Monday, December 26, 2011

Keeping the Right Spiritual Feeling

I never applied keeping the spirit in my relationships quite like I have been lately and it's been GRAND!  I've heard it said that when you are married, you should love your spouse emotionally, physically, and SPIRITUALLY.  I couldn't quite understand how one loves spiritually.  But I think I'm beginning to understand it.  Bonding spiritually is a beautiful thing and I'm seeing how it really glues you together as a couple to add that special touch.

Someone asked me how you could find this kind of love.  My answer?  You can't.  This kind of love isn't found at all.  It's something achieved after hard work.  You can begin to love someone emotionally.  You can begin to love someone physically.  Maybe you could begin loving someone spiritually, hey, it's possible.  But to have the kind of love where all three exist and harmonize tremendously, it takes years of being together and working through the rough spots.  It takes patience with each others' faults and each others' weaknesses.  It takes acceptance and love for each other the way the Savior would love.

You wouldn't realize that your spouse could be difficult to love sometimes, but it's true!  No one is perfect.  If you are waiting for that perfect someone, you may never marry!  If you are feeling stuck to someone you don't think is good enough, look again.  People say to look back at the reasons why you married that person in the first place.  Well, in my case that doesn't help because I wasn't drop dead in love when I got married.  It just depresses me to look back and the hard times I had in those first months of marriage when we both struggled with failed expectations and the challenge of change.  So instead, I look at us now and I look at the future.

People say not ever to settle when you get married.  Sometimes people wonder if they DID settle for their spouse.  (I think every married person asks themselves if they did- if you haven't yet, you will at some point.  If you never do, well I congratulate you on defying the odds.)  The thing is, no one settles for a person.  Everyone settles for their idea of what their relationship is going to be like forever.  If you think "This is the way our relationship is and it will always be this way." well, it will always be that way.  I got married and thought this way.  I thought it was good enough.  I wondered at one point if I had settled.  I wondered if I would ever find happiness.  I thought if I left, it would still be impossible to be happy anyway so I might as well stay.  Then someone told me (my bishop, actually) that love is NOT something that is JUST THERE OR IT'S NOT like they say about chemistry in the movies.  Love is something that grows as you work on it and as you give service.

You know why I married my husband?  Because, even though I could see he was not perfect, I could see he was the type of guy who would do whatever it takes to make our relationship work.  He would never give up.  That's all I needed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cleave [kleev]: To adhere closely; stick; cling.

Today I was reading on this page about mainly efforts in some wards to more adequately approach sexuality amongst church members, and I came upon this section (Item #6 Intimacy by President Dean E. Criddle - Young Married Couples) where it talked about intimacy in a marriage.  I wasn't looking for advice on my marriage while reading this stuff - I was interested in the messages on sexuality.  But sometimes the Lord sneaks in those lessons that we need most at times we don't expect.

Anyway, this section talked about the scripture that says one should "cleave" unto our spouse.  While most of the time, we approach this scripture focused on the negative (don't cheat on your spouse), in this reading Criddle (I'm assuming) points to the more positive approach of this subject (what we SHOULD do).  I'll just quote here.

"The promise is not simply to avoid cleaving to someone else. It also includes the affirmative covenant to cleave to the chosen spouse. I believe this is a covenant to be pro active in both giving and receiving emotional and physical intimacy – including a covenant to do our best to receive emotional and physical intimacies offered by our chosen spouse.
This can be a challenge.....sometimes... it [is] difficult or even impossible for husbands to be proactive in sharing emotional and physical intimacy with their wives...Sometimes... it [is] challenging for wives to offer or to be willing to accept intimacies offered by their husbands. This can lead to emotional distance and difficulties in sharing other levels of intimacy between husband and wife as well.
Even when there are no specific or dramatic intervening biological or emotional circumstances, the challenges of daily life can and do create wedges between husbands and wives. Whether these wedges are large or small, they can and do make it difficult for spouses to be affirmative in “cleaving unto” each other. I believe this is an issue grappled with by every single couple who has been married for any period of time. It cuts a broad swath especially through the ranks of recently married couples in this Stake, leaving sadness, disappointment and sometimes bitterness and deep grief. This is an “elephant in the living rooms” of even the most committed, self-sacrificing and generous married couples."

 I was struck by this because I had never applied this scripture to my marriage in quite this way.  I have always known it would be better in my marriage if we were sharing both the emotional and physical side of intimacy to each other, but I never connected it to the commandment to "cleave" unto ones spouse.  It made me think more about how my husband and I could work more on being "pro active" in our "cleaving". :)  I then put it aside in my mind and mostly forgot it.

