Thursday, April 23, 2015

If you don't have anything nice to say...... Stop Talking

Silly me....

I really don't know what I was thinking when a few days ago I chose to read the comments posted on one of my latest articles. To make things even worse, I decided to torture myself even more by finding my book on GoodReads and reading the latest reviews (something I haven't done in over a year).

To be fair, most of those comments are beautiful, uplifting comments that inspire me to continue writing and sharing those things that I hold most dear. I treasure those comments and I am grateful to those who take the time to share their goodness with me.

There are other comments, however, that are disrespectful, mean, and even hurtful. It is when I read those comments that I ask myself the question..,


Why, in a world where there is already so much anger and ugliness would people want to add their own hate to it.

Why do I feel that I need to be validated by people I don't even know, or even people that I do know for that matter?

Why is it that even if there are 101 compliments, it is the negative comment that I remember and that will haunt me for days and weeks and months on end?

Why are we more inclined to share with the world what is bothering us rather than thanking others for the contribution they are making?

Why do we choose to be critical and see the bad first while completely overlooking the good, both in life and the people around us?

Social media and the internet have made it easy for us to throw ugliness and negativity at one another. Without face to face interaction, it is easy to sit in front of a computer and allow all our emotions and negative energy to flow through our fingers forming words that then find their way all over the big wide web. Without seeing facial expressions or having the social cues of a real human to stop us from saying anything hurtful, we instead have a computer that is all too happy to be a conduit for our negative emotion. It has to go somewhere, right? So rather than hurt the people we love, we hurt people we don't even know and tell ourselves we are doing a service for others in helping them know what they should and shouldn't do based on our experience.

To be honest, I find the whole review concept flawed. Each of us are unique individuals with individual likes and needs, yet we set ourselves up as experts and act as if our opinion is the only opinion that should matter. We pretend to know what others should do, buy, read, visit, eat, but forget that every experience is different because every individual is different. I find it interesting that we take advice and make our choices based on the opinions of people we don't even know rather than trusting in our own God-given ability to choose correctly for ourselves. We cringe when people judge us, yet we're asking them to judge everything else. Is it any wonder we continue to judge each other?

When I read the negative reviews on my book, I always wonder, if the person who wrote it knew that I was going to read it, would they write it differently. Would they try to be kinder, a little more loving, and a little less judgmental of me? One reviewer said I was ignorant and naive and that they threw my book in the trash without even finishing it. My question to the reviewer is why would you review a book you never even finished?

But then I think about how this applies to life. 

How many times do I judge people, circumstances, or events without having all the facts, without really knowing who and what they are? I do it all the time and I suspect the majority of us do.

There's a reason Christ told us not to judge. It's because we'll never have all the knowledge we need to judge fairly. We will always be blinded by our own circumstances and our own limited knowledge. The people who love my book love it because it speaks to them, they can connect with it because somewhere in their life, their heart was open to the messages the book has to offer. Those who have a negative reaction to the book may suffer from their own difficult past, from an inability to accept their own trials or have a bias when it comes to mental illness based on their own personal beliefs and life experiences.

So it is with everything we do in life. The people we meet and the circumstances we encounter will all have both positive and negative aspects to them. It is up to us to choose what we want to see, It's my hope that we can see the good and realize that the bad we see comes from our own inability to understand, our own lack of knowledge and our own weaknesses. The flaws we see in others stem from our own weaknesses, not the other way around.

When we let go of our anger, our hate and our negativity, and embrace the love of God, we can see all things from His perspective and learn to love as He loved and that includes loving ourselves. We will no longer need the validity of others because we will know the love of the only one who truly matters. And more importantly, the next time we leave a review, we will outline the good qualities rather than the bad.

What you choose to look for is what you are going to see. 

So this is my call to action....

Stop looking at life with a critical eye and choose to see the good, and when others like to bring out your weaknesses and flaunt them around on stage, learn to click delete.

