Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Sun is Still Shining!

The sun is still shining even when it's overcast and grey. I love the majesty and beauty of the sun's rays peeking through the clouds. It's like hope that peeks through the storms of depression. I've been borrowing my father-in-law's UV lamp that I affectionately call the happy lamp. It's been overcast, grey & dismal weather lately and I was willing to settle for some needed artificial sunshine!

A brief glimpse of the sun this afternoon!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mighty Storms Beat Upon Us

Last night I couldn't sleep. The winds were around 80 mph and it was loud! I heard this crash and looked out the window to see this:

The remnants of the roof
of our neighbor's goat shed.

I couldn't believe it. That roof was heavy and recently built. The wood still looks new. I have done a close inspection but I know that it bent my metal trellis. 

Figuratively there are mighty storms in our lives and we need to strengthen our faith BEFORE the storm hits so that we will be able to be strong and withstand whatever is thrown in our path. A scripture in Helaman 5:12, from a book that was translated by our late prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. (The Book of Mormon), describes this perfectly,

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon thearock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mood Behaviors Research by the Food Hospital

I came across two videos today that have to do with my blog post on November 6, 2013 about food additives and and the effect on mood behaviors. Kind of hits me that as parents we often punish and give consequences for our kids poor behavior but what if it's a result of what we feed our kids??

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gratitude Shown to Veteran Jim Wolf

Here is a story about hope, gratitude, transformation, respect, and love. One man, Rob Bliss, decided to give back to homeless veterans and create a video because he "...wanted to show how a physical transformation for some people doesn’t cover up who they are, but reveals who they could be." One person was able to show veteran Jim Wolf his potential and at the same time say thanks for his sacrifice for our country.  

that “an outward transformation is important, but an inward one is more important,” Marge Parlmerlee said, the lady in charge of the nonprofit Degage which helps veterans. "She said she hopes it also helps change stereotypes to give people a perspective that 'everyone is worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.'”

"We all know that war wounds are not all external,” Parlmerlee said. (Aren't the  mental health wounds we have internal as well?)

"If I can only get people to look at any homeless person on the street and see the mirror image of them — the image of someone who would look socially acceptable — realize that potential, that ‘what if,’ and root for their success,' Bliss said. You can read the full article that these quotes come from by clicking here 

When I shop downtown I see a lot of homeless people. I feel a Christlike love for them and a strong desire to help so I drop off donations at the homeless shelter. For the past two years after Christmas my family has dropped off sack lunches (with uplifting messages written on the paper sacks) at the homeless shelter. Last year my nieces and nephew got involved and it was a lot of fun to see them get excited about it.

The next time you see someone who may look a little scruffy, 
just remember there is 

             a child of God

                                                              underneath all of that.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Only Son

I read an article from the Burlington post's blog that I wanted to share. It talks about a feature film about a veteran who comes home from war and has to face the onset of schizophrenia. You can read that article here

I watched the short film that was produced and I have to say I was disappointed and it kind of made me mad. Most feature films are based on those who have schizophrenia. There is a stigma that exists about mental illness and I worry about the public's perception of mental illness after watching this. 

What one person experiences with one specific illness does not mean another person will a completely different illness will experience those same symptoms. Even with the common symptoms associated with each disease doesn't mean a person experiences ALL of them. The one symptom of a manic phase where a person spends money with reckless abandon just makes me laugh because I can be such a penny pincher that I never even came close to that, even when I was first being diagnosed and experiencing mania. 

Most people who think of those who are diagnosed (with any mental illness) and are in their manic state (or what in other ways can be described as their most severe bout with their specific mental illness) hear voices, are violent, hallucinate, cut out articles from newspapers thinking there are codes and secret messages contained inside, etc. Well, I don't hear voices. My illness is very different. I have been diagnosed with bipolar. I experience anxiety and depression. Medication has helped to stabilize the boat and keeps me from having manic episodes and the severe depression. But I still have anxiety and depression. So that is why I look for other ways to help alleviate those symptoms. That is why I study about chemicals contained in processed foods and in products that are easily absorbed into our skin and into the bloodstream. That is why I like to make things from scratch. I cannot control the fact that I have this disease but you better believe I am going to watch what I put into my body. 