But just now I was looking at my app on my phone at the word of the day.  It happened to be "Cleave."  I think God is trying to send me a message today.  I better go downstairs now and share a conversation with my husband. :) Happy cleaving, you married people, you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just Get Down on Your Knees

This morning after breakfast I was doing some last minute studying before class today while the kids played computer (PBS) and the baby rolled around on the floor.  After a while the baby was getting fussy and tired for a nap and so I picked him up and couldn't find his binkie.  This baby is a binkie baby.  There is no going to sleep without a BIG fight and LOTS of noise without it.  I looked EVERYWHERE!  He had it just before, so where could it be?  It was getting quite frustrating because the clock was not waiting for me and I needed to get my homework done.  I looked under the couches (found lots of other things there - balls, etc.), in the kitchen, in my bedroom, in his bedroom...I even looked in the basement.  Again.  Nothing!  Evaporating binkie?  In my mind I kept praying silently to find it but that wasn't working.  I couldn't carry the baby around the entire time because he's heavy and I've been sick lately with body aches and weakness and it was exhausting so he was laying on the floor a while, screaming.  Oh glory.

Finally, I knelt down on the floor in the middle of the living room with my baby and prayed aloud.  "Heavenly Father, please help me find this binkie, I really need to get my homework done!"  I looked to my right and spotted it under the couch (where I'd found lots of things before!).  It must have been behind the bouncy balls!  Snap.  I hadn't even closed my asking-for-help prayer before I was saying my thank-you-so-much prayer!  God lives!

I thought on this experience a bit later.  Some people would think this is a coincidence.  I could have found it if I had just looked behind the toys I was pulling out earlier, right?  Well...I didn't.  I could have found it if I had just looked under the couch again, right?  Well, I didn't.  I had even been *sorta* praying in my mind silently during the whole time.  BUT it wasn't until I got down on my knees and thoroughly recognized my utter helplessness and my need for Him that I got what I needed.

How many other places in life can this apply?  I think in many.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Philosophies of Men

Marriage is hard.

In my poetry class lately, a girl in my group wrote a poem (Her last name is Sivertsen.  Remember it.  She's going to be a famous poet someday, I swear!) called Riddle of the Rings.  It used beautiful and genius imagery to describe the sparkling diamonds on many girls hands in her Utah college classrooms.  She uses the rings to describe shackles and captivity.  Awe, I just love her descriptions "a finger still swollen with the memory of captivity" and "chains of diamond are not easily broken" and "if love is love, why should it need a paper seal and diamond chain to go along with it?"

The ideas just get me thinking.  Marriage isn't something to rush into and many people (in this state, it's typical) do.  It's a hard concept to wrap my head around because...marriage can be a wonderful, beautiful thing.  But, it can also be just as Sivertsen describes: a diamond chain of captivity.

I've felt both ways.

I think every married person has.  If they were truly honest with themselves.  Because marriage is a contract that's binding (or it should be binding) and when you are bound, you feel bound, whether there's a willing or even happy spirit about being bound or not.  We've discussed a lot in my classes this semester about gender issues and how the female role is always seemingly beneath the male role.  It's gotten better then in mid-evil times, but is it really that different?  No.  But I guess the real question for most people is should it be different?  That's usually where the arguments arise.  Frankly, I don't know which side I want to take.

On the one hand, I love being a mother.  Females are usually mothers or mothers-to-be, and even if they don't or can't have children, it's in the nature of a female to be nurturing and motherly.  Right?  Or is this just something we are made to believe through our culture?  Even if that is the case, and we are created by our culture, does that make it bad?  Well, no.  There are of course the exceptions - those women out there who feel no pleasure in being nurturing at all, but are we really taking away their ability to be whatever they want to be?

The American dream is that we as citizens can be or do whatever we want to be or do, if we work hard enough.  And it's been said if an American citizen fails at what they wanted to be or do, they just didn't work hard enough.  Really?  What if they have worked as hard at it as they could?  Some may say...oh well, too bad.  I think that's just plain tragic - and a failure of the American system somewhere.  But who knows where?

This is ranting on so many levels.  Just thought I'd put it all out there because these are the things I've been contemplating a lot lately.  There seems to be such a fine line between truth and untruth.  One of my professors has said that fiction and fact get blurred a lot when we are talking philosophically like this.  It's crazy.  Suddenly I don't have my feet on the ground anymore.  I can see why so many people who go forward as English majors and become Academics, professors, or professional philosophers, or what have you, so many of them lose faith.

But one thing that I hold onto - one truth that may seem simple - is that I have a mysteriously indescribable but undeniable faith in God and the teachings of my church.  When I hold onto that, it seems like everything gets straightened out.  Some things may still be unexplained to me, but those things aren't as important as what I do know.  And when I read all this stuff about philosophy or history or whatever it is.  Somehow I can see next to it the plan God laid out for our world, those little baby steps that had to be taken during the Apostasy in order to bring his authority to the earth again.  I am so grateful to have the faith and testimony that I have.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Daddy Helps


Sorry it's been so long.  I have been crazy busy with school.  But I thought I'd share this little sweet memory.

I usually read to the boys a little book before they get in bed, say their prayers, and then I read at least a chapter of scriptures to get them to relax and stay in bed after that.  It's been a wonderful addition to our bedtime routine.  But I'm always the one to do it.  Jimmy isn't much of a reader.

Lately with school, I'm so tired.  I feel guilty because I feel like things are getting behind - my house cleaning, my kids, my homework, my husband's needs - everything is suffering!  There's too much of everything for anything to be done completely.  Anyway, it's been tough.

