Category Archives: Trust

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).






I Worry Too Much

I Worry Too Much!
I used to say “I worry too much.”
I thought worrying equated to caring. I would worry about what others thought of me, I’d worry about what they thought of my children, I’d worry if someone was mad or sad or indifferent and even about whether my dress was as nice as others I saw at church. That is until I learned the W2W formula.
Fear seized my heart as I heard of men being called up for duty into
the military. My husband was an active reservist and I knew he could
be one of those called. For three days I lived and dreamed in fear and
Imagined what it would be like if he left us and yes, if he were killed.
It was hard to function from day to day. Finally, I realized I must face
my fear head on. Prayerfully I took a notebook and wrote what I would
do if worse came to worse(W2W). The quiet promise of faith in specific ways
as I wrote and I received keys that opened the bars to my self-made prison, and once again I was able to function . – First Aid for Feelings by Patricia Potts
Exactly how do you do W2W?
1. Pray for help and inspiration
2. Write down what you are worrying about. Include any fears associated with it. Here is my W2W from this morning: It has been 3 days since we have heard from our son. He is in Afghanistan in the middle of an ugly war. The last time we heard from him, his unit was under fire. I am worried he will be killed. I am worried that if he is not killed he will come home maimed or brain dead. I am worried that I won’t be able to handle it. I am worried that we won’t hear for days, weeks or months about how he is. This is monopolizing my life!
3. Face your worst fears as if they actually happened.
What if he was killed?—I know that he will be received by Jesus and allowed to learn the remaining lessons he needs. We could do the temple work for him. We could continue to pray for him
What if he was maimed? – This would be very difficult, but I know the Army would offer help. We could fix up the guest room for him. God would give us the strength to handle it. The ward would help.
You get the idea.
4. Do what you can do and remember the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Whether you are facing addictions, divorce or simply worrying about small things, the next time you find yourself saying, “I am worrying too much,” remember W2W. Most Importantly, remember the comforting comfort of our Savior that we will surely find as we put our trust in Him.

Joy in the Touchdown!

I clicked into Amazon to gather information about my book sales for January 2009 only to discover that there were no sales. I thought of all the posts, newsletters and blogs I had created and felt discouragement welling up inside me like a sponge in my chest soaking up any hope or encouragement within. I had committed to 8-10 hours a week of marketing to help my books find new homes and now this. Discouraged I looked around the kitchen where my desktop computer resided and silently prayed, “Please Father. “I am trying to follow thy will. I want to bless the lives of others but I don’t think it will happen at this rate.”

Standing I stretched backward to relieve my tired back then began to pace through our forest green couches. “What more could I have done? How can I get my books to those who need them? How can I feel at least a little progress?”

The day continued and I became increasingly frustrated. Soon I found myself thinking “Why try. I may as well give up my marketing efforts and do something productive! I can give my remaining books to my children and their children and their children”

By 2:00 I began teaching guitar and kept busy doing what I love. Cheering those who were practicing and encouraging those who were not.

It was nearly 6:30 when Mary and her daughter, Elizabeth came. Elizabeth was a new student and we spent much of the lesson on orientation and helping her get started on her first song. Just before she left Mary said “I looked at your website and I loved it. Do you have any books here that I could buy?”

Mary didn’t know it at the time but she was a direct answer to my prayer as she continued “I have been looking for something just like this.”

Mary followed up the next week by sharing “I could hardly put your book down. It was an answer to my prayers.”

I once read of a football player who had trained and paid the price to make a touchdown. When the big game came he was tackled just 2 inches from a touchdown. Instead of giving up he kept on doing what he was doing and finally made that touchdown.

I am thankful that my Heavenly Father and his angels were mindful of me and my heartfelt desire to get a book to Mary so that we could both find joy in the touchdown and hope for the future.

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.



notesI confess. I am a notorious note-taker.  I am addicted to writing notes wherever go from church to seminars.  My husband can verify this vice.  Do I reread my notes?  Do I keep it up to win koodes from others so they will think I’m paying attention?  Do I write wrecklessly to keep myself from falling asleep or to make the presenter feel profound? Who knows.  Maybe the answer is “D” all of the above.  How long have I had this addiction?  I think from the time I could write.  


I confess.  My addiction has caused many a tree to fall, a box to be filled, a hungry waste basket to be fed and the total lbs. in our house to increase proportionately. 


I discovered, however, that after all these years of notes taking, the most powerful form for me is now “paper prayers.” My friends began telling me about it through books, emails and conversationsyears before I actually tried that type of praying and made it a part of my daily life.  They explained that praying on paper was similar to praying out loud without the sound sound-waveswaves.  They suggested that I simply write a letter back home to heaven.  Thanking, expressing concerns, asking questions and listening for the spirit to answer their prayers then recording their answers.


After watching their examples and seeing how much more peace this practice brought them  I finally I decided to begin my “capturing” on a beautiful summer day on my rocking chair and began my half hour daily of personal study with my trusty spiral notebook. I embarked on my paper prayer journey by addressing my Father then I let my thoughts, feelings, questions, requests and gratitude flow. Soon I began using symbols because they allowed me to say more in less time and helped me get to the “meat” of the conversation quicker.  The 3 symbols I use are hearts, arrows and question marks. 


To illustrate here is part of my paper prayer today:


Dear Father, Jesus and all my heavenly Helpers…

heart(heart) I thank thee for…

(heart)   a good nights sleep

(heart) Our home

(heart) Our dog

(heart) The fireplace

(heart) My painted toe nails…etc.


Please help me with…

arrow-up(arrow) My weakness in judging one of our children

(arrow) My right knee pain

(arrow) My marketing efforts for the two books we have written

(arrow) Racing thoughts



I was wondering…

question-mark(Question Mark) When can I find time to dejunk the computer area, the dresser in our room

…leave space for the answer…

(Question Mark) What is the best way to bring up clutter with the grandkids?

…leave space for the answer…

(Question Mark) Should I advertise again for my 3 guitar student openings?

…leave space for the answer…



Well, you get the idea.  When I ask questions I allow for plenty of room to write the answers.  Sometimes the answers come quickly.  Sometimes they come after reading scriptures or some other inspirational thing.  Sometimes they come during the day or later. 


Either way, when they come it is a miracle and I can relate to the quote in First-Aid for Feelings that reads:


If I sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to His words, I believe I would

have pen and paper in hand to capture the peace and wisdom that

would flow from Him. When I receive inspiration, promptings and

directions from His Spirit, why is it that I so often fail to write it down?

(Patricia Potts)



So, for all you note-taking addicts out there (and those of you who just want to try a very spiritually rewarding experience) I challenge you.  Go ahead, increase your paper-load, use up those pens and mechanical pencils. I promise that this is one addiction you will want to keep! 



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,