Monday 10 May 2010

From my heart . . .

Our local church stake had it's semi annual Stake (regional) Conference this past weekend. There was a special meeting on Saturday evening for the adults and then a family one on Sunday morning. There was also a Priesthood session on Saturday afternoon.

This conference was quite special this time because one of the higher up leaders in our Church was going to be there and speaking to us, Elder Caussé, a member of the 70. I was really excited about this and even more so because I had already heard him speak in person down in Maidstone when we were living down in Kent and also at General Conference several years ago. In fact you can see an excerpt of that excellent talk he gave HERE on youtube. It is well worth the listen.

We went along on Saturday night with great expectations and we were not disappointed. What a wonderful meeting this was. There was the usual opening prayer and hymn and several testimonies from a few members, and then Elder Caussé got up to speak to us. That is where this meeting took an entirely different turn from what our meetings usually are.

He spoke to us a bit about how he feels about families, and then he opened the floor to our questions, wanting to know what, as a church, our concerns were about our families and homes. There followed a beautiful 45 minutes of questions and discussion about what should be the most important thing in each of our lives, our family and our home.

Each question was handled with loving concern by him and the other people that were with him at the front of the chapel, all leaders in various capacities in our Stake and church . . . the Stake Mission President and his wife, our Stake President, the Stake patriarch, etc.

As I sat there and listened to everyone speaking, I thought about the pain in my own life, in my own family. With this being the North American Mother's Day this past Sunday, my role as a mother in my family was very much on my mind. As you know, I am divorced and it was a very difficult divorce, and very complicated due to years of emotional and mental abuse on the part of my ex husband. The fallout from it has been very hard to work my way through . . . and indeed, whilst most of my children have managed to work their way through it and are ok . . . my youngest daughter still does not communicate with me, having chosen to believe whatever tales have been told to her by my ex husband and his now wife. She is clearly not ok, and this causes me a great deal of pain and anguish.

I have never been able to speak to her about it, because she chooses not to communicate with me, and in fact, I have never been able to even hear about what it is that is bothering her as, once again, she does not communicate with me in any way. I only know from my eldest son that she has chosen to believe the stories that have been told and that she has "issues."

Over this past year I have also had to bear the pain of my youngest son, who is very close to this particular sister, also pulling away from me, which has been very difficult and I have struggled to keep the lines of communication open with him.

I love each one of my children so very much. I know that I have made mistakes in the way I have handled things at different times, but I know also, that I have always tried to be the best mother that I knew, and know how to be. As I sat there and listened to Elder Caussé and the others answer the questions that were asked of them . . . and I felt of the beautiful spirit that was present in the room, and of the love that was there . . . a sense of peace came over me about all these things in my life that have caused me so much pain and anguish over the past 11 years.

I cannot change the past. I cannot change the stories and lies that have been told about me. If people choose not to communicate with me, that is also something that is not in my power to change. What I can do though, is by example . . . by the way I live my life and conduct myself, show to my children that I am not the person that has been portrayed to them. That I am a good and kind and loving person, and that I love them, no matter what, and always. That I am not some kind of nut case that joined a cult. That I am a responsible, intelligent person who loves God and Jesus Christ with all of my heart, and who strives to live my life by their holy standards in every way.

When I got home, I dug out my Patriarchal Blessing and read it again. In it, my Heavenly Father told me that I would be as a "Beacon . . . a light to my family" . . . and those words finally made sense to me. I need no longer struggle with the past, or try to make sense of it. I can put it to rest, with the assurance in my heart that I did the best that I knew how to do, and that I can be an example to my children of a strong and faithful woman, a woman of purpose and direction, a woman who is an example of the Saviour's love in all ways. That example will say far more than any words I could try to speak ever could. I cannot make them love or honor me. I cannot force them to communicate with me. I can only love them and do my best to keep the channels of communication open. The rest is up to them.

I feel a sense of peace about this that I have not felt in a long time.

I hope the sun shines today! We are out and about collecting catalogues again this morning. I don't mind helping Todd to do this. If I help him, it gets done in half the time and then we have more time to do other things together. I love my Todd. He truly is the love of my life and I am so very thankful to have him. I cherish every moment.

My Todd loves pork chops. I think they are one of his favourite types of meat. Sometimes it can be hard to get them just right. If you overcook them they can be dry and tasteless. This recipe today is an excellent way to cook them. They turn out fabulous every time.

*Caesar Pork Chops*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Easy, tasty and a real family pleaser. I like to serve this with mashed sweet potatoes and a green vegetable. Delicious and moist, everyone loves these!

