Monday, December 5, 2016

Day 3- 25 days closer to Christ

Jesus helped others to see and so can you

Jesus healed the sick, lame and the blind. Our bodies are a gift. I am grateful to have eyes to see.He can open our eyes to see what matters most. He can help us see in the darkness. I have experienced this many times with my depression. I have seen an felt hope. I have seen the light through the darkness. My eyes have been opened to doors and people who I need right now in my life.

I think that he helps us see not only just with our physical eyes, but also our spiritual eyes. So often we do not see how wonderful we are. We do not see what he sees and knows. We can become so much more than we ever imagined. Jesus can show us how a little at a time. He will never leave us to walk blindly through life but he doesn't always take our ailments and trials away. He knows why even if we don't.

As a family we learned about raising an eye dog. It was really interesting. They go through quite the process and training. I have thought a lot about therapy dogs lately with how bad my depression and anxiety can be. Just having my new puppy has been beneficial to me in so many ways.  A dogs love is unconditional. The people that raise these dogs are truly selfless because there is a bond that grows with a dog. To let the dog go must be so hard but it helps someone so immensely.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Day 2- 25 days closer to Christ

Jesus Honored his parents and so can you

I am lucky to have the parents that I do. There is no doubt that they love me and wanted to raise me in a home of faith. I learned a lot from my mother. She taught me to be patient and have character. She taught me to be loyal. My father taught me about prayer and the value of hard work. I am grateful they are a phone call away. My mother warned me that someday I would have a child that would give me a harder time than I gave her. She was right! Lol

I am also thankful for my birth parents who gave me up so I could have the best chance in life. I do not know who or where they are but I think of their sacrifice. If I don't see them on the earth I hope to see them in heaven.

Luke 2:46-41
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Day 1- 25 days closer to Christ

Christmas is coming fast! I love this time of year. It means more love and kindness because we are all trying to be more like the Savior. The Church of Latter day saints has created an amazing countdown this year. Each day there are several ideas on how to serve and participate in such an inspiring way. It is a perfect addition and direction for my 25 days closer to Christ. Here is the link to Light the world and more about it! I am so excited!

Day 1-Jesus lifted others' burdens and so can you! I have always felt that my struggles have been a blessing because I can understand much of what people around me are going through. I am also easily pricked by someones pain and a big cry baby. I know it is a gift, even though I find it hard to fight back the emotions and tears. We are his hands on this earth. He was born into this world to take upon us our sins and burdens. We have much to celebrate and remember him for!

scripture: Mathew 11:28-30

 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We talked about how the Savior can help us through the most difficult times in our life. The kids also wanted to carry their friends back packs tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How to know if you are surviving or thriving?

Back in March I was driving our van when it started to jerk me around like a bucking bronco. I was so scared. I was on the freeway, of course, and cars were just whipping by me as a I puttered along to get off and to safety. This was the start of a 7 month waiting game. We got a new transmission but it had problems so for 6 ridiculous months the company that rebuilt it had our mechanics trying this and that before they would honor the warranty. It has been stressful driving on a faulty transmission and my anxiety has grown exponentially because of it. Some days I don't even want to get in the van. Other times I do drive it but I watch the dashboard like a hawk and jump at every lurch. My van has seriously given me Post traumatic stress disorder or something like it. Our van has barely been pulling through this. It has also been stressful on our family. I have barely been pulling through this!

I feel like my van. It feels like I am barely making it and just surviving. I keep waiting for the "check engine" light to come or that I am running on empty. I was doing good and then October hits and I am fighting Depression and feeling like everything I have worked on this last year was for nothing. This all or none thinking is one of the many unhealthy thought patterns I have developed in order to protect myself and survive. Depression, anxiety and self pity keep knocking at my door and rattling and jerking me around. I realize that relapses are normal but still frustrating.  I feel like I am searching for purpose in all that is going on in my life and all that I have lost because of my illness. Yes I have gained. I have gained a lot of hope, perspective and patience but I am still grappling with the loss because of my illness.

Maybe you learn to live with the loss of who you once were or who you can never be. Maybe you never get over it? A loss of any kind is hard to get over don't you think? I know there is a purpose in pain and struggle but it is hard and it doesn't mean I like it. I am still trying to figure how to get the life I want.  The life I need to thrive.I think wanting to do more than just survive is bringing me closer to what I really want. That's is to thrive. I hope so. I keep trying things and nothing is having any lasting effects. It is just like my van and all the things we tried before we got a working transmission. Its frustrating and exhausting!

How many of you feel like you are just surviving? The dictionary define surviving as the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, in spite of difficult circumstances. Thriving means to grow and develop well or vigorously. When you are surviving you do anything to get by. When I think of thriving I think of a garden flourishing. Why do some of us wither and decline and others grow and develop rapidly? Why do some of us get knocked down and others of us adapt more quickly? That is what I intend to find out. I am going to be getting my hands dirty, and just like my van, I am going to see what it going on under the hood.

I am already finding things that need some tuning and God's grace. He is my mechanic in this scenario and all aspects of my life. I am hurting and feeling so hopeless. This is not how he wants me to feel but as I crumble before his feet he will fix what is broken. I am reminded as I was a year ago that all these things that are not working or broken will take time. It is just hard when I am in pieces and I can't see how this is all going to be put back together. It may mean another year of tears and struggle. I am surviving, but just by a thread. To those of you feeling the weight on your shoulders and feeling like giving up, Be strong and have courage! Keep trying and don't kick yourself for time wasted. Just get up and move towards thriving and being a better you!

When you feel like you are barely hanging in there, endure to the end. Endure to the end means constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in him. Its a daily choice and willingness to let him in so he can fix what is broken.This may take months or years. It most likely will take our lifetime. It feels a lot like this situation with our van. We fix one thing and then there is something else that has a problem. Our 7 months of struggling with our van has taught me a lot of patience but it has been so hard. So many days I have felt paralyzed and unsure of what to do next. It is real. It feels like continuous car trouble. Trying to make sense of all these trials has felt the same way.  We just have to keep trying things and trust in our mechanic. He is really the only one who knows what he is doing anyway!

So what does car trouble and thriving have to do with each other? The more my life is engulfed by darkness the more I want to be free of it. I am searching and looking for answers to make my life and others better. I don't know when if ever I will stop feeling like I am just surviving. As I ask for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's help I am now asking to endure and develop into who I was meant to be. I am looking at things from different angles and trying to trust more. I want to be less jerked around and feel more peace in this whole process. My diagnosis is grim and difficult, but some day, I will work and function like a well oiled machine. I can't wait for that day! But while I am waiting for it, why not thrive and blossom despite the struggles?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

How to grow your self esteem

I have spent most of my life feeling inadequate in most areas. I have struggled and given up more times than I would like to admit. When I am around my peers I feel like an ant among giants. I have beaten the life and will out of myself for years. I have fought and continue to fight all the pain and suffering that has come from this way of being. However, I am proud of myself for how far I have come. I have changed my thoughts and my diet. I have learned to set healthy boundaries. I have really grown this past year. I do not  however, expect all the emotional, physical, mental aspects of my life to resolve themselves in such a short time. There are still so many factors that are out of my control. In fact my frustration and anxiety level has been at an all time high these past couple of weeks. I have let to many things creep and stay in my mind that aren't good. They are bad and they make me feel bad. Stress equals flare up! When I hurt everything seems to be painful. This is true of both my physical and mental state of being.

