Friday, December 22, 2017

And Sow We Grow


I seriously cannot believe how long it has been since I wrote on my blog!  The last 2 years have flown by, and true to this blog title, our family continues to change!  Since Christmas 2015, we have 4 more grandchildren, a missionary who has received her call, gone and served for 18 months among the people of Chile and returned, and over half of the 10 children are now adults.  We can longer shop in the children's section and I'm pretty sure, I am now, by far, the shortest member of the family (the oldest and I are tied for 5'3"!!).   And Sow We Grow!!  I would also add, among the list of changes, some kids struggle in school while others excel.  Some are artistic while others aren't sure what end of pencil to write or draw with (Thank you technology!!)  The kids no longer have regular schedules with the other parent as they are now all teenagers which means, "Where your friends are, there will I be also!"  Which is completely understandable as well as unpredictable.  So, Families Change.  I am still convinced, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that life does not get better by chance, it gets better by CHANGE!  And, as the title of this blog testifies, Families Change, and by so doing, they get better!

And now, the vulnerable side --- being a member of a family is work.  Being the mother of family is constant work.  Being a wife is hard work everyday.  And, being a grandma is hardly work.  All of my roles on Team Hirchak Weidmer require some sort of work, hence the title of this post, "SOW We Grow."  As I have pondered how I can be a Sower and a Grower in this family, I have been pondering the meaning of "sow" and how it applies to family.  Sow, means to plant or cover with seeds.  Other meanings are create, produce and generate.  Even, initiate, cultivate and precipitate.  All of these words not only insinuate work, but hard work.  So, I have come to realize that at the end of the day, if I don't have to wash up and treat my calluses, I have not given it my all, and cannot expect anything to grow or change.  Some days are more overwhelming than others.  One thing I have learned over the past few years of incredible daily, weekly, monthly Family Change, is that if I'm feeling buried by life, perhaps it is more because I am being planted for incredible growth that could not happen any other way.

This year, I did something crazy therapeutic.  It was time to get out the holiday decorations and deck the halls for the season.  For the past 7 years, I have had 2 red and green bins full of holiday delight.  I would keep them just outside the garage door because there wasn't really anywhere to put them.  They were also heavy, so when I was by myself, it was just easier to have them there.  And, for the past 5 years, they have served as a desktop for tool boxes, cases of water bottles and miscellaneous garden tools.  They were a bit of an eye-sore, but the reason for them being there far outweighed their inconvenience.  This year, as I looked at those bins, I realized that what was inside was the past.  It would ALWAYS be there, however, it was my choice whether or not I wanted to look at them everyday as an eye-sore and inconvenience.  It was time to find the proper place to put those bins of Christmas past.

Those bins were full of traditions and memories, most of which were fading with the constant Family Change.  This year, I opened the bins and thought to myself, "It's time for something new and most of all, something "US".  So, I closed the lids, loaded up the bins and took them to the nearest dumpster.  They were heavy and all I could do to manage them and get them over the top and into the can.  As they dropped, the echo could have been heard for miles.  I thought I might be sad, but I was overwhelmed with gladness.  I didn't need my past right outside my door another day.  And, the echo reminded me that it really doesn't go away.  It will always be a part of me...... just not right outside my door.

And so, I began my search for a new tree.  Something, different, something fresh, something US.  Thanksgiving Day was the unveiling.  The kids would come and what would they say?  I have to admit, I was a bit nervous.  Each child, no matter their last name LOVED the beautiful white Christmas tree trimmed in red bows and bells.  I wanted white to remind me of our sealing, of my wedding dress, of His holy temple, of white shirts and ties and the peace of freshly fallen snow.  The red bows remind me that it's ok to make a mistake because there is a bigger and better plan than my beating myself up over my own short comings and failures.  Those red bows remind me that I have a Savior that has always made up the difference, with His own blood, where I fall short, and always will.  The bells remind me to always listen ---- listen to my husband, to listen to all of the kids and their different views, thoughts and interests.  And, to especially listen to the sweet whisperings of the Holy Ghost.  Whatever your higher power, it speaks.  The question is, do you hear?  And, on the top, of course, a star!!  The star to remind me everyday, not just at Christmas time, that something holy is taking place within the walls of my home.  However, this is a new star.  My old star went by way of the bins and the echo.  This star was brought home, all the way from Chile by our missionary daughter.  So, this star also reminds me that anything worth having is worth working for.  That hard work is not easy and can be full of rejection and uneasiness as I navigate the waters of change.  However, that star reminds me that I can do it, because with God, nothing is impossible.  And, I am never alone.

