Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Family Storage

   While preparing a lesson on the Second Coming, my mind has been drawn to this phrase, "Family Storage." And as I was studying Mark 13, I came across a scripture that finally put my hands to this keyboard. It talks about one of the signs before the Second Coming.

Mark 13:12, "Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death."

Can we relate this scripture to our own lives? I hope you don't want to betray family members and/or kill them...OBVIOUSLY. But, is Satan still working on us to destroy relationships? What if this scripture is meant for more than just the literal meaning of killing each other?

I like to forgive. But I find myself, just as we all do, holding grudges. Part of life is learning to not sweat the small stuff right? Right.

But sometimes there's big stuff. Hard stuff to deal with in life. Especially in familial circumstances.

That's when Satan tries real hard to kill relationships. He wants us to turn against our siblings, our parents, our loved ones.

We can't let that happen! The Second Coming will come, sooner or later it will come. And food storage is gonna be important, water storage is gonna be real important, but what about family storage?

The Prophets have urged us to prepare ourselves, and prepare we must! Part of being prepared is being spiritually prepared. If we don't remember the people who Heavenly Father has blessed us to know as our families here on earth and throughout eternity, than what have we remembered? Now is the time to forgive each other, put differences behind, and love as the Savior loves us. In times of need, we will not only need physical nourishment from food and water- we will require love, support, and help from each other.

My life is a constant struggle of trying to love and forgive. Sometimes I'm great at it. Sometimes I really suck. But it hit me today stronger than ever before, that the people in my life I absolutely need the most--are the members of my family. Because they are God's gift to me when life gets the toughest. We cannot expect perfection from each other, but we can love, teach, and try to be examples of the Savior who loved perfectly. I've written it before, and I'll write it again. We were never asked to be perfect on our own, we've always required the Savior's Atonement. If we could see each other through the Savior's eyes, I'm sure we could never hold a grudge, feel hatred, or seek to hurt others. We would only see---probably people just like ourselves, scarred but seeking. Hoping to do the right thing.

I loved how President Uchtdorf said in the last General Conference, "If you define hypocrite as someone who fails to live up perfectly to what he or she believes, then we are all hypocrites. None of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be. But we earnestly desire to overcome our faults and the tendency to sin. With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ." I sure know a lot of the right things, but I'm always struggling to do them. But I'm trying, just like we all are. And if we are yoked with Christ, then we are just where we need to be--moving forward. 

So, I guess all I'm saying is, there is no better time than now to love, forgive, and put in the past the mistakes of others. Now is the best time to seek for confidence in Christ so that we don't worry about the problems of others as much. When we know Him, it becomes much easier to see people as He sees them. And suddenly forgiveness is easy. Or at least, easier. 

I write this because I need it the most. I share it because I figure there's someone out there like me who struggles with their "family storage" too. Remember how important our loved ones are. Keep loving them, even when they may not love back. Christ experiences the latter every moment of every day. He understands. He can teach us how to build our "family storage" so that we become stronger as family units. So strong that Satan cannot enter in to tempt us. 

Thank goodness for the scriptures-they can always put things into perspective. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Life has confirmed with me that I live better when I am treated as though I am trustworthy, good, and essentially---important. I'm not trying to explain that everyone should treat me as though I am all that in a bag-a-chips. I am explaining what it feels like to be around people who treat you with Christlike love, the kind that makes you feel special, the purest, sweetest trust and respect that exists in this world. It can be shown in small and simple ways--but it's effects last forever.

A while back now, I had a dear friend a few years younger than me---okay a LOT younger (still in high school)...confide in me. She shared with me her confusion about her situation with her parents. She was 18, not graduated yet, and she was ready to move out. And her parents were ready for her to be gone too. (Or so she claimed). I asked her outright, "Have you done anything that would cause them to stop trusting you?" I wasn't looking for stories that were none of my business, and thankfully she didn't tell any. She understood my question and in a round about way she explained that yes, she had done some things that had frustrated her parents. And they only knew a fraction of what was really going on in her life.

Knowing that I could not rely on one side of the story, I tried to stay neutral, and understanding. She also told me about how she was truly trying to be a good person, but she felt like that part of her life wasn't seen by her parents, or anyone. She felt comfortable with her friends even though they enjoyed participating in activities she knew were inappropriate. She was sitting on the fence. She felt better on the outside with her friends. But inside, she yearned for closeness with her family, and mutual understanding with her parents. Sound familiar? I think we all feel this way at one time or another. I know her parents are wonderful people, and they were trying desperately to get through to their daughter. But they were trying to get her obedience by treating her like she was a bad child through and through. She had lost sight of the good in herself, but she knew deep in her heart what was right and she was trying to find a reason to get back on that path. The world was telling her to follow her friends, move out, give up, do what you want, and let go.

So there we were. I didn't know what to say, or how to help her see the path she needed to take. I asked Heavenly Father's help so many times. And I believe he told me to tell her what I've learned in my life.

* My parents trusted me. This phrase can mean so many things. To me, it meant they loved me, they respected my decisions, and they believed I was good. 

So I told her, what I believe in my heart of hearts, that she is a wonderful girl. She has a strong testimony. Sure it was being tested, but she held on to what was true and good. I tried to remind her that she is important. She has a Heavenly Father who sees her as a choice daughter of His.

This was when she started to cry.

Satan wants us to believe that we are useless. We have done too many bad things to ever be good again. He wants us to give in to the world's philosophies. And at the bottom of the worst of the worst is that belief that we cannot be trusted, loved, or important.

He is a liar.

I bring up this story because in a different way I've re-experienced this life lesson. Sometimes it can be our parents, (even parents with the best of intentions) sometimes it's our dearest friends, and sometimes it's just someone we have to see everyday at work. But sometimes there's a person who makes you feel like you are scum. Worse than scum. Like you are just a bad person with bad intentions who wishes bad on all around you. Sometimes we believe them. Unfortunately. Recently, I started to do that. Someone expected the worst out of me and in trying to constantly defend myself I found myself questioning my intentions and the intentions of others. So I caught on today. And that's just not a game I want to play.

I am good. I am NOT perfect. But my intentions are good, just like pretty much everyone else. The people bad-to-the-core are really not as common as we sometimes think. Often we go about trying to get along in life and somehow we communicate but quite often it's awkward. And in our efforts to understand others we often misconstrue their intentions.  But we must remember and believe that people are good. Even the people who are manipulative or negative nelly's or whatever, they are still on the same path we are of trying to do their best.

The people I love and respect and look up to, are the people who make me feel worth it. I feel comfortable around them with my imperfections because they make me feel like I am still good, important, trustworthy, and lovable.

I think it starts inside ourselves, understanding that we are children of Heavenly Father and we are inherently good. If we hold on to that belief it becomes a knowledge and then we start to see it in other people. It's so hard to constantly reassure someone who does not trust themselves. But we have to. Because if they can see they are important then they can become closer to our Savior and that's when changes happen.

I know that the Savior Jesus Christ knew that each one of us is worth it. Clearly he proved that by suffering for our sins, and being resurrected so that we might live again. Life experience and the choices we make leave us scarred and battered. But the Savior sees the good in each of us and He makes it possible for us to be whole again.

