Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Speedy Answers to My Fast

Before I begin, I just have to say how much I love the title I created for this blog post! #ifeelsoclever! Ha ha. Okay, now we may proceed! 😊

Remember how I posted back in December about my issues with some of my extended family members? Well, those separate relationship issues recently came to a head. One of the issues was extremely worrisome and significant enough to my soul that I made an appointment to speak with my bishop about it—I really wanted to get his ecclesiastical take on the situation.

As a side note, I might write about all of this in greater detail someday, but out of respect for my extended family members, I'm going to stay vague for now.

My bishop kindly listened as I very tearfully explained my story and that of my extended family member. After my bishop and I talked for a long time, and he could see that there was truly nothing else I could do on my end with this extended family member, he suggested that I fast for myself to help me through my struggle. My bishop gave a lot of great advice and counsel, but the fasting just for me idea stood out the very most. Here are the scriptures my bishop shared with me—I included some additional verses that I like:

Isaiah 58: 6, 8, 11, 14:
6  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
8 ¶ Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
Aren't those verses awesome?! I've heard them before, but I'd forgotten them because there are so many great scripture verses to remember! 😇 

Initially, I was surprised at the idea of fasting for myself, but after I thought about it for a few minutes, I decided to try it! I've always had great faith in the law of the fast. I've consistently fasted throughout my life for everyone else—my fasting list for people that I care about is forever long! 😇 Also, I've fasted for Greg and I as a couple, and for our children, but I've never fasted specifically and only for myself.

At first, I felt kind of squirmy inside at the thought of focusing only on me and not fasting for anyone else this past Fast Sunday, but at the same time I knew it was exactly what I should do. So I did it! 😀 I fasted and prayed for my peace of mind, patience, and especially for resolution to my issues with my extended family members. How those things would be resolved, I had no idea, but I fasted for direction and comfort, and I was ready for any answer(s) I would receive!

I say "would receive" because I fully expected Heavenly Father to answer my prayers and fasting through the Holy Ghost. I had patiently endured my issues for a very long time (we're talking months, and years in one instance). I felt like I had done my best with what I had been "given." Yes, it was time for some divine intervention to help me move past those issues because they were starting to affect me in a negative way. And don't even get me started on the dreams (while sleeping) I was having in relation to my issues with those extended family members! Oh, my issue-related dreams were not my favorite! 😬

After Greg and I broke our fast together, I felt much better. Nothing had been resolved yet, but I loved hearing my wonderful husband's voice praying for me—yes, he specifically fasted for me, too, and I'll love him forever for it!! Of course, Greg and I pray together all the time, and I love him for innumerable reasons, but this (him fasting/praying specifically for me) just adds to my adoration of him! Speaking of my husband's wonderful voice, I think Greg should start doing voice-overs! I'm going to see what I can do to get him in that industry! 😃 #randomthoughtsbyAdrie! 😄

The amazing news is, one of my issues with one of my extended family members was resolved literally one day after I fasted!! Said extended-family-member and I had been emailing each other the day before my fast, and cleared up everything by Monday! Yay! Some might say that emailing isn't a great way to resolve conflict, but in our case, emails were the only thing that would have worked because even after seeing each other in person, it was glaringly obvious that we still had issues with each other. I even had a nightmare about said family member a couple of nights after we saw each other in person! When I awoke, I knew it was time for me to take action asap!

I also know that because I fasted that Sunday, I was inspired as to how to respond in my final email. My extended family member might not have particularly liked what I had to say, but, oh my goodness, it felt sooo great(!) to write what I hadn't been able to express in any way for seemingly endless months! I tried to show as much love and compassion with my words as I possibly could without being a door mat. Yes, it's a tricky balance to show love to others while simultaneously standing our ground and staying true to who we are!

The other issue with my other extended family member—the one I met with my bishop about—didn't go away quite so instantly (a one-day turnaround is pretty exciting, right?!!), and it felt like our situation got even more difficult the day after my fast—which was a little concerning, to say the least.

Interestingly, and not coincidentally (As I've always said, everything happens for a reason!), I went walking with two of my dear friends that same Monday morning after completing my fast (on Sunday). As we were walking and talking about each of our issues with our extended family members, my one friend said, "Have you heard about Bold New Mom?" I was like, "What?" because I had never heard of that bold new mom. My friend then explained about the podcast she had recently found and how she thought of me in my situation with my extended family member that I was struggling with. My other friend immediately chimed in and said, "I love Bold New Mom! She has some great stuff!" And that was the end of our discussion about Bold New Mom.

But later that night, my mind wouldn't let go of the podcast that my friend had told me about. I give full thanks and credit to the Holy Ghost for reminding me of what my soul needed to do! 💛 As I pondered if I should look further into the podcast, I reminded myself that my friend who brought up Bold New Mom is a very easy-going, go-with-the-flow type of girl. She doesn't usually give out advice, recommendations, or her opinions unless she's specifically asked—which is why it surprised me that she brought up the podcast out of the blue. Thus, I knew it was something I should definitely look into. I texted said friend about the podcast information, and the rest is history!

