What a week

I’m still not awesome at writing every day, but that’s ok.  The past month has taken my breath away and it’s all I can do to just keep up.  As I come into April and start my 6 month evaluation of my life and try to get things back in order I can see just how hard it is to maintain my daily balancing act.  

Today was my Grandfather’s funeral and my fifth grandchild is now one week old.  So much happened in just one week.  The full circle of life, if you will.  Today I appreciate even more the time I have with my loved ones.  

The funeral was a great tribute to a wonderful man.  He was considered grumpy, but so many people were there to honor this great man’s life.  Little one, old lady thumb and her four daughters, gonna go the rounds, and going bummin’ are all phrases that I remember him saying the most.  But I know he loved his family very much.  He was a hard worker and set the example of how we each should go at any job we are asked to do.  There were no conditions on grandpa’s love no matter how hard he tried to pretend that there was.   I love him and I will miss him, but I know he is not gone forever.  I know that I will see him again.  

 
The photo is one my cousin posted on Facebook that I felt captured the day well.  Thanks Brittany for posting.

With the arrival of my newest grand baby I can’t help but in awe of how innocent she is.  She is dependent on her parents for everything and she makes sure they know when she is in need of something.  Life is so precious and valuable.  Every minute we have is a gift.  I’m not certain I’m always using that gift wisely.  I’m now the grandparent and want to make sure that not only my children know how much I love them, but also my grandchildren.  I want to make sure I am setting the best example I can for all of them.

Tomorrow will be a new day.  A chance to begin again and do better than I did today.  There are so many things I want to do, but I don’t even know where to start.  That’s where the balancing act comes in.  I need to make sure that I’m taking care of my needs so that I can take care of my family’s needs. Then I need to make time to serve others and help with my family outside of my home.  I also have a home to take care of and a yard with a garden that need to be tended to.   The balance will come.  It’s a learned art. I’m grateful I was able to do the balancing act and be able to spend time with my grandpa before he died and also be able to stay with my daughter for a couple of days after she had her baby.  I’m grateful for each day I have to be with my kids and learn right alongside of them.  I am grateful for my life even the times that aren’t exactly what I had planned.  Sometimes it’s the unplanned things that are the best moments to learn from.

On to the next adventure and whatever tomorrow brings.

Health

I had a post all written out yesterday, but didn’t quite like it and never got around to fixing it and publishing it.  So I’m trying again.  This first little bit might sound like I’m complaining or whining.  I’m not really.  Just trying to get what I can out there for the rest of my post to make sense.

So let’s start sort of at the beginning.  The beginning of my awesome health issues.  It has been just over 12 years since I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Even had a nice ole goiter with it.  My levels were off the charts and I was glad to finally know why I felt like I did.  Still trying to get a handle on it.  Fast forward 5 years.  I start having severe pain in my hands, figured it was RA because everyone who has an autoimmune disorder has more than one.  Went to a specialist.  Nope, turns out it is Fibromyalgia.  Awesome.  Never know when it is going to hit, it just does.  Now fast forward to last February.  I met with a new doctor.  This happens frequently because doctors don’t really listen.  New doc says that if you have Hashimoto’s you shouldn’t eat gluten, but to be safe on that assumption we’ll test you with the blood test they use to determine Celiacs.  He tells me to eat nothing but Gluten for 3 days.  Yeah I made it 2 ½ and thought I was going to die.  Went to do the blood test.  My levels were quite where they would be if I had full blown celiacs but it was high enough for me to say yeah not going there.  So there you have it I have all sorts of fun stuff going on.

