I feel I would be ungrateful if I didn’t send a big thanks out into the universe. I have been much too blessed not to dedicate an entire post (because it will be too big for anywhere else) to those who have helped me be where I am at today.
First and foremost, I have to thank my dear, beloved Father in Heaven. I am so grateful for such a wise and loving Parent who has blessed me with all that I have faithfully asked for, and then some. I look forward to giving Him a warm, heartfelt hug when I see Him again. I can’t wait! Secondly, I have to thank His marvelous, loving Son, Jesus Christ. Boy, it never fails… I get so choked up thinking about Him. I sure do love you, Brother! You know that. We have done a lot of good together, and I cannot wait to do some more! My Savior has been my best friend, even when I turned my back on Him. I am so grateful for such a loyal family member and friend as He. I cannot say enough about Him, but thankfully, I have the opportunity to talk about Him every day! I love my Brother!! I also need to thank the Holy Spirit. I cannot rightfully think of the Father and the Son without thinking of the Spirit. The Spirit guides me each and every day, and I love feeling the warmth He brings to my soul. I love that every time I ask Father to bless me with a form of the Spirit, He does! So, thank you Spirit, for your magnificent obedience. I look up to you a whole lot. And, sure this next one is not a person, but many people sacrificed their lives (getting choked up again…) for me to read from this book. I am so grateful for The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Side note: I love that entire title! I love it because that is exactly what The Book of Mormon is! Another testament of Jesus Christ. Anyway, that one book has blessed every single day of mine. When I open it up, a calming energy escapes the pages and flows into my soul. And that energy just gets stronger and stronger the deeper I dive. I love that! Even The Book of Mormon exudes the gift of agency! It says “You may read a verse or study for hours. It is your choice. I am just grateful you are holding me. The more you love me, the more I show unto you. Ask, and ye shall receive.” And to conclude the gospel side of this public gratuity, I would have to, of course, voice my gratitude for the actual Gospel! I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is perfect, and it is just the right addition to anyone’s life. I sure know it is for mine! I would be (because I once was) so lost without it. We hear that all the time, don’t we? Well, just goes to show how true it is. Once again, the perfect addition to anyone’s life.
Of course, no one would be anywhere without their family. Literally. I was born because two individuals fell in love, got married, and…you know the rest. So, I have to show gratitude for my family also! Not just because my mother bore me, or my parents raised me, or I love them all. It goes much deeper than that. I am grateful for my family because, no matter what, I love them. I love them more than some of them probably realize, and that is okay. They will know someday. I am grateful for my family because I learn something new from them every day! I am grateful for my family because they are the ones I was blessed to be forever associated and bound with! But, most of all, I am grateful for their loving service towards my small
branch and me. Not only have I needed so much from them this past year, but I have needed much from them before. They are always there for me, and I love each and every one of them. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more perfect family to be in. Once again, I just learn so much from all of them. Thank you Mom, mostly for our conversations. Thank you Dad, mostly for our conversations. Thank you Risa…for everything. And of course that includes Mike, and your cutie kiddos. Wow, the spirit of love in this home!! Thank you, Ciera, for being a friend. I will always consider you to be a friend. Always. That means more than “just a sister.” And Kico! Man, I love that guy! So much fun, we have!! And to wrap this segment up, I must branch off into my family…
I am quite grateful for my husband, Wesley Swank. I am grateful for him, because I learned a whole lot from my association with him as well… I find this is the perfect time to quote something I read during my studies today. In Carol Tuttle‘s Remembering Wholeness, she dedicates a chapter to better explaining children, or people, who we sometimes ignorantly and wrongfully like to label, diagnose, and prescribe. At the end of this chapter, she writes a section, headed as Millennial Grandchild, in which it is the year 2020. “I tell them we used to use terms like psychotic, hallucinogenic, schizophrenic, hyperactive, autistic, and attention deficit with people who were actually very evolved and connected with their extrasensory perceptions and spiritual powers. My grandchildren relate to words like intuitive, empathic [yes, empathic], precognitive, and visionary, which we use now to describe an individual with highly developed spiritual senses.” This brought me to tears today, as I was thinking about my Wesley. He just knew things. He knew things about me, he knew things about us, he just knew things. He would tell me what he knew about me before I was ready to hear them. I didn’t want to be anyone great. I didn’t want to be this “amazing woman” he would constantly tell me I was, with his eyes full of wonder and awe. I just wanted to be “normal,” but he knew I wasn’t. Honestly, (getting extremely choked up again…) if it wasn’t for him, I may not be doing this blog, and helping the people I am helping. He made sure to fulfill his role in this plan. He made sure to embed who I truly was in my head, before it was time for him to go. And without him leaving the purest legacy with me that he could, I still wouldn’t be doing this. