Utah blogger Stephanie Nielson promised God she would share her story

By Sonja Carlson

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Feb. 10 2014 12:40 p.m. MST

Nielson, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, expressed her gratitude to God through blogging and wrote about the love she felt from him, her husband and her children every day, she said.

“Through blogging, I was showing my children that I was coming back,” Nielson said. “But not just that I was coming back, but that I wanted to come back. I wanted to be mom again. I love them so much, and no pain could stop me from doing my job.”

Nielson said her children used to often ask her when she would look like their old mother again. She would reply saying that it would happen soon, even though she knew it never would.

“My children don’t even ask that anymore. In fact, I don’t think they even see my scars anymore,” Nielson said.

Nielson hopes her blog will help future family members.

“I am grateful I have dedicated time each day through thick and thin and joy and pain to write down my life,” Nielson said. “Someday these blog entries will maybe help a great-granddaughter who is maybe struggling with her own self-esteem. Maybe, through my blogs, my grandsons will see that their grandmother never gave up, especially and most importantly, when it was hard. Maybe someone down the line in my family will do a report on me in school. Maybe they’ll name a city after me. I don’t even know — you never know. But, in all honesty, my hope is that my generations will never doubt that hard times do come, suffering happens to everyone — it’s how we deal with it and how we finish that matters.”

She suggested audience members find the best way to document their lives, whether it is through journaling, scrapbooking, blogging or whatever they preferred — and to never stop.

“You are here today because you love your family, because you want a connection with your descendants,” Nielson said. “I encourage you to find stories with your loved ones that can help you develop an attitude of gratitude for the ones who came before you. We are all survivors of something.”

Nielson said during an interview with the Deseret News that she drew on her ancestors' strength after her accident as she has looked at her family history.

“It’s really helped me push forward,” she said. “And so I’m building this new family history for my generations, that they can look back and say, well if grandma did that, then I can get through my thing.”

She said her children are learning how to blog and have their own blogs.

Nielson’s advice to those wanting to use blogging to preserve family history is to decide who their audience is and to be consistent.

“If you’re writing to future generations or if you’re opening it up for the world to see how you blog and how your family life is, I think finding that niche of who you’re writing to will really help your writing. It’ll be easier to understand. It’ll be smoother if you know who you’re writing to. Otherwise, you’re kind of just muddling through,” Nielson said. “And consistency. … Document your life every single day. You’ll look back [and] you’ll have volumes.”

Nielson’s memoir is titled “Heaven is Here” and was released in April 2012, the same day her fifth child, Charlotte, was born.

Sonja Carlson is a graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism and intern for the Church News. Email: scarlson@deseretnews.com Twitter: @sonycarlson

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