’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand. 29
 -Myra Brooks Welch, quoted in General Conference by President Boyd K. Packer, found on lds.org.

The good news is, my sweet dear friend chose to change her life for the better. And I know, I know without a doubt that it started with a tiny seed of belief inside that she was worth more than the life she was living. Sin did not have to burden her forever, she could turn to the Savior and give Him her burdens in exchange for a pure heart and clean hands--hands that are now doing His work and living righteously. She is an amazing example to me. She showed tremendous courage and strength---she is one of those inspiring people who makes me feel worth it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Real conversation

Acquaintance: "sorry if you can hear me chewing really loud" she says as she awkwardly chews slowly and covers her mouth.

Me: "oh your fine I can't even hear it."

Acquaintance: "REALLY!? Cuz in my head its really loud!"

Me: .... Shes for real..."Yep that's because your mouth is right next to your ears"

Acquaintance: "I guess that's true"

Yep. It's true.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Self Confidence

This is a very broad subject. There are thousands of psychologists studying this, millions of books and articles written, and it's because there are people struggling with it everywhere.

How do we get self confidence? How do we keep it? Do you struggle with it? Why do so many women struggle with it? Why is it so fragile?

I don't know how to answer all those questions. I'm just a wife and a mother who ponders everything. 

I do have some leads though. Or some ideas.
I'm just gonna jump right in.

Life experience. So much can happen inside those two words. So much good and so much bad.

Sometimes I hear of experiences and I think why was he or she allowed to do that to someone? Why does there have to be victims in life? Why do children have to endure things that shred any last bit of self confidence that one could have had? There are so many questions to ask.

I don't want to delve deeply into life experience I just want to lead your mind where mine went. Not to terrible, horrible, mind/heart scarring ventures, but to things that still shouldn't have happened.

I look at some people and I think, had they not endured that trial they could be more confident maybe. I never think it in those exact words, but that's pretty much what it sums up to. I think, maybe he/she would understand this or that aspect of life better, had they not experienced that.

And often as humans, we look at the bad stuff that happens to us as just that---bad stuff. My own mother is very much a worry wart and she is constantly (and I mean constantly) bringing up the worst-case-scenarios in any situation. I told her I had a nightmare last week and she suggested I get a supplement for anxiety. One nightmare. I love you mother, forever and for always, but I not takin dem pills!

I don't say this to bad mouth her. In fact, her worst-case-scenario thinking has made her prepared for literally every worst case scenario ever, and it has prevented many bad scenarios from unfolding. I'm just trying to illustrate a point---we always think of the trials in life as trials! Horrible happenings that just happen and we cannot prevent even though we continuously try to!

And lately I've been thinking about changing people's thinking. Why does Heavenly Father put people through unimaginable trials? Because of who he wants us to become. Now I know you've heard of this before, but really ponder this with me.

If I had grown up in any sort of a different family situation, sure, it may have seemed better to some. I've even thought maybe it would have been easier. Not having the "big kids" with us for a whole Christmas Day was pretty bad, I won't lie. But it did something to me, somewhere inside, to make me stronger. It made me appreciate my siblings, and it made me yearn for closeness with them. Had they always been there, maybe we would have fought more. Maybe I wouldn't have looked to them as examples. Maybe I would just be a little different. But Heavenly Father needs me to be who I am. And so he put me in a beautifully imperfect family in which I've never regretted belonging.

Think if we had the ability to see every "trial" for what it truly is. A current of water smoothing our rough patches slowly day by day. Or maybe some trials are sticks of dynamite blasting us onto the path of humility. Couldn't this ability to see trials differently change us clear down deep inside? Could it give us truckloads more of self confidence because we see how important we are to our Heavenly Father because he has given us more responsibility to become? I think it can!

There are some people who I wish I could sit them down, look them in the eye, and say, "You ARE worth it." Correction= I wish I could do that to all people. That's why I have a blog I guess. But really if you are reading this, do you believe that? Because I believe it. Heavenly Father wants YOU to understand something important so He gave you burdens. The "natural man" sees those burdens as hard, but again can we change the definition of burdens and trials and tribulations? In order to survive---we have to. Alllllll the hard "stuff" has to get their names changed. They should be called things like, strength-builders, family uniters, path re-directors, rough edge smoothers, and helped-me-to-become-like-God-ers.

Heavenly Father does want us to understand a lot of things---to become like Him we have to become All-knowing. (that will take much longer than this lifetime I believe). But most importantly---He wants us to understand we are not asked to endure life experience alone. He would have never sent us here alone. He sent us here, and then sent His Son to make all of the necessary connections. His Son built a bridge back home so-to-speak. His Son also offers strength, and the know-how for re-building hearts and homes. His Son offers to walk alongside us to help carry every "helped-me-to-become-like-God-er", or what is more commonly known as every, "trial."

And knowing what I know about the Savior Jesus Christ, I feel much more confident that He can be on my side. My search for self-confidence has also been a search to know my Savior better. And I don't know a lot, but I know that when I try to live as He would, I see trials for how they really are just a bit better, and I believe in myself a lot better. I find peace and happiness in just being good ole Sammy Grace! And I don't seek for the world's approval, I just try to enjoy being me and everyone that comes along with that.

So here's my hope. Please know, You Are Worth It. Whoever you are. Life experience is meant to make you even greater. We are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who has created worlds without number. We are part of an ever growing family of love that just keeps multiplying--never dividing. So believe in yourself. Make decisions, Make amazing things happen, and Make your little corner of the world better because you're happy being you! Find your Confidence in Christ.

*thanks for reading. my husband has a rough time even listening to my long blog posts. ;) gotta love it. gotta write it down somewhere.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Because Nothing Bad Happened.

**Can I just say, this blog is a special place for me. Sometimes I ignore it, and I feel and think things that I need to write--like I am supposed to write them---and I still ignore them...But then I sit down, and I re-read something I wrote, and I know that it isn't necessarily just me writing. For some reason, I notice things, I analyze everything, and I put it into language which transforms into a vision for others to grasp or to ignore. And it feels good. It's me, connected to a spirit that I don't even realize I am in tune with. But as I said, I look back and think, how did I know to write that? How did I know it then it would help me today? The answer is: I didn't. I just do it, because I'm supposed to, and then my Heavenly Father blesses my life with it. I hope it blesses others. Refer to the quote at the top right of the page, "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

This is a post that's been pressing on my mind and I've been ignoring it. Unfortunately that means I may not word it as wonderfully as possible, but I will try my best.

        Growing up, I remember when my mom would teach me about the 'right things' to do. These 'right things' are as follows: Be kind. Share. Don't steal. Be nice to your sister. ...hehe... Forgive your friend. Pray. Read your scriptures. Etc. As a child, when we didn't follow those behaviors, usually there came a punishment afterward. One of my favorites included writing 500 times phrases such as "I will stop complaining." (I still struggle with that one).

These punishments helped me to learn a significant life lesson. Because my mother was consistent with discipline, I learned that choices ALWAYS have consequences. Every choice is connected to a consequence. Some consequences are of lesser importance, while others have substantial and eternal significance.

