Monday, December 5, 2016

Storms of Life

Mormon 5:18-“But now, behold, they are let about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.”

For me, praying, scripture study, and learning and worshipping in church are all about gaining an anchor and a sail in order to give my life direction and meaningful purpose. Being anchored in Christ is the only thing that can adequately keep us stable and at peace in the storms of life. Any material or purely pleasurable pursuit is a false sense of security that has no anchor; and when the winds come, which they will, we will have turmoil and confusion as we are tossed about upon the waves.

I have had storms in my life, but I also know especially from reading my journal before a major storm hit, that I was spiritually prepared before and during the storm, for which I am immensely grateful. 

I just watched an interview with Cookie Johnson, Magic Johnson’s wife, and she shared how she had to turn to God and to Bible study in order to deal with the major storm that hit when they found out Magic has HIV. Back in that time AIDS was a death sentence and people were afraid of any contact with someone with AIDS. I loved hearing her talk about the spiritual strength it took to steer through and survive that storm in her life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Building a New Home

What I’ve learned building a new home…

Joy isn’t found in the end product. Joy is found in the creative journey.

Laborers are some of the nicest, humblest, hardworking people I know. No one is more important that anyone else, and no one’s contribution is better than any other. We all have something wonderful to offer and appreciation and respect is vital. 

It isn’t about just having something. It is about having something that enhances relationships and promotes togetherness. And that can be done in any setting. 

Some things just don’t matter in the eternal perspective. Nothing will ever be perfect in this life. Get over it. 

As good as a new home is, it is hard to leave the old one because of the memories that it holds. Good thing memories can move. 

Friday, October 7, 2016


When I was in 6th grade I struggled with a desperate need to be accepted and liked, and in so doing I gave into peer pressure to start swearing and experimenting a couple of times with smoking. You know that my rebellious behavior was based on deep insecurities because by nature, I am a rule follower.

On a school field trip to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, our 6th grade class watched the LDS produced film, "Man's Search for Happiness." Okay put aside the weird possibility that such a religious experience was part of a school outing, I will go on to how this event changed the direction of my life.

Watching that film gave me a glimpse into a broader picture of life and its purposes. I was touched in such a way that gave me a strong desire to live a little better and have the courage to turn away from what I mistakenly thought would bring peer acceptance. That day was a turning point in my life.

My life has been a search for happiness. Sometimes I have made choices that have taught me what happiness DOESN'T look like and sometimes I have based my happiness on other people or circumstances that I don't have control over. All of these experiences have taught me much about happiness. I am grateful that I have had many moments in my life that remind me what happiness is and what it isn't. I am grateful that a movie serendipitously entitled "Man's Search for Happiness" helped me to see that my search was going in the wrong direction.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Having Something is Not Enough

Having a dog isn't enough. Even saying I love my dog isn't enough. I have to show him every day that I love and appreciate him.

Having children isn't enough. It isn't in the having that is important. It is in the loving, enjoying, and appreciating them that is important.

Having a husband isn't enough. Saying I love my husband isn't enough. I need to show him that I love him. I need to have a great capacity to love and demonstrate that love.

Having faith isn't enough. I have to put my faith into action. I have to live it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Guilt is Good

Oftentimes when I admit to someone something I regret either doing or not doing, they will respond, "Don't feel guilty." 

What they don't understand is that for me guilt has a valuable purpose. It helps me realize when I have been off course. It helps me realize that I need to repent. It is the very thing that brings me to my Savior seeking redemption. It is the very thing that helps me change and want to do better. 

So yes, guilt is good.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Faith has a short shelf life

Today I read this thought. It's true. Just like the manna from heaven given to the Israelites, faith doesn't store well. I have to partake of something that feeds my faith every day. Sometimes every minute. Whether it be reading scriptures, other good books, praying, writing about my faith, enjoying God's beautiful creations, or just noticing and being grateful for all the miracles and blessings that surround me, I have to have a constant source of faith-promoting experiences. It is important to constantly feed my faith.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scheduling Nirvana

Let's admit it. I'm a schedule nerd. It started when I was in high school. I had a schedule of what I would do what days of every week. I had a morning routine that followed scheduled times to do things.  I even started carrying a little notebook before planners were even popular. I kept it hidden so no one knew what level of nerdiness I lived.

I still like to schedule and reschedule and reschedule what I plan to do each day of every week and what time to get up, exercise, etc.  It is my shot in the arm. It is what gives me motivation and direction. Whenever I get in a slump, I know it is time to reschedule. The change in my schedule is exhilarating. I know what you're saying. "Wow, get a life, Nerd!"

I try hard not to get too OCD about it. Yes, there were times when I tried to have my schedule down to the minute. It wasn't pretty. Now I try to just have a list of things I do each day of the week but I do try to be flexible. Try being the key word. The beauty of a schedule is that I can let go of say the stress of like looking at my car and seeing that it needs to be washed. I can relax because I know I have it "scheduled."

