Friday, September 4, 2015
Probably the saddest word for me today is "regret." The saddest phrase is, "I wish I had..." and the saddest feeling is time lost with my children.
Monday, August 31, 2015
My 2nd son, Taylor, had his own graduation, he died and graduated from the worry, sadness, loneliness and fear that this life brought him.
He was once the happiest man alive. He married the girl he loved. He loved her completely and forever. They had four kids. Their life was good. Until it wasn't. Even when their marriage disintegrated he didn't say one bad word about the girl he loved. He coped the only way he knew how. Alcohol and drugs.
He went to rehab and was clean for almost exactly two years. But the loneliness and what else, we can only guess, got to him and he took some drugs. I don't think it was enough to kill him, I think his diabetes played a part but we won't know for some time yet.
Now summer is almost over. It will always be a summer of loss and grief. For me, this fall will be one of loneliness, and grief. Should grief have a staring role in both summer and fall? It doesn't seem to matter, it's going to be done.
It's hot here, still. The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting longer. I lie awake until it is the usual time to text Taylor. Because he worked nights we often we texted at midnight. Every night at midnight I think, "I should text Taylor and see how he is."
I will never again see the words, "Hi, Momma," on my phone.
It is almost more than I can bear.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
- When we retreat from someone who we are having a discussion with it is usually because we don't have the skills we need. (I always retreated when Phil and I had differing opinions and I would finally throw my hands in the air and say, "You win. Do it your way") We need to know that we can have a differing opinion without confrontation.
- How we say things are really important--are we safe in the conversation? Everyone should feel safe and everyone should come out better at the end.
- If you are feeling uncomfortable it might be because you are feeling like you are being manipulated. Stace asks for some time to think about it. She said passive manipulation is hard to recognize and you often don't recognize it--you just feel uncomfortable. Don't be judgmental but be responsible to your beliefs.
- People who judge you, call you names, say you are one (negative) way or another are emotionally handicapped. They are hard to be in a relationship with. When they say how you are--give you labels--wrap the labels up and send them back to them. Really, what they are describing is themselves.
This part was really interesting--well, it was all interesting:
- She has one day to honor herself. For her, this means having "alone time." She schedules nothing. She does what she wants to. Alone time, for her, is how she recharges.
- Honor other's too. You don't want them to feel incapable, etc.
- When I really believe I am a daughter of God I understand the setting of boundaries. You cannot have good intimate relationships without healthy boundaries.
- As women we don't usually differentiate between love and trust but we need to learn the difference.
- Never give your trust to someone who is not responsible.
- You will not value yourself or have happiness if you give your love to someone who is not responsible. The fruit of responsibility is love. They are not entitled to our trust until they are emotionally responsible.
- Pleasing someone else may not be honoring yourself.
She has what she calls the focus of five:
- God. Her relationship with Him. She does this with personal scripture study and prayer.
- Relationship with self. For her, one of the musts is exercising and her piano practice. She does what she needs to do to keep herself emotionally and physically healthy. She gives herself permission to do the things she needs. Sometimes "doing nothing" is a priority. she says she is a far superior wife, mother, friend as she honors herself. When you honor yourself you can be filled up and then you have more to give.
- Relationship with her husband. She makes time to connect with him on a personal way every day.
- Relationship with her children.
- Her eternal identity. Her emotional truths. She sees them and she shares them. Doing things for others comes under this.
If we haven't been honoring our boundaries sometimes aggression comes out. Not sure what that means but I will ask her next week.
Monday, March 16, 2009
1. I don't know who said this. "A bishop has a special blessing to be able to have the attendance of the Holy Ghost to help him to know what to say to his ward members to help them." As a wife and mother I think I should have also be able to have the attendance of the Holy Ghost--according to my worthiness--to be able to call down those same powers of Heaven to help me with my husband, children and grandchildren. (And with my rebellious self.)
2. Again, I'm not sure who said this as we had several youth speakers and it was one of them. "There is a way out of every problem, you just have to ask for help."
3. This was from Susan Gong's talk: When she was in college and dating she said she was good at "snarking." She was a "snarkaholic." (To be snarky you are very clever and say mean things about another person, often making others laugh.)
