Saturday, September 28, 2013

The (unexpected) Song That Touched My Heart & How it Happened

I've always loved the hymns of the church. I've loved singing them, hearing them, playing them. The words are comforting and inspiring and their music peaceful and calming.

I'm sure you, among many, have church hymns that you've deemed as "your favorites." I'm the same way. In fact, I've carefully chosen "my favorites" over the years because of their lyrics and the way they make me feel when I'm singing/playing them.

That's why last week I was taken aback when I didn't choose my new favorite song....

Heavenly Father chose it for me. 

Here's how the story goes:

As many of you know, this year has been a year ---hmmm, how to describe it best---full of emotions. That's it.

Lately, my emotions have been centered on the joyous experience it is to be expecting a baby. Ultrasounds and gender reveals and name brainstorming and crib shopping and planning and on and on and on and on and on. It has been a time of excitement, love, joy, gratitude, wonder, amazement, happiness, and looking forward to the near future.

However, in relation to my family's current situation and struggles it has also been a time of fear, worry, sadness and disappointment for me.

Because of all the emotions at this time in my life,  I haven't been completely sure what to pray for when I pray each day. At times I feel like all these emotions are in me all at the same time, and as such it's been challenging to sort out/know what I should ask for in my daily prayers to my Heavenly Father.  I told Him this. I told Him I didn't know what to ask for, I told Him I didn't know what I needed, I told Him I didn't know what He knows I need. I expressed everything to Him ("Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, lean not unto thine own understanding, and He shall direct thee for good").

He knew I didn't know- even before I told Him I didn't know. But once I told Him, something funny happened.......

Last Sunday, as I was sitting in church, the ward choir got up to sing. I admit, I was having a hard time paying attention that day and I'm pretty sure I was daydreaming as they began singing, "More Holiness Give Me."

During the song, something snapped me out of my daydream and brought my wandering mind to the song that was being sung---that something was the most overwhelming feeling of Heavenly Father assuring me that He has heard ALL of my prayers (for me, for Jeff, for our child, for my family members). He also let me know that'd it'd be OKAY. The feeling was so encompassing-from my fingers down to my feet---it was the answer I had been looking for of reassuring peace and comfort and trust in the Lord, AND-exactly what to pray for....

  1.  More holiness give me,
    More strivings within,
    More patience in suff'ring,
    More sorrow for sin,
    More faith in my Savior,
    More sense of his care,
    More joy in his service,
    More purpose in prayer.
  2. More gratitude give me,
    More trust in the Lord,
    More pride in his glory,
    More hope in his word,
    More tears for his sorrows,
    More pain at his grief,
    More meekness in trial,
    More praise for relief.
  3.  More purity give me,
    More strength to o'ercome,
    More freedom from earth-stains,
    More longing for home.
    More fit for the kingdom,
    More used would I be,
    More blessed and holy--
    More, Savior, like thee.

6 days later (today) the church sisters and I gathered for wonderful instructional talks given during the church's General Relief Society Broadcast. I was touched when the speakers spoke about faith and trust and hope and service and prayer during the different stages of life that we all go through, some WONDERFUL, some not-so-good, and sometimes both at the same time. I was uplifted and didn't think I could be more truly touched than I was during the talks of the speakers, but I was wrong.

Because then.........

the closing song was this.

A steady fall of tears ran down my cheeks during the whole song as I said a prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the tender mercy of hearing this song again. It can't be a coincidence that the ONE closing hymn for the entire church's General Relief Society Meeting (out of the three hundred and something hymns there are in the hymn book), just happened to be "More Holiness Give Me." Maybe I don't know exactly how I'm feeling all of the time, and maybe I don't know what the future holds for my family, but maybe, just maybe-this song was a reminder that I don't have to know everything, just that He is there, aware and involved in every aspect of mine and my family's life, and of that, I'm sure.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pregnancy; Scary Stories, Happy Stories


How 'bout week 17?

I was feeling pregnant up until then with all the nausea, vomiting, headaches, etc, but at week 17, my stomach just popped out one day and I started looking pregnant too, exciting!

We had our anatomy ultrasound scheduled for a week from today, (yes that's futuristic...I will explain why in a minute) so I asked everyone if they thought it would be a BOY or a GIRL (using this clever idea/adorable keychains my mom got us at our trip to Disneyland over the summer).

The overwhelming majority of people guessed it would be a girl. I'm not sure's not like I'm that girly (oh wait). I admit, I really like the idea of headbands and bracelets and 4th of July dresses with ribbons. However, I also REALLY like the whole "big brother" aspect. After all, it worked out very well for me growing up :) 

SO, this past Monday at 4:30 as I was minding my own business watching the Ellen show while Jeff was still at school, my phone rang. Looking back, the conversation was awful, terrifying and uncalled for. It went like this:

"Ms. Mohlman?"

"Yes, this is she."

"Hello Ms. Mohlman this is ______ at the OBGYN office. I'm calling to let you know the          
            results of the pregnancy blood tests you took recently. You came back negative for neural tube 
            defects and trisomy 18, however you screened positive for down-syndrome."

"Wait, what? I----"

"Therefore, because of these very abnormal results, your numbers came back more at risk than that of a 
            35 year-old woman, we are sending you to a specialist and his name is Dr.____, he's a specialist 
            and he's here at the hospital on the 7th floor and I made your appointment for September 25h 
            and 8:30 am."

"............................................WHAT?? So you're saying my unborn child has down-syndrome? How 
            do you, wait, when is my new appointment, wait, can I please speak with my Doctor?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, she already left for the day."

"OH.....well then, but, then, wait, I already have my anatomy ultrasound scheduled with you for the 
             27th. Do I no longer see my doctor anymore and transfer to this new one?"

