Monday, January 28, 2013

Wishing Well

Yesterday when I was driving to church I drove past the 2012 Daffodil Festival President's home which is on my way and saw that the Wishing Well from this past year's traveling float was in her front yard and it really made me smile!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Flesh Obedient to the Spirit

Probably no one knows it better than Louise Lake, confined to a wheelchair for over thirty-five years as a victim of spinal and bulbar polio. The fact that she is even alive testifies to her courage, intelligence, and sheer willpower. Twice given up for dead, she told students she sometimes has to spend hours just getting up in the morning and preparing for bed at night.
Isn’t a body a burden on the spirit under such circumstances? Louise’s answer, given to the student body at Ricks College as she accepted the Exemplary Womanhood Award in 1976, gives us another perspective.
“I love my body. Why do I love my body so much? Because I have disciplined this flesh, and in times when normally it would have said, ‘Oh I can’t, this is too much, too difficult,’ I have said to my flesh, ‘Arise, you will get out of bed, you will prepare this, you will do that, you will attend this.’ And so the spirit has told the struggling flesh what to do and together they have mastered some of those situations. The flesh has been obedient and has come along to the spirit’s self-discipline.
“Do you think I’d want another body? No! This flesh has been trained and under inconvenience it has met challenges. I am so grateful for the … beautiful teaching of the resurrection that I may arise … with this same flesh perfected, cleansed, strengthened, ready because it has mastered some difficult things.”
From Fit Is More Than Not Fat, June 1978 Ensign by Phyllis C. Jacobson and Barbara Vance 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Helping or Hindering

I had a long conversation with a friend the other day about the line between doing too much for others and not doing enough.  She was trying to help a friend with her child and was babysitting her but it was starting to be for longer and longer periods of time.  She knows the child needs more attention based on various issues, but at what point does she let the mother know that it has become too much and how does she know when the mother is trying to take advantage of the situation.

It really is a sticky situation and the line between helping and hindering is a fine one.  I suggested that she come up with rules that she can live with like not taking the child over night during the week, only on weekends.  These rules help her establish boundaries to not get used by the mother but also give boundaries to the mother to make sure she doesn't take advantage of my friend's hospitality.

I have this quote in my therapy notes that I thought fit this situation really well.  It is from the book - Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Dennis Linn:

The person who just gives to others risks burn out, smothering others, and an empty inner life.  When caring for others is not in a healthy balance with caring for self, we can fall into any one of the following distorations of caring:  1) doing for others what they can do for themselves, 2) giving help others don't want or need, 3) giving help I don't want to give, and 4) I or the person helped expecting something but not asking for it. 

I have come to realize when I am crossing that fine line I am feeling resentment and that is my cue to stop what I am doing.  But for my friend, I think having a few rules in place before hand will help prevent getting to that point.  When I have moved into a resentment phase I am no longer helping that person, or myself either, I am hindering both of us.  Starting with a plan in place first and not going all co-dependent in the first place are both guides to be more of a help to others than a hinderance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Really Hot Unicorns

We love watching Bunheads and this line was awesome:  "They're like two really hot unicorns."  It made me smile!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Temple Labors a Protection

I was fortified when our stake president quoted President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:  "No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work and the family history research that supports it.  No work is more spiritually refining.  No work we do gives us more power. . . .  Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as  a people."  Feb. 2012 Ensign, My Family History Challenge, Cristina Alvear

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just One Word

I have been in a funk the last few days and extremely tired the last few weeks and I keep wondering what is going on.  Is it the darkness of winter that is getting to me, is it all the holiday craziness or maybe the new addition to the family (even though extremely enjoyable, it has been emotional).  I know I haven't been doing much of my Breathe Strategies and I especially keep thinking about "E is for Energize" and that I haven't been doing energizing activities.  Well, I may never know what is draining me, but I do know that I need to do something about it, but I just haven't had the motivation or idea of what to do.

Then yesterday when I was reading my friend Haunani's blog (see "Stuff I Love" in my blog list) and she was talking about her one word for this year which is Launch.  She was talking about exactly how I was feeling and I started to wonder what would be my one word for this year.  I am not sure what I would pick for the whole year, but I did think about what I would pick as my one word for this week at least and that would be "first."

In the past I have used this scripture to guide me on what to do first:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.  3 Nephi 13:33

I felt like if I read my scriptures first, then everything else in my day would go well.  I have been struggling with how to have my day flow for a really, really long time.  I've tried exercising while reading my scriptures first, I've tried reading my scriptures and journaling first, I've tried doing my chores first and so on.  In the end I feel like I can't get my day flowing and the worst part is when I end up on the couch and I find myself there all day long.

So as I thought about "first" I decided that it is not only what I do first, but where I am first too.  So this morning I decided it is important for me to be in an energizing space first which is my scrapbook room.  I find when I am in there I become energized even if I start off just dragging.  For my birthday a few months ago I got this beautiful chair to put in there so that I could just sit and be comfy if I need to (versus the couch) and I find that even if I sit there for a long time, eventually I see something else I want to do in the room and before long the energy is flowing and I didn't even notice that I got moving.