One night I got home from school later then usual.  I usually get home right at bedtime but I was a bit later this time.  I got home and my husband had cleaned the house and vacuumed for me.  I love the feeling of coming home and that's been done! :)  Then I went in to say goodnight to the kids, expecting them to be asleep already.  Jameson was.  Zachy wasn't.  I came into the room and he said: "Mommy!  Daddy read the scriptures!"

It made me so happy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Can't Do This Alone

I have to memorize four hymns it goes....I'm singing in the choir at the General Relief Society Conference and so yes I feel like it's a big deal.  This conference will be broadcast to who knows how many people...and sometimes that camera really zooms into a person's face (probably won't be me...but who knows) and I don't want to be the one looking stupid and mouthing "watermelon watermelon" while we're singing.

When I first got the calling it was exciting.  At the first rehearsal they thanked us all for our sacrifice in doing it.  I thought, what's the big deal, it's just choir - I've done choir before.  This should be easy.  Well....

I've been doing my best and I thought I had it down.  They gave us this cd to memorize it with, see, and I was listening to the cd on the way to school and back (which is about 45 minutes right now because of construction on the freeway).  There's one part that I do "ooo"s which are hard because I have to memorize notes without words.  Anyway, I thought I had it down.

Wrong.  We just had another rehearsal and out of all the ladies around me I was singing the "ooo"s higher.  I noticed the lady in front of me shaking her head and asking the person next to her if she could hear the one who's singing off.  I asked the woman next to me if the cd was wrong because I had memorized it by the cd instead of my piano with the sheet music because I've had 0 time lately with homework and other stuff.

She informed me that the woman singing our part on the cd is singing it wrong.

Possible scenario from anyone else: Shrugging and saying, oh, ok I can just go over it again and have it memorized by this weekend's dress rehearsal.  It will be just fine.

I cried.

I think I must be dealing with a bit much lately because all I could do was imagine myself this week trying to hold my house together at the seams whilst reading Beowulf or Chaucer and on top of that some linguistic theorists and writing poetry and practicing sign language whilst stirring some concoction in a pot on my stove for my family's dinner - and then ALSO sitting at my piano to re-learn what I had THOUGHT I already had down.

And so I cried.

Everyone around me thought I was having a spiritual experience.  Lucky them.

I got a hold of myself and then we had a closing song (which is funny - we open with a half hour of singing hymns while people arrive, have a prayer, sing an opening song, listen to a few speakers, then sing and sing and sing the music to be performed, then listen to a short speaker, and have a closing song before a closing prayer.  That's lots of singing.).

I Believe in Christ.

And the worry within me was evident.  I cried some more as I prayed with the song's final verse:

"I believe in Christ, he stands supreme!
from him I'll gain my fondest dream,
And while I strive through grief and pain
His voice is heard, "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ, so come what may
With Him I'll stand in that great day..."

I just thought to myself, I can't do this alone.  I have to lean on support.  Suddenly the words of encouragement and gratitude from the beginning of our rehearsals mean more to me.  I am making a sacrifice to do this.  But I am gaining so much through it and it will be an experience I will never forget.  I'll sing in the CONFERENCE CENTER for crying out loud!  It's something I never dreamed of and how blessed I am to go to the meetings to rehearse with so many sweet voices and feel of the spirit there.  It's been incredible so far and I can't wait for ....TOMORROW MORNING! when I'll be singing at the conference center for dress rehearsal.

Ok...I'm off to the piano now.  Wish me luck, or pray for me.  Whatever you prefer.  And if you see the broadcast, keep an eye out.  You might glimpse a happy brunette woman among all the others, smiling because the Lord is helping her sing to the best of her ability.

Monday, September 12, 2011



Constantly prioritizing and doing things halfway.

How do people do this?

Monday, August 29, 2011


After bearing your testimony during church, and someone comes up to tell you they appreciated it, if they say "I really felt your testimony" let them know they are mistaken.

They were feeling their own.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

For They Know Not What They Do...and Neither Do I

I just realized something.

If I ever feel critical of someone else or something, I've found it stems from my own issues more then anything to do with them. I have always believed in this statement: If I'm annoyed at something about someone, it's probably because I do the same thing, myself. So every time I find myself annoyed at something, I have to look inward and think about if I do the same thing. Then I can try to do better.

But even though I've believed in that statement a while, it's a lot easier said then done. Sometimes I am completely ignorant of the true meaning behind my negative feelings.

Recently I realized it can be jealousy sometimes. In a backwards sort of way. And I owed someone an apology for my behavior. Because I was jealous and threw all my negative self talk at them! SO unfair!

So then I was thinking about it, and what if it's the other way around?

If someone gets mad at me or critical of me and says something that may hurt my feelings - instead of taking it so personally, maybe I should look at it in the same way. That person has their own issues they are dealing with. Who knows why they are feeling critical of me. It could be because they struggle with the same issue somehow in their own life too. Of course, I wouldn't excuse myself from trying to become better, but I don't need to feel terrible and loath myself either because of their behavior. They have their reasons too.

