Is the News Driving You Nuts?

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I’m going to be straight up honest here, I don’t like the insanity I’m hearing from “both sides” about current events. Most everyone seems to be trying to stir up the pot more. I don’t like the drama, I don’t like the hypocrisy, and I don’t like the demonization of — well, everyone.

So as I try to stay positive or silent in my social media posts, I struggle to find the sanity. One scripture I studied yesterday that seemed to bring me some peace, it was Galatians 5:22-23.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

This helped me several ways:

  1. It reminded me to breathe and check in with God to listen to the Spirit more.
  2. It reminded me that He has peace for all of us, fully understanding the world surrounding us.
  3. It reminded me to listen to those who have the fruits of the Spirit in their words and deeds.

It also made me think of Matthew 7:15-16.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

This scripture combined with the first, reminded me to put aside the hateful words of those who have lost their way, and again focus on the good fruits and good trees.

My hope for myself, my family, and you is that we are able to remember to turn down the ravings of a mad world, and tune in to the Spirit more. That we may receive “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance: against such there is no law.”

Blessings!
Sarah

Wickedness Never Was Happiness

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At 8 years old, I was told I was going to Hell.

It was Christmastime, and I was going to church with my Grandma (I had this opportunity once or twice a year). I don’t remember anything else that the pastor said, only that we were all sinners and were going to Hell. Unfortunately I didn’t remember the point of the sermon, which undoubtedly was about accepting Christ’s Atonement. And unfortunately still, my grandmother’s comforting words were not quite enough to put my fears to rest. Perhaps her own frustration (unrelated or not) added to my not being convinced of her comfort. To further the misunderstanding, when I got home, my dear mother explained to me that that attitude was why we don’t go to church.

So I turned my back on Christ for decades.

When I finally was ready to listen to the words and teachings of God again, it was because the message was full of Mercy and Grace. The passage that struck me deeply was thus:

Adam fell,

that Men might be,

and Men are,

that they might have Joy.

‘Original Sin’ and Sin in general are part of our process, that we might have Joy!

Sins are the tools that propel us to grow. If you have seen Mulan, there is a scene where the soldiers in training are told to climb to the top of a pole to fetch an arrow. Before they can try, their trainer gives them 2 heavy weights, one on each arm. The soldiers groan, the weights are a “curse,” a burden. The weights are “unfair,” the soldiers grumble and complain. Imagine with me the conversations that night:

  • Some of them would ask why they are being punished.
  • Some would say it was too hard, and not even try to overcome the “curse.”
  • Most would blame Mulan for putting them in this situation.

After the first few soldiers tried, they all gave up. For days or weeks no one even tried to solve to situation or overcome the burdens.

This was where I was for decades. I looked at the challenge to overcome my natural sin and turned away. I said, “No way!” It was too hard, and I wouldn’t even try. As I grew into adulthood I gave in more and more to my carnal nature. I made choices that hurt myself and others. I pushed my family away. I followed charming personalities off of metaphorical cliffs. I experimented with almost anything and anyone that was offered, and I had a wake-up call with the police.

I was in Hell.

I was miserable and empty. Lost in the dark.

And I wanted to be left alone in the darkness. I wanted to rot away, guilty, miserable, and trapped. The adversary led me willingly into a prison, because it was away from the difficult challenge placed before me at 8 years old.

Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

11 And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.

In the example of Mulan (for those who haven’t seen it, or need a refresher), the challenge was eventually overcome. Mulan realized that the weights she was given were tools to help her reach the top of the pole and retrieve the arrow. She was humbled and finally looked up. Her curse became a blessing, and she grew closer to Our Loving Father in Heaven.

When we allow ourselves to be humbled by our sins, we can finally turn to Christ (Repent) and go forward doing good.

Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

May you seek after Good and receive Blessings,
May you seek after God and receive His Blessings,
Sarah

Photo by Mar Newhall on Unsplash

Some Days Are Better Than Others…

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There’s a country and western song for that… “Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.”

