Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Sometimes my burdens seem so hard to bear.

I can't describe them all in here, but just thinking about it all exhausts me.

One of the hardest things for me is my husband's addiction. I try to be tough, and I try to lean on Christ, but it really is hard. I think I sometimes pretend that I'm fine or I can handle it, but it really is hard.

The first thing my husband said to me this morning was "I messed up last night. I'm sorry." It was early, so I may be wrong, but I think I sensed he wanted to cry. I wanted to cry, but I had to be tough and go to work.

It breaks my heart to see him in so much pain. He has this battle with himself all the time about overcoming it. He is depressed for other reasons, and then he relapses because for a long time his addiction was his coping mechanism. Then he gets more depressed because of his addiction, and he is stuck in this vicious cycle.

I try to show my love and support, but sometimes I'm selfish. When I am selfish, I fear I will make his depression worse.

I haven't gotten depressed as much lately, which I will 100% attribute to God. I am so grateful for my tender mercies and the grace He has given me to cope. This morning, I chose to let my day be good, rather than bad. God helped me with that and He blessed me a lot.

I know my husband can overcome this. I know I can overcome the hurt and pain. I know that we can have a beautiful life together, and I know that can happen through Christ. I am so grateful for the program and how I have learned to lean on Christ more. Working on a change of heart has been really good for me lately, especially when he relapses and I need to be compassionate. I feel like I have a heart full of love, when, given the circumstances of my life, I could have a heart full if bitterness, anguish, anger, and other irritating things.

Don't be afraid to email me if you need someone to talk to. I'd love to chat with anyone who needs someone to talk to or understand them.

May God be with you--with us all.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I have faith

After fighting opposition and trying to make good choices in my life, I have found a great increase in peace in the past week.

Actually, it's amazing. This week at work, I experienced several things that showed me I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do right now. They were all very humbling experiences, and they showed me that through it all, God is with me. Even though I often can't see or understand why things are a certain way, or why He wants us where we felt prompted to move to, or why so many things are going wrong in our lives, I saw very clearly that His hand is in my life, and that He is using me as His hands here on earth to bless the lives of other people. Like I said, they were very humbling experiences, and they increased my desire to do the right thing and experience that change of heart that it talks about in step 6. I am so excited for life right now.

As you all probably can tell, my life is pretty hectic. I have a job that takes so much of my time, and I have a lot of other responsibilities on my plate. In the recent weeks, I have found my life clearing up a little bit. I have found more time to do the things I want to do, along with the necessary things for my daily life. I have accepted some things that I don't like (like lack of sleep), and I am really trying to accept things that come my way and do what the Lord asks of me.

Today, while we were meeting with our bishop, he mentioned that he thought of us this week when the stake president said they desperately need another couple to help run the addiction recovery meetings in our area. Then the bishop said, "Yeah, I thought of you, but then I was like man, they just have so much going on. I don't think they could do it."

Last week, Husband was telling me how he feels very strongly that we need to play a larger role in the Addiction Recovery Program in this area. A few months ago, I had volunteered to be a facilitator, but then I got this crazy job, and I have only gone to the meetings once since then (don't worry, I was never actually called and set apart as a facilitator, so I'm not shirking my responsibilities). Bishop knows how tough things have been for me, so I totally don't blame him for passing off that thought that hit him about us. But, as Husband and I had that conversation last week about playing a larger role in the ARP here, I told him, and I told my bishop this today, that if the Lord wants me to be a missionary for this program, I will.

Right now, they need a new set of missionaries. The program isn't very strong here, and I don't think they know of many people that will do this as a couple. At least, that is the vibe I have been getting. So today, I told my bishop, I have faith that if God wants me to do this on top of the other things I have committed to (because I have felt strongly that I am supposed to be doing those other things too), He will help me manage my life and not go crazy. I have faith that God will not leave me comfortless, and He will bless me to be able to do the things He wants me to do if He wants me to be a missionary for this program.

