Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I suffer from depression. My last downward spiral was the worst I have ever experienced. I felt I had a nervous breakdown, for lack of a better term. I cut off all communication that was not absolutely needed to be sure my children survived each day. I spent two months living in any world that was not my own. I read tons of books and watched lots of TV shows and movies. Anything to distract myself from the gaping hole in my heart.
When I felt myself beginning to spiral, it was like being on the edge of a cliff.

Teetering on the edge of a cliff.

Screaming inside for help.

I prayed that God would save me.

He didn't.

I fell.

I broke.

Everything that previously mattered to me fell apart. I pushed everyone away especially God. After all if He had saved me like I asked I wouldn't be broken. I could no longer trust my creator with my heart. I had no faith. I simply existed with no hope for the future and no reason to think anything would every get better.

Sad? You don't know the half of it. It's like someone punched a hole in my chest, inserted a black hole and turned up the juice. There was nothing left.

Or at least that was what I thought.

After months of putting up with my crap, my husband called me out on it. It was not fun. Depression is at the core a disease of selfishness, so the last thing I was doing was thinking about anyone else, aside from feeding the children. We had some difficult talks. He knew I was unhappy, but did not know the full extent because I refused to share anything with anyone. Eventually I described my breakdown and the resulting mess inside of me. He suggested talking to someone about it. I refused. This went on for another several weeks. I'm a really stubborn person and for some bizarre reason I hold on to pain like it's my best friend. Smart? Not so much. As was inevitable, things came to a head and I finally agreed to go see a therapist. My reason for agreeing was simple, if I went, it would make David happy. I have a hard time with him being unhappy with me. I could care less if the rest of the world hated me, but I need his good opinion.

I went to therapy, I spoke with a nice lady who was really good at her job. I felt like it was okay to say anything. I admitted things to her that I have never admitted to anyone. And miracle that she is, she took it in stride and did not judge. That was just what I needed. We talked and she helped me hear myself describe my relationship with my parents in the exact same words as my relationship with God. Basically, I felt like I was worthless. I felt like I was one out of so many that I didn't matter. I didn't feel loved by God or by them. As an adult with a (hopefully) fully developed brain, I know that is not true. My parents love me and always have. But knowing something and feeling it are not the same thing.

I left that first session with the assignment to ponder on this dual relationship situation. I'm an introverted person. So spending time talking about deeply personal things wore me out for a few days. Once I had recovered enough for my brain to try and ponder I did. I do lots of pondering when I go out and walk or jog in the mornings alone. One morning about a week after the session, I got an epiphany.

Here was my thought train - I'm so screwed up - How did I get here? - Childhood bullying, check - naturally introverted personality, check - married for infatuation because a hot guy actually liked me, huh - If I married for the wrong reason, where was the love? - Have I ever loved him? Do I love him now? - I want to love him - Love is a choice. - I choose to love him - How do I love him? - I have to love me first - Can't give away what you don't have to start with - I don't love me, nobody does - Why would anyone love me, I'm worthless - I am always messing up and failing at life - I'm like the sinners in the scriptures - Wait, God loved them - They were screwing up and He loved them, he tried to help them and forgive them - I'm not seriously sinning, just more of a neglecting kind of thing - Maybe if God can love those who are doing really bad stuff, he can love me regardless of the fact that I am always failing - God could love me just because I exist and not because I am being a perfect Mormon girl.

This might not be news to anyone else, but it was for me. I honestly thought I had to do something in order to deserve to be loved. I had to be doing all the righteous stuff, and trying really hard, and being that ideal Mormon mother, wife, sister, member. If I fell short of that requirement, I was no longer worth being loved. I felt a literal weight lift off my shoulders once I processed the thought. I didn't have to do anything for God to love me and if he could love me, then others can love me too.

I shared this with my husband and my friend (I only have one). They both assured me that my line of thought was correct and God does indeed love those who fall short. For the first time in months for sure, and maybe longer, I felt hope. You can never know how dark it is to be without hope unless  you have actually been without it.

