Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Be Prepared

Sunday our Stake President came and talked to our ward.  He said that he had given the same talk in all the wards in our Stake and that our ward was the last one to hear it.  It was about being prepared.  He told of an experience he had when he was in New York visiting friends not too long ago.  He had gone to church with his friends and an Area Seventy was there talking that day.  The Area Seventy felt inspired to tell them to be prepared for a hurricane to come through their area, which as we now know, was Hurricane Sandy.

Our Stake President pointed out that he wasn't saying there was anything specific, he just felt very impressed to remind us all to be prepared for whatever may come whether it be financial, physical or spiritual challenges, to do all that we can to be prepared.

Several weeks ago I had come across this quote from Elder L. Tom Perry that I had highlighted and it goes right along with this:

Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. . . .  We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.  First, gain an adequate education.  Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remunerations sufficient to care for yourself and your family. . . .  Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day.  Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with.  As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. . . .  Third, avoid excessive debt.  Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice.  We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. . . .  Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life.  Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency.

I also really loved this quote from President Ezra Taft Benson:

The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.

I had really been thinking a lot about being prepared and felt that both the quotes and the Stake President's talk were very timely for me.  So many things have changed around here with all the weddings and missions and I think it is definitely time to re-evaluate our plans and preparedness in both temporal and physical ways.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hermana Amiga

Taylor arrived at the missionary training center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico City yesterday and received her official name tag that says:  "Hermana Friend."  When she first got her mission call I started calling her "Hermana Amiga" as I thought it was just really cute.  All the time and effort she and, well, us too, to get her on her mission was indeed a lot of hard work.  This is the last picture I got of her as she headed out to the airplane that would take her to her 18 month mission.  It is still surreal that she is really gone and our house is going to be very quiet without her.  We have 78 weeks to go of looking forward to her weekly emails!  So proud of you Hermana Amiga!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Creating Your Own Strategies

To the left of this post is what I have what I call my "Breathe Strategies."  Just as much as I need to take my medication daily, I need to use my strategies daily as well to help me with my depression and anxiety. 

As I was talking to Taylor the other day a thought came to me that I would like her to have her own strategies to help her on her mission.  I asked her what her favorite word was and she said, "believe."  So we thought of strategies that would go with that word and came up with some actions that she would be able to do while on her mission to go along with each strategy.  This is what we came up with:

B-Be still (prayer, meditate, comforting things)
E-Energize (exercise, have fun & laugh)
L-Love (positive self talk, delete negative self talk)
I-Invest in herself (self-care things like dressing up, eating right, etc.)
E-Exform [note: this is a word I learned from my therapist who explains that we all have
     information coming at us constantly and "exformation" is getting all that information out of
     your body]  (journaling, honest communication with companions and mission leaders)
V-Value herself (daily gratitude and self love lists, repeating the Young Women's motto,
     sing I Am A Child of God)
E-Enrich (teaching, serving, sharing)

I made her a bookmark with her Believe Strategies to keep in her scriptures for a reminder to follow these strategies daily, but especially when she is having a hard day.

So what is your favorite word?  What would your strategies be?  How would they be written into your favorite word so that you can remember?  I would love to know!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bedroom Shuffle

No, the Bedroom Shuffle is not a new dance, it is the name I gave rearranging bedrooms several months ago and this week we did it again.  The first few years in this house felt like I was constantly shuffling things around as we worked and repaired a lot of the house.  Eventually, I felt like everything was fixed and in their place and it felt so wonderful!  That lasted about two years before we moved Taylor into our house.  We gave her the guest room to live in.  We didn't know how long she would stay and didn't realize how much she would become a part of our family.

Taylor had almost been with us for a year when we ended up taking in Adam's girlfriend and moving her into our den.  Shortly after that Adam and Hannah got engaged.  It was sometime last summer that we had our first bedroom shuffle.  Adam and Hannah's wedding was a few months away and they were planning on staying with us for an undetermined amount of time after they got married.  I got this wild and crazy idea in which Adam and Hannah could have the guest room once they were married, thus the first bedroom shuffle idea was born.

We moved Hannah into the guest room where Taylor had been staying, then moved Adam into the den and moved Taylor into Adam's room.  We let Taylor paint Adam's old room and she bought her own furniture and decorations and created her very own wonderful oasis.  The room turned out beautifully!

Not long after the first bedroom shuffle, my daughter, Megan, got engaged and her fiancée, Nik, who is from Alabama moved here to be closer to her.  We set up a temporary room for him in our exercise room for several months.  When Adam and Hannah got married he moved into the guest room with her and Nik moved into the den.

With Megan now getting married and not needing her bedroom downstairs, I came up with the idea of Adam and Hannah renting half of the basement (with an easement to my Studio, of course).  Thus began the second bedroom shuffle. 

After Megan and Nik returned from their stay with his family in Alabama after their wedding, we moved them into the guest room upstairs and gave them overflow into the den.  Then we moved Adam and Hannah into Megan's old room, the family room, bathroom and kitchenette all downstairs.  We did the moving out and some of the moving in all in one day.  It was crazy!  Then we painted Adam and Hannah's new bedroom before moving all their furniture into it.

Maybe my Bedroom Shuffle ideas were great, but they sure were a lot of work.  Now that my kids are all married and moved into different spaces (as well as Megan and Nik moving back to college in a few weeks) it is wonderful to think that there will be no more bedroom shuffles in the future, hopefully!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Working Toward Perfection

I was reading the article "Becoming Perfect in Christ" by Elder Gerrit W. Gong in the July, 2014 Ensign and realized that this article was so much more than trying to be perfect.  Elder Gerrit says:

A misunderstanding of what it means to be perfect can result in perfectionism--an attitude or behavior that takes an admirable desire to be good and turns it into an unrealistic expectation to be perfect now.  Perfectionism sometimes arises from the feeling that only those who are perfect deserve to be loved or that we do not deserve to be happy unless we are perfect.

He goes on to talk about how challenging trying to live that way is.  I have come to realize that there is no such thing as perfect, there is only trying to perfect ourselves.  Kindness to ourselves is allowing ourselves to make mistakes just as our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, expect us to as well.  Being able to accept who you are is being able to accept where you are at in your journey toward perfection as well.

I frequently use the phrase that balance is like a teeter-totter bouncing back and forth, it is the same for trying to perfect ourselves.  One day we will do great and the next, not so much.  This doesn't mean we have failed or are failing, it just means we are human and are trying.  Just do your best to bounce back.

I loved this final thought from Elder Gong in his article:

As we act and are not aced upon, we can navigate between complementary virtues [think of the teeter-totter] . . . , we can cease to be idle without running faster than we have strength.  We can be "anxiously engaged in a good cause" while also periodically pausing to "be still, and know that I am God."  We can find our lives by losing our lives for the Savior's sake.  We can be "not weary in well-doing" while taking appropriate time to refresh spiritually and physically.  We can be lighthearted without being light-minded.  We can laugh heartily with but not haughtily at.

