Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 14 of 25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas

Oops... better late than never! I thought I had published this already.....

Day 14
Last week I read a few thoughts for a more meaningful Christmas. Thought number 3

Our Christmas Gift List

The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:9
Day 15

Time to Rededicate

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16
Day 16

A Wonderful Time of Year

And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:12

Who will stay with me?

Mother can you stay with me? This is a question I would ask my mother often because I was scared of the dark, still am, truth be told. I would wake up in the middle of the night and lay by our floor fan in front of my parents room. You should know that I had long hair, back then ,so it would get sucked into the fan. My mom would wake up to the  "tick" "tick" "tick" of my hair. Now that 1 have children of my own a few of them try to delay bedtime in any way they can. It should be a sport or an Olympic event when it comes to  my daughter! My Kindergartener likes to lay on the floor on front of our door. Hmmm..... sound familiar?

Even though I am all grown up, at least as far as my age dictates, I still want my Mom sometimes. She lives in another state so I don't get to see her. Who them can stay with me until I fall asleep? Who will stay with me when my mind plays my thoughts as if they are on repeat? Who will stay with me when I am worried or scared? Who will stay with me when I am not sure I can face another day? If I have these feelings so do my children! Oftentimes, I have to keep the bed time routine short because I need to put other kids to bed or finish the house. When they say will you stay with me it is for a good reason. They may need to talk or don't know how to get those last little wiggles out.

I can stay.
I can be your calm.
I can listen.

Who will stay with me?

Another word for stay is abide. This makes me think of the hymn Abide with me;' Tis Eventide. It is almost like a prayer to me. O Savior, stay this night with me; Behold;' tis Eventide.

Another hymn that should also be mentioned is Abide with me. There is a phrase in particular that always speaks to my heart. It is " I need they presence ev'ry passing hour"  When everything else fails he is still there. His patience will never diminish. The video really explains it better than I can.

As the night falls we think of our day. We think of the good and the bad. But do we invite him as our guest into our hearts and home? We can talk to him and he will stay with you! He can be your calm and will listen no matter what time it is, or what you may say. It is a sweet relationship that we must nurture and initiate. Prayer brings peace; plain and simple.

Because he is willing to stay with us, can we not stay a little longer with his children? What do they need in that moment? What did Jesus do in 3rd Nephi 17:5 when the people begged him to stay?..... He tarred a little longer.

 "And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them."

I have been in the depths of worry and despair due to finances being strained because of several years of medical tests and no answers. There has also not been much improvement in my health. I still have days and weeks , and  months where I struggle. Yet if I get on my knees and can see through mists that cloud my mind, I feel that peace. He is with me.

We are all like little children. We need Jesus and his healing power.Let us all ask the question,Who will stay with me? Who will calm my troubled heart? He is the only one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 17-20 of 25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas

Day 17
Samuel the  Helaman 14:1-8

Day 18
Read the living Christ

Day 19

Our Christmas Gift List

The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:9
Day 20

Time to Rededicate

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Days 9-13 of 25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas

I decided each night this week that I would read a thought from this post by The first thought is

Making Christmas Real

There was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And . . . the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born.
3 Nephi 1:19

“The Great Refusal”

And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Matthew 19:16
We had our church Christmas program tonight with dinner and a sweet little nativity play.


We do a progressive dinner with my husbands family. This way we get to see each others decorations and lights each year! One of my sister in law came up with this cute the Brunch stole Christmas theme and it was a ton of fun! Ugly Christmas sweater contest also included! I am glad we finished before the storm hit!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Day 6-8 of 25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas

Day 6
Read Luke 2:1-20. Some years I break the scripture into different segments. This year we just read the whole thing.

Day 7
Tonight we did our annual cookies and caroling. We invite friends to decorate cookies and then go caroling to neighbors. We got a little wet from rain, okay soaked but it was a ton of fin to spread Christmas cheer. We went to one house and she had stuffed bears for each kid. They were so excited. Even my son, who is reluctant to do things in groups came.

Day 8
I share this story of the miracle of a tiny Christmas tree. It was a symbol of hope and love just like this time of the year is for us! The Christmas tree means everlasting life. The needles on the tree never die just like Christ lives and gave his life for us. All he has done he has done for us!The lights symbolize this gift. He also wants us to find our light and let it shine as it says in Mathew 5:16-

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Days 3-5 of 25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas

It has been a busy couple of days! I guess even when you try it is hard to not over schedule. Although I do try to have only one activity that day and if I participate in an activity, I try to have a day of rest in between. That didn't happen this weekend. I am going to look at my schedule this week and try to make sure it is not too crowded. Who wants to join me? Or, you could look at your to do list and drop a few of them. You can do it! I want to savor this time and make it a very personal one for me and my family and for YOU too!!

Day 3
Due to our business,I almost forgot to do our tradition of hiding the baby Jesus and having the kids find him. The one that finds him gets to hide him the next night. We always talk about how we each need to find Jesus. We can seek him everyday and come to him.

We also watched Getting into the Christmas spirit-the true meaning of Christmas. How many of you can relate to the conversation the parents were having? I know I can.

Day 4
Today we went to our neighbors annual hot chocolate party. It was great, visiting with all our neighbors and friends. It got pretty late so we didn't get to do a devotional.

Day 5
My daughter and I participated in the coolest Christmas idea yet. It is called a holiday market. We signed up and made 10 homemade gifts to sell. They could be from $0.50-$2.00. When you get there you set it up and are given play money to buy things. It is a great opportunity to help your kids get gifts for everyone in the family. So neat right?

Here are her sock snow men! Aren't they cute!!!

Tonight we opened our gift we promised to give to the Savior from a from last year. It was fun to read them and be reminded of those gifts. Next, we wrote new ones for next year! It will be here soon!We are all trying to be more like Jesus.
 We also read My gift to Jesus.

What are your traditions? Are you finding some peace this Christmas? Are you finding time for the Savior?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Day 2-25 days to a more Christ cenered Christmas

You know you are a mother to mostly boys when ninjas show up!

This was from 2 years ago but it is still one of my favorite memories of our Christmas countdown. I had to share it again! I love spending time with my family and learning about Jesus Christ. What better gift to give the Savior then love and time to his children. Sometimes I lose focus on how important that is as a parent. What gift will you give that really matters? What will you give to Jesus? What do you think he really wants?

Here is a list of possible spiritual gifts. Just like the 3 wise man gave their best and rare gifts, I would suggest starting with these 3.
  1. Serve others-Isn't that what we do for our family everyday?
  2. Study the scriptures and pray everyday. Not just a quick prayer but really talk to him.
  3. Live in thanksgiving and have faith during the difficult times in our lives
The greatest gift is to come unto him and be perfected in him. Moroni 10:32
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

There is many gifts we can give our Lord and Savior. Choose one to work on this week and be better at. We don't have to worry about doing it perfectly but just to be willing and obedient. What will you give to Jesus?

Okay so without further adieu here is that post I promised.

Day 2
This is what the kids,and yes,my husband came dressed up as ninjas.

They had to go around the chair and passed the chair without making a sound and then sit down for the devotional. Apparently we are having a ninja Christmas!<<<big sigh>>>

Sing Away in a manger
Read Mathew 1:18-24

Here is our Christmas tree calendar.They put an ornament(pom pom) on each day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day 1-25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas

Where would we be without the Savior?  I think each day would feel like it was just ticking away. I would feel lost and searching for my purpose in life and grasping on to what little hope I might feel. My life would be scattered and confusing. Lets face it, life would be bleak and we would surly be tossed by every temptation and belief. I actually know some people who live without divine direction and it is much like as I described above. I have such peace and joy to fill my life and mortal design.

