Sunday, December 7, 2014

Addiction

Tetris. Solitaire. Candy Crush. Temple Run. Dots. Sudoku.

Computer games. (Not just for computers anymore.)

I can't have them on my computer or phone.

I'm one of those people with an addictive personality.

I talk to my kids about it, because I'm pretty sure I've passed the gene down to them.

Because of this personality, it's just better to not even get started on some things.

When I do start something, it's hard to stop.

Although this is embarrassing and overly dramatic, I've been feeling that I need to share some of my thought process:

It's not that big of a deal.
Everyone else can do this and they don't seem to have a problem controlling it.
This is great.
I feel like I'm doing good this time.
It's not a problem.

Then:
I should probably stop.
I've got a lot of things I should take care of.

It progresses to:
Why can't I stop.
Everything is in a daze.
I just want to go back to doing that.
When I'm doing that I don't have to worry about anything else.
My family is keeping me from doing what I want and what makes me happy.
Could everyone just leave me alone for a while.

And then:
Why does my life seem to be falling apart.
I just need my own space.
But, I don't want to stop.
Then I have to face all of this other stress in my life.

Until finally:
Why can't I stop this.
I know it is hurting me and my family.
I need help.

The image in my mind is falling down a well.

For me, cold turkey is the only way to go.

I have to hit the uninstall button.

And that's when:

Life is so much brighter.
I love my family.
I can do hard things.

But, why am I able to stop, ever?



Faith saves me.

Not just believing.

I can't stop myself from falling.

I hit a hard brick floor and it hurts.

Bricks of personal prayer, scripture study, etc.

It is the bricks that stop me from falling forever.


Jesus Christ is my stonemason.

HE is the light at the bottom of my well.

And the light at the top that I seek.

HE helps me build the bricks into what I need.

Sometimes that is a floor to stop me.

Or a wall to protect me.

And eventually, if I keep adding to the bricks, I know that HE will build for me a mansion in heaven.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgivings

These are my thankful posts that I did on Facebook. I'm re-posting it here on my blog to help me remember.

November 1 at 9:15pm ·
I'm going to try and post something I'm thankful for every day until Thanksgiving. Because, I need to have more gratitude in my life.

First, I am most thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and the Atonement.
 

November 2 at 6:56pm ·
I am so thankful to be married to someone who believes in me more than I believe in myself. Who loves me the most and helps me be a better person. It doesn't hurt that he's super hot!
 

November 3 at 9:40pm ·
I am so thankful for my kids who drive me crazy, make me laugh, bring me to tears and my knees, and fill my life with so much love and joy.

November 4 at 9:17pm ·
I am thankful for a living prophet who speaks God's word to the world today, just as in ancient times. And for apostles who direct Christ's church on the earth. 


November 5 at 6:47pm · 

I am so thankful for my home. That I have a roof over my head, and heat for cold nights. And indoor plumbing and a refrigerator, stove, oven, sink. It is a true blessing.

November 6 at 8:33pm ·
I am so thankful for my body. I never want to take for granted the fact that I'm able to walk, run, exercise. And that having this particular body of mine allowed me to birth 7 children!

November 7 at 7:26pm ·

I am so thankful for my parents who raised me with love and taught me correct principles. They are perfect examples of focusing their lives on doing good and serving others. — with Sandra Banks and Douglas Banks.

November 8 at 7:54pm ·
I am so thankful for friends. The neighborhood where I grew up and learned to play and high school where I was a teenager (enough said). College roommates who helped me define myself and mission friends who taught me to serve. And no matter how many times I have moved or the numerous places I have lived there have always been amazing friends who have walked with me on this difficult/joyful path of life. Thank you!


November 9 at 5:23pm · 
In the same theme as yesterday, I am so thankful for my first friends - my siblings. Even though we had our moments growing up, and we now all live pretty far away from each other, and we aren't the best at keeping in touch, I know that my family would do anything for me. Feeling the love from and for Jeff, Pam, Jared, Christie, Katrina.

November 10 at 6:39pm · 

I am thankful for my husband's family which is also now mine. My in-laws raised an amazing son! (as well as 6 more sons and a daughter) I love that I get to carry their name and teach my children what it means to be a Cluff.

November 11 at 7:35pm ·
I am so thankful to live in the United States of America. I am thankful for the many freedoms that I enjoy. And I am thankful for all of those who have served to help protect these freedoms. 

November 12 at 8:59pm ·
I am so thankful for this small, quirky, awesome town that I live in. Even though it is below freezing most of the winter, and winter lasts until May, it is home. I love the mix of college students, young families, senior citizens, college professors, and farmers. I love the schools my kids go to and how I can drive the whole town (in traffic) in less than 20 min.

