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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Theistic Therapy

There is no such thing as coincidences. I was listening to the radio on Wednesday as I was driving to my mentoring group and I heard something that I wanted to share.  I am grateful that I turned the radio station to Classical 89 and that I was able to listen to this for the whole program. 

After my diagnosis I remember that in the beginning when I received counseling I had some therapists that would address the physchological side of the disease and helped me understand the questions I had about how it affected me spiritually. I will blog more about this in an upcoming post. I have also had therapists who for one reason or another didn't address the spiritual aspect of my life. Because of my beliefs I am very much a spiritual person and I would get extremely frustrated with these therapists. I didn't feel that I could progress and receive the help that I needed. The relationship just didn't work for me or for them. 

This is why I am very grateful for the LDS Family Services that my church provides. (LDS is short for Latter Day Saint another nickname like Mormon, but the full name of my church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I have been able to work through issues I have had with this disease. My last therapist would occasionally speak with my psychiatrist and to me this is ideal. I recommend having your health care professionals on the same team and working together to determine what would be the best way to care for and help you.

Here is the podcast for that I mentioned. You can also go to their Classical 89's website to listen to other podcasts. They have some called "The Autistic Brain," "Genetic Influences on Behavior," and some others that sounded interesting.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Breaking the Silence on Suicide"

Thanks, Seth, for being brave enough to share your story with KSL 5 news. I agree with you...healing does come through helping other people.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Real Foods Cafe...for Big Results I'm Making Big Changes!

               My lunch today....

Gluten-free, organic, corn-free, dairy-free yummy hummus (this is the first time I've actually liked hummus and I've tried it a couple of times) and eggplant baba ganoush. It was yummy!   #wishinrealfoodscafewascloser And...of course, my husband had to bring home a chicago stuffed crust pizza from Papa Murphy's. Oh, I was tempted!! But I have decided to follow doctors orders because I want BIG results in my overall health! 

My mentor and coach, Amy King Walker said that in order for you to see BIG results, you need to make BIG changes. I want to feel better physically and mentally so I am making lifestyle changes.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Circumstances are Aids to a "More Rapid Progress."

My husband shared this quote from with me yesterday that I really liked. 

"And when a [woman] adapts [her] mind to 
[the hidden justice which regulates her life she] 
ceases to kick against circumstances, 
but begins to USE them as aids to [her] more rapid progress."

-James Allen "As a Man Thinketh" 

What circumstances would I change? Well, with my finite understanding of the purpose of my depression right now I would change it in a heartbeat for something else! But, that I am ceasing to kick against it, my progress towards healing is more rapid and the happiness and joy that I experience is more prevalent in my life. Why do I experience more happiness? Because my God strengthens me to bear this burden with greater ease, I am more proactive about my health and recovery and I know I need to help others in similar struggles with mental illness. It's not easy, is it? Sometimes I get tired of having to fight off feelings of emptiness and sadness and wish it would just go away but I realize this trial is helping to mold and shape my character. What kind of person will I become because of it? Will I choose bitterness and hopelessness? Or, will I take care of myself and rely on my Savior to guide me towards healing? The answer to this question has eternal consequences and rewards. I know that Christ is my literal Savior and has placed the right people in my path who have helped and are helping me through this trial.

Elder Neil A. Maxwell, a former leader of my church who has since passed away, said, "Since we are here to be thus proved, how can that occur except we are tested? If we are to learn to choose wisely, how can that occur except there be alternatives? If our soul is to be stretched, how can that happen without growing pains?...When anciently we shouted for joy in anticipation of this mortal experience, we did not then think it would be an ordinary, pedestrian thing at all. We sensed the impending high adventure."

Below, you can view his testimony of Christ as the Creator of our world.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Guest Blogger: Tausha Hansen

I am so glad that Tausha agreed to guest post! We are in the same mentoring group and I have learned so much from her as I read her story about how she worked through her depression and received healing. She shared with me a complete doTerra oil regimen (& their vitamins) for depression that I used for the first time yesterday and I have already noticed a difference! 