He has come!
He paid the ultimate sacrifice!
He lives and loves us!

Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. Are we very different from that inn keeper? Are there times in our lives when it is so full of things that there is no room for him or his teachings? I often think if I was that inn keeper would I turn Mary, great with child, and Joseph away! I would hope that I could find a spare room, ask someone to give up their room or give up my own bed. More importantly, I need to make room in my heart and in my life.

Elder Maxwell said that "each of us is an inn keeper who decides if there is room for Jesus" You can get a cute hand out of the innkeepers key with a poem found here. She attached a key to it as well. Love it! I had to share the cute poem too!

The poem is called A Prayer For December:
Dearest God,
Please never let me
Crowd my life
Full to the brim.
So like the keeper of Bethlehem’s Inn,
I find I have no room for Him.
Instead, let my heart’s door
Be ever open,
Ready to welcome
The newborn King.
Let me offer the best I have
To Him
Who gives me everything.
–author unknown

Monday, November 30, 2015

25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas

Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you? This is what Cindy Lou who wondered as she searched for what Christmas is all about. Every year I try to keep the focus on Christ. That is why I do the 25 days to a more Christ centered Christmas. It does take some effort and reminders. How many of us get lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas? We get wrapped up in our over packed schedules. We must never forget the true meaning of Christmas which is the celebration of his birth. It was and is the greatest gift ever given! The questions and focus of our minds should be changed to Where are you Christ? Why can't I find you? What are we doing to remember him? What are we doing that may make us lose focus a little bit?

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in his talk How to focus on the true meaning of Christmas suggests "three things we may want to do to study, ponder and apply in this season of preparation. First, rejoice in the birth of the Savior. Second, ponder his influence in our lives today. Third, look steadfastly for his coming.

Challenge: I am going to use these three things to keep my focus where it should be and to get to know my Savior even more. My goal is to make it more personal for me and my family. It is a time to reassess and look within our lives. I hope you join me in rejoicing and proclaiming that joy!

Isaiah 7:14-17
 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
 17 ¶The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How can we face the storms of life?

I find my mind spinning and twisting with thoughts like the clouds gather before a storm. The wind blows and the clouds are pushed in whatever direction it wishes. The winds of change also blows in a like manner. I feel a storm inside me. It can only be described as such, because of how it is tearing me up inside. A tornado of thoughts that tear through and leave only debris and what once was. Once I felt hope and promise. I feel that has been ripped away from me by the choices of others and by default , my own thinking. I have born the weight of it for so long. I thought this storm would pass in a few days, but it still darkens my feelings and perception. I wish it would pass!

I have been hunkered down with self pity and despair. It has such a hold on me that I fear the winds will take me away. It is all too easy to be swept away by such strong emotions and feelings that I have. I apologize for the vagueness of what these feelings might be. Many stem from the Fibromyalgia flare I find myself in. Another contributor is the lack of connection I feel with my children because of their strong will. Everything is a fight. A fight to be independent. A war of wills. A fight to not let failure pull me down even further. Perhaps it is all in my head and will soon pass. I wonder though, if something is brewing that will follow me and my children through their lives. I feel like when I nag and discipline it is like thunder and lightning and only spurs further resistance and distance. So what can be done? I want to do what is right but I don't know what that is. What does God desire for me and my family? All I can hope and pray is that tomorrow I will feel calm and the storm has gone.

 "Sometimes God calms the storms and sometimes he lets the storm rage on and calms you"

How I wish for that calm now.

On further reflection, I wonder, why is it that some people can accept life and weather the storm and some of us fight life and the storm seems to toss us to and fro? How do they find true peace when the tempest is raging? Which one describes you? Have you ever felt this storm within? I have not found one simple way to find lasting peace. There is always something with depression that pulls me back in. All I know is I have a choice, when I find clarity during the storm, whether I chose to take care of my needs or not. There are so many things going on around me too. It is not just all on the inside. I have to take shelter from those storms as well. They can be storms of the heart, family, work and many more. I find my answers when I look inwardly on my knees. Yes, prayer is the only way to find that clarity. It is the only way to snap me out of it and find that calm. It does not happen overnight. There are bits of me that are weary and worn away. It is a process.

I choose whether to stay under the refuge and guidance of my Heavenly Father or to step out into the storm and let all the fears, doubts and pain pound down on me. I can't handle that weight seeping into me and drenching my perception with such negative thoughts.

Is it raining on you today?  If you are going through any kind of storm; come in from the storm and seek shelter. There are many kinds of storms. He is our refuge from them all. There is no describing that calm you feel after a storm is finally over. Everything is still and quiet. If you can do nothing else today seek that calmness within you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2 ways you can recharge your relationships today!

Have you ever been in the middle of vacuuming and you reach the end of the cord and yank it out of the wall? I have! I always want to get the job done as fast as I can so I stretch the cord to the limit when I could easily unplug it and move it to a new outlet. This is how I parent sometimes. I get going along thinking that I am doing what is best and then I yank the cord and see the light go out of my child. I know I went too far. It is a heart breaking feeling. In my last post I mentioned how I would like to fix my relationships with my family members that I feel may not be as strong. When we are connected we can work together but when we become unplugged and disconnected that is when relationships suffer. So we need more connection and less correction. We can adjust our thinking and feel empathy. By doing this we plug into them and what they need. I can be very authoritarian and strict at times and that is because I thought that was the only way to teach them and have it stick. My intent unknowingly, however, was to punish and not really teach them. When I am plugged into my children and their needs I look at their behavior and why they may be acting that way. I need to listen and connect.

My best power source is from heaven and I have been trying to keep myself plugged in so I won't make too big of a mistake and lose my temper. I keep making them! I keep trying! Where is this disconnect happening?! I feel the desperation of the situation. I do! Parenting is such a balancing act! If I try to put to much emphasis on discipline and not enough positive reinforcement, I tip the scale. My energy this week has not been where I would like it to. When my energy is gone it is hard to not feel drained. This already tips the scale because I am not feeling well.

What I am saying more or less, is that there is two ways that a relationship can be off. It is either a strain on the relationship or it is off balance somewhere. These don't sound like easy fixes to me! Also I am sort of set in my ways as far as parenting. The thought  'You can't teach an old dog new tricks." comes to my mind. Well the old part of that saying  is true for me, anyways. It is a matter of  retraining my brain. My head hurts just thinking about that! Any one who has ever done training for an event or work knows it is hard. You have to start slow and then build up gradually. So lets say we are training for a 5k run. We know to run the whole thing is the goal. Start by running short distances and increasing that distance. The goal for our families should to see the end picture in mind. Imagine 5 or 10 years from now. What do you see and want? I want to see happy children and happy Mommy. I want to see us singing and laughing and making cookies. I want the children to want to be home and not play their video games or watch their shows. I want to go on a date with my husband each week and have special dates with our kids. This is just a glimpse into my plan. Write how you will get there and think about all the aspects of your life.The more specific the more you have to hold onto. Once you have that clear picture in your head, hold on to it. Don't just live in imagination land. Write it down and dream about it. We can find 5k ways to connect with our kids. There are a few things you need to give you a jump start and time to re energize before you can start this marathon.

