Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thank You and Please Accept our Invitation

To everyone that has commented on this blog, emailed, and sent me well-wishes through Facebook, thank you for your words of encouragement. To my friend Debbie Amundson, thank you for your poem in the comments of the last blog entry. It was a beautiful analogy. I fully intend to love "Holland" so much, that I will fall down on my knees and thank the God of Heaven that I did not end up in "Italy." This video from by Byron Katie is one of my very favorites that you would probably enjoy.

My dear friend Cara from New York called me last night and said she hoped I wasn't upset by her saying this, but that she really wasn't sorry for me. She was actually excited for me because she was confident that this situation is just perfect for us. I thought it was well expressed and she is right--there really is no need to be sorry for me. Brynn is perfect. Our situation is perfect.

Perfection, by the world's standards, consists of a list--often ambiguous--and includes certain social norms. We should be healthy, skinny, stylish, employable, in a good relationship, etc. People obviously have different values and so these things change, i.e. women should or should have careers out of the home, abortion should or should not be allowed, gays and lesbians should or should not be tolerated, platform sandals should or should not be tacky--you get my drift. In short, the world's standards of perfection shift and change with society's whims, scientists' discoveries, and religion's varied influence.

What's worse is that many people are convinced by the lie that until this perfection is attained, it is impossible to be happy and/or feel love for others or oneself. For example, "I can't love myself until I've lost 15 lbs," "I will never feel fulfilled now that I've failed at achieving my dream," "I will never be able stay in this marriage until he accepts me for who I am."

Thus perfection, and happiness for that matter, are always *just* out of reach.

But perfection, by God's standards, is an entirely different thing. He has two perfections--First, Eternal perfection which is difficult, if not impossible to attain in this life but is available through the Atonement and will be required of us in order to live with God; Second, is mortal perfection, which Seth and Job were able to attain. I know this is different than Eternal perfection because Job was pronounced perfect in the beginning of the book when he still had more trials and growth to go through in order to be further refined and perfected. This mortal perfection is nothing more or less than being in a state of grace--or in other words, being in a state where we have done all that we can do and are now relying on the atonement. We might not be perfectly humble, charitable, or kind, but we can still be doing all that is in our mortal power and therefore qualify to be under the umbrella of God's perfection. This is why, I believe, Seth and Job were pronounced perfect.

And this perfection--along with the resulting happiness--is entirely in our control. We truly do choose how we will react to our situations--even situations that might, at first glance, seem imperfect.

This is also why I believe our situation with Brynn is perfect as well, and does not require anyone to feel sorry for us. Matt and I, with Brynn, are exactly where we need to be and are in a state of mortal perfection.

Still, I sincerely appreciate everyone's heartfelt concern and wishes. I know everyone's intentions are the purest they can be and certainly don't feel annoyed or irritated when someone says, "I'm sorry this has happened." On the contrary, I am overwhelmed and appreciative of the selflessness and concern that people--some of whom I've never met--have for my dear little daughter and our family. The kindness is overwhelming indeed and a tribute to the neverending capacity of the human race to think outside themselves.

So thank you.

And before I end, Matt and I have discussed it and decided to invite everyone in the area to come to Brynn's baby blessing this coming Sunday, May 24th. This is a sacred, special time for babies and families in my church. Regardless of your religious background, I think you will enjoy the short ordinance which happens during the first hour of our three-hour block. Matt and I will, of course, be there with Brynn and would love to say hello to you. Instead of a pastor or other church authority figure, we believe in our religion that fathers have the ability and responsibility to preside over their families. As such, Matt has been given the priesthood in order to be able to fill that responsibility, and will be the one giving the blessing.

After the blessing, of course, you are welcome to stay the whole three hours, broken up by different classes each hour.

Because the internet can be a scary place, and I have no idea who has been quietly following this blog, I have set up a special email account for anyone who would like information about attending. It is: If you email me there, I will send you the address, time, and the typical attire.

I love you all dearly and want to thank you again for your love, concern, and support.



Leslie said...

What a beautiful post! Your attitude on life and the situations that come to you is inspiring. I know that we are never given more than we can handle - this makes you and your husband very stong people! I wish you the peace and happiness everyday! Thanks for sharing your blog!

Unknown said...

Nat - I have no doubt that you and Matt and little Brynn will shine through this adventure. You have amazing faith and strength and little Brynn is so blessed to have such a mom. Thank you for your inspiring posts. Seriously, I can not think of another person that would be able to deal with all of the pressures and worries you are facing and come out with so much faith, hope and even joy. I love you Natalie dear!

Ryan, Melissa, and Family said...

Natalie you are an amazing inspiration to me to always strive to be a better person and I want to thank you for that:) I am amazed at the strength that the two of you have despite the trials you have faced! Thanks for sharing your experiences so openly...keep up the great work...Brynn is very lucky to have you two as her parents!

The Lingo Family said...

You are amazing. Your strength is beyond encouraging. Your testimony and faith has in turn built and strengthened mine. You have helped me realize so many things just through reading this blog, I THANK you for being so willing to share so much of yourself on here. So wish I could be there for Brynn's blessing- how wonderful of you to invite others. The courage you share has been a blessing in my life. Thank You, and lots of kisses for Brynn.

k said...

Take lots of pictures of the little darling in her blessing dress!!!

Pieces of me... said...

Life is full of unexpected things and it's how we take on those unexpected things that will make us or break us. God bless you Natalie. I am touched by your faith, your testimony and your understanding of the Lords love for you and your family. I have no doubt that this situation has strengthened you and your family and that the Lord is right there next to you helping you along the way. You are an amazing person and I hope you and your family continue to walk in faith. I wish I could be there for the blessing. It will be a beautiful day.

Cori Henderson said...

I agree with everyone else, Bryn is so lucky to have you two as parents. You're both amazing.

Alatariel said...

I love seeing baby blessings. :) One of the most amazing things about being a member is all the hope that we can feel on a daily basis-- knowing the truth and feeling hope is just wonderful. That's what is so beautiful about baby blessings; the hope and the promises and love from our Heavenly Father for the amazing future ahead of the little life in the powerful hands of the priesthood holders. I'll see you on Sunday!


Murray Ohana said...


You don't know me well, in fact you may not even remember me. We have only met a few times. I am Matt's first cousin and I live in Hawaii. I have been checking in on your blog every once in a while ever since your sweet Brynn was born. I love to read your posts! Almost every one makes me cry so much that I run and grab the tissues. Not that your blog makes me sad..because it doesn't, but because you help me feel the Spirit so strongly. You are a beautiful mother and a very inspiring person, which I am sure you hear all of the time.

One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in this life is to watch my older sister, Laura, with her son, Christoph. As you know, he too had many challenges. Together they shared a special bond that is impossible for me to describe, but I could see and feel it when I was around them. Their relationship is what I imagine relationships in heaven to be like. Brynn is SO blessed to have such an amazing mother and father. I know you too are so blessed to have Brynn's special spirit with you and in your home.

Thank you for touching my life in such a positive way!
Love, Rachel

Paula Jeanne said...

Matt and Natalie,

Your daughter is a precious angel! I commend you both on the decisions that you have made and are about to make. Thanks for sharing!