November 3, 2015

In All Things Give Thanks





Coming home from my morning workout, I was thinking about all the things that I have, all the things I am so blessed to have and been given.

I was looking back at my time is Guatemala, a time that I hold so dear to my heart. I found myself being reminded of what it was like to move back to the United States from a place that was so beautiful and had such a sweet spirit about it, to the state that I called home, Utah.

Recently, we have been thinking about upgrading to a larger apartment. I have found myself longing for more. More space, a separate living room and kitchen space, 3 bedrooms, more storage...the list goes on and on. But as I was pondering on moving from our little 2 bedroom apartment, I found myself longing not to go, but to stay.

It's funny, because we wouldn't move far, just a few stairwells over if we were to move, but there is something about this small space that I am so truly grateful for.


You see, when we lived in Guatemala we lived practically outside. It is hard to explain, but it was nothing like your American home. Cement walls, 3 rooms & a bathroom connected to your outdoor "living room" space, a Pila (sink/washing machine), improvised kitchen with a 2 burner gas stove, mini fridge with the door falling off, a bathroom with a door that never shuts and neighbors above and below watching your every move. That was was where lived.

Don't get me wrong the place we lived, was just a place, but the land we lived in...was unbelievably breathtaking.  We lived among the people and despite how hard it was at times...it was the best experience of my life.

Moving back, we found student housing at the U of U and applied for a 2 bedroom apartment. Within a week we had a place to live, but we never got to see it before we moved in, so we were relying completely on faith. ;)

When we arrived in the parking lot of our new apartment complex, we were filled with so much excitement and when we walked inside...we were overjoyed to be here in this small, yet clean and free of insects and creepy crawlers, apartment. ;)


We had very little. We didn't have a bed (just an air mattress with me being 6 months pregnant at the time) and we didn't have furniture. All we had was our suit cases and various other belongings. Yet we were so grateful!!

I look our apartment now and see much more than just things, I see a couch that provides comfort, relaxation and seating when needed. I see a table that allows us to gather together as a family to eat and talk with one another. I see a kitchen, though it is small, allows us to prepare meals, a sink with clean running water that allows us to hydrate whenever we want.

I see beds, that allows us to sleep, relax and get the rest we need to arise refreshed each day. I see the pantry filled with food so that we don't go hungry. I see an oven that we can cook in and make all kinds of wonderful meals. I see walls and a door that provide protection from the elements. I see books that are able to help us learn, grow and enjoy. I see toys that allow my kids to use their imaginations and have fun together. But most of all I see the blessings that Heavenly Father has given to us. All the things we have came from him, especially our apartment. He has blessed us in so many ways and I am can't help, but give thanks to him.

There are so many, many more things that I could say about our simple, little apartment. It truly is a blessing from our Father in Heaven.

We may still move to a larger apartment one day, but for now we will stay in this space. It is beautiful and oh, so wonderful. 

Our sweet, little apartment, isn't so little when you look at the blessings that have been placed all around us. It has what we need and there is so much love here. After all, it is home. :)


June 14, 2015

Beautiful For Him

 
 
 
 
Music is a powerful thing, a marvelous gift we have been given.  I was preparing for a family BBQ and decided I needed a pick me up so I turned on some music on my YouTube playlist and a song called "Beautiful for Me" by Mercy River came on. It was so beautiful and so perfect for me to hear today. 
 
It talks about us looking in the mirror at our own reflection, picking apart at every detail of ourselves and telling ourselves that we aren't good enough, but there's a whisper and He says:
 
 
Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see, oh
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you
Beautiful for me
 
 
As I listened to these words I found myself crying.  The picture that came to mind was my Heavenly Father reaching out to me and saying these words reminding me that he created me and I am perfect to him. 
 
We are so precious to our Heavenly Father. It is something so real and so true.  Why would we say hurtful things about our bodies and about the person we are when this amazing being created us in his image? When he created you his focus was on you. He created you the way he wanted you to be and you are so perfect and so beautiful for him.
 
 
 
 
Beautiful For Me
 
Every girl young and old has to face her own reflection
Twirl around, stare it down
What’s the mirror gonna say
With some luck, you’ll measure up
But you might not hold a candle to the rest
“Is that your best?” says the mirror to the mess
But there’s a whisper in the noise
Can you hear a little voice
and He says
 
Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see, oh
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you
Beautiful for me
 
If it’s true beauty lies in the eye of the beholder
I want my life and what’s inside to give Him something to behold
I want a heart that’s captivating
I wanna hear my Father saying…
 
Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see, oh
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you

 Beautiful for me
Close your eyes
Look inside
Let me see the you that you’ve been trying to hide
Long ago, I made you so very beautiful
So I ought to know you’re beautiful
 
Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see, oh
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you
Beautiful for me
You’re so beautiful
Beautiful for me
So beautiful for me
Has anybody told you?

April 30, 2015

Z is for Zooming Through Life

"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes and truly see the things that matter most."
 
