!

"I am feeling very stressed. The house is such a mess. We have piles in every room and tools everywhere. Kids keep getting out of bed and it is after 10:00PM. I started school today but missed half of the first class. We are out of bread. Boys missed the bus again. Emily wet her pants at school (kindergarten - just sayin' for her sake, lol). Kate called home in tears. Courtney doesn't know her times tables...The bank closed too early. Braden has a health "sex" class that I need to preview materials for right now. I don't have time. I have a test tomorrow and only made one out of the four hours of class today. I just want to cry. I am not up to this and sometimes feel like I just can't do it."

I think I did cry that night. The next night brought a different journal entry. I listed the things that had gone wrong in the month since my husband had died, and followed by...well, I'll get to that.

"Since Rick died, our oven died, the computer quit working, the dishwasher broke, and now my dryer's not working. Also, one of the circuit breakers blew out, the A/C isn't working, a window broke, I ran into an angle iron trailer parked on our street and cut open the side of our car, and the phone quit working."

Not bad for a month, eh? And it was just the tip of the iceberg. The fun part, though, came after my sob story, because that's when I thought back to all of the things I had LEARNED. I started writing, and the amazingness of it overwhelmed me.

I learned how:
To install a ceiling fan (yep, it broke, too)
To wire a light fixture
To pull and replace a circuit breaker
To take the front off a dryer and look for a heating element
To remove an oven (the wires melted inside the wall so the whole thing had to go)
To remove cabinets/counter/tile (went with the lovely oven fiasco)
To install baseboards and doors (we were in the middle of a project when my husband died)
To ask for help (probably the hardest lesson)
To program the heater (it's a man's job, you know)
To test a phone line (in an attic full of yucky spiders)
To repair a phone line in said attic
To find the humor is a frustrating situation (the car vs the trailer, but that's another story)
To grout tile
....and the list went on...

Two pages! I filled two whole pages with lessons and blessings that came from those trials. This was a turning point for me. Oh, the difference it made to look for the blessings and lessons! What a blessing in and of itself to have written them down!

I've heard of gratitude journals before, but this was my first experience with the healing and comfort that they can bring. Now when things are difficult, I can look back and remember that the times I struggle are often the times I grow the most. I believe I really did become stronger, wiser, and more joyful because of those trials.

We all have our trials and adversities. It's how we chose to look at them that is important. The lessons and blessings are there for us if we chose to see them.

If you like inspirational quotes, I've got a bunch on Pinterest. They'll make you smile.  ~ Erin


  1. Thank you, thank you! I appreciate your perspective so much!

    1. You are welcome, Raquel. It can be hard when you're in the thick of things, but so much good can be seen from the other side of experiences if we take the time to look. And how sad to go through the hassle of trials without realizing just what we've gained! =]

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