{ Abrahamic Tests and Wandering Souls }

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I’ve headed into a “Woman Cave” for a week long honeymoon with myself and my favorite things: paper and paints, a journal and pens, profound and thought-provoking books, and passionate music; and I’m hanging a big old ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign to life so that I may enter into the bittersweet nest of introspection without unwanted interruption.

After two months of ranching (which I really regret not blogging about), witnessing more life and death than I have in my whole life, unwinding and unraveling in the beauty of alfalfa fields, mountains at sunrise and sunset, old cotton trees, running on horseback through unpaved trails, herding thousands of head of sheep to greener pastures, being away from ‘busy’ and immersed in nature and cycles of life, and feeling the most content I have ever felt in my entire life (though my skin is weathered and aged from the elements), I find myself with a new challenge.  There is no rest for a wandering soul.

Life has a way of throwing curve balls we never in our wildest dreams expect, for better or for worse.  So here I am in a little town far from home, in a tiny room, with natural hot springs within walking distance.  I’ll be pouring in knowledge and wisdom through books and authors, and painting my expressions, pouring out the emotions of my soul.  I’ll be soaking in the healing waters of mineral baths under the moonlit nights ahead, pondering the issues at hand, seeking guidance from On High.  Pushing.  Pulling.  Stretching.  Growing.

I just recently read this, and nothing rings truer right now:

God doesn’t give you the people you want,
he gives you the people you need.
to help you,
to hurt you,
to leave you,
to love you,
and to make you
the person you were
meant to be.

We have plans for our lives, and God has other plans.  We can hold tight to what we hold dear, or we can surrender our will to His.  When we tell Him we will do anything for Him, we musn’t say it casually, because He will test us, and He may not provide a ram in the thicket to bail us out.  And sometimes He asks us to do things that seem contrary to His Word, which can leave us confused.  But then we remember that asking Abraham to kill his son Isaac, wasn’t exactly orthodox, and full of contradiction, and so we can find some comfort and assurance that not everything has a textbook answer; that it is by His spirit He reveals truth unto man (John 15:26).

I’ve tried to get inside the mind of Abraham.  He was willing to face persecution.  He was willing to be misunderstood.  He was willing to be falsely accused.  He was willing to risk and give up family, and friends, like Jesus says he expects of us if we are truly willing to follow Him. (Matthew 19:29: – “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”)

Though I’ve not talked about it much, if at all, in this space, I am of Mormon persuasion, and our modern Scriptures declare that we must be “chastened and tried, even as Abraham” (D&C 101:4).  The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “You will have all kinds of trials to pass through.  And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God… God will feel after you and he will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings.”


“We will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:24–25).

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19; emphasis added).

The Lord affirmed that He would “give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal. Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy. For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me” (D&C 98:12–15).

Abraham was tried in consequence of his righteousness.  But Abraham was not some anomaly in the Scriptures.  The Lord must try all his people “in all things, that they might be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom” (D&C 136:31).

Do we love our Lord above all?

Are we okay with rewards not of this world?

 Weighty matters to ponder, indeed.


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Healing Lazarus from Poisoning | My Lessons

I find the mysteries in life so fascinating…

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Lazarus, the dog I’d been nursing back to health after being on death’s door died yesterday, within days of my miscarriage and Mother’s Day four years ago.  He was going to be my dog when he got better.  I imagined him healthy, and strong.  I imagined his love and loyalty to me after being the only one on the ranch who gave a damn to help him.  No one even knew his name; he was a forgotten dog that came with the sheep herd.  By the time his condition was brought to my attention, he hadn’t eaten or drank anything in three days.  They believe he’d eaten something poisonous, meat from a dead animal gone bad, maybe.