When things get this bad and foggy in my head I just need to stop and sort out all the junk again. That is easier said than done. I have struggled doing this with the clutter in my head and in my house. There is no surprise that the chaos I feel inside is linked to the clutter in my house. I reached out for help recently. A friend of mine responded and came over and helped me organize my pantry and then did my dishes so I could take a rest. It is really hard to ask for help but that is what I need. This has really helped me stay on top of my kitchen all week. We also had our first successful family meeting where my husband and I met first and then talked to each kid individually. Everyone was happy! Yes! We have tried to do it all together and the kids are unruly and complain and it has never ended well. It is more like a family war then anything peaceful or ending in any kind of resolution.We decided to work on contributions and bed time routine this week. We also started our Chore wars competition. I am so tired of nagging the kids to do things so we came up with this idea. I have tried point systems, charts and they have all crashed and burned in flames. So we are giving this a shot.It is a friendly competition between the kids to see who can do the most chores at the end of the week. Each of the older kids are paired with a younger one so that it is fair and they learn to teach it to their siblings. So far, like most of my ideas it is going very well. The kids are earning cotton balls in their jars and I can work on decluttering. That is when my energy is good of course. Thanks to my friend I have a clean pantry and I have started to work on my paper closet. I call it this because this is where I stash all my paper. If I open it right now it all falls out like a paper avalanche and a reminder that I have no idea how to sort them.

My focus has always been on how much I need to improve and fearing the future. I found this was magnified by a never ending to do list. It might as well have been a hammer nailing the last nail in the coffin of my sense of self and worth. I can't keep up and I set the bar of perfection too high.Instead of focusing on a to do list and all the things I need to work on, I want to focus on a to grow list. I want to write all the areas in which I am growing. No pressure just appreciating where I am and where I want to go. (grow)That is what I have been trying to do this last year. I planted a seed and I have needed to be patient as I watch it grow. It doesn't grow overnight and the progress is slow. I know that things have changed including within me. As long as I am growing upwards on onwards. I can't just hide in the ground forever. That is not why God put us on this earth. We have the plan of Happiness. God sees us for what we can become. He sees the growth. We can grow as President Hinckley suggests in the following quote

“Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike” (“This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71).

How do we stand a little taller? Nothing stands taller than trees. Have you ever looked at trees? They all stand so tall reaching for the sky. They are strong and rooted. Lets quickly look at how trees grow.Most trees take 20-30 years to grow. I think that most of our growing starts after about 20 years old. From childhood up until then I would say it is like planting the seed. So at the rate I am growing, by the time I am 50 I should have become who I was meant to be! I am joking of course but in a way it is true. There are so many factors that effect the rate at which we grow.That is, if we are given the right growing conditions. The environment for trees depends on the climate and water. Our growth depends on our environment and how and what we nourish ourselves with. The biggest change this year for me was how much I drenched myself in the words of the scriptures. I always read my scriptures pretty regularly. This past year I have searched and thought constantly on the Lord and his words. I have longed for peace and to know what I should do. I clung to hope and now, looking back I can see that I did grow. I grew in strength and love for myself. That is what self esteem is isn't it?Even though I feel like I have been cut down to a stump by my circumstances I am growing quickly. Remember God sees our growth so we need to trust in him to get us there. We have to stop beating ourselves up and try to control what we are not meant to control. Stand a little taller. Be a little better.

In order for our self esteem and who we are to grow we have to be aware of what is feeding our self esteem or lack of it. Guess what? A lot of the times it turns out to be how we see ourselves and what we are telling ourselves. It takes time but it is worth it to nourish good thought and self worth. After all we are daughters and sons of God. Yes we have a lot of growing to do. Look at your progress, not the lack of it. Look at how you talk and carry yourself. Self care is very important for growth.These are all ways to grow your self esteem. I know because I am working on it daily. Think tall growing thoughts. Look at all you are doing right. You are growing as long as you are trying. You may be struggling to find the right balance or the right ways to nourish yourself. Keep looking and trying new things. Just as I have been doing within myself and the walls of my home.Stand tall and keep growing and reaching for all this life has to offer. You can do it!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back to school and back to survival

It has been a few weeks now that my kids went back to school. Our summer was so relaxed and now we are slaves to our alarms and schedules. When we are forced into something our minds and bodies rebel don't they? I have noticed we are all more irritable and our bodies are tense. Can you notice when your body is handling a lot of stress? Stress for me, is especially bad. These past few weeks I have been more prone to emotional outbursts. I am tired and overwhelmed. I feel like I am in survival mode yet again! My young aborigines are getting restless and the mommy lion is ready to pounce. Life with children really can feel this way can't it? Our bodies really do act like we are in the jungle. Survival of the fittest!

The first day when I picked up my kids we were stuck in traffic due to construction. We were stuck and just had to wait it out. The kids were hungry and over tired. All of our patience was tested. The principal and teachers were  out directing traffic and trying to help in any way they could. Yet we inched along ready to break. Our car inched forward closer and closer to the end. I kept telling my kids we were almost there and to hang in there. I didn't know when we would make it. I just knew we are going the right way and the only way. We have no choice sometimes to travel the same road every day. We get up and do the same thing. We go to the same places. But we do not know what obstacles we might face. What detours or road blocks that will impede us. So what can we do when our plan is frustrated?

We can come up with a plan for the next time. Since I knew that the next few weeks would be the same with the construction I decided to have the kids walk and I parked somewhere away from the chaos. I was still nervous that there might be kinks in my plan. After all we never had done this before. The next day we carried out our plan and got home when we used to. It also felt great when I looked back and saw the long line of cars still in line and we were already on our way. It is convenient to drive in our cars and not have to get out but that just won't work if we want to be home at a decent time. There is a little more preparation and we have to walk in the hot sun. However we knew it was necessary to get our desired result.

We have to walk sometimes when we would rather run or drive, hypothetically speaking. I feel that way every day when my energy will only allow me to do so much. Where in your life do you feel like you are stuck in traffic? How can you make a change and a different plan?

First of all, just know that you are in survival mode and accept it. Accept that things are changing. Accept the mess and construction. When you are changing schedules it feel like you are under construction.Then examine your priorities. There are a lot of things that compete for our attention. What is the most important? Each morning I wake up I ask that question. It changes so I try to just go with the flow. When I start to feel rushed or panic then I know something is off. I stop and look at my plan. Sometimes it means I stop and rest. Sometimes I answer the sweet plea to "play with me". I have accepted that only the things I feel the most important gets pushed to the back burner.

We survived the month of August and that feels pretty good. Honestly I do not see how we cannot be in survival mode with little kids and busy schedules. We can however try to make changes and try to be less frazzled if we can. We can embrace the mess and chaos I stead of fighting against it. We can't do everything at once. So we need to stop cramming so much into our days, hours and minutes. How? Keep making course adjustments and little tweaks here and there until it feels right. Last, realize what season of life you are in and don't go faster than you have strength. Who ever told us we should do all these things. Wouldn't it be nice to take some of the pressure off? I think in 10 years I can have my house clean and organized but most of my kids will be gone. So what is really important? I put this question to you. After all, isn't it the most important question to ask? Everything else should fall in place when we have our priorities in perspective. It is like looking through a telescope. You only see what you are zoomed in on. Welcome back to survival!

Monday, August 15, 2016

How being stuck and in pain led to peace

I am woman hear me roar is what I want to say. But if I am honest it is more like hear me snore. I have been asleep for so long to all that has contributed and led up to my illness. Not to mention I fight real aggressive fatigue everyday. I have accepted that I have something that will ever go away. But I am still mourning all the things I want to do but can't and that keeps me stuck and my head turning. It is like I am in a blender and keep rehashing all the 'shoulds" and "what ifs". They have become such a part of me that it is hard not to think that way. It is hard but not impossible. I have realized that I can do hard things because I do them every day.

