Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to Becky

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday dear me!
Happy Birthday to me!

Man look at all those candles. Someone call the fire department.

A True Hero

"We all look to them and see something great. We see something inspiring. Something amazing. We all pretend to be them at one time or another, wether it be a caped crusader, a larger than life athlete or a strong and courageous warrior who defends- at all costs the helpless and weak.

We all long to be the hero.... But why? What is it that makes us so intrigued with them. Is it their looks? Their wit? their braun? Sure, some of these things help make a great hero idolized. But thats only the icing on the cake. A hero is looked up to and dreamed of because of their heart, and the choices they make with it. They are Courageous, Bold and Defiant. They stand face to face with their enemies ready to fight with every bit of strength that they have... to uphold that which is good. You see, It is underneath all of the muscle, beauty, and strength that lies a true hero. It is the ordinary man or woman that is called to do a great thing, or carry a life altering burden. It is the ability to overcome, to adapt and to persevere that which they are called upon to do. Not their ability to fight or outlast their enemy. But their ability to choose the right course and not move from it, even when all around them seem to stand in their way. Their character is a magnetic force, it is what draws us to them. We look up to hero's because they make the decisions we desire to make. They are in fact a representation of what we can become, of who we are if we act on what we know is right. They are leaders through their heart, they are looked up to for their actions. They choose the right path no matter how hard or strong the adversity.

You see we are all hero's, the real question is wether or not we will be bold enough to act as true hero's do. Can you be amongst a crowd and yet stand completely apart from it? Can you lift hands that hang low or burdens that seem too heavy for one to carry? Can you look into the heart of a man and see him not for what he is, but for what he can be? Can you fight the influence of evil even if all around you seem to be ensnared in its grasp? And can you walk on paths less traveled... paths you know will lead to happiness and light, even if all around you seem to point and mock? ... Yes, you can. You are a hero no matter what you may think or how you may feel, you are a hero. You just may not know it yet."

Poem by Brett Smith

Viva Las Vegas

Sorry it has been so long since my last post but when have been up to our necks in boxes. Literrally - we moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Springville, Utah. We loved Las Vegas. It was very good to us but we have felt for a while that we were in need for a change and boy did we get one. We LOVE Springville. It is so beautiful!! I feel like someone dropped us right in the middle of a painting.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart,
and shalt cleave unto her and none else."
D&C 42:22

Happy 6th Anniversary to my love (on Saturday). It is hard to believe that it has only been 6 years since I feel like I have known him forever!!!! What a lucky girl am I.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Waves in our Lives

Roy at the Beach in San Diego taken 3-2010

We all have WAVES IN LIVES at certain times. As some of you have heard I received a job offer in Idaho. Over the weekend we went to Twin Falls to find a place to live and of course check out the school where I would be teaching. Well a long story short I was offered one salary and then when I arrived was told that the salary had changed and it was smaller. David and I had budgeted the first salary total and we decided that even though I was taking a pay cut it would be worth it because we felt that the area was a better atmosphere to raise our children. We are still waiting on the school in Twin Falls to finalize their offer but we are leaning towards just staying in Las Vegas since the pay is a LOT less then we anticipated or for that fact been told.
I have felt a little bad about the way it turned out since we were pretty excited to move to a place that is not so screaming HOT. I came across this article today by Elder Ballard:
"What are your concerns in life at your age? Some of you have had questions on your minds about schooling, employment, marriage, and other general directions in life—about how to best fulfill the expectations of yourself as well as the expectations the Lord has for you.

If I were your age and thinking about life and its meaning, there is one characteristic that I would strive to develop.
That characteristic is to have a positive attitude. I am a great believer that what you and I think about will ultimately come to pass. I believe if we think about committing a sin long enough, we will find ourselves entangled in that sin. I believe if we think about what it takes to be successful long enough and if we are willing to discipline ourselves to the principle of success, we will experience success. Yes, I am a great believer that “as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).

I have learned that
I really do have control to a great degree over my circumstances. If I don’t like them, I’ve found there are certain things I can do to change them. If I want to move to higher ground, if I want to have more positive experiences, I must think about life in positive terms, not dwell on the negative."

(M. Russell Ballard, “Go for It!,” New Era, Mar 2004, 4)
After reading this I have decided that what is meant to be will be. Maybe this was just a jumping off point for us in our search to move to a "cooler" climate. Or maybe it just allowed us to look at what is important to us. But no matter what happens we need to stay positive and trust that the Lord will guide us where He wants us to be. I think the waves in life is our test and how we respond to them.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Finding Joy In The Journey

I know this is something I struggle with because when President Monson was giving this talk in conference two years ago, I was listening and thinking, “Hmm, I need to pay attention”. I looked over at my husband and he was giving me THE LOOK like, “Are you listening? You need to pay attention!”

