Sunday, December 8, 2013

Merry Christmas!

If you haven't gotten into the spirit of Christmas, PLEASE DO! This song inspired me, and my Christmas season. I know that my Savior lived and died and lives again for me. I love him, and I am grateful to him. Enjoy! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving, a day for love, a day for laughs, but most importantly, a day for gratitude. What fills your heart with joy this holiday season? I know that our Heavenly Father is blessing us everyday, and we just have to learn to recognize those blessings. 

I encourage each of you to put forth a little effort to show your thanks this Thanksgiving, by doing a simple act of service for someone you love, I know it will help this season be a special one :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sons and Daughters of a King

  Often in my life I have found that when I am surrounded by the wrong type of people I feel like the ugly duckling, worthless, and so alone. Our loving Heavenly Father does not want any of us to feel this way. He loves us, and knows us perfectly. 

  The world may tell us we are worthless, and ugly, but we know better. We are children of the most high God and he loves us so much. I know that we all have a divine nature that cannot be changed by anyone. Do you know who you are?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dirty Windows to Clean

You're sitting on a crowded bus headed home after a long day at work. Your feet are swollen a bit, you've been standing most of the day. Darkness has finally laid a blanket over the day, and you feel suddenly exhausted. It's impossible for anyone to feel as tired as you do right now. You lean your head against the window as the bus stops to pick up new passengers  As you close your eyes to rest, suddenly screaming and laughter break your solitude. Instead of peaceful slumber suddenly you find yourself agitated and annoyed at your current surroundings. It's late! Why are there children on the bus? You wait for what seems like an eternity for the children to take their seats, but nothing. In a rush of frustration you walk over to the father of these little rug-rats and look at him with a serious stare "Sir," you begin, "It's incredibly late, and your children are very loud. Will you please try to quiet them?" The father looks up at you with tears in his eyes. Suddenly you feel quite guilty inside. "Sir?"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Great Mediator: Paying off our Spiritual Credit Cards

 When I was 18, I got my first credit card. And if you automatically just cringed a little, that's good. I was so determined that I was going to be responsible with it. I was ONLY going to use it for what I needed and then immediately pay it off. I knew that I could do it, and I wasn't worried at all. Naturally, my parents were a little more apprehensive than I was. 
 Well, it wasn't too long before I found some pretty great uses for my credit card. I really LOVED those shoes, and I couldn't live without that new dress. Of course, going out to lunch with my friends was a must, especially because I hadn't seen them in what seemed like so long. Before I knew it, I had racked up a bill I couldn't pay by myself. When the bill came, I found myself paying the minimum I could, and my head was running with stress. Thankfully I had the sense to go to my parents, and they knew what to do. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dream A Little Bigger

Looking back on my childhood, I realize I was a bit of a dreamer. I always had imaginary friends, and my mom was always so supportive in inviting them to dinner. I used to love to talk with them, and tell them about how someday I was going to do big things, I was going to change the world. 

Unfortunately telling my imaginary friends as a child did me no good in accomplishing my real dreams. Alas, they were only in my mind, and could not help me along the way. However, I have come to know that there is one that can help me fulfill my dreams, He is waiting to help me change myself so that I can change the world. I too cannot see Him, but unlike my imaginary friends, He is always there.  

In a world of ever changing values, it is hard to count on anything in particular. Everyone seems to adapt this attitude of, "looking out for #1" and being 'self-reliant', which is really quite foolish. For anyone who feels like they must do it alone, and keep to themselves, I invite you to re-evaluate where you stand. There is a better way. And the way is trust, and FAITH in your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Heaven Is Near

I have a really amazing family, they are always there for me whenever I need them, and there is a mutual love of Jesus Christ and one another that seems to fill our home. But our life wasn't peachy-keen perfect either. When I was about 8 years old, my Dad lost his Job. Being so young, I didn't realize the impact it was going to have on the family. All I knew was Dad didn't have to go to work, and that meant he got to play with me...ALL DAY. To a kid that was like winning the lottery. 

It's interesting to me, because I remember not having a lot of money, we lived off our food storage and our garden, and yet, I can't remember a summer I loved more than that one! As a child this was the greatest blessing in the world, but as a family, this was by far one of the most stressful times. 

Wouldn't it be nice if we all saw trials like little children saw them? Like an opportunity for something
greater? I look back on my attitude as a child and think, wow, what faith I used to have. Even now I wish I looked at everything they way I used to, and then I thought about this truth beautifully stated by Elder Henry B. Eyring, "If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Creation of Color

I love to tie-dye, call me a true Oregonian, but I feel like good tie-dye is in my blood. The vibrant colors are a form of expression and personality. No two items ever look the same, and yet, nothing ever seems to 'clash'. It's a different kind of art.

