9
May

terrible, thanks for asking

I’m good. People always ask how I’m doing. I always answer, I’m good. I’m fine. Sometimes I even border on great and an occasional excellent, but mostly, I’m good. I was just in Walmart. Ledah and Jud asked me and I answered, and then elaborated about my oxygen. Look! I’m off oxy! I’ve been at 97 most of the day! I still run oxygen every night from 8pm-8am but, wow! It feels so great to not lug around a tank on two wheels during the day. And, there was Lynn and Ike. Yep, I’m fine! I’m good. I talked to Scott on the way home. Yessiree… I’m hanging in there. A text from Marla. Don’t worry. I’m good, How are you? Neighbors over the fence, How ya doing? I’m OK.

The thing is… sometimes I’m not OK. Sometimes I’m a mess. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, psychologically. My basement is flooded. My furnace is out. I didn’t have hot water for ten days. I bathed in a tote after heating water on the stove. I keep throwing a breaker. The kitchen has about a foot hole where water drips into a garbage can. I need a new roof. Terribly. I need to clear out 40 years of crap in the garage and the back yard and the basement.

I can’t loose a pound. Every single time I think of dieting or exercising, I gain ten pounds instead of losing ten. My legs hurt. I have blood clots. I’ll be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. I had a bloody nose the other night and it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t think it would stop. And, the next morning I had enormous clumps of blood in my throat. I kept gagging them up. I have painful varicose veins. I retain water. My legs are like tree stumps by evening. My heart rate is near 100 most of the time. I seriously have so. much. gas. My teeth need work. My hair is thin. I have skin tags all over the place. I have osteoporosis. My fingernails split down to the pink. I can’t drive at night.

Sunday I bore my testimony and said that my testimony comes and goes. I worry about things. I worry that Louise will get ‘there’ and it won’t be what I thought it was supposed to be. I wonder if my parents and grands are actually ‘there.’ I wonder what the point is of living forever. I don’t understand what I’m really doing. I don’t know if I will measure up. I don’t know if I will have a place, or if there is a place. All my life I’ve been taught… and now I think I know, but I don’t know.

Mentally. Well, this week I’ve cried a whole lot. My oldest said sister, Louise, passed away a few hours after I went to the Logan Hospital to visit with her. I knew it would be the last time. She asked about each of my children, asked how they are, what they’re doing, and if they are happy. She was in so much pain and yet asked me about my life. After I left, they gave her enough morphine to dull her pain, but she never regained consciousness. I will ever be grateful that I heeded a tinkling of a prompt to go visit her right then. In other mental news, I’m alone. A lot. I worry about making it through the night, especially when my water heater and furnace aren’t working. I wonder if there is gas leaking. Gas I can’t smell. I actually opened my windows [made it even colder than the already 58º], heated three rice packs in the microwave and piled on the blankets. My first words in the morning were, Thank you, God, for letting me live. I can’t say I wasn’t pleasantly surprised. Still in the mental category … people get upset when they hear that I don’t have heat or hot water and say things like you should have called. But seriously. I don’t want anyone busting around down in the basement. It’s basically a pot hole. There’s mold, mildew, slimy water, garbage, junk, piles. Why would I want anyone down there? I’d rather freeze. I’ve always said, If you knew who I really am… you would have nothing to do with me. I worry. Is my basement who I really am? Still mental: I wonder how I got here. I wonder how I could keep making the worst possible choices in men. How I could keep attaching myself to unattachable people. How I could keep hurting my children by my poor choices.

Psychological. Sheesh. I think that’s a mixture of all of the aforementioned plus a bit of betrayal trauma, abandonment, reality checks, and wonderment skirting on the edges of depression. I have to really hold on some days. I go through a mental list of things I’m grateful for, then a list of blessings, and a growing list of how I’ve been protected and guarded and guided. I remember what I’ve held dear to in the past. I remember my sweet mother. I remember my children and grands. I remember when I didn’t have much of a testimony or hope or faith. And, I remember when that changed. I remember the importance of connection and belonging. I remember the assurance of peace in this life and the life to come. I battle a voice in my head that argues with me and says the worse things. I often pray for God to take away that other voice that I know isn’t mine. I try to imagine placing the awful words on a big leaf and letting if float down a river. Good riddance. Or putting the words in a basket with helium and having them disappear in a cloud. I hate that other voice. I try to say five positive things to every negative thing. Like they say.

The funeral is tomorrow. Maybe after that I’ll be alright. I’ll be back to good. Fine. Maybe I will feel the Holy Spirit whispering to hang on and hang in. Maybe after singing with my sisters and remembering and connecting I’ll be back to my old self. I feel wounded. And I want to be whole again.

Losing my oldest sister reminds me that the rest of us are right behind her. Melvin, Janet, Diane, me, David, Eileen, Rob and Carol. We’re all heading in the same direction. I didn’t know this part of my life would have gotten here so quickly.

