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In to the Sunlight.

Imagine yourself in the bottom of a deep dark hole.  At the top you see an often blue sky, puffy clouds, sunset and sunshine.  Yet regardless of your seemingly constantly efforts to get out of this pit, you never are able to.  Sure the pin light perspective of nature brings you hope and moments of happiness, but you feel so far removed from it.  Your tireless attempts leave you exhausted, irritable, frustrated, discouraged, doubtful and depressed.  Within ear shot you hear so many others who are loving life, but regardless of what you have, your blessed circumstances or even who loves you, you just don't feel it.

Though you want nothing more, you simply can't understand how the sunshine feels.

Through a series of promptings from God, you & your husband take a leap of faith and move your family of 6 across the country, in the middle of the COLD Midwest Winter.  You find yourself much CLOSER to home, but still 3 hours from family and feeling very much alone and isolated.

You…
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OUR Project.

Do any of you remember my post about the Father's Workshop? (Read full post here)  Well it was just about a year ago that I felt inspired to start this blog and since then I have very much felt that this is a project that God has called me into His "workshop" to do together.

For months my blog was dormant, nothing came for me to share.  But within the last month I feel God beckoning to me to come, work with Him, follow His promptings, learn from His wisdom, hone my gifts, try my hand at new ones, share what He puts in to my mind & heart and spend time with Him.  It has been a sweet sweet time.

I'm amazed at how ideas will just flow as I sit down to type.  I am learning just as much as I am sharing.  If I ever seem extra enthusiastic about a concept, allegory, perspective or paradigm shift it is because God is the one teaching them to me and I feel the power of what He is showing me... and can't help but share it with you! :0)

With that in mind, along the way …

The Face of Love.

Several hours after I gave birth to our most recent child, I was finally getting out of the hospital bed to get cleaned up.  It had been a rather traumatic birth and I had needed that time to hold my new son and let my body rest.

I lifted off the hospital blanket and slowly eased my way to the edge of the bed.  I felt like a deflated balloon with no strength, stiff and sore, my tummy covered with stretch marks, both old and new.  The very first thoughts that came were of shame, weakness and ugliness.

BUT

I quickly countered them with my own--

how proud I was of my body, nine long months of discomfort and pain, all that it had endured to bring this baby in to the world.  What a miracle and blessing.

Yesterday morning while sitting in bed nursing my baby, I caught a glimpse of myself from across the room in our bedroom mirror.  My messy bun had reached a new level of messiness, my two-day old mascara was amplifying the bags under my eyes and my shirt had spit up on it.  By the world…

Feelings Friday--2.

Hey All!  Happy Friday. I just wanted to drop in and share some feelings from the last little while...

1. Artistic- We got to attend our postponed water color class.  LOVED it! 2. Pampered- My hubby watched the kids while I tucked myself in bed, ate chocolate and sped read an AWESOME book in time for a book group. (More on that book later.) 3. SUPER frustrated- I wear Vionic orthaheel flip flops around the house because I have plantar fascitis and our puppy chewed up my new pair!!!  Arrgh!  I thought she was laying on our bed, but before I knew it she was under the bed chewing away.  Insert tears. 4. Enlightened- A morning that I had a special experience regarding each of our unique gifts and ability to shine God's light.  I took this outside the temple before going inside. (It was so powerful! Read about it here.) 5. Challenged- Some really difficult moments with my son with ASD.  I was praying to understand him better and that I could identify what I was feeling.  The word chall…

You're a Gem.

This morning, in conjunction with seeking light & inspiration at a nearby temple (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), I had a very sweet and powerful experience.  With it being the weekend, I was going to wait and type it up next week, but when I saw that it was International Women's Day, I knew I needed to take the time to share this TODAY.

