Monthly Archives: November 2011

Limbo Lanes and Headache Help

It was 6 A.M. and black outside.  Winter was taking her toll as freezing rain fell on the unfamiliar parking lot. As I left the store   I wondered how to head home.  I had gone farther away from home because my Wal-mart didn’t have what I needed and I had to leave for a workshop by 7A.M.


Because of the rain I didn’t want to risk traveling the freeways so I decided to turn left onto a smaller local road.  I watched the lights turn red, yellow and green as I waited for the green arrow turning lane.  That time of the morning there was no one behind me but plenty of cars were whizzing past me to head to the freeway.  I wondered when I would see my green arrow turn green. It seemed as if everyone else’s lights turned green three times while I waited for one!  Finally I realized that I wasn’t in the Since no one was in the left turning lane the light wasn’t changing!  I had mistakenly aligned myself in the freeway access land.  There, of course I would never encounter the left turn arrow and forever remain in limbo.


After I changed lanes I continued on my way home, I thought of the many times my life had similarly been in limbo.  Times when it seemed that hope as I might, I got everything but my green arrow.


Years ago when I was recovering from brain tumor surgery.  I often experienced debilitating headaches that left me in limbo, stopping me from moving forward in my recovery. This ordeal lasted for months on end.


I remember one spring day in West Jordan sitting at the kitchen table and looking out at the patches of weeds in back yard that was meant to be a garden.  “One more thing I’m not doing,” I sighed, wondering what the rest of the day would be like.


At that moment an idea popped into my head, “If you spend 10 minutes a day you can recapture part of that area and make it beautiful. That is something you CAN control.”  A few days later I went to the library and learned about circle gardens. There I learned that I could dig out shallow garbage can lid sized mini garden plots and plant tomatoes  and peas at the edges.  By the end of the summer there were many things I still could not control because of my health issues, but I remember feeling blessed that such a simple idea could help in such a profound way.  A little it at a time I was burrowing out of limbo.


I also found application with my headache.  This is shown in the following excerpt:


Acceptance Led to Rebuilding


          My feelings of futile powerlessness began to be replaced with a kind of spunky protectiveness as I learned preventative measures such as nutrition, chiropractic care and some alternative medicine.  I typed up a paper that included names and phone numbers of people who were willing to take over for me if I needed it.  The paper also listed ideas for medications and what I could do to ease my head pain such as a chiropractor, cold packs, etc.   


When the inevitable pain arrived, I pulled out my large print paper and followed the course of action I had previously outlined. (When I was in pain, it was hard to open my eyes, let alone think very well.)  The paper took over the thinking process, allowing me to focus on moving through the list. .- My Journey from Darkness to Light pg. 72 (LDS version)


So, the next time we find ourselves caught up in the limbo lane (whether it is waiting for that new baby to be born, building a new home, struggling with health issues, wondering if “he” will ever pop the question or simply waiting in line at the store) we can prayerfully examine our situation, switch lanes and find something, however small, that we can control and do it!


“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).








 By Patricia Potts

Too often I find myself doing the CTW dance (Counting the Wrong).  I count the number of things going wrong instead of what is going right! I look at what I do and say that is wrong, pretty soon the negative multiplies and I see negatives wherever I look. CTW is like a dark-eyed monster with an insatiable appetite constantly demanding more and more to eat.  He doesn’t have to look hard to find negative things so he can keep feeding all day long.   


A few years ago our extended family went  waterskiing. There were more than twenty relatives attending through the day. My niece Toni and her husband Mike were graciously running their boat so that everyone received a turn to water ski.  At the end of the long day I gave Toni a check to help cover our portion of the gas for the day. Instead of just handing it to her quietly, I mentioned to my mother the amount we contributed.  Afterwards I realized how prideful I had been to want to take credit and was so embarrassed.  I found myself wishing that I could just erase my words.


A few days later my granddaughter asked her grandpa for money instead of me. She knew I was stingy with money. Again I was embarrassed about my money attitude. 


The next morning I recognized that the house was messy, I had also misplaced a book and a phone number . . . the list went on and on.


About this time I realized that I was doing the CTW dance. I was counting the wrong in life when I needed to be counting the right. I was also reminded that I was not sinning in these things. I was just making human mistakes that I could learn from and then move on.


I knew I needed to counter my negative attitude by giving myself credit for what I did right:  CTR.  I did an about face and began to count anything that I saw or did that was right.

  1. 1.   I was dressed before 7 a.m.
  2. 2.   I put the milk away
  3. 3.   I washed the table off
  4. 4.   I lit a nice candle
  5. 5.   I had enough money to pay our doctor bill and house payment
  6. 6.   My husband has a good job
  7. 7.   I have good health right now
  8. 8.   …. (by now my attitude is better and I can start looking on the brighter, side of things)



I had a similar experience one day on the porch.  One morning as I stepped onto my front porch, I looked to the west.  There, above the mountains loomed dark, ominous clouds daring anyone to think of the day as pleasant.  They seemed to form themselves into a defensive football team two layers deep, preventing my entrance to a good day. Turning, I faced the east. Above the snow-capped mountains hung hope.  The sun had painted the sky with the brightest blue and the whitest white and it seemed to laugh at the darkness, declaring herself the triumphant winner.  The light of hope won my attention, my devotion and my direction.  As I face darkness in my life, I can remember that changing directions can make all the difference.


I find great power when I recognize that CTW is overpowering my life, I stop, change directions and begin to CTR (Count the right.) – My Journey from Darkness to Light by Patricia Potts pg. 102