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Saturday, November 13, 2010


"Sisters, we love you. We pray for you. Be strong and of good courage. You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your 'once upon a time' is now." (President Dieter F. Uchdorf, "Your Happily Ever After," Ensign, May 2010)


Thank you kindly for being there for me whenever I need to get something done without the children underfoot. It is so nice of you to line up in the living room and allow the kids to play "train" while I wash the dishes in peace. Oh, how they love to toot and wave out your imaginary windows, whilst I scrub away. You all are truly some of the best friends a mother could have.



FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Heavenly Father is Awesome

Wow. Have I ever told you that I think the gospel is awesome. And I mean awesome in the more reverent sense of the word. Tonight I headed off to the Worldwide Training Meeting, sort of expecting a somewhat boring presentation of the new church-wide handbooks. But instead, I received a spiritual feast. I bathed in personal revelation from the opening hymn. And the personal revelation applied not just to my Young Women calling, but also to little struggles at home. The restored gospel of Christ is remarkable not only for its depth and scope, but also for its simplicity.

I felt like a bad mom today. For some reason, my kiddos were uber-hyperactive today. And grouchy. And fighting with each other. Non-stop. I had a headache. I was beyond grumpy. As I left the chilies at my wonderful, amazing, soon-to-be-twinkled mom's house to be babysat, I said a prayer that my heart would be prepared for the spirit and that I would have the chance to apologize for my inappropriate anger to the kids later.

During the meeting, which was mainly about how church councils can function effectively and benefit from each member's personal thoughts and revelation, it occurred to me. . . this message translates! My family is a council! My kids are member of the council and I need to include them in the discussions. When we are facing problems, I need to ask them to suggest solutions, offer their input. I also was taught that in order for our family to move forward, improving and growing each day, the spirit will have to be present in these council meetings. Once that happens, we will have more unity as a family.

It was such a breakthrough in thinking for me. In fact, I remember thinking that I felt like I was hooked up to a spiritual computer or something, receiving a spiritual download. And the message, though a shift in past methods, was simple in nature.

And I felt so loved. Heavenly Father heard my prayer and answered me in an understandable, timely, specific way. And that is awesome.


I recently heard of a fun way to show gratitude. I am going to add a little "thank you" note to my blog from time to time, addressed to the person or thing I'm thankful for. I think this will be a fun exercise and I hope you will feel free to share with me what makes you feel grateful as well. Here's my first thank you note:

Dear Bloggers,

Thank you for reading my words without judging me for my weaknesses. Thank you for your tender, encouraging comments and your prayers. Thank you for your own faith. Knowing women like you makes me feel like part of a sisterhood. I feel stronger each day because of this blog and you have motivated me to pick myself up, dust off and continue in hope. I love you all!


Friday, November 12, 2010

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT-Viva Las Vegas (or Just Stay Home Next Time!)

Well, we went to Vegas. It was a much-needed break from reality for both of us, but it is SOOOO good to be home. Though exciting and different, downtown Las Vegas was stinky, loud, and a little depressing. Walking around the strip was a fun adventure, but after a few days, the glitz and glam wore off and we were ready to come back to good ole' Utah with its trees and fresh mountain air. But despite "Sin City's" filthiness, we came back with a few lessons about life (and a lot of souvenirs!)

Las Vegas itself is a little like the war between good and evil. The brochures all were so enticing, each promising excitement and entertainment, a respite from reality and a city that never sleeps. The lights and fancy casinos were beautiful and impressive at first. And nothing beats the food. We ate like kings! But after a day or two, we began seeing truth all around us. The brochures said nothing about the smell of cigarettes and alcohol that somehow slipped under the door of our "no-smoking: hotel room. Nor did they mention that about every 10 minutes we could expect to hear the siren of a racing ambulance or police car. We weren't told that the casinos that we would walk through were to be filled with lost, hollow souls numbly staring at flashing screens, which promised false hope of riches. It was fun to see Paris and the Bellagio, the Luxor, the MGM Grand, Excalibur, New York New York, and the Mandalay. The most unsettling experience for both of us was the walking salespeople. Each casino had highly persuasive men walking around looking for sweet, unsuspecting tourists like us. They promised us free tickets to be used at a "show" of our choice and vouchers for free meals. Though we said we were not interested, they persisted, promising us that we would have a good time. And they were everywhere! The funniest part was when we told one man that we were going to the dollar theater in town, so we didn't need tickets. He asked us what show we were going to see. You should have seen the look on his face as my awesome hubby responded, "Nanny McPhee Returns." He pretty much gave up on us at that point, probably guessing that we were Mormons.

Pedestrians in Las Vegas who walked even just a block away from the strip saw an entirely different downtown. There, they saw the sadness of drunken men, out of work and looking desperately for their next fix or drink. And I won't even start about the free pornographic pamphlets everywhere!

Anyway, the point is that Satan enlists the senses to help entice us to do evil. He tries to make sin seem appealing, exciting, flashy and desirable. Sadly, many fall for his lies, truly expecting a free show and a life free of consequences. But while our agency is free, we will never be able to choose our own consequences.

We visited the Las Vegas temple on our last day. What a contrast! As we stepped out of our car and walked around the grounds, we had a new appreciation for the sanctity of the Lord's House. The smells and noise of the city were forgotten. The landscaping was breathtaking and peaceful and we lingered for several hours.

As I have mentioned, I am currently serving in my stake's YW Presidency. I was THRILLED to hear that next year's theme will be the 13th article of faith. I felt that Las Vegas was the perfect visual. Though there are many unsavory sights and place in Las Vegas, anyone who lived there could find uplifting activities and be found in holy places. We were able to go see a very cute, clean movie, go to M&M World, and the chocolate factory, and to the Mormon Fort, as well as enjoy a picnic at a very nice city park. This could serve as an analogy as well. . . we were living in the world, but were trying hard not to be of the world.

Anyway, I know this post is very scattered, but the point to me is this. No matter where we find ourselves in life, or what Satan tempts us with, no matter how unsavory the world around us becomes, we always have the choice to live righteously. And as we do, we will be blessed with peace and security.