Goal Setting, Heres to Living my Life!, Motherhood, My Mission

A Conversation with My Future Self

I really love podcasts, don’t you? There is one that I have been listening to for a while that I really enjoy. It is called “Better Than Happy” by a woman named Jody Moore. She is a certified life coach and mom of four children.  We are about the same age and share similar interests and beliefs. I think we could be friends.

I was listening to Episode 131 of her podcast this week entitled “Your Future Self.” If you are interested then you can listen here.  It is really an interesting concept that you ask your future self questions and you can get a lot of insight. She likes to ask her 92-year-old self questions because she thinks 93 is a good age to die. I laughed when I heard this, but there is a lot of wisdom in it.

A few year ago, I had the opportunity to interview my great-aunt Norma Gutke Ellis with my sister Deniane Kartchner. Aunt Norma was the only one of her generation left. She was the youngest sister of my grandfather whom I don’t remember because he died when I was under a year old.  I loved visiting with her. She was in her nineties and so spunky so fully of life an love. It was a sad day when we lost her. She was simply amazing.  I loved hearing her laugh and the bantering between her and her husband of over sixty years. She was full of wisdom and love. She struggled with her health, but she always had a smile on her face.

I think I would like to learn wisdom from my future self. I will go to the age 90 because that seems like a nice even number. My grandmothers both lived into their eighties and so there is a good chance that I could live to ninety.

The year will be 2069 when I turn ninety. Now that is a crazy thought! When I picture my ninety year old self, I see a combination of my Grandma Gladys (left center) and my Grandma Fern (right center with me as a baby). I will also look similar to my mother on the far right and my sister. I love these women and I will be proud to look like them. I will have white/gray hair. I will be wrinkly in the face, but I will still have the same green eyes that I have at forty. I will have sunspots on my arms and legs, but I hope I will be strong able to walk, to garden, and to take loving care of my children, grand children and great-grandchildren. I will probably have a double chin and shakes when I laugh, but who cares? I will be beautiful like these women are beautiful.

One of the ways to “talk” to your future self that Jody Moore suggests is doing the “Start, Stop, and Continue” activity. She suggest asking your future self:

What should I start doing?

What should I stop doing

What should I continue doing?

So I picture myself at ninety and I picture my wonderful grandmothers and here I go.

Dear Ninety Year Old Karen,

What should I start doing?

Dear Forty Year old Karen,

How lovely it is to talk to you! I am so glad that you are taking the time to picture your life ahead fifty years from now. The world has changed but there are so many things in this world that matter that have not changed. The sun still comes up every day in the east. There are still wonderful seasons to enjoy. The rain still falls and drips its heavenly sound on the roof and ground. The daffodils still poke their heads up every spring and adorn their beautiful bright yellow petals. The lilacs still bloom and send their sweet fragrance forth. They are still my favorite.  Technologies have come and gone, but there are three things that are always consistent my dear; 1) Jesus Christ, 2) the importance of family, 3) and loving and serving others. 

So you ask me what should you start doing as a forty-year old? I think it will be best if we break them down into four categories: physically, spiritually, and mentally/emotionally and occupationally.

Physically: start eating more fruits and vegetables and doing more strength building exercises like yoga and lifting weights. Your grandmother Gladys had diabetes and was no longer able to move from her chair in her eighties. Please take care of yourself. Eat well and take good care of your body. 

Spiritually: pray. Please pray every day. I know it is hard for your right now but if you pray every day and build that relationship with your Heavenly Father then you will have the strength that you need when every hard situation comes along and there will be many. You are setting the spiritual example for your children, but also for your grand children and great-grandchildren. They will be here some day. As I look at my wall I see photos of all their smiling faces and I love each of them as Grandma Fern loved each of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Think of the legacy that Grandma Fern left and her consistent testimony despite her many troubles and weaknesses, strive to be like her. Think of your mother and her relationship with the Lord. Be strong and be believing. Think of how Mormon and Moroni were strong despite the fact that they were alone in their faith. You can do it. I know you can because I am you. 

Mentally/emotionally.  Please have confidence in who you are. Please know how much your are loved and needed on this earth.  Please know you are a daughter of God and you are worthy of love always. Please be confident in the abilities and talents that Heavenly Father gave you and allow yourself to shine. 

