Friday, December 25, 2015

The First Christmas!!

My beautiful Starflower,
You are such a wonderful gift to me!!
The only thing under that tree that I really care about.
Happy first Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A 16 Year Miracle

Note: I am competely re-writing this post because lots of the feedback I received from friends and family proved to me that I had not conveyed the message I was trying to convey as I contemplated my feelings the other day. I was simply wanting to celebrate the progress we have made from a very troubled marriage in  2007-2008 to how much happier we are now and offer encouragement to all who may be struggling because we are a testimony  that it really can get better.

 So here is another attempt:

This Christmas Day is 16 years since we became engaged so this time of year always makes me ponder on our time together. Although I never ever in my wildest dreams could have imagined how hard our life together would be, I am still so thankful that both of us have always remained commmited to be "in this for the long haul."  In the midst of one of my deepest bouts with depression I remember my thoughts turning toward divorce (which  I had always promised myself I would never consider) and pleading for answers as I listened to April 2007 General Conference.  Elder Oak's talk, "Divorce" was the answer to my prayers by once again filling my mind and heart with the conviction to stay 100% committed to my marriage no matter what.

The next year, things became even harder and many told us we were justified if we chose to separate, but the words of that talk, and the conviction they had inspired in me, stayed as a sustaining force and I refused to give up.  We were always given just enough help, in just the right ways and just enough strength to make it one more day at a time.  There is no way that is a perfect string of coincidences; it is evidence that our life together is a miracle.

Now, eight years later, I still cannot say our 
challenges have lessened much.  But as I look at the blessings we have received, including two more beautiful daughters,  I shudder whenever I think of where my life would be right now if I had decided to divorce back then. . .probably living in a broken home as a single mother with one teenage daughter, both of us missing out on the eternal family we are now privileged to be a part of. I can now see that even with all our mistakes, we are living the miracle of a good marriage.

Has your marriage been as happy as you hoped it would be?  Has the joy been worth all the pain? Or maybe you are still waiting have the chance to marry? What gives you strength in your trials?

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

"A good marriage does not require a perfect man or a perfect woman. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection."  Elder Oaks

Monday, December 14, 2015

Exploring Avocado

She is sure having fun. . .

I am too. Today I tried using avocados to  make healthy chocolate ice cream
(Paleo, dairy free, sweetened only with maple syrup, and I even substituted carob powder instead of cocoa)
It tastes good as us right from the blender as a mousse, but I can't wait until it freezes.  See

Perfect family home evening dessert.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Friday, December 11, 2015

Afternoon Surprise

Lady Slipper,

As I sat rocking your little sister, Starflower, to sleep, I noticed the ducky blanket spread out so nicely on your bed.  You must have done that this morning while you were getting ready for school.  Thank you for such a nice surprise! I am thinking of you and wishing you a wonderful day at school.




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