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

One or our favorite phrases to say in our family is "muy tranquillo" which is Spanish for very relaxed. It is a phrase that we use to calm ourselves down when life gets crazy and we start feeling stressed, especially when we are going somewhere in the car. ;)
 
 


 In Panajachel, Guatemala this was something that people would say often. It is also a way of reminding ourselves not to worry or move so fast that you miss those things that are happening right in front of you and to enjoy every moment.
 
Life can get kind of crazy sometimes and it seems like people are zooming to work, zooming to the grocery store or zooming to make dinner. Sometimes it feels like life gets put on full speed ahead and we forget that some things are just plain more important.
 
 One of the things that I want to always remember throughout my life is just that, to take time to slow down, put down the phone and to see the things in my life that truly matter most. 
 
I want to see the little moments when my daughter sings a song, tells a joke, gives me a hug and dances around being silly. I want to see the little moments when my little boy laughs, takes his first bite of food and takes his first baby steps. I want to be present for the little moments I have to spend with my husband telling stories, dancing in the living room with me and my kids and sitting under the stars eating fudge. These are the moments that I want to be fully present for. These are the things that I will keep with me forever. These are the things that matter most.
 
So, don't zoom through life without taking those precious moments to slow down and truly see the things that matter most. 
 
 
 
 

Here is a video that I love and want to share with you:
 
 

April 29, 2015

Y is for You

 
Change the way YOU see things and the things YOU see will change.
- Wayne Dyer
 
 
This Quote is really interesting to me to think about.  I've always been fascinated by Psychology and the way the brain works.  It never ceases to amaze me how much our minds can retain and how much the way we think affects everything we do. 
 
I am reminded of the scripture "For
as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
 (Proverbs 23:7)
 
 
 
 
Our thoughts control the way we act, the way we communicate and the way we do things.  For example, in a situation where you may have a neighborhood activity you need to attend but don't really want to, you can moan and groan and say negative things about going or you can choose to enjoy the time getting to know neighbors. 
 
You can choose to be negative about the snowy weather or choose to see it is as a beautiful day. You can look in the mirror and choose to see the flaws in your body or you can choose to see the beautiful person that you are.
 
No matter what it may be, the things we do start with a thought.  Those thoughts can either affect us in a positive or negative way. 
 
I have had many days where I have just wanted to be grouchy and negative, but I never feel that great about life until I make the choice to see
things in my life in a different way.
 
It is, in a sense, having gratitude for the blessings that you have. You can either see the things you don't have or see the things you do. Either way if you change the way YOU see things then the things YOU see will change. The choice is yours.
 
What will YOU choose?
 
 
 


April 28, 2015

X is for X Marks The Spot

 
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matt 6:21
 
Travis and I watch movies together often and when it's my turn to choose the movie I will usually pick 3 movies to choose from. I try to pick ones that we will both like, but there is usually one specific movie I really want to watch.
 
I may say that I don't mind watching any of them, which I don't most of the time, but there is usually one that I want to watch much more than all the others.
 
So, in recognizing this I decided to pay attention to how I feel when choosing a movie. I noticed which one was more appealing to me and how excited I felt when I looked at the cover of each movie. After noticing how I feel, I can usually come to a conclusion of which one it is that I want to watch most.
 
It may seem like a silly comparison, but for me it has helped me to recognize where my heart truly is in all aspects of my life.
 
 I've learned that instead of saying that I don't care, that I should take a moment to think about how I really feel about each decision and other circumstances that come my way.  
 
More often than not, I have found that when I pay attention to where my heart is, I am more likely to come to a clear understanding of what and how I need to approach each situation.
 
Where my heart is will determine how I approach life and will help me see where my treasure is. In a sense, I will find where X marks the spot. :) 
 
 
 

April 27, 2015

W is for Whirlwinds

 
I've had a lot of moments in my life where I have wondered why? Why did this have to happen to me? Why now? Could it have been prevented?
It's been almost a month since I broke my foot and it has been a great challenge for me.  I've had to learn how do things so differently than from the way I am use to doing things.  It was a rough few weeks, especially with having the big question on my mind... why? 
Elder Neil L. Andersen said:
 
“Not all the whirlwinds in life are of your own making. Some come because of the wrong choices of others, and some come just because this is mortality. … Challenges will come to you, but as you trust in God, they will strengthen your faith.”

It has brought me much comfort to hear these words from Elder Andersen. Challenges will come, because this is mortality. We are here to learn and grow and to be able to grow we need the whirlwinds of life.

I'm getting this broken foot thing figured out. It's still hard, but I know that as I trust God that he will help me and guide me through it all. I now that these challenges I am facing will not only help me to learn many great lessons, but also will strengthen my faith. 

Whatever whirlwinds are going on in your life right now, remember to trust God and the challenges you face will help you to strengthen your faith.

Life is full of ups and downs, but it is so good. :)
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





April 25, 2015

V is for Valuable To Me








One of the most valuable things in my life is my family and the memories that I make with them. At the end of the day they are the people who are there for me when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I need someone to talk to, when I get a flat tire and need someone to call, when I need a hug or when I brake a foot, my family is there.