Here is what I suggest. Your relationships might need a recharge. To do this I am going to mention a few ways to go about this. Just like there are 2 prongs on an electrical cord, there are two ways you can bring you and your relationships back to life.
  1. Unplug to plug in- Unplug and turn off  your devices. Your children need to do this too! Take a few minutes to connect with your child. Talk, laugh, hug and be aware of it. You can soak it all in like a mommy sponge. Pick an amount of time 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes. Whatever you choose make it attainable. Ask them about what they like to do. Remember watching a movie together doesn't count! Let your children be plugged into you. You are their emotional outlet. They feed off your energy and how you feel emotionally and physically. This should help with a strain in a relationship.
  2. Recharge your batteries- If something is off with your family it could be you. Have you taken time for yourself to feel charged physically and emotionally. Do something that calms, restores and rejuvenates you. Then look at your big picture and figure out what is most important from there. When something is off it is best to look at ourselves under a "magnifying glass" to see if we are doing anything to contribute to the situation. In order to dive into this inward search we have to be ready and rested. This important step should help you feel more balanced.
These 2 ways should immediately create this spark within you and your child. Go plug into what matters! Once you are connected then you can work on what needs to be corrected. What relationships do you have picked out in your mind? What can you do to take better care of yourself?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Each child is like a work of art

I noticed that it was a little too quiet during quiet time. I don't know where my toddler got a highlighter but guess what my little artist did? My walls within a few seconds were the proud display for my child's artwork. Not to mention my Kindergartner had previously written his name all over his room too. He is getting quite good with that. Well my little creators got to scrub the walls as a result. It took a while too! Some areas they really had to scrub. As a parent I have moments where I to try something new and it ends up in a mess and relationships damaged. Unlike my wall, my children have feelings, although sometimes they are a stubborn as a brick wall, it takes a little more elbow grease and had work to fix my mistake.

Mistakes do not have to be permanent. That is something that I am learning. The relationship between a child and a parent can be symbiotic. Children are training to be adults but we can learn a lot from our children. Each child is a work of art. Each is unique and beautiful. Yes, they make my hair turn grey and my blood boil, but they are precious.When admiring any masterpiece you need to take a step back and think of what is being interpreted there. If we stop in our tracks and ask our child how he/she is doing physically, spiritually or emotionally we might understand them a little better. It is like taking that step back. Each vibrant color, each stroke can be like an emotion that your child feels. If you can ask about their artwork or how their life looks from their own eyes, you can learn more about your child and how they work.The hard part is coming up with the right questions and this takes practice. One question I always ask is what is most important here and what do I want to teach?

Your relationship is what matters.I felt like a had a break through with one of my children a couple of days ago. This child was grounded from screen time because of failing to turn in their homework. This is baffling to me because they do the work and then not turn it in? What? Is their back pack a black hole or something?My child decided they were going to sneak into their room and play video games anyway. Again it was too quiet and my mommy senses were tingling, The door was shut when I checked on them. I opened the door hoping to see my children reading or playing well together. Instead I saw the infraction mentioned above. I was mad. It is really not that difficult to be mad at your kids. It is scary how easy it is really. It is like a chemical reaction. Take one or two disobedient children add anger and bubble bubble toil and trouble. I was mad but I didn't ground him further or yell. I just said I was disappointed and I would need to think about what action I needed to take. I prayed for help and guidance and a few minutes later, calm and collected, I called my child. I don't remember all that was said the words just came but I asked questions and finally asked if he/she knew what they did was wrong. The tears rolling down this sweet child's face said it all. Then I said do you think me taking away another day of video games would teach you anything? What punishment do you think you should have? Stunned I am sure my child said they would pray about it. Later we agreed on a punishment that was fitting. It was a real eye opener for both of us.

I have been thinking about this experience a lot lately. It is so easy to treat our children like objects that are broken. They don't need fixing. They need our hugs our gentle touch and words. They are not the problems they cause but a spirit and son and daughter of God. Anger is unstable. This is true whether you are the parent or the child. Anger is a tool of destruction. It dismantles the relationship bit by bit. Then, you have to put it back together again and hope it isn't damaged beyond repair. We do not want our children feeling like there is something wrong with them do we? In my opinion, raising a child to feel loved even when they make mistakes, is one of the most significant things a parent can do. They will grow up feeling loved and raise happy grand children for you. That is my focus. I want to see their strengths, not their weaknesses.Does it feel weird to ask your child if they feel loved? It did a little for me at first too! It made me realize maybe I need to implement a time to talk. A time less like an interview.

More time away from distractions.

More time to listen.

More time to snuggle and breathe in these quiet moments.

Just the two of us.
A bond...
begun in the womb.

This time we are being reborn. A new relationship.

A new masterpiece.

What is one step you can take to fix or strengthen one of your relationships with your child? Don't wait for the right time. The right time is now!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My hands are not yet what they could be

Take a minute to look at your hands. What do you see? You might notice wrinkles or creases. Maybe you see a scar from an old injury. Our hands tell a story. Our hands are useful. From the moment we wake up to when we lie down at night our hands are busy. Busy hands to keep up with a busy world. The worlds pace is running around and filling our schedules with as much as we possibly can. Most of it is good things, but still we do way to much! We can only go at this pace for so long! My hands are tired. Aren't yours? When I look at my hands I think of creation. Our hands are god's tools. After all didn't he give them to us? We do almost everything with our hands. We touch, feel and move things. Hands can bend to pick up toys, make dinner or pat someone on the back. So many of us have phones now to occupy our hands and time and opportunity just tick on by. What if we were told we could only use our hands for 10 things today? Could we do it? What would you do? I would think you would make them count.

How many touches during the day are meaningful and connecting?

Our hands tell a story of whose lives we have touched, how we live and what we do with our time. Look at your hands again. How do they look now? Are they creased with experience? Wrinkly and worn out with good deeds? Sore and cramped from video games and texting? Mine are dry and cracking because of the fall chilly air!

Have you heard about being intentional with your thoughts? What if you were intentional with your hands? Being intentional to me is bringing your mind and body to function as one. You act and focus on that act, and only that act, in that moment.

If we see our hands as the Saviors tools; it would change what we do everyday. It would matter what we held inside our hands or touched with our hands. We would labor with our hands with charity and discipleship. We would soften a hand clenched in anger or find more moments to clasp them together in prayer and supplication.

If we to look at the Saviors hand we would see what he has done for us. We would see the sign of where the nails had been in his hands and his feet. We would see his ministry and how he healed the sick and afflicted. We must make our hands become like his. I love the song His hands by Kenneth Cope

his hands
tools of creation
stronger than nations
power without end
and yet through them we find our truest friend
his hands
sermons of kindness
healing men's blindness
halting years of pain
children waiting to be held again
his hands would serve his whole life through
showing man what hands might do
giving, ever giving, endlessly
each day was filled with selflessness
and I'll not rest until i make of my hands what they could be
'til these hands become like those from Galilee

his hands
lifting a leper
warming a beggar
calling back the dead
breaking bread, five thousand fed
his hands
hushing contention
pointing to heaven
ever free of sin
then bidding man to follow him

his hands would serve his whole life through
showing man what hands might do
giving, ever giving, endlessly
each day was filled with selflessness
and I'll not rest until i make of my hands what they could be
'til these hands become like those from Galilee

his hands
clasped in agony
as he lay pleading, bleeding in the garden
while just moments away
other hands betray him
out of greed, shameful greed
and then his hands
are trembling
straining to carry the beam that they'll be nailed to
as he stumbles through the streets
heading for the hill on which he'd die
he would die
they take his hands, his mighty hands, those gentle hands
and then they pierce them, they pierce them
he lets them, because of love
from birth to death was selflessness
and clearly now Isee him with his hands
calling to me
and though I'm not yet as I would be
he has shown me how i could be
 I will make my hands like those from Galilee