Did you know that red #40 causes irritability? (When asked, my little niece will tell you that it makes her "crazy!" It's kind of cute when I hear her say that). According to this website, it can also cause, 

"severe temper tantrums, fidgeting, aggression, inability to focus, and nervousness. The dye has also been linked to physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches."

According to this website as a result of what the scientists have found and what the British Food Standards Agency have decided said that, "UK ministers have agreed that the six colorings will be phased out by 2009." So why is the US behind? Why aren't we changing food standards??? I think it will take consumers creating enough fuss and refusing to purchase products containing harmful dyes and additives. 

Those of us with mental illnesses struggle enough as it is, we do NOT need more "stuff" affecting our behavior and how we feel!


Anytime I see a misconception on television about mental illness it makes me want to fight even harder to educate the public better. I've received training from NAMI and will continue to receive additional trainings from different resources so I can be a better mental health advocate. I will also continue to advocate medicine compliance, becoming a master of your own brain (putting good thoughts in and getting rid of negative emotions and thoughts), natural medicine like essential oils and homeopathics, and healthy lifestyle changes (not diets, because diets don't work!).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Homemade Deodorant with doTERRA Essential Oils

doTERRA has a recipe for a deodorant just using essential oils that you mix and put in a skinny glass roll-on tube that you can purchase online. I used a recipe from a different company that included ingredients like baking soda and beeswax & I also added some of my oils from doTERRA. I chose to use PurifyOnguard, & Bergamont. I love the smell! And the deodorant works great. You can find the recipe I used here

Bacteria is what causes your armpits to smell and the doTERRA essential oils called Purify & Onguard kill the odor causing bacteria. I read that the beeswax acts as an antiperspirant.

When making this recipe, I recommend melting the beeswax first then adding and melting the coconut oil before you add the remaining ingredients. The beeswax took a long time to melt on low heat, but would melt faster if that was the only thing in your pot. 

Have fun making this recipe! I found the beeswax pastilles melt faster, are easier to measure and it is cheaper to buy them through Amazon. 

I was surprised how much it made.
I saved two of my old empty
deodorant/antiperspirant bottles
and still had a 1/2 cup left over.
This deodorant WORKS GREAT and I LOVE it!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Meet Duck Dynasty's Uncle Si

So I've never watched the Duck Dynasty Show but Uncle Si, in an interview with Fox 411, was very open about his son's mental health struggles and the strain it caused on his marriage. I love it when people are open about mental illness. That takes us one step closer to eliminating the stigma associated with it. The more open and honest people are the more educated the general public becomes.

"FOX411: You were also very honest about your son's mental health issues.
Si: Yeah he had some serious problems. The doctors finally figured out the medicine he needed and then everything was fine. Sometimes it's necessary to medicate.

FOX411: It put a lot of stress on your marriage.
Si: Oh yeah but if you think you're going to go through this life without running into some problems then you need to think again. It's not going to happen."

You can read the full interview here

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We All Need Rescuing

We all need rescuing in some form or another. 

Today I was in my kid's school office and I couldn't but overhear this very distraught woman talk about some of the struggles her and her family are going through. She was very emotional and upset. I asked for her name and hope to get the ball rolling to put something together to help out this family. This is what life is all about, finding opportunities to help others and I know Heavenly Father places people in our path who need our help. I'm just glad that I recognized a need and was prompted with an idea on how to help her and get the school involved and that I was NOT too wrapped up in myself and my own problems or things to do. Sometimes it's easy for me to get caught up in my own trials and hurt. But today was different. I hope to be able to help her.

I read an incredible story posted on Facebook. There is also a little video (no sound) that you can watch hereWow. It made me a little emotional to read. Some people passed right by the woman who was about to jump, but this bus driver stopped immediately, look where he's parked in relation to the woman. He was paying attention to what was in front of him. Let's open our eyes and look for opportunities to help rescue others, everyone needs a pick me up and to know that someone cares. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Guiding Compass

"The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months. If we listen to and follow the promptings of the Spirit, they will serve as a Liahona, guiding us through the unknown, challenging valleys and mountains that are ahead."—Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "General Conference—No Ordinary Blessing"

Go here for that guidance through the valleys and mountains in your life.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Comfort and Understanding for those with Mental Illness

I love how bold Elder Jeffery R. Holland was on Saturday as he spoke about mental illness. He speaks with understanding and empathy. He gives hope and comfort. He gives counsel, direction and help. I cried throughout this whole address. Those tears were tears of healing. I encourage you to watch.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Government CANNOT Shut Down Patriotism. I love our Veterans!!

