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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Disciple’s Journey

This is just to good not to repost....

A Disciple’s Journey
BYU Devotional Address, 5 February 2008

Describing a disciple’s journey from darkness into light, the Lord told the early Saints: “And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you.”35 Having an eye single to God is then just one condition we must meet before the Atonement can bless us with the attributes of divinity. As Moroni said, “Touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing . . . and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; . . .then are ye sanctified.”36

I heard President Hinckley once say that prosperity leads to indulgence, and indulgence leads to sin. Indulgence means gratifying our vain desires in the proud belief that we deserve to have it all, so we keep one hand on the wall of the temple and one foot on the dance floor at Club Babylon.

Many people feel they have a right to indulge themselves: eating too much, spending too much, and reveling in creature comforts. But, as one friend said, if you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you won’t learn. And if you don’t learn, you won’t grow. And without growth, you won’t find joy.

Today’s flood of pornography (addictions) usually results from overindulgence. But note this irony. Alma told his son, “Bridle all your passions.” Why? So “that ye may be filled with love.”37 Pornography and addictions can destroy marriages, shattering the true romantic dream of eternal love.

Imagine that! Fake love can destroy real love. What a cheap and dirty trick! And worse, yielding to porn and addictions is a classic example of touching the unclean thing, of refusing to deny oneself of ungodliness. This double-mindedness has consequences: We cannot then be perfected in Christ—not because He lacks the power but because we just lack the discipline. Thank heaven repentance can restore discipline.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What is the Purpose of Life?

Rick Warren ,  'Purpose Driven Life '

"People ask me, What is the purpose of life?  And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.  I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.  We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.  Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.  We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness. This past year has been the greatest year of my life; but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.  
I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.  Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.  No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.  And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.  You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:  If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.  We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.  You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. 

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes for my life?  When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know you more and love you better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings." 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Become Clean

I read this early this morning and loved it. I don't know the author, but it is simple and says it with power... Because of Jesus Christ, "there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness." You can change and become clean:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


My soul searches for feelings, familiar feelings. Within the absence of fear and anxiety, there is a new fear, a searching fear wondering where did the old familiar fear go? There is safety in that ugly fear.
Off in the distance, there is a peace. The kind of peace that sits softly in the shadows waiting for the clouds of doubt to disburse. A vague sense of familiarity hangs over this new found peace, definitely not familiar enough to let in, not just yet.
An uneasy conflict creeps out of the darkness, and raises its sword. A hush rolls over the ground; victory starts to swell in the heart of the fear as it knows it will conquer again. Foot soldiers come into view, doubt, questioning, reasoning, and overthinking stand waiting weapons drawn, searching for a crack in my armor.  
Knowing all has been done, powerless, standing faithfully waiting command as peace softly and slowly wraps its self protectively around my soul.
The conflict still rages, the soldiers still searching for a way in. Prayers go up, that I might be justified, and sanctified.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Are You Codependent?

In reaction to negative  circumstances, we have learned to endure life rather than to live it. We have developed personality characteristics which act as coping mechanisms. These mechanisms, while at one time protective, prove to be detrimental to forming healthy relationships. Some of these characteristics are:
  1. We assume responsibility for other’s feelings and/or choices.
  2. We have difficulty identifying our own feelings: happiness, pain, anger, joy, sadness, loneliness, etc.
  3. We have difficulty expressing our feelings in healthy ways.
  4. We tend to fear that our feelings or needs will be belittled or rejected by others.
  5. We tend to minimize, alter or even deny the truth about our feeling or needs.
  6. We tend to put other’s feelings and needs ahead of our own, not allowing there to be a healthy balance with our feelings and needs.
  7. Our fear of other’s feelings (especially anger) determines what we say and do.
  8. Our serenity and attention is determined by how others are feeling or by what they’re doing.
  9. We do not realize that feelings are not good or bad, that they just are.
  10. We question or ignore our own conscience, our own values, in order to connect with significant others—trusting and obeying their feelings or opinions more than our own.
  11. Other people’s actions or desires tend to determine how we respond or react.
  12. Our sense of self-worth is based on other/outer influences instead of on our personal witness of God’s love and esteem for us.
  13. We have difficulty making decisions and are frightened of being wrong or making a mistake.
  14. We are perfectionistic and place too many expectations on ourselves and others.
  15. We are not comfortable acknowledging good things about ourselves and tend to judge everything we do, think, or say as not being good enough.
  16. We do not know that it is okay to be vulnerable and find it difficult, almost impossible, to ask for help.
  17. We do not see that it is okay to talk about problems outside the family, thus we leave ourselves and our families stranded in the troubles they are experiencing.
  18. We are steadfastly loyal—even when that loyalty is unjustified and often personally harmful to us.
  19. We have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others.
Overcoming codependency follows the same path as overcoming any other addiction or life trauma—developing a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.
Excerpted from the pamphlet, “Speaking Heart t’ Heart on Codependency.” Used with permission from Heart t’ Heart.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Prayer and Guidance

In ARP we are often reminded that what we pray for may not be what is best for us.  We are able to see only a little way, and our vision is clouded by our present situation and daily happenings and distractions.

