Friday, December 30, 2016

Bee Happy Crafting

Taylor found a be happy for me in my pocket scrapbooking cards while we were making crafts!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Working Hard

I was texting with Taylor yesterday about how nervous she is to start a new class and this is what I told her:

"You don't need to be nervous about something that is completely under your own control!  If you don't do good on your first assignment then you know you need to work harder on the next one and so on until you know how hard you need to work to get what you want!"

After I sent it, I thought how that is so true for each of us, we just have to figure out what it is we want, then do something and if it didn't bring the desired goal then we work a little harder until we see at what level we need to work to get the desired result.

But don't forget what my husband is always trying to remind me, "work hard, play hard, balance in all things!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Am Here

I've been having one of those times when everything leads to one thing, one moment that I'm now realizing has more significance in my life than I could have ever imagined.  It actually all started with something that happened at my CTMH convention a few months ago which lead to a mentor and to finding a deeper why in my business.  In a nutshell, my mentor told me that if my why doesn't make me cry then I haven't gone deep enough yet.  When I was talking to my husband about this, at one point I said, "I just want to say, I'm here."  That's when it started, that simple phrase, "I'm here," brought tears to my eyes and has started a journey I know I'm just in the beginning of.

When I was younger, I used to hide behind the couch and wait to hear something like, "where's Renae."  Unfortunately, that never happened and eventually I would give up and climb out firmly believing that I was not seen or missed.

As several other experiences the last few weeks all lead up to this same childhood experience and resulting beliefs, I realized I needed to do something to work through them.  I went and saw my therapist for the first time in a long time.  We talked about all of the loneliness and feelings of not being seen as well as how I felt I was not in control of my life right then.  At the end she said something that turned everything around for me, she said something like, "you saw yourself enough to make yourself be seen by others."  I had such an amazing feeling when she said that, I am seeing myself, I am in control of my own life, I am here!  I know there is still more to work though on this new journey of mine, but shat an amazing start!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Looking for the "Be Happy" Every Day

I have been having a paradigm shift happening lately and I've been changing a lot of different things.  I have also been trying to find little ways to connect with friends.  As I have been finding these different ways to connect, it has been making me sad because I know I would have found a fun way to connect with Stacey who died in October.  As I have been pondering this and wondering what I could do about it, someone mentioned to me that whenever she sees a ladybug, she knows it is a connection with someone close to her who has passed on.  She said I should be looking for something that reminds me of Stacey in my every day life as a symbol that she is still connecting with me.   At first I thought maybe the sun or sunshine as at her funeral it was mentioned that "that was her color."  But then on Sunday during Sacrament meeting I was thinking about it and I thought about how I got a stamp at my CTMH convention that says "Be happy" and that reminded me of how she would always say that to me.  Then a friend gave me a mug that says "be happy" because she knew that's what Stacey would tell me.  I felt really good about looking for the "be happy" every day and knowing that was my connection with her.  Then right after Sacrament meeting, a friend was showing me a picture and in the picture the words "be happy" were written, I couldn't believe how quickly my desire to feel connected to Stacey was answered!  With that connection in place, I will now be looking for that and I hope she feels connected with me as well when I notice the be happy's in my every day!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Me and my Boys

I come from a family of all girls (I have six sisters) and my son was the first grandson in the family (after 5 granddaughters) so for me it is so great to have my two new grandsons.  They are so precious and so fun and they definitely keep us all busy with feedings, diaper explosions, spit ups and outright throw-ups as well as lots of playing and snuggling.  I wasn't able to be at home when my kids were infants so I'm trying to make the most of having these two at home with me right now as I know that won't always be the case.  Family truly is the best thing in the world and I'm so grateful that I have an eternal family so I'm connected to these two cutie boys forever!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Take a Step . . . Listen

I have always told my children when they unsure of what direction to go in their lives, to just keep moving forward until they get a "no" or direction to go a different way.  I have been reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and came across this section which takes my advice to my children a step further and I love it:

Whatever it is, its important to listen to the feedback.  Simply take a step . . . and listen.  Take another step and listen.  If you hear "off course," take a step in a direction you believe may be on course . . . and listen.  Listen externally to what others may be telling you, but also listen internally to what your body, your feelings, and your instincts may be telling you.