November 13 at 8:50pm · 
I am so thankful that my husband has a job that supports our family. This hasn't always been the case and I do not want to take for granted the fact that he works so hard for our not so little family in a job that is not always the easiest.

November 14 at 8:59pm · 
I am so thankful for weather. The different seasons; thunderstorms; blizzards; big puffy clouds; humidity; below freezing; radars; cold fronts, warm fronts, occluded fronts; the color of the sky before a big storm; the slight warm-up before the snow. Everything about it!
 

November 15 at 11:32pm · 
I am thankful for curry. The end.

November 16 at 8:11pm · 
I am so thankful that I can read the words of God in the scriptures. I am thankful for the Old Testament with the many stories and warnings of faith. I am thankful for the New Testament and the words and life of Jesus Christ and his apostles. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon which also testifies of Christ. I am thankful for the Doctrine & Covenants which has latter-day revelation from God. Reading the scriptures is when God talks to me.

November 17 at 9:38pm · 
I am thankful for teachers. They sacrifice so much to do something that they love for people that they learn to love. My kids have had such fabulous school teachers. And I love that I still remember my teachers and lessons taught to me in elementary school on up. And I'm thankful when church teachers prepare in such a way that I can continue to ponder their words during an entire week.
 

November 18 at 7:19pm · 
I am thankful that I have a car to drive around. And that it works more often than not. And that it fits my large family. I would love to be a public transportation person, but my town is not built that way. And grocery shopping would have to be completely different without a car.
 

November 19 at 7:11pm · 
I am thankful for the temple and the covenants that I have made there. I am thankful that 20 years ago today, my husband and I were married and sealed together in the Washington D.C. temple. And not just for time, but also for eternity. And I'm thankful that as I do my best to keep those covenants and through Jesus Christ, the family that we have created together will also be together forever.
 

November 20 at 5:06pm · 
I am so thankful for music. It has a way of reaching my soul like almost nothing else. I love all kinds. It sometimes (always) makes for a very loud house with a cello, trumpet, piano, synthesizer, pandora, etc. playing. But I'm thankful for the joyful noise that music is.
 

November 21 at 3:24pm ·
I am thankful for time. Two scriptures come to mind when I think of this. Ecclesiates 3:1-8 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...";

Alma 34:32 "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."
Even though it seems like I don't have enough some days and other times I want it to speed up, I am thankful that I have time.

November 22 at 10:15pm ·
I am thankful for my ward/congregation family. I am thankful for the mix of personalities that come together for a common cause. And even end up getting along and loving each other. I'm surrounded by fabulous people.
 

November 23 at 1:47pm · 
I am thankful for answered prayers. Even when they are not answered the way I expect or want. I am thankful that God hears me and knows what I need.

November 24 at 8:34pm · 

I am thankful for our chickens. I love being able to walk past the egg section of the grocery store and not have to fill it with cartons and cartons. I was a little skeptical at first (being the city girl that I am) but I love gathering eggs every day and feeding them to my family.

November 25 at 6:47am · 

I am thankful for my education. I was never a serious student and I never got a "career" from going to college. But, I'm thankful I had the opportunity to learn and get wide experiences that have expanded who I am.

November 26 at 7:29pm · 
I am thankful to live close enough to my oldest's university that she can be home for Thanksgiving and help me make pies! — with Kensington Cluff.

November 27 at 7:44am · 
Happy Thanksgiving!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbXvCZfiOVM

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Whirlwinds

What is it about the wind that bothers me?

I used to love the wind. 

Well, at least listening to it blow outside. 

That was probably when I was younger and safe inside my parents home.


I think my dislike for it started when we had a broken window in our home.

The place we lived was very windy, and a window pane had been removed to be replaced.

That sound of the wind blowing into my house all day drove me crazy.


In our new "windy" city where we live, it's not just the sound that bothers me anymore.

One of our outbuildings (that we're still working on) has a tarp for a roof. 

And the wind is tearing it to shreds right now.

I hate watching the wind destroy.


When I was young, the whirlwinds of life didn't bother me.

Or at least I felt comfortable withstanding them.

But, now I'm tired of the "noise" that surrounds me.

And I have personally experienced destruction from these "winds".


How can I feel safe again, protected from what is happening in the world?


