I’m tired.
like, bone-aching, mind-numbing, depressingly tired.
and I’ve been like this for a while. As in, a couple of years.
I’ve been to doctors, naturopaths, therapists, yogis, gyms, nutritionists, and every time come away with a “this will work. do this” and a whole lot of resulting disappointment and a whole lot less in my wallet.
But I continue to hope. Because I want to walk the El Camino in Spain, and walk through Petra, Jordan, and run on saturday mornings with my man. I want to make it through a day without needing a nap and without barking at my kids because their needs are just so much more than I can physically attend to.
So when Mikeal says to me “what if this is how its going to be? As in, forever?” another part of me dies. The part that climbed Angel’s Landing, and ran 13 miles on a regular basis, and hiked through rivers and rocks and could spend endless hours at the mall digging for bargains.
What happens to that person?
There is purpose in everything. And I’m beginning to accept that my purpose right now isn’t to be physically active. I have put off my dreams and desires “until I get better.” I’ve assuaged my guilt, my shame, my sadness by promising myself that I’ll get to that “thing” after my next appointment and i’ve got answers and a magic bullet that will at least make things better Enough.
so what if better is now? what if this, right here, is sacred space, just as all the other moments of greatness are sacred space? what if there is something so divine in this experience, that if I just paused long enough to see it I would see God? In this moment.
Sadness over losing the vitality I once had is shining a light of gratitude on the greatness that I was blessed with. I was a bright, active, shining star in the cosmos of this universe and wow! How blessed was I to experience those things?
And now, I get to be a divine entity in a different way Still created by the hand of God, still shining and bright, but with a smaller radius, perhaps? I get to slow down. I get to deliberately choose my activities. I get to be intentional in how I spend my time. I get to experience breath, and seasons, and textures, and flavors on a level that my rushed, pushed, intense-self didn’t comprehend.
I get to wait at the bottom of the hill. I get to savor the beauty that is there while I wait for the others to have their high-climbing, exuberant adventures. But what a blessing it is to have been to the top of that hill and to know both sides of the moment.
I might be sad for a few more moments. And I’ll probably be sad again. But I’m going to embrace this moment. And be grateful for it.


When I hurt, I want to freeze. As if movement would cause me to bump into another painful angle and cause more pain. And yet in my mind I intentionally gouge myself against every possible angle to cause as much pain as possible. Possibly to render myself useless, and thus to have a valid reason for my lack of physical movement.

Yet again, there comes the voice of calm reason which pulls me away from my self-imposed emotional bashing long enough to whisper, “try this.” And I resist, because emotional bashing is my comfort zone. It’s where I go to inflict the most amount of pain so nothing can hurt me more than I am able to hurt myself. Which is considerable.

But the pain is a lie. It is a total fabrication. It is a distortion of reality- the reality which is that I am completely and totally okay.  That my marriage is beautiful even at its worst. That I get tired and grumpy and pessimistic, but that even in that moment I am a glorious, divine creature created in the image of God.  THE God. And He completely and totally digs me and approves of the life I’m living.

Pain is an indicator that something is “off.”  But not irreparably off, just enough that a little tweaking is in order.  Maybe some spit and polish on the attitude, or a bit of time in prayer and repentance.  Because life is more than checking a bunch of boxes on a scavenger hunt and turning in your list at the exit interview- it is becoming.  It is Becoming Even as (HE) is, and (HE) doesn’t believe in wallowing or hiding or cowering.

So I take (HIS) hand and answer “here” when my name is called. Sharp angles and all. Because in His hands, the angles disappear and I really am okay.

Not so great into very great…

usually hinges on a paradigm shift which can magically happen by choosing what your Higher Self is urging you to do. Lay down and be angry, or move in the direction of happiness (even if you don’t feel it just yet)?  Happiness may not follow, but at the very least not angry will. 

Same goes for the gospel. You know it’s true, but it just doesn’t seem realistic or do-able. Bitterness and anger breed more of the same. So walk in the direction of the gospel. Do the gospel. Live it. Eventually it will make sense in you. You will be the gospel.

