grl 2018

I wish I had pictures! I wish I had a camera. But I don’t. Maybe someone will send me some pictures and I’ll add them later. What a fun couple of weeks!

Scott and I went up on July 25 and got a couple of great spots. He was in 30 and I had 31. I’ve always wanted to camp there because it has a huge boulder for kids to climb on and once in a while it has water in the stream bed to keep my chocolate milk cold. We got settled pretty quickly and had a good two days before others joined us. We ate together, read together and kayaked. He built a fire, which added to the ambiance and later went fishing down the road while I stayed in camp.

Oh wait . . did I say we got settled pretty quickly? Because I can’t really say it here… but it took a while to get a brand new tent up. Little bit of a slow learning curve on that one! It turned out to be a great tent with tons of room, tons of cool features, and tons of potential. Next year we’re going to put it up facing the correct direction and maybe get another floor for the outer card-playing room.

Diane came on Thursday the 26th. I saw her drive by and then didn’t see her until much later in the evening when we were walking around the campground. We got there just as she was finishing her set-up, and helped with her shade shelter and tarp. I worried about Diane being alone, but she seemed to fill each day with activities and reading.

Mikelle and Logan got there next [on the 27th] and they were in one of our all-time favorite spots, 29. It has the big stream running through it and lots of fun places to explore and play. They got their levitat up and two tents, a shade shelter, a card playing area with a shelter, and their two four-wheelers unpacked. Wait . . there’s more. They had bikes, stoves, kayaks [so grateful they hauled mine up!] a double stroller, 25 totes full of camping gear, clothes, food, etc. Holy smack ETC! Tracy and Richard pulled in later that evening and camped right next-door to them in 27, which is where I have camped 5-6 times in the last ten years. It’s where I broke my leg a few years back . . lot’s of scary memories for me each time I tried to navigate the slippery log between camp sites. They also brought ‘everything-camping’ with kayaks, totes, tents, shelters, stove, bikes, trailer, mattress, ETC, as well! I can’t imagine the job of packing, unpacking and packing and unpacking for those two families!

Other campers this year:
Spencer, then later, LaVar and Sandi
Stephen, Santina and Jax
Carol, Mike, then later, Jake, Beth and Lucy
Tami, Jaxon, Teryn, Jared and Taz, then later, John and Lila
Caleb, and girl Spencer [lol]
Paul and his family
George and Tammy
Sherri and one son
Mel and Renita visited two days

It was a whole lot of Smiths!

We went up on the Moose Gypsum road clear to the top and saw the Continental Divide, Wilderness Parking area near the campground, and most of the mountains around. It was a 4.5-5 hour trip on four-wheelers and ATV’s. I think there were about 6-7 vehicles and 15 of us. Lots of other people up there on the mountain with their own ATVs, as well. It definitely isn’t a place you could take a four-wheel truck very easily. It was a fun day and beautiful breath-taking scenery. When I got back off the mountain and looked up at it from the lower perspective, I was amazing that we went so far, that it was soooo high and that it looked like a sheer cliff drop-off from Wilderness Parking.

Highlights of the two weeks are:
Lots of Rook, Canasta, baseball, and Tami’s 9-square game
Lots of hiking up to the Natural Bridge, the upper lake
Walking around the campsite every morning [for exercise]
Fun at the bridge, lots of people jumping in
A couple of trips across the lake to “the rock”
“Bathroom rocks,” favorite place for kids 12 and under
Lots of rides on the four-wheelers
I read three books, Scott read four!
Two trips to Pinedale for various things
A couple of deer, four otters, tons of osprey, lol!
A couple of kayak trips down the river
Fishing almost every single day
Soooo much food and so many gourmet meals. Seriously!

It costs a lot of money, it is so much work to get ready and pack, and then the dirt road was the worse possible! [I might say that every year, but really . .] and then unpacking takes me 3-4 days . . but it is such a wonderful time and wonderful memories and wonderful experience seeing grandkiddos form life-long friendships . . it’s all worth it.

I loved forming some new habits of prayer twice a day, meditating, taking lots of prayer pauses, reading scriptures, thinking over life and it’s lessons, and soaking in the mountains. GRL truly is soul-drenching for me. It’s full of tradition, memories, peace, comfort, strength, family, letting-go, and rejuvenation.

Ahh, until next July!


i love this!

“When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that comes from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love.”
-GD lesson 28 D&C

This just jumps out to me and waves me down on the highway of life. Sooooo profound.

You know, a few years ago… maybe 5-6, this probably wouldn’t have caught my eye, much less my heart or mind. But lately, so many things are falling into place and making perfect sense to me. I am actually loving learning more about God, his Son, Jesus Christ, and my purpose here on earth. I am loving reading and studying. I am loving praying and listening and hearing. I am loving leaning in, leaning in hard. I am loving quiet reflection and pondering. I am loving the peace.

