I have wondered how things would have been different if instead of pouring effort into opposing gay marriage, the Church had put the same effort into focusing on strengthening marriages and helping people heal, overcome challenges, build community, and live with courage and purpose?

In a rare moment of brilliance, I realized suddenly that, Wait! They do! Holy cow!  

It's not the church, but the people in the church. What if we, all of us, everyone that fought and fights for gay rights, fought for compassion, for those values I mentioned above, for personal responsibility to take ownership of our own issues before trying to own someone else's, for walking a mile in someone else's shoes before criticizing them?  

What if people were vulnerable and open, what if church really was a safe place to worship from wherever you were? What if being perfect really meant becoming like Christ, loving those that were rejected or downtrodden, washing the feet of those that were "beneath" us?

What would that mean for me? How would I act differently? What would that look like as a community? Is that something I can work for, fight for?

Would gay rights or black lives matter even be an issue?

I am grateful to the PRIDE movement for helping shift society to a place where I feel safe being open about my sexuality in society.

I also have seen where PRIDE and the opposite, the push back from self-righteous individuals against issues becomes a stumbling block, stealing our focus, causing people to miss the mark.
Posted by Lucas Jones On 5/16/2017 09:30:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Lucas and I have been talking about this topic a lot lately. We also have had quite a few conversations on the topic over the last little while. What makes a happy marriage? What makes a MOM (mixed-orientation marriage) work? How come ours works so well?

Now in asking that last question, lets come to a very clear understanding. Lucas and I are VERY passionate people. We do things passionately. We fight passionately too!!!!! We are both oldest children and want to be in charge (along with our oldest child too :) ). We far from have a perfect marriage. We do things that bug each other, sometimes even on purpose. We have times that we just don't get a long and some times don't even want to get along. Thankfully this isn't most of time, but probably a lot more of the time than I want to admit to anyone. :)

So what does keep us together? The conclusion we came to is we LOVE being together. One of the best things about this weekend is that we got to spend the majority of the weekend together and a lot of driving time, just talking to one another, which we love doing! I can't count the number of nights that we have gone to sleep WAY too late because we just couldn't stop talking.

We are best friends. We do need other friends, very much so, especially him, but we are best friends.

As I think more about it and think about what we have told others that have asked, there is more too. Neither of us are easy to live to with, for many reasons. Both of us are also far from perfect. We also have lots of baggage we came with, just from being human and the challenges that life has given us. We also have children that add to the complexities of marriage.

We both work on ourselves A LOT! We read books, listen to to speakers and podcasts and TED talks. I have a mentor. He talks things through with good friends who act as counselors for him and he for them. We both journal and I have filled quite a few self-help workbook journal type books as I work through my baggage. We also talk with each other, a lot.

We work through our feelings and try and figure out what is really causing our frustrations; is it really the other person that is causing the issue or it is something I am believing in my own head? That helps our marriage. The more we understand ourselves, the more able we are to work together, especially during really busy or really stressful times. (We probably usually don't start our fights that way, it's usually how we end up figuring them out though...after we have exhausted a passionate disagreement.)

MOM's have their challenges. ALL marriages have challenges but this challenge does come with its very own unique things. Understanding that all marriages have their issues helps me keep in perspective ours. If I left this marriage because he is gay and brings those challenges to our marriage, I would be just trading for a different challenge. It is not possible to not have challenges in this life.

So, why is this challenge worth it to me? I have an phenomenal husband! He is loving, and kind, he makes me laugh and we love laughing and talking together, he is an amazing dad, he loves people and especially helping people, and I could probably fill pages and pages of the attributes he has that makes it worth it.

Sometimes he is a jerk, just out and out jerk! Those moments, it's not worth it. Sometimes we just aren't getting along and probably for stupid reasons, and in those moments it's not. Sometimes, I see how much he platonic-ly loves another man and it makes me question myself. Why would he want to be with me, a woman, who is very much not a man, and who is very imperfect and who at that moment is probably not feeling like a good wife at all? That deep platonic love that he can have for other men though is one of the reasons I love him.  That is a gift that he has that I greatly admire and think is wonderful. There are times it doesn't outweigh, but more than the vast majority of the time it does. That is why I think it is worth the challenges that him being gay brings to our marriage.

