So what’s going on with Kate? Is she going to sink into emotional eating again to deal with her husband’s cancer? In today’s section from my novel, Dates With God, we watch Kate discover how to access more of heaven’s power by doing her Power Actions first thing in the morning. She discovers the power of drills because she loses her keys. She tests a scripture out to access help from God in finding the keys. She ups the quality of her Power Actions by using the Sunday School study guide and praying vocally in private. Here’s Dates With God, Chapter #7, Part 3: Kate’s Letter #7.
Thou has such a beauty of economy, God. All we have to do is remember one thing. Then after we remember that one thing, which is Thine Only Begotten Son and His sacrifice to atone for us, all other things will come to us and fall into place, as needful. If I remember this one thing, the Savior, then as it says in the sacrament prayer, Thou has promised to send me the Holy Ghost. And like it says in the scripture John 14:26, God will send me the Comforter which “shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Holy Ghost can teach me all things (Moroni 10:5) and bring all things that are needful to my remembrance.
This is huge! All things! I decided to test this. I mean, I need all the help I can get with knowing more and remembering more. I laugh when I look back at being 18 when I thought I knew everything and there was nothing more to figure out! I also feel like I am always losing things and not remembering where I put them. So the other day I had lost my phone. I was wanting to remember the last place I put my phone so I could search the area, but I couldn’t even remember what the last place was. So I thought of that scripture I just mentioned and did things to bring the Holy Ghost to me. So I did my Power actions in the morning, like I usually do.
For a while I have been praying out loud, vocally. A few weeks ago I reread the Joseph Smith story in Joseph Smith History 1. I was impressed that he prayed out loud and in solitude. He got an amazing answer with the appearance of Thee. Of course I don’t expect such grandiose results every time I prayer, but it would be nice. I know it’s not part of your economy to appear to everyone when they pray. It would be nice some day if it is needed and I am ready and it’s part of Thine economy. For now I just want extra peace and mindfulness to stay on top of my daily Power actions, taking care of my family, and doing my drills. So I decided I better start praying out loud, using the additional power of my body with my voice, which satan doesn’t have. Joseph did write in Joseph Smith History 1:16 that he exerted “all his power” which includes the power of the body, to call upon Thee, and that’s how he overcame the enemy in that moment. So after I prayed vocally this morning in my bathroom, in private, since my closet isn’t big enough to kneel, I read the scriptures for 15 minutes, and then I wrote in my Girl Power journal.
I wrote down my testimony for my children of the Savior and the restoration of His gospel with the priesthood power in the latter-days. Then I prayed and asked Thee to help me by giving me a picture in my mind of where my purse was, exercising full faith in Thee. As soon as I said amen, a flash came to me, of my purse in the car. I went and sure enough, it was there! Then it all came back to me–when I pulled up in the driveway yesterday, my neighbor was on my doorstep with an armful of strawberries. I had rolled down the window to talk to her and she offered them to me and said she had more in her car. So I got out to help, and I sent my keys with Andrew to go unlock and open the door while I went and got more strawberries out of Tonya’s car. I had carried in the flats and left the purse in the car.
I am realizing that sometimes in my comings and goings I do things out of the ordinary that make me forget whatever the routine current task is. Usually I just put my keys and phone in my purse and bring it all to its resting place in the front closet by my front door. But if something changes, like having to help carry something with both hands, I sometimes don’t bring my purse in. So that’s why it’s so important that I have drills that are so embedded that I won’t forget things. I acknowledge to Thee that I am extremely mortal, God, so I need all the help to remember things that I can get.
I noticed two examples in the scriptures that illustrated the importance of rituals being used to help someone remember and prepare for future attacks of the enemy to distract us. The first was Noah. When he was done living in the ark and God sent the dove with the branch to show that dry land was found, Noah came out. He had so much freedom after being cooped up in the ark. Did he start running around the dry land? Did he start looking for dead fish to eat? Did he find a pond and take a bath even though he must have been needing one so much? No, what did he do? He looked to Thee and not his own freedom-seeking pleasures. He offered up a sacrifice to obey the law of Moses, so that he could remember Thee and the future coming of Thy son. I realized that when I enter my afternoon, after we are done with our morning routine of chores, school, and lunch prep and cleanup, that I needed some kind of ritual like the “sacrifice on the altar after coming out of confinement in the ark” moment of Noah’s. That way I can remember Thee and the goals that Thou gave me before I embark into my land of free time. So this “altar moment” for me is to do a drill where I go look at myself in my bathroom mirror and ask myself what three things am I fighting for, why I am fighting, and why I don’t give up. Then I write down a list of things I am going to do between then and dinner time that support my goals, on 3×5 card, and I keep that card with me to remind me.
The second example is Lehi. After Thou warned Lehi in a dream about people coming to take his life, he fled with his family. After three days in the wilderness, Lehi built an altar of stones and offered a sacrifice. It says in 1 Nephi 2 that after he gave the offering on the altar he gave thanks to Thee. Maybe after three days in the wilderness he finally felt lost and then he realized, oh yeah, it would help to remember God and offer a sacrifice. He received a lot of direction and blessings in the next years, including being led to the promised land. So God, I want to remember Thee so that I too can receive more instruction from Thee that will lead me to my promised land, freedom from the bondage of my current self-defeating behaviors.
I’ve been learning that to get specific help from Thee, in fighting my battles, I have to do my Power actions in a warrior way. This is part of that whole idea that Thou shares in the scriptures, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” My Warrior Power actions are the way I show that I am drawing near unto Thee. As a result, I ‘m doing fabulously well on my goals. I hit Day 28! I gave up on sticking to 1500 calories a day because it wasn’t reasonable, at least for right now. Maybe some day I will have that as a goal, after I build up to it. I replaced it with a no sugar goal, because I had to have a complete commitment to help me ward off the binges. And I hit Day 28 of no sugar!
