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A Decided Heart

I’ve really been struggling the last few weeks. I didn’t want to write a blog post, but decided to write one anyway; I know how dangerous isolation can be. You have been my support, and I need to continue to stay connected. I ask you for your prayers right now, I can’t do this alone! I pride myself on being a strong person, but this is too hard! I’m not strong enough to get through this discouragement without your help. I can’t adequately describe the pain I feel being separated from my family, there just aren’t words! I think of my children constantly, and feel discouraged that they are growing up without me. I miss everything about them: Their smiles, their laughter, their strengths, and their weaknesses. I want to hold them and feel them close. Phone calls in Federal prison are limited, so they have to be reserve for special occasions. I usually talk to my kids on the phone once a month, and it’s just not enough! I’ve had a really hard time getting religious support at this prison; there are LDS volunteers that are approved and want to come in, but religious services has been unwilling to schedule the visits. I’m not sure why I was sent so far away from home, right now the distance really hurts! My daughter Shelby has been amazing with the younger kids, I want to be supportive of her too; to just listen to what she’s going through. I want to laugh and talk with Jace for hours, he always makes me feel so good when we talk. Jackson has such a great sense of humor, I miss being home with him, and making German pancakes when his friends are over. Sadie lights up every room she walks into; she’s so beautiful, and fun; how I miss that vivacious energy! Just thinking about CJ makes me cry; whenever I’m in a difficult situation it’s CJ’s kind face that gets me through. The pain of being separated from my children hurts too much right now, please pray that I will be buoyed up and strengthened.

I walked around the track yesterday and thought: “The leaves are gone now, the seasons are changing, and my life is passing by.” Things never go very well when I’m dealing with the “justice system.” My lawyers filed a motion in Federal court asking the judge to vacate my guilty plea months ago. They expected an answer from judge Shelby by the middle of September, but still no word? The judge has the right to take as long as he wants to respond, that’s a discouraging thought! I pray judge Shelby will be fair and impartial, that he will render a fair judgment based on the law. Having faith in the same judge that gave me the maximum sentence of 7 years in Federal prison on a plea deal with a 0-7 year range is hard to do? In the motion my attorneys filed they outlined serious abuses that took place while I was in in Federal custody. Abuses that lead to a guilty plea that would not have been entered into under different circumstances. I had refused to enter into a guilty plea in large part because of the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. My lawyers assured me I wouldn’t receive anywhere near the maximum sentence, but I felt safer having a jury making that decision. I knew I didn’t knowingly and intentionally break the law, a requirement to commit mortgage fraud. When I heard the director of the FBI talk about Hillary Clintons lack of intent as a reason the justice department didn’t pursue her legally I thought: “As a mother of 5 children from Highland Utah I would have liked to have been given the same consideration she received?” It was frustrating that a politician running for president was held to a lower standard than I was. I can’t even seem to get a hearing to discuss the violations of my constitutional right to go to trial?

I’ve had many wonderful experiences in prison, for that reason I hesitated to write this post. I adore the women I’ve met in prison, and will forever be a changed because of the love we share. But I’m ready to move forward, I need a resolution, and need to believe someday this chapter will end. Right now Chad is barely making ends meet as a single parent, plane tickets to come visit are too expensive! A friend of mine recently wrote to me and told me about a woman who has a child with cancer. When I read her message I thought: “I am selfish to feel the way I do, there are so many people who have much harder crosses to bear!” My friend told me that she knew I was struggling, but thought it would help me to write a post and ask for your prayers. When I came to prison your prayers sustained me, once again I need your help in a very real way. I know there is strength in numbers:) I consider this a pretty uninspiring post, I guess the truth is that we all struggle. The road isn’t always easy; In fact, most of the time growth comes at the cost of much pain and struggle. A distant family member recently wrote me a letter and shared his struggle with me. What he is going through was heart breaking to hear about, yet he gets up every day and keeps going. He told me that my blog helped him with his own struggles, and that made me feel really good. A neighbor of ours struggles with constant pain, but he keeps going despite his suffering; he too is an inspiration! I met with a counselor today who asked me if my children were angry with me. She said, “Do your children feel let down by your behavior?” I told her, “I don’t think so? My children know how much I love them, they know I will fight to my last breath to make things right, that I will never give up no matter how difficult things get. They know I made a mistake, but I love them, and will do my very best to make them proud.” She said, “They are lucky to have you as a parent.” After our meeting I thought, “I’m doing all I can do to live a good life, yes this is hard, but we are still very blessed.” Today might be a hard day, but it will pass. I know who I am, I know I am a beloved daughter of God! I have a decided heart, I won’t ever give up! Thank you all for following along

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