What I haven't talked about is me. I bring just as many challenges to our marriage as he does! We marry a person who is going to balance us; who brings out in us what we need and want. It is wonderful and can be amazing and easily seen as we are a better person because we are with them! The opposite is also true. They also can bring out what isn't the best in us and it can feel in-your-face and it hurts and we have to step up and be more than we were. It forces us to improve and work on ourselves or it can pull the relationship apart. At least for our marriage it has been an ebb and flow of all of that, including the relationship being pulled at for a time. I think all good marriages probably do that to some extent because it keep you balanced and always working to be a better person and couple.

Another huge reason our marriage works is because we are willing to be vulnerable with each other. To tell each other pretty much anything. It took a lot of time and a lot of trust and a lot of testing the waters at being just a little vulnerable and then a little more and so forth. It took both of us willing to listen without judgment (or at least without visible judgment). I don't know many relationships that are as vulnerable as ours. That is one thing I love about our marriage.

The biggest thing of all about our marriage is that we have put our trust in God. Every time we didn't think we could do it anymore, for whatever reason, God has encouraged us to keep trying. To just trust a little longer that it will work. It would be difficult for a time, but then things would be better than they had been before and our marriage and us have grown from those times.

What I have learned, from being with Lucas the last 18 years is that I have become so much better of a person because of him. I have loved watching him learn and grow and become the man he is today. I married a very different man than who I am currently married too. In some ways he is still the same but in many ways he is so much more. I wouldn't trade it!

Posted by Azalea Adamson On 3/19/2017 10:49:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST
It's been quite a while since we posted or even looked at this blog. Life gets busy and you slowly move away from where you were. I noticed I haven't posted in well over a year and for Lucas it has been much longer.

This weekend was amazing. We spent Friday and Saturday at the North Star Conference associating with others that are ssa/gay or attracted to men, spouses, friends, family, and also those that are transgender who are living the gospel or trying to figure out how the gospel and being this way fits together for their life.

We didn't get to many sessions, we were enjoying too much talking with others. We had some extraordinary conversations and it was wonderful to make some amazing new friends and also strengthen friendships that we already had.

Lucas sat on a panel of men talking about friendships. As he talked, along with thinking of all the conversations we had had the last 2 days with others, I realized that we needed to blog again. I knew it had been a while, but I didn't realize how long it actually had been.

We have learned so much over the last few years. We have come so far, in so many ways. In other ways we don't feel like we have progressed at all, but at least navigating emotions and learning about ourselves and things like that, we have come a long way.
Posted by Azalea Adamson On 3/19/2017 10:29:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST
I would imagine being a Muslim woman in a hijab today could be compared to being gay in the way that gays were and sometimes are still looked at and treated.

My friend Laura posted this today:

 I decided to be part of it and here are my thoughts:

I wore a hijab today to show support for "freedom of religion without persecution" as asked by interfaith leaders in Salt Lake City. I only wore it out to 2 stores, not that far from my homes. My daughter asked me what I was wearing. I told her and told her about Muslims being made fun of and harassed and such and that it isn’t ok to do that. Interfaith leaders asked people to wear something outwardly to show support of religious freedom without being harassed, etc. Though I do believe there are times to be cautious, I never believe it is ok to harass, attack, or make fun of anyone because of religion or even lack thereof. We talked a little of terrorist attacks and people now (and before too) being harassed, etc because of how they are dressed.

The first thoughts were from my youngest, young-ish son. The first thing he said, which took me by surprise, was he didn’t want me to get shot. I assured him that that was highly unlikely. Then he was confused. The people harassing them must not be Christian, he said. I am very grateful that my children have pretty high standards of what they think being Christian means. I have heard all of them at one time or another, slightly confused, aren’t they Christian? Or they must not be Christian, because of someone’s actions. I am grateful that they know that it is not Christian or Christ-like to harass or make fun of someone because of their religious beliefs or outward religious symbols or clothing.

