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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Friday, August 26, 2011


I am one... a Christian, I mean.  My Faith is in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, born in Bethlahem, known as a Galilean, to Mary and Joseph.  Joseph was his earthly Father, while Heavenly Father was and is the Father of His body as well as His Spirit.  And so He, Jesus Christ, became God living as a human.

Jesus Christ is my Hope and my Light.  He is my Life.  As I keep Him in His rightful position in my life, even the heaviest burdens are bearable (because I am yoked with Him!).  Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  I know that without His Atonement, I could not have any meaningful Hope in or for the future.  WITH and because of His Atonement, even the worst that could happen to me in this life will not truly hurt me, in the eternal scheme of things, because my Hope is in Christ and His saving GOODNESS, Grace, and acts (The Atonement).

I love the Gospel of Christ!  It has brought all that is GOOD in my life to my knowledge and ability to feel.  Christ is what is good about me and who is most important to me.  Through His Gospel, I have come to acceptance of almost all things with which I previously struggled.  I know the few things I have not yet come to accept are things I will shortly be in complete acceptance of because I am striving in Christ to truly be His.  Beyond acceptance, I have come to Peace in and over many things with which I have struggled.  And even beyond Peace, I have come to happiness and even joy concerning some (perhaps even many) things that I should feel happiness and joy in and about, but which I could not prior to making Jesus Christ BIG in my life and putting Him in His correct place in my heart, mind, and life/actions.

The Gospel of Christ, as taught in the Bible, is (in my understanding, knoweldge, and experience with God's Word via the Holy Spirit (wich constitutes my Faith)) magnified and expounded upon in The Book of Mormon.  The Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, and Articles of Faith add additional Light to my understanding of Jesus Christ's Gospel.  I'm so grateful our Heavenly Father has given us so much of His Word that we may grow in knowledge and understanding of Him and His ways that we might become ever more like our Savior and our Heavenly Father.

I bear my testimony that The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints contains within it the greatest amount of Truth and Light available through any of the religions practiced on the face of the earth today.  I'm grateful that our Heavenly Father condescends to communicate to us via His Holy Spirit of truths which are necessary to our eternal salvation.

I bear this, my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday, Week of August 18 through 24, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011:  I'm thankful for enjoyable busy days.  We went to the library, received free kids meal cards for each of the girls, went to McDonald's, enjoyed a surprise visit with one of our sweet Sister Missionaries, and went to a lovely Eagle Scout Court of Honor.  Exhausting, but wonderful, too.  The girls were lovin' the GO of the day.  (Not so much so for me with the love of GO, but glad they do!)  Rather, I GO because I love!  ;)

Friday, August 19, 2011:  I'm thankful for opportunities to show my appreciation and love, even if only by going somewhere to support someone (sweet party Kenyon!).

Saturday, August 20, 2011:  I'm thankful for my children's wonderful behavior at one of my Host Family's homes.  We completed the orientations for the Host Families as well as the Exchange Students and it went very well (all things considered, especially!).  What a gift and tender mercy of the Lord!

Sunday, August 21, 2011:  I'm thankful for the Sabbath day and the physical rest it sometimes provides.  And BOY! did I need it this time.  Nap AND early to bed!

Monday, August 22, 2011:  I'm thankful for a Monday at home to try to relax and rest in hopes of vanquishing the headache I've had for the last few days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011:  I'm thankful for a 5th day of headaches, which remind me how WONDERFUL it is to have been so very healthy for quite a long period of time!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011:  I'm thankful for reduction in the pain in my head AND for the wonderful time had by all who participated in the 4-H meeting tonight.  Heather, you are amazing!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 3

Day three of the intense no-sugar fast, but actually day 8 total.

I think day three is always the hardest when trying to make changes.  Why is that?  I'm not sure.  Haven't checked into it.  But MAN!  My head has been aching and pounding like crazy the past few days.  Today it hasn't been as constant, but the moments of pain have been intense!

