Sunday, December 2, 2018

Moments and Miracles

Moments and miracles.

Over two and a half years ago, I started this blog with the intent on keeping our friends and family updated about Tony’s health. It quickly turned into a place to share our story, feelings, and experiences as Tony’s health worsened and it continued to be a place as a great outlet for accepting and working through my grief once he died.

I chose the name Moments and Miracles because I wanted to share with the world that we are all able to find the beautiful miracles in every day life, regardless of our current situations. So, to close this blog after the many moments I’ve experienced, I really would like to share one last time how I know the hand of God has touched my family and my life countless times. There was a post a few months before Tony died where I shared my feelings about my reaction if we received a miracle vs. if we did not. One thing I didn’t know then that I understand now is that we did receive a miracle (more on this later). I also commented that if Tony still was to die, I would shout to the world about the goodness of our Heavenly Father and the peace and joy our Savior gives to us. Today is that day.

Sometimes the most difficult thing we put ourselves through is our inability or our non desire to see the good around us. It’s so easy to look at our lives and place blame around us, or to feel that no one truly cares (and I’m talking here from experience of doing this myself!). We can get caught up in the mundane tasks of life, as well as the feelings of drowning during really difficult experiences, so much so that it’s hard to see past what’s right in front of us. Comparisons can eat at our soul when we feel we don’t “measure up” (to other people or even to the best version of ourselves) or that we aren’t being blessed enough based off our goodness and efforts compared to others. Life IS hard and that can be overwhelming at times, even to a point where we can let these burdens take away our joys.

The remedy to all of this really is so simple that many people will just brush off the idea. It may even sound cliche to them. But sometimes the most simple concepts happen to build the strongest foundations that will help us withstand any storm we will face. I feel so strongly that the answer to all this is humility. I know, you are thinking that I’ve got to be joking. I’m not.

When we are humble, we don’t linger on feelings of “why me.” We don’t feel that blessings or opportunities or privileges have been taken from us. Humility gives us the ability to look away from ourselves and to look up around us. True humility has no comparisons. For example, we often try to be optimistic and say something like, “Well, at least I have a home and food while there are many in this world who don’t have these things.” Instead, with a humble attitude, we have gratitude and give thanks at point blank. We are grateful for our blessings regardless of what blessings we have or didn’t have before. A humble heart will thank their God by saying thank you sincerely and in a simple manner because it understands that all good things come from Him, and without this, we really can’t achieve or be fully blessed with anything. When we can have gratitude in this way, we truly become happy because we begin to see the beauty and gifts of so many things around us, especially in the simple things.

Humility is also the only way we can become better. After experiencing a change and having a grateful heart as I talked about above, we can then push forward with hope because we understand our worth and we can now recognize so much good around us. And when we feel overwhelmingly blessed and full of happiness, all we want to do is be better. We want to change and we want those we love to feel the same way. This is when we start to really look outward and as we do that, we change inside. Humility is a powerful attribute and when we start to experience it and slowly grow on that feeling, we are changed for the better.

So the miracles I’ve seen in the past few years (and really in reflection, all throughout my life), started with seeing all the blessings and good around me, conscientiously noticing God’s hand in my life. It’s a constant effort to work towards seeing these things and you will notice a definite difference when you ease up on your efforts. I’ve done this many times and that’s when the negativity can start bringing you down. So we have to make a constant effort with humbling ourselves and acknowledging the good; it’s a life’s work for us all.

There are so many examples I can relay to you about how I’ve seen the tender mercies of my Heavenly Father but my point is to show you what has helped me immensely, not to give you a list of the miracles I’ve experienced, in order for my little life experience to help others find peace and hope in their lives. I feel that I’ve needed to be open with my life the past few years to show anyone that what seems heartbreaking and impossible to overcome can be turned into miraculous blessings.

That leads me to the most important miracle that I’ve seen in my family and my life. I remember the day that I found out I was pregnant with Caleb (who was born 3 months after Tony died). When I first took a pregnancy test and saw the results, I sobbed for an hour by myself. Not because I didn’t want a baby (I’ve always seen any baby as a beautiful blessing) but because I felt overwhelmed with my potential responsibilities I’d be physically bearing alone. After I stopped crying, I tried to shift my thinking and thought that maybe this was an answer to our prayers; maybe because I was having a baby that meant Tony would be healed!