Which brings me to what I wanted to post about.  I saw a quote yesterday on this website http://www.projecthappiness.org/happiness-challenge-day-20/ it said: “Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.”  I believe this quote whole heartedly.  Probably why I change doctors so frequently.  They just want to give me a medication and say, “there that’s all you need.”  But I never feel better, I feel the same or worse.  And that seems pointless.  Even the new doc has helped a little and put me on supplements instead of stuff to just mask the problem, but I’m still not 100%.  I hate it.  This week has been a bad one and I guess that’s why it’s on my mind.  The Fibro has flared up this week and anymore the only thing I can contribute the flare ups to, are the weather and over exerting myself.  You see when I wake up in the mornings I feel like I just ran 2 full marathons (and I can’t even run a mile) and then did and an extensive weight lifting regimen.  How do you do all the things you’re supposed to when you feel like that?  I still haven’t figured it out and so these are my least productive days even though I have a lot to get done.

So how does one go about healing their body?  Not sure yet.  But I think a lot of it has to do with food and what substances we take in to our bodies, and what we choose to expose ourselves to.  I’m well aware that sugar and soda are so not good for me, but I have yet to figure out how to get off of them again.  There was a point in my life where I hardly ate or drank any of that, but lately that isn’t the case and I don’t really have the will power to quit.  Apparently that should be my first goal.  Then of course there are the types of food we eat.  My husband did a lot of research when I was first diagnosed with Fibro and found that a lot of people with Fibro did better when they went off of MSG.  So we gave it a go.  Processed foods rarely get eaten in this house just to avoid any form of MSG.  That helped out a ton.  My flare ups totally went down.  But I can still do better and eat more whole foods, more veggies, and more fruits.  You know the stuff your body really needs to survive.  As I’ve done research I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people out there saying, “Eat this way, take this supplement every day, follow this diet, or do this.”  I don’t believe there is really only one way to help your body heal itself.  I really think that it might be a combination of a bunch, but it really just depends on your body.  If I’m listening close enough mine seriously tells me what I need.  It’s usually just based off of what I’m craving other than sugar.  For instance, right now I really want things with protein in them, which tells me I must be lacking in protein and it’s what my body needs.  I have to be careful with this though because I don’t really exercise a whole lot and this could turn into a really bad thing if I overdo it with the protein.  My other goal should be more exercise I know, but it’s hard when overexertion ends in another flare up.

Courtesy: Google Images

I love researching new things, but sometimes it can be a challenge when there are so many opinions out there and not very many things that are tried and tested.  I have become my own guinea pig.  🙂 Our bodies are amazing and can heal themselves we just have to take the time to listen and figure it out.

Rambling…..

So I decided on Sunday that I’m going to write on this everyday.  Whether I have something awesome to say or not.  I did pretty good the first 2 days and now here I am with nothing to write….and a house to finish cleaning.

I could share pictures of how trashed my house became over the past year.  And I can say it was definitely time to clean things out.  We filled our 2 garbage cans full and then I asked neighbors if they would let us add some to theirs.  We ended up filling up 4 neighbors cans the rest of the way and 2 neighbor cans all the way.  Then I filled one more of ours up after the garbage man came and had him dump that as well.  That’s a lot of junk to get rid of!!!  But I’ll spare myself the embarrassment and just leave it at wow we really needed to clean.

I will say it is nice to go through things and shed things that are no longer of use.  It really is like a weight has been lifted when I do this.  I really need to stick to doing this every 6 months.  Once the house is under control it will be much easier to get other things under control because I won’t be pulled in so many different directions. 🙂

Perspectives

We look at everything from some sort of perspective.  We make decisions based off of those same perspectives.  When you look at the big picture of life what do you see?  My picture has been a little hazy lately, but I believe it’s starting to clear up.

I have some pictures hanging up in my living room of my oldest two daughters sliding in a mud slip and slide while on vacation one year.  Some parents may have the perspective that this is not OK.  Me?  Obviously I frame it and hang it up for all to see.  My children make choices that aren’t always the best and we occasionally get the best intentioners opinion on the matter, but I love my children and they are doing their very best.  There are days when I can’t see past the messy bedrooms, the undone jobs, and all my short comings and my perspective gets skewed.  I’m not positive, happy, or fun anymore.  When I get down on myself and those around me I lose sight of what’s most important.  I begin to look at the wrong perspective

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The Scrooge in me wants things to be a certain way and I’m completely miserable and I make everyone around me miserable.  I begin to worry about what others think of me and if I’m measuring up to some made up, unattainable goal that no one has set for me.  I worry about the world’s perspective of me.  This is kinda where I’ve been stuck for the better part of my life.  Every so often I come out of this slump and begin to obtain a better perspective, an eternal perspective.

