Monday, September 30, 2013

I'm the Lucky one....

I'm the Lucky one....


Saturday morning I got up at first light to go for my favorite 20 mile bike ride.  Normally I would drag my kids along with me, but this morning I wanted to think, so I left them sleeping.  We have some wonderful trails and the weather was beautiful and just the perfect temperature for a ride.  

I like to use the time in the morning to ponder.  

As I flew down the hill leaving my house... the wind was blowing my hair back, and I felt this happy content feeling as I sucked in the crisp autumn air. My mind was drawn back to my thoughts on a prior bike ride and while skiing last Christmas.  I remembered hearing the words in my mind,

"Just enjoy it for me.  Breathe it in and soak it up.

When my husband first died I remember thinking that he was so lucky not to have to deal with everything here that was stressing my life. 

I complained and fretted and wished desperately 
that our roles had been reversed... 
that I would be enjoying the peace of heaven. 

I felt so poorly equipped to deal with sons and finances and legal issues.  

Sanctify Your Marriage

Sanctify Your Marriage

Sept 29, 2013

I was with some married friends the other day, and while I rode alone in the back seat of the car I listened to their conversation...

There was a disagreement about where we would go to eat.

As I listened like a fly on the wall, I just wanted to sink into the seat and disappear.  It absolutely kills me to listen to a couple treat each other like that now.  

Scott and I were pretty good about stuff like that, we valued being together more that what we were doing.  If we knew something was important to the other person, we generally went along with their suggestion.  Scott had a great ability to put himself second and me first. 

I remember during our usual Sunday night walk Scott telling me about a conversation in church with several other men.  He was listening to a younger man who was talking about standing his ground when he knew he was right.  My husband’s comment was, 
“It’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong.  It’s about making your wife happy.  If you do something or say something that makes her unhappy or makes her feel less about herself, then you are wrong and you have failed in your duty.”
It was a pretty bold statement, but Scott felt pretty strongly about the importance of treating your wife like she was the most important thing in the world.  It killed him to see men hurt their wives through criticism, selfishness, or laziness.  He often stood up for women and would make the effort to befriend men who he thought might benefit from his example.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Principle 3: Creativity

Principle 3


Reach new goals by doing things you have never before done

Creativity allows us to see things in a new way.

We can enhance our ability to think creatively by engaging in pursuits that are different from our normal activities.

Elder Scott relays his experience learning to watercolor.  It was something he was drawn to and wanted to try, but he felt unequal to the task.  Despite his fears, he got books on the subject, tried, took lessons, studied and practiced more.

Things learned during the process:
  1. The initial feeling of accomplishment encouraged him to read more and try harder.  
  2. Much can be accomplished with an understanding of basic principles.
  3. Objective criticism became an appreciated source of growth
  4. Every individual had creative capacity- it is the result of being children of the Ultimate Creator
  5. The satisfaction and growth creativity generates is intended for each of us
Benefits to the Creative Process:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not Strong Enough

Not Strong Enough

Sometimes I just get so frustrated with myself.  

Last night and this morning I was really struggling with my inability to perfectly apply the principles that I know to be true and that have worked for me so well in the past.  It is as if I have to relearn how to do the same math problem over and over again every time the teacher changes the numbers.  

Last night I was talking to a friend about a problem that had been weighing on my mind for sometime.  I was feeling the need to fix it all and I just didn’t know how I possibly could.  

My friend’s response was, 
" You don’t need to take it all on by yourself."  
He reminded me to pray and ask God to help work it out.  I got off the phone and thought, 
Duh!  You know that. Come on Veronica, you are smarter than this.  How do you get so caught up in the worrying and the fixing that you miss the most obvious solution of all- to PRAY.  Here you are again, right back where you started, trying to work out your own salvation all on your own.  When will you ever learn?”  
Those thoughts filled me with frustration, as I was made very aware of my continued weaknesses.  I slept on the matter and still in the morning I was upset with my progress.

As I thought on it further, I could hear my husbands voice in my head,
 “Don’t be so hard on my girl.” 
Later that morning my friend reminded me...
not to let the devil convince me that I am not of worth... 
that my efforts are failures...  
to keep my chin up ... 
not to stop being who I am and doing what I am trying to do
(I guess self-doubt and discouragement is another math problem I need to relearn.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

At Last I See the Light...

At Last I See the Light...

      I love the song from Disney's Tangled... At last I see the Light

 I love to look for deeper meanings in everyday things.  This song can be a sad love song for a widow who has lost her true love for a time, but it can also be one of hope about the light that Jesus Christ can bring.  

These past 10 months has taught me so much about proper priorities in my life.  

  • It has taught me to turn to God for everything, to depend on Him and live each day seeking His Spirit, direction,  guidance and counsel.  
  • It has taught me to look outside myself and serve and help others.  
  • It has made earthly things and concerns seem oh so much less significant, and it has centered my mind on things of eternal importance.  

