Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Am His Friend

When it is time for me to write or I'm asked to write for a webpage, I like to spend my evenings outside perched in my comfy chair, nestled beneath a tent of trees, feeling the evening breeze as I listen to the songs of life flowing from the birds. It is here that I can ponder and reflect on the teachings given to us and find something that I hope touches the hearts of readers. This week, I pondered many days, waiting for that magic verse to pop into my head and then commence to writing. However, it wasn't a verse this time, that kept coming to my mind, but people. Those people new and old that have befriended me over time or done something special for me at a time when I needed it the most. Often it was just a simple "hi how are you," that made the difference of my day, and it was all these people that kept running trough my mind as I sat, and it was, that I became quite humbled, even to tears.

I personally have had many a dark hour in my short but eventful 47 years. Some of them so dark, that I thought I would not survive; yet, it was during these times that I have received one of my greatest gifts. I have recieved those who have held me up, and called me friend.

Some of those people I remember went to great personal lengths; to lift my head up, and carry me until I could and can, begin to carry myself. It is the very thought of these people that causes me to dwell upon others; those that do not personally know me, but in the way of friendship, have touched my life. The neighbor that waves and smiles, a drive by hug or comment or thought given over the internet, a stranger offering to carry my bags; so many times I have been blessed with simple acts of kindness and friendship that I could never begin to count them. I find myself a truly rich person, being filled by the light of Christ through others, through friends.

In the New Testament John 15:12-15 it states: "This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, ye are my friends if ye do what I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth, but I have called you friends for all things I have heard of my father, I have made known unto you.'

He calls us his friends, have you ever thought of your relationship with Christ in those terms, "I am his friend." If Christ calls us his friends, and does for us all that he does, are we not exhibiting the finest qualities of being Christlike, if we are friends to others whether we know them personally or otherwise.

It could be someone you know well, or maybe its someone you don't know at all that could simply need a smile. One never knows the need of another, or how something so simple may be the one thing that keeps them going for another day; and have you ever thought that by giving that little smile, you were acting as Christ?

If Christ calls us friends and we befriend others; whether it be with a simple smile or holding someone up when they are down, we act upon the principles that he has set forth for us to love one another, we act upon the principles of friendship, we then, act the same as Christ. Each one of us are his messengers, filled with his light and sent forth to give to each other in times of need. When we do this, we are giving the same as if we were him.

I implore each of us to ponder this throughout our days and rather than engage in a hurried life thinking only of what little time you have with so much to do; make yourself aware of those around you, those that might need a friend. Not only will you be acting in a loving Christlike manner but I guarantee, that when its your turn, you will not be alone.

"Ye are my friends if ye do what I command.." "This commandment I give you, that ye should love one another as I have loved you..." What a beautiful message of Love and Hope. A message that I pray will touch our hearts as I leave it humbly with you this day, with much gratitude in my heart for all those that have befriended me in some way or another; in the name of Jesus Christ, even the son of God, Amen.

With Love From Dixie....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Story of Old

When I was 9 and 10 years old I used to go to work with my mother in the summer. She worked 11pm to 7am at the local nursing home in Bernie Missouri and I would answer the call lights of the patients helping them with their needs until she quit going to work for Headstart. Then when I was 14 years old I had my first volunteer job, it was at a nursing home in McAllen Texas, I was given an award for working 150 hours in 4 months and then again when we moved to Grand Prairie that year I earned another 150 hours in the Geratric Ward of the Grand Prairie Hospital. After High School my first nursing Job was at a nursing home in Grand Prairie Tx and then again in Nevada Iowa until I couldn't do the job anymore with pregnancy complications. I tell you this so you'll know why I am posting this piece, and I hope it will reach you the way it should and your heart will be open.

Love From Dixie


When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Tampa, Florida, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? ...What do you see?

What are you thinking......when you're looking at me?

A crabby old man,.....not very wise,

Uncertain of habit ........with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food.......and makes no reply.

When you say in a loud voice .....'I do wish you'd try!'

Who seems not to notice ....the things that you do.

And forever is losing .............. A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not...........lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding ... The long day to fill?

Is that what you're thinking?.......Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes,'re not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am ......... As I sit here so still,

As I do at your bidding, I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of Ten.......with a father and mother,

Brothers and sisters .........who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen ..with wings on his feet

Dreaming that soon now..........a lover he'll meet.

A groom soon at Twenty heart gives a leap.

Remembering, the vows........that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now ........ I have young of my own.

Who need me to guide ....And a secure happy home.

A man of Thirty ........... My young now grown fast,

Bound to each other ....... With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons ....have grown and are gone,

But my woman's beside see I don't mourn.

At Fifty, once more, ......... Babies play 'round my knee,

Again, we know children ........ My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me ...... My wife is now dead.

I look at the future ............I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing......young of their own.

And I think of the years...... And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man.........and nature is cruel.

'Tis jest to make old age .......look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles..........grace and vigor, depart.

There is now a stone........where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass ..... A young guy still dwells,

And now and again battered heart swells.

I remember the joys..............I remember the pain.

And I'm loving and over again.

I think of the years ..all too few......gone too fast.

And accept the stark fact........that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people and see.

Not a crabby old man.....Look closer....see........ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within.....we will all, one day, be there, too!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Its Personal

I believe when we are asked to speak in Church or are given a calling, more times than not, it is our lesson, our guidance, our answer. I believe this to be true for me at this time for I was asked to speak and the subject matter is one I have personally struggled with for a couple of months. I have spent many hours on my knees hoping I would hear his voice, praying the Lord would just, Tell me what he wanted me to do. So when I received that call we all dread that asks us to speak I knew the Lord was listening, and I gratefully accepted with an anticipation of peace, that comes from learning.

In my particular trial of this Mortal life, like many others, I spend most of the time praying for the Lord to guide me in my decisions, and asking for him to tell me what he would have me do; and then the rest of the time I spend needing confirmation. Confirmation of my choices, confirmation that my prayers are heard, confirmation that the Lord is real, is here and does know me personally and will help me with even what may be considered, simple things. Many days, even recently I have found myself, expressing great cries to Heavenly Father, speaking as if I was that father of the afflicted child we read about in the bible when he pleads "Lord if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, please help me".... and then I wait, I wait to hear something, to feel something, to have my mind enlightened and my heart comforted, I wait to find peace. I wait for Personal Revelation....

Revelation is divine guidance and inspiration from God and Most of what you and I know about Personal Revelation, we have learned from the examples of our leaders, from the examples of our prophets biblical unto present. Through them we have been taught about the need for revelation in the Lords work as well as for personal revelation in our own lives. It is the way we know for ourselves not only about those important decisions and questions we have but also and most importantly about the reality of God, and his son, and the truthfulness of the Gospel. It is the way Heavenly Father helps us know him and his son, and helps us learn and live the gospel that we might endure to the end and have eternal life. It is his way to tell us, he is here, and is aware of each of us.

With this Mortal life that we have, we have been given a responsibility to seek personal revelation for ourselves and for the responsibilities the Lord has given to us. Part of that responsibility in my case has been that of being a mother except for me, for many years, I was a single mother, therefore my responsibilities were a bit difficult. Even so I considered it my greatest and most important job so I sought the council of the Lord and through the years of raising my children, I prayed and cried unto him continually for direction, for help, and even for hope. There was a particular time however back in those days that even to have hope was the greatest of chores, and if ever revelation and guidance was needed in my life it was surely then. You see, after a painful divorce I began a three year period of inactivity from the church. But, I did return, and I returned because of a bishop. In my case my inactivity was interesting in that although I stopped attending church and had decided I didn't believe, that this was all just a nice fairytale someone had made up, I had begun saving my tithing in a jar, and hid it in a dresser in my room so no one would know. I had started saving the tithing again because I had been challenged to a debate by a friend who was a preacher set out to prove the Mormons wrong. Three or four times a week, especially on Sundays, he would study and hit me with questions and rantings and in order to keep up with him and answer his questions, I had to start reading the book of Mormon. After reading for just one week, I began to save my tithing as a gesture to the Lord that I wanted to believe in him, I wanted to believe he had given me a job in order to take care of my children and so I saved ten percent of everything I made for him as a gesture of faith. A month later, after some pretty tough debates, I began to develop a testimony of what I had read and then slowly, with a repentant heart I started to pray. I hid in my closet and in my secret places and prayed that I would know the Lord is real, that it wasn't just a nice story and that he did hear me and was aware of me, I prayed for hope I prayed for help. Two months to the day after the debates started a knock came at my front door and I opened it to find the bishop of a ward I was supposed to be attending. I began to cry. He was shocked at seeing me, as we knew each other, but because my name was different, he had no idea the person he was searching for was me. I asked how he found me, he said he didn't know for sure who I was or if I even lived there but he felt greatly impressed to find me and let me know that the Lord was aware of me and loved me. Before he left I gave him my jar of tithing and asked if he would take care of it for me, for I had made a promise to the Lord to give it to him as a gesture that I wanted to believe. The Bishop was surprised that I had saved it, and said I should come to church and take care of it for it would have much more meaning for me if I personally gave it to the Lord. I returned to church then to rebuild not only my testimony but that of my children and though we needed much work, I have never left again, I had received a very important personal revelation, an answer to the questions of my prayers that were secret, that no one could have ever known, and now I knew that God lives and that he had heard me, I knew that he was indeed real.

