Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Golden Thread of Friendship

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Mom sat to my right, along the edge of my wedding quilt.  She quilted going to her left and left the threaded needle by my right elbow so I could take it from there and I would quilt to the far left edge. 

 

Mom was a much better quilter than I was. She came from the old school where every young woman had a trousseau.  I had been much more interested in the social aspects of finding my husband, courting him and finally reeling in the catch! Mom had watched and listened with rapt attention to every detail of my dating and courtship (I know, that’s hard to believe but it’s true.)  And so, after 5 years of dating and courtship, here we were along with 10 other women weaving threads in my victory quilt.

 

I call it a victory quilt because I had to work hard to catch my man and he truly was quite a catch.  Now nearly 34 years, 5 children and 6 grandchildren later I find myself taking different kinds of threads.  I am applying myself to a quilt make of patients like me.  Others who have endured the pain of depression then finally in a desperate attempt to find recovery accepted a label that would change their lives forever. 

 

These individuals are my brothers and sisters.  They are taking up the golden thread of friendship and camaraderie. They are the courageous warriors who have dared come forth and be counted as they thread their next golden needle and begin to quilt.

 

I want to thank those who have set up the frame, purchased the supplies and laid out the material so the rest of us could find each other somewhere in between.

http://www.patientslikeme.com/forum/show/35848

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Five Steps from Guilt to Gladness

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At Halloween time I posted a video in youtube using a pile of leaves. The topic was “leafing” my negative thoughts behind. In the video I descibed a simple form of cognitive thereapy. Well… I had to use it today. I swear I was feeling guilty about EVERYTHING (I even felt guilty that our old car had a bad “check-up” yesterday…it must be my fault!) Everywhere I looked I could see my shortcomings and failures. Finally I got out my pencil and paper and (1)wrote what I was thinking then (2)how I felt about it then (3)asked myself “Can I actually know that is true?” (4) Finally when it was time to talk back to myself all I could do was stare and the paper and wish I felt better. (5) I then recalled my support team and turned to the page in my planner where I had the names of people I felt comfortable brainstorming with. I called Cindy. She helped me find positive somewhere in the rubble of the negative. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THE TOOLS I’VE LEARNED. THIS KIND OF THINKING COULD HAVE KEPT ME DOWN FOR A MONTH OR MORE!! –

How to feel like life is rich and abundant on a tight budget

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How to Feel Like Life is Rich and Abundant on a Tight Budget

budget3by Gwendolyn Larsen

My husband and I have never had a lot of money since I quit my teaching job when our first baby was born, but we were always comfortable. We live in an area where no one is very well-to-do so it’s easier. As neighbors, we are good examples to each other, often giving each other ideas on how to save money.
Our standard of living increased as my husband’s income increased. My daad also gave us money for various things.
With nine children to raise it was difficult when my husband lost his job of twenty-nine years due to computers taking over his responsibilities. The next job he took was as a shuttle driver. It was amazingly high-paying and enjoyable. This ended when his boss’s van broke down and he couldn’t afford a new one.
For then next few years my husband tried many jobs but they weren’t the right fit. We continue to seek the Lord’s guidance with our finances and we have learned that He always gives us the right kind and amount of trials to keep us seeking Him. His dependable, peaceful guidance is our salvation!

