Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays

I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  I hope that it is filled with happy moments.  I hope you make wonderful memories, and have a day that makes you happy to be alive.
I send you all my love and wishes for a very Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas Everyone

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Thoughts

The joys of Christmas cannot compare with any other day of the year.  The lights, the decorated trees, the shopping for gifts for the ones you love, sharing kindness and love with those around you, caring for others who you might not know, but can find love for all the same.  Charity does not fair, if it is done with the right spirit.  But what is it that we have forgotten?  What is it that gets lost in the glaze and excitement of the season’s commercial flare?  On this most wonderful night, this Christmas day, we need to remember this… the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
He was born in humble circumstances to teach us how to grow.  He did not come in glory and gold; instead he was delivered to us in a stable, among animals, in the straw, and lovingly placed in a manger (animal trough) because it was the cleanest place in the stable.   He grew up as the son of simple, hardworking carpenter, not as the son of an entrepreneur or king, and yet there is a lesson in that.  With work that is hard and requires a skill one can grow in some marvelously humbling ways.
He began to teach and to spread our Heavenly Father’s words, with a grateful and loving heart, at a tender age.  He searched out the meek, the homeless, the sick, and He looked for those opportunities to serve.  He endured persecution, and doubt in his word.  He was ridiculed, mocked, and chased away, and still he felt nothing but love.
His heart was pure.  His love was unconditional.  His capacity and ability to forgive knew no bounds.  He took upon himself the sins of the world, and bled from every pour.  He learned what it is to suffer with those pains, sicknesses and sorrow that we go through every day, but have you ever considered why?
He will be our judge and our advocate, our companion, our teacher, and our strength.  Could He do that without understanding, without, compassion, or empathy?
His love for us was so full that he was willing to allow every moment of his life and death to be an example to us.  When I think of that precious child, who came to this earth a pure and innocent as any ever could, I think of how the purpose of our lives can overcome any circumstance that we are born into.  I am overcome with emotion when I come to a deeper understanding of the purpose and example f our Savior’s life.
I am sorrowed deep into my core when I rediscover, in lessons and the scriptures), the suffering, persecution, pain, and torture He went through.  I am blown away to think that all this was done to offer us the best opportunity to grow, life, love, and overcome that He could give us.  The most beautiful thing of all is that he did it out of love, duty, and faith in our Heavenly Father’s plan.
He did all of this for us!
When we remember, during this holiday season, that small, innocent, precious baby, born to parents who were young, poor of wealth, faithful, frightened and humble, we need to remember His love for us.  It was no trick or chance, His humble birth.  It was not an unnecessary trial.  It was done for a purpose, with real intent to offer us a lesson in love.  There will be trials, bad days, and sorrow that feel as if it will have no end, but what we must try to always know is that this journey has already been lived by another.
When we struggle, he understands.  When we hurt he remembers how it felt.  When we lose our hope, weaken under strains of circumstance, or suffer the depths of sorrow.  He has felt what you feel now.  When the burden of sin; addiction, and choice, remember that He knows what that is.  When the world seems to have left you behind, and no one knows or cares any more, try to remember that there is one who knows our pain intimately, and stands by, waiting to come to your aid.  He loves you more than you can comprehend, and knows our potential for growth.  The purpose of his humble birth was to teach us to rise above.
At this holiday season try to bask in the warmth of his love, look to the star on top of the tree and let it guide you to where you can be.
Sing the carols with joy, as the angels above, and let the music take you away to the humble manger, on the night of our Savior’s birth, and celebrate the gift of his life.
As you snack on the candy, shaped like a cane, remember the shepherds who heard the news of the glorious Savior’s birth, and remember our shepherd, our lamb, our savior, or keeper.
As the gifts are exchanged, think of the celebration of the birth of our Lord.  When wise men, the kings of distant lands, who gave freely of those most precious gifts.  Remember the parents who loved Him so much that they devoted their lives to his growth.  And remember the tree, ever green, and full, and think of the love that He feels for us, because it is the same love that he feels for us, eternally.
No one has ever, could ever, or will ever desire for our joy as He will.
I hope that at this time of year, you will be mindful of the sacrifices He made for us.  Remember what He was willing to do and go through for us and know that when the world fails us, or leaves us behind, there is always someone watching over us, walking with us, supporting us, encouraging us, and holding us, no matter what happens.  Even when He cannot be near (because of the choices we make) He is never far.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!  I hope that it is a time filled with love and joy.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (whatever you celebrate), and I offer you fondest wishes for a very Happy New Year!
Love your grateful friend, Gail

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Friendship and Sharing Our Love for Jesus Christ at the Holidays.