I felt that I could save him, though he was already lying down on the bed of a truck with several dead lambs, as if his fate was sealed and he was going with them, to the dump that is their final resting place.  My first instinct was to give him activated charcoal, to help move the poison out, so I called my herb friend who suggested that I mix that with crushed garlic and administer via an enema.  So I did.  And he was better right away, drinking water within 30 minutes, and eating a few bites of food that day.  We also gave him essential oils to relax him, on his nose and on the pads of his paws, which are highly absorbable.  After laying there barely breathing before, he was now digging a hole in the dirt to cool off in.  He was gaining energy.

The next morning I gave him another charcoal and garlic enema, administered more oils, and also gave him minerals and probiotics to start giving him the nutrients he needed and build back up his gut flora.  He was doing better.  Every time I would administer something to him throughout the day, he would get up on all fours and drink from the water I had placed right next to him.  He still would eat little, to nothing though.  I tried raw milk, raw eggs, soft dog food, and crunchy dog food.  So I made sure to give him the minerals through an oral syringe, which he hated, so I had to use a little force.

On the third day, when I would give him the minerals, instead of swallowing, most of the time he would just let it dribble out of his mouth.  He was taking a turn for the worse.  It made me think he was giving up and wanted to die.  I would also pour liquid minerals directly onto his paws, so they could soak into him that way.

By the fourth day, he was breathing very heavy and fast, like he was grasping for air.  In asking around for help, I learned there was a veterinarian on the ranch (supposedly one of the best Vets in Mexico).  I had Marguerito (one of the ranch helpers) get in touch with him, and he said he would come see the dog.  It took him several hours to show up.  He said the dog had a bad infection in his lungs, which was why he was having trouble breathing (and eating, and only drinking a little here and there).  He said that penicillin could save him, and he had some, but no needle to inject him with it.  So I put a call into my herb friend to bring a needle to the ranch.  In the meantime, the Vet suggested we mix up some sugar/salt water for him in the oral syringe.  Our communication was very limited – he could only speak very little English, and I only very little Spanish.  Marguerito translated for us when he was around.

Knowing that he was a Vet, I asked him to administer the oral syringe while we waited for the needle to show up – that when I did it, Laz would often let it dribble back out of his mouth.  I figured the Vet would have had done this hundreds of times and knew an efficient (and safe) technique to help the dog keep it down.  He had Marguerito hold Laz’s head back while he administered the syringe.  I was unnerved by the way they were jostling him around when he had very little strength.  Marguerito forced Lazarus’s head back for too long that he suffocated him.  Laz died with Marguerito’s arms around his neck, went limp and fell to the ground.

Words cannot describe my heartbreak in that moment.  After all the gentle love and care I was giving him, these men didn’t take into account Laz’s fragility and sickly state.  I couldn’t help myself from falling apart in front of them, just bawling, and walking away.  I watched from a distance as they tried to revive him, to manipulate his limp body to let the fluid drain back out, but it was too late.  Those poor men couldn’t even look at me.  They just killed the dog I had been delicately and tediously caring for in the several days before, by their carelessness and inconsideration.

My friend called while at the store looking for clarification on the needle.

“Don’t bother,” I said.  “He’s gone.”

She came right over and we hugged and cried.

I was weeping off and on throughout the day.  Mark took me to go sit in a hot tub, to try to get away and relax a little bit.  He held me in the water as I cried and expressed how badly I wanted to save Lazarus.  He replied, “maybe you did.” <3

The day before Lazarus died, I told him that he should go if he didn’t want to fight, but that I really wanted him to make it and that I would keep being there for him because I loved him.  I also told him that we would see each other again in heaven, and that I would claim him – he could be mine, since no one else was there for him in his dying days.  I am a believer that animals do go to heaven – you can’t look an animal in the eyes and tell me they don’t have a soul.  Lazarus is surely there now.

Of course I named him Lazarus with the full hope and expectation that he would surely make it after those first signs of coming back to life after that first enema.

As always, I am looking for learning opportunities, and experiencing fully whatever is going on around me.

Marguerito, who has always been very kind to me since we met a month ago, called me last night.

“How are you, Mija?”

“I’m okay, Marguerito.”

“You think I kill your dog?”

