Sunday, December 22, 2019

The first to see our Shepherd were the shepherds in the fields.

I can't believe that Christmas is this week! I am so very excited! It's going to be so much fun! I also can't believe that it has been a week since I got engaged! It has been such an exciting week already!

Today in sacrament meeting, we had a little testimony meeting and sang Christmas hymns. It was beautiful and touching, and I wanted to share a story that I found on Facebook and share the hymn that I would have liked to have the congregation sing before we ran out of time.

The song I would have liked to have sung is The First Noel. I love the thought that shepherds were among the first to see Him, and that He is our Shepherd. ๐Ÿ’œ
"Interesting fact: the shepherds in the nativity story were probably no ordinary shepherds. 
In the Mishnah (the written collection of Jewish oral tradition) it “expressly forbids the keeping of flocks throughout the land of Israel except in the wilderness. And only flocks otherwise kept would be those for the temple services.” 
These shepherds were raising lambs that would be sacrificed in the temple—no small task. In fact, a very important task. 
And yet, even as they tended their lambs, when an angel came to tell them of The Lamb, they went immediately to see. They saw that their task to raise animals that would be sacrificed was only important because it led to Christ and His ultimate sacrifice. 
So, they literally left their 99 sheep in search of The One. 
This holiday season, there are a lot of important things on our plate. But I think it is important that we, like the shepherds, realize what each of those events is for and who it is leading us to: Christ. 
And we must be ready at any time, like those shepherds, to leave our 99 to find The One." (Quote from “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edershelm)


Art by Daniel Bonnell
I loved this thought and was so grateful to have found it on Facebook. I love the insights and the symbolism of the shepherds and lambs.

“When we see shepherds, may we remember to be humble. When we see wise men, may we remember to be generous. When we see the star, may we remember the Light of Christ, which gives life and light to all things. When we see a tiny baby, may we remember to love unconditionally, with tenderness and compassion.” ~Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, "Christmas is Christlike Love"

This week is Christmas, and while I am so excited to see my family's faces when they open my gifts to them, I am more excited that I get to be with my family forever because of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Savior. Because of His birth, and His life, we have the Perfect example to follow. Because of His death and resurrection, we know that the "grave hath no victory" for He has overcome the world. ๐Ÿ’œ

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Whatever your religion and holidays, I hope you have a blessed holiday season, and a happy New Year! :)

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, December 15, 2019

"Love is the only word to describe what we've been through together."







This weekend was absolutely perfect!!


Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to Salt Lake City to do a session in the temple before it's closed at the end of the year for renovations (and to see the lights), and then we grabbed a bite to eat. We met up with my sisters (who were both randomly also in Salt Lake city to see the lights). After meeting up with them, he took me to a favorite park of his, where he then PROPOSED to me! I happily (and tearfully) said yes! I am so very excited and happy!! I am so excited for this next adventure in our lives and I can't wait to start planning for it! This has been the best Christmas ever, and it's not even Christmas yet!!!

My life has definitely not gone the way that I planned it or wanted it to...but somehow, looking back, it was just perfect. I thank my lucky stars every day that I have loving Heavenly Parents who want what is best for me and who know just what I need in my life and when. And I pray every day that I will not be such a Negative Nan as much as I have been in the past...but that is something that needs work. And I hope and pray every day that today will be better than yesterday, or that I can have at least one positive moment. So far, I am finding that one positive moment a day leads to more positive moments the next days. 

I am so thankful for my fiancรฉ, who is my best friend and who is absolutely perfect for me. He's smart, kind, sweet, sensitive, thoughtful, a great listener, a worthy priesthood holder, and an all-around amazing son of God. I am so lucky to have him in my life. He makes me want to be a better person every day.

I am thankful for my Heavenly Parents, who love me and have given me so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my earthly parents, who love me and have given me so much experience, knowledge, love, and happiness. I am thankful for my family, who not only tolerate my craziness, but love me in spite of it. ๐Ÿคฃ I am thankful for my friends, who have helped me have a wonderful time and have helped me to look on the bright side of things, and who have helped me to rise above and beyond my mental illnesses and to stand my ground against the adversary.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I've got a lot going on this week!! I have jury service tomorrow and really hope I get selected! I'd love a chance to participate as a member of the jury because court life fascinates me. I'm finishing up my Christmas gift shopping and probably sleeping more too! I'm also celebrating Christmas with my fiancรฉ before he leaves to spend time with his family and I am so very excited!!

Happy holidays!! May you have a safe and happy holiday season with your loved ones!! 

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, December 8, 2019

God’s love shines through the darkness

Grateful for the chances I have to share my love of music and the Savior! Next week I’m playing in sacrament meeting (my violin!) and I am so excited! We practiced today and it sounded so beautiful! I can’t wait for my ward to hear it.

