And on to our New Home

And on to our New Home

My dear husband had the sweetest idea that the first thing we should do when arriving to our new home, was to re-bury our little miss carried baby, Hal,  who was buried initially at our rental property.









We decided to bury Hal under this tree in our backyard, where the children will be wont to play.











We sang the song that, imparted by the Holy Spirit, we felt was Hal’s favorite song, “Onward Christian Soldiers”.

Through various experiences, our family members have figured out Hal’s favorite parts of this song.

Blend with ours your voices

In the triumph song:

Glory, laud, and honor

Unto Christ, the King.

This through countless ages

Men and angels sing.  

….Like a mighty army

Moves the Church of God

Brothers, we are treading

Where the Saints have trod.

We are not divided

All one body we:

One in hope and doctrine,

One in charity.











The boys both want to help.

The children were very excited about the play set that was left to them as a surprise by the previous owners.








Riley carries me across the threshold!!








Our tradition when buying a home is to buy take out Chinese food…hopefully we won’t be buying it under the same circumstances for a while!!

And we’ve already been greeted by church members to help us unpack!

Welcome Home, they said by their offering!


How she Overcame the “Worrying Sickness”

How she Overcame the “Worrying Sickness”

My Hoppity makes me laugh.  She has a great sense of humor.  The other day, she laughed as she told us what life was like when she had, as she termed it, “The Worrying Sickness”.

Image Credit

She jokingly told us, “I would see a little speck of something black, and say, “Oh no!!  Mouse poop!  Then I would run and wash my hands!”

The way she said it made me laugh a really good chuckle.  As parents, we knew our daughter was washing her hands so frequently that her hands were drying out really badly, to the point her Dad told her she was not to wash her hands for a space.  She would ask me for discernment about when to wash her hands after that.

At another point, she confided she had stopped obeying like she used to, because of the worrying sickness.

I found out a little more about the worrying sickness a few weeks after that.  By following Cranial Hiccups’ Easter 30 day countdown, I did a demonstration about Christ’s atonement,  where you put a drop of food coloring in water, and with a teaspoon of bleach the color should completely absolve.  The color didn’t go out and didn’t go out, so I poured more, and then more.

I was getting worried about my lesson, but then we noticed the color was beginning to slowly fade.  We realized together that as you pray for healing and for forgiveness through the atonement, you have to continually pray and wait on the Savior with sustained hope and faith of his Atoning Grace and Power.

This is when Hoppity told us, this was how it was with the “Worrying Sickness” for her.  She started praying every day for help with the worrying sickness.  It didn’t go away right away she said, but she continued to pray every day and she started to feel better and better.

I was awed by Hoppity’s personal faith and patience.  She also taught me, that our ‘sicknesses’ are temporary.  Even if we have susceptabilities to certain ‘sicknesses’ or sins, we can with time and faith, overcome them and become healthy again.

At the same time, this object lesson answered a question I had asked a few week ago.  I knew the Atonement could heal me in my sins, but how are others healed?  Do they only receive healing if they approach the Atonement too?  Can we pray they will heal from the hurts we caused them, and will they?  And as I watched that water slowly fade, I knew what the Lord was answering.  He was telling me, that he can absolve the effects of our sins, if we do our part by not putting in more food coloring or repeating the sins.  Then during conference I learned that we must fast and seek the Lord with all our hearts as we seek to do away with less effective patterns of treatment that can be shrill or out of tune.  I knew that I was over reacting and harping negatively and that this was damaging to the identity of my children.  Watching general conference from my church, gave me hope, that if I “Keep Practicing” with fasting and deep prayer, and trying, I can gain the tongue angels, a new voice, the voice I sometimes have, will predominantly on to always, come in me. (See See Henry B. Eyring from April 2015 LDS General conference about fasting and Wilford W. Anderson, General Conference April 2015)

I have susceptibilities to strep throat, and it takes intensive consistent work to heal from it. But then I can fall to strep  again, easily.  This is the same with certain sins and vulnerabilities I have.  But its important to know that I can heal and be whole after treatment and healing, and if I fall into that sickness or state of mind that is not condusive to the spirit again,  I can continue to lose desire to sin, can continue to give him more of my heart, can continue to deepen or sustain my faith in him, and I hope with this process that one day my deepest weaknesses will be my greatest strengths, through Christ’s grace.  I have seen great improvement in this process already in regards to this very topic of gaining gentleness and sustained kindness.  If some ‘conditions’ persist through life, I hope that I can keep them mere temptations rather than begin to identify with those temptations and act on them.

