Sunday, May 29, 2022

Make the time.

Making the time for the things that are most important and balancing your time is really hard. Lately, that has been my biggest weakness and struggle. I always have something that I can be doing, something that I want to be doing, and something that I need to be doing. 

How can we best divide our time between all of the things that are important in our lives?

Jesus tells us, in Matthew 6 verse 33-34:
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Put God first and focus on the day you are living. That's the key.

I know, I know–it's easier said than done. Sometimes, though, you just need to have a real talk with yourself and say, "Okay, we are going to be doing this. God is going to be put first today, and then we are going to focus on what we can do today." It will definitely be difficult as you begin, but the more you put it into practice, the easier it will get.

You have to ask yourself, "What is the most important thing I can do today?" And if the answer isn't "Talk to my Heavenly Father", you might be a little too busy. Don't worry–I've definitely been there.

Sometimes I need to make a list of all the things I need to get done in a day. That's okay, it's good to write it down. But sometimes I put things on my list that don't necessarily need to be done that day. I think sometimes I am trying to get a week's worth of things done in one day, and that is definitely not healthy. 

I am trying to take it back a notch and focus more on things that I need to get done that day. I am also trying to remember that if all I get done is one thing, that is okay! There are some days that I will get a lot done, and some days where I will only get one or two things done. That is completely fine. Each day requires a different amount of effort from me, as each day, I am a different person.

This reminds me of the story in Luke 10:38-42 about Mary and Martha. It reads:
38 ¶ Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
We have all been Mary, and we have all been Martha. Now, remember, Martha isn't doing anything bad! Cleaning and serving the Lord is good! However, Jesus is currently teaching, so the timing of Martha's service is not the best. So, again, back to making the time: Martha needed to make the time to listen to Jesus' teachings. She needed to make the time to sit down and focus on her spiritual needs.

In the end, it will not matter whether or not you cleaned your living room and kitchen. It won't matter if you made sure that any guests or neighbors were taken care of. What will matter is whether or not you learned from the Lord. Whether or not you grew closer to Him. Whether or not He can count on you to do as He commands.

Yes, He understands the need (and asks) for a house of order. Yes, He understands that He has asked you to "love thy neighbor as thyself". But He has also asked you to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind, and strength", and that is the first great commandment. He has asked you to put Him first.

If you are not connecting with God every day, how can He prompt you to serve your neighbor? How can He prompt you to serve your friend when they need a pick-me-up? How can He use you to help His children if you are not connecting with Him every day? 

Yes, it can be difficult to make the time. Yes, the Lord understands. But He also understands that if you do what He asks, life will be a little bit easier.
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A Day in the Life
Squinting eyes, checking clock
Rising fast, running amok

Brush, brush, brush
Hop, hop, hop

Making lunches, checking homework
Loading car, running berserk

Rush, rush, rush
Stop, stop, stop

Squinting eyes, checking clock
Rising fast, running amok

Rush, rush, rush
Stop, stop, stop

Parking tires, checking handiwork
Loading car, running berserk

Brush, brush, brush,
Hop, hop, hop

Squinting eyes, checking clock
Retiring at last, no more running amok. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Making Time
I start my day close to the Lord
A prayer, a scripture–15 minutes I can afford

I greet my husband with a 'good morning' kiss
My children are happily in bliss

Later that day, my daughter cried
Because her pet rock Tommy died

I tried not to laugh as we buried him
But she saw me and her face turned grim

Her response was to cut her brother's hair
I took a really long time sitting in my chair

When my husband got home, the house was a mess
Dinner was cold and my children in distress

'Daddy!' they cried, and ran for a hug
I drank my cold hot chocolate mug

This day was quite a disaster, I'm afraid
But because of this morning when I prayed

I had more patience and more love
I hope my children see why I speak with God above.
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I don't have children yet, but I hope this poem can show the peace that comes when we speak with the Lord and take time to hear Him. The day will still be long, and we will still feel frustrated at times, but there is just something about taking the time to speak with the Lord that calms the whole day. 

