Thursday, March 2, 2017

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission....

My son will soon be leaving on an LDS Mission.  He has most likely wanted to serve a mission since he was just a little boy.   In Primary they sing this song.. I hope they call me on a mission when I have grown a foot or two.
 My husband and I are converts to the church and I spent many years helping in the Primary and listening to children sing this song.  Each year children would fill out papers about themselves as they had a "Spot Light Child" each week and one of the questions was always where do you want to serve on a mission.  I wish I had those papers to see where my son might have said he wanted to go.  I asked him and he can't remember...and I can't either.
I look at my son and I'm so proud of him that he wants to serve a mission.  He has always had that as a goal in his life.  My husband and I have never really pushed our children on the mission subject.  We never sat him down and said we expect you to do this.  In fact I feel very blessed as while most teens tend to fight going to church our children have gotten up each Sunday on their own and willingly attended all 3 hours of church.  They have also gone to their week night meetings.  There has never been a struggle to get them to go.

With my son Sunday seems to be the day that he actually gets up and gets ready on his own.  The nice thing about moving to Utah has been that church is walking distance away.  For many years he would get up early and leave before us so that he could help put out the Sacrament.  We never told him to do this, he did it all on his own.
Before living in Utah, we lived in New Jersey.  My Son was the only LDS student in his school or maybe one of the only students.  I remember him coming home and telling me about how he shared with his classmates that he would some day go on a mission.  He told them that he had promised Heavenly Father that he would not date until he returned from his mission.   His classmates did not know what a mission was and thought he was going to be a Spy and go on some top secret government mission.
I have loved watching my son grow up.  He has grown that foot or two...he has spent the last year working full time to raise money to go on his mission.  My biggest fear two years ago was how ever will we help pay for this mission?  A good friend told me if you send your child on a mission the funds for that mission will come.  And so I gave all that worry to Heavenly Father.  I gave him our finances, and said my son wants to go on this mission and I will trust that you will help us.  It has been amazing to see all the changes Heavenly Father has placed in our lives to help us with this mission.  He has over and over showed me that he knows what our needs are and that he will be there to help us.
I go from being excited for him, to nervous, to heart aching sadness...I have been helping him prepare and trying to block out the fact he is leaving all at the same time.  While I know that the best thing for your children is for them to move on and experience life and go on adventures, I also miss those sweet years of being with my children.  Someone once said that the teenage years are meant to help you want your children to leave.  But I was lucky and got really good teenagers and still have a hard time letting them go.
There are all these books out there to prepare your missionary for their mission... I'm wondering are there any books on how to prepare yourself to let your missionary go?  I've already told my best friend I'll be texting her alot... So as these weeks fly by and my son gets ready to go, I'll share our journey with you... At least with typing on a computer there will be no tear stained sheets of paper.
I can't believe how one moment you can be so excited and the next so sad... Just another roller coaster for my life...
Do you have a child serving a mission?  Or have you had a child serve a mission?  What did you do?  How did you feel?  Would love to hear your stories...

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2017 My Selfish Year....

