Thanks for visiting my blog. I have a strong belief in the preservation of family. I love keeping records and memorabilia of our family and everything we do. I have created a website to share some of the wonderful memories I have of my family and of many others that I have been blessed to have been behind the camera for. I invite you to visit my photography website, while you are there if you would like to schedule a photo setting all the information is there. I am a Scrap 4 Hire, which means, I will gladly preserve your family history for you. All you have to do is make the memories.... When you are done here, please visit

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Admit that I am powerless

I know this post is similar to yesterday's post, but I still feel a sense to explore the topic of  being powerless in more detail. 

We all have weaknesses, these weaknesses lead to addictions if left unworked with. We all know what weaknesses are within ourselves. For me, I spent so many years trying to cover them up, and to compensate that my life literally became a lie. When I came into recovery I didn't know what the truth was, or even how to tell the difference between my lies and the truth. This was a very scary realization. It also made me wonder if I could be successful in recovery, sometimes I still wonder.

The lies we tell out of our own sense of realization and self-preservation become woven in the core of our DNA. In order to break these lies, up into parts that we can deal with we must first and foremost admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable as I am living it.

When I was first, looking at my life coupled with the lies that made up my reality I discovered that even though life sucked and was very dark and scary, it was familiar, it was safe, it was predictable. At this point in time, I had to make a choice. It is the same choice I have to make every day, sometimes several times a day. The choice of do I was to heal from my addictions or live in my safe predictable Hell. As I come to admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable I can choose to stay in recovery.

It takes a lot of courage and self evaluation to honestly come to the moment of realization that I am powerless. It takes even more courage to come to the place where you are willing to give up the safety, familiarity, and predictability of the Hell of your life.

For me, recovery is only possible in the moments that I am honest, and admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable.

Life has offered me many opportunities this past couple weeks to turn my will over to God. Honestly, most days I haven't done very well. I have stepped back in and taken over, and thought I have had the power to control my situations. Through, these experiences I have come to realize that I am powerless to control my life, the life of my family, and that I need to work on building more faith in my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that I can trust that I can come through these struggles with peace in and through them.

In the quiet moments through my days, it is so hard not to want for things to be different. It is almost impossible not to utter a silent prayer to God, to take my struggles away. I have even gone as far to “justify” God taking my struggles away, to make things easier for my family.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Falling off the wagon

Alright, so I know that I haven't written on my blog this week. I wish I could say that the week just got away from me, but that wouldn't be taking my personal responsibility would it...The truth is, I allowed many of my old patterns of behavior to surface and act out. This has been a great learning experience, and I would like to share with you some things that I have learned.

How does family play a role in recovery? How does having a belief in God play a role in recovery? For me it is still really easy to step back in the role of “running my life.” By running my life, I also mean running everyone else's too.

I have recognized that I still think I know what is best for someone else's life, especially people that are in recovery for themselves. It seems like I can see where they can work on their recovery, and I step into my self-righteous box, and just sit back and bark orders. “Work your program....” Where does that leave me? I will tell you right where that leaves me...Right in the middle of NOT working my program.

So I admit that not only have I not posted on my blog this week, I haven't been working my program either. What have I been doing? I have been a busy bee, buzzing around everyone and trying to make things go right? Wrong. I have been a busy bee, buzzing around everyone, but I've had an agenda. I want to make everyone's experience be perfect, sweet, and in harmony. Guess, what as I sit here I realize that no matter what that was an impossible out come.

There was a problem with two of the people involved. Of course, I tried to “mediate” the situation. I wanted to pull them together, and work through this, and bring peace and love to the family. Nothing I seemed to do, calmed anyone down. In fact, I wonder if it just made people angry at me, and wonder if I was taking sides...After I went to bed, I learned they went for a car ride and talked things through.

They didn't need my help, at all. They needed me to back off and allow them their free agency to work through their feelings and come together and talk it through with each other. I have spent this whole week wasting my time, on something that in the end I couldn't control.

What a wonderful experience this was. I guess you could say that I “fell off the wagon” or that I relapsed this week. I would say, that although that might be true, I really learned that the past is the past, and that I am powerless to control my situation, and even more powerless to control others. I would say that I won, I learned a great lesson this week.