Tonight I had some wonderful people invite me to (the women's organization in our church) the Relief Society Progressive Dinner. It was so special.  I am not a social butterfly, in fact it causes me a bit of anxiety, but this was very special.  The heartfelt sentiments, and talks that were shared, the wonderful food, rich and beautifully decorated homes, the sharing of talents with beautiful singing, and seeing so many lovely women with the same light of Christ in their countenance's, made me feel so filled up, and I needed it.  Obviously from my last post, I have been struggling.  Bitter sweet holiday emotions.  However, tonight went a long way toward making me feel so much better.  It is amazing how letting Heavenly Father touch your heart can make all your troubles feel lighter.  It can make your sorrows feel less heavy, and it can make you (me) feel like I have a new lease on the day.
It is also wonderful to drive around, share a laugh, and see the visible Christmas spirit, with the twinkle lights, decorations, wreaths, etc.  I am finding that you can have a Merry Christmas without snow, and still have it be the best time of the year. I guess it is all in your attitude and how open you make yourself.
Our neighborhood is so different from where we came from, as far as we have a chapel on every corner and a member or more on every street in our neighborhood. Also we have 2 temples within 1/2 an hour of each other and another being built. How special is that?
I feel so blessed right now.  This time in my life is so what I needed.  I don't regret our move at all.  I miss family, but life is about living and I went a long time without living at all.  In fact I  was bed ridden for a year before we came here.  I went to a five week pain clinic to learn to try to live with all my ailments, but since we have been here I feel so much better.  It does not mean I do not struggle, but life is feeling more worth living these day.
Tonight was just wonderful, and even though I don't know everyone in our ward yet, each person that I have met I like and the more I get to know them...well, the more I find to like about them.
We are also blessed to have such amazing leadership in out ward.  Our bishop has such a good heart, and our relief society, young women's, young men's, and primary presidency work so hard to make us all feel special, loved, and help us to learn so much using such generous, loving, Christ-like spirits.
I just feel so blessed, and (as I often do) not worthy.  I don't know what I did to deserve so much, but I'm glad that Heavenly Father believes that I am (worthy).  I try not to question his wisdom too much.
I want to wish everyone that I am so grateful for this time of the year, for the knowledge, testimony, and love I have for the Savior and his gospel.  I just hope that I can pass some of that on.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!  I hope that you will have moments like I did tonight.
Thank heaven's for the love of our Heavenly Father.  I appreciate that he knows what and who we need in our lives.  I bear my humble testimony that our Heavenly Father and his Jesus Christ lives and that they love us and want nothing more than our growth and happiness, and that makes everything feel better.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grieving and the Holidays, bitter sweet.

I love the holidays for so many reasons, but I am finding myself struggling these days.  My son would have been 19 years old on the 14th of December, and I miss him so much.  I miss all of my "waiting" little ones.
I have my children who keep me active, living, moving, loving, and laughing, but it does not make everything go away. Some people try to smile through it, or do not feel like they have reason to grieve, because they have loved ones here on earth that need them, but this kind of pain cannot be erased.  Neither should it.  My pain makes me grateful, but it is also a part of me.  I cannot shut it off, like a valve on a faucet.  I adore all of my children, and that makes missing them, and longing for those stolen moments that much harder.
I have a very strong testimony of the gospel.  I have a very strong faith in my Father in Heaven.  I have a unshakable faith that my children are waiting for me and that we can be a family forever.  That is not the problem.
My problem is simply this,  I miss them.
My son was 11 days old on his first Christmas.  My daughter never made it to her second.  My other daughter, never took a breath, she never had a Christmas.
Is my life filled with the joys of my "living" children... of course, but what you have to understand though is that I love all of my children equally, and when even one of them is away (for the day, or a trip, or whatever) my heart aches for them.  I love my family and would give my life for them, but a parent should never outlive a child.  It is a heartache that is indescribable.
I am excited about Christmas.  I love having the tree up and watching the lights twinkle.  I love to look at the ornaments that represent each important moment in our lives, but my body remembers, my "Psyche" will not let me forget the pain.
Trauma, of whatever kind, stays with you.  Our bodies are forever changed by what we experience.  I believe, and have seen doctors who have researched it, have found that trauma does stay with us.  It imprints on our bodies and minds.
You just have to do your best.
You can give yourself a day or two to feel like crap, and then do whatever you can to start to shake it off.  Take a walk.  Get some quiet time.  See friends, or whatever works for you.  Just hang in there and be gentle with yourself.
Remember though that there is no time limit on grief.  NO ONE has the right to tell you to let it go, or get on with your life, and despite your faith, you can still struggle.  Our Heavenly Father understands what we are going through.  He allows us time to grieve, as long as we do not allow ourselves to be consumed by it.  You can have your bad days, but you have to try again.  I have been through all types of moments, some lingered too long, and some were just a moment or a bad day.  I have to make a conscious effort during all of those moments.  It is not impossible, but it is something that you have to work at.  No one can change things for you, only you can do that.

