Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Long time ... lots seen :)

Wow, it has been a long time!  I can't believe this blog is even here still!  What a great ride it has been.  So many moments, but how great it is for me to read these from the past.  I look forward to picking up these again as they are VERY dear to my heart.

Things I have learned in the past 3 years ... "Men are that they might have joy!"  True story, LOL!  I have learned to look at life through rose colored glasses and that the Lord wants us to be happy.  You can be humble and happy.  You can have nice things and still be an obedient member of the church, but be content, don't let it be your master.  You can have JOY in the journey, not just endure (although I do know that at times, that's all we can do).  C.S. Lewis said, "We need to be as christian in our feasts as in our fasts."  And I am determined to keep that in my heart as I know that the Lord wants us to be happy.

I have learned a lot over the past few years in regards to my soul and the amazing thing we fought for called FREE AGENCY.  I learned we have a lot more control of our lives then I ever thought we did.  Our thoughts create our reality, so why not think happy thoughts!  Why not find the Lord and his blessings through happy moments, not wait to be reminded of them only in times of sorrow.  No wonder we fought so hard for free agency, we have the right to determine SO many things in our lives, WITH OUR ATTITUDE!  We can prevent moments/events in our lives from defining who we are and who we will forever be.  Hooray!  Well worth the fight :)

I have accumulated a large collection of quotes (thanks PINTEREST!) and here's a few of my favorites:

"Happiness is an inside job.  Don't assign anyone else that much power over your life." ~Mandy Hale

"A great attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great LIFE!"  ~Mandy Hale

"It's okay to be happy with a calm life." ~unknown (to me)

"Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out." ~Gordon B Hinckley

"Happiness is a direction not a place." ~Sydney J. Harris

And of course ... "These things have I spoken unto you, that my JOY might remain in you, and that your JOY might be full." ~John 15:11

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ask Why? Get an answer.

I was driving the other day when I drove thru the inner part of a big city and saw a man on the sidewalk struggling with a shopping cart full of belongings. I watched as he stumbled onto the grass and tried to catch a blanket that was falling out of his cart. This scene isn't uncommon in this part of town and I started wondering why some of us were so blessed with the comforts of this world and why some had to struggle just to survive. It wasn't very much further down the road, when I got my answer. Just as the spirit does, a soft voice spoke to me, "For of him unto whom much is given much is required" D&C 82:3 (the actual thoughts were, "to whom much is given much is expected.") And the hymn "Because I have been given much" started to sing in my head.

Throughout the weekend, this same message rang in my head numerous times as I looked at my family, my home and my life. I feel so blessed and because of that I will do all that I can to serve the Lord. It's not just lucky, it's a blessing and because of that I must always strive to turn the hearts of my children and myself to the Lord.

On a little side note: We were watching a television show (my four year old and I) and someone mentioned "heaven". My little lady turned to me and said, "HEY! We know Heaven." Aren't we glad :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Temple Day and Little Learners . . .

Today was my trip to the temple. I have been trying to start each day with a little bit of quiet time and scriptures before the hustle and bustle of the day. This morning I read D&C 76. I read it thru a couple of times because I enjoyed it so much. (this will come into play later on in the story)

On to the temple . . . I was able to go with a dear friend that is another leader serving in Young Women's with me. We decided to do initiatory work (for more on the ordinances performed in the temple click here). We were given a list of five names and directed through the ordinances (this was my first time doing it on behalf of those who have passed on). As I sat by myself I looked at those names, I looked at the dates and was amazed by how long ago they walked this earth. I thought that they have been waiting a long time to have their work done . . . and how happy they must be . . . and then I remembered the scripture I had read this morning in which Joseph Smith received revelation in regards to the kingdoms of heaven. "Behold these are they who died without law; who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men." (D&C 72, 74-75) and I smiled. I closed my eyes and listened to the quiet voices of those called to serve the Lord in the temple and KNEW there was no other place I needed to be, but there. I LOVE the temple and I will make it a goal to visit AT LEAST monthly. What a renewed desire and a clear view of what this life is all about. It's about the next life!!!

