Maybe I'll have to do 30 people in 40 days. I caught a cold and all I want to do with my free time is nap and read. I guess that's the lovely thing about being sick: down time. :) Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I have so many people and blessings to be grateful for. I absolutely love my family. They are so dear to me. Especially my sisters. I have 3 sisters: Rachelle, Melanie, and Anne. I had the opportunity to live with both Rachelle and Melanie and have so many memories during those experiences. When I moved to Seattle to live with my oldest sister, I had no idea it would be a literal turning point in my personality and life. Rachelle taught me so much. Especially things pertaining to becoming more of a woman than an 18 year old girl. She taught me how to do make-up (yes, I never knew how to do make-up) and how to dress fashionably according to me body build. She also inspired me to eat healthier and feel better about how I looked physically. This may not seem like a big deal except it was because my social life was forever changed. I gained confidence and with that came many opportunities I wouldn't have ever had otherwise. I also began to date which was extremely new to me, and Rachelle was there to help me every step of the way.
I talked a lot about my negative attitude in High School, well, another reason that attitude began to fade was because of Rachelle and Paul. They were blunt to me and I needed blunt. I was being an unpleasant, depressed pill to live with and hurt Rachelle's feelings one night by saying something uncalled for. The next morning as I got up and got ready for work, Paul offered to drive me. He was brutally honest, which astonishes me because he is hardly ever like this. He said something along the lines of, "Pamela, I love you but the thing is, it is hard to be around you because are so negative all of the time. You kind of suck the energy out of people." That was the greatest wake up call of my life. I cried and cried after he had said it, but I knew it was true, and it was something I utterly despised. So, I did what the scriptures said to do in such a situation and turned to God. During this time period, President Hinckely had encouraged everyone in the LDS church to read the Book of Mormon. So while I read the book, I used its teachings and power to help change my heart and my weaknesses. There were many nights of pleading for forgiveness and pleading for a change in attitude. Those nights were some of the most comforting I have ever had although getting to the comfort wasn't always easy. I knew with Christ's grace, I could change. And I did and still am changing.
I learned in YW a few Sundays ago about butterflies and how they can be in cocoons for years before they are fully developed. I consider myself to be still in my cocoon of positivity. One day, with God's help, I will fly out having overcome my weakness. Until then, I'm going to continue going to the source that gives me strength. Anyway, Washington was without a doubt the beginning of my caterpillar-to-cocoon-career. Thanks to Rachelle and Paul, I was on my way to becoming who I am, and I don't think it would have happened without the loving honesty.
Rachelle, through example, also taught me about giving, sacrifices, and motherhood. Rachelle is such a generous person. She's often putting others' needs in front of her own. I love and appreciate that about her so much. Rachelle is also an incredible mother. She has 5 children and is outstanding with every one of them. She always goes above and beyond to serve them and make sure they get the nourishment they need to be successful. She is often teaching her children about the gospel and holds strong to her family values. In Washington, we had family prayer and scripture study every night. Although some of them were filled with laughter as the tiny ones prayed or recited scriptures, other nights helped me realize the power of love from God and the eternal family. I knew I wanted my family to have the blessing of the gospel just like my sister's kids had, and I knew I wanted a husband as supportive and loving as Paul was to Rachelle. So in many ways, my happiness today can be attributed to their kind, patient, and loving examples.
Rachelle and Paul, thank you so much for some of the best months of my life. You two will always be dear to me and will always have a special place in my heart for the countless ways you have helped me grow. I love you!
Pics are from 2005