When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

He can make us whole

We are all broken.  No matter if it "appears" like we come from perfect families.  No matter if others know our burdens.  No matter what people think of us, or how they judge us.  No matter what sins or mistakes we have made in our messy, mixed up lives.  We are still broken.
Life is messy!  No matter what we do, things will go wrong.  Sometimes it is because of someone else's choices, sometimes it is because of our own choices, and sometimes, it is just a part of living life.  It is easy to play the blame game and look for someone else to be at fault for our problems. 
I think most of us really WANT to be good people.  We want to make the right decisions and do the right things.  We really want to live a good life and make things better for ourselves and our families.  But no matter how hard we try, things invariably go wrong.  And just like our children's play toys, we become broken in the process. 
One of the biggest reasons that I am so very grateful that there will only be one person who judges me.  He knows my life story.  He knows the wrinkles on the paper and the tears in the book.  He knows that I am doing the best I can with what I have been given.  To me, it isn't always enough, but in Him, I find hope that it can be. 
And so, I turn my life over to the Master Carpenter of us all.  He can shape me, mold me and even build me to be the person I was meant to become.  He can take my trials and turn them into blessings.  It is still hard.  But I believe He doesn't just make a difference in my life, He makes ALL the difference. 
He can overcome our individual and collective broken-ness. He can mead our hearts and heal our pain.  He can bring blessings out of sorrow.  He is the Good Shepherd, and the Divine Redeemer. 
He can and will make each one of us whole. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It is not a stop sign

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. - Robert H. Schuller

This is one of my biggest difficulties.  I think that problems are something I am supposed to stop.  I think there is something inside of me that tells me when I am having  problems, I am not loveable.  They become more like punishments rather than stepping stones to another life.   
Somehow, I have been looking at the problems as a sign that I am not good enough.  There is a small part of me that believes that I deserve the troubles that I am faced with.  I am realizing that I am asking the wrong questions.  I am asking "why me?" instead of  "why not me?"
What makes me different from everyone else?  We all have our share of trouble in this life.   When we are in the midst of our battles, it is easy to get caught up in how difficult they are.  We all have heartbreak, we all have messiness, we all have life changing events.  We all have trials that nearly overwhelm us.  We are all faced with things that are hard to bear. 
My trials are not better or worse than yours.  But they are different.  They are hard for me right here and right now.  And you don't know what it is that I have gone through, am going through or will go through in my life. 
But He does.
He does not allow us to experience problems to stop us, but rather to change us.  He doesn't cause our problems, but He does allow us to make our own choices.  He allows those around us to make their choices too.  I have gained strength and compassion with the problems I have encountered in my life.  I cannot say that I am grateful for them, but I am grateful for the overcoming of them.  I am grateful for the person that I have become.  I am grateful for the life changes that I have made with His guidance.  I am working on changing the way I look at my own problems. 
If I look at them as guidelines, what are they leading me toward or away from?  What do I need to learn, or what can I learn from the situation?  Often, I can't change the problems, but I can change the way I am viewing them.  I can change how I perceive them.  I can change myself. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Other Serenity Prayer

I like this one.  I do a lot of beating on myself nearly everyday.  I think I can mask, most of the time, what is going on inside, but I struggle every single day.  I try and be pretty open about depression and anxiety.  I have suffered from those for most of my life.  It started when I was very young and got so much worse over time.  It can be so hard to talk about in today's world, although I do think it is getting better (or maybe it doesn't bother me so much what others are thinking!) 
I love that there are so many resources available for help today.  Much more than I had in the beginning.  I love that, as hard as it can be, there are those who actually try and understand.  It wasn't long ago, that I was criticized for professing to be religious, but still suffering from depression.  Like somehow those two things can never go together.
I am not perfect.  I have come to the conclusion that I might never be.  I can't do it all by myself, and I was never meant to.  It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes the love of God to help each and every one of us.  I believe that He loves me, and in ways that I can't possibly understand, that will someday be enough.
I think that depression is the thorn in my side that I am trying daily to overcome.  I have been blessed to be surrounded with people who love me.  Who are there for me when I have bad days and good ones, because this disease is about both.  Every single day is not bad, neither is it good.  It just is a day, with weakness and strengths and the overcoming of hard times. 
I am working on doing better.  Some days, it is all I can do to get dressed.  Some days I stay in bed.  Most days I work and function like a normal person.  This is my normal.  Sometimes I escape to have a good cry, then I pick myself up and put one foot in front of the other and walk forward. 
I know that God loves each and every one of us, even me.  He knows how hard this journey is for us.  He knows our strengths and our weaknesses.  He knows when we are lonely.  He knows when we feel broken.
He is the great healer.  He will bind our wounds and hold us close as we make the journey home.  We are never alone.  He has walked the way before us.   He will walk it with us.  He loves us in all our pleading and breaking and tears.  His heart always, always reaches to embrace us. 
He knows your name.
He knows your journey.
He knows you.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Daughter of God