But I find it hard. I think I developed waiting for tomorrow as a coping mechanism during the difficult surgery years of my babe. I always thought that when this passed then life would get better. When we finish having kids, then life will get better. When my kids get older, then life will get better. I’m have been so focused on getting past my current trials to this distant utopia that I can’t seem to enjoy today. But, as President Monson said in his talk titled “Finding Joy in the Journey“,

You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.

He goes on:

This is our one and only chance at mortal life - here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey - now.

This talk was given two years ago, and I’m still working on it. It has become much more apparent to me how important this is, as our society is going through this recession. Living in Las Vegas we really can see first hand how many people are effected. But I also can see just how truly blessed we are. I am learning three things that are helping me to find joy in the journey now. They are to laugh, to be grateful, and to trust in the Lord.

First, to laugh. In the same conference session as President Monson’s talk, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave a talk titled, “Come What May, and Love It“. This was the last talk he gave before he passed away. He shared a few things that helped him through his “times of testing and trial”.

The first thing we can do is learn to laugh. Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam?

There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh.

I remember loading up our children in a station wagon and driving to Los Angeles. There were at least nine of us in the car, and we would invariably get lost. Instead of getting angry, we laughed. Every time we made a wrong turn, we laughed harder.

Getting lost was not an unusual occurrence for us. Once while heading south to Cedar City, Utah, we took a wrong turn and didn’t realize it until two hours later when we saw the “Welcome to Nevada” signs. We didn’t get angry. We laughed, and as a result, anger and resentment rarely resulted.

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.

In this talk, Elder Wirthlin says something profound that I have heard repeated many times. He says:

I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.

Second, choose to be grateful. President Monson said:

Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings.

Said one well-known author: “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend . . . when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present - love, health, family, friends, work the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness] - the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”

Third, trust in the Lord. I think that trusting in the Lord means submitting to the Lord’s will.

When I think of submitting to the Lord's will I think of Him saying “I will lead you along”. As I pondered this, I thought of the Nephites, who were led along one step at a time. First they were told to flee to the wilderness, then to go back and get the plates, then to go back and get Ishmael’s family. Then to sojourn in the wilderness, then to build a ship. It all came a step at a time - just as much as they needed when they needed it. They knew the end result (promised land), but they did not know each little step. I imagine it would have been frustrating at times. I can imagine Laman or Lemuel (or even Lehi or Sam) saying, “What? We left Jerusalem and wandered all over the wilderness to get stuck by the ocean? How can this be God’s will for us?”

I wonder how many times I have said similar things. But, God does have a plan for us, even when we can’t seem to see or understand it. We need to trust Him and seek His guidance.

In the October 2002 conference, Elder Lance B. Wickman gave a talk titled, “But if Not” and said:

It is in nurturing humility and submissiveness that we may comprehend a fulness of the intended mortal experience and put ourselves in a frame of mind and heart to receive the promptings of the Spirit. Reduced to their essence, humility and submissiveness are an expression of complete willingness to let the “why” questions go unanswered for now, or perhaps even to ask, “Why not?” It is in enduring well to the end that we achieve this life’s purposes. I believe that mortality’s supreme test is to face the “why” and then let it go, trusting humbly in the Lord’s promise that “all things must come to pass in their time”.

In the Ensign last year was a short story I think about frequently. It was about a mother who lost her toddler and then found him caught in blackberry vines. Each time he would move, the thorns in the vines would dig deeper. As she was untangling him, I imagine she was cursing (Mormon-style) to herself and wondering why God would let this happen to her son. But then she remembered the large pond in her neighbor’s yard. If the blackberry vines had not stopped her son, he may have ended up drowned in the pond.

I wonder how often I am caught in the blackberry vines, cursing God, without even noticing the pond they are saving me from.

I need to trust in His promise in Romans 8:28 that

All things work together for good to them that love God.

I think that trusting in our Heavenly Father can be the difference between feeling happiness during a trial and not. If we really believe that all things will ultimately work together for our good, and can be patient and not become bitter, we can experience joy through the journey.

I know that as I incorporate these things into my life - choosing to laugh, choosing to be grateful, and choosing to trust in the Lord, I can feel happiness and find joy in my journey. I believe the words of President Monson when he says:

If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface [and for us, it’s a lot more than just fingerprints], the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will - to your surprise - miss them profoundly.

Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important - and what is most important almost always involves the people around us.

I feel so strongly that we need to find joy in our journeys now. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. We need to love our families and enjoy them today.

I know the Lord loves us. I know He wants us to be happy and to find joy. I know that He has given us the tools and that He stands ready to help. We just need to reach out to Him. I pray that we may have the courage to do so, and that we may feel His love for us.

Introduction To This Blog

I have not been as diligent as I should about keeping a journal. I can scrapbook with the best of them but I also want a written dialog of my insights or personal experiences. If nothing else, this is a last ditch effort for me to do so. My goal is to share personal insights along with photographs, videos and other visual images that bring hope, peace and knowledge to my children as they grow older.