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An Overdue Update

You don’t think, when you buy a model home, that you need to do a title search.

Turns out… but one year into owning our new home, we discovered that there were builders liens all over the place! And then we found that there were some major issues with plumbing systems, on top of that.

This is why I haven’t posted an update for awhile here.

I’ve been experiencing enormous stress and strain regarding the need to refinance our home, so much so that it landed me in the ED about a month ago with A-fib!

For those who aren’t aware, Atrial Fibrillation is a type of heart arrhythmia.

I felt my heart thumping unusually hard for a few days. I just thought, “I’m probably just throwing PVC’s; I’ll have them put me on the monitor when I get to work Saturday night.”

PVC’s are Premature Ventricular Complexes. They’re like extra little electrical impulses stemming from the ventricles. Usually no big deal.

At around 3am the Sunday morning of Daylight Savings, I had my ICU nurse friend Victor put me on the heart monitor. Immediately, his eye’s bugged out of this head, as he said, “DUDE, YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A ‘P’ WAVE!”

I had been walking around with full on AFIB with rapid ventricular response at a rate of 110-140! So I went to the ED – Emergency Department – and one push of Cardizem converted me back to Sinus Rhythm. Whew!

I was done and home at the regular time. When I walked through the door, I told Brenda, “Oh, by the way, I’ve been in the ED, and had full on A-fib, but I’m stable again now.”

My stress level has subsided greatly since then. We closed on the four month refinance nightmare about a week ago, and are out of the nightmare!

Since we moved in last year, I’ve finished out the basement, and started renting it out to a sweet little family from St. George, Utah that moved up to Salt Lake. If something had gone wrong with the refi, I would have had to (gently) evict them… which would have crushed me. They have a daughter with challenges, and they are so positive about their lives.

This all just makes me realize that for ME, every day is a good day. We are happy to have the family near us. Additionally, since we have been in the house, we have come closer and closer to members of the ward and stake.

All of Ethan and Ilana’s closest friends are nearby, all from solid families that try to teach their kids the same as we do. Brenda has forged awesome relationships with the other women in the Relief Society. [More pressure on me if the deal had fallen thru and we had had to move.] The ball field is on the next block, there’s a rodeo event just to the west, and just on and on. Even though getting to Utah was unexpected and rough, it has all been so worth it for my kids’ future.

Now, I can focus on my new project for the next couple of years. Another book, my first novel, Whispers from the Asylum will be set to release in 2020. I’ve included a link to the facebook page and an intro about the book below! My YOUTUBE channel will also launch soon. All is well!

https://www.facebook.com/whispersfromtheasylum/

 


About the Book: WHISPERS FROM THE ASYLUM: A LOOK AT FAMILIAL MENTAL ILLNESS by Keith Ivy

What event early in the life of Tiffany, a budding sociopath, laid the groundwork for a future of ruining lives for her own selfish purposes?

This novel, and optioned short film, will explore the lives of codependent family members wrapped up in their own reflections, causing destruction and damage with the grace of their every step. This story delves into the whys and hows of a woman unabashed and unafraid to take the world by storm, no matter whom it affects or how.

Tracing the characters’ choices and influences from their budding young starts, we will also follow the story of The Sister; The Enabler, aka Lois, who not only supported her sister’s mental illness, but also her husband in his drug use, thusly endangering the lives of anyone in the car or on the road each and every time he got behind the wheel.

And then… there is Robyn, in all her crazed teenage rebellion, now a woman of pathetic, thinly veiled manipulation. A gossipy, jealous and floundering little creature who scarcely looks presentable in her scuffed up Payless pumps.

The novel, and possible short film, is a two year project assisted by the author, Keith Ivy’s actor/director friend DAVID STARR from Honolulu, who has starred in such plays as “The Foreigner” at Moana Theatre and more!

Stay tuned for updates on a story that will not only make your hair curl, but stand on end, as unkempt and frazzled as it’s main characters.

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My Journey Navigating Same Sex Attraction

My darling wife was saved for me. There’s no doubt about that.

You see, I believe that Same Sex Attraction is a trial we must combat, to bring ourselves closer to the Lord.

I do believe that I was born with a pure love for my Heavenly Father. I believe that I was born pure, without sin; and without untoward desire.

Through living – especially those early, formidable years – we not only unearth who we are as a soul on earth, but we come to find and learn how to accept imperfect love all around us.

You see, when we are with the Lord, we are perfectly loved – completely loved. However, while our pure souls are capable of this love, our human existences aren’t quite so much. We are with sin; imperfect, and yet perfectly loved by the Lord. Perfectly supported by the light of His love.

Through Him, and in Him alone, we find our strength in the face of our imperfect existence. We not only learn how to better navigate our external trials, but – far more importantly – continue to strive to pursue our internal ones.