As the teenage years came, like most teenagers I was given a bit more responsibility. Parents and children eventually make the transition of babysitters and diaper bags to peers and cellphones. (I still struggle with the cellphone part, but that's the world we live in folks!) With this transition there comes less parental supervision, more interaction with humans of the opposite sex, and opportunities to make decisions that seemingly "no one will know about." We always hope that all teenagers will stay in well-lit areas, participate in wholesome activities, and choose good decisions whether parents are there or not.

Thankfully, many youth choose the straight and narrow path. Some do not. In the world as a whole, many do not.

Those who choose the crooked path are not free from ownership of the choices they've made. However, I wonder if a few people could have been and still could be helped by learning one simple truth: Choices come with Consequences. They ALWAYS come with consequences.

The older we get, and the more responsibility that becomes ours, the more chances we have to choose the wrong things. For example, if at 16 you are fortunate enough to get a car, you may tell your parents--"I'm going to a friend's ward on Sunday" and then you peace out and go do what you want. Or, you decide to not pay your tithing because your check just was too small to give any away.  Maybe you decide to go to an inappropriate movie because your friends want to and because "no one will know."

These small choices are made every day. By all of us. As young adults, and as adults, these choices often go unnoticed by others. They are choices only we know about. And many times, right after the choice is made, "nothing bad happens."

Usually, no lightning strike comes from heaven. Mom and Dad don't make you stick your nose against the wall. No one spanks you.

But these choices when no one else is looking, these are the moments where we find out who we really are. These are the very moments in which we become more like our Father in Heaven, or less like Him. And if we haven't made the connection of choices leading to consequences then we are more likely to make choices that seemingly have no consequences. And here's the thing, something bad does happen when we make bad choices. It often just happens in our hearts. It separates us that much more from our Father in Heaven.

I know this because this is me. This week I chose to spend time watching stupid shows that may have been funny, but they didn't uplift or edify. In fact, they filled my mind with gunk that I now have to remove. They supported things that I say I don't support. And yet, by watching the shows, unfortunately, I was supporting them. And I thought, nothing bad happened. I just watched a show or two. The shows definitely fit in the PG-13 category, and they made me laugh. But then I realized some things. While watching the shows, I paid less attention to my precious little girl. I left work undone that I could have easily accomplished. I was lazy, and I wasted time that on this earth--is truly so fragile. These 'bad' things didn't speak up as loud and clear as my mother did when she lectured me after a bad decision. They were much quieter in their sneakily making my life less wonderful.

And I realized that the rationalization of "nothing bad will happen" is the stupidest rationalization of all time. Because everything we do creates a happening of either good or bad. We're either on the path or were off it. Choosing to sit on the fence is still choosing not to walk on the straight and narrow path.

I've watched as a childhood friend made choices believing that nothing bad would happen in his life. Then he showed up on my doorstep with a verbal list of happenings that I pray I never have to endure. The adversary wants us to believe that some choices do not bring about consequences. We can never believe that. We have to believe in doing good---all the time. We can trust wholeheartedly that when we do good, good things happen. We have to make good choices because our Heavenly parents have never left us alone, and they will always know the choices we are making. And we must choose the right because of who we can become. I chose to be weak this week. I chose to give in to the natural man rather than following the me who is a daughter of Heavenly Father who seeks to do His will. I was lazy, cranky, and I ignored my child. Without consciously realizing it, I put effort into becoming useless and selfish. I hate it when I do that. Because even when I don't immediately see it, bad things happen.

So, start making good choices. Because good things will happen. Short and sweet ending, because it's the short and sweet truth.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Claiming Dependence on Emotion

Ok, so it's 5:30 in the morning. And I have words flowing into my mind so much so that I cannot sleep. This happens every once in a while. That's why I have a personal journal, and that's also why I have a blog. Anything that I write in this post is so far away from trying to offend that if you choose for any reason to make it offensive I am putting any and all blame on you for making it so. This post is solely to help any and/or one who may be struggling with anything similar to what I have struggled with. I have limited understanding and limited experiences. So bear with me, and see these words for what they really are...

It may have been a teacher in college who first put this idea into my head in a way that I could understand it. Somewhere I was told of an idea that emotions can be 100% controlled. In other words, we are not as connected to our emotions as we often think we are. And I pondered that. I'm not sure about this idea, but it has lead me to find more understanding on the subject throughout my life and I think that this idea was beneficial to me in a way. It gave me a little more power than what I had ever given myself. So let me just jump right in and explain.

In 2 Nephi 2:14 it states,
And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.
(thank you lds.org)

As I ponder this scripture I know that we have been told we are beings who "act", and we are not "to be acted upon." And I wonder if this counts for emotions. I imagine that it does, and I feel like in my life it became the scriptural slice of the sweetest truth pie I've ever tasted. Because it too gave me power. And it's origins were way ahead of anybody else's idea of emotions being more in our control than we often assume. 

Life experience: I only have so much. However, I will share a sliver of my life that is unpleasant to revisit, but is of vital importance because it took a large role in shaping me into who I am. 

When I first married Colten, I was so overwhelmed. There were a million joyful things, but truthfully I struggled to be happy. The only people who really knew how I was feeling at the time were my mom, my husband, and a few close family members. But, most of my family didn't even know. Which was exactly the way I wanted it, because it was so hard to admit that I was depressed. I struggled enough that my mom bought me professional tapes to listen to with guidance on anxiety and depression, and I sought out natural remedies to lift my mood so that I could function more normally. And even though there was a long list of things to be happy about, I found myself laying on the floor crying and trying to talk through it with my mom. Even my husband never saw that, and I didn't want him to. 

Let me make something clear as can be, Colten did nothing wrong. He was and is and always has been an amazing husband. 

My mom made it clear to me, that the next step was therapy. We were both afraid I was in too deep, and that I couldn't make it out alone. That word, therapy, scared me. And being that I have my mother inside of me, there was a stubbornness that would not let me seek help beyond my family and my Heavenly Father. And thank goodness for that strength left in me, because I decided to pull up my bootstraps so to speak, and climb my way out of the hole I was in. (I do believe therapy is vitally important for millions of people, but I just didn't need it).

I engulfed myself into the gospel. I took as many Institute classes as I did college classes. I had already taken a lot of religion classes which I believe helped tremendously prior to this chapter of my life, and they gave me a great foundation of knowledge. And one of my teachers in college (not Institute actually) helped me to take ownership of my emotions. Rather than letting them destroy me, knowledge of truth helped me to gain back power. It was a slow process, but I eventually gained enough power back that I could start to see things a bit more clearly. I stopped taking natural remedies to lift my spirits. I just didn't need them. 

I started to look at myself with eyes that were no longer cloudy. I saw a girl who judged others quickly. I saw a girl who couldn't see the blessings in her life to save it. I saw girl who assumed that many people around her had vicious intentions, and I was a victim in too many stories. I was shocked. And it hurt. Who knew that I was in the wrong in so many areas? This new information didn't push me back down the hole though. I was in charge now, and I had also finally realized that I was most definitely not alone. 

I started to take ownership of the judgments I made. And I started to turn them into love. Love is the only thing strong enough to overpower any of the other emotions I was feeling. The second I sincerely loved those around me, the second I started to give more power to myself, the stronger my relationship was to the Spirit, and to my Heavenly Father. This is a life goal: to continue to replace false judgments with love. We all work on it constantly. The more we work at it, the better we become--true in many of life's endeavors.