My sister once talked to me about a statement the savior made on the cross. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." This actually applies in so many ways to all of us. No matter what wrong someone makes against us, I believe everyone is trying to do their best. They maybe doing wrong unintentionally, even if it doesn't seem right to us. They may be completely ignorant of the wrong. They may completely feel justified with their actions. They don't know. They may understand their side, but it's impossible for them to understand ours. So forgiveness is key. It makes it a little easier for me to forgive when I see it this way. No matter what the wrong is - even if they ARE trying to be mean - they really don't know what they are doing. They known not what they do.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Show Me My Weaknesses

I hope I can always be in the state of mind where I'm open to see my faults and so I can try to change, working humbly and in faith until I can become better. But first I have to see my flaws.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Getting Past That Wall

Sometimes when trying to receive inspiration or revelation, whatever you'd like to call it, you might hit a wall. And it's invisible. You don't even know there's a wall there, so you continue to smack into it over and over again until you finally think, "Oh!" and decide walking AROUND might better. Yeah.

This is what I've done lately.

I'm returning to school this fall and have been stressing (morbidly) over daycare arrangements. My two oldest weren't a problem. I was just trying so hard to keep my baby at the campus daycare which could only watch him half the time I needed.

What soon ensued? Hair-raising, scream-inducing, tear-overflowing, maddening stress. Should I also bother mentioning that little thing called postpartum depression that I've been trying to avoid?

I tried finding people I trust who might be on campus at that time. I tried going through the ward, going through friends, and I was about to go through the single's wards down on campus to see if there was someone there (who I didn't know). I had nightmares about baby snatchers.

Finally...I noticed the wall I've been insanely bumping into, causing headaches (which turned out to be self-induced).

Let me tell you a story.

My mom bought a new house when I was a pre-teen. The only thing she didn't like so much was that there was this wall separating the kitchen from the front room. Those two places need to be more unified these days because people eat so much in this world. And because of this, there's always someone stuck in the kitchen to prepare food (usually mom) and why shouldn't this person be involved in the conversations going on too?

Also, this wall used to have a stove attached that had a chimney. It had been removed, leaving an ugly scar on the wall that needed patching. My mom worked and worked for hours and hours on that patch on the wall trying to make it look better. Hours. Days.

Finally she realized - hey! I don't want this wall here anyway! And they tore it out.

Sometimes we get so focused and stubborn about one thing, we go to great lengths to keep it there. It can cause all kinds of complications and make our life so hard. But until we realize it's all for that one little thing and it's ok to let that little thing go, we're stuck behind that wall.

My wall? Not being willing to use a dang bottle for a couple hours.

The thought hadn't even seriously occurred to me. I've never used a bottle. Nothing against those who do, I just never had the need to do so or wanted to for that matter. But would it hurt for me to pump a few hours on only two days a week? No. So now it's all been settled and he can be taken care of. That's what is most important.

So when you're in some kind of stressful predicament, take a step back. You may just be beating against a wall that doesn't need to be there at all.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Righteous Judgment

At one time I thought I was a good judge of character. Now I'm not so sure to trust myself.

I've made the mistake of judging someone as being dangerous or somehow unworthy of friendship and then later been proven wrong...on one occasion it really came back to bite me and made me feel horrible.

I've made the mistake of trusting someone as worthy of love when instead....well, everyone else saw it but me.

The point is. You can't judge a person on a first glance.

I try to follow inspiration, but sometimes that gets mixed up in my interpretations. Sometimes what I interpret as a prompting from the spirit turns out to be nothing but my own anxiety or some kind of strange temptation masquerading as a prompting.

So what can I do to improve my judgment? How can I continue forward trusting my own instincts?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Deep Breathes

When my boys are driving me NUTS, it means to take time to play a game.
Not hush them because I'm trying to do something else.
Not get annoyed or angry because they're running around being noisy.
It's time to put down what I'm doing and go outside and take a few minutes playing tag or hide and seek.
Then... it's all better.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Right Perspective

Today I contemplated about married life and single life in a different way then I ever have before.

When I got married, I sadly said goodbye to single life. I don't know why I was sad and felt I'd miss being single because being single was never so wonderful to me. I hardly had the chance to enjoy it with all the hideous relationships I had with people I shouldn't have had relationships with. I thought of being single as the fun days I would miss out on more then the ones I'd miss because I hadn't really had it the way I wanted it. I envisioned being single and confident and enjoying myself. Then, being married, I thought of that alter-reality of "what-ifs" as though being single was glorified in my mind and wished for.

Today I looked at it differently. I realistically thought about what my life would be like today if I had never gotten married. I wouldn't be having a blast, free and fun, confident and dating all the time. I would most likely be a lonely sad girl who wished for more attention then she was getting and therefore finding herself in more hideous relationships that she shouldn't be in.

With this in mind, I looked over at my husband. Then I looked at my kids.

I am blessed.
I have people in my life I couldn't live without.

So I told my hubby in that moment (because he deserves to know), "I don't think I could live without you."

