Hi I'm Karen
Hmmm...it's so hard to sum up one's life in just a few words! I was born and raised in a small town in Vermont. I love small towns and green grass and rolling hillsides. I have so many fond childhood memories of the land here in VT and I think I felt I was part of the land, and it was a part of me, and that's never really gone away. I got married to my high school sweetheart when I was 18 yrs old. My parents moved three hours away (from the house I grew up in) a couple months after I got married, and my world was completely turned up-side-down. I felt like I could never go home again. But, I went on with my life (what choice did I have?!) and we proceeded to have three boys by my 24th birthday. Life was hard and we struggled financially. Since then we have worked hard and improved our lives by getting better jobs (my husband works for the USPS) and I went back to school and got my Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. We now have five children (added two more girls) and I work at a non-profit mental health agency helping families get through rough times (sometimes similar to what I had faced at one time!) I am a runner, though winters are a bit difficult to be consistent with that here in VT. This past year I ran my first half marathon and finished around the center of the pack. I plan to continue to find new races in and around VT to participate in. I think it's just a lot of fun! I also have to admit, I'm a bit of a FaceBook junkie! ;-)
Why I am a Mormon
I am a Mormon because it bring me happiness and because I believe it is the same church that Jesus organized when He was on the earth. Even though my parents were Mormon, and I was batized at age eight (which I still remember as being the most beautiful moment of my life due to the feeling of pure light I had as I came up out of the water) I still had to make the decision of whether or not I wanted to be a Mormon and live my life as a Mormon. There was a time in my life when I chose not to go to church, but I found that I am a much better person when I do go, and a much, much happier person! When I stayed away, I made some bad choices. But fortunately for me, there is the atonement and I can be forgiven. How wonderful it is to know this! And to not only know it, but to feel its healing effects in my life!
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
My husband and I, being married at a very young age, stuggled a lot in the beginning and had a lot to learn; we were pretty immature in many ways! But since I was raised a Mormon, the gospel had taught me a lot, and so I knew how to pray for help and guidance, and I knew how to lean upon the Lord. Through some pretty tough situations, we never gave up on each other and we've been able to make it through. We've been married for 27 years now. We have five children (some of whom have grown and moved out). I love my husband today more than I have ever loved him, and look at him as my best friend. I have learned that if you rely upon the Lord, he can help you through any situation you might face, no matter how long it may seem to drag on, or how hard it may feel at the time. And He usually brings it around, so that in the end, you can find the beauty in the outcome and gain insight. Today we attend church regularly together along with our youngest daughter. We enjoy spending time together and enjoy serving together as Addiction Recovery Group leaders in the church. I pray to my Heaveny Father often throughout the day--sometimes in private on my knees, sometimes with my family, and sometimes quietly in my heart.
Which of the Savior’s teachings have influenced you in your life?
I think the most profound teachings of the Savior are the ones that talk about loving Him with all our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves--these are described as the most important of all the commandments and all the rest of the laws hang upon these two commandments. I enjoy the story about the woman caught in adultery who was about to be stoned. Jesus asked who amoung them was without sin, and said, he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone...everyone walked away. Amazing!
How I live my faith
I can honestly say that I love my Savior with all my heart for all that He has done for me! I love my family and my friends and enjoy spending time with them. I find great joy in serving as the Young Women's President in the South Royalton ward. I have the opportunity to support the young women in growing closer to the Lord, to do so many fun things, and to help them grow and to learn. But what really happens, is, they end up teaching me WAY more than I teach them!!! I love their positive energy and outlook on life. I also have the opportunity to serve as an Addiction Recovery Group leader along with my husband, Bruce, every Tuesday evening. This group is based on the 12 steps of recovery used in AA. There is at least one difference in our group and that is that we name our higher power as Jesus Christ, our Savior. Even though traveling half a hour each way to get to our meetings can be challenging at times, I have found so much joy in serving in the church, and feel the spirit touching my soul most every time, and I find it amazingly beautiful to me. Feeling this makes everything so totally worth it! The joy I feel when I am serving is beyond description.