Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas musings...

The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes, but Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm all is bright 'round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. 

Traditional Christmas hymns we all love and sing annually. As a parent, have you ever struggled to grasp these songs? Really, a baby that doesn't wake up screaming?  A scene of tranquility just after giving birth?  I don't know about you, but these seem a little far fetched.  Maybe because I live in such a busy home with young children I have a hard time seeing the peaceful newborn awake but not screaming for his mother's milk, or his clothes needing changed because they are soiled.  

Now, I understand that people in today's world as busy and love the idea of just a moment of peace, and watching a sleeping baby does bring that sense that all is right in the world. Because, truly, I believe I see a glimpse of Heaven when I watch my children sleep. They are such little angels all curled up in their blankets!  I don't ever want to take the peace out of Christmas, even though it can be the most hectic, busy and chaotic time of the year!  It has become a time to reflect on the greatest gift ever given to man- the Love of God in Human form. God loved us so much that He gave us his ONLY in-flesh Son.  Not only all of mankind, but YOU. He gave YOU His Son.  God wanted you to be His child so much that He gave you the best gift to show you how much you were loved!  That is a message of the holiday season that gets lost in the traditions and business of Santa, reindeer, snowmen, presents and parties.

Back to my original point, why did this tradition of a silent, perfect child that never cries, makes a mess or anything else start??  This Roman Catholic idea is full of lies.  Labor hurts. There was screaming involved. Trust me.  Jesus cried. He probably cried a LOT. He peed and pooped. He burped and spit up all over his mother. How do I know this? He was a baby! I don't like the idea of a silent child that never did anything wrong.  Yes, Jesus was without sin, but it doesn't mean that he didn't have to learn right from wrong.  He still kept his parents up all night crying, or sick, or just wasn't sleepy.  This whole "silent night" thing is crazy. Now, I agree that the night of birth, babies do sleep a lot. They have done a lot of work during labor. But, I still think he cried a little- at least. He did get hungry.

I won't even get into Jesus as a teenager! Or as an adult! Men, I love you all, but you are not the more hygienic creatures on the planet ;)  What I'm getting to is this: why are we so afraid of seeing Jesus as human?  I think its a deep seeded issue.  

If Jesus were really fully human, and was able to be perfect, then I must have that same ability and God is going to require it of me. Its a scary thing to think that someone made it through this life without screwing up.  He must have been far stronger than me!  Well, that is part of it.  He was also fully God.  Of course, now that we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we have that same help.  That is when I become humbled and fearful.  I have the same power that Jesus had as He walked upon the face of His creation. So, in that I should be living perfect, or striving towards it every day. If I dwell on this, I will beat myself up, knowing that I fail by the minute some days.  Yet, I've forgotten one very important detail.  The greatest gift of all is Jesus. A baby was born in Bethlehem of Judea 2,015 years ago. He was killed 1,982 years ago. That murder gave me the fulfillment of the greatest gift- Grace! Charis means gift, the greek word for grace.  Its a gift. We don't  earn it, we can't do anything to receive more or have it taken away. Our Heavenly Father gave us a gift that He wants us to have- no matter what. It is by THAT grace that we are saved. Not only from the darkness of being separated from Him for all eternity. It is a gift that I can use daily.  It makes me more like Jesus every day as I walk upon this earth.  I'm not sinless, but I am perfect.  I am a creation of God!  I AM perfect.  I'm here to learn to be more like my Heavenly Father. 

So, this year, I'll enjoy the traditional songs, but laugh internally at them.  Why make up lies about Jesus?  Reality is so much stranger than fiction!  A man walked upon this earth, commanded angels, spoke to God on a personal level, turned water into wine, calmed storms, made food mutiply to abundance and gave life back to the dead. You can't write better stories!  If Jesus had that power, and gave it to me (Pentecost), I can do these things, too! I don't need to believe in lies made up by weak men because they are tradition. I need to believe in the Truths of God!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wow. I've been reading comments on this, and have had lots of people ask how to meet a sisterwife. WELL.... my first response is PRAY!! Heavenly Father knows who we are to be with in this life. He has a way of opening doors in the most unexpected places. There are sites out there where you can look, but the best way of doing it, really, is to just get involved in the online community. Facebook has served my family well in meeting other families like ours. You can find me on FB, and I can link you up to people just like us :D

LDS'ers...sealing are a whole different ballgame. Because this is not a lifestyle ordained by the church, this part is much more difficult. One option is to find a fundamentalist group that still practices it and join them. You can find this info at (or something like that). If you don't choose to go that route, you must find someone that holds the keys that is willing to seal you. That isn't easy.

Now, as far as family updates. Rich, Ange and Brandy are all working now. Meaning, I'm home alone daily with 5 energetic children. Homeschooling is difficult enough when you have a child that can't sit still. I've added the joy of having 2 sets of twins that pretty much need my attention from the time they get up until bed time. So, yeah, that's about all I get done in a day. Woohoo!! Oh, also have to cook, clean, laundry, dishes..... I've learned a lot in the past few weeks!

That's about all that's going on for now. Hope all is well in cyber world.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our History (brief version)

Hi again, everyone!! Well, just to prove that I do read my comment section, I received a note asking how we all ended up here as a family. So, sit back, and get ready to be completely confused!!

Rich met Angela on myspace about 4 years ago. They had an online friendship for a while, and it eventually turned into much more. While watching Big Love, Rich mentioned to her that he'd be interested in pursuing this. Angela agreed, since she had grown up as an only child and did not like being alone. The idea of sister wives appealed to her greatly. Through various circumstances, Rich was finally drawn to the Lord and spent time seeking out which church he wanted to get involved in. He researched many paths, and found that polygamy was a tenet of faith in the early Mormon church, or Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. It always confused him as to why they had really given up the practice. Rich and Angela joined the church, and Victoria (our oldest daughter) was baptized in, also. The search continued for another wife. The two of them met a few people, but no one worked out. While using an internet program called IMVU, Rich met Brandy.

Brandy was living in Indiana when she met Rich and Ange. Just prior to meeting her for the first time, Angela had given birth to Rich's first son, Cameron. This made child number 6 for Rich, and 2 for Angela. In the home, however, this made 2. Through lots of trials, tribulations, heartache and back-and-forth breakups and get back togethers, Brandy became 2nd wife. About a year and a half after Cameron was born, Brandy discovered she was pregnant with Thomas. Just months later, Angela was pregnant with William. Both delivered healthy babies, William coming about 4 weeks early. Both women decided they were done looking for sisterwives, and were content to keep the family at the 3 of these adults. However, Rich was not done.

Using various internet groups, Rich met a few women that were not the right fit. For this, that or the other reason, Angela and Brandy rejected them. One that passed the test was Wendie. She would be here now, if it weren't for her tragic car accident in which God took her to the other side to wait for us.

In this same time period, I had gotten married (2006), had a baby (2007), been cheated on, and abandoned. I was ready to just be single and raise my daughter alone. I had my family, my church, and my friends. However, God still put the longing in my heart to marry again. I was heartbroken at the idea of my Willow growing up without brothers or sisters. What a lonely life for such a sweet, people oriented child! As I began praying about it, I kept being reminded of stories in the Old Testament of polygamy. My curiosity was sparked, and I set out to see if it really worked in modern America. I joined a few internet groups, and started meeting families out there that wanted to live this lifestyle, and many who already were. Rich stood out to me when he told me to ask his wives if I wanted to know more.

I started talking to them, and we hit it off. In under a month, we met and I joined my family. God's timing is never mine, but it has been a great first year. During this time, I've learned about Mormonism, both modern and historical. I've learned for myself that this is the path that I want to be on. I'm awaiting my baptism and our family sealing. Since this cannot be done in the LDS, we will have it done by an independent friend of ours. God leads us daily. It is not by our own strength that we make it through, but by depending on Him.

So, you may ask, are we planning on adding more wives. If the Lord sees fit, yes. We were courting someone, but it appears that circumstances beyond our control have interfered once again. I wish her all the joy and happiness that the Lord can give her as she finds her path. We all, definitely, want more children. We will add wisely, as to be able to support each of them and care for the ones we have. I read somewhere that people are concerned that this many kids means less time for them with their parents. I don't see that at all. I think I have more time with my daughter this way. I'm not having to do everything myself, so I can divide my time more efficiently. However, she usually blows me off to play with the kids!

I hope this fills in some gaps for you. Welcome to my new followers. If you've found my blog because of my NPR interview, thanks for stopping by and reading more. I'm always here to answer questions. Blessings be to you and yours!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

When I was a single woman, I had the opportunity to live on my own for almost a year. During that time period, I remember longing to meet my husband. Living alone was hard for me. I so desired to fill my life with the sounds of love and family. The irony is, at times, I almost wish I could have that quiet back! One thing that stands out to me the most in that time period is the intimate prayer and worship that I experienced with God and my Savior, Jesus. I remember vividly reading the Song of Solomon during my devotional times, and hearing in my heart sweet words. I wrote these dialogues down in the margins of my Bible, however that one was destroyed in a basement flood, so I have lost them. In the recesses of my heart and mind, however, those words are still with me. Can I share some intimate details with you?

