Beautifully Broken

I’m going to be a little bit vulnerable with you today. I feel broken. I have been in denial because it isn’t logical, but I am admitting to myself, to you, and to my Savior today that it is nonetheless real and it hurts.

There are times in your life that it is logical to admit that you feel broken. Times when big changes come and it is obvious to everyone that you feel broken and that it makes sense that you would be… after you lose a loved one or family member, times when you’ve lost a job, gotten a divorce, maybe even changing jobs or moving to a new home. Then there are times in your life when the changes are not so obvious and no one sees the fracture lines in the glass walls of your life and even you have a hard time accepting they are there, because they are not so explainable or admittable.

That is the world I am living in right now. And maybe, there are a lot more souls out there that feel the same way. One of those fracture lines that I think is very common right now is that our world was turned upside down by a virus and choices outside our control, made for us, on how to deal with that virus. I have a very real need for social interaction and my ability to meet that need was stripped from me. I’m not addressing my feelings about whether I believe this was or not necessary, only that the glass wall of my life was effected by it. All of us need people, yet some of us are more shaken emotionally when we do not have this social interaction, the face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart regular healing that comes with these interactions. I am one of those. The isolation imposed on me by this time in our world, it hurts.

The next fracture line that developed is that my baby has graduated from high school. He said from day one of this school year that he did not want to walk for graduation. He gave me his arguments in defense of his feelings and I agreed to allow him this stance. So, even though graduation would not have been normal this year, it would have resulted in the same lack of ceremony and closure for me. I just don’t think I realized how much the absence of those things would effect me. I am proud of my son. He has worked hard and done well academically and in life. He was even awarded a scholarship that will help substantially with his pursuits in the field of engineering. I just don’t think we, as a society, talk very much about the stress that comes with the transition from parent of a child to parent of an adult. Yet, those changes are real and they are hard! Going from a home filled with beautiful chaos to the quiet of one’s own thoughts can be a silent strain, an eerie heartache. I have till the fall until my son’s plans change my life even more. But the ticking of that clock hurts, breaks me more than I ever considered.

I am married to a police officer. I love to say that. And I hate to say that. My husband is a good man with the best of intentions. He has a wonderful heart with pure motives to help, serve and protect. There is a stress that comes with that job that no one else except other officers and families of officers can even remotely understand or empathize with. The last month has been especially difficult as we have watched the media and social media vilify and slander the good intents of his heart and the good hearts of his brothers and sisters in blue. And we do it silently from the other side of our monitor because speaking out in defense in the midst of this climate would really help nothing and probably just cause more division. I know that what we hear is the loud minority and that there are many in the silent majority who do appreciate law enforcement and what they stand for, but the silence is deafening when your heart is hurting. It further fractures the glass walls of my heart.

In the midst of this chaos involving his profession, we have made some decisions as a family as to which department my husband will work for. There are pros and cons in every job. There are pros and cons in every department. For reasons not necessary to discuss, we have decided in the best interest of our family, some changes were needed. Changing any job is hard, but changing in law enforcement is more stressful than any job I know of. Not only are there personal interviews and evaluations, but there are background investigations, polygraphs, and psych evaluations. These are necessary because this line of work does require more accountability and does need a higher bar set for those who will fill each position. Sure, there are a few with questionable motives and character that slip through this process, but the good majority are tried, tested and found worthy. But it is a very stressful process for those who have to go through it. And the fact that this process began just before an officer was shot and killed in Ogden, made it heavier than ever for our family. I am proud of my husband. I am proud of the man he is. I am proud of him for being one of those few special souls who are willing to run into a dangerous situation to protect the life of a stranger when everyone else, including me, would be running out and away to protect their own lives. Sometimes these feelings of pride I carry, though worthy, come at a cost, they fracture me.

I have reduced my time on social media significantly, for the reasons above, as well as the fact that my heart is breaking over the obvious division in our country, community, and even amongst my friends. I was raised with a special awareness and an appreciation for differences. We are all aware of differences, so when I say a special awareness, what I mean is that my sisters and I were taught to look for those who were feeling left out and lonely. We were taught to have the courage to include them and love them in spite of our differences, and maybe even because of them, to recognize that those differences are beautiful. A quilt made from all the same fabric is not nearly as beautiful as one pieced together with a variety of colors and patterns. My heart aches that instead of celebrating our differences we seem to be in this twilight zone where we are using labels and boxes to set ourselves separate from or above one another. These labels and differences are easy to identify with outside appearances, but there are far more that we use for division… religion, politics, classes, status, culture, etc. Our inability to accept and love others regardless of differences is painful. It hurts them and it hurts us! But I don’t believe that the solution comes with embracing causes or platforms with their own agendas. I believe it comes with a lot of personal introspection and self-evaluation. It requires each person to stand in front of the mirror and ask, “What am I doing personally to make my own life better? What am I doing to make the world better? What can I do in my own sphere of influence to spread love and light?” I believe if we were each asking ourselves these questions regularly, our world would have a lot less finger pointing and a lot more love and healing. The division because of our differences is fracturing a lot more than my little heart!