I'm grateful for the congressmen and women who stood up and made possible for this event to happen. It was a prescheduled event and these veterans won't be able to wait for another opportunity. 

Don't cave, congress. 
Stand up and CLOSELY follow the constitution. 

You represent the will of the majority and you know what that will is. Listen to us and do the right thing. We don't like to be forced to buy or do anything that is against the constitution. 

Every day REALLY is a bonus. I'm going to use my time, my day today feeding my relationship with my husband by completing projects that he has wanted done. I sure love that guy. Thanks, Veterans, for making my TODAY possible. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Lessen the Amount of Chemicals you Expose Your Body to By...

"Making your Own Body Wash"

The recipe I followed was super fast, easy and affordable; cheaper than buying it from the store. I have a minor in chemistry and I am floored by some of the chemicals that are in products we use on a daily basis, those found in processed foods and also in health care products. Chemicals are easily absorbed into the skin and so that is why I decided to make my own body wash. I used the Bergamont Essential Oil to scent the body wash, it is an oil known for its calming properties and is one my youngest's favorite oils.

This is the link to the recipe on dōTERRA's blog. Items you purchase at a health food store are generally cheaper to buy through which is a health food and product coop. I would buy unscented Castile soap and next time I am going to double the amount of drops of essential oil I add to the recipe.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What do You Spend your Time On?

I was asked to read this quote during Sunday School or Relief Society, I can't remember which, but I loved it so much that I kept the little piece of paper it was typed up on and I wanted to share.


                                      must be sought 


or the crown cannot be won. Those principles must be incorporated with[in] ourselves, woven into our constitutions, becoming a part of us, making us a centre, a fountain of truth, of equity, justice, and mercy, of all that is good and great, that from us may proceed the light, the life, the power, and the law to direct, to govern and assist to save a wandering world..."

I'll look to see who is this quote is from since I can't remember that either! But the message is so great. If you want to be a better person, a better parent, friend, or family member then AMBITIOUSLY seek after all things that are pure, virtuous, full of fidelity and godliness. Weave them into your very CHARACTER. You become the person you are as an accumulation of the what you seek, what you spend your time on.

Q:Where do you spend your time?
What choices do you make to be a person of virtue and fidelity?
What are some examples of things you spend your life, your time, with...things that are pure?
What traits are you weaving into your character to become more like God? 
***Leave comments below!***

HE is perfectly loving, perfectly understanding, perfectly patient and more. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can become more like my Father in Heaven. What a great promise!!!

It is impossible for me to achieve immortality AND eternal life if I procrastinate and waste my life spent on things that have no worth, things that detract and repel the Holy Ghost. The Crown cannot be won under those circumstances.

But if I ambitiously Seek after those four things, weaving them into my character until they become a part of me then I succeed in being worthy of God's greatest gift, eternal life, to be able to live in HIS presence, to be worthy to be there and stand before HIM because I have repented and used the Atonement daily in my life. Immortality is given to everyone who has lived on this earth through Christ overcoming death. But I also want to go home, my real home, with my perfect Father in Heaven. I yearn to hear HIM say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into my glory."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Artichoke Tomato Alfredo

I made this recipe last night and my whole family and myself loved it! I do not like chunky tomatoes so I was really surprised when I didn't mind the fact that this recipe has them in it. I will be making this recipe again. I used my food processor to chop everything up and to whip up the sauce (instead of using my blender). I soaked my cashews so my processor would be able to break down the cashews all the way. It really cut down the prep time for dinner!

Here's the link to the recipe from Simple Healthy Tasty's website.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Never Found the Needle Nose Pliers but this was much Better!

I needed to unclog the vacuum the other day so my husband said to look in his desk drawer for some needle nose pliers. I didn't find the pliers but I came across a quote from a book that my husband has kept typed up on a piece of paper.

"Let me tell you something that you haven't learned yet, something you haven't learned yet, something you learn only by living awhile. As you get older, you find that life begins to wear you down. Doesn't matter who you are or what you do, it happens. Experience, time, events--they all...steal way your energy, to erode your confidence, to make you question things you wouldn't have given a second thought to when you were young. It happens gradually, a chipping away that you don't even notice at first, and then one day it's there. You wake up and you just don't have the fire anymore.

