Sunday, November 23, 2008

Annual Thankgiving Prayers

Today, starts our annual Thanksgiving Prayers. We've been doing this as a family for about 5 years and each time we feel more gratitude for our blessings. During this week, our prayers are only to be things we are grateful for and why. The prayers at the beginning of the week are sometimes a little short, but as the week goes along they become more meaningful and a bit longer. I'm excited this year especially because I'm still working on my own Gratitude/Faith.

I'm grateful for...
Husband who is patient with my weaknesses
Children who try to make good choices
Parents who give and serve me tirelessly
Brothers and Sisters for each of their fun personalities
Nieces and Nephews who give great hugs
Heavenly Father for his endless direction and love
My Savior Jesus Christ for the Atonement for that wonderful gift that I can be forgiven
the Holy Ghost for his comfort
Our Home for its coziness and protection
Dennis's Job that He provides for us
My Car, even though its making some funny sounds, keeps working
Friends who always lift me up just by being my friend
Food to eat
Clothes to wear
Shoes for my feet
Not having hair, it makes my "get ready" time really quick

I'm going to keep working on this list as I explore Gratitude.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Physical Battle

I did not realize until recently what a physical battle it is to live by Faith. I know that doesn't sound right but for me it seem very physical. For me, I have moments of great Faith, which brings peace and submissiveness, but it does not stay around long. Why? I'm still trying to work all that through. Now more than ever I know there is serious opposition to all that is good, opposition that wants us to feel less than we are, afraid, unsure, scared, lost, unworthy, no hope. Those feelings are very physical and affect how I look at everything, so I find myself constantly fighting against those feelings, fighting to have peace. Again as the time grows closer for my "hard" chemo treatment I find myself in this battle of Faith vs Fear, and I hate to say that a lot of time fear is winning. On Sunday before my treatment, having a prayer in my heart, pleading with the Lord to please help me have peace, it all came crumbling in. I looked at the faces of a dear family who less than a year ago lost their mom to cancer, and I could not stop the fear. It envelopes me, right there in Sacrament Meeting. I plead and plead with the Lord to please take it away. Fighting tears the entire meeting, finally a young man get up to bear his Testimony. He decides to share a scripture... "Did I not speak peace unto your mind" I don't know anything he said after that, The Lord was speaking to me. "Kim" what else do you need? "I did speak peace to your mind" And then I receive a gentle reminder of the peace I seek. Oh how do I keep that peace around a while? But the mind is weak, and I continue to seek it, I continue to fight against the oppositional feelings of fear and doubt.

I received a blessing from my brother, when I did not feel like I could do it again. He told me not to forget about Gratitude. That Faith and Gratitude work hand in hand. We talked after the blessing, and now I have somethings to work on. Gratitude. I've been reading the conference additions of the Ensign, Elder Bednar and President Monson's talk I loved this quote by President Monson "Both abundance and lack (of abundance) exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend..." I'm afraid I've been tending the weeds of fear, doubt, no hope until my secret garden is overgrown, It now going to take a little work to nourish the flowers of hope, faith, gratitude, love there to be able to live by faith.

This life is a process, I'm in the process and still working! And I thank my Heavenly Father for his endless patience

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I've not written in a while, because I've been really feeling down, struggling with my resolve, struggling with faith, struggling with purpose, in general having a rough time. Before my last "hard" treatment, I started playing the "its not fair" game. Not a game I like to play and really it has no purpose, except a destructive one. and to make me struggle more. Our family had the opportunity again this year to go to Rocky Point over fall break again. Which is a big thing, as I was suppose to have my "hard" treatment that week and my Dr. let me take that week off so we could go. It was towards the end of that week that the reality of what (my) life consist of started to hit. "It's not fair, I don't want to be sick", "I don't want to have to plan my life around chemo treatments", "I want to participate in life, not just watch it go by while I'm sick from chemo". . When the sign up sheet is passed around in R.S. to sign up to bring in a meal, or help out with something, I want to sign it, but I can't. "Will I feel sick then?" "Or does it conflict with my treatments" . "I don't want to do this anymore". And so it goes in this downward spiral. I know who is behind the "its not fair" game and this BIG pity party that I've been on. Just because I know who's behind it, how do I climb out? I thought I knew. I started doing the things with more effort the things I'm suppose to. Pray more, Read my Scriptures more, Attend the Temple, Pray, Read, Pray, but it wasn't working. It worked before, why not now?

It started getting pretty bad, fear set in, doubt was creeping into my heart. Was I ever going to be healthy? Or was my life going to revolve around Dr's., chemo treatments, health issues. Did the Priesthood blessing I received going to happen? Was I worthy of it? Was I ever going to feel "normal"? These feeling continued through my last "hard" treatment and to my next regular treatment and am now just starting to feel my heart turn. I don't know exactly what has made the difference, maybe a lot of little things. I've continued to study my scriptures, maybe a little harder, I've prayed, maybe a little more harder. Maybe it was, Gratitude. During my prayers after the worst of the sickness was over, I realized that it could be much worse, and in my simple way, decided to thank my Heavenly Father that I know it could be worse, and I know he is helping me, and to thank Him. I think that was the key to open my heart, a heart closed by uncertainty, Was starting to open.