Maybe some of you have trouble seeing Jesus as an intimate lover. No, of course not in a sexual way. But in the true sense of intimacy: knowing every detail of your heart and mind, body and soul. He does! What better husband could a woman have, than the One who knows her completely! This is what I learned during some very lonely times. Even in marriage, I've reminded myself of this. Jesus KNOWS me. Jesus LOVES me! He longs to make me His. What an amazing thought! The Darling of Heaven, God's only Son, desires to KNOW me and have me know Him.

Song of Solomon opens up with the lovers telling each other how attractive they are to each other. I don't know about you, but I've struggled with self esteem my whole life. I was never picture perfect, nor could I ever be. However, I heard almost as if He were sitting next to me, "You are beautiful. I made you just they way I wanted you. You couldn't be more perfect for me." What a revelation!! I started praying early on that my husband would love me for me, and know that we were made for each other. Jesus reminded me of this very truth- I have been made perfect in Him.

3:1 All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. 2 I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him.

How I had LONGED to know that kind of love! An undying, unmatched, passionate love that would keep me up all night when we were apart longing to be together again. I was reminded of another story. The prodigal son. The father in the story waited and waited for the son to return home. Once he did come home, a party was thrown and he was welcomed in as if nothing had happened. I was longing for the love of a man to fulfill a desire. Jesus reminded me that He also longed for me to return to Him and find my joy and happiness in His love. He left His place in Heaven, just to search for every lost soul and bring them home. He longed for my love, just as I longed for His.

4:16 is a bit graphic when understood what the Hebrew writter (Solomon) says. "Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits." Ok, so I can't know that type of relationship with Jesus, HOWEVER, I can know what it is like to have His love so deep in my heart that it is as apparent that I have been with him. Ok, you're all adults. You all know that it is obvious when you've been with your husband or wife in the joy of sex. If you walk back into the room, its obvious what has been going on. I want my intimacy with Jesus to be that evident. Ok, fine, think of it this way. Remember when Moses went up to Mt Siani to receive the commandments of the Lord? His face was glowing, literally! The shikina glory was so on him, that there was no mistake that he has been in the presence of the Almighty.

Song of Solomon was written by a king. King Solomon was the wisest man on earth, thought I suppose that could be argued when you remember that he had so many wives and concubines (KIDDING)! He was RICH! Whatever He wanted, he had it. Yet, his love for this woman, whom many suppose was his first wife and true love, is unmistakable. He adores her. He would do anything for her. If there is something that she desires, he will go to the highest of heights to get it. So much like my Jesus! He longed to make His Father happy and His joy complete, that He was willing to lay aside the Glory of Heaven to become human. He valued me- YOU- so much, that he was willing to lay his own life down to make sure that YOU would be with Him for eternity. What greater love is there? He loves you that much! If you take just a moment to really think about that, how can you struggle with self worth or appreciation? You are the most precious being to Him. If you had been the only person to say yes to Jesus, He still would have died for you. You are that worthy!!!

SInce these revelations, I have not struggled with my worth nearly as much. Does Satan still attack? Um, YEAH! But, I get to remind him that I know the truth, and that his lies will not beat me up anymore. It breaks my heart when I see my family or friends go through emotional pain, when I know that Jesus loves them in such a way. I hope that something in this writing can touch someone to cry out to Jesus to KNOW HIM and the power of His love.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Life is full of tests. In school, we dread test day. At work, its the yearly evaluations that get our palms sweaty. Oh, then there's the big test at the end...Judgement Day. However, we kinda fail to see the pop quizzes that our Father puts before us everyday. How often do we get frustrated when our kids don't listen, but He's using it as a way to teach us discipline? We get frustrated at our spouse, but He is wanting to see if we will love and honor. We get hurt, or something goes wrong, He is waiting to see what words we use, for out of a man's heart he speaks.

We are called to be holy, as our Father is holy. How can we see progress or where we need to work without these tests?

Monday, May 30, 2011

One Year Later

Wow. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time really does pass. It has been one year since I moved to my new family, and left everything I knew behind. Now, leaving all of my family has been the hardest thing I ever had to do, and it was not at all what I even wanted to do! I wanted, foolishly I suppose, to keep my mom close to me, as she always has been. I miss her more than I ever knew I could. That has been the hardest adjustment for me.

