Tender Mercies

Dear Heidi,

Thank you for thinking of me! You know, everything that has happened since I saw Grandpa last has been a reminder of how blessed I am. When we first bought the ranch, right after Little Heidi was born, Gram & Gramp came to visit. We stood in a field at sunset watching the river and the mountains and he put his arm around me and, squeezing, exclaimed, "Look how the Lord has blessed you! This is your home now. This is where you belong. This is your life now...you better love it!" and other things like don't come back to Arizona, be a good wife and mother, etc. Ever since then I have tried to remember that. This is not the life I planned for myself, but it really is SO MUCH BETTER, and almost everyday I think of my Grandpa's words and try to truly love my life. This has been especially true the past month, and being with you and your family were part of that comforting reminder that it is indeed a wonderful life!

I have dreaded Grandpa's passing for as long as I can remember, but the past few years I feel the Lord has prepared me and given me really sweet "goodbye" moments with Grandpa. I really miss him, but it is not nearly as devastating as I thought it would be. In fact, it has been kind of sweet--I can feel myself falling back on my faith and my gratitude for the Savior has grown exponentially in a week. I have never longed for the resurrection like I do now. The Spirit has attended our home this week like the temple. It has been so sacred and touching and I am so thankful. The best way to describe it, at least for me, is that same feeling as when you bring a new baby to the family. The Spirit settles over the house like a blanket--the air is thick with love and the home is a truly Holy Place. That is how the past week hs been for us (really, my only sad times come when I think of my darling Grammy all alone, but she has been so strong and brave. I just cherish her. She is in good hands!). While I wish I were at the funeral that is being held right this minute, I would not trade the comfort and blessings of the past week for ANYTHING.

I wrote to friend earlier this week (a friend who lost her toddler son earlier this summer), "I am also grateful for that wonderful succoring from the Spirit that comes to us in our extremities. One good thing about this kind of grief is that it makes me feel so human, so alive, like I am really living my life, like I am doing what God sent me to do and I can feel Him and the plan and all of that more keenly. I am sure you are all too familiar with all these feelings...I am rambling! So in short, I am surprisingly well. Sad but well." Oh so very well.

I love you, Big Heidi. I will come see you soon. XO, Jamie
***
One of the tender mercies extended to me this week happened Sunday. I wrote about it on facebook, but I want to remember it here. Even though I was exhausted last Sunday, I was so looking forward to taking the sacrament with my ward family after being away for 2 weeks. I was also prepared to teach James' Sunbeam class (on his 4th birthday, no less) and it was my week to teach Relief Society, a wonderful lesson called "The Church Today." I was pretty sad when I woke up with a migraine, but felt determined to nip it in the bud. I got up aroun 6:30am and took 2 migraine pills with come ice water and returned to bed. Rich rubbed my back and neck to help me feel better, but I just didn't. I finally threw up my pills, but felt a little better, so I resumed getting ready for the day. I had to lay back down soon enough, and I threw up again, so I reluctantly had Rich call the RS counselor to tell her I couldn't teach, and he took over teaching James' class. I went back to bed and fell fast asleep. I was so sad, but I slept deeply until noon.
At noon, I turned on BYUTV and propped up my pillows, eager for a little spiritual nurturing. An address from Education Week (August 16th) was just starting, called "What Is This Thing That Men Call Death: LDS Teachings about the Spirit World," by Brent L. Top. I made myself a bowl of cereal, took two more migraine pills, and settled in to watch the address. It was beautiful. THAT was the message I needed Sunday, as much as I missed my ward family. So I am sharing it with you now.

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