It wasn’t long after that I realized the miracle we had prayed so hard for wasn’t going to happen. But I knew deep in my heart that God answers prayers and that he wouldn’t deny us of blessings. A really close friend put it well when he recently told me that he knew that no matter how difficult things lay ahead for him, he knew that Heavenly Father would bless him more than he could realize because he has recognized that in his own life countless times. So, while Tony still died and had to leave a family that needs him, there was an even more amazing miracle that happened in my life and I’m sure many people’s lives who are close to Tony. The miracle is that we have been changed (and are continuing to change for the better)! Deep sorrow and suffering break us down but if we allow ourselves to let God into our lives, to truly trust Him and rely on our Savior’s Atonement, our hearts and souls are healed and expanded to where we can love deeper and our desires to be a force for good in the world multiplies. This is the ultimate miracle: that through these hard trials we can come out on the other end positively changed in a way we could never accomplish on our own.

And this is why a loving Heavenly Father allows us to hurt, to ache, to cry out for help, to even feel destitute or abandoned at times. It is only through this process that we don’t just learn to be better, but we BECOME better because we know through our own experience how relying on our Savior will give us the joy and hope and love we need to overcome any challenges in our lives. The miracle is that He loves us so much that He gives us the opportunity to do this. We mean everything to our Father in Heaven and His Son and I know this with all my heart because I don’t just feel it, I’ve experienced it time and time again. We all can if we keep pushing forward and trusting.

Friday, November 16, 2018

When one door closes, another opens

For the past couple of months, I have struggled to find which direction to take my life and exactly how to lead my family. We have moved into our new home and have adjusted to our new home and area; it has been one of the greatest blessings and gifts I have received that my parents built a nice apartment in the basement of their home for my family to live in so that I am financially able to stay home to raise them. Now that we are really settled in and life has slowed down a bit, I’ve had a lot of reflection time recently.

Two more weeks will mark two years since Tony died. In so many ways I cannot believe it’s been two years and in some moments I feel that it has been much longer. Oh, there has been so much change in those two years and so many more lessons I’ve learned and grown from in various experiences. I’m just beginning to find who I am all over again, and have truly been searching deep for guidance and direction from my Heavenly Father.

Over the past couple of months, I felt frustrated, alone, disappointed, overwhelmed, and even at times angry with myself for getting stuck in low points of my grief waves. Not all my grief has to do with Tony’s passing but also includes feeling a deep loss of my previous dreams and lots to do with the difficulties of parenting alone. Widowhood and single parenting has not been for the faint of heart, and I’ve been tried in many ways over and over again. But even when I’ve felt down and alone, I’ve always known God has been by my side in every way, gently and tenderly leading me along. I’ll be sharing much more of the “moments of miracles” in my next blog post.

Even though discouragement has been a frequent visitor in my heart, I’ve pushed hard to not let it stay long enough by continuing to hope and rely on my Savior in that He knows and empathizes with the aches of my heart and that I can and will overcome it all through Him. It is not until just very recently that my pleas in sincere prayer have been realized, and that my eyes, mind, and heart have opened up so much more to understand that all I need to do is to continue moving forward and trust in God’s plan and timing. I still don’t see past each day but I am confident that He is leading me exactly where I will find joy and where I can one day bless others’ lives.

Two years of living and loving without Tony here by my side has given my trials, opportunities, and blessings beyond what I imagined I’d experience. I’ve shared a lot of my heart here on this blog as one of my outlets in working through my grief and adjusting to my new life. I want to thank all of those who have been by my side and have connected with me, mourned with me, laughed with me, and blessed my family. I know this will continue as I experience new trials and adventures but now is the time to wrap up this blog and look to the future. I’ll be writing just once more on this blog and will then begin focusing my writing efforts elsewhere. I’m still not sure yet where exactly that is :)

As one door closes behind me, I know there is a bright future ahead. I’m not sure where the next door will lead me but I’m thankful and feel peace knowing that my Savior will continue to be my guide as I continue to trust in Him. As in the words of President Monson, “Our future is as bright as our faith!”

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hold on

This picture was taken after these two experienced WWIII together 😆

Hold on.

These are the words that I shout inside at least once or twice a day. And some days, it’s many more times than that.

Recently I posted some family pictures taken last month up on my Facebook account. My dear friend and family member, Dawnette, took them for us and they turned out just beautiful. When I look at the pictures of us all together, a flood of emotions run through my body. The first is immense gratitude for each child that I get to raise, and my heart fills with love looking at each of their sweet faces. I also feel a huge sense of humility as I think and feel of the treasured gift of motherhood I have been given. I love them each deeply and want them to feel how much they are loved and to never feel alone. I also think of the many, many family and friends who have been right by my side, especially these last 3 years since Tony’s initial downhill in his health. They are unwavering through every situation I have been in, and continue to be my tender mercies every day (you all know who you are ☺️). Thank you from the deepest parts of my heart. I only hope to be saviors to you if you are ever in need as you have been for me.