I don't know if we will be called as missionaries. My bishop said that definitely changed his view and that he would be less narrow-minded in praying about that. I have no idea what revelation he will receive and if he will submit our names to the stake president to do this, but I felt so much power in what I said. I have faith. Let me tell you, you don't understand how crazy this could make me if I wasn't acting on faith. If I didn't have faith that all would work out, and if I got that calling, I could go insane. But, I felt peace and strength in declaring that I would go where the Lord wants me to go because I have faith.

My prayers and listening to general conferences talks and all that other stuff I have been doing to grow closer to the Lord and experience a change of heart have been doing me some good. I have felt so much stronger and closer to Him this whole week, and being able to declare my faith today was such a good way to top off the week.

Something I have learned is the meaning of praying in Jesus name. When we close our prayers, we say "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." Have you ever really thought about what that means? I have been thinking of this a lot lately. It means that I am sealing my prayer through Jesus. It means I have faith that my what I have said in my prayer is according to His will. It means that I am acting as a witness of Him and seeking to emulate His character. Sometimes, when I pray, I think all those things and more, and I feel so close to Him.

I just wanted to share that with you and encourage you to do what you can to draw yourself closer to Christ.

Happy Sabbath!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The choice to make it a good day

I woke up tired. I was immediately stressed out. I'm always tired. I always have stress. And I woke up late.

The old me would have just faced the fact that my day was shot. The new me, who is trying to change her heart, decided it could still be a good day. I don't look my prettiest today at work. I am tired and have lots to do. But I'm trying to pray more and not let the darkness overtake me. That darkness is threatening and looming over me, but it will not beat me today!

It's going to be a good day. Just making that choice on my way to work has helped me feel peace because I'm not even allowing Satan the option to ruin my day. Look out Satan, I'm up, and I'm ready to destroy your day :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013


It seems that the harder I try, or the stronger I desire, to have a real change of heart, the more opposition I face. I face depression threatening to overtake me. This depression takes on many forms. Satan is a sly one. He wants me to feel worthless. He wants me to feel like I am stuck in blackness and give up in trying to find the light.

Sometimes it seems like it would be so much easier to just give up. Sometimes I can't see anything but blackness, so wallowing in self-hatred or despair seems so much more welcoming than trying to find my way out of the blackness.

Yesterday, I read in 2 Nephi that "the way is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him" and at the end of the road is the gate to heaven. It is sometimes hard to stay on a narrow path, especially when the path has some dark spots where Satan is trying to pull you off. But the path is straight. Think about when you are driving. How much easier is it to get where you have never been if all you have to do is go straight?

God has prepared the way. The way is hard because of Satan, but it's a straight drive. We can make it if we follow the directions he has given us.

If you feel like you want to give up because the opposition is so much, don't. Don't give up. Don't sacrifice your eternal salvation for what seems easier now. If you did, where would you be? You would be in the chains of hell with Satan, who really doesn't care about you: he just wants you to be miserable like him.

Find the light and follow it. If you can't see it, just keep going straight. Pray and read your scriptures. Remember God is only as far away as the distance it is to kneel and pray to Him. Sometimes, He is even closer, you just don't see Him through Satan's blackness.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Things I am trying to change

I've been thinking a lot about what I can do to change my heart. Of course, there is much I could do, but I need to break it down into baby steps. It's hard to make a dramatic change. For me, it has to come through small and simple means.

So, I decided on a couple of things. First, I need to say more prayers out loud. So, if I really need my time to pray out loud and really concentrate, I tell me husband to leave (or not come in) our room so I can do that. I also need to say more prayers in general, so I am really trying to take the time to pray when I remember to (I am trying to make that more frequent). I had a great example when I went out with the sister missionaries, and we prayed every time we got in and out of the car. Opening myself up to God that much and recognizing and thanking Him that often really helped me feel more humble and submissive. So, I am trying to practice that in my daily life. I (cough, cough) don't have anything to report about that because I kind of keep forgetting to pray more frequently. But, it's a work in progress.