Most days though I am more like Oh in the movie Home. He is a Boov that along with his species takes over Earth and moves all the humans away. He forms a unexpected bond with a human girl who was left behind. At one point Tip, the human girl, puts on music and it makes Oh dance. He feels ashamed and says he has to cool his core. To do this he jumps out of a hover car over the ocean. That shame and depression likes to creep in their every minute of every day. I have to be so careful and change my thoughts as quickly as I can so I do not have to go to my room and cry until I fall asleep. I too have to cool my core but that is okay. I am learning a lot about shame and  about what my triggers are. With each successful step I am getting closer to not being tossed about by every whirlwind, but instead I can hold my ground. Again this is all very hard and requires me to be ever vigilant. It means I can never, not once let my guard down and think that things are getting better. Then I stop or get relaxed about what is really going on until that whirlwind picks me up and tosses me around for a while. I have to be relentless in fighting all that comes at me on a daily basis. Now to you it may sound like a prison to always be fighting something. It is definitely exhausting! But if I don't fight who will? God helps me in the battles but he can't fight them for me or for you!

Knowing that I have been a big contributor in my overall decline helps me to never want to go there again. I don't want to feel like a victim or wonder when things are going to get better. When I was diagnosed with Celiac I was never again tempted to eat wheat. I feel the same way about my thoughts. Now that I know that my thoughts have such an impact for pain I don't want to think so negatively anymore. My life is beating me up enough and I don't want to help it. I can keep working on my thoughts. I can keep working on my health. I can stop putting up with the disabling side effects of fibromyalgia. I can accept that I have limits and work within them.

 There are speed limit signs everywhere you look to remind you how fast you should be going. If you go over the speed limit you can get a ticket. If we push ourselves and stress ourselves we are going to fast and we need to find a speed that is right. Whether you have a chronic condition or not each of us has to slow down to what our bodies are telling us. Maybe we come to a Stop sign or caution sign. I have learned to listen to the Holy Ghost to tell if I am going the speed that I should. It is amazing if I just take time to listen. Like it says D&C 11:12-14

12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.
 13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
 14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.
I had no idea how powerful the atonement could be and how I could be using the Holy Ghost so much more . I know that I have to trust in the process. There will be set backs. It will be hard. You can do it too. You can let go of past hurt or even present pain. You can trust yourself and that you know what to do. If not study it out and then pray everyday. One day it will make sense even if the timing isn't what you wanted it to be. Trust in that process and that you will be ready to face your challenges when the Lord knows you are ready. He is making us who we are meant to become. If I hadn't had such a hard life so far I don't know if I would have been humble enough when the Lord said that I needed a serious and expensive remodeling.

I don't like where I have been so I am not going back. What about your life is driving you crazy or that you have lost control? Where are you stuck? What are you willing to do to get to where you want to be? You can do it! I believe in you!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The strength is in the mess

We just got back from a vacation and it was a little bit of vitamin sea! I love the ocean and just lounging around. The only problem was coming back home I felt anxiety and the heat because our swamp cooler doesn't do very well in 100 degrees. The anxiety I felt was more fear of what might happen when I walked through the door. We stayed in a cabin for 6 days and each of us took turns making dinner and Breakfast. We only had to clean up what we brought and it was so easy. Once I walk in my door at home I see the mess and the loss of what I just had. I think that I can go through this grief every day. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to de-clutter 11 years of depression. Then I wonder why I need to when it only makes me more agitated. Why do I feel the pressure like I am slowly being roasted on a fire or something? How can I have those same feelings of peace at home that I did on vacation?

I have been trying to get back to my morning routine and I am just so worn out! The last day of my vacation my body said no more. Everyone left for the beach and I was left alone to feel yucky, alone and guilty for not going with everyone else. That's where I take that shiny tempting bait of Satan and I start feeling sorry for myself or like I a victim. I know that what I am dealing with is hard but do I have to be so hard on myself too? I am sitting here thinking and writing and I am shaking my head at myself. Why do I keep doing this? But then I am being hard on myself again! Uggghhh.

The first day we were on the beach we got some pretty bad sun burns. We wore sunblock and applied it every 2 hours but some of us got blisters. Even though we protected our self and did everything right we still got burned. Even though I keep trying to protect myself and prevent nasty thoughts some how they get to me and it hurts. Just like any wound it takes time to heal and repair the damage. The problem with an emotional wound is sometimes they are so raw and tender. We cover them with" band aids" and hope they go away. We suppress them because we feel guilty or ashamed.

Most wounds don't become scars. They heal with time. The scars are more of a reminder of our injury good or bad. For most guys it is cool to have gnarly scars. For me I had a scar on my forehead from falling that I hated to see everyday. I still fall, not literally, everyday sometimes a couple of times a day but I always manage to get back up, but not always wound free. These wounds are what keep me from healing or letting go. These wounds strike a cord within my soul. They have also made me who I am today. Am I weaker or better because of them? I am still trying to find that out. I am still trying to figure out what weaknesses I have and what God can make strengths. I love the scripture Ether 12:27- And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. I know God loves me even if my life is chaos. I am going to keep making mistakes so I shouldn't worry about if I will or not. This keeps the wounds open or reopens an old wound.

We should not have received such bad sun burns that first day, but we did. We shouldn't keep getting hurt,but we do. The next day we stepped into the sun we were all a little more careful. Some wore shirts so the burn couldn't get worse and tried to come in from the sun more often. We develop coping techniques to deal with pain. Some of it is good and some of it is bad. I have developed some self destructing habits to keep me safe. If I hurt myself no one can hurt me. Wrong! We end up an emotional mess because we don't know how to deal with these powerful emotions. But in our weakness and in the mess we find what we are made of. We discover our strengths despite the pain. We inch forward holding on to the scriptures and what we know to be true. We keep going and try to heal or cover the pain. Next time we are in a situation that could bring us pain we are more prepared and wiser to deal with it. This is even true if it is a small change we can make. I am going to learn more about what behaviors are toxic and more about the grieving process. I hope that this will help me to deal with damaging behaviors and be a more healthy person. If we gain a little more knowledge we can step out into the sun and not get burned. The strength is in the heat and the chaos of life. The strength is in you!

This is a picture of my son covered from head to toe to protect his burns. He looks tough doesn't he?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to have a morning that energizes you all day long

Powerful     Productive    Positive

These are the 3 P's that I am adding to my morning routine. I have the most energy in the morning even though I am the most sore and stiff. Since my physical energy has limits I want to feel energy from within. I am a very creative when I allow myself to be. I hope to fill up my morning so that when I am running on empty I do not slip into self pity and depression. I do not expect this to be easy. I know it will be a lot of work. I am used to hard work. I worked hard in school but I still lagged behind. I worked hard to be liked until I got that and felt nothing. I worked hard on my LDS mission until I came home and slept for several days straight. Life is hard work and it seems like it is always ready to knock you down again. Well I have been knocked down so many times but I get up again and that is what matters. It is hard to get back up. It is hard to fight the negative thoughts. I am ready for some more hard work. Are you?

I am ready to fill my life with as much positive energy as I can. I want to feel like a good Mom. I want to feel like a good person. I am teaching myself and my kids how to have a good self esteem. I am teaching myself to stop treating myself so bad and to flow down the river of life without worrying I will drown or hit bumps in the road. I am rediscovering what makes me tick and what keeps me fighting. I am not wanting to get back to who I used to be. I am not a fan of her or the current me. So I guess that means I pick a spot and start there? Every day I have to be around myself and everything that tempts me to fall back into the darkness.