Job 2:13
13.  So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him; for they saw that his grief was very great.
Others understand...  I understand.
The holidays are a glorious time of year, my favorite time of year, but it sometimes comes with a bitter sweet bite.  Allow yourself the moments, but do your best to see the joy.  There is still so much fun to be had.

P.S. This is why I write.  I was having a hard time, but feel so much better having gotten it out.  Thanks for listening and I hope that you have a wonderful, memory filled, fun, memory making holiday.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

You Are Precious!

"You are very precious, each of you, regardless of your circumstances.  You occupy a high and sacred place in the eternal plan of God, our Father in Heaven.  You are His daughters, precious to Him, loved by Him, and very important to Him.  His grand design cannot succeed without you."

from "One Bright Shining Hope- Messages for Women from Gordon B. Hinkley

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

I read this to my family at Thanksgiving dinner.  I love this and wanted to share.  It certainly made me think.

"Thank God for dirty dishes:
they have a tale to tell.
While other folk go hungry,
we're eating pretty well.
With home and health and happiness,
we shouldn't want to fuss;
For by this stack of evidence,
God's very good to us.



14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath aheard the prayers of his people, and also the bprayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has cprayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the dknowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to econvince thee of the power and authority of God, that the fprayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." Mosiah 27:14 Book of Mormon.

