Blog Archive

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Small Acts



      I have grown to appreciate more people who are truly kind.  Good people who give without any thought of reward.
     I don't usually watch t.v., but when I do one of my favorite shows is "Kindness Diaries".  In that show the host believes that even with all the bad that is in our world, there is enough good to make the world go around.  He literally travels around the world relying on the kindness of others and along his amazing journey he proves just that.  That there is enough kindness is our world.  I too believe that.
      I was reminded of that as I heard stories of others helping each other in the midst of the hurricanes recently.  I was reminded of that when a neighbor and friend, who was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, bore a powerful witness of God and all things good.  I was reminded that as my friends pitched in extra to help me put together a children's program for our church.  And I was reminded of that as I watched my 4-year- old give everyone hugs during family prayer.

    I pray I may always be kind.  That is my hope each day I have the chance to live here on Earth.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Jennifer Lynn's Story




     Jenny and I met in a kind of unusual way- through an article she wrote for the BYU magazine.  I was so touched by her article and experience and her thoughts on being a mother, I reached out to her through her blog.  Now she is one of my dear friends.
This is a little of her amazing story from the summer 2017 BYU magazine and her article titled "Finding Her Voice"  and some answers to questions I asked her.


     In 2004 Jenny suffered a massive brain stem stroke, where doctor's predicted she wouldn't live through the next day.  When Jenny defied the odds and survived the trauma, her doctors informed her family she would be unable to move or talk for the rest of her life.  At the time of Jenny's stroke her children were ages 2, 4, and 6.  She said, "After the stroke I feared that I would not be a good mother, but in many ways I became a better mom.  Before my stroke I was busy trying to be the perfect mom and was sometimes so busy that I was not available fro my kids when they really needed.  After my stroke, I was always available and gave my full attention because that is all I could give.  They had hours of my undivided attention and plenty of snuggle time...what I could do was more important than the superficial things I could no longer do."




How do you live with your trial each day with such optimism and hope? 

I have my rough days, too, where I cry & have “pity parties”, but I focus on all the good things.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ’s example during trials.  It provides guidance, strength, faith, & courage  for the things I must face each day, & it fills me with hope, courage & faith in myself to know that I am a daughter of god, & that god loves me, knows my heart, & will help, if I just ask.  But I will never improve if I don't see a  need to improve, & things are much easier when u include  God!

My knowledge of the gospel,  through The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints (also known as LDS or  Mormonism). Faith is also integral: I truly believe that my time on Earth is "just a moment" on the timeline for eternity, that I know I was prepared in a Pre-Earth life for this trial, & as I go along, I can see God's "tender mercies", showing that He is right there with me!  


What keeps you going each day?  
1 Corinthians 10: 13 (from the King James Bible) ... God ...will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
 
This scripture gives me strength to know that God will not give me more than I can bear. The scriptures also teach that Christ will lighten your burden. I take it seriously & tell god when I feel like I can handle no more.  My favorite poem, Footprints In The Sand, reminds me that God is there, but carrying me & I take comfort knowing that he carries me when it is rough.  But I know he is there waiting to help me if I just ask. & when I ask, it surprises me how much I can handle (I don’t think Christ thought he could handle his earthly mission either, & I bet he was surprised by what he could bear!)  Once I ask for God’s help, I need to trust in Him & His ways (but I don’t lay it in his lap, I keep going, knowing he will help strengthen me).  When faced with adversity, we can either choose to move away or come closer to God, having faith that He can see the entire picture & can help mold us into who we need to become.

How do you not get discouraged?  
I keep a gratitude list.  I haven't written anything for a while, but I kept it for so long that now it's become  a "part of me", & that is how I see things.  Gratitude helps me see my blessings & change my attitude, as my hope, faith, & testimony in God grow. 

What's one thing you  have learned in your trial?
Never say “I can’t.”If something doesn't work out as  u hoped, just try 15 minutes later, or do it the next day—u may not feel well, need rest/food, or just need more time, in general.