I started to see the blessings that the Lord had given me. This, probably above many other things, humbled me. Depression had not humbled me. Depression had made me sick and lonely. Gratitude humbled me. Humility gave me strength. Humility was the gateway to joy and happiness. Pure and true humility came from realizing the Lord knows me and He wants to help me get through all trials, and He blesses me in spite of me.  

I studied the Atonement. I took classes, I read talks, I read scriptures, I listened, I sought it out. 
Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"

I slowly but surely found that that which I gave power to became the strongest in my life. I had given power to unhappiness, loneliness, anger, confusion, frustration, etc. It wasn't workin' for me. 
So I found power, the right power, within me and from my Heavenly Father, and I put my energy into that. I sought out good things in people, and wonderful things about life. 

I am no longer in the hole folks. I am so far away from it I don't even remember where it went. But it's gone. Thankfully. 

Do you wanna know what pushed me the last little bit above ground?

Colten and I got pregnant. :) This came with ups and downs. Right after I had Camry I could tell the hormones in my body were leading me to jump back into the hole. So I just tried the same remedy that had worked so beautifully before. I sought sunshine and it warmed my heart and soul. I looked for and found blessings everywhere. I trusted in the Lord and had faith that my body would work through the changes, and it did. I also started to understand the meaning of being selfless. Continued service day in and day out for a little body who was completely dependent on me for survival---there's humility in that. And there's dependence on the Savior there too. There's no way I could do it on my own. 

I don't claim to understand what those around me are going through. As I said earlier, all I have are my experiences and my limited understanding. I have no idea if this helps anyone. I don't have anyone specifically in mind that I could be writing this for. All I know is these thoughts have been jumping around in my head every day for a little while now. And this morning they finally wouldn't let me sleep. So I acted and here they are. 

I  have found that ownership of my emotions has worked for me. I have found that actively seeking good things led me to Christ. Moroni 7:16 says,  "For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God."

I'm thankful for the power to act and that I am not just a thing to be acted upon. That knowledge, when I gave it power, changed me...and it continues to change me everyday. I no longer depend on my emotions to dictate how I feel, they are not strong enough to keep me above ground. Real strength comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ---and it's connected to whether or not we are willing to come unto Him. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary :)

I'm with the guy on the left :) I know you're jealous, just contain yourselves. 

As of today, I have been married 3 years to my best friend in the whole world. He is my partner, my go-to for everything, my favorite person, my husband. I love that I get to call him that. It's amazing how time has gone by so fast, and ya know they say, time flies when you're havin' fun! 

Truly, when I think of how many years we have ahead of us, I get excited. I love that I get to spend the rest of forever with him! Sure, we have our ups and downs like everyone else, but we've grown together and become stronger for it. I was young when I got married, (or so they say) but I believe I was the smartest 20 year old on the planet for falling in love with Colten. I love him more than words can say, and I love, love, love, whatever is up ahead, because it will be with my darling hubby. 

Thanks to a wonderful 3 years hun! You're more than any wife could ask for. I love you!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Motivated By Love.

This phrase has been a common one in my head over my lifetime. Mainly because, when I hear about someone doing something just straight-up amazing, 99.999999% of the time it's because they were motivated by love. Tonight I "showed up" to listen to someone who has been a long time friend, neighbor, and counselor to me and about a ka-gillion other people in his lifetime. He is also the principal at the high school in our town and he is one of those people whose example---even if you only know him for a short time---immediately draws you to Christ. He's just that awesome.

He, and the principal of the middle school in our town, were involved in a special journey called, P.A.A.C.E. The acronym stands for, Principals Across America for Computers in Education. Their goal: to raise money for computers in their schools. So, they rode their bikes literally across america, and they inspired thousands of people along the way.

So, at tonight's fireside, when Mr. Jody Rich spoke, he inspired me too. He inspired me to think about motivation by love, and the affects it has in one's life. He spoke about things we should do in life, and things we should think about, and he talked a bit about something as simple as 'showing up' in life. But the message I got, was the message of being motivated by love.

Not just anyone can ride their bike thousands of miles. Not just anyone can climb Mt. Everest. Not just anyone is willing to push their physical, mental, and spiritual self beyond what they ever imagined was possible.

But someone motivated by love can.

Maybe some people accomplish physical feats because they just simply love the rush they get at the end of a race, or at the top of a mountain. And that's still amazing.

But then there are people, who accomplish amazing things for someone else---never thinking twice about what they must give, but only thinking about the prize that will come for their loved one once the price has been paid.

Those are the times when children of God shine. Those are the times our Father in Heaven might shed a pure tear of joy because it means something even more special than we think. It means that His children are starting to understand a little bit more of their Savior. Some may not even realize it, but as they sacrifice for those they love their hearts are changing, and drawing closer to Him. And it's beautiful.

Our Savior was motivated by love. Faith, obedience, and a Plan were all part of His motivation, but the strongest is Love. Love for His Father, and Love for his brothers and sisters. That is a small way of how I can understand the Atonement. And when I hear stories of inspiring people like Jody Rich, it again draws me to my Savior. Those stories teach me a little better how to be like Him.

And I got to thinking, What amazing things can I do in my life, that would require sacrifice, but also motivation by love?

And I thought, I sure as heck won't be riding my bike 3000 miles. (Although I will always have the utmost respect for those who are willing to).

But I will be getting up at 2 AM, and 3 AM, and 4, and 5 and 6 if needs be for my little girl. In small ways I can still contribute to the people in my life who I can affect in some way or another. I can be the best visiting teacher this world's ever seen. I can love, forgive, and serve. I can appreciate my husband for continuously getting up and working as hard as he can to provide for our family. I can appreciate his motivation from love. I can strive to follow God's commandments and strive to teach them to those around me. And most importantly, I can try to understand Christ, and how He is, and how He loves. And then I can do as Jody has and will always do, I can try to lead others to our Savior, and maybe, just maybe, someone's heart will choose to be changed. And if that happens, then they've accomplished something that lasts throughout eternity. And that's a feat that we're all working on, day to day, on and on, and over again. We do our best...We fall short. But Christ is there, not just at the top of the ladder to get us to the last step, but He's truly there every step of the way. Sometimes we seek Him, and sometimes, unfortunately we don't. But the more we do, the more we are inspired and changed, and somehow we can help others to do the same.

I just have to thank every person in the world for their outstanding sacrifices. Whether they be the sacrifices that go above and beyond what we think are humanly possible, or if they're the sacrifices that go unseen and unnoticed. Look for people around you who sacrifice every day for you, and thank them for being Christlike and loving you. And then turn around and sacrifice for someone else.

The more you do, the more you realize the amazing things that can be accomplished when motivated by love.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Good Ole' Facebook.

So, probably about 2 years ago I deactivated my facebook account for a loooong list of good reasons. And I felt like life was just slightly less complicated because of it. And Lots of people congratulated me, patted me on the back, and gave me many nods of approval. But, it was like one of about 2 or 3 people I know who was able to say goodbye to constant communication with so many people that I didn't need to be in constant communication with. I also had a few people argue with my reasons, and try to make me see that my list had no weight, no substance, and they tried to essentially help me down from my soapbox.