Indeed my daughter gave me hope that our ‘conditions’ are temporary, and with child like faith and persistent faith in the Savior we can find temporary relief and one day full relief through whole hearted, continued submission to the Lord and imploring his Grace.

So let us go forward in Hope.  Hope in the realness of Christ’s healing for us and others, and for His help in transforming us into new people in His Grace.

This talk I will be listening to many times, by Wilford W. Anderson, as well as Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk from that same conference, Sunday morning session.



I love being a Mama.  I love days like today, when I kept ahead of the mess!  We were able to do our LDS family school, which I love soooo much!  The kids love it, I think, because I love it!  But we have so much fun feeling the spirit and learning together.  You know when your children thank the Lord in their prayers that they could do family school, that it is a good and a great thing.

I love finding success after much labor, error, and failure.  For example, yesterday, my son didn’t want to go to our singing class.  I had read a scripture, and tried to memorize it a few days ago, from Nahum 1:3, that said the Lord is slow to anger, and great in power.  The Lord doth not acquit the wicked.  The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind, and in the storm, the clouds are the dust of his feet.  I looked up what acquit means, in the online 1828 Webster’s Dictionary (which is great for understanding the spiritual and biblical meanings to words in addition to their definition.  Basically I learned acquit means to set free or discharge from an obligation.)

So I realized that the Lord loves us enough to give us consequence in time.  He keeps his emotions in check as he ponders just the right consequence, perhaps.  I decided that when this fit was being thrown, that I would walk away from this fit….he asked repeatedly if he could stay home, after I already explained why we have him come to choir ( that we learn to give when it isn’t our favorite way to serve, we become prepared to serve in future opportunities in ways that aren’t our preferred cup of tea, like for example if a son has daughters and is able to have a tea party with them, later on in life, it would be because he was trained in youth to serve unselfishly.)  I decided to not be the more determined mother, and by being more fixed, overcome someone who secretly wants someone to be stronger than they.  Because my husband works from home, I could do this.  I left without him.

I was upset and very bothered, this was very difficult to do.  As time went by, I cooled completely down and I realized this child had done some great things that day.  Why not focus on those tonight, after all, I want to starve out the tares by paying little attention to them and nourish the wheat that is growing.  (This is a lesson I learned from L. Tom Perry’s recent talk in October 2014 conference where he refers to how we can starve out tares in our lives and reproduce wheat).  Then when I saw fit, I could quietly tell Paul Bunyon, my son, that he owed me five dollars for the class costed 20 per child, per month.  When I was still feeling a bit angry, I said aloud, “Paul Bunyon is in big trouble.  He won’t be able to go outside all the rest of this week.” This consequence was tattled by a sister as soon as that child got home.  But I wasn’t there to hear it.  I never said a thing to this child about not coming, for a few hours, and when I did, I said, “How did it feel to stay home?” I found out it didn’t feel good.  I told the child, I thought it wouldn’t, and that we missed him.  Then I shared all the things he did well that day.  Apparently a child had also tattled to Paul Bunyon that he owed Mom five dollars.  Both consequences, only the latter I was planning on delivering, did not cause any rebellion in this son, because it was given so gently and so kindly, and with so much empathy, and with plenty of time for Mom and son to pull away from the heat of the moment!

Folks, this is amazing…this is a miracle.  I focused on the positive, I didn’t belabor, over lecture, belittle..I waited till I thought completely rationally…I am so thankful for these scriptures and conference talks that I am finally with my new years goal, doing, which is looking at my scripture notebook to see what the Lord has tried to teach me, and then, actually learn it.