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An eternal perspective actually gives me peace.  When I’m looking at life from this perspective I tend to be more positive and easy going.  I know what I’m working towards.  With the world I have no idea what I’m truly working for other than misery.  These are the days that it doesn’t matter to me what state my house is in, but what state my children are in.  I am happier, positive, and sometimes fun to be around.  I don’t try to drag everyone down with me, instead I’m trying to lift them up.  I haven’t always had this perspective, but I do love the peace that comes from it and this is the perspective I want to maintain.

Realizations

Recently I volunteered to help with my 20 year High School reunion.  It has been a struggle for me as I see how successful a lot of my previous classmates have become and how I still feel that I am in the background doing nothing extraordinary.  I struggle with this because I always feel that I should be or do more than I am.

As I have spent the last 2 days listening to the LDS General Conference I have begun to make some very important realizations.  I am doing something very important.  I don’t go out into the workforce, but I am raising the next generation.  I am a mother and a wife.  These should be what I focus on, these should be my priorities.  Not what I haven’t done over the past 20 years, not what I might be doing in 10.  But what I am doing now inside the walls of my home.  That is what is most important.

I’m not very good at my job I will admit.  The Family: A Proclamation to the world says that mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.  I feel that I am very lacking in that area.  I am not a nurturer, but that doesn’t make me a failure.  I see my children that are starting families of their own and my daughters are so nurturing and loving with their children.  I know they didn’t get that from me, but I hope that I at least inspired them to be a better nurturer than I was with them.  I still have children at home that I’m sure I could improve with and maybe I’ll have it figured out in 10 years when the youngest is 18.  But chances are I won’t and I will just continue with my strength of having fun with them, teaching them to be strong and helping them stand up for what they believe is right.  And maybe this is considered nurturing.

This is my season in life to be here for my children and help them to learn and navigate their way through this world.  I don’t send them off everyday to go to school.  I keep them home and educate them here.  I take responsibility for all aspects of their education not just their spiritual education.  Day in and day out they are here with me learning from me and from themselves.  They are independent in their educational pursuits, but allow me to guide them when they are stuck.  What do I struggle with here?  Being in the now.  I worry about what will happen in the future not what is happening around me.  I worry about what I’m going to be doing when there is no longer a need for me to guide them, what do I want to do with my life.  This is where I get hung up.

But now I see where I have made my mistake.  Elder Jeffrey Holland told a story that involved hanging on a ledge and having nothing to grip on to.  This resonated with me, because I have been hanging on that ledge.  However, the problem is that I haven’t been listening.  I’ve been ignoring the help I’ve been offered thinking that some how I can figure this all out on my own.  My Savior has been holding on to me waiting patiently for me to allow him to pull me onto that ledge.  I don’t always understand why I am so obstinate about doing the things that I know I need to do.  I have a testimony of the truth, but so many times I struggle doing the everyday things to strengthen that testimony.  I’m so bent on doing it my way and I always end up in the wrong place.  What would I do without my Savior?  He suffered because of me.  I am constantly going about things the wrong way.  I have a new appreciation for what happened in Gethsemane.  His suffering because I won’t swallow my pride.  Learning to apply the Atonement to my life is huge, learning to follow my Savior is even bigger.  It is time to swallow my pride and focus on what is truly important.  Yes I need to be able to see the big picture, but seeing the correct big picture makes all the difference.  Right now my husband and my children need me to take my responsibilities seriously and stop worrying about the what could have been or what could be.  The eternal perspective is more important than the world’s perspective.

Mother’s Day

I have been reflecting upon today and all of it’s commercialism and blown out of proportion expectations.  Today is not my favorite day.  In fact, this is one holiday that I wish would just pass by unnoticed.  I have read a few posts of the last 24 hours that have summed up pretty much how I feel about Mother’s Day.