I have sincerely struggled with is same sex attraction. I always knew, even as a young boy, that I was different from the other kids somehow. Eventually, I came to see that I bore an attraction to members of the same sex. I was curious about it, and as I was immature, I caved. I moved to a more exciting town than my hometown, and dated men.

While I lived in this lifestyle for a short time, I always felt it was temporary. I always had my head tilted upwards, towards the Temple. I always knew, deep in my heart, what I wanted above all else: A Temple Marriage and Eternal Family. I just… didn’t know how on Earth I was gonna get there with this interest in men, y’all!

I believe my SSA may be an outcome of my upbringing. I cannot believe the opposite! Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw, as I know he did. I know it in my heart! So, I navigated my SSA, came to realize it wasn’t as fulfilling as what I had always known I wanted, and focused on finding myself a good ol’ Molly Mormon wife! And eventually… I found her! My Darling: My Brenda.

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For more information on Keith’s beliefs and experiences, follow this blog! As well, stay tuned for the upcoming release of his autobiography, Triumphant Over My Enemies: My Story. My Words. To be released November 11th (on presale now!) Believe you me – you’ve never read a story like this one before!

A Letter to LDS Families Experiencing Same Sex Attraction

I know of many families whose children are facing some form of same sex attraction (SSA).

Mormon parents, especially, tend to flip out about this sort of thing. Parents who know the Gospel want their children to receive every blessing possible! I know this. I want the same thing for my babies. We all want the best for our kids, and SSA doesn’t necessarily lead one down the pathway to the Temple.

But I’m here to tell you that it still can! With patience, and grace, I navigated my way to the Temple. I dealt with my same sex attraction, and am here to tell you all to chill out about it.

I know it seems silly to advise you to “chill out” about it, but I really mean that. These things take time. Trials take time to navigate. [Y’all know mine sure did!]

I know it can be hard, as a parent, to watch your child struggle. But struggle, they must, in order to find their own way. You cannot find it for them, and should you try, you may only cause more harm to their sense of self-understanding and self-love. They need to figure some things out, and really the best thing you can do for them is give them the time and space necessary to figure out whatever they need to.

I hear of suicides related to same sex attraction, and hope for my story to inspire others that There Is Always Hope. And that, so long as you stay close with the Lord, there will always be help there to guide you.

If and when you should experience doubts, try to grow in the knowledge of the restored gospel. Have faith in this knowledge. It truly is the only place in the world where we can get what we need, in order to deal with whatever experiences come to find us. The Restored Gospel prepares us for our trials, and ushers in the confidence, faith and trust we need to persevere life’s toughest times.

God knows and loves each and every one of us. He is there to help, should we want Him to [and I’m thoroughly convinced He helps us regardless of what we want]. The gospel teaches us to love everyone, and to give others a break. It teaches us not to judge what we don’t understand, and to have faith in the Lord’s guidance.

The more you study the gospel’s teachings, the more you come to understand the bigger picture, and see how our Father in Heaven has truly “got this”! All we have to do is our best, each of us, to stay close to Him, and live our lives in the light of His teachings.

In the light of the restored gospel, we are taught how to keep ourselves clean spiritually. We are also taught to offer assistance for others when we can. But then, that’s about it. Our purpose is not to control others or force them to live by our standards – not even our own children. We are God’s children, first and foremost.

I have been surprised to find out how many people I know go to church every Sunday, and yet don’t understand or see the big picture.

One thing that helps Brenda and I as parents, I think, is being older; being more experienced with life. We have seen more throughout our lives and try not to get worked up about every little thing with our kids. We try to teach them what they need to know, support them, and love them endlessly.

But, someday, they will have to make their own choices… about everything. My parents were young when I was born, and I am not going to get worked up about how I was parented. They did the best they could and I love ‘em for that, no matter what.

If your son or daughter has same sex attraction, try to relax about it, and find the faith you need to be there for your child.

The Lord is aware of them, and it’s all going to be okay.

 

An update: Full-Fellowship from Disfellowshipment

I’m so much more at peace now that the truth is out.

I am so glad my story is out there.

I’ve had such positive results since the release of the book. My long-term hope is that those who need the wisdom I’ve gained get to read it.

The most wonderful thing that’s happened is since the book release happened this past Tuesday: I was reinstated into full fellowship in the Mormon Church after a year of disfellowshipment for breaking my covenant to Brenda.

The disfellowshipment was a blessing, I’m telling you what. And just like at the high council meeting when they disfellowshipped me a year ago, the guys that sit on that council are just the nicest, warmest people on earth. The people on that council are pure gold. The gospel is true, and those guys were so sweet.

