Wednesday, June 20, 2012

God must be busy
"After I'm dead, can I come back and fly around inside a tornado?!" My little boy's blue eyes sparkle, blinking up at my father. I can almost see his little wheels turning as he considers the possibilities of what a 'spirit' can do that a body can't. "Well, you could," Grandpa replies, squinting at the horizon over the steering wheel of his truck, "but you probably won't. After we die, we'll have the ability to do things like that, but we'll have so much work to do, we won't want to spend our time doing foolish things like that."

As I drive through the small suburb where I used to live, alone in my car, I smile as I reflect on that conversation from weeks ago. Time is a funny thing. Wise old Grandpa. Why would we fill our time with such foolish things? Of course we wouldn't.

I have a lot of time right now. Time and solitude. I wished for it. Now I have it.

Be careful what you wish for.

It's the first 'visitation.' I've handed over the boys to their father for the next several weeks. The youngest just learned to walk. He's so little. I'm close-by, available ... but unwanted by the powers that be.

What would you do if you had the gift of time? It's bittersweet now. But a gift nonetheless. And I am trying to savor it in spite of the aftertaste.

One evening I left to go shopping all by myself. (You know you are a mother when you consider that to be luxurious.) But as I drove west, the setting sun seemed to beckon me as it began its descent behind the sleepy mountains. And as no one was expecting me home to make dinner, do dishes, feed the dog, or put the children to bed ... I drove right by the market and followed the siren's song instead.

In front of city hall in our small suburb, there is a miniature city park of sorts--an island of emerald grass and a fountain draw people there to laugh, picnic, and sit together in the middle of the concrete jungle. That's where I was drawn to, so that's where I went. A perfect parking space, right on the perimeter, waited just for me. After climbing out of my car and strolling onto the lawn, I hesitated, then leaned over to unbuckle my sandals and wiggled my toes in the cool grass. I scanned the mini-park to find a spot. Small clusters of people huddled in bunches talking, smiling, and texting. A sullen pair of tween-age girls sitting on a bench. A mother reading a book with her children playing nearby. A group of beautiful women gathering on a blanket in full garb with their faces veiled--only their eyes showing. Eventually I opted for a section of soft grass. I made my way slowly across the deep green carpet, swinging my sandals in my hand, drinking in the evening breeze and letting it tousle my hair. As I sat and gazed at the squealing children in the fountain, I chuckled to myself. Why is it that even in my hour of 'independence,' I tend to migrate toward places where there are children? For a moment, I closed my eyes and took it all in--the splash of the fountain, the squeals of laughter, the murmuring of the women on the blanket nearby, the rowdy music from a bar across the street, the coming and going of the trains at the nearby station. And for that moment I marveled.

How does He keep track of it all? How is it that He is aware of me? But He is. I know it.

In that moment, I thought about God watching down on us from up in heaven. I know he's busy. Like my father says, there is so much work to be done. But can't you just see him stopping for a moment and listening to us, being aware of us? Just like I did in that moment, times a buh-zillion-cuh-trillion? I can. And it's miraculous to me.

And in that moment, I thought for the millionth time, Please, Lord, protect my little children. Be with them. Because right now, I can't. And I know he heard me. For the millionth time.

As I opened my eyes, they were all still there: the book lady, the children, the women, the tweens. I watched the shadows grow longer. Eventually, mommies with towels came scooping their scoundrels out of the fountain. An ebony angel came scampering, grinning, giggling through the grass toward me. Her tiny brown foot brushed close to my hand. Not far behind came a very voluptuous, very winded woman smiling from ear to ear. "She's beautiful," I said. "Thank you," she laughed.

As the last rays of sunshine tucked themselves into a bed of soft purple clouds, I buckled my shoes and retreated to my car for a late-night shopping trip. I arrived home later than planned, but in the end it didn't matter to anyone. It's a strange reality.

Time is a funny thing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

An experiment: The Time Machine

Let's face it. Addiction recovery is a slow, painful, arduous process. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the mundane, everyday struggles and to feel like we are moving at a whopping speed of 0.000000000000000000000000000000001 miles per hour, as the snails and Galapagos tortoises whiz by us. Frustrating, isn't it?

So ... what if I gave you a time machine and told you, "Press this magic button, and you will be able to see where you (and/or your addict) will be one year from now!" Awesome, right?