I went to another therapy session and shared what I had learned. My therapist asked me to think of what I had learned in another way.

My thought: God loves me simply because I exist.
Her thought: I exist because God loves me. His love created me.

I'm still trying to really understand her thought and it has been a few weeks.

Going with the concept either way, the bottom line is that God loves me. So if I can choose to believe that I have to reconcile that with my breakdown. If God loved me even then, then why didn't he help me? I never expected a huge miracle, I just wanted to feel like I wasn't alone. I wanted to be reaching out and feel like he took my hand and pulled me to safety. I have been bitter and angry for months that I was denied that. Here is how I have found peace with that.

I have to pay attention to the moments I get clarity of thought. It doesn't happen a lot, but I think, that just maybe, it might be the spirit trying to help me figure this out.

Today I recalled several things:
-During Stake Conference Adult Session, last week thoughts came to me during one of the talks. The talk was about not shutting out the lord, something that was said triggered me to think that during my breakdown I was expecting a "Mormon" experience. I was expecting what the culture of the church told me I was supposed to expect of God, instead of actually relying on the Lord. (I have really big issues with the culture of the church, as I am just recently learning, but it should never be confused with the gospel itself. The Gospel is true. Green jello with fruit chunks, self-deprecation and having your 4 year old perfectly coiffed for church, are not true.)
-A sacrament meeting talk, from a few months ago, during which someone mentioned something about a gardener and a bush, wherein the gardener cut the bush basically down to the roots, for it's own good. I remember thinking at that moment, that I felt like that bush, hacked down into nothing.
-I don't know what God's plan for me is (duh, I know, but sometimes it just hits you)
-The But If Not Talk, from April 2004 and what that phrase really means

I have a hard time with the Mormon culture. Sometimes as a group I think maybe we talk too much. Too many experiences are shared in an effort to uplift. Maybe I'm just jaded, but I get really sick of hearing people's super faith-promoting experiences. It's just not like that for everyone. There are a lot of us, who never get that amazing experience, that earth shattering answer to a prayer or that warm feeling that makes you cry at the pulpit. If I cry at the pulpit it's nerves or embarassent, not the spirit. Hopefully all that sharing is good for other people and I'm sure that with all the different types of people out there the typical stories are helpful to a lot of people. In any case, with all that knowledge of what happened to everyone else and the excessive phrase coining that goes on, it's really hard to not want/expect to have an experience like that. Who wouldn't want to feel a confirmation that is without doubt? Or be strengthened to withstand a trial, feeling the arms of love around you? I wanted it. I was denied it.

But it's okay. I have realized that it's wrong to think that I will ever have an experience like someone else's. I am not them. My spirit doesn't learn like theirs do. The Lord will deal with me in His own way, probably involving a brick to the head, cuz I just don't listen, but it will be a personalized brick. So that's the first thing I learned, I can't expect to have my prayers answered like someone else's.

The Currant Bush, Hugh B. Brown, New Era 1973. That is the original. Other people seem to think it's okay to take those stories and tweak them, but this is the original version. It's a good read and a good reminder. I am the currant bush. My gardener has a plan for me, but since I am a bush, I am not at liberty to wander into his gardener office and check out the plans. I don't know why I had to be razed to the ground. But this story is assuring me that it is because He knows what he wants me to be and since He created me, He sort of has rights over directing my life. I have to trust in Him, which leads me to . . .

But If Not. Elder Dennis Simmons, April 2004 Conference. At the time that this talk was given it had such a profound effect on my husband that he requested I find someway to immortalize those words to help him remember the talk. I designed a cross stitch with a lovely floral border and the words boldly stitched in the center. My husband liked it so much, he asked me make one for each of his sisters, his parents and for Elder Simmons. So I did. It was quite an endeavor, but in any case we have had those three words hanging on the wall of our home for the last 10 years. The premise of the talk is the story of Daniel and his buddies refusing to worship an idol. They are threatened with a fiery death, and respond that God will save them, but that if he doesn't they still won't worship the idol. There is the trust. Trusting God even if things don't go the way you want them to, or think they should, or ask for. That is true faith.

