A face without freckles is like a night without stars...

Starr is me, I am her, and she is I. She is so much more than she thinks she is. If you asked her, she would say she is just a mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. However, she has been told many times, that she is more than that. Her loving Heavenly Father reminds her all the time, that she has gifts and talents to share with the world, and that like unto her name, she should let them so shine before others, that they may light the day, like the stars light the night. She is passionate, loyal, and gentle all at the same time.

Often when people see her they don't see a gentle, quiet and fragile woman; however, they are wrong. Deep down inside that's who she is, and only those who are truly looking, will see who she really is. If you happen to make it through her exosphere, consider yourself to be a blessed individual. Not many make it there, but when they do, they have a permanent place. Her caring ways, allow her to see things in the world a bit differently than others, unique to a fault.

She truly sees through a darkened glass, and can see beyond the darkness, and find hope throughout the world. Beyond her large, thick exterior are gems within her that are priceless, that are only valued on a spiritual level. Buried within the layers of her atmosphere are different pieces of her puzzle, and even she has yet to put all of the pieces into place. May you enjoy each piece she writes; they truly are the picture into her puzzle.

My Children

I am the mama of two all encompassing children, who own every ounce of my heart and soul, even the part their dad holds onto gets kicked out at times when one of the two does something magical to melt my heart. LillyRose is our precious big girl now, who is a whopping 6 years old! From the moment she wakes in the morning until her head hits the pillow at night in one way or another she reminds us that she holds a status the rest of us don't: Miss Diva Wildfire. Her independent nature, and natural ability to question the world around her has given her the actual gift of life, as every family member knew when she was born at 2lbs 6oz, a fighter since the day she was born.

Our son Abraham Jr. is our love bug. He has eyes that melt every inch of any woman's soul, Look out Ladies! At 5 years old, he is such a smarty pants and I LOVE it! His father recently said he had a genius on his hands, I didn't dispute him or his shining pride I felt emanating from his smile. My son is like the coals beneath a beautiful fire, and often times these parts of his personality help me through my days and "ignite my own fires within myself." Like his sister he too came into this world a fighter at 3lbs 6oz, and his tantrums prove to us that life wouldn't be as interesting without him.

My Children "run" the show, even though we would never admit that to them! That would result in utter defeat in our battle of parenthood. Our days revolve around their schedules, routines, likes, dislikes and even the amount of dishes in the sink when mommy has friends over! My oh my! ;) Together they make up the valves within our hearts, and are the blood circulating through our veins. We are extremely blessed to be their parents and though parenthood has tested us in ways we never imagined, I know we'd be lost without it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Finding peace and getting out of the way. Part I

My life lately has changed in ways I didn't think it would. In a matter of three years, my whole world has been transformed into an amazing array of growth and self discovery of who I truly am, who I want to become and the legacy I want to leave with my children. The fact that I have children, still takes my breath away at times. I always had a sliver of hope that one day I would be able to afford adoption, but had given up on the idea of actually having my own kiddos. Now, when I look into my daughter's beautiful bright blue eyes, I just think how truly blessed I am to have her as my child. And as I snuggle my son while he's nursing, I realize the importance of my role in his life and what a lucky woman I am to be able to say that my "job" is being a mommy to my two miracles. I want to give them the best life they can possibly have. I want them to have a better life than I ever did. I think any parent who values their child's place in the world wants a better life for them. As a parent thus far, it has taught me to evaluate myself many times, and in many areas of my life all the while trying to create a world that my children can feel safe in.

This concept of giving children a legacy they can live with came to me a few weeks ago. I must say that it hit my heart in more ways than one. I am sure that I have heard a saying like this before, or something similar, however, this time it just resonated with me and I just can't let this theme fade from my memory. I truly have the opportunity to give my children a legacy that they value and appreciate. What will they remember about me when I die? Will I have given them the type of love, respect and relationship that they will hold dear to their hearts forever? Will I have given them tools to pass on to each generation after them, that can withstand the trials of time and life on our crazy earth?