And Sow We Grow, not just a Christmas time but all the time.  Bloom where you're planted!!  Don't spend your time worrying about greener pastures, or Christmas pasts.  Don't be afraid to just toss it and create something new, something you.  Deck the halls.  Smile lots and love even more!  Families Change, and for that, I am eternally grateful, not just today, but everyday.  God doesn't change our circumstances but He changes us, if we let Him. 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas 2017





2017 Hirchak Weidmer Highlights:  
Brian promoted to Investigative Sergeant in Herriman and is loving every minute of it.  Deb is still working for the Provo School District as a Health Clerk and she enjoys the children at Edgemont Elementary almost as much as she enjoys the grandchildren.  All 10 kids are pursuing their dreams as they study, work and play a bit, each in their own ways.  Brian rides, Debbie runs and Garrett smiles and keeps the rest of us doing the same.  We wrapped up 2017 with the return of our Hermana Amber Hirchak from the Chile Santiago East Mission, as she completed 18 months of service.  It was incredible to watch her descent down the escalator at the airport and land into each of our arms.  We are so proud, as we know the Lord is too, of her dedicated service.  We are thrilled to be a family and we never let a day go by without thanking our Heavenly Father for bringing us all together.  May we all realize, this holiday season, as the Christmas cards fill our mailboxes, cover the fridge and fill our feeds, that each family is full of as many challenges as they are matching outfits, luscious landscapes, tinsel and glitter.  No picture is perfect nor any family,  So, we are dedicated to working at it---loving each other despite our differences and even loving more because of them!  May you find joy in your journey, strength in your challenges and glory in He who always makes up the difference, 
where we fall short, everytime!  

Merry Christmas 

Brian, Debbie and kids


Friday, December 18, 2015

So Very Thankful



Dearest Family and Friends-----

         We decided that being a blended family of 12 was not unique enough, so we thought it would be fun to send out Thanksgiving wishes, rather than the typical salutation of the season. Gratitude seems to be a dying art, in a world of instant gratification.  Everything and everyone is available with the swipe of your fingertip.  A grateful heart can dispel fear and cause abundance to appear as an Instagram of all that we have, rather than our have-nots.  Taking time to thank someone can change hearts, chase clouds, bring smiles, and lift burdens. Expressing gratitude, could turn social media into a public Pay-It-Forward experience, rather than the typical façade it daily portrays.  Gratitude could change lives for the better, with each “like”, hashtag and post.  The Hirchak Weidmers would like to declare EVERYDAY Thanksgiving --- as we try a little harder to be a little better about sharing our appreciation with those around us.
        2015 will always be remembered as an amazing year of graduates!  On May 1st, Debbie graduated from college and Amber graduated from high school.  We had one graduate from junior high, and one from elementary school while some, graduated from the school of hard knocks.   We no longer have any children that can buy shoes in the children’s department and Karmen is the last one who can legally order from the children’s menu.  Their talents are limitless.  We have been blessed with a writer, a welder, a performer, an Information Technologist, a salesman/gameshow winner (check out Facebook), a nurse, an athlete, a gamer, a goalie, a robotic engineer and an artist.   We are thankful for all of our children, who not only teach us and help us stretch and grow, but who love each other, get excited to see one another, encourage each other, and share thoughts and feelings with one another, sometimes, ALL NIGHT LONG!  And these attributes, we truly cherish in them all. 