Unfortunately, I have no such magic button. But ... I do have a wicked cool picture of a time machine. See?

photo credit
And I have figured out a method to make it work the other way. It's going to take a little more waiting on our part, though. Like, say, maybe a year ... haha

Here is how my Time Machine works:

Stop for a minute. Write down where you/your addict are now. (There is no time limit on this. Do it today, tomorrow, sometime in the next couple weeks ...) It doesn't have to be anything big. If you have a blog, sweet! Blog it! If you do it that way, let me know, and I'll link to your post right HERE. If you don't have a blog, no worries, just write it down in a journal or Word document where you know you can find it a year from now. Next summer, when all the kiddos start getting out of school, I'll post again and direct everyone back here to my spectacular "Time Machine." I think we will all be surprised at the changes that will have taken place a year from now. But we need a marker to start from. And this is it. Sometimes it's so hard to see what we've accomplished in this crazy battle against porn and sex addiction, and this will be a great way to get some perspective!

Here are the participants so far. (Great job, you guys!):

Do You Feel Any Hope? - Mrs A. (Kill Your Own Buffalo)

Does It Ever Really Get Better For Anyone? - Mac (Be Strong, Be Confident)

My Here And Now - S (I Will Find Healing)

My Time Machine Entry - HX (Working Towards Healing)

I'm Getting Stronger - Jaded (Faithfully Jaded)

When you've written your post or entry, leave your link (or if you don't have a blog, just write 'journal') in the "Comments" section, and I'll add you to the list. 

HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD! Link to this post and/or write a brief summary of what you're doing on your blog. Encourage your readers to participate too. Remember to have them head back here and give me their link too, so we can all link together for next year's big reveal. C'mon y'all! Join in the fun. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I have to trust


Note to self: 
Walk by faith, not by sight.
(2 Cor 5:7) 

I'm trying.

Solemn responsibilities

Sometimes I get bummed out that people won't just come out and say it when it comes to porn, infidelity and other nasty stuff: It's wrong! It hurts people! Stop doing it! And then I come across a talk like this from President Hinckley, who, I just have to say, is THE MAN! We sisters never heard this talk because it was given in the Priesthood Session, the men's meeting of LDS General Conference. But now that it's in print, we can read it. And ladies, let me tell you, I highly recommend that you do ... and pass it along to men and women as you see fit. Thank you, President Hinckley, for just coming out and saying it.
"Altogether too many men, leaving their wives at home in the morning and going to work, where they find attractively dressed and attractively made-up young women, regard themselves as young and handsome, and as an irresistible catch. 

They complain that their wives do not look the same as they did twenty years ago when they married them. To which I say, Who would, after living with you for twenty years?

The tragedy is that some men are ensnared by their own foolishness and their own weakness. They throw to the wind the most sacred and solemn of covenants, entered into in the house of the Lord and sealed under the authority of the holy priesthood. They set aside their wives who have been faithful, who have loved and cared for them, who have struggled with them in times of poverty only to be discarded in times of affluence. They have left their children fatherless. They have avoided with every kind of artifice the payment of court-mandated alimony and child support.

Do I sound harsh and negative? Yes, I feel that way as I deal with case after case and have done so over a period of time. Wrote Paul: 'But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those in his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.' (Tim. 5:8.) In that same epistle, he said to Timothy: 'Keep thyself pure.' (Tim. 5:22.)"

To access the whole talk, click here. And don't forget, I'm continually updating my "Talks & Articles" tab. :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Did you know...

In a lot of pornography, there is no pubic hair. Everything is bare, clean-shaven for the world to see ... or so my sources tell me. Why do I feel the need to share this, you might wonder? Among some of the loved ones of addicts I've spoken to, excessive shaving was a dead give-away in their marriage--right in front of their faces! And they totally missed it. Because they didn't know. For those who are in tuned in to this cue, it can set off an alarm. It's a warning sign that something fishy might be going on. Not a guarantee, but maybe a little red flag. So, if your spouse/partner/addict is shaving things totally clean at what you think might be a random time (or if he/she requests that you start doing it out of the blue), maybe stop. Have a chat. Ask about porn.

Things like these are not pleasant to think about, but it is important to be educated and to know your enemy. Look it in the eye, and defeat it! So much of what happens on the pornography and sex addiction front happens in a dark, secretive manner. So, help me shine a spotlight on it! Let the world know it is NOT okay.

Because knowledge is power.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New ARP website

Did anyone else see this article? I found the link on the homepage.

"Addiction Recovery Program Site Added to LDS.orgBy Melissa Merrill, Church News and Events, 16 MAY 2012

A new website for the Addiction Recovery Program is helping members become aware of—and access—meetings and other helpful tools that can help lead to recovery through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
"Throughout the world, members of the Church and others have found hope and healing through the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP), sponsored by LDS Family Services. Now, with the advent of, the 12-step program’s message of recovery through the Atonement of Jesus Christ is accessible to more people than ever before...."

To read more of the article, click here.