From this experience, I have learned that life is too short to spend my precious time taking in the negativity of others, especially people I don't even know. It doesn't matter what someone in Kentucky thinks about me, what should matter most is what I think about myself. I am an amazing, precious, wonderful child of God. He has a plan for me, just like He has a plan for you. It is up to each of us to figure out what that plan is and live it to its fullest.

Share your Light...

Glimpse the Good... 

And for goodness sake...

If you don't have something nice to say... Stop Talking! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What Life isn't....

Ever since I was young, I've loved watching movies. I loved the ability to slip into someone else's world and live life vicariously through them.

I Laughed...

I Cried...

I Gasped...

I Awed..

I Sighed....

At times I even Screamed.

I'm certain I experienced every emotion  possible through the television. As I watched, I imagined all the things I was going to do and be when I grew up. I had my life perfectly planned out. My plan was almost as perfect as the movies I watched, right down to the perfect script with a perfect ending, all neatly tied up in a bow and delivered flawlessly to anyone viewing my personal movie in real time.

Fast forward 20 years later....

A husband, five children, and one crazy life, a life nothing like that perfect movie I had pictured in my head as a child.

Life is messy. It is unscripted and uncut. There are no retakes and there is no stopping. It is real and raw and in your face tough sometimes. Everything I experience is heightened. The pain is fresher, the sorrow is deeper, the trials are harder, and the loss is sometimes unbearable. Sometimes I can't see the Happily Ever After and I fail to recognize the hero woven into the story line.

Life is nothing at all like the movies, where you go for 2 hours and come out happy, fulfilled and full of fresh one-line witticisms that you can use at your next social gathering. Life happens on the fly and you have to be ready for it. There is no guarantee when the end will come, or what genre you're about to experience, whether it's romance, comedy, adventure, drama, or horror. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep at night and other times, I laugh myself silly.

I Laugh...

I Cry...

I Gasp...

I Awe...

I Sigh...

At times I even Scream...

The beauty about it all is that because life is so different from the movies, every emotion is felt more deeply, more sincerely, more profoundly and more completely. Everything is real and fresh and raw and deep and full of vibrant color. It is nothing like the movies because it is so much better.

I may not have the perfectly scripted life, and I am still not certain of the perfectly orchestrated ending, but God is. All I have to do is embrace the beauty in the life God has given me and be grateful it is nothing like the movies.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Time: The Value of a Moment

It has been nearly six months since I have written on this blog and a lot of it has to do with time. Because I have been working full-time outside of the home, I felt that my time was better spent with my family when it wasn't spent at work.

Our Allotment of Time

The funny thing about time is, it passes whether we want it to or not, but we always get to choose what we spend it on. We can choose to spend our allowance of time on things that we believe will bring us success and, as a result, we can gain all of the money and prestige that comes with the spending of time in that way. We can accumulate things like titles, possessions, power and favors and we can use our time to build up a kingdom of wealth and glory here on Earth. That's not always a bad thing, but sometimes it is, if we let the time we spend on those things take time from things that are of greater importance.

We can choose to spend our allowance of time in other areas, like serving those around us, loving when anger would be easier, giving of ourselves and growing into the mother or father our children would be proud of. We can spend our time on our church calling and our community, giving goodness and sharing our time and talents for the benefit of others.

In my job, I had a choice. The choice was a simple one, to dedicate myself to a growing company, giving more time than I bargained for in order to move ahead, or I could take a stand and defend my time with my family. Time is important to me, and the time that I value and treasure above all others is the time I have with my family.

Because of my stand, I was fired. I was told things weren't going to work out because the company was not my priority. And do you know what? They were right. The company was not my priority. First, foremost and always I am a mother and my priority is and always will be my family and the time I have to make a difference in their lives.