If the problems I have to face seem beyond my endurance,  I will not explain them to God; He already knows.  I will not tell Him what I expect Him to do about my difficulties; He knows what is best for me.

When I am faced with something which it is beyond my power to perform, to decide, or to cope with, I will not struggle with it by myself.  I will ask Him to show me what steps to take.  This is prayer; not to ASK FOR anything but GUIDANCE.

“All true prayer somehow confesses our absolute dependence on God. It is a vital contact with Him.  It is when we pray truly that we really are.  From our prayers we receive light to apply…to our own problems and difficulties.”  (Thomas Merton: No Man is an island)

“God dwells wherever man lets Him in.”  (Martin Buber)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Let Go...

LET GO. . .

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.
To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.
To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.
To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies
To “let go” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.
To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept and move forward.
To “let go” is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and to cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To “let go” is to not regret the past, but to grow and to live for the future.
To “let go” is to fear less and to love more and Trust God more.
(Author Unknown)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Natural Man

I have eaten some Bit O Honey Candies… Maybe a whole bunch of them. Yep, I wrote them in my food journal. It isn’t a matter that I ate them it is more a matter that I recognize that empty feelings that I felt that was the driving factor to eat them. I’m not sure how to describe empty.
I guess it’s the feeling I feel right before either one of two things happens…The first thing is easy to figure out, it is when I give into the urge to do whatever my addiction is. The other one is a bit more complicated it is being humble enough to admit I’m powerless over the addiction and allow Jesus Christ to carry me though the emptiness.
The stronger my desire to have faith in Jesus Christ is, the stronger my faith becomes. My faith doesn’t become stronger in just having desire; Christ grants me opportunities to travel through periods of emptiness on my journey so that I can learn that I am powerless. Who would have ever imagined that (at least for me) Bit O Honey candy could point towards Christ?
The natural man or the natural woman will not go away quietly or easily. Hence, the most grinding form of calisthenics we will ever know involves the individual isometrics required to put off the natural man. Time and again the new self is pitted against the stubborn old self. Sometimes, at least it's so with me, just when at last we think the job is done, and then the old self reminds us that he or she has not fully departed yet.
A vital, personal question for each of us, therefore, is, "Are we steadily becoming what gospel doctrines are designed to help us become?"
"Called to Serve" NEAL A. MAXWELL Brigham Young University on 27 March 1994

Monday, August 13, 2012

Very Much Alive

In the action steps of step 1 it says, “…when the pain of the problem becomes worse than the pain of the solution.”  How can I describe the pain of an eating addiction? What are some of my pains of my addiction? I have gained upwards of 50 lbs, I have sever migraines, I have sever fatigue, and I have physical pain throughout my whole body.

All these things take away my ability to spend time with my family, when I do spent time with my family it is challenging to be able to enjoy it. I am finally to a point where the pain of these problems is worse than the pains in the solution.

What are the pains of the solution? I don’t know, and I really don’t care. I am powerless in the pains of my problems and life has become unmanageable. After coming through the addiction recovery program now several times before I am far more willing to turn my will over to the care of my Savior.

It has been eight days since I have eaten any candy. I haven’t been tempted to buy any when I’ve been in the store. I’ve seen it at the checkout, and recognized that I was facing an old pattern; it just didn’t seem to matter. Today, being the eighth day, the desert, Britney, planned for dinner was ice cream. I had a small dish. I savored every bite. When I was finished, I recognized I had enjoyed it very much and I was certainly satisfied. I don’t feel guilty, I actually feel very much alive.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Need For Isolation

What about the dreaded need to admit that I am addicted to the way the poor food choices make me feel? I eat in isolation so that I can be deeper in my isolation. I eat sugar, no not tablespoons of sugar from the sugar jar, but candy, and lots of it! It no longer matters if I secretly or openly buy and eat large amounts of candy. 

Let me share with you, what constitutes “a lot” in my life. $5.00-$10.00 a day! In money terms, maybe upwards of $300.00 a month doesn’t sound like it would affect a family budget. In what amounts does it mean? Five or more jumbo candy packages, chips, and bakery items daily. An example is; I will buy packages of pastries from the bakery then drive around town and eat the whole package before I go home. Often the local grocer will have a sale on jumbo candy boxes. Of course, I will buy what is on sale, and have it eaten in a day or two. I’m glad the sale last all week. What triggers my eating of all this candy?

How come I classify the amount of sugar I eat a day an addiction? Wikipedia defines; Addiction as, addiction is the continued use of a mood altering substance. Sugar alters my moods in several ways. 

