This picture has little to do with my thoughts tonight, except man I wish I could be that free. I took this picture of V a few weeks back as she danced in the water fountains at Sea World. 

I wish I could feel as free as my Genevieve. I've thought a lot about doing away with this little blog of mine this week. I've had a lot on my mind lately and have wanted to write everything down but have hesitated to write it here because sadly I don't always feel like I can be myself here so rather than recording specific thoughts or experiences, I don't because I don't want to be judged for the way I express myself. But the problem with not recording things is that I forget them; I have a terrible memory. 

Expectations. I feel people have too many expectations of who I should be or what I should be doing. Whether or not they really do might be completely in my mind, but the fear of not living up to everyone's expectations often cripples me. 

So I feel the need to set the record straight, even if it's just so I can get the fear out of my mind. 

I am not perfect, but I'm doing the best I can. I adore my husband. He is quite possibly the best person I've ever met, but I snap at him too often. I love my girls, but I growl at them more than once a day. And I feed them McDonalds at least once every other week because they love it, and I love watching them devour a cheeseburger in under a minute. Gross, I know, but I'm telling you it's an amazing sight. I don't pray enough. I rarely get a chance to read anything spiritual for more than five minutes because someone always wakes up crying, and I have a rule that I can't read anything else if I don't read my scriptures so that means the books on my book list will remain there until I figure out a better routine. I swear in my mind a lot. A lot. It takes everything in me not to swear in front of the girls so I figure saying things in my mind is at least a step in the right direction. Sometimes I write damn or hell on the blog but delete most of them because Tim shakes his head in silence as he reviews my posts. I really hate that head shake, and he knows it. I don't like feeling like I'm letting someone down, but I also don't like feeling like I can't be myself. 

I have a two loads of laundry that have been waiting for me to fold them for four days. I get anxiety when my house is dirty. I get even bigger anxiety when I can't find the time to clean my house. That anxiety gets displayed in a variety of ways if my buttons get pushed. My buttons get pushed a lot. 

I am currently struggling with body image. This will probably be a lifetime fight, but I go through good and bad phases. Right now, I am losing the fight. I feel vulnerable and insecure, and nothing Tim says makes me feel better about myself. 

We are currently in the process of making big life decisions. Big, big ones. You'd think I'd be a pro at making decisions and dealing with change seeing as it has been my life for the past few years, but that just isn't true. 

I have a broken heart right now. Those big life decisions I just mentioned keep breaking it to pieces. 

I believe in a system of checks and balances. It was the one thing I really understood out of that terribly difficult American Heritage class I took at BYU. I am learning a hard, albeit monumental and probably life-changing lesson right now. I have always believed that to receive anything in this life, I needed to do my part and work for it. Nothing is given freely. And I still believe this with regards to so many things in life, but the lesson I am learning is that it is not this way with God. 

Because of all of this anxiety and fear, I started believing that God was a God of checks and balances and have felt for some time that I have not deserved his love because I haven't been able to live up to all these "supposed" expectations. My prayers have sounded a lot like this, "Dear Heavenly Father....{silence followed by more silence}...and then out of frustration I just end the sad excuse for a prayer and try to fall asleep. It is incredibly frustrating to feel like you don't deserve love. It feels like someone poked a tiny hole in my invisible bubble and is slowly letting all the air out of it. It is suffocating and painful. And I have felt this way for more than a year, maybe more than two years so you can imagine how fragile my spirit is. 

So this all sounds really sad and depressing, and it is, but I am not without hope. Last week, my church held its semi-annual general conference where the leaders of the church speak to all who will listen. And boy did I listen. And I learned a lot. I'm still processing most of it, but I think the most important thing I heard was something our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson said to all women, "My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you--each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God's love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there." 

Let me repeat the line that meant that most to me: "God's love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love."

So I am trying to retrain my thinking process. I am trying to believe that my God loves me even though I don't pray enough, read enough, hold my tongue enough, keep an organized house enough, feel confident in my body enough, and accept change with an open heart enough. 

His love is enough. I just have to believe that. 


  1. This is beautiful! I just found your blog and I like it a lot :) Please don't stop now!

  2. I love your blog so much Janine. For my own selfish sake I hope you don't stop writing what's on your heart because I am so inspired by your rawness and vulnerability. Sure makes for beautiful writing.

  3. I'm so sorry you have felt this way about yourself. As a friend who is known you for over 10 years now, I thought your body, your hair, your face, your style... everything looks better than ever now... you have just radiated beauty to me lately, you are one of the lucky ones who seems to has hit her prime in her 30s. I hope you can see it soon b/c its true! Your girls, your experience, your ups and your downs have all brought you to this point. You really are beautiful!


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley