Tag Archives: Faith

Why I Blog and A Question

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One of the reasons I stopped blogging a few months ago was because I was so caught up in numbers.  Worrying about my stats daily.  Am I being boring?  What are my readers thinking?  Between that and Little Hope angry that I called her Hope, it just became too much.

Today I have thought about what drives me to write.  Mainly to get the thoughts out to calm me.  Others is to connect with others.  I hope my words do reach others, and somehow help them.  Even it is helps them, helps YOU not feel so alone.

Originally I had hoped to make money blogging, but I know my blog is not going to ever make money.  It is not about a money-making topic that brings people in droves.  Maybe down the road when I am farther along in my journey, I will visit that idea again.  Right now I want to focus on quality posts about my life.

This is the life I am living.  This blog is much more than a blog to me, it is my online journal.  I am going to treat it as such.  I hope as I do you do not get bored reading.  Gratefully, some days are boring.  I long for those days.  Days that I can say, “Today I cleaned house and cooked dinner.”  Of course I will go into more details, and talk more about what I am feeling.

I do have a QUESTION. Before my hiatus when I blogged at the bottom in visual mode it offered suggestions on blogs that I could pingback to, blogs that had similar subject matter.  I do not see this anymore.  Is there something that I need to activate to get that back or what?  I do not remember what it is called.  I would love to have that option again.  I think it was a great way to network in our blogging community.  If you know what it is or how I can get it back PLEASE let me know.  Thanks!

I hope you all have a wonderful night! -Hope

It’s Raining It’s Pouring

It has been raining today.  Heavy showers passing by.  Roscoe cannot stand the sound of the rain, he jumps up and begins shaking.  Yeah, my dog even has anxiety issues.  When it comes to the rain, I love it.  I love the sound. I love the smell. I love how it feels. I just love it.  Do not love how my head feels when the barometric pressure changes, but oh well, I still love rain.

The hubs and I have been watching a marathon on American Restoration on the Roku today.  Gosh, it totally amazes me how they can take something broken and in completely horrible shape, and restore it to such beautiful mint looking condition.  Of course as I watch it I think about myself.  I know how I look physically and emotionally.  I am in a pretty rough state.  The journey I am on, and the Healer and Refiner working with me, my Savior Jesus Christ, will in the end help me to be mint condition again.  A new person, well and whole.  It is just going to take time.

Another lesson I have learned in this analogy is that just like different methods need to be used on different materials or you will do more damage, so it is on this journey.  He’s with me and leading me.  Helping me to find the right things I need to do.  Yet another lesson is that each thing has its own time, you cannot rush it.

I know in the end I will be excited with the improvements and healing, and say, “Wow! I am not the same person that started on the journey.  I am better.”

My pray for myself and others on this journey that these thoughts are taken to heart.  It is easy to write them, and feel them as I write them.  It is another to remember them in the darkness of trial.

Thank you all for reading.  I am still working on my MP3.  Please send your music choices to help me.

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Changes in Me and My Blog

I have been thinking again, as I am developing, and redeveloping this blog. It is transforming, much like myself, I hope.

This last week I have made so great strides in fighting the demons of my past, what is that cliche…kicking butt and taking names? I want my life back!

As I had Enos in his kennel on my bed with me, I thought about “Little Hope”. She is the one that is hurt and injured, one of the things that we have discussed in therapy is controlling her. Confining her and letting her know that it is for her own good. As I do that she will calm and be reintegrated. Enos, does not understand that the crate is for his own good, but as I calming told him in his confined state, that I loved him and he was good, he did not fight the confinement as much. He had to learn that the confinement is not a punishment, but for his healing. It was a real epiphany to me.

So with all this time to think, I have thought about the schedule I have for my blog. I am going to change a few of the days.

Songs of the Heart Sunday: I find that this day is a day that I grow and express myself on so I will continue the Songs of the Heart, and faith building day.

Mutt’s and More Monday: There are some great pet blogs out there. I personally am a dog person, but there are other blogs that I follow that have pets that I have grown fond of. I want to feature one or two of these blogs every week on Monday, and share anything that I might find that helps pets, or will not help pets. I hope you will input your ideas here.