Now I’m going to put it into my own words.  Today is the day that nearly every mother’s imperfections come out except for the one being spoken about in a church meeting.  This is the day that your house isn’t any cleaner, your children don’t get along any better, and you can’t eat whatever was made with good intentions.

I am imperfect and I will never live up to anyone else’s standards or expectations, but I have been richly blessed with 10 children, 9 living.  Over the years I have made them all angry.  6 of them still live with me and I still continue to make them angry.  2 have children of their own now, and are starting their own journey as mothers.  Another has been on a mission and will be home in a couple of months and will be able to move on in her life as well.  With all of this I know that I haven’t always done things right, I haven’t always been patient or nurturing.  I even made the comment today that I will enjoy Mother’s Day when they are all grown and out of the house.

I think it’s mainly because I don’t like to feel like I’ll never measure up to anyone else and because I don’t know every mother’s trials and triumphs, her ups and downs how can I possibly measure up?  I know my trials and my triumphs.  I know my ups and downs.  I don’t want someone to lavish me with gifts just because I’m a mother.  I just want to know that my children are productive, contributing members of society.  I don’t care if people know what I did good.  I just care that my children know and understand that I love them and am doing the best that I can.  I don’t want the praise of society or even the congregation.  I just want my kids to understand the value of work and gratitude.  I know that the “Thank you’s”  will be few and far between, but when they come they are much sweeter than any boquet of flowers I could get. (That’s my husband’s job anyway ;))

To me I just want time with my family for Mother’s day.  I want to learn and understand my role as a mother better.  I want to better myself and serve those around me.  Not feel like I will never measure up and that I’m a permanent failure.

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This blogger puts how I feel into words very well.  But my favorite part about this post is that she wants to acknowledge all women, not just women who have given birth.  And I can say that I can’t agree more.  Why single out the women who have children and make all other women feel unworthy and incomplete.  It’s like salt on an open wound.  That doesn’t make much sense to me.  All women should be honored because each woman offers something different to the children of this world.  I have children who have been touched by women who have never been able to have children.  They have the ability to touch my child’s heart when I cannot.  She is a mentor and loves my child as well.  She should be celebrated just as I am.

As I write this as usual a song comes to mind.  It took me a few to find it.  But this song is what I aspire to be as a mother.

“A Woman’s Heart”  Jenny Jordan Frogley

I know that being a mother is very important.  I know that I need to teach my children, serve them and sacrifice for them.  I don’t always succeed and do things the way they want me to or the way the world thinks I should.  But I keep trying and doing my best and allowing my life to be guided by my Savior and follow his example in all things.  I will always fall short, but as long as I remember to reach out and take his hand he will make up the distance.

 

-Steph.

 

 

By Small and Simple things and Resting….

The past week I have been studying about a medical issue regarding Adrenal Glands.  What I have found is quite intriguing.  It is amazing how two glands the size of walnuts can control so much in our bodies.  It is true that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.  (Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is afoolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by bsmall and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.)

But it also reminds me how amazing our bodies are and that they were created by a loving Heavenly Father.  Our Adrenal Glands are responsible for helping us deal with stress either short-term or long-term and helps us maintain balance through the stressful situation.  But it is also important to note that they were never meant to sustain us through every day life for several years.  Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he created us, but more importantly he knew what each of us would need to survive in this life.

In my studying I found that the most common way to help support your Adrenal Glands is positive thinking, laughter and being at peace.  We are that we may have joy.  (2 Nephi 2:25 – Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy)   These little glands control so much but we wear them out on a daily basis because we are always stressed, worried, anxious, or frustrated with the world around us.  We need to give them a break and rest from our worries.  But how do we do that?  We can’t always be worrying about the things we can’t change and do what we can about the things we can change.

 I’ve thought about rest….The world was created in 6 days on the 7th the Father rested (Moses 3:2 And on the seventh day I, God, ended my work, and all things which I had made; and I arested on the bseventh day from all my work, and all things which I had made were finished, and I, God,saw that they were good;).

