Monday, December 27, 2010

Jesus is my sweetheart

Morgan: (out of the blue) Mom, Jesus is my sweetheart. He plays with me every single day and he takes me to the park and to school...

I miss boogers

Morgan: Mom, I miss boogers
Mom: You miss boogers?
Morgan: Yes, they're all gone from my nose. I can't find them in there and I miss them.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Little Coach

Morgan is becoming quite the little coach.  He's always saying "you're doing a great job, mom."  "That looks beautiful, mom." "You can do it, mom."  It's so cute.  Sometimes it's in situations that are totally appropriate for coaching like the other day when I pulled the boys to the neighbor's in the wagon through a foot of snow and about died.  He coached me the whole way.  "Pull harder mom."  "You're doing a great job, mom." "You're almost there, mom."  But other times the situation doesn't exactly merit coaching.  My favorite is when he is so impressed over my ability to drive us to Walmart or something.  "Wow mom, you did it. Good job."  It's hilarious.  He's just so sincere and it's adorable.  And I have to say, when I was making this Bob the Builder cake for his birthday the other day, his coaching really helped.  I was thinking "oh man, this is so creepy looking."  But Morgan was saying "good job, mom, it looks great."  So, as long as he was impressed with his cake, I was good with it.
Morgan's birthday went pretty well minus us getting everyone else sick because we were felling better before the party and I didn't want to cancel it and have it overshadowed by Christmas the next weekend.  Whoops.  In some ways I can't believe Morgan is 3 already and in others I can't believe he's only 3.  For instance, I can't imagine life without him so it's crazy that he's only been part of my life for 3 years.  Also, he talks so well, learns so quickly and easily (if he wants to, of course) and comes up with ideas way beyond his years that you'd think he was much older than 3.  On the flip side, my sweet little baby is growing up way too fast.  He's already 3!  Every time I call him my baby he gets mad and says he's not a baby he's a big boy.  I try to explain to him that he is a big boy but he will always be my baby.  But he's not convinced.  Fortunately, at 3 years old, he still has his sweetness and is so lovable I can't resist kissing him a billion times a day.  But man, I dread the day he's not so sweet anymore.  Maybe I'll be lucky and he always be.  I just can't imagine him being a rebellious teenager that treats me like dirt.  It's just not possible.  Hopefully we have many many more birthdays before I have to start worrying about such things.  We sure love our Morgan! Happy birthday buddy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Visit with Santa

Morgan told Santa he wanted a train.  When I asked him what Teagy should ask Santa for he said Teagan wanted a train too because "he'll break mine."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teagan and his belly

Last night at my activity, I was sitting in the back row of the chapel because I didn't think Teagan was going to cooperate and be good through the whole thing.  Teagan starts walking up the aisle and flirting with all the other women.  When he got to the front he turned around and started walking back.  But this time, he pulled up his shirt and started rubbing his belly and showing it off to everyone.  He'd turn first to one side of the aisle and then the other rubbing his belly and didn't continue down the aisle until he was sure each woman saw how wonderful his belly was and smiled at him.  It was hilarious.

40 Day Walk with Christ - Days 34-40

Ok, so here's the deal.  When I started this whole journey I didn't start at 1 Nephi 1 because I had just started the BOM over again a few weeks before and didn't feel the need to re-read 1 Nephi all over again when I had just finished it.  So I started towards the beginning of 2 Nephi a couple chapters before where I was in my current reading (to match the reading schedule).  I finished the BOM a few days ago (day 34) but haven't had time for my blogging and since I finished life has gotten extra crazy for whatever reason.  Teagan hasn't been taking his naps, which is when I usually read, so even when I've been reading I've been distracted by children so I've gotten behind and I'm just not feeling up to catching up.  So I'm just going to call it good.  I still read the whole Book of Mormon, I just started a couple weeks early.  I'm good with it. 

