The Most Wonderful Time of Year

I love Christmas time and all the happy warm feelings that surround us at this time of year. This year my church has established a way to bring the Light of Christ into our lives at this special time of year. Everyday there is a suggestion of things we can do to give gifts to others through service. It isn’t grand things, or costly things either (which I appreciate as I prepare for Christmas for 6 kids!). The things that are suggested are such things as visiting the sick or elderly at nursing homes, sharing favorite scriptures, and donating clothes.

As a person that has struggled financially for all my life I love the feeling of giving to others when I know I can’t monetarily. I love the feeling that service brings and I especially love sharing these things with my kids. Each day they ask me what we are doing the next day! They too look forward to doing things that they are capable of, and that feeling we get doing these things together.

Last week we went to a nursing home and visited people that don’t normally have visitors. I wasn’t sure if my kids would be on board to go see strangers, but they surely surprised me. We went and they loved it! My youngest especially loved talking to everyone and showing them her little toys and trinkets. They are excited to make soft cookies and go see them again next week. This is the real reason for this time of year, making ourselves more Christlike and remembering the reason for the season. I hope we can all do things that bring us closer to Christ, and feel the love He has for each of us.

If you would like more info feel free to visit this website and learn how we can all LIGHT the WORLD.

 

 

Feelings of Gratitude

The month of November is almost over, and I wanted to share a few thoughts of things I am grateful for this year. The past 4-5 years have been a whirlwind of trials and heartaches, some days I didn’t know how I would survive. It is hard to believe how far I have come, or been brought, after all that I have had to go through. As I look back on those difficult days I feel like I was prepared for them from the beginning of my life (not that I would ever want to relive any of that again!).

I am grateful that I have a loving Heavenly Father that has given me this life. I am thankful for the wonderful people that have been His hands and have helped me when I needed it most. There are many people in my life that have been an answer to prayers, whether they knew it or not. This includes my family and some really amazing friends. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and the love I have found in him. I am grateful for my amazing kids and their tenacity after all that they have been asked to endure in their young lives. My extended family, which includes people that have become adopted family, is made up of some loving people.

This list can go on and on… to include sweet friends, this free country I call home, the church I am a part of, and the good health my family and I enjoy. During the dark days it can be hard to remember all these things which we have to be grateful for, but it is important to remember these things. The dark days come and go, an in the end we are left with scars from those trials, but they shape us to who we are as individuals. They afford us the chance to see what we are made of and how to have empathy and compassion for others. So I am even thankful for the hardships I have had to endure.

Learning to Breath Again

My life has been one  of many struggles and hardships, which has led me to always be on high alert for the next “big thing” that is going to come and knock me down again. It is an unfortunate way to live life, and one in which I have tried to overcome for a long time. It’s not easy to do though when things keep happening in our lives.

A couple years ago I sat down and met with my church leader about some struggles I was going through with my ex. I told him how hard it was for me to enjoy good times or days in life because I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. He warned me that I needed to take care to not become cynical with that kind of attitude. This suggestion took me back a bit, I had never thought of myself as becoming cynical. When your life seems to be one trial after another it is hard to not be expecting the next hardship that is sure to come!

How do we do it then? How do we keep ourselves from just anticipating the next bad thing to happen and instead enjoy the good days when they are present? I haven’t found the magic answer as of yet, but I am open to any ideas and suggestions! I do, however, try really hard to appreciate the good days when they come around. I also try to remember that I have survived a lot of bad days already, so I have a wonderful track record of getting through them . Therefore the hard days that may be ahead …well there is a good chance I can get through them as well. On the days when I haven’t felt like I was going to get through them I know I have been carried by a Higher Power, and that gives me great comfort as well.

My Favorite Time of Year

I absolutely love this time of year. Right after Halloween is over–that’s my favorite. I love fall, the crisp air, the changing of the season, and the preparations for Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving because it is all about giving thanks and having gratitude for what we have. I enjoy the thankful posts on Facebook and how so many seem to be trying to see the bright side of things. I wish there was a way we could hold onto this spirit through the whole year (we for sure needed it before this awful election this year!).

