Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I figured out something and I am excited about it.  I am also a little sad.  So many years wasted not having a firm grip on this one thing.  Anyways.   Can't go back.

So.  Where to begin?  I was thinking about my own identity and what I anchor my identity in.  I think we all do it.  Like- "I am super clean person.  People know I am super clean and that makes me feel good."  Or, "I am service super woman.  I can spot a need a mile away and I can always find a way to fill that need."  Or, "I am patient-know-my-kids-always-have-enough-energy-to-play-an-educational-game-mom.  Everyone knows this about my identity and I connect to others who have this same super power." or, "I am holistic mom.  I cook all of our food, we shall never touch our lips with processed anything and we have no need to see a doctor because of my endless knowledge of herbs and essential oils.  I connect and have friendships with other moms like me."  Or, "I am skinny mom.  I not only work out and eat healthy, I teach others how to do so three times a day during my ballet-pilates class!  I am so so fit and I connect with people who are like me."  Or my personal favorite, "I am spiritual mom!  I wake an hour before my hour workout which is an hour before my kids wake up (did you follow that? did I?) and I read my scriptures.  Then I meditate and write in a journal.  I am always ready with spiritual wells of spirituality because of this.  People who know this about me and if they still want to be my friend are probably this way too.  How joyful and spiritual"

Over the past few years, the reason I think my world was so rocked by getting sick was because I was anchoring my identity in all of these things.  These things were who I was trying to project and be.  I thought that the reason my friends were friends with me and thought I was a valuable person was because of these things.  I thought they were what made me a good person.  I thought they were what made me a respectable person. I thought it was why people would hang out with me.  I thought it was why my kids loved me.  I thought it was what made my husband value me.  It was what brought me inner peace.  All of these things were where I anchored my identity.

Well shoot people.  I got sick and didn't do any of those things well for like three years.

 Oh I would try.  But I would sort of half-way suck half of the time. Oh the shame I would feel.  Oh the way I couldn't look into peoples eyes any more because I yelled, (yelled!) at my kids instead of calmly explaining with an educational game and possibly a primary song based family home evening. Oh how I cringed to be seen (SEEN!) after gaining around 30-ish pounds and not teaching a single pilates-ballet class attended by 30 people.  And I remember lots and lots of frozen pizza.  (Holistic mom shudder).  I would see a need and just sort of sleep all day.  I had nary a spiritual thought provoking study time.  How could I go out and let people see me like this?  I was a bad, bad, person and sometimes I even swore.  I didn't want anyone to see me like this.  No one would love me anymore for certain.  My anchor ropes were all cut and I didn't know who I was and I certainly didn't think anyone else would care for who I was.

Is that a dramatic enough explanation?

Yes?  Let's move on then.

I have posted many posts and if you have read them perhaps you can see that I have slowly been moving beyond these stupid as hell anchors and I am finding wells of personal identity in things more stable.  Yay me.  I was seriously hanging on to a few cut ropes very lovingly with my chapped and sore hands though. 

So I called a friend and had a frank discussion about what I felt I was anchoring my identity in and how dumb it was that I didn't want anyone to see me anymore because I couldn't stop feeling ashamed that I wasn't all of the things named above.

And then I had the thought of all thoughts people.  And it has brought me so much darn peace.  My gorgeous friend said,

"You know what?  It comes down to this.  We all know inside ourselves what is best for us."

And then I said,

"Yes.  It comes down to integrity, really.  If we have integrity, we are going to do what is right for us, no matter how it looks to other people, no matter if we are judged harshly for it, no matter if we lose friends.  And the friends we will have will stay because they are attracted to our strength of integrity.  They respect that we will always to what is right for us no matter what it may look like to other people.  They will respect that what is right for us is subject to change.  On a daily basis. We must take care of ourselves."

And that, my friends, is what I figured out.  We each do what we feel is right for us, and what is right for us is so damn fluid.  If I anchor myself on what is right at the time, I will feel so bad when what is right changes.  But if I anchor myself on the fact that I am proud that I am doing what is right for me today, I will always be able to look you straight in the eye.  No matter that we have different things that are right for us.  No matter.  I won't judge you for knowing and doing what is right for you.  And we will only be friends if you know the same thing about me. 

The world is a beautiful place my friends.  Have peace that deep down you know what you need for you.  Strive to do that and have peace.

I love all those "moms" I described up there.  I also love what I can be day today.  I am proud.  I have peace.  For now.  Until the next post and I tell you about another tumultuous time in my life and what thought I had that brought me peace:).