Why the pain?  Well, last Monday we started a 40 day augar fast; as a family.  The first 5 days, though, were kinda like what I'd been doing for myself already, except that I couldn't eat the hunny nut cherrios-type cereal we had and I couldn't make and eat anything with honey (like muffins, which I LOVE way too much!).  But we could all still have all the fruit we wanted.  Friday night was the end of that.  Saturday was all right, but did have the headache.

Sunday was quite okay.  Super tired and headache right behind my eyes.  AND my eyes hurt, but I think that's just from being so flippin' tired!

Today has been the rockin day.  The headache I've already mentioned.  The fatigue... one would think that after having a nap on Sunday and going to sleep at 10pm I would have had enough sleep.  But I suppose given the withdrawls from sugar that we're all going through at least a little bit... my body just wants to sleep and heal up.

Anyway... keep me in your prayers, if you think of it.  And Jess, Ria, Kat, Tea, and Jimmy, too (Jimmy by way of breastmilk, of course).  ^_^

Friday, August 19, 2011

What I Used to Be

I used to be a show it all, all the time, kinda girl.  Not physically in risque clothing, mind you.  But emotionally.  I used to "say it like it IS," or, in reality, like it was to me.  My truth had to be said at the expense of all else.  I had to say what I needed to say in and of myself.

This problematic behavior still troubles me, but not nearly as much as it did in the past.  And when it creeps out, it's really more as a result of forgetting to guard my mind and tongue than with a feeling of "this opinion of mine, personally, must be shared, come hail or high water."

But, I think, the Lord has taken this personal weakness and turned it to His Glory and to support His purposes.  I used to be unable (or unwilling, probably, is more the truth) to control my mouth in support of and profession of my thoughts, considerations and opinions.  Now I feel compelled to NOT control my mouth in profession of God's precepts, principles and truths.

I used to be open with any and all about everything with which I was dealing and/or struggling.  I would monopolize conversation time with my personal problems and frustrations.  I still do this at times... mostly with my Mom and a very few select others.  This is totally new to who I am and I like it, but it is also a difficult change to endure in because it is NOT natural to Tori.  I still have a tendancy to monopolize with vocalization (talking)  communication opportunities when I'm around other adults.  But not because I feel selfish (which I know I did in the past), but, rather, because I just want to talk to other adults and share stuff that I don't get to share as much as I'd like.  Or to use big grow-up words as often as this woman wants to use em.  (Men have far fewer words to use each day and often use more than they would like, while women have MANY words they want to use and, especially those who stay home full-time, rarely use them all up on a regular basis!)  There is still selfishness in my desire to talk because I don't usually get to, I know it and I know I need to work on this character flaw.  I am.  Recognition of a problem/flaw is the first step to change, right!?  :)  It's just so wonderful to share things (mostly good stuff) and hear responses in real-time!  ^_^

In the past, during a time like my most recent bout with negative circular thinking, I would've verbally vomited here and to anyone else who would hear me.  I am striving to change.  Yet, I think it important to share the trouble from my current perspective because I am a frail woman full of problems and I would NOT want to give anyone the impression that I think I'm not simply because I tend to share mostly positive stuff anymore.  :)  I truly am trying to be and tend to be mostly positive anymore, but I have my down days just like anybody!

So, Jess and I had this arguement before I went to Louisiana.  Yes.  It's been a WHILE!  July 13, I think, is when I left for that trip and the arguement started about 5 days before that.  Anyway... the fussing and frustration was, eventaully, resolved and satisfactorily.  I felt quite good about things.  And then I went on the trip.  I did try to keep us in regular contact with Jess and doing Devotionals as a family and whatnot, but it was far more difficult than the last time the kiddos and I went on a trip.  Then it came time for me to return home.  I was not feeling excited... I even felt some dread of it.  Because of that arguement I mentioned above.

16 hours to think, given the feelings I felt when I depared, is not a good thing.  I'm sure the lack of sleep contributed.