Occupationally: Start writing! Write every day. You are a good writer. Write your personal history and write your stories in  your head.

Dear Ninety Year Old Karen,

What should I stop doing?

Dear Forty Year Old Karen, 

I will answer in the same categories. 

Mentally/emotionally: Stop listening to the critical voices (especially those inside your head) that drag you down and keep you from reaching your potential. You are a dreamer! Dream, float, fly and create. It is what you are supposed to do. As I sit here in my little apartment, there are at least ten books that have your name as the author. What you have to say is important. Your words are important. Your children and grandchildren need your voice and to read the stories of your ancestors in an enjoyable way that only you can write. Please do it. 

Physically: Stop comparing yourself to others. You are going to get old and your beauty is going to fade on the outside. It really is the inside that counts. Your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will think you are beautiful because you are who you are. I have a double chin, but no one cares. They love me for me! They love spending time with me because I have invested myself in their lives and shared so much love and friendship.  You can take care of yourself and you know how to do that. Please be your own kind of beautiful. 

Spiritually: Stop trying to save yourself. You will never be able to make it back to Heavenly Father on your merits alone. Allow Jesus Christ to be your partner in the yoke of this life. Allow him to take away your sins, your cares, your burdens, your struggles. Let him into your life. Develop your relationship with him. Give your heart and will over to him and let him run your life. It will take you places you will never imagine but it will be a fantastic ride! Hold on and enjoy the ride! 

Dear Ninety Year Old Karen,

What should I continue doing?

Dear Forty Year Old Karen,

Continue to do activities like this. I am always here and available to you. Remember when times get hard and you want to give up that I have made it this far. I made it through. I am ninety years old and I have lived a satisfying and happy and amazing life.  You will get through your hard times and there will always be sunshine ahead. REmember that today is a good day to have a good day. You are the one who chooses each day to be happy, to be confident and to be healthy. You can do it. I know because I am you and I have had a happy life. You can do it! You will! Keep going! 

I love you always– not matter what

Ninety-year Old Karen

 

 

 

Heres to Living my Life!, Motherhood, Writing Your Own Story

Midlife Crisis Leads Me Back to Classics

element-of-confusion-tee

For the last fourteen years I have been a stay-at-home mom. There has always been someone here with me to look after, but in August, my youngest went to school full time. At first I loved the new freedom that came with my days. I went hiking on trails I had never explored, I went places the kids would never want to go with me, and I spent some time doing charity work. However, as the weeks went on, I started down a spiral that lead me to what I could only describe as a midlife crisis (I am not even forty yet)! I started to feel lonely. Things I liked to do didn’t make me happy anymore.

As snow fell on the mountains and the ground became more muddy, I didn’t want to hike anymore. I thought maybe now it was time to look to the future. “What am I going to do now that my kids are in school?” I thought I really needed to find a job. Doesn’t everyone who has kids in school all day have a job? I looked at part time jobs and applied for a few, but when the call came for an interview, I realized that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do.

Then I I thought maybe I needed to go back to school to get some additional training. The problem is I don’t really know what training I want and I don’t want to waste time and money. I thought about it for weeks and thought I really didn’t know who I was anymore.

I reached out a community on Facebook and many helpful people suggested I read a book written for teenagers to help them discover their mission in life. It is funny, but it is really helping me. I am on a new path in my life and it is nice to get back to my roots. One of the suggestions in this book is for teenagers to read classics, then to talk about them with someone, then to write about them. There is a list of 100 classic books to read.

I decided that I didn’t really need to go back to school to get an education. I had only ready about ten books on the list. The first book on the list in the suggestions for twelve-year old girls was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables.”  You can read my review and experience reading it again here.

I had read the book when I was twelve and loved it. I remember watching the PBS movie as a child with my mother and grandmother. We would watch eight hours to see the kiss between her and Gilbert Blythe at the end, but it was always worth it. Here is the list of novels I will be reading over the next year. Feel free to read along and discuss them with me. How many have you read?