Back to school time is my biggest re-scheduling event. I'm in heaven.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

His Day

It is incredibly easy to get caught up in worldly things. What to wear, what to eat, what fun things to do that can be posted on Instagram (otherwise we wouldn't do it, right?). It is such a blessing to have a day set aside for me to refocus, repent, and redirect. I am grateful for Him. I am grateful for His day.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Inspiration comes

I love the positive thoughts and encouragement that comes to me. I have noticed that those thoughts come when I am with inspiring people and in inspiring settings--while hiking alone in the mountains, reading an motivating book, having an uplifting conversation about ideas with family and friends, focusing on what I am grateful for, and in sacred religious settings. 

I have discouraging thoughts when I complain, gossip, or am exposed to behavior that doesn't match my personal values. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Make my own happiness

The day life really begins is the day I decide to make my own happiness. It has taken me a long time of being in a relationship in which the other person struggles with depression to really know that no one can or should bring me down. It is only when I let them have that kind of power that I am unhappy.

When I let them figure out their own happiness and just try and love them, help when asked or when divinely inspired, and be a good example by focusing on what brings me joy; that I start to rise above and discover my own passion and direction. It is giving myself permission to enjoy life in spite of someone's misery. My joining in and worrying about their unhappiness only adds an extra burden on them and obviously doesn't work for me.

It really keeps going back to working on the only person I have control over. Well some control. Let's admit that I have a hard time controlling myself. Sugar has great power.

Monday, August 1, 2016

America ninja warriors

II have a new program to watch that inspires me. The people who compete have had to train hard and they demonstrate so much passion and tenacity that stirs within me a desire to work and try harder. I enjoy watching people who make me want to be better. I realize that the levels of physical fitness they demonstrate are way beyond what I desire (or, let's be brutally honest, even remotely capable of), but it is in that extrememism that I find inspiration to just step it up a bit.

One other thing I enjoy is the audience and the other competitors who cheer them on. We all need cheerleaders who want us to succeed (I just want them dressed a little more modestly than the Dallas cheerleaders 😳). When one person is lifted to greater heights, it lifts us all. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Prone to Pessimism

I love this man. I love his optimistic outlook. I think optimism stirs a healthy sense of humor, which he always demonstrated. As someone who has a natural, inherited tendency to being pessimistic and somewhat negative outlook, I love to associate with optimistic people. Thank you President Hinckley and all my optimistic family and friends. I want to let your positive nature rub on me.

Beware of snakes

While hiking, I was stopped quickly from proceeding on the trail by a father who had spotted a rattle snake hidden in the vegetation inches away from the path I was about to take.

I'm grateful for that father who had seen the danger I couldn't see and warned me. A snake bite would have ruined my hike and interrupted my day, to say the least.

It is that way in life. We can be heading in a direction where danger lurks and not even be aware. I know there are people in my life who will warn me. I  know that I have been blessed with the gift of the spirit that will prompt me of danger. I also know I have been given standards and commandments that can protect me from harm and pain.

The morals in our society seem to be on a slippery slope going down hill. It is easy to become desensitized to the rude behavior, declining morals, and increasing vanity; and thus I can look around and think I am not so bad even if I have let myself slide as well.

I am grateful for warning voices to help me know that if I continue on the path that there can be danger ahead. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Trouble in America. Trouble right here.

I personally am finding it hard to support a candidate for President of the United States. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity of the current election and be consumed with the wrong doings of not only the candidates but other people in general.

This scripture was a timely reminder for me.

"I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance."

Once again, a very personal reminder of focusing on the only person and situation I have control over. My personal sins should be the only thing that causes me significant trouble and only to compel me to repent. It is the cleansing power of the atonement that will give me hope and take away that troubling feeling.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Restoration not Entitlement

There are some powerful scriptures that talk about how after we die, we will be restored to that which we have become in this life. It is a reminder that we will reap what we have sown.

In a world where feelings of entitlement reigns, it is a great reminder that we aren't entitled to rewards we haven't done our best to earn. There are great miracles that we can't achieve on our own available because of the Atonement, but we are always expected to do all that we can. What we ultimately become is because of our efforts and then the transcending blessings that our Savior offers us both in our efforts and in the final result.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Control vs Influence

While I was pondering the statement from Alma 38:12 about bridling my passions so that I can be filled with love, I realized that it is always important to bring my passions or enthusiasm under control. It is a great reminder that I am the only person I can really control. There is an area in which I can have influence but not control. And there is an even broader area in which I have concern but neither control or influence.

Let's take politics, for example. It seems like there is a lot of unbridle passion for this election and people don't seem to be filled with love. I know that the more energy I spend on that circle of concern in which I have neither control or influence over, the angrier it can make me. Peace and love only reside in staying focused on what I can control and then with the extra energy I have, using it to be a positive influence.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Never Give Up

I have a plant in our last home that  I neglected and was looking very sickly. I had planned to just throw it away when we moved. instead I put it in a choice spot and fertilized it and started to once again water it consistently and giving it some tender, loving care. It has started to fill out and is doing beautifully! I am glad I didn't give up on it.