I know that Heavenly Father loves you and that He will help you as you strive to balance your life! I hope you have a great week! I have plenty of things on my to-do list this week, but I am going to focus on one at a time. 

Xoxo
Mattie

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Prayers to the Father

Jesus Christ shows us throughout His entire ministry, but especially throughout His last week in mortality, of the importance of communication with our Heavenly Father. I love His relationship with Heavenly Father. That is the kind of relationship I am trying to develop with my Heavenly Father. He is always ready and willing to listen, and I love that!


From the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website about Easter week today:
The last week of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry is filled with prayer. There are the prayers He offers on behalf of His disciples, filled with timeless words of comfort and guidance. But there are also the prayers that He encourages them to offer on their own. He knows that soon His disciples will be without Him, and so He lets them know the importance of praying, encouraging them to ask their Father in Heaven for the things they’ll need to make it through the challenges ahead. Through His words and His example, they learn that when they make the effort to pray to the Father, no matter what happens, they will never be alone.
#BecauseOfHim, I’m never alone
Jesus told His disciples He would be with them always. He’s here for you too. As you draw near to the Father in prayer, you will draw near unto Christ as well.
Prayer is a powerful way to grow closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but that doesn’t mean it always comes easily. [It's like anything else–the more you practice, the better you get.] (My thoughts)
I am so grateful for the power of prayer, and for the love and peace that I feel as I communicate with my Father in Heaven through my Savior–His Son, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the example of Jesus on how to communicate with Heavenly Father.

I am also grateful that Heavenly Father is flexible and comes to us as we are. He knows our circumstances, which is super important because sometimes I communicate with Him in ways other than through prayer. There are times where praying the way I do at night or in the morning is just not practical. Sometimes, I am driving and can only shout out loud, "Heavenly Father, please keep me safe from the flying grill rack!" (Yes, this is a true story that did happen this week. On Monday, of all days. What a way to start the week!) But He knows me, and my surroundings, and understands that some situations call for different forms of communication with Him. And I love that He is so understanding. We are truly never alone because He is always with us.

As it is Easter time, it is supposed to be springtime, too, but that has seen a slight ice patch in the road 🤣. Spring is coming–slowly, but it is coming. I am really looking forward to the warmer weather that will most surely bring about more family walks around the neighborhoods and parks! I love walking with Ricky, but I also love seeing families out for strolls. It makes my heart happy to see. We live in such a beautiful world handcrafted by our Heavenly Father for us, I love to be out enjoying and exploring and seeing others get to experience it too!

I hope that this week has been going well for all of you. I hope and pray that all is well with you and your loved ones. 

Xoxo
Mattie

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Timeless Words of Peace

Today is Holy Tuesday. Today is the day that Jesus teaches parables and discusses prophecies about Him from the scriptures and prophets. 


From the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website today:
As Jesus Christ continues to teach His followers, one thing becomes clear—Jesus has a deep knowledge and love of the scriptures. Throughout the week, Jesus often quotes the very scriptures He’s fulfilling. For those who listen, prophecies that were by then hundreds of years old become powerful and new. Suddenly, the scriptures don’t seem so ancient. With the help of Jesus Christ, they see that the word of God does not have an expiration date. No matter what era we live in, we can find peace in the powerful parallels between the scriptures and our own lives.
#BecauseOfHim, I feel peace
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” —John 14:27​
Jesus’s teachings are everywhere in the scriptures, and they can fill your life with peace. [Make time to sit and study the scriptures by yourself or with your family and friends. 
(The last sentence is my own comment.)
I am grateful for all of Jesus' teachings, and for His instruction on prophecies, parables, and other scriptures. I am grateful to have the scriptures to look to for His guidance and direction in my life. I am grateful to be able to have the Holy Ghost with me, to be able to help lead me in my life and connect with my Heavenly Parents and my Savior.

Xoxo
Mattie

Monday, April 11, 2022

An Act of Astonishing Bravery

Today is Holy Monday. Today is the day Jesus visited and cleansed the temple.