I started listening to General Conference talks on the drive to work, though. That has given me a fantastic start to my day. The past few days that I have listened to talks in the morning while driving, I have seen so much more light and felt so much lighter. I have been happier and not as stressed out.

Those are the things I am focusing on right now: more vocal prayers, more prayers in general, and listening to conference talks in the mornings. When I those are habits, then I will add on something else.

I can't wait to start seeing more positive changes!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Experiencing a change of heart

"In one who is really wholly converted, desire for things contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ has actually died. And substituted therefore is a love of God, with a fixed and controlling determination to keep his commandments.” -Marion G. Romney

Action steps:
1) Be willing to allow the Savior to convert your heart.
2) Attend Sunday school, Relief Society, and Priesthood meetings.
3) Be willing to be changed so imperfections may be removed by the power of God.

So, what does it take to become wholly converted? What can we do to experience that change of heart?

The most important tools have been given us by our loving Father. We have an open door of communication through prayer, and we have the scriptures to guide and direct us.

First, I want to talk about prayer. Prayer is such a wonderful gift from Heavenly Father. Through prayer, we can tell Him everything. We can tell Him our fears and cares. We can tell Him our desires. We can tell Him that we want to be changed, and we want to be converted, but we don't know how. We can ask for His help. He can give us revelation. Through prayer, we can bring His spirit into our hearts. If we pray often, He will be with us often.

Scriptures are also crucial. As we study the scriptures, we can be led to words of comfort. We can learn of examples of the prophets to follow. We can learn of Christ and try to emulate His character. We can bring sweet peace into our hearts. We can be awakened to repentance. And words of the scriptures can be a constant reminder of who we are, who we can become, and what to do to get there.

Going to church and attending my meetings is another huge blessing for me. There are days where I was so emotional and didn't want to go. Those days are much fewer now. But I learned that there is a pattern to when I don't want to attend my meetings. It usually happens when I will gain something fantastic from church and satan wants to keep me from bring there. I love church. I love the spirit I feel there, and I love going there to worship. When I remember that my focus is to worship God, I gain so much more, and the spirit hits me stronger.

Those three things--prayer, scriptures, and attending church--are all so important to bringing the Spirit into your life. As the Spirit finds a place in your life, your heart will become softer, and you will gradually come closer to Christ.

In order to experience a true change of heart, you truly have to be willing. I know, it's scary. I'm the kind of girl who has a hard time dealing with change, even if it is good. Change is just, well, change. It's different. It's intimidating. It's scary to be something different; that's why a change of heart can seem overwhelming. But, if you have courage to act in faith and trust God, He will change you. His power will remove your imperfections. His power will make up what you cannot accomplish on your own.

Even now, two years after trying to heal from this trial, I'm not perfect. I still need a change of heart. But, I have healed a lot. Here are some changes I have experienced already:

-My attitude has changed from Husband doing this to me. I no longer take it personally. I can see His struggles and try to help Him.

-I am more patient. In general, I am more patient and loving to those around me (including myself)

-I am much happier.

-I can see my blessings for what they are: tender mercies from a loving Father.

-I am more willing to serve.

-I can feel joy and peace.

There is so much more, but those are some. I still have lots of work to do, but I'm getting there. As long as I keep working hard and relying on God and turning myself over to Him, I have faith that I will get where I am supposed to go and become the woman He knows I can be.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Intro to Step 6: Change of Heart

I am so excited to start step 6! Step 6 is one of my favorites. I think this step is the heart of the 12 steps because steps 1-5 lead to this, and steps 7-12 build upon it.

Step 6 is the change of heart. The key principle is, "Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses."

