Friday, February 25, 2011


Been thinking about some of my overlooked blessings lately. I just finished a book (true story) about a group of sailors on a whale boat in the early 1800’s who had their ship sunk by a whale and ended up floating for their lives on the Pacific for close to three months. As I tend to curse my lot when I feel challenged, I think it noteworthy to acknowledge that despite of what else might happen, I am not:

  • On a whale boat voyage, away from my family for 2-3 years. Sure, John might be gone a lot, and come home mostly to sleep…but we can gaze upon him lovingly as he snores, and know he (and we) is/are safe.
  • Severely dehydrated. My tongue is not swollen so that I can’t speak (though some might wish it were: my children), my eyes are not bulging in their sockets, and I can sweat.
  • Starving. I am not literally skin and bones, nor suffering from intense edema. I have energy to clean toilets and make lunch.
  • Eating people. ‘Nough said about that.
  • Fat-free. If someone found it necessary to eat me to survive, it is comforting to know that as I am not starving, there is plenty of fat in my muscles which would provide significant nutrition to benefit my friend.

Lest you misunderstand, I am not so pathetic as to see no blessings in my life aside from the above. I see the hand of the Lord now, more profoundly than normal. I truly am filled with gratitude. However, I’m also impatient, and would like to see the neatly wrapped gift answering all my prayers at once, and get discouraged when the tidy solution is less imminent than I consider ideal…but that doesn’t mean I’m entirely faithless and ungrateful - just human and learning.

Silly as it might be, however, I admit to finding comfort knowing it could be much worse. My reading list is filled with tragedies. Horribly depressing – and yet quite reassuring. Twisted? Definitely. Now, off to read on the international sex trade, and then maybe watch “Whale Wars.”

Blessed, indeed.

What about you? Any coping mechanisms to pass along?


  1. So not probably all that helpful, but do you remember when we were dealing with Brianna's pregnancy and we didn't know what was going to happen. I prayed a lot and wondered why an answer wasn't coming. It was only until I took action while I continued to pray for strength that things began to fall into place. In fact, even when we were going forward I had no idea if things were going to work out. I learned a lot through that experience, but, one in particular was that sometimes things don't always go exactly the way we wish or plan them too, but that sometimes He requires us to just keep moving forward, doing the best we can and having faith that it will work out, even if it's not the way or time you wanted or planed for. I hope everything starts flowing a little easier for you and no one has to eat you in the near future;)

  2. Kevin and I play the "At least we don't...." game alot. We end up going back and forth and by the end of the horrible scenarios we come up with our problems seem pretty manageable.Example--we have sick kids--at least we don't have all 5 kids sick at the same time (fast forward to the end)--at least we don't have kids that are dying of some rare and uncurable disease that takes every penny we have in medical bills and leaves us destitute with enormous grief to trudge through.
    P.S. I'm sure glad to know you don't eat people--and I'm glad your tongue isn't swollen either because your fun to talk to.

  3. I recently read about the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies, then followed it up with a story about the Hole in the Rock Pioneers. Then fretted and obsessed about my babies starving until I made it to the cannery to get a year's supply of powdered milk. Hmm. When we aren't starving, how will I use all that powdered milk?

    Also, sorry about the whole selling the house thing. Its not easy, especially when you are the mom AND the one getting the house ready for showing, and I've only experienced it with one child. I don't know what I'd do now with three. Good luck! Wish we could just come borrow your littlest one for a day or two--Grace would love that!

  4. I think you are in a good place if you are willing to accept your "gift" neatly wrapped up. I just want the gift handed to me. :P
    I cope with music mostly. If I am struggling spiritually, I use Hilary Weeks mostly. If I am struggling emotionally, I listen to something like hip hop or pop, preferably with a good message, and dance around a bit. Anxious over a big test, an up beat song with an empowering message. (the last two exams I took at school I heard Katy Perry's Firework and aced them!!) So, I think that will be my song come Friday morning when I have another A & P exam. :)
    I am thankful you aren't any of the above mentioned things either! Especially the talking (or writing in this case) I LOVE the way your mind works and the way you express yourself. :)

  5. I love, love, love reading your blog. It always gives me that heavy dose of reality and awareness that I am not the center of the earth and that I shouldn't take myself so seriously; there are plenty of things to smile & laugh about...even when you don't want to smile. Or laugh. However, I have found the greatest coping mechanism for me is to just find a nice, quiet, dark corner, lie down, roll into the fetal position, close my eyes and wait until it goes away.
    P.S. I'm still in the corner waiting for the "go away" part.

  6. Erin, Oh how I miss you! James organized all my blog bookmarks into one little tab several months ago. Apparently his missed yours. I haven't been able to stalk you like I should. I just stumbled on this post from back in March. You're an amazingly tough chick so you may have recovered from your own boat ride by now.

    However, since Heavenly Father sends us ALL that we can handle and since you really are a tough cookie, I'm betting the waves are still crashing on your boat.

    After baby no. 3 joined our family, it seems like I was never able to come up for air. I felt totally overwhelmed by trials that were somewhat trivial. I felt that what was required of me was too much. In the mornings I felt as though I was moving through mud.

    3 years I trudged through, not telling many about my struggle. Then a dear friend told me about B-150. This sounds nuts but it changed my life. She told me about her mom who had a nervous breakdown when her load has too great to carry. The ambulance came and the first thing they did was give her mom a shot of B-Complex. It helps with mood, metabolism, and energy. She promised me that I would notice a difference in 3 days.

    So, I went to CVS and found the highest dose of B vitamins that I could (B-150). I take one a day before bed and it has made all the difference! I am terrible about taking vitamins so I was not too confident that this was for me. But even I miss a day or two. When I remember to take it, I am able to handle whatever the day throws at me. I no longer need to nap with my toddler in the afternoon. I can get things done. I don't feel trapped, or stuck in the mud, or desperate for help. I feel human again.

    A vitamin doesn't rid your life of difficulty, but this one helps me to handle the difficulty when it comes. It has made all the difference.

    One small warning: you will pee neon yellow. I found this to be a side effect that I could live with.

    Miss you bunches. You should call me! Emily