Thursday, April 3, 2014

You are My Sunshine by Wendy Minks

Oh, I never know where to start a story! If I go back to the beginning, we could be here all day!  So, I'm going to jump right in to the middle of things and hope it works out.

The bright ray of sunshine that has lived in my home for the last 20 years is in South America.  She has been shining her light on the other side of the world since October of 2013.  She is having the time of her life with all sorts of grand adventures, but around here, things have dimmed just a bit.

Without the constant warmth and light emanating from our bright ray of sunshine, (let's call her Hermana Q), I have had to work harder to stay in the light.   I am so grateful that I recognized the impending darkness and looming depression before it gripped me with full force.  I feel like I have narrowly escaped the danger of falling into a deep, dark cave.

When Hermana Q left her grandparents were visiting and they stayed for a couple more weeks, and then I had a business trip.  The distraction of house guests and my trip kept my fire burning through the first few weeks.  I was just too busy to even really register the change. 

While flying home from my trip I thought about what I was coming home to .... an empty nest.  Oh, not really empty, my husband was there and our 3 dogs, but no kids.  For the last 2 decades they had been my main purpose, and now I had to figure out how to do this mothering thing from a distance.  A l o o o o o o o ng distance!  (Our son, who is the oldest, is married and they were living in China at the time.)  I wasn't sure how I was going to face this new arrangement.  Hermana Q is sometimes affectionately referred to as "the Dog Boss", and they were lost, and misbehaving in her absence.  She is my beach and hiking buddy and is always up for an adventure, with her, even Costco is fun.  I knew I needed a plan or it wouldn't be a pretty 18 months.

Here is my plan:
Walk my dogs every day for at least 2 miles, while listening to the Book of Mormon and looking for beautiful images to photograph and post online.

This simple plan has accomplished the following:

1. My dogs are happy and better behaved.
2. I get out of bed and get dressed every day. 
3. Exposes me to 30-45 minutes of sunlight every day.
4. Invites the Spirit into my heart through the Book of Mormon.
5. Focused my mind on the beauty that is all around me instead of what is missing.
6. Regularly pumps endorphins into my brain, keeping my brain chemistry in a positive state.
7. Keeps my body healthy and active.

I have stuck faithfully to this plan since the first of November.  Dogs are the best workout buddies.  They hold you accountable like no human friend ever could.  They do NOT let me stay in bed and wallow.  We walk every day, rain or shine. 

I am more than half way through the Book of Mormon again.  This time around I have learned much about how the Lord directs missionary work.  His work cannot be stopped.  The designs of evil can try, but God's purposes will be fulfilled.  That is comforting to me.  I feel the Spirit every day and that has opened my mind to inspiration and personal revelation.  There is no greater healing power than that of the Atonement, the ultimate expression of Christ's love for us.  His light, is the bright ray of sunshine that comforts my soul and calms my fears. 


  1. I don't know if this is where we are to comment for the contest - if so - GREAT!!! ~ Jeanna

  2. My dog guilts me into walking, even if I don't feel like it. Best motivation EVER! Stay strong missionary mommas!

  3. Here is my comment for the contest :) Thanks for all you do for the MM's. I have LOVED this group for the past two weeks! :)

  4. Is this a brand new MM blog? I love it!!! Great post Wendy - almost makes me want to get a dog!

  5. Thanks so much for all you do for us Heidi. I don't know where i would be with out our facebook page. You are the best!!

    Love ya!!

  6. I love this post, Wendy! Thank you for sharing it! My daughter and I are very, very close and I miss her so much...I started listening to the Book of Mormon on my hourlong commute to work each morning and while I listen I watch the sunrise. Her favorite color is pink, and so we have a "code" -- whenever one of us sees a pink sunrise or sunset, we think of each other. I love sending her pictures of beautiful pink sunrises and helps me to feel closer to her and not quite so lonely.

  7. I love this post! Especially how you found a positive outlet for your sadness. You and your daughter are adorable-

  8. Wendy - you got me through my 2 years with some awesome inspirational wisdom! To be inspired means to be In Spirit! You are that for sure. :)

  9. Love this blog! Love all the Great Mommas in this group! Helps heal my heart SO much!!

  10. Thanks Mommas! I want you all to win the prize!