Satan's Attack on Our Time

I think that the family is under attack by the Adversary, not just in trying to break up the family, but in trying to keep us away from one another. If he can't break us up, then he does all he can to keep us apart because he knows that together, we are strong. He pulls us in so many directions, doing so many different things, keeping us apart so we can never stand together, Satan does this so he can attack us individually because he knows when we stand together, we are strong and he would never have a chance to defeat us. This is why daily family prayer, daily scripture study, and weekly Family Home Evening are so valuable and important. These are times that a family can take a stand against Satan and they can do it together.

In his attacks, Satan pulls parents out of the home and entices them to use their allotment of time to pursue job advancements and bonuses, overtime and pay increases. These types of achievements require more time away and a greater commitment to the company, and by default, there is less of a commitment to the family. He makes us believe that we never have enough, that these achievements are necessary so we can have the life we've always wanted, where we can give our children everything they've ever wanted. When in reality, if you were to ask our children, all they really want is our time.

Children are taken out of the home to attend school where most of their childhood time is spent in someone else's care. They are put into a building with hundreds of other children, who have also been taken from their homes. These young people are all trying to figure life out and are expected to do it on their own, among their peers while their parents wait for their return with little control over what their children see, hear, learn or experience. The Adversary creeps in and attacks them one by one through bullying, drugs, self-image, pornography, foul language, immorality, and many more frightening attacks our children face on a daily basis that they don't even tell us about and that we can't even imagine.

If that isn't enough, the Adversary makes us believe that extra-curricular activities are essential to a growing child, so we spend more of our valuable time in activities of every kind from dance to sports to musical talents, believing all the while that this is what is best for our children. By the time we have completed everything we have allotted for our time, there is little time left for the family.

Busier Than God Ever Intended

Don't get me wrong, a job is good, education is good, talents and hobbies are good, but if our lives are filled with so much of these things that there is not time to sit down at night and have a family dinner, if there is not time to read your scriptures and say your prayers as a family, then you are busier than your Heavenly Father ever intended you to be and you have fallen into the Adversary's trap of spending your time on things that don't really matter. After all is said and done, the only thing you can take with you from this life is your family. They should be your focus, they should be your goal and they should be your greatest achievement.

God's View of Time

To God, this life we are living is only but a moment to Him. His passing of time is much different than ours. If we knew that this life was just one small moment, if we knew it would be over in an instant, what would be most important? If you only had one moment to live, what would you spend your time one? In your final interview with Heavenly Father, He will not ask you what kind of job you had, what kind of grades you or your children received in school, how many family vacations you took, or how many extra-curricular activities you participated in. What He will ask you is what did you do with the time allotted and at the very top of that list, He will ask you what kind of Father or Mother you were. That is what He values most, and if the God of Heaven and Earth values His Fatherhood over all other names, shouldn't we value our parenthood and our children as much as He?

So, time will pass and we have no control over that, but we do have control over what we will do with it when it does. My hope is that, now and forever, we choose to spend our time on the things that matter most because in the end, that is what will bring us and our family the most lasting happiness.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

God Works in Mysterious Ways

It is strange to me that in life, we are constantly thinking we have all the answers, that we know what's best, and that, somehow, it's the universe that has conspired against us. I have learned over the past year that we know very little when it comes to what we really need or want, and that in reality, what we really need is to stop and wait on the Lord.

For the past fourteen years, I have watched my husband, Sean, as he has left the house, so jealous that he gets to have a career where he is appreciated and paid for his opinions and ideas. Don't get me wrong, I love my children and I love being a mom, but I have always been the ambitious kind of person. As a stay-at-home mom, rather than a corporate ladder, there's the painting ladder and rather than business suits, there's yoga pants and children in birthday suits. I admit that more than once, I wished that I was the one going to work and he was the one staying home.

Well, God works in mysterious ways, because two months ago, that is exactly what happened. Sean had been struggling to find a good job for nearly a year when a good friend told us of a position in a company he knew that was looking for a full-time woman writer. We talked it through, prayed fervently, and decided to apply and if God wanted me to work, he would give us the job. The day before my interview, Sean received an offer for an engineering position an hour and a half away from our home with good pay but horrible benefits. The next day, I had my interview and was offered the job and with benefits included, it came out better than the engineering position.

