Tuesday, February 1, 2011
“We begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.”
I find that it is easy to love someone when I am filled with the Spirit, someone that I sit next to at the Temple for example. But do I really have charity for my fellowman if I only love those who are kind to me? Certainly not.
I love these verses from Matthew 5:
43. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45. "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth crain on the just and on the unjust.
46. "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47. "And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
I also find that it is easy to serve others when their need happens to be something that I have an excess of, or confidence in. But am I a true Christian if I only love and serve others when it is convenient for me? No. There was nothing convenient or easy about the path that the Saviour walked. If I am to be a Christian, as I profess to be, then I must be willing to follow in His footsteps, which sometimes means doing difficult things.
Friday, November 19, 2010
by David L. Weatherford
Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?
You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.
Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?
You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.
Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
'cause you never had time to call and say hi?
You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it's like an unopened gift thrown away.
Life isn't a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Paul and I joined a monthly Temple babysitting swap with our neighbors and good friends, the Wilsons. We watch their children once each month for them to attend the Temple and they, in turn, watch our children once a month while we attend the Temple. It has now been a few months in this arrangement. It has been such a blessing in my life!
Paul and I had fallen out of the habit of making it to the Temple regularly and rarely attended together even when we did go. Now that we are regularly attending the Temple together I can feel such a difference in our family and our home, and in me personally. We feel happier, stronger, and more united. We feel that we are better prepared to fight off the temptations of the adversary, to avoid the discouragement and stresses of daily living, and to recognize and enjoy the blessings that Heavenly Father has given us.
The Temple helps me to thrive, instead of merely surviving in life. I love the Temple because it allows me opportunities to escape the noise of the outside world and to feel that I am being taught at the foot of the Savior.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Our family spent this weekend resting and playing at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs resort in north Phoenix. Even though it is only an hour away from our home, we felt like we were worlds away from our daily stresses and responsibilities.
It was Abby's and Holly's first time ever staying in a hotel so, needless to say, they were pretty excited. They loved hanging out together and exploring a new place.
The hotel has 8 pools and at least as many Jacuzzis so we spent almost our entire weekend just enjoying the water and beautiful weather.
Abby took this picture - she was pretty proud to be able to work the camera all by herself. (Please excuse the shiny sunblock look)
The pools had just the right amount of shallow and deep water for the girls to play. They enjoyed being able to walk in and out of the water without any help. There were also waterfalls and fountains for them to splash in while in the pool.
They especially loved bringing their giant crocodile in the pool to ride on. They made a lot of new friends and enjoyed riding around with the other children on the "Crocodile Express". Abby pretended to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid and even planned to marry one of the boys at sunset. Paul and I had a serious talk with her about how she needs to finish, or at least start, school before she gets married. :)
The girls were picking purple flowers to put in their hair when I asked them to smile at the camera. They loved being near the waterfalls and flowers.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend and we all left feeling rejuvenated and relaxed and, most importantly - just a little more thankful for the wonderful blessing we call family.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The first few pictures are of us setting the tent up in our kitchen for a trial run. We had dinner and scripture study in the tent. Then there are a few random pictures of Abby making her talent show poster, Holly trying on her new Princess shoes, and Abby on her way to a sleepover at Grandma Whiting's house. Then the last set of pictures are from camping this week. :)
Or you can go to this LINK to see our pictures.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
"I don't know what I want and I can't find what I need.
Somewhere deep inside of me is a hunger I can't feed.
I've tried so long and hard to remove all of this pain,
but there isn't enough sunshine to take away the rain.
It seems as though life's loneliness is far too much to bear.
On this Earth peace and happiness are becoming so rare.
But through all this darkness, a glimmer of Hope appears.
The light of Christ shines in my life; My desperate cry He hears.
I want to share this joy I feel with all who seek the truth.
I'll use the Spirit felt in their hearts to serve as my proof.
All the confusion of the World now disappears from mind.
The love and peace I've searched for is no longer hard to find.
Now when I'm all alone and think that no one cares,
I begin to feel His love for I know He hears my prayers."