 We have to rest our bodies, minds, and spirits.  But what does that rest look like?  As I have pondered this question I came upon a thought.  For me rest happens in a few different ways.  Not only do I try to rest on Sunday and attend my church meetings but I rest from my thoughts as well.  During the Sacrament I try to focus on the Savior not the world around me, now granted my kids don’t always allow me to do this, but I try.  I try to spend the rest of my Sunday thinking of the Savior and how to improve my week.  But I also find rest in the Temple.  The moment I walk in until I leave I am at rest because I am overwhelmed with a sense of peace and I am able to think about the things that I can change and not what I can’t.  Rest doesn’t mean not doing anything, or being lazy, or sleeping all the time.  Sometimes it just means being at peace with things and not always having our bodies on overload.

What about positive thinking and laughter….well I think of a very wise Apostle and a talk he gave in General Conference a few years ago.  His name is Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin and the name of the Conference talk was “Come What May and Love It,” given in October 2008.

“How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But 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.

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.

Over the years I have learned a few things that have helped me through times of testing and trial. I would like to share them with you.

  • 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? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?
  • The second thing we can do is seek for the eternal. You may feel singled out when adversity enters your life. You shake your head and wonder,“Why me?”  Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.
  • The third thing we can do is understand the principle of compensation.The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.
  • The fourth thing we can do is put our trust in our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong. 3

We are weak and he will make us strong.  We are simple but by us he brings great things to pass.  We all need to rest in the Savior to get through our adversity.

“I Will Rest in You” – Mindy Gledhill

“You’re Not Alone” – Meredith Andrews

Steph.

Storms and Peace…..

Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life’s devastating trials and tragedies. The Lord’s answer to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail brings solace to the heart:
“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.”
Remember, “God is not the author of confusion, but [the author] of peace.” For those who reject God, there is no peace. We all participated in the councils of heaven that provided for moral agency, knowing that there would be mortal pain and even unspeakable tragedy because of the abuse of agency. We understood that this could leave us angry, bewildered, defenseless, and vulnerable. But we also knew that the Savior’s Atonement would overcome and compensate for all of the unfairness of mortal life and bring us peace.
Elder Marion D. Hanks had a framed statement on his wall by Ugo Betti: “To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises.”
Events often occur that rob us of peace and heighten our sense of vulnerability.
Agency is essential to the plan of happiness. It allows for the love, sacrifice, personal growth, and experience necessary for our eternal progression. This agency also allows for all the pain and suffering we experience in mortality, even when caused by things we do not understand and the devastating evil choices of others. The very War in Heaven was waged over our moral agency and is essential to understanding the Savior’s earthly ministry.
President Heber J. Grant described the Savior’s peace this way: “His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness.” – Elder Quentin L. Cook  April 2013 General Conference

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We need not fear the future, nor falter in hope and good cheer, because God is with us. Among the first recorded words of counsel that Jesus gave to His newly called disciples in Galilee was the two-word admonition, “Fear not” (Luke 5:10). He repeated that counsel many times during His ministry. To His Saints in our day, the Savior has said, “Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you” (D&C 68:6).

Trials may come, and we may not understand everything that happens to us or around us. But if we humbly, quietly trust in the Lord, He will give us strength and guidance in every challenge we face. When our only desire is to please Him, we will be blessed with a deep inner peace. – Elder Bruce D. Porter April 2013 General Conference

“Sometimes He lets it rain” Katherine Nelson (Song)

I don’t always understand the storms I have to weather, but I have faith and trust that they are for my good.  I have the choice to allow Him in or walk away.  I learn so much from watching my children and the choices they make.  Some  days I just shake my head,, sometimes I cry, and sometimes I laugh  – I know they each have to learn for themselves but I don’t always understand the way they choose to go about things.  It always makes me think of my heavenly father.  What love he must have for each of us to send the Savior to atone for each one of us.  I know a mothers love for each of my children, but can not comprehend His love for me.  How hard it must be for Him to watch me walk away and the joy he feels when I choose to be nearer to Him.

