IMG_5125 I am a single mom with 5 sons. After 22 years of marriage, and 5 children, I found myself starting over at 42. Although balancing work, kids, finances and a new type of social life was not easy, I have learned to find the joy in life. Once I realized that I needed to be on my own, I fasted and prayed for help, and was given the sweet assurance that I was doing the right thing, and that the Lord would have his hand in making sure that I would be okay, financially, socially and spiritually.

my kids

I have definitely seen the hand of the Lord in my life since then.  I have been very blessed and consider it a pleasure to be the mom to these 5 handsome young men.  We have learned to lean on each other, and laugh together and sometimes cry with each other.

My business grew and our physical needs were always met.  We didn’t always  have extra, but we never went hungry or worried about not paying a bill. When I count my blessings, I remember how lucky we are to always have food, shelter and a nice home to live in.

Socially, I’ve maintained important friendships.  It can be amazing how great the power of true friends can be. I have friends who stepped up and helped me move several times. Friends who have been a shoulder to cry on. And occasionally, a friend who is really in tune and calls me up, just to talk, when I am needing it the most. There is nothing more important than family and friends when you are going through any type of hardship.

Even though there were many blessings, there have also been some very dark days.  Days when I couldn’t see a reason to get up and get going.  Days where the darkness seemed like a rock in my stomach that was just weighing me down and keeping me from getting better.  Fortunately, for me, when those times come they don’t last very long, but when I am in the middle of them, it can feel very hopeless and sometimes I feel like I just don’t really matter.

In the quest to improve my outlook on life, I have searched through scriptures, books and inspirational thoughts from friends, church and the internet.  I have attended conferences, meetings and some classes to try to improve my life and my emotions.  What I have discovered is that there are many people who find themselves feeling the same feelings that I have. Everyone on this earth has challenges to deal with.  While all of our experiences are different, the feelings can be very similar.  Lonely, hopeless, scared, sad…

It was actually helpful to recognize that other people have these feelings too.  Not that I would wish this sadness on anyone.  I wish that no one would ever have to feel this way, but it helped me to see that I am not alone.  If I’m not alone in my dark feelings, then I’m more confident in assuming there is not something wrong with me.

There are people that I love, who count on me, and I know that my Heavenly Father has a purpose for me.  I want to be strong enough to fulfill that purpose and not let Him down.  He has done so much for me, that I would be ungrateful if I did not live up to the work He wants me to do.

I have come to rely on the Lord and recognize that the Atonement has helped to carry me when I felt too weak to walk, and it has helped me to share joy and happiness with my family.

Through regular prayer, temple attendance and scripture study, I have found more joy in my family and my life. I believe that these practices have helped me overcome the darkness. When I have studied  inspirational words from scriptures and other sources such as General Conference, teachings of local church leaders and other resources such as women’s conference talks, inspirational books and articles and talks published by good people on the internet, I have been able to receive the personal inspiration when I pray, that helps me make good choices that have helped me to find peace and joy in my life.

I am writing this blog to share some small and simple things that can bring joy and fulfillment, on both good days and not so good days.  Through this blog I want to help others find their way to a more joy filled life, full of hope for even more good things in the future.  Life is not always pleasant, but through hope in Christ we can find joy in everyday moments.  Let us celebrate these small things together.

With Love, Laura

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