Yes. “No, Marguerito, I think you were trying to help.”

“I sorry, Mija.  I see how you cry.  You have beautiful soul, you beautiful person inside and outside.  You come to the church with me tomorrow?”

See, how sweet he is?  I cannot be mad at Marguerito.  He was only trying to help.  Maybe Marguerito needed to see a softer side of humanity in me.  It is more than likely Laz wouldn’t have made it, and for all I know, they helped him out of his suffering, and I might have only prolonged it.  And truly, my anger can only be directed at myself, for not trusting myself to take care of him.

As for the Vet – it turns out that the Mexican government took him out of prison and sent him to work here (I guess that is not too uncommon – it is a way to make room in their prisons and a way for Americans to hire very cheap labor).  The story I’m told is that he killed someone in self defense.  Now it’s easy to start making judgments – whether he did it in self defense or not, is not for me to decide.  But my experience of him was a kind man, who wanted to help me and Lazarus, and took the time to do it.  Maybe he has some things to face regarding death.  Who knows what the death of this dog in his hands has brought back up for him?

As for me, it is Mother’s Day, four years ago I miscarried, and today I will bury the doggie I so desperately wanted to save and have in my life.

What are all the connections, coincidences, and reasons the Mexican Vet, the Mexican helper, Marguerito, and Lazarus and I were thrown together in this random situation at this ranch all far from our homes?  I can’t say for sure, but beyond the sadness it fascinates me, like all circumstances like it, believing in no accidents and no wasted experiences.

Our lives are chalk full of happy and tragic accidents, and strange coincidences.  When I get to heaven, I want to walk back through my life and see them plainly – how they all assisted me in my progress and growth as a human being.  I want to see that everything mattered, and everything counted for my experience.

I believe!

Lazarus, forever in my heart!

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De-hoarding | The Beginning of a Massive Cleansing

For the last year or so I’ve been feeling very compelled to get rid of “stuff”.  Stuff has always pervaded and overwhelmed my life for as long as I can remember.  I’ve been trapped by consumerism and consumption, and I’m a sucker for all things sentimental, and attach sentiment to lots of things.  My husband and I have always lived in larger spaces than we’ve needed, even though it’s just the two of us, because we’ve needed extra space for our stuff.

We have stuff in rooms we don’t even go into.  We have stuff in boxes we haven’t unpacked from three moves ago.  Yet we keep lugging it around with us wherever we go.  Though it has felt burdensome and like a sickness for years, I’ve been attached to it, like it is all a part of me.  And I know that is a lie.  And after being with it for a year, I’m finally feeling the courage and motivation to root out this disease from my life.

When I imagine my life with empty rooms, I feel lighter and more peaceful.  Ironically, I’m very sensitive to aesthetics and atmosphere.  Beautiful surroundings does wonders for my soul, including cleanliness, orderliness, beautiful tapestries and visual art, uncluttered areas, and color palettes.  Yet, I’ve never lived in a space that would be described this way. I’ve wondered what my blocks are, and why I have not been able to achieve this simplicity and beauty in my life.

One major idea is that I’ve come to realize that I associate cleaning and organizing with anger and punishment, a feeling that goes way back into childhood.  Also, because of my sentimental attachment to everything, I feel like I can’t let go.  Like if I don’t have these physical triggers, how will I remember my years gone by?  What will I have to pass on to those important to me?  Sentimental trinkets are my stories.  With this combination, I have created clutter and chaos, and it is no wonder I have been stuck in my life, as this disease has reached its tentacles in and around so much of my life.

After so much thought and visualization of what it would feel like to be able to detach from stuff, I yearn for that feeling more than I feel the need to hang on.  And today the first-fruits of this physical manifestation has taken place.

I put pressure on myself to get a certain room done today, and I noticed that I was resisting and procrastinating all day.  So, instead, I asked myself what could I work on today?  My mind went to one of the smallest spaces in the house, my closet.  So I went to work in that area, where it felt the least overwhelming to me.

