Here’s Part 4 of Chapter 8 of Dates With God: How Four Mormon Mamas Beat Satan With the Book of Mormon. In this part, we have Lauren humbling herself to realize the truth about birth control which she can share with her midwifery clients. She also makes a big announcement!
Lauren’s Letter Week #8
I love Thee so much God! I love how much Thou hast worked with me. I know it wasn’t easy. I tend to sort of go along with Thee, sometimes. OK, OK, I guess in my heart I still rebel. I go along with what Thou sayest, sometimes, but I do it spiritually kicking and screaming the whole way. Just like my kids I guess. But I have improved. I am a better parent as I have improved my relationship with Thee. I want to be a parent like Thee someday. I hope it can happen at least in the next life. I have a lot to learn from Thee about loving completely and unconditionally as Thou doest. I’ve noticed that Thou always sticks to the words that Thou givest to Thine children. As it says in the scriptures, in Doctrine and Covenants 1:38:
“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”
So if I am going to become like Thee, I get to learn to always have my words match my actions, so that they “will all be fulfilled.” That’s one reason I love this Mothers Who Know class. I am learning to be true to my word, which includes my Girl Goals. I am learning to speak something and then make it true so my kids can count on my word. I have a long way to go in for that to be true with my kids. I love them, but I don’t always follow through with what I tell them. I am getting better at that though.
I’ve known my whole life that Thou art my father and I’ve treated Thee like one but I love knowing that I can treat Thee like a drill sergeant too. That’s news to me. But really, it’s not news for me in the way I treat my kids. I tend to be that way, LOL, always telling them things to do but then I wasn’t there to help them or follow through to see if they did it or not. But to think of Thee as a drill sergeant, hmmm, that’s something new. Wow, that really applies to this class because we talk about doing drills to help us stop sliding down the chemical scale. The drills that work for Kate or Emma don’t work for me. I can see how Thou, as my father, knows what drills work best for me and can tell me what would work best for me, according to my gifts and temperament and goals.
So every morning, when I pray, it’s like I am reporting to duty. I’m asking Thee what I need to know and do that very day to fight and win my battles. I can get ideas for drills from Thee, especially as I read the scriptures. Every night when I pray it’s like I am returning and reporting and telling Thee how well I did and acknowledging where I failed. Right now, my drills are going splendidly well. Every time I get despondent about Logan I do my drill. The reason I can do the drill so well is because I have been drilling it three times a day already, so I can immediately do it when I discern that slight chemical shift of despondency. I no longer lie awake at night with my mind racing, thinking about what an awful mom I am and having the “If only I had done this…” and “If only I hadn’t done that…” or “I am such a horrible mom.”
I have come up with some affirmations to say when I start to feel those regrets. “Dear God, I know I am made in Thine image. Because I am Thy daughter, I have the gift of the atoning grace of Thine Only Begotten Son. I know I am enough. I am a mom who loves my children. I take care of my children and am there for them. I let go of the past. I turn over my sorrows and regrets to Thy son, my Savior Jesus Christ, who willingly bears these burdens because of His love for me. I allow room for new wisdom and light to help me and my son move forward in hope and faith of being better servants of God, born again through the cleansing blood of Thy Son.” I have written this on a 3 x 5 card that I keep in my pocket. I have an alarm on my phone to remind me to say this 3 times a day as a drill. Because I have drilled it 3 times a day for many days, now I automatically get the card out whenever I start to feel sadness, regret, and guilt. I say it with deep breathing five times after my nightly prayer, right before I go to sleep. It has allowed me to sleep peacefully in the embrace of Thy love. I also know how to support Logan now and that his addiction really is his battle to fight with the help of Thee and Thy son. I can’t take it over for him, although many times I have wished that i could.