Tell All Tuesday: This has been a fun day for me to remember the good times and share them. I will continue Telling All.

Wordless Wednesday: I found dreaming of places to visit and writing about it too difficult. I am not there yet. I am jumping on the Wordless Wednesday Bandwagon. This will be the day I share my newest photos.

Try It Thursday: I love to cook. I love finding homemade cleaners, or things that make life easier. i like to simple crafts that I can do cheap. I am going to use Try It Thursday for presenting those golden nuggets that I find on the internet, and share them with you. I hope you will share the things you find!

Find the Good Friday: This will remain the same, finding the good in the world and sharing it.

Silly Saturday: Silly Saturday ain’t going nowhere! I need to laugh!!

Thank you for sticking with me as I grow!

Songs of the Heart Sunday: Let This Be My Prayer

Our Father in heaven is not an umpire who is trying to count us out. He is not a competitor who is trying to outsmart us. He is not a prosecutor who is trying to convict us. He is a loving Father who wants our happiness and eternal progress and who will help us all he can – if we will but give him in our lives an opportunity to do so with obedience and humility, and faith and patience. ~ Richard L Evans

A friend of mine felt prompted to send me this quote. I know the prompting came as a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. In the struggles I face, I do sometimes ask why? Or beg Him to give me a break, sometimes feeling like the red-headed step-child because of all that I have been put through. I try to remain faithful, occasionally not keeping my foot on the straight and narrow, but I am generally on the path looking towards God in Faith, as the trials of faith pour down.

I want to focus on prayer as a two-way conversation with our Father in Heaven. I hope to do it through music, quotes, and my own words.

This first song is a sweet song with a child questioning if Heavenly Father hears prayers. We sing it at Church. It is called A Child’s Prayer.

Our next song, Be Still, has always touched me. I know Heavenly Father hears my prayers, My Savior Jesus Christ suffered the things I endure, and the Holy Ghost comforts me.

Elder David A Bednar spoke about prayer. This message really touched me. I often give a grocery list prayer. I am thankful for, I need, they need, and end it. I really need to communicate with my Father.

We have a Prophet on the earth today. His name is Thomas S Monson. I loved his message on prayer given at a semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I want to end with one last song and my testimony of prayer. I do know my prayers are heard by my Father in Heaven. Those that I speak out loud, those that I whisper, those that I think, and those that I scream through tears. I know as my loving Father He wants to hear from me more, and my prayers of gratitude need to be more sincere and thought out, as does the rest of my prayers. I need to take more time in quiet reflection after my prayers to hear and feel those promptings and words He offers me.

Years ago I heard one of the saddest stories on a radio station. I was glad I was pulling into my apartment complex, because I bawled like a baby. This teenager called in to the station after scanning through the radio as we all often do. I think I Can Only Imagine had just played and the DJ was talking about prayer, and how he prays everyday that he and his family gets to be with Jesus. He said something to the effect that we should all pray for that. That statement is what prompted this girl, I want to say she was 17 or 18, to call in. She started right out of the gate that she had been to a few churches, but in each of them she was taught that only the leaders could pray. She had often wanted to talk to God, about the things going on in her life, and ask Him questions, but based on the teaches of the churches her parents took her too she felt she would be sinning to pray. She mentioned some of the horrible things she had experienced in her life that she felt that talking to God, and not having someone do it for her would comfort her, but instead she felt alone and betrayed by God. Then she asked through tears “Can I really pray?” The DJ said “Yes, not only can you, but God wants you to.” The DJ prayed with her, she did not speak, but he expressed gratitude for guiding her to the station that day to answer the question in her heart.

I am so grateful that I was taught to pray as a little child. As I prayed and saw the prayers answered my faith grew.

This last song is The Prayer sung by Jessie Funk Clark and Daniel Beck.

Monday Morning Crazies…Wait It’s Friday!

