Monday, May 18, 2015

Letters of the past, present and future...

This past week I was looking over some letters I have written and others have written to me.  I thought I'd like to start a series of letters.  Tid bits of love saved for myself and others for a later time.  I appreciate reading these and have been impressed to share some.  If it's not your thing, then move right along…

Letter to my daughter and future fiancé:

Dear Emmeline Sage and STBSIL,                                                                  February 15, 2015

I am dumbfounded that you are getting married!!!  Right now, you barely even talk about boys but you do smile oddly when a cute boy walks by or yell at me when I say hi to the popular boys at school.   I know you like them but are afraid to talk about it.  Just like you blush and try to avoid talking about puberty and the facts of life. ;)

Emme you have an amazing talent to love others.  You have a gift of a tender heart.  You love your family.  I love watching you with your friends and with your siblings.  You can play with Eva as well as you can play with our 18 year old babysitter!  You will accomplish so much!  I know you will want to study, what, I don’t know.  Whatever it is, you will do it fantastically.  My guess is you will desire to serve a mission.  Now, I think that would be a fantastic opportunity for you and that you could help many find Jesus Christ, but if you choose not to go and get married instead, I will know it is because you felt it in your heart that God wanted not to go.

Emme, you are at a critical point in your life right now.  I know that you will make the best decision to marry the right man.  However, look at your fiancé:  Does he work hard like your Dad? Is he a worthy priesthood holder like your Father?  Does he love you and puts you second in his life, first being God?  Does he want kids and is he good to his Mom? 

Being a wife and a mother is not easy.  However all the hard work is worth it!  I have you, just as a small example! ;)  Don’t put off having kids!  They are the true joy in life!  I find it a privilege to be a wife to a man that loves God more than me and who is a fantastic Father!  You are so incredible lucky; you were raised by a prefect Dad.  Yes, no one is perfect but he was the perfect fit to raise you!  Emme once you learn to embrace motherhood, with all the messes and sleepless nights you will find a joy that I can’t express.  Stay home with your kids; you will never see them take their first steps again.  I am blessed to do that.  I have loved watching you grow!  You have surpassed all my expectations!  You are rare!

Now soon to be son-in-law, welcome to the family.  Enter if you dare!  We are so thrilled that Emme has chosen you and you have chosen her!  She is a rare rose among thorns.  Now, I expect you to know this and remember this for the rest of your life, Emme is as precious to me as water is to a traveler in the Sierra’s.   Now, I have been tempted to threaten you if you hurt my daughter in the slightest, but I too have been married a long time and know it is not easy, so I know there will be pain, but let me teach you how to love a woman deeply and she will respond and love you beyond your understanding; listen to all the craziness, even if it doesn’t make sense, scratch that, especially when it doesn’t make sense, all she needs is a nod and say, “I know, that’s just crazy.”  Give Emme wings to fly!  She loves to do her own thing but she will always return home to her sounding board, aka, you.  Women need to get out and socialize and not feel guilty.  Let her go, smile and clean up while she’s gone.  She will respond will affection and respect.  Encourage her to remember her true heritage.  She is a beloved daughter of God.  PLEASE, treat her as such!

Now that all the counsel is over, you’ll notice that I didn’t hound on Emme as much, there is a reason.  I had 18 years to already do that, if she hasn’t figured out yet, good luck STBSIL!  You’ve got this!


Mom from the past

PS I love you more!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Won the Lottery!!!!!!!!

There is no other way to express my excitement than the feelings of winning the lottery.  I came home from a long and wonderful Spring Break to San Diego and Mesa when I opened my door to a perfectly clean house.  I thought at first I should pat myself on the back, "Impressive Auna Leigh, way to be on top of things!"  Then I looked around a bit more and I noticed my blinds were clean, my carpets were WASHED, my floors mopped, towels were washed and folded, a new Turban Twist hung by my shower, kid towels were sewn and folded.  I always thought myself to be pretty clean, but dang, never THAT clean.

I knew only one person in the world crazy enough to clean my whole house, with the time and love for me.  I walked next door and pounded on the door, "Ms. Maybury you've got some explaining to do!!!!"  Seriously, what kind of person cleans your house, top to bottom just to, "Pay it Forward"!?  I asked my sister this and she said, "Not your sister!"

I have lived in the same house for now six years and I have had many neighborly acts of kindness that have lifted me and given my self-esteem wings to fly, but this had to take the cake.  Ms. Maybury already watches my kids with no warning, tutors my son in speech, wakes up at 5:40am to kick my butt at the gym, cooks me yummy sugar cookies, walks with me in a storm to return library books, etc.

