Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trying To Listen...

"Sometimes it takes adding one more voice for the message to finally be heard."

I had a dream last night. A friend in the dream said those words to me. When I woke up, I wrote them down because I knew I would not remember if I waited till morning.

I seem to be hard of hearing. It is so hard for me to hang onto the belief that I have value to others. I know I have value to me... and I believe God values me.... but believing someone else might find me of value still blows me away.

In my dream, someone I value, who I have known for 20 years, told me I have value. Actually he said more to me. He said that he believed in me. That I can do it.

Why am I so quick to loose faith in myself? I second guess myself constantly. I analyze my interactions with others until they match nothing to the original event.

I'm learning to take a step back and look at myself. Geeze, if others thought of me what I sometimes think they ought to think of me, I would be surrounded by shallow people. I'm not. Does that mean that I am the shallow one?

Not towards others, just myself. I really need to stop being shallow towards myself. I really do deserve better than that.

I think this goes deeper.... Maybe it's not so much whether or not others value me... Maybe it's whether or not I will allow myself to experience that value... whether or not I will allow myself to trust them that they are being real with me.


Ok, I'm listening.,.. That final voice is coming in loud and clear.... I trust the friend who talked to me in my dream... If I can trust him, then I am capable of extending that trust to others.

My tiny trust circle is softening in order to expand. Another person is waiting to get in.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Saga of the Car, With a New Friend Thrown In...

I have so many words dancing around in my head, but for some reason they don't seem to want to jump down to my computer screen. Go figure?

I am disappointed today. A mechanic was supposed to come over at noon and fix my car. He postponed me til tomorrow, possibly Saturday. I think I'm going to start looking around again.

My life has been really busy. Despite not having my own form of transportation, I have been busy. Walking and getting rides. Borrowing Tiffany's van. I'm taking the bus tonight to my meeting. Not feeling all that independent right now.

I have met a nice guy who is single. He seems to want to be friends. Danny has known him for a couple of years, they met at church. It is so refreshing to be able to talk with someone and just be friends. I do not sense any hidden agenda, no ulterior motives, in other words, he didn't come on to me.... He was genuine.

I'm not sure why, but guys coming on to me has been problematic in my life. Even when I was married, once even when I was pregnant! My first husband got a kick out of it, I guess it stroked his ego... kinda tells you a bit about him. I don't like it, I never did. It's done in a way that left me feeling cheap, dirty, and in need of a shower.

I'm not a striking beauty so that certainly could not be the reason why. I guess it was the part of me that was attracted to active sex addicts, because I sure seemed to draw them in. I am so grateful that flaw in me has been purged. That flaw that was placed in me by my sex addicted dad. My dad wasn't just a sex addict, he was a pedophile, he used me in such sick ways. Yes, the sins of the fathers do visit on the heads of the children. Those sins left me greatly lacking in the ability to make wise decisions concerning who I dated and eventually married. Those sins left me making a whole lot of mistakes, and adding my sins to the list....

The work has been hard and often painful. But I would not ever wish to take a different route than the one I took. The one I am now on. God is good, God gives grace, God can turn anything around. He sure did so with me.

So I have a new friend. A decent man who emits humility and integrity. All other men I have met in my life who emit those qualities are married. This is a new experience for me. I like making new friends.

Monday, January 17, 2011

When the Lord carries a burden, he chooses to carry more than half....

It's a quarter to one in the morning and I'm wide awake.

I've been thinking about the wonderful manifestation of God's fulfilled promises this week. The week started out horrible, but ended wonderful. Since I'm wide awake now, I've decided to write about it.

First of all, I fell apart last Monday. Literally... absolutely... completely... I was a genuine mess. I could not stop crying.

I prayed... I cried some more. I continued to pray... I continued to cry...

Three things were weighing so heavy on me I just knew I was going to sink into the ground for lack of ability to hold it together.

1- The car part Danny had ordered to get the car fixed was missing. FedEx claimed it had been delivered, but we did not have it. I was fretting, how were we going to find it? Or worse... afford to buy another one?

2- The Saturday before, I was eating some popcorn in front of the tv. I wasn't paying too much attention to it and I should have been. Suddenly there was an intense, sharp pain shooting down into my tooth on my lower right jaw. I had bitten down hard onto an unpopped kernel. OUCH!!! Oh no, I thought for sure I had extended the crack that was already in a molar on that side. I managed to crack a molar on all four sides of my mouth, stress related, and this particular one had already lost a cusp (corner). If I did crack it further, it was probably not savable.

