Catherine Arveseth

When I think about who I love, rather than what I love, the words come easy. So… here we go.

I love God. With all I have. He is my Father, my haven of safety, my refuge. In prayer and in thought. I know immediately when I am choosing something he wouldn’t be happy with. And I want him to be happy with me. I want Him to trust me. So I try to listen to His messages, his whisperings. And follow.

I felt an energy from Him when I first got the invitation to be part of Multiply Goodness. So here I am.

I love people of different religions, backgrounds, color, and experience. I see God in the many faces of the earth, in all the wonderful cultures of this world. It makes life rich for me. And I believe when life becomes too insular, it is easy to become complacent, unaware, or even ungrateful for the things God has given us. So a dialogue with diverse understandings and peoples is important to me. Especially when it comes to discussing truth. Another reason I am here.

I love Jesus. Never before in my life, have I trusted more in His Atonement than now.

On Thanksgiving evening we lost my brother-in-law, age 38. His death was sudden and wrenching. We worried things were left undone for him, but we have been tutored by the Spirit in tender ways and given the assurance that Christ will “do with him as seemeth him good.” We have heard Christ whisper, “I will take it from here,” and our understanding of Christ’s Atonement has broadened.

A month later, my mother, who has been fighting brain cancer for over 20 years, took a nose dive in cognition, speech, and ability to move. She stopped eating, her speech became slurred, and she was unable to stand. We knew this was coming. Several months ago the tumor became untreatable. And yet, to watch my sweet mother, age 69, drift away, is something for which I have been unable to prepare. She is now under hospice care, and has rebounded some with a steroid that is helping control the swelling in the brain. It is a temporary fix, but we are grateful. Thankful for every day we have to love her here.

My mother loves Jesus too. It is from her I learned submission and faith. Not just the kind that can move mountains, because we have seen mighty miracles together, but the kind that says, “Do with me what you will, God; I trust you.”

I love my mother. And my father. Whose selfless, full-time care for her over the last couple years has taught me what marriage is really about. I also love my five siblings, who make me laugh harder than anyone else.

I love my husband. Who wrote me a note when he was 19 and confessed, “I love you.” I think he was nervous to say it out loud. But it won me over. We wrote through two LDS missions. His to Pusan, South Korea. Mine to Nauvoo, Illinois. And after lots of ups and downs, we were finally married and haven’t looked back.

I love my five children, who came after a long stretch of infertility. Each a glorious miracle. Proof that God is not just generous, but sometimes extravagant. And… he has a sense of humor. In our mix of five, we have two sets of twins; the last set born one week after our oldest turned 4. She came with a fierce braveness and creativity. The next with wisdom and intuition. Her twin sister with a peaceable walk. And their twin brothers with the tightest tether to each other, curiosity to kill every cat, and a desire, that I hope grows, to know spiritual things. Together, they gave us our “wild and precious life.”

We’ve seen more potty, mud, and furniture disasters than I can list. But all five can now bathe themselves, pour their own cereal, and write their first and last name. I am not always patient, but I keep trying. And while I often fail, I keep asking myself in difficult situations, “What would love do now?”

I believe these words from our Savior hold the key to a happy life: “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall never walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” And I also believe, as Freud commented, that “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike us as the most beautiful.”

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Catherine Arveseth
In four years, Catherine became the mother of five children, including two sets of twins. Catherine recounts her long struggle with infertility and how time in this personal “wilderness” helped her to see motherhood differently. Catherine also shares some of the complexities, joys, and coping strategies that help her live–and love–her busy life as a mother of five.
Catherine Arveseth

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