If we aren’t earning heaven, but learning heaven (Brad Wilcox) then we had better get learning. Which can be hard and difficult and very uncomfortable. But each obstacle has been carefully placed in order to teach to our unique needs. Every single one. Including The Gay. And The Husband Who Is Gay. And the propensity toward anxiety and depression, yet the behaviors stemming from them are all flooded in CHOICE! I have the marvelous opportunity to choose to see good and respond with good. 

For real, folks. 


And P.S. I saw Shane this week and literally did not think one bad thing about him. This stuff is totally for real.

The day I didn’t kill myself

“She will find what is lost” by Brian Kershisnik
It was just another in a long line of dark days where the balance sheet of lack vs. abundance weighed heavily in the red. Desperate calls to yet another therapist/chiropractor/psychiatrist/ left me with empty hands, hollow heart and panicked mind. Every escape had been exhausted. Every source of momentary pleasure brought no relief, leaving me desperate in the letdown of unmet anticipation.
There was always the voice that whispered potential and comfort if i could “just hold on” a little longer but longer than a moment was just too long and so I sat on the edge of my bathtub calculating the number of oxycodone, ibuprofen, Unisom and Xanax we had in the almost-empty bottles in the narrow cabinet that we had bought on clearance at Target. It wasn’t perfect for the space, but neither was the space and no matter how much I tried, the color of the tile in this bathroom would never suit me. I contemplated the work we wanted to do to the house to make it “just right” and how it never would be because I never would be.

My babies were in the basement, content to watch a show, and I could send a quick text to husband that would bring him home in time to save them from seeing me, but not in time to get me back. I knew they would suffer but not anywhere near as much as they would with me as their mother/companion for the rest of their lives because I was broken and toxic and all around me suffered for it.

Or so I thought.

So I contemplated the pills.

Just like so many have done before me. The jeering mocking voices of Satan’s Angels were reaching a fevered pitch, daring me, coaxing me to move. But then the noise became muffled as what I can only describe as angelic sentinels with swords drawn surrounded me as I sat on the edge of that tub in the blue monogrammed bathrobe I had bought for the birth of my second son. There is a picture of a woman who is kneeling, a flood of angels coursing toward her and all I could see was the faces of millennia of ancestors crowding around me in that small space, all with faces reflecting my unrealized story- a story that didn’t continue into eternity just yet. I knew some of them- the usual arms of my Grandpa and Great-grandmother, dear ones who had seen me through many previous dark days- but most were unknown but who clearly loved and desired my life to continue.

In the presence of celestial beings, pills and sadness and toxicity don’t exist- only truth. Which is light. Which is the real reality that I lost touch of when I entered this mortal reality. And as that truth whited out the falsehoods of my imagined despair, I clung to those faces and their projected messages of potential.

The faces departed as my feet met foundation but the swords and those wielding them remained. Later, when husband, in response to a worried message from his sister (thank you, my friend for listening) rushed into the house, said that the celestial presence was still in force and their calm was palpable. I imagined the forces parting enough to let him through.

So I didn’t die that day.

And so I wonder what angelic sentinels stand guard around those who do.

What is different when it actually happens? Are the ancestors less insistent? Are the jeering voices more powerful? Is the soul more empty?

Which brings me to General Conference and Elder Perry and counterfeit love.

The internets were awash with heartbreaking stories of young people who had lost all hope after hetero-marriage was encouraged at General Conference last month.  Which completely breaks my heart. Wide open.  I am sad that truth is so intensely difficult to comprehend.  Because it is truth, you know. The balancing act between teaching the more difficult truths and empathizing with those who just. cannot. see it is heartbreaking. But Christ died for all of us. All of us.  So we can try and try again no matter what side of the coin we can see.

And so I imagine those desperate and pained spirits arriving at their new home and beginning to see the truth- with the arms of the Lord encompassing them. When all of their generations come to greet and to comfort and pour all of their love into them. Do they get a “rest”? Do they understand? Do they then turn their spirit-bodies to attend to their loved ones- those they left behind- and encourage truth seeking?

