Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Can't Do This Alone

I know this song is a couple of years old, but I just heard it the other day for the first time and it really captured my attention and heart. What a beautiful message. I love how the family is together at the end.

Lead Me by Performed by Sanctus Real
Songwriters: Matthew Hammitt;Jason Ingram;Christopher James Rohman

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames, I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling, but on the inside

Oh, I can hear her saying

Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent, but on the inside

Oh, I can hear them saying

Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh Father, show me the way
To lead them

Won't You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me 'cause I can't do this alone

Sunday, September 23, 2012

False Expectations Appearing Real---FEAR

This morning when I was about to leave for the Brigham City temple dedication service that was broadcast to all the meetinghouses in Utah, I decided to grab a book to read during the half hour before it started. I couldn’t decide which book to take and changed my minds a few times before grabbing one—Awake, Arise, and Come Unto Christ: Talks from the 2008 BYU Women’s Conference. I was able to attend the conference that year and loved it and then received the book as a gift.

When I opened the book while sitting at church, waiting in silence with everyone else, I found a sheet of paper. It turned out to be the notes I took from the Oquirrh Mountain temple dedication in 2009. I guess this is my dedication book now.

I was surprised to see that the talk the papers were on was one that I loved, but haven’t re-read for quite some time. And this is perfect timing to read it again. It is a talk by John Bytheway called Lose the Fear; Keep the Faith. (Remember my second to the last post??) It has several of my favorite quotes in it from general authorities and prophets. I looked, but couldn’t find a transcript online anywhere.

At the beginning of the talk, he says that FEAR can mean “False Expectations Appearing Real”. Have you ever been very afraid of something and later thought how silly that fear was because it couldn’t have happened or wasn’t very likely? But at the time, that fear gives you emotions and even physical responses just as if it was real. We have been told not to take counsel from our fears.
“Sometimes, if you feel weak, remember you are not alone. You’re bound to Him by a covenant every Sunday. If you feel you can’t overcome a temptation, He can. He is right next to you because you are bound to Him by a covenant. If you rely on that, and remember that, and about that when despair and discouragement come, that’s power.”
John Bytheway included one of my favorite quotes, which I quoted back in 2008 in this past post.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

“I submit to you that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: As concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help, or should feel his or her interest were unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Come unto Me’,” Ensign, Apr 1998, 16

John Bytheway relates a personal story where it seemed impossible for him to do what the Lord commanded him to do (I won’t tell you what so you can read it), but in the end, the Lord’s timing made it possible. He then read a scripture which really struck me today and has now become one of my favorites.
"Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents and yet without sin; and I will order all things for your good, as fast as ye are able to receive them." Doctrine & Covenants 111:11
(I love how easy those numbers are to remember.)
"We don't have to fear, we can ask the Lord to take our fears from us. When they come, we can evict them and say, ‘Heavenly Father, I can't do this. You take them; I'll do what I can do. You take my doubts and fears and help me with them, because I've just got stuff to do.’ We can give that to Him and get back to work. Is it easier said than done? Yes. But we can do it... ‘They that be with us are more than they that be with them’ (2 Kings 6:16)"
That last scripture has been my favorite scripture for many years now. I’m grateful to have read this again today. Words that I always, always seem to need. An eternal perspective and faith in Jesus Christ, and His timing, "not willing my own desires into existence", will help me feel peace and patience through these hard times now and anything that will come in the future.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Does Your Body Talk?

I don't like exercise, but my body does. I exercise to keep my weight down and hopefully avoid family health problems like heart disease and diabetes, but exercise also has more immediate benefits. Exercise alters the activity of neurotransmitters, which can help our mood and make us feel less stressed even with the same stressors. It doesn't make everything all better, but I know I feel better when I have exercised regularly. And research has shown that exercise has antioxidant effects too.

Years ago I took a class at BYU called Psychoneuroimmunology and it fascinated me how linked our moods and psychological state are with the physical activity of our body. That was soon after my body showed me first hand how linked they are.
(Yes, those are my big 3 pound weights I use.)

I woke up one morning unable to move one side of my face. I figured it was Bell's Palsy and the doctor said it was and sent me to a physical therapist, who ended up kinda being my psychological therapist. He would ask me about my activity, what happened (falls, injuries...) before the palsy, stress in my life, etc. He concluded that, although "they" aren't sure what exactly causes Bell's Palsy, that in my case, it was my body's response to some big stresses in my life. At that point in my life I hadn't been exercising. Like at all, other than short walks with my two little children at the time.

The physical therapist helped me to spot some warning signs my body was giving me that I was too stressed and needed to release some of it by mental de-stressing, but also by the big ugly word----exercise. I would get migraines very often (several times a week) and a very tight neck. Those were the two big signals that I needed to pay more attention to releasing those stress hormones by exercise. And I just gotta add that eating well is a huge part too.

I was very glad when my face got better several weeks later and have been happy that I haven't had it again. Not a pretty look for me, not to mention, it is very hard to drink when you can't close half of your mouth all the way. Sorry no photos.

Since that time, I have found another signal my body gives me that I am headed for trouble. I think it is a bit unique and kinda seems strange, but I have noticed it again and again so I know it is a signal. If I am stressed (well, who isn't these days, but even more than usual) and not exercising regularly or intensely enough and eating too much sugar and fat, I tend to have bad dreams---ugly, vivid, bad dreams.

The last few weeks of summer our schedule was a little different and I wasn't doing my usual exercise routine every morning and then Elisa and I weren't running much at night like we had been. I was getting more anxious for the semester to start, along with other stresses in my life. I had a horrible, scary dream where I saw Sabrina, my 9-year old fall down a cliff, bounce at the bottom, and die.(Strangely, it was a couple of days before someone died from a fall off a cliff in Provo.) I knew as soon as I woke up that it was my body telling me to get back to work.

So, I'm back to my routine and hopefully it'll keep those awful dreams away. How does your body talk to you? Do you get headaches? Feel blue? Do you have something freaky weird like my dreams???

Blueberry Cheesecake Crumb Cake

Bursting blueberries in every bite! I made this coffee cake that I found on  Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts  (even though it's not a ...