I believe

Some of you may know I attend the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It has been a huge part of my life for actually – most of it.  I have several generations of Pioneer Ancestors and am thankful and grateful to have that heritage in my life.

When I began this blog years ago, I did have faith and knowledge of our Savior and His role in my life.  It had been tested over the years, or granted, I had been tested.  Nothing on par with getting diagnosed with 2 brain tumors, but you get my drift.

Yet looking back, I truly didn’t understand anything.  I don’t feel I ever was truly mad at Heavenly Father once I got diagnosed, I just was pretty bleh about my life and everything that came with it.  I just didn’t care.  About anything.  Not anger just indifference. I didn’t care.  Period.

Fast forward through years of therapy, life, writing on this blog, etc. I am glad I can now ponder about that time in my life.  I am so happy with my decision to start this blog so that time of my life is documented in this small space on the Internet.  What I was thinking/doing/feeling/wanting/fearing at the moments of getting diagnosed with a brain tumor and subsequent Rare Disease of Cowden Syndrome are emotions I don’t like to recall often, but glad I can review them if I want to.

Every 6 months my church has General Conference, where the Leaders and Prophet counsel us.  It is quite a momentous event and I have been blessed enough to attend 2 (3?)  times in my life, once in the Tabernacle and once in the Conference Center (when it was dedicated!).  I attended church yesterday and I suppose this is why this is on my mind to write about.  I feel renewed that I have this faith and knowledge I can always rely on, it is always there for me, if I choose to embrace it.  I cannot ever deny what I know to be true.

Over the last few months I started this habit (I guess it’s a habit, although maybe a goal is a better word?) to choose a Conference talk to listen to each day.  There is no rhyme or reason to my choosing.  I open the app, scroll to a year (today’s was 2004) and then click.

Today’s Conference talk is Believe by Sister Dalton.

This is all coming full circle for me and I am grateful to see the connection.

It was just what I needed to hear today and I would like to share it with you.

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Do you have any daily habits or goals you work on achieving?

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Daily Prompt [Trance; and also Depression is real]

I mean, it really does.  But, so does menopause, brain tumors, anxiety, hypothyroidism, loneliness, and a host of other things.  I feel like when I have days like this (read: days that suck) I need to blame something:  (see my list of things above).  I don’t know why.

I guess because I hope I’m not just lazy.  I hope that as these bad days come more often I will be able to not let them suck the life out of me and get me down even more.

Today, for example: I didn’t go to church.  I went on an “adventure” yesterday (my words) and I think I overdid it.  I just couldn’t clear the brain fog this morning.  I woke up and felt like I was in a trance.  So, I slept/napped a bit more. Did some reading.  Caught up on one of my favorite shows, and while it’s still mid afternoon I have 2 choices.  (Actually, I probably have many more but these are my main 2.)  I can take another nap, rest my brain, or get up and clean my room and catch up on my mail and laundry that’s piled up.

More later.

My Saturday night

For those of you who don’t know,  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and once a month I have a calling to teach the women in Relief Society.

This weekend I was preparing for the lesson and came across something that stopped me in my tracks and I would like to share it with you:

https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/hope-ya-know-we-had-a-hard-time-3

Hope you have a great week. ❤

 

On funerals, dreams, and life

I just got home from a funeral.  A friend of mine died suddenly, way too soon.  He was a young father and it is just such a tragic loss.  Brought to my mind my dad’s funeral, what my funeral would have been like had I not made it through the craniotomies, things like that.  Just a heavy morning.  I know this is part of life, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  I think of my friend’s poor mother (she’s a widow) and the pain in her heart that I cannot begin fathom.  Heartbreak.

I began to see a new therapist a few weeks ago.  Her style is much different than the one I had been seeing, and this one is focusing more on trauma healing.  I like it.  I am on board.  There is such a wide array of things I need to address and heal from, this just fit perfectly. I have had two visits with her, and during both I was brought to tears. Sobbing. I am shocked that five years later I still fight with PTSD from the brain surgeries. Those few minutes before I was wheeled into the O.R. have fundamentally changed me. Dare I say permanently scarred me? I don’t know. But those memories and emotions are still down deep inside me and need to be processed and released. I am very much looking forward to this. What I find rather interesting is a day or two ago I dreamt I was caught in a torrential rainstorm. A huge downpour. Other people were near me, I was trying to find shelter from the rain, I didn’t have an umbrella, I didn’t know anyone around me. I did some research on rain in dreams, there is a connection here. The release of the brain surgery “stuff”, as it continues its course, and the downpour of the rain. Dreams are incredible.

