“This soup is a Gift from God”

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So … long time no blogging.
But… we’re back!

Quick important story.

We were healthy for so long.
and then it ended.
it ended the week jimmy had a week long meeting in oklahoma.
we had the 3 littlest with rsv & strep.
And I felt completely strengthened by earthly and spirit angels.
Amy Binns brought us treats or food almost every day and had us for tacos the night i took scotty to the e.r.
sister jorif helped so much with transportation and being a friend.
I knew that other angels were watching over us.
i felt their patience and strength.
blessings.

fast forward to this week.
i’ve had the worst flu in my life.
i don’t even think i’m exaggerating.
my fever raged from extreme chills to profuse sweating
and i had to take advil and tylenol every 3 hours.
if i waited 4, it was so intense.
those laser shooting pains in your muscles. ouch.
anyhoo… fever for 4 1/2 days.

and then hallelujah… the fever broke sunday night.
but then my cough changed from a dry cough…
to a deeper more productive cough with mucous.
it hurts. boo.

so now I am just trying to rest and be watchful that i don’t get pneumonia or something.
anyhoo…

shelly reeves in our ward texted and said she was bringing dinner.
and i thanked her and told her we were on the mend.
after all we hardly know her and I felt bad for her to spend time on us.
she said, “i guess nobody told you that I don’t take no for an answer. i’m bringing you dinner.”
alrighty then. I’ll gratefully accept.
and today, i was so grateful.
jimmy came home early yesterday but today he had a later meeting.
i didn’t get down for a rest until almost 3.
amy binns picked up the boys from school and took liza and max so i could rest.
bless her.
and shelly brought soup and biscuits at 5ish.

she told me that she had a dream about my mom a few days ago which was weird because she didn’t know my mom.
i told her I’m certain that it was because my mom prays so much for us to be watched over.
i know that her inspiration to bring us dinner and share that love came from my mother’s prayers.
my mom has the sweetest desires to be able to be with us and help us all which isn’t always feasible when we move so far away.
all sorts of tears going on when i was telling shelly this.

so we sat down to dinner and of course most of the kids didn’t like the idea of soup (really kids, do ya like anything?)
I told them that this soup was a gift from God and shared the story about the dream and my mom’s prayers and shelly following the Holy Ghost.
It’s really hard to talk when you’re crying and you can’t breathe because you already have some major coughing and tight airways going on.
so my voice was quiet. but the kids listened.

it isn’t always about the soup.
this was a great lesson for me about the power of prayer.
the importance of listening to and acting on promptings from the Holy Ghost.
And the ability a small act of kindness has to share God’s love with us.

p.s. the other kindness today was michele grow, my first counselor in primary, offered to pick up some natural immune boosters for me at the store. i knew it wasn’t exactly on her way, but i was so grateful. she brought cranberry and elderberry syrup and lobelia herb for coughs. plus, i had joked with her earlier that you couldn’t go to the vitamin shoppe without sneaking by Nothing bundt cakes since they were nearby. She brought a delicious raspberry white chocolate cake. So kind. There are good people in the world and I hope to be better by sharing God’s love with others through service.

A Grieving Heart

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Our hearts are full of sorrow at the peaceful passing of our infant niece Patricia who napped and never woke. Our prayers are that angels will be strengthening their family during this tender time. #hugthoseyoulove #lifeisprecious #eternalfamilies #templelight #sealedtogetherforever

Peter & Jennie’s baby, Patricia Joy Smith, age 3 months, passed away on October 29, 2015.
My mother heart has ached for Jennie’s broken mother heart.
I have not experienced this same pain, but as a mother,
I can imagine the hurt of losing a child you love and cherish beyond measure.

The miracle for Peter and Jennie was not to have Patricia stay on earth in this lifetime for very long … but I know that God has other miracles in store for Patricia and their family. The miracle of the Resurrection … of eternal families … of healing and comfort that comes from our Savior’s Atonement.

A blessing in my life related to this circumstance happened this week that I wanted to note. A gal in my new ward, Leah Fish, commented last Sunday about her son’s death. I asked her about it after and she told me of the circumstance. My heart had been thoughtful of her pain and growth from losing a child.

Then Patricia died and we were all in shock at the sad death of such a perfect, sweet little one. I found Leah’s blog… and was glad to find some helpful information on helping others in their grief. This is not something I feel comfortable in, but as the Relief Society President, had to listen to the Spirit to know what to say in these hard situations. (One moment that comes to mind is when I visited dear Patricia Rex a few days before she passed away from Cancer. What does one say in these times? … …)

Today, with fussy babes in arms, Leah chatted with me in the hall at church about everything. It was so helpful to hear her advice.
1… that everyone deals with grief differently, even husband and wife … and she recommended a book Tear Soup that makes an appropriate gift for one who is grieving.