Level One:

  1. ‘Little Women -Louisa May Alcott
  2. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
  3. The Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum
  4. Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe-C. S. Lewis
  5. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes– Edith Hamilton
  6. Little House in the Big Woods– Laura Ingalls Wilder
  7. The Phantom Tool Booth –Norton Juster
  8. Ender’s Game- Orson Scott Card

Level Two:

  1. Pollyanna-Eleanor H. Porter
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream–William Shakespeare
  3. All’s Well that End’s Well- William Shakespeare
  4. The Tempest- William Shakespeare
  5. Prince Caspian– C. S. Lewis
  6. Aesop’s Fables
  7. Tom Sawyer- Mark Twain
  8. Flatland- Edwin Abbott
  9. Saint Joan- Mark Twain
  10. Huckleberry Finn-Mark Twain
  11. Little House on the Prairie- Laura Ingalls Wilder
  12. Best Loved Poems of the American People– Hazel Felleman and Frank Allen
  13. Sonnets, William Shakespeare
  14. The Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling
  15. The Real Thomas Jefferson- Andrew M. Allison
  16. Asimov on Numbers- Issac Asimov
  17. Love Languages- Gary Chapman
  18. The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny -by William Strauss and Neil Howe
  19. The Walking Drum, Louis L’Amour
  20. Say, Go, Be, Do- Tiffany Rhoades Earl
  21. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- Steven R. Covey
  22. The One Minute Manager-Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D and Spencer Johnson, M.D.
  23. The Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
  24. A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
  25. Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick

There is also a level three, level four, and level five by I think for now thirty seven books on a list is a good start! Happy Reading!

Heres to Living my Life!, Weight Loss Journey

Running My First 5K

Two months ago I decided I wanted to run my first 5k. I ran one twenty-four years ago in junior high and didn’ t really like it. Ever since then, I have shied away from running. However, I’ve been reading The Ultimate Weight Solution by good old Doctor Phil McGraw and I’ve been working on the “keys to weight loss freedom.” He is very blunt, but it is part of the book’s appeal for me who needs to be hit over the head with something.

He says, “Nothing will stop you from being anything other than healthy, vibrant, in shape, this will happen because YOU make it happen.”

I have always known that I am the one who is in control of my lifestyle and my weight, but it really “clicked” this time.

He says, “The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. You’ve got to be your own best friend first, accepting and loving yourself from the inside out, before you can be truly happy and before you can live with purpose and passion.”

I have decided I want to live a life of ‘purpose and passion.’ Dr. Phil encourages his readers to set ‘realistic’ goals. I set a long-term goal and a short-term goal.

My long-term goal is to lose forty pounds by December 31, 2017.  On April 22, 2017, I set the goal to train three days a week to run a 5k on June 3, 2017.

In order to achieve this first goal, I downloaded a couch to 5k app on my phone and used it three– sometimes four– days a week to train. I hoped by doing this I would lose one pound a week.

At first, it was hard to train because the weather in April was crazy here in Utah. It was warm one week, snowed another, and rained a lot. However, I got up at 6:00 in the morning, checked the weather and decided I would run rain or shine.  I had my faithful chocolate lab, Koda, as my running partner and we would go.

This last week before my race, I started getting shin splints in both my legs and they really ached. However, today I ran anyway. I was not able to run the entire 5k, but I ran until my body said, “Hey you! I hurt! Stop! Stop!”  I would walk for a minute then pick up the pace.

I was inspired by Wonder Woman. I know it sounds corny, but as I looked for races to run I found that Smith’s grocery store was sponsoring a “Super Hero” run to raise money for Primary Children’s Hospital. My husband and I and our boys love superhero movies. I find them fun and inspiring at the same time. I knew “Wonder Woman” starring Gil Gadot was coming out the day before I would run the race. I found this photo.

WW_poster_Courage

I told myself I could have courage. I could be confident in myself to finish the race. I dressed up today with my Wonder Woman t-shirt and my awesome Wonder Woman socks and I ran. I ran with courage. I did it! I really did it!

Here are some fun pics:

 

The app even printed out a certificate of achievement for me.

5k

Now, my teenage son plans to join me and we are going to run a 5k on Independence Day. I also plan to run a fun night run with glow sticks and a Harry Potter themed 5k in July. The same company that made the app has another app to encourage me to run faster.

Guess what? After all of my training, I am down seven pounds and I am on my way to my end goal in December. So, the next steps for me to continue on to my forty pound journey are:

  1. Run three more 5ks this summer, maybe more!
  2. Learn all I can about nutrition and plan my meals and snacks.
  3. Reduce my sugar intake for 75 days until our 17th anniversary in August. Then I will indulge in a delicious piece of chocolate cake. I am hoping it will be “too rich” and I won’t be able to finish it all!