Well, I faithfully stood there for the 2 years, and I was pretty comfortable.

Until I went to the special broadcast titled, "The Work of Salvation" where Elder L. Tom Perry introduced some new policies regarding missionary work and websites such as Facebook. I won't re-quote everything he said, and I've given you enough information that you can go look it up on lds.org to read his talk if you'd like.

When I was listening, I had a truly humbling experience. I wouldn't necessarily call it repentant, because me not having facebook wasn't wrong. But, I felt like I was being asked to be a missionary--something I always wanted to be, and something I strive to be. But I also felt like I was being told that one of the best ways to do that, in this day and age, is to have a facebook account. I looked at my husband. He looked at me. And seriously guys, I feel passionately about the negatives of facebook, and I know it's silly to so many, but I knew that I would have to make a huge decision.

And I also looked up the church's stance on facebook.

I thought, well I have a blog, and that's good enough isn't it? I can share my testimony there!?!? right?!? And it was like a voice said, "yeah, to the 3 people that read it." Ok, ok. But I still didn't go home and log on to facebook. I just pondered. For a while now.

And then a few different experiences happened. And I got little arrows, and little answers, and finally I added my name to Colten's account. And I still am kind of sick about it. Because part of me just has so much appreciation for the old way of communicating. And although I fear for what facebook is doing to the upcoming generations, I see now, that it has to happen.

And the only way for me to get to know some of my sunday school students, my present co-workers and past co-workers, and even family, is through technology. And specifically, Facebook.

So, alas. I have finally given in. Not because of the pressures of society, but because it's an opportunity to share my testimony, and to connect with ward members, family members, and the other people I mentioned earlier.

So there's my dramatic, yet true explanation as to why I have now re-connected on good ole' Facebook.

And I figure, that I better just be humble in life, instead of prideful. It seems as if I've been told this before....maybe once or twice......but this is one example of me practicing what has been preached. I hope I can always be a person who admits when they're wrong. And who looks for the good in all. And who strives to be an example instead of an angry individual. This isn't the first time I've ever eaten humble pie, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I think....

I think way too much. I probably just needa writa book.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sacrifice and blessings.

*old post that I wasn't sure about posting, and now I feel like putting it up.

I've been meaning to put up more pics of my sweet and adorable camry. and I promise I will. But there's this thing inside of me that has to literarily release my thoughts every once in a while. And something happened recently that has driven me to this point, the point where I grab the computer and just start typing.

Recently I was in a class where a quote was shared, (which I now have memorized, but so as to not offend I will not repeat it) that was false doctrine at it's finest. It was not from a General Authority--which is why I feel bold enough to call it false doctrine.

I don't profess to know everything about the gospel. In fact my faith is bigger than a mustard seed, but I sometimes feel as if my knowledge of the gospel might be smaller. And even though I've spent a lot of time specifically trying to study the Atonement I still feel inadequate in my understanding of it.

But I do know that it is the center of everything. Without it, or I should say, without Christ, nothing else matters. And this quote, if understood, took away the importance of the Atonement.

I will paraphrase the quote, or at least my understanding of it. It basically said that sacrifice is nonexistant if we recieved a blessing that was greater than what we sacrificed to recieve the blessing.

MMMmmmmm ponder that.

My opinion is that no matter what our sacrifices entail, our blessings will ALWAYS be greater. and if you can't see your blessings in your life, that's nobody's fault but your own. (I think the world wants us to say everything gently and not be straightforward. But on my blog I'mma have to say it straight. Because it has to be said. Even though hardly anyone reads my blog....it makes me feel better haha.)

If Job in the Bible, could still find goodness in his faith in God and if he could still trust Him to bless his life even after all of the horrible things that happened to him, then why can't we?
And D&C 122:8 "The Son of man hath descended below all things, art thou greater than he?"

And in direct response to the quote, if there's no sacrifice when our blessings are greater than what we gave, then that would mean in order to recieve "all that the Father has" we would have to sacrifice more than what we as imperfect beings can give. We would be stuck. No going forward. We would not be able to be with our Father or be given all He has because we could never be worthy of it... because on our own we are not worthy of it.

It is through Christ that we can recieve all that the Father has. It's through ordinances, like Baptism, and the ordinances we partake of in the temple, and through living our lives righteously, and partaking of the Atonement regularly, and repenting, and loving and serving our brothers and sisters. but all of those things are for naught if Christ had not atoned for the sins of the world. And if he had not the power to give us... through his grace that we might become stronger and more able to withstand  the temptations we are faced with ...then we would be too weak.

In D&C 76 we find:
50 And again we bear record—for we asaw and heard, and this is the btestimony of the cgospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the djust—
51 They are they who received the atestimony of Jesus, and bbelieved on his name and were cbaptized after the dmanner of his burial, being eburied in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
 52 That by akeeping the commandments they might be bwashed and ccleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the dhands of him who is eordained and sealed unto this power;
 53 And who aovercome by faith, and are bsealed by the Holy Spirit of cpromise, which the Father dsheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
 54 They are they who are the achurch of the bFirstborn.
 55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given aall things—
 56 They are they who are apriests and bkings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
 57 And are apriests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of bEnoch, which was after the corder of the Only Begotten Son.
 58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are agods, even the bsons of cGod—
 59 Wherefore, aall things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
 60 And they shall aovercome all things.
 61 Wherefore, let no man aglory in man, but rather let him bglory in God, who shall csubdue all enemies under his feet.
 62 These shall adwell in the bpresence of God and his Christ forever and ever.

We don't have to do a lot to recieve it all. If we have an eternal perspective, then life's battles become much smaller and much more insignificant. My mom has said to me before, in essence, that every sacrifice we make is put on the books in heaven, and those sacrifices are not forgotten. And I was taught by very brilliant parents that when we live righteously, our Father in Heaven tends to bless us beyond what we even thought possible. I truly believe that.

And let me end with one more thought.

I feel strongly, that living righteously, if consistently done with a sincere heart and contrite spirit, does not feel like a sacrifice at all. I believe in sacrifice, and that it's real, and required, but it's weight does not always equal the weight of the blessings we receive in this life, or in the life to come. We are only required truly small sacrifices if we can see them with an eternal perspective. Some have to sacrifice more than I can imagine, and some sacrifices seem too insignificant to call sacrifices. And I believe that if I try harder to align my heart with the Savior's, and if I keep repenting and trying to become better, and if I find joy in doing so, I will see the blessings unfold----and I know this to be true because I have done this--it's a process that requires a lot of 'rinse and repeat' in it. And I've seen the blessings, over and over and over again.
So I guess what I'm saying is---When we come unto Christ, truly come unto Christ, the desires of our heart's change and become righteous desires. And the thought of sin is abhorred, and the desire to live righteously is abundant and is above all else. I feel that our prophet encompasses all that a joyful heart in a human being could be. I believe that he sacrificed along the way to get to where he is, but I believe the blessings we each can recieve will always be greater than anything we can ever give. Because that's how our Father in Heaven loves.