2017 is my year to take a new path.  Over the past two months I have been contemplating what I want to do this year.  What my goals are, and in all my thinking I have come to realize that it is a good year to be selfish.  I think this decision comes from the comment given to me last year close to this day.  A person told me they thought I was one of the most selfless people they had ever met.  And thinking back on the situation I was in I realized this was not a good thing.
My ability to be selfless led me into more pain than I really ever want to experience again.  I look back at  the last few years and see that I have put others first to the point of harming myself both physically and emotionally.  I look at all the sacrifices I made for others and realize in it I totally lost my sense of who I am.  I know there must be a balance between being "selfless" and being "selfish"  and that is really what I hope within the next few years to figure out.  Since I had gone too far to the extreme of selflessness I now have decided to go to the opposite extreme of being "Selfish".  You may think this an awful step, but I think really it will be a wonderful step for me.
I have decided that this year is about taking care of myself first.  I will be healing myself, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Because I feel that somewhere within the last 6 years I have lost myself.  Does this mean that I will not help others?  No.  It just means that all the things I chose to do this year will have to also be healthy for me.  I will no longer be the one who gives all the breaks to others at work and takes none for myself.  In fact when I see people doing this I tell them, take your breaks too.  I will no longer be the person who drops their plans to run to the rescue of others, but never has the same happen for them.  I will no longer be the friend who continues to contact people and never have a reply back.  If asked to help on any level I will think of all the good and negative of a situation and then decide if it is a healthy situation for me.   One of the great lessons I learned last year was that my health is more important than anything else.
I fought a battle last year, a battle that went on from about March to November.  I won the battle, but it wore me out.  My husband commented that all we do is work, and run around.  I told him I'm not doing that this year.  I've already started the process of my selfish year.  The first thing I have done is spent the last two months cleaning my house.  I have been cleaning it out, and organizing it.  Because once spring is here I will be spending my days off in my two favorite places, the Temple and in Gardens.  The house can collect dust and dirt all summer, I plan to spend as little time as possible in it.
I have been looking at all the aspects of my life and planning my changes.  I am no longer being the "Star" employee...I don't need to be the " Exceeds Expectations" employee...I no longer need to be the "Manager of the Month"...I actually don't even care to be a supervisor.  I play two roles in my new job, sometimes I'm a supervisor and sometimes I'm just a cashier.  I joke that I suffer from multiple personality disorder as each role has different rules and not only do I get confused as to what I'm allowed to do, most of the people I work with get confused too.  I even wear different uniforms for my roles.  But I have found I simply have no desire to be a supervisor.  I like to just have an easy day with no responsibility.  I've asked to be supervisor less and cashier more.  Because I've realized that I no longer need my job to define me.  My job is just a means to get money to do the things I want to do. I don't need the thrill of being in charge.  I watch people who desperately want it, and feel sad for them, because really it's not important in the long run.  I also have started asking for weekends off, and have started to ask for more Sundays off.  I told my supervisor just this week, I don't mind working Sundays, but schedule me so I can go to church.  Soon I will have my schedule figured out so that the important things are first and work is second.  The nice thing is that my supervisor will work with me so that I have the right balance of work and home life.  I have told my fellow associates and supervisors that this is my Selfish year...I am glad they understand.
Last year a lie was written about me.  It hurt.  I spent months writing in a small journal about the hurt of the lie.  I also fought to have the lie exposed.  But in the process I also showed mercy and let the the battle be ended without causing huge damage to others.  This year I have slowly burned that journal and the papers with the lies.  I have found that an important thing in life is to talk positive about yourself.  So every time I think of the lie,(which thankfully is not often anymore) I quickly think of my new positive self affirmation.  I tell my self  "I Am Calm, I Am Sweet, I Am Successful."

 Here are the things I have learned you need to do during a selfish year... Turn off negative thoughts... Do you think negative thoughts about yourself?  I sometimes do, and so this year my goal is to quickly change to positive thoughts.  I have come up with what I want to be, I have thought of the positive things I want people to think when they see me and I say them to myself over and over. My husband said when he met me I was the sweetest person he had ever met, and that somewhere in the last six years I have lost that level of sweetness...So I'm trying to find that again...I'm not sure if I can, but that is why I say I am sweet....People always seem to comment that I am that is why I say I am Calm...And who doesn't want to be successful....

Look in the mirror and appreciate yourself....Do you look at others and think how great they are and then look at yourself and not think you are need to stop doing that if you do... make this your year to build yourself up. Say positive things about yourself even if you don't believe it at the moment... the more positive you put out the more will come to you.

Tell the people who have always been there for you that you adore them...And let go of the people who really never are there for you... This will be a year of letting go of people and loving people for me...One of the things I have read on line is that people pick words to study throughout the year.  I have a few words I'm studying.  Friendship....I don't think I understand what friendship really is, or what a true friend is to what an acquaintance I'm going to be studying Friendships this year.  My other word is Desire... I want to learn what it is to Desire to Know God...I don't want to know God to earn blessings, I want to know what it is to Desire to know God..Because I love him and for no other reason.  I get so tired of hearing people say if you do this God will bless you.  I just want to Know God because I love him, not because there is some blessing to be received.