I don’t care too much for fashion nowadays.  I like to be comfortable, and my life has changed so much, I don’t have a place necessarily to wear high fashion.  I live in the boonies with horses, ducks, chickens, stray cats, and my dog.  Fancy clothes or heels aren’t part of my life so much.  So I started by getting rid of things that didn’t suit my lifestyle anymore.  I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard to get rid of the cutest shoes ever.  But when they’ve collected dust because they haven’t been worn in years (in some cases), it becomes ridiculous to think of hanging on to them for that one time that I might possibly wear them.  The feeling of having them gone, feels better than them taking up space and looking cute.

Yes, even these.  Aren’t they so pretty?!?!?!  Well, it’s time they be pretty on someone’s feet, and not in my closet.  If you look close enough, you can see the dust in the picture.

p20130314 205434 De hoarding | The Beginning of a Massive CleansingI can remember each instance of buying these.  The middle one was with my sister while we were shopping together in a consignment store.  The pink slipons on the right, I wore to a good friend’s wedding in 2001.  I think I only wore them one other time.  They are so pretty and delicate, which is why, other than the sentimental value, I kept them, but they hurt my feet like hell, so that is why I only wore them twice.

And now I’m looking at the black ones in the picture, thinking, dang those are cute! and am tempted to take them out of the ‘get rid of basket’.  But again, I can’t remember how long it’s been since I wore them, so no, they have to go.


I literally emptied half my closet and dresser drawers.  Mostly stuff I just haven’t worn in a long time, or stuff that I was waiting to fit into again.  Right.

IMG 20130314 183133 1024x768 De hoarding | The Beginning of a Massive CleansingHow many pairs of jeans does one need?  I had 12.  Ridiculous.  I got rid of 7.  Let’s face it, I wear the same few 80% of the time.  It feels better to get rid of these than to have options the other 20% of the time.

IMG 20130314 182619 1 768x1024 De hoarding | The Beginning of a Massive CleansingThis shirt.  This was given to me in 2005 by a dear friend just after I moved to Utah.  I love this thing!!  It’s so cool!  But it didn’t fit me then, and it surely doesn’t fit me now.  I’ve waited many years for this to fit me.  Dang it.  Cute, and dear to me.  But it’s time it be cute on someone, and not cute taking up space in my closet. : (

And so the journey starts.  I’ll go room by room, getting rid of as much stuff as I can stand to part with, and separating myself more and more from the consumption disease.

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~ Something’s Brewing ~

IMG 1081 768x1024 ~ Somethings Brewing ~

something’s brewing
something deep
something sweet

it excites me
it scares me
it makes me breath quickly
it makes my heart beat fast

it reminds me of who i am
it reminds me of why i’m here

it makes me feel wild and unpredictable
it makes me feel whole and vulnerable

it’s daring
it’s primal
it’s wholesome

it evokes mutual trust and a natural flow
it encourages yin and yang and sets my soul aglow

i am not afraid to give
i am not afraid to ask

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For Sale: Icon Painting Wine Bottle Light

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This twinkle lit upcycled wine bottle creates beautiful illuminated ambiance to any space.  Adding to the beauty, it is decorated with a hand painted angel icon on a delicate upcycled tea bag.  Her dress bestows a gentle blessing to all (Lyrics adapted from Libby Roderick):

“How can anyone ever tell you, you are anything less than beautiful. How can anyone ever tell you, you are less than whole.  How deeply you’re connected to my soul.”

Twinkle lights inside have 2,500 hours of life (so says the package!)

See more images below.

$35 + $15 for shipping (sorry it’s so expensive to ship!)

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She looks good not illuminated, too!  You can see her features better.

p20130220 172326 For Sale: Icon Painting Wine Bottle Light

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Illuminated, she looks like a glowing angel.

Thank you!

$35 + $15 shipping (sorry shipping is so expensive!)

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(Purchase will show up under “Internet Marketing Power Team”)
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