My name is Heidi. I am 44 years old and have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all my life. I currently serve in the Primary, and I love working with the children. My husband and I have been married for almost 23 years. We are parents to three children who are currently 19, 14 and 7. It has been interesting to have them so spread apart (by chance, not by choice) and it has given us the time to enjoy each one of them as individuals.
I love my husband and children very much. Loving them up and seeing to their needs does take up most of my time. However, when I do have extra time, I love to garden, read, write and, in the past, dance. I am too old and tired for the dancing, now, but I absolutely adore music. I also love photography and doing family history research. Lately, blogging is pretty high up there on my list of hobbies, as is finishing my latest novel. I am a total anglophile and have done a ton of reading on the British Isles. I adore well-researched historical fiction or any book that spoon feeds you history in a fictionalized setting. I love flowers and the color pink–those are two things that always have the power to lift my spirits, along with the best kinds of music.
I have had many experiences when I knew that my Heavenly Father was fully aware of me and my struggles. One that I often share is when my oldest was four years old. By this time I was 29 and the mother of only one child. Though we loved him with all our hearts, he was born with many disabilities and his future was unsure. Coming from a family of eight children and the aunt of numerous nieces and nephews, it felt lonely and odd to be the mother of only one child. Since the work of a parent is, in my estimation, the greatest/hardest/most enduring thing a person can do, I had been making our future family a matter of much prayer. It weighed heavily on me that I felt like I had accomplished so little of lasting value at that point in my life.
Finally I felt sure that I was pregnant, however, I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. Great was the despair at our house but we were careful to not discuss it in front of our four-year-old. A few days later my husband and I were sitting at the breakfast table feeling glum when our little boy walked into the room and said, “Jesus is bringing me a little sister!” I was so upset about my negative pregnancy test that I snipped at him. “Well, did He tell you WHEN?” My husband was wiser and started asking questions. After conversing with our son, we felt positive that he had had a spiritual experience that told him he would soon be the brother of a baby sister. A few days later I took another test and I was indeed pregnant.
Eight plus months later, we were thrilled to deliver a baby girl. During the course of my pregnancy many people tried to prepare us for a boy as my parents had mostly all boy grandbabies, but I knew without a doubt that it was a girl. People shook their heads at my foolishness in proceeding with girly decor in the nursery and buying all girl baby clothes but I didn’t let that bother me and even announced her name to everyone several months before she was born.
When my son feels discouraged and that his life amounts to nothing, we remind him of the day he answered his parents’ prayers by announcing the arrival of his baby sister. It helps him to remember who he truly is, indeed, who we all are: children of a loving Heavenly Father who knows our joys and sorrows and who loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ, whose atoning sacrifice for us is the greatest gift that any being could ever receive. Often we forget that this atonement not only pays for our sins but also makes up for our lacks. As humans we are far from perfect and never will be in spite of our best efforts. It will only be through His sacrifice that our imperfections can be made perfect. On days that I feel especially inadequate for the tasks and responsibilities with which I have been blessed, I remind myself that whatever truly needs to happen, CAN happen if I have the faith to believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Heidi Ashworth is the author of Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind (a Regency romance novel), and is currently working on the sequel to this lively book.
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