Category Archives: Gratitude

A Do-Better

“I found old TV shows that my wife used to record.  My wife used to love them.  I don’t know why I wanted to see them.  I watched them for hours.  I went through them show by show, episode by episode.  And then finally, after staying up all night…I realized what it was that I was looking for.  Every Sunday when she watched the shows I was outside repairing my bicycle or just smoking.  And I would glance through the window every now and then just for a second and I would see her reflection on the TV screen.  Laughing.  Laughing at the same jokes over and over.  Each time as if she was hearing it for the very first time.  I wish I would have keep on looking back then.  ”  –The Lunchbox

IMG_2911I have carried this clipping from a magazine for years.  It speaks truth to me.

I wish I would have sat next to you when you were working on your computer instead of watching  a movie on the couch.  I would have scratched your back.  Just been close to you.  I wish I would have spoke up, asked you questions when you told me that story.  The one about your boots.    Looking back, I can see now that it was important to you.  I wish I would have hugged you tighter.   Looked into your eyes a little bit longer.  I have prayed so many times I would get the chance again.  With you.  A form of repentance.  A do-over.  A do-better.

I love you.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

30 Seconds

Last week I was in a cycling class.  We were getting ready to start three 30 seconds of uphill sprints.  Right before we began the instructor yelled out “30 seconds is nothing!”  My very first thought was

30 Seconds is Everything!

30 Seconds.  30 Seconds of brave.  30 Seconds of courage, of being vulnerable.  30 Seconds of truth, of speaking up, of letting go.

I have been working on letting go and this is what I have learned:  Letting go, surrendering to God is not a one time deal.  It is a continuous choice we have to make over and over again.  I feel like I am having to make the choice of “letting go” every moment of every day.  And it is exhausting.

Do you know what else is exhausting? Grief.

Denial/isolation.  Anger.  Bargaining.  Depression. Acceptance.  And over and over again.  In any order.  There are moments of clarity and sweet peace.  But grief lives on and never dies.  Grief is my constant companion.  Grief goes with me every day.  And although she is tiring, she is not all bad.  She is as beautiful and healing as she is lonely and painful, my friend Grief.

30 Seconds.  If I can hold it together, or cry it out.  If I can pray on my knees or reach out to a friend.  Breathe deeply.  30 seconds .  I can be okay.

Something that has been helping me a lot lately is  the  lyrics to the song “Come , Come ye Saints”  by William Clayton.  Listen to song HERE.  When thinking of BRENNAN, this last verse has been very comforting.

And should we die before our journey’s through, Happy Day!  All is well!

906661_196046813852503_1027078773_o

We then are free from toil and sorrow, too; With the just we shall dwell! But if our lives are spared again to see the saints their rest obtain, Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell–All is well! All is well!

Please sure to visit her “give forward” page to help her young family HERE.

30 Seconds

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brennan

1606284_10100615724272354_5050454845550675057_o

My sweet friend Brennan passed away last night .  She is a loving wife and mother.  Brennan and I met my first year at BYU.  She is beautiful and fun-loving, everybody’s friend.  Very much the girl next door.   I love Brennan and feel more than blessed to have known her in this life.

10013922_10202335152726253_7494277608753785920_n

I have also written about Brennan  HERE.

Brennan, I don’t know what to say, what to tell you.  I love you.  You are the miracle. All my love, Nicole

there is no death, only change

Tagged , , ,

Courage

I heard  this talk once about Nelson Mandela.  It spoke of how prison was a healing experience for him and when he was released he went on to prevent the loss of thousands of lives in a civil war.   I believe the sentence used was,

“Mandela’s personal healing fostered nationwide healing.”

I  need to find where that came from but I have always remembered that sentence.   I think because that is the hope that I have for myself. One , that I will heal.  And two, that through my healing I will be able to help others heal.

But healing takes courage.  Some days I am full of it and many days I find myself lacking.

One of my favorite stories of all time is the story of Esther.    And maybe, just like Esther, we each have come to where we are now for such a time as this.

May courage and faith live within each of us this very day.

xoxo

Tagged , , , , ,

Not One More Day

Last night I had a partial meltdown.  I expect the other half to make it’s way around sometime later in the week.  I emailed my therapist and told him I couldn’t live like this anymore more.  Not for more day can I live in my heartache. Can I live with the aftermath of others’ choices. Can I live with the stress and  tangle of high emotions that live inside of me.  That I cannot strive for healing and relief that doesn’t seem to come, that never shows it’s face.  Not another day.

But today IS another day.  I woke up and all is the same.  Everything inside of me and everything outside of me.   And I am tired.  Can you relate?

If there are times when you think, “I can’t handle my children, or my checkbook, or my illness, or the urge to eat brownies at midnight, or the lack of a husband, or the lack of a good husband, or a family who doesn’t appreciate me, one more day,” you’re not alone. The Savior’s divine empathy is perfect, so He knows how to help us. He rarely moves the mountains in front of us, but He always helps us climb them. Because of Him, you don’t have to confront grief or insecurity or an addiction alone. With His help, you can resist temptation. With His help, you can change, forgive those who’ve hurt you, and start over. With His help, you can become your true self. With His help, your capacity and energy can increase. With His help, you can be happy again. The Savior promised, “My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Sheri Dew)

With His  help I can do this one more day.  And the day after that.  And then the day after that.  Another and another .  And little by little (I am choosing to believe) that His grace is healing me.  His grace is strong .  His grace is making me able.  Because of Him I can face pain and feel peace.  Because of Him I can be happy.  I am choosing to believe.