Have a desire to be perfect, do what is in your power to do so, but be realistic, the desire and the effort to work toward perfection is what is important not the unrealistic actually being perfect.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Three Hobbies I Love

I found this quote on Pinterest and it has really stuck with me.  I keep thinking about it and the more I think about it, the more I love the whole concept.  I have to admit Pinterest really has helped me tune back into things that I enjoy and like.  Before then I had been so co-dependent that I didn't know much about myself let alone things that I loved to do.  Browsing on Pinterest and pinning things that caught my attention slowly helped me reconnect with myself. 
So, what three hobbies do I love?  One to make me money, that one was easy, it is stamping and my stamping/scrapbooking business (see renaecreates.blogspot.com, renaemcbarron.ctmh.com, Renae Creates on both eBay and Etsy).  The one to be creative was a no brainer, scrapbooking as I get to play with beautiful paper and fun embellishments and also see the pictures of the people I love all in one hobby.  Now the one to keep me in shape, that one was hard as I didn't currently have a hobby that would keep me in shape.  But I think I have come up with an answer, I love to dance and we have been doing Wii Dance a lot around here lately and I think I need to do more of it!  What are your three hobbies?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nearly 26 Years

Well, we have had our October wedding (my son) and our November wedding (my daughter) and in a few weeks my husband and I will celebrate the 26th anniversary of December wedding.  I am so very, very blessed!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Both Newlyweds

What more could a mother want, than both of her children married in the temple.  It was a little crazy having two weddings within a month of each other, but everything went well and they are both very happy.  I'm so very happy for both of my kids and their spouses!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

The groomsmen all had suspenders so, of course, our little Ring Bearer needed a pair too.  He was so cute, he came in with the boys turned around and said, "cheese."

 Our Flower Girl walked perfectly before the brides maids in her pretty red dress.  I caught this picture of her later at the reception having a great time with my son.  I just love these two kids!

Friday, November 14, 2014

November Wedding

My beautiful daughter was married today in the Seattle LDS Temple.  This is her and her new husband coming out of the temple as husband and wife.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Girls At The Wedding

This is my beautiful daughter who was a bridesmaid at my son's wedding. 
My adopted daughter got to be one too and it made her so happy, she lost a ton of weight to fit into this beautiful dress, so proud of her!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More Wedding Pictures

I just had to share a couple more wedding pictures, me with my grand-niece in her beautiful flower girl dress and my grand-nephew wearing his Jack Skellington bowtie.  So adorable!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Wedding

My son got married this last Friday in the Seattle LDS Temple.  They did a small ring ceremony before their reception for those that couldn't be with them in the temple and this was my favorite part, when my son saw his new wife walking out in her wedding dress.  He was so happy and she looked so beautiful!  It was a wonderful day!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Don't Pick At Your Weak Points

I have been working with a friend to be more positive and when I read this line out of the article
Shunning Temptation: A Key to Receiving Revelation in the February 2014 Ensign I felt like it went right along with what we have been talking about:

Satan seeks to tempt us when we are feeling weak and what he perceives to be our weakest points he will pick away at them in the hope that we will succumb. . . .  Nobody knows our weak points better than the person looking back at us in the mirror.

When we are negative and unkind to ourselves, we are doing Satan's job for him.  We don't need to give him any more help.  When you constantly pick at your weaknesses, like a scab, you can just make it worse and uglier.  Be accepting of your weaknesses, they will in turn make you strong as you acknowledge them and find a way to strengthen them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Am Love

I went with my soon-to-be daughter-in-law for her first time to the LDS Temple.  The matron of the temple spent some time with the ladies going through for their first time that day and one of the things that she said I really liked.  She said, "The temple is love, the love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us is here."  When I have gone in the past to the temple I could feel great peace, but I hadn't thought about the love there, not just heavenly love, but the love that all the volunteers there have to be there on their own time, the love that you have for those you are there with and so on.

I have been thinking about love a lot since hearing on The Biggest Loser the thought that we are either coming from a place of love or a place of fear.  I have been re-reading The Power by Rhonda Byrne and the whole book is about love and learning how to love yourself.  As many of you know I have been working on losing weight so this particular line caught my attention:

If you want to lose weight, then give love by imagining and feeling yourself with the body you love, instead of imagining and feeling that you're overweight every single day. . . .  [G]ive love for what you want to be by imagining and feeling whatever it is you would love to be.

When you use loving words towards yourself you can't help but love yourself, your life will be about love regardless of your weight, what you do, etc.  Your life will be about love and, like the temple matron said about the temple, you will be able to say, "I am love."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

They Eat Plain Food

I've been talking about my stomach problems and the research I have been doing online.  I was reminded recently that answers to our problems can be found in the scriptures.  I wouldn't necessarily say that I doubted that, I would just say that I didn't think the answer would be so forthcoming and specific when I did find it. 

I did a search on my Gospel Library app and read through many of the things that I have read in the past, then I came along a link to an Old Testament Sunday School lesson that then sent me to Daniel 1.  In the summary at the beginning of the chapter there is one line that caught my attention, "they eat plain food."

I went on to read the whole chapter and it talks about how the King gave them food described as "a daily provision of the king's meat and of the wine which he drank."  In the footnotes connected to the word "meat" it says "delicacies."  The chapter then goes on to say that Daniel felt in his heart that eating all that would "defile" himself.  In verse 12 it says that Daniel requested that they have "pulse" to eat and water to drink.  In the footnotes it says that pulse is "foods made of seeds, grains, etc."

I have to admit I was really blown away at what I had read, my stomach does do better with the more simple carbohydrates.  The first specialist I saw had told me that I didn't need to eat that way and that was when I had gone back to eating regular foods but the problems have started up again.  I have my answer for now and an appointment in a few weeks with a different doctor to help me with this process.  So at least until everything heals up, it is back to bland, or rather, "plain" food for me. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

To Persevere Is Worth The Effort

I was reading a great article entitled "The Blessings of Perseverance" in the April 2014 Ensign by Claudio D. Zivic.  My favorite part was where the author said that he read a definition of the word "persevere" somewhere that he thought was better than the definition that is in the dictionary.  This is the quote:

To persevere means to maintain the ability to endure, to carry on, to continue in the same state without weakening or perishing.  It is being able to go on in the face of pain, oppression, discouragement or suffering without being defeated.

He also goes on to quote President Calvin Coolidge:

Nothing in this world can take the place of perseverance.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

I really loved both of these quotes, we have been talking a lot about hard work in our home lately, specifically about a friend who has had a very hard life, but had not learned how to work hard.  Learning to work hard and persevere had made a huge change in this friend's life.  To persevere is definitely worth the effort once you see the results.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Love Yourself And Let Your Fears Go

I love watching The Biggest Loser and this year they have several new trainers.  One of them I remember seeing on the show Ruby.  The other one is comepletly new to me, but I really love her philosophy.  She said that you are either coming from a place of love or a place of fear.  This comment really hit close to home with me because a friend and I had been talking about that very thing.  My therapist says it as coming from a place of love or a place of lack.  But it all means the same thing.  If you don't have love for yourself, your fears can take over your life.

