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.

The parable of the happy cat lady

Today was a long one. Started at 3 a.m. when Scotty decided he couldn’t sleep… on and off until 5.
Up at 6 to ready for our yard sale.
{first one we’ve ever hosted, btw…
a ton of work… but needful under the circumstances}
Saw a fabulous sunrise.
Sold oodles of stuff… came out ahead with $800.
Mostly we were just so glad to see the stuff goooooo…
going, going gone… more breathing room in our house!

anyhoo…
yard sale.
movie to see inside-out. {more on that later}
nice reward for kiddos helping at said yard sale.

quickie dinner of yellow rice and big chicken, made by my love, Jimmy.
and then off to the General Women’s Meeting at the Stake Center with Hannah.
Loved the messages.
This was the last message, shared by Elder Uchtdorf. His parable of faith, hope, and charity was a cheerful one… about the happy cat lady (as someone on instagram put it!).
walk through life uchtdorf

I’m hoping as we go through the challenges of the next few months of moving that we will find the bits of joy scattered… the tender mercies given to us by God… and have faith in every single footstep… and hope in Christ to lift us up… and love for others.

The emotions of CHANGE

inside-out-heroI took the kiddos to Inside Out movie at Water Gardens as a reward for enduring and working at the yard sale. The kids have been wanting to see it, but no way are we paying to go to the expensive theater. Anyhoo… it was a once-a-year special occasion with popcorn and drinks. “Whoa mom! Thanks so much,” said the kids.

The movie is about a girl who moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. And then they go through all the emotions she feels. Joy always wants to take over and keep things running smoothly… but in the end, she realizes that Sadness is important to growth. In the end, LOVE of family helped combine JOY and SADNESS into a core memory. Obviously there was much more to the movie but that was the important part for our family.

It was a perfect movie for our family right now with our upcoming move. It helped me realize some of the emotions and stress the kids experience starting at new school and new ward.

This week I realized that my kids deal with the stress of this move so differently from each other. Hannah can communicate much of her stress and she cries sometimes. Abe just seems to be spinning and not sure where to land with it all. Max sometimes communicates, sometimes gets irritated with others. Tru and Eliza don’t understand how they feel and what the stress is all about… but they feel it. Mostly it shows in their behavior. Lots of whining and impatience.

I hope we can help them learn to deal with change in a positive way… to communicate in words to help resolve things inside. It’s okay to feel! It’s how we learn to deal with those feelings that might be tricky. It’s okay to feel mad… but not okay to hit brother because of that anger. It’s okay to feel sad… but not okay to bring others down by your attitude. It’s okay to feel excited… but important to understand that not everyone might feel the same as you.

Anyhoo… emotions. Good to understand and learn to communicate about… something that may take a lifetime (or beyond) to figure out with all our various relationships.

Creative Spirit

creativity elder scott
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.

Choose Kindness

choose kindness
We have been practicing KINDNESS in our home. Especially during the day when Liza is home with mom and scotty.

Asking nicely the first time!
Being agreeable.
Sharing. Kindness to friends and their siblings.
Obeying even when it’s hard.

Solving problems appropriately.
step 1: ask nicely.
step 2. wait quietly until it’s a good time for mom to assist.
step 3. say thank you.

And while we’re at it… practicing optimism is always a good thing too. Definitely something we need right now as we are swiftly preparing for a move to Texas. It’s wild, people! But things will work out (as we often remind ourselves).

choose optimism

Texas, Here we come!

non-commercial prints for us
Looks like we’re moving to Texas, y’all!
Jimmy accepted a job with Hilti, an international high-end tool company.
They were listed on the top 100 companies to work for so we are hopeful.
The kids are anxious and a bit sad to leave friends. Lots of tears.
Jimmy is hopeful about the job and excited to have more land and a larger home.
Heather is stressed and overwhelmed by the busyness that accompanies moving…
and the emotions of helping everyone stay optimistic.
My hope is that in a few years we will be overwhelmed by the feeling that it was one of the best moves we have made.
I so appreciate our time in Utah… being closer to my parents.
Being amidst the mountains… oh, my heart! The Mountains!
Fresh clear water… the trail by our home… The spring and autumn!
And the temples… oh, how we’ve loved being so close to so many temples!
It takes me years to find dear friends and I have found many here.
I’m so grateful for their positive influence in my life.

But… onward we shall go. Pressing forward on this journey!

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.
3x4 hold on thy way

…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.
3x4 light of christ
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…
3x4 light sunflowers

“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.

defeat… or persistence?

We’ve had a bit of hard… and stress… and the unknown over the past month. I guess we always have a bit of each of those, come to think of it. ‘Tis LIFE! But this past month we had a hard blow. We knew everything would work out… but we didn’t know how or when. Things are still ironing themselves out but I’m still feeling anxious about what the future holds… where God wants us… and all that we will go through to fulfill our purpose as a family in this life.

Through it all though, we have been greatly blessed. So many have prayed for us. We know that God answers prayers. We feel his comfort and peace through difficult circumstances. We know we need His strength.

Someone shared this question on facebook recently…

“My children will have persistent life-long struggles too.
What do I want to model for them — despair and defeat,
or faith and persistence?”

faith and persistence

I can see that my attitude affects my children’s attitude about our circumstances. My words of doubt or FAITH put thoughts in their minds. I hope my heartfelt attitude is that With God’s help, we can endure hard things!

I was thinking about some of the hard things our family might experience in life, especially the kids as they grow up in this world. I know that hard things can make us stronger if we choose to have faith instead of fear.

hardships c s lewis

Just a few thoughts I wanted to put together and remember for family history sake! Happy end of August