From the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website today:
During Jesus’s time in Jerusalem, He visits the temple. There, inside His Father’s house, Jesus sees various merchants doing business. To see a place of worship converted into a center of commerce is something that Jesus cannot abide. Speaking with unmistakable authority, He commands them to leave. The cleansing of the temple at Jerusalem was an act of astonishing bravery. We can take courage knowing that Jesus Christ did what He knew to be right, whether it was popular or not.
#BecauseOfHim, I have courage
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” —Philippians 4:13​​
What task feels especially difficult for you right now? It could be setting up a therapy appointment, asking for a raise at work, or reconciling with a loved one. Today, make a plan to accomplish it. Jesus can help you find the courage you need.
Something that has been a challenge for me recently is very personal, so I will not be sharing specifically what it is, but what I have been doing to overcome it has been because of Him. Because of Him, I have chosen to keep pressing forward. Because of Him, I have chosen to continue to have faith in Him. Because of Him, I have been brave in being honest with myself about the things I am going through. Because of Him, I can do hard things.

I am ever so grateful for His example of strength and courage in times of duress! There were many times throughout His life that He needed to have courage, just like all of us! I love that we are able to see how human Jesus really was at times, because it makes it easier to connect with Him when we realize that He knows what we are going through!

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, April 10, 2022

A Joyful Entrance

Hey! It's been a while since I've posted on my blog! Life has been crazy busy!!


Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, the Savior's last week here on Earth before He was resurrected on Easter Sunday. This is the day that He rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, across a path of palm leaves and cloaks thrown down by the crowd of His followers.


From the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website about Easter Week:
On Palm Sunday, Jesus Christ rides triumphantly into Jerusalem as His followers draw near Him to lay down cloaks and palm fronds in His path. They surround Jesus with love and praise. In return, they no doubt receive the profound spiritual lift that comes from being in Jesus’s presence. The people in the crowd probably had life experiences just as varied as ours, but all were able to share equally in the joy that comes when we draw closer to Jesus Christ.
#BecauseOfHim, I can have joy
By following Jesus Christ’s teachings, you can find pure joy—a feeling of eternal peace and comfort. Explore what’s possible because of Jesus. Watch this video and consider someone in your life to share it with.
I am so grateful for the joy that Jesus Christ brings to my life! Because of Him, I can have peace in tumultuous times, no matter what my circumstances are. Because of Him, I can be comforted in my sorrows and pains. It was a joyful entrance the day that I was baptized and Jesus Christ really came into my life, but it was even more of a joyful entrance the day that I really invited Him in, and began to understand, know, and love my Savior and my testimony of Him.

May this Easter Week be full of reminders of our Savior, and the sacrifices He made, and the sacrifices that we can make for Him.

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Forge ahead in faith.

Happy Independence Day!

It has been quite a few weeks (almost two months! 😬🙈) since I last posted on the blog. It has been a very busy summer!

Our trip to Florida was AMAZING!! Super fun and the perfect first anniversary trip! We had an amazing time and it was so good to see Ricky's parents for a bit!

After we got back from our trip, I was able to begin working full-time at my job, which has been a blessing in many ways! We were able to buy a new car recently that was within our budget and had a few of our must-have features. Ricky's job downsized their HQ department, so he started a job search and found a new job relatively quickly that is closer to where we live and pays a little more. We are looking at several different housing options for this next year (come August) and have come across a few prospects of which we hope at least one will work out!

We have been very, very blessed this summer, and I am so grateful!

I have had many opportunities to work on some of my crafting/projects, which has been good for me creatively. I have had plenty of time to read, which has been sooo nice! I love getting into a new universe through books! And this last week especially I have taken time to do some indexing work, which has been really cool! I came upon someone with my same name spelling yesterday, which was totally awesome! 