While driving away from my house this morning I had the idea to text a song to a friend of mine.  I've learned to as-immediately-as-possible follow through with the whisperings of God's spirit, so I pulled over and sent the text.  Next came the thought to tell her how amazing she is, that she is just the way God needs her to be (strengths, weaknesses, insecurities and all) and that He works beautifully through her.

That phrase made me think of a prism and how it refracts light.  The words came to me, "We're each unique prisms (with the different faces & facets of our personalities and testimonies) and …

Creating Calm--Start here!

My sister-in-law recently asked for advice on how to stay calm with her young kids. I am no expert and still have a ways to go, but I've come a long way. So I'll share what tips work for me in case they come in handy for you.

This morning reminded me of where I try to start with creating calm in my home.
My son has sensory processing issues. As I've seen what textures, temperatures, sounds, and tastes affect him, I've been increasingly aware of what affects me.
I've come to realize how little seemingly insignificant inputs can add up to disrupt my day.
Take this morning for instance. My kids all seemed particularly grumpy about getting ready for school but I noticed I was more irritable than the situation would typically merit. So I took a self assessment. How did I feel? I quickly realized that...
My cuddly PJs were great for sleeping but were now making me hot. Feeling too warm instantly invites irritability for me! (As a side note, I have found that if I wear a …

GIVEAWAY ends tonight! (CLOSED)

⭐The giveaway ends tonight, 4 March 2019, at 11:59PM MST.  So get in your likes, comments, shout outs, reviews, suggestions and shares! ⭐
To officially enter please leave a comment on this post (or similar posts on my Facebook page or Instagram) by tonight, 4 March 2019 at 11:59PM MST. Include what you did to participate and how many points it earned you. Example of entry:
10-likes (10 points) 5-tagged friends (25 points) 3-comments on posts (30 points) 1-review and 2-watched videos with comments left (60 points) Total: 125 points
I'm having you tally up your points so that none get overlooked AND because you don't want to rely on my math skills 😉
Good luck!

The winner will be announced Tuesday 5 March 2019 at 10PM MST.

Giveaway! (CLOSED)

I've been pondering what kind of giveaway I could do and it came to me last night! For the person who gets the MOST points, I will mail* a box of my FAVORITE things that contribute to my intentional happiness and inspiration.  I'm not going to give details beyond that, but it will be awesome!  It'll be a package that I would LOVE to get in the mail :0)
Instead of doing a drawing, the prize will be awarded to the person who gets the most points by the deadline, Monday 4 March 2019 11:59PM MST.  The winner will be announced Tuesday 5 March 2019 at 10:00PM MST.
Here's how it'll work.  Each entry is worth a different point value.  You can do as many entries as you'd like, you just need to make sure to comment (Either here, on my Facebook page or on my Instagram) with ALL of your entries AND points by the deadline.
1 point for each Like/Love your favorite posts on Facebook and/or Instagram Comment on momentous activities that you have implemented OR hope to implemen…

Feelings Friday.

My Grandpa was one to document everything.  Either by nurture or nature I inherited that same zeal.  Those who have been around me enough know that a picture is probably in order each time we hang out.  I am the self-proclaimed selfie queen.  On occasion for me a selfie is to document a good hair day or a day when I'm feeling extra beautiful, but in general it's because I want to remember so many of the tiny moments that make up my life. 
Today in therapy we talked about the importance of identifying and saying how we feel.  Too often we subconsciously label a feeling as "bad" and repress it and glaze over it.  Without receiving the message that it intends to deliver, it will manifest in other times and other ways.   When I got home I had the thought to look through some of my selfies from the past several months and identify which feeling/feelings I caught with each snapshot.  I've gotten in the habit of not only documenting the "good" moments but als…

What moves you?

I have always loved music. I grew up in a home where there was often inspirational music playing, my mom using her angelic voice to sing us lullabies and classical music accompanying us on morning rides to school. I was part of a children's choir for several years then Acapella and madrigals in high school and choir in college.  My hubby & I have sung in several church choirs together over the years and even a few duets.