The first way I’m going to talk about is the most significant way to me. I am afraid that if I don’t eat sugar, I will get a headache. You likely sigh, with reading the word headache. Since I’m so prone to headaches and migraines, I fight the myth of them with eating sugar as a preventative measure. Anyone who knows anything about nutrition, health, or simple headaches knows the fallacy of my way of being in this thinking. Sugar is one of the main causes of headaches in women!

Simply what makes my eating such large amounts of sugars each day an addiction to me is the lie I tell myself and others for doing it!!!! I really want you to understand what I am saying here so I’m going to copy/past and repeat what I said, Simply what makes my eating such large amounts of sugars each day an addiction to me is the lie I tell myself and others for doing it!!!!

First, I’ve described that my eating sugar alters my mood, by causing me to lie to myself and to others.

Now, I want to describe how my eating sugar alters my mood by causing a calming and comforting feeling to come over me. One place I eat sugar is in the late evening, lying in bed watching T.V. Funny, thing is that one of my most watched T.V. programs is NBC’s Biggest Loser. How could a sane person watch Biggest Loser, and maintain any level of personal comfort about their lives unless they are feeding their face with junk? I eat sugar, to hide from emotions like guilt. I feel guilty that I didn’t keep up with the completely unrealistic expectations I have for my life and the lives of my family.

What am I learning from this inventory on this path?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What is FAT?

I have battled the emotions of "sugar" addiction like they are the flaxen cords of Satan's web. I have an endless list of excuses, making it alright to eat. I’ve said, “Oh, just one won’t hurt.” “No one will know.” “It’s not that bad.” “I have to eat this. I don’t want to hurt the hostess’s feelings.” “I haven’t gained any real noticeable weight.” “I have what I’m eating and my weight under control.” “Eating this doesn't hurt anyone, but me.”

Like many people, I eat when I’m sad, when I’m happy, or to celebrate with family and friends. I’ve eaten to cover up feelings. Moreover, I’ve NOT eaten to hide from feelings.

Now, I have to lose 50 pounds! I defiantly desire to lose 50 pounds. I guess the bigger question is what is within the 50 pounds that is really important I lose? One of the answers is pretty obvious, FAT being the most obvious. What are some of the things within the 50 pounds that are less obvious and possibly more important?

Pride comes first to my mind. Pride that I somehow think myself not good enough, to take even reasonable care of myself especially in respect to how I perceive myself caring for others. This is certainly a way of digging myself deeper into isolation. I can think of several people I’ve avoided seeing over the past few months.

Fear also comes to my mind. Fear that I am not worth loving, so it is possible to drive off those suborn people that haven’t left me yet. Fear that I can’t lose the weight. I’ve never been faced with losing 50 pounds, and to me it seems like a huge feat; especially, considering that within the past two years I’ve tried losing less weight and it continued to cling to me, and to multiply in a freakish fast and harsh way. What if the weight has a fear of letting go of me? Is that possible?

Forgiveness comes to my mind, in an overwhelming way. How can forgiveness have anything to do with the sugar I eat? In my heart, as the tears swell in my eyes forgiveness is what the pride and the fear are trying to hide and isolate me from. Forgiveness is what will release and free me from not just the 50 pounds, but from the much heavier emotions that the fat is covering up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Guided to Paths of Opportunity

It was only 10 years ago, when I began to realize that my “story” was starting to crash in on me. I am so thankful for the angels in my life, which walked with me and helped me gain a glimpse of my current reality and the possibility of a new life, a new heart. I am even more thankful for the times in which I was left in the darkness of my own hell where I couldn’t perceive angels or God with me.  
It was in these times that I recognized my need for change. I only knew the life I was living. I was blinded to the fact I was hurting myself, and others around me. I didn’t know love. I didn’t know the hell I was in. I was numb, I was asleep, I probably still am.

Through this healing journey, I have been guided to paths where I have to face demons. None of these demons, could I conquer on my own.  Nevertheless, I am guided to face them only when I have been sufficiently prepared to battle them; and allow Heavenly Father to defeat them. I feel drawn to a path, which I have avoided for some time. I have used several excuses which you will read tomorrow to avoid taking this path. The next two entries are the beginning of a battle that I know I cannot conquer on my own, I am powerless to overcome. I know I will need huge amounts of love from Christ to even sustain me, through facing my demon.

For anyone reading my blog, you will know that I look at my co-dependency as a form of addiction. I take a look at addiction in a way that works for me personally. My addiction is like the dreaded “pyramid scheme.” We’ve all been approached by someone selling the idea of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they say, “we’ll all be rich….” They recruit us, and then sit at the top of the pyramid and reap the benefits of our hard work. For me, co-dependency sits at the top of the pyramid and reaps the good fortune of all the sub-addictions working hard below it. One of my sub-addiction is “sugar,” it enslaves me, and thus it feeds great benefits to the co-dependency addiction at the top of the pyramid. Actually, this is the only pyramid scheme that I’ve ever seen work, and reap great benefits. The problem is although co-dependency is reaping a great benefit, I reap more pain and become enslaved deeper in the cycle of addiction.