Am I alone in this experience or have you had a similar experience in your recovery?  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What If

The following quotes came to me today, through an ARP newsletter I belong to. What perfect timing! As you have been reading my life is currently in a test mode to see how I can work my program, and turn to the Lord.

My life has been filled with What if...If only...Please God change this...As I sit here this morning, in a situation that I would much rather were very different for both myself and my family. I am so tempted to wish for things to be different. To ask God if there were another way. I can spill out a mile long list of justifications of why He should change things.

The words for this blog post roll through my mind, as I was starting the fire. My heart was impressed by the fact that these desires in my heart are selfish!!! How humbling a realization like this is. 

Somewhere in my interview in heaven I was asked to take on this situation, and to make the necessary sacrifices that are sure to come for myself and my family. I agreed to this, and so did my family. With the use of my free agency, I agreed to take this journey. To be a light of Christ, to the heart and souls of those who are coming that are in His need. I agreed that for Him I would love, care, and sacrifice all that I have and all that I might be given to invite these children that are coming into our home, and to do all things which point to Him our Lord and Master.

As you read this quote, I urge you to ponder your selfishness, and your love for Christ, and your willingness to turn your life over to him...

What if’s
I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlys for which there likely will be given no answers in mortality. To receive the Lord’s comfort, we must exercise faith. The questions Why me? Why our family? Why now? are usually unanswerable questions. These questions detract from our spirituality and can destroy our faith. We need to spend our time and energy building our faith by turning to the Lord and asking for strength to overcome the pains and trials of this world and to endure to the end for greater understanding.
Robert D. Hales, “Healing Soul and Body,” Ensign, Nov 1998, 14

“Promptings often come in short, crisp phrases, impressing upon us a certain duty. They come in other ways to each of us. We know what's happening to us, but we don't know all the implications of it. But God knows. It's a sacred process.
“Called to Serve”, Neal A. Maxwell, Brigham Young University on 27 March 1994

The Blessings of Peace

What happens the moment the realization comes that we are at peace? Since I have been working the ARP 12 step program, progressively more and more the realization of peace comes. At first when I had these realizations of peace I felt, almost as if my life was missing a fundamental key element. I began searching for this missing element. My going through this process of realizing that something was missing and searching to find it, was usually my first realization. I would slowly realize that the weakness or negative emotion that normally accompanied me in these moments was replaced by a peace, a peace that can only be obtained through coming unto Christ.

Jim is going to California, by way of Phoenix Arizona. He is planning on a 35 hour drive. Normally, I would be a wreck, coming up with all the what ifs...and negative scenarios that I could come up with. With the help of Satan I have come up with some pretty wild tales. As I was sitting here waiting for my class to start I recognized I wasn't putting myself or Jim through the torment that in the past has always accompanied his trips.

As I began to write this entry I realized that I had an invitation to recognize I was at peace with this early this morning. I remember pushing this sense of peace a side, ignoring the blessings I could have enjoyed all day for a sense of nothingness. I have to admit the nothingness was better than the fears, but not as sweet as the peace that comes through coming to Christ.

In the silence of this moment, my heart is filled with gratitude for this gift and the blessings that come in peace.

January 25th, Jim has just pulled out for his trip to California. I feel a sense of loneliness, and sadness, all selfish feelings. Love sometimes brings with it undesired feelings, but instead of feeling like I need to battle these feelings off, I feel grateful for the love from and toward the greatest husband I could be blessed with.

When you receive the blessing of peace in your life, what do you do to recognize this peace and acknowledge this peace in your own heart, and towards Christ?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Power to Overcome

As I have come through the past couple days, and evaluating this situation, I have come to realize that there is a strong possibly that Satan really has a strong presence in my life, and that he doesn't want the healing that recovery brings. With that I have even suggested that Satan reads my blog and turns around and holds it against me.

Recovery, and turning my life over to the higher power of God has so many wonderful benefits, but it also has it's great opposition. I caution you along with myself, to be vigilant in being aware of Satan's influence, and remember that through the power of God we can heal from the addictions we have been blessed with to overcome. 