“Dancing in the rain” – Hilary Weeks (Song)

I hope that I can keep this perspective during my storms.   I find myself wanting to run and hide but what would I be missing if I did.  I am by no means perfect but when I do have this perspective I feel more at peace and more joy and isn’t that what I’m supposed to be striving for.   I love the line in this song that talks about fears washing away and thanking the rain for coming.  How often do I see the storm of life from this perspective.  I don’t usually.  But I have tried this week.  One day this week I heard this song then I had a sweet neighbor bring me a Tulip from her garden to let me know she was thinking of me during a time that I was struggling.  I had to go back out to my garden just to fight off the tears.  I am grateful for that moment that I was able to see that the Lord truly knows me and what I needed right then.   I need to stop walking away and turn myself over to my Savior.  I need to take His outstretched hand and not let go because I know He will never let go no matter how the tempest rages.  Peace, be still…..with patience bear thy grief and pain…..here to rescue me from danger interposed his precious blood…prone to wander prone to leave the God I love…..

Steph.
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Trust and Trials

“Beautiful Heartbreak” – Hilary Weeks

Trust the Lord he knows everything and knows what each of us needs to learn lessons in life.   He provides each one of us with the opportunities we need to soften our hearts and humble us.

“Be obedient to the prophetic teachings Christ would have you follow. Don’t rationalize away future happiness by taking shortcuts instead of applying sound gospel principles. Remember: little things lead to big things. Seemingly insignificant indiscretions or neglect can lead to big problems. More importantly, simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings. ”

“Greater peace will come as you couple your efforts to be obedient with serving those around you. So many individuals who have what they perceive to be meager talents humbly and generously use those talents to bless the lives of those around them. Selfishness is the root of great evil. The antidote for that evil is exemplified in the life of the Savior.  He shows us how to focus our lives outward in unselfish service to others.”

“I have learned a truth that has been…. as an absolute law. It defines the way obedience and service relate to the power of God. When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God—power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord. His power is a fundamental component to establishing a home filled with peace.  Recognize the good in others, not their stains. At times a stain needs appropriate attention to be cleansed, but always build on his or her virtues.”

“When you feel that there is only a thin thread of hope, it is really not a thread but a massive connecting link, like a life preserver to strengthen and lift you. It will provide comfort so you can cease to fear. Strive to live worthily and place your trust in the Lord.”

“We need not worry if we can’t simultaneously do all of the things that the Lord has counseled us to do. He has spoken of a time and a season for all things. In response to our sincere prayers for guidance, He will direct us in what should be emphasized at each phase of our life. We can learn, grow, and become like Him one consistent step at a time.”

“We need to trust in the Lord and in His timing that a positive response to our prayers and rescue efforts can occur. We do all that we can to serve, to bless, and to submissively acknowledge God’s will in all things. We exercise faith and remember that there are some things that must be left to the Lord. He invites us to set our burdens down at His feet.”  – Elder Richard G. Scott April 2013 General Conference

Proverbs 3:5 ¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Joshua 1:9…. Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

“You can center…. your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the source of true peace in this life.   Be certain that every decision you make, whether temporal or spiritual, is conditioned on what the Savior would have you do.”   – Henry B. Eyring April General Conference 2013

“Hold on the Light will Come” – Jessie Clark Funk

“It is part of our condition as mortal beings to sometimes feel as though we are surrounded by darkness.   But even though we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances, God promises the hope of His light—He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness.  To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.”

“This is “the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” which gives “light to every man that cometh into the world.””