Then this afternoon I was starting a project (painting an old door) and while I was painting my four year old wanted to come out and take part of the good weather (that has been hiding from us for so long) by riding her bike in the garage. I carried her bike down and turned to hoist it over the can of paint thinking I MUST tell her to walk the other way, when I had the feeling . . . "if you want her to go the other way, you must go that way too . . . "

I helped her climb on her bike and knelt down next to the door and that smile that overcame me in the temple was back, I KNEW this was a testimoment. If we are to teach our children the way to go, we must walk that way ourselves. We can't tell them to "go that way" as we trail off down a different path. The Lord and his prophets have counseled us to teach our children by example. How could I expect her to go a different way when I took a shorter but much more dangerous route myself.

I am truly grateful for the Lord and His hand in my life and in turn I will make sure that my children know of His hand in their lives also. They may at times choose that shorter path, BUT aren't we grateful for Christ's atonement to take off the stains the can of paint can leave, and truly grateful for the knowledge of that gift.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter and the Atonement . . .

I love Easter, I love Conference. I have to say that conference is one of my FAVORITE things in this world. I love to hear the words of the Prophet and those called to serve the Lord. I love to have my testimony feed by their testimonies. I had questions and I received direct answers. My husband and I had prayed the night before for a specific answer and I can truly say that while listening to conference it seemed as if President Monson turned directly to me and said, "you will find peace in the Temple". My husband and I were both sitting on the couch and looked at each other. We both felt that this was our answer and we will be going to the house of the Lord soon to seek that peace we have been yearning for. I am so~ grateful to have a Lord who KNOWS us and who loves us. I am so~ grateful for temples and the sacred ordinances we are blessed to partake of when we attend. I am so~ grateful to be a member of the church during the last days where the gospel presence is strong on the Earth and I am not left to wonder too long, as the answers are there. I am grateful and I am blessed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let the "Son" shine in . . .

It has been too long since I have recorded my testimoments. I have been running crazy lately and haven't had the time to relax and listen for them. My mother and I were talking and she said, "are you being a mother at least 80% of the time?" And I could easily answer "no". My life has become quite hectic and I have made changes to try and slow things down, BUT I learned something wonderful this morning.

Last week I was sick. I had the nasty cough and cold that has been going around. While I knew that all my body needed was some rest, I was overwhelmed with work (photography) and couldn't find time to both take care of my family and accomplish the work I needed to. Therefore I spent every night last week up late working. I try to do work after the kids are in bed, so I can focus on them during the day. But because of my late nights, I wasn't very motivated during the day and therefore, getting sicker by the minute.

Needless to say, the weather has been beautiful . . . the sun has been shining and things are starting to turn green. I kept thinking that I should be feeling better because of the sun and warmth, but I just couldn't figure out why I wasn't.

Last night I went to bed early (YAY!) and in return woke up early to have my own personal scripture study before I woke up my little ladies (which I had been bypassing due to my previous late nights) I was able to take that time to return to Him. I prayed in silence and started the day right. After finishing my scripture study I went into the kitchen and opened up the curtains wide to let the sun in and had a "moment" (testimoment).

While the sun and warm weather has been there all along for the past couple of days (even maybe a week) I haven't taken the time to let it in. I have been tired and distracted and forgot to open my curtains and let the light in. Oh how this is applied to my life. I have been so busy making plans, trying to catch up and just surviving to let the Son in. I forgot that He is the source of all things good and that if I want to feel better I need to turn to Him and let Him in, as He is there.

It may be as simple as opening my curtains to see that He is there. He IS there and His light is beautiful, warm, and healing. We just need to make sure we are taking the steps to let Him into our lives and homes. I am grateful for the moments I have been given and the opportunity to receive them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oldies but Goodies . . .

My cousin posted these videos on his facebook account and they are great reminders that the things that were true in the 1970's are still true today . . .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hate is a strong word and life is a long time . . .

With all this crazy weather lately (a lot of snow where I am) I hear a lot of people talking about how they HATE winter. (Mostly my hubby). And I find myself saying, "don't say that . . . can't we find something we like about it because Hate is a strong word and Life is a long time. So it would be sad to take an entire season of each year and hate it." My hubby just laughs at me (because I don't think he REALLY hates it) but I have decided in my life that I won't hate anything. Why waste a portion of life or a part of this world that the Lord has created for us with bad feelings. Have we not heard "there is beauty all around"? Now while there are parts of life, I do not necessarily enjoy I have tried to prevent myself from saying that I hate something (and especially someone). When life is so long (and eternity even longer!) I don't want to rule out that someday I will enjoy or even LOVE the very thing I was tempted to "hate".