Yeah for successes! Yeah for the Lord’s teaching, and then for his grace to help me actually apply it, after much trying.

Why I am so glad my son has the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Why I am so glad my son has the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Image result for picture of spilled fingernail polish

When I re-read the post I wrote below, from 2009, and realized I still needed to learn the lessons in it, I re-posted it, deciding to make the goal of using silences appropriately in my life.  I didn’t need to blurt out in emotions rantings, railings, etc, I could rest silent and think of how to most effectively respond.

Well what do you know, I soon had a chance to test my goal, and what do you know, I began as usual, “I just TOLD you, why don’t you listen, why don’t you obey…if you were doing your dishes like you were supposed to this wouldn’t have happened” and then, my dear son reminded me!

The dear boy said, in the kindest voice, “Mom, don’t forget your goal of using silence.”

I was blown away.  I hadn’t told him, or anyone about my goal.  I had only posted it on my blog, and he’s nine years old, believe me, he doesn’t read my blog.  I knew that the Holy Ghost gave him a message.  All though, I’d technically already ‘blown’ it, I said, “I am sorry dear child for ranting and railing.  I meant to say, “What have you learned from this?  Do you feel you can trust the warning advices your mother gives? etc.  I began to be patient and encouraging.  ”Don’t worry, I think you are really learning from this…” etc.

Though it was a partial success, and not a full success, I thank the Lord our children are given the gift of the Holy Ghost at a young age.  I once wondered why children are baptized, in our church, at age 8.  And then a woman in the ward shared how she knew that the children were protected and given wisdom much more so, through this priceless gift.  I felt the Holy Spirit confirm to me her words were true, and I stand today to say, I know the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands after baptism, is a real gift, and I am so thankful that my intuitive little son, has become even more so, through the tender betstowal of this priceless gift.


Something’s gotta change!

Something’s gotta change!

This post was originally written a while ago, but I recently re-read it.  I was saddened to read about my insights that I’d largely forgotten about.  I realized the Lord was still trying to teach me about using ‘silences’ appropriately in my parenting.  This new year, of 2014, I want to show the Lord I care about what He’s trying to teach me, by re-reading the insights and helps he’s bumped me into.  Perhaps then I will actually learn the information He is trying to teach me.  Here is the recent quote on effectively using silences, that He has helped me to notice.

“… We may come to know him through the words he spoke, through the deeds he did, and also through his silences. We may know him also by the impression which he made first upon his friends and secondly upon his foes, and thirdly upon the general body of his contemporaries…”  Elder L. Tom Perry Finding Lasting Peace, October General Conference 2014.

This of course leads us to the question, when did Jesus use silences, and how?  This is the question I go forward with to study out for myself.


And here is the 2009 post:



(…This picture is upside down!  Stand onyour head to look at it.)

Does it HAVE to be me????

YES!!!!  I told the Engineer things were just not working with parenting and that I couldn’t bear doing homeschool and being with the children this much anymore.  What if instead of building them I was damaging relationships?  I felt like I was in Chinese torture, and I would be patient time after time, and then after so many patient, holding back episodes I would get snappy, and occasionally say something I regretted, like using labeling words such as ‘brat’, or ‘ungrateful’.  It seemed an exasperated raised voice was occurring nearly everyday which didn’t feel good to feel uncontrolled and to feel like a bad mother.  Fortunately saying some label was occurring very occasionally, but the work involved was giving me majorly tight shoulders every single day which gave the Engineer sore fingers in rubbing my back!

I didn’t want to let go of my idea to homeschool my children till third grade.  One of the children was coming home extremely stressed and demanding after social situations and I felt they needed extra coaching and guidance to help them be successful. I had prayed about it many times and felt very right about this decision for the children, and felt right that this child in particular, needed to enjoy the safety and coaching of a mother’s arms to prepare them for the worldly challenges ahead.  I felt it best to strengthen them till they were ready to stand on her own two feet.    But then I felt this snapping point and thought, this has to be about me, and I don’t want to be with the children this much.