We have all heard of hands free sets or may use them so we can talk on the phone and drive right? We should create more moments for our hands to be free to do God's will. We could use them to develop our talents or hug a pencil to write a thoughtful letter. We are in a day and time when text messages are easier than writing a letter. We are so busy texting and playing on social media that we miss the messages from heaven. I would like to think that God thinks about me and would send little texts if he could. When you stop and think about it, he does send them just not over the phone. They are quiet promptings and feelings. Put yourself in a "hands free" mode and focus on his will and what really matters. We can be ready to serve and to dig into more enjoyable, meaningful times with your family. Put down your phone or controller. Instead put your hands on something or someone that needs you!

clearly now I see him with his hands
calling to me
and though I'm not yet as I would be
he has shown me how i could be
 I will make my hands like those from Galilee

Let's grasp what really matters and hold on tight!

What will you choose to do with your hands?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Making your home what you want one rock at a time

As a family, we have been slacking on doing family meetings together. It is just another thing the kids can roll their eyes at. First, I sat down with my partner and crime, my husband, to see if we were on the same wavelength about inspiring our kids to be better and to get a family chore system in place. We are still working on that. In my scripture reading this morning I read The Presidents of the church  about Pres. David O Mckay, Chapter 24. It was titled, Let your light so shine. He admonishes us to make our homes examples of harmony and love. He said

 "Our homes radiate what we are, and that radiation comes from what we say and how we act in the home. … You have to contribute to an ideal home by your character, controlling your passion, your temper, guarding your speech, because those things will make your home what it is and what it will radiate to the neighborhood. …"
I read this quote at our family meeting. I thought it could be like a beacon for what we wanted to try to accomplish in our home. My husband replied
"Okay we have a real problem here! Pause for dramatic effect..... We have radiation in our home. The kind that turned Bruce into the Hulk"
Sigh....I love my husband. He makes me laugh and he has a way of reaching the kids that I can't. Also, you can tell I am surrounded by boys all day can't you? As we laughed I thought about it, the more I thought about it I realized he was a genius! Don't tell him I said that okay? There is so much in this world, like radiation, can creep through our defenses at home and poison the minds of each one of us. President David O Mckay of course meant radiation by energy and light we give off within ourselves. We radiate who we are.
David O Mckay further states
"No good deed, no kind word can be spoken without its effect being felt for good upon all. Sometimes the good may be infinitesimal, but as a rock that is thrown in a pool starts a wave from the center which continues to enlarge until every part of the shore is touched, so your deeds, silent, many of them, unknown, unspoken, unheralded, continue to radiate and touch many hearts."
The ripple effect can be from not only a positive deed but a negative one as well. If one person is angry or sad then everyone feels it. What we do and say or the moods we are in create these ripples in the water, our home. Of course the positive emotions have the same effect. I really want to point out the negative ones because that can cause more like a wave or tsunami. Before you know it we are all caught up in this tide of emotion.It is harder to stop and control.When someone gets mad it is like throwing a rock into the pond. It will eventually touch each family member. Those family member who are just innocent bystanders may feel like they have to walk on egg shells. One wrong move and her comes the next wave. Have you ever noticed this in your home? How many times as parents are we the one to start the ripple? What would those around us notice that we are radiating? Next time I want to act on my frustration I might think about this before I act.
Each of our actions are rocks that splash, radiate an influence all in its path. Everything we do starts a ripple and it can go far beyond where we can see and penetrate our tender hearts and minds. Whether we choose to toss positive or negative rocks is up to us. It could even be a  giant boulder with a larger impact and effect. Lifting a boulder takes more effort We choose. My children choose. People around me choose. We radiate what we choose. I wish we could just decide to be positive every day and just dive into it ourselves. Just give our all. You can feel a rush of happiness!
What do you think? Did you throw positive rocks or negative today? How can you throw more positive ones and less negative?
 Here is a drawing I did in my scripture journal of a ripple in water that I thought I would share

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Girl Power! It is that powerful!

I had a good day today! I love when I can say that and even hold onto that for the next few days. It is hard when my posts, like my last one, are sad . This one is not though. Yay! So what made it so good? Girl Power baby! I love getting together with amazing woman. It just makes me feel like I am doing okay and that they have struggles just like me. I am trying to make goals for the year to organize and inspire my family. I hate nagging, so I will not do it anymore!!!!! Yes I am really going to stop! It doesn't work. So now I get to come up with a whole new system for chores and ways to touch their little hearts so they will want to pitch in. Not to mention ending the fighting and hurting each other on the inside and the outside. How am I going to you might ask? I don't know yet! That is my goal this week to fine tune my plan. Just like a instrument can go out of key, my family is a little dissonant and out of harmony with each other.

I am glad that I was reminded to take my problems to the Lord. A piano doesn't know when it is off  key and neither do people, really. They may feel off or disconnected but they might not know what is the cause or how to make it better. Here is where you and I come in! It is a big job but someone has got to do it!

In order to find a create a master plan and help my family be in tune with each other I will
  1. Prayerfully consider what my children need.
  2. heal any relationships
  3. I want to understand my role as a mother to keep contention out of my home
  4. Change my view of what nurturing means to me
  5. Find a way to inspire and inspire my children
  6. Take my rightful and needful place as Russell M. Nelson states in his conference talk  A plea to my sisters
  7. Nurture yourself so you can nurture your child and be a light
  8. Find a way to enforce routines without being authorative and strict
You will notice that nurturing is on there a few time. Why? Shouldn't this nurturing gig just come natural to me? Stress and the frustrations of motherhood can get in the way.  Frustration can be like a pencil that has rolled inside your piano. This pencil can get stuck on the block of wood in charge of making  a note. Your result? You hit the key and no sound. It just sticks. I know this because my son loves to draw and put several pencils on the piano. Eventually when I found time to play it, (hint-not very often do I get to play) there were many keys that were sticking! We had to open it up and painstakingly pull them out one b one.them out. Being upset is like a pencil shoved in our works. We have to deal with that before we can deal with  the issue at hand. It impedes nurturing? SO how many "pencils" do you have in your mommy self?

Nurturing doesn't come naturally to me. I am just not that Mom who wants to do everything for her kids and loves doing all the house work, like Donna Reed or something. I have to be more mindful of it. Just like most everything I want in life. Nothing has come easily to me. Friends, school, my health.....pout pout

What has really gotten me to this point or wanting to set goals is girl power. Yes I have it too! My home is my kingdom, my heaven on earth. Keeping it stable and strong while it us under siege is a tough job. I need some more of that girl power. Everyday! Everyday! Everyday!

Whether my family is out of tune or under attack I need to mentally and physically aware and ready!

So my list above is a huge undertaking, I still need to narrow it down some more.

Stay tuned....... no pun intended...... okay maybe a little

Lead me, guide me,walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with him someday.

Monday, October 19, 2015

My all too real reality-Evaluate your life day October 19th

I wrote this post a few days ago and have been deciding whether it is too personal to publish. My writing is sometimes the only way that I can get things out. I have discovered something that I am trying to make sense of. Today just happens to be Evaluate your life day and it just fits with what I have to say. It is time to ask if you are happy with your life and how it is going? If not what changes would you make?

