Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Womens Day

Celebrating the women in my life on this International Women's Day
I stand on the shoulders of many amazing women 
who have helped me do what I know is right, even when it is difficult or not popular.
Women who have marched, stood up, and been world changers.
Women who have taught me how to love and forgive.
Women who have taught me that people and relationships are much more important than things.
Women who have taught me I can do anything yet I know I don't have to do everything.
My life is blessed by good women past and present
To the all the women in my life, I am grateful for you!
I miss President Gordon B Hinkley. He was a champion of women. 
The quote below was from an address given at the National Press Club in 2000. 
Read the full text HERE

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

For Such A Time As This

I love Elaine S Dalton.
This is a link to a recent address she gave to LDS Single Adults at the University of Utah Institute.
When she was serving as General Young Women President, I clearly remember having a confirmation that she was serving at exactly the time in history the Lord needed her, that the world needed her. She was serving just as Esther, "for such a time as this".
Such power and strength in her words.

I have had a few opportunities to be "up close and personal" with her. She is the real deal.

Esther 4: 14

14For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Forty Days and Upcoming Lent

As I began the study of Acts in the New Testament, I was impressed to study the significance of the number 40 and the many places this number appears in the Scriptures.
After His Resurrection, Christ spent 40 days teaching His Apostles.
This was a sacred time of purification and preparation.

Without much research, I began to list other times the number 40 is used. Forty days, Forty nights, Forty years, etc.

Some of the things I instantly remembered were:
Noah's Ark 40 days and 40 nights of rain  and 40 more days of waiting (cleansing of the earth)
Christ fasting in the wilderness 40 days (a time of temptation, preparation, and purification)
Moses was on Mt Sinai for 40 days (preparation, purification)
The Children of Israel wandering for 40 years (trials, temptations, refining, preparation)
Jonah gave the people of Nineveh 40 days to repent or be destroyed (trial)

The number 40 is used to represent Preparation, Trial, Cleansing, Purification, Refining.
In Old Testament times, Kings reigned for a period of 40 years, and 40 years represented a generation. During punishment, 40 lashes were given.
It has been interesting to see the many ways and places the number 40 is used.

I gave a Family Home Evening on this subject and we studied much more about the significance of 40 in the Scriptures.
We all committed to do something or not do something for 40 days with the goal as self-improvement.  My commitment was to give up refined sugar for 40 days, something I was eating very little of at that time and now I am not eating at all.  The 40 days ends on March 17 and I can honestly say I am not counting the days. This has been easier than I expected.

Anyhow, this brings me to the subject of upcoming 40 Day period of Lent, starting Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter. Many people give up things like I did recently, sugar, vices, smoking, etc. Today, I read this article, 19 Things to Give up for Lent That Aren't Chocolate, and it resonated with me. These are wonderful suggestions of things to "give up" or eliminate from life.

For many, the season of Lent is a sacred time of purification, a wonderful way to prepare for the Holy Week of Easter. I am grateful for this deeper understanding of the number 40 and look forward to experiencing the blessings of purification, refinement, and sacrifice.

I have only skimmed the surface on this topic. There is so much to learn and use for spiritual and personal growth.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Love One Another

Teaching the New Testament this year has given me a 
deeper desire to love as the Savior, Jesus Christ loves. 
It not always easy to love a person, but this quote by Mr Rogers, 
someone who knows how to be a good neighbor and friend, 
expresses the sacred nature of appreciating and loving others.
In loving those I thought I could or would never love, my life is blessed with a depth and fullness that only comes through  extending myself, leaving my comfort zone, and applying this fundamental principle.
Everything in life feels better when I make the effort to love. Yes, sometimes it hurts, deeply, but the hurts are over come by joy and blessings that remind me I must not be afraid to love and appreciate others.
Blessings always outweigh hurt and pain in the end-always.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Feeling Abandoned By God

Bradley McBride aka Middle-aged Mormon Man "gets" life. His perspective is spot on and I look forward to his posts.  I feel like we are friends, even though we have never met. He can have me laughing and crying in the same sentence and he knows life is too serious to take seriously.