Family visited.  Jess said something that was just one of those things he probably shouldn't  have said while my brothers and their families were visiting.  And from there I just felt the full return of all the negative feelings attached to the last two big arguements we'd had.

Anyway.... Basically, I was having unkind, intollerant, and even some uncalled-for thoughts about my husband.  I was unforgiving.  I refused to forgive.  I felt justified in my unforgiveness even though I knew, in my heart, that I was wrong.  I hardened my heart and stiffened my neck against the whispers that were telling me exactly how wrong I was.  I'm so thankful the Lord didn't give up on me!!!

The only thing that has ever worked well to get me out of the negative circular thinking is God.  He's always there and willing to help us with our silly little efforts to learn to walk with Him!  And I know, truly, that I'm not even to the 'drunken baby' stage of my spiritual toddlerhood!  (Don't you LOVE that analogy!??)

I used to feel stuck in the muck of those negative circular thoughts.  I sorta did again these past couple weeks.  Honestly, though, it was chosen... as it always is.  I was just much more consciously rebellious this time around.  I'm so glad and so very thankful that God gives us ample opportunities to change... and provided our Savior that we may endure in change through Him and hope for a future in Their presence!

There are lots of other ways I used to be that I'm able to see great growth (especially during difficult times).  But these suffice for now.  :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Even Though I'm Not Worthy....

I know I am less than the dust of the earth because the dust will go when Father says.  I dicker and dither and don't right away.  I'm a fallible human, for sure!

Even though I know I'm not worthy, I know the Lord loves me and I'm so grateful!!!  I'm so grateful for the ways He shows me of His Love!  And how He desires to help me look up from the muck of life through which I'm trudging to see the beautiful sky, clouds, birds, rainbows, and all other wonderful things He has in store for my view when I stop focusing on the immediate mess.

As a result of the negative circular thinking of the month (or just less) after my LA trip, I was feelin blue.  Down and sad and all that jazz.

Father God was knocking with lovliness this last little while.  I know He was showing me of His Love that I might refuse to focus on the muck through which I walk and, rather, look to all else He has provided (and remember that the muck is fertilizer for the future!

Father showed me He loved me by inspiring my husband to drop in at the house to get a deposit envelope so he could mail his earnings AND take the time to apologize to me for something; on Friday (8-12).

Heavenly Father showed me He loved me when my friend (who I'd been trying to visit with for the preivious 4 days) was able to come visit and listen to me blubber about problems and talk "adult;" on Monday (8-15).

He showed me He loved me by inspiring my hubby called to thank me for my work as wife, Mama, homeschool administrator, housekeeper (and all other jobs I must fulfill) AND apologize for something.

Our Father showed me He loved me when two previous Sister missionaries and one Elder wanted to and then did come to visit me on Tuesday!

He showed me He loved me when He arranged things such that I got to go the temple in the morning and then spend a lot more time than I expected with a dear friend on Wednesday.

He showed me He loved me when He inspired another previous Sister Missionary to come by for a visit with her new husband!

These are some of the "bigger" things in my little life that I recognize as tender mercies of the Lord and ways that He is showing me that He is mindful of me.  He wants us all to feel of His Peace and Love.  "Men are that they might have joy."  It's true today as ever!

I know, of course, that The Atonement is THE greatest gift for which we all should be endlessly grateful!  These little things are simply special for my little life.  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday, Week of August 11 to 17, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011:  I'm thankful for time at home during which I was able to get a good bit of writing done.

Friday, August 12, 2011:  I'm thankful for food from my church.  It was our last pick-up.  We sure are going to miss seeing Brother Kelly every other Friday!