I feel that when you say you "hate" something, it seems to become a part of who you are. Like say, I hate broccoli (which I don't, but I know a few children who may say this). What if I always said that I hated it. I turned it down whenever it was offered to me, I started to see it in the store and make disgusting faces, I turned down meals that included it and then I just decided that me . . . I hate broccoli. Think of the great meals that may be missed!

How about this, decide that broccoli isn't my favorite thing right now, but let's not say we hate it. Let's not make it a part of who we are. Let's not rule it out. Because like mushrooms to a child, the taste may gross you out but it may grow on you and you may love them when your "taste buds" mature.

Why not find joy and greatness in EVERYTHING! Why not look for a reason to LOVE the snow instead of hating it. Look at the beauty it creates, look at the simple life you live when "snowed in". Look at the joy in your children's eyes when you make a snow fort or snowman.

Maybe for some things our "taste buds" haven't matured to the beauty something beholds. So don't rule it out, find the beauty in everything and everyone.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

The White Rose~

I have had the opportunity over the past few days to do some work for a WonDeRfuL family who I first considered clients but now consider friends. Their dear daughter gave birth to a little man who lived for only a few weeks and then returned home to our Heavenly Father.

This wonderful family shared a story with me, that I'd like to share with you (and keep for my family to read later on). It's called The White Rose.

The White Rose~

All the earth's mothers and fathers were gathered together at God's garden of flowers: those beautiful budding spirits, who would someday come to earth, were nurtured and tended in the garden. A loving Father spoke to the mothers and fathers: "See the works of my hands; someday you will be the parents of those radiant spirits." The garden glowed with the mixture of all kinds and colors. "Choose Ye," He said. Now in the east corner of the garden, pure, white roses stood as sentinels. They were not so colorful as the rest, but glowed with a kind of purity which set them apart.

One by one mothers and fathers stepped forward. "I want the blue-eyed, curly-haired one, who will grow to maturity and be a mother in Zion. Yet another chose a brown-eyed, brown-haired boy full of life and love who would someday be a prince in a grand country. The garden buzzed with excitement as the others chose their own special spirits, those whom they would soon welcome into the warmth and love of an earthly home.

Once again the loving father spoke, "But who will take the white roses, the ones in the east corner of the garden. These will return to me in purity and goodness. They will not stay long in your home, for I must bring them back to my Garden for they belong with me; but they will gain bodies as we planned. You will miss them and long for them, but I will personally care for them."

"No, not I," many said in unison. "I could not bear to give one back so soon." "Nor I," said others. "We will take those who will remain and grow to maturity and live long lives."

The loving Father looked out across the multitude of mothers and fathers with the longing in His eyes for someone to step forward. He then said, "See the most pure and perfect of all the white ones? I choose Him; He will go down and be a sacrifice for all mankind. He will be scorned, mocked, and crucified. He is mine own. Will not anyone choose like unto Him?"

A few mothers stepped forward. "Yes, Lord, I will." Then a few fathers said, "I as well."

Soon all the pure, white roses were taken; and they rejoiced in the choices of the mothers and the fathers. The Father spoke again: "Oh, blessed are you who chose the white roses, for your pain will be a heavy cross to bear; but your joy will be exceeding beyond anything you can understand at this time."

The white ones embraced their mothers and fathers; so full was their purity and love that it filled their souls with such endearment. Each mother and father knew they could endure the task. And the greatest of all the white ones gathered them as a hen gathers her chicks, and the outpouring love surrounded each mother, father, and child, consuming all the white ones as He prepared them for their task. And each mother and father who bore the weight of the white rose would feel the overwhelming love of God as they all shouted, "Thy will be done."

** There is a great talk or discussion by Bruce R. McConkie in which he addressed the gospel and how it pertains to infants/children who return home SALVATION OF LITTLE CHILDREN in this discussion he quotes Joseph Smith, “The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth.” (Joseph Smith Teachings, pp. 196–97.)"