We support each other in the things we are doing and we care about what is going on in each others lives. We have BBQ's, family trips and party's that remind us of how much we care about each other.

We may not perfect and can get on each others nerves sometimes, but we still love each other and will be there for one another no matter what.

I feel so blessed to have wonderful family around me. Yes, we may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

April 24, 2015

U is for Unique

 
 
 
You are unique. There is no doubt about it. No two people are a like.  How crazy is that?!
 
We can be similar, but not one of us will ever be the same.  We all have flaws and imperfections about ourselves, but those imperfections can either make or break us.  We can learn to love our imperfections or hate them. Personally, I'm rootin' for loving them.
 
It's not easy to love yourself when your focus is comparing yourself with others. So, to me it's important to recognize that people are just people and that everyone is different. It's important to  remember what you can do. 
 
In time as you start to recognize your gifts and talents and let go of the thought of what others might think, you will find that you can be your own kind of beautiful. That you are Unique.
 
 
 

April 23, 2015

T is for Temple


In the LDS Church we have many temples across the world.  One of my favorites is the Quetzaltenango, Guatemala Temple
 
 
 
 
I love the temple. I love the it, because it is a place where I know I can be myself. A place with  no distractions. A place where I can receive personal revelation, to receive comfort, peace and to feel of my Heavenly Father's love. It is a beautiful place to be and a wonderful place to serve.
 
 
 
 
This is a picture of a branch that came to the temple for a sealing. 
The temple is a place where we can be sealed together for time and all eternity.  It's a great comfort to know that if I live righteously, that I can be with my family forever.
 

 
 
Just being on the temple grounds, you can feel that there is a special spirit about this place. :)
 

 
 
It's a place where you can't help, but want to shout for joy.
Oh how I love the Temple!

April 22, 2015

S is for Souls and Beauty


 
While I was attending the LDS Temple a few months ago, one of the temple workers stopped me and said "You have beautiful eyes, it's almost distracting." For me that was an incredible compliment, because to me she was saying "you have a beautiful spirit about you."
 
When I look into someone's eyes it is like seeing their soul or spirit. It's beautiful to see that light and love glowing in someone's eyes. You can just see it. When you take a step back and look into their eyes, you come to really understand and see people for who they are.
 
A few weeks after that I went back to do some more work in the temple and this same worker was there. I wasn't sure she would remember me, but again she stopped me and said "It's nice to see you again. I'd remember those eyes anywhere."
 
The eyes are a wonderful way to connect with people. Every chance I get I look into my children's eyes to let them know I am listening and that I really care about them. Sometimes I just look into their eyes, because I want that connection with them. 
 
The eyes are a beautiful window to the soul. To me it is important to take time to connect with people on a deeper level with a simple look into their eyes. 
 
Give it a try. It's a powerful and beautiful thing.  How very different our ideals of beauty would be if we saw people through their eyes rather than through their bodies. 
 
The spirit is absolutely beautiful!
 
 

April 21, 2015

R is for Rubies


"I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin...in the Kingdom of God the real you is more precious than rubies."
 
Elder Jeffery R.Holland


We are all different and those differences are what make us each so beautiful. It is important to remember to be ourselves, to be you, because the real you is more precious than rubies. It is so important to believe in yourself and see the beauty that is within you. You are unique!

Love yourself. Respect yourself. Accept yourself for who you are and remember the real you is more precious than rubies.


 

Q is for Quit

 


Don't you quit... Trust God and believe in good things to come.
 
 

P is for Prayer

 

 
I love my Heavenly Father. He is the one I go to when I need help, when I need someone to give me peace and comfort or when I just need someone to talk to. He is always there for me so it only makes sense to me that I would make it a priority to have some meaningful time alone with him to strengthen my relationship with him.

I see the blessings and the tender mercies that he has given me and I can’t help, but think “Wow, he really loves me.”  Because he loves me so much and he continues to bless me daily, I desire to have a strong relationship with him and to make that possible I need to make the time to pray to him and talk with him.

April 17, 2015

O is for One Step At A Time

 
 
 
When we look too far ahead and look at everything we need to do to become like him, it can become really overwhelming, but it is so comforting to know that God understands. It's important to remember to take life one day at a time, one step at a time, you'll get there. :)
 
 

April 16, 2015

N is for Never




I think this is an important thing that we need to remember. Love is a huge part of our lives.  It can heal and life others in the craziest situations. 
You’ve seen those news stories when a mother almost loses her baby, but holds it close and through the warmth of the mother the baby survives.  Love is everything.
Every single one of us needs to feel loved and to be loved.  It’s important to look around to see who we can help, to give more hugs, to help someone carrying groceries into the house, to write a nice note to someone who is sick, to be a friend to talk to, to share a kind thought or simply share a smile. It is important to put down our phones and be aware of the people around us, especially those closest to us.
It’s important to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get up and see who we can help.  We are all going through something and we are all struggling in some way, but it is often times when we take the time to help someone else that our burdens are lightened and we receive what we need through giving love to someone else.