1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp garlic Italian seasoning
1/2 cup creamy Caesar Salad Dressing
4 pork loin chops, preferably with the bone in
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 180*C/375*F/Gas mark 5. Spray a 12 by 8 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Sift the flour and Italian seasoning into a shallow dish. Put the salad dressing into another shallow dish. Coat both sides of each pork chop in the flour mixture and then in the salad dressing, making sure they are well coated. Place them into the baking dish. Discard any leftover flour and dressing. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the chops.

Bake in the heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pork is done and nicely browned. The juices should run clear. Place on heated plates along with your desired accompaniements and serve!

You'll find some scrummy Sticky Ginger Fairycakes over on The English Kitchen this morning! Yummy, yummy!!

PS - I would like to invite you to visit my beautiful Daughter In Law, Anne's page this morning. She has written a beautiful post about her feelings this year on Mother's Day. She recently lost her much beloved mother after a long and painful battle with cancer. You can find her post HERE.


  1. This is an eleoquent post indeed and contained many words which apply to me and my family. Take care and I pray that the sense of peace continues on for you.

    Love always.

  2. This LOVE post is a wonderful way to start the week, Marie! I am glad you had a good weekend at your Stake conference, and found some wisdom and much healing for your heart. :o) Was so sorry to miss you for a chat last night. I will send you an email this afternoon. Hope you & Todd have a lovely week, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS!! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Time is a healer and a maker of friends. This weekend because of Mother's Day I spent time evaluating in conversation my mothering performance. It was good for me to hear from them as adults how I could have improved and the feedback was good. We can't change things from the past but I do think it is healthy to talk through these feelings and for me to accept with understanding how they feel. Sometimes it is their perception of the events that cause the most pain but a cleansing conversation can make a new start. I hope you can have these conversations with your daughter one of these days.



  5. You have a beautiful heart Marie. God is so good. I am glad he has given you his peace about the past and what the future holds. There is nothing sweeter than the peace that comes from knowing our lives are in Jesus' hands.

    Love to you!

  6. Thanks for your sweet visit. I do pray that your relationship with your children will be restored one day - until then, so glad that you were able to gain some insight and peace at your conference. Wishing you great joy.

  7. Thank you. I know it must hurt so much, but thank you for reminding me that faithfully attending Stake Conference can meet needs, just as fully and often more personally, than General Conference.

  8. I hope that you can keep that feeling of peace with you now. Each day is such a gift to us. The past is the past and today is what we have. It's bright and beautiful here today! Happy Monday!

  9. Motherhood is a blessing but also a very difficult job, I am so glad that God found a way to comfort you on this day. We cannot undo the past, we simply need to move forward knowing God loves us, forgives us and will guide us.

  10. Ahh, my heart goes out to you..families can be hard sometimes..but i think you see clearly that the only answer is, just love on. Have a good day! Come say hi :D

  11. Don't worry. God knows you were a wonderful mother.

  12. This conflict with your daughter just hurts my heart for you and for her. I am glad that your experience at Stake conference added some balm for you and that you are feeling better.

    Is there a chance you might be able to see her and talk to her when you go home? That might open some doors to a better future.

    Bless your heart, Marie.

    Love, B

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings about your Stake Conference. I think it was awesome that the General Authority had a question and answer time.
    I too can relate in some ways with the pain that you have been going through. Our family has a situation that has caused a lot of struggle and right now my three oldest grandchildren have become totally inactive in the church due to some things their mother has been doing. I am working on coming to the peaceful conclusion that I too can't change anything and I just need to love them, pray for their mother and them and learn to forgive some of the things that have happened. I was grateful to hear of your experience and the peace that you are feeling.
    Blessings and love to you.

  14. My dear and lovely Marie, I know these years was so hard to you, but always God was with you, and He give you Todd, a wonderful and sweet person that really repair your heart, my dear always we have a pain, but we have to continue walk and hope in God for ever.
    Send you a lot of love my dear to you and Tood. xoxoxox gloria

  15. No one can hurt you more than your children. No matter how hard we try we can never be the perfect parent - there is only one of those and He's in Heaven. Some day I hope your daughter realizes that every story has two sides and if you only hear one side you turn the person involved into a paper-doll-person. Paper dolls only have one side that's got drawing on it; the other side is blank. It's not real. Neither is her perception of what has happened. Maybe maturity will open her eyes. Your acceptance of the situation will reflect your trust in our Father. I'm praying for you. blessings, marlene


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