Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016

2016 has been a year unlike any I have had.

It has been about five months since I last shared anything. I've taken some growing time to get into the flow of work, discovering new hobbies, meeting people...the whole experience of being new somewhere. In just the past seven months there have been so many experiences that have brought great joys, opportunities for gratitude and vulnerability. There have been times of great stress and sadness. However sitting here I am grateful for all of it. I am still struggling with some confusion and stress but I know it will help me grow. I am grateful for the new connections. I am grateful for the work and the brave kids I get to meet. I am grateful that I get to wake up and make choices each and every day.

I hope moving into 2017 I can remain on the side of my Father in Heaven.  I hope that things will continue to steadily move in the direction they are at this time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"promise me you're ours forever"

I've been home from my mission for 5 months this coming Sunday. And it has been hard. I have had extremely joyful times. I've felt love so deeply. I still have felt my Father in Heaven and my Savior. But they have felt different to me. I have felt cut off, left to learn on my own without companions or friends that come in the same way. When I am with others that logically I know love me or care for me, the adversary is right there telling me all the reasons they don't. That I am a charity case. That...insert emotions here and circumstance and I know you have felt this too. (yes i know none of this is entirely true. but in acknowledging feelings; it has felt real to me. it is getting better and less present.)

When I started this blog I wanted to be regular in writing. When I got home I wanted to pick everything up where I left off. But throughout the last five months as I have struggled, gone through surgery, moving my parents and then myself, a job search and looking for a home (and another move) and feeling generally lost. all the time. I have realized that I am different. I am not the Katie I was 23 months ago. And it impacts the deepest parts of my soul to see and begin to accept that. And start to figure out what I am doing with that. But that's okay.

On some level I don't have the tolerances that I used to. I haven't found the energy in my heart to jump fully into the academic world I once was so deeply involved in. I can't seem to talk as much to anyone. I go days, weeks and months without talking to people I have been through so much with because...I don't know why other than I don't feel the same. and I'm trying to reconcile myself and bring 23 months ago Katie to this moment. To the vision of myself that the Lord gave me while I was choosing to serve Him.

Its an interesting thing, coming home. You make plans and the family is in on it, ready to support. And then the plans that are actually there; the ones that are meant for your ultimate growth and learning are nothing like the plans you have.

Miracles come into your life. In the midst of going through the moments, people show up. Understanding the utter confusion and treading water feeling. And they understand that most days you are just getting by. Doing the motions while the faith grows.

I feel a big purpose of this is to thank those who let me stare. Who let me come and sit with them in silence while they live their life and I try and see what is next. To thank those who haven't heard from me in forever but trust that I still love them. To say sorry and I'm working on coming to myself, this version of me. To say that what makes it easier is the faith the God has a plan and trusting His plan is way easier than forcing mine. To thank God for the job that I now have and the home I get to be a part of. To thank God for still being there.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

do we wait or live life and find them along the way?

I was having a very open and raw conversation with someone dear to my heart today. And during our conversation the topic of marriage came up. Where was I in dating, the need for faith in relationships...it's good, it makes so much sense and I truly appreciate their words. One thing that has stuck with me, though not the point of the conversation, was them mentioning emerging and young adults putting off relationships to pursue education and career.

I would be the first to tell you I don't regret on single second of pursuing my Masters Degree. In all actuality I am seriously looking into pursuing a PhD in a few years. There are a few things I have learned as a 27 year old woman, especially in the LDS faith. Most people in the culture of the church expect you to be married by 22. Anything much beyond that, your priorities must be off, skewed or misplaced. I've been questioned as to what's wrong with me. Why am I not busy having babies. Who did I reject and what opportunities did I turn down with good men to advance myself to where I am. Why do I seek to be a strong woman instead of being submissive to every whim of a man. I've definitely heard much more than this, spent nights in tears. But I would not trade what I have gained from the experiences of education and living so far from family.

