Thursday, January 23, 2020

In the arms of a Mother

Wake up.
Make breakfast.
Make lunches.
Bundle up babies and take the older ones to school.
Kisses, hugs and I love you’s. See you after school.
Feed the baby.
Clean the house.
Make lunch for kids still at home. 
Make your lunch...
Baby’s hungry. 
Forget to eat your lunch. 
Play with kids.
Remember you need to eat still
Remember that you needed to pee 5hrs ago. 
Oh wait, time for kids to come home from school. 
Help with homework. 
Make dinner. 
Everyone sits down to eat. 
Baby’s hungry.
Bath time, scripture time and don’t forget family prayer. 
Kisses, hugs and I love you’s. Off to bed sleepy heads. 
Sit down on the couch, see a sink full of dishes
You want to be responsible. You don’t want to come into the kitchen tomorrow morning to that. 
Couch and TV win. 
Tired, but rest and relaxation trump. 
Baby’s hungry. 
Still need to pee. 
And eat. 

In between all these things there’s lots more to see and do. But it’s not all chores, and it’s not all chaos. Let’s not let those kisses, hugs and I love you’s be looked over. Let’s not let the spontaneous bear squeeze hug on your leg from your toddler, while he says, “I love you mom” be forgotten. Or what about the way your kids eyes light up when daddy comes home?  The squeals and laughter that come from wrestle time with dad. The towers built with magnetic blocks, all kinds of car noises coming from little mouths while playing car town with their siblings. The tiny hands that help make cookies. The little adorable  bodies that prefer to just be in boxers playing up in their room at night. The goofy things they say. So many GOOD things. So many good things that should tower over the few not so pleasant things that may occur in a day as a mother. 

My four month old was laying on the floor, after I had just changed his bum the other day. I went to throw the diaper away and make him a bottle. He, very abruptly, decided he was starving and began crying like nobody’s business. As I was preparing his bottle a thought came to me that made me want to adopt every single baby out there that needed a safe place.  A place to be loved. I picked up my sweet baby, and he immediately stopped crying. In my arms, he was in his safe place. I was his safe place. I am his safe place. No matter what the day brings my little boy needs me for his comfort. All his needs are meant as I provide constant love. 

So all you mamas of littles, babies don’t keep. Toddlers and their spontaneous hugs and endless forgiveness for our shortcomings won’t always come as easy. The squeals and giggles of children wrestling with daddy will one day fade away. For just a moment today, just sit and look at your children, individually.  Just look at their sweet faces, take it ALL in, soak it up. Recognize the little humans they are. They don’t mean to drive us crazy sometimes. They don’t mean to spill the milk, miss the toilet and pee on the floor, smear toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror (ok maybe that one is intentional, but still). They don’t mean to do things intentionally to make us frustrated. All they want is for us to continue to be their safe place. Enjoy your littles, mamas, while they are, just that, little.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Love One Another
You might be familiar with the story about Lehi’s vision in The Book of Mormon. If you’re not, you can watch a video dipection of it HERE

For the longest time, ok honestly, up until a couple days ago my view on the people in the “big and spacious building” were people who were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They didn’t believe. They had never been baptized. But then this quiet whispering touched my heart. The people who occupied that big and spacious building were not just non members. There were also members pointing, laughing and making fun of the people who were partaking of the fruit. 

I know, that so often this is the cause of faithful members falling away from the Church.  It breaks my heart. Yes, we all have free agency. Of course, we can choose to take offense or let it slide off our backs. But I also know, we all know, that words and actions of others can really hurt. It would be hard to walk into a building and have to be in the same room with people who have offended you for two hours. Especially when you know that was the one place where you should feel loved and accepted. 
If this speaks to you personally, I am sorry you have felt this. If you are currently facing this, I am also sorry. You shouldn’t have to feel that way. But here’s the thing. None of us are perfect. Please don’t let the actions or words of others keep you from going to church. Their stuff is their stuff. If you were once an active member and you are suffering from this please come back. I know that the Church is true. I know deep in my heart that our Savior wants you there. Don’t do it for you. Don’t do it for the people there. Do it for Him. Go so you can feel His love for you when you sing the hymns. Go and feel the peace and forgiveness He has awaiting for you as you partake of the Sacrament. Go feel His embrace. Sit and feel it. Soak it in. Do it, because you love Him. 
On another note, bringing it back to those people in “the big and spacious building.”  And I’m not just speaking to members. I am speaking to all. We don’t know what others have gone through. We don’t know their stories. We have not walked in their shoes so we do not know what they are truly feeling.  The greatest and best thing we can do as human beings is to love. Love everybody. Be a friend and be kind. Be the one that helps others feel loved and accepted as they are. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Daughters of Divinity