NEVER let a problem to be solved, become more important than a person to be loved.”

M is for Making Memories

 
 
 
 
This quote reminds me of my sweet husband, Travis. From the day I met him, his main goal in life has been to build strong relationships with his family, have new experiences and make memories. 

Our main goal, when it comes to money, is to spend wisely. To spend it on memories rather than stuff.  Memories will last us forever and will always be there and stuff…well it’s just stuff and you can’t take stuff with you when you die.  What will last us the longest will be those things that we experience.  The things that helped us to grow and become the person we are today.
 
I love looking back on my life and seeing all the good times and the hard times that I’ve gone through and seeing how I’ve grown, but especially I love to see all the fun times I’ve had. All the precious moments with our kids, all the fun dates we’ve gone on together, all the new things we’ve tried, there are so many fun memories.
Life was meant to be enjoyed and memories are a gift that we have been given to remember the good times and to encourage us to make more.

 
 
 
 

April 14, 2015

L is for Looking in the Mirror

 
 
 
 
This quote is one that I have really been trying to say to myself everyday. There have been so many times where I have looked at myself in the mirror and picked out every imperfect detail.  I often forget to look at myself and truly see the beauty that I have.  
 
 We tend to compare ourselves to other people so much that we forget that it is impossible to be like someone else, it is impossible to be perfect.  We are not going to ever be perfect in this life so it is up to us to love our imperfect selves. It is our imperfections that make us beautiful, that make us unique. 
 
We compare our weaknesses with everyone else's strengths and it makes it so much harder for us to really come to love ourselves. Because we don't see others weaknesses as easily as we do ourselves, we see everyone else as just better and tell ourselves that it is impossible to measure up.
 
In coming to love ourselves I think that it is important to take a moment to step back and see people as people rather than looking at people as, "everyone else is so much better than me," because all you
see is their strengths. 
 
Our society has distorted our ideas of what beauty really means. Beauty is so much more than what you look like. It is about who you are and the fact that each of us is different means that there really is no perfect beauty, there really is no "normal" person. We are all different and those differences are what make us so beautiful.
 
No two people are alike. How incredible is that, that none of us are the same? That blows my mind that Heavenly Father created us in such a way that no two people are the same. We each have gifts and talents that are unique to us and that make us stand out from everyone else. Just think you have been so blessed with those gifts and talents to help others and to share your beauty.
 
The important thing to remember in all of this is that you are special. You are unique. No one is like you and you are beautiful!
 
Every time you look in the mirror, I challenge you to say to yourself "I love you, I really love you." And you will find that over time, you really do love yourself and that you really are beautiful in every way. ;)
 
 

April 13, 2015

K is for Kind Thoughts


"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient
Will remember them for a lifetime.
Never suppress a kind thought."
 
One day, I was walking through the grocery store standing in the cheese section, looking for a specific cheese, when I saw a lady in a wheel chair next to me. She seemed to be having a hard day as she too looked through the cheese section.
 
As I stood there, I had the thought to tell her that I thought she looked very nice. I got nervous so I passed her by thinking "it will probably be fine if I don't say anything." But as I walked away I kept having that thought come to my mind that I should go back and let her know that I thought she was beautiful.
 
I had this conflict going on in my mind. Doubting that it would even make a difference to her to telling myself that I should just do it. So, I ditched the doubts and turned around hoping she'd be there still and sure enough she was.
 
I walked up to her and put my hand on her shoulder and said, "I just wanted to let you know that I think you look very beautiful today." She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face and simply said "Thank You" and we went our separate ways.
 
That moment has been a moment I have kept in my mind and heart always, because I had so many conflicting thoughts that day that the only way I got out what I wanted to say, was to shove everything else aside and just do it without thinking.
 
Never suppress a kind thought.
 
 I don't know how that moment really affected this lady, but for me I can tell you that it helped me to learn that when I have a kind thought, to just say it, because you never know how much someone may need to hear it. :)

 

April 11, 2015

J is for James 1:5

James 1:5
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

At the age of 14, Joseph Smith read this scripture and decided to do as it said and "ask of God." One spring morning, he went into a grove of trees and knelt in prayer and asked our Father in Heaven which of the churches on the earth at that time were true and which he should join (Spring of 1820). It was then that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in person. Heavenly Father said "This is my beloved son, hear him." and Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph saying that he should join none of the churches. Joseph Smith was later called to be a prophet and restore the Gospel to the earth.

As a young boy, Joseph had a desire to know truth and so he went to the source of all wisdom, God.  We too, can do this very thing in our day. We may not actually get an answer to our prayers the way Joseph did, but we can receive answers and guidance to our questions through the Holy Ghost and personal revelation.

If we ever have any doubts or we just don't understand and we too have a desire to gain wisdom, we can kneel in prayer to our Father in Heaven and he will answer us and help us. But it will be in the Lord's time and in the Lord's way. He knows what's best for us and he will guide us as we have faith and a desire to understand and know.