        Brian continues to work as an all-star police officer in the canyons.  His office is that of trees and trails, and he definitely loves his “office view”.  He also serves on assignment as part of the Search and Rescue team.   Debbie is working part-time as a Health Clerk for the Provo School District.   She is able to help students with chronic diseases have a positive school experience, she helps those not feeling well or injured during school hours, and she also follows up on screenings and immunizations and improving the overall health of the school, one student at a time.
        A highlight of 2015, was spending a week at Bear Lake as a family and extended family.  There, with all the Weidmer Gang, we were able to sail, swim, chase babies, eat yummy food, spend time with one another, laugh a lot and realize that we should have applied sunscreen more often. 
        We have all spent another year, thoroughly enjoying our new roles as grandparents and aunts and uncles.  It has been remarkable to see the kids immediately love her and look forward to her next visit.  And, “Papa” and “Grammy” (“Mimi” as Addy calls her!) absolutely adore her love and spunk.   I think we have all realized that the room lights up when Addy’s around.  Everyone comes together when Addy’s around.  No one has a desire to argue, complain or even disagree when Addy’s around.  It is no wonder that the Christ child, came to earth, as a baby ------- to light up the world, an icon of love, hope and happiness.  We are excited for more grandchildren, and more opportunities for such love and light.

        We want to tell our parents and extended family, how THANKFULL we are for each of you, for your love, support, examples and generosity.  We could not make it without you.  We are THANKFULL for friends and neighbors that love our children and set magnificent examples of kindness.  And, we are THANKFULL for a baby savior who came into the world, for the Light and Hope of the Holiday season, because of Him.  He doesn’t just make a difference, He IS the difference, of this we are THANKFUL!
Brian, Debbie and Kids







Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pleading

It was Spring 2005, when I found out that my husband was struggling and our marriage could end at any moment.  My life seemed to become a fog of slow motion.

As strange as it was, for those five and half years, I began to see only his strengths, the things that I loved about him, the things I couldn't imagine living without, the things I would miss if he were gone.  I could not manage to shut off my brain or my heart, for even a moment.  And, so I continued, day by day, week by week, unclear of my future.  Unclear of how all of this would impact my children.  Many days, this fog was physical.  My stomach hurt.  I felt nauseated for days at a time.  My head hurt from thinking too much, I'm sure.  And, my heart hurt, physically hurt, it was breaking and it hurt right in the middle of my chest, like knot of fear and pain, disappointment and failure, all wrapped up in "what more could I have done?"  And here, the pleading began.  This fog was also quite spiritual in nature.  This fog prevented me for weeks at time from paying attention to friends, to the news, to fun events I would have normally gone to.  This spiritual fog seemed to form a bubble around my family and I, enabling me to focus only on them, when that sort of spiritual concentration was imperative!  As this fog would quiet the nose around me, I would feel periods of peace, though unknown, it was definitely peace.  I quietly began my plea with my higher power in prayer to save my family!  Morning and night, just like I was taught as a little girl, I pleaded that things would change.  That He could save my family.  That I could remain home with my children.  The fog became emotional the more I pleaded.  I felt my higher power's presence with me all day every day, not just in the morning and at night.  And, the pleading continued.  I found myself jogging in the mornings and rather than allowing each step to pace my breathing, I pleaded.  
"Please let me have my husband one more day!"  Every other step I pleaded,  "Please, let my children have a father in the home,  just one more day!"  As I would prepare meals, and quietly cook, stir and bake, so often the tears would begin to pour.  I would look up towards heaven, and plead for one more meal together.  I love music!  Music inspires me.  However, during this five year fog, there were many times that I would sing and the pleading would begin.....usually inspired by the words in the song.  "Please, just one more day of knowing my whole family is safe under one roof!"  "Please, one more nightly phone call that he's on his way home from work!"  Please?  This pleading became all consuming.  At night, this pleading became powerful!  It was quiet.  Everyone was tucked in and my husband asleep by my side, and the pleading would begin again.  Though it was dark, these nights became truly light, as I would plead  for what felt like hours, into the early morning, for just one more night to feel safe and cared for.  "Please, one more night of someone taking care of Me!"  Please!