I’m also grateful for the chances that I have to serve and bless those around me! Yesterday I had the opportunity to watch my friend’s kids while she and her husband went to the Salt Lake Temple. It was so much fun! Her kids are just so, so darling and I love them to pieces and I was so glad I got to watch them while she went out with her husband. I know how important it is for parents to have date night, and I am always down to play with the kids. We had such a wonderful time, it was so sweet. ๐Ÿ’œ

Today, my family watched the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional, which was so good!! Afterwards, we watched the new Christmas movie, Christmas Jars, which was so cute! Right now, I’m watching the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert from a few years ago, featuring  Sutton Foster and Hugh Bonneville, with my parents. It’s such an amazing concert! I highly recommend it! It’s full of Christmas love and feelings. “God’s love does shine in the darkness.” ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

I’m so grateful and excited for Christmas. I’m grateful for my Savior, whose life led the way for us to be able to learn, grow, and be able to become like (and someday live with again) my Heavenly Parents. I’m grateful for His mother, Mary, and for her love for God, and her sacrifices.

For those who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you the happiest of holidays! May you have peace, love, and happiness this holiday season.

May you have a wonderful week! This week, my family and I are going to see A Christmas Carol at the Hale Center Theater in Orem and I’m very excited! I love the story and am grateful for the messages it shares.

I’m grateful for the blessings in my life, and for the people in my life. I’m grateful for a loving Savior, a loving Father in Heaven, and a loving Mother in Heaven. I’m grateful for the power of love, and for the chances I have to love and serve those around me—whether or not I know them personally. It’s such an amazing experience to serve people who I’ve just barely met, and it’s even better to serve my loved ones. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

Again, have a blessed and wonderful week!! Love you!

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, December 1, 2019

God never promised life without heartache.

Happy December! Wow! Can you believe it is the last month of the year 2019 already?? I swear the year just started! This year has had a whole lot of ups and downs, and I have been through so much already! Here's just a small sample:

  • This year, I started my last semester of college! And then I also graduated college!
  • I went through the temple for the first time and then upped my temple attendance throughout the rest of the year! I've learned so much from the temple and my testimony of the power of the temple and of my Heavenly Father and my Savior has grown so much over the course of this year! ๐Ÿ’œ
  • I turned 22, bought my second car, entered two posters in BYU's Fulton Conference and had one of them win FIRST PLACE!
  • I had to get an appendectomy! That was a rough couple of days. 
  • My family and I went to Vernal, Utah for our family vacation! It was amAAAAzing!!
  • In July, I went on a trip to New York with my friend! 
  • I started my first full-time job post-college and have been living the dream ever since!
  • I saw Wicked TWO TIMES this year–once was in New York and it was absolutely phenomenal because we had front row seats!!
  • "Even when it has been dark for days, the Son always comes." (Me, 07.23.2019)
  • With my family and extended family on my mom's side, we went to the Dinosaur Park in Ogden, Utah for our family reunion! It was a blast!
  • In September, my coworkers picked me for teacher of the month! It was such a blessing!!
  • I got into a relationship with my current boyfriend, who is the sweetest, kindest, most respectful and thoughtful guy ever! I am sure grateful for him in my life!
  • I celebrated the one year anniversary of getting my first car (#KingRupertMayHeRestInPeace).
  • I made a Facebook page for my blog! (Yes, this blog!)
  • Went to Salt Lake City for the October conference Saturday morning session.
  • Went to my first BYU Spectacular as an Alumni! Ben Rector and Hilary Weeks were AMAZING!!
  • I got to meet KRISTIN CHENOWETH AT A BOOK SIGNING!!! This was definitely one of the highlights of my year!
  • I got to go to the temple with my younger brother for our sister's wedding. It was a very special day. The First Three, all in the temple together for a sealing. 
  • I got to see Frozen II twice in November! I have always loved Frozen and Frozen II is BETTER! I loved it so much and can't wait to buy it when it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray!
  • Thanksgiving was amazing! Yummy turkeys and pies!
  • I have been working on trying to figure out/remember MY JOB. The one that God gave ME. No one else. Me. He has given me everything I need to do it. I just need to get up and do it (once, of course, I know what it is. I have some ideas but nothing certain yet. Gotta keep praying).
  • I learned that LOVE is the answer to all things. Love was the common theme this year. And my self-love increased much this year.
  • This year, my mental health journey has had some cRaAaAZzyy times! I have had some pretty amazing breakthroughs and beautiful thoughts, though, and I am very proud of the progress that I have made!
  • I learned a lot about God's blessings for me, and about His plans, timing, and how everything has its time and season.
  • Now it is December! Time for #LightTheWorld, the Christmas story, Christ's birth, finding Christmas presents for my loved ones (without breaking the bank/going overboard), and remembering the reason for the season.
There is so much to be thankful for! I have had such an amazing year! There have been so many ups!!! But there have also been many downs. Because one cannot know joy without knowing sorrow. One cannot know up without knowing down. And God never promised us a life without heartache. There has been (and will always be) some heartache in my life this year. And that will never change. There will always be heartache. But that's okay. I just need to remember to pray for peace and love, and to hope for a better tomorrow. And to keep my chin up, because there are far more happy days than sad days. I just need to remember to focus on the happy days and not let the sad days ruin the rest of the days. 

I cannot wait to see where the rest of this year takes me, and to see what's in store for me in 2020! I have a feeling next year is going to be my best year yet! 

Xoxo
Mattie