However, life in this house is normally a joyous experience. Yes, we have our days. What family doesn't? Today is one of those days, but I know things will smooth back out. I must learn to push for what I want, and just do what I want and not wait for anyone (or a certain someone) to do it with me. So, here in a few hours, I'm going to go do something I've wanted to do since moving to the area. I'm going to go see the lighthouse. I've always loved them, I think because my Grandparents loved them. Grandpa was stationed in Puget Sound during Korea, and they fell in love with the sea and the lighthouses. I'm keeping that alive in my own way. Ironic, my Grandpa worked for a company called Fiat Allis for decades. I live just blocks away from the home plant here in West Allis. Its like they are always around me. I like it.

So, Memorial Day. Unofficial Kickoff to Summer. I'm in between 2 lakes. What am I doing today? same stuff I do everyday. Next weekend, hubby and I are going out for our anniversary. I'm really looking forward to some time away and a break from my routine. I love being a stay at home mom, but even I need days off. Hubby doesn't get this. Of course, what husband does? He's going back to work Tuesday. We are thankful for the blessings that Heavenly Father has poured upon us. He carries us through some very trying times. Bills are always met. Food is always on the table. He is GOOD to us.

Well, that's about all for now. Kids are great, adults are great. Life is good.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

archeological finds and my musings

It was in the news yesterday that metal or lead books containing images about Jesus and his crucifixion had been found in a cave in Jordan. Now, I know there have been hoaxes before, but the images seem pretty legit. Only time with tell, but they have me thinking... I had no idea that any culture had used metal to inscribe books on. Now, it makes sense, as paper and papyrus would eventually fall apart and the records would be lost. However, the first metal books I'd ever heard of were the ones the were supposedly found in New York state by Joseph Smith. In one of the articles I was reading about this newest discovery had a line that has me really thinking. "Other texts from the period tell of sealed books of wisdom and of a secret tradition passed on by Jesus to his closest disciples." (Dr Margaret Becker, former president of the Society for Old Testament Study) What was this tradition? Could it be communion? Well, sure, except that tradition was passed on from Passover and its clear that 1st century churches practiced it at every fellowship. What if this tradition of passing on information and history on these plates was the secret passed on? What if Jesus had asked his faithful to continue this history, knowing that proof would be needed later that this practice happened? One of the main, early arguments of the Book of Mormon was that no one had ever heard of books being written on metal plates, let alone gold plates. We now know that these books did exist. How could an uneducated farmer make that up, and it be true? Its a fanciful story, until there's evidence that the things written inside happened. We know that books were written on metal, human sacrifice happened on this soil (see Cahokia Mounds info from Illinois), a society just died out for no reason, their technology was far beyond what had ever been thought of by the people on this soil, trade routes came from India to California's coast before 1000 BC, etc etc. So many of these things are talked about in the Book of Mormon. Its starting to seem more and more plausible, huh? I'm not saying, nor will I ever say, that the LDS church is not a cult. Any group that raises a man to the same level as God or Christ is a cult. We are not, nor will we ever be, as High or Holy as they are. Joseph Smith was a fallen man, a sinner. He is not a God. He could have been a tool used by God, though. Well, just something to think about. I'm off to fix supper and pack Willow's clothes. She's off to Grandpa and Grandma's for the week! She's excited and just can't wait :-D

Monday, March 28, 2011

hi, its me again

2am...why in the world am I still up??? Oh well :-D

Not really much going on around here. The weather needs to change very soon, so I can spend some time outside. I'm ready to get the yard cleaned up and get my garden ready. There is something about planting such small seeds, watching them grow then harvesting them that is just so much fun. This year's task? Learning to can. I wanted my grandma to teach me, but time got away from us before she went Home to the Lord. So, I will take what I learned by watching her and try to figure it out with books and the internet.

I've been studying and discussing with DH about Passover. It looks like we may skip out of the egg hunt and go with the Biblical feast. It will be fun to teach my family about the Exodus, and all of the symbolism in the Seder showing the way to Jesus. Maybe we will do an egg hunt just for the fun of it later, though! Who says it has to be to celebrate anything? Kids love to treasure hunt :-D

I'm preparing to change my diet. I weigh as much now as I did 9 months pregnant. I have to get this weight off. I'm so tired of looking in the mirror and being disgusted, then turning around and eating junk! Such a terrible cycle. So, we're going to purge the house this week, get rid of all of the junk food, and get ready to fill the house with the foods we should all be eating. We are all over weight, and we need to be healthier people. Our kids look great, I look like bloated road kill (how's that for imagery).