"As daughters of God we are each unique and different in our circumstances and experiences. And yet our part matters—because we matter."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

He Knows All

I am learning that He knows everything about me.  It is not Him that doesn't accept me, it is that I don't accept myself.  No matter how much I forgive others, I have a really difficult time forgiving myself.  Sometimes I feel like it is all my fault. 
Today, I really needed someone.  I haven't been feeling good, I was very emotional, my heart was aching.  I miss seeing people that I love and taking blame for something that I didn't even do.  Heavenly Father knew how much I needed to know that He remembered me. 
I made a blanket for one of my grandsons and he received it in the mail today.  His mom video taped him opening the box and being so excited about getting a blanket from Grammy.  That short and sweet video was just what I needed to remind me that I am loved.  That I am enough just as I am.  I can't control anything that people want to believe, I can only go forward and do the best I can do. 
He made the stars and the moon above, but He also made my heart.  He filled it with love and with caring.  I think the reason that it hurts so much is because I really do care.  I really do want to make a difference.  I really do want those who I don't get to see to know how much I love them.  I want them to know that they mean the world to me. 
Heavenly Father knows my name, and He also knows theirs.  He know what we each need.  Somehow, what I am missing now is just a short moment in the eternity of things.  It doesn't always seem that way, but I know it is true.  Time can seem like it lasts forever, but it is really very fleeting and somehow things will all be made right in the end. 
He knows my heart and my story and my name. 
That is enough. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

You are more

You are more than the mistakes you've made! // Al Carraway LDS Quote:

I love Al Carraway.  She is an amazing woman.  She lived a different lifestyle and totally turned her life around, embraced the gospel and changed everything she knew to become the person that she wanted to be.  I am so impressed with her dedication and her faith.  She reminds me what Amazing Grace really is. 
I have made so many mistakes in my life.  Some still haunt my nightmares, some still come back and remind me that I will never be perfect. Sometimes, in my deepest, darkest nights of despair, I wonder if the Lord's grace really applies to me.  How sad is that.  This amazing Father in Heaven that we have, and I doubt that His grace is sufficient for my sins.  Guilt is my constant companion.  It is not even that I have been terrible in my life.  Mostly, the things have been done to me, yet somehow, I think I should have known better.  I should have been able to stop it.  The five-year-old, should have been an adult.  She should have protected me.  How absolutely ridiculous is that! When I talk these things through, I recognize how silly they sound, but inside my head, it is not nearly so silly. 
I forgive others so easily usually.  Sometimes, I need a little time to stew about it, but eventually, I can see both sides and it is not difficult to forgive.  I do not give myself the same courtesy.  I am not even sure why.  As I go to counseling each week, he points out the unfairness of my thinking.  He helps me to see the bigger picture.  The one that is God-focused and not me-focused.  It is a struggle that I am slowly overcoming. 
I wonder if Heavenly Father thinks I am selfish.  Here He gave His only begotten Son to suffer and die for our sins, and it is like I am saying it is not enough.  I have to learn to forgive myself.  I have to find the power to see the best in me.  No one ever needs to point out my own faults to me, I see them all in living color.  I know how difficult I have been.  I know that I caused my Savior pain as He suffered for me.  I know every single mistake I have made.
But I also know that the sum of me is far more than those mistakes.  I know that with the grace and love of my Savior Jesus Christ, I am whole.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Baby Love

A single photo 

– no words –

capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.