On September 19th, 2004, Mr. Nielson and
I sat around our kitchen table in New Jersey.
The table Mr. Nielson had made me as a wedding present.
It was made of pine and had a stainless steal top.
At the time, we had Claire, 3 and Jane, 2, and I was pregnant with Oliver.
I was really sick (as I get with all my pregnancies) and really homesick.
For me, this was the first time I had moved...ever in my life.
I was young, and my family in Utah meant everything to me.
I missed my sisters, my mom, and my mountains so terribly
I'd cry myself to sleep at night.
We sat down at the table feeling overwhelmed and a little discouraged.
We had no money and the home that we had just purchased was a dump.
It needed major work to which we didn't have or the time or the money to fulfill.
(And also with my pregnant nose, this house smelled so bad. ALL. THE. TIME).
We sat together and I cried, while Mr. Nielson comforted me.
Together we opened up our scriptures and read.
I was still crying, and Mr. Nielson was still comforting me.
The scripture in The Book of Mormon that we were reading
together referenced this hymn that we frequently sing in church
during the sacrament.
The words left us stunned.
The answer to our hurt and tearful pleas were
jumping out at us as we read the words.
For courage to accept thy will,
To listen and obey.
We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full.
We'll walk thy chosen way.
We knew when we took the job all the way in New Jersey, it was right,
because the Lord said so.
We listened and we obeyed.
We know that God's way brings happiness every time.
It doesn't mean it will be easy. It doesn't mean that we won't cry or hurt,
but the blessings will come.
And everything will make sense. It takes hard work and lots of faith.
Then we decided that this hymn was our family theme.
The words are a steady reminder in our lives and in our marriage
that when challenges present themselves
we will always feel validated and protected.
If I line my will with God's will, no matter what it is,
I am the happiest and the most content as a woman and mother.
Each year since 2008, Mr. Nielson and I choose a new family theme to guide
and protect us throughout the year.
We challenge the Little Nies to memorize the theme and
frequently talk about it together as a family.
For the next few days,
I am going to write about each of our family themes.