Some may say this was merely coincidence but let me tell you also that one year later, I was in a tough place again, I had not wavered in the church, but myself and my children were struggling greatly temporally and physically insomuch that we were losing hope and knew not what to do or where to turn. One night when things had turned particularly bad, even dangerous for us, I knelt in prayer at my bedside and petitioned the Lord for help, I knew that I needed to seek the advice and help of that same bishop who was my bishop but it was a late Saturday night and I knew not what to do so I prayed with all my might and with all my faith that the choices I was about to make were the right ones and if so, would the Lord impress upon the Bishops heart to make room in the coming week for an appointment with me that I might have more direction in gaining safety of my family. That night I asked my teenage children to pray with me and then I asked to them to attend church with me the next day for all of our hope was in the Lord, and together we agreed that it was quite literally all we had. So we attended church the next day and sat in the back of this chapel, and right before sacrament was passed my son Bryan leaned in and said mom what are we gonna do are we gonna be okay, and my daughter looked up at me for answers as my oldest son bowed his head with a sigh red eyed with tears. I told them that I had prayed and asked for heavenly father to touch the heart of the Bishop to talk to us and guide us and I believed he would answer that prayer, then I asked them to reverently take the sacrament and say their prayers for I knew they would be heard. As the meeting came to a close I was preparing to speak to the secretary of the bishop to hopefully set up a meeting but instead as we headed out the door to leave, the bishop left the stand and came right up to me and took my hand. He asked, Dawn am I supposed to see you about something today, did we have an appointment, I feel like I'm supposed to talk to you about children looked at me and I at them and once again I began to cry,.....the Lord had answered and touched the bishops heart, so not only was I making the right choices for the time but he was also providing help through counsel.

You may say this happened because this Bishop new me so well but let me tell you of one more example and I pray that your hearts will be open and these simple tender mercies will touch you as they did me, for they truly did tremendously strengthened me.

About a year and a half later from the time I just spoke of, I was preparing to remarry and build our family once again. I had moved into another ward and my new Bishop was a very dear friend or mine and I was thrilled to have him perform the ceremony, however this wasn't such a happy time as one would imagine. In reality I was terrified to get married again and even three days before my wedding I was writing a dear John letter and planning an escape. Yet, The Lord had answered me before in my prayers and had led me to safety and taken such good care of us that I did not want to forget him in my decision now so after writing the letter and crying until I was dry, I prayed, I prayed one of the most heartfelt prayers I had ever offered at this time in my life because I sincerely wanted to do the right thing. I prayed and prayed for the next three days and hoped I would know what to do as the wedding was in three days.

Well, The day before the wedding was a Sunday and as I hadn't had any real notion of an answer I was just moving forward with my plans and continuing in my prayer hoping I was doing the right thing. I was to meet with my friend who was the Bishop and finalize the ceremony and put it all together yet when I came to sacrament meeting prepared to meet with my Bishop and tell him of my prayers and hope that I would have some guidance and assurance, my Bishop was released from his calling and a new man called as Bishop took the stand. It was someone I had never met in my entire life, I had never even heard of his name before this day, and as I sat in the back of this chapel, with my jaw on the ground in utter astonishment, I began to cry and took this as my answer that things weren't going right so I was not getting married.
With a sunken heart, I silently said a prayer during sacrament that I would know that this man was called of God, that I would know heavenly father had put him here and that I would know that he would be able to lead not only me but my family as well for my worry was not just with a wedding, it was for our lives, And that's when it happened.

After Sacrament had been passed this man got up to speak and something happened to me that I'm not even sure I can describe, there was a feeling not only in my heart but in my whole being, it was a burning of sorts, and when he spoke, tears flowed freely down my cheeks for I saw him glow. Maybe this was just for me and I'm the only one that saw this but I know that I saw and felt the presence of the Lord and I knew this man had been called of God and that this Church and Gospel were true.
When the meeting was over I figured I had to make some kind of an appointment to figure out a wedding and either getting married or not, but I didn't have to for the Lord had heard my petition and knew what I needed. This man when he left the stand at the end of this meeting came right to me without hesitation I didn't even have time to get out of my seat before he reached me. He shook my hand and said to me that he knew I must be in a state about all this but not to worry for all is was in order and everything would be handled and be wonderful. We would meet later to put it all together and he said he looked forward to the wedding and working with me and my family. For me that was my answer, how hard is it to try and talk to a Bishop after sacrament and especially a new one that has been called, yet he came right to me with specific answers to my private prayers. So not only was I getting married, but I had a witness that the Bishop had been called not only to help but for many more things that would come.

Now because I am Mortal, human, I still from time to time, forget to remember these important answers that have come to me and I find myself asking again and again, How do I seek personal revelation? Am I doing it right, does he hear me, will he come to my aide? My answer was found in my study for this talk.
The apostle Paul counsels us to rely upon the spirit rather than the wisdom of the world, and to do so we must begin with prayer which provides the foundation we need in order to receive the answers we seek, however there is more. The Gospel of Jesus Christ centers on the atonement, we receive the blessings of the atonement when we repent of our sins and keep the commandments. As we continue in righteousness we qualify ourselves to receive personal revelation, Thus we must prepare as our leaders and prophets do with scripture study, fasting, praying and building faith, with faith being the key for by unwavering faith we learn for ourselves that that miracles are wrought.

These miracles that we seek and witness are personal in nature, and usually not big demonstrations. For we know that our Prophet receives revelation for the church as a whole and our leaders for their particular callings but we receives things on a personal level, to help us in our lives and these revelations come as tender mercies the Lord bestows upon us through such things as, impressions, ideas, feelings of peace and assurance, dreams, bringing to mind a memory of something we read or learned heard or saw, guidance or help from a leader or friend, and giving us strength to meet our challenges and comfort to bear up our sorrows. These are examples of the personal revelations that come to us, and they come as we endure the trial of our faith which most of the time is enduring the time it takes before an answer is received for revelation comes on the Lords timetable, when it is best for us to have it, thus we must move forward in faith, even if we haven't received all that we seek.

And so with this I come back to myself and the last two very difficult months I've had and the need for answers. Why am I not hearing the Lord, why don't I know what to do, reading a 2007 conference talk by Robert D Hales who is so dear to me and has many of his own trials I am reminded that a vital principle of seeking personal revelation is that you must study it out in your mind first. We must ponder, pray and then, listen to the voice of the spirit. We must develop a spirit of reverence. He counsels to kneel in prayer, then ponder then kneel in prayer again and ponder upon the things you have prayed about; prepare yourself to receive the answer, and continue to seek Heavenly Fathers will as you move forward in faith. Simple sincere heartfelt prayers will bring spiritual guidance.
He further counsels that we may receive personal revelation more than we realize and the more we begin to acknowledge them the more our testimonies will grow. While we are commanded not to seek after signs, we are commanded to seek earnestly the best gifts, these gifts include the holy ghost and personal revelation and that revelation will come line upon line, precept upon precept.

What did I learn today: I have learned, and am reminded that through prayer, asking in humility and faith with sincere intensity my need for direction and help will be heard. I further have learned that I am prone to be impatient and want instant answers and help. Heavenly Father always answers prayers but he does it in his own way and time that is best for me. It is my trial to have faith enough to wait upon him and listen when he speaks.

What will I remember:
I will remember that The spirit will not get my attention by making me afraid or by shouting or shaking but rather it will whisper and caress me so gently that if I am preoccupied I may not feel see or hear it at all, therefore I must remain prepared and in harmony with the Gospel at all times, that I may know the voice of the Lord.

What is to come:
My strengthened testimony this day that I do know God , His son Jesus Christ and the Gospel are real, that he is aware of me and knows me by name and that if I do my best to stay in harmony with the teachings of the Lord I will have peace and joy and I will again hear that still small voice.