(This is my gorgeous friend, Mandi Clarke.  You can check out her photography HERE)

We were listening to the Frozen 2 soundtrack on the way to school this morning, and the song “Show Yourself” was requested. As I listened to these words from the song I started thinking about our Heavenly Mother. 

Come, my darling, homeward bound
Show yourself
Step into your power
Grow yourself 
Into something new 

When I saw this movie in the theatres I got the chills during this part. I immediately thought of my earthly mother and how she always shows so much joy when she sees me growing and learning. 
But this morning I thought of our Heavenly Mother, and how she probably, most definitely, feels the same way. She knows our worth, our potential. We are her daughters, and what a sacred and special relationship each of us must have had with her before we came to earth. As we stumble our way through this life I know she is watching from afar cheering us on to “step into our power.”  As we do so we can rest assured she is beaming from ear to ear, yearning to kiss us on our head and desperately hoping we can feel her love for us. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Longing for Home

“Every inch of me is trembling
But not from the cold
Something is familiar 
Like a dream I can reach but not quite hold 
I can sense you there
Like a friend I’ve always known
I’m arriving
And it feels like I am home”

There are so many good lines in Frozen 2 that can really be looked at in a spiritual perspective, and I absolutely love it. If you know me, you know I often tend to see small everyday things and somehow relate it to something spiritual. So when the girls over at Line Upon Line challenged us to do just that, and share our experiences; I knew I just had to join.  

Ok so, our Prophet, President Nelson, said once that we should read the Book of Mormon, learn to love the Book of Mormon, to the point where we don’t want to go one day without reading from it; we should long to read from its pages on a daily basis. I will be the first one to admit I am not quite to that point. I do love the Book of Mormon, and I do have a testimony of its truthfulness, but I’m not quite to the point where I long to read it. There are days where I really do long to just sit and immerse myself into the Book of Mormon, but there are also days where I just quickly read something, because I know I should.

Going back to what our Prophet said about longing to read The Book of Mormon each and every day...have you ever longed for Home?  Have you ever been spiritually homesick?  I still, to this day, remember one of my friends saying in high school once that she felt homesick for her heavenly home. Like, she longed and yearned to be with her Heavenly Father. I remember thinking, “wow she has a strong testimony. I wish I felt that way sometimes.” But at the time I didn’t have a testimony. I had faith, but I didn’t know much, and I had very little knowledge of how to get to that point, and I was too afraid and embarrassed to ask anybody. 

“and it feels like I am Home”

I’ve felt it since. I’ve felt that very strong pull. I’ve felt that deep sting of wanting so badly to be Home. To be with my family at the feet of my Savior. To dwell in the presence of our Father in Heaven. I have felt homesick for my heavenly home. It’s feel homesick, but in feeling homesick for my heavenly home there was a peace. Which so perfectly coincides with the peace that comes from Christ is not of this world. This feeling of longing to be Home was another witness to me that He really is there and Heaven does exist. That I really am a daughter of my Father Who is in Heaven. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020


Parents.  We all have them. Biological, step, in laws, adopted, grandparents, aunt, uncle... we were all raised by somebody. Not all of our family dynamics consisted of a mother and father. That’d most definitely be ideal, but it’s just not the case. So whoever raised you, my hope for you is that you were raised by someone who did the best they could. I hope you were loved. 

For me, growing up, it took a village. Literally. However my home base was with my biological mother. A single mother. A hard working mother. A mother who loved me with her whole heart and soul and did the best she could.  Yes, I spent time in day care. Yes I spent a lot of time with cousins, aunts and uncles. No, she wasn’t at home all the time giving me 24/7 attention. But honestly?  She didn’t need to be. I was safe and having fun with other family while she was doing what she needed to do to provide, not only for herself but for me. 