May Angels Walk With You

Friday, January 21, 2011

Addiction Triggers

Last night I had a great experience. I had to attend a class that I didn't want to, every time I have to go I get a lot of anxiety. I had about an hour and a half before the class started. I felt that I needed cherry sours. If you don't know they are candy, I buy them at Cal Ranch. I ran to Wal-Mart to get some things I needed. When I was finished it was only half hour before I needed to be at class. Realisticly there wasn't time to go to Cal Ranch and still get to class on time. I immediately started to justify. Since I don't like being in this class, it won't matter if I'm late. I'm not learning or getting anything out of this class...On and on. As I walked out of Wal-Mart I realized that it made more sense to take the freeway to class, I could get there on time with a minimum traffic. As I quickly thought about it. (I'm always amazed at how fast thoughts can run through my mind) Anyway, I realized that my anxiety toward this class was what was driving me to the cherry sours. I like them, I do, but this moment I felt like I needed them. I didn't really even want them.

This was the first time, I recognized this situation in this light. I eat because of anxiety, and I justify doing it. As I made this realization I was able to step back and recognize that although, I am powerless to over come these triggers on my own I have a wonderful Heavenly Father that loves me, and is supporting me through giving me the gift of this realization that through Him, I can over come my weaknesses.

It doesn't matter what addiction you are recovering from, I challenge you to look for your triggers, and evaluate how they effect your life...I'd love to hear from you, and share with me what works for you when these triggers show up in your life.

May Angels Walk With You

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fear of the Unknown

The other day I read this amazing little story written by Rozanne Paxman. As we are in step 1 the fear of the unknown sometimes can be overwhelming. When I read this it helped bring perspective to some of the ways I feel. I hope that you can find light and truth in it when you read it. 

Fear of the Unknown
by Rozanne Paxman

Fear of the Unknown is a terrible fellow. He stands in hip boots and shakes fists in the air. He pulls frightening faces. He points, and he paces. He laughs when he scares you. He just doesn't care.
Fear of the Unknown is a terrible, wild man. He'll rip up your sofa and steal all your bread. He'll total your car and embezzle your money. He'll fire you, disown you, and leave you for dead.
Fear of the Unknown is a powerful fellow 'cause that's what he's told you and that's what you think. But the truth of the truth (and it's time that you knew it) is that Fear of the Unknown's a weak, sniveling stink.
He is vanquished forever when questions are answered – the ill-mannered questions that torment at night - the questions that stand in the back of your closet that jump out and get you and give you a fright.
"What if you fail here?" He whispers and teases. "What if they fire you and send you away? You'll starve, don't you know? You can't handle disasters. You're weak. You're a coward. You're foolish and lame."
"What if you're sick?" He mentions while moaning. "What if you're so sick that you pass away? You'll leave them behind without any money. They'll suffer and hate you when you're in your grave."
Fear of the Unknown is a persistent fellow. He sits in the parlor and rides in your truck. He follows you closely and sticks to your clothing. He walks in your shadow and laughs when you're stuck.
Fear of the Unknown is a sham of a fellow. His questions of terror you do need to hear. So listen and grab them and hold them and squeeze them. Write them and read them. Get rid of the fear.
Prepare for the worst things, the worst that he tells you. Decide what you'd do if your nightmares come true. Consider each one, from beginning to finish. How would you manage? What would you do?
And then he will leave you, old Fear of the Unknown. He'll leave you alone. He will go far away. Preparing and planning when you hear his questions are certain to scare him. He'll go without pay.
'Cause Fear of the Unknown loves shadows and darkness. Fear of the Unknown loves terror at night. He doesn't like bravery or courage or action. He doesn't like people who put up a fight.

May Angels Walk With You

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Does God See Me?

What does it feel like when the realization hits that: “I, of myself, am powerless to overcome my addictions and that my life has become unmanageable?” At that moment I felt only dispare. I felt a great unworthiness. I believed that it didn't matter I wasn't worthy for the Lord to heal me, and I was ashamed at the idea that if I turned my life over to the Lord he would refuse me, because I'm such a failure.