At this point in my life, especially after serving a full time mission, there is a strong part of me that would love to be married. To spend 18 months teaching about Jesus Christ, eternal families and blessing of lasting ordinances; it sure comes to mind that yeah it'd be nice to have. But I can't wait for it. If I sat still waiting for the one person to come along...nothing would happen. I would be a version of me that I don't like. I would stop progressing. I wouldn't be true to myself. I've met plenty of people who have sat and waited. Some have met their spouse that way. Some are still sitting. Life is different for every single person. For me life tends to happen while I am living it.

We are meant to grow, develop, change and progress. So while these questions come of what I'm doing with my love life. I'm serving, loving with my heart wide open, getting to know new people, beginning to volunteer, working on building a business, starting a job next week, spending time with good friends when schedules allow, connecting with the universe on a deeper level and starting to work on life long dreams.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

not this

I saw one of those pictures on Facebook last night that has a dark background and then just the words "Not This" were in the middle of it. As I read through the description the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, went on to describe moments in our life where we may wake up and find ourselves saying "not this." It could be in a struggling relationship, friendship, job or personally where you wake up and just see something you never expected or wanted happening in your life. Your path going in a completely different path than you anticipated before. And you just need to get out of it or you will be stuck there living the same moments and same regrets over and over.

In some ways through my life I have definitely had those moments. Whether it was with addiction, toxic relationships, being stagnant or having weight problems. I found myself pleading not now, not again, not this?! Why. The best things that have ever happened when I have found myself in those places is leaving. It is scary. There is so much anxiety with it. But I have had 3 big moves on my own when I have been able to leave the situation and build more on the positive within me. Create who I want to be. And instead of dreading the not this it becomes a chance to say what next?

In the end she said that though we may not know what's wrong with the now. We do know it is not this and the bravest words we can say are WHAT Comes next?

So while I am in the midst of a consistent stream of what next moments. I know you are too. That is the most beautiful and most terrifying part of this life. Leave the past behind and move. Find the next part. Be open to whatever it may be. Allow yourself moments of grief and weakness. Be vulnerable. And in those times, the strength will come.

Monday, April 18, 2016

love overcomes

there are a million things that go through our heads daily...at least my head. since i have been home it has dealt with mission things. discipleship. parents. family. communication. authenticity. vulnerability. friends. love. hearing. listening. client. imperfect. connecting. meaningful life. sickness. addiction. mind. health. job. will this work. can i do it. coach. support. validation. meeting needs. compassion. needing others. being needed. moving. timing. stuck. God's will. better plans. and oh so much more.

as just a general health and addiction update: things are good. there was honestly a week where the food issues went a little berzerk a few days and the thoughts came. weak. not good enough. failure. fat. unworthy. unloved. and my mind picked at every part of my body the next few days. we all do it. my hair is too flat. my thighs are too large. my arms are too big. my chest is too small. my stomach is too flabby. i'm not beautiful enough. and on...

then i decided to reclaim myself...again. accepting each pound. wrinkle. ache. knowing they were placed there by years of decisions. and then i looked at myself again. and i saw arms that get to hug people i love. wrinkles and lines that came for laughter and smiling. legs that can run and walk and play. a mouth that can speak words of love. and a whole body that has won and overcome so much and is meant for a continually wonderful life.

its so hard to push through the negative thoughts when they come. to look back at yourself in the mirror and saw that was a choice. i am the sum of my choices. but my next one can positively impact the rest of my days. mine was going to serve another person. getting out. seeing how much i could actually do with this magnificent body in positive, productive ways.

as for the pornography addiction: 3 years 5 months clear. triggers are less and less every week. true love, the most powerful pure love overcomes all. the love from God helped me.

the negative thoughts have been at bay the past few days because i began to accept again that my Savior loves me. that God loves me. and their love is all that matters because i am the daughter of a King. it helps when the rest gets too much. and what helps more is to let others know how much they are loved.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

spoons ...it makes sense now

A few years ago, my wonderful roommate and friend described to me some of what life was like utilizing the spoon theory. I've thought of it a few times since then but haven't lingered there until about 9 months ago when I became sick while finishing my full-time mission for my church. Gratefully I was able to finish my service but life changed much.