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever."

For years I was so good at reading my scriptures and studying what my LDS religion believes about God on a daily basis.  Because I had done this from a fairly young teenager I don't think I really knew how much that daily study gave me.  Or what it gave me either.  A few years ago my health declined and with that my energy and my state of mind that told me how to study.  I stopped daily journaling, I stopped studying daily.  I mostly slept.  So... there were a lot of other things I stopped doing as well.  Playing physically with my kids being at the top of my list of most notable changes.  I endured great pain on an almost daily basis. 

Anyways, point is, something I had done for years stopped.  Recently, I picked up the habit again.  I highly recommend it.  I study, and then I meditate about what I studied.  My mind is quiet except for giving my questions to God and trying to listen to what he has to say.  Through listening to the words of the LDS prophets and reading scriptures, I find answers to pressing questions.  Pressing is such a good way to describe my questions.  Call me a fixator.  But when I have a question it almost hurts.  I can't sleep.  It keeps me up at night.  It presses on my life until I find an answer. 

I got an answer to a question today. I found myself backpedaling lately.  Like, I would think about important decisions I had made with God when I was younger, and then I would think-  what if I hadn't taken the hard road?  I was thinking that some decisions I had made had truly been a trial in my life.   I kept wondering in the back part of my mind( that won't let me sleep already at 1 or 2 in the morning) if my life decisions had truly been inspired.  What if my life had been easier?  What if God had just removed obstacles in my life instead? 

I began to make a list in my journal of what if's.  What if this had come easily?   What if that trial hadn't been there?  Who would I be today?  I will write a portion of my thoughts,

"Well, I never would have buried myself and then clawed my slow way back to the surface piece by piece with the Lord's help.  He has pulled up all of my traits and then illuminated them and told me he thinks they are good.  Where would I be if I hadn't had the trials that caused me to bury myself in the first place?  If an easy life had provided me self worth and given me all I "needed"?  I don't know.  But I am who I am because of my struggles.  My relationship with God is what it is because I remember him pulling me out and up from my dark personal struggles and illuminating me.  He is the one who told me I am good.  So now I can stand alone.  With no one else propping me up because God has given me strength.  He worked my own muscles.  He was my partner."

And you know what that is cool.  And maybe God really does have a hand in our lives.  Even when it seems like it doesn't make much sense.  I really think that God has a completely different idea of what he wants me to be at the end of my life than I ever anticipated.  I really think that my expectations for how I would grow were just not true.  Yes there were many different directions my life path could have taken so far.  And also, yes I truly followed what I felt God told me to do.  It is easy to go back to young Chelsie and scold her for not standing up for herself more.  For not asking more questions.  But I also think she was pretty brave to do what she felt deep in her heart were the right things at the time.  I wouldn't be who I am.  Someone who can stand alone.  If I hadn't been someone buried for years first.  All the ground I have gained as a woman I have earned.  That is something.  And I couldn't have done it without God, because there wasn't anyone else around to give it to me.  And I wouldn't have the confidence I have in God without it.  We read over and over again in the scriptures how we can't rely on the arm of man.  That God alone will never leave us disappointed.  My life has been one big lesson about turning to him and no other. 

So I just thought I would write about that today.  What do you think about it?  Have you learned hard lessons about relying only on God too? 

And I am really going to try to keep up my daily study and meditation.  It is so worth it for these moments of illumination and the peace that comes with them.  Have a great day.  Remember how God feels about ya.


Reference for the title

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Who I am

At one point in my life I had a boyfriend who was poisoning my mind.  He told me over and over how I was unworthy, worthless, and less than. I believed him until I began a serious study of how God felt about me.  I thought I was just studying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I thought I was just studying the scriptures to learn more about religion.  I couldn't learn about those things without learning what God feels about me.  They went hand in hand.  My religion taught me how valuable I am personally to God.  It was surprising.  It gave me power to take my life into my own hands and this boy's words one day didn't have any more power over me because of it.

Later in my life I was poisoning my own mind.  I told myself I was disgustingly fat, unworthy of love, and therefore worthless on this earth.  (I had children during this time.  Stupid girl.)  Because of what I looked like, I punished myself on a daily basis.  This continued until I began a serious study of again, my religion and how God felt about me.  My church believes there is always hope in the atonement because God finds me infinitely valuable.

I still remember both times how powerfully I felt the Holy Ghost affirm how God felt about me.  It was overwhelming.  It was shocking.  I wasn't in a place either time that I would have believed it otherwise.

