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...😬🙈).
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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

Monday, April 19, 2021

"Let this cup pass from me."

Yesterday, the topic in sacrament meeting was repentance. One of the speakers shared something really cool that I loved and wanted to share it!

HEBREW/ ARAMAIC WORD STUDY:  THIS CUP – HAKA’  KASA’ הכא כסא  

Matthew 26:39:  “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

History is filled with Christians who went to their deaths for the sake of Jesus without a plea on their lips to be spared; some even went facing great torture with joy and praise to the God they love.  So why does it appear as if Jesus is having second thoughts with His fate? The problem lies in the fact that Jesus was praying in Aramaic and the Aramaic word for cup may have another understanding than representing His fate. So just what is the cup in Aramaic?  

The word that is used for cup in Aramaic is the word kasa.  It is identical to the Hebrew word kavas which is also the word found in other Semitic languages that is used for a stork.  The stork was noted for its tender loving care of its young. Even care for young not its own.  Legend has it that during the time of famine, a mother stork will peck her breast till it bleeds and feed her young with her own blood. Legend also teaches that if one of the stork’s chicks died, the mother stork would resurrect its young with its own blood.   

The Semitic mindset would instantly see the wordplay we in the Western world would not. In the garden, Jesus is praying that this kasa cup or its alternative meaning of a nurturing love would pass from Him. In Greek, the word pass is parelthato which means to avert, avoid, or pass over.  But in the Aramaic it is the word avar Now avar in Aramaic is the same word in Hebrew and has a wide range of meanings.  The word itself is the picture of a river overflowing onto its banks.  It literally means to be overwhelmed.   Jesus was not praying to get out of this situation but it was this cup or this nurturing, sacrificial love for us that so overwhelmed Him that He could not bear it, just as a parent watching their child suffering and dying in a hospital bed cannot bear to watch the love of their life in such torment.  But it would suggest something else as well.  

Note in verse 37 it says He became sorrowful.  That word sorrowful in the Aramaic is kamar which means to burn or kindle and is used for a burning love or compassion. As Jesus was about to the sacrifice His own life, His entire being was filled with a burning love and compassion for mankind. I believe this sorrow was knowing that even after all His suffering, there would still be millions upon millions who would not only reject His sacrifice, but scorn it and mock it was well. 

When He asked, “If it is possible let this cup or this nurturing love avar me,” I believe He meant “let it overwhelm me.”  The words if possible in Aramaic is shekev which literally means if this happens.  In other words, Jesus is saying that if this is to happen tonight, then: “Let this burning love, this nurturing love for mankind just overwhelm me, so overwhelm me that it will be all I will think about.”  Just as the thousands upon thousands of martyrs throughout the centuries thought only of Jesus and seeing His face as they faced their torture and death, Jesus thought only of us and that He would see our face when His torture and life would end. 



Recently, within the last couple of years, I have been intrigued about comparing the English version of the Bible with the Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic translations (because of some of my religion classes at BYU). So when the speaker was reading this, I really loved the interpretation of Matthew 26! It makes sense that there is a deeper meaning behind "let this cup pass": "Let this nurturing love for mankind overwhelm me so that it will be all I think about."

Jesus' love for us was what got Him through His pain. And His love for us is what can get us through our pain. I am so grateful for His love, and that He is there for me when I need Him.

I never thought that I would share this, but it's National Infertility Awareness Week, and I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary (or Ovarian) Syndrome (PCOS) a few months ago. It can manifest itself in many different ways, and though I am not ready to go into detail, I just wanted to be vulnerable. Between 5% and 10% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have PCOS. 

While I am still figuring the ins and outs of my diagnosis, I am grateful to have my husband by my side, and to have my Savior to lean on. 

I hope this week is wonderful for you! Know that you are not alone. 

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Even when we can't find the words.

These last few months have been full of growth and personal revelation. It's hard to believe it is already April! I can't believe Ricky and I will have been married for one year in just over a month!!! It still seems like only yesterday we were just married! Time is flying by, but each and every day seems to be its own eternity, and I wouldn't change it for the world!

Last weekend, we were blessed to be able to hear from our prophet, apostles, and leaders of the Church. I am so grateful for the messages that were shared! 