Because it's true.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Choosing Not to Take Offense

I went out of town for a couple nights and left my hubby behind. Our history usually has told me he has hated it when I do that. He calls and complains he misses me and wants me home soon. He doesn't sleep as well. He gets sick to his stomach. But this time when I asked about going he said whatever I wanted was fine. When I was gone he didn't call me, I called him. Then when I got home he told me he slept SO WELL while I was gone because the baby and I didn't wake him up and because I took the other boys too they didn't wake him up either. He slept straight from 11 pm until 6 am.

I see how that would feel good. I wish I could sleep like that.

At first I felt like it hurt my feelings. But I realized it was a good thing - what I've been hoping for actually. I wanted him to grow up and reach the point where we could be apart for a while without the negativity like that. Freedom would feel good. It's a good thing that he got the sleep he got. So I pulled back from my knee-jerk response (that would have been "Well, maybe I should just stay away then if you sleep so well when we're gone.") and took a deep breath and said, "That's great, honey."

I've realized lately that much of my sad feelings are really my own fault. I do have the right to feel the way I do, so I don't need to give myself any guilt trips for the feelings I feel. But it isn't his responsibility to make me feel better, it's mine.

Most the time he does something that hurts my feelings, it is completely unintentional. He's busy working on something else and ignores or forgets about me or something I wanted. I used to tell him about how wrong he was and hope for apologies and hope for change (I sound like Obama right there...haha) when it wouldn't come. He'd do the same thing the next day. His inability to remember things that were important to me made me feel like he didn't care at all. If he cared about something, wouldn't he remember? Well, with him, apparently not. So I finally learned to suck it up. Remind him. It's as easy as that.

And when he unintentionally hurts my feelings, most the time I don't need to tell him about it. I can acknowledge my own feelings and tell myself that I understand it was unintentional and forgive. Quietly. He doesn't have to hear about it at all because it would only make him feel bad too and he hadn't meant it anyway. The only time I should speak up is if it's been repeated over and over and I'm at some kind of breaking point. In that case I should tell him my feelings without expecting or demanding anything from him. He doesn't want to hurt me. I know that. So he's trying not to.

Anyway, I guess the point is not to get offended by things. When my feelings are hurt unintentionally, it's my responsibility to fix my feelings.

It's a hard lesson to learn.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Swallow My Pride

Sometimes it helps to give him a hug first. Then maybe he'll say he's sorry. But even if he doesn't, giving him that hug will feel good and letting go of the blame feels even better. Believe me, it's worth it. Save yourself the gray hairs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Note to Self

Crying gives you headaches.
So don't ever cry.

But in extraneous situations, if crying results, take a decongestant, an ibuprofen, and a sleep aid (preferably herbal, of course, like Valerian Root) and go to bed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It is so important to be willing to give service to others. Looking for those opportunities is the best way to find them. I know when I am looking for them, it's a lot easier to find needs that I might not have noticed if I wasn't looking.

This past weekend we had a crazy storm with huge raindrops. It was measured to be coming down about 1 1/2 inches per hour! It was insanity! Hail also accompanied it. Water was running down my street and filling our garden. My husband was worried about our plants until we started to receive phone calls from members of my church in our neighborhood. People's basements were flooding!

Jimmy didn't hesitate and went to help suck water out of basements with his shop vac. Today I heard back from someone that he helped people in one home to rip up their carpet because it was ruined from the flooding! I wasn't only impressed by my husband but by many people in the neighborhood who stepped up.

We had more then a few phone calls from people in the ward just checking up on us to make sure we didn't have any flooding. I also had a couple people call me and ask me to call other people in the ward to check on them. I checked on the families I go visiting teaching to. My visiting teaching partner was gone for the day but when she got home she found her neighbors had sucked water out of her window wells and saved her basement from really flooding. She went over to check the window wells of another sister we know who was gone for a couple of the summer months.

I am so grateful to have some wonderful people surrounding me in my neighborhood. We really pull together to help each other - not only in the sudden death and funeral services we had recently - but also with any disasters large or small. I know I could count on my ward for anything and that's a beautiful feeling. Knowing this makes me even more willing and ready to serve them as well with anything. I'm all ears for some way to serve.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I've recently done some meditating on honesty and what it really means to be perfectly honest. I think it means to swallow pride. Sometimes it means taking a fall. Sometimes it means giving something up. Sometimes it costs more money.

I've always striven to be as honest as possible. I think it sort of made me seem like a goody-goody sometimes. But I've had my issues with it here and there too. I'm not perfect. Far from it. Sometimes people let little white lies fall through to save a dime or even to save face. But is it really worth that dime? Is it worth it? I think it saves face even more to admit a wrong or to make something write by being honest then it is to lie. No matter how small it may seem.

The thing that many people overlook about honesty is just the keeping things quiet when you shouldn't. For example, witnessing another person being dishonest and not stopping it or speaking up. I am guilty as charged. Sometimes it can be hard to do it, but I've recently decided being a better example for my children is more important then someone's pride. I want my kids to grow up learning that being honest is important. I want them to value honesty the way I try to. No more sweeping anything under the rug. I'm going to strive for more perfect honesty in my daily life.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wake-Up Call

I can't help but thank my Heavenly Father for my family right this moment.