Our lives are filled with all kinds of color. When we are born we start with a white shirt, pressed and full of possibility. As we go throughout our lives we pick and choose splashes of color, are we bold? Outgoing? Musical? Political? With all the things we do and are, there are splashes of color, vibrant and dull. We involve ourselves in all kinds of things, progressing and becoming who we someday want to be, but just like tie-dying a shirt, with too many colors, a shirt just becomes ugly.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Symphony of Life

There is a really lovely piano song I have come to love. "Shine" by William Joseph. It has a beautiful melody, and wonderful chords that blend together in a wondrous serenade of sound. Listening to this song makes me think of goals and dreams for better a today and better tomorrows. It had different musical lines that blend together, and when the song is over, it leaves the listener inspired and refreshed. 

Music has always been one of my passions. I love both performing and listening to well composed music, especially piano music. But I've noticed two things about well written piano music, first, there's always more than one note that must be played, and second, the notes must stay within the key signature restrictions in order for the music to flow. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Restless Beauty: A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there was a young lady, strong, beautiful and bright. She could conquer the world with a wave of her hand, and she was confident in her knowledge that she was oh so very special. Everyone knew that when she was around, the spotlight followed her, and so did a crowd of people. Everyone wanted to be like Olive, a true princess in and out.

Olive had a problem though, she had a problem sleeping. Every time she went to bed, she would toss and turn, but could never get comfortable. She started piling mattress on her bed, and then pillows and then blankets, but nothing helped. Olive couldn't sleep.

Slowly, her beauty began to fade. Her once cheerful personality faded into grumpy shouts at the admirers that followed her. The beautiful skin that used to glow with joy and love, turned an uneasy shade of pale pale yellow, and her once radiant eyes, dulled, and were framed by dark bags under her eyes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Happily Ever After

I keep hearing people tell me "life isn't like a fairy tale" and I would just like address this issue right off the bat. Life is absolutely like a fairy tale. It is full of magic, hope, loss, and of course, the most precious "happily ever after".

Ever fairy tale begins with a lone princess/prince who destines for more than she/he currently has. They want more! And in every case, they venture out, or are sent out to find that missing piece of life. Along the way they encounter the terrible heartache, misfortune, an evil villain who tries to keep them from their true destiny. But somehow our hero always steps in to save the lost royalty and helps them to the end. Despite the trials that face the beloved royalty, there is always this sense of hope we feel for them, "come on!" we cheer, "just wait, it get's better in just about 5 minutes!" We know that if they press forward with hope, something great is waiting around the corner.

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's raining Cats and Dogs!

North Carolina has rainstorms where I am pretty sure cats and dogs fall from the sky. It's crazy! I'm from Oregon, and I've never seen so much rain come down at one time, and when the sky is all cloudy gray, sometimes it's really hard to keep your 'happy face' on. It's so interesting though, the grass is always green here, and the flowers seem to always be blooming...why? Because it rains...and Rains...and RAINS

Life is much the same. Sometimes all we see is the crazy rain that always seem to pour on down. It almost floods our lives, and it makes it hard to see through dark clouded skies of confusion. But the really unfortunate times come when we are so focused on the rain, and forget to see the flowers. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It all starts...with a starter!

There is this great young woman at my church, Sarah, and she makes sourdough bread, and for all those who know me well, you know how much I LOVE sourdough bread. Interestingly enough, I learned it's quite a process to make a good loaf of sourdough bread. It all begins with the 'starter'. And this starter has to be 'fed' over several days with potato flakes and sugar to make sure it stays 'alive'. If you don't feed it on a consistent basis, it dies, and then you have to start all over, and it's not easy.  

Faith is much the same. Often we start on the right foot, we begin believing and then something happens, we forget to feed our flicker of faith and the faith we had slowly begins to fade away. Which is why it is so important to consistently 'fan the flame of our faith' (Holland). 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Parable of the Oreo

 I love Oreo's. They are one of my favorite cookies, but I always used to find them maddening to eat! When you try to dip the cookie in milk it would always either crumble, or worse, you would drop it in, and then have to fish it out causing a terribly large mess. 
 However, I learned something just recently, if you take a fork and insert it into the filling of an Oreo and then submerge it into the milk (just until the bubbles stop) then you can eat it with no fuss, no muss, and even better, no MESS.
 So why do I tell you about this fantastic trick? Because just like you need the proper tools and tactics to eat an Oreo without the stress, we all need proper tools and instruction to help us succeed in life. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Hope for a Better World"

Hope is always found in the hand of the Lord. The Lord loves his children, and when we trust him enough to follow him, we can find the peace we are searching for. I know God lives, and loves each of us individually as his children. The Book of Mormon tells us where we should look to for this hope. 

 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." (Ether 12:4)

It all starts with that one step of faith, sometimes it's a step in the dark, but as we go forward God will always light the path. There is a way to light if we choose not to dwell in darkness. President Monson councled us, "to look to the lighthouse of the Lord...there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety. This way to home.'" If we follow the council of the prophets, we can overcome the darkness we feel trapped in. It is essential that we remember to "accept that darkness exists and choose not to dwell there." (President Deiter F. Uchtdorf), there is always a better way. 

I invite you to learn more, to find the hope you lack. Come, join us.