I realized something had to change.  I knew that I was already using a lot of help from the Lord so I didn’t see how it could be me.  That night I woke up at 2:30 and I had an impression.  I needed to do the twelve step program, you know AA, or Over Eater’s Anonymous.  So I started on step one : I am helpless in this problem and COMPLETELY need the Lord, from LDS Family Services, Addiction Recovery Program.  Luckily, I studied it and then went back to sleep.

That morning on my run, I plead on my run to forgive and thus erase all resentment in my mind I held for unmet, unreasonable expectations.  .

As I studied the scriptures, the Lord told me “and lo, I will be with them even to the END.”

“And he who is FAITHFUL shall overcome all things…”  I knew that if I kept turning to the Lord in this weakness of always keeping calm, the Lord would help me overcome.

During the day the Lord gave me an impression that was so beautiful and helpful.  He told me that he is so easily able to love us in our most repetitive weaknesses, because, beyond feeling our magnificent worth, also, he saw us much past the weakness, he saw us as getting past and over the problems, he saw us eternally.  I realized I could see my children as grateful and happy, really and truly, that they would be someday, and that difficulties were only a temporary working through an aberration to their true, future characters.  That thought was a powerful thing for me, and I know that it would help me not think things, that could come out in unkind labels of their ownly temporary behavior, if I never even viewed them as as such things as unhappy, ungrateful, etc.

Yesterday I did some more writing in Step 1.  Weakness is a tender mercy of the Lord?  Yes, I realized the Lord gives us weakness in addition to having weakness from lack of experience and that it is our strength and our gift, so we would not let ourselves be alone and isolated, that by feeling weak and needing help, we would use the help of other people inspired by the Lord, and more especially receive help from our God.  This weakness is a beautiful gift given so that we can be connected.  Connecting with the power of the atonement and Christ’s grace, gives us giant ability that given our amount of experience and skills, we could never achieve with out him.  If we weren’t weak, we wouldn’t feel the need to connect, and be able to become so much bigger than we feasibly could be alone.  Our children need us, we need inspired mentors, friends and parents, and most especially, our God whom we are connected to through our Savior who mediates between our lack of perfection, so that we can unite with our Heavenly Father.  Essentially, we all need each other.  Together, united in God and teaching our strengths to others, we are strong.

Facing this conflict head on with admitting I need utter help from God is the only way.  Public or private schooling would not provide just time away, it would also add other pressures.  The problems I had, would not go away, but perhaps be just amplified and even compacted, during other times of the day.  Though well intentioned teachers might be perfectly patient all day long with my children, they wouldn’t have the moments of pure love that build over all, far more than generally neutral feelings a teacher would imbue to the child.  Instead, I needed to face my biggest demons, head on, to be able to successfully follow the answers God has given us for right now in our journey.

Listening to a parenting book on tape called Smart Love, I realized that those weakened moments of fatigue and etc.  shouldn’t be sweated over, because they are the exception, not the rule.  Like a beautiful tapestry with a few hanging strings doesn’t ruin the art piece.  I believe this to be true, most graciously, also, because I believe in the power of the atonement to heal, but in doing our part, I feel we can hold our children in our arms more, spend more time with them, praise, approve and cherish them more as part of either healing, or building, and I know the Lord will continue to guide me.

In The Chosen, Danny Saunders does not speak to his son.  When I read this, I thought how sad and abusive this treatment was, but on looking a little deeper, I believe that small focused silences can be used effectively in parenting.  No, never to ignore the child, let me explain.  I can be temporarily silent in those moments when I am feeling any type of emotion with my children’s behavior, instead of using words when I am feeling highly emotional, I can first make sure that the children are safe from any danger their conflict might pose, while I choose the best words to respond with in accordance with their behavior.  I can give myself some time to think of the most appropriate response.  I can tell them, I will talk about this more a little bit later so they don’t feel ignored.  When I have enough time to think of gentle correction, guidance, etc, I won’t have used words when my brain looses its keen deducing powers due to the emotions of the situation.  We all know that when we speak immediately, we may squabble out labels, ranting, or disparaging words that the children could attach to their own self worth.  Picture if a child is having a fit.  A parent could say something sarcastic, frustrated, less effective, or even unkind.  Making sure the child is safe, but waiting to speak a parent can give the child some space for both parent and child to work out their feelings.  This message about using silence was reaffirmed to me on Sunday during the lesson, when we studied Robert D. Hale’s talk on showing Christian courage in times of opposition.   We decided as a group that sometimes saying nothing was the best thing possible.