2… I realized that so much growth and change comes from these heart-wrenching life experiences. Perhaps some of the miracles… long-term… are the growth that brings us closer to understanding Jesus Christ and his Atonement.

Anyhoo, I was grateful to meet Leah and hear of her testimony and faith regarding losing and grieving a child. It seemed providential for all these events to occur during the same week.

Perhaps this was something I needed to learn in my life. I don’t know that I’ll be able to help anyone deal with their grief any better, but I would hope that I would be closer to the Holy Ghost to know what appropriate love can be shown.

On Tuesday we are taking a day trip as a family to Houston to attend the funeral for little Patricia Joy. My prayers are with Peter and Jennie and Dallin. Loves to family!

Dew Drops

Tonight Truman and I read a book about clouds and thunderstorms. We learned about dew. Truman remembered this picture that I took after the rain on Halloween. The entire water cycle really is interesting. We have no new water on earth… it’s all recycled since the beginning of time. Interesting fact. Anyhoo… Here’s the picture I took when trick-or-treating.
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And a spiritual message to accompany it for this Sabbath evening.

“Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently ‘distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven’ (D&C 121:45).” Elder David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign, May 2011, 88.

I will show unto you a God of miracles

3x4 miracle defined
This week we’ve experienced first-hand the miracles that God performs for our family.
I know there are many mighty miracles that occur daily in our life,
but we don’t always even realize when they are happening.
God is a God of Miracles!

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This week Jimmy, Scotty, and I flew to Dallas for a home-finding trip.
There was one house that both Jimmy and I agreed on, and the rest were so-so agreeable to both of us.
We looked at 14 homes in 2 days.
We came up with a #1 and #2 choice and relooked at those the last day.
Mostly I was amazed that my favorite house was still available.
Homes go quickly in Dallas area. And this one seemed like a gem of a find.
In a great school district. Great community. Swimming pool. Fantastic landscaping by a wooded area.

We made an offer on #1 and they countered. Back and forth. Contract signed.
Now – to sell our current home.
We needed a contract on this house within 21 days… so we could get the financing for the next home.
(because they wouldn’t accept a contract contingent on the sale of our Utah home)
So, yes, we needed a miracle.
We arrived home on Thursday night.
Friday morning I woke up with aches and sickness.
Tried to get things tidied for the upcoming open house but finally had to rest.
Jimmy worked hard all day with kids and home.
This morning. Finally went to urgent care to find out I had a mega UTI. I knew from how it felt that it was headed for my right kidney (yes, this has happened before). I needed to avoid the e.r. and kidney scans, and kidney infection. Spent a few hours doing doctor and prescription.
Went straight to the neighbors to rest while Jimmy and Wendi Condie finished tidying for the open house.
Napped during open house and hoped it would be a success even though I couldn’t put any finishing touches on the house. sigh…

This afternoon after the open house, we received an offer for full-asking price and all they wanted was the washer-dryer and fridge. Okay. November 10 is the close date. And thus the financing and close date for the Texas home will happen November 30 as planned. See what I mean about miracles! Who sells their home after 5 days being listed and 1 open house with no other viewings? Miracle.
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Like bawl your eyes out in disbelief miracle.
Yes, we had prayed so fervently for God to send a family here who needed our home.
We had faith. But it seemed so unbelievable to have really happened.
I know that sometimes, even with our faith and prayers, that the miracle God has in store for us is different than our idea of a miracle. (Like me wanting to be immediately healed from my infection… it will take the miracle of antibiotics to help that along).
In one way or another, we are blessed by miracles and mercies from a loving Heavenly Father who watches over all.
Sometimes the miracle is that we endured our trial/illness. Sometimes the miracle is to be healed. Sometimes the miracle is to be comforted even though things take longer than we anticipate. I’m so grateful that God is a God of miracles!
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Hold on Thy Way … pt 2

My wee little brain is full of thoughts and thus can’t sleep even at 5 a.m. (and believe me… I am normally NOT an early riser). Jimmy went to play basketball (yes, he’s an early riser!). So, we’ll clear some thoughts about the upcoming week. We are going to try and get our house listed FOR SALE this week. Which means today will be spent shoving everything into the garage so we can semi-stage our home. And then Tuesday and Wednesday will be painting. Some gals in the ward offered to help paint. What dear friends they are!

The theme for the week: Hold on Thy Way
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I’m definitely going to need strength beyond my own to stay patient and kind and full of energy.