I attribute my successes over this past year to my ability to see past my own shortcomings, to the higher truth of the matter; the bigger picture. And that higher truth is just what Joseph Smith said it was.

The Gospel is True.

It was so nice to be with that council, and even nicer to be able to move forward, fully atoned and so, so much wiser.

My advice, to anyone interested in listening, is this: if you are disfellowshipped from the Mormon church – for whatever reason – don’t just go running off to join some other church, or go getting upset or frustrated with the Mormon religion. That is not the answer, because – like I’ve said – if Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw (like I know he did) – then there is nowhere else to go but to the Temple! Truly.

Disfellowshipment is a blessing – believe a man who’s experienced it full circle. It gets you to realize what is going on inside of yourself, and then makes you work a little harder to get back on track with your true self. The whole process makes you more aware of what will be best for you, and how navigate your way back to the right path.  

If disfellowshipped, you get a year of a “reset button” [what I like to call it]. The Lord has provided this reset button to help us get back on track with our soul’s true purpose and ultimate fulfillment.

And in that high council meeting on Tuesday, there wasn’t a judgemental eye in the room! I’m sure if you’ve read my story already, you may be shocked to hear it, but it’s absolutely true.

There was not one judgmental thing about any of them. The Gospel is True. I told those guys, “I wouldn’t be here… I wouldn’t have a wife and kids, and have my beautiful daughter sitting here on my lap… if I didn’t understand this from the start.”

I am not ashamed of my disfellowshipment. I want anyone else out there to know that disfellowshipment, for whatever reason, is a Blessing, even if in disguise. So go, and get your butt back in line, because the blessings are… absolutely untold.

So now, Brenda and I are focused on family. Or refocused, I should say. With every new experience, comes new wisdoms learned! As well, next year, Ethan will be receiving the priesthood! And boy, if he isn’t a missionary already. We hope for him to put on that name tag at nineteen, and go to some part of the world that helps him to grow up and become self-sufficient – much sooner than I ever was.

You know, I didn’t go on a missionary trip when I was nineteen, and it took me until nearly forty to grow up! So that’s what we’re focused on is our kids, and doing everything we can to prepare them in ways we weren’t, ways we find important, and ways that we can’t imagine but trust in the Lord’s love to reveal to us as they become necessary.

We’re also working on our renewed covenants, my beautiful Brenda and I.

Just look at her: it takes my breath away… Fifteen Years, this week, with my bride by my side.


Order your copy of my autobiography, Triumphant Over My Enemies today – on sale now through Christmas! 

Get your copy here!

Life After Temple Marriage

Life with Brenda is bliss.

I can’t quite believe I got so lucky in life, to have found someone with a balance between patience and resilience. Brenda is stronger than I’ve ever given her enough credit for, and her strength continues to surprise me daily.

When we faced struggles the likes of which would end most couples in an instant, she was able to wait before reacting, calmly connect with her Heavenly Father, and come to a personal decision about her stance in it all.

I know that our strength of faith in our Father is what continuously ignites – within us both – the courage to persevere in the face of any trial, be it betrayal, loss, disappointment, fear, or worry.

And when I say that life with Brenda is bliss, I am not so disillusioned as to remain ignorant to the work it has taken, and continues to take each and every day, to keep our connection strong.

There are numerous compromises, conversations on conversations, moments of combat, and unavoidable cognitive dissonance that continuously rises to the surface. The only thing that carries us through these trying moments of will is our faith: faith in the Lord, faith in one another, faith in our eternal future with our Heavenly Father, faith in our children and the eternal family we have built, and faith in the Temple Marriage that started it all.

I love the idea of Temple Marriage: the term alone is the perfect metaphor for all that it takes to sustain… our union is an honor; a Holy Temple in its own right, that we have had to build from the ground up, brick by brick. And when, from time to time in our life together, we found some cracks in our foundation: aspects that were either overlooked early on, or crumbled during the tough times; we knew that the only way to carry on – each and every time – was to pick up new bricks, and begin to rebuild, together.

And rebuild we did.

We have only just, after fifteen years of marriage, gotten to know major aspects of one another, when we’d thought we were as close as we could get. Our strength and perseverance persist when nothing else will, all because of our foundational faith in the Lord, and in our Temple Marriage.

I know in my heart, when the heat began to rise, and our marriage was tested more than ever, that it was truly the grace of the Lord, bringing us closer together; making us ever stronger, so we could pass on our learned wisdoms to our children, and continue to grow not only as a couple, but as an Eternal, Loving Family.

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Keith’s autobiography, Triumphant Over My Enemies: My Story. My Words. is now available for purchase! For the ebook, visit here, and to order the beautifully bound paperback, go here! Believe you me – you’ve never read a story like this one before!

For more information on Keith’s beliefs and experiences, follow this blog!