Again we prayed and knew it was an answer from God. Our sons are now in Jr. High and I have been struggling to teach them at the level required in both Math and Science. Sean has been a high school science and math teacher for eight years and has the exact knowledge our children need for their growth and development. He is needed at home and I am needed to work. So, our roles are now reversed. It has been an interesting and humbling experience to say the least.

Here is what I have learned:

-Sean is a remarkable husband. I come home tired and worn out and have little energy or desire to want to do anything. When Sean came home from work all those years, he helped with dinner, helped with baths, helped with clean-up and helped with laundry. I rarely saw him sit down. I don't know how he did it. I have more respect for him now than I ever have. Because I am now in his shoes.

-Sean is an amazing father. When I come home, not only has he got the kids to clean the house, but he has taught them, taken them to the library, exercised with them, and read to them. He also has dinner ready. He gets more done in a day than I ever did. He is teaching our children the value of hard work, determination, and the importance of a father doing all things in the upkeep of a home.

-Being in the corporate world is not all it's cracked up to be. I miss being a mother. Now that I've tasted what I thought I wanted, I no longer want it. Isn't that how it always is. We think the grass is greener on the other side until we get to the other side and realize the grass is painted. It's not even grass at all and it doesn't feed us or fill our soul. Don't get me wrong, I like my job but I hate being away from my family. I feel like I'm missing out on precious moments of their life that I will never get back again. Time is short, make the very best of the time that you have.

-God is loving. God has provided us with a way to take care of our family in a way they need it and that doesn't always mean the traditional way of doing things. Our children needed what Sean has to give them and our family needed the ability to provide for our needs so God made it possible for both things to happen. I never thought in a million years that my English degree would provide a salary for us comparable to an engineering salary. That was God's hand, all the way.

-No matter what we do, it is important that we see the good in every situation so that we can be grateful for it. Although working may not be ideal for me, it is ideal for our situation at this moment, and it is making it possible for our children to learn at a level they haven't been able to before. It has also given Sean time to write. He has written nearly two books in the two months I have been working. Who knows where those will take us. All he needed was time and God, in His love and goodness, has given that to us.

I know that God's ways are not our ways and that if we just trust in Him, He will direct our path. If we choose to see the good, we will find it and we will truly feel God's love manifest itself in our life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Our Imperfect View of Perfection

The picture of perfection.....

Smack-dab center in the middle of my living room is a four-year-old picture of my children. The picture is obviously old and outdated, but I keep the picture on the wall to remind me to let go of my need to be perfect. I remember the day of the photo shoot very well. My small children were tired because the only appointment the studio had was in the middle of the day, and right in the middle of my youngest daughter's nap time. I booked the time anyway because I wanted the pictures taken and, because of my "getter done" personality, I wanted them taken now. 

The photographer took individual and family photos and saved the group photo of the children for the very last. When the time came for the last photo, the children's patience were spent and so were mine. No matter what we did, we could not get everyone to cooperate and picture after picture was taken with no perfect photo as a result. Finally, with my children crying, me up in arms and my husband looking at me in desperation, I stopped myself. I realized what I was doing to my family. I was demanding perfection that my children did not have within themselves at the time to give me. They were tired, hungry, and miserable. The photographer kept trying to work with my crying miserable children to get them to smile and I stopped her. I told her that I am sure we would find the perfect picture in the photos that had already been taken.