Happy Monday!

Doctrine of Marriage

Today was my last lesson teaching in Relief Society in my ward. Even though I sometimes think I bore the sisters and they might be tired of my handout… I just love that calling! Once a month… inspiring message to study… sharing testimony. It’s just great!

I was concerned about the controversy out there surrounding the topic of marriage, but Elder Christofferson’s message was so full of doctrine and truth, there wasn’t anywhere for the lesson to go off on zany tangents. It was some rock-solid doctrine that helped me identify some ways to communicate about my belief about marriage being of God… and not just about love.

This was my favorite quote from the message, “Why marriage, why family?” by Elder Christofferson:
marriage love from god

God has a plan for each of us.
He strengthens us as we strive to keep his commandments.
I love doctrine described simply for my wee tired brain.

Sorta hard to bear testimony and say bon-voyage to my ward sisters. I was so brave all week, but my tears did sneak out during those last two minutes. So many good people who have uplifted my family during our nearly 8 years of living here.

Creative Spirit

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Elder Richard G. Scott passed away this week. What a great soul he is.
I love how much he adored his wife.
I appreciate meeting him at our Stake Conference in Idaho.
I value his wisdom and sincerity.
He seemed to be one who endured to the end.

Three Apostles have died since the last general conference. Big changes in church leadership
We will miss those who have passed on, but I hope that our family will remember these men and their testimonies.

p.s. this quote shared by Elder Scott reflects my feelings on creativity… a huge part of my life. It does bring a zest and enthusiasm for the things I am grateful for in my life.

Always Look for the Blessings

always look for the blessingsLast night I was emailing my mother about our emotional Thursday. It wasn’t tragic. Just dealing with well dr. visits… and a sick visit for Tru (strep!). Emotional meetings at school with teachers regarding bullying. Hard conversations with our 11-year-old son. Worrying about upcoming life changes. Concerns about how those changes affect each member of my family. Realization that dealing with ‘hard’ brings out different conversations, strengths, and weaknesses. There are so many gospel principles to teach that lift us up! They strengthen us in ways that the world never could.

Throughout the email I mentioned the challenges, but every time the realization of blessings came into my mind …
-a nurse who squeezed in the sick visit so we didn’t have to come back later.
-antibiotics obtained so wellness can happen
-some extra patience given to me, as a mother, to deal with 3 littles on those errands
-a friend who brought popsicles for truman
-hannah who watched others kids… went to piano… and then watched our littles so Jimmy and I could go on a sudden dinner-date/important conversation time.
-the littles were fantastic for hannah and she even got them in bed… seriously, a major feat around here. she rocks!
-great teachers who love our children
-good bonding as husband/wife through meaningful conversations

God watches over us. He blesses us in so many ways… especially through the “hard.”

Hold On Thy Way

DownloadsAbstract random thoughts that don’t quite know where to land… like these paintings…

Lately I don’t know how to feel about anything. Sometimes I think I should just numb myself to the hard in life and plow through. But that doesn’t seem very joyful. There are so many decisions to be made and all the options spin around in my brain. I know that though this may be life as it is in mortality, I feel God’s way is more secure.

My friend Julie reminded me recently that to “HOLD ON THY WAY” is better than just ‘hanging in there’. Sounds more solid than my abstract thinking.
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…This is only half a post… but I wanted to share to remind myself and my family in our family record about these hard decisions made and the perspective that a secure relationship with God provides the foundation we need to ‘hold on our way’.

where LIGHT is, darkness cannot be found

I think of LIGHT often.
The light of Christ.
All the symbols of LIGHT.
Someday when I get to it, I’ll have a Wall of LIGHT of pictures and quotes
that uplift, ennoble, enlightenment, encourage persevering … remind us of all the LIGHT and good in our world.
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source: Light of Christ Topics on LDS.org and Light of Christ Bible Dictionary

Related to LIGHT is my Book of Mormon Study, “What about JOY?”
Life sometimes seem too full of heartache and pain and struggle.
But I know we are to have JOY. So I’ve been studying the principles behind JOY.
Deep JOY.
REAL JOY that comes only in Christ.
Today I discovered a scripture in Alma…
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“And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing — sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.” Alma 28:14

There is so much of goodness and light up uplift in our lives.
I imagine in my children this light of Christ radiating forth
dispelling any darkness that tries to overtake them.
They are so pure and sincere and innocent.
This LIGHT is real. And so essential to JOY.

more on LIGHT soon… love these thoughts to start the day…

p.s. Thank You Nongkran_ch for filling the world with light through your sunflower oil painting.