Monthly Archives: October 2008

Remembering the Risks of Remodeling

“No one told me that I would risk loosing my sanity when we remodeled.  We had only been remodeling our house for 5 weeks now but it felts like it had been 5 months!  Sometimes I couldn’t even find a fork!”  Paula lamented.  “The only way I got through the no-water, no-kitchen, frig-in-the-living room stage was by looking at drawings and diagrams of what the kitchen would look like when it was finished.  I had to keep the end in sight in order to keep my sanity in check!”


Paula went on to liken her kitchen remodel to her experiences here on earth.  “I think that in order to get through the “stuff” we have get through here on earth we have to visualize our eventual reunion in heaven!”


I chuckled a little as I listened and thought of our own remodeling a few years ago.  We used a crock pot, a can opener and fast food to get by. 


I think of many times in my life when I felt as though I was being remodeled.  C.S. Lewis once wrote about remodels when he talked about the mansion Jesus plans to build of our lives.  A mansion with plenty of enlarging and remodeling experiences.


My foster daughter, Josie and her husband and four children are going through a remodeling right now.  The truck that smashed into their apartment left them practically homeless. David’s parents welcomed them into their own home for the first month or so after the event.  They are coming to live in our home next week as they continue to look for a home.  David and Josie are good examples of trying to look past the bags, boxes, suitcases, lost toothbrushes and not-home feeling as they prayerfully save and scrimp and visualize their future home.


The next time I get that anxious, worried, “take a deep breath”, “I just can’t do this” feeling, I hope I will stop and think of my heavenly home and remember the finished “product,” my Father, Jesus and others greeting me.  Also a place where I don’t have to search for forks.


Codependent Bookmark: From Darkness to Light


  • Except when instructed by the spirit take your love

 to your loved one, your frustrations to the Lord.

  • If what your doing hasn’t worked the first 1000 times

 why do you think it will work the 1001st time?

  • Teach him true principles then respect his right to choose
  • Do what we can to help him feel a part of the family
  • Am I honoring his agency and letting life teach their lessons?
  • Men are that they might be free to choose liberty and eternal

 life or captivity and death.

  • Don’t worry.  The world will teach him. My efforts won’t

speed up the process but they may slow it down!

  • He values sleep, play and friends. W value integrity, work

 and family. We may not agree with him right now but perhaps

 by accepting him where he’s at I may be able to stop judging and

start allowing him to be on mile 2 instead of expecting mile 5.

  • Forgive him, Father, for he knows not what he does.
  • It is as it is…it cannot be otherwise
  • It is not my job to compel, coerce or prod
  • War didn’t humble them- only famine did
  • Remember the prodigal’s son.
  • Every knee shall bend…
  • They (the rebels) will return unto me.
  • He granteth  unto men according to their


For more help see or you

can purchase My Journey from Darkness to Light


Youtube: “I Don’t Need Depression Medication!!!”

Patricia describes how she found out she was bipolar and what she learned about taking medication

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Should the Sky be Blue? Try this Pre-voting Test! Patricia Potts

I think my voting ballot should look something like this!



Proposal: The sky should be blue!



1. We’re used to it that way. Stability is important!

 2. Many songs are written about the blue sky (can you imagine how much confusion there would be if we had to change all the blue-sky songs!!)

3. We would loose the sacred trust of our children!! (How many times have you told them the sky is blue?)

4. The color in many of the children’s books in our homes would have to be changed (Time is money and it would take far too much time to buy crayons and change the blue)

4. We would never be able to agree on what color to change it to anyway.

5. God made it that way!       



1. I am bored to death of the same thing day in and day out

2.I feel like a change



You Choose

A Series of Unfortunate Events

(I’m writing this story because when I have tough stuff happen to me I find that writing about it and sharing can help turn negative into positive.  Thanks for listening.)


Our series of events may not be as earth shattering or shocking as the movie but its real none-the-less and it happened last night.


Our series began when our daughter, Cindy, mentioned that there was a really great play in town at a local theater.  Her children loved the musical The Ark, and they just HAD to see it! Cindy invited us to join them and bought tickets so we could all go.


The first sign of trouble happened when Cindy’s classes at the University of Phoenix were changed from Mondays to Thursdays.  The play, of course, was on Thursday.


Not to worry, Dan and I decided to take the kids ourselves while she was at school.  I got a sitter for 1 year old Joshua and looked forward to enjoying the other three children along with Dan.