As I listen to this song,  I realize what a fog I was living my life in.  

At first for brief moments I saw the light...  
Now those moments are longer and longer...
Things seem so much clearer and...
 I realize this is where I was always meant to be. 

Does that mean I love my husband less? 

No, I love him all the more, with a purer, deeper love

I understand that this separation was necessary for my own personal growth, so that I could come to see the light and be better prepared for that glorious reunion with Scott and with my Savior.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Principle 2: The Lord's Strength and Grace can Help us Accomplish all Things


In the strength of the Lord, we can accomplish all things.
It may be hard, really hard, requiring extraordinary effort, time, patience, prayer and obedience,
 but we CAN do it

As we EXERCISE FATIH in Jesus Christ and His teachings we realize His LIMITLESS POWER to accomplish what He asks us to do.   TRUE FAITH has ENORMOUS POWER.  
Steps to unleash that power:
  1. OBEY willingly and consistently- we must practice those truths/principles in which we have faith.
  2. patiently look for  CONFIRMATION- It comes as we consistently live it through feelings of peace, stirrings, or openings of new truth.
The Lord gives us capacity to understand and prove through personal experience the truthfulness of His teachings.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Principle 1: We have to Ask in Order to get Direction and Guidance from God

WHY DO WE NEED TO ASK?  --- Because that is how revelation is received.

Communication with our Father in Heaven is a sacred PRIVILEGE.  The help we receive comes in response to our faith, obedience, and our proper use of agency.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

21 Principles : Divine Truths to Help You Live By The Spirit

Brand new idea for a post that I am really excited about.  I just got Elder Scott's new book, 21 Principles : Divine Truths to Help You Live By The Spirit.  He has been one of my mentors through this whole process, having lost his wife 18 years ago.  I firmly and totally believe that feeling the Spirit is the key to getting through grief and learning what the Lord wants to teach us.  Never before in my life have I sought as hard as I do now to have the Spirit with me always.  For this post, I want to highlight a principle every couple of days and have people comment on experiences with these principles.  I think we could all find a few principles of which we have strong experiences and testimonies to share and others that we need to focus on.  So.... I invite you to join me on this journey.  The intro today......

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hope shining brightly before us....

Hope Shining Brightly Before Us....

There is HOPE shining brightly before us... My 17 year old son took me out for dinner last night and the kids wanted to have a family movie night after. They argued about who would sit by me. How lucky can I be, I have such good kids. 

Earlier this week I found my son's college essay on the printer. I'm including it here because I wanted to share his progress.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dealing with Depression


I wanted to share this letter from a close friend who has suffered with depression for over 35  years.  I know a lot of people quietly suffer and I feel like these insights have really helped me to manage my emotional heath. I had a 5 year bout with depression when I hit 30.  Luckily with the help of medication and a lot of counseling from my husband, it was something I was able to work through.  This letter came at a pivotal point for me and aided me in my recovery. My husband was able to identify behavior patterns that I had learned that contributed to my depression.  We worked to change those, I began exercising and the endorphins really helped me.  I prayed and turned to the Lord for help.  I humbled myself and realized I could not do this on my own. With time I was able to be medication free and I haven’t had another problem with it for the last 7 years, miraculously, even through the death of my husband.  

I can testify that the Lord can make weak things become strong.

I struggled for a long time with questions of 'Why?' 

Why do I have to suffer with this? 
Why did I have to grow up in a home with a depression?  

What I learned was that this was a teaching experience for me.  It made me rely on the Savior for assistance.  It helped me to have understanding and empathy for others.  In my mid-thirties I served in a leadership position for my church's women's organization. I found my experiences to be invaluable in counseling and helping others.

  There is always a purpose in the trials that we struggle through.  

If we can just humble ourselves enough to turn to the Lord, He can let those things change us into the people we need to become. 

(I'm omitting some things to keep it confidential)

Dear .......

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My New Theme Song

My New Theme Song

Sept 11, 2013

I think I found my new theme song!  

...You know that song that plays in the background of a movie as the main character walks confidently down the street.  
This is my new 'confidence' song.  

Well, maybe not confidence,
 but my 'put me back together after I have had an emotional meltdown' song.

I listened to it all morning while weeding. A fellow "bible belt" friend of mine posted it in my widow/widowers Facebook  group. I love that I can find truth in all different faiths. I firmly believe that "if there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy , we should seek after these things." 

This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. 

It has brought me literally to my knees, and in those deep dark dispairing moments I have finally been able to see what I think I couldn't have understood or seen without this experience.

It takes a depth of pain to produce a depth of faith.