This struck me as powerful because it was a angelic witness of the fact that the Lord hears our prayers (whatever religion you belong to) and that he wants us to know the truth.  If you believe in a greater power (our Heavenly Father), you are sincere in your prayer and attitude, you can receive an answer to your prayers. 
Our prayers are not always answered the way that we want, or the way that we expect.  They may not answered immediately, but that is when we have to exercise our faith.  It teaches us to trust the Lord.  We may believe in Christ, but do we believe the promises (covenants) that he made to us.  He promised that if we were faithful and willing to live a good life, he would be there for us in the ways that we need him to be.  That does not mean that he will remove trials and tragedy from our lives, but he would help us to survive them.  He would help us to come out stronger and with increased faith. 
I have learned that our definition of okay is often different from the Lord's definition of okay.  Our task is to trust that everything he does, and allows us to go through is for our good.  I know this because I have faced so many horrible moments in my life, and I can honestly say that I have grown.  I struggled, and suffered, but I have grown in my faith and it is stronger than it ever has been.  It was not easy to get to this point, but I have learned to trust our Heavenly Father.  I am a parent and the same way that I want my children to learn, grow, and be happy, so does he.  We are his children, and although we would do anything to prevent our children from suffering or struggling, they have to face somethings with only the knowledge, skills, and talent that we try to instill in them.  The Lord has the same dilemma.  He does not want us to suffer, but some lessons have to be learned for ourselves.  He does promise though that he will support us, and provide those things we need to get through it and will offer us peace and strength through our struggles.
Will he hand it to us?  NO, we have to search for his help, his answers, his strength, and we have to strive to be worthy of his support.  If we are making choices that are not right, or are not in keeping with the way he has directed us to live our lives, he cannot help us the way he would want to.  
I have been there.  As a teen I was caught up in living a life that lead me away from Him.  I was lost and confused, and making choices that got me into trouble.  I felt alone and depressed, even suicidal.  I felt worthless, incompetent, stupid, useless, and unnecessary.  What I realized though, is that despite all of my problems, troubles, and choices, God was still watching over me.  He never stopped loving me, and never stopped wanting me to succeed.  When I was ready and he came to help me, by providing with a (eventual) husband who loved me for who I was.  He loved me despite my issues and flaws.  He loved me despite my anger, distrust, and limitations.  We grew together, and today I am happier than I ever thought possible.  I have more faith than I ever hoped that I could.  I also have a reason to be proud of myself, and for no other reason than I finally realize that I am a good person, and a child of a Heavenly Father who loves me.  
  I still struggle, and I still get down and depressed.  I still feel lonely sometimes, and I want to  discover my potential, develop my talents, contribute to my family, community, and church.  I want to be better, in so many areas of my life, but I know that I cannot do anything without my Heavenly Fathers approval, support, and inspiration.  
He does hear our prayers, He does want to help us, He wants us to be happy, but He will not hand it to us.  We have to earn it, and we have to do our part.  Too many of us expect relief, but that is not how it works.  We have to ask for help, pray for inspiration on how to solve our problems, change those things that are holding us down and back, and look to those around us for their support, friendship and love.  He often answers prayers through those who care about us.  We have to allow them to bless our lives, and help us.  
We have to "believe" Christ.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Have you counted your blessings today?
It is a shame that it takes a holiday to remind us to do that, but none the less, I am blessed.  I am learning to do that on more of a daily basis, but I will be honest, it is not always easy.
We learned about gratitude in church this past Sunday and I am so grateful that we did. However, I am thrilled to say that it made me think.
So much can go wrong in our lives and it is so easy to complain, but how does that effect you?
Did you know that the saying, "depression hurts" is true?  It is.  I attended a pain clinic, for chronic pain, for 5 weeks, and I learned that that is 100% true.
My husband and I both suffer from depression and P.T.S.D.  I also have P.M.D.D.  (PMS on steroids is how I describe it).  We also suffer from Fri bro Mialgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  We suffer from joint and muscle pain and fatigue and had to try a number of medications to deal with it.  The Pain clinic was a last resort.  However, we found that depression DOES hurt.  Your body does the only thing it can, it forces your stress out.  It wants to warn you and make you aware that something is wrong.  I found that the best solution is to find a way to deal with that stress in a more positive way helps.  I had to make a big move, and change my pattern of living.  I had to search for those things that make me really happy, not the things that made me temporarily happy.  We all have different definitions for what that means or what those things are, but you know what I mean.
Writing, drawing, visiting with friends and family, taking a walk, going to the park and doing some photography, or doing a puzzle.  Reading a good book, making a craft, sewing, having some quiet time, or painting a picture... whatever it is that you enjoy it still needs to be something that has real purpose, not just fleeting gratification.  I'm sorry chocolate, but you are not a long term happiness, but you do help in emergency cases.
I was taught to have an attitude of gratitude, but it is sometimes easier said than done.  When you are in the midst of a trial, or you are struggling, either emotionally, physically, spiritually, it is hard to see the point of what you are going through.
If you think negatively, and begin to feel sorry for yourself, how do you start to think?  Does it get harder to find hope or hold on to faith?  Absolutely!
If you try to remember those things that are good about your life, who is good in your life, and what still makes you happy, or at least smile, how much easier is it to endure and more than that... recover?
Being someone who suffers from different types of depression and having grown up with a parent who suffers from depression, I can say that when you begin to feel helpless, hopeless, and struggle just to have the desire to get out of bed, than it is so much harder to find joy again and gratitude than those times when I have a contented attitude.  I find that having gratitude everyday for those people and moments in my life that make me smile, or make me happy, I find that it is so much easier to endure those difficulties in my life, or at least I can be more supportive to those around me who are struggling.
What is my point?  You will be miserable if that is what you surrender too.  You might struggle, but it is okay to allow yourself to have a day of sweats, junk food, and laziness.  However, if you allow that lazy day to stretch into another, and then another, and another, and the pain begins, and the sorrow deepens, then life begins to lose its joy.  We begin to lose site of our blessings, those little moments that life worth living, or sometimes bearable.  We have to make a choice.
There will always be struggles.  There will always be bad days.  There will always be something or someone who makes you crazy, but all of this can be easier if you remember on a daily basis that there are still moments of love, laughter, silliness, and peace to be had.  Even if we have to look for them.
I hope that the holidays will be a wonderful time of rejuvenation and that it is filled with moments of silliness and happiness.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  I hope it is wonderful for everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I watched my daughter explore a new side of herself today.  She started to really try her hand at photography.  She started it a few months ago, but today she took pictures of one of that families we met through our church.  We went to Freestone Park and I sat drawing and writing while they went off to take some family pictures.  It was wonderful, revitalizing really. I got rid of my writers block and I drew a pretty good picture, at least the kids liked it.  I am so happy.
I am also very proud of my daughter.  She is so gifted, but more than that she has such a kind, loving and compassionate spirit, which comes across in her dealings with others.  Do you know how some kids, when they have to pose for pictures become cranky and upset when having to stay in one place for to long?  They get distracted, irritable, and bored, but these kids did not.  They were smiling, happy, and excited about what they had been doing.  One of their boys even remarked, "I'm not nervous any more."
I was so proud of her.  I listen to her explain the intricacies of how to use the camera, different techniques, effects that she can do when she edits the pictures, etc.  I am amazed.  I truly believe that God blessed her with this ability.  I come from a long line of artists.  However, each one of us is good at something, every one of us has a different medium that we can work with, but we all are creative in some way.  I believe that each one of us has a gift, sometimes buried within us.  It is not until we explore those things that make us happy or curious that we find them.  But I believe that everyone has something, some talent, some gift.  We just have to take the time to try something knew.  It is a very primary, and simple thing to say.  Something you might even say to a child, but I believe that it is the simple things in life that can bring you the most joy.
Ask yourself, what is it that is holding you back, because it is often our own fears, insecurities, busy lives that keep distracted, and keep us from finding ourselves.
Who are you?  What are you capable of?  What makes you truly happy?
I hope you will make the time to find it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Film about the life of our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Moroni 7:19