You can go to her business website here

My Journey as a Mother

 I always knew I wanted to be a mother. It is something I felt down to my very core.

My husband and I had our first baby, a daughter, in 2001 when I was just 21 years old. My second child, a son, was born 20 months later.

It was around the time that my 3rd child, a daughter, was born in April 2005 that I started to notice that something was not right.

I had everything I ever wanted. A wonderful husband, who treated me like a queen, and 3 angels that made me happier than I could have ever imagined.

But, the amount of physical and emotional effort that it took to be a mother was something that I did not expect. I felt very overwhelmed.

I was having thoughts and worries that, at times, paralyzed me. I was experiencing weird and disturbing thought of very terrible things happening to my children.

I have always been a worrier. By nature, I am a glass half empty kind of a girl. So, worry wasn't anything new to me, but I knew deep down that the fears I was letting overwhelm my life were not normal, even for me.

I continued on this way, in silence, for another year. In the spring of 2006 we moved into our first home, and what should have been a wonderfully happy time in my life was instead dark and gloomy. I found no JOY in what I was doing. I was faithfully caring for my family, but it was with no spark. No happiness.

It was at this time that I very reluctantly, but desperately reached out for help.

I decided to get professional help, and with the support of my husband, I began to attend counselling sessions.

This time in my life was pivotal. I learned so much about myself; my thought patterns and the damage I was doing inside my head. I will be forever grateful to my counselor. He was helping me change my life.

He told me something one day that startled me. He told me that I was afraid to happy. What? Who is afraid to be happy? That is crazy!

The more I thought about what he had said, the more aware I became of how deep my depression had become, and how irrational my inner thoughts were.

was afraid of happiness. I was constantly worried and fearful. Worrying takes a ridiculous amount of energy and it left no time for happiness. I had conditioned myself to believe that if I took a break from worry, then the "bad thing" that I was worried about would actually happen.

Yup, that was my life 24/7. Sad, I know.

This concept hit me, one day, like a ton of bricks. I was driving home with my kids after picking up my oldest from Kindergarten. It was Fall, and we had the windows down. All of a sudden, a warm autumn breeze blew through the car. The smell of changing leaves filled my nostrils. The crisp air rustled my hair. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of happiness, peace and hope. As soon as these feelings registered in my brain, I immediately thought, "What are you doing? You can't feel happy!"

That was the first time that I had been aware of my internal dialogue. It was startling and really frightening. That was a hard pill to swallow. But swallow it, I did.

How grateful I am for that day. Because of that new awareness, it was much easier to stop those thoughts and start thinking differently.

And so the battle begun. I was forging a war against my own consciousness...the part of me that had completely convinced myself that the walls of stone that I was building were for protection.

With the help of that great counselor, a strong and faithful husband, friends and family I was able to make huge strides in my progress. I felt like I was finally living. I kept a daily journal of things that made me happy and started doing things I had never done before, like watch the sunset and stand at the window and soak up the morning sun. These things had almost seemed pointless to me before.

I felt a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders. I immersed myself in books, blogs and people that had more knowledge and tools than I did. I relied on my Heavenly Father and the things that I knew to be true.

I continued on my journey. It was a daily battle, but I was fighting.

It is true what they say, about old habits dieing hard. I continued to struggle with my pessimistic nature and I must admit that I still felt something was missing. There had to be more to life. There had to be more happiness and there had to be more hope!

We added the 4th child to the family, another daughter, in the fall of 2007.

That was it! No more children! We had our family here and my husband and I felt so good about the children that had come to our family.

In the Fall of 2009, much to my surprise, I began to have thoughts that we needed to have one more child. I fought this for months. I finally confessed my feelings to James, and he fought it for a while too. But those whisperings and nagging thoughts do not just go away!