I know in my own life I have much to be thankful for , and I am reminded of so many things on a daily basis. I am thankful for the wonderful dinner we will be able to enjoy together as a family on Thanksgiving, and all the other meals my family and I have each day. I know there are many people who aren’t as fortunate, in fact I know first hand what it is like to not have enough food to fill my stomach.

I am so thankful for my family and the love that surrounds our home, even on the difficult days. I am thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in this society, which sometimes seem to be taken for granted. We truly have much to be thankful for, not just at this time of year but all year long. When things look grim and he are full of despair let us try to look at all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives.

 

Transmogrify

Transmogrify:

This word is a new one for me, it means “to change in appearance or form”. Of course I thought of Halloween and the costumes my children wore this year! Then I figured most of you have had your fill of seeing Halloween costumes this year! As a last ditch effort to hold onto warmer weather I thought of a butterfly and how it changes so significantly in its life. Kind of like us, hopefully by the end of this life we have a might transformation and turn into something beautiful.

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When You Hear A Song

Music has the power to take us back in time, to calm us, to empower us, or to energize us. I love to listen to music, and I like to listen to all different types of music. Some members of my family grow irritated when I listen to the same songs over and over again, but it feels like the song just longs to be listened to by me ears!

One song in particular holds a very dear place in my heart, Mercy by One Republic. During 2013 I went through the most difficult year of my life. I don’t remember most of it because my brain has blocked a lot of it out. I do know there are many days that I have no idea how I made it through. I don’t know how I cared for the kids when I felt like I was on auto pilot. I somehow managed to make meals for the children, and care for them (they are still alive!), but I don’t remember the details of those many days.

Music helped get me through some really tough days, and it helped keep me from a total breakdown at times as well. The song I mentioned earlier was one of those songs. IT was like they wrote a song that encompassed how I was feeling. Those time when I could barley get out of bed, yet I truly felt like an angel of mercy was there to pick me up and help me. I still can’t think about it without getting teary because of how special that was to me. I felt like I was being cared for at my lowest point, and this song helped me remember how it was I was able to get through those difficult days. I am grateful for good music and the effect it has on our lives. I have included the song for your enjoyment.

Song

Changes

In life there are so many changes that occur on a regular basis it can be overwhelming. Some changes aren’t as big as others, but then sometimes life changes are HUGE! My family and I have recently had a lot of changes occur in a relatively short amount of time. While it has been a little stressful, I think these changes are working together for a greater good for our family. All of this has caused me to reflect recently on something I hadn’t thought of up to this point in my life.

Think about the times when you have made plans and they don’t quite go the way you hope, and you know what they say about best laid plans and whatnot. Anyway, I was thinking about this on a much grander scale, and I thought, “Does Heavenly Father feel this way as well sometimes?” Does He have plans for us and our lives, but then because of our actions or the actions of others things get messed up? How does He handle this type of disappointment on a much a larger scale, and with so many of His children? I wonder if it upsets Him as much as it upsets us when our best laid plans go to waste.

Of course we know that when  plans don’t go the way they should Heavenly Father is able to take them and make them better for our profit and learning. That is where the changes that sometimes happen can be good for us. It amazes me that we have someone that cares so much for us that He is able to even take the follies of life and us them for our benefit. Here is to accepting the change of plans and numerous changes that occur in our lives, and learning what we need to from them.

In the Thicket of Storms

As I have mentioned once or twice before in other posts I didn’t have the ideal childhood growing up. I dealt with a lot of hardships, heartbreaks, and difficulties. I have been reflecting recently on one incident in particular, a hardship that clouded over most of my 14th year of life– my mom tried to kill herself.

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My main motivation in sharing my side of this story is the fact that I want to take away it’s last bit of power over my heart, for this causes a lot of heaviness for me to think about. Second I want others to know the affect that a decision like that has on the ones that love them. Lastly, this incident haunted me for a good portion of my life, I was severely traumatized by it for years. I was able to start healing after an incredible treatment called EMDR, which I received from my counselor. If you suffer from any kind of trauma I cannot recommend EMDR enough to help.