This is my testimony and prayer for each and every one of us, for all of his children in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flight Attendant To Be

Hello everyone, i wanted to apologize for not posting. I am in the middle of flight attendant training for American Eagle and I must say, it is the most intense thing I've ever done. I have to time to do anything but study and pray I sleep at night! :) I am set to graduate March first providing I pass all the required examinations and training with a minimum score of 90 percent or better. So I will return in my blog posting then, and I am asking you my friends, for your prayers. I want this more than anything I've ever done or attempted to do, this is my goal and what I want for my life. Not making it would be a crushing blow, therefore I am doing all that I can, anything that I must, to succeed. So your prayers will aid be greatly in my endeavors. I am not thinking that I will fail but looking forward to wearing that uniform and graduation! I pray you all will join me in this effort. At the same time there is always that little bit of fear in me, and if for some reason, it is not Heavenly Father's will for me to do this and I do fail, I also pray you will be here with me to deal with the pain. With that said, I WILL NOT FAIL!!! :))

Now I have my first test tomorrow and so I"m off to study, thank you so much for your love and support and I hope we will one day be flying together!

What did I learn today? Have hope, faith and no fear the Lord is with me in all things!

What will I remember? There are so many things I've learned in the last week about myself that the memories are too much to list, but I'm so grateful for each one of them.

Whats to come? Wearing my wings!!



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What Dreams May Come

When I was a child I was known for vivid dreams. Sometimes I would dream about living family members as well as those that had passed on; and sometimes, I would dream about things that were going to happen, then in a few days or weeks it did. I have carried on that tradition into my adulthood and for many years now my dreams have been incredible. There came a time at one point in my life, when I wasn't living so hot, the premoniton dreams were so strong it was frightening yet at the same time, I waited for them and needed them. They talked to me and did guide me through many rough spots and so years ago I began a journal keeping track and writting them down in detail. I would go back every so often and read and would see how many things really and truly did come to be, I had many dreams that told me of what was to come and many chances to prepare but missed them as I didn't listen. So now, I would say in the last twenty years or so, I have paid great attention, and so has my family. Let me explain and give you a couple of examples so you understand and then I'll tell you my story for today....

My grandmother also had dreams as did my mother, so it was nothing new for me to have them and everyone always paid attention. My children have also been blessed to have them though some more than others, yet when we do have them, those that are real and that we remember, they can be life changing. My husband never had dreams or remembered them until he dated me, and had a desire for the gospel. Then suddenly one day they started and have been a great comfort and guide to us both. Therefore, in a sense, lets say its inherited and we as a family hold it "sacred". Here's an example: My son Chris and his wife were pregnant with their first child in 2008. We were all very happy and ready for out new little one to come, I was very happy to become a grandmother and so the family was excited. When his wife was about four months or so along I had a dream. In the dream I was with my grandson, he was a baby and I was holding him but he talked to me, not with his mouth but spoke words in my mind and as I cradeled him in my arms and rocked him, he brushed my check with his hand and looked me straight in the eyes and said I love you and then disappeared out of my arms. I could feel the touch of his hand on my cheek literally and the dream was so real I woke up with a start and was crying because I had lost him. But the dream was so vivid and real I can to this day without looking at my journal tell you what he looked like. Well, Later that same day Chris called me and said that he and his wife were at the clinic and that the baby's heartbeat couldn't be found. I told him immediately that I had a dream and they needed to go to the hospital. He quickly came to the house and said what was the dream then looked at his wife and said when my mom has a dream you have to listen. I told them my dream and then we left immedately for the hospital. We were told that the baby had died and here was nothing that could be done. Then in 2010 I called my son and daugher in law and jokingly asked if she was pregnant because I had a dream, they said they thought that she was and were going to the doctor, she was......and now that you've had and example and little background let me tell you my story.

I had a dream last night (bet you couldn't have guessed that) but this dream was diffent from all my other deams and I am really quite taken with it and I'm going to tell you about it, but I need to preface it first.

When I was fourteen I began a job as a volunteer in a nursing home in McAllen where we lived. I worked after school and loved it. I would walk there from my junior high school and spend at least three days a week serving up to four hours a day. My mother also worked in a nursing home as a nurse, it was a different one and I would also volunteer there on the weekends and would frequently go to work with her, on the night shift, and answer call lights. Upon moving to Grand Priarie my mother began work at the Hospital (its no longer here) and so I went there and became a candy striper earning my 150 hour pen within three months. I was very close with the staff of ladies and one gentelman that I worked with and I loved it. My goal was to be a nurse, I had wanted to be a nurse like my mom and this was the next best thing. However what will stand out in this story is my closeness with the volunteeer staff. I was so close with them that many of them followed with me through my high school years when I was no longer a candy striper and even when I had my first daughter there at that very hospital in 1984 (don't date me),some of them were still working and were with me. Later in 1992 I went to work there as a unit secretary and monitor tech in ICU, my mother was the Nurse Supervisor and my sister worked in the ER, so it was a very familar place and I met people again that had a great impact on me and helped to change my life. I also worked in a nursing home in Grand Prairie after my first daughter was born and I took care of some wonderful people. Now on with the dream....

I was in a hospital setting and had gone there because a student of mine from dance needed help and then I was with a little girl I didn't know and she was so sad because her father was in the hospital and he was dying. I had been brought there to console her and help her and so thats what I was doing. We were playing with her toys and eating and then it was time to take her to her dad and so we gathered up all the toys and put them in her bag and went to the elevator. Once inside the elevator I was reading a book, it was The Teachings of Joseph Smith (go figure :) ), and the elevator was like the nurses station on a hospital floor but they told me I shouldn't be in there as this room was for others to pass through. So I went to get off the elevator and as I did I left the book behind for others to read (always a missionary) then waited for the doors to open. When they did I was alone, the little girl was gone and I was immediatly in the giftshop of the Grand Prairie Hospital where I worked. (the giftshop was center station for the volunteers) I was being guided by a woman whom I didn't remember, however she looked at me and smiled and said look, while pointing ahead and so I did. I saw a group of women, dressed in fabulous gowns, they were older but so beautiful and then I looked again, and I knew them. They were ladies I had worked with when I was a volunteer at the hospital and ladies I had taken care of in the nursing homes. They smiled at me and said do you remember me and I said why yes I do, but I was so suprised to see them, to see that they had remembered me. Then they just kept smiling at me and said come with us and so I did. We went to the cafeteria and sat down at a table together. It was a round table and all the ladies sat aruond with me at the head and then one setting to the left of me said look and pointed to my right. I turned and looked and sitting in the chair next to me was the one man that worekd with us. He and I were so very close even until I got married and moved away and I was so surprised to see him. Everyone was just sitting around that table and we were all so joyus to be together. Then came the talk. The gentleman and I that were so close had many many discussions when we worked together and then through the years. I had many family troubles at that time in my life and he counsled me and walked me through them; and there he was in my dream and we were having another talk, just like old tims. Yet, there was a twist. No one could see him but me and the ladies at the table. There were other people in the cafeteria eating and such and no one could see him but me, they could see the ladies but they couldn't see him. I made a mental note of this in my dream as it seemed very important and then the talk began. He asked me what my trouble was buat I wasn't sure what to tell him and then he made a couple of jokes with me and I warmed up and then he asked again. Whats your touble. I said, as I fumbled with the napkin in front of me, "well Julied my first daughter died and it was an accident but my son died twenty years later and it was suicide and I'm really very troubled. I know it was an accident for him, I know he didn't mean to do it but the fact of the matter is, it is what it is, and I feel so.....well I need to know what happened, when my children left, I need to know what the experience was for them, did they hurt were they scared, what happened what was it like I must know..." My old friend looked at me with a big grin on his face and that special look in his eye and he said, "I can't tell you that, thats not why I'm here, I'm here to tell you its not yet your time to know..." Then he kissed me on the cheek and suddenly I was back with the little girl and she was watching her dad die and I woke up....

A therapist would tell me this dream means nothing except that I have PTSD and reflect on the tragedies of my life. I even had a Bishop once tell me that my dreams were jsut my minds way of coping and they mean nothing. But I say different for thats not what my heart and gutt tell me , and for fear of making this blog too long I can't tell you of the many examples and dreams that I've had. So, I don't buy what the they say. I belive dreams are a blessing and a gift, yet I also believe they are sacred and should be treated with kid gloves.

I have had dreams about ancestors I've never met yet know them and many other things that are equally incredible. I have even had dreams and been out of body and knew I was alive and awake but I was somewhere is this just a crazy dream or does it have meaning? I can say that I haven't thought about those people and places in many many years and I've never dreamed of them before so why now? Whats your opinion?

What did I learn today?
to continue to listen....always listen.....and learn....

What will I remember?
That I am not crazy, just a little ecentric :)

Whats to come?
More dreams I hope!

Thank You for reading!

Love From Dixie :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thrifty Nickle

I had another outing today, I know your just thrilled to read about it, and naturally, I'm gonna tell you. It was simple really but it seems to me that the simple things, can sometimes bring the biggest joy or change in one's life. So, here goes...