I am learning to be still, I am learning to trust Him to lead me each day, I am learn to be patient with what is given and trust that it will continue, I am learning that I cannot work my own salvation... 

That I really truly NEED Him every day...
and it is truly beautiful to live this way. 

There is so much light and hope and it all seems so much brighter in contrast to the darkness that I have felt. 

His way IS really the best way. We all struggle through life, bucking against the pricks like a tethered horse, until we finally give in and let Him take the reins. I am content to let Him do that for me now. The ride is so much smoother and we are finally on our way. 

I don’t know where to go from here 
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own
I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fightingI
’m finally letting go
I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will trust in You

If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can you help me find it
Can you help me find it

I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving you doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone
Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath
You’ve never let me go
I will wait for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You


I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again)
Have Your way my King (I give my all to You)
I lift my eyes again (Was blind but now I see)
‘Cause You are all I need


Monday, September 9, 2013

Bread of Life

Sept 9, 2013

Just as we need daily physical sustenance, we need that that daily spiritual sustenance to help us remember who is the source of our blessings. It keeps us in tune with the spirit. It helps us increase our courage to do the right things and to serve God. These small and simple things daily transform us into better people. This is a beautiful video clip on this topic. It really lifted me today.

Sept 10, 2013

Our faith in God is the fruit of experience. Sometimes we may wonder, “Why does this trial linger on? Why doesn’t God just answer my prayer and fix this for me?” I have gone through those questions in conjunction with the other trials that have come with the death of my husband. In those difficult moments I have come to a point where I had no where to turn but to God, in those circumstances I have truly learned how to pray and receive the answers that come.
So like the children of Israel, I follow the task of gathering the mana for that day, the help that can only come from Him, from God, for that moment, not the long term, but for my immediate need. I am learning to take life one day at a time... remembering “Give us this day our daily bread.

While deliverance is not immediate and I cannot see the end, I am finally to the point where I can say, “I’m content to get a daily help and let it take what time it takes.”

Perhaps the greater blessing for us is to have to walk through it with Him.

Sept 11, 2013

That core substance that we need to aspire to become the person we need to BECOME is found in Jesus Christ.  There is a purpose in life far beyond living comfortably.  The bread that we receive is to enable us to act and serve.  We are helped and changed in this incremental process.  I am learning not to expect immediate deliverance from my problems.  As God is patient with me in my progress, I can get His help day by day.  All of those small changes add up over time to make an eternal difference in me.  I can see that in my life over the past 10 months as I have turned to Him as the source of sustenance of my life.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mountains to Climb

Mountains to Climb

Sept 6, 2013

I have listened to this before, but it seems I need to be tutored and tutored again

I guess I'm a slow learner.

I feel these words of Henry B. Erying...
Sometimes I have wanted "To cry out, 'when I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?'" When a new trouble appears I begin to feel my faith may be fading under the onslaught of troubles."

What he says is so true...

 "If the foundation of faith in not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble.
I don't want to crumble! 

So I've got to work on that foundation of faith constantly and diligently more now than ever. When I am stuck in the dispair of a trial, feeling myself sinking into darkness. I have to lift up my head and reach out in faith.  

Because "acting on even a twig of faith allows God to grow it. That particle of faith most precious and which you should protect and use to whatever extent you can is faith in the Lord in Jesus Christ."

I constantly remind myself that...

 "The lord has promised, 'I will not forsake thee.'"
 I KNOW we can feel the love of God. 
"The Savior has promised angels on our left and on our right to bear us up and He always keeps his word. His love is unfailing." 
I testify that I have literally felt this in my life. In circumstances where I thought I could move not further, I have felt that 'bearing me up' and the 'lightening of my load.'  I have been carried through the sand.

The KEY: "Serving God and others PERSISTENTLY with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into UNBREAKABLE spiritual strength.

I want to be unbreakable, 
to not crumble the next time around! 

But even with that, I have learned that sometimes we have to be broken so that the Lord can rebuild us anew. 

I know "If we have faith in Jesus Christ the hardest of times in life can be a blessing. " For that I am grateful, because it makes it worth it all.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Sept 5, 2013

So much of my life has been focused on DOING...

For those of you that know me well, you could confirm that I am known for my 'to do lists' and multitasking abilities. It is not uncommon for people to comment to me, 
"I don't know how you get so much done in a day." 
"You make me tired just watching you.

I used to take great pride in those comments, thinking to myself, 
"Well, you just need to work harder." (Yikes!  Yes, that was very judgmental of me, and I have repented for those thoughts. For this reason I am glad that the death of my husband has been a humbling, introspective experience.)

While doing and accomplishing much in this life is good...
I have discovered something better and far more important.... 

Everything we DO in this life avails us nothing if it does not lead us to BECOME someone better. The purpose of the DOING is to aid the BECOMING

What's the difference? 
It's our focus. 

