January 2013

January 2013
Our Little Family of Three

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Letter

The all important event. How grateful we are for the birth of our Saviour. For without it we would not have the atonement.

(Sigh)..where do I start?

This year has been a year of gratitude. This year has been a year of sorrow. This year has been a year of growth. This year has been incredibly bitter-sweet. 2009 has only opened our eyes to the miracles of life and the miracles of death.

Many of you who are reading this have kept up with us through out the year. And for others this is the first time you've viewed our blog. For those of you who are new to our online journal, feel free to scroll down the page and select different month's through out the year. It's that simple. And for those of you who have walked our path with us this year, thank you. You are also welcomed to re-read our past posts as well.

Most, if not all of you, know about the passing of our sweet niece, Mercydez earlier this year. It has been a challenge to be positive at times. It has been a challenge to avoid "playing the victim" as some put it. I have come to realize, yet again, how important our choices are. Life gives us the opportunity to grow, to experience things. I believe it is WHAT WE DO WITH OUR EXPERIENCES that will determine our future, in the life hereafter. We have honestly been trying to be better because of Mercydez and all that she offered us. It is very humbling to say that some may have been present in my moments of weakness, sorrow, hurt, anger, and loss. I'll be the first to admit that in those vulnerable moments it is hard not to become something to be ashamed of. I am guilty. And I am also determined to not become that. President Monson put it perfectly, "It is important to allow yourself to feel, to acknowledge. It is equally important not to dwell." That is obviously paraphrased. But that has been the knot in our rope that has kept us from completely breaking.

Mercydez taught us so much about true unconditional love. Mercydez taught us the importance of service. Her entire life, the 14-1/2 months (not quite) was for her family. She was serving us through example and endurance. Some may question what I mean by this. I don't know how to put in to words exactly what I know to be a truth. What an incredible little girl. I can't wait to see her again, because we WILL see her again. We are grateful for this knowledge and testimony. We don't know what we would have done, or what our family would have done, without this vital information.

God loves us. God loves you. He is an all loving God. He has offered us one thing in this world that is truly ours, and that is our agency, through the gift of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Our right to choose for ourselves what we will/will not do is a gift. This is totally and completely ours. When someone we know and love is suffering, it is one of two things (in my opinion). It is a trial to make us better people and teach us something (if we're open enough to search/find for the message) or it is an act of agency. We'll be the first to admit, again, that during the trial it is almost impossible to see "the message". We aren't saying it's always blatantly obvious or easy. Sometimes we may not understand the "why's" until long after the experience.

This is my testimony. This is not doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormon church). Just because we or someone we know is suffering doesn't mean God doesn't love you/them. If anything, I believe Heavenly Father is crying right along with you...with us. Heavenly Father wouldn't leave...what loving father would?! We know He was there the entire time with Mercydez and my family. We believe He still is. He cares. We are his spirit-children.

This is something I am seeing for the first time in my 25 years. Which takes us full circle. It is what we do with our experiences that will determine our lives in the life hereafter.

Even the very essence of time is a gift, it is something that truly isn't ours. No, we only have our agency, our choices. We only have the great opportunity and responsibility to decide who we are going to be and what we will be capable of.

With the many great and extremely hard experiences we have been privileged to be a part of, I can't help but keep our Christmas letter simple. We have had great opportunities to travel, to learn, improve our futures through work and school, to become better people. We credit our faith, our families, our Heavenly Father and our brother, Jesus Christ for these opportunities. It is only through the great act of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that we are able to overcome our trials, our sorrows, our sins and become better than had we not experienced the "hard" things in life. There is reason to hope. There is great reason to hope.

May this Christmas holiday be full of light and love.

Travis & Adrienne

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