She said she got called on her snarking ability by a girl she was double dating with. She was grateful the girl had that courage to confront her about it. Susan changed right then and there and she urged us to be kind. She urged us to take the admonition of Jesus, "Love one another, as I have loved you." Jesus stated this at least five times-- in different ways--in the book of John. It is an important commandment.
She told the story of a woman whose husband has Alzheimer's and has had it for 17 years. She is his caregiver. She says he only knows two words. One is "no" and the other is "go." They live in St. George and she has meetings in Salt Lake City--maybe once a month, I didn't get that part, maybe it's once a week. Instead of leaving him with someone else she puts him in the car and drives to Salt Lake, takes him to a care facility for two hours, goes to her meeting and then drives him home. That is a long distance, I'm guessing six hours in the car each way. She does this because he likes to "go" and he is more comfortable with her than anyone else, even though he doesn't really know she is his wife.
They used to ballroom dance together. Sometimes she asks him, "Honey, would you like to dance?" He pats her cheeks with both his hands and stands up. He cannot dance but they can sway together and so they do. This is kindness and love personified.
Susan is one of the kindest people I know. I want to be more like her. It doesn't matter to her what your level of intelligence or status is, she treats you as if you were the most valuable person on the planet. She is the Young Women's President and I know she loves each and every one of those girls and will always do the best for them.
So, kindness was on my mind yesterday and I began thinking that we usually think of being kind to others but we need to be kind to ourselves too. One way to be kind to ourselves is to stop procrastinating. Procrastination is one of the Devil's tools to make us discouraged and down on ourselves. We need to do it and do it when the time is right, whether it's the dishes or repentance. A woman I know said this simple thing, when asked why she keeps such a tidy house: "I never regret doing it but will regret not doing it."
Simple. I need to pick up--clean up--put things away--and repent. Every day I need to repent and send prayers asking for help to do it. And I need to be grateful. Gratitude is a blessing that brings blessings.
I am grateful for Sacrament Meeting, it fills me with happiness and peace which helps me get through the week. Sunday School and Relief Society were wonderful too and then I had Trent and Michelle and kids for dinner. I love them so. It was a nice day for me.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
People in the audience raised their hands and were talking about loneliness and one little grey haired lady said, "After my husband died I was so terribly lonely. I wrote a letter to him about three times a week. I did this for about a year and you know..."she paused and then said with tears in her voice, "it really helped. It comforted me."
Another woman said, "We have all experienced grief, with perhaps a wayward child or other things. There have been times in my life when I wished I could just wear sackcloth and ashes and sit in the corner and grieve. Not have to get dressed, do my hair and make-up and pretend like everything was fine. I just wanted to grieve."
We all experience times when we feel like we cannot go on. I have said to Heavenly Father, "It's okay, you can take me now, right this minute," and I was ready to go, I really was. And yet here I am, still struggling on, as so many others, hoping for better days. Hoping to find joy, love and acceptance, and especially peace, and always loving my family and friends and hoping they will love me back.
So much of life is about love. Loving others, trying to learn to love ourselves like we are commanded to, loving God and the Savior. It really is the ultimate answer.
Friday, March 6, 2009
ACHIEVING ETERNAL GOALS DESPITE LIFE’S STORMS (Robert D. Hales, Brigham Young University-Idaho Commencement, December 11, 2004) There was a rancher who was hiring a new foreman. One of the questions the rancher asked was: What is your most valuable quality of character.” One man looked the rancher straight in the eye and said, “My most valuable quality? I can sleep through a storm!” The rancher tried to try to find out what the man meant. The response was always the same. With deep conviction, he repeated, “I can sleep through a storm.” The man was hired. Weeks passed, and he was proving himself to be a good foreman. Then, in the middle of the night, an unexpected, violent thunderstorm hit the ranch. The rancher went to the bunkhouse and pounded on the door but to no avail. Finally, the foreman came sleepily to the door and was confronted by an angry and agitated rancher who said, “How can you sleep when the storm may be harming all that we own?” The foreman responded calmly, “When you hired me I told you I could sleep through a storm.” The rancher said, “Let’s go inspect the condition of the livestock and feedlot hay, farm equipment, and buildings NOW!” They rode their horses through the storm to find everything to be safe, secure, and in order. The animals were safe in shelters; the equipment was covered; haystacks were tied down with covers; the barn doors were secure and shutters closed. Then, with a look of gratitude and relief, the rancher quietly turned to the foreman amidst the howling storm and said with a grin, “Now I know why you told me you could sleep through a storm—well done, partner.” (end)
I asked my dear friend, Faye Heimdal if she would take a few minutes and tell us how she handled trials:
“We are not alike in many ways. We all do things differently. You can adjust what I do so it fits you. Here are some of the things I have done (no particular order) to bring some peace into my life when things were falling apart:
· "I love the scriptures. I read/read them every day. They sustain me.