I woke up feeling kind of....not ready to face the day (I can hardly wait to get back to work and on a good schedule!) But I had my morning prayers and felt better and so out I went. First to take Tena to a job interview and after that we stopped at Whole foods so I could get some rice bread,(5.45 a loaf for me btw)and then I was heading home when suddenly I took a detour. I took an exit and headed to what used to be my favorite store...Thrift Town.

Its funny that I took that exit without thinking about it for when I did think about it after I was on my way, I remembered that I dreamed about that store last night; :) Can you belive that I was dreaming of shopping at a Thrift Store...only I would dream such a thing. LOL. So on I went driving down the street to get there, and it felt kinda strange acutally, as the dream was so real; then there I was wasn't a bad feeling just like a dejavu....

So I pulled in and parked and Tena said she wanted to wait in the car so off I went for a little look around, thats when it happened. I opened the door to the store and walked in; it was like I had come home! The place was neat and in order just like I remembered only even better now, with a remodel; and just the atmosphere set off that feeling, the feeling of coming, let me explain why.

When my kids were little I was not on a budget I was flat out poor (like most of us) and so for school clothes and household goods I shopped at thrift town, however do you know what I bought there, not just junk oh no, my best pair of Cole Haan shoes came from there. A Two Hundred dollar pair of brand new shoes that I paid eight dollars for..and my kids went to shcool wearing izod and polo. I used to buy Banana Republic, Anne Taylor, Dooney and Burke and many other brands that I could have never bought otherwise and everything like new. But it didn't stop there, even over the years when the kids got a little older, I was never disloyal to my favorite store. We bought Prom dresses, wedding dresses, Suits, Halloween, and the like, not to mention all the decorations, gifts and just flat out cool stuff. It was my fun place, my handy place, just my place and I loved it, but I hadn't been there in over three years so when I went to day, it was like finding an old friend from the past. And thats not even the best part....

As I walked in I heard the music playing, my music, you know the stuff no one else likes these days, yea, it was blariang and as I began to sift through the racks of clothes, it hit me....memories, memories galore. It was like a feast of memories and not one that made me sad. I remember the little duck costuems I put my boys in our first halloween back in Texas, and I remember Bryan's black and pink suit for the prom. I remembered the star wars toys I found for Chris one christmaas, and the pink cowboy boots that Tena still has in her memory box, saving them for her daughter Aalyah...yes these memories and so many more came rushing into my mind like a tidal wave and as I was thumbing through the clothes I started to smile. Then I started humming with the music and I think I might have even shook my tushie a time or two :) Nothing was bad everything was good. My life was so wonderful, no matter how hard it had become, standing in this thrift store, my old friend; I could see it. My Wonderful Life. I had the perfect dream, I was a mom, and a fun mom, a good mom, we had fun and good times and I love every moment that we have ever had and how grateful I am for this wonderful gift that was given to me. I must have been a really good spirit daughter for Heavenly Father because he gave me the best....

Now before this story ends, I must say that there was also a bonus. I bought Six like new blouses to take to flight training with me and only spent Ten dollars! Go Me!!

So this, was my adventrue today, it may seem kind of silly, but for me, it was a milestone, one that I am ever grateful for...

What did I learn today?
That my life is a choice life and one that was perfect for me no matter how hard, for I wouldn't be the person I am now without it, and I wouldn't have wanted to miss even one moment without those I am blessed to be family with...

What will I remember?
When I need a boost go to Thrift Town

Whats to come?

More Adventures for you to read about!

Love From Dixie :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beam me up scotty

Today from the palm of my hand I first made a phone call, then I sent a text message. Following that I used my phone to find the nearest walmart from where I was and with the touch of a finger listened to directions to get there. Then I went online and made a transfer of funds with my bank, but wait, that's not all; I found the doctors office address and again with the touch of a finger placed the call to make an appointment. I also wrote and posted a new blog page (its for my poetry and verse you can find it here on my blogspot profile, its called Somewhere in Yesterday) harvested my crops on farmville (yes yes I know)checked in on facebook, checked my email, studied my scriptures and read my BYU institute lesson. Further, I listened to my favorite radio station online while driving then just to add color had a video call and looked at the person I was talking to, read my voice mails as they now come in a text message; Hold on I'm not done, I also took amazing pictures of my grand daughter Aaliyah and made a video of my grand daughter Bella uploaded those to facebook and then clipped coupons for my purchase by using the barcode on my device and saved a dollar. Then...I watched a movie..all from the palm of my, BEAM ME UP SCOTTY! Is this not the age of star trek! In fact didn't they have cell phones, I'm sorry "communicators" here's a pic you tell me...looks like our old flip phones, the operative word here is old...

Have we not surely come into the age of star trek, and better yet have we not surpassed it! I know a lot of bad things are done with technology, but in my humble opinion, what counts is the good we do. Today let us not knock the internet and phones, and devices, and satalite Tv and social media. Today let us be thankful for the ease of our life that is provided for us through these advances. Lets look at the miracle of these things and the blessings that they can bring and not look at the evil, just for one day....

Thank you for visiting Dixie Dawn's soapbox :)

Love From Dixie!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stranger in a Strange Land

I've had a weird couple of days, I would call them bad, but they really weren't bad so I settle for weird and preface that by saying....though my life isn't perfect, it is full of perfect moments....

I don't know what has happened to me in the last couple of days and the only thing I can attribute it to is that its been over 30 days since I've stopped taking anti-anxiety medication (ativan or lorazepam) I've never taken an anti-depressant I only had this to deal with the trama and ptsd after loosing Bryan. But I took it for three years and so maybe after coming off of it(I feel wonderful without it btw) my body is having changes, and I am facing some feelings that I didn't realize before.

Now don't worry I'm not loosing it, far from it, I am light years from where I was before, and I am happy and excited to embark on the new things in my life and the life of my family. But last weekend, after I spoke in chruch,(which was a miracle and compeltely amazing) I was at home and laying in the bed and suddenly I was having flashbacks about the night Bryan died and the things that happened in that week...I almost had a panic attack as I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach; like the one you get when you ride a rollercoaster, like a feeling of....panic. I thought to myself, "oh no its real, my son is gone" just like I had when it happened and so I prayed and prayed and then got myself together and was able to go to sleep, however; Monday came.

I found myself irritable, and angry with many things. I have a lot of pressure taking care of the family, (more than I care to say at the moment) and so I thought it was just that but all in all I was fine and dealing with it until that evening. I was taking dinner to a family at church that just had a baby...they live next to our old house the one my kids grew up in and I didn't think anything of it until I was driving that way, the old way I used to drive everyday. You see when I was coming up around the corner I was hit by an uncontrollable amount of memories. My chest became tight, it was hard to breath and I had a panic come over me, then, I started to cry, and I couldn't stop so I had to pull over for moment to gain composure. I've driven down that street countless times and been fine, it was just our old stompin ground that we loved and missed. But I haven't been there since Bryan has been gone and so I tend to believe this is what brought it on.

I know what I believe and I do believe it with all my being, with all that I am, I know that Bryan lives, he is just beyond the veil and all of my hope is in the Savior, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So then, am I weak, am I failing Father in Heaven because everywhere I go there Bryan is and there my family that used to be is and I cry...I didn't have this trouble when my daughter Julie died because I left Iowa where she and I lived and moved back here. My grief process was different and too, her's was a playground accident he was suicide; so though as a mother I feel responsible for both, my grief is very different this time....

I was going to the temple tonight because I knew I would feel better but walmart decided to start putting a hold on Debit cards when you pay at the pump so when I got gas, though I've done it at least a hundred times with no hold, it left my account at 0 because now there is a hold, so no money to go to the temple... thus your stuck with me here for toinght and this is my therapy.

Sometmes, I feel like if I could just have someone to talk to for about an hour or so and cry all I wanted I would be fine. I can't cry or talk at home, it wouldn't be fair everyone has their own grief and I have to hold things together for everyone. I don't want to go to a therapist because they don't know me and I don't want to sit there telling them about the last 30 years that I don't care to rehash, and I don't want to burden my dear friends either so I just keep it and come here when I'm having trouble and bother you.

On a good note, for the perfect moments of my life, it is one and a half weeks until I leave for Flight Attendant Training and I'm so happy I can hardly see straight. I know not only will it be and awesome career, but good therapy as well.

And now I'm feeling better since I got it out here and so for another day I will sleep and get up and keep going....

What have I learned today:
That I am stronger today than I was yesterday and will be stonger tomorrow than I was today

What will I remember: though my life is not perfect, it is full of perfect moments...

What am I thankful for: The internet and you...

Whats to come: as always, log on tomorrow and find out :)

Love From Dixie!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eyes Wide Open

This is really an amazing video, I loved it and have shared it on my twitter and facebook pages and now would like to share it with you. Once you watch it you'll understand the title I've given here and I hope it touches your heart in the way that it has mine, as now I will be more more awake. My eyes will be more wide open and I will look at people a little differently as I go through out my days.