I would like to share a few of the messages that rang with me last weekend. 
  • "The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance. Because of the Savior's Atonement, His gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing, and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing, and of progress. Thus, the gospel is a message of joy!" (Welcome Message, Pres. Russell M. Nelson)
  • "Because of Jesus Christ, our failures do not have to define us. They can refine us. 
  • Like a musician rehearsing scales, we can see our missteps, flaws, and sins as opportunities for greater self-awareness, deeper and more honest love for others, and refinement through repentance.
  • If we repent, mistakes do not disqualify us. They are part of our progress. 
  • We are all infants compared to the beings of glory and grandeur we are designed to become. No mortal being advances from crawling to walking to running without frequent stumbles, bumps, and bruises. That is how we learn. 
  • If we earnestly keep practicing, always striving to keep God’s commandments, and committing our efforts to repenting, enduring, and applying what we learn, line upon line, we will gather light into our souls. (God among Us, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
  • "To be truly life-changing, conversion to Jesus Christ must involve our whole soul and permeate every aspect of our lives. This is why it must be focused at the center of our lives—our families and homes." (Teaching in the Savior's Way, Brother Jan E. Newman)
These are just a few of the many messages that I loved from General Conference last weekend. If you have a chance, I would highly recommend reading and/or watching one conference talk each day. There are so many wonderful messages and lessons from all the leaders, and I am excited for the opportunity to study the messages in detail.

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Change is hard, but it's good to know that I am in good company, as we are all trying to grow and change for the better. Each day, I might fail, but each day is a new day full of new chances. And, as Elder Uchtdorf said in conference last weekend, "our failures do not have to define us. They can refine us." No one is perfect, but we can always try to be better.

Not only have changes been hard for me recently, but so has trying to follow God's plan for me. I don't want to go into too much detail, but I will say this: trying to follow a prompting but feeling like your efforts aren't enough is a real struggle–especially when you need to be patient. Patience is hard, but I've just got to take it one moment–one day–at a time. 

Though life is often challenging, I am grateful for my Heavenly Parents, who offer so much love and support, and who send me angels each and every day. I am grateful for my sweet and patient husband, who loves me so much and tries so very hard to make sure that our life is amazing. I am grateful for wonderful friends, who listen and empathize with me, and who love and support me–even when I don't know what to say other than, "I'm not in the best mood" or "This hurts and is hard".

I'm grateful for the words of the living prophet, through whom God speaks to us. I am grateful that He wants to speak to us! I am grateful that He wants us to talk to Him, and He wants to listen to us. I am grateful that He lets me talk to Him. I have had moments where all I could do was just cry...I poured out my heart to Him through tears...and He listened. He held me and comforted me–I could feel it, and He sent me angels when I needed them. I am so thankful that He hears me when I'm speaking to Him–even if my words are silent. Sometimes, our struggles are too personal to talk about. That is okay. We don't always need to talk about them with others. But God hears us. Even when we can't find the words. He knows. He understands. 

Happy Sunday! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The next right thing.

Not only have I had “The Next Right Thing” from Frozen 2 stuck in my head today, but I have been thinking about how grateful I am for the opportunity to partake of the sacrament each week so that I can renew my covenants with God and have the chance to start anew each week as I try to remember each and every day to keep doing the next right thing.

“I won't look too far ahead
It's too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
So I'll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And, with it done, what comes then?
When it's clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I'll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing.”

All we can do—all that God asks us to do—is keep trying to do the right thing. Every day, we have choices to make. There are bad choices, okay choices, good choices, better choices, best choices. Sometimes, we don't always make the right choices. 

In his talk entitled "Good, Better, Best", then-Elder Dallin H. Oaks discusses the differences between good, better, and best choices for individuals and families. We need to consider the best ways to spend our time, alone and with our families. We might often feel the need to go above and beyond, but there are days and moments when it is the quiet little things that are the best options. 

While I don't always make the best choices sometimes, I am still learning, growing, and trying. I am grateful for a loving, gracious God who lets me make my own choices, learn from my mistakes, and try again. I am grateful for loving Heavenly Parents who want what is best for me, and who want me to be able to return to live with Them again someday. I am grateful for a loving Savior, who suffered and died for me so that I might repent time and time again as I am learning and growing and trying to become a better person.