· Prayer. I learned to rely on the Lord and not believe I had to do it all myself.
· Fasting. Ask extended family members to participate.
· Books. I always have a stack of book to read. When things were hard my stack was tall. I heard somewhere that your brain can’t think of two things at once so I would read and my problems would be on hold for a while.
· Walking. I would walk around the neighborhood and around the yard, too.
· Talking to others. I shared my burdens with my friends.
· Music. Even country music. There is a country song to fit every trouble and after you’ve listened to it for a while you begin to know you aren’t alone in your troubles and for some reason it makes you feel better.
· Dreamed of home. When things got unbearable I retreated into my memories of Georgia. I could daydream that I was a child at home when troubles were someone else’s.
· Went to the garden. I would actually hide behind the raspberry bushes and when I heard little voices yelling, “Momma,” I just pretended I didn’t hear them. It gave me a few minutes of alone time that I needed.
· Crying. A good cry really does make you feel better. (Quote: “What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.” Jewish Proverb)
· I tried to laugh about the whole situation. It helps to have a sense of humor.
· Cooking. This benefited the whole family.
· Screaming. I did this in the car and by the time the driver next to me heard my screams I had driven past and they were left wondering who on earth that screamer was.
“Remember, it will be all right no matter how it turns out. Enormous grief has leveled me. Heavenly Father will not leave you to deal with things alone nor give you more than you can bear.” (end)
Some ideas for prepare yourself for trials and hardships so you can have peace in your hearts:
1. Study the scriptures so you will have the comfort of the Savior’s promise to draw upon in stressful times. The Lord will help bring to your remembrance that which you have studied when you need them most.
2. Pray always and often.
3. Read the Ensign, especially the conference talks. Barbara Robertson said to read the "Latter Day Saint Voices" feature in the back of the Ensign.
4. Attend the temple often.
5. Practice prudent living.
6. Give service to others.
7. Write in your journal.
8. Write your personally history—you will be able to see good times in the past and know that good times will come again. Also, you will be able to see that the awful times, the times you didn't think you could live through are over and done with. You did get through them and are stronger for the struggle.
9. Watch the church channels on TV
10. Do Genealogy—now called Family History. I think there is the promise that if you do your ancestors work they will help you with your trials.
11. Write out your fears/angers/unhappiness. Write in longhand. Once it is written you can “let it go” easier. You may want to burn these as it is to raw for someone else to read.
12. Put positive affirmations on 3x5 cards and carry them in your pocket. I did this for several months, reading them sometimes ten times a day. Write them as if the good things have already happened.
13. Heather Duncan has “text messaged” her favorite scriptures to herself and she never erases them. She then has them available at all times.
14. In my blog one day someone commented, “My dad used to ask me, ‘Is this going to be important in a day, a week, a month, five years, ten years? If not then don’t let it steal today.’”
15. Realize that God will not let you have more trials than you can handle.
16. Have good friends. You help them; they help you. Do fun things with them—not just go to them in sadness.
17. Most of all, build good relationships with family members. Make sure their emotional bank account with you is FULL.
18. Hymns. "We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer." President J. Reuben Clark Jr. (Conference Report, Oct. 1936, 111 (end)
HIS PEACE (Dennis e. Simmons, Ensign, May 1997, 31) “… In mortality tribulation would continue. But in the midst of that tribulation His followers would have peace in Him. In other words, even if all the world is crumbling around us, the promised Comforter will provide His peace as a result of true discipleship. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ (John 14:27; emphasis added)….
