Gratitude From The Bottom Of My Heart

My great-great-great-grandfather was a Mormon Pioneer.

grpa neibaur

He passed away long before I was born. 

I knew him only through stories and his diary. 

Reading his comments about his experiences as a Mormon

during the early years of the church, and his relationship with

the prophet Joseph Smith, helped me understand him and his family.

Like my great-great-great-grandfather, I kept a diary

when I was a youngster.

I hid it under the mattress so my siblings would not find it.

I had no secrets to speak of, but I had dreams, and I protected those inner visions.

I couldn’t bear the possibility that someone might laugh at my imaginings.

Over time, my journaling shifted—my journal became a friend.

I wrote to her as though she were my closest friend.

I shared my fears, and I was comforted;

I wrote about my anger, and I was understood;

I pled for clarity or wisdom, and my heart was appeased.

I’d write in the quiet spaces of the day,

behind the sofa,

behind a haystack,

or outside by a tree.

Ultimately, journaling was a way for me to process life.


After I married, I had little time to write.

With four children, I spent my days caring for my growing family and working full-time.

But as my challenges mounted,

so did my need for understanding.

I scribbled in notebooks and on scraps of paper.

I asked questions of my journal-friend, 

I wrote out my prayers, 

and I described my fears and my pain to her.

When answers came, I faithfully recorded those precious insights. 

Looking back through the notes of years past, I can

so clearly see my younger self through my

more mature eyes.

I cannot help but feel tenderly toward the person I

was and the person I have become.

As I read the passages in the days just after my son’s death, I can almost feel the temperature in the air the day he died.

I kept his memory alive by writing all about him and his life.

Journaling helped me chart my way through

some of the most difficult times in my life.

Writing was very powerful for me even when I wasn’t yet conscious of the power it was having over my decisions and ability to sort out the confusing and difficult decisions that I have encountered during my lifetime.

Clarity can emerge by just sitting with a pen and paper in a quiet corner

of our making.

And when dreams beckon but hide from resolve, writing can bring us closer to the hoped-for reality. 

When we write about our circumstances, we become more present in their inherent complexities. 

And when we are ready to listen, the wisdom within

our hearts breaks through our fears.

Two years ago, I began sharing my writing with all of you, my dear readers.

Some of you have become friends.

We may never meet face to face…and that is Okay.

We have met in our hearts through our writing.

I no longer hide the words I write under my mattress

for fear that I might be laughed at.


I now proudly share my words.

I have found the courage to write about my innermost thoughts.

I do so with the knowledge that my experiences and wisdom are in a small way helping others find peace in their own journey.

I want to THANK you today for your support. 


When I published my first blog, I had 3 followers.

They were all family.

In two short years, I have gained over 2,000 new followers.

I have been featured on popular websites, and nominated for several awards.

None of that would have been possible without YOU!

As a young girl hiding in the haystack writing,

I could never have imagined that my journal and I would end up here.

Thanks for trusting me enough to follow me through my journey.

God Bless!


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