My Message Here is Threefold:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Changes, Changes Everywhere

With the newness of SPRING comes a new change for me as well!

Please keep following my NEW BLOG

Same stuff just different name & different format!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day

How are you celebrating today?  After all, this day only happens once every four years! 

Some things we might be doing:

Playing Leap Frog

Watching the classic Annie ("Leapin' lizards!")

Learning why we have a leap year

Having fun with Fractions (each year is really 365 1/4 days!)

Happy Leap Day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Prayers Have Changed

A lot has happened since May 28, 2011.   And, yet, I realized that the #1 lesson learned from that experience was not recorded.   As I lay in the hospital room, my baby in NICU and I being interrupted by a plethora of nurses, I was overcome with tiredness.  I began to pray that I would be able to "not be tired."  As I did so the thought came to me, "You are praying for the wrong thing," and I knew I needed to pray for strength to endure the tiredness that was inevitable in my situation. This mini-lesson has had the most impact on me for the past 8 months (has it been that long already!?), and one that has forever changed the way I pray and the way in which I trust the Lord.

I post this youtube video more for the story she tells before the song than the actual song (though the lyrics and music of this song are beautifully haunting).  Listen to the story.  Listen to the song.  And as you do so, think about what you are really praying for.  Think about who God needs you to be.  And think about putting your trust in Him.   Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Embracing Winter

As we have had a couple of days with spring-like weather, I thought I'd never say that I was sad winter was coming to an end.  There was a time when I really hated January and February.  There seemed nothing good in the darkness, the overcast skies, the wet & dreary world of winter.  But I can say this year has been completely different for me.  For the first time I think I have learned to embrace winter.

A friend of mine gave me an essay in which I found this quote:

"Wintering is about creating stillness in our lives.  It is about emptying, letting go of activity, ceasing our striving and just resting in our being."  - - George Such

When I read that I thought, "Yeah!  That's what I've been feeling these past few weeks."  Stillness.  And it's been weird.  Really weird.  I can say I've almost been bored a few times.  This stillness has opened up a new realization for me in how I have completely bought into the myth that busyness is productive, that the busier you are the better you are.

I know these days of stillness may not last forever, but just having these moments of stillness are necessary for our hearts to be filled and our lives to be full of the purpose God intends for us. 

"There is wisdom in having regular rhythms of stillness inour life. We need a pause each day to be renewed, fresh and centered."   - - George Such

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Effects of Downton Abbey

Today I asked A if she wanted to wash her big dishes.  She threw her book down, stomped into the kitchen and said,

"I just can't wait until I marry someone royal so that everyone else can do my chores for me." 

Can you tell what we've been watching?!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Teething and Eternal Perspective

This too shall pass.  Such an oft-heard remark.  I was just telling a friend, "Yes, it will pass, just in time for another thing to come to pass."  Why are we so eager for hard times to pass?  I's not fun to have trials, it's not easy, challenges aren't what we necessarily seek for.  I've been thinking a lot this week about how we have been placed on this earth for that very purpose:  to have experiences that we may learn and grow to become like our Savior.  If we didn't have opposition, we won't have the experiences we need in order to learn the things we need to learn to become who we need to become (did you follow that!?).  :-) 

A baby teething is one of those experiences.  The last two days our baby has been fabulously happy!  Smiley.  Eating well.  Content.  The only reason I notice this with so much appreciation and elation is because the last two weeks have been awful with him.  Demanding.  Whiny.  Fussy.  Sleepless.  The normal signs of teething.  Instead of embracing the moment, I murmured.  And murmured.  And murmured.  Then today it hit me.

The teething is going to happen.  Babies get teeth.  It's going to happen whether I am happy about it or not.  The only thing I have control over in such a situation is my response to the inevitable learning experience. 

Experiences in life are sometimes like teething.  They hurt.  They are inevitable.  They are exhausting.  Sometimes there is no immediate solution.  Their time table is unknown  (sometimes the hardest part of any trial).  Also, they are for our benefit.  Without teeth, babies would never become independent eaters.  Without these seemingly impossible-to-bear experiences we would not become the beings we need to become. 

I know there are people suffering from much more challenging experiences than a baby teething.  The solution is still the same.  Our response is what's important.  What we're learning is vital.  Who we are becoming is critical.  When Nephi was beaten, mocked, and tied up by his brothers, what was his response?  He never ceased from praising the Lord.  During these experiences it is essential that we look up and ask ourselves & the Lord some important questions:

What am I to learn from this experience?
Who does the Lord need me to become?
How can I change my response from murmuring to gratitude?
Where will I be after this trial is over?

Life is good. 
The Lord intends for us to have joy...not only in the end, but throughout the whole journey.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1 Nephi 12-14

When I first read these chapters in preparation for teaching I thought, "What am I to teach from this?  It's just an overview of history."  Well, I found some exciting stuff!  And since I didn't get to teach this lesson because of illness, I will write some thoughts here instead.  :-)

First, take a moment to create a timeline of your life.  Just something brief with significant dates and moments that have occurred.

Now, we all know this timeline began much sooner than when we were born.  We know there was a war in heaven and that that war continues even today.   In this war there are two sides.
And he said unto me: Behold there are save atwo churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the bother is the church of the cdevil; wherefore, dwhoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the ewhore of all the earth.

In studying different wars throughout the history of this earth, we see that each war is made up of smaller battles.  Some of those battles include the Nephites and the Lamanites (1 Ne. 12:15-18; 15:28-30), the Revolutionary War (1 Ne. 13:17-18), the wrath of God vs. the Spirit of God (see 1 Ne. 13:12), and the battle of the churches (1 Ne. 13:5-9).  The war still continues and we are in the final battle.   What are some smaller battles in your life that have shown you the Lord will help you to overcome?

In Doctrine and Covenants 93:53 we read, "And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should ahasten to btranslate my scriptures, and to cobtain a dknowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of elaws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen."  How is it that obtaining a knowledge of history can help us to build up the kingdom of Zion? 

Weopons of War
We know from studying history that the Lord protects the righteous and those who choose to build up Zion. 
And ablessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my bZion at that day, for they shall have the cgift and the dpower of the Holy Ghost; and if they eendure unto the end they shall be flifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting gkingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall hpublish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.  (! Ne. 13:37)

We have been given other weapons as well with which we can fight this battle.
1) The Book of Mormon contains plain and precious truths with which we can rely on in bringing forth the kingdom of God upon the earth (see 1 Ne. 13:38-40). 

2)  We have made sacred covenants with the Lord which will sustain us and strengthen us in this great and final battle (see 1 Ne. 14:17).

3) We also have the Lord's own power to protect us as we call on Him.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were aarmed with brighteousness and with the cpower of God in great glory.

How to Win
What must we do to win this great battle?  
1 Ne. 14:1 - And it shall come to pass, that if the aGentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in bpower, in very deed, unto the ctaking away of their dstumbling blocks— 

1 Ne. 8:33-34 - And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of ascorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.

1 Ne. 14:5 - And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying: Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be awell with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard that whoso brepenteth not must perish.

I tell my kids all the time, "The Lord is going to win.  It's just up to you to decide which side you're on."  We are small in number , but if we heed to the counsel of the Lord, repent and obey His words we will be armed with power and righteousness.  As we look at our own lives, let us recognize the Lord's hand in the battles we have won and as we search for ways to continually win the future battles that may arise.

For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the awrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.  Wherefore, he will apreserve the brighteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire. . . . And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded (1 Ne. 22:16-17, 22).