My selfish year is about finding the best version of me and finding my inner magic....because I have lost who I am. I will spend this year finding out who I want to be and become that.  I think it will be a wonderful, magical journey.  And I will be sharing it with you.  Along with my husbands new job and my Son's mission and my daughters adventures.... I look forward to this new year.... Do you have any plans for your new year?  Do you have a word you are studying?  Are you cleaning out your house, changing your life?  Dreaming some great dream.... I'd love to hear about it.
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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Our Bowlby Family Christmas Letter...A bit about our Crazy year.....

Merry Christmas Friends and Family,
    I have to say that "A Charlie Brow Christmas"  is my favorite Christmas movie.  So most of the people who received Christmas cards from me got something that looked like the above card...Though some people got one of my own Christmas card creations....I love receiving mail this time of year and it's been nice to actually go to the mailbox and not have anxiety about what might be in the's lovely to receive cards and see how peoples families have changed and read all about the lives of friends who live far away.
So here is a little of the craziness of our little family.  In the spring I quit my job that I had worked at for 5 years.  I jumped right off the cliff so to speak and decided to let Heavenly Father take my life where he wanted to.  It was not at first the easiest thing I have done in my life but looking back it was worth it.
I started a new job a couple of weeks after leaving the old job.  It was really the Hand of God I'm sure.  I wasn't really looking to start working, I had thought it would take me a few months and many interviews to find a new job. And I was looking forward to resting.  The people who helped me put my resume together did an impressive job, as the first place I went to hired me on the spot without even asking any real interview questions.  I have since enjoyed the blessings of more pay, better benefits, and so much less work I sometimes just want to laugh.  I often wonder why I did not leave so much sooner...But I know there were things I needed to learn in the leaving process.
I spent a lot of my spring and summer at the Ashton Gardens. My favorite spot was "The Secret Garden"  I enjoyed taking photo's throughout the year and sending friends cards and letters.  I hope to put my favorite photo's together this year and make a coffee table book with my favorite quotes and photos.   I also enjoyed taking many of my friends for walks in the garden.  My plan is to get my house super organized this winter so that I can spend my days off this spring and summer in the garden or at the Temple.  For those are the places where I find God.
This past Monday which seems already so far away my husband and I went to a "Gentri" Christmas Concert.  I met one of the singers in the Secret Garden this past summer and have to say I've become a fan of  their "Boy Band".. Their music is beautiful and listening to it helped heal my wounded soul.  I was so glad for that chance meeting.  As I look back on this year I can say that it was a most wonderful year and I'm sorry to see it ending.  I'm thankful for the lessons I learned and for the Lord being there for me.  I love my Savior with all my heart and know that he lives.
Jim my Prince Charming had a busy year at work.  I think he had many many hours of overtime this year.  There were some weeks where it seemed as if we were ships passing in the middle of the night. He was my champion this year allowing me to make changes and helping me to stand up for myself.  He also has helped many people with their cars...He has again found friends with a love for old cars and they have found that person who has the ability to figure out the problem no one else seems to get.  I like to call him "The Sherlock Holmes of Old Cars"...And when he goes off "Sherlocking" it is easy to understand that it's just something he has to do..
I think Jim looks forward to the new year and new car projects. But we are also planning on spending more time going to concerts, the gardens and the Temple together.  I also hope to fly him out to New Jersey this Summer, He misses the ocean and all his friends and family.  Maybe not quite in that order....