1. Pay tithing. Every Bible-believing person knows that God has promised to open the windows of heaven to us when we return a tenth of all the money he gives us. What time do we need it more than when money is tight? I believe that God blesses us in ways we don’t realize, like the accidents we didn’t have and the appliances and automobiles that didn’t break down.
2. Stay out of debt. There is no way that we could have lived on so little money if we hadn’t waited until we had the money before buying what we wanted. Having to pay interest on debts eats up the money cushion that is so needed when on a tight budget. Besides, debt is bondage and there’s no way you can feel like life’s abundant and rich when in bondage.
3. Know your spouse’s and your own needs to feel abundant. Because we weren’t in debt and we know and trust each other to be wise in spending, we were able to give each other our own money, as little as it was. I discovered the magic of having just a few dollars every week automatically go into a separate savings account for my favorite things. I was amazed at how rich I felt! I can have anything I want if I’m just patient and consistent, I learned.
4. Make every dollar count. My husband did the grocery shopping and is a marvel and stretching our dollars. I shopped at Deseret Industries and was grateful that the things I needed and wanted were there because others gave of their abundance in their time of plenty.
5. Learn how to say “No!” (A) This is a hard one when it comes to children. They try to make you feel guilty, like you’re doing something wrong, and like you don’t love them. I just explained that I knew that God wanted me to be home with them, giving them my time, not money. We gave them jobs to earn a little money and when they wanted more, they found jobs outside our home. At one time, four of our five at home children had regular jobs.
(B) My husband and I were examples of saying “No” to ourselves too, except for those things for which we were willing to save.
6. Confidently give from your heart. I became very good at finding inexpensive, but good-enough gifts. The reason for gifts is to help others feel loved in a fun way. One of my separate savings accounts was for birthdays so I would always be able to work with at least a few dollars. My family and friends all understood and were ok with our financial situation and I think were a little relieved that they didn’t have to come up with fancy gifts either.
7. Express gratitude. In prayer, to each other, in and out of the family, around the table, in phone calls and in e-mails and letters, we tell what is abundant about our lives. At dinnertime, we often tell of inspirational moments of the day, times when we have seen God’s hand in our lives. Many times we tell of how things had worked out financially. Sometimes others will be generous with us. We are always humbly grateful, never pridefully saying “No,” as we feel that God has prompted someone to help us make it through a hard time. A thankful heart is a happy heart.
Gwendolyn now has 2 grandsons to add to her family.

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I WANT to be thankful but…

stress-women1Years ago I attended an event where LaDawn Jacobs, former Mrs. Utah, said “One cannot be grateful and depressed at the same time.”

Her words stuck with me and through the years they have revisited me in various forms. A few years ago my daughter, Tiffany, created a beautiful “Grateful Journals” where she wrote 10 things she was thankful for each day.

As I tried to follow her example I found that I often found things that I WANTED to be thankful for, but I wasn’t yet.

After all, the bible says “Thank we God without ceasing…” 1 Thes. 2:13. It doesn’t say “Thank we God without ceasing—unless you are in the middle of a pity party, having a hard time or experiencing a less-than-cheerful mood.”

My daughter, Cindy, had a “want to be thankful for” day yesterday. Her day included going to the hospital with one child for 7:00 A.M. tests after only sleeping a few hours because Divit, the dog, kept itching herself, and waking up when Michael had growing pains and Tiarra had a fever. As her day continued she received a call from the elementary school to say that Tiarra’s temperature had reached 103.7 and she took her to the doctors carting 1 year old Joshua along. Later she dropped a mayonnaise jar sending a small piece of glass up to break the cell phone she was holding (what were the chances?) After all that she found out that her phone company wouldn’t cover the freak accident … well, you get the idea. It was nearly impossible for her to be thankful for all these things, so we had a prayer together over the phone and prayed “Lord, we WANT to be thankful for these trials, but we’re just not there yet!” Somehow I can imagine our loving Father smiling and saying “It is tough right now but someday it will sure make a good blog!.” Then bless her for her willingness to look heavenward despite her challenges.

And so I have my thankful sessions. Some comments are genuine “thank-yous” and others are “want to be thank-you’s.” as I take one more preventative step in my goal to STAY SANE (or at least appear that way. Haha!)

Danger: Nervous Mother in for Repair!!

2008-12_c-78-copyThe kids are fighting, the soup is burning, the carpet looks gray instead of beige and I am on the verge of crying. Why did I get myself into this mess?

Such was a day my life as a young mom. In desperation I cut out a stop sign out of white paper and wrote in bold, black marker: “DANGER!! Nervous Mother in for Repair!” I then told my kids that I had to have at least 10 – 15 minutes alone before I exploded! I stuck the sign on my bedroom door with scotch tape and listened to the peaceful sound of the door knob clicking as it closed me into my bedroom and I threw myself face up on the unmade bed.

Peace was short lived, however, as pleas of “Mommy, open the door!”, “This isn’t funny!” and “Heidi pulled my hair!” infiltrated through the space at the bottom of the door. My choice to take 10 – 15 minutes 2 – 3 times a day during the next few weeks continued to bring bangs and whines like storms, that threatened to invade my home. Yet, like storms, as my determination to take “repair time” continued, the storms began to decline and finally gave way as the kids realized that when I came out of the room I was a much nicer mom. The real proof of the success of the idea was when my daughter said “Maybe you need time out mom!”

It has been many years since I wrote that first sign. Now my daughters have children of their own and use signs of their own. And so, my stress-reduction tip for the day today is:
WHEN LIFE GETS TOUGH AND PEACE GROWS THIN
PUT OUT YOUR SIGN AND GO IN!