As we are DOING, we need to ask ourselves, 
"Is this helping me to BECOME someone better?" 
If the answer is 'No,' then we ether need to change our perspective and attitude or we need to choose to DO different things

The Lord is more concerned with constant, steady, and quality 'BECOMING'
than He is with mass quantity 'DOING.' 

In fact the mass quantity DOING sometimes takes up so much of our time and energy that we don't take the time for the quiet introspection that is needed to make those daily course corrections. We can be so focused on plowing through that we forget to look up and see how far we have strayed off the road that we intended to follow. 

I see in my mind a man pushing an overloaded cart at fast and with all the strength he can muster, head down, blindly driving his feet forward. All the while never looking up to see the road has curved and that he is no longer headed in the direction that he had intended. 

  • What is in that cart that we are each frantically pushing?
  • What things could you pull out that are not so vital to that final destination? 
  • What things could you remove to lighten your load and clear your line of sight so that you can focus on the destination? 

These are the questions I am asking myself...
What do I need to DO so that I can better BECOME what the Lord wants me to BECOME? 
Lighten that load, spend the energy to focus on the internal changes we each need to make. I have learned that the to do list is still there tomorrow and... 

If I have to 'DO' less to have the time to 'BECOME' more, then that is okay.

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, BECOMING humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest. (Book of Mormon, Alma 13)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


The Sandbar

Sept 4, 2013

A widow in my group shared this analogy beautifully. I wanted to share it along with my sandbar story. Read hers first below so you get the analogy. 

"At a Conference I attended for widows earlier this year, one of the speakers talked about the trials and storms that come into our lives.  She spoke of how God tests us, and pushes us to our limits, in order for us to learn and become better people.  She spoke of how some trials seem to rage on for months and years without relief.  How we can become exhausted and overwhelmed.  And then she spoke of God giving us a sandbar, a place where we can rest before returning to the daily fight of trying to keep our heads above water in the tumultuous sea. 
If you've spent much time near the water, you might have seen a sandbar.  This is a spot, usually a ways off from the shoreline, where the sand rises up out of the water, and appears to form a small island.  Sandbars can be fleeting, as the sand is washed away by the rising tide.  While they last, they are a perfect place of safety from the deep end of the ocean.  When we go to Florida we sometimes get a sandbar and we love to swim out to it and play. 
For the last nine years, I have spent a lot of time treading water.  It is often discouraging.  Sometimes I feel like I can't do it anymore.  Sometimes I want to quit trying.  However, I have faith that Heavenly Father loves me, and has a purpose for my life.  I try my best to give in to His will, because I know that is the only path to safety and true happiness.  Some day I hope to be allowed to return to the shore and to stay there for a long, peaceful spell, but for now, I am still out to sea."

My sandbar was not what I expected it to be...

I was hoping for the sale of our home and a move to Omaha by family, but the Lord showed me something different. I was so tired of swimming these past nearly 10 months so I asked God,
 "Can't I please have that sandbar." I pleaded,
"I just really need that sandbar." 
I felt The Lord whisper peace to me, that a time of rest was coming. So I eagerly anticipated the sale of my home. 

When that did not happen I began to question "Why?"

Why was I prompted to try and sell it and a slew of other things that I knew I had felt impressed to do and that had lead me to that obvious but evasive conclusion...

 It wasn't that I had misread the promptings, 
it wasn't that The Lord had mislead me,
 the fallacy was in my ability to interpret the end result,
 in my ability to see the Lord's plan

 so I asked Him to show me, and this is what He said...
 "I gave you the sandbar you asked for... HERE is your sandbar.
As I opened my eyes, I began to see the many blessings that were allowing us to stay, and how those blessing had occurred as the direct result of the things I had been prompted to do.

I had pulled the house off the market allowing me to work on somethings in a more measured approach. Miraculously the tuition was paid at my children's school allowing them to not have to switch schools and giving me a smaller environment to better monitor one of my children who was struggling. I saw the good friends I had already and more that were sent to me. Financial concerns were settled for a while with some unexpected income. I even realized that the work outside, the hard physical labor, was good for my soul and my emotions. 

I had been given added strength to do what needed to be done.

I had time to study and to reach out to others. I realized that the kids and I were in a good place on so many levels. Moving would have created stress, selling things of emotional significance that I can't take with me would have born its toll. Starting a new school and me starting school would have been too much too soon. 

He said, "You see you had your sandbar, you just didn't recognize it.

So, here I am finally grateful after all of the fretting. Finally seeing how much easier it is to just turn it over to Him and wait patiently upon Him. He will not let us sink, His hand is right there so at the last possible moment he can pluck us from the sea and give us rest for a time. Although I can not stay here forever I'm grateful for this time to build up strength for the swim ahead.