Everyone needs a little Ms. Maybury in their life.  I am sorry if you don't.  I think I'd go crazy if I didn't have that bundle of joy and service within reach.  I am forever grateful that the Lord has put an earthly angel right next door that has given me more than I am worthy of accepting.  Sometimes in life you give and you give and you give and then other times your windows open and the Lord pours blessings in.  Mine comes in with a hearty laugh, the biggest grin you've ever seen, jeans, tennis shoes and a heart of gold.

So, Thank You friend, thank you other friend who wishes to be unnoticed!  I love you both with a kind of love that only one has for an angel in their life, Christlike love.  You two made me feel like I'd won the lottery!  I guess I did, to have friends that would break into my house and clean every nook and cranny.  Thank you God giving me these angels.

PS.  I wished I took pictures of my home when I walked in, but within 30 seconds it looked like a bomb went off.  Oh the joys of motherhood!

Monday, January 26, 2015

swimming in wet clothes

Tonight as I was trying to relax and unwind in the tub, while using my nebulizer, I know, you can imagine how uncool I looked.  Maybe you were more worried about me getting shocked.  In case of the later, I'm writing so, we're goooood.  While in the tub my two littlest earthly angels made their debut in my bath completely clothed.  They laid there in there tight little clothes suctioned to their skin.  Now they are running around in there wet jeggings.  I should get them dressed, heck I should get dressed, but as Disney Channel plays in the back ground I sit down to pour my heart out.

I love my kids.  I love my life.  I feel blessed more and more every day, but that doesn't mean there are days I feel like I am swimming in my clothes, more like drowning. You get the picture?  I sat in Sunday School yesterday as we were taught how to best help our children to learn.  Hands were raised steadily through the hour lesson and example after example were given and I sat there with my hand in my lap and my mind racing for ideas to share.  

The thing is I am usually one of THOSE people that fellow classmates hate, but teachers love.  I usually have something to share that has worked or hasn't worked for me.  This last Sunday was different, I kept thinking, I have no clue what I am doing.  I really feel like I am winging it, 90% of the time.  Honestly, I'm treading water in the massive pond of Motherhood.  To tell you the truth, I hate Mommy blogs, whether its crafts, parenting, food, etc.  Yes, I am well aware I am a mother blogging! 

So I am keeping it real; I have no grand plan on Motherhood, no cleaning plan that works, no dinner schedule that dazzles the masses, my baby sitting co-op is slowly dying, I don't have a workout routine guaranteed to shed the weight, nor do I care to work it off right now.  I lack in so many areas it makes my head spin.  I am just trying to stay afloat.  

I have a quote in my home, well actually I have a few of them, that reads "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain."  It doesn't tell you had to harness the storm, or the five steps to a cleaner, brighter happier sky, but to simply dance.  Flippin' DANCE.  I had these shoes I used to wear to dances in high school and I'd say, "They make me jump higher, run faster and dance like no ones watching."  Turn up the music and dance to your own craziness!

Here's to the crazy Mom's who roll down the windows and blast their horns when they drop their teenager off;  the Mom who finds an extra pair of kid socks in your sweatshirt sleeve; the Mom who forgets snacks and zip locks popcorn for the starving first graders; the Mom who shows up late to a daughter half time performance, etc.  You rock!  We mom's adore you!  All of us stand by and wish we had your style, your patience, your attitude, your hair and your adorable smile.  Power to the moms!  Keep swimming.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

train wreck

Not too long ago I got caught in a scary predicament.  I was a voice in the dangerous gossip train and the conductor blew the whistle.  Everyone was ordered to stay aboard as I was kicked off.  As I fell, it hurt.  There were tears and heart ache.  I hated watching the train pull out and my friends look the other way.  I saw the whispers behind my back, the look over the shoulder to make sure I wasn't listening.  I knew I should have kept my mouth shut tight and never boarded that train, but I had to climb aboard to notify one fellow passenger.  One.  It just took one.   

It wasn't a fun story to tell, it was full of heart ache, deception, secrets and lies of others.  I was abandoned that day, stuck in a rut, hurt deep to the bone because I had cause so much pain for my friend.  I thought, "If only she could see the truth, she would know I am a good person.  She would love me.  She would see me as honest.  And then the guilt would be gone.   I wouldn't feel so darn sad and lonely."