If you have read much of this blog, you will know that listening or hearing messages from your spiritual self, your body and your Heavenly Father are very important.  I just loved that added step of stopping to listen as your move along your path!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blogging It

I went to church a few Sundays ago with a prayer in my heart about this blog (I'm just trying to get my life reorganized and pulled back together and this blog is part of that process).  I knew it was important to me, but I wasn't sure where I was really going with it and how important it was to my Heavenly Father.  So I was asking him where I should take it, how often I should do it and so on. 

I go to church really early every Sunday so I can sit and read the Ensign on my ipad while I wait.  I opened it up and finished the article I had been on the Sunday before.  Then I slid to the next article which was entitled, "By Small and Simple Blogs" by Mindy Anne Selu.  I knew from the title alone that Heavenly Father was answering me.  In the article, she shares this:

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled us . . . “Do not be afraid to share with others your experiences as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have interesting stories that have influenced our identity.”

It was a great article about sharing about your life and what you learn which is exactly why I started this blog.  It was a wonderful, gentle reminder for me to take what  I have learned that has enriched me and to enrich others with it.  It was also really wonderful to get an answer to my prayers and be reminded that my Heavenly Father loves me.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Divine Assistance Talk I Gave In Church

The talk that I was given as a reference is “Receiving Divine Assistance through the Grace of the Lord” by Elder Gene R. Cook, Of the Seventy.  Bishop Argo highlighted parts of this talk, one of the first things that he highlighted was Elder Cook saying:  “How many of us, at times, try to resolve life’s challenges ourselves, without seeking the intervention of the Lord in our lives? We try to carry the burden alone.  As some are faced with trials and afflictions, they say, “Why won’t God help me?” Some have even struggled with doubts about their prayers and their personal worthiness and say, “Perhaps prayer doesn’t work.”  Others who have suffered with sickness, discouragement, financial crisis, rejection, disappointment, and even loss of loved ones may say, “Why won’t the Lord heal me or help me? Or help me with my son?  Why didn’t He prevent her death?  Does life have to be this unhappy?”


This is not an uncommon concern from our church leaders, Elder Bruce C. Hafen said:  “Some Church members feel weighed down with discouragement about the circumstances of their personal lives, even when they are making sustained and admirable efforts. Frequently, these feelings of self-disappointment come not from wrongdoing, but from stresses for which they may not be fully to blame.”


And W. Craig Zwick In his talk, “The Lord Thy God Will Hold Thy Hand” said:  “The great plan of happiness includes a proverbial roller coaster of challenging times along with the most joyful times. Yes, we all have our moments of difficulty and heartbreak. Occasionally, they are so difficult for us that we just want to give up. There are times when our steps are unsteady, when we feel discouraged and even reach out in desperation.”

In Elder Cook’s talk he shares principles that may help us obtain divine assistance.  As I did research on this subject I found some other great talks that also had suggestions of keys to help us find that divine assistance we may be looking for.  I put all those principles and keys together and came up with three to focus on.

When I first started therapy many years ago I told my therapist that I really didn’t understand the scripture “Men are that they might have joy.”  I knew life was a test and that we are here to learn.  I had so much on my list to do each day.  I had so much on my list of things to perfect in my life so that I could return to my Father in Heaven.  Life was hard, frustrating and demanding and so I just didn’t see where joy fit in or why Heavenly Father would even worry about us having joy in life.

Years later I was at therapy and I was telling my therapist about a beautiful day I had with my kids at a beach in Hawaii when we went to get my son settled into BYU Hawaii.  I described a particular moment to her, Megan was playing in the sand next to me, Adam was in the water with his new roommate, the sky was just starting to go dusky with stars beginning to appear, the ocean was gently lapping at the beach and I felt such a moment of openness and peace.  It was such a beautiful feeling, so much so that my therapist suggested we give that feeling a name.  She said, “let’s call it joy.”  I started to cry and I said, “is that what joy is?”