A quote by a general authority in our church has been placed in many areas of our home in Virginia and now in Utah: "It is the challenge of mortality to be a worthy and responsible parent." For me the quote came at a time when I felt like every day my children were just so hard to deal with. I was overwhelmed with the responsibility of it all. I felt like I wanted to just give up on being a mommy and Relinquish my duty, and then I came across this quote and it gave me the renewed perspective I needed to carry on in changing daily poopy diapers, children throwing food on the floor and sleep deprivation. This lesson not only taught me about digging deep within myself to press forward in the task at hand (raising children) but also gave me a great teaching opportunity for my own children when they are faced with similar challenges in their lives that make them want to relinquish their duties, whatever they may be.  This is a legacy I want to leave with my children: No matter how challenging life may seem, when we press forward in faith, we allow ourselves the opportunity to grow. It is only through struggle that we can truly know growth. We are either growing or dying, and life is truly lived when we face the challenges before us.

I have recently asked myself some very hard questions about my own childhood. As I have been raising my children it has brought up many memories of my life as a kid. I feel as though my childhood was taken from me. I was forced to grow up in a way that I hope my kids don't ever have to endure. I feel that my childhood was taken from me in many ways: Divorce and abusive adult figures play key roles in how I view my world, even to this day. I am sifting through all of this hurt in my life right now. I am at a point in my life that I feel ready to address these memories, no matter how painful, so that I can move on and give my children the childhood they deserve. Staying stuck in the past, and not being able to move forward from these memories, has kept me in fear of truly living. Fear keeps me stuck, courage allows me to create a new legacy for generations to come. I can teach my children that even though we may face horrible things in our lives, we are the grower's of our own gardens: planting, sowing and reaping the harvest we choose. The trials I went through as a child have taught me this: The choices I make as a parent have life long and eternal consequences on my children's physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Learning to let go of the hurt from my past is a slow process for me, it cuts to the core of my being. When Christ gives us the lesson and says: "I will forgive whom I will forgive, but it is required of you that you must forgive all," I feel as though Christ is saying: It should just be that easy.  Unfortunately, It doesn't feel that easy.  I want my children to look back on their lives with me and say: I respect my mom for forgiving those that hurt her. One person's pain is not greater than or less than another person's pain. Pain is pain, we all feel it.

For many years, I have felt as though I have been a fragmented person. I don't feel whole within. I feel broken. When I had LillyRose, part of that feeling went away and then the other part came back with a vengeance. LillyRose truly placed within my heart a healing power to seal up those wounds that felt so raw and infected. The other part of me- just didn't know if I would be a good enough parent because of the broken home I came from. Could I really show my child what a loving, balanced and nurturing relationship was? I was afraid I wouldn't be the type of parent that was conducive to developing a whole person. With that being said, there was something that gave me hope and belief in myself: faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is the things we hope for, but cannot see. Christ was there for me, and where I fall short as a mom, he would allow me to see clearly and try again.

When I see myself through the eyes of God, it gives me true strength to face the doubt I often times let my thoughts get carried away with. God sent me my children at the perfect time. He sent my kids to me, when he knew he could entrust their lives to me. As a young adult teen, I often times prayed with all my soul that my kids would never have to go through the things I did, I prayed that if I ever had kids, that my kids would know the best parts of me. I prayed that I would be my best self when my children came to me. It is through the birth of my son, that I realized how important creating your best self truly is.   I prayed for children that would never know what it was like to live in a home where both parents weren't around. I truly feel as though I have  found a prayer answered in my relationship with my husband. Raising children is tough stuff. Marriage is concious work as well. I truly believe we don't just "magically" have a good marriage in life. The legacy I can leave with my kids in learning this lesson is this: When we look at ourselves through God's eyes, we allow ourselves to let our light shine forth, using our given talents to further create an exsistence that makes us happy.

I've always felt that the light within was meant to shine. My name suits me perfectly, I love that my name is Starr. It makes me feel special, it makes me believe that God knows me, loves me and created me.