After a particularly hard breakup that my mom went through she became quite depressed. She started drinking even more (which I didn’t think was possible!), and she didn’t want to get out of bed most days. It was really tough situation to see my mom so sad when I couldn’t do anything to help her. I remember I had gone into my moms room to say goodnight to her before going to bed. When I walked in her bed and her were covered with blood… I had no idea what to do. I ran to get a towel or washcloth to stop the bleeding. It didn’t work, the washcloth was quickly covered with blood as well. I was worried my mom was going to die and 14 year old me didn’t know what to do or how to make the bleeding stop. I called 911 because I didn’t want my mom to die.

From that point it was such a blur. I sat with my mom trying to comfort her and to make sure she stayed awake until help arrived. As soon as the ambulance got there I started crying, and an officer put their arm around me and took me out of the room to talk to me about what had happened. I told them as best as I could my side of what had happened. They ended up needing to take my mom to the hospital, and she was put on suicide watch. She was admitted to the hospital for two weeks. During that time I went to a friends house, and I don’t remember much of what happened past that point… I was in shock.

When my mom was released from the hospital I was so happy,  I secretly hoped she would stop drinking and taking drugs (she didn’t), and things would get better. I watched her and tried to be super supportive and helpful, mostly treating her with kids hands because I thought she was so fragile. That is mostly the only thing I remember of being 14, it was a thicket of storms that didn’t part quickly.

 

When I Was 10…

Oh to go back to the days of simplicity! No bills to pay, no responsibilities, and minimal worries. When I was 10 I wanted to be a singer, and boy was I determined! I would sing for each and every person that would listen. I idolized Mariah Carey, and I would sing along to every song of hers! The guys my mom dated would indulge me and let me sing songs for them… I’m sure that was fun for them (HA!) Back then I figured if I didn’t make it as a singer (which I was pretty sure I was going to be) I had a back up plan–I would be a model. Anything that would get me in the spotlight and make me famous was my plan.

I am not sure why I was so determined to be famous back then. Maybe the glitz and glamour of those that were famous appealed to me. Maybe I thought it would be an easy out. Or perhaps it was because I thought if I was famous I wouldn’t have to be poor. Who knows the motivations or thoughts of 10 year old me! It is fun to think of those dreams and aspirations of then compared to the now.

As an adult I would NEVER want to be famous (rich yes but not famous). Living with fame or popularity does not appeal to me now. I have 6 little people that are constantly surrounding me and vying for my attention, I couldn’t handle thousands of people. I am happy to live a life out of the public eye. I still love to sing, I just do so at church now! I am thankful that 10 year old me didn’t get the chance to make all the plans for adult me! I suppose that’s the thing about growing up, you learn so much and you see things from a different perspective.

Out of Place

Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place.

Is it just me or have you ever felt out of place, like you just don’t belong even in your own life story? I sometimes just feel like I am just not fitting in, which is weird considering it is my life! I don’t know what causes these feelings, and I am unsure of how to make them go away. During these times I feel like I can’t say anything right when communicating with others. I just feel out of place–like I don’t fit in anywhere.

Even now as I write these words I am questioning each and every single one of them! I’m almost certain I am not the only one that feels this way from time to time. What I have learned during these times is I am usually growing.  I have learned, after I come out of these awkward moments, is that I am defining myself more and more. Realizing who I am a little more each time. At least I hope that is the outcome of these times when I feel especially delicate.

Perhaps it is just the ebb and flow of life. Nonetheless, what do you do during those times when you tend to question each thing about your life and where your future will take you? What do you do when you you don’t feel like you quite fit in, even in your own skin? I suppose for me it is figuring out what is most important for me and my life–getting back to basics if you will. Putting aside the distractions and non-issues that tend to cumber us from time to time. Realizing these moments may come and go, but it’s what we make of them that helps shape us as we go through them. What say you?