It sounds kind of intimidating, doesn't it? At first, when I approached step 6, I thought I needed to already be ready to have God remove my character weaknesses, and I wasn't sure if I was ready for that. I mean, how do you gain that change of heart? Well, that's what this step is. This step is about finding that willingness in yourself to have God remove your character weaknesses, then you put it into practice later (just like how in step 2, we simply had to come to believe that the power of God could restore us to complete spiritual health. That belief has carried us through our journey, and all step 2 was about was coming to believe it.).

I have a lot of character weaknesses. I discovered that through steps 4 and 5. I did my inventory, and I confessed. Isn't that enough? No. Part of the repentance process (which was part of step 5) is trying to rid yourself of that sin entirely. In other words, the repentance process requires a change of heart.

You might still be asking the question, "Well, isn't this more for my spouse, not me?" If you are asking that question, I hope by the time you have experienced step 6 for yourself that you understand more how going through this process is healing for you. I have finally gotten to the point, and I don't really know when I arrived at this point, where I don't question why I am doing the 12 steps. The reason I am doing the 12 steps is for my healing. And because I love it, and I am drawing closer to Christ. I know that to heal, I have to come unto Christ. And I know that to come unto Christ requires full submission. That means I do need to recognize my own sins and wrongdoings, confess them, and forsake them. Many of the things I wrote about in my inventory and "confessed" in step 5 are either character weaknesses or symptoms (for lack of better word) of my character weaknesses. And those character weaknesses are what prevented me from forgiving and fully loving my husband for a long time. My character weaknesses (for me it includes impatience, holding grudges, anger, expecting perfection, always having to have things go my way, etc) held me back from what I desired most: healing and peace. Those character weaknesses are also all I knew for a long time, and it was really hard to give them up. Well, it is still hard to give them up. I am in a constant process of changing my heart and trying to rid myself of my character weaknesses.

Steps 4 and 5 are steps of serious emotional and spiritual cleansing. After I got through with those steps, I was on a spiritual high. I felt so clean. I studied my scriptures more. I prayed more intently. I felt really good. However, I still felt like something was missing, and that is where step 6 comes in. I really was trying to overcome my negative thoughts and feelings. Most of the time I had the desire to rid myself of my anger and impatience (but, let's be honest, we don't always want to rid ourselves of that because then we don't have any reasons to be mad except for at ourselves). Even if I thought I had that strong desire, it was always so hard to overcome the negativity I had developed inside myself.

I realized through my group meetings and the help of my friends there that I could not overcome those things alone (which goes back to step 1. See, they all work together!). I had to experience a real change of heart to actually lose the desire to turn to my anger, impatience, stress, anxiety, etc.

"'How?' you may cry. 'How can I even begin to accomplish such a change?' Don't be discouraged by these feelings. Step 6, like the steps before it, may feel like an overwhelming challenge. As painful as it may be, you may have to admit, as we did, that recognizing adn confessing your character weaknesses. . . did not necessarily mean you were ready to give them up. You may realize that you still cling to old ways of reacting to and coping with stresses in life. " (pg 35).

Okay, here is what I wrote in my journal last week as I started studying step 6:

"The beautiful thing is that right now, I don't have to change yet. I'm preparing to change by becoming willing to change. Of course, I will start by making some changes, but I'm turning to God and seeking His assistance to become ready to have Him remove my shortcomings.

"I have to surrender myself completely to God. I can't hold on to the desire to change without Him. [Sometimes, we still want to do it by ourselves because we don't want help. We can't do that! We can't hold on to that prideful desire to do it ourselves. That pride will stop us from fully coming unto Christ, and ultimately, reaching our divine potential.]

"This is a process that requires trust and patience. With trust and patience my pride will gradually be replaced by humility. The Lord wants to give me rest from my feelings of isolation. He wants me to use the Atonement that He has put in place for me. I need to heed the promptings of the Spirit and look to Christ for salvation. As I do that, a new character will grow out of my willing heart, and I will have a growing desire to be sanctified by God."