Ronald E. Poelman in his talk, “Adversity and the Divine Purpose of Mortality” said:

“Happiness,” in the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, “is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.” Often that path includes affliction, trials, and suffering—physically, mentally, and even spiritually.

Not too long ago on one of Kate Arrasmith’s and I scrapbook days we were talking about something she did that made her really happy and I said, “I think we underestimated the importance of happiness.”  And it was in that moment that I truly understood why it is that our Heavenly Father wants us to have joy, because the power of joy, of happiness lifts us from the darkness of this earth life, from the daily living in a temperal existence.  Happiness reminds us that we are children of a loving Father in Heaven, it reminds us that there is more to life than whatever adversity may be in the moment.

I remember watching a tv show where a doctor was panicking about the surgery he was just about to perform and he gave himself 10 seconds to panic and then he was going to get to work.  When we are feeling, what my husband calls, the boulders of adversity, it is ok to feel the pain, frustration, anger, sadness or fear of it, but we should do our best to only give ourselves a short time, probably longer than 10 seconds, to feel all of that, but then at some point we need to get to “work” so to speak.

Years ago when I was deep in my depression I was talking to one of my sisters and she said that I just needed “to do the dishes.”  Of course, at the time, I thought she was crazy, but then I began to understand what she meant, to just do the most basic of what you can, what I call my widow’s mite.  So what is our bare bones basics of reaching out for divine assistance, the dishes so to speak?  Of the categories that I chose, I believe that seeking and listening to the Spirit is the most important.

Seek and Listen to the Spirit (prayer) and Scripture Study (learn)

To quote Brother Poelman again, he said:

[W]e should follow the counsel of Amulek: “Let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.” (Alma 34:27.)  Next, our prayers should be accompanied with daily scripture study. The eternal perspective attained thereby reminds us of who we are, what the true purpose of this mortal experience is, and who placed us here. The availability of divine help is repeatedly reconfirmed.

I remember reading in a book on depression about how many people suffering from depression feel as if their pleas and prayers to Heavenly Father seem to stop at the ceiling.  I’m very grateful that I never experienced this, and if this is how you feel whether because of depression, trials or challenges, then take that next step, which in my mind is, to seek out a priesthood blessing.  If you feel like Heavenly Father and the answers you seek are far away from you, then do everything you can to get close to Heavenly Father.  Go to the temple often, and I don’t just mean once a month, to really seek Him, go weekly or more if you need to.  If you don’t have a temple recommend, go to the temple grounds.  In my youth I found myself often on the Provo Temple Grounds, I felt peace there, I felt closer to my Heavenly Father, I got answers there. Pray, not just for a few minutes, but pray for as long as you can, maybe even set a timer to keep you on your knees.  And when you pray, spend as much time listening as you do talking.  Read your scriptures, study them, look up footnotes or words in the dictionary, look up past talks and articles online, pretend like you are preparing a talk on the subject, delve into it, truly seek in all sense of the word.

When Taylor got home from her mission, we met with President Rodarte for him to release her as a missionary.  During our conversation Taylor stressed several times that to stay close to our Heavenly Father you needed to do three things, pray, read and go to church which leads me to my next category which is to keep the commandments, or more basically, be obedient.

Keep the commandments (obedience)

I love the story that Bro. Gunn shared with us about making the decision once to go to church every week.  I know we talk to our youth about making certain decisions when they are young, like never having alcohol.  Making the decision once or before you are even in a certain situation, takes the drama out of it, it’s done, it's over, you have decided.  A decision of mine is that I want to return to my Father in Heaven, and not only to return to Him, but to reach the highest Degree of Glory in the Celestial Kingdom.  I don't remember making this decision, I must have made it at a very young age or maybe I just came with it already in my head.  This decision is so strong that it has carried me through many of my life’s challenges and obstacles.