What pulled me out of these places of lies each time was finding out who I was.  And I was God's.  It was finding out who God thought I was.  And he thought I was wonderful and full of potential and value.

I am of worth to God.  So are you.

Truth trumps untruth.  Every time. 

How powerful of a person would I be if I didn't forget how He feels about my worth. 

Lately I have forgotten those experiences.  Well, obviously I didn't forget them because here I am writing about them.  I just didn't have them on the forefront of my mind.  I haven't thought in a long while about how powerful a witness I have already had that I am of worth to God.  When I remember this, no one can tell me any different and have it affect me.  When I remember this, I don't panic when I have pressing questions or concerns, I just wait patiently on the Lord to tell me the truth.  He loves me, so He will tell me when it is right. 

I am His.  So I am of value. 

The end.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Too many thoughts

I have so many thoughts lately about the power of words and how I can do better. I choose garbage words out of laziness. I would feel like I had better manners if I worked harder on choosing bigger words.  Words other than crap and awesome.

(this sign is awesome)

 I also am thinking about faith and how it can be hard to behave a certain way when you have strong personal feelings.  Like when I am mad.  You know.... God says don't get mad.  I get mad sometimes (shhhhh....)  And I was thinking about how controlling my temper would be doing what God says to do.  It would be an act of faith.  So.  Maybe I should have more faith in what God is telling me to do and trust that even though I am seeing red I should keep quiet and master that feeling.  I'm thinking that act of faith would be worth it in the end.

I have been thinking about "Jesus the Christ" by James E Talmage.  Have you read that book?  I have been thinking that whenever I read that book it ruins any church function because all I hear is James E Talmage in the back of my head correcting whoever is talking.  Maybe it is good.  But mostly it ruins church.  I love learning and reading from him though.  There is so much I don't know.

I have been thinking about the push and pull of hard work and peace and rest.  I love getting things done that are hard.  I love the feeling that I have taken good care of my kids.  Hours of homework, vacuuming, talking with them about minecraft, talking with them about the weird liberal things they learn at school (who knows what they might want to discuss??  I just want to be always available!), picking up socks, making dinner interesting despite the fact my kids just want a cheese quesadilla, organizing and cleaning up my home.  The list goes on.  You know what I'm talking about. 

(what is it about this game?  Am I a bad mom for not knowing the answer?)

And then there is rest.  I find lately that I don't rest well unless everything is done.  And um... it never is.  My husband was talking about a work seminar he went to about being a good manager.  The seminar spoke about the art of taking a fifteen minute break.  Yeah that sounds crazy to me. Fifteen minutes is valuable time people.  I can get a lot done in fifteen child free minutes.   Yet, I think if I went ahead and took fifteen minutes to say, eat a snack and sit down- I would then be refreshed so that all the mom projects didn't take me forever because I am dragging my tired, hungry, and therefore irritable body through doing it.  Someday I hope to grow up and perfect taking fifteen minute breaks. 

Lately I am thinking about how different each person is.  I am also thinking about how good people are, yet how easy it is to judge a person by one act.  I think that is wrong.  I think about how that feels wrong lately.  I am so tired of anyone I love being misjudged.  I am also tired of misjudging them myself.  I am too easily critical of those I love.  I am wishing I could just let it go and live my life without ever worrying about how anyone else is living their life.  It's super hard.  It's super dumb that it is super hard. 

I am thinking about body image.  What is right?  There is no right.  Body image is personal.  Some people like myself hate gaining weight and it goes waaaaaaay back as to why.  Some people work hard every day to be thin thin thin and fit.  Some people work hard and are not thin.  Some people are cool with not working hard and are still thin.  Some people.... blah blah blah there are so many different "rights" and mostly I am tired of my own inner dialogue and how I go back and forth between believing I am beautiful and having positive inner thoughts and just bashing on myself.  It is getting so old.  And just when I thought I was doing better-- I wasn't anymore.

I have been wrestling with being a good mom and what it means.  Yeah.  I am about to hang this sign in my boys bathroom. 
(its totally motivating)

I have been thinking about protesters.  And faith.  And trust in my religion.  And complacency.  And blind faith vs educated faith.  I respect educated faith more than blind lately.  Yet I spent the first 25-27 years of my life respecting blind faith more.  I can't remember when that shift happened. There is maybe nothing I love better than reading a book by James E Talmage, an educated man, and just drinking in his expertise on Jesus Christ.  It is awesome.  I also loooove listening to anyone educated talking about their views on religion.  It is a breath of fresh air to me.  I think that I also respect protesters when they are educated.  I like hearing what they have to say.  It interests me. I am not a protester.  I think I am not smart enough to be one.