As I stand here staring into the eyes of the “sugar” beast that has haunted me emotionally, long before the physical evidence was apparent. I don’t even know what the Lord is asking me to do. I don’t know if I’m standing here paralyzed in fear, or if I’m supposed to silently stand here to take in the fierceness of the beast.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Deep Appreciation

President Spencer W. Kimbell, the twelfth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said, “We know that women who have a deep appreciation for the past will be concerned about shaping a righteous future.” This understanding can help us find inspiration from the past and feel peace as we face the future.

As I consider the implications of this concept, it occurs to me that if I am willing to forgive myself for my past actions, past emotions, and past perceptions that it would be easier to face the future with peace. In fact, these statements allow me a whole new perception of my past. I now can consider my past as an experience, and a learning example that offers me two ways of shaping my future.
I can either choose to shape my future in a manner where I recognize the darkness and the light that is in my past, and use those experiences as a way to point me towards Christ, or I can choose to shape my future in a manner where I recognize the darkness alone and shape my future as a victim and simply conform to a future of victimhood, and allow the darkness to direct who I become.

We all have this choice, we all have this freedom, and we all have the blessing of consequence to spark our free agency to shape a path that we can journey home towards our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 6, 2012


“Alma’s son Corianton thought it unfair that penalties must follow sin, that there need be punishment. In a profound lesson, Alma taught the plan of redemption to his son and so to us. Alma spoke of the Atonement and said, “Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment” (Alma 42:16).
If punishment is the price repentance asks, it comes at bargain price. Consequences, even painful ones, protect us. So simple a thing as a child’s cry of pain when his finger touches fire can teach us that. Except for the pain, the child might be consumed. “ Boyd K. Packer, “Who Is Jesus Christ?,” Ensign, Mar 2008, 12–19

The pains and learning from consequences will, if I choose to benefit from them, turn me from repeating the bad behavior.  (See Alma the younger in Alma 36.) The “allowance” that God makes for me is allowing me to experience the consequence, and then He with all the compassion that He is capable of, allows the consequences to run their course and while they do, as I repent, He gives me the Holy Ghost to help me endure them. Yes He takes us upon His shoulders, but He lets the consequences of sin work its blessing.

It is exactly as Joseph Smith says in the last paragraph; we cannot tell others what they should do. We must wait with all long-suffering (sometimes because we are asked by God to be a catalyst in that suffering), till God shall bring such characters to justice.  There should be no license for sin. We are not to give any, in our homes or in our community, nor in any portions of government.  Love is given, but trust is earned and when it is earned, and God deems it earned (and He tells me it is earned), I must extend the same mercy he extends. But I cannot, must not interfere with His plan for any of His children. My role is to obtain His perspective, and play the role that He wants me to play even if it painfully means letting go of the person(s) that are or are not working out their salvation.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Going To War

I’ve been thinking about how many times a day, I go to war. My children act up and I fly off the handle and yell. Traffic on the way to the store, and someone cuts me off, I continue on my way.  At the store my debt card is declined, completely embarrassed I smile and hand the cashier my credit card.
These are all times when I go to war. Most of the time during the day I may appear as a kind, sympathetic, and compassionate; appearances are deceiving.  Inside, I am raging against all the injustices during the day. At the end of the day feeling stressed, I climb into bed. I just need some down time, sometime to just unwind from the hectic and stressful day, my husband sensing my discomfort reaches his arm around me and kissing me on the shoulder. Before I could even consider a reaction, I bit…”Not tonight!” Wounded and confused he rolles over.
It doesn't matter what our outside actions are. I think it is far more damaging when we go to war in our heart.
When is it right to go to war? Aren’t there times, when we are entitled to go to war? What about when family or civil liberties are threatened? There are probably times in life that we are going to need to take an aggressive action in order to preserve our liberties. Buck Brunnaman said, “As soft as possible, as firm as necessary.” When we have to be firm on our children for example, we can do it in the spur of the moment and act out in an act of war, or we can take a loving approach and still go firm but in a way that expresses our love and still allows room for the blessings of consequences. This principle stands true in all facets of our live.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Can You See Them?

I’m involved in several forums and blogs. I’ve recently noticed that everyone has something to say, whether they say it or not is an entirely different story. Is what we have to say raging or stirring something more powerful within? I ask this because of some of the agendas that are so predominate in our media today; for example gay rights or the recent legal issues regarding polygamy or polyamory .
What rights are we entitled to? As we walk into our local “big box” store, the signage designed to assist us in finding what we are looking for are often in both English and Spanish. Further, as we walk to our local town square often we can find a group of people either demonstrating or protesting something they believe to be an injustice against them. Of course, on the opposite side of the town square is a group protesting against the group on the other side. Who is right? Whose protest should be honored?
Do you stand in one of these groups, or do you stand in a group of your own silence? The question that begs an answer isn’t who is right, but more over what anger is raging? Mother Teresa said, “Never invite me to a war protest, but always invite me to a peace rally.”