I know that they go on. I know that they attend us. They are not without hope. In fact, they bring us hope.

I have a friend from high school who couldn’t bear the burden of living any longer and moved on. He and I weren’t close, but we were friendly, and when I heard that this faithful young man was gay, my heart broke a little because I knew a little of the pain he was enduring. His death was hard for me. And I wonder so many things. But I have felt his presence encouraging me to persevere through the darkness when I have wanted to follow him, so I know that he knows that it is better to be here.

I do know I have purpose. It may not be great in the sense that I will make a big splash in the world, but it is great in the sense that the blessings that our prophets and apostles speak of are bigger and more magnificent than we can comprehend. Blessings that I need to receive. Learning that I need to do. A person that I need to become.  And it begins with baptism, the receiving of the Holy Ghost, the remission of sins through repentance and sacrament, continued through the temple ordinances and the sealing ceremony. Sealed to a man. A man whose priesthood I share.

Which brings us to Elder Perry and his “counterfeit love” statement.

It’s not so much that all non-celestially-married love is counterfeit, because there is mind-blowingly amazing love out there which is beautiful and full and right in its realm. But anything less than those blessings initiated with the ordinances of the priesthood just aren’t going to take you the full distance. But who’s to say that every single person in existence wants a part of the action that is happening at that full distance. Perhaps what they have here is what they will want when they leave. 

I don’t know. I don’t know why it makes so much sense to me but really just pisses other people off. 

We have to offer this higher alternative to people because we want them to be there with us. But how do we offer them and teach them without making them feel hopeless because they flat out don’t love in the way they have to in order to get this something that everyone is harping about?

So we just love. We teach, and we love. And we learn, and we love. And we listen, and we love. And we learn some more. And we just live the best way we know how without thinking we know more, because we may know truth, but we don’t know everything.

Love, love, love. Without any thought of changing minds or convincing others- just a focus on extending the arms of Christ’s mercy and tenderness to all.

Lose yourself for Christ’s sake and you will find yourself.

Trade your hands and will for His and you will discover your true-gorgeous-divine-self.

Extend that mercy to your own failings. 

Look to the true purpose of our existence: to become. 

Which is why I didn’t die. 

Because I’m so far from becoming I couldn’t even approach the possibility of rest.

So I mourn for the souls who can’t take any more. Because I get it.  I mourn for the souls who mourn for them. Because I get it. I mourn for the souls that turn to hate and blame. Because I get it. I want to gather every one of  them and show them the faces and sentinels that surround them, pleading for them to remember the real reality that exists just outside the door of hatred and uncertainty- of disappointment and sadness- of utter loss of hope.

Certainty is there.

Blessings of greatness- not only in the eternities, but on this very planet- are there.

The huge, all-encompassing arms of our incomprehensible Lord and Savior are there.  Always.

And I’m so glad I stuck around to figure that out.

Love and Light. Or not.

Whenever I pass Shane on the road (like, yesterday, and two weeks ago, and sometime in January…) the first thought that runs through my head is “jackass”.

Quickly followed by, “just send him some love and light and drop it”.

(I wonder if Elizabeth Gilbert knows she is exercising the atonement when she does this.)

“If we can find forgiveness in our hearts for those who have caused us hurt and
injury, we will rise to a higher level of self-esteem and well-being.” James E. Faust

It has been well over six years, people.

But you know what?  The gap between response and decision is widening.  There is a brief moment of “woah. there’s another option here, girlie. And you get to decide which path you’re going to take”. And, up to this point, I’ve always chosen the path of self-righteous anger.  Because I have every right to carry around anger for six and a half plus years at what this guy did.  I do.  It was really, really crappy.  And I HAVE to forgive Dear Husband for his part in it because I want to have a happy and successful marriage with him.  But Shane? No siree do I have to even think about forgiveness for him.  Because I can place all of my anger, hurt, disappointment and sadness for Dear Husband on Shane too.  See how that works?  I don’t really have to let anything go, I just have to shift it to someone else.  Because anger and disappointment are empowering and make me feel important and worthy.