I have seen this happen in my own life, it wasn't until I started having more love for myself that I started taking better care of myself.  Just like the contestants in the show I have had to learn how to love myself and I also need to lose weight.  I'm definitely not doing it very fast and I struggle a lot, but as of today I have lost 20 lbs. and my friend has lost 30 lbs. so we are obviously on the right track.

To let your fears go, you need to discover what they are, bring them out in the open and face them.  For me it was talking with my therapist and others to try and get to the root of what they really were.  Once I understood the fears I could realize the falsehood of them.  When I felt my fears creeping up I would remind myself that was the old way of thinking and the new way was and I would replace the old fear statement.  Letting the fears helped me to have more love for myself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Emotional Hernia Connection

When I was going to all kinds of doctor appointments trying to figure out what my stomach pain was, another discovery was made and that was that I have a Hiatal Hernia.  I'm not sure what symptoms are for that specifically since I have had so many different problems in my abdomen.  I'm still having a few lingering problems so I thought I would do some investigating regarding a Hiatal Hernia specifically.

In my go to books (in these books are lists of physical ailments and possible emotional connections to those ailments) it says this under the hernia heading:

"Angry with what's happening in your life, Feelings of being burdened and/or Punishing self."  Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol Truman.

 "Ruptured relationships, Strain, burdens, and/or incorrect creative expression."  You Can Heal Yourself by Louise Hay.

Also, as I was looking online for some home treatment ideas I found this:

Hiatal Hernia is often related to emotions.  The accompanying emotion is that people feel they are sitting on an intensely suppressed subconscious hostility.  They feel over burdened with having to track everything and they are experiencing a deep sense of deprivation and frustration.  Jane Durst Pukys, BSc., RNCP, CNP, wyldeabouthealth.com

Sounds like I have some more things to release, but then again, I knew this was going to be a life long process.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You Are Free

I read the article You Are Free by Elder D. Todd Christofferson in the March 2013 Ensign, where he shared a story that I just loved and wanted to share.  It starts off with a woman sharing an experience she and her daughter had with her parents and some sheep.

“… Father walked to the edge of the field and called, ‘Come on.’ Immediately, without even stopping to bite off the mouthful of food they were reaching for, all five heads turned in his direction, and then [the sheep] broke into a run until they had reached his side and received his pat on each head. . . . [T]here were five sheep in the field, and five heads went up when he called, but only four ran to Father. Farthest away, clear over on the edge of the field, looking straight toward Father, stood [a] large [ewe]. Father called to her, ‘Come on.’ She made a motion as if to start but didn’t come. Then Father started across the field, calling to her, ‘Come on. You’re untied.’ The other four sheep trailed behind him at his heels.  Then Mother explained to us that some few weeks before this, an acquaintance of theirs had brought the [ewe] and had given it to Father with the explanation that he no longer wanted it in his own herd. The man had said it was wild and wayward and was always leading his other sheep through the fences and causing so much trouble that he wanted to get rid of it. Father gladly accepted the sheep, and for the next few days he staked it in the field so it wouldn’t go away. Then he patiently taught it to love him and the other sheep. Then, as it felt more secure in its new home, Father left a short rope around its neck but didn’t stake it down. . . .  Father and his sheep had almost reached the [straggler] at the edge of the field, and through the stillness we heard him call again, ‘Come on. You aren’t tied down any more. You are free.’"

Isn't this what Jesus Christ has done for us, through the atonement He makes it so that we "aren't tied down anymore" and we are free.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Your Ideal Day

I was talking to a friend not too long ago about her days.  She has growing children who don't quite need her as much as they used to and was feeling lost and unsure.  I told her about an idea that I had heard many years ago and still use to this day, it is called Your Ideal Day.  To create your "ideal day" all you need to do is think about how your day would go if it went just exactly how you wanted it to.  What time would you get up, what time would you do your chores, pick-up kids, etc.  Plan out your day with a time attached to each item.  Keep in mind this is an "ideal day" not your actual day.

Once you have your "ideal day" plotted out, use it only as a reference.  For some people this may frustrate them more than give them direction, but you have to see it for what it is, an idea.  This is to give you direction when you are feeling lost and not sure what to do.  I know when I was really struggling with my depression I literally couldn't think of what I needed to do next and that was where the ideal day really came into play for me.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  If it only frustrates you, then toss the idea.  If it helps you stay focused, just keep using it and adjusting it if and when you need to.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Getting Out Of The Funk

Last week I had a day where I was really in a funk and try as I might, I couldn't get out of it.  I tried doing my work like I usually do and I just couldn't shake it.  Finally, I realized I was going to have to create something.  I have come to realize that when I start creating, whether it is paper crafting or with yarn, I will slowly move out of the funk I am in.

In the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, she talks about "secret shifters" where you create a list of things that you know will help you "shift" out of the mood you are in.  Recently, I was talking with a friend about her being in a funk and I suggested this idea.  She couldn't come up with any "secret shifter" ideas and didn't know what else to do.  So I opened up another book by Rhonda Byrne, The Power, and I found this quote:

When you're feeling any good feeling, you can also amplify it by looking for things you love. . . .  To amplify my good feelings, I thought about all the things I love.  I counted the things I love nonstop one after the other: my family, friends, home, flowers in the garden, the weather, colors, situations, events, and things I loved that happened during the week, month, or year.  I kept listing everything I love in my mind until I felt amazing.

So we tried it, I said, "I love ..." and filled in the blank, then I had her do the same.  We went back and forth for a long time until I started seeing her smile and laugh again.  I think this will know be my fall back now, not only for myself but for those around me, to help get us out of the funk.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tithing First

I was telling someone recently how my goal is to always pay my tithing first.  It really takes the question of whether or not to pay it out of the equation, it is just the first thing you pay when you sit down to do your bills.  I really liked the following that I read in the March 2013 Ensign submitted by Ricardo Reyes Villalta:

Seeing my struggle, several relatives told me that above all else I should pay my tithes because this would help me overcome my trials. But I always ended up paying my bills instead. I was willing to pay tithing when my financial seas were calm, but I became afraid when my financial situation was stormy.  Heading home from work one afternoon after getting paid, I thought of all my debts. I closed my eyes and prayed, “Father, what am I going to do?” At that moment I opened my eyes and noticed on the ceiling of the bus a poster of Peter sinking into a stormy sea with the Savior reaching out to rescue him.  At the bottom of the poster were the words “Unshaken Faith.” I realized I needed to pay my tithing if I ever wanted to pay off my debts.  When I arrived home, I found a tithing envelope and put my tithing inside. As I sealed the envelope, I heard the words “All is well” and felt a joy that brought peace to my soul.  I know that God will bring His blessings into my life when He deems it prudent to do so. Until then the sea may remain stormy, but the peace I feel for obedience is more than enough.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Inner Self Helper

I have written a lot about listening to our body, today I want to write about listening to our "inner self helper."  In the book A New Earth by Eckart Tolle he says that at one point he said to himself, "I can no longer live with myself," and then wondered who was "I" and who was "myself."  It was this question that lead him on a road to great discoveries and wellness.