As I finish typing the current causes of my brokenness, they feel a little more logical and explainable than I first thought. It has become clear for me to see why my heart has been utterly shattered. Maybe some of these things are causing pain and brokenness in your hearts too. I know that I am broken. I can see clearly what is causing those feelings of aching helplessness. I also know that I am incapable of healing myself. But I do know where healing comes from.

A… Healing comes first from Admitting that we are broken, from Accepting that we are in a space ready to seek healing. It comes from recognizing the source of that healing is our Savior, Jesus Christ. It comes from Asking for His help.

B… It comes from Believing that with help, things can get better. Not even back to the normal we once knew, but actually Better. For me, I know that this help comes from my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that when I go to Him with my aching, my broken pieces, He can help put me Back together again. He can teach me where those pieces go and help me replace some of the no longer useful pieces with better ones. He can help me recognize the next right step to Becoming whole again and even stronger than I was before.

C… It comes from Connecting with others. It comes as we are vulnerable enough to reach out and search for Common ground. As we Communicate our own needs, we find that there are so many others that are hurting too and have needs we can help fill. Together we can process those feelings and help each other heal. We can support each other, Comfort each other, and help lift each other up.

I am at this point. I accept that I am broken and I admit that I need help to heal. I believe that our lives and our world can be better, more beautiful than it has been in the past. I am craving the connection and comfort of common ground. I want to lift others and feel lifted as we work together to heal. I know that as we partner with our Redeemer Jesus Christ, we can find this healing, for ourselves and for the world we live in. Our brokenness can become beautiful through this process of help and healing.

Christ as our Mediator

1 Timothy 2:5-6
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself around some for all, to be testified in due time.

Mediator literally means the one who stands in the middle.

Christ does not belong to one side or the other, but to both. He stands between us and God intervening to restore harmony between us, to repair the breech that separates us caused by human sin.

Though tempted, Christ never sinned, and so qualifies as the perfect sacrifice that was necessary to meet the demands of justice. His atoning blood allows us to be redeemed and return to a God who’s perfect nature demands us be perfectly clean.

God be thanked for the perfect mediator serviced by Him to complete the plan of redemption.

To see a video with more on this title, watch and subscribe here:

Christ as our Rabbi

John 3:2
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

What draws you to Christ?

For me it is the warmth, the love, the truth.

He knows us. He loves us. He teaches us. He gives us the laws that will make us happy.

Then, if we trust Him enough to step out of our comfort zones, He can teach us individually, Spirit to spirit, heart to heart, step by step where to go in our own personal journey.

For a video with more thoughts on this title watch and subscribe here:

Would you like connection with like minded people? Would you like to anchor more securely in Christ and His teachings?

I facilitate two Facebook groups…
Anchoring in Christ (Christians from all backgrounds)

Scripture Study 365 (a group for those studying the scriptures using resources from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

I also have a business page
Rising Moon Adventures
(I sell images, stories and games for helping your little ones anchor in Christ)

Christ as the Bread of Life

Christ as the Bread of Life

John 6:35
And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh unto me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Ever since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden and the presence of God, there is a hole in the human soul. It is a hole that so many of us try to fill with a myriad of worldly things… Money, toys, status, power… Things we think will make us feel whole and complete. Things that will not and cannot fill what is missing.

It is the lucky ones who recognize that what is missing is a relationship with Jesus. As we spend time with Him, get to know Him, begin to trust Him, we find that hole filled, find what makes us feel complete.

Christ is the bread of life, the one who gives us what no worldly thing can give. He helps us find God’s life, a security and serenity that only He can give.

To see more on this title, watch and subscribe here:

Christ as our Rock

I love that Christ is the strong, dependable shelter I can always run to when I need refuge. .
I also love that He helps me build my own solid foundation as I carve out regular time to spend with Him. .
And when I get cracks in my foundation because I have not been diligent enough, He is there one who can help me make repairs to make my foundation strong again.

This year I am focusing on the Titles of Christ and the roles they play in our life. I am posting videos once a week with scriptures and my thoughts after studying. I’d love for you to join me in this journey!