As we looked through the pictures of the children, there was no picture of them sitting prim and proper in a perfect portrait like I wanted, but I did find the perfect picture that perfectly portrayed my children. In it, my youngest daughter was laughing hysterically while looking sideways, while my oldest son looked down at her with a big smile of love and admiration. My second oldest son was looking forward with the cheesiest smile on his face, just like he always does, while my oldest daughter was looking forward biting her lip nervously, which is a habit she has because she too worries when things are not going perfectly. My middle daughter was smiling her most beautiful smile staring off to the side, living in her own little world of laughter, where she likes to live the most. The picture captured each one of their personalities perfectly. Although people who come to my house and see the picture do not see picture perfect children, it is a picture of perfect children to me.

We are perfect in our imperfections....

According to the Mirriam online dictionary, perfection means: "having all the required or desired elements, qualities or characteristics, as good as it is possible to be."

I think about that definition and have finally come to the realization that I will never fit that definition in this life. My body alone has a whole slew of imperfections and we won't even talk about my bad habits, improper thoughts, poor choices or countless mistakes. There is no way I will ever be as good as it is possible to be and it is time I learn to be ok with that and stop searching for and expecting perfection in myself and everyone around me. I think we all need to recognize that trying to attain that definition is impossible in this life and only attainable through the Atonement and with the help of the Savior.

Linda Reeves said, "We may sometimes feel that we need to be part of a "perfect LDS family" in order to be accepted by the Lord. We often feel "less-than" or like misfits in the kingdom if we feel we do not fit that picture. Dear sisters, when all is said and done, what will matter to our Father in Heaven will be how well we have kept our covenants and how much we have tried to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

God expects us to be imperfect. As a matter of fact, He knew that's the way it would be which is why He sent the Savior in the first place. So why do we beat ourselves up every time we make a mistake, every time we are less than perfect in our calling, or any time we show that we are anything less than the perfect Mormon family. 

The promises we make.....

If the thing that matters most to our Heavenly Father is how well we have kept our covenants and how much we have tried to follow the Savior, then from here on out. let's make those things our focus. Just for fun, let's talk about the things we do and do not promise when we covenant with the Lord.

We do not promise....

  • To keep our house spotless, floors mopped, laundry folded, dishes done, toilet cleaned, sinks shiny, and beds made all the days of our lives.
  • To keep our children entertained, our spouse happy, ourselves happy, our neighbors happy, our extended family cared for every minute of every day.
  •  To have our children to school on time, our grocery shopping done in under an hour, our family's dinner on the table at six sharp, and our children in bed at eight come rain or shine.
  • To have cookies in our cookie jar, treats for the sisters we visit, handouts for our lesson, glitter for our child's birthday party invitations (or a birthday party at all for that matter), or homemade bread for all our neighbors.
  • To wear make-up every day, to volunteer for every service project, to know how to scrapbook, to have perfect children, to be the perfect mother.
Heavenly Father will never, ever require us to do these things. These list of things are things we have all required of ourselves. I know there are many, many more that I could add to this list, but I am sure you all get the point I am trying to make with it.

We do promise....

  • To take upon ourselves the name of the Savior, to become more like Him. Becoming more like the Savior does not require a clean house, it requires a pure heart.
  • To always remember the Savior. Sometimes, remembering the Savior means getting rid of all the things in your life that are making you busy so that you can sit at the Savior's feet and learn from Him. Remember Mary and Martha?
  •  To love one another. Sometimes kindness is thrown out the window when we are in a hurry to get things done and when we always feel rushed. Kindness should always take priority over a schedule to be kept.
  • To serve one another. Service does not require things at all. The only thing required is your time and your heart. The greatest gift you can leave with someone you serve is the gift of the Spirit.
  • To be like the Savior and follow Him. The Savior was not concerned with worldly things. He did not care what other people thought of Him. He was here to do the work of His Father. To many, He was anything but the perfect King they were expecting. But to His Father in Heaven who knew Him and His heart, He was a Beloved Son and the perfect Savior and Redeemer of the world.