I have been working on making time for my scripture study and personal prayers, and I am so grateful for the messages and answers that are found in the scriptures. I am grateful for the peace that my personal study time brings, and I am grateful for the blessings of the temple. We had the opportunity to go walk around the temple grounds a few weeks ago, and I can't wait for us to be able to go inside again! We just need to figure out the best day and time for us to go together (and I need to find my recommend...😬🙈).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had a lot of time during church today to ponder, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts.

These things I know:
  • God loves me.
  • Jesus Christ died for me.
  • The temple brings me peace.
  • Reading the scriptures brings the Spirit into my life, and gives me clarity.
  • The prophet speaks to us from God.
  • The Atonement is real, and is for more than just what we have done wrong. It is for our pains and sorrows–both physical and spiritual. 
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. His teachings and ministry on Earth during His life are an outline, guideline, for how we should live our lives. 
There are things I do not know, especially pertaining to the life after this one. But this I do know: God loves us! And He has asked us to:
1) Love God; and
2) Love our neighbor like ourselves. 
I firmly believe that the answer to life's problems is love. As Elsa says in Frozen, "'Love will thaw'. Love! Of course." If people were more willing to love everyone, no matter their background, race, religion, etc.,  I believe that life would be better for everyone. We would feel more compassion towards each other, and 

I saw a quote today from then-Elder Russell M. Nelson that I loved. He said, "All that the Fall allowed to go awry, the Atonement allowed to go aright." 

During Sunday School, we were chatting about some things that the Lord asks us to do, and Kim said they don't always turn out the way we thought they would, but sometimes it's more about seeing if we were willing to do what God asked us. "Are you willing to put (fill in the blank) aside and serve and follow the Lord as He asks you?" Are we willing to make the sacrifices that He asks us to? Are we willing to forge ahead in faith when we do not know the outcome?

I was thinking today about how hard it is sometimes to make changes, and how hard some trials can be. I decided that I need to take things one day at a time...one moment at a time...one choice at a time. And even though some trials of life are more difficult, and longer-lasting, than others, God will be with me no matter the trial. So as long as I keep following His will for me, and doing what He asks of me, I know that He will make a way. 

I know that God loves you very much. I do too! I hope you have a great week!

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Blessings in life around challenges in life.

Well, what a week this was! Overall, it was a pretty great week–Sunday was Mother's Day, and we were able to call Ricky's mom and go visit with my mom. It was a great day. The rest of the week was pretty amazing and fun–work was great, and I was getting ready for our trip this week! We fly out Tuesday and come back Sunday and I am so excited!! 

Friday afternoon, however, was kind of a downer. I was on my way to dinner with a friend before orchestra rehearsal, and I got into an accident. I rear-ended someone, and got hurt a bit. I've been unable to put weight on my right knee/leg all weekend, and I have bruises all over my body. I am grateful that the accident wasn't too bad, and that nobody was seriously injured. I'm grateful that my dad was able to come and take me to get my knee x-rayed to make sure that my knee wasn't broken or anything, and that he was also able to take me home, because my car had to be towed away. I am grateful for my husband, who has been willing to serve me while I am resting my knee. I am grateful for everyone who has messaged me to make sure I'm okay, and to ask if I need anything. I am grateful for all of the love and concern that has been sent my way, and for all of my friends and family who have been willing to serve and help me during this challenging time in my life. I am so grateful that I was able to walk away (relatively speaking haha).

I have such faith in my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. For whatever reason, I got into that accident, and have been struggling and in pain a little as a result of it. For whatever reason, it was right before our anniversary trip to Florida. For whatever reason, I wasn't seriously injured. I am grateful for the angels that were with me. 

I am grateful for the blessings that I have seen in my life, but especially in the last two days. I am grateful for the love that I have been able to feel from not only my friends and family, but especially from my Heavenly Parents and my Savior. I matter to Them, and there were so many blessings surrounding the accident that I am so, so grateful for. 💜💜💜

God loves you and cares about all the things that are important to you. As you turn to Him, He will bless you and open your eyes to the blessings all around you. I hope you all have a great week, and that you are so, so careful when you are driving and traveling. 

Xoxo
Mattie