Monday, March 31, 2014


REFINE Seemed like such a great word for 2014. Yeah. I still don't see how it fits me or how it's positively impacting my life. I feel slightly uncomfortable trying to carry it around. Quite frankly, "overwhelmed" isn't powerful enough for my life right now. I'm wondering what consumed me to start graduate school while still mothering five rambunctious kids. There isn't time in my days to focus on the deep thinking it would take to fully adopt a "refine" mentality--most days I'm lucky to get dinner made. Running along the canal has given way to rare, short treadmill experiences while I read about "constructivism" and "classical conditioning." I've even stepped away from the yoga mat more and more often. My body is softening as my priorities shift to mental exercises. I'm stretching thinner and thinner to accomplish less and less each day. I keep telling myself that this class will be over soon (this one is really a killer), but the next one is always on its tail. I always try to keep things real around here, and in that spirit, I have to admit to a small breakdown this month, a day where one smallish thing pushed me to the edge and over. As I took some time to cry and reconnoiter, I tried to put everything in perspective. My life is so good and so full and so wonderful, I felt guilty that I'd had a few rough days. Life is good. I'm still trying. I'm still fighting. I'm still moving forward, maybe not as fast as I used to, but it's still forward. Here's to a better April. I seem to say that every month, but this time, I mean it.


  1. How I wish I could lighten your load.......

  2. Every time I have tried to do the BYU correspondence course, I have been given a big calling at the same time. I could not juggle the two, so dropped the schooling. Here in China I have plenty of time, but the mechanics of testing and such is so difficult to arrange that I decided not to do it now. Maybe some day....

  3. I wonder if it is meant to be uncomfortable, after all doesn't the very act of refinement require stretching and being pulled in new ways that allow the imperfections and flaws and weaknesses to come to the surface and be purged?

    Perhaps this is just a different type of goal, rather than one of intentional action like last year, it is one of reflection and understanding down the road. It might feel like you aren't making progress, but I think you will look back and see the refinement. As you struggle to keep life balanced and accomplish all you have on your to do list you are being refined. As you say no to somethings and recognize you need to shift life to make time for what is most important you are being refined. Even as you regret not making time for things and resolve to do better in the future you are being refined. When you are stretched to the limit and one more thing tests your temper you are being refined. As you expand your mind and grow in understanding, you are being refined.

    I was going through my notes on adversity last week for my lesson and didn't use this, but it came to mind when I read your post today:

    “I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against (insert hard classes, mental breakdowns, bad teachers, missed dinners, etc...) --all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty” (History of the Church, 5:401).

    Joseph Smith First President of the Church

    and, because you might need something to read late at night while you rock a baby.... check out this talk by President Hunter, given in April 1980. It's a great reminder of all the refining that has taken place over time, and that we have much to endure in our own lives.

    Hope you are having a fabulous week!!!

  4. I went to grad school when my kids were 13, 11, 9 and 7. It was rough. Very.

    I did most of the classes during the day and took one at night when Dave was home. My kids do not remember the time particularly fondly, but we got through it.

    Hang in, Jen.


  5. you are so so strong.
    keep fighting the good fight.
    perseverance could be a sub word;) for the year.