Many a stressful & grumpy morning wrangling the kids to church has been instantly pacified when singing the congregational hymns.  Time and time again my heart has been softened by beautiful music, preparing me to receive what God needs me to hear.  Music moves me almost like nothing else can.

When I started using a momentum tracker a little over a year ago, I quickly realized that for me music is a simple way to fill up my tank throughout the day.  Music often puts words to my feelings in ways that I can't quite articulate for myself.  Not to mention …

THAT is the Truth.

This morning I'd only been awake for a few minutes when I heard my oldest daughter scream.  It was one of those screams that you don't ignore.  One that signals some sort of danger or at least fear and pain.  I ran downstairs.  Between quick panicked breaths and sobs she was yelling at her brother to stop kicking her. 

It's important that I note that this particular brother deals with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and, although at the core of him is a heart of gold and beautiful intentions, at times it is as if he changes into Mr. Hyde.  The ensuing interactions are usually abrasive and hurtful both emotionally and sometimes physically.  I have told him on several occasions that if he is doing something that is hurting someone, they have asked him to stop and he persists, they have my permission to protect and defend themselves. (We also talk about getting out of the situation, but sometimes my son bear holds them and won't let them out.)

Apparently they'd gott…

How LOVE Has Changed.

It was 3 years in to our marriage when I realized how much my husband did to keep me happy.  I think he knew all too well what my "unhappy" looked like and wanted to keep it at bay.  I don't blame him.  I was emotionally volatile and when triggered would usually melt in to tears and the silent treatment would ensue.  Almost anything offended me so egg shells were often the path that he unfortunately had to walk.
It made me sad (and honestly insecure) to think of what he was holding back to avoid the stress from my emotional setbacks.  Thankfully that sadness started working in my heart.  I wanted to be less concerned about me and more concerned about him, but I didn't know how long the path would be.
Over the years things got better.  I learned to give more than I took, but my anxiety and depression fueled my compulsive behaviors.  Social media felt like an easy, instant and accessible escape from the day-to-day when being a stay-at-home mom was too stressful to fac…

If My Pride Can Handle It, I Can Handle It.

Last week with Parent Teacher conferences, my kids had early out every day.  Today rolled around and I was feeling on top of things. I'd set my kitchen timer to remind me to pick up my Kindergartner at the normal time, was putting my baby down for a nap and helping my home schooler with photography before slipping a coat over my PJs and heading out the door.  Just as I was about to leave I got a call from the school to let me know that my son was waiting in the office to be picked up.  I was puzzled for a second then it clicked.  My brain had combined the early time (10:50) and the normal time (11:35) and I was planning to pick him up at 11:50!  Instead of stammering for an excuse, I chuckled, explained the mix up, apologized and thanked her for letting me know.  The exact same thing happened last Fall the Monday after Parent Teacher Conferences.

You see, creativity runs deeply in my family.  Consistency, not so much.  I was the girl in high school that would forget her locker com…

What a Way to Wish Happy Birthday!

Last week my twin & I had a birthday.  Let's just say we're now tipping towards 40!
When I woke up that morning I was alone in my room.  One of the very first thoughts I had was, "You're all alone on your birthday.  If your kids loved you, they'd be in here with you."  Thankfully I'm getting better at filtering my thoughts so I quickly identified who this thought was coming from and countered it with my own thought. "Oh what a way to wish me a Happy Birthday, Satan.  Nice lies!"  And I took it as an invitation to pray to my Heavenly Father and ask for His truths about me.  I quickly felt how much love my Heavenly Parents have for me and how much they'd want me to feel it, especially on the day celebrating my official beginning here on Earth.  How grateful I am for being able to recognize the lies and turn to the truth.
Today at church we were talking about the prophet Elijah and the Priests of Baal. I thought of this experience on my bi…

Thoughts for Thursday: Elevating Truths and Victories.