Elder Holland reminds us that the “symbol of the cup that cannot pass is a cup that comes in our life as well as in [the Savior’s]. It is in a much lesser way, to a much lesser degree, but it comes often enough to teach us that we have to obey”.


I have shared many times one of my favorite quotes which is that “we need to accept that what we are going through is the only way for us to learn what we need to know to progress spiritually.”  When I read this quote from Elder Holland, it made me realize how many times in our lives, during our challenges, we too have done what the Savior did, asking our Heavenly Father to “let this cup pass from us,” but how often that cup does not pass, but we know we will not be left alone in these times, we will be supported, we will be strengthened and we will overcome.  Which leads me into my next category which is doing all we can in our own power.

Doing all in your power

So what does it mean to do all we can in our own power?  I think it means to seek our Heavenly Father’s help, but then we do everything we possibly can to solve the situation ourselves.  I’m always telling my kids that when they are seeking guidance, but feel like they aren’t getting any, then they need to keep moving forward in the best way they can until they get a no or direction to go a different way.  Elder Cook said:

[T]o pass successfully through the trials we encounter, we must keep our eyes and our hearts centered on the Lord Jesus Christ.  We should have great hope in knowing, however unworthy we may feel or weak we may be, that if we will do all we can, He will come to our aid and provide for us whatever we may lack. “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Ne. 25:23.)  Thus, unless one has done all in his own power, he cannot expect the grace of God to be manifest…. it is not based just on what we know, how strong we are, or who we are, but more upon our giving all that we can give and doing all that we can do in our present circumstance.

Remember it says, “all that we can do,” not more than you can do, not less than you can do.  This is where I want to stress again, this is your widow’s mite.  Just as the widow looked at what she had to give, make sure you look at what you have to give and give appropriately.  Elder Hafen said: 

A constant public emphasis on grace might encourage some people to ignore the crucial “all we can do” in that two-part process.  The Savior himself was not concerned that he would seem too forgiving or soft on sin. Said he, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28, 30). . . .  His yoke is easy—but he asks for all our hearts.  His words do not describe an event, but a process. He does not request the answer to a yes-or-no question, but an essay, written in the winding trail of our experience. As we move along that trail, we will find that he is not only aware of our limitations, but that he will also in due course compensate for them, “after all we can do.” . . .  A sense of falling short or falling down is not only natural, but essential to the mortal experience. But, “after all we can do,” the Atonement can fill that which is empty, straighten our bent parts, and make strong that which is weak.

The“doing all we can do” part can get a bit sticky.  I believe there is a very fine line between “doing all we can do” and putting our trust and faith in our Heavenly Father to take care of things for us.  One of my favorite songs is, “Which Part Is Mine,” by Michael McClean.  The end of the song says:

Which part is mine?
And God, which part is yours?
Could you tell me one more time,
I'm never quite sure.
And I won't cross the line
like I have before.
But it gets so confusing sometimes.
Should I do more, or trust the divine?
Please, just help me define which part's mine,
and which part is yours.

Did you hear me?
I can feel you near me.
It is the answer
that I've been longing for;

just to know you hear me,
after I've done my best,
and to feel you near me.
I know you'll do the rest.
It is the answer that I've been longing for! 

It is in that surety that after we have done our best that God will do the rest.  Elder Cook said:

Jesus taught that we pass through all these trials to refine us “in the furnace of affliction” (1 Ne. 20:10), and that we should not bear them unaided, but “in [the] Redeemer’s name” (D&C 138:13). In spite of our feeling, at times, that He has forgotten us, He testifies, “Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee …  “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” (1 Ne. 21:15–16.)


What a great image that is, that we are graven upon the palms of His hands.  He will not forsake us no matter what our trials are.