I found myself praying to be able to see how the Lord sees me. Somehow, show me, I'm worth something...My to my surprise the Lord was actually listening to my prayer, and He was willing to help and show me just how he saw me. During my prayer, the doorbell rang. Should I ignore it? I felt an urge to get up from my prayer and answer the door. There stood a little old man, that lives in our neighborhood. He walks around his block several times a day. He always reaches out to me at church, but has never stopped at my house before. He lovingly looked at me and said, “I wanted to tell you that your yard decorations are nice.” I thanked him, and he slowly left. I stood there looking at the cheep, blowup fall decorations that sat in my yard. Nothing special, just something I do. The point is it touched his life. The bigger point is he had a sense to walk across the street, and knock on my door and tell me. That experience was the beginning of the answer to my prayer. I returned to my prayer, this time with gratitude for the angel that God sent to me as an answer to how does God see me.

It was in this moment that I began to realize that I didn't have anything to loose if I could only turn my life over to our Lord. My journey has officially begun in this moment. Over the course of the next several days, I was gifted with several experiences that brought me, to begin to think maybe I am worthy of this journey, maybe I am loveable, maybe... for now it was at least enough for me to continue in attempting to take step 1.

May Angels Walk With You

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Step 6 When we become impatient or discouraged

Today, I was considering one of the questions in step 6 about having a change of heart. I know that when I work the steps and answer the questions, I find myself less and less in victim mode and my answers become more and more positive. I want to thank my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for the healing that They have brought into my life.

Sometimes we become impatient or discouraged that recovery is an ongoing process. These verses show the Savior's and our Heavenly Father's patience with us as “little children.” Apply these verses to yourself by writing them out addressed to you personally.

D&C 50 40-42
40Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
 41Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;
 42And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.

This is a really inspiring scripture to me because like right now I feel really strong in my recovery and in my process to build my relationship with Christ and Heavenly Father. At any given moment some crazy life event like the kids will start fighting, the bills will need to be paid, dinner will need to be made, the truck will need gas and an oil change, animals need feed, laundry will need to be washed and folded, oh yeah, I was just reminded that my little gal needs to have homemade treats for young women's tonight.

I always start to feel overwhelmed and wonder how everything will get done. I start feeling anxiety, and I want everything to be perfect, and of course instantaneous, and I take on the pressure of the world upon myself. No way will I ask for help, or accept it if it is offered. Guess what, I will get short tempered and resentful that no one is helping...Sounds crazy doesn't it?

How does my expectations of my “little children” related to the expectations that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for me? If I consider my parental views of my children what would I say?

Most of the time, I am understanding, and compassionate with my children when they make mistakes. I talk to them, about how I see things and how I think things should go. I want my children to talk to me, and express their feelings, fears, and their celebrations. I delight when they recognize and say thank you for the simple things in life. Out of my six children, they haven't done anything that lessons my love for them. In fact, our oldest son has made some pretty poor choices. I have always had faith in him, that his true self will come through. Guess what, it's coming through...I'm so proud of him. He is growing into the man I always knew was there. I can tell similar stories for the other five as well.

I'd like to believe that our Father in Heaven feels similar to these feelings that I have toward my children but toward me. He isn't expecting me to act or be an adult with the limited knowledge of truth that I have as a child. I must grow in His grace, just like the children in my stewardship.

Next time I feel impatient or discouraged, I'm going to remember this lesson. I think there is huge value to learn as a Child of God in learning more about how he sees me and what he expects from me.

Journal Action: Journal this scripture with your name put into the scripture just like the question suggested. I urge you not to just settle for putting your name into the scripture but through prayer and pondering contemplate the vast beauty these verses have to offer you.

Again, I'd love to hear anything about how you have experiences on your road to recovery.

May Angels Walk With You, 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Patterns of Self-Deception

It is infinitely joyous (as well as completely safe) to rid ourselves of self-deception and see others and ourselves as we really are. (Bonds that Make Us Free, pg 76) We justify our self-deception or in other words styles of self-deception in several ways, the following examples are also from Bonds that Make Us Free, pg 111.

Conscientiousness, a good thing in a person whose heart is right, when counterfeited, is what is called self-righteousness. Another version is perfectionism.

Forthrightness when counterfeited is tactlessness or insensitivity.

Humility counterfeited is self-disparagement.

Standing up for one's rights, again a good thing if done with a considerate heart and for the right reason, becomes when counterfeited contentiousness.