19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should searchdiligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mormon Channel Video

Mormon Channel Video

The Heart of a Woman

A woman's heart is an ocean.
In the depths of that ocean, deep in the sand, is where we bury our treasure; that precious thing that makes us who we are.
We bury it there to protect it.
We bury it safely, deep in the sand to keep it safe, but sometimes our experiences make us lose sight of our treasure.
We wander away from that spot.
We get lost, and forgot about that treasure, until we lose sight of it all together.
We forget what it is that made us special, and unique.
We begin to face the tempests.
We get caught up in the waves.
The current drags us further and further away from who we really are.
How do you find your treasure again?
You have to search.
You have to dive deep within yourself and fight against the currents, the waves and the tempests, and then dig with all you've got.
It will never be easy, but in the end, it will be worth it.
Imagine, finally reaching your destination, getting your bearings, your treasure calling out to you like a beacon, guiding you back.
You reach your destination.
You uncover that treasure and there you are.
We all have a treasure.
That special something that makes us different form the rest.
That makes us worth knowing, and loving.
But sometimes, during the throws of a storm or when we get caught up in the current, we get lost.
Even when that happens, the treasure always remains buried safe, secure, and unmovable.
It is us that begin to wander to far, but it is never to late to make your way back.
Rediscover your treasure.

Friday, October 28, 2011


"Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is a place where we tear off the mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule."

Fredrick W. Robertson

Is our home like this?  Is it a sanctuary from the world for ourselves, and our families?  What is wrong in your life, attitude or actions that keep your home from being that place where you can be safe, where you can find peace, where you can be yourself.
I had to change a lot of things about my life to get to that point, and being good is not easy, and it can sometimes be lonely, but I promise you that it is worth it.  I am finding happiness that I never knew that I could.  It takes making those hard choices though to find that happiness. However, I have found more freedom from the binding lifestyle that pleased every false friend, but not me.  I had to remove those negative influences from my life, but I do not regret it.
What can you do today that will help you find your happiness?  It is a personal decision, and it is not easy to admit those things that we do that might not be the best thing for us.  It is up to you to figure out what that means.  I did it though, and it took me a long time, but I really, truly don't regret it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I miss my roses...

For mother's day every year, instead of just a bunch of cut flowers that will only last a short time, my family started to pick out a rose bush.  They planted each one for me in our yard.  This had become a treasured tradition.  I Love them, as does my mother and my grandmother.  I can't think of anything that made me happier, except the love of my husband and children.  Watching my children grow and bloom.  Watching my relationship struggle to stretch and grow in all those ways that we do.  I dream of an English garden, in keeping with my hearts desires, and my heritage.  I have found though that the plants here in the dessert are just as beautiful.  You never know until you experience something for yourself, how wonderful it can be.  I always say, "God has a wonderful imagination."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have struggled with my weight ever since I began to have children.  I would like to blame it on them, but cannot honestly do that.  I was caught up in the, "mom syndrome".  The syndrome we seem to get, which causes us to loose all sight of ourselves.  The one where we neglect ourselves to the detriment of everything we need as individuals.  It is the same syndrome that causes mother's to wear clothes that are too big, too old, too plain, too frumpy, and most likely in the sweat and t-shirt category  It is sad, but true and I believe that it is an epidemic.
Well, since I am no longer having children, but am now raising them.  I am finding that I do have time and a desperate need to take care of myself.  It is incredible that I allowed myself to slip to such depths of depression, when my children brought me so much joy.
My solution has been, develop my talents, socialize occasionally, and realize my roll in my own care, or lack there of.  I don't move as much as I should, but I can control what I eat, and how much, and when I eat.  Developing my talents has not only distracted me, but made me begin to feel good about myself.  My family moved, to get more sunshine, more room, and an interesting change of scenery.  We also started to change those things that were toxic in our lives.  Like removing negative things and people from our lives.
Is it easy?  No.  Is it necessary?  For me it was.
I guess I would say, find out what works for you.
One beautiful side effect for me is getting closer to my husband, finding myself, enjoying my children more, and loving life more than I have in a very long time.  The other thing I was happy about, was that I lost almost 32 lbs.  Since all I made these changes.    I also developed a love, appreciation, and growth in my faith.  That has made everything in my life better too.  I realized that I am not alone, and God does want me to be happy, and I am beginning to be happy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Atonement Covers All Pain