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING happened – to the T – exactly how it was supposed to happen. Exactly! I don’t care who presumes otherwise, I know too much to not be extremely confident in that phrase. Anyway, I am grateful for the hurt he caused me, the anguish he left with me, and the lessons he blessed me with. I could, once again, go on and on and on. But, as mentioned before, I already began a book on the matter, stay tuned and I may just publish it. Another side note here: just please remember, you can learn something from every single person in your life. Every person. If you are experiencing negative emotions towards any one individual, pray for a Christlike perspective, in faith, and prepare to be amazed at the love, understanding, and learning that follows. And what is this pure legacy of his he has left with me? Our perfect, gorgeous daughter.
I am immensely grateful for my sweet little Coraleen. She has brought so much joy and learning in my life. She has helped me smile during the most depressing times. She has pushed me through the muck I allowed myself to be in. Her light fills every room she is in. It is amazing to see, and perhaps even more amazing to feel. I had no idea that posterity had that impact!! I now know. Again, so much learning. I am very excited to keep on this journey with her. I know it will continue to be a beautiful one.
I am grateful for all my friends who have stepped in to help me during this time, and in turn became family. One of the biggest mentions in this area would have to be Sharol and Doug Goates. I feel impressed to paint this picture for you. On the day my husband was arrested, I was left without my phone, one of our cars, my computer, my laptop… I felt so limited, compared to all the luxuries I was used to. Luckily for me, I remembered where Doug and Sharol lived, and I literally just showed up on their doorstep not knowing what the next step was (…wow…it’s happening again…). It didn’t matter though. They were so willing to impart of their substance to me in an instant! I lived with them for months, and I still know that if I ever needed a place to stay again, they would once again open their home to me in a heartbeat. What sweet angels from heaven! In that time I also grew closer to a very special lady I attended church with: Tonya Cox. Wow. That is all I can say, is wow. Yet another person who entered my life at just the right time for me to be sitting right here and right now, typing up this blog post. Remember all those words I listed a couple paragraphs ago? Empath, extra sensory, visionary, intuitive, precognitive… Well, surprise! Another little fun fact you get to learn about me as this all continues on. Not only was I hiding everything about my “past” from the world, I was also filled with fear. I had all these extra sensory, extra spiritual “gifts” that I viewed to be curses. I had no idea how to use them or what to do about them, so I just squandered them in ignorance, fear, and doubt. Tonya came into my life as an angel from the heavens. I strongly believe that she was the main reason I was supposed to be attending that ward. She was so confident in her spiritual gifts, and knowledge, when I timidly relayed only just a couple of my smaller experiences with her. “A breath of fresh air” would be quite the understatement to use, but it’s heading in the right direction. One small conversation on a couch in the church building eventually led to my first energy-clearing session. I am now a firm believer in that form of therapy (energy clearing/Reiki/R.E.M. therapy). Call it what you may, but the truth is that the Lord created both matter and energy, and we would be wise to maximize our use and dominion over both. The last of my majorly contributing friends I would like to thank is Debbie McEwen from Made From Pinterest. She too came into my life at the absolute perfect time and truly was a major answer to my prayers! I was praying hard and fervently for guidance and direction, when my friend Dena had sent me an article she clipped from a Costco booklet. That article had a few pieces in it from bloggers, regarding their experiences with blogging. Made From Pinterest was one of the blogs featured in the article, and that was my first time hearing of them. Of course Dena sent me a letter, along with that clipping, explaining the fact that she thought I should start blogging. I really wasn’t interested at the time. Not too long after that letter, a few things happened, which I will mention a bit later in this post, and I realized the time to start blogging was now. Funny thing, I also had been inspired to reach out to Debbie on Facebook (still not knowing she was involved with Made From Pinterest), regarding something seemingly quite random. I can’t tell you how it all happened, but she ended up visiting my sister and I, for we