Fast forward into today’s world. Where stay at home moms have the great opportunity, and dare I say it, curse, of social media. We beat ourselves up over if we are doing enough and in turn, worrying about how our kids are going to turn out to be. We compare our children’s milestones and achievements to each other and stress out when our kids seem to not be at the same level as other kids we might see on social media. We worry about if we spend enough time or too much time entertaining our kids. We want the best for them and feel like we have to do it ALL. 

My beautiful friend Casey said it perfectly though, “we want to set our kids up to succeed.”  But that’s the thing. We need to remind ourselves that that success looks different for every single child.  That can seem overwhelming. But guess what?  We can pray to our Heavenly Father and ask Him for help; He knows our children; our children are His children. He knows them even more than we do, and He knows exactly what they need. So if we go to Him and plead for His help and grace He can help us to know what each of our children need, individually, to help them to succeed. 

I may not have had my mother around ALL the time, and when she was able to be home with me I didn’t get her constant undivided attention. I did, however, receive unconditional love from her. I knew, because she said it AND showed it all the time. I knew I could always talk to her, and I knew she was always going to be there for me no matter what. She built a confidence in me that I was LOVED. 

And guys, that’s really mostly what a child needs to know. So let’s let ourselves breathe a little more and just know you are who your child needs. Please know that Heavenly Father is there to help you!  Your children love you. They need to know you love them too.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Overcoming the Natural Man

We are taught and taught and taught to read our scriptures and say our prayers on a daily basis.  In fact, it's taught to do these things more than once a day. Most of the time we hear we need to read morning and night and always have a prayer in our hearts.  But if I know I'm supposed to, and I know that I feel like a better me when I do, why do I always put it off? Why do I think it's okay to go to bed without reading my scriptures or saying my prayers?  Isn't that, in a way, saying, "Hey I got this under control...I don't need your help?" Like really, if I think about it, that's what I am pretty much saying. My life is going pretty good lately...I must be doing alright on my own.  Oh my heavens! That is so false. There is no way I could do this on my own. I need Him. I need His strength and His example and love in my life all the time.

So if I know this why are these two simple things such big things?  Maybe it's because I need to personally strengthen my testimony even deeper.  When we are strong in our testimonies in certain things we are more inclined to do those things.  For instance, I know this church is true, and therefore, there is nothing that could make me decide to become inactive or fall away.  So if I work on my testimony of the simple act of reading my scriptures reading them will become natural. It will become a thing I look forward to doing instead of something I am doing just because I am told to do so. 

It's the natural man that does this.  That's my answer. I need to overcome the natural man and remember who I am and WHOSE I am.  I am a daughter of God. There are things bigger than this life. There are things of greater importance. I love this story shared by Quentin L. Cook:

"I learned the importance of this early in my career. After finishing my education at Stanford Law School, I sought employment at a particular law firm. No members of the Church were associated with the firm, but the firm was made up of lawyers of character and ability. After a morning of interviews, the senior partner and two other partners invited me to lunch. The senior partner inquired if I would like a prelunch alcoholic drink and later if I would like wine. In both cases, I declined. The second time, I informed him that I was an active Latter-day Saint and did not drink alcoholic beverages.

I received an offer of employment from the firm. A few months later, the senior partner told me the offer of the alcoholic beverages was a test. He noted that my resume made it clear that I had served an LDS mission. He had determined that he would hire me only if I was true to the teachings of my own church. He considered it a significant matter of character and integrity."

He stood up for what he knew was right in his heart.  He could have easily given in and said yes to the alcoholic beverage, because he thought if he didn't he may not get the job, but he didn't.  He turned down the offer, stayed true to his heart and to his Father in Heaven, and he was blessed because of it. However, on the flip side, the senior partner could have just as easily not given him the job because he chose not to drink, but that would've just made it clear that that job wasn't the job for him after all. 

People who are not of our faith, or even those who are and are just not as active, know a lot about what we stand for.  I've been told in conversation by a friend of another faith that she would expect more from a Mormon than somebody of her faith.  We have a responsibility to set the right example of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We not only have a responsibility, but it is our privilege and honor to be able to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places.  He trusts us. He knows all that we are capable of. He knows that we are valiant and are capable of living a good life. We are the ones who need to be strong and stand up for the truth, even when we are standing alone.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Refuge in His Arms

"Under His wings she will find her refuge."