If anyone is interested in this amazing portrait of the Savior, you can find the artist, Brent Borup at

So it is with us. Our Heavenly Father knows us individually and personally. He knows our hearts and our destiny. He knows who we are and who we can be and to Him we are remarkable. He loves us. He loves us because we are perfectly who we are because we are perfectly His.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Trouble With Darkness and the Joy of Light

We are in the middle of one of the greatest trials I think we have ever faced as a married couple. Remember when I said that we felt inspired to be full time writers? Well, here it is, we were inspired.... and it hasn't been working out for us. We have been trying and trying yet nothing seems to be working out. So, two months ago, Sean decided it was time for him to look for a "real" job, and guess what? That's not working out either. Nearly 200 applications later, he still hasn't found a job that will provide for our needs. So, for two months we have lived with no income.

I have to say that at first, I was angry. I was angry at Heavenly Father because we overwhelmingly felt the Spirit when we made the decision to leave Paradigm at the end of his teaching contract. We have faithfully paid our tithing, served in our callings, held family home evening, had family scripture study and family prayer. We have done everything right, yet things have never gone so wrong. I could not understand it, and I began to doubt whether or not it was the Spirit that we felt. I then began to doubt my ability to receive further revelation. I began to question the validity of promises given in the scriptures and then, the validity of God himself. I found myself in a very dark place. I am sure everyone reading this has had some moment in their life when they have experienced similar feelings. We all go through it. It's how we grow our faith, and it's how we are tested. But then I think about everything that happened to the Savior and Joseph Smith and every other prophet who did everything right and they still suffered unspeakable sorrow much greater than my own.  And they rarely complained rarely questioned and continued spreading their light to others. It made me think about our trials and whether we live them in darkness or light. I am ashamed to say, that more often than I would like to admit, I have been choosing to live out this trial in darkness.

The trouble with living out storms in darkness, though, is that when water and darkness get together, the only thing that comes from it is black mold, mildew, decaying and rotting wood, and things that lead to illness and death. Darkness is a very bad place to be in the time of a storm. The only companion you have is despair. Your heart is closed to the light and loneliness becomes very real, and very dangerous. For example, when I reached the very lowest I have ever been, I felt that if there were a train near-by, I would feel better if I just sat on the tracks and waited for a train to come. That is how dangerous living out a storm in darkness can be. I would never do it of course, but I am just describing how I am sure many of us feel when we choose to live our storms in darkness. It will destroy a person's faith which is why Satan would prefer it if this is where we chose to dwell.

Living out a storm in light, however, is a completely different experience. Water and sunshine bring life, not only do they bring life, but they sustain life. They beautify the earth and supply both food and water for man. Sunshine and rain bring rainbows and flowers, allowing us to find joy in our suffering. Living out a storm in the light allows us to feel the sun on our face, giving us the hope of a brighter tomorrow. By living out a storm in the light, we can dance in the rain because we can feel the joy that comes from living in the light. We can gain energy from the life-giving Son and we can find peace because even though we may not be able to see through the storm with our eyes, we are open and can still feel with our heart. Living out a storm in light will grow your faith, just like it grows a seed, until your faith becomes a perfect knowledge. It will be delightful.

So, today, and from now on, I have decided to live out my storms in the light. I feel so full of the light of Christ, that I even wrote a poem about it this morning. And here is what I am asking of you. I am going to share this poem, and if you enjoy it, and want to read more of my poetry, and would be willing to buy an e-book of it, for say, $2.99, let me know in the comments. Covenant has already said they won't publish books of poetry, but that doesn't mean that I can't. Maybe things aren't working out because I haven't been sharing the right thing. :)

Light That We May See

From the beginning both light and dark were important to God’s plan.
For in them God sends lessons to teach the hearts of man.

Darkness exists and it is real. But if we choose to make it our own
The road ahead we cannot see and we fail to make it home.

God saw goodness in the light. God’s light is real and true.
And if we choose it as our guide, we’ll safely make it through.

We cannot dwell in the path of darkness, for our only companion’s despair.
While choosing to walk in the pathway of light: love, peace, hope and our Savior are there.