hadn’t visited with her since years ago, when we all still lived in California. I guess at that time I had already been planting seeds on my social media feeds about my future blogging, but just barely. Debbie mentioned that she wanted to help me get my blog started and stated which blog she was a part of! Um, yeah, if that wasn’t a huge sign, I don’t know what would be. How obvious was that!? Yep, the Lord sure wanted me to blog, and He was placing just the right people in my path to help me along. It was really only a matter of weeks until everything was ready. Who knows what my blog would be looking like if it was not for such a blessed friend as Debbie. Thank you Debbie! And, lastly, I have had many, many friends and family who have aided me financially, and/or shown me tons of support in my endeavors. I could name them all, and be specific, but that would end up being a novel…literally. So, to all of you (and I certainly hope you know well who you are), thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
Next on this list is Younique! I suppose I will mainly mention the founder and co-founder, Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft. I was in one of the absolute roughest spots in my life, thus far, and needed to start anew. Once again, (as I have mentioned it many times over the last month or so, and will probably continue to) I prayed and prayed and prayed to know where to go and what to do. Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up joining a company I had barely even heard of a couple weeks prior. I became a Younique presenter. All I knew was that the Lord kept saying “You’re praying for guidance, and this is where I am guiding you to. So, take it!” Yes, I pushed a couple times, but I finally got the hint. And, wow, I am so glad I did. I was pushed way beyond the walls of my comfort zone, which was good! I needed to be. I was being prepared to be where I am at right now. So, thank you very much for all you have done, for not only me, but for many women! I have seen the good that has come from your corporation, and I know well that the Lord’s hand is in it. I really do love you two. And thank you to all my team members, before me, after me, to the side of me, on different teams… I love you all too!!
Now, the next set of people are authors. First of all, remember how I mentioned my “extra spiritual gifts?” Well, the Lord has been preparing me in many ways this last year. He has been working hard core on those “extra spiritual gifts” of mine. It makes sense though, considering how long it had been that I was pushing them to the side and completely ignoring them. So, obviously my family knows a lot about this aspect of my mind, body, and spirit, in which they all take it differently. Luckily for me, Risa is quite open minded about it! She heeded the voice of the Spirit when listening to John Pontius’ book, Visions of Glory, and played only a couple minutes aloud for me one day. I broke down in tears. So much relief! “I am not alone!” I thought. I was so glad to see that not only did someone else, who was a member of the church, have some of the same general abilities I did, but they were open and confident about them! That is where I wanted to be! Well, that book ended up doing me a whole lot of good. A whole lot. I wanted to write a letter to “Spencer” and send it to John for him to relay, but I recently found out that John had passed on. I think I will just turn that into a blog post also. The next author who has assisted me quite a bit in this recent journey of mine is Carol Tuttle. As I mentioned earlier, I am currently reading Remembering Wholeness. This book too, has brought me to tears…more than once. It truly does magnificent things for my soul to see others stand up, so publicly, for what they know to be true, regardless of the backlash they might receive for opening up about such deep matters. My soul, as well as others’, does delight in the plain and simple truths, but my soul also knows more than I can comprehend with only my carnal understanding, and I am therefore quite grateful for the Lord’s hand in my life, guiding me to books and people He knows I am finally ready for. Thank Thee, Lord, and thank you, Carol. I too know you were guided by Father to write that book. And it has helped people – me included. And, lastly, (as in chronological order of entering my life in the impactful manners spoken) I would like to publicly thank Al (Fox) Carraway. I knew I was going to meet her when I moved to
Utah, or rather, when I knew that was where the Lord wanted me to go. Little did I know she was no longer living in Utah (at the time). Risa casually asked me if I would like to accompany her in hearing Al speak in Bountiful, and I answered that I would. It was a humble meeting in the chapel of one of our church’s buildings, and we all, therefore, had the opportunity to shake hands with the speakers, following the gathering’s end. I was extremely blubbery when I spoke to her, but I was filled with the Spirit, and could hardly gather my thoughts. None the less, just her being her, and being a missionary, helped me tremendously. That’s what I wanted! And if she could do it, I could do it. That day was a big day for me. And I knew from that day on that I could never turn back. I had to keep on the path, and keep moving forward. I had to be the missionary I was intended to be.