But there’s that *moment* of decision.  A flash, if you will, where I pause before smugly sneering in his general direction and making all kinds of suppositions as to which married man he is flirting with on the phone at that very moment. And that decision is between Christ…

or not Christ.

It is willingly placing everything that I am.  EVERYTHING THAT I AM. on His altar. And becoming something…


Because as great as I think I am (mostly I don’t but there’s that little chunk of pride that fiercely holds on to the ME that I have created as perfect and precious in all her snarky unkind and materialistic ways…) that ME cannot hold a candle to the precious glistening and sparkly me that is humbly succumbing to the molding and care of HIM.

The best part? He never shames me for having those feelings.  He waits, patiently, for me to simmer down and go back to that decision-fork and choose His way instead.  I get dusted off, a little instruction, a hug, and a light nudge in the direction of Better.  For years I’ve not gone back to that fork-in-the-road, or if I have I’ve tucked my little package of anger/disappointment what-have-you into my pocket and carried it with me down my pseudo “Christ-path”, always returning in confusion- wondering why I haven’t healed.

But He’s always there. And I’m learning to leave bits of that ME behind.

So the next time I see Shane, and I will, I will be ready with a bucket of rainbows and light and sunshine.  Not only so I can make a better me, but so he can be a better him. Because he deserves it just as much as I do. And hopefully, eventually, It won’t tug at my heart so much to give him goodness.

And I will be whole.

My Husband Is Gay

I love this article from Jan 2015 on Religionandpolitics.org: http://religionandpolitics.org/2015/02/04/my-husbands-not-gay-homosexuality-and-the-lds-church/

After all of the hubbub and screeching harpies decrying the validity of SSA men marrying women and having the audacity to lead happy, productive lives, this blog post came as a very refreshing and balanced look at the subject.

In meeting Tanya Bennion, I was struck by her strong stance in stating that her husband is in fact, NOT gay.  I wonder what the term “gay” means to her.  I have a huge amount of respect and fondness for the Bennions as they are very open, loving and humble in their desires to bring healing and light to everyone they possibly can influence.  I wonder what I can learn from them about being NOT Gay.  Because as much as Dear Husband is NOT being intimate with a man, he most definitely IS gay.  There’s no way around it.

As Dear Husband has come to understand and apply the Atonement of our Savior in his life though, his attractions have become more defined.  There is a clarity to his attractions to men and his attraction to me.  It is almost as though he is beginning to see through the eyes of his infinite spirit as well as through his mortal eyes, and they see different things.

He spoke in church today about “thy will be done.”  He said something to the effect of: I always wondered what would happen to “me” if I turned myself over to the Lord, as I’ve been counseled to do in scripture.  What if I like “me”?  I don’t want to lose that guy and become like a carbon copy of some other white middle aged religious guy.  But I realized that I will still be “me”, but SO MUCH BETTER.  The spirit amplifies and brightens and enhances, so I will be a brighter, amplified, enhanced version of whatever it is I come up with. Which is amazing.

And it is.  As Mikeal has turned his life bit by bit to the Lord, his version of “me” has become brighter, more fearless, happier, more attracted to his wife (!) more ambitious and more knowledgable.  Among other things.

So about that attraction.

Part of giving up “me” is giving up the little bits of satisfying the homosexual urges.  As long as I have known, him, he has held firmly to the belief that he could never let go of the gay.  That it is such a defining part of who he is that he would shrivel up and cease to exist in any meaningful way if that part of him were to be surrendered to the Lord.

But guess what:  He was completely and totally wrong.  (But we all knew that.)

As he has surrendered it bit by bit he looks at us differently.  When reflecting on his past gay relationships, as thrilling and complete and whole and satisfied as he felt, they don’t measure up to the WHOLEness that he feels as a part of us.  But it took that leap of faith- that surrendering the identity he cherished with no guarantee of a return other than what his faith taught him- to finally experience that truth.

So maybe that’s what Tanya Benin means when she says her husband isn’t gay. Maybe he has totally surrendered his homosexual identity and placed it on the Lord’s proverbial altar and the Lord has in turn filled that space with Him.