My alarm went off late this morning. I did not mind that one single bit. I do not have anywhere to be, since my alarm is a 76 lb yellow labrador barking that she is ready to pee and ready for breakfast. For the longest time she had gotten into habit into waking up at 4:30, but I broke her of it, recently it started back. I am so glad that today she let me sleep in until 5:55.

We really named Daisy Mae and Gage wrong.

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They should have been named after these two people instead.

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That’s Bonnie and Clyde. See he has black hair, she has blonde. They were quite the furtive pair.

Our morning routine Bonnie Daisy wakes me up, I then let her and Clyde Gage out in the fenced in back yard to do their business, while I quickly do mine and get their breakfest ready. It takes all of 5-7 minutes. On a normal morning, they would be eagerly waiting at the door to come in. Not today. They were no were to be found in the backyard.

I ran to the bedroom and told Jethro that our fugitives had once again escaped. I took off on foot, going through the neighborhood yelling their names. Looking in the wet ground for Gage’s mamoth paw prints. Listening for dogs barking. The only ones I heard were these tiny furry little things yapping. I love small dogs, I grew up with small dogs, my family has small dogs, but I sure wished they would’ve hushed this morning. So I could listen for my two.

Jethro quickly came in the car. He went the opposite direction. Driving the streets, up and down. Neither of us took time to grab our glasses. I yelled for Daisy and Gage, and walked the streets, yelled and walked, walked and yelled. Listening for any sign. My feet, back, and throat ached. I was almost in tears. Wondering if yesterday was the last time I snuggled with them.

I prayed, please bring them to me. I did not know where to look. Honestly at this point I did not know if I was going to make it home myself without calling someone. My breathing was pretty bad. Please Heavenly Father, you know where they are.

Just then from behind me I heard eigh feet pounding on the wet dirt road rushing me. i turned around. I do not know who was smiling bigger. Them or me. They had obviously gotten lost in their roaming. Daisy did not want to leave my side. She looked at me at one point exhausted as if to say, “Mom, can you pick me up?” If my back were not killing me, and I was still fighting to keep Gage close by I would have tried. We kept stopping to catch our breath on the way home.

When finally inside the house, she collapsed on the bathroom floor exhausted. Both are sleeping soundly in their kennels now, safe. I have said many prayers of gratitude.

I have chased those prayers with Ibuprofen for my back, my feet up from the blisters, I am breathing fine now, and I might end up hoarse from calling their names, but it made me think. I believe faith is a principle of action. I could not just pray for them to come home, I needed to do my part to make it happen, when I did my part, He showed them the way to find me.

I love stories with happy endings.

Blocking Out Negativity With Music

My husband is watching a tv show that has a good bit of swearing in it. Swearing is one of those things that bothers me. Ironically, I have found myself saying a word or two since I have been going through these most difficult days. I do not like that. That is one of the reasons I put on my headphones and started listening to uplifting music and watching uplifting videos. I do not want negative words to be the first things that pop into my mind when I get angry, and if I put a filter on my mind it seems it is easier to control my mouth. Go figure.

Ironically, the first song I listened to tonight on the LDS Radio was a saddness trigger for me. I am not sure why except that maybe I sang it around the time I was abused. It used to be one of my favorite songs. It is still a beautiful song, just makes me alittle weepy.

Right after that song came on, I was comforted by this beautiful song. I thought about the things I have been taking photos of lately, and the love Heavenly Father has for them, and how it does not compare with the love He has for me.

Then I started searching Youtube. These next three videos are songs that touched my heart.

The first one made me want to sob. I want to put it on my Iphone, and when I cry put it on repeat, for when others ask questions vocally or with their eyes.

These next two are basically my testimony of Jesus Christ put to music.

Daily Prompt: Life Confused–Technology Geek Longing For A More Simple Time

Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen
Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

I am a techno geek. My husband is a techno geek. I am always tethered to my Iphone, and I write almost all my blog posts on my Ipad. If you had a computer problem, before I had all my memory issues with medication and anxiety, I could fix almost any problem, and enjoyed doing it. When I feel like I still enjoy tinkering, but I am not confident in my skills like I once was. My husband however can fix any problem that can be fixed, and diagnose those that can’t be.