Please teach me if I'm wrong, but this is my understanding of the gospel, and I find that it brings me joy. But the thought of every blessing (blessings the Lord gives I find to be humblingly great) requiring an equal amount of giving in order to be called a sacrifice overwhelms me and makes me think that I would have to live like Job from this point on in order to deserve what I have already been blessed with. And I don't believe that. So hopefully you understand what I'm saying. Hopefully you too can find joy in the gospel and be comforted as you look around at the blessings in your life and realize how humbling it is. I am so beyond thankful for all I have and even if I had nothing else, the knowledge that my Savior Jesus Christ died for me, is a blessing that I will never fully comprehend, but it brings me to my knees, it brings me to church, and it brings me to the other end of the line for a friend in need---in hopes that somehow I can give a little back after all Christ gave for me...knowing full well, that I can never fully repay him, but my heart is overjoyed with what I have, and can recieve forever.

The belief of your own importance.

I realize this is a sideways, blurry, horrible photo, but there is a very serious point behind it. This morning we found this little "fortune teller" in one of the theaters after thee infamous kids shows. It had a 1,2,3, and 4 on the front four options, and then various numbers to choose from when you move the four points up or down....you know how the game works.... everyone knows how the game works. Countless times my friends or people I knew made these and we'd play with them for way too long. Well, today me and my two almost little brothers decided to try it out. After playing with it we discovered the four different possible fortunes.....

1- No true love.
2- Marry your true love.
3- You're a jerk.
4- Baby at fifteen.


Those are my four options???

Never in my life do I ever remember anyone writing "baby at fifteen" as an option when I was a young girl playing with paper fortune tellers.

What is this world coming to????

This subject of the title of this post has been on my mind for a while now, and I'm sick and tired of women not thinking they are good enough.

Why do we do this to ourselves? How do we teach little girls that you either marry your true love, or there is no true love, or you must be a jerk, or you're having a baby at fifteen!!!!!!!

And why as women do we not consider ourselves to be amazing, important, vital, essential, etc....?

I heard somebody say the other day that they didn't deserve something that they just received, and when I say received I mean that I know darn well that she has worked hard to get to where she is, and that she beyond deserves what she was just blessed with. And she didn't say it out of modesty, or out of a desire for compliments, she truly----head down and all----expressed that she was undeserving of the blessing that now is part of her everyday.

I about reached across the room and slapped her.

**Newsflash** It is okay to know that you are okay. Being pleased with yourself is not a sin. Believing that you can do more than have a baby at fifteen or be a jerk does not make you proud. Believing that you are an important person, with important ideas and amazing gifts and wonderful qualities does not make you arrogant. Sometimes we perceive people with confidence as people with arrogance, and maybe they fit into that category. But you don't have to.

There is not a law of truth (refer to previous post) written stating that it is better if you think of yourself as scum because you probably are not that great, and it makes you look humble. that's RIDICULOUSNESS.

Humility and confidence can go together. They can actually be really happy together. Together they can do great things.

Women, you are special. simply just because of who you are. Every one of you has a gift, whether its visible, or maybe sometimes unnoticed, it's there. And I know maybe I sound like a preacher sometimes, I don't mean to do that. But I cannot be silent. I cannot sit and watch girls or anyone, continuously put themselves down. Sometimes I am in that state of mind and I wish somebody would reach across the room and slap me!

Some of us are born mothers, some writers, some both. Some are born speakers, some thinkers, some both. Some are born physically strong, some are born mentally strong, some are born both. Some seem to have all the gifts ever given---and some struggle to see that they are those kind of people.

The woman who claimed "undeserving" is a woman who I have looked up to my whole life. And in that instance, all of a sudden, I realized, she too had a weakness, and that it was not one I wanted to admire. At times we look at others who seem to have it all, and don't realize that maybe all they have is the belief  that they have it all. I didn't expect her to haughtily tell the world how awesome she is, but I did hope that she could see the blessing for what it truly is, a blessing, from the Lord, because she has lived her life righteously thus far, and I'm quite sure she will continue to do so.

If you can believe, that you will do, can do, and are doing great things in this life, then guess what, you probably are going to, and you probably are.

And most importantly, when you become who you are allowed to aspire and hope to be, you will undoubtedly teach another young girl how to do so.

If we can believe that we are important, they will see that they are important too. I realize now that one heart with the belief of it's own importance can be the catalyst for change in the hearts of many. I want my little girl to know she is smart. Brilliant even. I want her to believe that she can do anything. And I want her to make her own choices based on those beliefs. I realize that one of the only ways I can enable her to do so, is by doing so myself.

And if I believe that I'm important, then a lot of times that helps me see others as important. And it starts a chain reaction. And I like the life that fortune leads me to much better than the options the 'fortune teller' gave me today.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Wine is strong
Men are stronger
Women are stronger still
Truth conquers all

-written by Free Masons in Latin on the walls of the Rosslyn Chapel

President Thomas S. Monson said in this months First Presidency Message,

"Vice never leads to virtue. Hate never promotes love. Cowardice never gives courage. Doubt never inspires faith. ...Times change, but truth persists."
I haven't blogged in a while because I haven't found anything that I consider blog-worthy. I could put more things up of my baby girl who is almost crawling and a little miss independent, but I could also just get a facebook account again to do that. I look at my blog as a place for me to write whatever I want, but more and more, I want it to be things of worth. And sometimes my posts are ridiculousness and that's okay too. But these phrases stood out to me. The first one I found in my book of scribbles that I learned when we visited that famous chapel in the U.K. and I had forgotten what a cool little piece of poetry it was. I like simplicity when it comes to poetry. I don't like reading a poem and being completely stumped at what the meaning is. And this is pure simplicity and truth at it's finest, but it's powerful isn't it? It was to me. I remember the tour guide told us the saying and it was like it stuck into my head as easily as if the guide had physically typed it into my brain...that was a strange visual...but it was that powerful to me. Simple and powerful. If you get the power, great, if not, thats fine too.

And I'm sure there are millions of famous quotes regarding truth. But sometimes when I hear or see things in the same small amount of time that all coincide together I figure Heavenly Father is trying to remind me of something. And His reminder as of late has been that truth is truth! It is just that! Nothing can break the truth. Nothing can change the truth. The truest truth of all will withstand any blow that comes attacking. And if you find the truth, doesn't that give you comfort? Does it add to the power that is in the Iron Rod to which we are supposed to hold? I find that it does. It makes me feel harmless. Like anything could go wrong in my life, but if I have the truth, I will be okay. 

President Monson's quote also reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my good friends who just left for college. She is a few years younger than I and when she was graduating she had a lot of questions. I don't know if I gave too many good answers, but one thing that stood out to me and to her is when our discussion lead to the following: It's probably better if you test the gospel by living righteously, than by living wickedly. You will probably find joy quicker, and you will in the majority of circumstances find less heartache. Because just as he says, "cowardice never gives courage". In other words, it takes courage to find courage! It takes trying to do the right thing even when doing what's wrong seems a whole lot easier! 

So, the simple truths I have to work on trusting are the following:

Read my scriptures--DAILY
Say my prayers---like I never want to stop talking to my Father in Heaven
Study good things--edify myself regularly of the truths I've been taught
Attend the temple more often

Because truth conquers all. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

one of the hardest phrases in the English language

"You are the only one who can make that decision"

Well, guess I'm tough outta luck cuz I can over-analyze a sandwich.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Characteristic of Being Genuine...and a love story.