April 10, 2015

I is for I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon.  It is a beautiful blessing to me to have a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To understand that I have a Father in Heaven. That I am here for a reason.  That I am part of his great and marvelous plan.

 I just want to share with you my testimony of this Gospel. It is so beautiful and such an important part of life.  I try my best everyday to live it and without a doubt in my mind I know that it is true. We have the true and everlasting gospel here on this earth. I know this. Everyone is able to come to know and understand it if they let it into their hearts.

 I know that I would not be the person I am today without this Gospel. I know that the atonement is real. That our Savior died for each and every one of us individually. I have seen the power of the atonement in my life and it is an incredible blessing. He has done more for me than I probably deserve, but loved me enough to die for me. He has been my comfort and my strength and the more I understand the atonement the more I grow and the closer I come him.

 I know my Heavenly Father loves me and that he loves every single one of us, because we are his children.  I have seen his love in my life and am reminded often of that love. He is there. He is in every aspect of my life. I am so grateful to know that.

 
 
I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet. It is so amazing to me to see this incredible man endure so much pain and struggle to bring this restored gospel to this earth. I know that we have a living prophet today on this earth, President Thomas S. Monson. What a wonderful man and leader he is. I am grateful for the guidance of the Leaders in this church and I know the words they speak and teach are true.

I know that families can be together forever. I am so grateful for the blessing of being sealed together for time and all eternity in the temple. I know that as I do my best to do what is right and live my life according to my Heavenly Father's will for me, that I will be with my family forever.  I know that the plan of salvation is real and that it's not only in this life that we will be with our loved ones, but forever if we are sealed together.

I know that as I have faith in my Heavenly Father and let go of my doubts and fears, that blessings come. It is only with fear that we stop ourselves from receiving guidance and peace from him. 

I love this gospel with all my heart. I know that it is true.

I am a Mormon. I know it, I live it, I love it.






April 9, 2015

H is for Hard By The Yard

"Life is hard by the yard, but by the inch it's a cinch."
 
This quote is one of my main motos for my life.  It has been one that I try to keep in the back of my mind always for those times when I need a friendly reminder to chill out.
 
I know there have been so many times where I have felt like a challenge or trial was just too much for me to handle. I tend to think of everything all at once and start to worry about everything and in turn I start to think I can't handle it. It can become very overwhelming the longer I let myself think about what might happen or what I should do.
 
But when I put things into perspective and take it a day at a time, I find that I am able to think more clearly and I feel more at peace with my different circumstances. But I especially feel closer to my Heavenly Father. It's putting faith in him and letting go of my fear daily that helps me come closer to him.
 
Life doesn't have to be hard. It's only hard when we think of everything all at once, but when we take it a day at a time, it's easy.
 
"Life is hard by the yard, but by the inch it's a cinch."
 
 

April 7, 2015

G is for Good Mom's

"Good Moms have
Sticky Floors,
Messy Kitchens,
Laundry Piles,
Dirty Ovens,
and Happy Kids."
 
All too often as Mom's we put ourselves down and think that we are the worst Mom ever. We compare ourselves with other Mom's who seem to have it all together and feel like we aren't doing good enough (at least that's how I have felt at times).
 
When my child eats crackers for most of the day and the house is a mess with toys all over the place, it's hard to think that I am doing a good job, but I have to take a step back and see what I really did that day. As I do that, I find that I am a good Mom, I didn't make my children starve, I played with them, I laughed with them, I let them make a mess I gave them hugs when they got hurt  and I listened to them.
 
As a Mom, I am trying my very best to be the best Mom I can be. I may not be perfect, but I am the perfect Mom for my kids. They were sent to me for a reason and no one can replace me as their Mom. I love my kids so much. I love being their Mom.
 
Remember you are a good Mom! :) 
 
 

F is for Forever

"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."
-Elder F. Burton Howard
 
 
I  have been sealed in an LDS Temple for time and all eternity.  That means forever.  Forever is a long time, but to me it is such a beautiful gift our Heavenly Father has given to us, all of us. The opportunity to be together forever. 
 
In any relationship, it is so important that we protect and take good care of each other.  When we make mistakes, as we all do, we do as Elder Howard says and "lovingly polish it until it gleams like new." We don't give up, we keep trying. We work to keep our relationship special, beautiful and precious.
 
I feel so blessed to have a loving husband who loves me more then I probably even realize.  In the time that we have been married, I can see that we have become two completely different people than from the time we got married.  When I say different I mean in that we have grown and had experiences that have helped us to become better people then who we were before. We have grown together and learned to many things about each other that make us love each other more and are learning more everyday.
 
Travis, is my sweet heart and my eternal companion. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to live with him forever. He is so special to me. He is my best friend. He is always there for me. He's there when I need a listening ear. He's there to catch me when I fall. He makes me laugh and loves me with his whole heart. He reminds me what matters most and is always there to give me a hug. I love everything about him. And I love him more than words can say.
 