Tragedy has struck our neighborhood and after a car accident, a young father was taken home. I helped out at the funeral luncheon and my heart aches for his young wife. They have two children, both daughters I believe, ages 1 and 5. The youngest probably won't remember her daddy at all. It is just heart-breaking.

It really made me realize how much we take for granted every day. This young wife said goodbye to her husband and he drove up into the nearby hills. I'm not sure what he was doing there or why. He called her telling her he might run out of gas on the way back but he'd call if he needed anything. She waited and waited. Finally she decided he must have run out of gas and began to drive up there herself. The life-flight people were already there.

I am so grateful I have a sweet and loving, hard-working husband and my three beloved little boys. I don't want to waste a single moment because I can never know when it will be the last. We just have to trust God. I am also so grateful for the knowledge of forever families and the blessings of the temple sealing. Because of this, I know even if the worst happened I would find peace in hard as it would be. For now, I have had a wake-up call to live life to the fullest while it lasts.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Although it's hot, a walk to the library is just as refreshing and invigorating as doing yoga in my basement. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Learning Through Patience

I recently had the opportunity to meet a few people I don't know at all and somehow got into some pretty in-depth conversations with this woman I met. I didn't really know anything about her personally, her strengths or beliefs, but I gathered that she was a member of the LDS church. As we chatted, I'm not sure how the subject came up, but I found myself again talking about my point of view on homosexuality. It seems I find myself in this conversation often. I'm not sure if it's because I simply MUST share my views on the issue or if it's a coping mechanism of mine or if I'm actually guided by the spirit to do so, but in any case I do speak to people about this often.

I found myself truly grateful that I have the understanding and knowledge that I have about this subject. So many people do not understand. It is hard for anyone to understand something so personal without having some kind of experience with it. Because I have personal experience with loved ones of mine, I have a different perspective than most, at least most of the people I come across, especially those within the LDS church.

Don't get me wrong, I love the gospel. I have a testimony and will follow church authorities. But that also doesn't mean I haven't struggled with this issue because of the attitudes I've been met with. People simply do not understand.

In my initial struggles on the subject it was as though I hit denial. Because I knew and loved these people so much, there was absolutely no way I could believe they were evil or damned as some people taught. After struggling with this concept initially, I came to a place where I would simply say - it's not my job. I love them anyway. I put my trust in the Lord.

In Relief Society yesterday we discussed patience. There are so many different faucets of this word that I had not applied to myself before. Among the kinds of patience you seek as a parent with your children, or a spouse, or just dealing with other people's personalities, there is the patience you develop while learning gospel principles. It hit me that this is what I had been doing for years and years. I had simply been patient and pondering on the issue I struggled with. It was too heartbreaking to jump to conclusions, so that's what I did. I trusted that the Lord would make things right. No matter what happens, the Lord has an infinite and eternal understanding of things that surpasses me completely. I just need to trust my heart, which tells me the church is true, and love people.

Then the Ensign for June came into my home and I took the time to read much of what was in it. I am so grateful I did! Lately I haven't been devouring the Ensign in the way I used to. I read an article entitled "Defending the Family in a Troubled World" by Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy. The part that really spoke to me was the section under "The Shifting Definition of Tolerance" because of everything, this is where I have been struggling. I felt it was none of anyone's business what someone else in the world does as long as they aren't hurting anyone. This section talked about how the world's view of tolerance is redefining the virtue and distorting it, abandoning all sense of right and wrong. It never pin-pointed homosexuality in this article, however this is where I applied it in my own mind. It goes on to talk about how love is of even more importance and surpasses tolerance. In any case, I felt my mind at peace around this issue for the first time. I hope that more and more we can develop this balance among all the people in the world.

Later in the same issue is the article entitled The True Path to Happiness and I felt it also expanded on where my mind already was. I am so glad we are given the opportunity to find revelation through patience and pondering.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Catch 22

I go through cycles in my marriage where I'm satisfied or happy and then somehow I begin to feel unsatisfied or unhappy and then I pick myself up again or figure something out and find happiness again. It's never my spouse's fault. It's usually just me going through my weird cycle.

Last year was a really big down-time in my cycle and after I got out of it, it's been going pretty well. Then a couple days ago I decided to tell Jimmy how I didn't like that he never tells me anything. He's not one to talk to me. It makes me feel unimportant to him because it's even little things or things that I really should know about. Like if his mother is coming to visit or if we're going to be going somewhere that day. He doesn't tell me anything until I think to ask. It's become more than irritating. It hurts my feelings. He tells me he just doesn't like to talk. However he talks to other people just fine, it seems. And if he doesn't tell me things it makes me feel like he doesn't think I need to know anything because I'm not important enough.

I told him this and he just looks at the ground or something. Gives me an excuse like he forgets or whatever.

I get this reaction, and I keep going until he is so exasperated with me, he has to walk away. I don't blame him because if I keep saying this over and over it starts to sound like nagging - but I don't feel like he understands so I keep talking to try to explain it to him. We really need to work on this.

Anyway, during that day we weren't so happy with each other and it came down to this.