Then you have a choice. You can either give in to what you're feeling, just say 'okay, enough is enough' and be done with it, or you can fight it. You can accept that every day you are alive you are going to have to face it down, that you are going to have to say to yourself...that you are going to do what you have to because otherwise you are defeated and life doesn't have any real purpose left...How did I manage to keep on going?...It's not so hard really. You just have to get past the fear."

-Terry Brooks, author
"The Elf Queen of Shannara" pp. 164-165

The "fear" that one needs to get past can be anything...the fear of failure, not measuring up, etc. I know that when I'm feeling depressed I say to myself, "Alright, enough of this. I don't want to feel this way anymore." And then I do what I need to do to combat it. And it works every time! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

WARRIOR against Depression

***(I began this post several months ago and it's been in my drafts folder)...

My oldest said something today that about broke my heart.
We were watching the news when a segment about suicide came on. 
I'm the type of mom who likes to preview the things that my children watch so I shut the TV off (I was paying attention to how what she was watching affected her and gauging her reaction I made that decision).

My daughter looked at me and said, "I hope that you find a cure so, you know, you don't die at age 54 [like that dad did]."

She was holding back a lot of emotion as she said it.
(This was a little insight to what is going on in that cute little head of hers)
I gently held her face in my hands as I told her,

"I am a warrior against depression.
 This is something that I will have for the rest of my life
 and I am okay with that.

I know that I was a fierce warrior in the war in heaven (you can read more about that here, here, or here) against the adversary. My Heavenly Father knew and trusted that I would be able to face dark feelings that depression brings. I know that I will be able to help thousands of people here who also face what I have."

A couple of days ago she was giving the family prayer and she prayed, 

"Please bless Momma, that her depression will go away."

Lou Lou, my depression is not going to go "away" but I will be strengthened and empowered to be a valiant warrior in my battle against this disease.

So, my readers...
REMEMBER that you too are FIERCE warriors in your daily battle. Know that your true strength lies in your trust in your Savior, Jesus Christ. Don't you dare give up. There are so many family members and friends on the other side in heaven and here on earth who are rooting for your success.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"How Stress Can Be Your Friend"

This is a really interesting presentation about stress. Kelly McGonigal said that if you "...Change your mind about stress you change your body's response to stress." She also said, "Your stress response has a built in mechanism for stress resilience and that mechanism is human connection...Caring created resilience...You can trust yourself to handle life's challenges and you're remembering that you don't have to face them alone."

Heavenly Father has created our bodies in such a way that it can handle the burdens placed on them WHEN we reach out to others. I have shared that the biggest thing that has helped my recovery is through helping others because...

 "Caring creates resilience"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I've been struggling with a little depression lately and that's why I haven't posted. But I came across a quote yesterday in a book I was reading that had to do with this post. I don't think it's a coincidence that I keep coming across quotes or messages about this topic.

"Life is not perfect. And sometimes in your need things to go exactly as you've planned....But you forget...we are here living God's plan. Sometimes things might seem like they are falling apart or going wrong because God has something better planned for us around the corner....Life is a learning journey....But sometimes I think you forget the lessons being taught."
-Beth Wiseman, author

Thank you Heavenly Father, for reminding me to persevere.

*Persevere: "to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly "

Lesson to learn: to persevere " spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement."

Friday, August 30, 2013

What I've Done over the Past 5 Months to Drastically Improve how I Feel

There was an interesting article posted on Facebook that talked about sleep aids, over the counter and prescription and their long and short term affects. Since I am not a medical profession, it would be best & wise if you talked to your doctor ALWAYS, no matter what you hear or read. I am very med compliant and always will be. 

I do like both conventional and natural medicine but found it interesting to read how some over the counter medications affect our bodies in the long term. That's why if I can I will take or do something that is more natural. Talk to a health care professional before you try anything. I am not your doctor. (: I can only write my OPINION on what helps me (i.e. doTERRA oils and nutrition). Some nights I do have a hard time falling asleep and that is why my favorite oil is Serenity & probably always will be! (If you become a doTERRA member, the oils are A LOT cheaper and you get loyalty reward points back that you can use for free products).