Subtle sad feelings also settle in when I look at these pictures. I feel worry, fatigue, and disappointment. Worry that I can’t live up to my own expectations as a mother and as an individual. Fatigue because of the emotional toll that comes from being a widowed mother. And disappointment that Tony can’t be here in person with us, working side by side with me. 

A few people have reached out to me because it’s been awhile since I last wrote a blog entry, some expressing concern hoping to know I am doing well. My children continue to be full of love and life, hopeful, excited, and resilient through all the changes they have encountered the last few years.

But in all honesty, the last few months have had some of the hardest challenges I have gone through, some related to my grieving but many unrelated. My faith has been tested (and become stronger in ways I didn’t know) and I’ve let my self-esteem suffer as I focused too much on my weakness and my constant desire to be better for my kids and for myself and those around me. Most days I feel fulfilled and happy and excited for the future as I enjoy my family and make goals and plans. But unfortunately there are more days than I wish that I feel anxious and sad and almost buried under my burdens, barely hanging on the edge.

I share these feelings and thoughts with you not in an effort to have people reach out to me (because my support system truly is wonderful!) but to let you know that we can still find hope no matter how trodden down we may feel. I know this because this is what keeps me afloat on those difficult days and what recharges me on my good days.

Here are some suggestions that have really worked for me!

-As I keep mentioning, find a good support system! This is actually the first suggestion given to those who are grieving. Having family and friends that love you and a support system that can empathize with you is a HUGE way to put your life in perspective and helps you see the good in your life. Even if it’s just one person, make it a priority to find someone and open up about your life. When you can talk about your feelings and concerns, it doesn’t usually solve any problems but it does make the load a whole lot lighter.

-Even more effective than the first suggestion is to find your support through a relationship with your Heavenly Father and your Savior. Not only does this help bring people into your life for you but no matter what you are experiencing, this is the one place you can turn for completely unconditional love. All it takes is honest and quiet reflection through prayer each day. It’s amazing how grounding prayer can be when you humble yourself and sincerely ask for help in your life. 

-Find the power of true self esteem. What attributes makes you, you? Make a list of all your strengths and then take it further and add on the strengths you are working toward. When you see what you do love about yourself and then see the positive things you are working toward, it’s empowering to know that each day you can and will become a better version of yourself, even when we make mistakes. Don’t let life force you to feel stagnant or incapable; you are a child of God and are worth so much and can become so many wonderful attributes.

-Cut out the negative. If something is making you feel awful, just stop. If someone isn’t a positive influence to you or building you up, take a break and fill your circle with only positive influences. You can still be kind to others but don’t have to subject yourself to negativity, especially if it’s bringing you down.

-When it rains, it pours..... and then the sun shines again (and sometimes with a rainbow!). In the thick of it, there never seems to be an end, and often more difficult things keep piling onto our life. Try to feel empowered by knowing you are getting stronger by withstanding and enduring difficult things, that when you reach the end of your particular trial, you most definitely can be a better and stronger person if you allow.

Lastly, hold on. When everything seems as if it’s failing, including ourselves, just keep holding on. Try these suggestions and other things that work for you but when it doesn’t hold you up enough on your toughest days, just keep clinging on a little longer. Find that hope in your life, even if it’s so minuscule that you can hardly see it, and grasp onto it and don’t let go. Life has its ups and downs, and when it goes down (and sometimes a lot further down than we realize it can go), it HAS to come up again at some point. Cling onto that thought; believe with your whole heart that there are always better days to come because they will most certainly come!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sometimes you just can’t do it alone anymore

Sometimes, life can just be hard for awhile... and it doesn’t seem like it will ease up. It’s like the phrase, “When it rains, it pours,” and when that rain starts to fall, it feels like a flash flood and you are trying desperately to grasp onto anything to stay afloat.

We’ve all been there before, time and time again. I don’t need to bore you with details, but this little face of Caleb’s (pictured above) is exactly how I feel some days lately. It feels we get slammed with a lot of little things, right after another, many times overlapping. You know the feeling, right?