Gabrielle is now a Junior...Her favorite class is Japanese which she excels at, her least favorite class is English...Oh the headache of having to deal with figuring out what that poet meant when they wrote their poem...She took a photography class and now is giving me advice on how to take better photos...
Soon after her 16th birthday she earned her "Red Jacket" in karate...The Red Jacket is given to those who are teachers at the Karate school.  Soon after that she became an employee of her Karate school and she now teaches at least twice a week for about 4 hours a night.  The Karate school owners would love to have her there 4 days a week, but I am not yet allowing all her time to be consumed by her job, as she needs to have time to just hang out with friends.  I love driving her back and forth to her Karate school and listening to her "work stories."...She used to hate my work stories and not understand why I needed to tell about my job, but now I think she understands..Some days you just have to tell someone what happened at work... She is looking forward to some trips in 2017 and moving up to the next belt level which I think is Red/Black..
Jacob graduated this past spring...How can that be?  He also quit one job and started a new one this spring.  He now works for McDonalds and despite what the world says he really loves his fast food job.  He never comes home smelling of grease or fries and he has a very consistent schedule..And lucky for him it is always morning hours...He chose not to attend college this fall but to put in his church mission papers.
It took many months to get those papers filled out...And so Jacob got a little taste of what being a working person was all about.  I have enjoyed watching him move slowly into adulthood.  I sometimes listen to him talking and wonder where did my little boy go, as this is a much more mature person I am listening to.
We had fun this Thanksgiving walking around Salt Lake City and loved this outdoor art display.  I can say to my children...You are here...You are in Utah...But soon Jacob will not be here.  He will leave for his 2 year church mission.  He is going to Tampico, Mexico.  He is excited and nervous.  Isn't any leap of faith exciting and scary?   We now have a few months of getting visa's, passports, clothing and time to enjoy each others company until he leaves..Oh how hard that will be...

Merry Christmas to all of our family and dear friends...May you have a wonderful new year too...I look forward to another crazy year...I'm getting used to it...I hope to soon start blogging about Jacob's mission so that you can all share in his adventure....

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Reflecting on the path I took this year and planning my new year....

As the holiday season starts to surround us, I took time today to go out into my garden and reflect on this past year.  I want to be more prepared for next year, and in thinking about the state of my life and where I have been, and where I would like to go.  I realize that I accomplished many of my goals that I had last year. I also feel I have changed in major ways this past year.  At the beginning of this year my goals were to find a new job, to draw closer to the Savior and to understand his life and teachings more, to improve my budget and enjoy my time with my family.
When I thought of my spirital walk I thought of myself being like Mary, sitting at the Saviors feet and learning about him.  I remember recieving an e-mail in January from my Sister in Law about how glad she was that the previous year was over and that she hoped for a clam, storm free new year.  I wanted that too.  A year of Calm.   Looking back I realize you don't learn when life is calm.  I began my year reading the New Testament and thinking of the Savior, how nice it would be to say I sat at his feet and learned and it was a calm experience.  Instead he took my hand and asked me to walk into the refiners fire.  I took his hand and said I would do as he asked me.  I walked through Hell for a very good friend.  I often hear a song on the raido that says "I'll walk through hell with you, and if your wings are broken I'll give you mine."  I'm not sure of the whole song but when I hear it I think of this dear friend.  I would walk through Hell again for them, and I know they would do the same for me.  I stood in that buring fire and knew the Savior was changing me, and I trusted him.  I did not blame anyone for the pain that happened.