CONCLUSION

I feel like that sometimes getting divine assistance during our trials feels like a guessing game, am I asking my questions the right way, am I doing the right things and so on.  The key is to get closer to Christ and our Father in Heaven, not distancing ourselves.  I just read in an article this morning that by “separating ourselves from gospel living limits our opportunities to receive such inspiration. As a result, we are left open to the negative influence of Satan, which can cause us to look “beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14), weakening our testimonies.”  

I know that Heavenly Father and our Savior will not lead us astray.  If the answer is no, you will know it.  You will receive a very strong no, or it will be a challenge every step of the way and it is time to do something different than you have been doing, open up yourself to the Lord’s will, let go of what you are clinging to and trust that He has something better for you than you can even imagine.

If it is a maybe or a not now requiring us to be patient is when it seems to be most challenging.  Like I said, move forward in the best way that you can.  I am definitely one of those people who like to see the whole map ahead of me and really life doesn't work that way, it is little by little that the way lights up.  If you trust God and take that first step, you will then be able to see the next step and from there the next step and so on.  Putting your life in God’s hands completely can be really scary, it is so worth it, the blessings He has for us are so great, and once you have put your life in his hands and received those blessings you will be able to do it again and again.

I would like to close with a quote from Elder Hafen:

Each of us will taste the bitter ashes of life, from sin and neglect to sorrow and disappointment. But the atonement of Christ can lift us up in beauty from our ashes on the wings of a sure promise of immortality and eternal life. He will thus lift us up, not only at the end of life, but in each day of our lives.  “Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God … giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. … They that wait upon the Lord shall … mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40:28–31).

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Stick Up For Yourself

I hate it when I am feeling frustrated and I have been feeling that way for several months now.  I have been talking to my husband about it and realizing that I am being very codepdent with so many things which I have to admit frustrates me even more.  I was also telling him about some things that made me panic, I was giving him a scale between 1-10 with 10 being where I panic the most.  As I listed items and where they fit on that scale, he commented on how interesting he thought it was that the items that panicked me the least were the most codependent.  Wow, that was an eye opener for sure.  I panic the most over items that are more for me and that really blew my mind.

I really had to take a step back and re-think things.  I was remembering about someone I worked with who had a specific routine that she did every day when she got home which included things like picking out her clothes for the next day, etc.  She was very adamant about sticking with that routine, no matter what.  I was thinking that I needed to do that too, that I need to be adamant about doing that basic routine that I need to help me with my self-care items (what I call my breathe strategies).  So I decided to focus on that this week and it went really well, I got so much more done, I felt better and I was a lot less frustrated!  So what did I learn, I learned that it is ok to stick up for yourself, it is ok to demand what you need for yourself.  In the end you will be less frustrated and more available to those around you.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

For One

I was reading an article in the Ensign about a sacrament meeting where there were so many people that the sacrament water had to be filled again and the prayer done for this second round.  Then it ended up that there was just one person who didn't get the sacrament so they had to fill the water tray once more, but it was just for one person and this is what the author said:  "They were praying over one cup. For one person. One soul. The sacrament mattered. Even for one. Just as the Atonement mattered. For one."  Reading that just made me feel really good, knowing how important I am, how important each one of us is to our Savior.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Purging and Organizing

On Saturday I decided it was time to do some serious purging.  I had been thinking about it for awhile and just finally was in the right frame of mind to actually do it.  I started with my closet and got rid of a ton of clothes.  Over the last few years doing therapy and such I have been feeling like I understand myself so much more than I ever have.  One of the things I now know more about myself is my style, so I cleaned out a lot of clothes and kept only the clothes that make me feel more like me.

After my closet I moved to our storage room.  I cleaned up some piles of things that were getting put in there without actual spots to put them (everything has a home and these items need a home).  Then I focused specifically on my Shelf Reliance rolling food storage shelves.  I've been wanting to work on it for quite awhile.  I had been testing different food storage companies and settled on Thrive Life (you can check it out at renaemcbarron.thrivelife.com).  I chose what items I wanted in #10 cans to go on the big shelves and what I wanted to get in the pantry size to go on the smaller shelves.  It really does help to have a plan.