I am truly so blessed to be sealed to my sweet heart for time and all eternity. Forever is a long time, but I'm lovin' the ride. :)

April 6, 2015

E is for Enjoy

"Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
-Gordon B. Hinckley
 
This past weekend, I broke my foot. It has been really difficult to sit back and do absolutely nothing, but rest my foot and the occasional bathroom break.  With my two kids it is especially difficult, because I am not able to perform and do the things I normally do with them.  I have had to focus a lot on taking care of myself and figuring out how to get around with one foot and that has been a great challenge for me.

But despite my challenges, I know that it is important for me to see the positive in my circumstances. There are so many things that are a little frustrating, but I can still find joy in it. I'm learning some great lessons that I know will help me to be a better person. It's not just in this challenge in my life that I can find joy, it is in everything.

I love the movie "Pollyanna." One of my favorite things about this movie was the game that she would play with herself called "The Glad Game." No, matter the circumstance she was in or going through, she would always try to find something to be glad about.

No matter our circumstances or struggles, there is always something to be glad about. It makes it harder to go through life thinking that it's just another day and I'll get through it. When we are focused on just getting through life, it makes it more difficult to see the blessings in or lives. But when we enjoy and find things to be "glad" about in our day to day life, it is easy to enjoy the journey and see the blessings that we have.

"Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

 

April 4, 2015

D is for Dirty Dishes



"Thank heaven for Dirty Dishes,
They have a tale to tell,
While other folks go hungry,
we're eating really well,
with home and health and happiness,
 we shouldn't want to fuss,
by this stack of evidence,
God's very good to us."

 
When we moved back to the U.S. from Guatemala, we didn't have a whole lot, but I was so happy to have what we did. We had an oven, a fridge with a door that actually closed, carpet (even though it wasn't much), clothes and many varieties of food. The apartment we moved into may have been so small and older, but it was and is perfect for us and what we need.
 
 As I have been looking back on our time in Guatemala, I have realized that it is so easy to forget to be grateful for the things that we have. There are things that we aren't able to have in my family that I wish we could, but we just aren't able to get those things right now.  So, when I would mention things like "I don't have a microwave"or "we don't have a car" (which we didn't for about a year) or even not having a cell phone, people were amazed that we wouldn't have those things and didn't understand why.
 
But for us, living without those things has helped us in so many ways, yes it has been hard at times, but it has helped us appreciate the things that we do have so much more. Even though at times we may forget that, we always come back and say that we are so thankful for our "Dirty Dishes," because God has been very good to us!
 
 

April 3, 2015

C is for Come What May


  I love this Quote from Joseph B. Wirthlin " Come what may and love it." It is such a powerful reminder to me to remember that no matter the storms or whirlwinds that come my way, to find joy in it. To accept the challenges that come my way and to love those struggles, because those are the things that make me stronger. Those are the things that help me grow and to reach my highest potential. I accepted these challenges before I came to this earth so why shouldn't I find joy in those challenges today?  I hope that each day as I go through my life that I can say "Come what may" and I will love it!






April 2, 2015

B is for Believe

"Be believing, be happy, don't get discouraged, things will work out."
-Gordon B. Hinckley
 

So often I feel overwhelmed with the struggles and trials that I face. I often wonder how I can do it all, how will it work out and will it?  This promise from Gordon B. Hinckley brings me so much comfort to know that if I believe and don't let myself get so discouraged, but turn my thoughts to the Lord and find joy in the journey, that things will work out.
 
Most of all,I think it is so important to believe, to believe in good things. To believe in true things. To believe that things will work out. I know that when we believe and trust in the lord, things always work out.





April 1, 2015

A is for Always Remember

"At times we may feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember - you matter to Him! Just think of it: You are known [personally] and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time! He sees you as you are capable and designed to become. May we ever believe, trust and understand our true eternal worth and potential."
 - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
 
 
As I thought about what I wanted to do for the A to Z challenge this year, I decided that I wanted to share some of my favorite Quotes and why they are so meaningful to me. 
 
This quote is important and so powerful to me, because how wonderful it is, that we are able to know that our Father in Heaven knows and understands each of us individually. 
 
 How amazing it is, to know that you are so loved on such a deep level that you can't even comprehend it. That God sees you for the person he knows you can become.
 
It is such a blessing to me to know that I matter to him.
 
Always Remember that you matter to Him!





February 14, 2015

All Who Love

To some, Valentine's day is all about being in a relationship and having a lover. You have to have someone to love to be in a relationship. But that's just it. Isn't having someone to love the point? Isn't this holiday about sharing love?  Anyone who has the capacity to love... Valentine's day is for you.

This day is a day to celebrate love.  It is a reminder of how much we ourselves are loved as well as a reminder to express our love with all who we come in contact with.  The savior said: "Love one another, as I have loved you.". The Savior loves each one of us more than we can even comprehend.

Valentine's day is a reminder to express our deepest gratitude and love to those we care about, as well as to those we may even have just met.  A friendly smile, being patient on the roads, being considerate to others, giving a simple hug, whatever it may be if it is done out of love, this day is for you. 