Over the course of a month I found myself in increasing pain and diminishing energy. But with remembrance of the spoon theory and experiencing the realities of my present, tasks, efforts, everything had to be budgeted differently than before. But, to others I didn't look sick. I knew and my companion knew that I would run out if we weren't careful.

I'm so grateful though to remember and see these things and get it. To understand my dear friend more than ever before. We may not be in the same circumstances but if for a second we can empathize with another soul in this mortal journey, that is blessed.

The past three weeks have been pretty rough this time around. However, there is always light somewhere. Something to be grateful for. At this moment I'm grateful for laughter.  Loved ones. Doctors and this surgery coming up. Most important my Savior who provides a perfect brightness of hope to my soul.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

enthusiastically a failure

I read the other day that "success consists of going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill gave us that grand bit of wisdom.

And as I thought about this I realized how true of a failure I am! I fail all the time. I fail at being brave to say things when I want. I fail at sharing feelings. I fail at giving light. I fail at getting out of my traps and snares unscathed each time they surface.

But isn't that was life is about? Because each time I fail, I succeed. Because I get.back.up. I fight again. I say brave things when God wants me to say them. I tend to share feelings when it is actually needed. Light is given when it is needed. And getting out of traps and snares with the bruises, scrapes and wounds are so I can keep learning and hopefully fail a little less or in a different way next time.

It is always about the fight. Thanks be to God that there is still fight in me. With the physical ailments, the attunement to 3 years of recovery from pornography addiction (to not lose it). And now working daily with this food addiction.

I've learned through TSFL and the gospel that it is truly ALL choices. There are times when choices are bound with stress and other emotional/lack of coping responses. But it is my agency. I haven't used my agency well the past three days. I feel it this morning. I feel the failure. But I am enthusiastic! I know I can get up and walk a day at a time to the next moment successfully.

What I am doing today to get back up, I am going to a meeting tonight. First meeting since being home from the mission. But it will be good. :) I have HOPE and I am optimistic about this. Because I have come farther than I failed and I know I can do more. :)

What choices will you make today to get up from your failures?

lovefromKT

Monday, March 14, 2016

to the peacemakers in every family and their loved ones

Hello! I wanted to take this time to share some thoughts about those in all of our families who we call the peacemaker, the mediator, the calm one, the compromiser, the listener. You name it and this person is in every family.
These people have softer hearts. They love in a full, deep, whole souled way. They may absorb a lot more. They feel things on a much deeper level. They are told by many to grow thicker skin, toughen up, stop being so naïve. They frequently are the ones to try and listen and bring compromise to many situations in their families. After years of practice they are then turned to by friends and acquaintances. They still have their family that they try and listen to and support. Pretty soon they become an outlet for all who are around. And their softness begins to grow weary. They want sleep, or healing of their own, or peace of mind and soul. Sometimes they may see that their life is not their own; they are meant to serve others. But then the real wear and tear comes how do they find their way out of this endless place of give and no receiving? When will their needs be met? Eventually there comes a sweet healing in Christ or a higher power as some choose to call it. But it takes time. Sometimes they have given so much the healing takes weeks, months...years. It comes. But what could help this?
I've wondered a time or two about what would help these loved ones before they get to this burn out, this almost past feeling state. And I've come to the conclusion that if we were all a little bit kinder. If we listened to each other more. If we sought to meet needs rather than have our needs met. If we chose to set boundaries and not turn another person into our personal dumping space. Workout what is okay and not okay to share. Talk about what will help you thrive in a friendship a relationship and keep those boundaries. They will help you love each other more freely than anything ever has. Respect each other's realities. Care enough to ask.
There is always so much more but really, truly consider these people in your families. Love them! Because I can assure you they love you more than you will ever know.