This is what has been missing. I have had hardships and trials during my life. I had always been a good Mormon, faithful and obedient. I tried to do whatever I was asked to do at church. I served in a limited capacity, but I tried to serve where I could. Did I have faith before? I don't know now. I think I believed I had faith, but that's not the same thing as actually having it. The ability to trust so completely, to essentially put your life in the hands of God, well, I'm thinking I was never there.

So now I am learning to trust. I am learning to trust my husband when he says he loves me and choosing to believe that he really does love me. I am learning to trust those moments of clarity as divine inspiration. I am learning that I have to trust in God, that if I am suffering that there is a reason for it. It is part of his plan, which I am not privy to. I might understand in a few months, or years when I look back over my life, or I might not. I might live my entire mortal existence and never know why I had to suffer this pain. I'm not sure I'm okay with that yet. But I will be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Life and Death

I'm not one for the drama right? Well, outwardly not too much, but inwardly, um yeah.

In any case, I had a very rude awakening a many nights ago. I had one of those dreams that feels so real when you wake up, it takes a few moments to establish whether or not it was actually a dream or a memory. It was also the kind of dream I would term as a nightmare as I woke up in the early morning hours, sobbing into my pillow. Not just crying mind you, but breath gasping sobbing. This is of course what I was doing in my dream, but it has to be pretty powerful to affect my physical state that way. (i.e. I'm not a sleepwalker or talker or anything like that) The worst part of the dream was not just the crying, but the pain. The emotional pain that actually felt like a giant hole punched through my chest. (see the drama?)

I dreamed that my husband had suddenly died. Natural causes and all, but unexpectedly. Even as I try to write this, I am tearing up as I remember the feeling of emptiness. Walking around my house, laying down in bed, just trying to live with this giant empty space around me. Easily one of the most horrific dreams I have ever experienced. Everything physical was the same, the furniture, his clothes, all of the temporal things we have acquired were there, but he was gone and not coming back. Even once I was awake, I had to lightly touch his arm, to be sure that he was real, naturally he thought I was losing it.

I often joke with my kids that Dad will die before me, because he would never survive without me, not knowing where the duct tape is, or the pancake turner. I knew at the moment I realized that it was just a dream, that I would certainly never be able to survive without him. I'm not sure how the Lord is going to work that one out, but I think I have decided that death is not something I am equipped to deal with. I have never lost anyone close to me, but after experiencing the feeling, the emotion of that dream, I have come as close as possible without having to suffer that in reality. I am afraid that I now know exactly what it will be like if/when I lose a loved one.

I know what happens in theory after we die. I know the doctrine. But the actuality of it scares me more than anything in this world. One thing I know after this is that I was taking him for granted. Just his being there. Singing silly nonsense songs, teasing the kids, smiling sheepishly when I find him playing Facebook games and he knows he should be doing something better with his time. This was the most forceful emotional experience I have had in years. The last being the night of our second date when I began crying on the way home because I realized I was leaving for college and would be states away from this guy (who I barely knew) and I just couldnt handle the thought of leaving him. It sounds silly and dramatic, but that was how it was for me in the beginning. Now that I have been by his side for almost 13 years, that feeling has only grown stronger. There are days I want to throw him out a window, but I suspect that has more to do with me than him. He's not perfect, I of course know all the reasons why not, but then, I am not exactly a poster child for the easy to live with.