Here's a quote from that article I mentioned,

"You’re far better of finding safe and natural solutions that will actually address the underlying causes of your sleepless nights instead of just cover up the resulting symptoms."
-Boby Truther (interesting last name, Boby, lol)

I liked how he made suggestion to find the root cause of a sleep problem. You can read the full article in it's entirety here

Another reason why I like essential oils? I still have symptoms of depression and anxiety, they're just more manageable and less intense because of the medications I take. (By the way, I'll never write down medication names, which ones worked and which ones didn't. I don't think that would be right. Everyone's DNA is so unique that what didn't work for me works miracles with the next person.) 

At the BRIDGES Teacher training I found that a feeling of being "choked" is a symptom of an panic attack. I experience this off and on but didn't know it was an anxiety attack. Someone in our group asked me what I do when I feel that way and I asked, "Honestly? I use this doTERRA oil called SERENITY and just rub some directly on my throat. It calms things down and the feeling goes away."

So...if I find something that has helped me combat my depression and anxiety then yes, I will share what I know. About six months ago I was miserable and thought that this was as good as my life was going to get. I was tired of being depressed for 2 1/2 months at a time and then having a good week and slipping back into depression. Most people didn't know I was depressed. Apparently I looked fine on the outside! Or...I hid it well and didn't talk about it. So what has changed since then to help turn things around? (my meds have stayed the same for years, which is a blessing)

-Learning more about Nutrition & I'm eating healthier.

-Using doTerra oils regularly (several help with anxiety and/or depression). I do sell doTERRA from my website, but I actually like an oil that a company called Young Living sells. It's an oil blend called JOY and I like it better than the doTERRA equivalent. I don't sell for them or have an account but I like the oil JOY so much that I patronize the company just for that one oil.

-My awesome and amazing mentor/coach & my mentoring group who I have learned so much from (They're amazing cheerleaders!). My mentor has helped me with my blog and has helped me overcome negative thought patterns that were holding me back and keeping me stuck.

-My Faith. I'm spending A LOT more time in my scriptures, listening to uplifting music, listening to the Mormon Channel, writing positive things about myself in my journal (helps you to learn to truly love and accept yourself), praying and spending more time that I ever have truly listening for answers.

-Exercise! I have biked & hiked this week. And I have gone up and down a ladder today picking apples!  <---I consider that exercise! I'm a little worn out and I'm still not done several hours into it! Thanks to the neighbor who gave me permission to have the (organic!) apples which were just going to go to waste. Tomorrow's agenda, canning...

-Service. Through thinking of others and finding ways to serve them my life has been tremendously blessed. This is the KEY to true happiness. Like President Hinckley's father said, "Forget yourself and get to work."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Play Your Part...Educate Yourself about Mental Illness

Lifetime Original Movie "Call Me Crazy" Actors Speak Out

NAMI and the TV television channel Lifetime partnered to put together what looks like an amazing film that sheds light on many mental illnesses: schizophrenia, bipolar, PTSD (from a veteran's perspective). Thanks go to these actors who chose to add their voice to the importance of mental health education.

This "Call Me Crazy" movie trailer posted on YouTube made me cry. 

It stirred up a lot of emotions and I could relate in so many ways. It is true that your mind is where you think, dream, struggle have a spirit inside of you that helps you overcome the natural man. Let me explain what I mean by this. Say I have a hard time forgiving myself & letting things go (a disease symptom by the way). I can learn healthy coping skills and tools that will help me overcome negative emotions and put them behind me. I don't have control over the fact that I have this disease but I do have control over "how" I let it affect my life. Will I be a bystander in my own life? Will I let (yes let, you do still have a choice) this disease take over and control my life? Or will I be an active participant in my recovery? Will I use the right tools to fight my battles against depression? I promise that today, while my kids are gone, that I will use the Empty your Bucket tool. Will you? Comment below!

I have often said that a mental illness is not only a physiological disease but it is also a thinking disease. As I was reading my BRIDGES Teachers Manual I was amazed at the "HOW" & the "WHY" mental illness alters our thoughts. My whole goal for my blog is to not only record my journey towards healing but to empower women AND their families, to initiate dialogue and understanding, & to help women realize how much control they really do have over their illness. 

In the beginning a person, like myself, can feel like they are "broken." This feeling generates negative emotions that are self-destructive like helplessness, hopelessness, & despair. Training in how to overcome your negative emotions does wonders for your recovery and happiness.