You can read more about Jenny and her experiences on her blog  www.jenannlynn.org   




Monday, July 24, 2017

I understand


 I wanted to convey how it really is when I do feel things are too hard to bear.  I get it.  I truly do.  And I understand. I feel very deeply a compassion for all who have to struggle with feelings of hopelessness or discouragement.  And that is my whole reason to do this blog.  
 I am a naturally happy person, but that doesn't mean I also have my own struggles.   I feel deeply the same feelings of discouragement, doubt, isolation, and sadness sometimes.  All feelings depression brings.  But in this post I also want to convey I also know the principles I testify of in my blog to be true.  And choosing- CHOOSING- to live each day in hope despite what I have been given has made all the difference.  I choose the better part and that part is Him.  And that has made all the difference and has filled my life with joy in my family, joy with many wonderful friends like below, and joy overall.  Despite how I feel even when it gets hard, overall I am very happy.  Life is too wonderful to let my trials succumb me- so I try not to.  Cause look at what I am blessed to have.

The last few weeks I've been able to see some of my closest and dearest friends again.  Some I haven't seen for 15 years. And as we reconnected I learned of some of their own joys and struggles and how everyone has their own journey in this life.  But life is too wonderful to be beaten down by any trial.  There is so much good.  And I am so grateful for my own life- and for all my friends!  Look at how lucky I am!!






Saturday, May 13, 2017

There is always Hope


      I recently read on another blog about this person's view of hope and depression.  He mentioned something like, "just keep lying to yourself that it will get better"  it "may not get better, but just keep telling yourself that lie".  And while I feel so much of what this person was saying to be true that you do never know when you may feel better when you feel so hopeless, I want to offer a slightly different view- one I know is complete and true.   That is that there is always hope- always.  Not just when you feel well or when things go your way, but and especially when you don't feel your best and when things don't go your way.  And the reason I capitalized Hope in the title is because I know there is One source of Hope and ray of light that can change our perspective and help us feel gratitude even when things aren't going the way we desire- and that Hope is only in our Savior Jesus Christ.  He is literally the "life and light of the world"  and especially when times get rough or dark when we look up to Him I testify we can and most surely will see the light.  Paul said, "For god, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of god in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)   He is our only pure source of hope, I know that because I have been blessed to feel that deeply again and again- and it has made my life full of hope and happiness.  


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Embrace judgment from others



     I adore children.  Children of all ages.  I think they are God's gift to us to help us learn how to be like Him.  I love how honest they are and how they naturally embody faith and love.  But I also know and believe they are among our most impressionable, and that what we say or don't say truly shapes their character.  I also feel we sometimes forget as adults that we really are just like little children in bigger bodies.  We still are impressionable- maybe not as much as our sweet children- but the things we do and say to others or don't do and say also effect each other.

      With this thought, one of the hardest things for me about depression is the judgment from others.
  I've heard everything from "you need to read your scriptures more", (I love to read them each day) to "just think more positively" (I love life and though not perfect strive to be positive in all I do), to "it's all in your head" (kinda is- but not the way you think).  So basically- it's my fault.  But when I have focused on the hurtful comments from others and judgment I have received, I have felt more discouraged.  But, there is hope.  And actually this is one of the blessings of having depression or any trial- judgment. It truly is.  And the more hurtful the comment, I believe the better. It brings a greater chance for you to grow.

      I remember one day about 15 years ago when I was going through a very difficult time and my depression was one of the hardest I have experienced.  As I was picking up my sons at a playgroup swap, I  put on a smile for my sweet children but inside I was really struggling.  After my children looked away- one father must have noticed  my worn face and to my surprise in a baby mocking tone said, "What's a matter?  Why so sad?" Then he got in my face and frowned and then laughed.  The comment shocked me.  It made me feel even more alone and like I couldn't trust even friends with my feelings.  But- as I prayed about this I decided to do one thing: smack him in the face!  Just kidding! But I really did feel that way after I went home.  I was hurt, and it was around then I realized I could let this comment and other hurtful ones effect me and how I felt about myself- or tell the Lord my pain and choose to forgive.  I have chosen forgiveness.  And wow is it liberating. And while I am not perfect at this yet I get many new chances to practice.   Every time someone has made a hurtful comment I get a new chance to forgive.   I believe one of the greatest gifts to yourself is forgiveness.  And people give us the gift to forgive everyday.  That's why I chose to embrace judgement and forgiveness.