I am grateful for the love of my friends and family, as well as of my husband, who is so sweet and thoughtful. I am grateful for loving Heavenly Parents, and for Their examples, encouragement, guidance, and support as I try to do the next right thing each and every day.

I hope you all have had a wonderful Sunday! It was very relaxed and peaceful for us today. I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Progress isn't perfect, it's progress.

Happy New Year! I hope you all celebrated safely with your friends and family. :)

This year, I am wanting to work more on my scripture study, working on Family History, exercising/stretching several times a week, and on taking a step back before I engage in any conversations that might cause me to be extra emotional (for various reasons, many of which are "because I am too overcome with the fulness of my emotions and can't properly voice my feelings without crying").

So far, I am doing pretty okay at these things. There is always room for improvement, and I am excited to see where I go from here! In addition to these things, I am also trying to be more okay with the times that things don't go as I had planned. Sometimes it's hard. I am trying harder every day to rise above my emotions and take control. Because my emotions don't control me; I control my emotions. It's okay to feel sad, and angry, but only for a little while. Taking hold of the reins is hard, but I am learning. 

I am trying very hard to remember to look ahead in comfort and peace, and not to look back in dismay and regret–I am not going that direction. You can't move backwards, and you can't change the past. So keep moving forward and change your future. 

I am also trying to remember that I don't need to be perfect at all these things all at the same time. It's okay for my progress to go up and down in some areas. Progress isn't perfect, it's progress. Life is up and down, and so is our progress at times. 


Luke 2 verses 40 and 52 says:
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Just like Jesus, we, too, grow and learn bit by bit, line upon line, precept on precept. He didn't know everything all at once, and He didn't grow all at once.

I love that God knows me, and that He knows what I need. I love that He knows where I am, and where I am going. I love that He is guiding me, and trusting me, and working with me. I am grateful for a husband who loves me and lets me take my time. I am grateful for a Savior who knows how to help me, and who loves me where I am.

Happy Sunday! I hope you all had a wonderful day. My younger brother Lander was ordained to the office of Deacon in our Church today and I am so proud of him! He is a smart, helpful, and sweet little guy who will do much good in the world!

I hope this week is full of tender mercies and blessings for you! God loves you, and I do too! May this year be one of growth for us all!

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Treasure the moments.

My favorite thing about the Christmas season–besides the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ–is celebrating with my family. This year, I was so excited and blessed to celebrate with my husband! It was our first Christmas together and it was pretty spectacular! I am so blessed to have the sweetest and most thoughtful husband!

This year has been crazy. Not only has the whole world been dealing with a pandemic because of COVID-19, but there have been hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and so many other things. Events were canceled, rescheduled, or postponed til further notice. Churches and temples were closed. Once things opened up again, Zoom became extremely popular. Schools and church meetings have been held via Zoom, as well as other events like weddings and funerals. Theaters have mainly closed, and a lot of movies have been released to stream online instead of or in addition to theater releases. We have lost many people this year, not just to COVID, and I am truly sorry for the lives that have been lost, but am grateful for the knowledge that they will be with us again someday. 💜
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We've been studying the Book of Mormon this year, and I believe that this scripture found in Moroni 10 is a wonderful scripture that can sum up this year:

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

I love reading the Book of Mormon, because it was written for our day, and because of the hope and blessings that come as I read and study the scriptures each and every day. While this year hasn't been quite a normal year as expected, it has been a blessing to go through it with my sweetheart. He fills my life with joy and love and I am so grateful for him. 💜

It's been quite a year, but I wouldn't change anything, because this is the year that I married my best friend. It was a really rough year at times, but having my best friend by my side throughout this year made it the best year. We have been so, so blessed, and I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for that! Ricky and I have had so many adventures already and I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us!



I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season with their family and loved ones. I hope that you have been able to feel the Spirit of Christmas, and the love of the Lord. I hope that this next year is full of peace, love, and joy for you and your family. I know that Heavenly Father loves you, and has great blessings in store for you. May you treasure this holiday season, and this year's blessings, and have a wonderful new year. 

Xoxo
Mattie