What is the difference between a war protest and a peace rally? My simple answer is where your heart is. If your heart is at peace and love it can be inviting between the two differing parties.  Again Mother Teresa said, “If you want a love message to be heard, love has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”

As our society rages with agendas, and feelings of being entitled because they are different we need to invite them into our love. Each one of them is Jesus in disguise. There are agendas raging in society that are against the will of God, but if I may be so bold; it would be even more against God if we rage against them as a person. We need to love openly and honestly. It doesn’t mean that we must agree with beliefs that are against the laws of God, but we shouldn't rage a war against them either.

If you find yourself at an anti-war rally, consider your heart. Can we as a society, one by one pull together in this perilise time and find love for each and everyone around us?

Consider that person that is raging in their agenda; consider they are full of fear, full of discontent, full of a contradictive spirit. Can you see them as Jesus sees them?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Finding You Joy

I have been sad, disappointed, I have prayed the prayer that many of the prophets have cried, "Where is Thin hiding place dear Lord..." I have experienced that I am not alone. The Lord does soften His voice, or allow us to wonder once in a while. When I exercise faith, patience, and dedication to keep trying everything works out. With this thought in mind, I struggle in the Hell of my own making less and less in each trial...And that's okay.

Sadness, disappointment, and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself. I do not minimize how hard some of these events are. They can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining center of everything you do. The Lord inspired Lehi to declare the fundamental truth, “Men are, that they might have joy.”1 That is a conditional statement: “they might have joy.” It is not conditional for the Lord. His intent is that each of us finds joy. It will not be conditional for you as you obey the commandments, have faith in the Master, and do the things that are necessary to have joy here on earth.

Your joy in life depends upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His holy Son, your conviction that their plan of happiness truly can bring you joy. Pondering their doctrine will let you enjoy the beauties of this earth and enrich your relationships with others. It will lead you to the comforting, strengthening experiences that flow from prayer to Father in Heaven and the answers He gives in return.

A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth. Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness.
Finding Joy in Life , Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May, 1996

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Music Calms the Savage Beast

Have you ever considered how music affects your soul? Like many people, I have a favorite Pandora station. I love listening to the beautiful songs of yesterday as I stand in the shower feeling the warm water run on my head, washing all my cares away.
Recently, I recognized that when an instrumental is playing my heart and soul catch the ebb and flow of the song and begin to dance with every note. I get lost in the memories the melody holds secret and in wait for me. I feel as if I can wonder here forever.
My heart skips a beat or sometimes two, when suddenly a song starts to play and the first words comes in to the air, the words are weighted and seem to pull me to them. Sometimes I sing a long, my words floating along with the words in the song.
I know that the depth the beauty is gone. I have learned that if I am struggling to get to my center, the soft gentle sway of just the perfect instrumental will lead me right where I want to be.
Now don’t get me wrong, songs with lyric can also take me to a special place, a place I love to be. I’m just suggesting that I recently, I have found that for me music is powerful, it is for pleasure,  it is also to help find my quiet center.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sacrificing My Weakness

“The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's alter. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to Him.” (Insights from my life, Ensign, Aug 200, 9)

Sacrificing my Weaknesses
“A religion that doesn't require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” Joseph Smith, comp., Lectures on Faith [1985], 69

Am I willing to sacrifice my:
--Permitting in my dwelling any behavior that offends the Spirit of the Lord?
--Wanting to be loved more than wanting to love?
--Blaming others for my pain?
--Being a victim?
--Fearing for the consequences of another's poor behavior?
--Shielding another from the consequences of their choices?
--Remembering my pain without God's grace or tender mercy?
--My pity parties and dark solitude?
--Fear, anger, isolation?

How does my sacrifice of my weaknesses, pertain to submitting my will to God? As I have taken the scripture Ether 12:27—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 I will make weak things become strong unto them.--As I have taken this scripture into my life it requires me to sacrifice my weaknesses unto Christ. I have to admit that I am not strong enough to manage this weakness on my own. Through this sacrifice I turn my will over to Christ.

At first, I turned my will over to Christ out of fear, fear of hell fire, fear of disappointing my family especially my father.  No matter what, I always took my agency back. Then as I continued to work on this principle I started to turn my will over to Christ in fear of not wanting to resin, to fall back into old and painful patterns of my life. Just like before I would take my agency back. I was just to afraid.