Why are we waging war on ourselves? Why are we struggling when it is easier to trust in the almighty God who is also our rescuer? I am on a journey from fear to peace. I am overcoming negative thoughts everyday. Where in your life are you losing positive energy? Where are you causing the most self sabotage?

So what is this hard work I am talking about? First of all getting up is hard when I have told myself that there is nothing to get up for so long. You learn to protect yourself when you feel so much pain, even if it is self inflicted, or not. All I did in protecting myself was erase myself. So I am going to get out of bed and pray to be a powerful Mother and Wife. I am going to pray to be productive, even if it just a little. I am going to pray to be positive and to fight those negative thoughts with all the energy heaven will give me. I am going to say my positive affirmations. I am going to get outside and soak up the sun and then I am going to feast on the words of the scriptures.

The productive part is a little bit more of a struggle. What most people can do in a day I can only do 1/4 of it. I have to or I run myself into the ground. I am not okay with this mediocrity or that my energy can be used up so fast but it my reality. At night I write down all the things I think I can do in an hour. In the morning I review it and get to work. After working for 15 minutes I take a break and then do another 15 minutes. What would take an hour with breaks actually takes me all morning. By afternoon my energy is just gone as if it went down a drain or something.

My last and most powerful part of my morning lately is visualizing how my day is going to go.  I stumbled on a powerful visual that I have been using everyday. I visualize myself floating down a river. I keep going down the river and if I hit a rock or strong current I see myself not struggling or trying to swim against the current. This visual helps me stay present and not go into my past or worry about the future.If something happens during the day I think to myself. Am I fighting the current or moving with the flow and letting things happen the way they do?

So how do you get going in the morning? What tricks do you use to stay productive and energized? Where are you fighting the natural flow of life?


Monday, July 11, 2016

Its my life and I am taking a stand

I feel like I should just write. Anything. Everything. Just write until it all makes sense............

  I am not sure if I have ever been sure of who I am. It is embarrassing to admit that so many times in my life I have felt insecure and had a low self esteem. I am still that little girl struggling to fit in and desperately looking for something. But what? I have the gospel and Christ in my life. But I am fighting for my life. I am fighting to keep standing. I think what I have been looking for are things that make me feel validated. Some people would call that needy but I would say that I was never taught how to challenge negative thoughts and so they kept coming. I kept looking for worth when I was accepted by others. First theses thoughts were like a fog rolling in and out in stressful times of my life. Then they became a dark cloud that hung over my head most days. Soon it was a raging storm within like a tsunami. How do you stand in the rain when you are getting pelted by so many thoughts or just completely knocked over by them? Pretty soon I couldn't stand anymore and I gave into the darkness of Depression. I was silent and isolated but screaming inside to be free.

5 years ago I thought I was free from Depressions clutches but it is still there and waiting to pounce when I am the most vulnerable. I am attacked by these negative thoughts everyday but I am sick of it! I do not want to be a victim anymore! But I have no idea how to be truly free from this demon. It is not just a bad day. It is a heavy weight crushing you! I want to stare it in the face and tell it that it has no power over me. I wish to but I am scared. I have seen and felt its power even over the last two weeks. I am winning more battles then I have before but the war itself rages on inside of me.

A friend of mine told me that when I feel overwhelmed I need to take a break from my deep thoughts. I may be surrounded by them like the deep sea but I do not have to look at them all the time. She said it is like I am in a submarine. I can use the periscope and look anytime I want but then I can close it up and not look anymore. Then when I am ready I can look again. I tend to want to look at the whole picture and by so doing, I overwhelm myself. I drown in my fears, insecurities and failures.

I thought that I had a good self care routine in place to take care of myself, but I really don't. It took me this long to realize that I am not nice to myself. I thought reading self help books and working on myself was what I should be doing. Instead it became and obsession. I worried and obsessed to make myself and my family better. I was really feeding a monster known as perfectionism. I am no where near where I thought I was and it shocked me. I really thought I was doing better but I was unprotected from myself and any attack. My fortifications were weak and not very effective. This realization blew me away! I keep getting annihilated by the enemy. My self worth has been destroyed and I didn't even know it. My life has been screaming that I have low self esteem and I missed it! I think that all of us at times in our lives don't see some of the warning signs. I have always been hard on myself but I thought that was good because it made me challenge myself to be better. Take a look at your habits and your thoughts. What are they telling you? If you find yourself like a deer in headlights with this realization too, don't worry , I think that means things will get better. At least I am hoping so! There is always hope!

With this hope I am going to do a few things this week  to find out who I am. Make a list of things you might want to do or borrow some of mine. As we open ourselves to changes we can make it is like we are standing for the first time. I think I have been crawling or limping my way through my life just dealing with the pain. My sense of self is completely gone. So here is what I am going to do to take a stand and say I am not going to take it anymore! I am stronger than that and so are you! Let us be kind to ourselves and find the right ways to motivate ourselves to change. Down below I made a mind map of self esteem and all the areas that are linked to it.  It was a good way for me to get a sense of the whole picture and where I am hurting myself the most.
  1. Make a self care plan
  2. Write a list of my strengths and what I am good at
  3. Write a list of all my past accomplishments
  4. Find ways to motivate myself

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer of Sucess-Week 4

This Summer is going by so fast! This is the last week in July!

Devotional- Today I really wore my heart on my sleeve. I felt impressed to talk to the kids about anger and acting out in anger or frustration. We talked about triggers or what can set the kids off. I asked them where in the scriptures we could find such examples. We talked about Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. There are several examples 1 Nephi 3:28-31.  Laman and Lemuel hit Nephi with a rod and an angel comes down and stops them. 1 Nephi 7. Laman and Lemuel bind Nephi with cords and rebel.  1 Nephi 17. Nephi is commanded to build a ship. His brothers get angry again and Nephi is given power to shock them. 1Nephi 18. Nephi and his family sail on the ship. His brothers bind him and are driven back by a great tempest. All these cases they listened to their anger and to Satan's lies.  I told the kids that when they fight or refuse to help it triggers emotions and feelings inside me. I shared with them how anxious and upset it makes me. I talked about Satan's lies to me that I need to be firm and teach them a lesson. They can't talk to me that way. I felt like a failure as a Mother. I also felt like my house would always be a pigs sty. I told them if I kept believing these lies that I continue in a downward spiral. I told them it wasn't their fault that I felt this way it was mine but I wanted them to know that I am not perfect and I don't expect them to be. I have insecurities and feelings just like them.

My youngest is learning how to dress himself. My first grader worked on addition. He used cars as manipulatives. My 4th grader worked on 3 times tables. My oldest 6th grader is working on his math and time management.

My daughter got her project done on brachiosaurus and triceratops. She did a tri fold poster board. She did it all on her own!

Devotional- I really have been thinking a lot on how we are all in a war with Satan right now. He is attacking us individually and in our families. We need to be ready and prepared to fight and fight relentlessly! We watched this video about the armor of God, which I remember watching in seminary a long time ago. Love the 80's look ha ha! It also has fighting which boys love! Its a great one!
Well I am struggling trying to get much done this Summer but I am beginning to see that it is okay. I don't need to be perfect at it and maybe the kids and I just need a break from a while. We are still very much having adventures in reading.