Elder Neil Anderson in April conference has the answers in this talk:
My young brothers and sisters, how we love you, admire you, and pray for you. Don’t let the whirlwinds drag you down. These are your days—to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Build more firmly your foundation upon the rock of your Redeemer.
Treasure more completely His incomparable life and teachings.
Follow more diligently His example and His commandments.
Embrace more deeply His love, His mercy and grace, and the powerful gifts of His Atonement.
As you do, I promise you that you will see the whirlwinds for what they are—tests, temptations, distractions, or challenges to help you grow. And as you live righteously year after year, I assure you that your experiences will confirm to you again and again that Jesus is the Christ. The spiritual rock under your feet will be solid and secure. You will rejoice that God has placed you here to be a part of the final preparations for Christ’s glorious return.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oh, is that all?

I tend to over think things.

I also tend to be a bit dramatic.


(cue dramatic music)

Yesterday, I was feeling low.

I started asking myself all the deep questions.

"What am I missing in my life?"

"What have I done wrong?"

"Why am I feeling this way?"

As I pondered and mused and struggled, the answer finally came.

I am tired.

(end dramatic music; cue light bulb sound)


Oh, is that all?

I guess I have been going to bed late.

Well, that's easy.

I can deal with that. 


Like I said, I tend to be dramatic and over think things.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Zion

I had this new thought as I was teaching about Zion in Sunday School yesterday.

In the scriptures, Zion is referred to as "the pure in heart". (D&C 97:21)

No where does it say that we have to be perfect to be a part of Zion.

Just pure.

What's the difference between pure and perfect?

I believe it is my actions.

I can be pure by having my heart in the right place at all times.

And then I can constantly work on my actions to become more perfect through the Atonement of Christ.

Having my heart in the right place means that I cannot judge others.

"Don't judge me because I sin differently than you do." (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2012)

To me, that is Zion.

Being one in heart and purpose.

Not judging; but helping each other as we use the Atonement to become perfect.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Let's go to the Movies!

I love movies.

My husband loves them too.

I remember when we were first married going to two movies, in the theater, in one day.

And we love all types.

We watch romance, comedy, action, drama together.  

All of it.


One of my favorite things is to go to a matinee movie and come out when it is still light outside.  

It always gives me a thrill to walk out of the theater into the light.  

I think it has something to do with being so involved in a movie and coming out to the real world all lit up.  

"Oh yeah.  Real life."


I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to movies.  

I can't tell you the actors or the year it was made or what awards it won. 

And sometimes I can't even remember the plot that well.

I watch purely for enjoyment.


I'd like to think we're passing this on to our kids.  

We go on a date every Friday (at least we try to) and the kids take turns picking a movie to watch.

They love choosing movies from our local library or they pick something we have.

We've tried to introduce them to the classics like Davy Crockett, Herbie, Apple Dumpling Gang, Home Alone.  

And on Sundays they get musicals: White Christmas, Annie, Singing in the Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, etc.

Unfortunately, we can't show them too many movies from the 80's.  We've discovered that the language and innuendos are more intense than we remembered.


There have been sometimes, when the kids are on vacation, that we'll have a whole week of "Mom and Dad" movies. 

I think this might be one of those weeks.  

Saturday started with Support Your Local Sheriff.

Sunday was, Mr Blanding Builds His Dream House.

Thanks to our generous Aunt, we'll be going to Despicable Me 2 in the dollar theater tonight.

Any suggestions for the rest of Thanksgiving week?




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In case anyone was wondering...

Working out to "30 Day Shred" only a few months after having a baby is completely different than working out to the same video 4 years after said baby.  Even though my workouts have been few and far between - it wasn't as hard as I remember.

I feel like I'm starting to come out of some kind of haze that I didn't really know I was in.  In some ways I feel like I had PTSD from all of the moving (3 times in 7 months).  But, now that I'm feeling settled I'm starting to regroup a bit.  And, I am no longer saving boxes.

I feel like writing more (see above)Again.  I don't think I'll do the write every day like before, but I'm going to try and write more often.

I'm feeling the need to learn something new.  I think I might take voice lessons.

My family is growing up.  And I have to remind myself that I am at the peak of everything right now.  Peak laundry, peak eating (actually I think we've got room to grow here), peak grocery shopping, peak noise, etc.  My oldest will leave for college in less than 6 months.  I have a feeling that once she goes, time will speed up exponentially.

I'm currently on the "no treats" diet again.  Except this time, I'm allowing myself to eat treats on the holidays.  I want to enjoy all the pies I'm making for Thanksgiving. (Christmas lasts the entire month of December, right?)

Sometime, I'm going to post the list of all the crazy things that are said in my house.  Here's an example:  "Don't cut your ham with your elbow!"  We have a lot of those.

Also, I'm not posting this link to Facebook like I sometimes do.  I think that's the only time people read my blog and I don't feel like sharing so much this time.