IMG_2521

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Good Things in Life

A few weeks ago I went out to Portland with my parents to visit my sister and brother.  It was pretty fun.  On the two day drive out there I listened to a little Brene Brown and slept.  I slept a lot.  It was awesome.  After my parents flew home I rented a car and fulfilled a dream off of my bucket list.  I drove down the 101.  So beautiful.  I cannot wait to go back.  I made it all the way down to Reedsport where I was able to visit some dear friends of mine, the Springs.  They own a little shop called Stuck on Honey where they make the best fudge EVER.  No kidding.

IMG_2514

IMG_2516

IMG_2523

IMG_2524

Master, the Tempest is Raging

IMG_2543

I am sad.  For days now.  Just so very sad.  And so tired.  I could sleep for days.  I think I need to. I think it would help.  My emotions are in my throat at all times.  Most of the time they surface while driving in my car.  I weep as if someone has died.  You know that cry.  You know that sound.  Maybe you have made it yourself.  It is a cry that is different from the rest.  It is scary.  It is alarming.  It comes in waves.  It stays true to its course, this emotion.  But when it is over it gently rolls out to sea leaving… not happiness… not joy… but some kind of peace and always, always a measure of gratitude.  Because in the middle of my hidden sorrows I find Jesus.  During the storm there is nothing else to hang on to.  No one else there.

Elaine Marshall said, “secret healing is not a single event. It happens as a process of living. You cannot simply take off a day or start tomorrow like a new diet and returned healed.  IT HAPPENS QUIETLY WHILE YOU FACE THE PAIN. It happens over time as you live, work, study and give to others.”

As of now I cannot imagine a day when I am healed. What will that day look like? How will I feel? I feel like I have lived in this for so long now but I am ready to live without it.

IMG_2047

“Master, with anguish of spirit I bow in my grief today. The depths of my sad heart are troubled. Oh, waken and save, I pray!” -Master the Tempest is Raging, Mary Ann Baker

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Freedom from PTSD

IMG_2051

PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by a traumatic event. Symptoms include vivid flashbacks, depression, anger and severe anxiety. Studies of American veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan estimate that 1 in 5 suffer from PTSD.

In 2012 more U.S. soldiers took their own lives than were killed in combat.

Don’t you feel ill right now?  I sure do.

That is why this August,  I am participating in the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) 8K Run. I know it is not a big run but it is a personal one. WWP has a big, audacious goal: to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. I’m challenging myself to help WWP reach this vision, and I need your help.

My goal is to raise at least $500 by race day to help honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) offers 20 holistic programs to wounded service members and their caregivers completely free of charge and 100% of the funds raised through the 2014 WWP 8K Run Series go directly to Wounded Warrior Project to help fuel these programs.

Please join my effort and give what you can by donating through my page. I know money is tight and LOVE is big.  Any amount of money, however small and any amount of prayer will be greatly appreciated!

DONATE HERE

Thank you

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Route for Love to Travel

“Corrie,” he began instead, “do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. “There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. “God loves Karel—even more than you do—and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way.”

I did not know, as I listened to Father’s footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given me more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this—places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all. I was still in kindergarten in these matters of love. My task just then was to give up my feeling for Karel without giving up the joy and wonder that had grown with it. And so, that very hour, lying there on my bed, I whispered the enormous prayer:

“Lord, I give to You the way I feel about Karel, my thoughts about our future—oh, You know! Everything! Give me Your way of seeing Karel instead. Help me to love him that way. That much.” And even as I said the words I fell asleep.

Boom, Corrie Ten; Elizabeth Sherrill; John Sherrill (2006-01-01). The Hiding Place (p. 61). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

IMG_2544

“On the eve of his people’s horrifying destruction, Mormon fully realizes that there is no hope of his people turning back to God—yet still, he loves them “according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart… nevertheless… without faith” (Mormon 3:12 and 5:2). And such is how God loves. In Enoch’s glimpse of God weeping, Enoch sees God love in naked vulnerability. It is love in the face of absolute loss. Love that bows to the agency of the Other, but does not break; rather, it draws. God the Father weeps out of love for his children and unfathomable pain at their suffering, and Christ the Son’s vulnerable, broken body lifted up on the cross has the power to “draw all men” unto himself —but not the guarantee ( 3 Nephi 27:14-15).”  Mormonism and the Dilemma of Tragedy

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Overwhelmed

This is the song right now people.  This is the song.  Please listen to it as you read.

Today was good.  Today was hard.  So hard.  I got something. I figured something out.  But now I have to go about doing it.  And I honestly do not know what the “doing” looks like.  I know in the end all will be beautiful but the process of “getting” to that space will be painful.  And I am scared .  Scared of the unknown and the vulnerability that takes place inside of me.

At the same time I am overwhelmed at the goodness and grace of God and friends.  Heavenly Father is answering prayers.    I read today that sincere prayer is always answered sometime, somewhere.  And I am choosing to believe this.  That all of my prayers that I have prayed are still in effect.  That sometimes it takes time to move a mountain but mountains will move.

Heavenly Father, I want to be good.  I want to be kind.  I want to be believing.  I desire to have a faithful heart . To love my brothers and sisters in the manner you would have me.  I want to live in your will.  I want to let go  of what you would have me let go of.  Please, please help me to let go and help me to hang on.

IMG_1970

Tagged , , , , , , ,