On this particular day when I took this picture of Caleb, he had just woken up an hour prior from being sedated for a MRI scan to check for cancer in his little body. After his procedure was finished, we had to wait around for over 3 hours while Emma was getting her MRI scans completed. Caleb sure was not happy with me, in fact, he was straight up mad at me. Who could blame a little 14 month old for feeling this way after having to fast, wake up early, be held down by his mother and nurses while getting an IV in his hand, and then given drugs to make him drowsy? All of this was followed by a tired baby who just wanted to be home and eat everything in sight, without his annoying mother following his every wobbly footstep.

Caleb kept insisting he wanted to get in the car and navigate it himself, and every time I slyly placed my hand on the back of the car to help push or direct it, he screeched at me. In his mind, I was making his life harder and I was trying to keep him from where he wanted to go, when in fact, I was giving him the necessary force in order to actually move and giving him a little steadiness to keep him from bumping into everything and everyone around him. Without my help, Caleb would have been stuck going nowhere. This continued on for an hour or so, and then FINALLY (!) he stopped getting angry and he let me work with him on getting the car around the hospital.

Don’t we all do this in our lives? We feel we know what is best, where we need to go, how fast we need to get there, and above all, that we can do it alone.

Reflecting on the past few weeks, this was my exact behavior during my rainstorms. (And, may I add, I’m not as cute throwing mental tantrums as my little toddler is!). Frustration that I can’t do everything on my own, disappointment that my life has had deep loss, worry for my children’s future, exhaustion that I can’t meet my own expectations of myself, and even some anger that Tony is gone were all deeply seeded in my chest as I felt that I didn’t deserve to go through so much more “hard” considering the past few years of my life. I felt that all these expectations around me for my future and the future of my children were not acheived when and how I wanted, and I quietly began to feel a bit sorry for myself.

All this attitude did for me was to make the rain feel colder and the winds blow harder around me.

About a week ago, my mom noticed my frustrations and asked to come over to visit. I finally laid out all my worries and concerns in my present life to her, not holding any feelings back. We talked for a few hours and I started to feel so much better (my mom is an amazing listener; which is such a rare talent!). Perspective came back to my mind and then over a few days I re-evaluated my expectations and came up with a more realistic game plan for my hard days. But above all this, I had to learn again that I can’t be in control of every situation; I had to let go and trust in Heavenly Father that He will be with me every step I take— and that I can let Him push and direct my little car with me so that I am going in the direction and at the speed that is needed to best help me reach my destination.

Those feelings that I can’t do “hard” anymore— they still come and go in brief moments— but when I remember to trust my Father in heaven and to look toward the future with hope, those feelings aren’t drowning me. When I let go of my pride, the help needed comes freely to my children and me. And that is the only way that I can look at all the drenching rain around me and see that the sun will shine through soon and all the beautiful flowers around me will bloom bigger and brighter than ever before. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

When the waves come crashing/ Be a builder

You may have heard the phrase “Grief comes in waves” several times before. It is so true. 

Last month my kids and I went to California for a much needed break. The favorite part of the trip by far was spending time at the beach. Sophie and Tanner (pictured above) loved chasing the tide and 
then running away from it. With my kids begging me to join, I let the unexpected freezing
 water cover my feet as it almost took my breath away for just moment, then made a mad dash out of there. It was such a great relief to run away from the icy ocean into the sun-warmed sand. But then again Sophie and Tanner grabbed my hand and led me back. This time I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, 
since I knew how freezing cold it was! Water crashed onto my feet, ankles and calves and the sting raced all the way through my body. Slowly, we walked further in and even though it still hurt, I started to become accustomed to the sting and knew soon we could bask in the warm sand.

Grief makes a permanent residence in your heart, always a quiet companion even when you feel you are doing well. The heart-wrenching type of grief, the kind that makes you want to curl into a ball on the floor and sob for an hour, comes in waves. When first losing someone, this type of grief can come crashing several times a day, even each hour. But as time slowly begins to heal your heart bit by bit, the waves come less often, and when they do come, you know what to expect. You know the pain that  overtakes your entire being, the sting that takes your breath away and makes you want to run away from it. You know you can’t run but instead need to walk in a little deeper. You’ve got to work through the pain because it will be worth the warmth and peace that comes when the waves recede. 

Losing someone isn’t something you can just “deal with” and get over quickly. What makes it so hard is that grief does become a part of you permanently, even when you are happy and finding ways to love life. This isn’t a bad thing, and if you accept it and allow yourself to embrace the periodic waves, it can become a beautiful thing because your heart will grow even bigger than it was before. I’ve learned so many lessons from losing Tony and I know there is still a lot to learn in the years to come.