Half an hour before Cindy left for school she closed the door to our room and focused as she finished homework for her new class and I was watching Joshua as he and 4 year old Michael played in the crisp autumn leaves as the gold, green and brown colors mixed together to form an inviting topping for the green grass beneath.  Three times I felt prompted to interrupt Cindy’s studying to get the tickets.  Instead I asked “Michael, I need you to go ask Mommy for the tickets Okay?” He nodded his head and went inside.


In the meantime a neighbor stopped by and I forgot all about Michael’s errand. 


Later, Cindy said ”When I was getting ready to leave I had the distinct and repeated impression to take my cell phone, but dismissed the feeling because I thought Kalli might need it.” 


Time flew and Cindy dashed out the door to go to school and I didn’t have the tickets!


It was almost 6:00 when Dan arrived from work; the play began at 7:00.   We quickly got the kids to the table for dinner and between bites of chicken I remembered that I still didn’t have the tickets!  Dan took over with the kids and I quickly drove to her school then spent half an hour hearing about confidentiality and trying to find out where Cindy was, only to learn that her new class was located on a different campus!


I rushed down 9 streets to find the new sitter’s address, got her home to watch Joshua then Dan and I got the other kids in the car and drove to the other campus.  15 minutes later and more discussion about confidentiality I found Cindy and learned that the tickets were at Will Call (why didn’t I listen better during previous conversations?) 


We turned left out of the college campus and got stuck between two lanes trying to maneuver into the right hand lane (ever felt the stress of 8 pairs of eyeballs blaring at you as you wait for the light to turn to green?)


By now the play had already begun.  Dan asked if I knew which building it was in or where to park.  Daaah!  As we drove around looking for parking Michael asked “When will we be at the play?” and 7 year old Tiarra kept singing songs from the play with Kalli.  “Please guys” I begged “we’re pretty stressed right now.  Please whisper!”  The whispering lasted approximately 2  seconds before the volume continued as before.  By now I was practicing deep breathing so much I thought I might pass out!


Dan let me out to see if I could learn where we should go.  I rushed toward an open door of Salt Lake Community College.  I began at the student barbershop discreetly inquiring of 3 students “Do you know where the theater is that is playing The Ark?”  These students had no clue so I decided to try the shot gun approach.  I entered and walked through the doorway of the beauty shop where about 15 people were being shaved, cut or permed.  “Anybody know” I shouted above the buzz “where the theater on campus is that is playing The Ark?” After observing several amused, shocked or passive expressions I got “Nope,”,“Sorry” or the shaking of heads (I hope I didn’t cause any haircut accidents). 


I ran out of the building and jumped into the car.  After catching my breath I suggested “Let’s park.”  Parking was not easy but finally we found a spot, fed the meter with what change we could muster then began our trek around the College campus with three kids in tow.  Half an hour later we found an information desk where we were told that there was no theater at that campus, it was at the south campus (of course).


By now it was 7:45. My blood pressure had risen considerably, the kids continued to ask “How much longer?” and Dan just wanted to forget the whole thing (despite the fact that the tickets were $10 each… at least they weren’t the seat on in the front that cost $24.00!)


We decided to call the box office before taking our next move.  Miraculously I found the number then heard “The box office is closed.  It will reopen tomorrow morning at 10:00.  Call back then or leave a message…beep…” (I hate it when that happens!)


Dan headed for home as he pointed out “Since the box office is closed we wouldn’t be able to get our Will Call tickets anyway!”


“Aren’t we going to the play?” demanded Michael “Sorry, Michael” Dan responded “We tried but it just didn’t work out.”


The environment in our car was anything but peaceful.  It included heavy sighs, exclamations of “It’s not fair!” and out right crying (I’m sure glad it was only a 10 minute drive to our home!)


After taking the babysitter home (at least this time I knew where she lived) I drove home and counted the many unfortunate events that led to the fact that we missed our beloved play.  Most of all I thought about when I felt I needed to talk to Cindy about the tickets and sent Michael instead. 


Earlier that day I had read an article written by my friend, Darla, where she didn’t listen to a honey-prompting:


One day I felt a distinct prompting to tighten the lid of the honey dispenser. My four little children had been especially demanding and I had ten things I still wanted to do to prepare for the Relief Society lesson I had to give the next day. I ignored the prompting. A second later I grabbed for the honey and was halfway across my carpeted kitchen before I realized I was leaving a trail of honey clear across the floor. I spent a half-hour sorely needed for other things on my hands and knees scrubbing honey and feeling stupid because I knew that even in this tiny thing the Holy Ghost had done his part to spare me this unnecessary clean-up—and I had not paid attention.


