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!


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. 💜

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. 


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Christmastime is here! :)

Christmastime is here! It’s been a busy month for me! I’ve been working on Christmas gifts and decorating our home for Christmas. So my blogging has taken a backseat for a few weeks. 😬  However, I am mostly done with Christmas gifts (just a few left!) so I have a little more time!

I am so excited for Christmas!! I tell Ricky this multiple times every day, and he always says, “I know, you tell me every day.” 🤣 I was almost done with all my Christmas shopping the week of Thanksgiving! I have a love/hate relationship with having my shopping done early, because all I want is to have my husband open all his gifts, but we also have to wait for Christmas. 🤣

I am so grateful for the opportunity to read about and remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and what His birth means to me.

We read in Helaman Chapters 13 through 15 about Samuel the Lamanite's prophecies. 

In Chapter 14, we read about his prophecies about the birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and of His death:
2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.

3 And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.

4 Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.

5 And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.

6 And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.

7 And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth. 
20 But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead. 
21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;  
22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.  
23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.  
24 And many highways shall be broken up, and many cities shall become desolate.  
25 And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many.  
26 And behold, thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours. 
27 And he said unto me that while the thunder and the lightning lasted, and the tempest, that these things should be, and that darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days.
Speaking of signs from heaven, I am so excited for the Geminid meteor shower tonight! I'm also excited for the Jupiter and Saturn "double planet" next Sunday. Ricky and I are going to try to get a look at the meteor shower tonight, and I hope to be able to get a look at the double planet conjunction next weekend too!

I am so excited for Christmas this year! It's our first Christmas as husband and wife, and it's really our first Christmas together, as last year he was in Florida with his family. I can't wait to see him open his gifts, and I can't wait to see my family open their gifts, either. It's going to be an amazing Christmas. I am so grateful to have the chance to experience Christmas with my husband for the first time. I am so grateful for my sweet in-laws, who sent us our Christmas presents this week and I am so overwhelmed at the love and support I have felt from them! I can't wait to open the gifts in 12 days!

I am grateful to be able to read the scriptures and study the words of the prophets, and to see how the words in the Book of Mormon, the New Testament, and the Old Testament all testify of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the birth of the little baby Jesus. I am grateful for that night, so long ago, where a mother laid her baby in a manger filled with hay. I am so grateful that because of Him, we have the chance to start over. I am so grateful that because of Him, we have the chance to live with our families forever. Because of Him–because of the Holy Child–I have the chance to be part of a family. I have the chance to have my own family. I am so grateful to have been able to be sealed to Ricky forever this year, and I know that no matter what, we will always be husband and wife. 

I am grateful for the Christmas season, and for the love and blessings that I see in my life, and in the lives of those around me. I am grateful for the Christmas Spirit this time of year, and for the peace and joy that seems to envelop the world this time of year. 

If you missed the First Presidency Christmas devotional last week, you can watch it here. I highly recommend that you do watch it. It was really great to hear from some of our leaders and I really enjoyed the messages that they shared. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours! I hope you have a safe holiday season, and a happy New Year! God bless you! 


Sunday, November 1, 2020

He answers privately.

Happy November! Can you believe it is November already?? How time flies! Ricky and I have been married now for just over five months and I can't even believe we are going to have been married for six months later this month! I was just thinking earlier today about how next month, it will be one year from the day that Ricky proposed! I can't even believe it. Time is flying by, and yet, it is going by so slowly at the same time.

I am grateful for the beautiful and wondrous world that we live in. I am grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord, and for His hand in my life. I am grateful for the blessings of the priesthood, and for the miracles that they can bring into our lives.

This week was one of the weirdest weeks, I think, for many personal reasons. But it was also one that reminded me of how blessed I am. I have had several headaches this week, and it hasn't been pleasant. But I am grateful for my husband, who has been my rock this week. He has given me a blessing, helped me with dinners, dressed up with me for Halloween, and has let me take my afternoons and evenings to work on my crafting projects as needed/wanted. He has let me rest when I needed it, and has cuddled with me when I needed it. I couldn't have asked for a better partner. He is always wanting to make sure that I am taken care of, and I am so grateful for his love and concern.