While I continue to notice deficits, headaches, problems with my memory and auditory processing, I am thankful to work in Special Education when I can. I am very blessed to be in these classrooms and interact with the students. They make me smile. The help me focus. They motivate me to do my best always. These students have no idea how much they help me navigate life with brain tumors and a rare, genetic condition. The same goes for the person I am tutoring in English. The same goes for those I work with in my calling in church as Family History Consultant.

Life is weird. Life is not what I expected, that is for sure.

It just is.

Fun Fact Friday 6/13/14

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have been quite lucky to travel to several Temples over several states.  The following is a list of the ones I have been to and I hope to add to this list soon!

  1. St. George, Utah
  2. Logan, Utah
  3. Manti, Utah
  4. Salt Lake, Utah
  5. Provo, Utah
  6. Mount Timpanogos, Utah
  7. Jordan River, Utah
  8. Idaho Falls, Idaho
  9. Los Angeles, California
  10. San Diego, California
  11. Portland, Oregon

(Click here to read about why Temples are built.)

Sunday Funday

Why is it that I seem to think of blog posts as I am rushing to get to church each week?

🙂

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I have a calling to teach the women of  Relief Society each month from the Teachings of the Joseph Fielding Smith.

Since I am a substitute teacher I think often of how I can present my lesson material to the sisters to make it interesting and engaging.  Each month, I read the lesson and choose several sections that I think we can cover during the hour.  I read the Section Question aloud to the sisters; then we all read together (or “Popcorn” as some teachers may know it to be called); then I read the question again at the end of the section and hopefully we have a great discussion about what was just read.   🙂

Last month I had prepared a different way to give my lesson.  I friend of mine who is a 2nd grade teacher, and also taught for Relief Society last month as a substitute, shared this method with me and I really felt good about it.  “Let’s do it!”, I thought to myself.  I was excited.  I had prepared.  I thought the lesson would be great!  Interesting!  Engaging!  Participation to the “T”!  I was ready to go!

Except for one thing.

That morning I felt sick.  Scared.  Nervous.  Uneasy.  Unhinged.  I could not figure it out!  I shouldn’t be nervous to stand before these women – most of them have known me since birth.  It was the oddest feeling.  I couldn’t much put my finger on it.  I just knew something was different.  Was it me?  Why was I doubting things and my ability?  What was going on?  What was up?  Right before class I was reviewing the chapter and a sister came over to me to visit.  I shared with her my feelings, and I said to her that I wondered if this was the Spirit telling me something?  She said that there was a difference between doubting my ability and receiving an impression from the Holy Ghost.  OF COURSE she was right.  I just didn’t know how to tell which was which!

Even as I walked into the Relief Society room I had no idea which was I was going to teach the lesson.  As I walked up to the podium, I began to talk.  Sometimes like to make small jokes (nothing inappropriate) but I say that I am OK with throwing myself under the bus as long as *I* am the one doing it.  🙂  And I shared my dilemma about which way I was going to present my lesson to them.  The:

  1. Standard, old hat, way I always had.
  2. Group the sisters according to Sections in the lesson.  Give them about 10 minutes to read then go ahead.  My wish in doing this was to generate more discussion between them, instead of me talking “at” them for the entire time (which is how I felt I had done it).

And, I just went into #1.  The usual way I teach.

After the lesson was over I had a few women tell me that they really dislike lessons using #2.  And another one told me last week that she was glad I chose #1 because it was “something I was good at”. 

In hindsight I am very glad to have had this experience.  While I am not the best at articulating things, it was good for me to have those “feelings” and to discern to the best of my ability and then give it my best shot.

 

 

 

Majestic (Photo of the day 3/7/14)

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Combo (Photo of the day 10/1/13)

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I love pictures of any LDS Temple at night. Here’s my interpretation.  (I call this “Combo” because of the evening sky [darkness] and the light of the Temple.)

 

Peachy (Photo of the day 9/27/13)

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Flowers on the ground of the Los Angeles Temple.