Now my desire has grown from this place to where I desire to be in the loving shelter of my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ all the time. I no longer desire to turn my will over to out of fear, but now it is out of love. I'm not been made perfect in this but my weaknesses are being made strong in that I am sustained in my weaknesses when I can't do it alone.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Surrendering My Will

I’ve been thinking so much about surrendering my will to the grace and safety of my Jesus Christ. Letting go is somewhat a scary thought. Another scary thought, is that keeping my agency to myself is largely what has gotten me to where I am. How will I know what the Lord is directing me to do? How will I know if I am in the way, or if Satan is planting ideas? I love what I read in the ARP manual, so
Surrender our entire lives, ---past, present, and future---and out will about our lives to Him.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made the following statement about this most significant decision: “The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s alter. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him.” (Insights from my Life,” Ensign Aug 2000, 9).
President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve described his decision to yeid his will to God and the freedom that decision gave him: “Perhaps the greatest discovery of my life, without question the greatest commitment, came when finally I had the confidence in God that I would loan or yield my agency to him—without compulsion or pressure, without and duress, as a single individual alone, by myself, no counterfeiting, nothing expected other than the privilege. In a sense, speaking figuratively, to take one’s agency, that precious gift which the scriptures make plain is essential to life itself, and say, ‘I will do as you direct,’ is afterward to learn that in so doing you possess it all the more.” (Obedience, Brigham Young University Speeches of the year [Dec7, 1971], 4).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Birthday

The three most significant days in your life
1. The day you were born
2. The day you find the gift you were born to give
3. The day you figure out how to contribute the gift you were born to give.

Today is my most wonderful husbands birthday. He's one year shy of a major mile stone in life. No he isn't turning 21, that was several birthday's ago.

My hubby, has been contemplating the changes in his life. He could lose a few pounds, he could work less, and play more. There are also some pretty important life questions in his life. Is he contributing the gifts he was born to give? Are You? Am I?

There are so many wonderful things in life that point to Christ. I am thankful for the milestone in life to help me to remember to live my goals, pray, and repent as needed.

Happy Birthday to my dear Hubby...May all your dreams comes true...I love you!!!!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lifting Me Up

I feel so down and depressed today. My life is slipping away from me, and I don’t know if I will ever get it back. Somewhere inside I know that life will never be like I knew it. I’m okay with that. I dedicate my life to change. I just didn’t know how much control I desire over that change.
I want to be able to think straight, and remember. Oh how I want to remember. I want to remember the simple things, like where I’ve been even in the past several days. I want to feel the desire to do things. I hate that I feel stuck within myself. Somewhere inside I want; I desperately want to live. Somewhere inside I guess much closer to the surface I have no desire to live. I know there are things to do, laundry, dishes, vacuuming, making beds, having fun with my children, and especially having fun with my husband.
I realized today that all of my friends have drifted away. I can’t participate in my side of the friendship. How do I foster a friendship when I am so tired, so tired, the pain, the headaches. It is so vicious.
My life feels like I’m trapped in a machine that controls me, it ignores my pleas for just a moment of relief. When the relief comes, I’m dizzy with concerns of what I’ve missed, the guilt of everyone having to do all the things I’m supposed. How do I catch up? How do I live in the present when I missed so much of the past? Then there is still the pain, and the liminting movement.
I feel so limited. My mind feels spacy. My chest is tight with anxiety as I sit here in an honest search of my feelings I actually feel more depressed. I am certainly powerless; I am powerless to overcome the physical position that I’m in. The physical position that I’m in creates several other positions …To start with our tragic direr financial position—which has endless effects on my children and family. I’m not going to go into the depth of these effects here.
Right now, I’m having a hard time finding my faith, in Christ’s plan for me. Yes, I am powerless, my hope is failing, and my life is unmanageable.
Life in recovery is hard…It’s that simple. Through my experiences in life I know I have been prepared for this time. It is only a moment in learning. I renew my covenant to Christ that I will believe Him, and faith that He will sustain me and that He has the power to renew me to complete health, whatever that maybe. I trust that I will be alright somehow, somewhere.
You are likely asking what happened, the beginning of this writing was so dire, to the end of this writing is so sustained in Christ. I want you to know that for me, not all days in recovery are strong and filled with light. For me lately, most days are not strong and filled with light. I have to lean on what I’ve learned in recovery every moment of every day. The depths of despair are never far away. I am powerless to change my circumstances, I have to know that my Christ is looking upon me, and lifting me up in the times and days I cannot lift myself up. 
I can testify to you, that miracles happen, they happen for me all the time. Extra money comes at just the right moment to get through to the next moment. My headache subsides and I have relief, even for just a moment. I don’t know if there is a way out, but I do know that with Christ there is a way through.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I know I talk about Fear a lot. It really is something I struggle with. Today I saw this and felt that it might touch your life as it has mine. With all my love, 
May Angels Walk With You

Picture by Ro Paxman

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Good Morning

Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day. Everything is going my way. --Oklahoma 

In the soft glow of the morning light my heart is filled with reflection. Why is forgiveness more for me than the people I've wronged? Asking for forgiveness is so important for me. As I ask for forgiveness and I take responsibility for my actions and the wrongs I've committed against the people I love is critically important to my salvation. I want to share a story with you of an experience I went through several years ago. 