There is HELP, HOPE, RECOVERY, HAPPINESS, JOY, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, BALANCE, & PRODUCTIVITY available to those who struggle and this pertains to ALL of the mental illnesses, not just mine. 

KUDOS to Lifetime for addressing what once was a taboo subject and kudos to NAMI for being able to get their messages out there among the general public (I can't advocate for or approve of the movie, YET...since I haven't seen it. I hope it's clean with no bad parts!). During my BRIDGES teacher training I was very impressed with the resources and education NAMI provides. Please support NAMI, they do so much good for those with a mental illness, their families, and in educating the public.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Another Reason to Empty Your Bucket...for your Family's Sake!

"If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. . . . Such dwelling  on past lives, including past mistakes, is just not right! It is not the  gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . In cases of marriage and family, . . . we can  end up destroying so many others."

—Jeffrey R. Holland

In order to leave it buried love and forgiveness is required. We have to be willing to let it go and leave it behind us. Resentment and grudges have no place taking up room and TIME in our lives. We have to empty our buckets. To learn how go here

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Provider Education: An Oppportunity to Educate Health Care Professionals

Provider Education is the real training that I want to receive but I barely missed it when I asked my local NAMI affiliate's secretary about it. Man! I have to wait about a year until they offer it again. But, GREAT things come to those who wait. 

Here's some more info about what Provider Education is NAMI | NAMI Provider Education Program

It's a program where you get to train and educate health care professionals. You go in a team with two family members (obviously someone who has a family member with a mental illness who are also trained as Family to Family teachers), two people who have a mental illness (consumers) and are in recovery and a mental health professional who is also a family member or consumer. I think it's neat that they want the consumers in this program to have healthy relationships with their family members. We need a strong support system and family members need to be educated on how to give the right support without enabling.

As someone who worked closely with patients myself, I noticed and watched people's bedside manner from nurses to psychiatrist  to therapists. Some could really use this to improve that bedside manner! But mostly, others could really use this training and insight to help them better understand their patients and be a little less judgmental and a little more compassionate.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love This Song, Reminds Me of my Courtship with Ben

When I met Ben, I felt that I had just met my knight in shining armor and we talked liked old friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time. After talking all evening we did "...walk down the block, to my car," and I remember thinking, "Ask me out, already!" Haha. Ben, you are my best friend and will always be my knight in shining armor. I love you.

Bridges Teacher Training this Weekend

Here's an e-mail I received yesterday from NAMI,

"Dear future BRIDGES teacher,

We are excited that you want to teach the BRIDGES course! 

Teaching BRIDGES is a unique opportunity to positively affect the lives of others. You know through your own experience the effects of mental illness, as well as the fact that treatment works, recovery is possible, there is hope, and you are not alone! As you teach others, they will come to know this also.

The BRIDGES teacher training will help you gain the skills to be an effective teacher. You will learn techniques to help convey the BRIDGES material and lead the class on an educational journey to further recovery. The information contained in the BRIDGES class is evidence-based. It has been proven to be effective in improving understanding about mental illness and helping participants gain skills toward long-term recovery.

Many BRIDGES teachers express how their lives and recovery have improved by “giving back” through teaching the BRIDGES course.  As you teach, we hope you will also feel the satisfaction of giving back to others the knowledge and skills that have helped you. 

We look forward to working with you!"

This is what I will be doing this weekend! I am extremely grateful for a husband who supports me and a mother-in-law who is willing to help watch my kids! It is through understanding your disease that you are able to be in recovery and live a productive and yes even a HAPPY and JOY-filled life.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Are Capable!

"If we did all we were
of doing, we would
literally astound ourselves."

-Thomas Edison, inventor

I was listening to the radio last night and the lyrics of a song said that no matter what she did or how hard she tried she couldn't change. That's a lie. Satan uses this deception to get us to give up, to STOP trying. There is always hope. Satan will try to make you think that there's no use trying...he wants you to feel despair and laughs when you do. Don't let him win. 

I KNOW that God doesn't want us to despair and give up. I know that He will see you through any obstacle or trial...all you have to do is turn towards Him through obedience, faith, and trust.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Please Increase my Faith in the Plan of Salvation

This is a podcast called "Beauty's True Depth" about Meg Johnson who after an accident became a quadriplegic. She is inspiring in the face of this adversity and it has brought her closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 

The part in this podcast where I felt the Spirit speak to me was when she recalled a prayer that she had said, "Heavenly Father, I'm so sorry, I don't mean to be weak, I don't want to be weak. WILL YOU PLEASE INCREASE my faith in the plan of salvation. And it was immediate. And I remembered that yeah this is so temporary." 