The decision did not come easy. but we did agree that we would have another baby.

I did a little bargaining with God. Well, it was more like desperately pleading. I told him that I was now willing to have another baby, and that I would love that child with all my heart and take of his every need, but I needed some healing. I needed to find my full potential and purpose in this life. I needed more than what I had, and I needed it fast.

If I was to be the mother to 5 children, and stay sane, I needed a miracle.

I will tell you, as humbly as I can, that miracle came, ten-fold.

As soon as I turned my heart to Him, a rain storm began. Not the kind of rain storm that causes floods and damage and sends you retreating inside. It was more like the kind of rain I remember as a girl... The kind of rain storm that breaks up a hot summer day. The rain that is immense and soaks you completely. The kind of rain where you are standing in the yard, with your eyes closed tight, your arms stretched straight out and your head thrown back. This rain brings pure delight and complete liberation.

This rain storm describes the rest of my story.

My sweet baby boy was born in the Summer of 2010.

I see my life in 2 parts. The Tausha before that little boy was born, and the Tausha after he came into my life.

That little guy, with white blond hair and stark blue eyes saved me.

The down pour that I spoke of came in forms of people , books , concepts and different ways of thinking. It came in the form of Essential Oils and other natural ways of healing.

I believe that when we have lived through hard times and come out the other side, we need to share. I have a burning desire to share what I know, and what has changed my life.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Meet Al Fox

In Al's blog post about her conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ I love how she says to, "Keep going always." Her story is about not giving up and to keep going forward because as she said, "...the moment you stop- the moment you take a break, even a short one- that is when fear- and doubt- and anxiety- and temptation start to creep in."

My favorite quote in the video?

When she said, "Forget not whose hands your are forget not that you have a God, you have a god and He is yours, yours to keep, yours to turn to always, and the power behind that when you remember that, because God, how powerful, He has all the power and if He is for you, if He is yours, you can overcome and conquer everything. And it is so easy to lose sight of that. It's so easy to lose sight of that love that's real, for lose sight that He will do everything to allow us to return home. That was part of His plan the whole time is to return to Him...

Hard times will consistently be there, 

I really needed to hear this today. I love things that are uplifting and positive.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Maintaining Discipleship in Tough Times"

I was having a rough day yesterday and everything that I read or watched just happened to address overcoming adversity and it really was Heavenly Father's way of lifting my spirits.

Elder Holland said, "It is easy to be righteous when things are calm and good but the test is when there is real trial or temptation, when there is pressure and fatigue, anger and fear, or the possibility of real transgression. Can we be faithful then? That is the question."

A popular motivational speaker, Brad Wilcox, says in the following interview (link at the bottom) with KSL news that we can use protection, prayer and promises to help us remain faithful during the test. 

If you have personal rules...Keep them.
If you don't feel like praying because you feel abandoned...Pray anyways.

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much that they will help us overcome all things. 

Here is the full talk given by Elder Holland.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Change Happens When...

People change when they
hurt enough that they have to,
learn enough that they want to,
or receive enough that they are able to.

-John Maxwell

I saw this quote on this blog by Barry Pearman and it resonated with the changes that I am trying to make in my life right now. 

When I was talking to my mentor and coach I told her that I didn't want to be in the same place a year from now. That I didn't want my depression cycles lasting two and a half months and for there to be one good week and then for another depression cycle to start.

I am at a point in my life where I am learning enough that I want to change and I am making room enough to be able to receive the help I need to be able to. It is definitely a lot of work but I am happiest when I follow and do the things my mentor has challenged me to do.

Miracles Happen

Just saw this today and I can't wait for the movie to come out this fall. It is based on the inspiring true story of two Mormon missionaries kidnapped in Russia.

The comment that really stood out to me was that "Once [they] submitted [their] will to the Lord's, it really brightened [their day]." Here they are scared for their lives, not knowing what was going to happen or if they would survive, and for him to say that during such a time in their lives says something of his character.