I remember several years ago when early one morning I lay awake with the impression to write a letter to someone that I had hurt. I lay there with several excuses running through my head. I wasn't likely to ever see this person again. Even if I did, it wouldn't matter. For all intent and purposes our relationship was over. Neither of us would ever engage in a relationship again, so what did an apology letter have to do with anything. I didn't even know where they were. I couldn't get the letter to them. I lay there full of justification, in myself, and in the emptiness of this letter.

The impression to get up and write this letter, became increasingly stronger. Finally, as daylight came I reluctantly got out of bed. I sat with pen in hand staring at the blank paper. Floods of emotions, floods of regrets filled my heart. The pen began to flow, and the tears also flowed from my eyes. I don't recall what I wrote, but I still plainly remember how I felt.

I accepted responsibilities that I would have normally either passed to this person or minimized. There isn't minimization in responsibility. It is or it isn't yours. I mailed the letter that same day. I never knew wither, the letter was received or how it was received if it was. I've always been curious, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I faced the bitter truth that I hurt this person that did everything in their power to help me. I magnified their weaknesses, and minimized my own.

It doesn't matter if they forgive me, it matters that I face the realization of the truth that I was shown by God, and that I ask my Father in Heaven through the atonement of His Son Jesus Christ for their forgiveness.

A surprising side note to this situation is that as the years have gone by since I mailed that letter I have found a new love for this person. Whenever I think back on the morning when I wrote that letter a sense of love fills my heart.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


How many marriages, babies and rodeos have I missed? Wait, a marriage IS a rodeo....sometimes you make the buzzer, sometimes you get bucked off, sometimes you just plain don't mark out...but you always get back on....right?!?!?--Unknown

I read this little saying, and it really said something to me. So often I run, I mean burn rubber, from relationships and especially friendships. This saying is more than about marriage, but about all our relationships

As I have begun to make my way out of my isolation, and into the social world is very difficult. There are times when I have to admit my wrongs to people that I'm with. It takes a lot of courage, and humility, but mainly it takes using the faith I've built in my Jesus. 

Relationships are important to all of our lives in many ways. When I am in isolation, Satan gains more power over me, because I become more susceptible to his influence. When I am in a relationship with someone, I am held accountable at a higher level not only to myself, but also to the person I'm in a relationship with. Relationships support me in becoming the best I can be. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's Rodeo Time

I am so excited about the rodeo season that is upon us!!! I love all the things that is out there to do. This season is different, different in very many ways. My health has crashed in some serious ways. I don't want to get into a lot of downer talk, and list all the things I can no longer do.

What I want to do, is tell you how amazing my family is. All the kids have stepped up and are taking care of lots of things. They take care and feed all the animals. We have a horse that has Cushings disease, and is being treated with Progolide, (which is incidentally a medication that is used to treat humans for Parkinson's disease). Anyway, Harley has been super to make sure he gets his grain and Progolide every day.

Life has sure changed for me. I've had to learn to accept to allow others to do things for me. It is especially hard to see others doing things I love to do. Things like, feed the animals, make dinners, or carry a load of laundry. Okay, maybe not the laundry, but...

I am powerless to have an effect on my health or how others treat me because of it. It hurts to be this powerless, but it strengthens me to know that the Lord is watching over me. He is making my weaknesses strong, through having others be in my service. Strange but comforting.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Listen with affection to anyone who talks, be in their shoes when they talk, try to know them without your mind pressing against theirs, or arguing, or changing the subject. This person is showing you his soul... True listeners know that if you are bad-tempered it does not mean that you are always so. They don't love you just when you are nice; they love all of you. (Brenda Ueland, Strength to Your Sword Arm)

Friday, January 13, 2012


The truth is the truth even if only you and God know…. When we confess our sins to others, but only the portion that has been revealed, enough to get us out of hot water and enough to make us look forthright, is that really the “truth”? The truth is the truth, even though we confess we have taken four cookies to those in the flesh, God and you know it was actually six. This isn’t about your truth this is about Gods truth.

The truth is the truth even if only you and God know….

There is a truth in all situations and the truth works sometimes for you and sometimes against your wishes. The truth is Gods wish. You have choices; whether it is to tell the truth, admit the truth or live by the truth, you have choices. No, I didn’t say the truth was easy, no I didn’t say the truth came out in every situation, and no I didn’t say that we could expect the truth from others. What I am saying is that there is always a truth; it may affect us good or bad. Sometimes you may be the only one who knows the truth but God always knows the truth, the whole truth, even when you don’t. God knows it was really six cookies.

You choose how you are going to live; you choose how you are going to confess, you choose how much of the truth you reveal. You choose what to teach your children, you choose how much you’re going to tell your spouse.