As I pulled in the driveway I had to admit to myself “If I had followed that personal commandment I would have gotten answers to the questions “Where are the tickets? What is the address of the theater and what is the address of the sitter?”


It would have been wise to remember “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear”. The result would have been enjoying an evening of entertainment instead of a series of stresses. (Here is the part of the story where I have to be careful not to get into self-beating)


This morning I found the scripture in John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”


I wish I would have listened more closely to my own personal commandment “YOU need to talk to Cindy about the tickets.”  So now as I complete the processing of this event I pray “Dear Lord, please forgive me for not listening.  Please help me REMEMBER to listen and obey so that next time I can avoid the series of unfortunate events!

Power Point Presentation about Bipolar Illness Packed with Possibilities!

"She seemed to be either all the way up or all the way down!!"When I was young, my Mother used to tell people that my emotions were either all the way up or all the say down.  We have created a power point in that summarize the ups and downs of bipolar illness, it’s symptoms as well as remedies in a presentation that takes less than 10 minutes!   Enjoy!

Look! I’m On youtube!

3 Stages of Overcoming Loss and Depression

3 Stages of Overcoming Loss and Depression

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Depressurizing Part 2!!! …..Fear,Stress

Once I prayerfully prioritized, I felt a release of time tension but I knew emotional garbage clogging up my ability to function.  I then recalled the lessons the Lord taught me the law of the vacuum:


Cleaning Out My Vacuum Cleaner

One morning when I turned on my vacuum cleaner, it made a loud whiney sound as if to say, “leave me alone!”  Then to make matters worse it spit dust into the air causing me to sneeze.  Next it refused to pick up a thing!  Coughing and sneezing, I turned it off, and sighed, resigning myself to the disagreeable task of opening it up and pulling out the bag.  As soon as I got the bag off it was easy to see why it couldn’t pick anything up.  It was clogged with dirt all the way along the hose! 

What an appropriate analogy for my own life I thought!   Too often I let my emotions build up and “clog” things up instead of cleaning them out.


I’ve found that there are many ways to process negative thoughts.  Here is the one I used this morning.  I simply opened up my notebook/planner, found a place with plenty of paper, made columns and started writing:


1.Thoughts   2.Feelings    3.Is This True for Sure?         4. Feelings


I’ll never be able to do all my A’s this week (“Why should that matter?”)

Fear, Stress

Yes (No human could!)


If I don’t do them God will be disappointed (“Why should that matter?”)


No (God loves me unconditionally)


I’ll get behind.  I will feel awful and stressed (“Why should that matter?”) 

Stressed, mad at myself

No (If I am living one prayer at a time I can make progress and that can be good enough)


Then I’ll get sick (“Why should that matter?”)


No (It is possible but if I choose to live one prayer at a time it is less likely)


If I get sick I can’t get stuff done (“Why should that matter?”)


No (My external to-do’s may be at a stand-still but if I get sick maybe God wants me to work on my heart and mind) 


If I don’t get stuff done I’m worthless (THIS IS THE ROOT OF THE STRESS)


NO.  I am not a human-doing. I am a human-being.  I CAN live one prayer at a time and choose priorities through inspiration instead of desperation!                           



As you can see, the 20 minutes it took to do this exercise was well worth the time.  I was able to breathe easier, thank God more naturally and love  others without the uptight stance I took earlier.


My friend, Darla, calls these kind of exercises Truth Therapy.  I think she is right on.  I believe that Satan wants us to be stuck in lies and worry and fear.  He would want us to keep vacuuming with clogged bags  but we can choose to dump the junk and choose light, truth and love.


I have to admit that even though I have used this type of therapy for years I still find myself procrastinating.  I don’t want to make the time to get into it. One of the things that has helped me is the one-page “circle the answer” form I developed and put as a free download in my website

I must take a minute to thank Darla Isackson for introducing me to this kind of processing and Dr. David Burns for sharing ideas and forms in his book Feeling Good, Byron Katie in her book Loving What is and the many people who have shared ideas during support groups I have attended in Twelve-Step Recovery Programs. Additional ideas and applications can be found in My Journey from Darkness to Light.


 I believe that true personal peace comes only through our Brother and Savior Jesus Christ but I also believe he has given us Truth Tools to help us!


