September 30, 2018

The Call

A few times in my life, I have been in a sacred place, often in the privacy of my home, sometimes in the early morning hours, and at other times in the late hours of the evening, pondering, reflecting and feeling deeply the travails of life. In those sacred moments, I have providentially, at times, come upon a beautiful piece of music that immediately sinks deep in my soul, and somehow touches the profound feelings of the spirit. It has been in those moments that I have wept with deep emotion, searching for understanding and compassion, and seeking for love and forgiveness. In those moments, as my soul feels the beautiful music, I cry out for help and relief from my heavy burdens.

September 9, 2018

A Wounded Heart

Early in my journey of healing, I tried to study about the stages of grief in an effort to understand what I was feeling. But, honestly, my emotions were all over the place. I wasn’t sure where I was at any given moment or on any given day. Recently, having come full circle in my personal journey with the death of my former husband, not to mention other major challenges that were on the horizon, I hoped somehow that I would experience a little bit of respite from many of the thunderstorms of life. I hoped that I might find some tranquility, if for a small moment, instead of the constant tumultuous storms of adversity. 

September 3, 2018

Pay it Forward

In my early years of being a single parent, we had so many experiences that confirmed over and over to me that Heavenly Father was aware of my little family, that He loved us, and that somehow, we were going to make it. I held onto those days with all I had. Of course, I had just as many bad days as good days. There were days that discouraged me more than I ever thought possible. But as I held onto my testimony and my faith, I somehow believed that it would be all right.

August 19, 2018

Alone and Pregnant

December 1998 - getting ready to leave the hospital

As the weeks passed, and the reality of single parenting set in, I began looking toward the birth of my fourth child. I was in the final stages of my doctoral dissertation, with deadlines fast approaching, but with the events of the past many weeks, I knew that I would not finish on time. Thankfully, deadlines were extended because of my personal situation, and I was able to focus on my pregnancy. I began preparing myself to give birth yet a fourth time.

July 28, 2018

July 24, 2018

You must forgive

Twenty years ago, as the realization set in that I was facing life alone as a single mother, I stood on the brink of utter despair, feeling a darkness and emptiness that was suddenly tangible. I wept constantly for days and weeks. I began to question my place in this thing called life and I felt a severe pain unlike anything I had experienced before. My memories are so vivid and intense on the one hand, and far away and vague on the other hand. For years, it felt as if I was watching an extremely dramatic movie of someone else’s life.

July 17, 2018

My Journey of Hope

The Allred Family - April 2018

I am a mom, a grandma, a musician, and a teacher.  I consider myself a woman of deep and abiding faith. I have four beautiful children whom I love dearly. They are everything to me. My oldest son married the love of his life almost three years ago. It was a time of happiness and rejoicing. It was also the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Then my second son married the love of his life less than a year later. So that chapter continued. It has caused me to reflect on my time as a mother. I have many regrets and would change so many things if I could go back and live “my life” over again. Of course, I cannot do that. Though I do look back often and think “what if” or “if only,” I am learning to look at the future with great hope for what still can be.  I feel blessed to have endless possibilities of learning, growing, and understanding.

July 15, 2018

Full Circle

During one of the last visits I had with John before he passed away, in which he was still lucid and conversing clearly, he began to ask me about death, about heaven, and whether he would be missed after he was gone. As I expressed to him during that conversation, Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us. Heaven is a beautiful place. There is love and forgiveness and understanding. Such expressions of faith and assurance seemed to bring him peace. As he took my hand and cried, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry" over and over, I felt his sorrow and grief for what once was, and what would never be….

July 12, 2018

A Reflection of Life

In December 2016, my beautiful daughter, Rebecca, received her mission call to serve in the California Rancho Cucamonga Mission for the LDS Church. This was following a year of intense preparation, which included several delays because of her health. After receiving her mission call, she had just 5 ½ weeks to get ready to enter the Missionary Training Center. She and I had an unbelievable time getting everything completed in time for her to begin her missionary service.