Have a great week!

Love From Dixie :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rest Your Lauels....

I've been asked to speak at church tomorrow and was given a topic to speak about. I've spent the better part of the week praying and trying to find the right words and this is what I came up with. I hope you will have an open space in your heart and mind as you read it and I sincerly hope the spirit will touch you, even as it has touched me for I have once again been strengthend and learned much. Please feel free to leave your comments, you don't have to be a blogger member to comment its open to everyone. And I thank you greatly for reading and sharing in this journey with me.

What Have I learned today:

after you read this you'll know :)

What will I remember:

That we area all eternal beings....

Whats to come:

of course tune in tomorrow and find out :))

Love From Dixie!

I do believe that many times when we are asked to teach a lesson or speak the Lord has a message not only for the class or congregation but also for the teacher or speaker, so I'm grateful for this opportunity but I've always been a better blogger than a speaker, so I've chosen to write my words for you and as I read them I pray that the spirit will be with you and with me that we may all receive the guidance and messages of the Lord.

When we think of the phrase "the healing power of forgiveness" naturally the first thing that comes to mind is the atonement. What a wonderful gift it is to have our burdens lifted and lives filled with hope as we are forgiven of our sins and they are remembered no more. However, there is another aspect to this phrase that I think, because we are at this time mortal, we tend to overlook, yet, it is one that is not only strongly stressed by our prophets and leaders but is a direct commandment from the Lord and that is that we too must also forgive.

It is a delicate subject, and one difficult to talk about for when we or our family members have been hurt or wronged or tragedy strikes, it can be a blinding pain to the soul. And again because we are mortal right now and have to remind ourselves to think eternally, many times we need to deal with our pain or loss. But sometimes in dealing with our feelings we talk ourselves into a procrastination and find reasons for putting off or postponing forgiveness with excuses and justification for being angry. We may be waiting for the wrong doers to repent before we forgive them, or maybe we are holding a grudge forgetting that the courageous thing to do would be to forgive. But it seems that when the innocent have been hurt or die usually we don't think of forgiveness first. Instead we become angry and feel justified to get even, thus, even though it is a delicate subject, it becomes a subject that we need to frequently revisit and strengthen.
As I was reading a 2007 conference report by President James E Faust he gives a definition of forgiveness saying that Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had, and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves. We know that all of us, everyone, suffers from things that can't be understood or explained. We may never know why some things happen and sometimes more than not, those reasons are only known by the Lord. Even so, we must valiantly endure them for they are given for our benefit, they are given, for our salvation.

As I was pondering over this topic and trying to find the right words, I sought the spirit earnestly, as it is a touchy subject and suddenly, while driving to the temple last week, a thought struck me. I know that in my past at times, I haven't always made the right or even good decisions and I'm almost certain that those particular decisions have hurt or wronged someone that maybe was in my path. The hurt and pain I may have caused was most likely unintentional and if it ever was intentional I can say it happened because I truly didn't know any better. I wasn't converted to the gospel or trusting in the Lord, I was living a worldly life. After turning my life around my thoughts and actions have become different and now I know and feel when something isn't right or I've done something wrong or if I am wrong in my actions toward others. And as I think back and remember the past, it is my sincere desire that anyone whom I might have hurt or wronged will forgive me. At the same time, through those years, there were many occasions when I myself was the victim and I was greatly hurt and sometimes even traumatized but if I, as a daughter of God, wish to be forgiven and come clean and whole to heavenly father, I must examine my thoughts and feelings toward others and I too must forgive. I also had the thought that, if we, who are converted to the gospel and have faith and the Holy Ghost have a hard time with this principle, how does someone without these things living in the world face forgiving. So then how can I not forgive, for I too was once there. If we, as members of the church want to be forgiven when we have inappropriate thoughts or actions towards another we must forgive our offenders, even if they never know that they have offended us, even if they never apologize, even if they never repent. We must forgive with our hearts and remember it no more.

When we exercise faith and trust in the Lord, the principle of forgiving becomes much easier. Our true faith can enable us to withstand even the worst of enemies as well as provide us with the wonderful gift of a chance to look beyond ourselves, to think eternally, to in our heart of hearts, forgive. If we do this for those who have caused us hurt we will gain a greater self esteem because people who are taught to forgive become less angry, they have more hope, and are less anxious or stressed and I can personally say this is true because as I daily examine myself and make a true effort I change and become a new woman.
It's not that easy you may say, how can this be done you may ask, as this is a great thing that is asked of me. But if we humble ourselves and acknowledge our anger then get on our knees and ask Heavenly father for a feeling of forgiveness, it will come. And as we rid ourselves of hatred and bitterness, we open ourselves for the Lord to provide comfort and peace.

I'd like to read an excerpt from the talk president Faust gave in 2007 titled "the healing power of forgiveness" For me I can say, it has been some of the best advice and teaching I have ever received and I know without a doubt he speaks the truth, he says: Forgiveness is a source of power, but it does not relieve consequences. When tragedy strikes we should not respond by seeking personal revenge but rather let justice take its course and then let go. It is not easy to let go and empty our hearts of festering resentment. The savior has offered us precious peace through the atonement but this can only come as we are willing to cast out negative feelings of anger spite or revenge. ( and I believe he is referring to any trespass for even the smallest of things can fester up and cause great unhappiness in our lives...) For all of us who forgive those who trespass against us, even those who have committed serious crimes, the atonement brings a measure of peace and comfort.

Now I'm going to tell you why I thought this lesson was for me and let me preface this by saying that I hope your hearts will be touched and that you can feel mine. A week ago last Sunday I was asked to speak and given this topic...just three days earlier I had been driving with my daughter tena to cedar hill and along the way on highway 67 we passed a School where my middle son Bryan attended for middle school. He attended that school because he had adhd and back in the day before there were so many resources and help many didn't understand what students needed and the student almost always had a hard time and wound up in trouble. My son Bryan was no exception he had a really hard time and the two principles at his original school and myself didn't agree on his measure of help, care and discipline so I moved him to another school, the one we had passed while driving. Later when Bryan went to high school I brought him back to grand prairie to attend and wouldn't you know it the two principles for his ninth grade year changed and those two that we had trouble with were now back in our lives. We honestly and truly tried our best to work with everyone, and though Bryan struggled he really did try his best to behave and pass his classes. Unfortunately many times in life one's past troubles carry through to the future and no matter what we did to try and get through the year and stay out of trouble it was not accepted by the principles and eventually Bryan dropped out. He didn't drop out without remorse though for he truly just wanted to be a normal high school boy and he wanted his diploma but there was just no way that was going to happen for many reasons but the main one was that he was called names and degraded by the adults in charge and we just couldn't fight. About a year after he had dropped out a new school was put together here that encouraged students who had dropped out or who had trouble to go back and receive their diploma. Bryan was so excited and so was I and we went to the school to apply and see if he could attend. We filled out all the paper work and waited to see the principle for his interview and when the doors opened and the man staring at us was one of the very principles we had been trying to escape, our hearts sank and we knew it was over. The man laughed at us, he actually laughed at us and told Bryan in front of me that he was a hopeless case and had no business in that school or any school and dismissed us without further words. For many nights after in the next two years to come I sat with my son holding him while he cried and I listened to him on the phone cry to me about how worthless he was and that he would never amount to anything, and, I counseled him many times while praying for help for he would tell me of how he just wanted to end his life for he was no good and would never amount to anything and the pain was just too much to handle. Two years later, after the school rejection, and many other incidents, Bryan died as a result of suicide. This is the memory that rang through my mind as Tena and I passed by the school where he attended and lost in thought I missed my exit and tena asked what was wrong. I told her that we were passing the school and I told her of my memories of why he had to go there and then it happened...I said and I quote " I wish I could find those two principles and go and look in their eyes and say to them are you happy now, Bryan is not here anymore to live his life because of People like you..." Tena immediately turned to me and said mom no, you know you don't believe that way and you know that's not right, and I know this is not you at all or what you believe, or what you've taught us and shown us, I know you don't mean what you said, just let it go and don't think about it ever again.....She was right for the moment the words had come out of my mouth I knew I was wrong and I had a great remorse at having said them and at having been a bad example for her but it happened so fast because of my pain and the words just flew from my mouth, later that evening I tearfully sought Heavenly father, for I know that those two men and anyone else I've ever had a bad thought about are Heavenly father's children they too are eternal beings and kept their first estate and came to this earth just like I did so I must rid myself of negative resentments and continue in my prayers for help because I really don't believe that way, but sometimes, even when we try so hard to live righteously, we can be caught off guard and fall into worldly thinking ....even so though, there was some good that came of this, because this was the first time in the three years since Bryan died that my daughter had ever heard me say something like that. I had done my best to exercise my faith and trust in heavenly father to relieve me of the pain, my daughter had seen this and she remembered it and she helped me when I not only was my life touched but so was hers.... I would like to bare my testimony and tell you that I know these principles are true and come from messengers of God I also know that if we exercise faith and follow these principles not only will our lives be touched and changed but so will the lives of those around us. I know that Heavenly Father is real, that Jesus is the Christ and this is his church and I pray that we all will be watchful and mindful of these things, and I do this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ice-cream Anyone?