Everyone one around you is dealing with some sort and degree of grief. It can be a loss of a loved one 
though death or divorce, the loss of a career or dreams, infertility, the loss of good health, the loss of stability in finances or family. And all grief hurts. But it can also build you to be stronger: to be more patient, kind, compassionate, understanding, thankful. The hope is that we can take whatever grief we have and put it into action to be strengthened and to build those around us.

It’s a month shy of Tony being gone for a year and a half. So much has changed and I’m trying my 
best to honor Tony by moving my family forward in life with new hopes and dreams. I’m incredibly
thankful to the many family and friends who have stood by my side and supported me, and I’m 
eternally grateful to the peace and relief I can find from my Savior. 

What can we do to help those who are mourning from their loss? In my short experience, the
best thing to do is to be a “builder” in their life. 
Someone who is a “builder”:
- gives unconditional love and support
- listens, and listens a lot! 
- asks what would be most helpful to them and then follows through

- allows the mourner to cry and to feel down as needed; doesn’t try to sugarcoat their pain or distract them from the hurt they are feeling
- again, listens!
- gives advice only when asked
- validates their feelings, even if you don’t understand or agree
- helps them know it is good to make new dreams and to move forward in life when they feel they are ready; that this is a normal and healthy process 
- offers hugs :)
- and most importantly, listens

I stress the listening so much because the mourner knows you can’t fix their grief, that you can’t restore what they had before, that you can’t say anything to make the pain go away. They just need someone who cares and can listen to literally anything they want to share, even if it makes no logical sense. I imagine the Savior while he lived on earth would wrap his arms around someone who is mourning and just listen to their pain. And because he took the time to stop, to listen and  to connect, the mourner would feel that because someone cared, they were loved. Christ only builds us up and gently encourages with compassion. He is the ultimate builder.

Be a builder. Stop and listen quietly even when you don’t agree. We don’t know someone else’s pain and heartache, and we won’t fix it by bringing them down with our judgements. Build them up by loving them unconditionally. Jump into those waves with them and build them up.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The messy parts of life

Life can be so messy sometimes... especially when you give a 2 year old a rice cake smothered in sticky Nutella!

Most days life is sweet where chaos is under control and bright smiles are shining all around. My girls run around dancing and twirling into cartwheels while singing along to the soundtrack from “The Greatest Showman” as the boys perform flips and wrestle each other to the ground over and over again. We eat a lot of ice cream... and dark chocolate. Open arms are constantly filled with tight warm hugs from little arms. We work hard as a family, we have fun, and we pray a lot.

But during each of these sweet and precious days there is always at least one child who breaks down into tears missing their dad. Usually it’s something relatively small that sets their grief off. In my children’s eyes I can see so much love and light but there is a deep yearning to have that connection with their dad again. When one of my kids have a meltdown, I just hold and rock them in my arms. I tell them I am so sorry their daddy is gone and that it is okay to cry and to feel hurt because losing their dad is such an incredibly difficult thing to continue to go through. Feeling the pain of loss is the only way to take this messy journey and start to find the small glimpses of joy that eventually does bring peace. It’s so hard though.

We talk about Tony often, sharing stories and memories, looking at pictures, listening to his favorite music. Our family and friend support is incredible and my kids have so much love from several people. Yet even with moments of joy, moments of remembrance, and moments of love, the ache of missing Tony doesn’t change. The sharp pain of it dulls, now a slow and throbbing ache that we have learned to live with every day. This is the messy part of grief that can’t simply be washed away. It has to be worked through slowly, and just as you feel the bulk of it is gone, you realize how much more there is still left. As days and weeks and months go by, the mess becomes more manageable, even so much so that it starts to become sweet. We are all at different points in our grief journey but what matters is that we are moving forward together, becoming closer and drawing strength from one another. And those amazing kids bring so much strength to me. I feel so blessed and honored to be their mother.

It has been almost 16 months since Tony died and even though I have worked through a whole lot of my grief and have once again found enthusiasm and new dreams for the future, grief has left some unexpected messes. I often feel alone even though I am surrounded by so many who truly love me. Sometimes I feel that I’ve been abandoned by Tony as the reality of being a single parent hits me hard on some days. I feel scared to fully open my heart again because I know I am broken from my grief. And I hate the weight of the burden of having to make decisions alone without Tony by my side. I try to take the advice I give my kids by letting myself feel the hurt and pain. It’s a really hard thing to do because I know that when I let go and allow those emotions to enter my heart, the ache is almost more than I can bear.

