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Hi I'm Rachel

I'm a mother of 5. I have a son with autism. I'm a college student and a math tutor. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

After my 5th baby was born, I wanted to do something intellectually stimulating. I decided to go back to school and take one online math class at a time. Math had always been my worst subject, but after years as a stay-at-home mom changing diapers and chasing toddlers, I wanted to focus my mind on problems with correct answers. After getting my 3 older kids off to school I would sit at my computer, nursing my baby, and do algebra while my toddler jumped on my bed. My autistic son, now 10, makes life extremely challenging and uncertain. Math became my escape to order and solutions. I eventually had to switch to on-campus classes, which proved to be a wonderful, exhilarating experience. I ended up changing my major to mathematics, and I'm really enjoying this new challenge as I pursue my goal of a college degree. My husband is supportive, and he watches the kids while I'm in class. During the summer I spend all day with my kids, going to the beach, library, parks, and playing games together. During the semester I struggle to balance school and family, church and work. I frequently feel overwhelmed, but somehow everything always works out. I run on the beach early in the morning, and that's my alone time to enjoy quiet introspection and reflect upon how my life is going.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because it feels like home. As a child I spent alternating weeks between my mother's Mormon church and my father's various evangelical churches. When I was 8 years old a little girl asked me which church I liked the best. I'd never even thought about it before, I just did what my parents said. But when this girl asked me, I stopped to think. I spent equal time at my parents different churches, and at home we prayed and read the Bible together as a family. I remembered how it felt to be at each church, and I immediately knew the answer. Every time I stepped across the threshold at the Mormon church I felt like I was coming home. I felt safe, like I belonged, like I was known and loved, and it just felt right. The people were friendly at both churches, but the unmistakable, precious feeling was only when I entered a Mormon building. The day I was 8 and identified that feeling became the foundation of my testimony. Since my father didn't grant permission, I had to wait until my 18th birthday to get baptized. I never wavered in my desire to be a Mormon. My baptism was a wonderful, spiritual, joyful experience. I've spent all the years since then grateful for my membership in this church. I've had a lot of challenges in my life, and my religion has been what has not just gotten me through, but made me better, stronger, and happier during even the heaviest problems.

How I live my faith

Every morning my husband, 5 kids, and myself kneel together to say a prayer as a family before we head off different directions for the day. We pray to be safe and healthy, we thank the Lord for all our blessings, and we pray that we'll be good examples to the people we interact with. In the evening we come together again around the dinner table and we take turns talking about what happened during the day. My son with autism only talks about animals, and my youngest usually doesn't say much of anything, but he knows the routine of taking turns to share. This tradition binds our family together and keeps us aware of what is happening in each other's lives. We read the scriptures together every night, and once again kneel for family prayer. These simple things only take a few minutes every day, but fortify us to face the world, united in our beliefs and goals for the future. I believe this family time is sacred, and the most important thing I do every day. Whatever else happens in my life, success or failure, it cannot compare with the peace I feel as I hear my children pray.