I realize this post may be shocking and revealing......But here goes

 Sometimes we are injured and have a cut or a bruise that over time heals until you can't see it anymore. Some injuries require stitches or leave a scar. In life I have been through several traumatic events that have scared me emotionally.You can't go through something traumatic and be the same. It just does something to you. You have changed and there is no going back. A part of you is still in there, somewhere. The spark of divinity is in there too. For so many years I have tried to discover why I keep falling into these slumps of despair or slowly sink into nothingness. I am not numb, on the contrary, I feel too much! I fear that one wrong move and I will lose all I have gained, however small it may be. Sometimes I feel like I can climb out and rise above these feelings, just to be pulled down again. This is what depression feels like. You are alone, alienated and sinking.....

I hate screaming and yelling. Too many times that is the only sounds I could hear from loved ones and a past friend who tore into my heart with hateful words I never thought I would hear.
Lately I hate what I see when I close my eyes since my daughter's bunny died . I can't stop feeling like it was all my fault. I see the image and I feel helpless.

Some of these things(mentioned above) I thought I let go but have not deep down in my consciousness. I am reminded of  these events in nightmares or things that remind me of it. It is amazing that all these memories came to me from watching a show where this woman had something happen while she was an agent and it changed her. It was like a light bulb went on and I knew what was going on with me, at least partly. My heart has been pounding as I think back on these events.  It is hard to talk about these things so I thought if maybe I could write about them it might help me. It doesn't! Not today. I do not wish to make a mountain out of a mole hill but my stress and anxiety these days is an unquenchable fire within! Soon, I fear it will consume me! I assure you that I am seeking medical advice and getting the help I need. I realize this is a cry for help and I just wonder if there is anyone out there who feels it too? The truth is that even the strongest people you may know can be ensnared by depression. Robin Williams death was a wake up call to me. He seemed so happy. It isn't easy putting on the fake persona. Staying quiet or shrugging it off like everything is okay is just pulling me (you)down further. I have not given up yet! As long as I am seeking and searching for answers I am trying to pull myself out!

 I am searching for someone to throw me a lifeline-Anything!........

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This is my fight but not alone

Last night I went to my first eternal warriors class. I didn't really know what it was all about but I wanted to go check it out. My friend, who invited me, mentioned that you make goals and you have to be accountable for these goals and talk in front of a group. This sounded like just the change I need right now. It was a little intimidating really. When I got there I only knew a few people. I felt pretty lost but immediately hooked when these woman would talk about their week and goals. First of all I had no idea my friend felt like she was lacking in similar areas as me or that she admired me. What? Little ol' me? I am so humbled to hear that! I am my own worst enemy when I crawl into my head space. It is like I get trapped in there and am surrounded by negative walls of thoughts. In my head it can feel very dark and I can't see the light.

I hardly talked but just listened to these woman and how they were trying to fight the adversary. There was even chocolate! Yes! Score! So I am happily savoring my dark chocolate when I was asked why I was there? What was I fighting for? All at once here come the water works and adrenaline! I am a big, big baby! Goodness gracious! I couldn't believe I was crying already!  I am fighting because I don't want to be where I have been several years before. I want to beat depression and Fibro without being in a medication fog. I want to feel like a good Mom, wife and friend. This is my fight song! Hey I love that song by Rachel Platten. I sing it with my toddler (who loves to sing) at the top of my lungs and envision fighting the demons in my life.

Here is the powerful chorus:
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
(Starting right now) I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

I find this song very inspiring to me. I live every day with a chronic illness that can make me feel like I am barely living. But, I am fighting every single day because I still have a lot of fight left in me! It is my fight but I am not alone! I have Jesus Christ who strengthens me! You are not alone either! If you feel like you are losing remember what you want and fight for it! What are you fighting for? Why are you here?

Here are a few links to introduce you to the idea of eternal warriors:

Ephesians 6:11-20

Sunday, October 11, 2015

How to throw a helpful pity party and then move on

Over the weekend I was able to see some dear friends of mine. It was so wonderful and reminded me what it feels like not to fight your way into a social circle like your are fighting a whirlpool in the ocean. Feeling alone and like you just don't fit in can feel a lot like you are being sucked into a vortex or something. Maybe it feels different to you I don't know. I do not want to say that I don't have friends in my neighborhood because I have wonderful friends! It is just new friendships. These fragile new relationships are not ready to hear all my crazy. A new friendship is like a tiny seed. You can't dump a ton of water on it and expect it to survive. I bet each of you can think of that one friend who you can let your guard down and spill your guts to. No matter how much time has gone by you feel like you can pick up where you left off. I miss that! These women that I am around are like super woman to me. It wouldn't be fair to complain and fall apart on them. Would it? I don't know. Why don't I know? Well it happened today. I was at church and feeling so overwhelmed and smothered by how I was feeling emotionally and physically that I had to go somewhere quiet before my internal screams became external ones. That would be humiliating and embarrassing, not to mention disrupting. I don't think I would have screamed audibly but I wasn't going to take a chance.

I found a place to sit and pray and wait for the pain to go away. Instead a friend of mine came in and so we chatted. Yay! I needed a distraction. She then asked me how I was doing?  Noooo! Why? I am fine until someone asks me that! I don't know what to do. Yes I need to talk but, again, it is a can of crazy mixed up emotions they are opening. Uh oh! Here come the water works. Okay yes, now I am totally blowing it on keeping it cool. Now what do I say?

How many of you have been in that situation? It is like a huge nuclear meltdown at the power plant that is your mind. This meltdown I wasn't really able to talk it out and after she left I wondered if I should have said anything.

 Pity party for one.

When I made it home and cooking 3 different lunches a knock came at my door. Another friend was at my door because that first friend ratted on me. Ha Ha. So sweet right? On the plus side, just them caring does make some of the ache go away. I don't know what to do when I hurt from head to toe and my emotions are out of my control. It might be time to go back on medication but I hate being in a fog all day! So much out of my control. Grrrrr!It makes me so mad! There is someone out there that feels like I do. I know it. For right now though I am not ready to spill the beans. Why me? I know we ALL ask ourselves this when we have a hard day or when life is just hard in general. So if you are like me here is what you do.  Throw a party!

  1. Get some paper or your computer and just write. It is good to get it out, especially if you don't feel like talking.
  2. Grab your favorite treat like chocolate or any comfort food really.
  3. Watch a movie or listen to music.
  4. Wrap up in a blanket or put on a cozy sweater.
  5. Most importantly, remember that you always have tomorrow! It is a new and hopefully brighter day.So lets move on...
Check please!

 If your feelings aren't drowned out by the above suggestions you may need medical help. Depression is not a joke! I know I suffer from it!  Seek medical help quickly if you suspect that you do. It okay to have your party but then, check yourself  out of this party for one.

Oh yes I can eat the whole thing if I want to!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I am mother hear me roar!

Imagine 4 lion cubs a.k.a. my children, running around doing flips onto the couch and jumping from cushion to cushion. The volume of their screams could only be penetrated by the roar of the Mommy lioness. I am mother hear me ROOOAAARRR! However, this mommy did not want to roar and lose her cool. She sat there with her paws folded waiting for her lion cubs to join her in prayer. They were wild and did not. Disappointed and tired, the lights were turned off so the house became dark. Darkness was how she felt too....
Dark and tired...
      Dark with failure.......