(D&C 19:23) “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.
(D&C 59:23) “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.
“He (Holy Ghost) speaks through thoughts, impressions, and feelings and does so softly. … Paul described the fruit of the Spirit; that is, what the Spirit produces, ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, faith. (Galatians 5:22)
“…Just as Jesus’ anxious Apostles were given peace by 'another Comforter,' so today can all men and women receive the same marvelous blessing each day of their lives … all who will surrender, follow the Master, and do His works are entitled to the same peace.” (end)
PEACE WITHIN (Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, MAY 1991, 36) “…Jesus Christ…has extended to us an invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:28–30.)
“… The phrase “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39), that the Savior uttered when he calmed the storm-tossed sea, can have the same calming influence upon us when we are buffeted by life’s storms. During the Passover feast, the Savior taught his disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27.)
“… In his epistle to the Romans, Paul gave us one key to finding the peace promised by the Lord. Paul taught, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom. 8:6.)
“One faithful mother of a large family learned when she felt that she could do nothing more, she would cast her burdens upon the Lord and place the outcome in his hands." (end)
LIVE BY FAITH AND NOT BY FEAR (Quentin L. Cook, Ensign, Nov. 2007) “It is our faith in Jesus Christ that sustains us at the crossroads of life’s journey. It is the first principle of the gospel." (end)
ACHIEVING ETERNAL GOALS DESPITE LIFE’S STORMS (Robert D. Hales, Brigham Young University-Idaho Commencement, December 11, 2004) “…we pray, study the scriptures, go to sacrament meeting, and attend the temple is because we are diligently and worthily preparing ourselves with spiritual armor to defend and protect us for the battles of life that lay ahead. It is so vital that we drive our spiritual taproot deep into the terra firma of life, so that our faith will be unshaken in these tumultuous last days. It is so vital that we let our Master, the Savior Jesus Christ, be the pilot of our ship so that we can feel peace despite the winds and waves of these tempestuous times." (end)
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about leaning to dance in the rain.” (author unknown)
May we each find peace in our lives through our Savior. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Today, Kraut and Soap Queen and kids came over for leftovers because they have been installing a new floor in the living room and it was either come here to eat or starve. Now I could starve for a good long time and no one would even notice but the kids, and their parents, too, would drop like flies.
As the day progressed I was getting sick. And then sicker. Phil helped me put food out, I tried not to touch anything--he cut the turkey and ham, I just stirred things and put stuff in the oven. After dinner Kraut and Soap Queen, Phil and I sat in the living room. I was bundled up like a mummy. We talked and the subject of the gospel came up and we talked for over an hour. I looked at Phil and smiled. He was loving it. And I was loving the kids, that they granted his wish without even knowing about it.
Sometimes life just throws unexpected good things your way and sometimes we even have the good sense to recognize it. Like today.
Friday, November 7, 2008
My goal in the next few months--or maybe it will take me a few years--is to learn all I can about faith. I am also going to listen to a Conference talk on the computer, hopefully every day. I will read one too--maybe the same one--in the Ensign and study the scriptures. I want to be able to live my life in starlight as if it were noonday. That will come as I learn more about my Father, as I come to know I am not walking alone.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I said, "What? You saved me? Don't you mean, you saved 'us'?"
"No, you," he said.
"Oh, thank you, then," I said as I came toward him. I put my hands on his arm and caressed him. He smiled for just a minute until he realized my hands were dripping wet.
He said, "Hey," and pulled away but I wasn't finished, I reached up and cupped his face. By now he's laughing.
He put his cold fingers on his neck.
We laughed together and then I gave him a saucy look and went back into the kitchen to finish getting dinner and he went downstairs.
This might have turned out so differently. I might have said other things, like "we are in this together, buster and don't you forget it!"
And then he would have retaliated and there might have been a fight. A fight over NOTHING!
I'm glad we were silly instead. It was much more fun and then after dinner he read to me while I wrapped caramels and then I read to him while he wrapped caramels. When he read he inserted words to see if I were paying attention and they made the text very interesting. If we had fought earlier I would have wrapped alone and he would have been alone downstairs and it would have been a miserly, lonely evening.