Today I feel like I’m the bug. I used to struggle with depression daily, for years. So I have a familiar rut I crawl into when I get overwhelmed. And I did that this morning, after getting out of bed, getting dressed, and starting the day, — the despair hit. I tried looking at the budget again to see how we’re going to make it work. I was trying to find that silver lining, that bright spot in a sea of dark. But all I found was more reasons to lose hope. I feel like we’re drowning.

So I shut down.

I went back to my room and crawled back into bed. I didn’t feel like I had the strength to hold myself up anymore. My whole body felt like it was being dragged to the ground. So I lied down and hid under my husband’s pillow.

And then I heard my stepson get up. I hoped that he would feed my little ones breakfast so that I wouldn’t have to get up and move. He didn’t. He told my 2 year old to wait for mama. And then, in answer to the little ones request, he opened the back door so he could go play outside. So, here then I have a teenager eating breakfast alone, 2 kids playing a game upstairs in their room, and the youngest outside in his pj’s with the rains from the night still on the ground.

I HAD to get up. It was time to be mommy.

But I couldn’t. My arms and legs still wouldn’t move. I tried to tell myself he would be ok, after all, it’s July, it’s 75 degrees outside. I can lie here for a few more minutes. …

Then the argument in my head began. First the mommy voice, then the despair, then the mommy, then the despair, then the voice that was upset about the battle inside my own head. And for the first time in at least a decade, I had voices in my head fighting with each other.

I started sobbing. I couldn’t take it, I was overwhelmed.

I started talking to God. I told Him that I knew He was there. I asked Him for help, — and told Him I didn’t want it. I told Him I knew He could get me through it, — and I told Him I didn’t care. Basically, I brought Him into my internal battle.

Then He gave me the answer. “The very fact that you are here is the proof that you will get through this.” Oh!

In other words, you are being dragged down into the darkness because you are on the edge of the dawn. You are drowning because the dam is about to break. It’s going to work out, and you know it will, because you are being attacked by your demons!

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TADA!!

That was the epiphany the I needed.
I recovered my strength.
I got up.
I dressed my youngest and fed my kids breakfast.

And Now, I am Mommy again!

I don’t have any idea how we are going to fix our budget woes, but I know the answer is right around the corner. Why else would the adversary be using so much effort to hold me back? Something great is on it’s way. And I can have faith and know that All is Well.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read through all of this! If you have had similar experiences, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Gratefully,
Sarah

 

Drowning Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash
Sunrise Photo by Blake Richard Verdoorn on Unsplash

I Have Difficult Children

 

So I’m the mother of a blended family. Yup, I failed my first marriage, utterly, pretty ugly. Anyway, I had one son from my first husband, a very bright, energetic boy (some of you already know where this is going), who used every tool in his arsenal to test my newly-developed mothering skills. As payback for us getting divorced at 2, he learned to hold his stools, creating a years long dance with toilet training and constipation. Yay! …

Once we got through that (just have patience with yourself, it WILL end eventually… right? 😉 ), my amazing boy, who we’re going to nickname AAGH!, had to enter kindergarten. — Actually, we weren’t all the way through the potty training when kindergarten started, imagine calls from the principal that he needed to go home early because he smelled… Such fun! — Anyway, my dear Aagh retained his bright, energetic nature and landed himself in so many suspensions that I honestly thought he was going to be expelled… from KINDERGARTEN!

We’re going to let that one sit for a minute. Wow.

This, by the way, is when I seriously started considering homeschooling.

Yeah… so anyway, and anyway, and anyway (as my dear Aagh used to say at the long-gone adorable age of 3), we have somehow all managed to survive elementary school with the lovely new diagnoses of ODD, ADHD, and Major Depressive Disorder, all my son’s. And surprisingly, other than more wrinkles than I should have at my age, I can honestly say I’m a better mom and person in general than when we started this journey.

Granted I still lose my cool more often than I’d like. But in general I’m a better person. I have to say I couldn’t have survived without my Savior. I leaned on Him when exhausted, cried to Him when in deepest despair, and prayed constantly when lost for ideas. Nothing He has asked me to do has been easy , but it has all brought me more peace, joy, love, and a greater understanding and liking of myself.

Up next… Middle School!! AAAHHHH!