“Nevertheless, spiritual light rarely comes to those who merely sit in darkness waiting for someone to flip a switch. It takes an act of faith to open our eyes to the Light of Christ. Spiritual light cannot be discerned by carnal eyes. Jesus Christ Himself taught, “I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” For “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  To all who feel they walk in darkness, I invite you to rely on this certain promise spoken by the Savior of mankind: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.””- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf April General Conference 2013

“Every man and woman who serves the Lord, no matter how faithful they may be, have their dark hours; but if they have lived faithfully, light will burst upon them and relief will be furnished.” – President Lorenzo Snow “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow” pg. 107

“There is no other way in which the Saints can make spiritual improvement and be prepared for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom than through tribulation. It is the process by which knowledge is increased and peace will ultimately be established universally. It [has] been said that if all our surroundings were peaceful and prosperous now, we would become indifferent. It would be a condition that would be all that would be desired by a good many natures; they would not stretch out after the things of eternity.”

“Take it individually or take it collectively, we have suffered and we shall have to suffer again, and why? Because the Lord requires it at our hands for our sanctification.Many of you may have severe trials, that your faith may become more perfect, your confidence be increased, your knowledge of the powers of heaven be augmented; and this before your redemption takes place. If a stormy cloud sweep over the horizon … ; if the cup of bitter suffering be offered, and you compelled to partake; Satan let loose to go among you, with all his seductive powers of deceivings and cunning craftiness; the strong relentless arm of persecution lifted against you;—then, in that hour, lift up your heads and rejoice that you are accounted worthy to suffer thus with Jesus, the Saints, and holy prophets; and know that the period of your redemption has approached.  All that is required of us to make us perfectly safe under all circumstances of trouble or persecution, is to do the will of God, to be honest, faithful and to keep ourselves devoted to the principles that we have received; do right one by another; trespass upon no man’s rights; live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God and his Holy Spirit will aid and assist us under all circumstances, and we will come out of the midst of it all abundantly blessed in our houses, in our families, in our flocks, in our fields—and in every way God will bless us. He will give us knowledge upon knowledge, intelligence upon intelligence, wisdom upon wisdom.”  – President Lorenzo Snow “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow”

As I embark upon each new day and the struggles that I face I take comfort in the words above.  I have to trust that my Heavenly Father and Savior know me and what is best, but that they also know each of my children and the things that they need in their struggles as well.  Sometimes it is hard to be submissive to His will and His timing, but right now that is all I can do.  I have to be humble, submissive, and meek to gain the knowledge and understanding to make it thru each trial I face no matter how much I don’t want to go through it I know that it is something I agreed to before coming to this earth and I have to go thru it be more like Him and closer to Him.

– Steph.

The Beginning of Better Days

“When Love Sees You (Jesus)” – Mac Powell

As you listen to this beautiful song by Mac Powell read the words from the Book of Mormon out of the book of Mosiah – these words were the words of the prophet Abinadi to King Noah and his Priests but they apply to us today.

Mosiah 16:5-6 – But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him.  Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God.  And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.

Mosiah 16:8-9 – But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.  He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

Mosiah 16:10-13, 15 – Even this mortal…shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil – If they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation – Having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent.  And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?  Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father.

Below is an excerpt from a Latter Day Saint Apostle this past Sunday April 7, 2013 – I encourage to click on the link to read the highlights of his talk and later go find that General Conference Address and read it Elder Holland is one of my favorite Apostles and is always so direct in his talks:
All things are possible for those who believe, no matter how small that belief may be, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference.

Drawing from the New Testament account of a father bringing his afflicted son to the Savior for healing, Elder Holland quoted the father’s words: “If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” The record states, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:14-24).

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/63440/Elder-Jeffrey-R-Holland-Lord-I-Believe.html#

You may not know me but the above paragraphs describe the things that I have studied over the past few days that have touched my heart and helped to deal with struggles and pain that I have endured the past few months.  I love the song because it reminds me how much my Savior loves me; that His Atonement not only helps me through my mistakes, but also through my trials and my pain.   His hands are stretched out in mercy to help carry and guide us through all we have to do is be willing to stretch out our hands in belief.  He knows that we will make mistakes and that there will be times that we walk away from Him, but He never walks away from us.  I hear myself repeating the words of the father above from Mark – I want Him to have compassion on me and I believe He will, but I need Him to help my unbelief.

Steph.