It's still opening, I'm still working on it. Still reading, praying, now adding gratitude and service.
Hope I'm learning what my Heavenly Father want me to learn. Still trying.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Today was our Stake Temple day, I went back and forth about going, if I was feeling up to it. But decided to go in the end. The Temple is the perfect place to put everything in perspective. There are a few things normal people (with hair) don't think of when going to the Temple, but I've done this before and know that you can "rent" a white hat. Well not anymore. I rented my clothing and asked if I could have a hat to cover my head, the sweet sister called another sister to ask where they put the hats. And this sister said "Oh, we don't have those anymore". Tears instantly, and wondering what do I do? Now if you know me, and have been to my house, you've seen me bald, but at the Temple, with a lot of members from my stake? My worries, I don't want to be a distraction, the sisters assured me that it would be okay. Another issue, I brought my packet and my packet contains a veil that clips into you hair (or hat), I can't use that, so I got a different veil. I could not stop the tears, what was I crying about, I'm not a vain person, why was this upsetting me. I guess I am a little vain, because why else would this bother me, there is not judging in the Temple, this is just ME. Anyway, back to putting things into perspective... with each "bad" chemo treatment, it wears me down, I feel sorry for myself, I feel like "I don't think I can do this", I feel like "Heavenly Father, HELP".

Perspective... I learned a couple of things today. When Eve partook of the fruit, she took it with the knowledge that she would out of the bitter, taste the sweet. We can not know how sweet things are unless we have tasted the challenging bitter. I've heard this countless times as I've attended the Temple, but today it reaffirmed to me that "I can do this"!, "I can do this"! Heavenly Father, loves each of us, I think if he could have done it any other way, but allow Eve to partake of the fruit he would have. But He know that she (we) needed to.

Then, later in my Temple visit, I had the beautifully, peaceful feeling of my Heavenly Fathers love for me. At the conclusion at the veil, with tears streaming down my face, I was reminded that I can have health, marrow to my bones, and most importantly Power from the Priesthood. I knew! He knows me and Love me and is helping me.
Just keep going Kim.

Monday, September 29, 2008

This is the Place...
People ask me all the time about chemo, how do I get it, where do I go etc. So here are a few pictures of where it is I go every Thursday. The "chemo" room is big with lazy boy chairs to make you feel as comfortable as possible. The lady sitting next to me is one that I see every Thursday, we have our own little support group, the gentleman across the way is also one I see often. It's nice to get to know people there, share stories, share tips and learn about each other. One thing that is very obvious when I'm sitting there talking to people is I am so blessed to have the Gospel. With that knowledge I have hope, peace, comfort, and I know plan. It is sad to me as we talk to not feel those things from them. Granite, I definitely have my "bad" days, where hope is hard to find, where I'm wishing for a little comfort and peace.
This last Thursday, I was almost finished (4hour later) when a mother and a young girl came in, the girl was about 19-20 years old, that puts things into perspective. Her mother lives in California and comes and helps out during her chemo treatments, this young beautiful girl with her whole life ahead of her. I want her to know the plan, I want to share with everyone there the Gospel. But I don't know how... Sometimes I bring my scriptures to read, sometimes my favorite book about Faith, we ask about each others lives, about their children, husbands, wives, family. How do I share with them what I believe? I don't have an answer yet, I'm still working on it, all I know is that through my words and actions they can hopefully see my Faith.
This is day 4 after treatment, and I'm starting to feel like myself again. My children are amazing, they just pick up and carry on while I'm "checked out" . Kyle will be cleaning and doing the dishes (without even being asked). Paige is cleaning, doing laundry. Angela, it the best leg and foot mesager and takes care of me. Niki, worries about me, and wants to make me comfortable. Whitney, though she is away calls just to check to see if I'm okay. She said she knows I'm okay when I lecture her. Most of all I know that my Heavenly Father blessed me with Dennis, he is everything to me. Kind & gentle Dennis. I love my family.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hair today - Gone tommarow

Its just hair, and it will grow back. When one of the side effect say "hair loss", you expect it to happen, and then time goes by and you still have your hair, and then all of a sudden you brush your hair and the brush is full of hair. This continues for a few days, and when you run your fingers through your hair you end up with a handful. You have to decide, do I live with it or do shave it off. I guess I'm a little of a control freak, I choose to shave it off, no more shedding all over everything. So we made it a family event. I asked my kids if they remember the last time we did this, and most of them didn't, so each of them got a turn at my hair.
They thought it was funny to give me a mo-hawk.

The New me, at least for about 6 months, then it will grow back, I'm hoping for a beautiful brown color, straight hair. I'll probably get curly and gray. We missed Whitney in this family event, I think she would have had the most fun. A family that shaves together stays together.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hard Things...
Those few days that I don't feel so great, I do a lot of thinking.
I've continued my study on Faith, listened to my favorite speaker Gene R. Cook on Faith. I seem to question or review with myself, how strong is my Faith, am I doubting, do I not deserve to feel better, am I not exercizing enough Faith? It's my Faith meter, thinking and asking myself questions. Here are some of my thoughts...
Because when I knew it was time to start chemo, that is where I was focusing my faith, in that Heavenly Father can strengthen me, that I can make it through the hard chemo, and not get sick and check out of life for a week. He can move mountains. He can strengthen me. My Mom & Dad came to help me, and I was talking with my Dad, during one of the bad days, at this point the pain in my joints, legs, hands, feet were pretty bad. This is the thought that came to me in our discussion... Heavenly Father is asking Me to do something (Hard), It wouldn't be hard, if it was easy. I had to question, what am I asking in Faith for? I did receive strength, I was not as sick as last time, I didn't have some of the really bad side effects as last time, it didn't last as long as last time. Do I want Him to take it all away? No. He is making it easier, but He still asking me to do something Hard. Hard in the way that He is teaching me, teaching my family, my husband the things we need to learn. I don't want to trade Him taking the "Hard" stuff away and Us not learning along the way. Such are trials, they are hard.
Our Heavenly Father sent an angel to comfort Jesus Christ in Gethsemane during such a "Hard" experience. I too have felt him lighten my burdens and strengten me during this hard experience. I know He love me!