May 31, 2011

Blessings-Musical Ministry

I heard this song for the first time just a few weeks ago. 

It happened by chance really.

I was taking kids to school.  I had a car full of boisterous boys (5 to be exact).

The radio was tuned to a local christian station (the fact that it was actually on...AND could be heard over the noise is no minor miracle), and something caught my attention.

I have no idea what it was, just that it did. 

I shooshed the boys and kept turning it up so I could hear the lyrics better. 

One by one the boys quieted...and then come the real miracle...the car was silent. 

They were all listening too.

When we finally got to the school, the 9 year old neighbor boy hopped out of the car and said..."Wow, that was a really great song."

I echo his IS a really great song. 

In just a short time it has become one of my favorites.

It's message is so profound and sweet.

(click here to watch and listen to one of the many YouTube versions)

This song, coupled with a talk in the most recent LDS general conference (more thoughts on this later), have had me thinking about what a "blessing" our trials really are.  While they are difficult to get through, we learn SO MUCH through experiencing them.

The Lord has a personalized plan for each of us and NONE of us can become who our Heavenly Father wants us to become without going through the refiner's fire.

He doesn't punish us by sending trials for us to face.  He's blessing us.  He loves us so much and wants us to be able to come back and live with him SO BADLY.  He knows that in order to do so we have lessons to learn and weaknesses to overcome.  We MUST be humbled and learn to rely on HIM and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is for OUR good.

I, personally, would never ask to experience the last 4 years over again but looking back I feel so grateful to have learned what I have.  I have grown so much and can now be a better tool in His hands.

I feel blessed...truly blessed.

Blessings by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe


When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home


What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

May 26, 2011

Perpetual room for improvement

Weaknesses keep us humble...of this I am a firm believer.

Today has been a VERY humbling day.

(I'm still holding out for a better ending but as of now....ppppppttttttt (okay, so I'm not good at typing out sounds...this one is me sticking my tongue out and showering the keyboard with spit).)


I woke up early and went running.....that was good.

Rug-rat #1 got off to school with his morning jobs done and a smile intact...also good.

Then I had to drive across town to deliver library books that Husband forgot to take back AGAIN (did I mention they were due yesterday?)...a little annoyed...not gonna lie...but was still pretty kind about it when I called to "remind" him of his forgetfulness.

Home for Rug-rat #4's morning nap.

Off to the bike shop to pick up hubby's bike that was "done" yesterday (got a call and everything) but was, in fact, NOT done ("sorry...I forgot to call you," he says lamely) and was told to come back tomorrow and get it (are you kidding? want me to drag my three kids back tomorrow?  Did I mention I live 30 minutes away?...think again buddy!).

I got all huffy (on the inside because I'm actually too chicken to bite a strangers heads off) and told the guy (all apologetic like--like it was my fault) that I would wait around while he finished the repairs (even though he was in the middle of something else).  (For that I was actually proud of myself.  Normally I just slink away and seethe.)

What was supposed to take him 35 minutes actually took 65. 

I took the kids 10 miles down the road, to the nearest McDonald's (after the bike shop owner kindly suggested I take them somewhere else because they were tearing his shop apart).  I ended up sharing some french fries with the kids (so much for "eating right" today) while they ran around in the rain at the outdoor play place. 

(I would have stuck closer to the shop but it's really not in the best part of town.  The only places to explore nearby were tattoo parlors, bars, nail salons and other "specialty" shops.)

It ended up being quite the lose-lose situation. 

I was too stubborn to come back the next day yet when the ordeal was over both the kids are I were exhausted AND...

We got home too late for nap time...AAARRRRGGGG!

At this point I was beyond irritated but was trying REALLY hard to keep things at a simmer.

But then it all boiled over.

I'm in the process of cooking dinner.

The boys are outside digging in the dirt, searching for bugs, destroying things (all of which my boys LOVE to do).

Rug-rat #2 (currently 5 years old) comes into the kitchen with a hand full of "stuff."

"" (sometimes I detest that word).

"What!!!!,"  I finally say.

"What are these?" he says.

I peer down into his tiny little hand and it is full of little, white, squirmy, wormy MAGGOTS!


So, I do what any normal, sleep deprived, germ-a-phobic, anger/anti-patience plagued, depression recovering mother, who's had a really long day without any nap break, would do.

I start jumping up and down like a two year old throwing a tantrum while yelling at RR#2 to get those "nasty, disgusting, maggots out of my house."

I grab him by the arm and usher him toward the door still yelling, "What were you thinking?" "That is disgusting!" "How could you do that?"  (I know, as if I expected an answer or something)

All the time he keeps saying, "What's a maggot?...What's a maggot?...What's a maggot?" (did I mention he's my broken record kid?)

I open the back door...and he throws the maggots out...just throws them out...ONTO THE PATIO!

Apparently he blocked my telepathic message about taking them as far away from the house as possible to dispose of them.

So yeah...I freaked out all over again.

("Why did you do that?  What were you thinking?  Get those nasty things off my porch (stomp, stomp, stomp)!"....)

I think I shocked the pants off of him. 