Our pillow talk at night is over my Ipad and his laptop. He cannot go to sleep without checking Facebook, Pinterest, Email, and watching videos on Youtube. There have been a few times when to be funny, I looked over and notice him on Facebook and logged on and messaged him, “Goodnight honey” or if I was in a particularly romantic mood put a romantic message on his timeline. I cannot count the number of times he has woken me up when he has heard an email come into my phone and asked, “Are you going to check that?”

We love our gadgets. I love the camera Mother is letting me borrow. We love the nice entertainment system we have. If there is a kitchen gadget or gimmick, I want to try it out. He with his Tim the Toolman Taylor grunt, is the same way about tools. Indoor plumbing, thank goodness! A/C, I live in South Georgia, need I say more?

As we both deal with anxiety and depression, collecting things then getting rid of them is not one of our strong suits. We joke that our front porch is Sanford and Sons from things he has collected. We have a shed of stuff, that we both have collected. I have a hard time throwing anything away. Whether it be the thought that it might be valuable one day, it is sentimental, or it is a bill I paid five years ago, if it comes in the house, I need it. I remember when that company one company told me to prove it to them several years ago that I paid it, on a bill that was two years old, and all my notes were on the bill that I had thrown away. Part of me is scared without this “stuff” you will not be able to prove that I existed when I am gone. I need something to say, I was here, I lived.

I am getting off topic though. That is a whole different post.

Do I belong in the 21st Century? Where I was headed before my detour was to state as much as I love my modern conveniences, gadgets, and gizmos. I long for a much simpler time.

A time that families worked together in the fields to bring in the harvest. Raising your own cattle, pigs, and chickens for meat, not worrying about the hormones being put in them. Rivers and streams were pure for bathing, and drinking, and fishing.

Money was not the driving force behind everything, yes, money was needed, but it did not mean living or dying, self-esteem or self loathing, friends or loaner. The credit card had not been invented!

Families would gather around the table in the evening by candle light as Mother or Daddy would read the scriptures and pray. Your immediate family did not need to move far away for schooling or to find work, you were all close in proximity, and in relationships.

The Government was small, not governing every affair of our life. You could protect homes and families without fear of breaking the law.

Maybe people had shorter lifespans back then, but it seems like they were living, really living. Leaving a legacy for us. A legacy I long to be part of.

 

Daily Prompt: Morality Play, In A Changing World

Daily Prompt: Morality Play
Where do your morals come from — your family? Your faith? Your philosophical worldview? How do you deal with those who don’t share them, or derive them from a different source?

This is an interesting topic for me to write about. It is one I have lived.

Once the moral shrew. Looking down on others who did not walk the perfect moral line that I did, ostracized even my very best friends for their choices in life, perceiving their choices which were different from my “pristine” life as offenses against me and our friendship. I suppose I developed my morals from both church and family, but taking it to the extreme was all my doing.

It is amazing how the holier than thou can be knocked of their high horses, and learn humility. Falling off is not the funnest thing, but you can meet some of the most interesting people on your way off. Realizing also that you can still maintain, or reclaim your morality through repentance without being condescending or self-righteous. Shew that horse on along.

I heard a quote by Dieter F Uchtdorf in the last year or so that really stuck with me, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.” I believe he had read it on a bumper sticker.

I know several people who are extremely homophobic. Do I “agree” or “understand” that lifestyle, simply put no. I will always believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, but some of my dearest friends are homosexual. I would give my life for them and they for me. I sat and talked with one the other day, he had me rolling laughing because he talked about how he cannot stand the gay community. I had to double take, and wanted to remind him how long he has been with his partner. He is against gay rights and gay adoption. He mentioned that those who speak out and making “such a ruckus” are making it difficult on those who just want to live their lives. I had never thought about that. He is a great man, and I love him like a brother.