I know that I'm a little crazy when it comes to organizing, it just makes me happy and energizes me, but I have to say I was so tired and sore by the time I was done!  But I feel really good about it.  I feel like I'm leaving some old stuff behind me and moving forward in many ways.  I have a few more things on my list of things to get rid of which I will load up in my car this week and haul away and I couldn't be more excited about it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Just Sit With The Lord

I was reading the article Be At Peace by Elder D. Todd Christofferson and how he talked about just sitting with the Lord just made me feel really good, I just love this concept.  Here is what he said:

During the interview the host asked a perceptive, inspired question of Bishop Tutu: “Have you found that your relationship to God has changed as you’ve grown older?”

Bishop Tutu paused and then said, “Yes. I am learning to shut up more in the presence of God.”

He recalled that when he prayed in his earlier years, he did so with a list of requests and solicitudes. He would approach heaven with what he called “a kind of shopping list.” But now, he said, “I think [I am] trying to grow in just being there. Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter, you are just there in front of the fire, and you don’t have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.”

I think that is a lovely metaphor--just sit with the Lord and let Him warm you like a fire in winter. You don’t have to be perfect or the greatest person who ever graced the earth or the best of anything to be with Him.

I think I will definitely use this thought when I say my prayers!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fear Into Faith

Several months ago there was a talk given at church that was so amazing I just had to take some notes.  I was writing fast, so some of the notes might not be completely understandable so I apologize for that, but maybe some of these notes might be helpful to you.

Fear is a thought, it is doubt, change yourself, fear sometimes turn into anger, figure out your fear and the anger will go away.
Pay attention to your thoughts
Singing a song
Mantras - a thought that is yours ie I am safe, say it over and over. Until it becomes you
Quotes - positive thoughts
Pictures - all over the house
Service - lose yourself in service
Exercise and eating healthy
Find something that you like to do
Learning to accept ourselves you have to know who you are
Read Pat blessing
Learn about personal revelation, how do you receive answers to prayers 
Forgiveness letting go of all that is in us 
Read your scriptures
Pray talk to Heavenly Father
Write in your journal 
The Lord wants to help us internally
Josiah 24 
Most of the worlds problems are externally
Be of good comfort
Give the Lord access to your heart, you will feel his peace internally

Thank you TS for such a wonderful talk, I loved it.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Back To A Paper Planner

I've mentioned in the past that I love organization and and planners.  At the beginning of this year I got the new Everday Life Planner from Close To My Heart and started using it.

I'm a huge proponent for if something isn't working, try something different.  For the past several years I have been trying to do my planner all digitally, but as I have been using my new paper planner I have been realizing how much of my life has been slipping by the wayside and how much the digital planner wasn't working for me.  I don't know if it is my love of paper or the visual aspect of the paper planner, or probably both, that is helping me do better with my life organization.  

One of the best things that I have been doing, is focusing more on my goals.  Shortly after Taylor got home from her mission she shared with us how missionaries make and review their goals.  So using her guidance I also added weekly and monthly goals to my planner and that is making a huge difference in getting things done, but most importantly, making sure I do my Breathe strategies daily to stay on top of my depression.  The best part about all of this, besides the really cute planner, is that I feel better emotionally!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Key Is To Keep Moving

I just loved this article, Navigating the Currents of Life By Mindy Anne Selu, especially this part:

If you find yourself among those who feel trapped ..., remember that you don’t have to be doing something extraordinary to have an extraordinary life, but you do have to be doing something.

The key is to keep moving. Elder Keith K. Hilbig, an emeritus member of the Seventy, said: “The path to eternal life is not on a plateau. Rather, it is an incline, ever onward and upward.” In order to move forward in life ... we need to take a step toward improving ourselves. Complacency is surprisingly powerful, though, especially when the ins and outs of daily life can seem all-consuming. Elder John H. Vandenberg (1904–92) of the Seventy commented, “The sad part of humanity seems to be the utter lack of desire, in the lives of many, to really do something about enlarging the vistas of their existence.” That lack of desire doesn’t have to be the sad part of your existence, though. Overcoming complacency and finding the motivation to progress are the first steps to improving the course of your life.