Once again, there are hundreds of individuals I have connected with through networking with Younique, and I have to thank them all as well. I have also recently had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, through an LDS influencer meetup. I cannot wait for the next one!
And we are finally at the end now!! This may seem silly to some, but it’s not to me, so here we go. I have an extremely absorbent mind, and so I am very grateful for positive influences in my life. Some movies have been some of the biggest ones. Lately, I have updated what my favorite film is, and that is Walt Disney’s Pocahontas. I just relate to it so much – mostly the main character, Pocahontas. I love the insight it has given me into my own life, and my own mission on this earth. I also really love the movie, The Help. When I first saw it, I related to one specific character a lot, but that relation has changed. I watch very few movies over and over again. The Help is one of those movies. I just love it! So, as I have been crossing over into this most recent time in my life, I have crossed over into a new role. I now characterize myself with Eugenia. I love her lead in that movie! She stayed true to who she was. She was courageous. She spread awareness. She did the right thing, regardless of who didn’t agree, which were some of the closest people to her. Some of them came around, and some of them didn’t. She was wise and let that wisdom shine, even though it caused her the loss of a companion. But, she never gave up. She wrote, and she wrote for a good cause. Boy, do I relate, and love. And the last two films were ones I fell in love with in my adolescence, which may seem strange, considering the films they are: Behind Enemy Lines, and John Q. I fell in love with Behind Enemy Lines right off the bat, because I have always been drawn to military. But, I also loved the story of it all. Lt. Burnett was obedient. He did as he was told, even when it didn’t seem to be in his best interest. He also was wise and did what he had to to survive. On the contrary, Admiral Reigart disobeyed orders, and was later punished for doing so. But he also did what he had to do to save the life of his soldier. I just love the loyalty and camaraderie of it all. And as we are on the subject of loyalty, that is the reason I love the movie, John Q, so much. John did whatever he thought was necessary to save his son’s life. He loved that boy, and would stop at nothing. He sacrificed all he could for that boy of his, and I looked up to his character as an eleven-year-old girl…it was my favorite movie for years. I couldn’t get enough.
Quite interesting how things work out the way they do years after those seemingly strange happenstances, isn’t it?
So, if you have made it this far, congratulations! You just read thirty-six hundred words! I honestly do not mind if no one wishes to read this whole post, due to it’s time-consuming length. I, personally, had to put it out there, because being grateful is extremely important to me, and I have a lot to be grateful for. The least I could do is give this rationed portion of the credit where the credit is due. Now, my most up-to-date gratitude is out there, and I feel good about it. And, since I usually like to leave a little moral with each of my posts, I suppose I can leave you with this: you can never be too grateful. Always give credit where credit is due. Be glad to have so many good examples and positive influences in your life. And, remember, you are where you are now because of thousands of people – think about it. So, walk uprightly every day, knowing that you have been blessed by the hands of many others, but most of all, the hands of God. For, none of this would be if it weren’t under His constant direction.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.