          Whether you begin to uncover your truths using ideas from this blog, these books, scriptures or some other source… Try it! You’ll like it!

Depressurize with Dots and Dashes!!! Part One

Depressurizing with Dot Dashes!!! Part one



This morning I woke with “to-do lists” swimming around in my mind.  It reminded me of a video I watched where hundreds of minnows were swarming around a giant fish. 


“How can I possibly do it all today” I asked myself.


“You can’t” came the answer.


An idea from My Journey from Darkenss to Light came to my mind


I only have from 8:00 – 12:00 (I have another commitment at 12) = 4 hours


Planned Tasks

(one dot = 15 minutes.  One slash = 1 hour. 

1 (Unplanned Stuff)

1.. Laundry-wash, fold, put away


….. Kitchen cleaned

.. Personal Study

…Shower and Dress

.. Exercise

……Get Groceries

.. E-mail

.. Calls


8 ¾ hrs. I only have 4 hours to work with (no wonder I feel overwhelmed!)


As I evaluate what is MOST important. I use ABC priorities.

A= very important to do in this time frame  (A must!)

B= important but could be done another day (Can BE done another day.)

C= I’d like to do it when I have a chance  (Do when I have a CHANCE.)


***Pause to pray for wisdom***


ABC Example:

     B ..  Laundry (change laundry. Leave the rest for later

     B ..  Kitchen cleaned (quick straightening and dishwasher)

A .. Personal Study

A .. Shower and dress (quick shower, pull hair back)

     B .. Exercise

     B / Get Groceries

A . Emails (I am expecting an important email)

     B .. Calls

A / Unexpected (I know it will happen)

Add up dots and slashes:

2 ¼ hours Total A’s

2 ¾ total B’s

Now all I have to do is eliminate some of the B’s


I then turned to a blank page in my notebook/planner and began my “depressurizing” exercise. 


Today my depressurizing included calls, cleaning house, marketing for my book, teaching guitar, commitments to family and friends, seeing the Chiropractor  and unplanned. 


The Chiropractor visit wasn’t in my plans at all until I woke up with neck pain.  I have to admit that I especially resent unplanned time demands.  I try to remind myself to be more like Mary and say Be it unto me according to thy (will).


I had 7 hours to work with and my demands exceeded 10 hours so I did the dot-dash thing like an old fashioned Moris Code person.  In the end I cut it to 6 hours 45 minutes!


Sometimes I think “I don’t have time to do the dot-dashes but the truth is, I save time because I am able to prayerfully seek the right priorities and work on them with more purpose and less spinning wheels.


See part II later this week…

Depression,Fear,God: I Dreamed of Drowning in Murky Waters

Good Morning Dear Friend,


Last night I had a dream.


In my dream I was thrust into the ugly, cold, dull-green waters of a lake. There was darkness all around when reality replaced shock and I was paralyzed for an instant.  I.  felt cold waters begin to wrap me in their tentacles as surely as a spider must bundle her prey. Knowing that I had precious little time to escape, I began fighting. I kicked my legs and tried by sheer energy and determination to get to the top but it seemed I was only going deeper.  Exhausted and scared beyond belief I finally started looking for where the light was and began focusing on the light as I swam slowly upward. 


It was not until then that I discovered I had a life jacket on. By now my energy was mostly spent and I stopped fighting.  As I trusted the life jacket to do it’s job I began ascending more rapidly but I was almost out of air.  My husband Dan swim downward in a panic and passed within a foot of where I was been but I didn’t have the strength to touch him as he swished by.  “Whether I make it or whether I don’t,” I prayed “I will put my trust in thee God, either way.


As I slowly floated upward memories of family members began filtering through my heart and my tears mingled with the apathetic, cloudy waters of the lake.


Then suddenly and completely I surfaced.  My lungs burned, my limbs shook and I was nearly frozen but I was alive because I finally stopped fighting what is and began trusting in the life jacket of God’s care and love.  It was God’s power and my trust that allowed me to ascend to the light.


My dream ended.


I awoke gasping for air and sat up in my bed feeling very grateful to be alive.  I then began asking what this had to do with real life.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have too far to look to find that progress will come only when I am willing to “let Go and let God” help me in matters of parenting, the financial crisis the country is in, headaches and other things. It brought a calmness to my thoughts and a deeper trust to my heart.  I hope it helps you in the same way. 


I’d love to hear your stories and experiences about the power of trust in crisis as well.


Your friend,