One thing I have always wanted is to see an Angel.  I have always thought seeing an angel would be this great thing.  As I went through the refiners fire this past year the Savior taught me one lesson after another.  One was that we are Angels.  Each of us has the ability to be an angel to someone in need.  When I was in need, friends were there for me.  I was given blessings, I received phone calls at the most perfect time, friends constantly cared for me through e-mails, texts, phone calls and visits.  These people were God's angels.  Every part of the trial I endured, every turn on the rocky path of change brought a new person in my life who cared for me. I was surrounded by Angels.  I also realized that I was an angel to others.  One of my desires is to bring sunshine into this world.  To bring hope to others.  I was able to help many even as I learned and suffered with my Savior.  I learned about issues that made me more compassionate, and allowed me to be of help.  In the process of refinement I realized that my soul, and the standards of God were the most important to me.  I learned that I could not walk with blinders on and pretend all was right.  I realized that Integrity was important to me.  I had gone so long feeling that I was slowly lowering my standards, and at some point I realized my standards and my integrity were what were important.  My desire to always be worthy to attend the Temple and be near to God was most important to me.
I spent this year changing.  I'm thankful for that.  I'm thankful for a new job where I can work with integrity.  I was glad when I went to orientation and my supervisor said "This is not a glamorous job, it is hard work, but it is honest work."  I want honesty, and integrity in my life.
My new job has helped me reach some of my goals.  I am better off financially.  One of my goals was to save money, and to stop using credit cards.  I have done both this year.  I look forward to the new year where I hope to save more, and to rid myself of credit card debt.  Now that I no longer use Credit cards I am paying what I have down faster.  I also look forward to making even better budget decisions.
I have been blessed to have more time with my family.  I have had more energy, and I no longer have stress that came with my old job.  I walk out the doors of where I work and leave every thing from work at work.  I never realized how much I was bringing home in my old job.  My daughter recently said how nice it is that she sees me leaving for work happy.  That I don't say "pray for me I'm going to Hell"  as I walk out the door.  I wonder why did I stay so long.  But I think perhaps it was for that friend, I was supposed to help that one friend get out of hell with me.
I have to say I am thankful for it all.  I'm thankful I took the Lord's hand and walked a rugged path.  I realized that you can have "Calm"  in your life even in the middle of a storm.  You can make your own calm when all the world around you seems out of control.  You do it by caring for yourself.  By finding quiet.  By holding onto the Savior.  The blessings come after your trial of Faith.  I have seen so many blessings, and continue to receive more.  One thing I know is that Blessings from God are not wealth or material things.  Blessings are revelation, increased knowledge, and the spirit guiding you.
As the path of this year comes to an end, do you find you have changed for the better.?  Have you had a challenging year?  Have you moved closer to the Savior or have you moved away from him?  Are you planning your next year out?  As I cleaned my garden today I thought about this year and how quickly it has gone.  I have felt gratitude for my trials.  I have realized I changed in large ways and in good ways.  
My path this year began in the Temple, and I'm glad to find it is ending with me still attending the Temple and Learning more about my Savior.  I hope next year to attend the Temple more often, to cherish every moment that I can with my family.  
Have you started to think about your goals for next year?
Let me know what you plan to do. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Black Friday Black Out...How my trip to the hospital last November changed my life....

Fall is here and we seem to be rushing towards the holiday season.  As we head towards November I have been reflecting on all the changes in my life.  I think it all started last Black Friday.  I used to work in a retail clothing store.  I was a supervisor and the hours and schedules were always crazy.  The stress was crazy, there were always impossible goals to try to meet.  The week of Thanksgiving had arrived and I was as usual "The Closing Manager On Duty."   I didn't mind closing the store, but the one thing lacking in my store was a schedule that allowed the night time manager to take breaks or lunches.  Looking back I never thought much of how wrong this really was.  I was so loyal to this store and the people that I worked with that I never questioned or thought that things were not right.  I am the type of person that doesn't think much of caring for themselves and tends to care too much for others.  That week I did not get breaks or lunches it was just too busy, and I did not take care of myself.  I ate the standard stressed out supervisor food...chips, soda, and energy bars..Thanksgiving came and I was scheduled to work 4pm to 12 am and then was scheduled to be back Black Friday at 8:30 am. I never got a break or lunch Thanksgiving night, (oh I was sent for a break, but a register broke and I had to go fix it. I remember getting everyone else their breaks and lunches, even being yelled at for not getting certain people their breaks on time, which was actually not my fault.) I remember telling my supervisor that I would like to come in a bit later, that having worked so many late night shifts I did not think I would do well coming in early the next day.  My supervisor didn't seem to get it and said be in at 8:30am.  I got home about 12:30 am crawled into bed, and when the alarm went off in the morning wished that I could sleep longer.  I arrived at work at 8:30 am and soon after began to feel odd... I felt like I was a human ice pop, I was so cold that I was shivering and people talking to me made absolutely no sense...I remember saying over the radio that I felt funny, and needed to go have a break...A customer was talking to me about something and I just could not understand what they wanted.  I remember walking by another employee and she said you are probably really dehydrated.  One of the supervisors put me in a wheel chair and they took me to the emergency room.  It took an IV of fluid and lots of warm blankets to make me feel better, and I ended up staying home most of the weekend.  I was so tired and drained.  The only thing the doctors could say was that I was severely dehydrated.  That weekend I vowed I would find a new job before Thanksgiving.  I promised myself I would not work another Black Friday at the store that I was at.  It was also the beginning of my promise to take care of myself.
My first step to a Healthy me was to drink water.  I left soda, juice and other drinks behind and only drink water.  I carried a water bottle with me.  At first I thought drinking one 8 oz bottle of water was a lot of water.  I'm now drinking 9 glasses of water a day.  I recently bought this "Fit Happens" journal at Target.  I plan to start using it next month.  For some reason I want to start at the beginning of the month.  I love it though because it doesn't just focus on physical fitness, it focuses on you as an entire being, physical, mental and spiritual. 
My next step and promise to myself was to find a new job.  This process actually began last November.  I believe that what you think and put out to "The Universe"  or "God"  is what will happen to you.  My first step was thinking and telling people that I was looking for a new job.  I kept thinking that I wanted to get a new job, and told friends this.  Many of my co-workers said "Don't leave, we love you here"  But I kept thinking of my Black Friday Black Out and reminding myself that I needed to leave.  Some of my good friends that I worked with did help me though.  One even helped me to get my resume together and consistently asked me if I'd applied for new jobs.  As much as I wanted to leave, one thing that kept me working for this store was that I knew I was helping others.  The great thing though is "God and The Universe"  always know what is better for you, they made sure I left.  The other great help was my Doctor who wrote me a prescription to get a new job, and on it was the number of an employment agency.  He was tired of me coming in due to work anxiety.  I think at some point I got tired of  it too.