Those were some of my thoughts as I pondered the words in the guidebook. I really want to encourage you to read the guidebook yourself because there is so much important stuff written there, and there is so much room for personal revelation. I know what I need to do, or at least I know what I need to start doing to acquire a true change of heart. However, I don't know what everyone needs to do. We are all different, but God knows what we each need. Read this chapter and take it to Him through prayer. Ask Him to guide you so you know what baby steps you need to start taking for your change of heart.

As you know, this is my second time through the 12 steps. I'm all the way back at step 6, and believe me when I tell you I still need that change of heart. It is a process. And, at different points in the process, we need to do different things to help us progress towards our Father in Heaven.

Next post will talk about action steps! I really want to keep writing right now, but I need to do other things this afternoon too :)

Listen to these songs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Scariest Day of My Life: Husband Edition

Confession is hard. No matter what it is, it's hard. There are many reasons for that. It could be that you have an issue with pride, that you want to seem better than you really are. It could be that you are afraid of the reaction you'll get. It could be that whatever you have done is so horrible that you're terrified of the consequences of confession.

I heard once that the vast majority of pornography addicts are caught in the act. If that's the case, I feel fortunate to not belong to that group. On March 31, 2011, while studying the scriptures and writing in my journal, I was overcome with guilt and fear. Both were so acute that I couldn't stand it any longer, and having been through the process of confessing to my parents and my bishop, I knew what I had to do.

I remember my wife coming home from class and my heart started pounding. I asked if she wanted to cuddle in our room and talk. After we got comfortable, she asked why my heart was pounding so hard. I prayed for the courage to tell her. I had been crying to the Lord since that morning for courage to tell her. I didn't think I could do it, so I just broke down and started crying. I don't remember much about the next few hours as everything came out, but I do remember her crying. I can still hear it in my mind. And it still breaks my heart.

All of my fears came back with the force of a freight train, but the biggest of them all was like a hot knife piercing my heart: divorce. It terrified me. Not because of the stigma or having to explain to people, although those were very minor concerns. I was terrified because I didn't want to lose my soul mate. I was terrified that the pain I inflicted would be so bad that she would never be able to trust me again, that she'd never again be able to look at me like she did across the altar in the temple. I was terrified that I had broken her heart so badly that she would never be able to heal.

But there were two things I underestimated about my confession: first, the individual healing power of the Atonement, and second, the strength of my beautiful wife. And by strength, of course I mean love, compassion, patience, faith, humility, virtue, hope, gentleness and godliness, to name a few. I have been so blessed with both in the past two years. It hasn't been a smooth road to recovery, but it's been wonderful to feel the power of the Atonement working in our lives.

I know, though, that this isn't the situation everyone encounters when confessing a pornography addiction to their spouse. A lot of times things don't work out, where forgiveness doesn't come so easy. I'm the last person to deserve the right to judge those people. However I still want to convey the power and the essential nature of confession as part of the repentance process.

Spencer W. Kimball said, ": “Repentance can never come until one has bared his soul and admitted his actions without excuses or rationalizations...Those persons who choose to meet the issue and transform their lives may find repentance the harder road at first, but they will find it the infinitely more desirable path as they taste of its fruits.”

What I like about this quote is that he says that those who choose to follow this path may find it the harder road at first, but in the end, it is infinitely more desirable than the alternative. It's so simple-minded to think that we can still meet the expectations of the Lord while living a double life. In the Bible, we read, "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). You will never be able to find peace and stability in your life unless you "demonstrate before God, [yourself], and another witness [your] commitment to a new life based firmly on telling and living the truth."