I have been asked to give a talk on this subject and I was given a talk from Kent F. Richards, that he gave during "General Conference" as a reference.  General Conference is a world wide meeting for members of my church, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"  or you might know us by our nickname, "Mormons".
I love this talk and it can be accessed on

In one part he quotes Elder Robert D. Hales,
"Pain brings you to a humility that allows you to ponder... I learned that the physical pain and the healing of the body after major surgery are remarkably similar to the spiritual pain and the healing of the soul in the process of repentance.
Elder Richards then says, "The Savior is not a silent observer.  He Himself knows personally and infinitely the pain we face.  He suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children".

Being someone who deals with chronic pain and illness, I have come to believe that this is very true.  Through the conditions I have, which are many and include back and hip pain, muscle and joint pain and fatigue, female issues and others like migraines, etc... I have learned that there is purpose in my suffering.  When the doctors have done all they could do, and when every medicine and therapy has been tried, I had to learn to turn to the only place that I could.  I had to turn to God.  I started to feel his comforting, a renewal of my strength, which although it did not end my suffering, gave me what I needed to endure and survive while at the same time giving me back some of the joys that pain had taken away.  Even the simple things of being out of bed, to spend time with my family.  Those moments are precious to me.
I now understand that Christ suffered in Gethsemane to be able to better judge, empathize, and understand what I am going through and coming to him in prayer about.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, and I was not always so faithful, or patient.  I was not always so willing to put my trust in ANYONE.  Until life threw me a curve, I did not understand God's love for me.
I understand now that he has a plan, and it is to help us to find happiness, no matter what comes.  All we need to do is ask.
I am not trying to convince anyone of anything.  This is my personal experience and growth.  We are all at different levels of readiness and understanding.  I just want to share my point of view.  I want to make you as a reader open your mind to a possibly "new" way to look at your situation.  That is my purpose.
I. with my whole heart, believe that my problems are never worse than someone else's, because we all have our own personal limit.  What I may see as easy, may be very difficult for someone else.  What may be very difficult for me, may be nothing for someone else.  We are all different, and unique, but we can all have compassion, and understanding, and support one another.
Thanks for listening (reading) this.  Sincerely,

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Powerful Quote

"Anger builds nothing, but destroys everything."
by Thomas S. Monson

It does not have to be fancy to be special

A Capsule Course in Human Relations

The five most important words are these:
"I am proud of you."
The four most important words are these:
"What is your opinion?"
The three most important words are:
"If you please."
The two most important words are these:
"Thank You."
The most important word is this':
The least important word is this:

by Robert Woodruff
From "The Missionaries Little Book of Inspirational Stories"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Modesty and Self-Esteem

Just another note about how we treat ourselves.  If you are lonely or attracting the wrong sort of people in your life. (especially men) Consider this saying,  "Being immodest is like covering yourself in mud, the only thing you will attract is pigs."
Being modest is not lame or limiting.  I have ridden on both sides of the tracks.  I looked for all the wrong attention, because it felt better than being ignored.  It felt good to feel pretty, until I had to deal with the pigs, the ones who did not want me around for anything in my mind or heart.  When I started to take care of myself, dress in a way that made me feel pretty and like I had more to me than just body parts, I found myself and people around me treating me like I was a real, and worth while person.  It goes back to taking care of ourselves.  You don't have to do anything for anyone, if it makes you feel like all you are is a piece of meat.
We as women, make the world go round, but how often do we give ourselves credit for that, or believe that we can make a difference. We are daughters of a supreme being who loves us, believes in us, and knows our great potential.  How would you feel if really understood how He sees us.  How would we grieve for the lost little girl and the woman we could have been . We are the only ones who limit ourselves.  How you treat yourself will determine the kind of life you have.  The choices we make, ALWAYS have consequences.  Not all of them are for our benefit.  If you decide today that you want better for yourself, you only have to take a step. on that path.  We decide our fate, by deciding that we are worth fighting for.  We all have things in our lives that we cannot control, like the actions of others, but what we can control, but we can control the choices we make.  That is where we can change our lives for the better.
One man can make a difference, but a woman can change the world.