I've always loved lazy rivers, but in life you can't really live your life like a lazy river.  You aren't moving casually forward, life is forwards, backwards and sometimes it feels like it is upside down.  Whichever direction you find yourself going, it is your desire to make your life more than what it is that will improve your life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is It Time To Disconnect Or Reconnect

There have been several situations around me that have me thinking about relationships we have with people.  Because of recent deaths I have re-evaluated the importance of relationships.  A friend's child has decided to completely disconnect with everything once held dear.  Another friend has a parent that has disconnected with them causing very hurt feelings.  The question that I ask is, when do you know if it is time for you to disconnect or reconnect with people in your life?  It really is a very personal decision.  I too had disconnected with someone because of things that I was working through, but seeing these other situations caused me to really evaluate whether it was time or not to reconnect.  I did, in fact, bite the bullet, break the ice, etc. and reach out to reconnect and it was a good thing.

The other side of the coin though is knowing when to disconnect with someone who is bringing you down.  Years ago when I was in my early 20's the area I lived in was all student housing, my church Ward (or congregation) was made up of all students except for the Bishop and his 2 counselors.  The rest of the leaders for the Ward made up of the students living in the area.  Our Relief Society President (our women's organization) came over one day and after being there for only a few minutes she issued me a warning.  She told me to be careful, that my new roommate had a "darkness" around her.  Interesting I thought and then promptly forgot about the comment.

It was a month or so later when I was out with my best friend and I found myself saying really depressing things and then said something like, "I have nothing to live for."  My best friend started yelling at me that I was wrong and that I had a lot to live for and then my Relief Society President's warning came back to me and I said, "I know what this is!"  And immediately those dark feelings left me.  I had to really disconnect myself from that roommate to stay out of those dark feelings.

Not too long before my friend Stacey died she had said something that caused me t have hurt feelings.  After awhile I decided to let those feelings go and I reconnected with her, and now that she is gone, I'm so grateful that I didn't let those feelings keep me away from my friend before she died.

Is it time to reconnect or disconnect, well the answers lies in how the person makes you feel.  Do you feel dark around them, if so it is time to disconnect.  If it is light that you feel when you are arnd them, it is time to reconnect.  Sounds simple, lighter or darker with them in your life, but it isn't always that simple, but if you take a little time to evaluate how that person has made you feel in the past, you will know yur answer.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nots

If I am remembering correctly, one of my sisters shared this with me, it would be a great reminder for every day!

Please Untie the Nots

Dear God:

Please untie the nots that are invading my mind, my heart, and my life.

Please remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that invade my mind.

Please erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that invade my heart.

Please release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots that invade my life.

Most of all, dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart, and my life all of the am nots that I have allowed to hold me back.

Please erase from my mind the thought that I am not good enough.

Please remove from my heart that I am not loved enough.

Please untie from my life everything that I clutch that supports the belief that I am not enough.

Today, dear God, I come to you humbly and reverently asking that you untie, eliminate, and erase all of the nots that have invaded every aspect of my life.

For your mercy and your grace, I am so grateful.

Let these words take on the presence of the Holy Spirit to become living conditions in my life.

And So It Is!