After Googling Bold New Mom, I discovered Jody Moore's website and especially her fabulous podcastI linked you to her first episodes. Here's the link to her podcast, Better Than Happy, in iTunes. I don't know when she changed the name of her podcast, but I really like the new title! 😊

I never expected any of this to happen(!), but I have spent the last week cocooning myself in Better Than Happy podcasts, extensive note-taking, analyzing, pondering, praying, and writing! This amazing week of self-care has helped me more than I ever could have imagined! In my wildest, most faith-filled dreams, I could not have envisioned this specific result happening! And it was all made possible because of my special fast on Sunday, April 8th, 2018!

I mean, I had complete and utter faith that I would absolutely get the help that I needed from our Heavenly Father through fasting, I just had no clue as to how that help would manifest itself. I also couldn't have possibly fathomed how completely my soul has been healed over this past week! Yet that is exactly what has happened!

In fact, when I was talking with my bishop (two weeks ago), I explained to him how much I hoped I could get a significant/direct answer to my fasting and prayers because if I didn't, my situation with my extended family member was getting to the point that I felt I might need a therapist to help me get over it. Yes, it was that much of an issue for me. My bishop assured me that they (my ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) would help me with therapy if my insurance wouldn't cover it. I was grateful for his kind thoughts, but I didn't feel like I was to that point just yet. I was definitely waiting for inspiration from the Holy Ghost as to what I should do.

So yeah, finding life coach Jody Moore was truly an inspired event in my life(!)—one that is not a coincidence and was most definitely meant to happen! Interestingly, that Monday walk-and-talk with my friends was the first time we've gotten together to go walking—and it was my idea! Yay! 😀 Yet when I say "my idea," I totally laugh because I know I was inspired by the Holy Ghost to suggest that my friends and I start walking together! (I texted them in March, and together we set up our walking date for April.) Also, I know my dear friend was fully inspired to tell me about Bold New Mom! If she wouldn't have spoken up, I don't know when or if I ever would have found Jody Moore and her fabulous, amazing podcasts!

Also, I feel strongly that I wasn't meant to find Jody's podcasts until now. That seems so silly to say because she's so helpful, but up until very recently (we're talking within the last month), I really didn't have any extended-family relationship issues that I couldn't deal with—and I was dealing with them just fine in my own way. I am a strong woman. I have confidence. I know who I am. I am spiritually in tune with our Heavenly Father. I study, research, ponder, and pray about everything in my life. I've never felt the need for a therapist or a life coach. I honestly didn't feel there was any issue I've dealt with (or would deal with) that I couldn't find an answer to or work through "on my own."

I say "on my own" because the Holy Ghost has always told/shown me everything that's best for me to do—and I've done it! I'm very much in tune with Heavenly Father as to who I am and what I need to do to make my life work in the very best way possible. Of course, I'm not perfect! That goes without saying! I've definitely had my struggles, but I've always found my way to sunshine and happiness—every time! 🌞😎😁

That said, I was also smack dab in the middle of grieving that specific relationship with my one extended family member (the one I spoke with my bishop about) for several months. Our relationship had changed drastically over the past few years and I needed to grieve all of it first before I could move on in Better Than Happy Land.

So even if someone would have told me about Jody previously, I wouldn't have felt a particular need to check out her content. Even when I wrote about my extended family issues back in December, 2017, I was handling everything okay; even when I was struggling, I wasn't truly ready to find Jody's brilliant advice. Yes, I had to get to my personal breaking point—and I arrived there about three weeks ago. Thus, last Monday was literally the perfect time for me to discover Better Than Happy!

Do you see how all of this was so meant to be?!

It's mind blowing and humbling in the same moment to think about everything that has transpired in just the past three weeks(!):
  1. I was inspired to meet with my bishop.
  2. My bishop was inspired to counsel me in the way that he did—and especially in advising me that I should fast and pray for myself.
  3. Greg was inspired when he prayed for me as we ended our fast together.
  4. I was inspired as to how to respond to my one extended family member over email.
  5. I was inspired to set up my walking date with my friends—far in advance of my important week.
  6. My walking/talking friends were inspired to take our conversation in the direction it went—about our issues with our extended family members.
  7. My one friend, in particular, was so inspired to tell me about Bold New Mom.
  8. I was inspired to later ask my friend for information about the podcast, research it, listen to 37 episodes, and do the "self" work that needed to be done.
  9. Jody Moore was inspired to become a life coach and begin her own podcast series!
  10. Brooke Castillo was inspired to do all of the study and research she did in order to create The Life Coach School (with her husband) in the first place!
Not only has this experience helped me tremendously with resolving my extended family relationship issues, it has strengthened (yet again!) my unshakable testimony of fasting and prayer.