I have been thinking about how blessed I am to have friends lately.  Intelligent friends who can relate to one another and who lift each other up and encourage one another to be amazing all in the same spot are rare.   I feel like God was good to me to gather so many people where I live that I would pay to spend the day with.  And they don't charge. 

There is more.  I am going to stop there for today.

image credits: (so this link is broken but this is where I originally bought the sign for the bathroom)

Saturday, June 1, 2013


This is a heavy post. It is a story.   I feel better now that I have written it.  Tell me-- has something similar ever happened to you?  I would love to hear about it.

Here it is--

For years I felt a weight on my chest.  For years I had a problem with something and I never said anything.  To anyone.  Except God.  And even then I would only talk to God about it when I was torn from sleep in the middle of the night, heart and mind racing.  Well galloping is a better word.  Heart and mind galloping.  And I couldn't sleep anymore.  That had a lot to do with the way I couldn't breathe either.  So I would bolt out of bed and sit on my couch in the living room.  In the middle of the night.  Usually in the dark.  And I would feel honest feelings and think honest thoughts.  I had a bad habit of never allowing myself to feel honest feelings or think honest thoughts until they tore me from sleep in the middle of the night. 

And since my body insisted on speaking what I would never speak with words, I would let the words finally come.  There is something about the middle of the night where I am just sleeping that brings out how I really feel.  It must take so much effort to keep the real me at bay.  Because she only seems to come out in the middle of the night when I am vulnerable and weak with sleep.

So then I begin praying.  Over the years how many times have I been wrenched awake with pounding heart and racing mind?  Then dragged myself to my dark couch and let the honest and real words just flow.  With this honesty came real feelings I refused to feel during the day as well, and with that came crying.  Real painful crying.  Out it would all come in a few honest moments until my body was finally spent and I would crawl back into bed and life would resume until the next time.

And the years rolled on.  Life rolled on but still I wrestled with this one dominant problem I shared with no one.  (Lets be honest, there were many problems, but this one stuck out).

Until I got sick a few years ago.  Are you sick of hearing about that?  Cause I am.  Anyways--  suddenly a new set of issues was keeping me up at night.  When I woke up with pounding heart and no breath it was because I was agonizing over how this was affecting my family.  About time no longer spent running at the park or taking long walks with my children.  I thought about dishes in the sink and toilets not scrubbed.  I thought about the general disarray of my life and pondered how we were all going to make it. 

But.  But.  God didn't forget my first prayers.  Those first reasons I was wrenched from bed were still there.  He was working on those for me even while I cried out that I was drowning over new and fresh problems.  He didn't forget the things that had kept me up the ten previous years. 

What on earth is this post about? 

Well, it is sort of about happiness. It is a lot about relief.  I didn't know that I would ever resolve the things that kept me up those first ten years.  That's why they woke me up.  That is also why I ignored them during the day.  Why dwell on what you cannot change? 

Being sick these past two and almost a half years did something to me.  It forced me to... how to say this....

To relinquish control over parts of my life.  I didn't have a choice and I complained quite loudly in my prayers about it.

I realized not long ago that being sick these past few years was the darn solution to my original problem.  I forgot and wasn't praying about it in the middle of the night (I was praying about new things) but God didn't forget those ten years of panic attacks.  He was fixing the things he knew would continue to keep me up at night after I was well again.

You guys I am not one to believe in being given trials for specific purpose.  I do believe, now more than ever, that God will take the situations life throws at us and use them for our good.  And I believe that is what he has done here.

Now I may be feeling better lately (for real!).  So I may not be wrenched from bed in the middle of the night agonizing over how being sick is negatively affecting my family.  And now that these problems are fading away--- I won't be waking up for old problems either.  I can just sleep.

This old problem wasn't solved by me doing anything purposefully.  In fact it has been solved rather messily.  I have been focused on other things more pressing to me at the time.  It was as if my current two and a half years of "situation" pushed me into the solution for my other deeper problems.  That is what sort of boggles my mind.  Do people say "boggles" any more?  Well it does.  It boggles me.