My love and prayers go out to this wonderful family and any other that has endured such trials. I honor you and know that thru Christ families can be together forever.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Family Fast . . .

My youngest princess is going to be ONE next month and I have been reflecting on her birth and the miracles that came our way. Our little "bean" was 4 weeks early (3 weeks 5 days to be exact) and while that is not extremely early, something wasn't right. She had sudden Shoulder Dystocia (which I didn't know just how bad it was until I read that link, and am now VERY thankful for a talented Midwife who seemed as calm as could be).   When she was born she wasn't responsive and they had to do some breathing things to get her breathing.  She was just limp, it was the scariest thing I have ever experienced.  

Our little princess was rushed off to be checked and see if she needed to go to the NICU, which they decided she did.  My husband (oh how hard this was on him) and my dad gave her a blessing and off she went.  I had the baby on Monday and I could barely keep my eyes open thru Wednesday, not my regular way, I am usually up and walking around later that day.  The baby on the other hand hadn't even opened her eyes.  They kept asking me about a virus I had a few months before the baby (just a little cold).  Because they couldn't figure out why she was sooooo sleepy.  They said they gave her an iv in her head and she didn't even flinch.

Wednesday came and it was time for me to go home, but not my baby :(  What a hard time that is!  I was pumping and giving them milk, but she was still tube feeding because she was not awake at all to eat.  There wasn't any rooms available at the hospital so I had to leave her there and go home.  What a sad feeling.  Helpless really.  You can't hold her, you can't show her off to friends and family, so different than my other babies, you can't help her, you just pray!

With this, my husband called his Grandpa and asked if the family could have a fast on behalf of our new baby.  His Grandpa has been such a great example to us and there was no question that the family would pull together to support us.

Thursday Morning I got ready and head out for a day at the hospital (they called and said that they had a room also, so I could stay).  I walked into the NICU room #1 (reserved for the sickest babies) and there was my BABY and I mean a BABY, she was out of the box, dressed in clothes, wrapped in a blanket in a regular bed like all my other babies were!  It was amazing!  

I held her, feed her, cuddled her, she was a real baby (sure I knew she was a real baby before but it was so different when you couldn't even touch her, just look at her in the little box).  And from there she improved with flying colors.  It still took almost one more week for us to get her home, but there is no reason to rush . . . make sure everything is okay first.  She went home without any oxygen, or beeping machines, she came home and has been PERFECT and active ever since.

Now I have always had a hard time with fasting (I have blood sugar issues and have to snack all day) and I just feel so hungry when they say you can't eat (doesn't make a lot of sense, he he). But this was a confirmation to me that fasting and prayer DOES work and MIRACLES can come from those acts of faith.  

I am so grateful to a family who knows where to turn when times are tough (and when times are FABULOUS!  C.S. Lewis says, "and his feasts would be as Christian as his fasts.")  I am grateful to the healing power of the priesthood and the gift it is in my life to have worthy men who honor it.  And I am grateful for the responsibility to raise children of God and the assistance he gives me so I may raise them up to yearn to return to Him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 Mutual Theme

Being that I am in Young Women's and Love the New 2009 Theme . . .
"Be Thou an Example of the Believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

I thought I would share this great website the church has for the youth and this theme.
Check it Out and Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Endure to the End . . .

We have experienced something over the past few days that gives me a whole new perspective to the Lord's counsel to "endure to the end". A loved and cherished son of God decided to take his life on Tuesday. He seemed to be such a happy and well person and the shock from the tragedy has left everyone confused and saddened. While out shoveling snow, I could not take my mind off of it and kept thinking about what on earth could have made him do this? I don't understand. Then I got the message "lean not unto thine own understanding." This didn't give me full peace, but a dose of, "hey we aren't always going to understand everything". As I started to think more (as this seems to be taking over a lot of my thoughts) I started thinking that the command or the commandment from the Lord to simply "endure to the end" is truly all we can do sometimes. When things seem like they will never get better, like there is no way out . . . Just Survive. Just live. Just ENDURE.

In Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's conference talk "Come What May and Love it", he counseled on the "Principle of Compensation: The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."

My prayers and heart go out to the family at this time. I pray that they may find peace and some sort of understanding, whether it be ours or the Lords. I pray that we may remember to endure, hold on, the light will come.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Suicide consists in the voluntary and intentional taking of one’s own life, particularly where the person involved is accountable and has a sound mind. … Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. It should … be remembered that judgment is the Lord’s; he knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.”

Therefore, the loving man we all remembered will be the memories we hold onto.

"Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not" great talk given my M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Seat Belt Warning . . .

Ok so before I post this little "testimoment" I must say . . . that yes, I do look at everything with a bit of a spiritual eye. Because ya know what . . . if you do, you will see things and learn things that you never would have . . . so with that "disclaimer" here I go . . .

Last Sunday I was leaving church in my FABULOUS minivan, and as I pulled out of the parking lot I noticed that the seat belt warning BEEP wasn't . . . well . . . beeping. Normally my seat belt warning goes off like every 2 seconds until you can't stand it anymore and you put your seat belt on. I have felt very silly driving my daughter down the road to the bus stop with my seat belt on, but I CAN'T STAND the beeping! So I give in and buckle up.

Well as I was leaving I hadn't buckled up and noticed that there was silence. At first I thought, OH JOY, but then as I approached the stop sign, I started to feel less joyful. I started to feel like, do I really have to have it beep at me in order to be safe? Can't I just CHOOSE to be safe without this glorious car beeping at me? So I reached over and buckled up my safety belt.

Ok, so here comes the "testimoment". Do we need that constant beep reminding us to be safe? Do we need to be reminded all the time in order to protect ourselves from the evils of the world? YES . . . without that beeping to remind us to put on our "armor" our "safety belts" we forget to. What are our spiritual warnings? What are the things that you use in your life to remind you to "armor" up? Church, Scriptures, Prophets, Prayer . . . that's right all the typical primary answers. So for those of us who feel like, well why do I need to go to Church when I already learned it all? I already know what I am supposed to do . . . Because we need to be reminded daily (hourly for me!) that we are riding along in this troubled world and we need to protect ourselves (especially at high speeds!) from the dangers of the world. And unless you are so strong that you can remember every second to "put on your seat belt" we need those "beeps" to remind us to do it!

So the next time you are driving along and that darned seat belt just keeps beeping at you, don't buckle it behind your back, don't disconnect the fuse, BUCKLE UP! Protect yourself and remember that the Lord is at "home" and wants you to return to him, just like your family is waiting at home wanting you to return to them. So "buckle up" so to speak and know that those beeps are only there to help you be safe!

Drive carefully and know that everyone else out there on the "road" is just trying to get home too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Heaven on Earth . . .

I have been thinking often about my family and what I need to do to improve it. I hear quotes and comments about how "this is the time" when my littles are little. Celebrate it, enjoy it. So I want to. So I have been using a road map to make this Holiday Season a fun and memorable one, to start family traditions.

Tonight was the first night of our "adventure". I purchased a "project" from the relief society super Saturday. It was a darling ribbon with 24 tiny mis-matched socks to use as an advent calendar. I then used ideas from my hubby's aunt's book PHENOMENAL FAMILY to create some activities we could do each day to make memories and I put one activity per day until Christmas in each sock.

Our first one was a Family Home Evening Lesson. We also made popcorn (by using our stir crazy and taking off the lid, the kids LOVED how it flew all over the room and it's a memory I have from when I was little.) I had then been to the Library and picked up some Christmas themed children's books and wrapped them up, so the kids could pick one to read. As I sat there listening to my oldest daughter read this book and to see my 3 year old sitting practically on her lap eating popcorn off the floor. I had to take a moment to take it all in.

I looked around the room . . . the Christmas Lights, the overly decorated tree, the nativity on the mantel, the popcorn ALL over the floor and the girls huddled together reading a book . . . I thought, "this is what heaven is like". This is what they are talking about.

I thank my Lord for the ability to have pieces of Heaven here on Earth. Granted the moment was short lived as the girls argued over who got to take the book to their room, it was Peace on Earth for me for but a moment and I'll take it!