And to think we are on that path too.

It just isn’t something that can be conveyed on a NYT article nor on a Facebook post, nor on an hour long pilot of a tv show on a cable network.  It has to be experienced. One on one with the spirit as we take those tentative steps into the unknown.

Here’s what religion and politics has to say about the “gay” title:

“As the show’s title hints, what does it means to be “gay” in 2015? This question strikes deeply at the identity politics of gay and straight categories. Many liberal thinkers have been caught off-guard at the ways in which these politically and religiously conservative Mormons in Utah—these “not gay” men and their wives—increasingly appropriate the language of queer and postmodern gender theory to justify their conventional heterosexual marriages. Refusing the label “gay” for many is not about denying their attractions or desires, but about refusing the various presuppositions about that term, just as bisexual, trans and queer folk frustrate the categories of a stable homosexual identity.”

And for those who call it irresponsible:

“Perhaps unwittingly, the Mormons who participate in these mixed-orientation relationships increasingly appeal to ideas of sexuality that are similar to postmodern theories of sexual fluidity, as well as classical liberal notions of sexual agency. While critics of My Husband’s Not Gay may see these couples as deluded, some of those critics are also operating on a strict homosexual/heterosexual binary. Mixed-orientation couples acknowledge that while they may not choose their orientation or desires, they can choose with whom to have a relationship. As such, they emphasize their agency, choice, and sexual honesty in response to accusations that they are constrained by their religion.”

So- gay or not gay- I am married to a man who is first and foremost a Son of God, a disciple of Christ, a devoted father and an adoring and hard working husband. That’s all the label he needs.

Disappoint ment.

Sometimes you disappoint those you love. People you love so deeply your universe revolves around theirs. And you disappoint yourself in the process.
I’m not a huge fan of disappointment- especially because I know what I’m supposed to do about it, but the pull to wallow and bathe in the sorrow is so. incredibly. intense. Disappointment usually also involves a need to change course, which is usually painful and usually hard. And I would much rather be immature and childish about it and not grow.
So there.

So I’ve got some maturing and adjusting to do. And on the other side of that discomfort will be a me that I much prefer and will fit better into the universe I’ve chosen. But I may wallow in shame and sorrow for just a few more minutes…

How do I?

I used to be debilitatingly perplexed by a zillion and one “how” questions.

How do I stay married to this man?

How do I stay in this church?

How do I remain friends with all of those amazing people that I love but are living contrary to my testimony?

How will I ever be truly happy again?

I realized that there really is one answer to all of these questions.  And the answer is Christ.  If Christ is Charity, love unfeigned, kindness, and joy, then He truly is the answer.

Back when these questions kept me up at night, I was searching earnestly for the answer.  My life was consumed with finding the answer.  I read books, blogs, magazines, listened to podcasts, met with therapists, prayed, stewed, spoke with whomever I could speak to, and joined message boards.  Not one of the answers I received gave me the hope and peace I was desperate for.

The blogs said my situation and choices were hopeless.

The books made me feel confused and overwhelmed.

The magazines were mostly about home decor so they just made me sad.

Podcasts made me feel sick.

Therapists made me feel temporarily empowered.

Prayer made me feel empty.

Stewing gave me gas.

Talking to people just made them steer clear of me.

Message boards made me angry. (they were so “pie in the sky”.)

It was exhausting FEELING so much.

Frankly it made me angry when people would give me the “turn it over to Christ” answer.  Because it flat out didn’t work.  There was no amount of doing all the right things that would take away my pain.  So I continued to search, and continued to eschew the seminary answers.

But then I got REAL desperate. And I went back to the last time I felt true joy and hope. And that was at the temple. Even though it didn’t take away my pain, there were moments here and there that I saw goodness and the potential for joy.  So, craving any tiny morsel of goodness, I decided to try God at His word.  (you know, that whole “experiment on the word” business?)

But God wasn’t going to let me get by that easily.  Nope.  After spending a couple of years delving into and entertaining trains of thought counter to Him, I wasn’t going to automatically feel superhappy in His presence.  It doesn’t work that way.  The unGodly can’t abide the Godly.