I've regualary been writing poetry now for seven years and I have a sight where I keep all my work. I haven't visited in a while as I haven't written in a while. But because of this blog, (I knew it would serve for some good :) I went there today and read through some of what I thought, were the more intesting titles and award winners. And you know what, I couldn't beleive that I had wrote these words. How could someone like me write something like these. They were actually good or at least for the moment I thought they were, and some of them had deep meaning for as I read and looked at when I had wrote the piece, it was at a specific time in my life when something was "going down" either in the family or persoanlly. I also see exactly how I was feeling and can now see how I have changed and was quite a trip today and so I thought I would share another piece with you. I am hopoing now to put forth some new work. I strongley encourage you all to write, whether it is a journal or blog or poetry or just anything. Just do it, its wonderful therapy and when you make progress and look back, you'll be like me and have a good day :)

Hope you enjoy this piece, it was a picture prompt contest. The picture was provided and I had to write something to fit it. It won first place twice (I had forgotten about that until I read it today) and so thats why I'm sharing it.

Thank you for being here and sharing my life with me!!

Love From Dixie :)

Does your ice-cream taste the same as it did then
Does the hint of vanilla take you back when
All in it was fresh from the garden and the cow
Not a staple but a treat managed to have somehow

When the family all gathered after church those Sundays
And everyone chipped in with something they made
A feast it became homemade food piled high
Then after came grandpa with that old bucket of ice
Crank and crank until it was done
Turn the handle each child was sure to have their fun
For a trophy it was when grandpa let them help
Then gobble it down they did before it melt

And on special occasions grandma added in something neat
Strawberry's or chocolate she had saved just to see
The smile the twinkle in her beloved family's eyes
For the old ice-cream bucket and the time of their lives

© Dawn Michelle, All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

If I Were the Devil

Paul Harvey is the original Blogger, though done on the radio, I have to say he is the first and the best, there will never be another to fill his shoes. This particular piece is my favorite and I must say quite chilling. This was given in April of 1965 over 48 eyars ago, and as you listen to the things in our day that have come to fruition, indeed, it is very chilling. Listen and let me know what you think!

Love From Dixie :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Between the Pages of My Mind

Tonight was an intersting evening, one that I wasn't expecting. And to be able to explain to those who by some chance might be reading that don't know me, I'll give a little preface first.

My son died three and a half years ago as a victim of suicide. At that time I was living here, where I am now, and that is where all my kids grew up and went to school and our lives were led. Eight months after his death I had to make a change and so I moved to South Texas to try and deal with my grief and have a fresh start. Before his death I had been a dance teacher here with my own studio, for eleven years and can say I feel like I taught at least half the kids in this town :) Dance was not just my thing it was a family thing. All of my kids danced and we as a studio were a family. After my son's death I had stopped dancing and pretty much stayed in bed and constantly faught with boughts of depression and anxiety.

At this point, before going on with my story, I must give Kuddos to farmville, yes I know most of you hate it but let me tell you, if it weren't for farmville I likey would not have gotten out of bed at all. I was invited to play by a friend, shortly after my son's funeral and so just for grins I played and everyday I had to get up to harvest crops. It became a therapy and I for one am grateful for it :))

Now moving on...There were only two things I was doing a couple of months after this tragedy and that was laying in bed cryng or playing farmville,I had stopped working and all teaching as it was just too much for me to handle. Thankfully my son's girlfriend Diana knew me well enough to know that something had to be done and so I don't know how she thought of this or orchestrated it but, she started a dance class at the church and talked me into teaching so she could learn to dance. As I said she knew something had to be done and if anything could get me up it had to be dance. So, I stared teaching a couple of days a week and gradually I did better. Better enough to move six months later to south texas.

Tonight, I was asked to teach dance again at the church. They had requested the same dances as I had taught before and it was even on the same night and some of the kids were the same kids just a bit older. I agreed to do it because I love my dear sisters who asked me and I love the kids and honestly, I didn't think anything of it until I got there and then it hit.....

It was as if I had traveled back in time and I was the old me trying to make some sense of life being full of pain and anquish. The feeling struck me so hard I almost couldn't think and wasn't sure if I even remembered how to teach. I wasn't the same person anymore and I didn't want to be there teaching dance, it hurt terribly.

You see it wasn't just about my son dying, though that was the main source, it was about me as a person too. Over the years many have judged me for being a dance teacher or for other decisions I've made in my life and its not always been so easy to deal with. I know when some people look at me they do so with contempt or anger or disgust because I was s dance teacher. They feel that I didn't really do anything meaningful with my life. But Infact they really didn't know me at all because the one meaningful thing I ever did was that dance studio as it was non profit and I taught for free to help kids change their lives, but really it changed mine....

So when I walked in tonight and stood on that stage to teach, there was a flood of memories, no it was a tidal wave of memories that came crasing onto the shores of my mind and I wanted to run away as fast as I could, before I became the bad guy again, and before I had to relive my son dying.....

I tried really hard to keep it together, I did my best but I could feel and see that I wasn't my old self, I didn't do as good a job as I would have done in the past. It just wasn't me this time, I have changed, I am new and I love the way I am now so out of fear I think I closed off a bit tongiht for I didn't want to loose all I"ve become.

I taught dance for the past two and a half years in the Valley where I moved to. It was a beautiful experience and is the reason I've been able to become who I am, but when I was teaching tongiht, it was just....well it was a flashback and so I felt terrible when I left to go home. I felt alone and sad, and, I felt lowly again, like I used to feel. Yow know the story in the bible, about how the woman scourned felt when everyone wanted to stone her, thats how I feel when I'm in this town trying to teach dance.....I don't think not teaching dance is the answer, for I should use my talents that the Lord has blessed me with for the good of his children. However I do need to find a balance and be able to cope. Maybe its just not time for me to go back to teaching, its too soon, the wounds are too fresh...

I'm glad that Heavenly Father has blessed me with a chance to be a flight attendant, I think a new career will be so good for me in my heart and soul, it is part of the balance and something myself and my family need greatly...Even so, it is not without great gratitude and humbleness that I leave the dance world.....I will put it pressed between the pages of my mind, for I know I will never really leave, I will only take a break....

What did I learn today?

I learned never to shake the first couselor to the bishops hand, now I have to be the speaker in sacrament meeting this Sunday. (I'll be posting my words to see what you think)

What will I remember?
That I will forever love the youth, they are so dear to me and have a special place in my heart no matter what, they are our future....

Whats to come?
New dances for better days :)

See you tomorrow!

Love From Dixie :)

And Sometimes....

Sometimes, its a sound, maybe one of laughter heard from strangers, sharing times like we used to have, relishing in the company of love....

And sometimes its a song, that can hit as strong as a slap in the face, and with it I can physically feel, for the moment, as I once had when first I heard it....

Sometimes it can even be the simpleness of a breath of wind, pilfering though the loose locks of my hair, carrying with it the dreams of yesterday, those memories that sear my heart and touch the core of my soul....

Then sometimes, its someone that looks like a twin, resembleing my loved ones so impecably that my heart skips a beat, bringing tears to my eyes, as for an instant, they are back with me again....

Even still, sometimes, its a scent, a special aroma that through the senses of appeal, whirls me to that place and time where I wish to forever live....

And again sometimes, its a taste, which can be as luscious as rapture for with the first bite comes gooseflesh that brings me home again and again....

But sometimes, I just want to go back, back to those days when love was anew and laughter was music, to the days when I awoke, I knew you would be here, and all would be right.....

To days when I was not alone, to days that I did not mourn,

To days that were brilliant with light,

To days not filled with spinning my wheels for the only success it seems will be, is that of carrying undescribeable longing,

To days of not wanting to go back, for I was, already there.....

My soul is free, this is completely me, no help from a temporary bandaid or fix.
All that I feel is true and real, and sometimes, its as if the pain were new and I have to come to terms once again...

The living are gone, the dead are gone, and so my goal is to progress, to keep moving, for the faster I move the less I feel and the more the void becomes filled...

Most times, I know, it is just a dream, and nothing will ever fill that space that was occupied so lovingly with my dearest ones, and I have no choice but to search everyday, for a sound, or a song or smell or a taste......

To close my eyes in the wind, with a prayer that I will travel, just one more time, to be with you again.....

© Dawn Michelle, All rights reserved.