I love a good quote.  I found this one along with many others when I typed in "LDS refuge quotes" hoping to find something that would ease my mind.  Of course there were many great quotes that popped up, but something that I found very insightful and calming were all the photos of LDS Temples that came up in my search.  I didn't type the word "Temples" in my search.  I simply put in refuge, and that's exactly what the Temple is; a refuge.  If you look up "refuge" in the Dictionary it says, "a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger or trouble."  Whatever we face in this life, big or small, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically we can find refuge in the House of the Lord.

Sometimes life's greatest battles are fought in the hearts and minds of all of us.  There is a peace that envelopes us as we go to Him in the Temple that is not of this world.  His love is not of this world.  Therefore the power of His love has great force against any struggle or trial we will ever face here on this earth.  His love takes us higher and teaches us of our divine worth. And I'm telling you, even if we dont feel capable, even if we feel inadequate most of the time, when we let Him clarify to us who we really are our faith in Him allows our hearts to find refuge in His arms.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Women and the Priesthood

My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for the sisters who faithfully serve as Ordinance Workers in the Temples.  I know that there has been several discussions on how some feel it unfair that women in our church can not hold the Priesthood.  Truth be told, there is always going to be multiple opinions and thoughts on everything.  I'm not here to convince anybody of anything.  The only way we can receive revelation of truth is through the Holy Ghost.  I am simply here to bear testimony of something I know to be true.

President Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said in a talk to the sisters, “A sister may have authority given to her to do certain things in the Church that are binding and absolutely necessary for our salvation. Such is the work that our sisters do in the House of the Lord. You sisters who labor in the House of the Lord can lay your hands upon your sisters with divine authority because the Lord recognizes positions which you occupy."

I could go on about many different ways women participate in the Priesthood, but I really just want to focus on the privilege we have to perform those that are "binding and absolutely necessary."  Because of the faithful sisters who serve as Ordinance Workers, we all have the opportunity in helping the Lord in bringing His children Home. These sisters are literally opening the gates to Eternal Life for our sisters who didn't get the opportunity to fulfill that covenant here on earth.  

Our Father in Heaven is a just God.  In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" we learn that "fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."  I don't know if Eve was literally made from Adam's rib, but I do know the symbolism is true.  That the rib was used because it symbolizes equality.  Side by side we should walk as male and female.   Not once did our Father in Heaven say He loved Adam more than Eve.  He never once said He would give more power and authority to Adam.  He never once said because you are male you will have dominion over Eve.  No sir.  He gave both Adam and Eve power.  He loved them both.  He commanded them to live as equal partners.  He loves His sons and daughters.  He has specific and necessary work for each one of us.  Just as when it comes to creating life.  Sure, the woman physically carries and gives birth to the child, but without man it is incomplete, not possible.  Both male and female are necessary to create life itself.  So it is with the Priesthood.  We may carry the Priesthood differently.  We may serve in different capacities, but both male and female are needed in completing Heavenly Fathers work here on the earth and in the life to come.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Quiet Confidence

“When you begin to catch even a glimpse of how your Heavenly Father sees you and what He is counting on you to do for Him, your life will never be the same,” said President Nelson.

Confidence.  We all feel like we don't have a lot of that in us at some point in our lives, if not, most of the time we feel like we are lacking in the confidence department.  So how do we find confidence?  How do we build that confidence in ourselves?  Obviously when we hear kind compliments from others about ourselves it gives us boosts of confidence, but how do we find that lasting confidence- That quiet confidence that will sustain us even on the days where we feel deflated, defeated or just not at the top of our game. True and sustaining confidence, that quiet confidence we all seek after comes from beginning to understand who we really are.  It comes from really knowing we have a Father in Heaven who really does love us.  He's really there.  Just really take that in.  





Maybe you're sitting there thinking this is all just a bunch of nonsense.  Maybe you're still thinking, well it's really not that simple.  I can sit here and say I am a child of God all I want, but that still doesn't change the fact that the boy in my high school gym class still wont give me the time of day.  That doesn't change the fact that the popular girls at school look at me like I'm a nobody.  It doesn't change the fact that I didn't get that job promotion that I worked so hard to get, and somebody else got it instead, and now I feel like I'm not as good as them.  I still feel like a hot mess at the end of the day after cleaning, cooking and taking care of my little children.  Having confidence is more than just knowing I am a child of God you might be thinking.