Meg also shared a scripture which I love, Isaiah 41:10 reads, "Fear thou not [,Amber,] for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." 

A lot times things that I hear penetrate my heart and mind and is exactly what I needed to hear. I know that this is the Holy Ghost comforting and teaching me. Heavenly Father sends the Comforter to answer prayers and to let me know of the love He has for me. I cried and was so touched when Meg said, "I have felt the Savior walk with me when I have asked for Him to. And I have felt Him stand by me and I have felt Him come just to remind me that the resurrection is real. And I have never seen Him, but I guess I don't need to because I can feel Him." 

She describes a prayer which helped her accept the will of the Lord. She said, "I was praying in my heart just telling Heavenly Father how hard this was and I didn't want to do it anymore, and this is just going to be too hard for me, but I knew wasn't changing anything and I needed to accept this and I needed to move forward...and my prayer changed and I said, 'Heavenly Father, this is hard, but I can do it if You will hold me.'" 

I know that my personal faith needs to increase to help me remain true to the commandments that I have been taught. The promise of the resurrection brings me hope. I want to receive the blessing of a perfect body where I will have a brain that functions the way it was designed. No more depression, anxiety, hopeless despair, or sorrow. I look forward to this and want it! The strength of my desire to receive a perfect body in the resurrection motivates me to be faithful in this life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

God's Character and Forgiveness

I love the part in this video where it shows the woman taken in adultery because it offers a glimpse of how God forgives. Christ didn't condone her sin, He told her to go and sin no more. He showed love, tender mercy and grace. When we turn to God in prayer with a true and repentant heart, do we imagine a God with stones in hand (like the Pharisees and scribes) or do we imagine a loving Father who runs toward us and celebrates our return just as the father did in the parable of the prodigal son? 

I KNOW we have a loving Father in Heaven who celebrates each and every time we repent and draw closer to Him. 

God's grace through His Son Jesus Christ truly is amazing.

You can read more about the woman taken in adultery here. You can read the full account of the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


This year has been a little disappointing with my garden. We've had some goats get into the garden and nibble away at peppers, squash, and tomatoes like there's no tomorrow but apparently they don't like Kale! Ha, ha.

My husband and I took our kids out to eat and we were pulling into the restaurant's parking lot when my husband informed me that the chickens were loose. I started to cry. I had been gracious with the neighbor goats in my garden but I had heard that chickens would destroy young tender I guess the chickens were the last straw for me. I was willing to drive all the way home to lock those little peckers up but my husband called our "downstairs" neighbor, his dad, and he rounded them up into the coop.

You work so hard all summer long tending to your garden, weeding, planting, watering that you want it to produce, to yield a great harvest. This year I've been very successful at growing volunteer onions from last year and all of this kale. (I've already harvested it twice, it keeps growing back!) I just printed some recipes because all I know to do with it is to throw in green smoothies and make kale chips.

Dinosaur Kale on the left and White Russian Kale on the right.
The White Russian Kale is actually a plant start that I ordered last year but didn't want to plant because of the lateness in the season so I kept it alive all fall and winter. How's that for Kale success?! (: 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Church is a "Hospital"

"Church is not a monastery for...perfect people. It is more like a hospital provided for those who wish to get well." —Elder Holland

I loved this quote!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Use Obstacles to Make You, "Stronger and Better Prepared to Live a Life of Victory"

I read the following book synopsis yesterday,

It clearly explains in fresh, dynamic ways how to understand the principles needed to live a fruitful life with ever increasing faith. We all face obstacles. Often times unexpected events knock us off track. But this book is for people who are interested in getting back up and moving ahead. The choices we make, the attitudes we have, the pressure from friends that can sway us from the right decisions, all are part of the daily decisions we can meet head on and even use to make us stronger and better prepared to live a life of victory.