 

3
Feb

straightway

There have been several times I’ve experienced a prompting and questioned whether or not it was, in fact, from God. I’ve then questioned, was that just my own thought, or was it really something?… and I’ve often dismissed the feeling.

Enter, the parable of the Bing.

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You know, that little feeling, a little high-pitched low-decibel but very auditory … Bing. Like a high-C tap on a xylophone. Bing. Hurry and do this. Bing. You should do this. Bing. This is important. And often, we dismiss.

This week’s Come Follow Me teaches us all about the Bing. When Jesus called his first disciples, the scriptures say they left their ships and nets “straightway.” They didn’t ask to join Jesus after the fishing season; they didn’t even delay their response in order to make just one more catch. They didn’t finish cleaning, sorting or storing fish for their families and kin. They left “straightway”!

Neal A Maxwell says, “Suppose Peter had not left his nets “straightway”? He might have become the respected president of the local Galilean Fishermen’s Association. But he would not have been on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, Moses, and Elias and heard the voice of God.”

I wonder what, where, how each of us would be if we heeded the first Bing.

Elder Rasband taught in his April 2017 conference address: We must act on the first prompting.

Remember the words of Nephi. “I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless,” he said, “I went forth.”

And so must we. We must be confident in our first promptings. Sometimes we rationalize; we wonder if we are feeling a spiritual impression or if it is just our own thoughts. When we begin to second-guess, even third-guess, our feelings—and we all have—we are dismissing the Spirit; we are questioning divine counsel. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that if you will listen to the first promptings, you will get it right nine times out of ten.

Now a caution: don’t expect fireworks because you responded to the Holy Ghost. Remember, you are about the work of the still, small voice.

Last week Mikelle was in SLC getting her hair done and I had a distinct voice that left no room for misunderstanding . . Go to the Urie school right now and see if Oaklyn is OK. So I called Mikelle and told her to hurry and text Oaklyn’s teacher and see if she was alright. Fifteen minutes later, I called and asked her and she hadn’t texted yet but said she would. When Mrs. Potter texted back she said that Oaklyn had a little trouble at recess about fifteen minutes ago. One of the other girls [for the hundredth time] was mean to her and she was crying.

I should have gone to the school. I should have had lunch with Oaklyn. I should have comforted her. I should have head-smacked the other little girl. Oh wait . . .nooo.

I know there are BIngs aplenty in our everyday. But they have dissolved into thin air as we busy ourselves and numb ourselves and blast ourselves with the sounds of living. I want to always remember this.

 

18
Jan

and you can quote me

You have the power to turn your wounds and worries into wisdom; you just have to do something about them. You have to accept what has happened and use what you’ve learned to step forward. Everything you’ve experienced has given you the upper hand for dealing with everything you have yet to experience. Realize this and set yourself free.

I have a boat-load of quotes that resonate with me. My phone is full of inspiring, encouraging, up-lifting words and phrases that I keep saving. I use tons of them on my weekly bulletin, a calling that has quite literally saved me [OK, figuratively!]

Remember not only WHO you are, but WHOSE you are!

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Everything can change in the blink of an eye,
but don’t worry… God never blinks.

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Believe in yourself and all that you are.
Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

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And podcasts. Oh, my goodness. There are soooo many. And there are a few really good ones. I listen to Tony Overbay’s Virtual Couch. Free therapy for moi! Bold New Mom. Better Than Life. Two new ones I have LOVED, All In, and This is the Gospel. Sooooo wonderful.

What I’m saying is that there is more light and truth and love and comfort than a person can possible absorb in a whole lifetime, especially if you are looking in the right places. There’s plenty of garbage out there, and plenty of ‘garbage disguised as wholesome’ … but as I have tried to find AMAZING, it has found me.

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Seriously … John Bytheway, Hank Smith and Meg Johnson rolled up in one. It really doesn’t get better than this. They have a special calling in life and it is to inspire, invigorate, encourage, improve, enlighten, energize, brighten and edify. Their program is heartwarming, entertaining and can I say it…revelatory.

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It is not possible to make real changes all by ourselves.
Our own willpower and our own good intentions are not enough.
We must have the help of our Savior.

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God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams,
  just as He always has.
But, He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream.
In short… He can’t if you don’t BeLiEvE.

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 4.37.40 PM Practice the pause.
When in doubt, pause.
When angry, pause.
When tired, pause.
When stressed, pause.
And, when you pause, pray

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There are two types of ‘tired, I suppose
One is a dire need of SLEEP. The other is a dire need of PEACE.

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God has somehow taken me by the hand, and led me to a better place. I feel His peace, His direction, His calming, His acceptance, His love. I don’t know how he calmed the storm in my life, but I gratefully acknowledge that he did. He DID. HE DOES.

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