Putting together the peices of my life

I am a child of God. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a friend. I am a caretaker. I am a perfectionist. To name a few. I am not my depression but it tries to control me. I am not my Fibromyalgia but it also tries to gain control. I am not my families behavior but I am affected by it. I am a complicated mix of roles and emotions. I am stuck in emotional pain that like a faithful dog has followed me since I was a child. I am constantly fighting the fatigue that tries to overtake me. I have realized that I am too hard on myself and I let too many things affect me and I don't want it to anymore. Half the time I don't know what I am feeling and I feel guilty for feeling these feelings. My days are a whirlwind of emotions and events. I keep searching for answers. I hop from one solution to the next like rocks in a river. I am so tired and so lost in this river of hopelessness. The truth is I am falling apart slowly. Slowly I have become a victim to all that surrounds me.

Each person in my family is so different in the way we deal with life and the things that happen to us. In my family there are problem solvers, peacemakers and instigators. There are hot heads and complete introverts. There is organization and disorganization. Every time a problem or crisis happens I want to be there with my cape on and swoop in and fix things. Everyday it is like I carry my tool belt, which to me, is more like Marry Poppins bag, and fix things. I pull out my latest trick in the bag and it works its magic for a brief amount of time. I have to rescue them even if it wears me out! Why? Because I want that control because I don't like the feeling that things are out of control. If only they would see what I see or change their behavior then they would be happier. My fixing became a way to stay in control where really I have no control over anyone except myself. I don't even know what is wrong with me and why I just can't stay happy. I have become resentful of my families needs or my illness which feels like it is controlling my life. I feel guilty not living up to the standards I have set for myself and my family. I think that sometimes I plan my day around whatever I feel the most guilty about. How can all of these roles and emotions fit into such a tiny person huh??

There is no doubt about it I am dealing with a lot. I am better than I was. I have come so far but there is also a long way to go! Maybe somewhere you relate to my rantings? I am always hoping to help someone. My hope is that slowly I can see changes in myself. Good changes. The kind that gives me confidence. I am not very confident or secure in who I am. This is hard to admit but it is true! I am tired of feeling this way.But is not easy to teach an old dog new tricks. I know that I have to do something about it if I want it to change. There are things I have carried with me like gum on a shoe. It is time to scrape it off and leave it alone. I also need to try not to step in anymore gum. I am letting go of things I can't control. That is a lot of things!

Recently I started a 1000 piece puzzle. That is the biggest I have ever done I think. I start a puzzle out by finding all the end pieces and then putting them together. These can be compared to what I feel are the most important areas in my life. This can be anywhere from my core beliefs, pivotal events in my life etc... Then I try to look for pieces that look like they are similar in color or design. This takes a long time because I only have a little bit of time to devote to it. I am patiently waiting to see which pieces of my life fit together. I can't force pieces to fit together and I think that is what I have been trying to do. They just don't fit and I need to keep trying to see what pieces do fit. Moving to my new house several years ago has given me the most answers for my life. All the pieces have been coming together from my diagnosis to my sense of what my mission is and certain people coming into my life at just the right moment. When I look at the puzzle I have been working on it feels like I might never find all the pieces but I find just a few more or sometimes, if I am lucky, full sections. Then I have to figure out where it fits on the end pieces. Each time you have to look at each piece and turn it to see if it will fit or not.  I am trying to do the same thing with my life by asking Heavenly Father to help me and show me the way. Little by little and piece by piece I am receiving those answers.

Piece by piece things are making sense. I have been digging into my past and it has brought up a lot of painful things. I have gone about my life so far broken, but living the best way I could. So much of my illness and depression makes sense now. Maybe it will have less power over me? I am picking up the pieces of my life that I could never make any sense of and I am trying to see where they fit again or if they fit at all. I am learning what defenses I have formed. I am tired of being in a constant state of stress and being flooded by emotions. I am praying and hoping for relief. I am trying to build up my own internal supply of  hope, peace, self esteem and well being that only the savior can bring me. He will give me peace and pieces to make me whole.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer of Sucess week 3

This week is definitely off to a better start. We talked about the five love languages and played a little game of guessing which was each persons most important to least important. The 5 love languages are quality time, words of affirmation, touch, acts of service, and gifts. The kids had a lot of fun trying to guess each others and I feel like we understand each other a little bit more. I realize that we have had a lot of stress and a lot of me not doing well. I am not always able to make sure the kids are doing everything that they are supposed to. This week I wanted to try to understand my kids better and have them understand each other better as well.

Day 1- Devotional- Continue in peace. It is about patience and it is so cute!
Five love language game as mentioned above.

Day 2- Talking about our family if they feel like we are open or closed to change or if they feel like they have a say or not. My hopes in doing this is to see if they feel comfortable at home. Right now we are all trying to get on the same page and find some peace and order. Most importantly I need to RELAX!

We also visited the library and each kid picked something that they wanted to learn about. These next few weeks we will be researching. Then at the end of the month we will be presenting what we learned. We picked up some level one reading books for my First Grader to read and practice. The kids are really excited about this!

Day 3- Worked on their projects

Day 4- Service- Picked cherries and planned our Fathers Day gifts

Next week we will be working more on their projects and keep making goals and working in areas that the kids need the most help. July I hope to work on the constitution and America.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer of Sucess Week 2-Goal setting

This week was kind of a bad one. The weather was bad and a lot of my kids were just struggling to keep it together. Sometimes when my kids would like to dig themselves into their own mire or have a bad attitude I feel paralyzed as to what I can do. They are beyond being able to listen to me. Punishments fuel the flames. My counselor has told me to pick my battles but that is so hard! We decided that we were just going to let last week go and start over again this week. There is no blame. It was just a bad week. We did not work on their rooms so this is our goal this week. We have been doing reading writing and Math.

Biggest test of her life so far- This is a great story of putting God first even though she had tests that were very pressing/

Setting goals and managing time- This one has a real great story of a farmer who goes to get hay and finds all these things that need to get done. We talked about how we can make sure we put first things first and keep up on maintenance on our home and ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5-6
¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
1 Nephi 3:7
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
This is my favorite scripture! If we set righteous goals he may not make it easy but he will provide a way that we can do it!

At the end of the week I had them answer 3 questions. I think that we might make a weekly thing!
  1. Last week I did my very best on ______
  2. I think I could have done better on_______
  3. Some goals I have for this week are________
By the end of this month I hope they are making personal, spiritual and physical goals. But I am getting ahead of where they are at.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What you need to know about people with food allergies

Eating and cooking used to be my favorite thing to do. I started to really jazz things up when I started watching Food Network. I have watched Food network now since 2005. I watched hoping to find recipes to bring joy to my husband and to keep me sane. Now I am no Martha or Julia Child's in the kitchen. I make lots of mistakes. One in particular still makes me laugh to this day. I made my Grandmas tamale pie that she would always make at Christmas time. She is gone now, but her recipes are here to pass down to the next generations. When I made it  I was so excited! I was like a kid at Christmas really. I made the cornmeal and added the meat and tomatoes. Next I poured the spices.  After I did I started to cry when I realized I put too much pepper on it. I don't know how I saw Tablespoon instead of teaspoon! I didn't know how bad things were with my depression but this day was like so many others. I was just so upset and of course crying. Well my sweet hubby ate it anyway and tried to comfort a very inconsolable creature of a wife. We had just had a baby that was very colicky and cried a lot. I was really just beginning to scratch the surface of what was wrong with me. Now that I look back on it I should have gotten help then. Back then food was such a comfort and passion of mine.

Now I feel more like I am eating in a dungeon every day.  I am tortured by the smell of food that can never touch my lips or melt on my tongue. Food is also a very social thing for me. Socially I feel like an outcast when I can't eat anything. People ask why I can't eat this or that but it makes me so sad. It is like asking why someone doesn't have a baby yet when they can't have kids. It is painful to talk about. I don't like talking about it but I do because at least I am being social and people are talking to me. I love being around people and having a good time but I feel like I am in chains the whole time while I am doing it.

