Monday, January 25, 2010

Little Visitor

We had a fun visitor last week, our nephew Christian. (Or just "Baby" according to Lauren). Brad's sister Andrea broke her ankle, and couldn't put any weight on it. That makes it a bit difficult to haul around a 4 month old, so we got pull out all our old baby stuff and had a grand old time for a few days! The full time job was just trying to keep the kids off him, they loved him so much! He was so cute and such a good little sleeper. Next time you break an appendage, Andrea, think of us, we'll be happy to take him again! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Book of Mormon: Why I Love It.

*I hope the following post isn't too churchy, I just feel like I need to share my thoughts about something very important to me.

I finished reading the Book of Mormon again today. It's not the first time I've read it, nor will it be the last. But this time through did mean more to me than some of the others. Sometimes I think I take the book for granted. I grew up reading its passages. Sometimes my reading is more out of habit or duty than real desire. But this time was different.

This time, I started reading it when we were in the middle of a stressful time in our lives. This time, I really hungered for answers and comfort. And that is most definitely what I found. President Ezra Taft Benson has said that there is a power in the Book of Mormon that will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of it. I know that that is true.

When I read the Book of Mormon, I receive a power that is beyond my own to deal with life’s problems. That power is manifest in the little things–like having more patience with my kids– and in the big things, like when Brad lost his job this summer.

I don’t claim to be the Queen of Trials. I know there are many more trials that we can and probably will go through. I know people who have dealt with much tougher things than we have, and they stand as strong examples to me. But in our little sphere, the adversity of this summer was the hardest we have had to withstand up to this point in our lives–more than dealing with our infertility and illnesses, more than dealing with broken bones and broken dreams. And there were two things that saved me from hiding in bed everyday and never coming out. Two things that gave me faith and hope and strength and even the ability to find joy in the midst of it all. Those two things were the Book of Mormon and the Temple. Strangely enough, it was the Book of Mormon that guided me to the temple.

Over and over in the Book of Mormon I found examples of people in trials. And over and over the Lord reminded them of their covenants with Him. The Lord does not forget His Covenant People! He will not forsake them. That doesn’t mean we won’t have trials. But He does give us power to overcome–and even triumph over–our trials.

One of the most poignant examples of that lesson for me is found in Mosiah, Chapter 24. I think I read this scripture block every day for about three months, just to remind myself that the Lord does keep his promises. Alma and his people were just trying to live the gospel. Unfortunately, Amulon, a former priest with Alma, had gained favor with the Lamanite king, and made their lives a living heck. Amulon and his cronies began persecuting Alma and his people, and treated them as slaves. He threatened them with death if they even prayed.

Mosiah 24: 12 "And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

The Lord kept his promises with Alma and his people, and He kept his promises with my family. Even when we were being mistreated and betrayed, the Spirit of the Lord came to us and lifted us up and lightened our burdens, and I think that peace and protection has everything to do with the covenants we have made.

There is a protecting power in our covenants. Again, from the Book of Mormon, we learn more. Speaking of those who had made the same covenants we have made, Ammon says,

Alma 26: 6 Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.

7 But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day."

I am so thankful for a Savior who knows how to succor His people. I’m so thankful that He does not leave us comfortless. And I’m so thankful for a book written for our day--the Book of Mormon--that reminds us of these things, and brings us closer to Him.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Word for 2010

Wow. I had no idea when I thought up my Word for 2009 what the year would bring. I find it very interesting that I felt inspired to work on my Nurturing. How I needed that when we added a sweet little girl to our home. And I'm so glad that when the time came this summer with all of Brad's work drama, where I had to lean heavily on the Savior just to make it through the day, that I had already nurtured my relationship with Him, so it wasn't such a stretch. I also think I was really able to help Brad through his dark days this year. It's a little sobering to think of all that happened to us in 2009, and to realize that the Spirit was there the whole time, preparing us, uplifting us and watching over us.

So...on to my word for 2010:


  • Remember Where I Came From: This includes better communication with my family and also my Heavenly Father.
  • Remember Who I Am: I want to keep in the forefront of my mind the glimpses I've had of my pre-mortal existence. There have been moments, in quiet reflection, where I've felt the love that Heavenly Father has for me, and also the person he needs me to be here on earth. I know that there are certain promises I made before I came to earth, and I need to remember that He desperately needs me to fulfill those promises and be a force for good in this world. I love Sheri Dew's quote: "Noble and great. Courageous and determined. Faithful and fearless. That is who you are and who you have always been. And understanding it can change your life, because this knowledge carries a confidence that cannot be duplicated any other way."
  • Remember the Moments: Life is made up of moments, and I fear that sometimes I'm not present enough in those moments. I want to remember to enjoy and appreciate the moments as they come.
  • And last but not least, Remember What it Feels like to be Fit. I felt I was doing really well the first part of last year, nurturing my health. I was working out, my cholesterol/blood pressure levels had come way down, I had energy, I was losing weight, and then our lives changed drastically when Lauren came to our home, we lost our job, and we moved all in a matter of a couple months. It's time to get back on the wagon. When I remember how good it feels to succeed in this area of my life, it motivates me to keep going.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Christmas/New Year Wrap-Up

We had a great Christmas season! It included seeing lots of family, a lot of time in the car (thanks for letting us borrow the car DVD player, Andrea!) and of course, a bug that caused Ty and I to puke our guts out in a hotel room. Thankfully, that only lasted about 12 hours, and no one else got it. Here are some of the pics we happened to get during our fun-filled adventures.

Christmas church outfits

Throwing out the reindeer chow on Christmas Eve

Christmas Jammies

Lining up for Santa on Christmas morning

Enjoying the stocking candy

Got some chapstick in her stocking.

After Christmas, we traveled up to Oregon and spent time with my family. We had a great time on the Oregon Coast playing games, watching football, shopping, going to the beach, and rocking it on Dance Dance Revolution!

My brother Scott (with a little help from Dad) built a fire in the rain that we enjoyed on New Year's Eve.

Counting down.

Happy New Year!!!
As a side note, Brad grew his first ever beard this week. Lookin good! No worries, Dad, it was shaved off before he went back to work.

Lauren and Carter playing with the magna-doodle.

Lauren's cheesy smile.

Lauren and Grandma.

And last but not least, Brad shaved his beard into a mustache just to see what it would look like. Can we say Creepy?!

Happy New Year to All!!

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