My children have been exposed to many different cultures and peoples even if it has been in a small way. I grew up traveling around the world and being exposed to different cultures and people. I have been the only white girl in a China Market, in China, with my family. I have been the only white person in a room of Cambodian women. I have been in the Yucatan Peninsula singing hymns in Spanish as the only white family in the room and then the only white person in a room of Hispanic youth. All those places we were welcome though; even a novelty. I am grateful that my parents took us around the world and as much as possible to where real people lived and to church to actually mingle with real people.

Though welcome, sometimes it was a little …interesting being the only white person around. I can’t imagine being the only white person and not feeling welcomed. What bravery it must take! I remember my mother talking about when her school went to integration from segregation and her making a point to friend one of the African-American girls. For me, that is just how I was taught: by word and example. From talking with my children today, they have been taught the same things.
So, today… my thoughts both just from a white girl’s perspective and more serious reflective thoughts. It was actually nice to wear it when it was cold outside but I was a little warm in the store. In the summer it would be really difficult to wear I would imagine. Also I have really sensitive skin and my scarf hijab started to get a little itchy to me. I would imagine if you wore them every day you would make sure you wear ones that don’t make you itch. :)

I noticed a few people look at me or take a second look. I am a white girl in a hijab. :)As I walked around I thought about what it would be like if you were a girl who was really shy. That would so difficult. Another thought was it wouldn’t be so bad going to the places you go on a regular basis but going somewhere new. That could be really unsettling and scary potentially. I am still pondering my small experience but those are my thoughts for now.

Some comments I read basically said that this isn’t a real experience as tomorrow I won’t be wearing one. I disagree wholeheartedly. I can’t imagine what it would really like to be a Muslim woman living in America right now or anywhere in the world, but I did get a little taste. That little taste changed my perceptive and changed the perspective of my children and that is worth a lot. Today I got a taste of “You never truly know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.” My daughter, shortly after I got home went and put a scarf on her head and used part to tie back her hair. What I did today mattered to me and to my children.

Posted by Azalea Adamson On 12/18/2015 05:24:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST
I hope that I am never so closed minded that I can't look at the many sides of an issue! I hope that I am always on God's side of things but that I can see where others are coming from. Understand what happened in their lives; choices, circumstances, etc. to make them believe, act and be a certain way. I do believe there is right and wrong. I do believe that one is happier when choosing the right. I do believe the best way to influence people is by love and loving perseverance and not by hate or by insisting that you don't understand the atonement or implying somehow that you somehow aren't righteous enough to truly apply the atonement to your life and overcome whatever challenge you might have.

Here was my response to someone:

I hear what you are saying. I do. Do you realize though the hundreds (and that's just that I know of) of people that deal with SSA that have spent decades fasting, praying, reading their scriptures and applying the atonement to their life and are still SSA. I do believe that God does take SSA from some, just like he takes cancer from some, saves lives of some, protects some, etc. Bad things do happen to good and even the best and most righteous of people.

I believe that God allows us to have challenges and trials to learn what we need to learn and/or to help others that we need to help.

If God took everything away from us; all trials, challenges, hardships, how could we become better people? How would we learn the things that we need to learn? I don't believe that God sent us down to earth for him. I believe we are here on earth for us; to gain bodies and to learn and grow and become more.

I do not believe the atonement of Jesus Christ is there to save us from the hardships of life. Nor do I believe it is there to take away all challenges, trials or difficulties. I do believe it is there to make them ok. We can be given perspectives, guidance, and peace that all will be ok. God hasn't taken away challenges that I have but he has given me perspective about how I am given these to help me understand, so that I might help others. He has given me peace when I needed it. He has helped me wade through and make it to the other side at times that I didn't think I could. I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I am actually very grateful for my husband's SSA. Not that it isn't challenging at times but overall, it has shaped him into the amazing man that he is! So many other people are grateful too. He has touched more lives than I think we will ever know. By him being open we have received countless notes from people and friends thanking us and him for being open with the struggles of his life because though they have different (or the same) struggles and challenges, it helped them with their challenges and know that they aren't the only one with struggles.
Posted by Azalea Adamson On 10/30/2015 01:14:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST
A lot of people don’t think very highly of mixed orientation marriages and a lot of people would like them to just go away. Many people believe they just can’t and don’t work. At the same time though we all love a good unlikely love story.  Everything from Beauty in the Beast to Little Mermaid to Shrek. They are all unlikely love stories.