I have always known (at least since our second date) that we were intended to be together. I am not one to claim soulmates, because that is not how I was raised. But for some obvious reasons and for some reasons I cannot even begin to fathom, the Lord planned for us to be together. The things I have learned from him and the many ways he has helped me to become a better person are testament enough for me. Just yesterday, I saw a picture of my parents on facebook. My dad was smiling (which he never does in pictures), and they were holding on to each other. Growing up I always took their marriage for granted, deep down I always knew they loved each other, but I never really thought about it much. It was just the way it was. But when I saw that picture I saw such a degree of love and companionship in their eyes, that I almost cried. I now want that. They do have a 30 year start on me, but I know I can get there. Or rather, we can get there, together.

This life is precious. My husband is precious. So are my children. And both sets of parents. I pray that when the time comes I will be ready to let go of the one who is ready to move on. In the meantime, I want to keep a little piece of this experience with me always to remind me to be grateful for all that I have. So I can be reminded of good I have it. I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


"The ancients who wished to illustrate the highest virtue throughout the empire first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their own selves. Wishing to cultivate their own selves, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things."

- The Great Learning (via Our Oriental Heritage)

I guess the next time I have a discussion with my 11 year old son about why he has to do another report I can use this quote:)

I am almost at a loss for what to say since I have so many different tangents in my head in regard to this little paragraph. Then again, that is what makes the great books, great, isn't it?

We have before us a very clearly laid out plan to fix an ailing government. No government is perfect since it will inevitably be staffed by imperfect people, but if the people are of the caliber suggested it can at the very least be well functioning. While this was written somewhere (totally guessing) around 500 BC, it still has obvious merit today, most especially since it is exactly the same thing that our current prophet and apostles have been talking about for years. Add to that studies done by other organizations (outside the LDS church) that show the need for strong families and we have a clear winner on best strategies to fix our society. That said, I am well aware that this falls into my favorite category of simple, not easy. I love all things simple, but I know most of the really simple concepts are the hardest to enact. This does not mean however that we are not responsible for ourselves. We may not be able to enact this change/improvement in the lives of anyone we know, but we certainly can in our own. After all, that is the concept here isn't it? If each person took responsibility for themselves in precisely this way, everything would be hunky-dorey. Since that is rarely if ever the case, the best we can do is keep striving for ourselves, our families and everyone we have influence with in the hopes that it will inspire the change we wish to see.

Point number two: We have a clear explanation of the far reaching effects of education. I hear this phrase A Lot: "This is stupid, I don't need to know this!" Also coupled with "I'm not interested in that, it's stupid." Note the use of highly intelligent adjectives, right?! Most adults that I know would agree that getting a good education is important. Since I home-school my children, my opinion of what a good education entails is often different from many of those people. However, there are numerous points on which we do agree, like reading, writing, mathematics, etc. There are somethings I think of as frivolous, but we don't need to get into that right now. What ever way you choose to define education, it matters. Gaining knowledge of some kind matters. 

In our current day and age you have to have some amount of education in order to live any kind of decent (in my opinion) life. Since my personal opinion is to some who shall remain nameless, rather unimportant, I turn to other sources for confirmation of evidence. Like all other choices that we make in this life, there are good and bad consequences to getting an education. Also similarly, there are as yet unseen, but potentially far reaching effects dependent on whether or not each of us gets a good education. On a spiritual side, getting a good education matters since we only take with us what we have learned in this life, not to mention that our usefulness to the Lord could be limited if we ignore opportunities to improve ourselves. On a more secular note, our level of education has a direct influence on our families, communities and spreads outward to our state and national levels, which somehow manages to effect the economy of the entire world. This of course is not just the educational choices of one person it would need to be quite a number to effect the world, but you get the idea. Besides over exaggerating sometimes works very will with kids when painting a mental picture. I am sometimes scrupulous and will use any method needed to get my point across. My greatest desire is that they will see the vast knowledge available to us and jump in with both feet. We have but a short life here, nowhere near long enough to learn it all, but once we find what is most pertinent to our lives and our futures, we should strive to soak in as much as possible. 