Though the earth is filled with darkness, God left light for those who seek.
A hidden trail of mercy, for the humble and the meek.

When it rains, He gives us rainbows that we need not fret or mourn.
That we may focus on the blessings that have come due to the storm.

In the darkest night, he shines stars above that we may look up and look to him.
In prayer we’ll find sweet solace when our light begins to dim.

In a darkened room, we light a candle, giving us light that we may see.
Much like the whisperings of God’s Spirit, a light we carry internally.

On a stormy sea, we find a lighthouse, a symbol of strength and safety to all.
Inspiring us to keep pressing onward, when the storm threatens to make us fall.

For storms will come in both darkness and light, but the outcome will not be the same.
Water and darkness bring mold and decay, while each life needs both sunshine and rain.

And every storm that we walk in the sunlight will give us something we needed to know.
For our faith, just like a seed that is planted, must have the storms to grow.

So choose to walk out of the darkness and into God’s glorious light.
That you may shine like a lighthouse for the travelers who are lost in the night.

--Tiffany Fletcher

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The time has come to ask yourself.... What do I believe?

Before this summer, if someone were to ask me if I have ever not believed in God, my answer would have been no, not even for an instant. If someone were to tell me that it is possible to be tried so much that even the most faithful can be left questioning, my answer would have been, "not me." And yet, without going into any specifics, I can say, that this past couple of months, I reached that point. I felt the same way Joseph Smith must have felt when he cried out, "Oh God, where art thou?" while he suffered in the Liberty Jail. I suppose even the Savior had His moment when He said, "Father, if it be thy will, remove this cup from me."

What I have learned from my experience is that none of us are free from suffering, and none of us are exempt from being tried to our very breaking point and beyond. What I also learned is that if you want to grow your faith, you first much reach the end of it in order to move forward. Sure, it may take faith the size of a grain of mustard to move a mountain, but sometimes, it takes the faith of a mountain to take one step into the unknown, to face an impossible and seemingly hopeless task you have been asked to face. I have also learned that we do not face these things alone. We can either choose hate and anger and allow Satan to walk the path with us, or we can choose love and forgiveness and allow the Savior to stand by our side. It is up to us to choose for ourselves.

A good portion of this trial, I have been going back and forth from one companion to the other. One minute I chose to walk with the Adversary, the next I chose the Savior. I found that my days were easier and my heart was less troubled when I chose the Savior as my companion. When my days began with prayer and scripture study, family prayer, and family scripture study, I was more able to keep the Savior as my companion and His spirit lifted me to a place of peace and hope in better things to come. That is the amazing thing about the Savior, His companionship brings hope, while Satan's companionship can only offer despair. Rather than my heart feeling as if it were broken, I felt it healing and mending and becoming whole once again. It is really a remarkable experience to feel the healing balm of the Savior as He heals your broken heart.

During this trial, I also gained a valuable insight that I would like to share before I end my post. When you feel as if you are surrounded by darkness, and you feel as if God is silent, think back on a  time in your life when you really felt God's Spirit surround you. Close your eyes and go to that place mentally. As you do this, His spirit will bring to your remembrance the overwhelming feelings of love and peace that God shared with you in that moment in time. Keep that moment close to your heart, make it a holy place for you to stand when you feel you have no where else to go. Doing this will remind you that God is with you. He was with you then and He is with you now. Stand in holy places and keep them close to your heart so when the enemy conspires against you and seeks to tear away every other holy place around you, he will never take the place inside your heart. In this way, you will always be able to stand with the Lord. Go to that place often and remember just how much God loves you. Sometimes, when you feel forsaken, remembering that moment in time will be one of the only ways to bring your focus back where it belongs.

What do I believe? I KNOW God lives. I KNOW God loves us. I KNOW Christ is our Savior and He will help us home. Follow Him, Believe in Him, and let Him heal you. When you get to the edge of your faith, keep walking. :)