I liked how the author, Erik Norrie, talked about those interested in getting back up and moving ahead. I have a choice, to let adversity knock me down and keep me down or to get back up every time and allow adversity to strengthen and prepare for the something FANTASTIC that's just ahead. You can read that post here. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Our God Will Never Us Forsake"

I was reading in the Ensign this morning and read an article entitled, "Our God Will Never Us Forsake." Below is a quote from it. You can go here to read the full article.

 "Trials come to each of us.
Living righteously does not mean that our lives will be free of problems or sorrow, but no matter what hardships we face, 

we can always rely on Heavenly Father and His Son. 

They will not forsake us, and 
                 They will give each of us the strength 
                                      to face whatever may come, 
                                               so that in the end we can truly say, 

                                                                                     'All is well!'"

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pioneer Day

In my church we celebrate the day the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. They came to Utah to escape persecutions...they fled after: homes and livestock were burned and destroyed, family members shot and killed or who died from exposure to the weather while fleeing angry mobs, an unfortunate and shocking "extermination order" from Missouri governor Boggs and after our beloved prophet Joseph Smith was martyred in a jail in Carthage, Illinois.

When they finally arrived in Utah the pioneers planted crops, family gardens, and trees and the desert waste place of Utah flourished and became beautiful. They also developed friendly relationships with the local Indians.

One of my ancestors was in the Willie Hancart Company that faced great difficulties because of the weather and lack of sufficent food and clothing. My grandma is my hero. She left her family and a young man who was interested in her but who didn't join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was 24 and considered an old maid but her bravery in starting a journey across the Atlantic Ocean without the support of a family is commendable and admirable. It was her belief in Jesus Christ and her new found faith that drove her forward. 

Because of many miracles along the way her life was spared and she met another Englishman when she arrived in Utah who she later married and raised 14 children with. A few years ago a movie was made based on true stories from the experiences of pioneers in the Martin and Willie Hancart company. Here is the trailer from that movie called "17 Miracles."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Attitudes Towards Adversity Affects our Results

You know the saying, "When it rains it pours?" Well, what if that "rain" is preparing us for something FANTASTIC that is just around the corner and we just need to keep pressing forward with faith in order to obtain it? 

For example...I was driving my kids to a small water park a few weeks ago to meet up with family. I was on the freeway going 75 mph when my SUV started shaking every time I pressed down on the gas pedal. I could maintain speed, barely, but I had slowed to 60 mph because of traffic in front of me and couldn't accelerate later when I tried. I kept praying that the cars behind me would recognize in time that I was driving slower than the speed limit and not hit me. I also kept saying over and over, "OH, please, oh please don't be a flat tire." I pulled off the freeway on the next exit. I parked and got out and walked around and checked all the tires. All good! I then got back in the car and the "check engine" light came on. So I drove through back roads and limped my SUV a couple of miles to our mechanics shop. It needed a complete tune-up. A couple of hundred dollars later...all fixed, right?

My husband then drove the SUV to Scout Camp a week later and the brakes started acting up. He took it to Les Schwab to look at it and when they looked at our tires they wouldn't even pull our tires off our SUV because our tires had worn down past the tread line. So we drove it to our mechanics shop and they fixed the brakes and pads, and a couple of hundred dollars later...(:

The handles on this SUV broke so you can't open the driver's door or the back from the outside or the passenger's door from the inside. So, my husband ordered some replacement handles to fix it. 

Also, our SUV and car developed the same problem that needs to get fixed as soon as possible in order to pass inspection next month. 

So, with new tires we will have poured in just about as much money as our SUV is worth! But, my husband told me that it is mechanically sound and I'm just grateful we can afford the repairs and that we don't have a car payment because both our vehicles are paid off.

During adversity, look for tender mercies 
that are blessings from Heavenly Father.

It is a tender mercy that our cars ran so well at the beginning of this year when my husband decided to become completely self employed. That was one expense that we didn't have to worry about. My husband and I have been praying about something for a few weeks and in a round about way, this adversity with our SUV has helped us know our answer.

During Sunday School in church on Sunday someone made the comment that,

"Adversity compels us make decisions.
It forces us to come to terms with
our values and our beliefs."  

And then later in the lesson the Sunday School teacher said,

"Adversity is often a stepping stone for what comes next in our life."

It is often through other people that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and gives us the counsel that we needed to hear.

If we react negatively to adversity and temporarily give up hope we may "miss the boat" and lose out on the rewards and blessings that the Lord had in store for us...those that were just around the corner and determinant upon our faithfulness.