Check out this video on Boundaries by Brene Brown.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Out of the basement

i was participating in a recovery conference three years ago and was really impressed with one certain presenters opinion of coming out of the basement into the light. So many in any stage of their recovery understand and even desire the built in anonymity of 12-step meetings. I know there have been times when I think, thank goodness no one here has to know who I really am...all they get is my first name. But in recent months I have pondered more about the anonymity-is it helping? Or do we go in and come out and no one in most of our personal and professional life knows anything more about it? How vocal are we? Should we share more openly our realities or stay concealed?

This morning I came across a video by Terry Crews while exploring the Utah Coalition Against Pornography's Facebook page and he amazed me. I don't know how long he has been speaking his truth and owning life decisions and trying to help others, but it was amazing. He was brave. He spoke up and speaks out against pornography, talks about empowering people to freedom from their old life and consequently letting that life die. The core of what he said was so good and true.

What would the world benefits if more of us spoke up? Made ourselves known?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Wounds and light

"The wound is the place where light enters the body." Rumi

I heard that last night while watching a video broadcast of Gabby Bernstein. And she was talking about being authentic. Showing the real self on social media. Or at least being authentic with each other to discuss our stuff. I LOVED it.

I've pondered on her words and the quote a lot and I completely agree. Through reflection, I can see how each wound I have humbled me enough to let light in. I choose to call the light Jesus Christ. You may call it something else. But as He has come in, healing has come. And it has been beautiful. I am so grateful for each and every wound because they led me straight to Him.

Some of those wounds were inflicted through the agency of others but the vast majority were self inflicted. And what is amazing, He still comes in. Even if we are the ones causing the damage. But we have to let go of pride long enough to let the light in.

I wouldn't ever wish wounds on anyone, especially addiction. But I do wish everyone could know the hard and love filled journey back to light and peace each addict has. And to me, it's all thanks to the bringer of light, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Humility and Vulnerability

Hello! I have now been home three and a half weeks from my full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I can't really describe the experiences there but please know it was the best thing of my life. It was the hardest thing of my life. I learned things that will impact my life forever and met people who have deeply changed me. And now, in more ways than before, I feel more like myself than ever before.

Since being home I have thought a lot about recovery. Physical. Mental. Spiritual. Then I get this e-mail from one of the recovery yogis that I used to listen to. And it is about beating addiction, through humility and vulnerability. He talked about how humility helps us to ask for help. And best of all, to know we are not the most important thing so we reach out to help others. And vulnerability helps us to take the scary look at ourselves and see what may be wrong. What needs healing. The steps we need to take to heal. Its a process. But these two are key; there's a reason humility is one of the 12 steps.

I've thought a lot about my own road to recovery and the amazing people who have come before me and with me. 3 year 3 months. That's a long time. Longer than before. And it will last this time. As I stay humble. Choose to include the Lord and be ever mindful of what is going on within me. With that said, some of my secondary addictions are trying to resurface since being home.

But I am choosing to act in my life again. I've always been super open and upfront about my journeys. So I am going to share. Whatever will help. Video logs. Daily treasures and triumphs. I want to utilize the tools the Lord has provided to aid in maintaining recovery. To me these are scriptures, recovery groups, meditation and yoga, therapy, church and temple worship. I want to invite you on this journey with me as I continue to optimal health. :)

lovefromKT

Emotional Eating Link 1
Emotional Eating Link 2
Mindfulness Meditation
Recovery 2.0
Addiction Recovery Program
In The Rooms

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A fast 18 months

Date: Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Hello Everyone!! It's time. :)