Seriously, these are the kind of thoughts that keep me up at 4-5 in the morning. My daughter didn't even wake me up, I just woke up. And my mind just wouldn't stop.

I'm not sure if it ever really does.

This morning, I pondered the characteristic--(one of the many) that made me fall in love with my husband. As I dated throughout high school and afterward, I found that this characteristic was just not as common as I had hoped. On one date a guy actually asked me, "What do you look for in a guy?" And my mind went right to Colten, and he inspired my answer, "I want them to be genuine. I want the guy I meet, to be the guy I meet. I don't want him to be who he thinks I want him to be, I just want him to be him."

I couldn't find the same genuine personality in others that Colten had. He was so secure in who he was, even if he knew of his flaws and even if they troubled him, he was positive, and he always portrayed himself to be none other than who he was.

-Granted- His family always teases him about having moments where he was "the great grump" in high school---apparently that attitude came out when he and I were having problems....which is also funny because in my eyes we never really had problems.... :) haha. But now that we're married I still have yet to see him ever in a "great grump" mood. Sure he has his bad days, as do I, but I still think he is a very positive person.

And when we dated, he was and is still the person I fell in love with. He's older now, more mature, (in some ways ;)) and serving a mission taught him how to be an even better man than who I knew was in him all along. I'll always be indebted to his mother for teaching him and raising him to be such a wonderful husband--the man who I get to spend forever with. She is an amazing woman.

I just love how Colten is not afraid to be who he is. I know that I probably don't come across as genuine as I could---I can be tremendously, socially awkward at times...dangit...but I'm learning from my husband how to be me, and not have to say sorry for it. I hated sitting at dinner with a date, even after a few dates, and feeling like I still had absolutely no clue who was sitting across from me. I hated that someone told me they loved me when I felt like they had absolutely no clue who I was! haha.

One night, before Colten came home from his mission, I was up late talking to my mom. I was over-analyzing, (typical of a Bramall...you all know that's true) and worrying, and questioning, and essentially being a weirdo...in search of an answer about Colten. I already knew that he was who I wanted to marry, but I questioned myself, and again over-thought everything. But my wise mother said, (paraphrased)

"Sammy, all you need to do, is close your eyes and throw out all the messy, silly, details about flaws and such and picture Colten's spirit. Picture the spirit that you know is inside him, and the potential that he has that is within, picture yourself the same way, and see if you can picture the both of you holding hands  throughout eternity--and truly being with him forever" 

That brought tears to my eyes, and thinking of that moment still does bring tears to my eyes because I knew right then that he was exactly who I wanted with me for eternity. And I've never questioned since. And pretty much every day I know I'm thee most blessed girl in the whole universe because of who I married. I love that he is the same spirit that sat next to me in Mrs. Browning's English class who always made me laugh. I love that he broke my fear of fourwheelers. I love that he will be just as genuine in 70+ years as he is now. I love that he loves me and how he is the perfect one for me.

Who knew that the Characteristic of Being Genuine could have been the catalyst that changed my life forever?...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

latest song writing

I wrote a song in my head as I was getting dressed this morning. It, like the poem a few posts ago, was inspired by my daughter whom I love and adore---and who has changed my life in more ways than one. As you read the lyrics, since I can't sing you the tune on here, I want you to make up your own tune, in the saddest country twang ya can think up. mmk? mmmk.

Oh and then afterward, you need to go to youtube and listen to "One's On the Way" by Loretta Lynn.

I'm probly gonna git spit-up on, today
I'm probly gonna git spit-up on, today

Better wear a lose, old shirt
Instead of poop maybe people will think its dirt

I'll still probly git spit up on, today
I'm probly gonna git spit up on, today

Lets try em' on, Oh those jeans still don't fit,
And that makes me feel like.......crap

And I'll probly git spit up on, today
Yep, I'll probly git spit up on, today

Maybe I could wear two shirts, instead of one
Take off the first one when its done

After I get spit up on today,
Cuz I'm sure I'll git spit up on, today

I love my job, Yes, I love my job
It's called bein' a mom

It requires no references
and no previous work experience

It pays in giggles, diapers, and love
And some say it's heaven's work from above
It just requires, a lot of laundry done
Because You're probably gonna git
Spit Up, On. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

More stuff that only a few of you will want to read through.

which is ok with me.

first off, camry is doing great. she giggled for the first time two nights ago :) the Dr. said she's not normal...and he meant it in a good way :) woot woot! every mom wants to say their child is brilliant, haha but no she is doing wonderfully-- i love being a mom. Colten says, "post more pictures!!" well, can't find the cord for my camera to hook up to the computer. were so high-tech i know. so i'm putting up one pic from my phone that was from the night she giggled. oh how i love my baby girl.

isn't that the cutest chubalub smile ya ever did see?

So can I get on a different subject for a minute?
Another shpill from me....

I don't understand the whole 'offended' thing. I don't understand it in any situation. I'm not talking a church thing necessarily, i'm just talking in general.

How do you get across to people that being offended, getting offended, and staying offended only hurts the person holding on to the offense? Think if all of us could just expect others to say things they didn't mean negatively...if we all expected each other to make mistakes, and create misunderstandings? It seems like if we did that, maybe 'being offended' would be nearly non-existent. What good does it do to walk around being angry? Why do we all hold each other to some standard that says---'you have to know everything about me so don't say anything that might hurt my feelings and you should have absolute proper manners so don't be impolite and you must be perfect because clearly i'm perfect so if you're not then i'm gonna get upset'

before i continue let me clarify two things:
1- No, I am not in some mystery situation that I'm vaguely alluding to online because I cannot deal with relationship problems face to face. No, that is what facebook is for. This is just me blurting out my feelings on the subject of offensiveness because I do see it, it does happen, and I'm sick and tired of it. Also, this was not brought on by anyone so do not do exactly what I'm talking about and get worried that someone offended me, or that I'm trying to offend you, those kind of thoughts are in fact what did bring about this post.
2- I'm not saying we all should walk around and act like idiots and expect everyone else to appreciate it. No, we should try to be polite, kind, loving, and all the good things that are and will be. But, I am saying that there was only one perfect person. And the only thing we can expect out of each other is 'doing our best' and we ought to know quite well by now that 'our best' and everyone else's 'best' falls short sometimes. So, we then should let go of the offenses that come and go.

maybe one more thing to clarify:
3-when I describe offenses, i'm talking about relatively small issues. In my understanding of being offended typically they are always relatively small issues. But do not mistake me by interpreting it to mean actual huge hurtful things that human beings do to one another. I don't think I need to make a list of the differences between the two for understanding-I just hope ya get what I mean. (but small and large offenses and hurtful things can be deleted by forgiveness...)

I've found a pattern in relationships. I wish I was good with graphics because I would try to draw it up.
If we choose to live our lives delicately---as in, our emotions/self efficacy/self concepts are delicately laced along the tips of our sleeves, guess what will happen? your lil' lace theres gonna git caught on somethin'!!
And lace is very hard to put back together once torn up, and lace is hard to untangle from a rose bush, and lace is, let's face it, just really delicate! So, if we have set our lace out there for everyone to destroy, we will get offended. Probably more than once. And it's probably going to be hard to put ourselves back together, and it's probably going to be hard to get over what happened.