This past spring as I began working with LDS Employment services and searching for a new job, I also came across some great books.  One of my favorites was the "MOJO" book. MOJO was my word at my previous job, It was my magic and  it was cool to find it's definition..I realized I had Lost my positive spirit at the retail job I was at, my MOJO and Magic were gone.  I realized that my health and wellness were more important than a job.  This book helped me begin to reevaluate my life and look at what brought me joy.  Everyday I evaluate my life and think does this make me happy or do I need to move on.  On March 11th I walked out of my old job and never walked back. (There is more to the walking out story but that story will be part of my retail memory blogs that I'm slowly working on putting together.)  On the eleventh of every month I celebrate my leaving.  I went to a job fair the next week and had a bunch of interviews lined up, and with in a week of leaving my old job I had a new job.  It was amazing, I had really hoped to take the whole spring and summer off and just focus on me.  But a good new job just happened to fall into my life.
Over the past few months I have slowly been working on a healthier me...Body, Mind and Spirit.  I call it
"My Slow Steps To A Healthy Me"  and I hope soon to share things I have been learning with you.  One of my favorite magazines to read is "Dr. OZ THE GOOD LIFE"  These magazines are geared towards making small changes in your life.  I'm not a cold turkey type of person, every change I make is small.  This magazine fits right in with how I want to change.
One small change I'm trying to make is to eat healthier snacks.  I really like this book, it has a lot of good information on Raw foods and how they are healthy for you.  Do I still eat cookies, cakes, and sugar treats..Yes..but am I eating more fruits, and vegetable yes.  I hope to share some of  my "Foodie" adventures with you.  I'm a pretty picky eater, so trying new foods is hard.
I'm also searching for the right exercises to do.  Now that I don't walk nine miles a day, like I did at my old job, I need to figure out how to keep my body healthy.  So as I check out different work out routines I'll let you know what I think.. So far on this journey I have found some nice stretching routines that I like.

I have also found my perfect life organizer...It is a weekly planner that has a coloring page for each week.  I plan out my life, write the things that happen, and spend time relaxing by coloring.  This helps in my spiritual walk as coloring is a form of meditation.  I often sit and listen to a Conference talk and color.  Taking care of your whole self is so important.  I'm glad that I experienced my "Black Friday Black Out"  It was the beginning of a whole new life for me.  I'm thankful for those people who were there for me during this change in my life, the ones who supported me.  I'm thankful for the doors that closed and the doors that opened.  As the weeks go on I hope to blog more and share the new things I'm learning and to also share my "Retail Memories".  I have a lot of good stories to tell from the last 5 years.  And I'm collecting new stories at my new job.  I actually carry a book around and write stuff down.  All the people who work with me find it entertaining, they all come to me and say "Kimberly I have a story for your book....."
Have a great day.