My Story and The Preface already tell the ending, but today, I felt impressed to share of my pleading during those years.  After 5 years of pleading, he left.  I was alone.  My family did not remain, as I knew it.  My children did not have a father in the home.  I felt as though the carpet had been pulled out from under my feet and I was scrambling to find balance, my new reality, my new normal, and make it great!!  However, I never once felt unheard or abandoned by my higher power.  As a matter of fact, it was quiet the contrary.  Because of this 5 year fog of pleading....... He was there!  Though things did not end as I had hoped and pleaded, that fog gave me spiritual power to endure, to do hard things, to survive, the live without the normal as I knew it and make it ---.  Five years of pleading taught me that He listens, He comforts, He provides, He brings safety to the soul.  Most of all, that fog taught me that He knows!  Those 5 years of pleading taught me that I am NEVER alone, that I will never get a busy signal!  What I learned during those 5 years of pleading could never have been learned any other way, other than that fog of challenge and trial, pain and sorrow.  My spiritual fog allowed  me to focus on family and what really matters.  That fog allowed me to gain a relationship with my Savior that I could not have gained on my own, without the challenge and the pleading.

I still pray when I run!  I still pray when I drive!  I still relish in the stillness of the night, which is never dark, when you're pleading!  Though my story did not end as I thought it would or should, it ended as He knew it would.  And, He continues to amaze me with a "story" I would have never dreamed of on my own.  For those going through dark times, the stomach ache does subside.  Time will quiet your mind.  And your heart, I found, when it breaks, it creates even a bigger capacity to love like I never thought of before.  If you let it!  If you plead!  It's worth it!  Doubt not!  Fear not!  Cease not to plead!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Did Anyone Think To Ask the Children?


Did anyone think to ask the children?
With the excitement of the day, I have a few questions and thoughts. Did anyone ask the children?
As one of our older children left the roost, we began to rethink bedrooms. One remained empty for some time as I mourned the unavoidable growing up of my little ones. After a few months, my husband and I tossed around many ideas, and finally decided to put the two brothers together who had similar school hours, and the other in his own room. One day, I overheard the boys all discussing bedrooms, and they had a completely different idea. So, I listened and put the two brothers with different schedules together -------- they are inseparable today. And, often times, all three are together. I learned a valuable lesson ---- Ask the children!! And, take the time to listen. Does that mean we make every decision with a consensus from the kids? No, but they do have a voice. They do have opinions that, more often than not deserve consideration. And, most importantly, THEY have to live with OUR decisions! My husband left after 20 years of marriage, to pursue and alternative lifestyle. My children have been affected, and will continue to be a affected by the Supreme Court ruling today. So, I would ask again, "Did anyone think to ask the children?" How many of you would trade your Mom for two Dads. Or, trade your dad for two moms? It's thought provoking, isn't it? I asked my 12 year old that question, about two years ago. He spends time with his dad and his partner. Both are great men. He loves his dad and loves spending time with him. But, his answer to my question made me think. He said, "I just miss the Mom stuff when I'm there. Like the pretty music, the messages and notes, the kisses goodnight and just the Mom stuff, you know, Mom" I think, if we all reflected back, we would feel the same way, no matter which we got two of.
We must wear seatbelts. We must stop at a red light. Marijuana is legal in some states. And, don't text and drive. And, you can marry a man or a woman and choose your team. No matter what, it's about CHOICE. Some of these we do only when someone is watching. Other's we always do because of fear. Others we have chosen because of education. We don't hate those we see text and drive, until someone we love is recklessly affected. We don't hate those we see without seatbelts. We might think they are crazy. It's not about hate, religion or right and wrong. It's about choice. Let's make them wisely. Children WILL listen! But will we even take the time to ask? I live it. I see the affects every day. My kids live it. This is my story.
Careful the thoughts you make........ The future will tell.
Wishes come true. Wishes are children.
It's about choice!