Typically, (in my uneducated opinion) people who live like this deal with a lot more anxiety. They question themselves constantly about what do I say? What do I do in this situation? And as others catch on to their delicacy, they too start to worry about how to act, what to say, and how to respond for fear that they may entangle themselves in one big lace offense. I'll tell ya right now, maybe one reason I understand this is because I've been there. I've been delicate-lace-emotion-sammy, and i've also walked on eggshells around people for fear that I might prick them with an unintended thorn. Both sides are hard. Both are stupid. So why do we do it?

There is no good reason. Some would say, "but, but, she said this to me! and then she did THAT!" Well, those are both unfortunate circumstances, but how about we let it go and move on? 

We ought to live in a world where we expect each other to be loving. And when someone says something unloving we ought to act how Christ would have acted. We ought to love them in return, and try to teach by example and word when moved upon by the spirit to do so. I don't like the phrase "kill em' with kindness" why? Because it has the word kill in it which denotes a long list of revengeful reasons for treating someone with kindness and that's not really kindness at all now is it?

Real love for others is not easily swayed by an unintended unkind phrase. Moroni 7:45 says
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

So why do people walk around professing kindness, charity, and love, and expect everyone else to be at their level BUT when someone unintentionally offends all of a sudden it's okay to be angry because they know what love is and so the other person should understand it perfectly too and since they clearly don't--then we get upset? Did I portray the irony correctly?  In other words, when we are easily offended, I am gonna come right out and say that we do not understand love the way we should. Love and Forgiveness may be two different words, in an imperfect English language, but they are permanently connected in their divine creation. They cannot truly be separated.

D&C 64:10
10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

Of us it is required to forgive all men. 

D&C 112:11
11 I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren. Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name.

Let thy love abound unto all men.

Can we see a connection? I see it, and it is something I most definitely need to work on. That's why I'm putting it on my online journal. For me, I have to learn so much in life and this is a massive chunk of it. To Love and Forgive all men. AND women.

When Christ hung on the cross, we know what he said to the Father. And I don't know about you, but everytime I hear it it hits me with the same power as it did the first time I heard and understood it's meaning.

Luke 23:34

"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

If the people who crucified our Savior, could not understand who He was and could not understand that He meant only to teach, heal, love, lead, and establish God's kingdom (and bring about the Atonement and a whole lot of other things) THEN how dare we expect our neighbor to understand us so perfectly that they don't offend us (especially) unintentionally?

The Son of God walked among them, he wrought miracles and went about doing good his entire mortal ministry. And yet, people still called him horrible things, they still accused him of being the opposite of all that He was. And yet, even after all they did to him physically, spiritually, and emotionally, He asked that they be forgiven, because he loved them, and loves us and He knew they did not understand. 

So maybe I can phrase my questions differently. What if we walked around with that kind of understanding for those around us? The kind of understanding that Christ had? How would it change our interactions? our expectations? Our conversations? Our love for our brothers and sisters? 

I think maybe we ought to try. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Before the night is through, I just have to say...

brownies + milk = delicious.

chocolate chip cookies + milk = classically wonderful.


Oreos, oh precious oreos...they really are milk's favorite cookie.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Life Ponderings

When someone passes on, it makes ya think. It's bound to do so. It makes ya ponder life. And at a funeral a few years ago I had a thought... an unrealistic but nice thought...

What if we get some sort of extra points in heaven for the people on earth who loved us? Not the # of people, and certainly not the measurement of tears cried at our funeral, but for those certain people, maybe there were only a few, but inside of the hearts of those few individuals, can their love for us somehow help us out in the long run?

Here's what brought on this thought. There are wonderful people who pass on, and at their funerals they are said to have lived what seems like practically perfect lives. What about those people whose funerals you think no one will go to? Maybe those mass murderers, those abusers, those....well you know the kind. Maybe those folks didn't get a funeral...but do they get any extra points for maybe their moms, or even a friend they met in prison, just someone.

If we choose to live our lives so that we seem to be better at losing friends then making them, then what about the one friend we did have? right? Even if it took a lifetime --- 300 people met and only 1 ends up actually being a friend, do we get some sort of lift up because at least in one instance we were able to learn how to love?

I don't know, but I do know that every person, even the ones who have gone down in history as the most evil of beings known to mankind, they have been loved. If they made it to adulthood with a relatively solid head on their shoulders, then somebody took the time to get them there. Someone had to nurse them, and love them as a baby. Babies who are not loved do not survive. Someone had to get them through childhood, at least long enough to teach them to fend for themselves. Maybe there are some people who truly never gave love in any form- not even for a fraction of a second during the short time we are here on earth. But maybe if we, if only one person, could still choose to love them, maybe it could benefit them after this life.

Here's another thought, maybe that one tiny shred of love doesn't 'win us points' persay, but maybe it has some magical affect on the heart of another person----like it shoots out and sticks to the heart of another even if they didn't want it to, and then after this life, all those little stickers are brought to remembrance---maybe all the stickers are laid out on the table--- and then at that time maybe that person will choose a willingness to learn how to love. And again, maybe there are human beings who won't shoot out any love stickers because they just don't know how. But I guess I'm saying, even though we can't force anyone to do anything...isn't love the closest thing to having the power to make someone do something? Because I know there are countless stories of people being changed by love. Even the people who are looked upon by others as useless scum, there is a chance of them being changed by love.

I know that the Atonement is real---and it IS the power to change people. And it is completely--and utterly---and through and through---love at it's ultimate strength. I know that Christ never looked upon the wicked as useless scum, no, he just said Come Unto Me. No matter who you are, no matter what you've done. He just said "Come Unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (matt.11:28) if no one else will love you, or cry at your funeral, or shoot you any love stickers for your heart, "I will give you rest". 

And I do know, that  not only did Christ ask us to Come Unto Him, he asked us in John 21 to Feed His Sheep. "Feed My Sheep" If you love me. So what happens really, how does the whole pattern work?
Even if no one else loves us, Christ does. He gave enough "love stickers" for everyone. When I say everyone, I'm not talking small--I'm not talking enough for the community you live in. Not the country you love in. But enough for everyone in the whole world. So some of us are blessed to know that in this lifetime. We get the blessing of the knowledge of our Savior. Too many don't get that privilege in this life. But that's what's amazing about the changing that occurs because of the love the Savior has for us. If we know about this love, if we strive to understand it, feel it, and gain a testimony of it, then we feel a change. It is a powerful change. And hopefully, the next part of the pattern is that you want to feed his sheep, you desire it with your whole soul. Because a love so powerful cannot be selfishly kept inside of one person---if it is, then it is not understood. This love motivates you to help others change, and feel the love you felt when you learned of the Savior's love for you.

And maybe, when we ponder the lives of others, even if they have passed on, maybe we can shoot them a few love stickers. maybe those love stickers can shoot through time, through different lifetimes. And maybe they can still cause changes. So that even if someone didn't understand love on earth, they can start feeling it and understanding it in heaven. And maybe.......just maybe....they can shoot love stickers back to us.

Just a thought.