Food allergies are becoming more and more common everyday. My youngest still can barely eat anything. He is so itchy and uncomfortable. I worry for him and when he goes to school. Will he sit alone? Food allergies are so isolating. These allergies are so frustrating. They are like a ball and chain. It gets tiring trying to live in a allergy prison. Who wants to worry what they could put in their mouth could be fatal or cause their stomach to ache? Yet that is how it is for me and many others I am finding out. I am like that kid eating alone because I am different. My friends and family don't treat me bad or anything. They are understanding and concerned but this is how I feel regardless.

I was talking with a concerned friend the other day and she told me about one of her grand kids who can't have peanut butter. He can't even be near to it so he sits alone to be safe. Then she proceeded to tell me that it wasn't long before other kids told their parents not to put peanuts in their lunch so they could sit by him. I started to cry. Her words of hope calmed my aching heart. I told her how much I had to opt out of this week because I couldn't do it. Sometimes it really feels like I am eating alone at the table of life. What she said next has been on my mind all week. She said just opt in people into your life and pretty soon they will want to sit at your table.

Again I had been looking at things all wrong. I was isolating myself and pulling myself down. This woman made me feel special and like I was one of the cool kids. It doesn't matter if you are 6, 16 or 36 there is still that need to feel included and feel special. Some times we feel like we have to go it alone. It is better to avoid what is uncomfortable or embarrassing. I put on a brave face and act like I am okay that way. Who am I kidding? Isolating myself is the worst I could do. Yet I still do it. Why is that?

I don't know why I keep battling these inner thoughts day after day. I try to challenge them but they just keep coming back. I have noticed now that if I am in a room I look for other people standing alone. I am drawn to those who are hurting like me. Somehow knowing there are others makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I can leave the dungeon or find cell mates who have the same life sentence of Chronic illness that I do. For those of you who think I like being alone, I don't. Please don't pass me by or leave as a friend. We are alone because we feel like we have to, not because we want to be. When someone is sitting alone or they say they are okay look deeper. Look into their eyes. Look at their posture or what their hands are doing.

I still love food but it is not my passion. I have found other passions. This blog is one and helping as many of you as I can. I know what many woman feel these days. I have been through a lot of pain. I have worked hard a lot. I have forgiven much. I have also let go of a lot. But I still feel deeply and many things are still sensitive for me to talk about. But I want to help. Just thought I would let you know what its like to not be able to eat what you want or do everything you want. I am not ready to embrace the bland foods I eat everyday but I will get there.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer of Sucess-Week 1 and the Parable of the GPS

Each summer we try to have a lot of fun but with a lot of learning intertwined. I want them to relax but I finally have them home to mold and shape. Mwahaha Okay I am not Franken-mommy but I do really value this time. We all slow down and melt on those really hot days! Not a fan of those hot days though! I let go of the busy schedules and we just play outside and read, read , and read some more! I start with a devotional each day. We do reading, writing and math every weekday. I am also spending a lot of time ,with my now first grader, learning to read. I found this free website I hope that it will be a good fit for him.We will throw in potty training for my youngest because why not? I really don't like potty training. Not at all!

We started this week off by talking about what the kids were expecting and what I expected. Our devotionals this week all centered around choices. The kids have choices about how they use their time. I want to get our morning routine down because we struggled with it during the school year. I asked what they thought was important in the morning and we wrote those things down. We also talked about our family contributions and maintenance schedule. They need to keep their room tidy and do a chore. I asked them what did they want in there room? Also if they liked the way their room feels. I was pleasantly surprised that they wanted to clean up some areas and get organized! We also set boundaries for how long screen time should be. Basically we are getting ready for the long but relaxing trip that is Summer.

Here are a few of our devotionals this week we talked about super heroes and villains and how they didn't start out being that way. They made choices that led to them becoming who they are.

Watch:wrong roads
The parable of the GPS-
This last devotional is about our spiritual GPS. How we have the scriptures, Holy Ghost and words of the prophets to guide us. We had the opportunity to use a GPS this day. We went to a park that was closed for major construction. The kids were disappointed so I tried to find a new park that they would like on my GPS. Without my GPS I wouldn't know where new parks were and we would have went home disappointed. We went to 3 parks before we found one that the kids hadn't been to and was a good substitute for this other park. At least we didn't have to drive too far but I will admit, even though I had the GPS guiding me, I still doubted if the park it was taking me to was as good as the vision I had in my head. Sometimes we are taken to a place in our life that is "under construction" and we need to rethink where we want to go next. These are like the trials and disappointments in our lives. When we are asked to accept something or take a detour we weren't planning on. Our plan might be different from the Lord's plan. There are many times where we need to be patient and ask for guidance from our Heavenly Father. Then we move forward trust in in him and his plan and timing. It is also important, and bears mentioning, that once we know what we must do, we do it! We act on it even if doubt or opposition comes into our lives or hearts. This was the difference between Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. Laman and Lemual always complained and didn't try to know for themselves and Lehi and Nephi asked and then were obedient no matter what they were asked to do. See (1Nephi 1-8) It was a good lesson for me and the kids.

Next week I really want to focus on the kids setting their own goals. I am learning to do this better so it is kind of fun because we are learning together.

Friday, May 27, 2016

How I made it through a rough morning

There is no secret that I love to write. I have a journal I carry everywhere with me. I scribble my feelings. ideas, and a little bit of nonsense. I try so hard every day to battle the many thoughts and my illness that want to steal my happiness from me. I battle the overwhelm of my house and the four royal pains blessings in my life. Everyday is a choice for me! I am learning to take the punches even if they are in my gut.(not literally of course) Those kind of punches knock the wind out of me. They bring me to my knees. They make me ask the tough questions. Questions like: How am I going to get through this or what am I going to do? I am finding the answers and I am writing them down. Why? For you! For my kids. For anyone who is struggling and doesn't know where to start. For the lost and aching souls of Gods children. You!

My morning was rough. It often is. I often have to pry my sleepy eye lids open and lay there until my bladder says I have to move. It is painful because my joints are so stiff. Then I check on my kids and have to try to keep them on task. I have tried charts and telling them they can have extra time in the morning. It is always a rush to get them out the door. Today was no different. I got upset. Words were spoken to me that cut me like a knife. I proceeded to cry for the next half hour and of course now I am drained. I wrote rapidly to get all my thoughts down. A few tears stained the page. Scribble scribble stop! I stopped my negative thought train before it reached the station. Now that I got all that garbly gook out of my brain was this really where I wanted to go? It was like God told me to stop.

This last month I have really been trying to break negative thought patterns. It is tough! I have been listening to a hypnosis tape to release negativity every night. Well in that moment everything came to a halt and the way was clear. I had to break that thought pattern, Again I started writing but this time I switched to a positive track. It was amazing and so liberating. I literally felt that weight being lifted from my shoulders. It all starts with me. My thoughts and offense were not leading me where I wanted to go. Satan is winning as long as he can keep me feeling negative. I am no longer a victim! Let go of the control! Move on!

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." Mosiah 24:15

Later we both were able to talk and listen and there was no fight. Just hugs and reconciliation. How amazing this experience was for me! There is no right way to break the cycle of negative thinking. I have just decided I don't want that anymore and I have been working on my own and with therapy to get it. You may not need therapy but it does require work on your part.