I was scheduled to begin work on three of the cracked teeth for crowns at the end of the month, the fourth had already been lost. I was devastated. I am already thinking there is no way I am going to be able to afford the implant they want to put in to replace the tooth I lost. If I lost a second molar, also on the bottom and not on the same side, I was going to have a terrible time eating anything solid.

3- My ex-husband made a terrible financial blunder that affected me. We had a joint checking account so he could pay alimony to me. His paycheck was directed deposited into it, I would take out my alimony, and he would take out the rest. It was a system that was working as long as he didn't use the account for anything else.... as long....

He answered a "job" ad on Craig's List. He does freelance graphic design work. He was sent Postal Money Orders that he was instructed to cash and then send the money to a third party for supplies..... I know... and you know.... but he didn't seem to know.

He cashed three money orders for $990.00 each. He did it on the joint account he was not supposed to use for any other reason. Thankfully he only withdrew the money for two of them, but still, when the money orders came back as unpayable because they were counterfeit, it left this account... with my name on it... in the hole over $2000!! Fees were continuing to pile up and as of Monday, was approaching $2200.00.

When he told me about this, I immediately went to my bank and explained what he had done. I knew I could not get my name off that account until it was brought to a positive balance again, but I wanted to get my name off the other accounts I shared with my sons. The bank manager assured me it would be okay, because I am on Social Security, my money is federally protected. Since they cannot determine which money in any of those accounts is money from Social Security, all accounts with my name on them are protected.... I believed her. She told me to wait until all the bogus money orders were returned and then I was to go in and force the account closed. She would then set up a payment plan for him.

That was two weeks before. He had still not done anything to correct the situation.

I finally received photo copies of all three money orders at the end of the previous week, but hadn't yet made it into the bank to close the account and set up the payment plan. Having a car that needed repaired made that task difficult, and I had not been feeling well.

So by Monday, I was a mess. All three problems involved money... money I did not have. I did not know how I was going to be able to solve even one of these, let alone all three.

I finally called my home teacher. I cried... I sobbed... I could not hold it together... He asked me which problem was the most pressing on me. I said I really needed the car fixed, but I think it was probably the tooth. If I could get it worked on ASAP, then maybe it could be saved. I was thinking if the tooth root was cracked it would be open to infection like the other one I lost, and I wanted to prevent that. He told me he would make sure I could get to an appointment if I was able to get one. I called and left a message for my dentist at the dental school. He called my bishop.

Later that day I got a call back. I described what had happened and my dentist also thought I would probably loose the tooth. I really was devastated. I got an appointment for the next morning and secured my ride to get there.

I got a call from my bishop that night. Although he could not help me with all the work I still needed in my mouth, he did offer to help with a set amount towards fixing the one tooth. I was grateful and felt a bit of the burden lifted from my sagging shoulders.

The next day I made it to my appointment. My dentist started pushing on the tooth... no pain. He had me bite on a rod as he place it in different positions on that tooth... still no pain. Finally, he got a little bit of a reaction. Then he put a very cold piece of cotton on the place I had previously reacted to.... that was it!! OUCH!!! I then asked what I had begun to suspect... was it was a different tooth?

Yep, it was the molar behind it, the last one on that row. But the good news, he was unable to find a crack. He explained to me that it is possible to sprain a tooth. That the ligaments that hold the root in place can become sprained it traumatized. And biting on that unpopped kernel traumatized it. Normally that would not happen, but the tooth is weak, because it contains a rather large filling. He said to consider this a warning, the tooth is weak and it will eventually crack. And when it does crack, there is no saying how it will do it, if a cusp will break off, and if it can be saved at that point. The best course of treatment would be to take preventative action and get it crowned now.....

After a week, the tooth no longer hurts, which he told me would happen if he were correct about the sprain and not a crack. So now I'm looking at a fourth crown. With the help the bishop offered, I will be able to do it, my part being just 1/4 of the cost. I decided to take him up on the offer. Problem #2 had become manageable for me.

Later in the week Danny got an email answer from FedEx. They indicated the apartment number the package was left at. It was not ours. Thursday afternoon I walked up to that apartment, knocked on the door, and a young girl of about 20 answered. I asked her if a package had been delivered to her by FedEx last week to a Daniel Smith and she said she would check her room mate's room. She came back to the door with this rather large box... The package was found!!! Why she or her room mate didn't take it to the manager's office I don't know, but I'm grateful we got it back.

Two problems down, two were now manageable. Now I just need to have someone install the new distributor. My home teacher is working on arranging that for me.

I thought about this on Friday morning. Two problems brought down to a size I could handle. I felt watched over. The Lord truly was mindful of my situation. But I thought about that third one and wondered how that could ever get fixed.