Why does it have to be that mothers have to yell to get any attention? It almost always ends up with everyone upset! Tears and drama, drama, drama! To top my night off I was up with my allergy suffering, itching cub. All night! We almost didn't make it to school this morning because I had to peel myself off of the mattress.
Now I am alone, dark and tired.
      I am mother hear me cry.


When did being a mother become all about power? More accurately, when did it become more about power struggles? Does anyone else feel this way? Raise your paw. I don't think that the way animals solve a dispute in the wild is how I want to go about solving conflicts. So here is my question to you. How can we, the mothers, get that quick response from her cubs that a lioness can? A lioness roars to call her cubs back to the pride and they listen. My children conveniently forget their names it seems and tune me out until......ROAR!

I am a mother and I have something to say! When did I become such a  FIERCE lioness?  I feel I am preparing them for life and I am running out of time quickly. No pressure though. When the cubs do not listen it makes me angry so I ROAR my best Mommy ROAR. I love my cubs. They are great! I do enjoy watching my cubs play and wrestle. I enjoy it! Just not at night when someone almost always gets hurt and is screaming like a banshee! But hey, at least their lungs got some exercise. How can I stop these wild cubs? I don't want my cubs to fear me or worse, roar back at me. At that point communication is degraded and lost.

It is time to tame this lioness and focus on creating healthy relationships and self esteem for myself and my children. Words have the power to hurt or heal. Again with the power? Do you feel and know the power you have? Maybe it is time to look at making a softer roar.So choose what you say carefully.

Did you know there are 2 variations of a roar? Well at least there is as of today!  I am using the following acronym to transform that scary Roar to:


There are many ways that as Mothers and parents that we can reach out. Anger can actually stop you from reaching out to your cubs. Throw your cub a tasty bone of listening and refraining from giving advice to quickly. They might be surprised and delighted and take a nibble. A lioness can pick up her cub by the tuft of her neck when necessary. EEEEW! Hairball! No thanks! I think I will just set clear limits and consequences for when rules are broken. Cubs need limits, but not too many. Finally give them a tasty slab of options. This is especially true for my boy cubs who want to be mighty kings of the jungle. Last and most important stretch out your paws and pull your cubs in for a furry warm hug.

Once you have reached out then you need to restore what may be lost. You may need to restore order or restore hurt feelings. The cubs might need to do some wound licking of their own too. I used to make the cubs say I am sorry, but now, I ask what they can do to make things right. I hardly ever hear sorry being said through gritted teeth and folded paws anymore.

Children love to wrestle and play. Getting them to stop and listen is tricky. We do not want to use our roars to intimidate or make our cubs feel bad. The trick is to reach out and restore(ROAR) Once us fierce lionesses realize that we can still keep the power and be loving; what can be better than that? Our roars may sound more like purrs of peace. Can we really tame the beast inside? What do you think?

Monday, September 28, 2015

How to embrace your current season of life

There are many seasons of motherhood. We all have a picture in our head how motherhood would be. Right?Congratulations you are a Mom! After 9 months of waiting your bundle of joy has arrived. Each one is small and helpless and needs you for everything! Infancy is over in what seems like a blink! You then watch them crawl and walk to independence. The older they get the less they need you, or think they do. Okay who signed me up for this? This is not how I pictured it would be! I am lost in what I picture and what is really happening. I certainly didn't think I would be battling an invisible illness. It is hard and exhausting plain and simple. Good news! I am told it doesn't get any easier. Hey wait! What? Hmmmmm.......I think I need to re-evaluate this contract or at least look at the fine print. Is there an instruction manual, because I feel like I am doing it all wrong? Is what I have done or didn't do already set in stone? How do I relate to these spirited and unique children? Where do I get the energy when it is gone before noon? Sometimes I feel like my family would be better off without me.

These emotions above have left me feeling bare and lost. Maybe I feel this way about being a Mother because life is slowing down. The leaves are changing and so am I. I love autumn and when the leaves start to fall. I enjoy strolls to delight my eyes with beautiful colors of red, yellow and orange.It does mean, however, that the season is about to change. I am not a big fan of the winter. I feel very much like a bare tree or a skeleton of my former mommy self. My leaves have been falling towards the negative side of things. Up until today I felt these feelings were a bad thing that somehow I was empty or dead inside. This theory led me to a interesting question. How do trees stay alive in the winter? I do not want to go into too much detail, but trees do several things to keep their living cells from freezing or dying. They go into a dormant state. So even though when all the leaves have fallen, you see the branches of a gnarled and twisted tree, there is amazing things happening inside. We cannot allow ourselves to freeze our hearts or be afraid of change. We should allow ourselves to become bare and vulnerable so we can see those branches of our character. We see who we really are and what we need to change. This dormancy is a time prepare for new growth.

I always thought that trees without leaves were ugly or even a little creepy. Now I see their beauty.We may loose our leaves one at a time or in big batches. It is no reason to worry. It is time to look inward. New leaves will grow back. We too can come back to hope and come back changed. Another observation worth mention here is, if you look at a tree it appears to be reaching toward the sky. No matter what our struggles we must always be reaching and trying to obtain the best life has to offer us. It does mean we have to try and not give up. It is easy to give up but takes thought and action to try.
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

It is interesting to me that each time I write a post I am bearing my soul to you, my readers, that I usually end up with an idea or two by the end and feel uplifted. I want to really dig deep here and celebrate looking within myself as the air is more crisp and the vibrant yellow, oranges and red leaves fall softly to the ground. Knowing that it will produce leaves and fruit once again. I am excited about this project that just came to me. I am either going to buy a tree or draw one. Then, I am going to add a leaf for goals I accomplish or something that I have overcome. Later I can look back and see how much I have changed and it can be a reminder to embrace the changes. I hope it will make me feel better as a mother and to find a way to live my life through this illness. I do not like to feel like a failure or that I have nothing else to give. There is so much more for me to discover and embrace about these changes. You and I may have doubts and failures but we have to continue on despite them.What season are you in?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My life in ruins and that is okay

I am back! You won't believe where I have been or what I conquered to get there! It started on the last week of August. My parents flew in to learn the routine of what I do daily so that I could go to meet my sister and go to the UK! I still can't believe that I got to go and just got back on Sunday September 20th! Before I left my husband left to help a family member move. They stopped at our house Friday night to sleep and then drove again to California. I left the next day and met up with my hubby in California a few hours before he left to go home. It was basically a hi and goodbye.I was packed and ready to leave the country which was amazing! Crazy is what those few weeks were! What I didn't know was how a 7 hour time difference would affect my Fibromyalgia or if I could keep up the pace of a rigorous tourist schedule for over 2 weeks! Everyday for me is hard to get up and moving and if I push myself too hard I crash for days! Needless to say I was beyond nervous and missed my family so much! I have never left them like this before.

I left on this trip very frazzled and looking for a renewal of some kind. I was crumbling to ruins.Do you know what it feels like to feel like a burden to everyone around you? That is how I feel. It is very scary for me to admit that to you all. I didn't figure that out until this trip. When I got there I was expecting breathtaking views and history lessons. I did not realize how much I needed a break from routine and the stress of daily life. I did not expect that this trip would expose my greatest weaknesses and my need to change how I see and do things! All I could think about was how I needed a change, but what? I am still pondering on how to make this transformation.

Hmmmmm.........this might take my whole lifetime!