I have noticed at times I will says to myself, "something in me says . . ." or "something in me is telling me to . . ." and I have realized that that "something" is my spirit or as I like to call it, my Heavenly Self.

I don't remember where I got this quote (MPD refers to Multiple Personality Disorder), but I think it is wonderful:

The theory that normals can be MPD-like has many interesting applications in self-development and psychology, but it can also help us understand our spiritual selves. . . .  Ralph Allison coined the term "inner self helper" . . . to apply to the one personality he observed that not only knew all the other aspects, but was also aware of events that none of the other personalities could possibly know. . . .  I believe that the key to successful psychospiritual therapy and/or feeling good is to train yourself to come from the highest possible "observer" - the subpersonality that's most closely associated with the divine, or the higher self.

I really believe that the mind, body and spirit all talk to us and that when we listen to all aspects of ourselves we will find balance and peace.  I find the mind is always talking, but don't forget to also listen to your and your spirit, or inner self helper, as well.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Memorizing Scriptures

I remember memorizing scriptures as a youth, but that has become a habit of the past then recently I read this quote:

Great power can come from memorizing scriptures.  To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship.  It is like discover a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.  Elder Richard G. Scott

I loved how Elder Scott said that memorizing a scripture is like forging a friendship who can always be there for you.  I think it is time to get back into the practice of memorizing scriptures.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Law of Accident

With all the weddings and mission planning going on here, there has been a lot of talking about goals and planning for life in our house.  A few months ago we even did the "what do you want your life to be like a year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now" activity.  Then to add to this line of thinking, the other day in my reading of Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol Truman I came across this thought:

The vast majority of us live our lives by the Law of Accident, that is, by failing to plan we are planning to fail.  We have no goals beyond the short term.  We make no plans.  Consequently, we don't really feel we are in control of our own destiny.  We just hope that somehow things will work out.

It's sad to say it, but that is pretty much how my life has been going, failing to plan.  When my husband and I first got married, I wish that we had planned more.  I have come to realize how important it is to have goals and plans, but to also acknowledge that God can have another plan for you.  I have suggested to my family that it is wise to have a plan, but to also be open to those plans changing.  Let's face it, we all want to feel like we are in control of our own lives and making plans and goals helps us feel like we do have that control.  Feeling like you are in control also includes trusting and accepting when God does change our plans.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Packing My Stuff

I have been having a similar reoccurring dream probably for a year or so where I am at an office job that I want to quit and I am cleaning out my desk and packing up my stuff.  I have been trying to figure out this dream for a long time.  I go to dreammoods.com and plug in different words from the dream and haven't seem to come up with anything that feels right.  The last few nights I have had the similar dream again so I tried again with different words like desk and quit.  Then I remembered that I was packing my stuff, and then packing more stuff.  So I plugged in the word "pack" for the first time and this is what it said:

To dream that you are packing signifies big changes ahead for you.  You are putting past issues to rest or past relationships behind you.  Alternatively, it represents chaos in your life. 

You are feeling overwhelmed with the various things you are juggling in your life.  You are carrying around too many burdens and need to let go.  Consider what unfinished business you have to tend to.  Try to resolve these issues so they can finally be put to rest. 

To dream that you are packing, but the more you pack, the more there is to pack implies that you are weighed down by the endless responsibilities and expectations in your life.  As a result, you are stuck in your current circumstances.

Wow, that was a lot to take in.  I keep thinking that I'm not overwhelmed and doing okay, but in paying attention to my dreams and realizing that I haven't been doing well at my self-care, or what I call my breathe strategies, I can see that I'm not doing as well as I think I am.  Good thing my inner self is more aware than I am.  Time to resolve a few issues.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Time is Now

I remember hearing "the time is now" at my CTMH Convention and currently working with Taylor to get her ready for her mission, the time is definitely now (or as she says, "it's crunch time").  Then I came across this quote:

An old proverb says, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second-best time is now."  There is something wonderful and hopeful about the word now.  There is something empowering about the fact that if we choose to decide now, we can move forward at this very moment.  Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be--not only 20 years from now but also for all eternity.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Connection Between Worrying and Exhaustion

I've been really tired lately and feeling really groggy in the morning.  This is a problem that I have had in the past and something was nagging me in the back of my brain about what it meant to be really groggy in the morning, but I couldn't quite grasp what it was.  Then I came across these notes I had taken from the hgi.com website and I suddenly remembered the connection.  The connection between worrying, dreaming and exhaustion.  On the hgi.com website they talk about how worrying causes excessive dreaming.  It makes perfect sense if you are busy dreaming all night, you aren't getting into that deep, restful sleep.

To be honest, I didn't think I was really worrying about anything but reading this caused me to step back and look closer at my thoughts.  Maybe I don't worry as bad as I used to, but there have definitely been things on my mind that are concerning me quite a bit.  On the hgi.com website it mentions that depressed people misuse the tool of imagination and I remember my therapist telling me something similar, that I have a really good imagination, too bad it is all so negative.

I guess I was thinking I wasn't really worrying because I wasn't taking my thoughts to the extreme negative like I used to, I was just being concerned about a few things, not imagining a great disaster like I used to.  But now I realize that doesn't mean that I am not worrying at all, so now that I am aware of my worries again, what do I do about it?

Well, the hgi.com website says that people worry because their innate needs are not being met, so I guess I will start there by figuring out what needs of mine aren't being met right now.  Then the website suggests "Focusing outwards on resolution rather than inwards on non-productive worrying."  It goes on to say that action gives life meaning and to set tasks, exercise, engage in fun activities and help others.  I remember hearing something about worrying being inaction and how it can go away with action, acceptance or, of course, both.

On the website it said, "When patients know that their negative ruminations are causing their poor nights sleep and their exhausted days, they are quickly motivated to work to break the cycle of depression."  I am definitely feeling like that, I really want to quit feeling so tired and groggy so time to take action against my worries, follow my Breathe Strategies and make sure my basic needs are met.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Am I Crazy Yet?

How exciting is this, Taylor (she has been living with us for over a year and a half) just got her mission call to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She is going to the Reno, Nevada Spanish speaking mission.  It is pretty exciting that she gets to go to the Mexico Missionary Training Center for six weeks first to immerse herself in the Spanish language as well as training to be a missionary. 