Choose the truth, the whole truth…God “knows” the Truth!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Little something to put things in perspective...

After a forest fire   in Yellowstone National Park:

The forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.  

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. 
When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base  of the tree and had gathered them  under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

 She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies.  

Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body.

The mother had remained steadfast.
She had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.


 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91



Being loved this much should make a difference in your life.

 Remember the One who
loves you, and then be different because of it.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Here is a short summary of a dream I had the other night. What do you think it means???? 

There is a small seemingly one room wood sided house, with white paint mostly chipped off sitting on a lot not much bigger than the house. In front of the house there is a huge tree, with thousands of leaves in full blossom. There might be sparse grass under all the junk on the ground in front of the house. In the driveway there are several junk cars, probably not running. I approach from the west I believe there are three large men in colored business shirts standing on the edge of the driveway looking through some papers. I quickly realize they are looking through a used book of yellow carbon copy of temple recommends. I assume they picked up the book from the ground in front of them. I run into the house. I am in an old kitchen. The house is really clean. I turn and run back out and up the street. The men jump into a car and chase me. The house is on the bottom edge of a very large open gorge. I run across the bottom and up the road on the west side of the gorge. As the men chase me up this one lane dirt road, I am suddenly told to run off the road into the gorge. Without question I do. Not surprisingly I am standing in the air over the gorge. The men’s car crashes down the rocky side of the gorge. I noticed for a moment what seems like the first time. There are several cars down there. I realize I have done this several times. I turn and run back toward the house (across the air of the gorge.) I am told from somewhere “At all cost, protect the family secret” I agree back to where the direction comes from. I remember thinking it would have been easier to fly and not run.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Today let’s think about our intentions.  The word suggests to many of us the vast gap between what we intend to do and what we actually do.  We intendto be kind and tolerant, but some uncontrollable impulse changes our attitude into something we later find ourselves regretting.  We intend to accomplish so much, but unless we start out with a realistic estimate of what we are capable of doing, we fall far short of our expectations.  We intend to make a good life for ourselves and our families, but we seem constantly to be deflected from it by others.  Or we permit the actions of others to prevent us from fulfilling what we hoped to do.

My intentions are good.  When I do not fulfill them, I am disappointed; I may even be weighed down by a sense of guilt.  How can I avoid this?  I will try to clarify my intentions. Decide what I really mean to do, say and accomplish.  This will help me keep my life on a satisfactory, productive course.

“Let me first be sure what I intend and the reasons for my choices; this will guide my thoughts into constructive channels, and keep me from attempting the impractical or impossible”.
(Celebra Tueli)
Again, remember that when we set our expectations too high, we set ourselves up for disappointments.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Remove Your Burdens

Remove Your Burdens-Ro Paxman
You just can't begin to imagine how this cartoon hit home for me. I struggle to a large degree with headaches as you are all well aware by now. The depression that comes from being in pain both physically, mentally, and emotionally is overwhelming. If letting go...and...letting God is as simple as removing a heavy coat, why is it so hard for me to do?

I have started to write again, and as I develop the important points of where I came from and my perception of what my childhood was. I find myself overly cautious of the possible readership of my writing. What if so-n-so reads this. They will be hurt, mad, and likely in firm disagreement. Do I tell them it is fiction? Do I tell them this is how I remember life, and risk validating their feelings? 

Some of the heaviest burdens I feel is from my own wild and crazy rantings. Now that is something that I can work on. It is something I can let go...and...let God. My imagination is a crazy place full of wonderment and torment all at the same time. Go figure.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

When Help Hinders

When Help Hinders
(Darla Isackson)

          What is Christ’s pattern for service?  He mercifully does for us only what we cannot do for ourselves, he never infringes on our agency, and allows us to suffer the consequences of our own choices.  In the Bible dictionary, a portion of the definition of “Grace” is to “receive strength and assistance to do good works that (individuals) otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.  This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation, after they have expended their own best efforts.”

      If we follow Christ’s pattern, we will not step in and keep someone from expending their own best efforts.  We will not do for others what would strengthen them to do for themselves.  To do so sends a powerful crippling message that they aren’t good enough or strong enough to accomplish it on their own.

     Are we in service to others when we “help” them do things they should do for themselves? Are we in service to others when we “help” them even for the right purpose with grudging feelings in our hearts? I for one find it very easy to become resentful towards others. Are we in service to others when we let others serve us? This questions points to Christ in so many different ways for me. Through my struggles with Co-dependency, I have an almost impossible time allowing others to help me with the simplest things little lone being in service to me. I always have to appear strong and in control. Any sign of weakness is totally disastrous. As you are well aware I have had a tremendous increase in the headaches I have in both frequency and intensity; which has forced me to accept the help and service of my family members. Accepting help from others especially my family is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do. I find myself asking, is the God’s purpose for the increase in my headaches, to help me humble myself enough to accept the love and service of others?