Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Motherhood is a slow burn

I've been feeling kind of worn down lately. The last two or three weeks have been unexpectedly hard for me. I know it's partially cumulative sleep deprivation but it's also more than that. I was reading in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi chapter 14:4 which is Isaiah talking about the cleansing daughters of Zion by a spirit of burning. I read a note that I had recorded at some point earlier and it says "When the Lord comes with the spirit of burning, will I be consumed because of my imperfections? Or will I stand firm having already been tested in a fiery furnace?" It got me thinking about times that I have been in a fiery furnace and there have been some very hot furnaces in my life but they were mercifully short (ish) in duration. Motherhood is not a short, crazy hot furnace; it's a long, slow burn. True it will have flare ups of greater intensity but for the most part it's slowly and steadily burning my imperfections away. I don't really know how to cope with this yet. I mostly prefer sprints to distance races so enduring the slow burn is a new lesson for me, a hard lesson for me. It takes a more trust in a way to endure this life long spirit of burning because there is no end. Ever. Motherhood is an eternal calling and I just have to trust that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing and if this furnace breaks me, like past ones have, that the mended Elena will be stronger with a larger capacity to endure.  Thank you to all who help me along the way, your words are often answers to prayers. Especially my sisters, who know what to say to comfort me so often. So I end with the false bravado that has long served the Castillo sisters:

"Psh, I got this."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The past month ... ish

This post is pretty much a bunch of photos of stuff we did over the last month.

We bought a house! Aaron has bunch more pictures so I might write a post with his pictures soon but here are some from me cleaning the last few weeks.

Those are bees/wasps on the INSIDE of the window sill. I try really hard not to imagine how they got there.

Aaron scraping all the popcorn off the ceilings. So cool with his mask thing

There is something extra gross about cleaning someone else's built up skin grime, just saying.

I tried to peel that white contact paper off but gave up and just covered with new stuff.

Also we did the cooking class that my sisters bought for my birthday.

Aaron is pretty much a master chef. The class was actually a little bit of a let down since we pretty much chopped or stirred together what the chef teacher told us to. We liked it enough to try another one just at a different place. Maybe French next time? Mmm butter.

We also got most of the baby stuff. Here is her little room:

 And the only picture I have from my baby shower. I'll try to get more.
How cute are these?!?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

To my unborn little girl

I've been trying to think of how I'm going to explain my depression and anxiety to you. There will be days when I am sad for no reason and I know that being a child you'll likely think that it's because of something you've done, or not done. And it's highly possible that you'll receive a genetic tendency towards these issues too so I want to explain something that it has taken me my entire life to figure out.

Hopefully by now we've talked about all of the wonderful strengths and talents that Heavenly Father has given us. Everyone that has been born has them. We talk a lot about them at church. For example, God has given me a great strength in interacting with children and taking care of people. He has given Daddy the talent of problem solving and a great strength in organizing and planning. I'm not sure what your strengths are but we'll discover them together.

What we don't often mention when we talk about God-given strengths are the God-given weaknesses that go with them. I have clinical depression and anxiety. That means that sometimes I just get sad for no reason. I've had it since childhood but didn't recognize it/ it became noticeable in high school. I felt broken somehow. Why when my life is so great and wonderful am I so sad? Something must be terribly wrong with me. I  prayed so hard and so often for help in coping with this overwhelming sadness that I created a strong relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus loved me even though I was broken. Here is the big lesson I've finally learned, I am not broken. I am exactly the way that Heavenly Father created me to be. I have been given this particular weakness on purpose. It is not a personal failing. It is not caused by anything I have done. It is just a part of me, like my freckles and blue eyes. It is a gift from God to me, an opportunity to learn and grow the way that I need to. So please, my sweet girl, just give me hug when I'm sad. Sing me song, remind me that my weakness is gift from the Divine and therefore will always merit divine help.

If someday you feel sad for no reason, or experience something else that feels out of your control, remember that God gives us both strengths AND weaknesses. So when you are feeling weak, remember that you are supposed to feel that way sometimes but also remember that you are strong. Remember that with Heavenly Father and Jesus beside you, you are strong enough to conquer anything.