I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff

F and FT Three Little Pigs Download
I’m not sure I can explain my feelings during this time, as they seem to be more of a roller coaster than a steady feeling. Some times I think I’m just fine, my life really hasn’t changed that much. My husband is a police officer and is still going to work for his normal shifts. I work from home creating and sharing my stories, images, and games, which is exactly what I’m still doing. My daughter is in another city working as an assistant to children and disabled adults. And the younger of my children is a non-emotional senior in high school who is happy he won our year long debate about whether or not he was to have to walk…. And yet, even though things are mostly normal, they are not! I am very much an extrovert and my freedom to schedule the time with friends that I need for my emotional stability has been taken from me. I am so grateful for the technology that makes it possible for me to still find connection, but it is not quite the same. Then I listen to the frustration of my family and friends with littles and I wonder how I have anything to feel emotional about. It is a weird time that has us all doing a little huffing and puffing.
I’ve actually spent a lot of time thinking about how we will look back on this time. How will our children remember it? I hope that I am being intentional when talking to my teen/adult children about the blessings I am seeing and not just my fears. I hope I am taking the time to create memories in this time of slowing down that would not be otherwise possible.
When I look back on the memories I have with my children when they were little there are so many that I treasure, and they almost always include time that I took to be intentional in my mothering! I don’t know how many times I had to tell the story of the three little pigs to my kids when they were little. I’m pretty sure it was the voice that I would do for the wolf when I’d get really into it. Those times really were some of my favorite times… reading the classics or using my flannel board images to retell them. My kids loved being able to use the pieces to tell those stories over and over again! Those were the times when I felt like the BEST mom!!
Whether you are baking with your kids, playing with them in the backyard, reading to them, or even using some of my sets to tell them some of your favorite stories, I hope that you are connecting with them in a positive way.  I hope you are making memories.  I hope you are mostly creating a time they will look back on and cherish!  Even if you are like me and find yourself huffing and puffing a little bit through the day.
During this unprecedented and unpredictable time, I’ve started using my creations to do two new things to try to help out moms with young children who all of the sudden have had to add the extra hats of school teacher as well as religious teacher.  I’ve begun to do story time every Friday on my Rising Moon Adventures Facebook page (stories also uploaded to my Story Time YouTube channel). And I’ve started to teach a Come Follow Me Primary lesson on Sundays at 10 am MST on the same page (those uploaded to my Scripture Story Time YouTube channel).  You are welcome to join us for either thing or to share these opportunities with anyone who you think they may help. These all come with free downloads if requested.
Stay well and keep breathing!
Love – Oléa

Christ as the Messiah

The people Christ came to were expecting a military leader to free them from bondage to Rome. Instead Christ came to free them, and us, from the bondage of sins and death. It was so much more than they were wanting and yet many did not recognize it for the incredible gift it was.
Jesus is our deliverer and rescuer. He saves us from ourselves! Our own shortcomings and weaknesses. Our own mistakes and humanness. .
He seeks out the lost,
brings back those who have been driven,
binds the broken,
strengthens the sick,
humbles the proud, feeds His flock and
gives them rest.
Where do you see these gifts in your own life?

I Am Home

I know that I’ve been less than consistent with this blog and I’m so sorry! I am hopeful that this year will bring consistency and balance to my life.

This last year and a half has been nothing less than a whirlwind!! Some of you may remember the beginning of my blog when I wrote about the decision to sell our house in Harrisville. It was not something I had been wanting to do, nor did I even want to consider it. After finally relenting to my husband’s requests to just go for a drive with him and look at some of the houses available in the next county over I consoled my daughter (and myself) that we were looking, nothing more. I had no intention to move. Not until the kids were both graduated from high school. But then…

I could not get one of the houses out of my head. I brushed it away numerous times like a pesky fly. Finally a little thought popped into my head… “Why don’t you pray about it?” At that point I began to sob, because I already knew what “pray about it” meant. It wasn’t in my plans, but it was in God’s. And so I knelt down and asked for confirmation. It came and we began the process. Within four months we had fixed up the house, listed it, sold it, packed, and moved out.

As I unpacked in the house we were renting my mind was spinning and I couldn’t help but wonder if we had done the right thing. How long were we going to be there? Where would we end up? Would it be a place I would love as much as I had loved Harrisville? As I struggled with these feelings I began to pray. And as I sought answers on my knees and in my scriptures, I was comforted with the very clear answer… Where you want to stay doesn’t even compare to where I want to take you.