The beauty of it all is once we achieve a certain level of knowledge or learning, another level opens up before and we realize that we will never be "done". This is of course okay, because this life is not about finishing, it's about continuing. Enduring to the end as some of like to say. Keeping at it, time after time, and seeing each new day as a chance to do and be better. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012


As shocking as it may be I have actually been known to be the tiniest bit negative at times. Unthinkable right? Well, if you know me well at this point you are probably giving me a big Ha-Ha!

But you will not laugh long my friends . . .

Now let's be clear, I don't do "resolutions." I intentionally start something or try something new in December or February just to make a statement. That statement would of course be then when I try to make a change I mean it and I'm not just doing it because everyone else is doing it. And yes, I know there are lots of people who use the new year as a catalyst, but studies do show that that hardly ever sticks. Anyway, that said I started something this year on January 1, that will hopefully bring about a change in me.

I began the daily reading of Simple Abundance and the daily writing of my own Gratitude Journal. The whole point is a year long journey to refocus and regroup so I can be more aware and thus grateful for the simple blessings in my life.

It has been less than a month, and I will be honest I have had to do a little makeup twice, but things are settling down finally from the move and the crazy move in fix things and change things and all that. So I predict that I have a better ratio of days done right vs. days missed. Some nights have been a stretch, but it really doesn't take very long to think of five things I am grateful for. Part of my goal in this endeavor is to not repeat any of my grateful thoughts. So by the end of the year I should be able to look back on One thousand eight hundred and twenty-five blessings in my life.

The best part is the knowing that even after recording all 1,825, I will still have countless more to add in following years. (Plus I might actually establish a daily writing/journaling routine! Wouldn't that be a great bonus:))

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So one of the big trends in YA books recently has been Dsytopian societies. Futuristic worlds that instead of being a paradise are seriously sick and disturbed in their belief systems. Honestly I have only read a few, but as with Utopian stories, the basic concept will be the same: there is something vastly wrong with society that must be fixed, which is usually a result of the current civilizations history. Essentially we right now, are in these books blamed for destroying our own futures. Our wars, our disregard for nature, whatever, seem to be the end of civilization as we know it and spawn a time that is considered "better" in regard to whatever the author thinks we are doing wrong and of course are worse because of the inherent humanity issues that we can't seem to escape.

One of the most well known series of these books is The Hunger Games. Now let's be clear, I love these books. I find them entertaining, engaging and fun as well as being thought provoking. They question our standards of violence and wonder just how low we might be capable of stooping to gain power. In part these books are hard to read. It is hard to accept the horrific things that some of the characters endure and I naturally question how realistic some of it is, even in a futuristic setting. One thing I really like is that these books are very real. There is a touch of teenage romance, but it really works into the character of the main heroine and how her experiences change her. It's a lot about coming to know herself and then having to deal with the consequences of her choices. Also, there is lots of moral, ethical debate stuff. So, all in all, good, not for young children, but good thought provoking books.

I just finished another series that started out well, but let me with a sour taste in my mouth. Uglies, Pretties, and Specials. Throughout the whole series there isn't much character development in that the main heroine spends each book being manipulated by those around her. This dysfunctional world is one in which everyone has government mandated plastic surgery when they turn sixteen, so they can then party, drink and goof off for the next section of their lives. While the books don't specify how long I get the feeling it is for the 20s and 30s. So the ages during which our current society expects people to goof off and do dumb things before "settling down" by age 40 or so. Clearly is does not extend to the whole population, but there certainly is a portion of it that lives this way. The heroine spends a lot of the three books just going along with whatever everyone is telling her to do. Most of the choices that she makes on  her own are very self centered, even though she thinks she is doing something for someone else.