It is going to be a crazy fall, my son getting married in October, my daughter in November and Taylor leaving on her mission in December.  My daughter said people have been asking her if I was crazy yet with all of this going on, well not yet, but I'll see come December how I'm doing.  As of right now, I don't feel crazy at all.  I strongly believe that it is their weddings, so I will help, I will support, but I will not get co-dependent with them at all, maybe that will help!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Right Person, Right Place, Right Time

I have been getting a lot of questions about how my kids are both getting married soon and how quick it seems to some people.  I have been describing it this way, we believe that families are forever and that dating is specifically for finding the right person to marry.  Through prayer and consideration you can determine if the person you are dating is the right person for you.  How do you know if it is the right time?  I came across this quote and it says it so simply:

"When you have the right person and the right place (the temple), it's the right time!  (March 2013 Ensign)

There is never a "perfect" time for anything in life, but I am really proud of both of my children who, through prayer and consideration, have found the right person, they are going to the temple to be married so they have the right place, so why not now being the right time?!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Quit Being Your Inner Critic

I've been talking with a friend about how she doesn't have that inner self-confidence and I totally understand that, it has been an issue for me and something that I worked really hard to overcome.  I remember reading the following:

5 ways to turn your "inner critic" into a powerful "inner cheerleader:"

1-Focus on what's working (keep track of accomplishments, give yourself recognition)
2-Look for lessons and opportunities in every challenge
3-Be more compassionate with yourself
4-Focus on who you are, not just what you are doing
5-Keep a winning journal (i.e., where am I winning right now, what am I really proud of, who am I becoming every day, what can I do to be my own best cheerleader?  How can I encourage myself?)

I just love these ideas, but I think the thing that I like the most is the thought of turning your inner critic into your inner cheerleader.  I just love cheering for people, giving them their kudos when they have done something good, giving people compliments and so on.  I know it makes them feel good and it makes me feel good.

I also really like Item 3, being kind to myself has been one of the biggest lessons I had to learn.  I had to understand that I would never let my daughter speak to herself the way that I talked to myself, so why should I let myself do that.

Lastly, Item 4 was really instrumental to me in my healing process.  I actually came up with the line, "be before do" because I was more apt to focus on what I did, than who I was.  The other day I a sign that said, "In order to be happy, be."  I just loved that, another reminder that it is more important as to who you are than what you do.  Becoming myself again was quite a journey and learning how to cheer myself on instead of criticizing everything I thought and did played a major role in my healing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Love Projects

Those of you who know me well, know that I love to organize, it just really makes me happy.  I know its kind of weird, but its just who I am.  I can look at a room and see how it could flow better and as I work in a room I can see how some changes would make it flow even better.  Along with my love of organization is my love of a good project.  I love to immerse myself in a project and just go and go until it is complete, doesn't matter how many hours or days it may take, it has my full attention.  You know the saying that our strength is also our weakness, well loving projects is a great strength because I always finish what I start, but it is also my weakness because other things get ignored while I focus on my project. 

My current problem is that there are a lot of projects that I want to do, things that have been on my list for many, many years.  My main problem is that with depression you don't care about anything and that even included organization and projects.  Luckily, I had a lot in my life pretty organized before the worst part of the depression hit.  I have been feeling so much better lately and have been getting things back into shape.

As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, I have a new app that I use every day that I just love, it is the 30/30 app.  It really helps me stay on track.  How 30/30 helps me is that I have my various tasks that I need to do each day assigned a slot and time frame on the app.  This way everything gets touched just a little each day and once the 30/30 task list is complete then I can put my full attention on my projects.  This way I get a little of everything done each day as well as working on the project that I'm currently focused on.  I just love being organized and I love my projects!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Sunday We Attend Church

I was reading an article the other day ("On Sunday We Attend Church" by Linda Pratt, January 2014 Ensign) where a woman was talking about how she would go to church alone with six small children every Sunday while her husband had a High Council position so was usually traveling to other Wards on Sundays.  She shares how very rarely was she able to sit though a complete meeting because of the children.  One day a lady jokingly said, "I don't know why you even bother to come." 

As this woman thought about that comment she remembered how her own mother went to church every Sunday on her own with her children and how not having a spouse who didn't go to church never stopped her mother from worshipping at church.  My favorite part of the article was when the author said this:

Reflecting on my own situation, I realized I would never neglect to meet my children's physical need for food each day.  So why should their spiritual nourishment be neglected because my husband couldn't be with us all the time?

The author also said that it became easier to go to church because the decision was made once for always, that is, "every Sunday we attend church."  She knew it, her children knew it.  I guess this article struck home to me because that is always how I have been, on Sunday I go to church.  My children have known this too and at church they either sat on the bench or on my lap.  I didn't let them down even if we had to leave the chapel because of crying, I held them out in the foyer.

Don't get me wrong, there have definitely been times where it was really hard to go to church, but I never thought about actually not going, I may have thought about attending a different ward, but I always went.  Church is a staple for me, it brings me peace, answers and definitely that day of worship and rest that I need.  It's quite simple, on Sunday we attend church.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Release Mistaken Belief Process

Last week I had a post that was talking about reinterpreting past events.  The process of releasing mistaken beliefs is similar in nature.  When I came upon this process, I had been trying to work on positive affirmations which felt like lying to myself.  To try and tell myself that I was beautiful and amazing just seemed so wrong.  As I tried to work through this, I came across a process that made more sense to me.  Instead of just coming up with something positive to say to myself, I needed to come up with a mistaken belief, something I believed about myself but was detrimental to my well being.  For example, telling myself that I am not loved.

The next step would be to come up with the evidence for that belief.  As for not being loved, my evidence would be that no one told me that they loved me, I was ignored and so on.  After writing all the evidence I thought I had, the next step was to write down the real truth which would be that my family tells me that they love me, my husband is always there for me, etc.

The next step is to ask yourself, "is this belief promoting my well being and why or why not."  As I worked on this process there wasn't a single time where my mistaken belief was promoting my well being. 

The last step is replacing the mistaken belief with a positive affirmation such as, "I am loved."  The positive affirmations no longer felt like lies to me and I realized that the real lie was the mistaken belief that I had told myself.  This process was so good for me and I used it on a lot of my thoughts and was able to turn them around.  Here is the Release Mistaken Belief Process in a nutshell:

1-Mistaken Belief to Release:
4-Is this belief promoting your well-being and why or why not:
5-Replacement affirmation:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A New Dream

One of the things that my therapist was helping me with was facing my children leaving home.  All my life all I had ever wanted to be was a mom at home and there I was facing them graduating from high school and heading off to college and their own lives.  My therapist told me that I needed a new dream.  At first I wasn't sure what I wanted and I wasn't sure I wanted to let go of my old dream (even though I knew I had no choice), but as I explored my life, my likes and what brings me joy it became obvious to me that my Close To My Heart business, that I had been a part of for 19 years, was my new dream.  When I create I feel so much better, it brings me so much joy when I teach my classes and I love working in my studio.  So I started spending every day in my studio and realized how happy it makes me.  Now as my children are getting married (one in October the other in November) I'm grateful that I do have a new dream!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Enduring Well

I was reading an article out of the January 2014 Ensign entitled "Enduring Well" by Elder J. Christopher Lansing.  My favorite part of the article is where he talks about how Joseph Smith is praying while he is in Liberty Jail and he says, "O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that coverth thy hiding place?" (D&C 121:1).  The Lord responds to him by saying, "My son, peace be unto they soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment" (D&C 121:7).  Then Elder Lansing says:

"Then He teaches Joseph a wonderful principle: "And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:8).  The message is straightforward and succinct.  We should not expect the Lord to remove our challenges just because we promise Him that we will always be faithful if He does.  Rather, we are to endure well, and then we will be blessed.  That is a marvelous life lesson for each of us."