I opened my email and found a message from my ex. It seems his work goofed and reversed the direct deposit, which he had stopped before his last payday, and his full paycheck was deposited into the account!! With that deposit 3/4 of the debt was taken care of. Again I felt the Lord's hand in this and felt grateful for answered prayers.

Because it was a mistake on his work's part, they reissued him his check. He just has to pay it back a little bit each pay period.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, someone in the branch in Mesa decided to take all the money out of all the other accounts my name was on. This is what I had specifically asked about and had been assured would not happen. The debt on the joint account was down to $118, but all the other accounts were at zero. I went back to the bank. I called my ex.

He in turn called his work and he is cashing in his vacation pay. With that, the debt will be gone and hopefully all the money taken from my sons and me will be replaced. If not, he has two weeks until his next paycheck to make it right.

I never would have dreamed this would happen. I was trying so hard to not be burdened by his mistake, but how could I not be? And come February 8th, if it is not resolved, I will be turned into Check Systems and be black balled from having a checking account for 5 years!!

Danny and I went to another bank on Saturday and opened a new account. I will not be left without an account because of a mistake I did not make.

Like I said, at the end of the week I realized how mindful of my problems the Lord really is. He has truly been working on them, lifting my burden. And He didn't just take half. He took 3/4 away from me, and let me know that the 1/4 he left me with, I can handle. If He had of taken all the burden I don't think I would have felt as blessed as I do now. By leaving some of it with me, He is letting me know he believes in me, He knows I can do it. And I can.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And Life Goes On...

Well, it's been a few weeks again.

I have an excuse for this week .... sorta. I cut my finger and typing is somewhat of a challenge at the moment. You wouldn't believe how often I'm backspacing!! Just add another challenge to my life to keep it interesting lol.

I've noticed my days have become much fuller. I actually have places to go some days. Especially Thursdays. Temple in the morning, babysitting in the afternoon, and my 12-step group at night.

I am really glad I decided to go to that group again. I think it is helping me to let go of some distrust.

I wish I could write more now, but I think the girls are tearing my livingroom apart... it does not sound good.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Of Consequences....

I went to see the new Narnia movie this week.... then I went again. I love all the movies, but I think The Voyage of The Dawn Treader is the best so far. I sure hope Disney finishes out the series.

I love the way C.S. Lewis tells the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a wonderful and magical way. Several things struck me from the movie, things that have caused me to pause and reflect on my own life, my own story. I will talk about one of them here.

There are four children that find a way into a magical world called Narnia. It is Lucy, the youngest, that first discovers Narnia, and they go on to become very important to this new world. They have several adventures and learn great lessons along the way.

In The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, Lucy is jealous of her older sister, Susan. She thinks Susan is beautiful and wants to be like her. She finds a spell that will make her look like Susan, so in secret, when no one is looking, she recites the spell and she transforms into the image of her older sister.

She finds herself being Susan, but soon discovers that in doing what she did, she erased Lucy. Because she no longer existed, her brothers no longer knew anything about Narnia, because Lucy was the one who first discovered it. Her selfish act affected more than just herself, it had far reaching consequences on those around her as well.

As she realizes her mistake she is able to become herself again, only to be asked by Aslan, "Lucy. what did you do?"

She answers him that she didn't know, she only wanted to be beautiful. She did not think all the other things would happen.

Isn't that true of all selfish acts? We think we are only affecting ourselves, in secret, and don't consider the far reaching consequences that ricochet off ourselves and cause damage to those around us.

That is what I have been struggling with... The effects of other's selfish decisions. One of those ricocheting pieces has grown into resentments in me, and festered into a rather large boil. I want very much to drain that boil, and heal those scars.

This has been my prayer for months... to be able to trust again. I have felt that prayer being answered in small pieces that I have been able to put together inside myself and integrate into my being.

Something else I did this last week was read a book called "He Restoreth My Soul: Understanding And Breaking The Chemical And Spiritual Chains Of Pornography Addiction Through The Atonement Of Jesus Christ" by Donald L Hilton Jr., M.D.

I think having that book recommended to me was another answer to this prayer. In it I found hope that those scars can be completely healed. I did believe it before, but this book gave me the ability to let that belief go deeper. The Atonement works. There are no scars it cannot heal. There is no sin, that if applied, it cannot erase.

I know I am going to be okay.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, because porn is so prevalent we cannot escape it. We are all affected. Our children WILL BE EXPOSED. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to educate ourselves about it so that we can protect our families as much as humanly possible. And with that, also educate ourselves about the miracle of the Atonement. Without the Atonement, healing simply is not possible... It is truly the only way.