Well as all secrets do, the truth leaked out.  This time my friend took initiative and got the answers she needed.  When I heard, my heart sank.  The relief I had anticipated never came, my heart felt heavier because it was all true and my friend was hurting and there was nothing I could do.

I tell my daughter who is in the pit of drama, aka, middle school, to keep her mouth shut.  Remember the phrase, "If you ain't got nothn' nice to say, don't say nothn' at all."  It's that simple.  Or at Dieter F. Uchdorft once said, "Stop it."  In a General Conference for my church he said, "This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
Stop it!"
Six months after this ordeal I overheard some women discussing my friends predicament, good friends.  I sat by and didn't participate, thinking I was safe for not casting a stone.  Not until another gal spoke up and said, "Can we please stop talking about this.?  I just really love her and don't want to hurt her."  I sat back, I may not have been participating but I was doing nothing to stop it or protect my friend.
It's been now over two years and finally this friend will smile at me and pull me into her arms.  Before the holidays I saw her and she told me she loved me.  I know her life is far from peachy but to see her heart soften and accept me for my imperfections soothes my soul.
I pray that we can accept others for who they are. Period. Friends need people to have their backs when the rain hits.  Friends need someone to hold their hands and have a shoulder they can cry on.  Don't be sucked into the drama.  Stand up for your friends.  Love them all the time. 

So when the gossip train arrives at your station and blows the whistle to welcome you aboard, don't hesitate to throw the nearest elephant on the tracks. STOP IT, before it leaves a train wreck at your station.

Love you- Auna Leigh

Monday, December 15, 2014

He is the Gift

I am in love with this time of year.  Especially this year.  I decided not to send out Christmas cards and not to do neighborhood treats.   I'm sorry and you're welcome.   You see, I think all of us hate the rat race of Christmas and the guilty feeling we get when two dozen Christmas treats land on our porch and we haven't done one thing for anyone outside of family.  I'm sorry you won't be getting my carmel pretzels this year or a fancy smancy Christmas card, but what I am really giving you is a little less guilt this season, less sugar rush for your kids, less expectation from me.  So, when I smile and wave while bustling my kids around town or I'm humming a holiday tune in line at Walmart, let that be my gift to you.  Simple love and Christmas joy!  

The first Christmas gift wasn't wrapped in gorgeous paper and there certainly was not any perfect bows.  It was a gift of unconditional love.   The love Mary had for the Lord. The love Joseph had for Mary.  The love the Lord had for His son Jesus Christ.  May we remember this holiday season amid the chaos and self induced guilt, our Savior who was born to save us all.  
He is the gift.  He is why we can live again.  Here is a little
movie on the Savior that doesn't take much time:

Merry Christmas friends!  I hope you can feel the love Jesus has for all of us!

~Auna Leigh

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

free hugs

I don't quite know how this will go, nor where it'll end.  We'll just have to start at the beginning.  Ever since I was a little girl I was known as a love bug.  When my mom asked my sister what she wanted to be when she grew up, my sister responded, "More loving, like Auna."  This was something I was apparently born with.  I have a gift to love.  

I was always bummed out when I didn't make the dance teams, or excelled in Home Ec.  I roll my eyes when I see perfectly put together moms.  I've struggled for years with the knowledge that I do not possess a visible talent.  It's no super human power, but I have come to realize that love is needed.

We can all show our love in many ways.   Kindly offering to let someone in your lane, smiling at a stranger, waving to your neighbor, or offering a middle schooler a ride.  Apparently the last is a "no no".  Last month when we had Arctic weather I offered a girl around twelve walking on slippery ice a ride.  I rolled down all my car windows so she could see there were other kids in the car and offered her a ride.  My daughter was mortified.  "Mom, I don't know what it was like when you grew up but you CAN'T do that any more.  Some girl at school was being followed, last week."  So I guess stay away from offer kids you don't know anything.  I guess most kidnappers are moms with carpoolers already in the car.  ;)

I love dropping off my kids as school and waiting to hear, "I love you Mom." even though its usually quick and not while looking at me.  I love when they don't and I get to roll down my window and yell, "Honey, you forgot to say I love you!  I love you!  I love you! I love you!"  I even like to add blaring music or a honk of my horn.  Saying I love you is important, but showing love is magical. 

Psychotherapist Virginia Satir famously said: "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth."

Hugs are so important, there's a National Hug Day. If you don't believe me, google it.  

f you need a hug, give a hug.  

Yesterday I hugged a couple of my friends and I notice I received more endorphins and I felt happier. Appropriate physical touch helps reduce stress, and makes us feel loved and accepted.  Many report that when people are in comas they respond better when they are being touched.  