I have been watching The Chosen recently–a TV show based on the life of Jesus Christ. It is an amazing show and I highly recommend it. Today, I watched an episode that reminded me just how much our Savior loves and cares for each of us. One of Jesus' apostles, Simon, is married, and his wife's mother (his mother-in-law) has been sick, and came to stay with them. However, Simon is now a follower of Jesus, and has been traveling with Him. Simon is very worried about his wife and his mother-in-law, and how they will fare while he is out traveling with Jesus. Jesus takes time from their journey to visit Simon's wife, and address her concerns. He also takes time to heal her mother, so that Simon doesn't have to worry about them while he is out on the road. 

This episode made me emotional, as it was a reminder to me that Jesus knows our situation; He knows what we need. In life, we need to go through trials, and sometimes we might feel lost, alone, or afraid. Our Heavenly Father and Savior know what we are going through, and They know what we need. While we may not always have our trials and problems solved or erased, He blesses us and gives us peace and comfort in our trials. While our trials might not always be seen by others, they are very real to us, and I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who knows exactly how I feel, and who knows how to comfort me. I am so grateful that He answers ME. He can and does speak to ME. I am grateful for this knowledge and for the connection that I feel to Him. 

I am grateful for my sweet, loving, sensitive husband, who only wants me to be happy. I love his kind and caring heart, and I love that he is always willing to serve me, and to make sure that I am happy and comfortable.

I am grateful for a compassionate and empathetic Savior, who knows exactly how I am feeling, and who knows what I need. I am grateful that He listens to my prayers, and that He not only knows how to comfort me, but sends His Spirit, as well as any angels (on this side of the veil or the other) to help bring me solace. I love this beautiful version of two of my favorite hymns, Where Can I Turn for Peace? and Be Still, My Soul. Calee Reed is one of my favorite Christian artists, and her music always brings the Spirit in such beautiful ways. I hope that this song touches you and brings you any needed peace, comfort, and love.

I hope you have a wonderful week! God is so good.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Life is a Garden.

The days go by so quickly! It's already October 25th, 2020! Here's a few fun facts:

Somehow, Ricky and I:
-Have known each other for 1 year, 2 months, and 15 days
-Were officially dating for 3 months and 24 days before we were engaged (but we had known each other for 4 months and 4 days by that time)
-Were engaged for 5 months and 6 days
-Have now been married for 5 months and 5 days
-Have been on two family road trips (just us) to Southern Utah
-Have lived in two different apartments together
-Have been on a countless number of dates
-Have been to the temple together (including just walking around outside) about 10 times (that's almost once a month! Woo! Go us!)
-Have had 442 days (i.e. 1 year, 2 months, 15 days) of endless adventures and conversations
-Have both given and received countless hugs and kisses

Sometimes it doesn't seem real! It's so crazy to me that a year ago we were just dating! I loved being with Ricky and I didn't want it to ever end! I was so, so happy when he proposed to me! It was the best day of my life up to that point! I am so grateful that our wedding day (which is now the best day of my life) was absolutely perfect and went smoothly! 

We have learned a lot in our time being married. We've learned it's important to communicate. It's important to work together. It's important to love and support each other through all of the ups and downs. It's important to support each other's hobbies. We've learned it's important to put our relationship and the Lord first, before anything else. If we do that, everything else will start falling into place. 

“If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.”

—F. Burton Howard (“Eternal Marriage,” Ensign, May 2003, 94.)

“Marriage, in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither exercising dominion over the other, but, rather, with each encouraging and assisting the other in whatever responsibilities and aspirations he or she might have.”

—Gordon B. Hinckley

(“This I Believe,” address at Brigham Young University, March 1, 1992.)

I love these two quotes about marriage! I believe them with my whole heart! What Ricky and I have is special, and is something to be treasured. Our marriage is a budding seed. We have to tend to it–we have to water it, make sure it gets enough words of LOVE, and that it gets enough sunlight! (It's true! Plants grow better with words of love and encouragement)

God is the Gardener of our souls. Sometimes, He cuts us down so we can regrow in new and better ways.