His article today, Feeling Abandoned by God, resonated with me on many levels, especially this paragraph:

"Might I suggest this thought: Anger towards God is a personal testimony that you believe He is real and that He lives. You wouldn’t be angry if you didn’t believe in Him, right? Grab onto that basic, pure testimony that He does live, and begin to work your way back. As frightening as it is to think God has abandoned us, it is more frightening to think that He doesn’t exist. He does."

I have been pondering this exact thought for the past few days and I appreciated seeing someone else share it.

The past 4-5  (probably longer) years have been tough ones for me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When one of those areas goes way down, the others naturally follow. I feel like I have come back up, not just for a few breaths of air, but to stay above the surface to breathe and enjoy the goodness of life. There will always be challenges but I know they are easier to face with God rather that working against Him or being angry at Him.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Happy Birthday to Des

Today is "All About Des Day" as he is celebrating his 6th Birthday!
He is a fun Kindergartener with a zest for knowledge and learning.
He reads amazingly well and uses BIG words in context.
He loves music, art, and funny jokes.
He is a deep, out-of-the-box thinker.
I love being Des' grandma!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The 14 Days of Valentines

Starting February1, each day, a new heart was added to Megan's wall of love.
Ron and I wrote things we love about Megan on hearts and added them to the wall each day.
She passes this wall any time she goes up or down the stairs to her room.
I have loved doing this so much that I want to continue for the entire month.
We don't spend enough time telling the people we love what we actually love about them.
Having it in writing and posted where it will be seen every day is good for any one of any age.
 I thought about putting the hearts on her bedroom door but I wanted them 
in a more prominent location. 
We have enjoyed this happy wall of love.
I love you, Meggie!

The Best Kind of Heart Attack

On Valentine's Day, I wanted to do something memorable for Megan rather than the usual, come home from school to find Valentine goodies from me waiting on the table. I was feeling quite ill with the crazy flu but decided to push through and head to her High School parking lot to decorate the Lexus that she drove to school that morning. This was a good day to be friends with the parking lot security guard.

I proceeded to decorate the car with hearts and put a few gifts inside, including some small stuffed animals on the steering wheel. I was so excited for her to see it and in the same breath, a little concerned that someone may remove the ballon or some of the hearts so I sent her a text asking her to go to her car at lunch break and check to see if my green notebook was in there (it was with me) Several people had been gathering at the windows to watch me and I felt like it was a matter of time until someone told her. I really wanted her to walk out and be surprised without anyone giving it away in advance. Thankfully, no one told her.

When she got to the car, this is what she saw/found:

Spirit Week at Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Spirit Week at Dreyfoos School of the Arts 
With rigorous academics and requirements in their art areas, students work hard and play hard.
During Spirit Week, that all comes together.
Students look forward to this week all year and plan accordingly.
Megan, being a Junior this year, dressed each day in the theme her class was assigned

Music Genre Day
Here is my Indie Girl

Cupid strikes for Holiday celebrations
Junior Class was Valentines Day

Decades Day
Welcome to the 70's Groovy Girl
(She already has her 80's outfit planned for next year)

High School Cliques
Welcome to the newest Cheerleader at Dreyfoos
Junior Class: Jocks and Cheerleaders

When in Rome....
The Cupid sheet doubled as a Toga for the grand finale.

This was fun to watch each day. I am always curious what visitors to the campus think during this week, which also happens to fall during Audition Week for all those who are hoping to attend DSOA the next year. It is definitely not your average school on any day but during Spirit Week, it is exceptional.


Newborn Sweetness

This is baby Edison a little over 24 hours old.
There is no mistake that he is a Hostetler.
Looks just like Curt as a newborn.
I  also see Andrew in him.