Here we go! I will have courage because I love myself and I am in charge of creating my life. I want to live with ‘purpose and passion’! We are off for my reward of seeing the movie. I am glad my husband agreed so easily. He says, “Wonder Woman is the most important movie of our time.” I can’t imagine why. 🙂

Family, Heres to Living my Life!, Uncategorized

Tender Moments

Today we celebrated the life of my great aunt Norma May Gutke Ellis. She was born in 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Carl Frederick and Laura May Jones Gutke. She was the youngest child of eight. Norma was a cheerful, bright, and lovely woman. She joined her family after her mother had already lost two daughters: one was murdered by a jealous boyfriend at 17 and the other was a golden haired, adorable four year old taken by a combination of whooping cough/pneumonia. Norma was a blessing sent to Laura Gutke from a caring and loving Heavenly Father.

Norma was adored by her five older brothers one of them nick-named her Nooksie. Whenever he went out, he always brought a present home with him for his little sister. One day he was on a date, he told his date he needed to stop and buy a little something for “dear little Nooskie.” She was a bit confused!

Norma was so beautiful, so tender, so gracious, and so kind. I loved meeting her a few years ago when I went with my sister. She became so precious to me as my sister and I took on the project of interviewing her about her life and her experiences.

I learned more from her about the Gutke name and heritage than I had  known before. Although she was telling me stories, I learned so much from her. One of my favorite stories was about how she was going with a young man she met when she went to a dance with the local soldiers at the military base in Kearns, Utah. She really liked him and they would talk on the phone and write letters and they were getting quite serious. She knew he was going to propose, but she knew that he could not give her the life that she wanted. She wanted to be married in the temple and this young man, although he was good man could not give her what she wanted. He was not a member of the Church. She called him and broke it off. It was a very hard, but such a brave thing to do, to stand up for what was really important to her. Later she met Uncle Dan Ellis and they became the most lovely couple and were married for 67 years! They raised three boys and a lovely girl they named Laura.

I always had a great time hearing their banter when I was at their home. I would ask Aunt Norma a question and hear her answer, and Uncle Dan would call out from the other room and tell her she got the story all wrong.

I love this woman! Her funeral was just a celebration of her life, of her goodness, of her love for others. I want mine to be like that. The Bishop closed by saying, “She had received His (Jesus Christ’s) image in her contenance.” Then he challenged us to become like her.” I accept the challenge.

I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?” Alma 5:19

I know my Aunt Norma was not perfect, but she tried every day to be loving, kind, and be the best woman she would be. She did have a pure heart and clean hands. I want to be like her when I am 91.

I will miss you Aunt Norma!

 

 

Baby Steps, Heres to Living my Life!

Fifty Shades of Real Love

It was a bright, clear August morning. I woke up at the crack of dawn exhausted because my excitement had kept me up long into the night, but I could not keep myself in bed. I was in a mediocre hotel in a small town

with my parents and had shared a queen bed with my white-haired grandmother. To anyone else it may have seemed like we were just passing through and grabbed the hotel because we were so tired and needed a rest, but I had longed for this day since I was twelve years old. Today was my wedding day. I was marrying not only the man of my dreams, but also my best friend and I was marrying him in the most beautiful place to me in the world.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching and many people anticipating the release of the film adaptation of the book “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I wanted to write my own thoughts about this. If you are unfamiliar with the story it is about how a young  reporter interviews a very wealthy man about his company and success for her college newspaper. One thing leads to another and he asks her out, showering her with expensive gifts and treatment, then comes the big moment when he asks her to become his “dominate” or to have a contract where she will be basically his sex slave. He does all kinds of dominating things to her and she absolutely enjoys it, falls in love with him, and hopes that he will love her back and just not use her for sex anymore.

Are you kidding me? People are going to be lining up to see this movie! I just don’t understand it. It is pornography for women. I too was once a young reporter covering stories for my college newspaper and would have been frilled if a rich, powerful man was interested in me–until he tried to take me bed. I would have slapped him right in the face and kicked him straight in the balls. Call me “old-fashioned” or “close-minded” or whatever you like, but I would not have stood for it. My parents taught me about the fifty ways to show real love–to be happy in this life and the next and I will always, always be grateful to them.

