A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.

From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.

In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.

Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.

Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.

We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.

As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Hearts of the Fathers

From the day Crystal told me I was going to be a father to now has been a roller coaster of emotions. I have gone from feeling overwhelming joy and love to feeling fear and to a host of feelings in between. During this process however, the only emotion I have not felt is regret.

I've known for many years I wanted to be a father and had a pretty good idea of what kind of a father I wanted to be. However, when I found out I was going to be a dad, I was on the verge of loosing my job. It was at this point I was feeling both joy and fear. I was afraid because I didn't know if I could be the kind of father I envisioned I'd be. I was joyful because I felt like our hopes of having a baby would finally be realized. Following that, there was a period of time where I felt despair because of an old problem which had recirculated and I was on the verge of loosing everything. I've never been more scared of anything than I was during that period. It was only by the grace of God that I am I still sitting here in my home with my wife and family today.

After emerging from the despair I felt I had hopes that I'd be able to be the father I'd wanted to be. Since then I've found and kept a job that at times I've felt was penance for my bad actions. I keep hoping that I'll be able to find a new job soon so I'll be able to be home more including night time. As difficult as my job has been, I have to admit my employer was very accommodating during the day Asher was born and the week that followed.

The night before Asher was born I left work frantically because Crystal called to tell me she was on her way to the hospital. As I drove to the hospital part of me was hoping Asher would be born that night. Of course I should have remembered to be careful what I wished for because this time I got it. After he was born I had to experience responsibility right away since Asher needed to be rushed off to the NICU at UVA. For the first time in my life I learned what it was like to love someone the way a person loves a child. I'd always heard people talk about the unconditional love a person feels for a child of their own. As I raced down to UVA to be with Asher and held my baby for the first time I finally understood that kind of love. It was interesting because I also understood a feeling I didn't expect. I finally understood how much it must have bothered my mom and dad when I'd say so many loathing things about myself.

In the weeks since Asher has been born I've never felt so consistently tired in all my life. But I also feel that I've grown significantly as a person. It was today that I've finally dealt with one of the things that concerned me most. Today I gave Asher his blessing. As I've considered the things mentioned I feel that I need to record what I can remember or I'll forget the vital things told to Asher. Asher was told that he would be blessed with intelligence and the ability to use the gifts he had been given to achieve what he desired. He was also told that he would be able to use his intelligence to develop his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was also told that he would be blessed with a knowledge of the love his family has for him and the ability to return that love to his family members. Finally he was told that he would know what a joy he has been and will be to his family.

As the roller coaster continues I feel grateful for both my son and my daughter. I hope I'll be a better provider for my wife and children. I hope that Asher will be grateful I am his father and that Valerie will be grateful I am her step-father.


beckyV said...

Matt, I am so proud of everything you have overcome. The atonement is such an amazing, life saving ordinance. I hope that you always remember that the forgiveness you have received is complete and total, it is as though it never happened. Jesus took it all on himself for you. He healed you and He changed you. I know that you are going to be an amazing dad and I know that things will look up for you on the job front. Having a newborn can be so challenging and overwhelming, but it gets easier and eventually they start sleeping at night!! I am so happy for you guys and, like always, you and Crystal are in my prayers.

abbynormal said...

I had the blessed opportunity to be present to witness Matt blessing his firstborn son, and I took notes. I would like to add to Matt's list some of the other things included in his blessing to Asher:

He was blessed to know that Heavenly Father loves him, that he would have the desire to learn of God's presence, that he would develop a strong relationship with God and Jesus Christ, and that it would help him as he served a mission. He was also blessed to marry in the temple and have a family of his own.

It was a simple, beautiful, and simply beautiful blessing.

Colin -N- Lori said...

I am so glad that Colin and I were able to go to VA and be a part of such a great weekend with Matt, Crystal, Valerie, and Asher. He is such a sweet and content baby, only crying to eat. The blessing was beautiful and I am so happy for them and all that they have overcome as a family. It is so great to know that families are forever!!

notthecroshaws said...

I can only echo what abby and lori said. it was truly a blessed occasion. asher is a sweet, precious little baby. i savored the moments i had holding him during the two weeks i was there. i know i will not have an opportunity like that with him again. we got to spend lots of days together, just grandma and asher. he is truly a precious little spirit. i will find some photos of matt, and you can all see how similar they are. crystal is a wonderful, selfless mom. she is likeiwise enduring sleep deprivation, but it never affects her time with asher. kudos to the new daddy and mommy. valerie is also a sweet sister to her brother. i had a great time with valerie as well. if anyone is wondering, i am home now and the washing is started. dad slept on the same sheets for over two weeks!!! yuck. clean sheets tomorrow. fyi, on my flight to denver from national, ralph nader was three rows in front of me, on the other side!!! very tall man. i love you all. xoxoxo

notthecroshaws said...

Mom and I just arrived home from our Virgina trip. We had a fulfilling weekend and a meaningful Sabbath. I am very proud of the progress you have made and the man you have become. You faithfully applied your priesthood to give little Asher a very thoughtful and considerate blessing. I know you are working very hard to provide for your family.

I am also so very proud and appreciative to you, Crystal for the cheerful long-suffering you exhibited throughout your difficult pregnancy. You came about as close as is humanly possible to atoning as the Savior did for another person when you willingly sacrificed your health and your comfort, even risked your life to bring little Asher into the world. We so much appreciate that.

Guys, I don't think we mortal men will ever be able to experience that degree of sacrifice, but to be worthy of these devoted, valiant women, we must pray always to understand it, and never fail to express love and appreciation to our mothers, our wives, our sisters, and our daughters. Thank you all for your willingness to give all you have.

Crystal said...

I will reply when I have more time, but I have found when I am at home, I have no time at all. In fact, I should be in bed now (Asher has been sleeping for 2 hours, but I have been cleaning out my closet, my bathroom, doing laundry (only one load of whites and I am totally laundry FREE!), writing a quiz, and 2 lectures... still have not graded the huge stack I got Friday, but I am hoping office hours are not exciting tomorrow and I will get to it then.

That being said, it was all worth it. Asher is perfect and precious and he, Valerie and Matt totally have my heart. I wish I had more time with them, but I keep thinking and hoping that I will soon. I think Matt will get a better job soon. He really needs to. I only see him on Sundays and for about one hour total a day and now I am not getting much help at night which will make working even more fun on less than 3 hours sleep, but... he will get an awesome job soon and I will make him help me ;-)

Jason and Dana said...

I really wish I could have been there for the blessing. I bet it was so special for everyone there. Maybe he'll start sleeping through the nights soon!! He's such a good baby I wouldn't doubt it.
Matt will find a better job soon. No doubt about it. That many prayers have got to count for something, eventually. Like Crystal said, maybe he had the job he had for the reason of Asher being born so early. There's always a reason for everything, even if we can't see it.
It was so nice reading that Matt. I could tell how much you loved Asher while I was there. You are (and are going to be) such a great dad to that baby boy. I could just feel it being around you two.

Leslie said...

You guys are amazing parents. Such good examples to the rest of us of sacrifice and hard work. I can't wait to see you all together!