Love from Dixie :}

Monday, January 14, 2013

After The Poem Has Gone

I write poetry and short stores as well as articles. I've been blessed to be published a time or two and have won a few contests. This particualry piece won recently and so I thought I would post it for today's post. The contest was a prompt contest and the prompt given was "after the poem has gone". A prompt contest means you are given a prompt line and aksed to write a piece that would reflect it. The title of this piece is called "The Dust of Lillies" and I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!!

"The Dust of Lillies"

Those lilies of the field, they bloom no more,
yet even still, they're beauty remains,
and my memories,
do slowly dull,
those of you that used to live.

Stories from the past,
they have become dust,
I've swept them into piles
now residing in the corners of my mind.

See there, just beyond the door,
a fire burned in the hearth,
it flames now and again,
for a moment,
leaving me with a taste of long ago.

How bitter sweet the awakenings,
those pains not desired but required,
and so I sit,
here in the shadows,
awaiting the brush of an endless breeze,
whispering to me,
that once we were...
© Dawn Michelle, All rights reserved.

Love From Dixie :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fritos and Sprite

Today is Sunday, a day that I personally set aside as holy and do my utmost to keep the Sabbath day Holy. For me I don't shop, go out to eat, play sports or go on outtings or do things that I can do during the week. Today is a day I dedicate soly to the Lord in doing his work and worshiping him, for I have 6 other days a week to do whatever I want. He has only asked me to give him one, and so I try my best to do so.

With that said let me that today is not only a Holy day, but a HOLIDAY. No not a regular holiday but a special day fust for me. Want to know why, of course you do Well I'm going to tell you.

For the past three almost four years I have had TERRIBLE gastritus. Its incredibly painful. For those who don't know what it is here is a link :)
I developed this because I loved Mountain Dew and was a frequent flyer for the Ibuprophen company, I think I owned stock! So needless to say I had to stop drinking sodas and eating anything that had any acid or caffine including juices. I had to change my entire diet and go to completely bland, even to the point of eating baby food for 6 months as the pain was so bad and somedsys I thought I was having a heart attack.

So, I saw a doc who figured out what was wrong and he gave me some wonderful medicine, (dexelaunt) and after about a year I started to really be healed. (there is a point to this story I promise)

Now along with the gastritis I suffered from daily severe migraines, that sometimes would be so bad it required an ambulance ride to the hospital. Well, the doc I was seeing for the gastritis thought that was unusal and that I was taking too much medicine so he did a blood test for allergies including food and WOW you wouldn't believe the results. I am allergic to Wheat, Milk, Peanut, Seasame, Tree nuts, shell fish, and many other outdoor things. He asked if I wanted to live in a bubble, can you belive that! However, there was some good to this. Just by a simple (well not simple) but just by a change in my diet, I was able to decrease my headaches by 75 percent, and the severity of them by 90 percent! IT WAS LIKE A MIRACLE!!! I could live again but not without a price.

If any of you are gluten free or dairy free you'll feel my pain. The trouble for me is that I am both Gluten and dairy free which doesn't leave much and is extremely costly. I've spent the last three years without anything made of flour without milk, without citric acid, and the list goes on and on......some days I just want to eat something and I can't just go and have anything, I have to ask for special menus and what kind of oil is used and I have to read the back of every package. You would be suprised what has lactoce, casien and whey (all milk products) in them. Things like lunch meat, hot dogs and chicken breasts. I can't shop like a normal person, its a true adventure just to get enough food for a week and then cook it.

Now let me tell you why today is a HOLIDAY. For the first time in three years I had a soda. A real sprite (one of those from mexico) in a glass bottle, and I drank the whole thing. But thats not the best part. Did you know that I'm not allergic to corn, no I'm not :))) and you know what else Fritos are only made of corn meal!! Yes thats right!! So today I had Fritos and sprite, I had REAL junk food! HURRAY!!
Notwithstanding, its not something I can do everyday, but for one day I was almost normal again and it was kool.

For those of you thinking of allergy testing let me tell you my experience. Don't do a scratch test its pointless. The results are not accurate and it causes much discomfort. Just go to your doctor and request the blood test it will be true and accurate.

If you are Gluten or a Dairy free or think you might me or just want to be here are a couple of links for you but my best advice is to read the back of everything and ask questions!

What did I learn today?
I learned that the brain of chiildren and teenagers doesn't fully develope until in their 20's and that the part of the brain that helps them to remember things goes wacky about the age of 14. This explains a lot and is something I think we should remember in rearing our children and teens.

What will I remember about today?
Even the most simple of things can make your day a Holiday :)

Whats to come?

Tune in tomorrow and find out!!

Until Then,
Love From Dixie

Of Service and Healing

This is a repost of a talk I gave in Mcallen Texas before moving back home to Grand Prairie. It has been requested and so I'm posting it today. It is a talk given in church, an LDS sacrement meeting. I've done some spelling and gramar revision for easier reading. For anyone reading that has questions please contact me or the links provided at the end of this post. And for any one who reads I hope you enjoy it and feel the spirit in which is was given, it is a most meaningful piece to me :)

I guess you all know this is my last Sunday here in McAllen and when I found out I was moving back to the Dallas area, I asked brother Zavala if I could bear my testimony. He said he could do one better and here I am giving a talk. (note to self in the future don't ask to do anything!)

I've been asked to speak on how being an LDS member of the McAllen, Texas 1st Ward has blessed my life. It is My prayer that the spirit will be with us all as I speak to you, and that the messages the Lords has for us will be received.
Now If you'll bear with me I would like to give you just a little background on how I got here so you can understand how blessed I've become.

First of all, I lived in this ward long ago, when I was 14 years old, my dad was civil service Navy and we were here for a short five months back in 1979. Bishop Hokie was my bishop Mickey Toole, was my young women's leader, and I believe I was in young Women's with sister McBride's daughter, Sister Bouhider and Patti Quintinea. We moved a lot because of the navy, but this was my favorite place of all the places I had lived; It broke my heart to leave, it was as if I had always lived here. Thankfully 32 years later my best friend from Travis Junior high found me via facebook, and this is where the story begins.

Two and a half years ago, at the time when my friend had found me, I was in the middle of bitter grief and despair. My 20 yr old son had died 8 months previous from suicide. He was the second of my 4 children to die; my oldest daughter had died twenty years previously in a play ground accident, and my son died on her birthday. Due to these two events, I was in the fresh stages of ptsd, and in addition to this my daughter was in jail and lost, my oldest son wounded in Afghanistan, I had lost everything that mattered to me do to a robbery of my house, I was on the verge hospitalization due to depression and believe me this was just the tip of the iceberg . You see, these things that I've just mentioned, happened in that 8 month period of time, between my son dying and my friend finding me. But for all the bad, there is always a good; and for me the good was that I had just been re-baptized into the church after a two year repentance process. For me my burdens were lifted and I was anew. It is the greatest gift I had ever received.

Some may think that a repentance process is not a good thing, and they avoid it. People speak of bitterness and hurt and misunderstanding. They feel they are being wrongly judged my men, or think that they only did this or that, the Lord surely must understand. To that I can say I used to think the same way, but upon finding my truly broken heart and contrite spirit two years previous; I properly sought the Lord. And it was then that I became converted, it was then that I knew I had been wrong. I was heartbroken that I had offended My Father in Heaven and so I asked my Bishop for help.

What would I like to say to you about Repentance? It is no Pick nick, I can tell you that. All the things I went through happened to me during my repentance process. Every time we would set a rebaptism date something else would happened and it wasn't just everyday set-backs, they were life changing tragedy's. It still remains the single hardest thing I've ever faced in my life. But I can also tell you that I am so very thankful for the Leaders of the church, for the righteous judges of Israel that they are, for when you truly understand the atonement, then seek the Lord prayerfully, with a full purpose of heart; it is beautiful and you know this is not the work of MEN, this is the work of JESUS CHRIST. I wanted to come home and I was willing to do whatever it took to get here. Every day I thank heavenly father for the Lord Jesus Christ who provided this not just for me but for all of us and so with that, it mattered not what I had to pass through, because I knew the truth, I felt it, I had asked for a witness and I received it, and I cannot deny it. However, as we all know, we are still human and things that happen can be heartbreaking, even crippling.

Myself, I was crippled. I lived in a state of panic and fear so severe that I had health troubles. I was unable to work I gave up teaching dance and aside from not missing church or church activities, the only thing I could do was lay in bed and cry myself to sleep. I stayed on my knees begging in my prayers for help, and thankfully The Lord with his tender mercies heard me and sent me a friend from 32 years past who moved my family to McAllen first ward where I came looking for help...looking for a new life... looking for hope, looking for peace...