I was waiting for him to say something - say he's sorry, anything! He was waiting for me to give him a hug. He even awkwardly came into the bathroom while I was fixing my hair and put his arms around my waste from behind and closed his eyes. But honestly hugs don't feel like anything to me from him. I wanted him to say something.

I didn't respond to his hug.
He didn't say a word.
The day continued.

Later I wrote him a note in church (FOR SHAME! :) ) and explained to him that I was sorry I was being upset but I really felt unimportant when he didn't tell me things. He wrote back that he had told me before that when I talk to him I need to give him a hug first so he'll listen better. But the thing is - I don't like giving someone a hug before we reach understanding and stuff through conversation. It's hard for me to do that when I feel tension. But it's hard for him to feel like talking with tension and a hug helps that for him. So we're trapped.

One of us has gotta give.

I quietly decided within myself that I would make more effort to give him a hug when he comes home from work instead of waiting for him to come give me one. Honestly, I've always been waiting for him to talk to me when he gets home but he doesn't. He just eventually comes and gives me a hug and I feel like he's just...ahem...wanting to warm me up for later...and it turns me off, actually. I need the conversation.

Anyway, so I decided I would give him a hug first. Maybe giving him HIS love language first all the time will make him want to give me mine. Maybe if I'm giving him his physical touch more often, he'll start to talk to me. Here's hopin'.


This morning after I got up and fed the baby, I was doing dishes and getting ready for breakfast and thought the kids were in the basement. I hadn't gone down to check, but that's usually where they are. Still, I kept thinking to myself that I should go down and see what they were doing but I didn't until I had the first waffle in the iron.

They weren't down there.

They weren't in the house.

And when I went outside, they didn't answer and they weren't anywhere in the yard.

Ok, so I took a deep breath, left the baby in his bed and got in the car wearing my bathrobe to drive down the road. They had once before gone down to the park with their tricycles before so I thought I'd check there first. Only one of the tricycles was missing though - and when I got down there, they weren't there either.

Any parent may panic at this point, but I remained calm inside. My mind kept trying to tell me to be frightened because this should be a terrifying happening. But I felt inside that the kids were just fine, I just needed to find them.

I ended up finding them at the house on the corner of our block (in the other direction from the park) playing in the dirt of that person's yard. It looked like Jameson had ridden his bicycle down there and Zachy had followed on foot. They were in trouble, of course - but I wasn't afraid because I know the neighbors on my street are good people.

The thing is, how did I know they were just fine? If they were hurt or picked up by some maniac, would I feel it? Actually, I believe I would. And I'm grateful for that.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Learning Unconditional Love

Last night we were watching Inspetion (which has nothing to do with the subject of this post, by the way - but hey, great movie!) and Jimmy paused it a moment to go upstairs. I was holding my baby and waiting, and I began to think about the love I feel for this little child and how I can't wait to get to know him. It sunk in that I don't really even know his personality or who he will be someday, but I love him so much anyway.

Jimmy always talks about how amazed he is that he can love all his children the same. With each new baby that comes, he can't comprehend loving another as much as the one he already has but it somehow happens. It just does, and he loves all his kids so much - and the same. Even though there are different things we like most about each child (like how silly goof-ball Jameson is or how sweet and gentle Zachy is) we still love them the same.

Then I thought about my love for this new child, Chili, and how I love him just as much but I don't know anything about him really. It sunk in slowly that with each child my capacity to love is growing more and more. I love them so much and a new child is born and I love that one just as much so my capacity must be growing immensely.

I thought about God's love and how He loves all of His children the same. He loves every one of us so much, and I'm sure there are some things He likes better about one then the other because of the gifts or talents we possess (gifts He gave us), but He still loves us all the same.

So being a parent is giving me the opportunity and training me to become more like my Heavenly Father. I am becoming more loving and more capable of love with each child. I'm learning how to be patient with my children and love them no matter what happens, just as God loves us.

Then my thoughts took another step.

Learning to love like this doesn't stop with my own children or family. Learning to love my children unconditionally, without even really knowing them, can also teach me how to love others. God love ALL people this way - and so should I. I looked up at the tv screen at Leonardo DiCaprio's face just then and thought - even him! Celebrities included - like Lady Gaga. (haha) It's hard for me to imagine loving Leonardo DiCaprio in the same way that I love this baby in my arms, but that's how God sees us, and someday I hope I can look at all people and love them that much. Without knowing anything about them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Where Is My Heart?

Lately I started receiving Us Weekly. (No, I am not linking that!) Stupid that I am, I signed up for it somehow online in a free offer thing for some other motive and I can't even remember what it was. Then a month or so after I'd been getting it a while, we get this high charge on our account from Us... dumb magazine people. I called about it to cancel but all I got was an automated answering service. It asked if I wanted to sign up for more issues for "only" $5 an issue and they would reimburse the gargantuan charge on my account if I did this. I said no to that. Then they asked if I wanted to cancel and I said yes. This leaves me with receiving the issues up until what I've already paid for with that humongo charge they put onto my account, and no reimbursement. I tried the bank blocking route but they wouldn't do it without a fraudulent claim and since I in fact did business with these people there is no way to get my money back.