I have two littles that know how to give hugs.  All my children love hugs and need them equally, but these two just know when you need the biggest hugs.  I love getting wrapped up by my seven year old.  I love how healing they make me feel.  He wasn't always a cuddly one.  In fact he was a very busy two and three year old.  He was an angry five year old.  He struggled.  We tried many things.  What worked for us was recognizing his strengths and focusing on them.  One was his magnificent hugs.  I make sure I get one hug a day from him because they didn't always come easily.  

I love getting hugs and giving hugs.  I love when I'm "discussing" with Mr. C and tensions are high, tears are falling and he wraps me up in a big hug.  A part of me wants to push away and sometimes I do, but if I let him hold me, then slowly the tension melts away.  It's not a huge miracle, BAM I feel better; rather it is a smidgen of a hope that helps resolve our differences.  

I grew up in a house that hugged a lot.  We loved a lot.  I guess having 5 girls and then a little brother, made us a more "touchy feely" family.  I am grateful for a Dad that wraps me up in a bear hug, my mom who holds my hand, my sisters who usually do some kind of grabbing, mostly inappropriate so, aunts who remember my birthdays with lip balm, grandpa's that hug and whisper, "You're my best girl!"  

When you're feeling down and out, happiness is only a hug away.  So get out there wrap up that Christmas shopping and spread some love with a smile and if you're feeling it, a great big hug!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

snow angels

For a while now I have been thinking about my dear friend Charlotte*.  I knew life wasn't as peachy as she made things look, but I felt like I could never crack the outer shell.  She comes to my mind often and I never follow that inner voice.  Until one day I had a very unique experience.  Out of the blue I texted her and simply asked how her youngest was doing and if we could borrow an old movie.  She responded that they had just left the hospital for some testing.  They thought it might be whopping cough.  I told her I'd bring a meal over.  She graciously declined, like every other woman I know would do.  But I wouldn't except no for an answer.  I told her that a meal would be on her porch at four regardless if she ate it or not.

I ran to the store with my day passé of two and we started down each isle.  I always feel uneasy of what to bring people, because I am NOT the best cook.  Yeah, I can make anything from a box, but that's about where my skills end.  So I went out on a limb and bought key lime pie fixings, spring salad with fresh berries and noodles to make a soup.  Nothing fancy by any means, but it was a challenge for me.

When I made it home I unloaded and said a little prayer and the neatest thing happened, unseen angels were my aid.  (Only wish they would have reminded me to put salt in the bread.)  Everything came together with ease and it looked and smelled wonderful.  As I loaded the car this overwhelming feeling of love and peace washed over me.  I knew it wasn't meant for me, it was meant for my dear friend Charlotte.   I brought it in with my little assistants and talked with her 18 year old daughter.  I debated there for a good five minutes, wondering if I should share this experience.  I knew I had to.  I said, "Sam*, will you tell your Mom that the Lord loves her.  He must think she is pretty amazing because he asked me to tell her."  Sam smiled and told me thank you for sharing and I was off and on my way to pick up the rest of my passé from school.

Later I received a beautiful text from Charlotte, "I just talked with Sam.  She told me everything you brought and what you said and I am sitting in my car bawling.  You have no idea how much I needed to hear that and feel that right now!  I had a really horrible weekend and I'm so thankful for your inspired goodness and love.  You are a huge answer to prayer.  I'm so humbled by what you did for us tonight.  Thank you.  This means more than you know."  Almost, a month later I received an inspiring thank you from her husband that stated, "Thank you for responding to the promptings of the spirit.  Your meal came on one of the darkest days I've had in years.  Thank you."

I am so grateful they responded.  Most of the time when I feel prompted to do something I don't get to know the whole story.  I want to reiterate the truth, that I don't share these experiences to boast in my strength, but in the Lords.  I am nothing without my Savior, who gave all.  We are all here to help others along their path.  Charlotte answered my prayers years before when she came and cleaned my house with me.

Recently I read this darling book, by Angel Randall.  My sweet five year old picked it out.  It is a sweet story of how angels are always close by and ready to assist.   All these little girls needed to do was ask. It's worth the read, my kids love it and ask to read it every night, even the 11 year old who thinks I know nothing.  

See a need, pray for help, and then see the angels go to work.  Yes, it takes effort on our part but you will be guided and directed in His work and blessed in other areas of your life.  I am extremely grateful for angels that assist me daily, both seen and unseen.