Bishop Kafuse was bishop when I came but he left my second Sunday here, in fact I never even saw the bishopric or counselors or even a clerk; .and for awhile there was no one in these positions until replacements could be called. But what you did have was members, and missionaries, and a relief society presidency and sisters...
Immediately you reached out to me and we became friends, it was again as if I had always been here, as if I was your family and you served me with unconditional love and tenderness. You did so much for me that there is not enough time to talk about them all but I'd like to mention just a couple in general so you know how I was blessed.

For a long time I didn't have a car and when you would see me walking you stopped to pick me up, you would take me to the store when I needed things, or out to dinner so I didn't have to eat alone and some of you spent the night with me and held my hand while I cried. Others were at my beck and call, taking me to the doctor, sitting with me while I panicked, helping me with dance and encouraging me to teach and being my right hand or coming to my aide and giving me a blessing . You were so wonderful with your Christ like service that it brings to mind the scripture" even the least of these ye have done unto me" The result was that I too wanted to serve others, as you had served me. I Knew the Lord had been so merciful to me In sending me back here, to a place that loved me ...I just wanted to be of service, for him and for you....and so that's what I tried to do.

First I began teaching dance and let me explain that It didn't start out as such a big thing, see the ladies loved zumba class but even though I'm a dance teacher I'm too lazy for zumba so when I was asked about teaching zumba I offered to teach dance. Soon, the kids wanted in on it too so I started teaching them while the mom's worked out. Before I knew it I was teaching full classes one night a week and then families started inviting their friends and their friends brought friends, and suddenly one night a week became two and that's when the fun began. You see we weren't just teaching dance, we did this as missionaries, we did this as a service and I say we because it was not my effort alone for without the parents and families and our Leaders that helped, it would never have been possible. Even so I want you to know the real service that was done, was done for me... I know you all came and brought your families to dance, to help me, so that I would have something to do, so that I could serve,...I will forever love the children and youth and families. We have made friendships and bonds with each other that otherwise would not have happened but that now, will last forever.

The students and their families that I had the privilege of teaching, they are so inspiring, they encouraged each other and taught and learned from each other; their talents strengths and confidences were built up and they have begun to shine. They have became so different, they are focused and in tune, they serve each other...but that was only the beginning you see, They became missionaries too. From the youngest to the oldest along with their families they bore testimonies and taught others about the church. Those who were not members allowed the light of Christ that lives in them to shine and they served with great love and devotion. They encouraged others to come and learn in an environment that was good for them and good for their families, yet they judged not.

One family told me of how they were on the verge of divorce, that their life was falling apart, and one night instead of dad leaving they had heard about the dance classes and were prompted to bring the kids. It was such a family oriented event that they became wholly involved and soon they were no longer thinking of breaking up their little family, instead they became focused and loving, and together, and now it thrives and I'm so happy for them, and for the spirit that was provided here to help them.
Many other families have told me of how they always thought Mormons to be strange or not Christian but after becoming a part of the dance classes they now have a new found respect and admiration, they are no longer shutting out the word Mormon from their lives.
Non members have become involved greatly in family history work which we all know is a great blessing. Children and youth who didn't know how to pray learned how to do so and how to talk to Heavenly father, they learned how to have faith and discipline, they learned how to trust in the Lord. Inactive families became active again, youth started coming to mutual, Six Baptisms came from our little dance program and it healed my crippled heart, so as we served each other we were all blessed.
I Found as I began to serve, the more I did, the better my mind and heart became, the more my testimony grew and the stronger I became. I looked for other ways to serve so I called the missionaries, which are plentiful here, (don't know what I'm gonna do without them!) I offered myself to them and begged them to call me so I could go out and teach with them. Thankfully they accepted because through them I learned how to prepare myself which made a huge difference in my life.
I would wake up early and stay in prayer and scripture study all day until the appointment time. I would make notes and study as if I were the investigator and I'm not sure who learned more the people we were visiting or me. Thus I consider it an honor and privilege to have taught with them and fed them and had them in my home because I was the one blessed. And with that I tell you please if you are missionary age and you are not on a mission go out and serve one or if you have any time to spare go out and help the ones who are here. You may be the one to save someone's life, or you could be like me and without knowing be saving your own....

I was also blessed to have a served as second counselor in the Primary which I will be ever so grateful for. Thank You Bishop Mask for intrusting me with such a calling for it was the best spiritual experience of my life and I truly loved it. As I prayerfully prepared my lessons and worked with those who served with me I was the one who learned. The children, they are our future, to teach them is the most important job we have, how humbled I am to have been a part of such a great work, with such special children and not only that; I gave my heart to the kids and to those I served with.... it was something I didn't think I could ever do again, and that was my gift.....

I also served as cub scout master and den leader and boy was that a good time. It too was a family affair for all of us with fire pits and smores, and dragon piƱatas, but it was also a missionary experience as many of the scouts that were with me at the time were non-member or inactive. Yet they became active and learned how to pray and learned respect for the Lord and duty to God, and each other.....even some of their dads were baptized, just ask Noe Zamora, he'll tell you it was the fire pit and smores at sister Freeman's house that won him over!

Along with those missionary efforts I had the privilege of being a part of and speaking frequently at baptisms. This was some of the most touching times for me because I just wanted to serve, I just wanted to give a talk that the Lord would have me give, I wanted to touch the hearts of those that were being baptized, I wanted to share what I knew, I wanted them to know of the importance of the step they were taking and how it would change their life. I wanted them to be strong against the adversary. I prayed that the Lord would speak through me, that hearts would be touched, and come unto him, and the end it was my heart that was touched and my heart that found him waiting for me as I arrived; because I was learning how to be a child of God. I was learning how to be a latter-day saint, I was becoming a new woman. I had found a place where I could share my testimony, my experiences, my talents and knowledge, with those who loved me....

I'd like to tell you about one more thing that has blessed me while being part of this ward, and that is being Family History consultant. Before the calling I was already deeply involved in family history and temple work. I couldn't yet go to the temple to do the work myself, as I was working towards regaining my temple recommend but I had found that I could still "go to the temple" each week by logging onto and submitting names for others to do work for me until I could do it myself.
I spent my Sabbath days turning in names for ordinance work and sent names with you when you would have temple trips. I found that because of temple workers and worthy members that will attend the temple and do sessions with other's names; I was able to help my family and ancestors and now have over 1000 ordinances completed since moving here.
My reward, was that I attended the temple myself two weeks ago and continued on with the work others have been doing for me. Brothers and sisters I implore you with all my might that if you have not been to the temple please find a way and go. If you are not a current temple recommend holder, whether you can physically go to the temple now or not, please do whatever it takes to get one and keep it. I know the road is not easy, I know because I walked that road. I know of the trials and struggles and tears I know about feeling alone and alienated; they are the tools of the adversary to take us off course. I know about repentance I know about mistakenly taking things for granted I know about not understanding. But I also know that temple worthiness and temple attendance has strengthened me and given me an even more eternal perspective. It has given me the peace that comes from being properly prepared.....I am no longer afraid, I have peace......that peace came from having a temple recommend and attending the temple...I was able to obtain that because you allowed me to serve and heal, and so it is my prayer for everyone to have that same gift of peace that I have been given.
If you have not yet started your family history please do so it's never too late, they are waiting for you, they are living beings on the other side of the veil and they need you, be a Savior on Mount Zion, when you meet them on the other side do so with a clear conscience that you helped them. "It is sufficient to know in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children upon some subject or other, and behold what is that subject, it is the baptism for the dead for we without them cannot be made perfect neither can they without us be made perfect"...D&C 128:18...(hand out books) I am always available to help you though I am not here, my email address and phone number and facebook are still the same and I will be living 15 minutes from the Temple. I am happy to still be of service to you and help.

With that said , let me just close by saying, the best thing I ever did for myself, was to give my time, my talent and my heart to the Lord, to this ward and community whether it be a calling or visiting teaching or dance or scouts or temple made me want to be a better person and so today I am and my soul is healed.

What have I seen while here? I have seen many miracles of the Lord quiet and spoken, my journal pages are full of not only his miracles but tender mercies and I am greatly humbled....
What I have learned while I was here? I learned how to not be afraid, I learned how to be happy, I learned patience, I learned how to trust the Savior, I learned obedience I learned how to be quiet and listen to that small voice, I learned how to follow and trust my leaders, I learned how to serve with full purpose of heart and with that I learned that I was loved....Now after my long road I can hold my head high and endure other roads to come.....
I say to anyone with troubles in your life, to anyone who hurts, to anyone who is in despair to anyone who is in need, be of service, devote yourself to the work of the Lord in aiding your fellow men here and beyond the veil; when you do, it will save your life....Thank you all for helping to save mine...
I know that God lives, I know that Jesus is the Christ and this is his church, I leave with you all my love and prayers in the Name of Jesus Christ Amen

Until Tomorrow
Love From Dixie :)