It's time for that email that I haven't really wanted to write,
honestly. So I will be returning home this week. It has been an amazing 18
months. They probably have been the hardest 18 months of my life but I
have learned so much about the Savior. I have seen him come
alive in the lives of so many people. I'm so grateful to witness the
miracle again and again. I'm grateful for the amazing people that I've
been able to meet and be a part of their lives. Thankful for their
examples of coming closer to Christ seeing how I can apply that in my
own life. I am so grateful. At times I wonder how I got so lucky to be
here and have such spiritually intimate experiences with amazing
people. Then I remember, "if ye have desires to serve God, ye are
called to the work". I have. And He did. In many different ways but all
for the purpose of bringing others to Christ, including myself. He
saved me.
My trainer and I joked a few times of me being like Peter. And I
thought I was fine but just as Peter. My faith faltered. I doubted at
times. And the Savior again and again reached out, reminded me of
plain and simple truths and invited me to act. As I did, my testimony
grew and my love for My Savior grew. Has grown and will continue to grow.
He pulled me out and has helped me. Strengthened me. I love Him. I
know He is my Redeemer, and I trust Him so very much. I know this isn't
the end. I know that as surely as the Lord liveth, I will be prepared
for what comes next.
I know this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that through
it, precious saving ordinances can be performed so we can be united
eternally as families and with our Father in Heaven.

I love you.
Sister Walter

Monday, February 8, 2016

Gem Show, Baptism, MLC, Zoo

Date: Mon, Feb 8, 2016


Hello ALL THAT I LOVE! :) 

Okay, so this past week has been full of so many interesting parts! Seriously! I can't even describe the happiness and joy I have felt and the sheer peace that came at the end of the week. 

So on Monday last week we had lots of fun! We went to the Gem Show which is one of Tucson's original attractions...I think. Anyways it was super cool. We got to go there with some Sisters that I SUPER love! I sent that picture last week. That night we were able to see the Brauns who we are teaching so their 7 year old daughter can feel more ready for baptism this year! They are probably one of the best families ever! :) And I super love their kids. We told them a bedtime story about the Plan of Salvation to help them get to sleep and that was super amazing. It was all about a Big White House, which I can thank Sister Jones for telling me one night last transfer.

Tuesday was a little weird, but we loved it. We were still working on finishing our weekly planning from the previous week and had the opportunity to have an extremely inspired role play for the potential investigator we were meeting that afternoon. We then went to meet Pedro, and he was interested, said he would read the Book of Mormon. We will hopefully see him again tomorrow. The rest of the day was just super funny. We had some weird experiences, where at the end of the day we were wondering, what alternate universe we had landed in. 

Wednesday we had the opportunity to see KELLY! I LOVE HER. I can't even describe. And to have district meeting then have lunch with Billy. I love that man so much. He has been around for about the last year of my mission, and I am just so grateful for him. That night we were able to see Nicole and Ashton, two returning members. They are both amazing and have such a good desire to come unto Christ. Ashton actually gave me some amazing counsel on what to do when I get home to be strong. 

Thursday we had some more adventures. So we had a wonderful morning of missionary work then we had to take our car in...we were going to walk home bc we thought it was really close to our house. But it was in another zone. So we got permission from President to sleep at another Sisters' apartment that night since I had to get up the next morning for MLC. It was pretty great. We were able to be with Sister Stebar and Sister Smith. I can't tell you how happy my heart has been these last 6 months, but more so since I have been close to Sister Stebar again. She is glorious. The black and white picture is us talking about all the things. 

Friday was MLC. That pretty much sums up the day. :) 8 hours of trainings and learning how to improve as a missionary. I felt such a strong desire to improve and make every day count! Seriously, I am so grateful for the time left. The group picture is of all of us who were there. There is one of me and Sister Jones, She was my companion last transfer. I LOVE HER. I learned so much while I was with her about being a more effective missionary. The happiness picture...was on the side of a church, that we saw on our drive home. I can truly attest to the TRUTH of that. That is where so much of my joy has come from these past 6 months. And it just keeps getting better. 

