Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Exercise

A self-help/self-improvement motivational speaker by the name of Kirk Duncan teaches ways to fight negativity in your life. He provides exercises you can use. I am going to practice one here on the blog, with a slight twist.
One of the exercises he teaches is to take a piece of paper and divide it down the middle. On the left side, you write down the Top Ten negative thoughts you have had about yourself for the past few days. Once that's done, you kind of feel crappy. So then you take the right side, and straight across from each negative thought, you write the opposite, PLUS an extra positive. Example:

1. I'll never make it.

Straight across, you write:

2. I WILL make it, and I will surpass all expectations.

One negative versus two positives. Once you're done writing it all out, you usually feel a lot better about yourself, and it is easier in the future to fight those same negative thoughts. It's good to practice this regularly.

Well today, I am having a pretty awful day and I want to whine about it. I need to whine about it, because I can't let it sit in my head. So I'm going to whine, but I might as well be productive with it. Right now I feel like it's a stupid thing to do, but I tend to think that before every self-help exercise and always find out after that I was wrong about it being stupid. So I'll trust that.


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I am not having a good day and I'm alone with the dogs, who I'm fairly pissed at right now.

I took my first quiz for an online class that has only 4 quizzes (plus a final exam) and I got a D. A freaking D. Great start. I feel stupid and incompetent. I just want to finish this class (and one more online one... ugh) and get my stinking diploma. At this point I don't feel like I deserve it.

Crohn's disease is back and firing away. I feel like crap. It's been nearly 4 years since I've had to deal with anything like this. Four years of medically-induced remission. I hate this. I really hate this. I'm seeing my doctor next week because it's been 2 months and it's only getting worse. I'm afraid of what he is going to put me on and what the future holds. I don't want drugs. I don't want even more radiation from tests. I don't want this stupid incurable disease. I just want to be rid of this.

After taking the quiz and to try and get fresh air to help lift my moods and maybe my physical well-being, I took Idiot and Butthead (Tonka and Hoover) outside to lay in the grass. A lady walked across the street with her labrador and the dogs were off. I yelled that they're friendly while running after them, but the lady was way rude and threatened to hurt the dogs if they did anything. I told her that's unnecessary, what I said is true, they're not aggressive. She continued to be rude. I had to literally DRAG the 2 full-grown adult male labradors (70-something and 85lbs) across the street with my bare hands, and hurt my hands in the process. Crohn's arthritis.
I came inside from the struggle with the dogs and had to lay on the floor. The whole thing wiped me out. This isn't normal, and I do not like it.
My stomach hurts. My hands hurt. My motivation to get my stupid degree is struggling.

This. Sucks.




Those are three really crappy things.
I'm not "in the mood" to look on the bright side, but I'll force myself until the mood is there.

We are not staying in our apartment this week, which means we are not running power, which means we are saving money.

I have a very talented husband who works hard long hours to support us and still loves me no matter how I feel about myself.

I'm not happy with the dogs right now, but I get to live with dogs this week. Tyler and I don't have a dog. Remember, Laura? You love dogs. You LOVE DOGS. Doggies. Puppies. They're babies. You love them. You can't stay mad at them.

I have a car. It runs. It gets really good mileage. And it's a Volkswagen.

I have clothes. Okay, this one feels stupid to write, but if I really think about it, I can actually choose what I want to wear each day. Comfort only? I have options. Formal? I have options. Professional? Check the closet, they're there. Outdoor work/play? Yep, I have things for that. Compared to millions of people on the planet, I'm pretty lucky.

I just got a new laptop. Duh! I forgot that one! It was a great price and is a great computer! I'm writing on my old laptop because I'm going to wait and use the new one for when this one is ready to be retired, which won't be long now.

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I am feeling better after writing. I don't feel like I want to bawl anymore. I'm still not happy about the grade and I still feel sick. But I'm not wallowing in self-loathing and pity anymore. And I don't want to give up, which is what I wanted to do when I started writing. Things will get better and part of that is in my control.

I did this exercise for myself, but I hope others can use Kirk Duncan's exercises and find ways to think better about their lives and situations. We all face negativity, whether it's in our control or not. Even if some parts are out of our control (the dogs' actions, the disease), we have control over how it impacts our thoughts, which down the road can impact the external outcomes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Priesthood

In college, I was able to take an incredible class. It was hands-down my favorite class in my entire college career. Family Foundations is the name of the course. It is based entirely off of the A Proclamation to the World: The Family. In this class, the professor was most definitely inspired to share a little tidbit I had never thought about. I would like to share these teachings and the testimony I have received from this revelation here. 

I'll admit, for a number of years, I had the question "why don't women have the priesthood?", but not in an accusatory fashion. I simply didn't completely understand. I had faith that Heavenly Father has a reason for everything. Because I approached this subject prayerfully and holding all faith that Heavenly Father knows more than I do, and without turning to worldly sources, I was able to receive the answer to that question that had been sitting the back of my head.