I came across this post from about being a thermostat or a thermometer in our home. It really spoke to me. I wish I had thought of it! A thermostat reacts to the atmosphere in the home and a thermostat determines it. I know I set the tone of my home no matter how crazy or messy my kids and home are. This is the choice I made this morning when I changed my negative thoughts into positive ones! This is how I made it through a rough morning!

How is your day going? Could you use a change for your thoughts and actions? Write down specific question you want to ask yourself when you don't know what to do? This morning I asked myself if what I was doing and feeling was leading to a solution to the problem or was creating more of a problem? I am a worrier so I almost always cause myself more grief than I need to.

How do you turn around a rough morning?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Is your life yummy or yucky? How do you know?

Candy is yummy. Too much Candy is yucky. Have you ever read those Yummy Yucky kid books? It is pretty straight forward really. Eating the wrong things can make you sick. Even too much of a good thing can make you sick. One of my kids has a major sweet tooth. He was at his Aunt and Uncles the other week and ate a full bag of candy. Well it didn't take long for his tummy to hurt and he was feeling pretty sick. I feel the same way when I read all the how to parent articles. Too much and I feel like I am the worst parent in the world. You could say it gives me a yucky feeling.

 I write these "How to" posts myself and so many others do as well. It does help to feel like you aren't alone in any given situation that you find yourself in. However, just like candy I need to stop after a couple of articles so that I don't feel overwhelmed. I feel like I have been doing the equivalent to eating myself into a sugar coma. I have been searching and searching for answers to it all, because I always see the big picture being a Type A personality. I am trying to catch up but I am putting too much pressure on myself and probably my family. I need to put away the magnifying glass that is making everything seem so large and unmanageable.

 So here is the question I have been pondering about. What is most important? What makes me feel yummy? Yucky? Ask yourself when you see your long list of things to get done.

What is most important? For me it has always been my family. Family is central to God's plan. Put down you lists or your phones and see what is most important to you. Pick up your child. Look out the window or step outside. Slow down.

Even if we manage to slow down and not make ourselves sick, things still can drive us crazy. Yes my house drives me crazy. But I am only giving it some of my time. The rest is for my family. I am going to stop walking around wanting to fix everything and everyone. If I try to control my kids I feel yucky. I am so worried about their future that I am missing their present. I am going to stop worrying so much about this child or that mess. Of course, I expect that I will keep making mistakes because we all do.

 We are also limited by our schedules, work, school, abilities, and illness. I was feeling these limitations last night and found comfort from the words of Gordon B Hinckley

"We also know that there need be no limits on enthusiasm, planning, thoughtful consideration and effort."

I can be as happy as I want to be. Some days I have to dig real deep. Heavenly Father put us on the earth to be happy. I do not have to let my circumstances inhibit my enthusiasm, planning or effort. I keep trying. Russell M. Nelson said "Men are that they might have joy- not guilt trips."

We can make ourselves feel yucky with guilt, shame, abuse, anxiety, depression and illness. How sad this world has become that we need to put on this facade that everything is okay. I thought I had to hold it all in and there wouldn't be a day that brought me to my knees and tears. I have been a victim of my life for so long. I have felt overwhelmed by my circumstances and my house.

Life is messy and many times yucky. We get mad. We cry. We hold too much inside.

My hope is that in my words you might say "Hey I do that too!

Life are appetizers of emotions and experience. Often times we taste the bitterness and sadness. We become full on these appetizers and can't enjoy our feast. Filling up on these negative emotions has only added to my despair and crippled me.

I hope that you can find what you need to let go of. It might be good but it might not be the right time.

My hope is that you speak out and not hold in the pain.

Find where you feel yucky. It is a balance. Even too much of good thing can make you feel yucky. Too much shame or worry. Too much cleaning. Too much busyness.

I paid the price with my health and piece of mind.

I am done feeling helpless. I am done letting my circumstances control me. I am done feeling yucky.

Break free from your past.

Learn to love others who have hurt you and love yourself.

Are you done? Do you feel yucky? What are you willing to do or give up to feel yummy again?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mothers we are needed and we are loved

This week wasn't too bad. I was feeling pretty great Tuesday-Thursday. I was even able to take a trip to go to a funeral for my friends Mom. I did not know her Mom but I could tell that she was an amazing woman. I sat there thinking of what my kids would say about me.Would they remember the good times? Would they know that I loved them? I sit here now, thinking, drained and unsure of what my next step should be. I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle but it is muddy and I keep sliding.

I wanted to make a special memory tonight and instead of just sending my kids off to bed, I wanted to cuddle with all of them together. Me and my 4 little monkeys. It was so wonderful but one of my kids was not happy with me and wouldn't join us. It is always a fight.  I get on my knees and the tears flow down my face. I have been researching and gathering information to understand the why of my disease and why my child is struggling the way he is. I cry. I cry to release. I cry because I am so drained emotionally and physically. I hate that I lost it. I lost it because nothing I do seems to make a change. I cry because I am a sensitive soul. But I hate it when I cry! There is pain. So much pain. Mothers Day is a day I look forward to every year but this time I feel like there is not much to celebrate. Do I celebrate my failures? Do I look at the little battles I have won? I am exhausted and so ready for any change, even an inkling of one. Yes in many ways I am stronger than I was before. I am still fighting but I am so tired. Tired of feeling alone and misunderstood.

My child is misunderstood. He cries. We are not so different. We both struggle to fit these pieces of this puzzle we have been given with the ODD diagnosis.

He came to me. After I had decided this Mothers Day wasn't for me. My body ached and my shoulders slumped forward. He wrapped his arms around me and I fell into his arms. I felt like I was the last person my child wants to see. In an instant he became like a trusting infant, so sweet and loving.

I am not sure how many days we will be like today. Where I feel so helpless and unsure. Days where I cry and I search my scriptures and websites for answers.

I know that I am his Mother and he needs me. I am still broken and so is he. I am a Mother. I am Powerful. I can bring about change. I am crying now but because I know tomorrow will be a day to celebrate. We made it through today. There will be more good days. God is merciful and knows me and my children.

You Mothers out there. You are needed. You are not alone. I hope you all have a happy Mothers Day and celebrate what you do best. If you don't know ask in prayer and he will tell you. This is for all Mothers. Mothers to be. Mothers who lost. Children who lost their Mothers. Mothers who are waiting to be. We are Mothers who love and who are loved.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

What a blustery day-tears, frustration and sweet release

I had a good session with my counselor yesterday. We discovered that I feel powerless in my life. So much is out of my control. I have been feeling like a victim of my own life for so long and I didn't even know it. Does anyone else feel this way? In my session I was reminded to set myself up for success and not failure. My thoughts have been leading me to failure. My thoughts might as well be a noose at times. What can someone being hanged do but stand there until the life is gone? Sorry to be morbid but I wanted to illustrate a point. That point is that my thoughts have been destructive and have been slowly choking the life out of me. It is hard to enjoy life on any consistent level. I hardly ever can maintain a peace of mind. I am often victim to thoughts of fear and worry. No one ever showed me how to cope with bad things that happen in life. So I have been surviving (barely) and not really coping. I don't like feeling this way but up until now didn't really know what to do to change. I have been exhausting my body and spirit with my subconscious and sometimes conscious thoughts. Worse is I feel that no one understands how I feel.  Why have I been making it so hard on myself?