“God uses another form of chastening or correction to guide us to a future we do not or cannot now envision but which He knows is the better way for us. President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:

“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”

President Brown replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’”

Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. Continuing his story, President Brown remembered:

“I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.

“And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …

“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”” ("As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten", D. Todd Christofferson)

I love this story. It's beautiful, poignant, and can apply to each and every one of us at many different stages in our lives. I think that we can apply this to our marriage. It is going to stretch us in many, many different ways, and we are going to have to be cut down sometimes in order for us to change and grow. I am so grateful to be married to Ricky, and to get to walk through this life with him. I hope that we will be able to say, "Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting us down, and for loving us enough to make sure that we have the opportunities to grow."

I love God, I love my husband, I love this beautiful world we live in. I am grateful for the temples, for eternal marriage, and for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, through which we have the opportunity to be resurrected and be able to live with our families forever. 

I hope everyone has a great week! It's Halloween this week, so have fun and be safe if you're going to be trick or treating!


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Personal revelation leads to personal improvement.

Hello friends!! This weekend was General Conference!! I was so excited and so grateful for all of the messages that were shared by our Prophet and other leaders of the Church.

I felt so much peace and love this weekend as I listened. There are many things that I can work on to improve, but I am going to take my time in order to not stress myself out more than normal. 

I am going to start with improving my personal scripture study and daily prayers. I have also recently begun to start working out. I think that these two things–improving my spiritual study and physical health–will help me foster other areas that I can work on, as well. 

Sorry this post is so late and so short–after Conference, I took a nap and Ricky and I went for a little walk before dinner. It was much needed. 

I am so grateful for personal revelation, and for the wonderful talks and messages that God wanted us to hear through His servants. I am grateful for the improvements that I am going to be working on. I am grateful for the upcoming holiday seasons (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and look forward to celebrating gratitude, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and remembering all of the blessings that we are and will be receiving because of His birth and, subsequently, His life, death, and resurrection.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! God loves you, and I do too!


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Making conscious decisions to change.

 Happy Sunday, my friends!

I am so grateful for the beautiful days that have been occurring this past week! It's a friendly reminder that it is FALL! 

This week, I have been learning about making more (and better) conscious decisions in my life. It's not always easy, because sometimes when we are living in the moment, things just happen. But I've been learning that when you take a step back, slow down, and remember those who you need to help, your capability to make those conscious decisions increases. 

I am reminded of the story of the woman who was found in adultery (odd segue, I know, but bear with me). The Pharisees bring the woman to Jesus, and tried to catch Him in His teachings. But Jesus stops and stoops down, and says nothing. After they continue to ask Him, He stands, and says, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." The Pharisees, "convicted by their own conscience", walk away. 

Let me tell you why I was reminded of this story. I have been working on my temper lately, and sometimes I remember in the moment of anger to take a step back, so I can calm down and come back when I am calm again. My anger can be represented by the Pharisees. I am like Jesus, and my conscious decision is when He chooses to stoop down. The feelings of anger are like the Pharisees, and they keep pestering me to explode. But, like Jesus, I can stand firm, and not be provoked. 

I know that that is an odd comparison, but I love that the stories and parables found in the scriptures can be applied to so many different situations and circumstances in our lives!

While I haven't been perfect at working on my temper, I know and treasure that I am doing better. I am recognizing when I am upset, and when I am unable to discuss why I am upset. I am getting better at saying, "I don't want to talk about that right now." I am grateful that I have a loving Father in Heaven and Savior who are working with me to become better, and I am grateful that I have a loving and patient husband who has been so understanding.

I'm grateful for the chance to start over each and every week. I am grateful for my Savior, who loves me, and who is by my side. I am grateful for His Atonement, and for His willingness to die for me so that I can repent and try again in order to be able to live with Heavenly Father again. I am grateful that I get to be with my husband for time and all eternity. 

Hope you all have a great week!! September is almost over, and October is almost here! Happy Fall!