Consideration is the cloying behavior of the “pleaser”

In my life, I can totally relate to ALL these counterfeit behaviors. My co-dependency is littered with these self-deception styles. My whole life began with thinking errors, which naturally turned into distorted thinking patterns, of course next came irrational beliefs, finally I ended up with co-dependent me with addictive qualities. Since I began my recovery I've questioned whether someone, or something has caused me to be this way. There are times when, I so desperately want to blame someone.

The truth is that I can't judge the past on my present knowledge. I can't look back and blame, I am responsibly for where I am in life. Something I find rather amusing is I thought that through my awakening of recovery I gained a “knowledge” of my addiction. Yesterday, surprise I was again awakened to something very painful to my heart, that just might be the core of my addiction.

The words of being intellectually and spiritually feed came floating through the air, and straight to my heart. What does these words mean? How does being intellectually and spiritually feed relate to being physically feed? I have always thought that eating was a bad thing!!! I have secretly binged on “junk” food for years. My metabolism has always helped me hide my binge eating until this last year, when everything has spun out of control. I have hid how poorly I performed educationally, and spiritually as well. For me all three are exactly the same.

The lies have to stop!!! The perfectionism, the cloning acts of being the “pleaser”, the consideration, it was all a lie to cover up what I didn't want anyone else to see about me. I didn't want people to see that I am not perfect, and that I have developed a hatred for myself, and if you knew me you'd hate me too.

Through recovery I have since learned this isn't true. Through the gifts of prayer, and faith our Heavenly Father is teaching me that I am worthy or His love. I know you are too. I'm so thankful that recovery is a slow process and a life long journey. I love the journey I'm on, and I'm so thankful that I can share that with you.

Journal Action: I have spent many hours journaling, to find some missing piece in my soul. It is marvelous when I sit in silence and peace, with prayer in my heart what miracles happen. I would suggest that you take a similar step in your recovery.

May Angels Walk With You

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ether 12:27

Ether 12:27And if men come unto me I will show unto them theiraweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Do We Do The Things We Do?

I was offered this horrible realization about the time I got to step 6, that I have multiple addictions, or is it my addiction shows up in multiple places in my life...Not sure which one it is. I honestly believe that I am addicted to self-hatred. The  self-hatred shows up in my co-dependent behaviors and life patterns, it shows up as an eating disorder.  Along with the self-hatred is one of it's closest friends to me, self-defeating attributes. Talk about self-defeating attributes, it's everywhere literally everywhere in my life. After the realization this week I can't find a single place where I don't envelop all the self-hatred or self-defeating attributes I portray. 

It all comes back to beg the question, why? What triggers these behaviors, thought patterns, and beliefs? How does FEAR contribute to my behavior? What would my life be like if I didn't have this self-hatred, and self-defeating behaviors?

My first thoughts are to blame my childhood, my parents, and to claim I was simply programmed this way growing up. I've blamed my childhood, and my parents my whole life. I could go on right now and list everything that was wrong with my life, but I'm not going too. (You will thank me later).

After I made my list of everything I could blame, I came to the realization that these things are just my perception and in fact that perception is a lie in a sense. How does our perception of our childhood create FEAR in our adult lives? In my case I know my perception is wrong, but I don't know in what ways? Is it a good idea to go to my parents and ask them what my childhood was like, and how they parented? In my case, probably not a good idea, because their perceptions are theirs, and they won't have the ability to set my perceptions straight.

Let's pause and consider that my childhood was what it was, and I will not know (at least in this life) what that really was. Let's consider that somehow it was for my better good, and I can now choose to learn from my childhood and from my parents.

With that being said, how can I use this empowering and awakening to this knowledge to overcome my self-hatred and self-defeating behavior?

Here's a quote that really invites me to consider perceptions as the lies they are. ‎"All my life I have been lying. Even when I told the truth. For I never told the truth for its own sake, but only for my sake." (from Dostoyevsky's 'The Devils')

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blog objectives

First and far-most are the 12 steps. I personally follow the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Addiction Recovery Program. (ARP)

Second, I want everyone to discuss personal experiences related to your personal recovery.

Third, Knowing there is always hope, I want to explore things that bring hope to my life, and things that bring hope to your life.
Things like favorite quotes, ideas for alternative healing, and spiritual healing. This blog will also be dedicated to fun.

I invite you to share the things in your life that has helped you in your journey to recovery.