I am committing to study and thereby learn from the parents, friends and mentors God puts in my path to help me.  I am learning in ‘Smart Love,’ what is developmentally appropriate for each age, as well as why children may have a hard time experiencing joy, and thus why they might complain in those moments you are doing your best to serve them.  This can be created partly from our own discipline which they read as perfect love, and so they feel that to feel loved is to feel punished.  Ouch.  I can do better.  I can love more, and I can discipline better!  I can learn!

We are going to hold hands into the eternities with our children.  They will help me, and I will help them, and together we will learn. I will change through more humility and more openness to learning, and humility will help me tap into the grace of our Lord who is so ready to help the penitent and teachable.   More learning will help me not only preserve these infinitely important relationship, but I will be privileged to help my children blossom as most intriguing and contributing citizens, who give love, friendship, strength to others who bring out the worth and beauty of others.  I will take each day step by step, and will try to listen closely as the Lord guides me to what will be best for my children.  I will seek to hold the Lord’s hand tightly.


A lovely date with my Engineer

A lovely date with my Engineer


This little bundle of flowers was given to me just the other day from my best friend and dearest husband.

He knocked on the door, and though one of the children couldn’t keep the surprise and told me it was Dad, it was so fun to go to the door with a ‘courter’ on the front step.

I burst into a joyful laugh because I thought to myself, now this is the most clever way to pry me away from house and home (as I was right in the middle of a homeschool lesson.) And I threw my arms around him and gave him a hug.  The children were all around me and it was one of those moments I could feel angels enjoying too.

Snaggle pinky nail!  Oh well, such is my life!

Hubby had been excited for the date all day, and I had too, except when I thought about all the things I could have been getting done.  A diamond had fallen out of my ring, and the Engineer and taken it in to get repaired.

It was exciting to see my ring shiny and fixed, and for it to happily return to my finger holding a temporary ring made by Paul Bunyon my inventive son, who wound some copper to make me a piece of jewelry.

The Engineer was so sweet and bade me look around for fun dreaming purposes.  Originally I had told him to choose my setting, when in fact I later found out that I really should have gone shopping with him before hand to atleast point out my favorites.  I do love my ring, but this is what I found, while ‘dreaming’.
Simple, but delicate, charming, romantic, feminine and in a word, dreamy.

After this we found a great Ma and Pops shop that sold sandwiches.  We stepped in JUST in time before their closing.  The owner was sweet and talked to us all about the origins of his shop.  Loved it.

Then, as luck would have it, we found out that the town was having a gallery walk!  Yipee!  As we walked around together, we got to enjoy free delicious chocolates and treats, crackers and cheese.  One place had home made candies!!!

Our gallery walk began!

It was so fun because my sixth is just so content, and he loved being given a little cracker or treat here in there while he got cuddled by his Dad.

The art work was lovely to see, and finally I got the idea for taking pictures!

This one was especially special to us.  My husband said, doesn’t this one remind you of our friend?  It really did, and it was so sweet and thoughtful for my Dear to notice that.

I recently went to the funeral of my friend’s little, dear son.  He  was born very prematurely, but lived 17 days.  Because they could feel the spirit of their son so nearby, they had their children and anyone who wanted to, to hold the baby.

The sweet daughter had the dearest tenderest frown as she lovingly held her little brother for the last time.

Her Brother’s Keeper By Trent Gudmundsen

The Title was so appropriate too. 

This next painting reminded my Engineer of our son, Paul Bunyon.  So we then hunted for artwork that reminded us of our children.