So basically, it was awful.

But part of me knew it was right.

After several months of wrestling with the spirit, I went back. And again.  And what happened was that I started to enjoy that kind of stuff, and started to fill my life with it.  I was still intensely miserable, but I began to feel glimmers of hope and peace when engaging in things of the Spirit. And bit by bit, the questions stopped thrumming in my brain and heart and were replaced with testaments of truth:

God loves me, and my pain has been felt and absorbed by Christ who really knows me.  Like, REALLY.

My Husband is  also precious and known and covered by the atonement so I don’t have to take on his garbage.

It is a privilege to love this man.

It is a privilege to be a mom to my kids.

It is in God’s great design for my eternal existence to learn the things that these questions, doubts, pains and spiritual sickness are teaching me.

Christ and His atonement cover everyone.  And not everyone is going to get it. (like I still don’t totally get it.) But His love is infinite and so whole and so healing that if I were to fill up with it, and act upon it, and be IN it, then I will BE peace, joy, hope and light.  And that no matter who is doing what with whom, I will love them.  Not “in spite of” or “even though” but just love. Because the ultimate “coming to Christ” isn’t arriving in the Big Happy Kingdom and receiving my eternal reward…

It is LOVE.

And love heals, cleanses, enables, changes and creates.

And it answers.

And now I find myself in a space where it does make sense.  And Christ really is the answer.  And I’m telling wives of gay men who are cheating on them and immersed in porn and lies and heartache that their answer lies in Christ.  Find Him, and find happiness. Find healing.  Heal yourself, and quite possibly you will heal your marriage.  But if your marriage crumbles, you’ll be on sure footing and the crumbling will happen around you but not to you.

Christ is love.

So be in Him.

Faith crisis?

I was recently contacted by a wife in a mixed orientation marriage. Her question was whether or not a MOM can survive with one spouse not living the faith. She is contemplating leaving the church, but her husband is firm in his faith.
My response:
“You will be amazed what your marriage can weather! If one of you is committed to keeping it together, it will survive. We both went through a major faith crisis- Mikeal much longer and deeper than mine- but because we loved each other and deeply desired the kids to have an intact family we were determined to stay together and live with the unanswerable questions. Actually our “reasons” for staying together changed regularly. At one point we actually did decide to split up, but he spent his entire time while looking for apartments on the phone with me. We realized that our love for each other was so deep and real and that we could work our way through. So we did.
Eventually we both found our faith and that the faith path brought much more strength and happiness than we ever felt on our own. All of the answers were there and even more vibrant and real than I ever knew. The gospel is thrilling to me, and the power that comes to our marriage when we rely on God first then each other is humbling. I never expected to feel completely fulfilled in my marriage and was willing to accept that in order to stay with the man and kids I loved. But I do feel fulfilled and desired and complete. I can honestly say that I would make this same choice all over again. I wish it didn’t take a major 6 year marriage and faith upheaval to arrive here, but it was worth every sleepless night, uneaten meal and tear shed.
Have i gotten dramatic enough?
Part three of the film never posted. It would be nice to see more just to get a better feel for who we are. I never anticipated that a 25 minute discussion of our intimate life would be shown to our closest friends and strangers alike.🙂 I’m glad you saw value in it. (She had asked about our Far Between video)
I would encourage you to find God and learn to trust Him. Study the Atonement and make Christ the center of your decisions and reactions. When we see the world through a lens of Christlike charity, people become precious and your choices reflect kindness and understating.
Much love,


I would add that “surviving” in marriage is a short-term solution and that the one-faithful-member status rarely is sustainable over the long-term. A part-member family is difficult on its own, but in a MOM without having
something larger than “self” or even “couple” to be the impetus behind sticking it out, the foundation is just too shaky, the opposition too strong to withstand. I would love to be proven wrong, but I will always cast my lot with the Gospel.

It has to be him

The update has to come from Mikeal.  His part of the story is most relevant to the audience, and the most important as far as coming to Christ and turning his burden to Him.  So I’m done writing and stewing.

Sigh of relief.