Saturday we were able to do amazing things with having a church tour. And attending a baptism for an amazing woman that evening. It was probably one of the most powerful baptisms I have ever attended. The woman there, you could just see the gratitude, love and pure spirit she possessed. She was a living example to me a faith and repentance. She has worked so hard to be there. And I truly saw that. There were also many wonderful people there whom I have met over the course of the past 18 months, and I felt like I was among family. It was close to heaven. 

Sunday was a glorious day with our lesson teaching John! We were so grateful for Brother Butler coming with us. And then we were just chillin' waiting to go talk with the Bishop about some administrative needs. :) Love Sister Condie. :) She is so great! We found the Joseph Smith quote (pictured) yesterday, and it really just touched me. 

Today! We went to the Zoo with Billy. And it was glorious. Again, I can't say enough how much I love that man. But there you go. Caught up on the wonderful moments of the past week. :) 

I love you all!

Sister Walter

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Missionary life

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hey hey family and friends!! 

Another week at the grind. :) But really, though some days may feel long it was a glorious day, and I sure shooting loved every moment we chose to be guided by the Spirit. 

So where to begin! We were able to take some time last week and set up some service for this week. We will be working with Habitat for Humanity in their customer service area. I am super stoked for that! Last week with our service we were able to work with the Bishop's storehouse and the Community Food Bank distribution center in Tucson. That was pretty awesome! It feels so good to serve! 

We were able to also see Amy again this past week. Wednesday we met with her and she again shared her dislike of how she was treated at church but she was also insistent that this wasn't for anyone else but her and God and she would persist. Inspiring. We shared the Restoration with her and a copy of the Book of Mormon and with a few choice :) words to describe her reaction to the First Vision, she wanted to meet again. She could feel it was good. And she was committed to coming to church again on Sunday. She came on Sunday and was greeted by a few members who were reminded of those who come in feeling a little lonelier and may be new. And she shared how much she has enjoyed the feeling of our first meeting and the lesson. We will be seeing her on Friday

We also had some amazing contact with some of the Recent Converts in the ward this past week. Secret is probably my favorite experience. She is where the poster "Born Again" comes from. She described the good feeling of her baptism and the desire to make sure she is in such a good place each Sunday so she is able and worthy to take the Sacrament. How often do we try and prepare spiritually for this most sacred ordinance? She was inspiring to me as was this poster in her home. The coming off of an old self and the appearance of a clearer, newer self, more willing to be devoted to the Lord. 

Sunday we had a super cool opportunity to Go contacting in Udall Park. We were just walking around without direction and just passing by people. And I felt that we weren't acting. We stopped, prayed and I asked Sister Condie which way she felt prompted to go. She said right. So we moved. As we turned right we saw some men taking down the soccer nets after some games. We helped them take everything down and talked with them about who we are and what we do while we were serving. They were amazing people! They have a faith. But were super impressed that we would be willing to come by and help in skirts. :) I've learned you can do almost anything in a skirt. We then gave them our phone number to call and let us know if they needed help next week and we would love to come and help. 

Wednesday morning we participated in a world wide training broadcast from SLC. I have to admit family and friend. It was a special occasion. There was nothing earth-shattering announced. There was no magic way or technique they told us to be able to find, teach or help people enter into covenants with the Lord. They only reminded us of Preach My Gospel, our Purpose as Missionaries and what we need to be doing. Which is testifying of Christ. Teaching by the Spirit and power of the Holy Ghost and reading from PMG and the Book of Mormon daily. I am so grateful for their counsel. Because it reinforces the things President and Sister Passey have been inviting us to do for the last 18 months. 

I am grateful for the changes that the Lord has worked in me and still will. I would like to leave with you this testimony which has become my own. I bear testimony, as one of His duly ordained disciples--that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son. 

I love you all so very much. may we all love more fully this week. And with a heart wide open to let the Spirit in and help you see others as the Father does. 

muchlove,
Sister Walte