"I'm not sure, you'll have to see what the specialist says."

"Well, how many women have had abnormal results that you've called since you've been there?"

"Hmm, maybe only three."

".........oh. okay. bye" (I said through the tears welling up in my eyes).

As soon as I hung up, I called Jeff to tell him our child has down-syndrome. He was just as confused as I was until I managed to explain the call I had just received. Then he got frustrated....He told me he has studied ALL about these pregnancy screenings and that most of the time, when these screenings came back abnormal, the woman goes on to have a perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy. The abnormal rates are due to a slightly extra amount of hcg levels that could be caused by just about anything and also due to the fact that it's a screening so it has to factor in all risk rates (I didn't understand the latter part, but he basically said it was like a grading curve on a test, not extremely accurate or telling). 

I felt a little better but I wished I could just talk to my doctor about it. I tried to relax as Jeff suggested we go out to eat instead that night. Our new appointment was still a week away and I didn't know if I could wait that long to find out what was really going on. That night, I prayed a lot that I would be able to get my appointment moved to an earlier day. The next morning, I called this specialist's office. They told us to come in the next day on the 19th. 

I was excited because I knew we'd find out the gender, but I was also nervous for what else he'd find.

We signed in and went right back. The Doctor came in. He was about mid-60's and had been practicing for almost 40 years. I could tell he was VERY knowledgeable. He walked in and said:

"So, I hear you received a slightly abnormal blood screening." (he rolled his eyes-which made me feel better all of a sudden)

"Yeah, I guess, I'm not really sure what it means."

"Basically,  the down-syndrome ratio is every 1 in 250 births. Yours came back 1 in 240. I'd say you have about as good a chance as having a child with down-syndrome as you do winning the lottery." 

I wanted to shout hurray! And then I wanted to cry too...why had the conversation on Monday happened the way it did? Why didn't my doctor just call and tell me that? Why had I gone through such unnecessary panic? He gave me quick ultrasound and looked at the (what he called them) perfect four heart chambers and ventricles, some other anatomy and then he said, "Looks like you've got yourself a normal boy!"

"A BOY???!!!!" Jeff and I smiled at each other.

As soon as we got out of the office, I called my mom and then everyone else in our family. I texted friends and of course, announced it on Facebook :) On our way home, we stopped here.

Earlier that week, we learned it was pirate day at Krispy Kreme, so we stopped for some celebratory doughnuts. Jeff had his left over Halloween eyepatch, bandana, sword and earring in the car, so we got a dozen free of these:

 Later that day, I decided to share the news with some of my girlfriends who were already getting together for a craft day. I brought the unopened box of doughnuts in and opened them for everyone as they screamed with excitement for the news. And later that night, we went to Target and for only 30 dollars got all of these cute little boy outfits :)

(Look-alike BYU Basketball shorts-Jeff was SO excited).

PHEW!! So those are the crazy, yet happy events so far. Note-to-self, if a doctor's office calls, just don't answer it. 


Friday, September 6, 2013

Willow Tree Wishes

You've probably seen those Willow Tree Dolls/Angels around in Hallmark, Deseret Book, and other botiques. Maybe you even have one or two that were given to you as gifts. That's not exactly fact, it's the complete opposite-I collect them. The story goes like this...

When I was 18 and ready to head off the BYU for college (and very excited, scared, nervous, etc), my Young Women's President gave me this doll as a gift.

I'd seen these dolls before, but never really paid much attention to them. I looked underneath the doll, where every product has a description  reminder . This one said;
COURAGE-Have the spirit of inspiration & courage.

I took this doll with me to college as a reminder. Ever since then,  I've collected them. Not just because they serve as beautiful decorations, but reminders of what's really important in life. Here are the ones I've collected (22 in total, yes...that's Twenty Two)

FORGET-ME-NOT (Inspired by President Uctdorf's recent Relief Society address)

 ANGEL OF HOPE. Seek the light of hope

ANGEL OF PRAYER. Believe in the power of prayer

ANGEL OF THE HEART. For those who love and are loved

ANGEL OF WISHES. Hold on to your dreams

BRIGHT STAR. Reflecting the light within

BROTHER & SISTER. By my side

ANGEL OF CELEBRATION. With joyful anticipation

 DREAMING ANGEL. Guard your hopes and dreams

FRIENDSHIP. The sweetest gift

HAPPINESS. Laugh, dance, sing, create

LOVE OF LEARNING. Open books, open minds

PROMISE. Hold dear the promise of love

SERENITY. Calm the soul, free the spirit

 SISTERS BY HEART. Sharing/understanding

SUNSHINE. In your life

SURROUNDED BY LOVE. Abounding love surrounds you

THANK YOU. Appreciating your kindness

WISDOM. A lifelong love of learning

AND, my most recent gift from a friend...

CHERISH. Awaiting a miracle

Among those I've collected, there are others I hope to have one day as well...

ABOUNDING. So much love

ANGEL OF MINE. So loved, so very loved

AROUND YOU. Just the nearness of you

ANGEL OF CARING. Always there, listening with a willing ear and heart

CLOSE TO ME. Apart or together, always close (for my mom)

ANGEL OF FREEDOM. Allowing dreams to soar

FREE SPIRIT. Dancing through life with laughter

ANGEL OF HOPE. Each day, hope anew

IRISH CHARM. May luck and laughter lift your days

ANGEL OF MIRACLES. Trusting in life's everyday miracles.

SOAR. A time to reflect, a time to soar

 YOU'RE THE BEST. Thank you for making a difference

Everyday, these dolls remind me of many things that I'm lucky to have and values I'd like to acquire still.