"Throughout the long days together, the two never neglected to pray — alone and together — submitting themselves to God. They believed that their faith would get them through.

Because of what he went through, Tuttle [one of the missionaries] said he lives each day to its fullest. He wants others to know that "no matter what happens, you're in charge of your own destiny."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Depression and Sugar Cravings: My Story Part 2

Our brains sole purpose is to keep us survive. When our bodies are depressed our brain will actually crave sugar to give us a "boost" because it doesn't like being depressed. This is also why we crave "comfort" foods because those are usually high in carbohydrates which rapidly turns into sugar in your body.

I love this blog called Whole Food Mommies. Here is an really good article they wrote on sugar and the negative effects on our bodies.

SUGAR: The Ultimate Addiction

This is why I like making recipes from Simple Healthy Tasty's blog because she uses sucanat (a less refined sugar), honey, agave and real maple syrup. These sweeteners have less of an affect on my mood than the highly processed white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I don't use artificial sweeteners because really they are just chemicals developed in a research lab, no thank you! 

I find that with Simple Healthy Tasty recipes I am fine eating just one cookie or having one treat and I don't feel like eating the whole batch if you know what I mean. Her dessert recipes are healthified and yet they are still yummy! I've made Tammy's (the author of SimpleHealthyTasty's blog) taffy that only uses honey and I loved it and so did my family!

Here's her recipe for the honey taffy

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nutrition vs. Depression: My Story Part 1

I've wanted to share what I've learned about how diet affects mood for a long time but I knew that it would be a long post. So I decided to break it up and in this post just share how I first started eating differently and healthier. 

A few years ago my husband and I wanted to make some lifestyle changes but it was so overwhelming for me. I think I expected myself to change all at once versus a more gradual approach. I would suggest to start with drinking green smoothies. (Making green smoothies was just STEP 1 in changing my diet). We bought a vitamix blender and started making green smoothies. Some were nasty and others were palatable but most were really good. There was a lot of trial by error in the beginning but now I feel like I am a smoothie pro and I'm adding things like chia gel, kale and bok choy! 

MANY companies offer products (with harmful and synthetic chemicals) that claim to detox your body. I have learned through my experience that you don't need all those expensive products, just drink a green smoothie. Mother Nature knows best. Eat whole foods and drink smoothies and your amazing digestive system, kidneys, liver, and pancreas does the rest!

Green smoothies break down the vegetables and fruits down on a cellular level which makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients. My kids even will drink green smoothies, they are a little picky about the color so I add berries to make it pink or purple and I make it more sweet by adding more fruit than vegetables.

 After a while of drinking green smoothies I started getting painful stomach cramps after eating certain foods. I noticed a pattern and learned to stay away from meat (fish was okay), dairy, eggs and chicken. I had a feeling that it was the hormones and antibiotics in these foods but it wasn't based on anything until I saw my doctor. He's a physician and a naturopath (which I love because of his holistic views towards health). He did a bio meridian test to see which foods I was sensitive to. I tested fine on all meats except pork BUT I tested negative on hormones and antibiotics. Validation! I knew it. My body was letting me know what I needed to stay away from before I even knew the reason why.

Now, lest you think that I am against you meat eaters, I'm not. I even eat it...occasionally. But I've noticed that it has to be an organic, grass fed, free range type of meat or else I have stomach pain.

So does this mean I think everyone should eat this way? Nope. Just listen to your doctors and to your body so that you can take care of your body in the best way possible.

An amazing scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants section 49 verse 18 reads, 

"And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;"

I don't forbid or discourage others to eat meat because of what is written in the above scripture. I think it would be wrong to do so. In my church we are taught in what's called the Word of Wisdom, which is also found in scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants, to "eat meat sparingly." So, that's what our family does. In fact, in a week I'll be picking up an 1/8 of a grass fed cow just recently butchered. It will last us quite a long time! (;

To be continued...

