Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Being here

I turned 39 yesterday.

Yes, I know there are only 6 candles. I seriously don't think I have the lung capacity to blow out 39 candles.

I'm not really sure I'm ready to be 39.

While driving in the car with my dad the day before, I said, "Can you believe I'm going to be 29?"

Obviously even I don't think I'm mature enough to be 39.

And for some reason, both 29 and 39 are annoying. I didn't mind turning 30, and I won't mind turning 40. I say, get it over already.

It's more annoying to spend the year hearing, "Ahhh, next years the big one!"

Not it's not. Every year that I'm alive makes that birthday big.

You see folks, I had an epiphany a little while ago.

Are you ready for it?

I get to be here.

That's it.


No really, that's all.

I get to live, love, watch my kids grow, enjoy every moment with my husband, see sunshine, smell ocean air, feel cool breezes, hear belly laughs from my babies.

It doesn't matter if my back hurts, if I lose a foot, am in a wheelchair, or can't lose that last 30 pounds. (that's a joke cuz no one ever says the last 30. Except for me:)

The fact is that I am here. I get to experience this gift of life with all of it's ups and downs. Trials, joys, tribulations, heart stopping happiness and everything in between.

There is a blog I read, the nienie dialogues. She lived through a horrific plane crash. She was burned on over 80 percent of her body. She has daily pain, she looks nothing like her former self. But you know what? She is happy. Truly happy.

She talks about it all the time, how happy and blessed she is. And I used to wonder, how is she so happy when she faces so much in the way of trials?

But I get it now. And no, I don't equate my back issues with her being burned on her whole body. What I go through is so small compared to her. But I still get it.

I just had a realization, a true gift from God that happiness and appreciation for this life is not dependent on our physical state. The house we have, the clothes we wear, the aches and pains we feel, the money in our bank account. And I know people say that, maybe you say that. Because we're supposed to say that. And we want to believe it. But do you truly?

Those things for sure can make life simpler, but happier? No. And now, well,  I truly believe it now.

I am just so grateful to be here. Something at a cellular level has changed in me. I don't even know how to express it adequately. I just know that I have every reason in the world to feel happy and blessed.

I wish this feeling had washed over me and become part of me years ago. It's not that I walked around moping and crying about how hard life was. But I did not feel the joy of breathing. The sheer magnitude of my gifts. Of my family, my Savior, my life, my marriage. I was thankful for sure. I knew logically that I had a ton to be thankful for.

But I finally know it. My faith has become knowledge. Faith is the essence of things hoped for but not seen. So I had the faith that my life was blessed, but now I know it is.

It only took me 39 years and one very honest conversation with God. Please, when you read what comes next, don't think I'm crazy. Well, ok, I'm a little crazy, but in a good way:)

You see, I was convinced I was going to die. I was convinced I was going to leave this earth sooner than later and leave my family behind. My family who still needs me. Jeff had a dream about me that freaked me out, then I had a dream that freaked me out. Then I started to fixate on those dreams, worry, worry, and worry some more.

So I pleaded with my Heavenly Father one night. I begged him to let me live, that I would face any physical pain or trial, just let me live. I cried and sorrowed, and pleaded.

This plea was answered by a still, quiet voice that reassured me I was not going to die. But that in all my worry, complaining(mostly in my head) and fixation on what was wrong, that I had missed what was right.

It hit me very hard. And then immediately I was flooded with peace and understanding of what my life really means.

It means I get to be here. And even when it's hard, I am here. When it's great I am here. And when it is finally my time to return home, that will be ok. Because I lived the life I had on this earth, being here.

With this realization has come something I didn't expect; when my back hurts now, I don't mind. And just so you know, I'm not talking about a little soreness or tweak, I'm talking degeneration and bone spurs.

But I'm fine with it now. I honestly think, oh well, I'm still here. Oh well, look how pretty my daughters are. Oh well, look how much my boys like to be together. Oh well, isn't it amazing how much Jeff loves me.

Sure it's still annoying when I physically can't do the same things I used to simply because I forget I can't and then I'm unpleasantly surprised. But truly I don't mind, I don't complain in my head anymore, and I experience so much joy because of it.

And this new found peace is spreading.

Of all the things that are possible to complain about,  none of it trumps the truth I now know:

Life is good.

I get to be here.

I hope you get to be here, too.


  1. Such a beaufiful and inspiring message! Thank you so much. Really and truly something I needed to hear. You always were, and are, such a wise friend who still inspires me to be a better me. I'm hoping I can handle my 39th as gracefully.

  2. Happy Birthday to a wonderful writer! You make this 39th year of your life the best ever!

  3. You are amazing. And I have to tell you that when I first looked at this photo, I thought you were dressed for a Christmas pageant--as an angel. And here's why: You have this upward looking, reflecting and prayerful look to you (beautiful) face; you have a halo of silver on your head; and the back of the chair looks like an angel's wing.

    Of course, you ARE an angel, so maybe that's not surprising ...

    (Happy late birthday! Your card is in the post ...)


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