Here is my list of the fifty ways to really love, not just satisfy your sexual wants and strange desires, use someone else and then walk away.

1) Real love is selfless. “Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. When you truly love someone you want their happiness more than you want your own. I know my parents sacrificed a lot for all five of my siblings and myself in order for us to play sports, have music lessons, a roof over our heads, etc.  I also know that when I think of my husband’s happiness, more than my own our relationship is so much better. I feel so much more love for him than I knew I could even have.  As a parent now of three boys, I would do anything for them. I would give them my kidney, I would give them my blood, I would do anything they would need in order for them to be happy.

2) Real love is being patient.  In this world of fast-food, Netflix, and high-speed Internet we have a hard time waiting for things. I waited to have sex before I was married. I was a virgin? How can that possibly be? You may think I am an idiot or crazy, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Then you might say, “Well, your husband could certainly wasn’t a virgin then! Men just can’t control their urges. They just need to have sex or they won’t survive!” Believe it or not, my husband was a virgin too. We waited to have sex and it was so worth it. We were both novices and have learned and grown together to find out what we like and what we don’t like. However, we are completely committed to each other.

3) Pornography is not love. Not only was my husband a virgin, but he somehow in this media age where you can view porn whenever or wherever you want, he chooses not to look at it.  Of course he was exposed to pornography, but he choose to look away. He chose to keep himself away from it because he knew it would destroy him. I was exposed when I was 8 years old and struggled for years not to look or watch things, but as I grew older I was able to keep myself busy and I developed other hobbies and interests . I was able to remain chaste until we were married.

Couple 1

4) Love is more than sex. You care about the person, not just what parts on their body can satisfy yours. If more people understood this, there would be children who lived in “unbroken” homes.

5) Love is not jealous. If you are truly in love with someone, you will be happy for them and for their successes. You will also be confident in yourself to know that if your partner truly cares about you then they will not seek for pleasure somewhere else, if they do, then it is their problem not yours.

6) Love is kind. It is hard to feel romantic or sexual feelings for someone when they are constantly treating you like you are a piece of garbage that could easily be disposed of. It is also hard to feel good about yourself when you are constantly being controlled by someone else.

7) Love is not easily provoked. I say I love my children and my husband but if I am constantly arguing with them or losing my temper, then I am not showing love. My actions are speaking much louder than my words. I have to constantly tell myself, “I am kind, patient and loving” especially when it comes to my three-year old.

8) Love thinks no evil.  It is so easy to say and so hard to do! it is so easy to blame others for our reactions to things. “You made me mad!” We do have control of our reactions and have control of our attitudes and our words. it is also so easy to find faults in others. Truly loving someone (and ourselves) is seeing the good in them.

9) Love is being honest. It is hard to tell your partner that you have made a mistake or that you don’t like something they have gone. But open, honest (but said in a kind way) communication goes a very long way. I know that I am trying to be more honest. When we pick a restaurant for a date, I have been standing up and saying I want to go certain places. My husband knows where I stand. I know we would all like our spouses to be like Edward Cullen, but guess what? They really can’t read our minds.

10. Love is not giving up when things get hard. There are times when things can be so hard in life that we think if we could just run away the things would go away. But they don’t. My husband has stuck by me even when I have told him that I was so downhearted that I didn’t to ultimately give up and take my own life. He truly loves me despite my weaknesses.

11. Love is having faith. You treat your partner as if they are already the most amazing person they could be and they will strive for it. In our relationship, we both believe in a Heavenly Father that loves us personally. If we are struggling, we know that we can pray and ask for his faith and he will help us endure our troubles.  He is there for me and he is there for my husband. He is also there for my children.

12. Love is having hope. I have forgotten this the last year as I have allowed despair to overwhelm me and take over my life. No longer! I have must embrace hope for the future of my relationship with my husband and also for the hope of the great futures ahead of my children.

13. Love is white and pure, like the dress of a glowing bride. 

14. Love is holding your newborn baby in your arms. 

15. Love is seeing your husband hold your newborn baby in his arms. 

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16. Love is helping a neighbor.