Yesterday continued to be a mix of emotions that continued well into the night. I awoke at 3 a.m. to fierce wind storm. It knocked down trees and branches were all over the road. We sere supposed to go to a baby blessing at one so we delayed getting ready. We received a call at 10:50 that it was cancelled. We could still make our stake conference at 12 but we had to hurry. I knew if we tried we could make it. This is the power our thoughts can have. They can stop us in our tracks or make us scale mountains. They can rip through us like the wind can tear trees apart or tear them from the very roots that hold them grounded. As we drove we saw damage and areas that were out of power. We pressed on not knowing if it was cancelled. That is the power of thought. That is hope and faith!

Yesterday was definitely a stormy day inside and out. We were safe in our home while the wind worked its vengeance. I want to feel the same way when I am tossed by my emotions and circumstances. I keep telling my kids they have choices of what they can do. For example, they can clean their room and get to have friends over or have screen time or they don't. It is their choice. Ah ha! It is my choice to keep going down this negative and destructive thinking. I have a choice. I can feel empowered or I can continue to treat myself the same way I have been my whole life. I am done feeling powerless. Stick a fork in me because I am done!

When do you feel powerless? How does it make you feel? What are you willing to do to get what you want and need? When was the last time you checked on the thoughts floating in your mind? We can be calm in our own personal storms. We can stand tall like a mountain and not be moved!

I want to end with my favorite quote for when we are facing those stormy winds of life. I am not sure who originally said this.
"Sometimes God calms the storms, sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms me"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

6 ways to detox from stress for you and your family

Ever wonder why some people are happy despite their circumstances? Some of us take to life more easily and others freak out? Bet you can't guess which one I am? ;) Yesterday was a rough day but I don't ever want to have one of those panic attacks again! I would say that is a major freak out wouldn't you? That is not how I want to feel anymore! No more stress, anxiety or depression. Can I do it? With time, yes! 5 years ago I was in a dark place. I have overcome so many obstacles already and no longer need medication for depression. This was my choice I wouldn't recommend this course of action if your doctor doesn't think it is right for you. I have developed a lot of skills and I will continue to develop them as a strive to navigate my way through this part of my life. My emotional and physical pain does not define me. It does not define you.

All these ailments on their own are manageable but all together I feel like I am walking in a mine field. Yesterday I hit a land mine and blew up. It is going to take a while to put all those pieces of me back together but I am getting stronger! It is okay if I take baby steps or crawl. I don't have to keep up. I can be an inspiration to others. I am courageous! I have been telling myself these things since yesterday and I feel them lifting me a little higher and to be a little better.

I had this visual come to me as I was sitting in the car waiting for my son at school. I saw all of all the areas in my life that I want to work on are like empty jars. I can try to add to one each day. I am making major deposits into my health jar but maybe my relationships or house need some love. Either way I am making effort in all areas. I then imagined at the end of the day I get to take all these jars and pour it into one big jar that I will call fulfillment. Pretty soon these jars are filled with all the little things that I have done through out my day. I get to recognize my efforts big or small. It is like the scripture says in Alma 36:7
" Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."

I want to make giant leaps but first of all I have small legs. I am what they call "vertically challenged" My steps are not as big as others. I always have to ask my husband to slow down. He doesn't act like it is a big imposition and we usually walk arm and arm. Every time I want to take a giant step God says "slowdown."

If I listen I won't step on the land mine and blow up. If I don't then my emotions get the best of me. I am so touched by all the messages and texts I have received from friends and family. I promise I am okay and I write the good and the bad in hopes to help someone. I have that hunger to grow and be better and with each step I am closer to getting out of this land mine.

All of us need to stop feeling guilty and compare ourselves to others. Feeling shame, stress, guilt or low self worth are all things that will trip us up and land us into a land mine. We need a detox from all this stress. It is like saying I am not going to take another step in this mine field until I am sure I can continue. It isn't safe to drive when you are tired and it isn't safe to deal with emotions when you are overly stressed. It is okay to retreat and deal with pain, loss, illness or pure exhaustion. Here is what I suggest. Take a week or how ever long you need and make these things a priority. I think it might take months but you tailor it to you.

  1. Choose from this point forward that you will try to remain positive. Don't be hard on yourself if you think negatively. Just recognize that it is lie and keep going.
  2. Spend as much time with your family unplugged. Don't think about your to do list or if you have to be somewhere just enjoy every minute. Go outside together, read books and scriptures together.
  3. Rediscover what helps you relax. I tried tai chi this morning and was surprised at how much I liked it. I am still a hug advocate of yoga though. Take time each day to distress. Pick a time and stick to it. I have been thinking about doing yoga with my kids before bed again.
  4. Reduce toxic loads. What are you and your families triggers. Is there any allergies and sensitivities. Allergies can take a long time to discover so take your time with this. Gluten, sugar and dairy are common culprits. Again take a break from all screens.  
  5. Reduce clutter- Get the whole family on board and make a plan. Reduce emotional clutter too.
  6. Hold a family meeting daily to discuss only the positives that have seen with these changes and encourage everyone to keep going. This won't work unless you get everyone on board in your household. Write fun things to do together inside and outside the home.
Dealing with stress and fixing pain can take time and is to be treated very carefully. This should be healing for you and your family. It should be tiny steps not giant leaps. Let us settle down and let God make up the where we still have to go. Be patient. Be loving. Learn what defines you and what you can begin to let go of.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

No good very bad anxiety day

Car trouble? We have all had a time when our trusty mobile breaks down and so do we because of the stress of having car issues. Our transmission went out of our van a little while ago so I am driving our very old car that is leaking power steering wheel fluid all over our drive way and anywhere else we venture. The other night my husband stuck his hand underneath the car to locate the problem and got his arm stuck! When he finally pried it loose he was covered in grease. Yuck!

I have been feeling this way myself. I am leaking energy from somewhere and I keep having a low tank. I can keep putting time into resting, eating right and I still find things that are draining my energy. This is a frustrating reality. I spent the whole morning writing down quotes to strengthen me when I start to think negatively or anxiety creeps upon me. Hope this will help some. Lately the kids have been dragging their feet to get ready for school. So my morning has not been relaxing and it takes 2 hours for me to fully get moving. I have been doing some stretches and range of motion exercise. I did not realize how week my arms and wrists were. I am really trying to be diligent about simplifying my life and then I see the messy house and I get anxious and angry. I am spewing my energy all over the place instead of conserving it!

I have accepted my illness and limitations. I have accepted that my children are strong willed.(mostly) The house I have not accepted. I don't like feeling like it will never get done. I will always be wasting my energy on cleaning the house and for what? Then I have no time for my kids, friends or hobbies. I could easily clean a whole day and not feel like I have accomplished anything. I am like my husband with the car. I am stuck!! There is just so much out of my control right now. If everyone in my home is fine with they way the house is it is only me who is getting worked up and unhappy. I have heard that there is a link to depression and clutter. I cannot speak for all depression but it is hard to stop the negative shaming and guilt trips. I find myself saying why even bother it will be messy again and I am always going to be playing catch up. Depression is a mental disorder and it is not easy to get yourself out of a funk. Often when you do you fall back into depression is because you have set too high an expectation or you failed. So now that I am getting some clarity....... Is this something to worry about? I feel that it is because of people in the past who have shunned me because my house was messy, even though I was trying. I am embarrassed to have anyone come in anymore!

So I guess I face my fears? As I was writing this a name popped into my head of who I should call. I have decided to ask for help. I am sick after all so why do I still feel guilty asking? I am losing so much energy just worrying. Worrying of what people think of me being sick or my house. Why do I do that to myself? Why do you do that to yourself?

I have now worked myself up and feel all this anxiety and it just doesn't want to go away! I was doing so good these last few days too. I have no solutions yet for this no good very bad anxiety day. Except that I will continue to look where I can take action and where I can let go?