I'm a Mormon! To learn more click here

Guest Blogger: Jenni Black

Jenni is my amazing friend who after just calling her to "catch up" I ended up learning so much about food and how it affects mood (like depression), how we feel energy wise, and our overall health. Rather than feel overwhelmed like I did when making a lifestyle change (diets don't work, lifestyle changes do!), she gives a lot of great suggestions. She is one of the sister chefs on eShefe' which has yummy recipes that are healthy! 

View and like their page on facebook here: 

Hi, my name is Jenni! I love eating and learning about food and how it effects our bodies. When we begin to change what we eat, we are changing ourselves.
My sister who loves learning and sharing what she learns about food said once, "If we add understanding to our changing, then there will be a greater chance of lifelong success. It's a mind and heart thing too. Everything we have eaten has effected every cell in our body. And to get understanding about this effect is crucial. Otherwise you are just a robot and I'm telling you what to do. Trust yourself and the pace you want to take. But above all, get understanding as you move forward!"How do we get understanding? What does it look like? Is there a specific way to go about it? I'm not sure if there is a formula that is set in stone, but let me offer a few suggestions.
1. Ask questions- Lots of them, easy ones, hard ones, and ones you think you already know the answer to. Grab a notebook and let it be your 'Wonder About" place. Challenging the status quo of food will lead you to the truth. Either to keep eating what you are eating, wean yourself off, or stop-cold.
2. Do a little research. It's kinda like taking a college course, where you learn something totally new to you. This course involves reading, (books, websites) listening to speakers or watching informative youtube videos and movies. There is optional time outside of books to practice in the lab. The lab (personal kitchen) is open almost all the time and you have to gather the materials (grocery trip!) to test out the experiments. No midterms or finals. No teacher giving out grades. You are in charge of your personal progress. Lucky you! Our improving health becomes the ongoing grade that acts as a catalyst!
3. Enjoy the journey! It is an adventure! I was thinking a while ago...if I could have chosen to be Stephenie Meyer (and write 4 bestselling novels and be a millionaire and live in a perfect house-ok, insert own covet here) OR, to have learned about how food effects my body and how to make delicious tasting healthy food, which would I choose? Not even a second thought. It's affected my be-ing that much. Embracing food learning is a path I would have chosen a million times over.
4. Be open to miracles. Everyday that I live I feel is a miracle. Knowing the simplicity and complexity of the body-food connection and to use that to your advantage...Again I say, hidden treasures of knowledge, God says He will give them, and He does. They will be personal miracles in your life.
Point? Food effects you. Learn about food. Food can heal.
Good luck on your journey!!
You can't help but feel happy
when you are around Jenni.
This is a cute picture
of her and her hubbie.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Faith to Climb Mountains

The following quote pertains to infertility but the same applies no matter what trial we are facing. Instead of praying for mountains in our way to be removed, pray for the faith to climb them. That faith helps you endure.

"Ultimately the question for many is, "If faith doesn't mean being able to get what I want, what does it mean?" The answer to that question is not the same for everyone. One infertile woman said that her crisis of faith had been healed by the Savior's example. She had wanted her faithful prayers to heal her infertility. She had tried not to doubt God or His power to heal, and she sought to live the kind of life that she felt merited her Heavenly Father's help. She believed that her faith could remove this mountain of frustrated dreams. Yet, her infertility persisted.

Finally, she realized that Christ, whose perfect faith had healed lepers, given sight to the blind, and raised the dead, and who had pleaded that his bitter cup be removed if possible - had finally been spared neither the agony of Gethsemane nor the pain of the Crucifixion. Christ's perfect faith had not altered Gethsemene, but rather helped him to endure it. This woman came to see her faith in a different light - not as an imperfect faith that had been insufficient to remove her trials, but as a vibrant faith that could help her endure them. Not faith to move mountains, but faith to climb them!" 

- President Gordon B. Hinckley