It made me think of the phrases "endure to the end" and "enjoy to the end" and I feel like "endure it well" is somewhere in the middle of those.  Endure it well sounds like enduring with grace and I really liked that thought. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reinterpret Past Events

There is a story about a boy who reached for a hot iron and his mom yelled at him to stop which he interpreted as "mom doesn't love me" which couldn't be further from the truth as she loved him and didn't want him to get hurt. 

How we interpret things that happen to us greatly affects our lives.  I have many situations in my life that as I now look at them logically I realize that they really weren't what my child mind was convinced that it meant.  But knowing this logically didn't immediately change my emotions and relieve those past hurts.  I have had to work hard at reinterpreting past events to help me heal emotionally from them.

The book Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Dennis Linn that my therapist loaned to me had a lot of great things in it that helped me with this process.  I particularly like this quote:

Imagination is our "inner eye," a faculty of our intuitive mind, through which we perceive the emotional and spiritual world, a world just as real as the material one we perceive with our five senses.  Jesus uses the inner eye of imagination to help us "see" with him events that have left emotional and spiritual scars, and to help us reinterpret those events in the light of his love.

Having support (like a therapist, family, friends, faith) can help work through those old interpretations.  So, for example, the boy trying to touch the hot iron could realize that his mother was just trying to protect him.  When he would think that his mother doesn't love him, he could say to himself, "no, that is the old way of thinking, I know now that she loves me and was trying to protect me."

I have used this process a lot, thinking of a past event, understanding it logically as an adult then reinterpreting that event and then remind myself of the real truth of the situation, not what I perceived it to be.  Every time the old hurt emotions would rise up, I tell myself, "no, that is the old way of thinking, I now know the truth is . . . ," whatever that truth may be.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One Sick Puppy

Let me just start by saying that I am not a dog person, so when my daughter begged for a dog, I really wasn't thrilled about that thought.  We eventually did get her a dog, Wednesday, who is a rescue dog from Taiwan in early 2008.  Not being a dog person, I was surprised by my reactions to her.  I talk to her and I play games with her but I can't seem to bring myself to pet her (some OCD thing which my family loves to tease me about). 

It was recently while I was at my convention for my stamping and scrapbooking business that I realized I have a bigger connection to Wednesday that I thought I did.  Wednesday has been sick for many weeks and getting sicker and sicker.  During my convention my family told me how she had continued to get worse.  That night I had a dream about her and how sick she was.  When I woke up, I had to acknowledge that I have a connection with this dog, have grown quite fond of her and was very worried.

It has been many visits to the vet and lots of tests, but we finally have an answer as to what is wrong with her.  She has an autoimmune disease and it is called Pemphigus Foliaceus where her body is attacking her follicles.  We are all so relieved to have an answer and to see her slowly getting better.  She has lost a lot of her fur, but at least the sores all over her body are going away.  She will be on medication the rest of her life, but that is okay with us.  It is so nice to see her moving her ears and wagging her tail again.  Even her annoying barking is pleasant to hear again as she spent many weeks just laying on her bed.

It is so hard to see those you care about suffering, even the furry ones, so happy this has a happy ending!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Don't Be An Ostrich

"Do not take comfort in the fact that your transgressions are not known by others.  That is like the ostrich with his head buried in the sand.  He sees only darkness and feels comfortably hidden.  In reality he is ridiculously conspicuous.  Likewise our every act is seen by our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son.  They know everything about us."  Elder Richard G. Scott

I know that this quote is directed toward repentance, but when I read it, the ostrich part really stuck out to me in regards to facing our emotions and past hurts.  We may have our heads buried in the sand and feel like those emotions and hurts are comfortably hidden, but just like the ostrich those pains and emotions are ridiculously conspicuous in everything we do.  Likewise our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ know everything about us, they know our pains and they want to help us through them.  We have to pull our heads out of the sand and face our emotions and hurts in order to move forward in our lives just as much as someone who needs to repent in order to move forward in their life.  Don't be an ostrich, choose to face your emotions and past, which is choosing a better life and future.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Feeling Like Myself Again

I scrapbook one day a week with a friend and the other day she was looking through some old pictures and saw one of herself and exclaimed how she looks like and feels like herself again.  She has been losing a lot of weight and physically feels and looks like herself again, but it is more than that, it is finding again who you really are.

It wasn't too long ago that the thought, "I feel like myself" had popped into my head.  I hadn't been able to say something like that in probably 8 years and it felt really good to think that thought and believe it too. I really did lose myself, not just in motherhood, like so many of us women do, but in the depths of depression, anxiety and emotional therapy.

It has taken me a long time to get to know myself again.  It took a lot of therapy, journaling, prayer and going back to the things that I used to enjoy that really brought me to know myself again.  Being kind to myself was also a really big step.  I have learned to allow myself time to get swallowed up in the couch (I have a rule that it is only in the evenings otherwise I get stuck there all day) and allow myself that time to decompress, play games, knit, watch tv and put my feet up. I feel like myself because I'm giving myself space to do things as I feel inspired, accomplish things as I have the energy and allow myself rest time when my body says its done.  I have learned that self-care is the best thing you can do for yourself.  It is so nice now to look in the mirror and when I see the face there looking back at me, I know it is me.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Don't Blink

Life sure does change in a blink of an eye and yesterday I blinked and boy did things change.  This is a picture of my son and his fiancé and they are getting married in October, this we have known about for some time. 

A few weeks ago my daughter announced her engagement (the second picture is of her and her fiancé) and they were looking at this January to get married.  I did suggest an earlier time frame because of school schedules so some of this is my fault.  But really, yesterday in a blink, the wedding date was moved up to November. 

So in the blink of an eye, I will be having my children married within a month of each other.  Not to mention our "adoptive" daughter should be receiving her mission call within the next week or two.  I know it is all crazy but it is also wonderful!  What more could a parent want than all of your children to make it to the temple, especially around the same time.

Years ago I kind of "adopted" one of my nieces as well and she was the first one of my "children" to make it through the temple and now I will have five more (natural, "adoptive" and "in-law" children) go through all around the same time.  The Doctor said, "don't blink," but in this case, it was a great blink!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Simple Testimonies

We have a few children at church that are a true joy to hear bear their testimonies and yesterday we were blessed to hear several of them.  They are not necessarily old enough to bear their testimonies by themselves, but they do and with such simple, sweet spirits.  One in particular really touched me yesterday.  A young boy bearing his testimony after his sister was baptized the day before.  He spoke simply of the "wrongs" we do but that are forgiven with baptisim and how our wrongs will pile up again and we can have those wrongs gone through repentance.  How true it is that our wrongs will always pile up, but also how we have the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ to repent of that pile of wrongs and keep trying to do better.  I'm so grateful for simple testimonies!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Listen To Your Body, Then Use Your Head

After being physically down for the past two months with several illnesses, I was amazed last Monday to get up feeling fabulous.  I was going to get things done, and I did.  I cleaned like I hadn't been able to clean in months, then I went to the mall with my daughter then Costco and the grocery store.  When we got home I mowed the front and the backyard and spread moss killer because it was going to be raining the rest of the week so it had to get done that day.  I came inside, took a shower and then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I had over done it and I was starting to feel it.