Once the girl manages to decide against becoming "pretty" she ends up that way anyhow in an attempt to help scientific research. Now that she is pretty and basically a "blonde" she has to break out of it. So the jump start to becoming aware, (which the author annoyingly calls "bubbly") is kissing. It is made clear through the second book that the key to becoming "alive" is to get an adrenaline rush. When that ends up not being enough for some they begin cutting themselves. This is where it all started to unravel for me. Very dark and disturbing, and while viewed as such in the second book, it becomes accepted by the "heroine" in the third book in order to be "icy". If nothing else were there to deter me, the authors persistent use of stupid words like these and adding -la and -wa to the end of peoples names when characters are talking to each other is sooo annoying! That would be enough to recommend that no one else read these.

Aside from the author's obvious opinions about beauty, plastic surgery and teenage morons, there are bigger issues. One the biggest deals that weaves itself through all the books is how we, affectionately termed "rusties" destroyed everything, most especially nature. We cut down trees! We ate animals! How could we do such a dastardly thing! Seriously? I'm sorry I never have been and never will be an environmentalist. I recycle. I turn off lights when they are not needed. I turn off water during teeth brushing. I clean up litter. I take care of the little bit of planet I live on, however I do not freak out about cutting down a tree, (especially if it could fall on my house!) nor do I ever spare a thought for my "carbon foot print." The authors agenda comes through loud and clear to me, but I am not sure it will be obvious to everyone.

My concern here is that young people who are impressionable will accept this as truth. They will read this and say to themselves, hmm, preserving nature and saving animals is more important than human life. Humans are bad. "Humanity is a cancer" (that one is actually in the book). The main character agrees with this statement and since that is who people are meant to identify with, I think that's a problem. Of course she is under the influence of messed up brain surgery at the time, but she never gets that fixed, she "thinks" her way out of it. Everyone else needs an injected cure to get better, but she can think her way out. Really? She is manipulated over and over, tricked by people she trusted and she is supposed to have some monumental brain powers to control her own mind? I don't buy it. Anyway, she goes through all of these surgeries, tries to help a rebellion against the government that is controlling everyone, accidentally starts a war between two large cities, then when she has fixed that, she goes off to live in the "wild" and threatens that if the people push out into the wild to far she will be there in her scariness to stop them again. So she ends up as the self proclaimed police of the world. The book ends with her little speech about how she'll be there if civilization every goes too far. It is such a jaded and obvious agenda! Nature should be cared for, but used, that is why it is there. It should not be wasted, but preserving animals and nature does not come before human lives.

So this is the big concern that is brought about with this type of book. What are the young and impressionable  youth learning from dystopian stories? Is war bad? Yes. But is it sometimes necessary? Yes. Are there problems with our current society? Yes. Are we the root of all evil with our little societal issues? Um, No. I am scared that young people will be swayed to believe that. They will grow up with a view of revulsion towards humanity as a whole. They will be a part of a growing trend who has animal babies instead of human ones. I'm sorry but saying I have a new baby at home, should only mean a human one. There are too many people who seem to view people as a bad thing. To me that is just as disturbing as possible future dystopian societies. The difference is that the futures people come up with aren't real. The slanted view of humanity is. Maybe we should fix today's problems before we concoct tomorrows.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who Rules?

Onward and upward. Persia is now brought to the forefront, with Cyrus at the controls. Cyrus is described as a natural ruler, who was the greatest conqueror before Alexander. The key to this, Durant asserts is this:

He fully understood the first principle of statesmanship--that religion is stronger than the state.

Since I believe that a statesman does more than help run a government I might be inclined to disagree with that statement in part, but I don't because from the author's point of view a statesman is just that a man of the state. That aside, the part about religion really struck me. Durant brings up very clearly that Cyrus conquered many different peoples and that the reason he was successful in this endeavor was because of his support for their group religions. He allowed all the people he conquered to continue practicing their own religions, even to the point of using government money to assist them. There is a great truth here. For people in ancient days their religion was their culture. It was what defined them as a people and set them apart from others. Cyrus seemed to understand that if he took that identity from them he would in essence be killing them and who can be the king if there are no subjects to rule? 