It is the same way I feel about some of my relationships. Oftentimes it is tempting to just throw something or someone away. But I know that isn't how my Heavenly Father works and nor should I. With a little tender loving care, most people and relationships can be saved and start thriving again.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Appreciation grows

I wish you could hear the soothing roar of this stream. This is a favorite place of mine. There is something magically connecting while I am alone and
immersed in the sounds, smell, and crispness of the mountains. I use to take this magnificent gift for granted. No more. That is the beauty of aging. That and varicose veins and minimal bladder control. With the collection of years, appreciation grows along with unwanted facial hair. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My personal 13 articles of faith

It has been valuable for me to learn about other people's beliefs but that is just a means to another end. The next step is to take that knowledge and come to an understanding for myself of the truths of the gospel because of my own study and experience.  It is important to get clear about what I personally believe so I have direction in what I do and hopefully become. With that in mind,  I felt impressed to write my personal 13 articles of faith.

1. I believe in my Heavenly Father''s unconditional love for me. I believe He hears and answers my prayers.

2. I believe that my Savior atoned for my sins and I trust in His redeeming power to forgive my sins and to give me strength to overcome. I believe He is the only one who can save me and that He is the supreme example of what I want to strive to become.

3. I believe in the spirit of the Holy Ghost who comforts, provides divine inspiration, and directs my path and delivers the blessings of the Atonement.

4. I believe in the truths taught in the scriptures and know that they serve me in my quest for truth. I believe the scriptures have powerful lessons that give me personal direction.

5. I believe that the prophet and apostles are called of God and teach profound truths and provide insight, inspiration, and warn me of the false teachings and traditions of the world.

6. I believe that the commandments manifest my Heavenly Father's love for me and His desire that I experience joy and peace and draw closer to Him and feel His love. I also believe that the commandments are for my own profit and learning and not to be used to judge or condemn others.

7. I believe that there is an inherent and natural consequence when I break the commandments.I believe Heavenly Father doesn't punish me nor should I try to punish other people, but recognize that repentance and it’s outpouring of love is the way to be forgiven and realign as I continue striving to live free of sin.

8. I believe in the divine gift of family and know that there is a connecting bond that can last through the eternities. I believe that the sealing power performed in the temple is the ultimate connection to not only to my immediate family but is also meant to connect the entire human family in a spirit of love and harmony.

9. I believe we are all our brothers keepers and that it is important to serve. I believe in kindness and about recognizing the importance and equality of each individual as a son or daughter of God and believe in empowering people to be able to do what they can for themselves.

10. I believe that the church provides opportunities for me to serve, teach, and live in a organized community of people who can lift, inspire, and take care of me as I take care of them. I believe that an organized religion can do so much collectively to teach the gospel and provide humanitarian relief. I also believe that I need to guard against cultural traditions that can so easily develop in religious communities that aren't in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

11. I believe in the importance and power of partaking the sacrament each week. It is a cleansing and strengthening ritual that helps me remember my Savior's atonement in my behalf and it helps remind me of my promise to take on His name and helps me remember the blessing of wanting His Spirit always with me.

12. I believe I am here to learn from my experience. I believe that my weaknesses, sins, and adversity serve a valuable purpose in helping me draw closer to my Savior and experience the blessings of the atonement. I believe in an eternal quest of learning and improving and believe adversity and sin are important parts of that progress

13. I believe it is up to me to do all I can to live a healthy and productive life spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. I believe I was born to find personal purpose and to find and create meaning, and that I am a free agent to organize and create the kind of life I want and how I respond to what happens to me. I also believe it is vitally important to make sure my creative efforts are in line with God’s will because He knows what is best for me.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A New Year-Come unto Christ

I love the start of something new. This year I am making it my quest to come closer to my Savior and love as He loves. That is the only real goal that matters. Every other worthy goal just leads to that end. That is the ultimate goal and every other goal in my life will have that end in mind.

I have just started to reread the book Jesus the Christ and plan to actually finish it for the first time. On the recommendation of a woman I admire and look up to, Lynette Checketts; in addition of course to reading the New Testament, I am also reading the Kingdom and the Crown series by Gerold Lund. I am hoping that I gain more Christ-like attributes as I learn more about Him and His life.

Sometime in the first of this new year, will have the opportunity to move into a new home and establish new routines and traditions that will make it a Christ-centered environment where those I love can gather and enjoy each other and worthy and wholesome pursuits.

This year I will also accomplish my goal of writing a book as a gift to myself for the next Christmas. I say a gift to myself because I know I will gain the most from writing it and hopefully others will benefit from reading it. I don't plan to financially benefit as I plan to put the proceeds from selling the book (just might be that one copy my mom buys) to a charitable foundation. Maybe I will have enough money to fund an ant farm.