Monday, November 29, 2010

ThAnKs for the journey.....................

my life is full of reasons to give thanks--grateful is an understatement. --thinking about all the good things in my life--a strong crazy happy family, friends, a good ice cream cone, a relationship with Heavenly Father, laughter of kids, i love owls, a big fat nap, turkeys (poor guys), warm coat in this freezing michigan air, ability to see-to touch-to smell-to feel-, elder sweatfields jokes, inspiring books, i love my mom, talented muscians for me to listen to--can't forget coldplay, running all bundled up in the blizzarding snow, a place to come home to each night, people i meet, being able to learn everyday,  sports (even when byu loses), strawberries, getting mail, seeing people change, erasers on pencils,  i could sit here all day and never be done, but most importantly i am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ-- He has given me the chance to live life, and enjoy the journey.
Prophet Thomas S. Monson once said--
"Day by day, minute by minute, second by second we went from where we were to where we are now. The lives of all of us, of course, go through similar alterations and changes. The difference between the changes in my life and the changes in yours is only in the details. Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching come the changes.
This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Haven

My haven is close to heaven,
as Heavenly Father welcomes me.
Guiding my hand through the door--my burdens seem like a forgotten memory.
All my cares lay at the gate, my minds fog disappears.
The world cannot enter here,
my life shines through the mirrors.
I see past tomorrow--my purpose is in every feeling.
I am calm; overcome with peace. The walls hold the love-filled to the ceiling.
I ponder. I pray. Asking Heavenly Father to stay by my side.
He is there in the temple, for my Haven is where He resides.
Time Stops.
I feel free--filled with light to shine.
I feel close to my Father
he says, "remember you are mine."

Friday, November 5, 2010

One day when I was about 20 years old, I remember sitting on my mom and dads bed. I was talking to my dad about life & I was really worried about practically everything--feeling really overwhelmed and just down and out.(you know the feeling?) As I was crying to him and wishing he could solve my problems, he said something I won't ever forget--
"You have no faith."
 At first I thought, woooooooooah, wait a second....of course I do--but then I started thinking what it really means to have faith--and if I had faith--I wasn't living it. It reminds me of a story in the Book of Mormon*. The Tree of Life is shown to the Prophet Lehi in a dream or vision-- Lehi recounted the tree as "a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy." the fruit representing the Love of God & the Atonement--something we all want to feel.
How did they get to that tree of life?
     How do WE feel God's love and the Atonement in our own lives?
Lehi went on describing how there was a rod of iron (word of God) that led to the tree. Those who held on to the word of God are lead to happiness-true happiness, not temporary. Well how does this have to do with having faith? (you are probably wondering). 
  1 Nephi 8: 24 says,  "...I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward... CLINGING to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree."  Faith is not seeing, touching, or holding the rod--its CLINGING to it. When we have faith, we cling to God's word--we have hope in good things to come--and when we keep on keeping on we find love at the end. I know my dad taught me a really valuable lesson that day; I had lost grip of the rod--it was now time to press forward and CLING to the rod. God is there. I know when I read His words, I feel His love--and I remember dont let go.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where can I turn for peace?

Think for a minute of a place you love to be--
       it could be a park, grandma's house, church, ice cream shop,
                       the mountains, the lake, maybe at a friends, home,
                                                                          anywhere--you decide.
So why do you like to be there? Is it because of the company? The peaceful feeling? The good food? You feel like yourself there?--what is it that makes you long to be there?

When I moved to Pennsylvania after high school, I learned one place I love to be. Although I had place to come home to, with people I loved and who loved me--it was never home. I remember the first time I went home to Utah after 6 months of being away. (sigh). I remember walking in and feeling as if my spirit knew this was home. I love to be there because my dad always helps me keep my life in perspective, mom teaches me to laugh--enjoy life, my  brother Tommy teaches me to love unconditionally. I am who I am there--its me, don't have to be anyone else. So do you still have that place in mind? Hold on to that thought..........