Now I look at this country today. When it was founded I believe the religion was stronger than the state. After all religion was the reason people came to this land in the first place, well, also the second and third places too. (think Jaredites, Nephites, then pilgrims) The main, group religion of our country has always been Christianity. There are many offshoots, different groups, but above all the majority of them believe in Christ. Those that don't hold a sacred belief in another god, or gods. Each religion has codes by which its followers are expected to live by. Some do and some don't. So why does that matter? Well, if those who don't choose to follow their religion religiously (i know, punny, but it just happened!) become more numerous than those who do, I fear for this country. I know without a doubt that this is God's country. It is a promised land given to us as long as we are faithful. I believe this extends outside of those who are of my own personal faith. I believe that God loves and accepts the prayers and good works of anyone who is as righteous as they know how to be. We need to band together as people in very ancient times did and draw on our combined and similar beliefs. We need to hold strong against the forces of those who oppose God and anything remotely related to Him, which by the way would be every tangible and intangible thing and concept ever created. 

At some point, that no one knows, Christ will return to this earth. He will be crowned King and rule all people. Will he adopt the same principle that Cyrus used? Yes, yes He will. How do I know? Simple. Allowing various people to continue worshipping in whatever way they choose, even if you know its wrong, is allowing them their agency. Christ will never take our agency from us. We will always be free to make the wrong choice if we want to. I imagine that may be why Cyrus was so successful as a conqueror, he allowed the people their God-given right to choose for themselves. Just as Christ will. 

So Who Rules? We all do. The whole point of agency is that we get to rule ourselves. So when I tell my kids "I Rule!", I'm seriously right:)

Friday, July 8, 2011


Men are what they have had to be

Yes, yes they are. This particular instance was in reference to the staying power of the Jewish people during some of their trials. That's the section of civilization I am currently on. Next is Persia. It is fascinating and also difficult to read about things that I understand one way (the right way) and have them described as someone without religious belief sees them. I pushed through it and have a better appreciation for the truth of the scriptures and the damage that has been done to the bible over the centuries and by that to people's spirits. 

We do become what we have to. When a task or a trial is placed before us we have the opportunity to rise to the challenge or whine about it. Honestly, if we don't rise to face whatever is placed before us and choose to become what the Lord would have us be, not only will we be unhappy, but we will probably suffer longer. Like until we do become what the Lord wants. 

This is of course why people often counsel to never pray for patience, because you'll get it. Not in the way you want to get it, but in some other way that tests and pushes you beyond what you thought you were capable of withstanding. (This is also known as parenthood). The key lies in the attitude and choice. In the end of everything that's what it always comes down to. I think about it and talk about alot because not many people do. My kids have heard all my best lectures (I am a fantastic lecturer) about how it is in fact their choice to be annoyed by their siblings behavior. It can be horribly hard, but every moment we make choices about what we think, what we say, even what we feel. I was starting to feel really depressed the last few days. Since I have a history with that I have a marker by which I gauge the severity of my negative feelings. This was a bad one. That's all I'm gonna say on that, it was just bad. So on top of feel poopy myself, it wasn't hard to see that I was bringing the whole family down. (Yes, they all could have chosen to be unaffected by my sad behavior, but really they are just kids:)) So I decided last night that depressed time was over. I prayed  it out with the Lord, which is the only way I have survived depression, and I am better today. Not whole and complete mind you, but better than I was. I chose to be positive. I chose to be what everyone around me needed me to be. I am what I have to be. (I think I feel another tshirt design comin' on!)

There is a country song that might offend some of the more puritanical people that I know, but the words go something like this:
If you're going through hell, keep on going
Don't slow down, if you're scared don't show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there! 

I don't think my trials constitute anything as bad as all that, but there have been times when they did. But it's good advice no matter what, after all everyone goes through bad times, so I'll remember this and save it for that day.

Do what you have to do. Keep moving. Rely on the Lord. Life is going to keep moving whether you want it to or not, so you might as well enjoy the ride.