This last year my therapist has helped me to identify the elevating truths and victories in any given situation.  Often times I've come in to his office focusing on the negatives and what seems to be going wrong.  He somehow is able to find the positive perspective and points out the truths and victories.

As time has gone on I have tried to do the same for myself.  I try to see the victories instead of focusing on my "failings."

Today I was hurrying to get ready to take my second grader to his SEP meeting.  He was anxious to get going and before I knew it barged in to my bathroom, blurting out, "Mom are you ready yet?"  I had just gotten out of the shower and looked up to see my son's startled face.  We try to teach privacy in our home so it caught both of us off guard.  As quickly as he'd come in he walked out of the bathroom and shut the door behind him.  I figured that he was likely feeling sheepish about what had happened so I put on my bath robe a…

The Great Blessing of Hitting Rock Bottom.

I am SO very grateful that I hit an all time low in the Fall of 2017 so that I was willing to seek the help I needed. I really don't think I would have been up to being pregnant again or welcoming this sweet little man in to our family had it not been for the medical, mental, emotional and spiritual progress I've been helped to make since then. I'll be eternally grateful ♥️

After my therapy appointment last Friday I headed back to my van and through tears thanked my Heavenly Father for the gift that therapy has been. I've said it before and I will say it forever, it has been life-changing. I now see each day as a gift to live. My anxiety is most often replaced with calm and conscious choices and intentionally taking on my opportunities. I feel so much more love for my children and truly take joy in being with them. I look forward to using my gifts to bring beauty in to the world, to bless the lives of others and help them recognize their gifts. My priorities have becom…

In Her Way.

In the last decade or so I have come to realize that creativity is one of my God-given gifts or as my therapist would say, timeless traits. I often feel inspired with visions for projects and guided along the way as I bring the idea to life. After our son was born, with the Christmas season coming, I envisioned putting together some sort of photo nativity representation of our family.  I collect Nativity scenes and thought this would be a sweet souvenir to display each year.

I decided that I'd take individual photos so that so that it wouldn't be a stressful event with trying to get all of us ready and in the picture at the same time.  And in order for each person to have a moment to imagine them self at the manger on that miraculous night. 
Our youngest daughter (3 going on 4 yrs old) has a golden color of hair and I knew she'd be perfect as the angel. I excitedly helped her get on her golden dress, curled her hair and put on some sparkly makeup (she LOVES to dress up lik…

Thoughts for Thursday: What He Really Asks.

It has been eight weeks since our little guy was born.Today while driving up the hill, after dropping off my daughter [late] for preschool, the thought came to me how crazy life is right now.I started thinking about the last year and realizing that everything about this last child has been harder than I imagined.Honestly I figured it being our 5th child, God would make it really easy on us.But the pregnancy was one of my hardest, his birth was definitely the most challenging, postpartum has been a roller coaster physically and a consistent and “normal” life continues to feel out of reach.As a small (yet important) caveat I will say that emotionally and mentally I’ve never been better after having a baby.I told my husband tonight that it feels like there is a veil of patience and calm over me.Daily situations that would have completely overwhelmed and upset me have barely been ruffling me.That being said, things do feel challenging and it got me thinking.Perhaps this time round really…

With the Strength of Others.

I haven't posted in awhile because life has been filled with projects, Amazon prime, food, family and the holidays but especially all things baby-- Our little man came the day before Thanksgiving!
He was due on 24 November, but with frequent contractions all month I was sure that he would come early.  Every time I thought the contractions would increase in intensity and frequency and that we'd be heading to the hospital, I started to worry about who would be there to help us out during his birth.  For most of the month the majority of my family was out of the country.  In my head, I kept running through "what ifs" and scenarios, trying to figure out "the best" timing.  Finally one day while reading the Book of Mormon, I felt prompted to let it go and trust in God's timing.  It was pressed upon my mind that He had long decided when our baby's birthday would be.  He had already arranged who would be there to support me and He would take care of every…