I have never doubted nor questioned my relationship with our Heavenly Father—through our Savior, Jesus Christ—but there have been times when I've felt picked on because I didn't receive the immediate answers from Him that I so desperately desired—answers that I knew He could freely give me if he wanted to! *And yes, I fully acknowledge that Heavenly Father gives us trials to help us grow and become our best selves! That said, there have been times when I've wished my "trial" path was a smidgen of a bit easier! 😉

Several weeks ago, this thought entered my mind so strongly:

Trials are meant to strengthen you and give you compassion for others.

I 100% believe in and agree with that brilliant statement! Again, trials are given to us so that we can truly become our best selves! I've written about trials before in my blog post, "Receiving Our Trials with Thankfulness." So even though we may not want those soul-trying trials at the time, in the end, they are always given to us for our best benefit!

All of that said, I still have some significant work to do in relation to my other extended family member. I'm not out of the woods quite yet, but thanks to this amazing week I've had—of doing the self-care work I know Heavenly Father wants me to do—I can actually see a glimmer of the Road to Resolution that I've been searching for! And I will happily hike the remainder of my journey through the thick trees because I know I can do it! 👊😁🌲

I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for listening to my prayers, accepting my fasting efforts, and blessing my life in exactly the ways I needed! 💛 I'm unbelievably happy (and slightly overwhelmed!) to have received such speedy answers to my fast! It's truly amazing to me!

Finally, here's a wrap-up about my experience with listening to the Better Than Happy podcast:

Even though I could have listened to Better Than Happy through iTunes, or on my iPod Touch, I chose to access Jody's podcast through her website on my smartphone. (My LGV20 is my absolute favorite!) Instead of listening from Episode 1, I started listening at Episode 5—which was my friend's recommendation.

After finishing Episode 5, I knew I wanted to explore more of Jody's awesome thoughts! Thus, I went through the entire Better Than Happy podcast list and opened the links to all of the podcast topics that I felt applied to my situation with my extended family member in any way.

I initially listened to the following episodes (not in this exact order): 3, 6, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 21, 29, 33, 65, 81, 94, 97, and 122. After I finished those episodes, I decided to look at Jody's podcast list again and see if there was anything else that interested me. As you might have guessed, yep(!), I found an additional 17 podcasts to listen to! Here's round two of the Better Than Happy podcasts I listened to (not in this exact order): 27, 36, 37, 47, 50, 53, 73, 77, 81, 83, 85, 86, 87, 107, 110, 114, and 126! After I felt satisfied with my podcast learning, I went back and listened to episodes 1, 2, 4, and 141.

If you're wondering how and why I kept track of the episodes I listened to, I just opened each episode in a new window of my phone's Chrome browser. When I finished listening to everything I was interested in, I went into my Chrome browser again, wrote down all of the podcast episode numbers I had open, and then I closed all of those tabs. I kept track of those podcasts because I want to know which ones I listened to—in case I want to refer back to them at a later date.

I listened to a bunch of the Better Than Happy podcasts out of numerical order, which was fine, but after I take a little break, I'm going to go back and listen to Jody's podcasts from Episode 1 all the way to her most current episode! I can't wait to begin this adventure again! 😊 Her podcasts really are perfect for listening to while doing household chores—they make the time fly by! And they're simultaneously turning listeners into better humans! It's a true win-win!

*If you want to start listening to Better Than Happy, I highly recommend starting right at Episode 1, as she guides you through everything you need to know from there. Yes, you can understand what she's teaching if you start at a different episode, but based on my experience, I believe it's better to start at the beginning because it's a very good place to start! 😁 #DoReMi 🎶

I seriously wish I could recommend the Better Than Happy podcast to every human on planet earth! 😀 Jody Moore is a living example of the parable of the talents. She knows and understands the talents she's been blessed with, she's practiced and honed her skills in marvelous ways, and she is actively blessing humanity by freely sharing her special gifts with us!

As a fun tidbit, Better Than Happy has received 1,671 reviews (to this date—her reviews keep increasing daily) on iTunes and only four of those reviews (0.0024%!) have been negative! Jody should feel ecstatic that she continually produces a five-star podcast! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wow! I'm so happy for her success! And I'm grateful she's continuing to create so many helpful podcasts!

I also researched The Life Coach School, which is where Jody received her life-coaching certification. It looks like a really great program, they've turned out some amazing life coaches! I listened to the first three podcast episodes of The Life Coach School, and they were great, yet I just didn't feel the deep connection to Brooke that I instantly felt with Jody. There might come a day when I feel the urge to listen to more of The Life Coach School's podcasts, but right now isn't the time.

I greatly enjoy Jody's connection to my beloved church; I believe it helps that she's a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because she brings an additional spiritual perspective/dimension that I didn't feel/experience (so far) while listening to Brooke. That isn't meant to be anything negative (not in any way!) against The Life Coach School, it's just that I found the important connection I was looking for in Jody, and I'm sticking with her for the foreseeable future! 😁

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day! 😘