I remember the first time I found out someone I knew drank and had premarital sex. I was crushed. How would I ever look them in the eyes again, how could they ever look me in the eyes again. I realize now that aside from my family those that have had these bumps or even made these as their choices, but fought family and friends for the right to make their choices have been some of my greatest confidants and cheerleaders. Recognizing the hurt of letting those you love down, whether by their choice to be let down or something you actually did, or even your feeling of letting them down. That’s a lot of letting down.

I was 31 when I got married, though I never crossed that line completely before marriage, but it became blurry many times. Often too close for comfort, definitely too close to judge anyone else.

Alcohol and drugs, I have never tried either. There are several reasons behind this. Addiction runs in my family. I have an uncle and a cousin that are/were addicts. I know I have an addictive personality, and seeing what those substances have done to our family, I could not do that to my parents, siblings, husband, or my niece and nephews.

All in all, the covenants I have made with Heavenly Father help me to stay moral. Whether it is chastity or refraining from alcohol and drugs, those are things I made covenants to do, if you have not, that is your choice. My friendship does not depend on it, though I might not choose to be around when you are drinking heavily or smoking (being around smoke gets me physically sick).

We all have our agency.

 

Afraid To Leap, Adoption and Fostering

Česky: Matka a dítě. עברית: אם ובנה, 2007. Sve...

 

Daily Prompt: Might As Well Jump
What is the biggest risk you’d light to take-but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?

 

This is my first time using one of WordPress‘ daily prompts. When I saw it my heart immediately went to my desire to be a Mother.

 

As a child there was no room in my bed for the stuffed animals and dolls I had, each named, each loved, and tenderly cared for. Every night I would go to bed dreaming of the day that they, like Pinocchio, would come to life and be my real children. Our family always had dogs, I would Mother the dogs and their puppies, imagining they were my babies.

 

As I grew, cousins entered my extended family. When we would gather, the babies would be on my hip. The same with Church gatherings, children and I flocked together. A “Mother in Training” if I heard it once, I heard it a million times. I baby sat, almost as many times, oftentimes without pay, because of my love for children. “You are a natural”.  Was always the compliment given.

 

My senior year in high school, I participated in the Practicum Check Out Program. I would go to on of the local elementary schools and work with the Special Education Students.  I developed a deep love, respect, and admiration for special needs children. They really have my heart. I would often pray at night, that when I got married if Heavenly Father was going to send a special needs child to earth, please send them to me, because of the love and patience I felt as I worked with them. I truly feel I am rubbing shoulders with Heaven as I serve them.   They teach me more than I ever can teach them.  I had another opportunities to work with Special Education a few years later, and that bond grew stronger, those prayers more fervent.

 

When asked on high school on career day, what do you want to be, my answer always remained the same, A Mother. I had the dream of marrying shortly after school and being a stay at home Mother to ten children. I do not know where that number came from, but it sounded great to me at the time. If you open my yearbook, the notes left by classmates all wish me well on my dreams, most of them mentioning the “ten kids”.

 

With the only dreams of my life being a wife and a mother, you can only imagine the disappointment and utter betrayal from God that I felt when I was diagnosed with PCOS, and heard the words from a heartless female doctor, “Oh, it will not be a problem, unless you want to have children. You will not be able to have children.” My world ended then and there. I was not married at the time. I had not even met my husband. No man would want a woman that could not give him children. I did not want to live if I could not be a Mother. Who was I if not a Mother? Why was I even born?

 

I changed doctors and was given hope. She assured me that PCOS was not to be the final nail in coffin of my dreams. Years passed, oh how wrong that first Doctor was. PCOS was a problem, other than my child bearing. I was always sick. I could relate so easily with the woman with the issue of blood that reached to touch the Master’s robe in the Bible; however,  my reach often fell short. In 2005 I was diagnosed with pre-cancer of the uterus. A month after I met my husband. We married a few months after that. The pre-cancer medication I given for two years, made it so that we could not try to have children during that time.

 

When we were given the all clear, we tried. We tried. We tried. Month after month. Nothing but heartbreak. Sex became a chore.  Something had to be done, just like you had to pee on that stick.  Only to be disappointed by the outcome.

