Category Archives: Gratitude

Gifts OCD Has Given Me

This is the 100th post on my blog!  Celebration time!!!!!  🙂

Since it’s my hundredth post, and it’s coming up on the New Year, I thought it might be a nice opportunity for reflection.  So I went through some of the old posts I’d written.  WOW.  What a transformative few years it’s been since I started writing my blog in June 2008.

In some ways, it’s painful to read.  In other ways, it’s miraculous.  I read between the lines and remember what this journey has been.  In particular, it’s striking to revisit the agonizing confusion that came with my fight against OCD, especially before I knew I had OCD (I wasn’t diagnosed until December 2010, but I have been battling it my whole life).  I see it in every post, every question.  And yet, I would not change any of it. OCD has been my life’s greatest trial; but as is often the case with great trials, it has also provided many of my greatest gifts.

Today, I’d like to share some of the gifts OCD has given me — graces I would not have received were it not for my day-to-day struggle to live a rich, meaningful life despite my disorder.  I write this for the benefit of others struggling with difficult trials of every variety (including myself!), but with a special place in my heart for those facing mental illness.  I hope this will be a reminder that there is meaning in our battle, that God can create tremendous beauty from even the deepest despair, that there is hope for all of us.

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What I’m Thankful For: The Big Things

After a marvelous Thanksgiving Day, I realize with total satisfaction that I have everything I need:

I have a roof over my head and food on my table.

I have a healthy body and a (basically) sound mind. 😉

I have a profession I enjoy, that provides for my family, and still leaves some left over for fun.

Most importantly, I have a loving family and friends who feel like family — without whom my life would be very poor indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

This post is one in a series.  Get the rest of the posts here.

What I’m Thankful For: The Little Things

When it comes to all the little things that make life beautiful, I’m thankful for…

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What I’m Thankful For: Jesus

As best I can recreate it, here’s a short, 5-minute talk I gave on Sunday as part of our ward’s primary program.  Topic? “I Know My Savior Lives.”  Of all the things I’m thankful for in my life, Jesus is definitely top of my list. It isn’t possible for me to adequately express my feelings about the Master in five minutes or in a simple blog post, but here at least is the crux of the matter for me.  Yay Jesus!! 🙂

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What I’m Thankful For: Good Books

This “15 Literary Influences” game is making the rounds on Facebook, and I thought it would make an excellent gratitude post!  After all, I’m super thankful for books!

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and who will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. If you want, make your own blog post and give us a link in the comments.  Alternatively, you could write it as a note on Facebook and tag me (if we’re not already FB friends and you’re a regular reader, add me!).

Okay, here are my 15:

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What I’m Thankful For: Being Mormon

There’s no doubt about it: I’m an unconventional Mormon.  I have a tattoo that says “grace” on my upper back.  I attend an evangelical Bible study every Friday.  I’ve even been known to drink the occasional chai latte, just because I can.  Over the past several years I’ve wrestled mightily with my testimony of Mormonism, my commitment to the Restored Gospel.  Eventually, I decided to stay…partly because I find deep beauty in many of our distinctly Mormon doctrines — doctrines which I genuinely hope are true — and partly because I feel there is value in loyalty to the faith community in which I was born and raised.

I am generally content with my decision.  I no longer question it every day.  Still, there are moments when I am discouraged, fearful: perhaps I’m fooling myself.  Maybe I’m settling when there is something Bigger and Better beyond Mormonism.   Maybe God would lead me elsewhere if I had the faith to follow Him.  I know this candid confession might come as a surprise to some who are reading this (to others, it might explain a lot), but I want to share the context from which the next part of my post emerges.

You see, tonight I had an experience that confirmed to me the wisdom of remaining Mormon despite my doubts, that instilled in me a deep gratitude for my Mormon identity, culture, belief, and practice.

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What I’m Thankful For: Bad Religious Movies

If there is one thing I love — and I mean love — with a blazing passion that burns like wildfire in my soul, it’s bad movies.  And not just any bad movies.  Bad religious movies.  I love them so much I cry.  I watch them whenever possible.  They fill a special hole in my heart that nothing else can touch.

There are literally dozens to choose from (and believe me, I’ve seen them all), but here are my top 5.

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What I’m Thankful For: Music

I’m taking a cue from a friend and posting things I’m thankful for this month. I’m not sure I’ll do it every day — perhaps every other (or thereabouts) — but I love the idea of publicly expressing my gratitude.

Today is music. There’s something about music that makes everything okay, even when it’s not.  For your listening pleasure, I’ve put together a little playlist of songs that have greatly enriched my life.  Enjoy!  You can get the whole thing on YouTube at this link. Or you can listen / watch the embedded videos here on the blog.  Along with each song, I’ve included a short comment about why I love it so much.

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