Wednesday, August 24, 2011

my wish

raising a daughter in today's world sometimes seems frightening to me. will i be able to safeguard paige from the onslaught of what the world's view of beauty is? will i be able to foster in my daughter a love for herself? a positive self image? will paige love herself because she knows that she is a daughter of God? or will she wonder where her value is and define herself by other's standards?

my wish for paige is that she will always know how beautiful she is. that she will never doubt her self worth. that she will love herself as much as i do. that she will be comfortable in her own skin and know that the beauty of her spirit is what matters most.

being the mother of a daughter has opened my eyes to the importance of loving myself too. of setting an example for paige of what is important. of learning to love my own body and self image. of being aware of what i say in relation to my body so that my daughter doesn't learn to worry about those few extra pounds or whether or not she exercised today or how many calories she has eaten or whether or not she should be dieting.

because in the end does it really matter? does my sense of worth rely on what i look like? and if it does, should it? or should i be more focused on what my Father in Heaven thinks of me? i am certain that when i see Him again, He won't notice if my hair is perfect or if i am a bit flabby or a few pounds heavier than i would like to be. he won't notice if my eyelashes are long enough or if i chew my fingernails. He will love me for me...He does love me for me.

and i want to teach my paigey that simple truth too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


it has been a long while since i have blogged. can i say that we have been busy!? because summer in our house means lots of busy! traveling, boating, beaching, more traveling, more boating, and more beaching! at least the house has stayed fairly clean as we have not been inside much to mess it up! we have been having a lot of great fun with family and friends. click here if you want to see some pictures.

it has been almost 2 months since my brother and his wife had a stillborn baby boy. they named him stephen james swainson, jr. he was named after my brother. he was to be the 3rd stephen in our family - my dad and brother being the first 2. they were going to call him little steve, my brother would be big steve, and my dad would become old steve. my brother and dad were called little steve and big steve when we were growing up.

my sister in law, andrea, went in to labor a few days before her due date. she had a normal and healthy pregnancy. little steve died during labor because of placental abruption, which means that the placenta detached too soon. how my heart has ached for this little nephew that we never had the chance to meet. how my heart has ached for steve and andrea and for the sadness and grief that they feel over the death of their son. i won't say loss because he is not lost to them, or to us. he is still part of our family and i know that we will have the opportunity to be with him again. as sad as this has been for our family, we have all felt some measure of peace and hope that we will be with little steve again; that he is with our Father in Heaven, waiting for us to come home to him. and when we see him, i feel as if we will know him and it will be almost as if he was here with us all along. i look forward to that day.

that gives me hope.

i also wanted to write about one of my most dearest friends who has been bravely battling breast cancer since march. she is almost done with her chemo and then will be doing some radiation and taking oral medications for awhile. i know that i embarrass her when i tell her how much i admire her in person so i thought i would write about it here. my friend has gone through the difficult chemo process with such grace, dignity, and strength. she has lost all of her hair and almost all of her eyelashes. her eyebrows have thinned. her skin is dry and red. her face is swollen and puffy. and yet i see such beauty in her when i look at her. she is beautiful because she is strong. she is beautiful because she is brave. she is beautiful because of the strength of her spirit. she is beautiful because of her faith.

she is beautiful in all the ways that matter. and i love her.

i love her sense of humor. i love her sarcasm and wit. i love that she understands my struggles and comforts me even when mine pale in comparison to hers. i love that we don't have to talk every day to know that we care about each other and are thinking of one another. i love her smile. i love her laugh. i love the light that she shines. i love her for the hope that she gives me, knowing that we can be strong in trials and that we can do all things in Christ.

i am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and the plan that He has for us, His children. i know that there is always peace in sadness and hope in hard times because He loves us. and He has sent His Son to help us along our way.

and that gives me hope.