It was Tuesday that was the worst because I couldn't function all day.  I couldn't move well and I couldn't think clearly.  Wednesday was a little better, but not much.  Thursday I could at least think clearly again and do a few things around the house.  It took me almost a week to recover from that one crazy day.

The lesson I learned from this experience is that I need to listen to my body, but I also need to use my head as I decide what I can do each day.  I learned that just because I feel great doesn't mean I should use every ounce of energy I have while I am feeling great.  I have no guarantees that I will feel just as amazing the next day and so on.  I can't deny that it didn't feel awesome to get that much done again, but the price I paid was too high.  I will listen to my body, then I will use my head to make better decisions about what I can and cannot do each day.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gallbladder Surgery

Almost a month ago I was woken up in the middle of the night with intense stomach pain, we are talking a 9 out of 10.  This was the fourth one of these types of episodes I have had over the past year.  I had told myself that the next time I had one of these episodes I would go to the ER.  My husband took me and after a bunch of tests the doctor decided that it was probably the gastritis flaring up.  I was given some serious pain reliever and a new prescription and sent home.

I felt great for the next several days, but then again was woken up in the middle of the night with intense stomach pain, this time it was a full 10 out of 10.  Despite the pain, tears and writhing, yes I was actually writhing in pain, I resisted going to the ER because I had just been there.  Then I started throwing up and could wait no longer, so off to the ER I went again.  

I have to admit I felt really stupid being there again and after several hours of tests and just sitting there the pain started to subside a little and I was really tempted to get up and leave.  Then the doctors came in and told me that my liver numbers had doubled in the last few days.  She had been convinced that it was my gallbladder and this assured her that she was looking in the right direction.  In fact her words were that she understood that past tests showed nothing wrong with the gallbladder, but that maybe it was lazy.  She wanted to do another ultrasound as she wanted to see it for herself so off I went for an ultrasound.

After the ultrasound she came back in and told me that my gallbladder wanted out today so they sent me off to surgery.  The surgeon drew a picture of my gallbladder and surrounding organs with "multiple" stones that I had and how one was blocking the opening and the lining was hardening.  I was very calm through all of this and I really believe it is because I knew all along that this was what was wrong with me, it was just a matter of it being discovered.  Unfortunately, it took a ton of tests, money and time for it to get bad enough to be discoverable.  I've been recovering for awhile and on the heels of CMV so it has taken me longer to recover than I would like, but I am getting there.  I just want to say a big thank you to that ER doctor she was wonderful!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spiritual Strength Of Women

I wrote recently about a woman coming and talking to the ladies at church and there was something else she said that I just really loved but it didn't fit in with the post I was writing.  But because I loved it so much I wanted to still share it.  It was something that the woman's daughter said to her as they were discussing what she was going to talk to us about.  This is what her daughter said:

There is something frustrating and frightening to the world about a woman who knows what she wants to do, is doing it and is at peace with it.

I've been seeing a lot of quotes being repinned again and again on Pinterest about a woman's strength.  Like the quote above, they all remind me of my own strength and worth, so I thought I would share some of my favorites:

Let her sleep for whens he wakes she will move mountains.

She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.  Proverbs 11:25

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, oh crap, she's up.

The woman who doesn't require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey -- but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.

Woman of Faith:  in hard times she had learned three things - she was stronger than she ever imagined, Jesus was closer than she ever realized and she was loved more than she ever knew.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Heart Rests Too

Resting has always been a hard concept for me to apply in my life.  I don't mind hard work and I love the whole before and after of projects.  But I don't seem to have the energy I used and I have learned to accept that I need to rest in order to be ready to go again.

I have learned so many things over the last few years about rest and recuperation, which was a whole new concept for me.  But everything rests, it is part of the cycle of our daily lives, as noted by Walter B. Cannon in this quote:

Most people have the idea that the heart is working all the time. As a matter of fact, there is a definite rest period after each contraction. When beating at a moderate rate of seventy pulses per minute, the heart is actually working nine hours out of the twenty-four. In the aggregate its rest periods total a full fifteen hours per day.

If the most life producing organ in our body can rest, so can we.  As women and mothers I think sometimes we don't think we can, we feel like we have too much to do and if we don't rest it will never get done.

I remember when I first realized how I would start out at 100%, then the more I pushed through my day that 100% would get less and less.  When you stop to rest, you actually fill yourself back up so that you can go at 100% again, otherwise you find yourself at 80%, then 60%, then 20% until you have nothing left.  So, let's follow the example of our hearts and rest for a moment in between everything we do.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Favorite Organization App - 30/30

Last week I was looking over my husband's shoulder as he was working with a new app.  As I watched I became increasingly interested in the app and I asked him what it was.  It is an app called 30/30 and I just love it.  I'm one of those crazy people that love organization things and this app is exactly that, it helps you organize and stay on time with your tasks.  I had been trying to do this with a task app and a timer app, but 30/30 puts it all together for you.

If you have ever heard of a Power Hour, then this app will make even more sense to you.  In a Power Hour you give 100% of your focus for just that hour on certain categories, or just one category if you prefer.  So for my stamping business I like to focus 15 minutes each to four different categories (business, customer care, creating and my team).  In the 30/30 app I can create this so that it will start with the first category and when the time runs out a little alarm goes off letting me know it is time to go to the next category and so on until the list is done.

It also has features where you can add time on the spot if you feel like you need to, or even delete time.  You can also pause it or even say that you are done with that category and it will go on to the next one.  I love also how you can be in a different app and the timer will keep going and even have the alarm play.

I created a list for my morning chores as well with 15 minutes in a few different areas.  I have a tendency to get stuck on one project for a long time, but this lets me do a little in each area so that each room gets touched a little each day.  I'm really have a fun time creating lists and refining them so they work perfectly for me.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants help staying on task!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Keep the Main Thing, The Main Thing

We had a really great Relief Society meeting in January with the theme of "Thrive Not Just Survive."  There was a really great speaker (sorry I can't remember her name) and the title of her speech was "Keep The Main Thing, The Main Thing" which I believe she said she got from an Ensign article.

She brought out a picture of Paul standing on the water walking towards the Savior and asked us about the different things we noticed in the picture.  The first thing that I thought of when I saw the picture was how when we hear or see something that motivates us we just go for it, just like Paul did when he stepped out onto the water with every intention of walking all the way to the Savior.  But then, just like Paul, we loose our faith, our motivation, our belief, and we fall.