In A Proclamation to the World: The Family, we learn that man and woman, husband and wife, have equal standings with each other under the Lord. Many prophets and church leaders have taught this time and time again as well. (Examples: 
1 Corinthians 11:11, A, B, C, D, E, ... okay I could go on and on! Feel free to search lds.org for more references!)


My Family Foundations professor pointed out the scripture mastery scripture, Moses 1:39.
"For behold, this is my work and my glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

We know that we are assigned to help fulfill his work on the Earth, yes? And we each have divinely appointed roles, which we agreed to before we came down to this Earth. Our eternal covenant marriage relationships are 3-way: husband, wife, and Jesus Christ. We all work together.

The professor broke down the scripture quoted above, which has sometimes been nicknamed "The Lord's Mission Statement." There are two main parts to the Lord's work. Bringing to pass *ETERNAL LIFE* and *IMMORTALITY*

This is where men and women with their divinely appointed roles fit in. The priesthood is what ultimately brings about Eternal Life. Without the priesthood, we cannot make sacred covenants and be sealed to our families, which we know is essential to obtaining eternal life.
However, we cannot obtain eternal life without first having immortality. What do we need to have immortality? First and foremost, we must have a body. How do we get bodies? Well, only the woman has the physical capability and the divine calling to create a human child and help him/her to grow and develop before finally entering the world outside the woman's body.
The priesthood will help to bring to pass eternal life, and the bearing of children will bring to pass immortality. We women are, hand in hand, creators with the Most High God. How cool is that!!

And BOTH of those keys - immortality and eternal life - need BOTH men and women. But the larger responsibility of these keys falls to one and the other. Men with the priesthood NEED women. They need to be sustained. They need to be in covenant with a woman and Heavenly Father. They need to be able to honor and uplift their wives. They need women for all mankind to obtain eternal life.
Women simply cannot bear children without a man! (I hope we all know and understand why....) And the pr
ophets have counselled that the best home environment for children involves a man and woman, legally and lawfully wedded for time and all eternity in the House of the Lord. This isn't the case for everyone. There are single parents, and the prophets have addressed these cases. Also, not every woman can have kids in this life, even if they have a righteous, worthy temple marriage.

But that doesn't mean a woman cannot live out the rest of her calling. Being a mother is more than just bearing children. If you don't believe me, go talk to anybody you know who has adopted or fostered children. Hear their testimony, pray and ponder over it.

When I was younger, in young women's I was told "men have the priesthood and women make babies." I thought "what a ripoff!"
Oh how wrong I was!
I do not have children yet, but I have since come to understand how much Satan is distorting the image of motherhood. He is making it appear to be ANYTHING BUT a righteous, desirable, holy, divinely appointed calling. Which is EXACTLY what it is.

I so look forward to when I have children, whether through my own body or through somebody else's. I know I, and all women, have been set apart and chose to accept the calling of motherhood. And side by side, with the priesthood, my husband and I, and all other married couples, will lead the world, bring souls unto Christ, and come forth on the great and dreadful day. Together. As truly equal partners. 

Satan wants to destroy the family.
Well, here it is.
Women not being satisfied with one of the greatest callings in the entire universe.

His power is so, so terribly strong.
But ours is greater.
He can nip our heels, but we can crush his head.
I bare this as my testimony that God never changes. That His true gospel is on the Earth today, and it can be found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know Heavenly Father has an eternal plan for each and every one of us, and as we turn to him, with a broken heart and contrite spirit, we will receive the answers to our prayers and be guided throughout our Earthly life. I know the blessings of the temple are true, that my husband and I are sealed for time and all eternity, that the family is ordained of God, and that it is through Christ that we will receive the greatest happiness. I bare witness that He lives, that He loves us, and that He is the way. I share these things in the holy name of Jesus Christ.
Amen.





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I recently shared this with someone who was posting about the "Ordain Women" movement. An interesting conversation ensued. I have saved the conversation here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Argument

"Wait 'til you have your first real argument!"

Thanks for the well wishes and for predicting just how nasty, hard and awful my life as a wife and mother will be. If you think I don't know what I'm "getting myself into", then you don't know me and you should probably keep those thoughts to yourself.

And for the record, no hissy fits or brief loss of temper will ever have the power to break down our will and efforts to love, honor, support, and build each other up for the better for all of eternity. Believe me, I'm no idealist. I know marriage will not be easy. But I can do anything God would have me do, and nothing can stop me. Through pain and trials, I have proved this to myself. That nothing can ever stop me. Not even a stupid little blip of a first argument in an eternity of marriage. So quit your efforts in trying to make me, and all other future brides, dread that incredibly insignificant moment.


On a better note...

I am so happy to be marrying Tyler next week. Words do not suffice exactly how I feel. I am very excited. So very happy and at peace. It is the single most important decision I have ever made, and never-ending blessings and signs continue to prove to me that I am making the right choice. My cup runneth o'er with blessings and joy.

10 Days.