Now what's keeping me up from 2-4 am is joy.  Awe.  Gratitude.  Testimony that God really does hear me.  That he really does know me.  He remembered the things that kept me up all those years.  He quietly was going about helping me in that area while I suffered through another.  And now that I am coming though the specific trial of being sick-- there are no longer those old dark clouds to deal with either.  Just blue skies.    I wish I could describe the tears of relief.  This knowledge that God will work on things I truly feel I don't have the capability to work on.  This knowledge that what matters to me in my honest, raw moments matters to Him too.  That is a revelation.  I always thought I needed to change what honestly bothered me.  I thought if I could just change how I felt deep down to whatever it was God wanted me to feel then I wouldn't be woken up in the middle of the night anymore.

That didn't turn out to be true in this instance.  I feel as though God felt with me all those painful nights.  He didn't like what was going on either.  Who knew?  Who knew.

I feel different.  Like I have someone on my side.   That my side is valid.  Weird.  I spent a long time telling myself during the day that I just wasn't a very good person for the things that I let bruise my soul.  Then at night being torn from bed letting out how I really felt about it.  Over and over again this cycle of telling myself I just wasn't angelic enough or something.

Who put those ideas in my head?  This knowledge that just because I want to make things better in my life doesn't make me a bad person.  This knowledge that the things that feel wrong to me may be valid makes me feel powerful.  Because now that I know that repressing and enduring isn't always the answer-  I will start allowing myself to be assertive.  I will start being assertive.  I will work on improving what sears my soul in the middle of the night.  And if what is bothering me is that I honestly have no idea how to solve my problem  ( that is what was bugging me all those years more than anything else), then I will find help.  End of story.  For now.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

shake it out

in a moment to myself i turned on florence and the machine.  i turned it way up.  i danced a little, not gonna lie.  you know, this post is about being sick.  or tired.  or not enough.  those moments you want to curl up in a ball and give up.  sometimes you have to turn up the music loud and shake it out.  shake it out where no one else is watching until you feel better again. feel all of the emotions you keep at bay during the daily grind.  when did life become a daily grind anyway?  who says it has to stay that way? Shake it out. live.  choose to live today the way you want.  no more daily grind.  shake it out, dance it out.  live your life again.  this song is about redemption moments.  it is about realizing i am just as human as anyone.  i just am. i refuse to judge myself any longer.  i refuse to pretend i am anything more than i am. can you see me dancing it out like a nerd?  good.  smile about that today.

if you are feeling mentally like there is a devil on your back and you are going back and forth and nothing you do is right anyway, put this song on loud and dance for me. 

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play
And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn

And I've been a fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I'm always dragging that horse around
And our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off

I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back so shake him off

And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It's a fine romance but its left me so undone
It's always darkest before the dawn

And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't
So here's to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope
It's a shot in the dark and right at my throat
Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I'm gonna let it happen to me

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off

-Florence and the Machine  "shake it out"

Saturday, January 5, 2013


This is a messy post.  There have been times in my life where the people I was surrounded by wanted to break me and mold me into something like them. Those were darker times in my life.  Lately, my life is like the light made by lightning.  It is so bright.  It is so charged with sudden light and electricity.  It is beautiful.  I feel this way around the people God has placed in my life lately  I feel alive.  I worry it is as fleeting as lightning.  I am writing this post to remember who I am.  I...

There are some people in life you cannot escape.  There are obligations you are somehow given.  That can suck out your soul and leave you lifeless.  This post is for those times.

I am me
I am a person with ideas
I am a person willing to share my ideas with those who may differ
I am brave
I am capable
I have a brain that I use, often, therefore I have
an opinion
If I feel my opinion will help you I am unafraid to tell you
I am a person who asks questions if I don't understand
I am well versed in the scriptures after years of careful, intelligent study
I am unable to be bullied by others misinterpretation of the scriptures
I am not cowed when others assume things about me that are untrue
I am willing to admit when I am wrong
I am still learning
I am unwilling to be ignored
I am straightforward about what I want
I am not afraid of you
I am not afraid of showing what I am
I am willing to listen to and think about good advice
I am not offended when you are offended by me
I roll my eyes when you do something stupid
I am someone who craves honesty
I am someone who craves truth
I consciously stay away from situations where all those present consistently try to break who I am
I am concerned for your well being
I exist
even though that confuses you to no end.  Leave me be. Leave me be. 
But if you don't leave me be, I will find a way to still be I.  And that will be like lightning.  It is so dark where you are, but where I let myself be I-- it is like lightning. Try to break me.  Try to break the lightning in the darkness, and I will leave to light up with someone else.