In all instances of pornography addiction, repentance requires confession to your bishop. If you are married, your spouse belongs on that list too. If you are not married, the 12 step guide counsels, "Use great care and wisdom when selecting someone other than a priesthood leader to whom to disclose your wrongs. Do not share such sensitive information with individuals you suspect might extend improper guidance, provide misinformation, or have difficulty maintaining confidences. Those with whom you share your inventory must be extremely trustworthy in both word and deed." If your relationship with your parents is good, I would suggest talking to them. If not, speak with a friend you trust, or attend ARP meetings and find a sponsor who has gone through what you are going through.

The peace that comes after confession is absolutely sublime. It's like having a thousand pound weight off your chest, like being back on solid ground after a long time on a boat rocking violently back and forth in a storm. You feel like you have some sort of stability again. You can finally begin to leave your double life behind and move forward on the foundation of repentance. You're inside now, safe from the storm. You still have a long way to go, but the path is so much easier when you are trying to keep the stability of living truthfully.

It is hard. It is scary. You may think you're different from everyone else. You may think you're filthier, or that you have extra reason to withhold making this important step, but let me tell you that God's love is the same for all of us. Repentance is the same for all of us. Your bishop will show you love and compassion, regardless of what you have done, and he will guide you toward recovery.

Two years ago, or even one year ago, I never could have imagined the happiness and peace I have now, and I am still nowhere near where I want to be in my recovery. I can only imagine how much more of it God has in store for me as I continue to progress. I know that you can find it too. Although they seem hard, the steps are simple and inspired. As you follow them, pray for courage and strength, and you will find peace. I promise you.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

General Conference Rewind

General Conference was amazing, as usual.

Here are some of the things I took away from conference that I want to share with you:

1. If we allow darkness to consume us, Satan will have victory. Darkness exists (because light exists, and there must be opposition in all things), but we must not dwell there. If we hope in Christ, we can find the light and dwell in its safety. I have gained a testimony of that from my journey through the 12 steps.

2. "Healing comes when we walk away from the darkness and into the light." I know we have all had times when we feel overcome by darkness and don't know where to turn. Find that little bit of light that shines through the darkness and head that direction. Sometimes it's hard, but the closer we get to the light (of Christ), the easier it is to shake Satan. Of course, the closer to get, the harder he fights us, but we can cling to our faith in the Savior and His Atonement and find our way out of the darkness.  The light of Christ will always beat the darkness of Satan as long as that desire is written in our hearts.

3. "Make marriage priceless." Sometimes I forget just how precious my marriage is. I mean, really. I am married to the most amazing man on the face of this earth (sorry, ladies). We have been sealed in the temple, we have the same life goals and beliefs, he is funny and charming, he treats me amazingly, he is super cute, and he really tries to keep his covenants and make himself better. Yes, he struggles with some things, but he is on the journey to overcome his addiction and become like Christ. Sometimes, I get mad or annoyed too easily at little things, and sometimes I take him for granted. I loved the reminder to make marriage priceless. Because it is. Marriage is priceless. If I can see that each day, and make it priceless, it will become even more celestial.

4. "Happy marriages rely on the gift of repentance." Ain't that the truth :) I need to work on my humility in my marriage, and I need to be more forgiving.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list of the amazing things that were said in General Conference. These are simply the main things I took away for myself and chose to share on this blog. If you missed conference for some reason, look it up on lds.org. The videos will be posted in the next few days (if not already), and the text is usually there by the end of the week.

Remember to act on the whisperings of the Spirit that spoke to you during conference. Act on the doctrine that has been taught, and you will be blessed with joy. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"My peace I give unto you"

One of the action steps of step 5 is to "let peace come into your life." Confession is a huge part of finding peace because honest confession brings us closer to God. Confession is part of the choice to become better and be cleansed through the power of the Atonement. As we use the Atonement in our lives, we will find peace.

Writing the inventory and confessing it could be very stressful. Don't let it be stressful. Let peace come into your life through these steps. Alma 39:7 reads, "I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good." There are many good reasons why we would "harrow up" our souls. Among those reasons are humility and turning to the Father. It is through this process that we can cleanse ourselves and live with Him again.