Nick Vujicic’s was born without arms or legs. He never thought he would find love. A few years ago he did, and this is what his wife said of him:
"The moment I saw him, I saw his eyes and his smile. I thought to myself oh my gosh, he is so handsome.  To me he is prince charming. He might now be perfect in the exterior but he is a perfect match for me."

He will never be able to hold his wife, yet she is happily married and they are expecting their 2nd child soon.

Donna Eden is an award winning author of Energy Medicine. Her husband David Feinstein is a clinical psychologist . She was an alternative gal who is about as alternative medicine as you can get. David was a very medical clinical psychologist. The two had NO hope of a relationship working! The experts on both sides of the spectrum; alternative and very medical psychologist and therapist didn’t think there marriage would last any time at all. They have now been married 38 years. They just wrote a book a book together about love. The book begins, “If we can make it, we sometimes joke or half-joke, any couple can make it.”

In a nutshell, this is what Lucas and I believe it takes to make a MOM marriage work and for the matter any good marriage or just even any good relationship. 

-Both being willing to see what you do have. (Not focusing on what you don't have.) 

-Both being willing to work on their own stuff; their own baggage, their own perceptions, their own insecurities, and their own challenges. 

-Both people being willing to work on your friendship and to spend time together working and playing. 

-Both people being willing to get on the same page, or reasonably close page, when issues arise and being willing to talk it out and really communicate. 

-Both of you wanting to make it work and willing to do the work that it takes.

Be honest with yourself. Acknowledge your own insecurities especially  when you are upset, angry and/or frustrated at the other person.  Make sure it is really an issue with them; not your own insecurities and/or baggage that you are really feeling. 

(Yes these are all things Lucas and I have to work on, sometimes daily..or more... but we try really hard and at times succeed quite well. :) ) 
Posted by Azalea Adamson On 9/19/2015 10:05:00 PM 2 comments READ FULL POST
Lucas and I got included on one of the amicus briefs for the Supreme Court case of Same-Sex Marriages. We have lots of feelings and emotions that came with finding that out. Most of all I think, is being grateful that we have each other. That though our marriage and relationship isn't perfect, I don't know any marriage that is, it is good. We are best friends, we love being together and doing things together and hate being apart for any extended period of time. We enjoy having a family together, even in its un-perfectness.

Though I am a hopeless romantic and the little girl in me thinks every boy, should have a girl and every girl should have a boy; a soul mate and then of course a family, I am always happy when someone finds happiness here on this earth. There is so mush unhappiness and sorrow in life. There are so many searching for happiness and love and even just friendship. There are far, far too many unhappy and even lonely people in the word. We need more happiness, more smiles, more joy. More just loving one another despite our differences. That doesn't mean that we all agree or all believe the same things. It just doesn't matter so much though. Life is precious. We don't know what tomorrow holds. 

Today we lost a family member.  Lucas's cousin had a teeny preemie that made it 42 days and today he didn't. My heart hurts today for his family. I feel very blessed that I was able to visit with his mom and peak a look at him last weekend. So teeny, but overall he had been doing so well.

No one on this earth is perfect. We all fall short in one way or another...and often in a lot of ways it feels like.  Life is short in so many ways though but also so long when we are unhappy. We all need more smiles, more laughter, more understanding with each other and ourselves, more friendship, more joy. 


Sorry, if this post is a little scattered. My brain is a little...or a lot scattered tonight.

*I don't know the source of that picture as our internet is filtered and for whatever reason, the site that it was Pinterest Pinned from, I can't get to. The picture just makes me smile and fills me with joy, and we need more joy. :) 

Posted by Azalea Adamson On 4/20/2015 10:18:00 PM 2 comments READ FULL POST
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