Last year was a year of personal growth and learning. It was a year of moving forward in faith and trusting God’s hand to lead me. I took courses and attended meetings to help me better myself as a writer, speaker and businesswoman. I transitioned from being a mom of children to the beginning steps of being the mom of adults. I cheered my daughter on, with my heart breaking, as she moved out, knowing that the timing was right, but if it was up to my selfishness I would never let her go! I got to teach in my church and soaked up every second of the calling and opportunity. We scouted and researched, bought a lot and built a home. I learned much about my fears and anxieties. I learned to live outside my comfort zone as I pushed through those feelings and found so much magic on the other side of that circle.

Our home is beautiful! It is an open home where I can enjoy the company of my family as I cook and clean the kitchen. It is the perfect combination of all the colors I love most and every choice I made from floor, to light fixtures, to appliances, to my accent wall, and even the color of my front door make me feel joyful just to look at them. It is on a half acre of land overlooking the most beautiful wide open valley. I love to walk at night and feel the stillness and revel in the space between the sparkling stars above and the twinkling lights below. The people are warm and welcoming. And the thoughts and feelings reverberate through my whole body… Where I wanted to stay didn’t even compare to where He has taken me!

I am home.

Armor Up!


Ephesians 6:

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD, and in the power of his might.

11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

As I was reading these verses in Ephesians about the armor of God last night, they triggered a lot of thoughts for me. I love the imagery of the Armor of God. I designed the felt set above in 2013 after I was in charge of girls’ camp for the youth in our church. We decided to go with the theme Stand Wearing the Armor of God. It was such an incredible experience to study and prepare with the youth leaders who were helping me. Each part of this armor can do so much to protect us in our spiritual battles. And each piece must be intentionally added.

I want to share with you some of the analogies I have thought of as I have studied these verses. There may be other interpretations, this is just one what I have come up with.

Helmet of Salvation: God can help protect us from the enemy as we choose to particular about what information and images we choose to allow into our minds.  When we watch, read and listen to only uplifting things, we are putting on the helmet of salvation.

The Breastplate of Righteousness: This piece of armor protects our hearts. As we follow God’s commandments and stay strong to the standards He has helped us create for ourselves, we have the ability to determine what we will allow to control our hearts. We can choose to steer clear of distractions and temptations that would destroy our peace and happiness, when we put on the breastplate of righteousness.

Shoes of the Gospel of Peace: We put on these shoes as we study about the life of Christ and truly learn about our Savior, who He is, what He stands for, and how deeply He loves us. As this knowledge becomes a part of us, we will have a desire to follow in His path. We will be able to make better choices for our lives that bring us peace and joy. And we will have a desire to share these truths with others.

The Belt of Truth: In this day and age where morality is questioned at every turn, it is even more important for us to make a stand with God on what is right and what is wrong. He has given us the sacred power of procreation, the power to create life and many people in the world do not value this as the gift that it is, they use and abuse it for their own pleasure with no thought of the consequences and hurt they are causing. As we girt our loins with the belt of truth we are showing that we truly value virtue and will protect it at all costs.

Shield of Faith: We take up this sword as we search, ponder, and study the word of God. The more immersed we become in the Gospel and the teachings of Christ the more faith we develop in the knowledge that God lives and that He loves us. We will understand better the sacrifice made by our Savior Jesus Christ, that He truly loves us and chose to die for us, that we might live again – both physically and spiritually. As we intentionally seek to grow in faith, we fill find special ways unique to us that will give more power to our shield at the times when we need it most.

Sword of the Spirit (the word of God): God speaks to us in many ways through songs, scriptures, and whispers to our hearts. Learning to hear and act upon this takes practice. As the only defensive piece of armor, it is especially important that we take up and use this sword. We become more adept at using it as we seek to understand how the Spirit speaks to us personally. As we practice by following promptings and inspirations as they come, we will get better and better and hearing and receiving from the Spirit.

The armor is not always convenient or comfortable, it is not meant to be… it is created for our protection. A soldier during the time of Paul would not have gone even one day leaving his armor behind, because he knew that one day without it could be his last. And anytime we choose to go about without putting it on, we are in danger of spiritual harm. I have learned in my own life how important it is to daily, intentionally put on each piece of this armor. And then… pray. This final and pivotal act is vital to our spiritual strength and protection. I love a line in a book by Francine Rivers… the elderly woman in the book is advising her husband to pray because “you can’t face the enemy in your spiritual underwear.” As much as getting dressed is a daily habit for us, so should be taking the time to arm ourselves with the protective gear the Lord has provided for us. Armor up!!

Soul Searching Question: What have you done to armor up today?

Song: Spiritual Warfare – The Battle Belongs to the Lord