I've done a lot of things in the name of anger but never jumped up and down like a kangaroo.

I'm still contemplating what possessed me to do that.

I would have payed money to see someone make a fool of themselves like that...if it hadn't have been me, of course.

After I cooled down (and #2 washed his hands), I apologized for freaking out...

and we moved on. 

I'm just grateful children are so forgiving.

I'm also grateful that the Lord see's fit to keep me humble and shows me that I've still got a long way to go.

Oh I ever have a long way to go.

May 23, 2011

Perspective on lice, I mean, life part 1

The other day I was at a play group at the park and one of the mom's was talking about her children having pink eye and how horrible of an experience it is.

I sympathized with her because I remember being SO disgusted by pink eye at one point in time (I used to be a complete germ-a-phoebe) but realized that my personal perspective on pink eye had change dramatically.

You see, right around this time last year, #1 (as in, my first child) graced our household with something I NEVER dreamed I would EVER have to deal with (because I have all boys).  LICE!!!!  (Did you know it's a common misconception that boys don't get lice?  WHY DID SOMEONE NOT TELL ME THAT BEFORE!)

For anyone who has ever experienced lice (and the HOURS and HOURS of back breaking work that is associated with cleaning your children and house from top to bottom, oh and washing every single piece of clothing, toweling, and bedding you own), you know just how exhausting it is. (Did I mention I had a 7 week old baby at the time?).

Oh oh...and it's not just exhausting but you feel disgusting, vulnerable and dirty too.

All because of these little, tiny, non-disease carrying, crawly things that really cause you no harm but are just plain gross.  (Is your head itching yet?)

It was after going through this whole ordeal (and a bladder infection caused by Ecoli two weeks later) that I realized I would be happy to deal with just about any other kind of childhood sickness or disease (excluding cancer or something terminal), than to EVER have to deal with lice again.

I no longer freak out if someone comes down with something.  Each sickness we have dealt with since this time last year has felt like a breeze in comparison (even the time 5 of the 6 of us (myself excluded) had pink eye or the time we all had dysentery---yum).  

That's what a little perspective can do for you.


The funny thing is that life is full of these kinds of opportunities.

Not all of them are as trivial as this one but they can make a huge impact for good in your future if you look for them.

More on the "perspective" series later.

I gotta run...

someone is itching their handsome little head over there.


(Head checks tonight....You think I'm kidding don't you?  Think again.)

May 22, 2011


Disclaimer:  I, Melanie, am not a doctor, or a drug rep. and I do NOT work for any supplement company.  In other words...there are absolutely NO monetary benefits for me associated with this post and it's contest.  I'm just a believer in it and can't help but share what I know (as little as it is).

What is MTHFR?

"MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) is a common genetic variant (think of variety) that causes a key enzyme in the body to function at lower than normal rate. 

There are over 50 known MTHFR variants, but the two prime variants are called 677 and 1298 (the numbers refer to their location on the gene).  The 677 variant is associated  with early heart disease and stroke and the 1298 variant with a variety chronic illnesses." (direct quote found here)

Other symptoms associated with the deficiency:
Elevated homocysteine levels, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, chronic fatigue, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, migraines, Alzheimers, chronic pain, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, as well as prevention of congenital anomalies (birth defects), and Down’s Syndrome.  It's even been linked in association with Autism.  

This disorder was first brought to my attention by Dr. Neil Rawlins (a local Tri-Cities area, WA OBGYN) when I was pregnant with #4.  I had blood tests done and was found to have one "faulty" site on the MTHFR gene (aka heterozygous) which means that the MTHFR gene in my body only runs at about 55% to 70% efficiency compared to a normal MTHFR enzyme (a homozygous result means that both common genes are effected and then enzyme efficiency drops down to 7% to 10% of normal at best).

What does this all mean?'s hard to explain so I will let this article explain it in simple terms.  (I have been researching it for 2 years and I STILL get so confused sometimes).


This article was published in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business in December of 2010

Local doctor helps treat genetic disorder that causes depression
by Elena Olmstead for TCAJoB

"Dr. Neil Rawlins, a Richland obstetrician and gynecologist, may not seem like he would be the main contact when it comes to dealing with medical problems caused by common genetic variants.

But Rawlins has spent the past several years learning about, working on and giving presentations about Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase, a genetic variant affecting the body's ability to brake down folic acid.  It can lead to health problems ranging from depression to nerve pain.

For Rawlins, the journey into studying MTHFR started as a personal one.  He said seven years ago his son cam back from a mission trip to Chile and never quite recovered.  Rawlins said his son was sick when he came home and he continued to get worse.  He said no one could identify exactly what was happening to his son.

'So we started doing research,' Rawlins said.

This is when he came across some of the work that was being done as part of the Human Genome project.  The project sought to identify genetic disorders that cause diseases and find ways to treat the cause of the illnesses and not just the symptoms..."

"...Rawlins explained having MTHFR means the body cant efficiently break down folic acid it takes in through food.  Rawlins said typically the body works to break folic acid down into a useable form called methylfolate.  He said this is the form of folic acid that is used by the brain to make serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.  If the body isn't getting enough methylfolate it can't make the proper amount of these neurotransmitters and can lead to people suffering from depression, memory loss and nerve pain..."