Saturday, August 13, 2011:  I'm thankful for the time I was able to write another Lesson of Life that needed to get out TODAY.  I'm also glad I was able to attend a sweet lady's baptism.  I was able to talk to her hubby and hopefully he'll be working for Jessie soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011:  I'm thankful for John.  Today is his birthday.  (HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dad (PopPop)!!!!!)  John is extremely important to me.  He is my Jessie's Dad.  Without John living his life the way he did, my Jessie could not be the man he is.  Although Jessie is not as perfect as many believe him to be, he is an amazing man.  So, Dad G., I'm SO grateful to and for you!!!  I'm grateful for the son you've raised to be my man and Daddy to our babies.  WE LOVE YOU!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011:  I'm thankful for another trip to Orlando to meet the other exchange student I will be helping and her family.  Another Norwegian.  How fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011:  I'm thankful for Visiting Teaching and the opportunities to spend time with wonderful ladies that the assignment to visit teach create!  I love the ladies the Lord has assigned me to be friends with!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011:  I'm thankful for my Jessie's consistency in helping me and willingness to help me attend the temple regularly!  I'm thankful for a first 4-H meeting with wonderful ladies and their kiddos!  We're going to have such a good time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday Week of August 4 to 10

Thursday, August 4, 2011:  I'm thankful for a dear friend who loves me enough to speak her mind and fortify me in belief in myself and Faith AND utter words straight from the Lord to challenge me to do that which I've neglected doing for fear and lack of self-confidence.

Friday, August 5, 2011:  I'm thankful for some exciting progress in writing a story I've been only half-trying to write for many years now.  It's moving right along so far!  ^_^  Now I just need to make time to SIT and write on it as much as possible each day!

Saturday, August 6, 2011:  I'm thankful for whispers of the Holy Spirit* that prompted me to check on flight info for one of my exchange students.  She arrives the 8th! and I didn't find out until today!

Sunday, August 7, 2011:  I'm thankful for Fast and Testimony meetings, wonderful lessons prepared by diligent teachers, sweet kiddos who love the Lord and want to do the right, and an awesome dinner with Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Monday, August 8, 2011:  I'm thankful for the sweet woman my brother Ben married and their lovely and amazing eldest daughter.  Kirsten turns THREE today!  I can hardly believe it.  She's one of the "quads" born within 5 months of one another.  My Tea has a slew of cousins within a few months of her age!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIRSTEN!!!!  We LOVE you!!!!  I'm also grateful for the opportunity to meet one of the foreign exchange students I'm responsible for communicating with for my job with ICES and her host family.  It's going to be such a fun year!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011:  I'm thankful for my Dad.  Today is his birthday.  (HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dad!!!)  I'm glad he's here for another one.  My Dad would've died a few years ago if he was HIS Dad.  I'm hopeful that we may grow closer and build bridges of understanding and love with this time granted us all with him (you), granted us of the Lord!  I'm also grateful for the time I was able to spend with a dear friend and her children today.  We are going to be a 4H club together!!!  I'm so excited for my kids AND for the gift of spending more time with my friend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011:  I'm thankful for quiet days at home to write some more on the story the Lord is urging me to get out of my head.

*The Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) and Personal Revelation
AND a talk by Elder Bednar about the Holy Spirit

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday, Week of July 28 - August 3, 2011

Check out EDUCATING EVELYN to join a link-up for Thankful Thursday!  Let's shine some light in the darknened world!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011:  I'm thankful for quiet days at home to rest and try to get things in order.

Friday, July 29, 2011:  I'm thankful for the food we have been blessed to receive of the church and thankful for the comfort, peace, and nourishment it has provided through this time of difficulty in joblessness and underemployment.

Saturday, July 30, 2011: I'm thankful for a quiet day at home.

Sunday, July 31, 2011:  I'm thankful for gifts from a sweet family as they prepare to move.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend time with our Ward Family and enjoy food together.  I'm so grateful for the blessing of working with a friend on her life story!

Monday, August 1, 2011:  I'm thankful for the job Jessie started today.  I'm glad he's happy with it and pray it will be a long-time position.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011:  I'm thankful for the lunches we've enjoyed with Jess during his break between shifts at work.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011:  I'm thankful for the opportunity to watch the last Harry Potter movie.

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