Speaking of transformations, I tried to do a little each day to get ready and change my sleeping habits.A few weeks before my trip I started going to bed by 9 p.m. and getting up at 5a.m.. I am not an early riser at all, but this was for the greater good right? It was hard but my motivation was strong. My hope was to help my body adjust better. I even downloaded Jet Lag Rooster to help me adjust easier. I was really surprised at how well I adjusted! The second or third day it was really hard to move, but I pushed on. A little over a week into the trip I couldn't eat anything without severe stomach issues, no need to be graphic. ;) Then 2 days before we could go home I slept the whole day. I couldn't go anymore!Nothing could wake me up either! I was grateful that most of my trip was without incident. It really was a trip of a life time! It was frustrating to not be able to eat for 4 days. However,for most of the trip I was able to find gluten free options and meals as well. Just like the amazing castles and things I saw ,I was a little bit in ruins near the end, but I am still here to tell my story. I am still standing! (Barely)

"We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we are afraid of the change, of things crumbling to ruins. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation"- Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

So basically I am in a flare and I ignored all the signs that it was coming. We had a plan of what to do each day but driving in the UK was a big contributor to this flare I think. It was sooooo stressful! I also wasn't very careful with what foods I ate or taking any rests. Now that I am home and I have to catch up on housework and find my routine again. It is a slap in the face by reality. I am already struggling and frustrated. I don't want to feel that way. Grrrrrr! I just had the most amazing trip of my life!Traveling gave me a chance to experience something new. It would be a shame if I lost all what I felt and learned just because I was thrown back into life. It feels like I was thrown in an icy cold lake.

Reality check!

I have decided to take some real time to reflect and look within. It would be incredible to enjoy every day amidst the pain and realities I face. I don't want the only thing for people to see is what is left and have people feel sorry for me. I want them to look at me with awe and amazement like I did at these landmarks. Even Stonehenge draws people in with its mystery.

 So here is what I learned....
  1. Find the beauty in the ruins;be blinded by the beauty that is there.
  2. How these castles and houses were built amazes me!I want the same for my life. How can I build myself back up?
  3. Find time to relax and stop stressing!
  4. Keep things fresh and simple.
  5. Sample the flavors of life
  6. Adventure lies waiting. There is so much to explore!

The ruins of Urquhart Castle in Scotland

"Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along"- Rae Smith

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Take backn your Turf Thurday-To do or not to do that is the question

I am having one of those days weeks where I feel stressed and overwhelmed. I have been able to get some things done around the house. Yet I still feel that it is messy, unorganized. When it hurts to even get in the car it is hard to run errands or clean the simplest of things. I started to think what I would do with a whiny and uncooperative kid, who thinks the world revolves around them. That is when it hit me! I would  need to talk with them and come up with a solution. I need to have a chat with my to do list! It thinks that everything needs to get done TODAY, no matter if this is to the detriment of my health. I love, love, love lists! I write them but then I feel overwhelmed! It feels like any minute the big stack will turn around with its scary jaws and eat me! Yes, I am exaggerating! Sometimes my have to get done items do not get done because I can't move or I am too exhausted. Then I feel like a big fat failure!  I am swallowed by my feelings of failure and being overwhelmed.

Yesterday, I was stressed to get my house ready for guests and stressed to keep my kids on task. It was not fun! I was tense and irritable. Today I managed to stretch my muscles, load and unload the dishes, start a crock pot dinner, and get the kids to and from school. There are still things to do sloshing around in my head. I am in complete denial that fibromyalgia can win. I have tried and got up today but I still feel the same.

I have come to the conclusion that today may be a tough one! So I am tossing the to do list out today and making a what not to do list. My attempt here is to stop the over thinking and over planning.
  1. Do not listen to negativity from others and yourself.
  2. Do not feel guilty for saying no to a fun or good thing. Pushing yourself so you look less pathetic will not help. Your body will scream at you!
  3. Do not focus on what you can't do. Focus on your Ta da list and what you can do.
  4. Pick one thing and do it.
  5. Take your task and figure out how much time it will take. Allow double or triple that time to get it done.Break it down into pieces.
  6. Break it down even more!
  7. Do not compare yourself to other woman whose house is spotless.
  8. Stop worrying! Just stop it!
  9. Don't forget yourself. Put care of yourself on your list. That includes diet, sleep, exercise, meditation and down time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bound and determined to break free

I feel like I have neglected my little blog lately, and have sorely been missing it as an outlet. Here I am! I cannot believe summer is over and the kids are in school. The last few weeks have been a little on the frustrating side. There has been a lot of storms in the sky and within. How is that for deep huh? I have started and stopped writing a post so many times, but nothing reads like I want it to. It is more like vent, complain, vent and complain some more. I figured you would not want to hear that. So here I go again! I need to speak. The pain wants to come out! How honest should I be? That is the question. I feel like a burden to my husband and friends. When they ask how I am feeling I never know what to say. So, I say I am okay. But that is far from the truth. It is not only a battle with pain and exhaustion, but a daily battle with my thoughts. I have turned to the scriptures and have found comfort, but only to hang in there a little longer. I don't want to sound ungrateful either and drive away any hope that I have. I keep praying to know what I am to learn from my illness. I need to do some more searching I guess......

All of the crooked pieces of my illness started to fall into place 5 years ago when they found I had celiac. Then I was able to battle very severe depression so I could live again. It is still a battle today but I can cope better. Then we moved away from wonderful friends. The distance, though small, has proven to be quite the wedge, as far as keeping in touch. I love where we live now, but I lost a friend who I could really talk to about all of this. I miss her and try to draw from her strength when we catch up via text of Face book. There are amazing people here, but they are super Moms in my opinion, and it is hard to measure up let alone keep up! They are confident and organized and so amazing!!!

I am grateful to know that the Lord is there. I truly believe that. I just struggle with letting him carry my burdens and not revisit the same woes again. I am really in awe of Nephi in 1 Nephi 7 in the Book of Mormon. He was so faithful and strong. He even found time to praise the Lord when his brothers bound him. David A. Bednar said "Nephi did not pray to have his circumstances change, rather he prayed for strength to change his circumstances. I am bound by my illness so how can I break free? Nephi must have felt alone and wondered why his brothers wouldn't listen and hated him so much. There was no pity party for one. He believed and he broke free. It is so hard to think like that. I am going to have bad days. I need to accept that! When I am struggling to break free I need to pray for strength. This may never go away. I may never have a day that is pain free, but I can choose to do something about it. Let me say that again, I can choose. I choose to be happy! I choose to count my blessings! I choose not to miss moments of joy! I am bound and determined!