This happened just a few weeks ago as I tried to get one of my daughters dressed for church. She refused to wear any of her dresses and started to throw a little tantrum while I rushed to get everyone else dressed to go. I finally just knelt to the ground and all my frustrations and my pain came flooding in tears from my eyes. I think I cried for 45 minutes straight. It was so painful but it cleansed my heart and soul in a way that I had needed for several months. Laying on the ground with mascara running down my cheeks, encircled by my kids and their hugs, I realized that I needed to let go and let life be messy for a bit. What I am dealing with— grief of losing Tony, of being a single mother, of being subjected to others opinions about my parenting— it was all okay. I can’t fix it. And no one else can fix it for me. But I can learn to get through the mess.

So after my long cry, I picked myself up off the ground, washed my face, put my mascara back on, wriggled a dress onto that sweet but stubborn daughter of mine, and took my kids to church.

This is real life: sweet but very messy at times. And all we need to do is accept those messes in our lives not as faults to dwell on or as road blocks to our happiness, but as opportunities to be real and to grow and strengthen each other as God intends for us as family and friends. I know you have continued to do that for me. Thank you.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


(Our first time visiting the brick paver made in Tony’s honor at the Huntsman Cancer Institute)

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy” (Leo F. Buscaglia)

I’d be lying if I told you I never worry. (And for those of you who know me really well know that I am a terrible liar!) Worrying about raising my kids, about making the right decisions alone for my family, about being the best person I can be.... the list can go on and on of things I periodically worry about.

Recently my kids and I with some of Tony’s family went to speak to the first year medical students at the University of Utah campus. This is something we have been doing for the past several years; the students are first given a lecture about Li-Fraumeni Syndrome and then we share our experiences with them as a family who lives with this.

To jog your memory if you are unfamiliar with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS) from some of my previous posts, it is a genetic mutation that Tony inherited from his mother (originating from her father). LFS is a mutation that causes those with the syndrome to only have one, rather than two, working copies of a cancer suppressor gene. Basically put, those with LFS have a highly increased risk of getting cancer in their lifetime, specifically at a young age and also with multiple cancers in a lifetime. The syndrome has been passed on to 4 of our 7 children, who are now annually screened to check for cancers.

Sharing our story with the medical students this year was different. Before, with Tony physically by my side, we only had the “possibility” of him passing away from cancer. Now that it is the reality and Tony really is gone, my thoughts do turn more often to my children who are at an increased risk for cancer. This is something that really can happen, it’s not just a passing thought anymore. We’ve actually lived through fighting cancer and losing Tony. I can’t help but sometimes worry about the future and my kids.

“How do you teach your children to deal with the worrying and anxiety that can come with having Li-Fraumeni Syndrome?” This question is asked every year without fail, and it is one of the best questions for me to reflect on as a mother. Tony and I are naturally optimistic people but how can I ensure that I am teaching that to my kids? Especially now that their dad has died? I’ve given a lot of thought to it recently about what I want my kids to really know for themselves one day.

Here is what worrying really accomplishes: nothing. It doesn’t do a thing for us. Naturally, we will have worries here and there that will allow ourselves to prepare for various situations in the future, and that’s okay to visit every once in awhile. But being in a constant state of worry isn’t worth it. I can promise you that. I’ve seen how constant worry can eat away at the soul and break family relationships apart. It will cloud your decision making and drag down your feelings of self worth and confidence. And most of all, it will rob you of the joy you can and deserve to have in your life. When it comes down to it, worrying can run, and even ruin, your life.

So what are the ways in which we can combat the natural worries from turning into excessive worrying?
-Live in the moment, enjoying each day for the beauty we see in that one particular day.
-Foster closer relationships with those we love. Spend time with those who matter to us and add to our lives.
-Dream big! Have you always wanted to take that one special vacation but are waiting for the “right” moment or timing? Or to develop a new talent or hobby? Take advantage of the here and now and stop putting off your dreams.
-Learn to live with no regrets. Let what has happened in the past stay in the past. Be kind and forgiving of yourself and of others so that you don’t continue to have regrets.
-Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stop pressuring yourself to be the most perfect version of yourself NOW and just try to make small improvements a little at a time. In the long scheme of things, what really matters?

And most of all, learn to trust God. Take your worries and set them at His feet in prayer. Learning to pray to Heavenly Father with real trust will help those worries melt away because you will begin to understand that no matter what happens in life, our Savior is always there to help us cope and find joy even after severe heartache. I can promise you that because it has worked in my life time and time again.

So go ahead. Let go of your worries and choose to live!