Do you know what a temple is? The temple is a literal House of the Lord here on earth. We go there to make promises to God--where we prepare to be like Him--where families can be together forever. The best feelings I have ever experienced in my life were in the temple. I was 20 years old at the time I realized the peace I could feel in the temple and how real it was. I had become really close to a friend. We started talking about marriage and it just didn't feel right. As much as I wanted it to work out I knew that it wasn't the plan that Heavenly Father had for me at the time. I felt like I was falling away from who I needed to be and reaching for something so far away. I prayed and prayed and prayed--my answer was to break it off. Ouch-it was painful to even think about, but deep down I knew I should. I remember my mom on the other line of the phone suggesting that we go to the temple everyday in December. I woke up the next day, which happened to be the 1st of December, I felt sick--nothing was going to stop me, I went anyways. Everyday following I went--sometimes for a few minutes & sometimes for hours. Without a doubt I always walked out feeling so at peace and I felt like each time I went--God was mending me. I would go; sit, ponder on life, pray, write in my journal--just be with my Heavenly Father and He helped me to heal. I did heal. It was like I was able to see more of an eternal perspective, I felt literal peace at a time when most would feel the most heartache. If you have not had the opportunity to learn about the temples--please take the time to do it. I know that it will help you feel peace.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Think LIFE--What is the purpose? Where did I come from & why? What happens when I die? Can my family be forever? Will I go to Heaven? Does God still speak to us today?

I know that God has a plan for me. He has a plan of happiness for all of us. We are His children and He loves us. Because of that love He has given us answers to these questions we have in life.  I know that even though this is a plan of "happiness" we will still experience sadness, grief, guilt--but why? That's how we grow. If we didn't know the bad, we couldn't understand the good. I love sports; running, basketball, football, you name it-I like it. How would a game of basketball go if there was no other team, no defenders, no blockers--it would be easy and pointless, right? Although people still get injuries in sports it doesn't stop them from playing. We will have trials, fumbles, & interceptions, but we must not give up. I know that God is always there. I know that because I have really searched for Him myself.

Check out
                     ---God's Plan of Happiness

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence." -Joseph Smith

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just keep Swimming.................

Two frogs fell into a deep milk bowl.
One frog was on optimistic soul,
but the other took the gloomy view,
"We'll drown," he cried without more adieu, and with a last despairing cry,
he flung up his legs and said goodbye.
Said the other frog with a merry grin,
"I can't get out,
        but I  won't give in.
I'll just swim around 'til my strength is spent then will I die with more content". So bravely he swam until it did seem, his struggles began to      churn the cream.
On top of the butter he finally stopped,
out of the bowl he gaily hopped.
              What of this moral?
'tis easily found
If you can't get out, keep swimming around.

James 5:11 says,
            "Behold we count them happy which endure.
                                       --Behold we count them happy who just keep swimming.
Thats what we are asked to do; endure to the end. Even though we don't know the outcomes, God does. I know that Heavenly Father always makes a way.  That is why Jesus Christ came to earth was to make a way for us to get back. I have had so many times in my life where I felt like it would just be easiest to give up, throw in the towel, & bid adieu--but I had faith Christ would be there. And He was. Sometimes life seems overwhelming & tireing, but hey, if we keep on swimming we are building some pretty strong muscles. Christ* endured it all, swim to him. He loves you--and He always will.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

...the winds never cease to blow...........

When traveling your road of life, (picture it) you get to the point where the road seems flooded with roadblocks, and you stand staring on, wondering,
                            how in the world am I going to get through THAT?
                           Do you ever at that moment say, "Why me?"     
I have been to that bend in the road too. I am beginning to think that we all travel that path. I was reading in the Book of Mormon,* a story is told about the Jaredites, who were a group of people in the times of the "great tower" (tower of babel). The Lord commanded them to prepare to head to the Promised Land. In the world today, no big deal right; buy a ticket, get on a boat, and waaaaala you are there. BUT for them, they had to ask Heavenly Father what to do; how to build 'boats', how to have light in their journey, & etc. Once those concerns were out of the way, they started on. Ether 6:5 is actually what hit me, it says...
 "And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind."             
           ............continuing in vs. 8 "And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind."
Our wind, our roadblocks, our trials.....they are what blow us TOWARDS the Promised Land. Although we wonder sometimes, are they ever going to stop? I have realized, the Lord was actually getting them to where they needed to be. Notice that the winds blew them TOWARDS the Promised Land, and that is exactly what our trials do, they 'blow' us towards who we are to become.

President James E. Faust once said, "The thorns that prick,
                                 that stick in the flesh,
                                                       that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope.This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength. For some, the refiner’s fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process."

When staring on, wondering, how in the world am I going to do THAT? Just remember the Lord knows how. Just buckle up, remember the eternal perspective, & be ready to let Him mold you into who you are to become---TO BECOME LIKE HIM!