17. Love is playing a game with your child. 

18. Love is laughing with a friend.

19. Love can be a smile. 

20. Love is dancing like no one is watching. 

21. Love is anything that is full of light.

22. Love uplifts, does not bring down. 

23. Love is sweet, not harsh. 

24. Love is making love not just dominating someone into compliance.

25. Love is holding hands even when you are 70. 

26. Love is feeding your child who cannot feed themselves. 

27. Love is simple and does not need to be extravagant. 

28. Love is writing a few words of encouragement. 

29. Love is being a friend to the friendless.

30. Love is being valued and not treated like a possession.

31. Love is eating something your wife cooked even when it doesn’t taste very good.

32. Love is forgiving others even if it is to let the burden of holding grudges go.

33. Love is your husband putting the little one to bed because he knows you are exhausted.

34. Love is taking care of an aging parent. 

35. Love is choosing your down syndrome child over the woman who once was your wife.  (http://www.salon.com/2015/02/06/a_father_keeps_his_down_syndrome_baby_but_does_that_make_him_a_hero/)_

36. Love is reading one more story even if you are tired. 

37. “Love is patience, kindness and understanding even when you don’t want to show any of it.” from my friend Amie

38. “Love is mutual respect.” from my mother in law

39. “Love is sacrifice.” from my life long friend who has struggled in her marriage but has worked hard to keep it together.

40.  “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” -my sister Julie

41. I asked my three-year old what he thought love was and he pointed at me and smiled. Then he said, “When you play with me.” 

42. Love is having a three-year old who thinks you are the definition of love even when you know you aren’t.  (tears)

43. “Love to me is being Christlike in all things. My husband shows his love to me by letting me be myself and sometimes that means being a total mess and loving me because of what makes me, me! it also is having unconditional honesty, forgiveness and respect for each other.” my friend Staci (she is amazing, miss you girl.)

44. Love is more than saying, it is doing. 

45. Love is spending your time with beggars, lepers, sinners, and other people considered “beneath” others when you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. 

46. “I know you love me when you make tortellini”.–my eight year old.

47. Love is being the kind of parent who sets a good example for their children. 

48. Love is being tolerant, respectful, but also willing to stand up and kick butt if needed.

49.Love is snuggling with daddy.” three year old.

50. Love is still wanting to be around me even after you have watched me dance. 

There are so many shades of love. Love is not grey at all. Love is the light that shines through in grey times. Love is what would make this world a better place if we all showed it more to each other. Please choose love!

Heres to Living my Life!

Time to wake up!

A light bulb has finally turned on inside my head! It has taken almost a year of struggling, but I have to say. I am really ready to LIVE! I have been “in the depths of despair” for way too long! It is time to turn on the light and step out of the darkness. 


I talked about the seminar that I listened to in my last post and how I realized that I am the author of my own story! I am in charge of my own happiness, but I really do not have to do it alone! I must say that I the same renewed feelings yesterday and today. I am ready to WAKE UP! I am ready to start working for my own happiness and to “create my AMAZING life!”


I found this scripture today that I really love.

“O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.” (2 Nephi 1:14)


Over that last year I have listened to the wrong kind of voices. I have listened to the negative voices of the servants of Satan who are trying to drag me down. I was in a deep sleep, a place where I was not allowing the Holy Ghost to speak to me because the negative voices were screaming in my ear. But I WILL NOT listen to them ANYMORE!

I also thought of this classic scripture from seminary,


“Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” 2 Nephi 2:27


He is miserable. He is angry and he really wants me to fail. He hates me. I feel like I was numb. I had hardened my heart to the Spirit and had allowed myself to fall into the darkness.  But NO LONGER! 


I am going to “Awake, my (daughter) and put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound) 2 Nephi 1:23


On Saturday, my cute eight year old chose to follow Jesus Christ’s example and to be baptized. Now this kid has never really committed a “sin” in his life. He makes mistakes like we all do, but I know he understands the importance of opening the gate towards his own spiritual journey. He is old enough to recognize good and bad and right and wrong.  I know that he knows. He is a great example to me of love and having a fun attitude. 


It puts things into prospective for me to think how much my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me because when I saw my father and my eldest brother in the room at the baptism, I realized that they would do anything for me. I also know that my Heavenly Father and my older Brother Jesus Christ will also do anything for me. I can have the close relationship that I want with them. They are just waiting for me to wake up and open up the door. 


I will choose happiness! I will “shake off” Satan’s bands and I will LIVE!