It's about choice!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Light

Recently, I was reading in the Book of Mormon.  Particularly, I was studying the account of the brother of Jared, the barges he built and his faith.  Similar to his predecessor Noah, the brother of Jared was inspired to build boats or barges to protect his people from the calamities of the land.  This faithful brother was even instructed as to how to design the barges, like a dish.  As with most projects, there is bound to be a question or two along the way.  And, so it was, with the brother of Jared ---- how would they breathe and how would they see, within the walls of such a barge?  This brother seeks his higher power, and takes it to Lord in prayer, seeking guidance, inspiration and answer to the valid concerns of his heart.   The brother of Jared is divinely instructed to make a hole in the top and bottom of the dish-like barge, and uncork the hole when air was needed.  If water comes in, plug the hole and wait for the storm to subside.  He doesn't say, "I'll make the storm stop so that you can have air."  He instructs this brother, to replace the cork and wait, endure the storm and reminds him that it will pass.  The brother of Jared reminds the Lord about the much needed light.  This time, rather than giving  solution, the Lord asks this brother, "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?"  Rather than simply giving heavenly instruction, this time, the Lord gives the brother of Jared an opportunity to think for himself, to create a plan and to exercise faith, to stretch and grow like never before.  And, so it is with many of life's experiences.  I remember vividly, minutes after my husband left, draping myself over my bed and pleading in prayer, "What now?", was all I could mutter.  Over the sound of my own sobs I heard the words, "Keep it normal!" "Keep the Spirit!"  And, "Keep the house!"  Those words have run through my mind and heart, daily, as I have endured the heartbreak of divorce, the rigors of part-time jobs and full-time school, and on into remarriage and the daily blending, listening and compromise that is required.  I have tried to keep things as "normal" and secure as possible and, I have tried to make my actions consistent with the spirit.  The house, oh the house!  I was left with a defaulted and botched mortgage, and an income, that on paper, would not suffice.  I have asked for heavenly guidance and hoped for an answer, much like the "hole in the barge" for air.  However, I have been required to climb and carve, plead and pray instead.  Still not clear with a plan, but willing and listening for the way........and I know, it will come!

I have always loved this scriptural account, full of life's lessons, however, in reading it this week, this next part hit me like a ton of bricks.  The brother of Jared went to the mountains, mount Shelem to be exact, which is known for its "exceeding height."  There he did "molten out of rock sixteen small stones."  No doubt exhausted from ship building and worries of the calamities of his time.  He begins to hike to the top of the mount, a very tall mountain.  And so, the brother of Jared continues this hike to the top, with the 16 "small stones", in his hands!  This is the part I had to read and re-read again and again.  Here he is, tired, he has built 8 boats, followed the instructions for air, now he is hiking a mountain, with hands full of faith, to the "top of the mount."
 He approaches the Lord again, in prayer, after quite a hike, tired, fatigued, worn out I'm sure with worry and being physically taxed.   He recognizes the fact that storms will continue to rage and that he is far from perfect.  But, that as children of God, we have been taught to pray.  Then, he acknowledges the power of prayer, of deity.  The miraculous potential in the hand of God, if we but ask. And he states his faith knowing that the Lord CAN work miracles, and presents his plan and asks Him to touch the 16 small stones within his hands, and make them light.  And, he does..........because of his faith.  This boat builder and hiker, just as far from perfect as the rest of us, with his 16 small stones of faith, that fit in hands, became light.
 It struck me how small the stones were, if 8 fit in each hand.  And, how 2 stones would be enough to light a dark, storm-tossed, barge.  I realized the power of prayer.  I realized He listens.  I realized that if we just exercise a "small stone's" worth of faith, it IS enough light to brighten any day, lighten any challenge and triumph over any trial.  I also realized that sometimes we receive heavenly answers, other times we receive heavenly guidance through the storms and the building of one's character.  I realized that even though I do my best, I will still experience storms and may even have to climb a mountain for answers and strength to navigate the chaos of life, but He is there!  And, that those are the times when we can see the "finger" of Lord touching our lives........when we are willing to keep climbing, keep building and keep praying.  And, when we exercise just a "stone's" worth of faith.  It only takes a little bit of light to dispel darkness, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Just a little, one prayer, one page, one verse.........He is there, and what we have to offer is enough.  We are all boat builders, building testimonies, families and communities.  We can't do it alone.  If you haven't ever prayed, make today the first.  If it's been a while, now's the time.  There's guidance we cannot receive any other way.  Storms will come, and so will light, with hands full of faith and a willingness to climb!  He is there.  We just need to ask.  He is light!