Our speaker had us think about the things that our most important to us, our top priorities and to write them down.  I have done this before, so I thought I knew where she was going with this task.  She had us write down the three most important, which for me were my relationship with my Heavenly Father, my relationship with my husband and children and creating.  I put creating as my third because I have found that when I am down when I start creating somewhere along the way I am pulled up.

Next she asked us to come up with a question or questions to see if we are on target with our top priorities.  This is not where I thought she was going, in fact, I had never even thought of something like this and frankly it was kind of hard coming up with a question.  As we all talked and shared I came up with a few possibilities, but none of them seemed quite right.  Then while the closing prayer was being said it came to me, "am I connecting?"

It seemed to fit everything, am I connecting with my Heavenly Father, am I connecting with my husband, with my kids, with friends and family, am I connecting with others through what I creating and so on.  It is the perfect question for me to ask myself daily to see if I am on target with my most important priorities.

So what are your priorities?  What question would you ask yourself to keep you on target for those priorities?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Adventure With The Cytomegalovirus

The morning of Wednesday, February 5, 2014 I woke up with the worst headache I have ever had.  It hurt in my temples and my cheekbones and my gums.  I took some Ibuprofen and it got better and I didn't think much about it again.  Then the next day I woke up with the same symptoms only the headache wasn't as bad, but my gums hurt so bad I wanted to poke needles into them.  Then the same thing again on Friday, but like the previous days, I took something and felt better and didn't think about it again.  That night I noticed a swollen taste bud which I had a few times in my life, so again I didn't think much about it.  Saturday morning I woke up with another swollen taste bud and a canker on the inside of my lip.  Since I get cankers occasionally I didn't make any kind of connection. 

Sunday morning I woke up with a fever, my tongue and lip swollen and my whole mouth hurt so bad I couldn't even eat.  I went to see my doctor on Monday and she put me on an antiviral medication and did a whole bunch of tests.  That night I felt so bad, I just laid on the couch and tried not to cry.  I didn't pay much attention when the phone rang, I guess I should have, because it was the hospital calling about my test results.  My doctor called me in the morning and told me that my blood tests showed that my body was trying really hard to fight this virus.  It's probably a good thing she didn't tell me what the actual numbers were as that might have taken me over the edge.  She did tell me that if my fever went up at all or things got worse to go to the ER and have them do another blood test.

Come Tuesday I still had a fever and my mouth was swelling even more, I was so miserable and so hungry!  My girls made frozen Jello and yogurt drops for me as before that all I was having was ice chips holding them in my mouth as long as I could to try and help with the swelling.  I went to bed that night feeling miserable.  I woke up at 2:00 am on Wednesday with my Mitral Valve Prolapse hurting, that only happens when I am stressing out.  I wasn't emotionally stressed so I knew my body was stressed and I decided to go to the ER.  Where they proceeded to do new blood tests and so much more.  They were really great there and concluded that a virus (they didn't have results back on which virus) and caused the sores, but now the sores had a bacterial infection.  I went home with antibacterial medication and went back to bed.

The next day I received a call from the on-call Hematologist at the ER that she wanted to see me again on Friday.  What a fun Valentine's Day for me, I saw the Hematologist as well as my doctor and couldn't kiss anyone because the test results were back and I had the Cytomegalovirus.  From what I understand 50-80% of adults have had this virus and mostly you wouldn't even know, but lucky me had a rare reaction.  The Hematologist was the one who explained the blood test results to me telling me that on Monday when I went to my doctor and had the blood test the part of the white blood cells that are in charge of fighting infection as at a count of 50 and normal is 1,800, yikes!  When I was retested at the ER on Wednesday it was at 250, so it was up, but no where near where it needed to be.  When they tested me again on Friday it was up to 1,200, thank goodness for medication!  When I saw my doctor she was happy to see that the swelling of my lip and tongue had gone down a little as well as a swollen gland that I had.

I'm not done yet, one sore in my mouth is still healing and a new sore showed up on my hip, so weird, but I am so much better!  I guess recovery can take up to 2 months to get all your energy back, for your liver to return to normal which somehow gets affected in all of this too.  It has definitely been an interesting experience that is for sure, and one that I do not want to repeat!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No Matter What, I Can Still Look Up

I've been working on a project the last several weeks taking all my old sets of scriptures and transferring all my notes and highlighting into just one set (yes, I had quite a few sets, my childhood set, my seminary set, a post seminary set and then a set I got a few years ago which was all one book including all of the Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price).  I had been wondering what to do with all of my scriptures and some of them were quite literally falling apart so I did some research and came across something that said that we believe that it is the words that are sacred not necessarily the paper the words are printed on.  That confirmed what I had been feeling that I wanted everything all in one place and that it was okay to recycle the falling apart sets once I had everything transferred.

It has been a really neat project seeing what I had highlighted and what was important to me in different stages in my life.  I just finished the project, but one of the last markings I transferred just really spoke to me and I wanted to share it.  It is 2 Corinthians 4:8-9:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed.

It just made me feel so hopeful and that no matter what is going on in my life I can still look up to my Heavenly Father and know that He is still there for me, that all is not lost, that there is always hope.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Doubt not, Fear not

This morning I read D&C 6:36, "Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not."  At first I thought that I do that, then it occurred to me that I look to my Heavenly Father in practically every thought, but I doubt and fear, a lot.  I doubt where I am at in my life right now, I doubt what I am doing, I fear that I make bad decisions, I fear that I am not doing enough.  I doubt and fear that I am not doing what He would want me to do.  But then I thought about how much I do trust my Father in Heaven, how I have completely put my life in His hands before and all turned out well.  If I truly trust Him, don't I trust that if I weren't doing what He wanted me to do, He would tell me?  If He wanted me to do something different wouldn't He guide me to that?  In that one little scripture today I realized that I must be where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing or He would lead me to somewhere else, to something else.  Maybe I truly can doubt not, fear not, because I truly believe He loves me and guides me in all I do!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

You are Receiving Revelaton Every Day

I'm a little behind in my Ensign reading, I'm currently reading the July 2013 issue.  I was reading an article today and came across this quote by President Eyring to a group of Stake Presidents:

Brethern, you are receiving revelation every day.  You are receiving it right at this moment.  What are your major concerns, and what is the Lord telling you about what to do about them?

I had to stop right where I was and write this quote down.  It is not just stake presidents that this applies to, I know that it applies to me as well.  It was the perfect reminder that I needed in that very moment, that I am receiving revelation every day regarding my major concerns.  The question is am I taking the time to pay attention to what the Lord is telling me what to do about those concerns?

So I took a quiet moment to pray and listen to what is being told to me.  I find that me and several others around me right now are in a great change of life and those concerns are weighing heavy on us.  Taking that moment to listen gave me a small glimpse into the direction that I need to go.  I just hope that each day I can do the same as I know without a doubt that He will guide me if I just listen.