Before I go I hope I have inspired you, whether it is to live through your illness, face difficulties or just to renew your faith in the word of God. Let's face it, we all have bad days!Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Taking action in August

Hello all of you! I have been a little MIA.For two weeks now I have been battling a nasty cold. Some days my energy is not there and neither is my voice. Today our basement flooded and I called our relief society president and within minutes help was on the way. I had already dragged buckets and a wet vac so now I am using heating pads and ice on my joints. Not so fun. :(

 It can be really easy to be flooded with too much in your life. Some days I feel my goals and dreams are washed away by procrastination or just the daily to do's. Sometimes I am just overwhelmed! All things considering, I am grateful for so many things today. I have really been trying to pray more and ask for guidance in my day to day. I have been planning more and putting those plans into action. When something pops into my head or a name I act on it. Each night I think of the next day. That is why, this month, I plan to take action! I don't want to be my overambitious type A self and set goals that are too high. Instead, I hope to set the bar low so that I can have success. I want to celebrate the baby steps until I have climbed to the top of what I am aiming for. Cleaning my house sounds good until I notice all that needs to be done. I just want progress and I get so miffed when anything stands in the way of it! I may fail! I took a deep breath when I wrote this. It WOULD be easier for me to think my house could be the way I want in a year rather than a week or tomorrow! How do I do this? Here is what I am hoping to accomplish this month
  1. Learn to break tasks down into smaller bites
  2. Mentally not get frustrated that I can't get to the end result as fast as I would like
  3. Learn to mind map-it is a way of brainstorming and breaking your ideas down into more manageable chunks.
  4. Plan my day by picking most important small tasks.
  5. work on task for 50 minutes and then stop for 10 minutes. The ten minutes is to refocus and decide what to do next.
  6. Evaluate at the end of the day


Monday, July 27, 2015

Life is like a river


I have been thinking about my life lately and how much things have changed over the years. Life is like a river. After some time erosion or floods can change the course of a river. I remember as a girl, I was at my parents cabin and we were stuck in doors because of the rain. We barely made it across the bridge with our car so we wouldn't get stuck with no way out. It was amazing we didn't get swept away with the rushing water. Every time we go and visit I look at how different the creek looks. There are rocks piled and broken branches everywhere. Everything is wider but there is not enough water to fill it.

If we could look back on our lives, we would notice all the bends and turns. Our life could change and take a different course in a short period of time or over years. My life changed when I served a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. My life changed its course when I met my husband and we became close through letters of encouragement on our missions. When he got home I moved to be with him and stayed with a relative of his who had lost her husband right before he had said okay to me staying with them. Each of these times Jesus was changing my course without me even realizing it. Change is when you get married. It is the birth of your children. It is illness gripping your every chance it can or trying to pull you under the current of despair.

Sometimes you can stay on course and just ride the current. This last weekend we went tubing on a river. It was a lot of fun but at times a little tense. We all tried to stay together, holding on to ropes and straps. Sometimes we would get stuck on some rocks. A few times we had someone get flipped over. One of those times was a 2 year old. Luckily the children had life jackets and were rescued swiftly. If we lost someone in the group we eventually would bump into each other. As long as we could see those who were separated there was still hope for them to hold on. Each time we went back to the beginning and try the rivers course again, we would face new challenges. How many times in life do we get out of our raft or are knocked out, just to be pulled in another direction or under the water. There are bumps and stops along the way. Life can be rough and unpredictable. It shouldn't ever stop us from staying on our raft or trying to get back on if we get knocked off a time or two! Like life we cannot control where it takes us. A river is ever flowing and life is ever changing. We just have to chose to enjoy the ride and go with the flow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When one door is locked you can open it!

My littlest man is a full blown busy and determined toddler. Everyday he discovers more and more what he can do. His latest trick is locking himself in a room and us out. He begins to cry when he realizes he is stuck. Maybe in some small way he knows he is responsible for his plight. When he cries in desperation and jiggles the door my heart breaks and I want to get him out in the first place. If he locks himself in our bathroom it is  tiny and sometimes I feel this makes him panic! The door knob also does not have a key on the other side, so we had to make a special tool to get him out.

As I thought about this more lately, I realized many times we are either shut out or we are stuck inside a mess of our own creation. Sometimes our loved ones shut us out of knowing how they are feeling. They are jiggling and fiddling with the lock but don't know what to do to get out. How much better do children feel and parent , when, after time they are both on the same page? Emotionally no one feels locked out and hurt.

If we are the one locking our hearts and feelings from those we care about; we create that barrier. Maybe we are just too overwhelmed so we unknowingly lock the door of our possibilities. We may feel trapped or held hostage by feelings we don't understand. Maybe we worry no one will hear us jiggling the door and calling for help. Perhaps, we are stubborn and don't want help? I have been there many times myself. The biggest mistake we make is to stop trying to break free from hopelessness, fear, anger, depression or anxiety. We need someone on the other side; our side! That someone is Jesus Christ. He says in Luke 11:9

 "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you"

We feel like the  weight is lifted from our shoulders when the door is opened. We have possibilities and enlightenment. We may also feel comfort and freedom. Just like in the case of our bathroom door, the "special tool" we can use to "get out" is prayer and supplication. This is true for us as the rescuers for our children or the ones trapped and lost. Lately I have been trying to pray with all my heart. To me this has come to mean, with all my feeling and emotions.

This includes:
  1.  praying for the Lord to inspire my heart 
  2. thinking of ways to help
  3. showing love and kindness by not shouting and listening
  4. going to work and doing whatever I feel guided to do
Eventually he will answer the door or like the famous quote by  Alexander Graham Bell dictates " When one door closes another one opens" Ask for help, get on your knees! Don't panic because he will help us! Whether we are trapped on the other side or need to help a loved one who is.

Here is another picture from my scripture journal. This is a reminder to me to  pray with all my heart!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Take back your Turf Thursday

It has been a long time since I have written a Take back your Turf Thursday in a while! Yikes! I really have just had my hands full, honestly. My energy has been drained by stress and illness. The last few weeks, however, I have been taking an hour first thing in the morning to get things done around the house. I have cleared clutter areas and vacuumed everyday. I need to vacuum that often to help my poor little guy with allergies! A year ago I found out that he had such severe food and environmental allergies. He is still pretty much the same. Every night we don't know if we will be up at night with him scratching and crying. he picture below breaks my heart. Hi pop face! My husband and I couldn't take him sleeping in our bed so we moved him to his bed until he wakes up and wants to come I our bed. A little more freedom and room for us! I'm taking back my room!

I also have changed my living room set up again! Tee hee. I just can't help myself. The best thing is that it is free!

I used this end table as a coffee table. There are ottomans on both sides that can be pulled out for extra seating.

One last huge hurdle I must overcome is my children's toys. I have filled the four big bins I was planning on rotating. I still have more toys to go through ughhh.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer of Sucess week 8-Dive in to the ocean and scripture journals

Day 1- July 13th
Our little family is diving in deep in the ocean and into our scriptures. I am also planning on diving deeper into mine since last month I was trying to reach 8 pages a day to read the Book of Mormon in a month! We have been enjoying shark week so much that we will continue looking at the ocean this week.
Devotional:2 Nephi 31:20
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

"Commitment is like diving into the water." says President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He continues saying "Either you are committed or you are not. Either you are moving forward or you are standing still. There’s no halfway. We all face moments of decision that change the rest of our lives. As members of the Church, we must ask ourselves, “Will I dive in or just stand at the edge? Will I step forward or merely test the temperature of the water with my toes?”
I asked them to commit and make a promise to be nice to each other and read the scriptures everyday.

They DIVED right in!

After the message it is suggested to draw a picture of gospel activity that shows commitment.
I suggested they draw what they read about in their scriptures. Here is my unorganized thoughts and what I got out of reading. I am tweaking an outline to follow. Also I started a study of Nephi and added my favorite quotes on the topic honor your parents. The last picture is the kid's journal page. I love the fireworks! I think they felt some fire works inside, from the spirit too! :)

writing prompt:ocean animals for each letter
My kids love Bill Nye and the magic school bus....and getting screen time!

Day 2-July 14tth
Devotional: Work on memorizing 2 Nephi 31:20
Watch: Magic school bus takes a dive. I like this one because it was all about being partners and how certain animals benefit from each other.
Writing prompt: In the sea there is ________Something they learned about the animal
  I also let the kids explore on the Internet and looking up things they wanted to learn about. Here were a few websites they looked at