Today and everyday is a day to remember to love and you are so deeply loved! All who love... this day is for you!


                                                           Happy Valentine's Day!

                                                  Sending you a big hug full of love,

                                                                       Jessica




February 3, 2015

It's Like A Symphony, Just Keep Listening

The movie "Meet the Mormon's" was very inspiring to me. It really motivated me to come to understand the gospel to a deeper level than what I have known, but especially in coming to understand who I am. I think the thing that inspired me the most from that movie is the song sung at the end called "Glorious."
 
This song is beautiful and when I am having a hard day I probably listen to it about 50 times. This song means a lot to me. I was going through a hard time when this movie came out, but it meant the most to me when I went to the "Time Out For Women" conference here in Salt Lake.  I had many questions on my mind as I went to this conference and I was struggling to understand some things about myself and about life in general and when they sung this song at that conference, my heart filled with joy and I felt so much peace and love from my Father in Heaven. 
 
My favorite part of this song is the chorus. We are all a part of this symphony we call life and it is so important that we remember to take the time to listen to our Father in Heaven, to listen to the different parts that everyone is playing and to figure out what our part is. 
 
 I love that in the background, if you listen close, they will sing the word listen or listening many times throughout the song. To me, this is a good reminder to take the time to ponder, to be by myself for just a moment and be with the lord. A reminder to listen to the spirit and to feel of his peace.
 
It is so amazing, what we're all creating! Each one of us is so amazing! You are so amazing!!  As you come to understand and know that for yourself, I know that you will be able to share your light and love more fully with others. I have learned this lesson many times throughout my life and probably will learn it again many more times, but it is amazing how when you are loving yourself, and speaking and thinking kindly of yourself, how much of a difference you make in the lives of the people around you. You never know the impact that you may have on someone.
 
 
There are times when
You might feel aimless
You can't see the places
Where you belong
But you will find that
There is a purpose
It's been there
Within you all along
And when you're near it
You can almost hear it

It's like a symphony
Just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start
To figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece
And there are melodies
In each one of us
Oh! It's glorious

And you will know how
To let it ring out
As you discover
Who you are
Others around you
Will start to wake up
To the sounds that are
In their hearts
It's so amazing
What we're all creating

It's like a symphony
Just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start
To figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece
And there are melodies
In each one of us
Oh! It's glorious

Oh, oh, oh
As you feel
The notes build
Oh, you will see

It's like a symphony
Just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start
To figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece
And there are melodies
In each one of us
Oh! It's glorious
 
 

January 26, 2015

A Simple Hug

As long as I can remember I have always had a great desire to share with others God's love.  Even though at times I have struggled with understanding or even seeing his love for me, that desire is still there.  It has always been important to me to share with others how special they truly are not only to me, but to our Heavenly Father.  One experience in particular that I have had in the past, has been coming to my mind over and over again for quite sometime and I would like to share this experience with you. 

I was on Trax one day riding home from school at the U of U to Daybreak.  About a half hour into the ride I noticed a girl in the seat across from me crying. I paid close attention to her and as I sat there I got the impression that I needed to give her a hug.  I didn't know why, but that feeling didn't go away for the last half hour of the ride.  I was so nervous, but that nervousness told me that this was no ordinary thought, this was something from the spirit. 

At the last stop she stayed in her seat waiting for everyone else to get off, but I walked over and said "Excuse me, could I give you a hug?" She nodded and I gave her a big hug that lasted a few minutes.  Afterwards she said "Thank You" and we went our separate ways. 

 
I don't know what difference that hug made to this girl, but I do know what a difference it made to me. I've thought about that day many times since. I know I have had moments in my life where I was struggling and all I've wanted is a big hug. So, in thinking from this girls point of view, if a stranger came up to me and asked if I needed a hug on one of those rough days, I probably would accept without hesitation. 

I learned that it is important to follow those simple promptings or good thoughts that you may have.  Even though I don't know how it effected her, I do know that God loves all of his children and that we are here to help each other.  I know God loves me. He showed me that he loves this daughter, that I gave this hug to, so much that he wanted me to share his love for her through that hug. He wanted me to show her how much she is loved even by a complete stranger.

That experience happened about a year and a half ago, but has been on my mind almost every day.  I too have needed that reminder that God loves me many times. I thought I was giving this hug just for this beautiful daughter of God, but over time that experience has affected me in ways I can hardly describe. I gained reassurance, peace and I have been able to see how much my Heavenly Father loves and trusts me.

We are here to help each other, to help each other come to know him and through simple acts of kindness we are sharing God's light.  What an incredible gift it is to be able to share God's love.  We are all here to learn and grow and we are here to support and lift each other. 



January 14, 2015

If With A Single Loaf


"Has anyone ever told you that you are extraordinary? That you are destined for remarkable things?  That there is a spark of greatness in you?
They should have."
 
