Saturday, May 21, 2016

52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week 20

Week 20 of the 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge is a Friend #2.

I chose my lovely friends Dayna and Karen, who have been diligently helping my dreams of publishing my books come true!

It is so nice to have people behind you, supporting you, telling you not to give up, loving your crazy ideas and visions, saying, Be you, boo! For letting me send in a picture of my nail polish for the color on our cover design. For eating my gluten free muffins. and talking with me about life.

Thanks guys. I can't wait to hold my book in my hands for the first time, and creepily smell the pages ! I might just make a perfume out of it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

52 Weeks of Gratitude: week 19

In a world where the storm tossed seas are the pains and confusion of the world, the ship is the way, the truth, and the light. When Christ is at YOUR helm, you have no need to fear. Will the skies always be clear? No. Will you be rocked and drenched and lost at times? Yes. But if You wear your life jacket, despite being mocked, and you hold on with both hands, despite having doubts, you will always survive and have joy in your heart. Always.

Week 19 is Health.

This is important to me this year because I have faced my hardest physical and mental health battles.

It is also the year I turned more fully to Christ. I have really embraced my inner geek. To some, it's silly or unnecessary. There are people who mock me. At times, I feel super alone. But there's no question how much more right my life has gone, even with many wrongs surrounding me. I've had to keep my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at my helm, I've given up passions and excitements of the world for a humble, simple, "boring" lifestyle. I am gby the Holy Spirit, which I have never ever, until this year, heard and felt. I listen carefully, by making sure the noise of the world does not drown it out. This means listening exclusively to gospel radio. (i told you I'm a geek) and standing in holy places. It means not watching or participating in media that is offensive to the Holy Spirit. I miss out on "good movies" and "hilarious TV shows". But its fine. I'm totally over it.

My promptings come so swift and quiet sometimes, I don't even know if they're real. But as I learn to discern and follow through, they come stronger and certainly.

My health is doing great, after I made this change. Physically, I've witnessed miracles. I made a full recovery from a horrific spine injury that should have required steroid treatments, possibly surgery.

Mental health is struggle for me. There are many mental health issues in my genes. While they are real, and I am not against medication, I also believe a lot of them can be cured by the atonement of our Savior. I've been on the uprise from my anxiety and depression, being able to "choose" happiness and positivity this year. I can combat the environment around me, and resist the instinct to resort to behaviors and conduct I grew up being taught were normal or acceptable. I can be a better mother, always putting my kids first. No matter how tired I am, or sad, or hurt.

When I hit a roadblock in my marriage, me and my husband can turn together toward Christ and find a solution. We find joy in always being friends and communicating about our relationship as a couple and as parents. Without Christ, this would not be possible. I would be consumed by my fears and pains, and both are bountiful. I'm convinced that more people would find their doubts and fears calmed amidst the stormy seas if they would put Christ at the helm. Troubles and heartache are fleeting, present but fleeting, when you can let Him ease your suffering. Its strange and ironic, but even with the many trials that continue to throw me off course, I can sail the ocean of sorrow more smoothly.

Believe me, I have been lost at sea. I've been tossed back and forth. The oceans have threatened to swallow me, with waves of anguish crashing down. In fact, I have JUMPED off the boat. I've tried to swim in currents no mortal man can endure. Believe me, it isn't easy to stay on the ship. Nothing is more annoying than people who make life follow Christ seem like a piece of cake. Its even harder when you having willingly lept off the ship. Nonetheless, it is possible and it is detrimental that we stay aboard. My heart has healed from breaks it should never have recovered from.

I can tell you that the years I spent unable to perceive the Holy Spirit were not because I'd been abandoned, but because I could not hear it or recognize it because of very average, typical day to day choices. My world, my actions, my endeavors, my music, my habits, were not conducive to the Spirit's quiet, helpful whisperings.

I can tell you the times I felt the most lost were when I was not listening, whether by choice or because I could not hear it.

I can tell you the times I felt the most pain were when I did not feel the comfort of the Holy Comfortor.

I can tell you the times I've been the most confused and lonely, just wishing for "something more", were put to rest when I found Him. It took me 28 years. 28 years of being a faithful, church going person, give or take a few here or there. If it took me that long, it could take you even longer.

 Health is a blessing and a promise from God and Christ, when we choose to follow his path.

Monday, May 2, 2016

52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge: week 17 and 18

Week 17 for the 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge: something you take for granted.

I chose first world problems.

I totally am guilty of this sometimes, but it remains my biggest pet peeve. People who continually complain about first world problems aggravate my nerves. I annoy myself when I do it.

We have so much to be grateful for, and if we forget we lead miserable lives. America in particular has a gratitude problem. We live in a "more, more, more" society. People are never happy with what they have. It makes it a challenge for me to be grateful too.

But the truth is, the happiest people you'll ever meet will probably be those indigenous tribal jungle people who have nothing but the clothes on their back and their families surrounding them. I want to be like that.

Week 18 of the 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge is the weather.

Oh em geeeee, I LOOOOVE spring and summer. Life just isn't the same without sunshine to me, and heat, for that matter. I'm such a lizard.

We just took family pics for 2016 and I have to say they were a hit. I love having nice weather and being outside, playing with my kids, going on adventures...even when you end up getting poured on. Just another thing to be grateful for!