What I should have done is said yes to the reimbursement and then canceled any further issues. The $5 an issue thing wasn't going to be a contract! Well....I guess maybe they could have made it that way. Stupid automated system.

Ok. If my four-year-old was reading he'd tell me to watch my language. "Stupid is a bad word!"

Anyway, the point of this post, which I am finally getting to (so much for short and sweet, right?) is that today I was given a nice little wake-up call about where my heart truly is. Although I really don't value what it says in Us Weekly, whenever I get it, I am somehow dragged into reading, or at least looking at, every page! I don't really want to receive the thing anymore because all it does is fill my head with a bunch of worthless worldly junk! But nonetheless, I receive a magazine and am plunged back into the curiosity about who wore what, who looks best, who's dating who...blah blah blah. Like it's any of my business in the first place!

Today I received an issues of Us Weekly. But it was also accompanied by another magazine by the name of the Ensign. The Ensign I get also comes with the Friend, which is meant for my kids but I usually read it myself. :) These issues I always look forward to receiving in the mail every month. They testify of eternal things. They make me think with the right perspective and encourage my everyday living to be more Christlike.

So today I have my mail and am looking at the cover of Us Weekly when I realize I'm holding the Ensign in the other hand without even really acknowledging its presence there. It hit me. Which magazine is really better for me to read? Which one will make me feel happier after I'm done reading it?

Which one will I open up first?

Where is my heart really? Am I truly more drawn to and excited about Us Weekly? The magazine I was scammed into receiving and don't really care about in the first place? Or is this some kind of powerful temptation working on me to get my priorities mixed up? Well.

That was my wake-up call. And I hope I don't forget it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Peaceful Nights

My boys love to get up over and over after we've settled them into bed and it was really getting frustrating! More then once I've turned into a monster at bedtime because I've gotten so frustrated! There was one time I even decided to hide outside the bedroom door and when I heard my little one getting out of bed, I quickly opened the door and growled like the scariest creature alive! It scared him out of his skin...but that was all I accomplished by doing that. And it also succeeded in making me feel terrible!

But this year we started a new tradition. It's been such a life saver ever since I decided to start reading scriptures every night at bedtime. Not only does it keep them in bed until they are either asleep or relaxed enough to stay in bed to go to sleep, but it also keeps the spirit in my heart so I feel better too! No more evenings of frustration and then regret for being horrible. Instead, I have a nice bedtime routine of pajamas, stories, teeth-brushing, bedtime prayers, and scripture reading. Sweet peace!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fitting it in...

It is encouraging to me how there is always a way to manage fitting Family Home Evening into my daily schedule, even when we are busy. I just have to look for it. Because my kids are so young, it doesn't have to be anything elaborate. This week my husband was very busy with service projects after work and then he had to go to Boy Scouts directly after dinner. So we did Family Home Evening during dinner.

I read one scripture from my FHE jar (which has a bunch of strips of paper in it with suggested topics and scriptures for Family Home Evening) and it was about the gifts God gives each of us and how we are all blessed with different gifts and talents. We then talked about each person in our family and what they are good at. I cut out a big heart from construction paper for each member of our family and we listed those gifts on each heart and taped it to our back sliding door. Now it's a reminder to us and it was so fun and didn't take too long so my husband was there for the whole thing.

Remembering to be like a child...

We were learning about following the prophet and my husband read a scripture about sheep. I related it to following a shepherd and we were all sheep. Then my four year old brought up the big bad wolf and so we discussed how when we go astray and don't follow the shepherd we could be in danger and the big bad wolf may get us!

Kids are so fun. They really teach me!

Helping me teach my children...

I believe I am led when I teach my children and I thank my Heavenly Father that He blesses me with the inspiration I need to be a good mother.

When we discussed how our family can be together forever during our Family Home Evening, we were going to play catch with this little soft soccer ball as the game that night. I wasn't sure how to relate the game but it just came to me. The soccer balls little sections were made up of five different colors in a ring held together by one white patch in the center and that was the pattern for the entire ball. I explained that we each were like a different color and the white patch was like the temple holding us together "seams". Then we just played.

Family Home Evening doesn't have to be anything hugely organized or elaborate. You don't have to do a craft or game or have hand outs. You just need to relate a spiritual topic to what you're doing already, or bear your testimony. The important thing is that you are spending time as a family and allowing the spirit to teach you together.

This is what I have learned.

Introducing LLL and R

I was given a challenge on my birthday this year.

Recognize the Lord's daily kindnesses and record them so I can remember.

"...record the Lord's tender mercies. Remember what President Eyring said: 'I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done...My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God's kindness. It will build our testimonies.'"

So after beginning to do this in a little notepad I was given, I decided I should share some of it with the world too.

But not just stuff about faith. Stuff about just day-to-day survival in a world of chaos. So I will strive to record a thought each day if I can about something I've learned, something I've gained, a blessing I've noticed, or just a helpful thing I've read.

The posts on this blog are going to be more brief then my other blogs have been. At least lets hope it will be. :)