Recently I read a book called "The Peter Potential." In this book it goes through the life of Peter and the things that Christ had taught him. Christ taught Peter through invitations. By inviting him to do things that may have been difficult for him or challenged him. Through those invitations, Peter grew and did things that brought him closer to Christ, as well as helped him to come closer to reaching his true potential. 
 
 When Christ calmed the storm and came walking on water Peter asked "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.". (Matthew 12:28)
 
Then the Lord invited Peter by saying "Come" (Matthew 14:29)
Sometimes Accepting invitations from the lord requires action, actions that are focused on Him.  Peter walked on the water. 
 
 It's not hard for a little mustard seed to be blown away by a powerful gust of wind.  The same applies to a little faith. Peter began to sink when he began to doubt. 
 
"In the sinking moments of life, when you have wondered if you might drown, have you ever cried out, "Lord, Save Me"?"
 
In those moments where you have felt like you were sinking, where was the Lord? 
Within Reach.
 
When Peter started to sink "Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.".
 (Matthew 14:31)
 
 
Recently, I have gone through something that has left me wondering "If I might drown." I felt like I was caught up in a whirlwind of chaos and I couldn't get out, but then the Lord "stretched forth his hand and caught me."
 
 Sometimes things happen and you don't understand why.  Sometimes the Lord needs to send you a firm reminder that he is there and extends that invitation to you to "come."
 
He knows everything about you.  He knows what keeps you up at night. He knows what weighs on your heart. He knows your longing to become something more. 
 
If the Lord can do something like walk on water or share 5 loaves of bread with a multitude of five thousand, imagine what he can do for you.
 
I know in my life I have seen it so many times.  The Lord has been there and has strengthened me.  Through the invitations that the lord gives to me, I have found myself grow.  I have seen the lord's hand in my life.  As I do those things that are most important, the things that may seem to be falling out of place and in utter chaos, come together and work for your good. Everything works out when you come to him and have faith and trust that God can do great things. 
 
Sometimes when we head down one road and road blocks arise, we need to be redirected.  It doesn't mean we chose wrong, but rather that the path we took just needs a little refining. 
 
He knows what you can do.  He knows what you can be.  Nothing is impossible with God.  He can make the impossible, possible as long as you put your faith and trust in him.  He can take a grain of mustard seed and make it blossom. 
 
"If the Lord can do great things with a single loaf, Imagine what he can do with a single life."
-The Peter Potential
 
 

 

January 7, 2015

Seeing Beauty

I've been looking back through pictures of myself 2 years ago and comparing them with pictures now.  I have come a long way from where I was then. I feel like a totally different person.

After I had Emree, I went through trial after trail, some, nobody even knew existed and it was a struggle. Two years ago I not only went through physical trials, but emotional and spiritual ones as well.  One of those challenges had to do with my self-esteem.

I was feeling so low and so bad about myself more so then I ever have in my whole life.  I hurt myself with words, telling myself I was fat, not beautiful and undeserving of love. I felt like I was stuck in a bubble of negativity for myself.  But over the course of these past two years, I have become a completely different person.  To some I may still be the same old Jessica, but to myself I am beginning to understand me.

I'm still learning and working to overcome those evil voices in my head, but one thing that has gotten me through those tough times and has lifted me up, is a program I got into called, "Dressing Your Truth."

"Dressing Your Truth" is a program that has helped me to understand myself and has helped me to feel good about myself through the way I dress.  I absolutely LOVE it!!  It is a process in coming to understand who you are and learning to dress accordingly and has been an amazing process that has made me feel so good about myself. Anyone who has joined in on their own journey through DYT will tell you that it is so worth it and has changed the way they feel about themselves. 

When I first started dressing your truth it was all about the clothing, the hair, the make-up and the accessories, but as I got farther into it and started watching videos from Carol Tuttle, the creator of DYT, and reading blog posts I have come to realize that although the way I dress is important, it goes so much deeper.  I have come to see how unique I am and what supports me in the type of person I am.  I try to do things that support me rather than tear me apart.  I feel beautiful and in combining that with daily exercise, I feel that no matter what weight I am, that I can be satisfied with who I am as long as I am feeling good. 

Not only has Dressing Your Truth helped me learn more about myself, it has also helped me come to understand other people.  I have learned to be more patient with others, because I understand the kind of person they are and have learned to really love people on a deeper level. It's amazing the things that I've learned and I feel so blessed to have found this amazing program. 

I feel like this is a program that helps us to really come to understand each other and helps us to come closer to our Heavenly Father, because we are learning to love ourselves. It has helped me to come to understand my beauty and what Heavenly Father sees in me. What a great blessing!!

I'm still learning like I said, but I'm learning while feeling good. Thank goodness for people like Carol Tuttle for being inspired in creating something that truly changes lives. It seems like such a simple thing, but it makes a big difference. :)



 
Before DYT - Dressing more like a Type 1

 
After DYT - Dressing more like me, Type 2


If you want to learn more about Dressing Your Truth you can go to:

http://dressingyourtruth.com/

If anything, it's something fun and new to learn about. ;)