"...he said someone with MTHFR who suffers from depression is typically not creating the right balance of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which the body needs.  And while typical antidepressants work to regulate the body's use of the neurotransmitters it is able to produce, it doesn't do anything to help create more."  But taking methylfolate, which I currently buy over-the-counter (5-MTHF), does help to create more...of this I can personally attest.

"[Rawlins] said research over the past several years has shown taking Deplin, or most other forms of methylfolate, is like taking a vitamin.  He said test have shown patients record more side effects with a sugar pill than with methylfolate."

He used to order blood test to determine if people had the genetic variant before he started treatment.  ", he said, he simply asks people to try it if they think it might help.  He said the only thing people will be out is the money they spend to buy the methylfolate [either in over-the-counter options or in Deplin].

"It's one of these things that has made a lot of difference in a lot of people who nothing else worked for."

I really, truly have a personal testimony of this.  The more I learn about it, the more I believe that "they" are on to something.  :)

Taking Methylfolate has made a HUGE difference for me!  HUGE!


...taking my recovery from merely "SURVIVING" to "THRIVING."  (what does that mean?  click here.)

I would recommend, at least looking into it, to ANYONE and EVERYONE.  It is WORTH it.

Wanna learn more: 
--Here is a link to Dr. Rawlins downloadable video lecture (it was taped 3 years ago--he said he plans on re-taping and re-posting soon because of added information).
--Here is a link to another local doctor who is on board with Dr. Rawlins
-- Here is a link to Wikipedia's say in it all for all you people out there that can understand 4 and 5 syllable words

And if you live locally (as in Tri-Cities area, WA, USA) Dr. Rawlins next lecture in on August 9, 2011, at the Kadlec Hospital in Richland.  You can e-mail me @ melaniesmethodicalmusings dot gmail dot com for more details.

May 21, 2011

Hope on the horizon-Musical Ministry

I just wanted to say a little something about this particular song.
There Is Hope On The Horizon--by Hilary Weeks  (lyrics at end of post)

It. is. AMAZING!

Truly inspired.

I remember, all to well, the feelings of hopelessness.

Not like, " kids are NEVER going to learn to clean up after themselves."  "They are NEVER going to be out of diapers."  "I will NEVER EVER have a minute to myself  EVER again."......

but much worse.  Like...

"Things are NEVER going to get better."

"I have NOTHING to live for."

"Why try...I'll NEVER be good enough"

"What's the point?"

Do you recognize any of those phrases?

I do...because they used to run through my head unceasingly.

They are crippling, devastating, and destructive....HOPELESS!

That's how I felt.

As much as I WANTED to feel differently...I couldn't.  I just couldn't.

Depression is SO real.  It is SO REAL!

Just THINKING right now about how I felt back then makes me sick to my stomach.

It feels like a weight is pulling down on me, ready to suffocate me again.

(Okay...shake it off...breath...breath...whew....okay)

I am just so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.  He saw fit to deliver me from those horrible, horrible feelings before they crushed me forever.

Words can not express how indebted I am to Him.

My faith and hope have been restored.

It IS possible.  Even when it feels like it's not.

I am a living testament to that.

I'm here...on the other side. 

I NEVER thought I would be here again.   NEVER!

There is hope....there is ALWAYS hope.


If you are struggling, just hang on.

If that's all you can do...just hang on.

And when you find the strength (even if it's just for a brief second) do as the song suggests...breath deep ...reach out... you WILL find hope again.

It's there... 

and it IN the Lord.

Look for Him and you will find it.

There is Hope on the Horizon-  Hilary Weeks
(listen to it on YouTube here or buy it on Itunes)

There is hope on the horizon
with the dawning of the day.
Calling softly in the distance
to illuminate our way.

Reach out and take it
and let it light the way.

There is hope on the horizon
it lingers in the air.
Though my eyes cannot see it
I know it's there.

Breath deep enough to feel it
and when you do,
I hope you.

See heavens hand, 
find courage
enjoy the view.
Let faith take the lead, 
have dreams to reach 
and angels to guide you.
Have joy to share, 
have kindness to spare 
and love to hold onto...yeah

That's what I hope for you!

There is hope on the horizon
you can see it in a smile.
You can hear it through the silence
and you can feel it in the fire.

Let His peace embrace you 
and when you do I hope you...


And maybe that hope is closer than you think so



Here goes nothing I have been avoiding this first post for a long time.

I'm REALLY nervous about starting this blog.

Why? you ask?

Because I have a lot to say.  And I BELIEVE in what I have to say.  But what if I don't say it in the right way?

Silly, I know.  But it's true.

Anyway...this morning I am feeling completely inspired to start writing.

The house is quiet (Rob took 7,5 and 3 year-old camping and 1 year old is fast asleep).

I am listening to some AMAZINGLY inspiring tunes right now and the butterflies are flying in my tummy.

It's definitely time to start. goes nothing.

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