The sacred temple, or house of the Lord, that we saw in several paintings was lovely!

And this montage of pictures, oh how I felt the spirit!

Hands of the Master by Doc Christenson

Last, we bought some chocolate, to take home to our little monkeys!

This was one of my favorite dates I’ve ever been on!!!  Here’s to many more!!!


I Need Something New, do you?

I Need Something New, do you?

photo credit

Lately, I feel like emotionally I’ve hit, a huge wall!  But luckily, in September, I have energy for opening my heart and eyes to new systems, better ways of doing things.  So I make new charts and systems that I can’t live up to, but shooting for something, helps me feel better!

So I went to Tale of Our Quest, for the rescue.  We are now using her system of zones, for our cleaning and I copied and pasted many of her charts, then went to Pinterest, down loaded some cute fonts, and modified them.

Our zone papers are in sheet protectors for the kids to check off as they go.  Day 1 of the new system, check, now we are on day 2~  Here we go!  Here we try!

I am sorta pleased of what I modified our family rules to be.  LaDawn Jacobs originally inspired me to making rules, and then at church a lovely lady, she reinforced this, and so I knuckled down and wrote some rules.  I hope to read over it once at the beginning of the month or just leave out on the table for people to pick up and read, hopefully!  I start feeling like a drowing dog when I forget my rules into a blur of emotional catastrophe!  Here’s to remembering our rules.

So to take a peek into rules, charts and what not, Here it is.

zones, schedules, family rules 2014


Peace out Napolean.

September 2014 Memorizing Scriptures and Poetry

September 2014 Memorizing Scriptures and Poetry

From the example of many wonderful mothers, I learned about using memorization as an important teaching tool in our children’s lives that keeps on giving through the years.  I have a dream of having adorable little ebooks, but as I am not there yet, here’s a step I’m really floored I actually buckled under and did.  The Lord gave me no church calling for a few months, and I guess I got stir crazy, but,  I am putting together something as a gift for you to use if you feel it would bless your life…yes, us Moms like cute things, but we rarely get to making things ‘cute’ too, so here’s to adding one little bright spot as you work on scripture memorization and familiarity with your family.

Since its a word doc, its customize-able!  Just plug in your own scriptures and poetry, into the text boxes.  If I had a very young family, I would choose ONE small scripture or two per month, so this is a smorgasbord of sorts.  Many of the poems, quotes and scriptures, are from a compilation of LaDawn Jacobs, mother of 11 children.  I bought her memorization collection (very cheap, basically for the cost of the paper) at a copy store, if you are interested in buying that instead, please let me know in a comment and I will email you the name of the copy store.  I am not sure how to purchase it otherwise.  She also has a book of Holiday collection celebration ideas that are very enriching.


Here is September’s memorizing collection.   Enjoy!  We pull out when a fight crops up….we shoot for breakfast time.  But maybe I should put it in the car as a car book where even more fights break out!

September 2014 memorizations
And here is something I just bumped into, too, for free customize-able hand writing sheets! Zaner-Bloser sheets.  And then I saw this, linked from “A tale of our Quest”, wow, this looks drewlable with a fantastic scripture guide and place for memorizing and writing them.  Discover the Scriptures  one Memory at a time.  Maybe Easter time presents?

Tell me in my comments more fantastic resources, if you have a minute, that you have treasured!

Falling from Grace~and Capturing again!

Falling from Grace~and Capturing again!

photo credit

There are many times I hit that stage where I feel…that I am at the end of my rope…and I can’t go on.

I am thankful for a new school year as a homeschool mother, because its when I am most open to change that can bring answers.  So finally getting to the computer and re-visiting family rules and tightening them up again, making some more, gaining some ideas of vision for goals and tweeks in the system, gives me hope that I will live up to my ideals.  I feel more hope, more sanity.

And yet, when it comes right down to it, I realize I just need more Christ, I need more grace, more of his Help, Insight, Love Light, Guidance, Patience, Ability, Strength.

In my religion, we tend to use words like the Enabling Help from the Atonement…this is His Grace.