I feel like I am falling in love with James all over again. It’s been such a rocky road the past 5 years and it feels so good to know we are past that all. I love being his wife. I love letting go of that huge weight I had for years of being his boss. I have let it go! Miracles of miracles! Kate’s example has helped a lot. I love being at home more and actually being engaged with my children when I am at home. I am still holding at 1 midwifery client a month, no administering of my organization, and a bit of blogging. I like seeing how I can make such a difference in the way my kids behave because I choose to take the time to prepare better food for them and choose to listen to them instead of focusing on my own stuff and feeding them factory-made food and factory-made entertainment. My work will be here in 20 years, but they will be all grown and I can’t bring that time back.
I am slowly realizing that my family is part of my team! I never felt that way before. I just always treated them like dead weights on my pursuit of success. Or trophies, cute things to show off. But never as teammates, until now. Of course, Thee as my God art on my team. I used to always think of Thee and the Savior as the umpire on the team, always calling me out for my bad behavior. But now I realize that you two are really like a cheerleader, a coach, and my biggest fans all rolled into one!
Over the years in my midwifery work and my blogging I have met a lot of potential teammates. I have a lot of mom friends with similar goals as mine, who want to help women find the power within them to trust the birth process. It’s my turn to learn from other moms instead of always having to be the person who knows it all, which is what I have felt like I had to be as a wife and mom, and even back in high school, college, and law school.
Speaking of not knowing it all, I just experienced a time on my blog where I didn’t know the answer. Somebody posted a comment about the evils of the Pill on my blog and it has sparked a huge controversy with tons of comments. For once, it’s a controversy not started by me, LOL.
I checked out the link that the original poster referred to. I learned about the dangers of the Pill. I’ve always dismissed these claims before, as a mom and as a midwife. The Pill was so convenient to rely on. I recently looked into the claims of the dangers and I felt convicted to change my mind. The thing I never looked into before was the ACOG statement in 1976. The ACOG is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which is the leading group of medical doctors who specialize in childbirth. This organization gave a new definition to conception with the statement.
As a midwife and childbirth educator, I have been leery of the ACOG more and more as I have seen the stats each year for C-sections. Each year the percentage of births that are C-sections increases. As I asked before, are women’s bodies somehow being made more defective, year after year, so they are less capable of having a vaginal birth? I don’t think so! Something else is going on. There’s more going on with what they say happens at the conception side of the process as well. Back in 1976 the ACOG redefined conception to mean the point at which a fertilized egg implants in the mother’s lining of the uterus. But six days before implantation the egg and sperm join. That was the original definition of conception. So the new human life has been growing for six days. I suspect that the ACOG wanted to get around any religious and cultural-based desires women had not to use something that would kill life, so they created this new definition of conception, the start of life. That way they wouldn’t feel guilty for lying to the American public. This way they could say that the Pill wasn’t really killing new life, because new life hadn’t started yet. It was just not allowing the precursor to new life to become new life. Pretty sneaky. From all my recent research, I realize now that the Pill is both abortive and contraceptive. It kills life, and it prevents life from starting. Now I am feeling regretful that I never told my clients anything about the risks of using the Pill. The site, thepillkills.com totally inspires me and now I want to start sharing everything that I learn from it. I’m totally feeling the call to learn all about natural family planning.
Well, I guess that it will be a while for me to really get into it because I’m actually pregnant! I can’t wait to tell the class. They are going to be speechless! I love being a shocker, in a good way! I know, it’s hard to believe. Me, the confirmed, four kids is the most I can handle, me, the one who threw a party when my youngest went to kindergarten. Me, the one who gave away all my baby clothes the minute my youngest turned one. I thank Thee for the miracle of my new life and the miracle of the new life inside of me as well.
I have found that by having each of my kids set Man and Girl Goals, that gives me something more to talk about with them. It forces me to interact with them beyond asking “How did your day go?” which is notorious for eliciting silence and shrugs. It helps me to talk with them each night before I do bedtime stories with them when I look at their page to initial the box to sign them off for accomplishing their goals for the day. We talk about their biggest victories for the day or their biggest lost battles. I ask them if they are still fighting for their goals and why are they fighting. I’ve helped them set 28 rewards and 7 day mini-rewards for along the way. I find myself not being bored when I am with them like I used to think I would be if I were home all day with them. I feel amazed that I have changed so much.
Your Eternally Devoted Daughter,