Peace also comes through the blending of different principles in the church: trust, love, and faith are a few. We can learn to love our Father and trust Him, and as we love and trust Him, we will be able to trust His plan and live His principles. Over time, through living the principles, we will find peace.

I search for peace daily. I've actually been on a peace-streak lately :) I have been making an effort to trust in God's plan for me, which includes all the little things that could upset me or stress me out along with the big things that could completely overwhelm me. I know that all things happen for a reason (even if that reason is because of a stupid choice I need to learn from), and I know that God knows my potential and is placing opportunities in my path to take advantage of. As I have been trusting in His plan and making the effort to see His hand in my life every day, I have felt peace increase in my life.

Sometimes in the past, I have felt peace and then started getting anxiety because I thought my time for peace was up. "I've felt peace all week, something bad is going to happen soon..." That is how my thoughts went quite often. However, I've realized that even when things are going well and maybe something bad will happen, I can still feel peace. Peace isn't a lack of bad things happening or nothing going wrong in life. True peace is seeing the things that are going wrong and still feeling a sense of hope and trust in God--still seeing the good things happening and being happy (or at least content) with where your life is at the moment. I'm still going through hard trials, as we all are, and while I sometimes would like to mope and be depressed, everything is so much easier when I allow peace to be in my life.

Going through the steps has really helped me hone great traits. One of those things I have become better at is repentance. I am much more prompt to confess and forsake my sins/wrongs (even like when Husband and I get in an argument, and it's obviously my fault, and I don't want to own up to it because I'm stubborn and like to think I am perfect...). My willingness to be more humble and confess my sins and repent has allowed peace to come in places that could otherwise be contentious.

I love this scripture about peace:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." --John 14:27

Why do I love that scripture? Because Christ is telling me that He is giving me peace. And His peace is not what I would think. It's not like anything of this world, and it can't be found anywhere but through Him. It reminds me that I have no need to fear because He can give me all I need. He can give me peace. He can help me through my day. 

We can find that peace. Christ has given it to us; we just have to accept that gift. 

Here are some specific things I do to help me find/keep peace:
-Sometimes, I don't listen to music in the car (or in other spare time). I have found that as I decrease the noise in my world, I am more receptive to the whisperings of the Spirit. And, as I am more in tune with the Spirit, I am more able to recognize the blessings I am being given from God.
-When I do listen to music, probably 70% of the time it is spiritually uplifting. I listen to Alex Boye, Hilary Weeks, and Jon Schmidt the most. But there are lots of other church albums and artists that I listen to as well. These artists' messages bring me peace and comfort, and they teach me lessons about life and God.
-I try to always have a prayer in my heart.
-I try to recognize tender mercies and thank my Father when I recognize them.
-I try to take advantage of opportunities to serve (even if sometimes it's done grudgingly, in the end, I am much more edified than if I had not done the service).
-I study the gospel daily: sometimes scriptures, sometimes talks/books/articles. But I do it every day, and I write what I am pondering and learning.
-I cleaned out my movie closet, and I try to watch wholesome things. Cleaning out my movie closet has really sensitized me to movies, especially violence and sexual content. Cleaning out my  movies was actually a bigger sacrifice than I expected, but it has been so worth it.

I think I'll leave it there. I hope some of these ideas help, and I hope that you can start taking baby steps closer to Christ so you can feel peace in your life :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Finding Peace

One of the action steps for step 5 is "let peace come into your life." I love that. This confession is not about dwelling on negative. Rather, it is about seeing and the good and the bad, and choosing the good.

The word "let" shows action. It shows choice. "Let peace come into your life." Or, in my words, don't let Satan take over your life :) You can choose peace. Think about that. Study peace. What brings peace? How can we find peace?

I'll share more about peace tomorrow! In the meantime, I would love it if you could email me ways you let peace come in so I can share some things everyone thinks of (anonymously, of course) for more food for thought.