What did I do right to win? I finally figured out how to stay off sugar and not have any binges. I found some tips on a blog [http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/slay-the-sugar-monster-in-four-doable-steps/] about how to get off sugar. The basic idea was to eliminate all the fake fat in my house and all the fake sweeteners. So I spent a day going through the pantry and I threw away all the canola oil and vegetable oils and all my white sugar treats and even the white sugar. It was really hard but I did it! Then I learned how to make treats out of natural sweeteners and natural fats, like honey, sucanat, molasses, and butter and coconut oil. I found some recipes using natural sweeteners and fats, like homemade chocolate and fudge. My homemade chocolate made with maple syrup, cocoa butter, and cocoa is the best! If I know I am going out for a party or pack meeting I will eat my own treats beforehand to the point of being barely satisfied. Then I drink a quart of water and feel full. Then I don’t even feel tempted or deprived when I see other people eating. I have felt so great! I love experimenting with all of these recipes!
I went to a fireside with Jill about depression that her stake did a few weeks ago. The speaker shared some truths about depression. One of them was that depression is a real thing that comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain. The brain is lacking a certain chemical that allows the person to feel happy. The person isn’t lazy or bad. I think the same thing can be said of fat people. We aren’t lazy or bad. We just have a chemical imbalance in our physiology that makes us want to keep eating because we don’t feel nourished, either physically or emotionally. We are physically lacking a chemical inside us, just like depressed people. I went on all those binges because I was still hungry, I felt lacking in something, so eventually I had to break down and eat and eat to get fulfilled. I have memories of doing this from way back in high school. Many times I would bake a pan of brownies and eat the whole thing. I also remember one time when there was no cocoa or sugar in the house, so I couldn’t make brownies. I was so hungry! I ended up binging on 13 slices of toast, slathered with peanut butter. Ever since I learned about using real food, including real fats made by Thee, not in a factory, and real sweeteners, I have actually felt a lot more satisfied.
We went for so many days, earlier in this class, eating food that was supposedly “healthy” because it was marketed as healthy, or vegan, or vegetarian, but a lot of that food was made in factories. I don’t think they did anything to improve Dave’s health. Dave is able to work a minimum schedule without doing extra projects, like finishing the basement. The bad news is that all of his markers for cancer are staying the same. I realized that maybe we still need to change his diet again. So I am looking into that.
My drills are working, when I work them, which is most of the time. When I work the plan, the plan works! Then I have success. Satan knows that and so he tries to distract me. Every day in the morning, I have to do the prophecy question, “How will the enemy attack me today to get me to fail at my goals and Power Actions? What do I need to do to fight the attack and win?” That question allows me to look over my day and see what snares of satan will arise through the day, because of the errands or appointments I have, with all the comings and going, that might make me forget my goals. I decided that I have to change the time of the drills so that they happen after I come home from something, to remind me of my goals.
That has worked! I was feeling a lot of hope, from doing the drills, until we got word just yesterday that the makers for the cancer are the same. Remember the priesthood blessing that Thou inspired Dave’s dad to give to him, a year ago, when we found out about the cancer? It said he would be restored to full health. So we are eagerly awaiting that. Based on that promise, we are even thinking about having another baby. I know it’s crazy! But with Thomas turning 2, I am getting that baby hunger again. I know so many people would think we are crazy for doing that. I don’t know. I do know that Thou gave us this promise so I am wondering why it’s taking so long. I am praying about having another baby. I guess it’s time to pray about it in a warrior way but I am scared to.
My warrior prayer is so much more powerful than my old way of praying, where I felt like I wasn’t making a connection with Thee. I like to imagine myself as a soldier in a war, reporting to Thee, as my Drill Sergeant, every morning for duty. After I thank Thee for my blessings, I tell Thee my plans and ask Thee to let me know if Thou wants me to change anything. I ask Thee to bless me to feel Thy love and radiate it to others through my actions of serving them. I also talk about my problems and battles and ask Thee to tell me exactly what I need to know to fight and win my battles. I use my morning prayer for asking for help with problems and I use my evening prayer for reporting on how I did and asking for feedback. After I pray, I wait a few minutes to ponder and listen to the Holy Ghost. I keep my journal to write down what the Spirit tells me. I always pray in the morning, first thing after I get out of bed, and ask Thee to speak to me through Thy scriptures. I always do it vocally now, in my “secret place” of the bathroom. I also ask Thee to help me know what to do to help any of Thy children who need my help that day, including my own children.
Ever since that time when I got an answer from Thee of where to find my phone, I have been doing all of my Power Actions in the morning, except my evening prayer. I have seen such great results! I feel like I am showing Thee that I put Thee first by doing actions first thing in the morning to worship Thee and connect with Thee. For my warrior’s scripture reading, I read the scriptures in the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School Guide, listening to the Spirit for any verse that jumps out at me with meaning to answer my question. If my mind wanders because nothing jumps out at me, then I ask myself what question is answered on that page and I write it on the top of the page.
Then when I do my warrior journal writing I write what I learned from God as I read. I also look at my planning page for the day, that I wrote the night before. I love it how I have combined my journal with my planner. Then I prophecy like I wrote above. I love getting my Power Actions done in the morning. It’s such a terrific feeling to cross things off at 6:30 AM!
Your eternally loving daughter,
For background information on the Chemical Scale, please read the book, Like Dragons Did They Fight, by Maurice Harker and Lucas Reynolds. You can read it for free as a Kindle edition!
copyright 2015 Celestia Shumway