Monday, November 06, 2017

8:00

Last night at 8:00 my alarm went off just like always.
It's a reminder to pray with Christian.  His alarm goes off at 8:00 too.
No matter where we are, or what we are doing, we stop everything
 and find a quiet place where we can kneel and pray to God.
It's not that we'd forget to pray, it's just we want to make it a priority.
Last night we slipped quietly out of the noisy ranch kitchen 
(Lottie was putting on a very loud dance show), and found an empty room
 where we knelt down on a sheep skin rug holding hands.
I listened intently as Christian prayed in his deep raspy voice thanking
 God for our children, for our marriage, for the scriptures, 
for a living prophet, and for our bright prospects and future.
He continued thanking God for our stretching and 
learning experiences and opportunities. 
As he spoke my mind raced to the day when I first saw and met Christian.
I was in love, and I knew it.  
Now I found myself kneeling in prayer with the same boy I first saw 17 years ago.
As he prayed on, my mind raced to the day we bought our first home a 
month before we got married.
It was small and old (105 years old to be exact), the windows were 
drafty and floorboards were chipped, 
we had saved up for this home, and proud to call it our own.
I remembered bringing baby Claire home from the hospital to this home, 
and a short 15 months after that, baby Jane was brought home there too.
I had visions of us the day after Christian 
graduated from college piling everything 
we owned into a U-Haul and driving across the country thousands of miles
 away to New Jersey for his first job.
I was sick and pregnant with Oliver, and about 20 miles into our trip I 
discovered if I could get the car under 45 mph, I could open the car door
 without stopping to throw-up.  
That became a huge time-savor since I threw up what seemed
 like a thousand times from UT to NJ.
We added Oliver to our family, bought and fixed up another home,
and with three young children I turned 24.
I reflected on the day we packed up our New Jersey home for a new job opportunity
in Arizona and where Christian would learn to fly.
This time we could afford movers to move us from the
 Garden State to the Grand Canyon State and was pregnant with Nicholas.
I used barf-bags on the airplane to contain my pregnant throw-up,
(honestly I'd rather throw-up in a moving car 
than on an airplane with hundreds of other people).

As Christian prayed on, and I remembered our very tearful and
 desperate prayers to God as we struggled to understand our pain 
and suffering after the accident.  
We were confused and sick, frustrated and depressed.  
There were plenty of happy and grateful prayers
 as we moved from one milestone and triumph to another. 
We were humbled and brought together in a way that 
I wish for every marriage to experience.
 We grew closer and relied on God and each other 
in a very deep and meaningful way. 
I remembered one early morning in late August when I
 took a pregnancy test reveling I was pregnant with Charlotte. 
 I called Christian who was with the Little Nies at the ranch and
 nearly screamed into the phone with excitement.  
We both cried into the phone as we expressed our love and gratitude
 then together prayed on the phone thanking God for this miracle
 that seemed so long in coming.
And I'll never forget the night we knelt in the living room floor as a
 family in our newly constructed Fox Hill thanking God for this beautiful new home.
  It was place of peace and safety; a refuge for our family from the world.  

I've held Christian's hands in prayer many many times- in good and 
prosperous times, sad and horrible times, painful and frustrating times, 
joyful times, and times of peace and strength, confusion and despair


Now this night in the middle of nowhere in 
a cozy ranch house 500 miles from a life and home I thought
 would be "it" for me,
I found myself holding Christian's hand tightly and understanding deeply
 what it means to have "hearts knit together in unity and love...".
Situations change, dreams change, hearts change, prayers change, 
people change--sometimes for the good and sometimes not.
But one thing that will never change is God, and that knowledge
has brought immeasurable peace and dependability in my life, in my
marriage, as a woman, and as a mother to my five children.
Especially since I know that no matter where I am, who I am,
how I feel, what I've done, or what I think, I know that
God knows me and loves me deeply and he'll never ever abandon me. 
Ever.