5-6 years ago I think I was just going through the motions. I think I thought I had all the time in the world to live and then get my crap together before I died. I think I didn’t know anything really important. I think I didn’t care about too many things that are really important.

Tracy got sick. I was in Stake Relief Society. I started going to the temple more regularly. I gained a little glimpse of real faith. I gained a little faith in the power of temple attendance. Leonard had a mid-life crises. I gained strength. Leonard started using meth and heroin, I gained strength. Leonard started using porn and seeing other women. I gained strength. Leonard totally went off the deep end. I gained strength.

Everything came crashing down, but then, over the next four years, some amazing and miraculous things fell right into place. And many of them were soooo miraculous and soooo timely and soooo obviously blessings, that I can never deny God’s hand in my life. His total intervention. Oh, my goodness, my testimony has been strengthened!

I always said I believed in God. I always knew I should. My mother taught me that. I knew that. But I didn’t actually feel that it was happening for me. I saw it in other people’s lives. I heard their words. But I just didn’t feel it for myself, personally.

And, now I do.

And it has been worth the trial. And the hurt. And the embarrassment. And the disillusionment. And the tears. And the loneliness. And the adversity. And the pain and difficulties.

In the school of mortality, the tutor is often pain and tribulation, but the lessons are meant to refine and bless us and strengthen us, not to destroy us. There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand, and He waits for us to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer. I testify that if we will be obedient and if we are diligent, our prayers will be answered, our problems will diminish, our fears will dissipate, light will come upon us, the darkness of despair will be dispersed, and we will be close to the Lord and feel of His love and of the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
-Robert D. Hales

I can’t say quite yet that I am grateful for this trial. But I’m sooo grateful for the growth that has come because of it. I am grateful for my faith and my testimony and the clarity and understating that has been the result of all of this. I am grateful for knowing with all my heart [and everything that is in me!] that God knows me and has blessed me. I’ve struggled with that.

And, now I know.



betrayal trauma

Severe Betrayal Trauma. I first heard this term on Studio 5 and listened to the segment, not once, but twice. The guest spoke of ‘Betrayal Recovery,’ and I listened to him describe my life on public TV. I involuntarily glanced around my empty living room to see if anyone noticed he was talking about me.

I remember my friend, Jim, telling us at lunch one day at work, years ago, about a man who had a serious speech impediment. “He married the ugliest woman he could find, because he knew she would never step out on him.” As life goes . . . she did. She had an affair and they ended up getting divorced. At the time I thought it was one of the funniest stories I had heard in a while. We laughed out loud as Jim acted out the parts and talked as though he was his friend, speech impediment and all. He acted all indignant about the betrayal.

I also remember thinking, you know what, it’s one of the reasons I married Leonard. His mother assured me over and over that he would never step out on me. “We just don’t do that sort of thing,” she said. I remember thinking, he is so much better off with me, with us, . . . he should only be grateful that he’s not in jail or on the street.

Now who’s the laughing stock? Don’t get me wrong. I am relieved to be getting divorced. I’m relieved I don’t have to inhale his crappy smoke and listen to all his moaning and excuses and ridiculous rationalizing. I’m relieved I don’t have to sleep with one eye open in case he leaves something in a 400º oven. Or watch his downward spiral as he attempts to navigate a drug-induced life. I’m so glad I no longer have to witness insanity escalate.

And yet, there is, seriously, some humiliation. I’m embarrassed that I stayed with him so long. I’m embarrassed that the hundreds of red flags went unheeded. I’m embarrassed that I actually thought I could live my life and do the things important to me — things I love — and he could do his thing and we could cohabitate.

Was I ever wrong.

Now that I think about it . . . I don’t mind being wrong. Because I finally know what peace feels like. And contentment, and harmony, and joy and quiet, and leaning on the Lord. I mean really leaning.

I have had soooooo many manifestations of His help and His hand.

Help with the water, the ditch pump works!
Help with the mowers, they both work!
Help with a broken pipe and a huge flood!
Help with the car!
Help with finances!
Help with filling many many hours in a day!
Help with direction!
Help with scripture study!
Help with knowing He’s there!
Help with the locks!
Help with feeling safe!
Help with my calling!
Help with my church attendance!
Help with court!
Help with traveling!
Help with repentance!
Help with praying more!
Help with everything I didn’t think I could accomplish.

And so much more.

My life is faaaarr from what I thought it would be when I was looking forward at age 20. It’s been rough. It’s been disappointing. It’s been humiliating. It’s been gut-wrenching. But I can see miracle after miracle. I can see mercy after mercy. I can see God’s hand.