Just thinking out loud today

I had a really nice day at church today.  Hearing the testimonies of others is always special.  It is nice to learn who needs your prayers too.    I liked learning about the Epistle of Hebrews and the signs of the times.
I really believe that education is the fastest way to good self esteem.  You can never underestimate the power and strength you can get from learning and growing as an individual.  I don't think that we, as moms, take care of ourselves enough.  I think that we do not take our role as women seriously.  We can change the world, if we all supported each other, and took care of ourselves.
How can we take care of anyone if we are burned out, spent, frustrated, full of regret, or ignorant to the better ways of living.
I believe that doing what is right, living a good and honest life, and living a life full of growth and true happiness, is much better than living a life trapped by addiction, sorrow and depression, temptations, living for others and never being happy or satisfied with yourself.
I have never been very confident and to be honest, for a long time, I gave up everything I was and everything that was good about me to fit in.  Do you have any idea where it got me?
I was ashamed, disgusted in myself, trapped in a pattern that I could not understand or get out of.  I was so sad, and I did not think I was worthy to take another breath.  I did not want to live.
It has taken me 37 years and a lot of experience, good and bad, to begin to see that I have purpose. However, we all have purpose.
Fear and insecurity can rob us of anything that may be worth living for.  Women have fought for every freedom, right, and ounce of respect that we deserved, but some of us throw ourselves to the wolves, because we don't feel like we deserve any better.
Everyone knows someone who does not believe in themselves, or have given up, and it sorrows me to my core.  I was there, and sometimes I am again.  If you are living a life that makes you sad, makes you feel like you want to give up, or even have, then you need to take a step back.  You need to reevaluate your situation and make those hard choices.  I don't have friends in my life, because I decided that the ones I had, did not care about me because they sincerely cared about me.  You have to decide, what and who are toxic to you.  That is the hardest thing to do.
Being honest with yourself is not easy, in fact is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do.  Someone  once said, "Being good can be very lonely."  We all want to fit in.  We all want to feel attractive, wanted, cared for, but at what cost does it come to you?
I would rather be alone, that go back to the way life was for me.  I was miserable, self destructive, angry, sad, and I had given up.
Now, I am happy (most of the time), I am laughing sincerely again (something that was not always real).  I am enjoying things that I never dreamed I would again.  I have a beautiful family who loves me.  Confidence I never had before.  I feel smarter (something I never believed that I was.)  I am developing talents that I never thought I would be able to do.  I am in love with my husband.  I am in love with my children, and best of all, I am beginning to love myself.
Life is not easy, but there is purpose to us and everyone we meet.  Sometimes we just have to look for it, and it is not always easy to find.  When you find it it will make you smile.

There is a quote I like from the book I obviously read a lot.  It says, "Rise to the great potential within you.  I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity.  I hope that you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure.  I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve.  I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know how.  If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass."  
"One bright and Shining- Hope Messages for women, from Gordon B. Hinckley."

Don't give up, whatever situation you are in.  If I can overcome the trials of my life, so can you.  Nothing is so impossible, because if you are here and you are alive, God is giving you a chance to make your life right.  Hang in there , and if you know someone who is struggling, consider for a moment what you can do to uplift them, even if that means just listening, and being a friend.  You never know what a little love and comfort can do.
Thanks for your time.  I'm just a simple girl, but I have a deep ocean of a heart.  I hope this helps someone. Sincerely.

Friday, October 7, 2011


"Give thanks for yesterday, feel the excitement of tomorrow, and remember that the beauty of today matters more than all the 'what ifs' in life.  On this day, celebrate the moment and the incredible beauty your life is made of."

A gift card for my daughter from her friend.
Flavia, Toscana The Weedn Family Trust

Quote from one of my favorite books.

"The gospel is a thing of joy.  It provides us with a reason for gladness.  Of course there are times of sorrow.  Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety.  We all worry.  But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice."