I am not sure if "first" will become my word for the year, but it is definitely the word I am going to focus on for the next week.  I will go into my scrapbook room first and see what flows.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

San Diego Trip

In 1985 I took a trip with my roommate, Paula, and a friend of her's to San Diego.  We had so much fun!  This was my first trip ever to Disneyland and I had a blast!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Am HIs Daughter & He Loves Me

I have come to enjoy the quiet.  I listen to the ocean waves and watch the sunset.  I literally stop and smell the roses.  I listen and act according to the guidance of the Spirit.  I am not afraid to be alone because I am not alone as long as I believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I see the Spirit of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in most everything I do.  "Through faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, you are not alone."  Those words have a new and profound meaning deep in my heart today, and I know without a doubt that I am never alone.  I am His daughter, and He loves me."  With Faith in God, I Am Never Along, by Donna Hollenbeck, February 2012 Ensign

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Breathe In Love, Breathe Out Hurt

As you may know, I have been working on learning how to love myself more and I keep a record every day on a 1-100 scale of how much I love myself with 100 being the top of loving myself.  I did start at 0 when I started this project.  I finally made it to 51, which is the tipping point, months ago and really struggled to get further than that.  One of my sisters suggested that my goal had been just to get to 51 and I hadn't readjusted my goal.  I realized that she was right, so I decided I needed the goal to get to 100.

So I started working again at making more of an effort to be kind to myself and to do thing that would encourage me to like myself more.  I made it up to 65 and I have been stuck at 65 for a really long time and I am not sure what I need to do next.

Over the last few years I have learned how to feel my feelings and really listen to myself and that has been a huge step in understanding myself and being kinder to myself.  Feeling your feelings, good and bad, is crucial to being a whole and healthy person.  In Fact, Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Dennis Linn in their book "Healing the Eight Stages of Life" had this to say:

Recall a time when you felt deeply loved.  Reexperience the scene, breathing that love into yourself once again.  Now recall a time . . . when you were hurt.  Reexperience the scene, using all your senses to imagine it.  Get in touch with any feelings of hurt. . . .  Let Jesus join you in the scene.  Watch what he says and does for you.  Breathe in all the ways Jesus is loving you, and breathe out any hurt.

The word "Breathe" means so much more to me than just taking in air (see the side bar for more reasons why) and this suggested experience is really wonderful!  I've decided this week that I need to try and do this as much as possible.  I have also decided that I need to recall a time when I felt like I deeply loved myself and do the same thing with this experience. 

As I think about the time when I felt most loved, when I most loved myself and when I felt loved by my Savior it brings such an amazing feeling inside.  So this week, breathe in all the love and breathe out all the hurt!  What a cool thing to do!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Adam's Arrival Date

In Adam's email this week he was able to tell us his mission release date so I updated it on his blog on Monday and it said there were only 99 days left until he comes home, that truly made me smile!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Exchange Robes for Rags

“For what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one: Be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other: Be thou clothed in rags and sit thou here—and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just?” (D&C 38:26)  There are many sisters who are living in rags—spiritual rags. They are entitled to gorgeous robes, spiritual robes, . . . it is your privilege to go into homes and exchange robes for rags. . . . For a home teacher or a visiting teacher to accept a responsibility of four, five, six, or seven homes, and leave them in their spiritual rags and tatters is without excuse.   President Spencer W. Kimball, A Vision of Visiting Teaching

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Making and Reviewing Goals

We had some really good talks in church recently about making goals.  I guess it is a good topic for this time of year, but these talks were a little more than that.  One of the speakers was a recently returned missionary and he talked about how the missionaries use goals all the time.  They make daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and yearly goals.  But what I felt like the important thing was that the missionaries then review daily, weekly, monthly and yearly on how their goals are progressing.  I remember reading this in the Preach My Gospel when my son first went out on his mission, it was the whole "Return and Report" thing that had really impressed me, but I had forgotten about that until this talk.  We can't just make goals, we need to review them consistently to see how we are doing.  So as I sat there in church that day, I put some notes on my ipad and specifically put down daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.  Then I put down a way to assess those goals, or as I like to say "quantify" them.  I know so often we hear that we don't want to be a number, but I really believe you need to in order to quantify it, to see how well you are doing.

If you know me, you know that I love lists, I don't know why, but lists are just my thing, they help me organize my thoughts and help me to accomplish more in my day.  In the past, I lived for my lists, but then I went to the other extreme and just ignored them.  Well, I decided it was time to get back to my lists and I started a daily To Do list on my ipad (can I just say I love my ipad, I've had it for a year now and my whole life is in it all in one place).  I just helps me to stay focused, make my goals for the day and I delete them if I accomplished them so I can see just how well I did.  Then I create a new one before I go to bed or when I get up first thing in the morning.

As for my weekly and monthly goals, I am using the calendar on my ipad for that.  I have the items as repeats on my calendar and then as I accomplish them, I delete them off my calendar.  If it is sitting there, I still need to do it.  Some days I have to play a little catch-up or I allow myself to delete the item completely and not feel guilty about it.

My yearly goals are actually a bigger version of my monthly goals, so if I accomplish those, I should be able to accomplish my yearly goals.  It feels like a really good plan, we will just have to see how well I do on as the year goes on.  The good thing about goals, if you don't succeed, just try again!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Skype from Brazil

So it's not a great picture, but Skyping on Christmas Day with my son who is in Brazil made me smile!