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I have tender moments like these every day. I am so blessed to have two sweet little girls to spend my days with, who are patient with me and willing to help me be a better person. I learn just as much from them as they learn from me, if not more. They are my little Angels, sent to me from Heavenly Father to remind me of everything that is important in life and to give me the courage to abandon everything that is unimportant.
As part of my goal to listen better, I have removed distractions such as the internet on my phone, facebook, and reading other people's blogs. I want to listen better to my children, my husband, and the Spirit. I have already noticed a huge difference in my life and I am excited to make further changes.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
It was perfect!
Bethany, Payson, Cody and Kaelyn... Kaelyn really wasn't a fan of the scary bright things in the sky or the loud booming that accompanied them, so they had to leave early. But we loved having them there with us!
I cannot end this post without mentioning one of my other favorite moments of this 4th of July - a moment that is much more personal to me. On the morning of Sunday, July 4th I found myself in the same place that I am every other Sunday morning at 9 am - at church. We always begin our meeting with hymns but since it was July 4th we began our meeting by standing and singing the Star Spangled Banner. There is just something so powerful about standing together with fellow Americans, and, in this case, also my brothers and sisters in the Gospel, and singing that patriotic song. I felt moved as I looked around at the congregation, all of us standing and expressing our patriotism and beliefs through the words of that song. I was not the only one with tears in my eyes.
"Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"
We decided to sign Abby up for a community sports class this summer. The class was held every Friday morning at 8 am for 7 weeks. Abby loved playing the sports (Soccer, T-Ball, and Basketball) and also loved getting to play with some new friends. Friday was affectionately labeled "Sports Day" this summer and Abby became our "Sports Girl".
The class for Holly's age group filled up too quickly so she missed out this time. But she was a great cheerleader for Abby and enjoyed sitting on the sidelines watching.
Abby got her own little sports shirt to wear each week, which made her feel pretty important and special. I was amazed at how old she looked with her pony tail, running up and down the field. My little girl is growing up and I couldn't be more proud!
One or two of the other children sort of bullied the other kids around. Not intentionally, I don't think, but they just weren't respectful of others feelings and sometimes ran over other kids in their carelessness. I was so proud to watch Abby try her best and do well, but not forget her manners and kindness in the process. She has such a kind and gentle heart. I am thankful that she got to have this fun experience.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Abby, Holly and I had a fun shopping trip to Kohls today.
We bought for Abby: 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of capris, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 shirt.
For Paul: 2 shirts (he wanted some patriotic ones for Independence Day), 4 neck ties (which he doesn't like but they were $2 each so I'll just use them as gifts).
For me: 4 shirts.
2 boys clip on ties for a friend ($1.40 each!!), 4 stainless steel water bottles, 1 mini doodler (for the girls to use at church or in the car), and 1 Barbie convertible for my niece's birthday.
Grand total after Kohls cash: $80. That's an average of $3.33 per item. And my receipt says I saved $310. Not bad, I'd say. :)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Elder Spencer W. Kimball dispelled the notion that idolatry is a sin of the past that must involve some kind of image or figure.
“Idolatry is among the most serious of sins. There are unfortunately millions today who prostrate themselves before images of gold and silver and wood and stone and clay. But the idolatry we are most concerned with here is the conscious worshipping of still other gods. Some are of metal and plush and chrome, of wood and stone and fabrics. They are not in the image of God or of man, but are developed to give man comfort and enjoyment, to satisfy his wants, ambitions, passions and desires. Some are in no physical form at all, but are intangible.
“Many seem to ‘worship’ on an elemental basis—they live to eat and drink. They are like the children of Israel who, though offered the great freedoms associated with national development under God’s personal guidance, could not lift their minds above the ‘flesh pots of Egypt.’ They cannot seem to rise above satisfying their bodily appetites. As Paul put it, their ‘God is their belly.’ ( Phil. 3:19 .)