So here's the question do you REALLY know that you ARE  a child of a Father in Heaven?  Because I'm telling you right here and right now; if you REALLY KNOW that and build your foundation on that, confidence will come.  That sustainable confidence that we all seek after.  It'll come.  When we come to a point where we can ask Him how He feels about us, and when we receive that answer...oh my...that confidence will come.  I'm not saying all your doubts about yourself and your abilities will cease to exist, but the way you view them will.  When you feel your Father confirm to you that you will never, could never be of less worth to Him, no matter what, I'm telling changes everything.  His love changes e v e r y t h i n g.  You're life really will never be the same when you allow the Spirit to testify to you personally that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Would we Recognize Him

What if you were standing looking at your life and realized you had everything you had ever dreamed of having?  Whatever that might be; you had it all.  Then you turned to see a man.  A man you did not recognize, but he asked you to give up everything you had and follow him, because he had something better planned for you.  You'd probably think, "excuse me kind sir, but I have everything I've ever wanted.  What possibly could you give me that I don't already have?  Especially seeing that I don't even know you."  You'd probably think he was a bit strange.  I know I would think that to be a strange thing if a stranger came up and said that to me.  But what if...

what if that man was Christ Himself?

What if it were Christ standing nearby asking you to follow Him, and you just simply did not recognize Him?  You didn't recognize Him, because you didn't know Him.  Now, He doesn't always necessarily ask us to give up everything we have, because He does want us to be happy.  He blesses us with everything good in our lives because He loves us, and He wants us to have JOY!  However, sometimes His plans and His path for us are different from what we anticipated or thought them out to be.  Are we going to be in a place where we can always recognize Him when He speaks to us?  Whether He is warning us, guiding us, comforting us, prompting us, LOVING us, are we going to recognize His gentle voice and embrace when we are near it?  Because if we do, if we do know Him our life changes to that of living a natural mans life to that of a more spiritual life walking beside Him through this mortal life.  We will be in the world but not of the world.  We will be walking through life with divine help from our Father who knows what our needs are and fulfilling those needs, both spiritual and temporal, and my friends, we are indeed, spiritual beings living with the natural man.  We need to seek Him and know Him so we can walk with Him through this mortal life and be able to come off conqueror.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Confidently bringing others to Him

"The Lord needs men and women who can talk with confidence about what they believe." Sheri Dew

I am starting to realize our testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not meant to be kept bottled up inside of us.  The church wouldn't send millions of men and women out on missions to preach the Gospel if that were the case, now would they?  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real.  Our Father in Heaven is real.  Our Savior is real.  Their existence is not superficial.  It's not just hopeful thoughts and imaginations of our souls to have a greater and more powerful God that stands above us all.  HE LIVES.  He is our magnificent and most gentle Father in Heaven who watches over all His children and has provided a Savior for us that we may always be worthy to stand in His presence and stay in constant communication with Him.  Peace is found IN Him.

Satan would want us to stay quiet.  He would want us to keep it bottled up.  He knows that once we find the TRUTH we have the power to spread the Light of Christ to more and more of our Father's children.  And that, well that TERRIFIES him.  I can just see him begin to pace back and forth quickly trying to muster up a masterful plan to not only break us down and try to cause us to lose our testimony, but also to scare us into not spreading our knowledge to others.  We cant let him win.

"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;" (Doctrine and Covenants 4:3)

We've heard it many times before, but we really don't have to be set apart and called as an official "missionary" for the church to be a missionary for our Father in Heaven.  It's not always the ones who share their testimony vocally by which others come to know their Father in Heaven either.  It can be, but not always.  Sometimes it's simply by us just being our self and loving those around us.  What I am saying is however we choose to show we know who we are and Whose we are is how He intended it to be.  We were designed perfectly by a perfect Father in Heaven.  He knows our strengths and our weaknesses, and if we let Him, and if we listen and consistently try to do His will He will use us as His instruments to lead others to Him.
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