"One bright and Shining Hope: Messages for Women" from Gordon B. Hinckley

A Difficult Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of my son's death.  He passed away 15 years ago.  Hard to believe it has been so long, and still, most days feels so fresh.  Anthony was my first born and would have been nineteen this December.  I don't feel old enough to have a child that age.  It is crazy to me.
Anthony was such a sweet loving little boy.  An angel on earth really.  He had a lot of physical limitations, but his heart was as big as the great out doors.  He had big blue eyes, which even though they did not work, could look into your heart and soul.  He had auburn colored hair and sported the traditional mullet of the time, but it was so cute on him.  His skin was soft as a babies, even as he got older.  He could not hear properly, he had severe brain abnormalities, and could not speak or walk, but he could laugh.  He had a laugh that warmed you to your core.  He loved to stand out the window, and absorb the sunlight.  He used to sit on the floor in the morning, where the sun shone warm on the carpet, and he would smile and bounce.  It made him so happy.  Something so simple.
He loved milk shakes, and if you brought a snack to the couch, especially puffy Cheetos, he new it.  He would crawl across the room and he was in your lap in a second, waiting for you to give him one.
He loved everyone he met and he loved deeply and with his whole heart.  He was... precious... does not seem to be a descriptive enough word.  He was loving, charming, loved life, and sacrificed himself in order to teach us what we needed to know, to make his sisters condition (who came 3rd in our line) not simpler, but more manageable.  We knew what to look for in her, because of him, and we were able to prepare ourselves, which you never really can, but he made us aware and more able to take care of her.
He is missed desperately, but I know without any doubt that he is never far away, and he is always waiting for our reunion.  In the mean time, he takes care of his sisters on the other side for us.  Forever a big brother.
I miss you Anthony, and I can't wait until we see you again.  I'll probably cry tonight, but right now, I am happy, because you are mine. 

Some of my joys

I listed some of the things that I have endured, but there is so much in my life that I was not sure I would ever discover could make me happy again.  So, I wanted to give a few examples of the joys in my life.
I love a good thunderstorm and rain shower.
I love to look at the sunset and sunrise.
I love skittles and Hostess Ding Dons.
I love the sound of my children laughing.
I love to hear the sound of birds outside my window.
I love to listen to all sorts of music.
I LOVE a good movie, but hate vulgar comedies.
I love to read.
I love to write.
I love to draw.
I love photography.
I love to sit quietly, even though that is a rare event
I love live shows, plays, musicals, concerts, but hate crowds.
I love to speak in public, but am normally VERY shy.
I love the changing of leaves in the fall and the snow in winter.
I want to be a morning person, but struggle to wake at a decent time.
I am a total night owl, and love the quiet of 2 o'clock in the morning.
I love a walk on the beach, on a overcast, and/or foggy day.
I love British sitcoms and murder mysteries.
I love Christmas and Halloween equally.
I love my family.
I love my God.
I love knowing that I am a survivor.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Tale of Two Frogs

"Two frogs fell into a deep milk bowl.
One of them had an optimist's soul,
While the other took a gloomier view;
"We shall drown," he cried, without further adieu,
And with one last despairing cry,
He flung up his legs and said goodbye.

Said the other frog with a merry grin,
"I can't get out, but I won't give in;
I'll keep swimming around till my strength is spent,
Then at least I'll die the more content."

So bravely he swam, until it would seem,
His struggles began to churn the cream.
And on top of the bowl he gaily hopped,
What of the moral? It's easily found;
If you cannot hop out, keep swimming around."

-Anthony P. Castle
From the Missionary's Little Book of Inspirational Stories


"You did not come into the world to fail.  You came into the world to succeed.  You have accomplished much so far.  It  is only beginning.  As you move forward on the trail of life, keep the banner of faith in self ever before you.  You may not be a genius.  You may not be exceptionally smart.  But you can be good, and you can try.  And you will be amazed at what might happen when in faith you take a step forward."
This quote is from the book: "One Bright and Shining Hope, Messages for Women from  Gordon B. Hinckley" - Deseret Books

My beginning...

My journey began, in a large family.  My mother is from Germany and my father is from Idaho.  I have seven brothers and sisters.  I met my husband, during a turning point in my life, when I was seventeen years old.  I was a very sweet kid growing up, but at twelve years old, I had to deal with a tragedy, the kind of tragedy that steals your childhood, and robs you of your innocents.  This tragedy caused me to spiral out of control.  I lost myself.  I had no true sense of my self worth, and I did not want to live.  If I had to though, I was going to do anything that I could to fit in somewhere.  However, this caused me to lose myself even further.  I was gone, when Tony came into my life and loved me despite my surface rust.  He loved me for me.  He wanted to be in my life for all the right reasons.  He started my turning point.  
I see a turning point as a moment that happens when you decide that you are worth fighting for.  It was not a single moment for me though, it was a series of landslides and steps that I had to endure, fight through and take to get to the point that I am at now.  It has been and continues to be... a journey.