“Modern idols or false gods can take such forms as clothes, homes, businesses, machines, automobiles, pleasure boats, and numerous other material deflectors from the path to godhood. What difference does it make that the item concerned is not shaped like an idol? Brigham Young said: ‘I would as soon see a man worshipping a little god made of brass or of wood as to see him worshipping his property.’
“Intangible things make just as ready gods. Degrees and letters and titles can become idols. Many young men decide to attend college when they should be on missions first. The degree, and the wealth and the security which come through it, appear so desirable that the mission takes second place. Some neglect Church service through their college years, feeling to give preference to the secular training and ignoring the spiritual covenants they have made.
“Many people build and furnish a home and buy the automobile first—and then find they ‘cannot afford’ to pay tithing. Whom do they worship? Certainly not the Lord of heaven and earth, for we serve whom we love and give first consideration to the object of our affection and desires. Young married couples who postpone parenthood until their degrees are attained might be shocked if their expressed preference were labeled idolatry.” ( Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 40–41.)
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” ( Matthew 6:21 ).
Friday, March 19, 2010
At the beginning of March (I think?) my little nephew Payson was blessed in church. Much of my family was able to be there in attendance to witness the special day for the Raue family (my sister, Bethany's family), and we all enjoyed lunch at Bethany's house afterward. Here are a few pictures I took at Bethany's house that day.
We had a lot of fun just hangin' out and spending time together. It isn't often that we get to have this many of us all together at the same time. Wish I would have gotten some better pictures of the whole gang together.
The "man" of the hour...My adorable nephew Payson. He's already grown so much since this picture was taken.
Abby turned 4 years old on March 5th (yeah, I am late in posting about it). She asked to have a "Belle" party, which gave her and many of her guests an excuse to play dress up.
Abby requested that we play "red light, green light" at her party, one of her favorite games. It was actually very entertaining to watch the kids, even and maybe especially the older kids, race to the finish line.
Abby loved all of the attention that she got and was so excited to have her cousins and friends come over to party with her.
We had a full house and a lot of fun! Thanks so all of the family and friends that joined us for Abby's special day.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I knocked my head in to a bolt on that ledge (the one that my elbow is resting on). Paul didn't see what happened so he just continued snapping pictures while I stood there holding my forehead. I gotta say...it hurt pretty bad. My eyes went starry, my limbs tingly, and my head throbbed.
Ok, so it looks small but it was enough of a head bump to make me feel nauseous and sore the rest of the day. It turned in to a nasty little bump, too.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I almost ignored the feeling and walked up the stairs anyway. After all, we rarely open our garage door and there shouldn't have been any reason for the door to be open. But the feeling persisted so I shrugged and opened the door, fully expecting to find the garage door closed as it almost always was. I was so sure that the garage door was closed, in fact, that I only cracked the door open an inch or two - just enough for me to peek out and see the closed garage door. To my surprise, though, when I looked through the crack in the door I could see straight through the garage and out to my neighbor's porch light across the street. Dumbfounded, I swung the door completely open to see that our garage door was actually open. I pressed the button to close the garage, re-locked the door leading in to the house, and walked up the stairs to go to bed.
This experience was so small and uneventful, but it has had a great impact on me. I have thought about it several times since then and it always brings a smile to my face. I believe that it is no coincidence that on the only night that we forgot to close the garage door, I had a burning feeling within me that I needed to check that it was closed. Checking the garage door was not, at least until that night, a part of my regular nightly routine.
I know that God, through His Holy Spirit, whispered to me to check the garage door that night. I don't know what would have happened had I ignored the feeling and left the garage door open all night - perhaps many of our things would have been stolen or perhaps someone would have found the open garage door as an open invitation to break in to our home during the night. Leaving the garage door open could have had catastrophic results...or, nothing would have happened at all. It really doesn't matter. What does matter to me is that God loves me, little insignificant me, enough to remind me to close the garage door.
On a night, just like any other night, God spoke to me in His simple but miraculous way.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Yes, yes I believe in wearing nerdy hats while decorating the Christmas tree. I actually got this hat for Paul last year but he made me wear it - who could blame him?!? lol The hat didn't stay on my head very long either. :-)