 

In February 2007 my husband received a call from a friend of ours. She was raising three of her grandchildren. The mother was pregnant with the forth. Knowing our desire and heartbreaks with infertility, she immediately thought of us. She wanted this baby to have parents that would love her and care for her.  They were not in a situation to take her themselves. She was going to be a baby girl. Her Mother was on Meth, and they were pretty sure that she was going to have health problems, at the very least, be premature, very premature, as her siblings were. I was close friends with the Grandparents, but I still took the time to pray, but was told that I could not take a long time. They needed an answer the next day.

 

Oh how I wanted a child. Would this be the special needs child I had prayed for all these years? My husband and I discussed it, we agreed to move forward with the adoption. I was going to be a Mother. I received daily, sometimes more than daily updates from the grandmother, but I was told I could not talk to the case worker. It would “scare the mother” and she would run.  Which she did anyway. There were so many things that went on over the next several months, that seemed like years. I even went to my doctor and talked to her. When we found out that the baby was coming and she would have health problems. We discussed my medications. I came off of some of them, and started taking an herb to make me lactate so that I could breastfeed her. I would pump several times as day, running a coworker out of her office for privacy.. Oh how bad that hurt. I had had breast surgery in 2005 removing my central duct, because of a pre-cancer in my right breast, but I wanted my little girl to have the best chance to make it. So she could be strong, and healthy.  The weekend I that her delivery was imminent, was the weekend that my brother was graduating from law school.  I missed his graduating, because the grandmother said she needed me to stay close.

 

Let me put it this way, to this day I have a closet full of little girl things that have never been worn. Bottles that have never been drank from.  Pacifiers that never have been lost.  A stroller she never sat in.  I highchair never eaten in. I had almost everything I needed. Why? Because she never existed!! My baby girl was a lie.  It was an adoption fraud! No money was given, food, a bunk bed, and a friendship, someone she could talk to and give her attention everyday.  My trust destroyed.

 

It all came to a head after the lies kept mounting, and we finally called the judge that was supposed to be the “good friend” that was going to sign the adoption papers.  It was my being naive, and her being evil and needing something that I had, that caused her to destroy my faith in people.

 

I had rebuild myself.  I am still rebuilding.  I will never be the person I was before.  I will never look at people the same again, nor trust my instincts again.  Even during the fraud, there were many times that I felt that something was wrong, but I could not turn my head or heart on my little girl.  The what ifs were too great.

 

A couple of years after the fraud, we went to the classes for the State Fostering and Adoption program. Private Adoption is too expensive. I want to be a Mother so bad, but I am terrified. They preach reunification, and I am all for families being families, but I cannot imaging the heartbreak of having a child in my home and then having them taken from me again. When I love, I love with all my heart and soul. I have a Mother’s Heart.

 

Who knows if I will ever have the courage to take that leap? I might have let an evil person steal yet another dream from me.

 

 

 

 

 

Strength and Talent of Others

Today is my 8th wedding anniversary. So far it has been a good day. I spent the morning out at my parents with them, Heidi, and Piglet I mean, Lillee. I keep teasing Mother that her name will be Piglet because she comes to me when I say Piglet.
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After spending most of the day there, I came home and spent time with my fur babies waiting until time for my husand to come home. As I have relaxed here, I watched youtube videos. I am so grateful for talents. The talents He has blessed His children with truly help me during my trials, and when I am not in trial. I just seem to reach for them during these times. The talents of others are tender mercies in my life.

I still find being alone difficult, especially since the theft of my garden the day before yesterday. Knowing someone was in my private space, and chances are they watched me to know when I was gone really disturbs me. So having calming, peaceful, Christ-centered videos and music, helps to soothe my soul.

These two songs really reached out and pulled my heart strings today.

I hope to get to a point where I can look back on this time and see it as a beautiful heartbreak. I hope that sharing my experience with others gives them the courage to work on making their experiences beautiful hearbreaks too.

I love accappella music. This is one of my favorite hymns, so the combination of the two brought peace to my heart.

Wow, my husband just came home early! YAY! Let’s hope for a continued happy evening. 🙂