I hit these rope ends in pregnancy, when I can’t move one more step.  I hit them post partem, when I can see the jaws of depression wanting to swallow me up and I am at the threadful edges of a jagged slippery cliff.  I hit them in life when life Intimidates me, Overwhelms me, and my nerves are raw to the silliest of things.

I learned to capture grace, I think, really during pregnancy or post partem of my fourth child.  I knew and felt the blessings that came from striving to keep the commandments and studying his scriptures, and I thought I was trying to get help from above for babies one two and three, but then I Realized, how a.l.o.n.e. I was really mustering my life out of sheer grit.  I wasn’t as capable, happy, or successful as I could be, if I just got more help.  I needed more belief.  I needed more relief.

I learned from the example of a wonderful post alcoholic, who fell on his knees EACH morning of EVERY day and who PLEAD, dear God, this is the day I could fall from grace. Never did his bosom swell with false pride that he could make it…no, he just implored the Lord in the lowliest place and then as he faltered with just those shreds of belief, the Lord Rescued him, Enabled him, and Strengthened him, and he…was Strengthened like crazy, to not touch the bottle for false comfort, and He was sober each day for 14 good years.  His eyes shone, and BLESS his soul for sharing His story that day, it burned into my soul.

(I felt like a great person in my life up and until I had 2 children.  But the third, mixed with some complicated and unwanted life situations, with sleep deprivation, hormones and child strains mixed in, had put me at an emotionally unstable place.  My good husband led me to these great meetings….oh the first class was the scariest place I ever went: yes, I had started to go to a 12 step meeting just to help me control my emotions for my temper that I might not say or do what I was afraid might grab out and ensnare my love ones by my impulsive wrong choice, and wreck all the time and effort I put in to building my children.  My mother had taught me STRIKE 1, STRIKE 2, STRIKE 3, in baseball, you are out.  I had 3 situations heated and too uncontrolled, that led me to realize, I was OUT, and I needed help…)

The group support and their messages, as well as the manual with its scriptures and scrip, it was my ticket to learning how to implore more grace in my life, my ticket to believing enough to feel the difference, feel the connection and receive the help…LDS Family Addictions Recovery, the manual.  The meetings.

Yes, I had a problem, I got to step 3 in the program when I realized I had to start over…to step 1 where you realize you have a problem.  If you can’t accept YOU really need help, you CAN’T access grace. I couldn’t handle life’s situations without time and time again responding emotionally rather than with thought out gaining of good knowledge and reasonable responses that led to the best solutions.  It was an emotional addiction.  Yes, I needed help to change.

And now, I recognize this end of the rope feeling just means although I’ve been praying diligently, I just need to pray with more intent, not on the oblique so to say, where I’m not direct enough, or not pleading enough, too rote, too brief and passing, or not Believing enough, and I know I’ll firm up my hand grip with Him, and I will have the hope, and joy and strength and patience and guidance and answers I need.

Or sometimes it means I need to go back to my meeting which helps bring me the humility I need to access his help, which other’s examples and the sacrifice of even going alone, helps me with.  Or sometimes I’m reminded to take the time to work through my manual again.

He continually guides me to new skills, and He continually helps to sink true principles in my heart, so each time I reach the end of my rope, I’m a better person over all through Him, He’s changed some old character, making life’s challenges easier….yet at any point, I think I’ve got it, I’ve got it made, I’m done.

Continually, as the 14 year sober man, each day I need to remember How Much He is Helping Me…and that I do need more Help, as my grip begins to slide, slide, slide…now Caught!  Or a failure, and prayer, and grace and repentance, and Caught!

And each somewhat ‘successful’ feeling day, even on my best shiniest days, or moments, I still need to implore the grace of His finishing Atonement, because when it comes right down to it, I am a toddler who can’t see most of what I’m doing less effectively, and He needs to Finish my efforts to make them really effective, to make them really Shine.  Oh thanks be to the Good,Good Lord.

Oh the vulnerable journey.  Amazing Grace, How sweet the Sound that SAVES a wretch like me.