Every Day I Pray by Iyanla Vanzant

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Melt Downs

So I had a mini meltdown this weekend, I just had had enough of things and felt so worn out and it was just one little thing and that broke the dam holding back the flood gates.  The interesting thing is that I wasn't the only one having melt downs over the weekend.  After talking to a few other people, they admitted to having one as well.  After all the tears and talking with my husband, I realized, once again, that I haven't been doing my breathe strategies for months.  I'm always hoping that I will be able to get off my depression medications, but as we talked I realized that I need to accept that this may be a permanent thing and that treating it that way is probably a good thing for now.  We talked about how my husband has a disease, diabetes, and how he has to do certain things every day to manage it.  He likened that to my depression being a disease or whatever you want to call it and that I need to do certain things every single day to manage it and when I don't I have adverse reactions.  Truthfully I don't know if my meltdown was connected to the depression, hormones or just feeling overwhelmed but either way I wasn't doing anything in my life at the time to help manage any of those things.  So it is back to doing my breathe strategies for me and my husband is checking up with me to make sure I do those.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Favorite Recipe

Over the weekend I had a dream of my friend Stacey who died in October.  First of all let me say how happy, beautiful and wonderful she looked in my dream, not sure why, but that is important to me.  Anyway, in the dream she said something like, "if I had known I was leaving I would have brought my favorite recipe with me."  All day that just bothered me, I had to know what it meant as I felt like she was really telling me something for real, that it wasn't just a dream.  It wasn't until the next morning that I thought to look up "recipe" on dreammoods.com and this is what it said:

To dream of a recipe symbolizes your creativity, talents and enjoyment of life.  You need to take advantage of life's pleasures.  Consider what the recipe is for.  Desserts suggest that you need to indulge in life and devote some time to leisure.  A recipe for preparing meat represents your desires for physical/emotional satisfaction.

That really made me smile, because once again, even from beyond the grave, she is still telling me to be happy and I love her for that message and making me feel like I am still important to her!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

My Big Brother

If you know me, you are probably wondering at that title because you know that I don't have any brothers, I only have sisters, 6 of them to be exact.  My older sister and I used to pretend that this big puppet my dad had was our older brother because we always wanted one.  Anyway, this is one of my favorite stories, I think I got it in seminary and I'm sorry I don't know who wrote it.

When I was just a small boy, I had a favorite big brother.  He was great to me.  He would put his big arms around me and we would go scampering down some cool dirt path.  At times like these I would feel ten feet tall.  He didn't seem to mind my tagging a long one bit and there was nothing I loved better.

I was so proud of him.  When he was with me I felt that I was beaming brighter than the sun.  He was good at everything and I never could seem to match the mountains he would make out of sand.  Mine always seemed to crumble and sag; but his would stand firm and tall as the Rocky Mountains.

My father always tried not to show how proud he was of him being the oldest and all, but his smile always seemed to beam a little brighter whenever my brother came around.

I felt my world had all collapsed when he went on his mission.  My parents both had to fight back the tears.  He called up father regularly and let us know how much he loved us.  He even told us how great his mission was so as mother wouldn't worry.

The persecution was really bad there, as the church was just getting it's start.  He never seemed to let himself get down.  Even though the people wouldn't believe his message he was happy and kept trying.

We would all share in his joys when he would get some new converts.  I don't mind saying that I was scared that the non-believers would do something to him.  It even got to the point where men were plotting to take his life.  My father never seemed to be worried for some reason.

Then one day we received  word that his mission had ended, but not as most men's do.  I was struck sick by the terrifying news.

The finally got hold of my big brother.  The big brother I played with, the one who never seemed to be capable of doing anything wrong.

They beat him and mocked him.  He suffered all that, without striking back.  Why would anyone want to hurt my big brother?  I couldn't understand.

A mob took him to a hill just outside of town and spit on him.  They nailed him to a wooden cross.  My soul moaned as I heard that he begged father to forgive them.  Wracked with unbearable pain, he gave up his life for what he believed.

My big brother, my king, my idol was dead.  I cried through what seemed to me to be the darkest day of my life.  Where was my big brother with whom I shaped mountains of sand? Why did he of all my brothers have to die like this?

I felt my father's strong arm on my shoulder and heard him say, "He did it for you, for you and your brothers and sisters."

Time passed and I was called on a mission.  Sometimes I forget what happened so long ago, but every Sunday a small piece of bread and a cup of water remind me of my big brother and what he did for me.  It assures me that he yet lives.