If I'm going to be holy, I must be holy in and out. I must take care of my home and family, as well as this Temple that God has given me. I have a high calling to be a mighty woman of God, and that means all of me. I must lay everything down, die to myself, and be raised in a newness and fulness of Christ. I must decrease, so He may increase!

Friday, March 18, 2011

I lay on my bed as I type tonight. I'm listening to my very hyper daughters play on the Wii, Rich plays on his computer, and everyone else is in their room. Its been a long week around here. William is sick with an upper respiratory problem, Thomas is teething, Tori has had an up and down week, and the stay at home moms are worn out!!! Brandy has been working a ton of split shifts at work, which have been keeping her busy and out of the house. Rich has now worked 2 days in a row, and seems to be loving it! So, I guess life is returning to normal around here. Its kinda nice :-D

Homeschooling has presented a few more challenges than I was prepared for, but isn't that just motherhood? I am hoping to start incorporating activities for Willow and Cameron soon. At Willow's age, I already knew my ABC's. I'm embarrassed to admit that she doesn't know hers. I need to get her caught back up.

Not much more going on. Still waiting to hear from the production company when we are going to air. We should know something very soon. Keep checking back!

Monday, February 28, 2011

So sorry I've gotten so far behind on keeping this blog up. Life in the Austin household is crazy sometimes. We filmed both weddings for TV, survived that nightmare almost unscathed. We are now waiting for the final cut to be approved for network to find out if it is even going to air. Just crazy stuff!!! During filming, we had 5 extra people staying in our home on top of the production crew in and out. Needless to say, I was sad when everyone had to go, but was ready for normalcy to return.

Tonight, I'm the last one up. Normally, I'm accompanied by Willow, who has decided that she wants to stay up until 2 AM. Yeah, I know, I should wake her up early and make her stay awake until bedtime and get her reset. Problem with that? Well, I'm homeschooling Tori all day, have 4 other kids here most of the day (Cameron is in school for 2 hours in the morning), a sister-wife that is depressed and a husband that desperately needs to get back to work before he looses all sanity. So, sorry, but I DON'T want to deal with a screaming and whiny child all day. I can deal with the lack of sleep. That is why God invented caffeine.

We pulled Tori out of public school in December. She was failing most of her classes due to lack of focus or drive. We have worked out a system with her, that seems to be doing her quite well. I plan enough work for her to do in 5 days. Each day, she is given a file folder with her daily assignments in them. These are accompanied by computer work and reading. She has the chance to get all of her work done by Thursday. I administer a weekly test on Friday morning, covering all that she has learned throughout the week, and the important information from the prior weeks. If she passes her test with a 60% or below, we have school all weekend. If she gets a 70-80%, she has school Friday and Saturday. 80-90%, we have a full day of classes on Friday. If Tori is able to pass her test with a 90% or above, she is free for the weekend. Guess what...I have yet to actually teach on a weekend. Now, mind you, we are still covering stuff she SHOULD have learned 1st semester, but at least she's learning it now. We are going to be having school all summer, but I'm hoping to have her at the same level as her classmates by September. In some classes, that's almost a 2 year jump! She is a smart little girl, we just had to find the best way to reach her.

I know I have a few poly wives out there that read my mindless ramblings. I have a question for you ladies. Do you ever feel like just giving up? I'm in a mood tonight, and I'm just tired of dealing with the drama that comes from living with all of these women! I know, the man should feel that way. The problem is, most of the time, I feel like the responsibilities of this house and everyone in it fall on my shoulders. I'm worn out! I need a "me" day.

I really need a Mommy and Willow day. We haven't had one of those in a long time. When I was working, I would make my payday "Mommy and Willow" time. I'd take her to McDonald's for supper and play with her, and maybe even go buy a new toy. I miss having that time and money to do special things with her. I can't just go take her to the park right now, as we have too much snow on the ground and its really cold still. But, laying in bed before she fell asleep, she grabbed me in a big hug and told me I'm the best mommy in the world. I cried. I felt so special at that moment. All the diapers, the pee-pee accidents, the sleepless nights, the ER runs, the colic, all just melted away in that moment. Now I remember why I wanted to become a mom. She's such a sweet little girl! I have truly been blessed.

Well, its midnight, and I have a full day of class tomorrow. Brandy is working a split shift, so she will be gone all day. I'm hoping that I can slip out early tomorrow and get away. Just don't want anyone upset with me if I do. But, I have to take care of me, too.

Until next time...blessings!