We had our Relief Society activity that went a long with the Walk with Christ last night and in the days leading up to the activity I've been thinking about this whole thing and whether it really led me closer to Christ or not.  Do I feel closer to Christ than I did 40 days ago?  I didn't have any dramatic spiritual experiences.  I didn't have that "one moment" where you know this has changed your life.  But as I've thought about it, I have felt the spirit more abundantly in my life.  Not in the big I have the chills way, just in the small I feel good about life in general ways.  I think I've been enjoying the ins and outs of everyday life with my kids more.  I've felt more supported in the trials that are motherhood.  I've had my testimony re-affirmed about many principles.  So am I closer to Christ than I was?  I'm going to yes.  It's the little things that make the difference.

My favorite part about our activity last night was hearing about other mothers that are going through all the same things and feeling all the same things I am.  Satan tries to tell us how inadequate we are and how alone we are in our trials.  Other mothers love playing with toys ALL DAY LONG, what's wrong with you?  Other mothers can keep their house clean, what's wrong with you?  Other mothers don't want to pull their hair out or break out into tears over such little things.  What's wrong with you?  It gave me such peace to know there are so many women around me with the same struggles I have.  It was a good reminder that we're not supposed to be perfect because if we were we wouldn't need a Savior.  I am thankful for the scriptures.  And although I won't be reading 10 chapters a day, I know that if I continue to read from them every day my life will be better.  I will be blessed with the spirit.  I will be supported in my trials.  I will have the strength to get back up and keep going when I crash and burn.  The gospel is so great!  I'm so thankful for the knowledge and testimony I have that help me so much in my everyday life. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My teachers

It's so true that you learn as much from kids as they learn from you.  Morgan is always teaching me things. 

As you may recall from a previous post, Morgan told me he wanted to walk by himself from now on after I tripped and he ended up with stitches.  Two days later he was asking me to help him up the stairs (the exact scenario in which my clumsiness landed him in urgent care).  He obviously hadn't forgotten about what happened (in fact every time someone asked what happened to his chin he very honestly told them that mom tripped and he hit his chin BANG and got stitches).  But he forgave me.  He didn't hold any grudges or negative feelings toward me.  Obviously it was an accident and I didn't do it on purpose but how often do we as adults get offended when someone didn't mean to offend us?  How often do we hold a grudge or ill feelings toward that person?  Kids forgive almost instantly.  If I lose my temper and yell at Morgan, he forgives me.  If I get mad at him and send him to his room, he forgives me.  Teagan is the same.  If he gets into trouble and goes to his crib, he sobs like it's the end of the world.  When I get him out he snuggles right into me and hangs onto me for dear life.  He isn't mad at me for putting him in there in the first place.  He just loves me.  Why do we lose this easy ability to forgive as we get older?

 We'll be driving down the road and Morgan will start yelling at the car in front of us to get out of our way or he'll call them a stupid jerk or an idiot.  And when he's yelling he doesn't sound very nice.  Hearing this come out of my two-year-olds' mouth is not pretty.  In fact, it's downright disturbing.  So obviously I'm thinking ok, I really need to watch what comes out of my mouth in front of Morgan.  But what makes me think it sounds any better coming out of my mouth even when Morgan isn't around?  As I see myself yelling like that I can see how ugly it really is.  It's not wrong because my toddler is mimicking me, it's wrong because it isn't Christ-like behavior. 

Other times when I yell at someone for cutting me off Morgan says "Mom, we don't call names." 

It's no wonder the scriptures say over and over again that we need to become "as a little child."  My boys are so amazing and I'm so grateful to have them as my teachers.

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 33

Read Ether 11-15
Mark & Ponder Moroni 8:12
Scripture of the day: "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young nevertheless being large in stature, and also having a desire to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers." (1 Nephi 2:16)
Thought for the day: "We must cherish on another, watch over one another, and gain instruction that we may all sit down in heaven together." (Lucy Mack Smith)

"I give unto men weakness that they may be humble...for if they will humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."  I have MANY weaknesses and they definitely make me humble because I'm always screwing up and having to ask forgiveness and than asking for help to not screw up again.  It's interesting how something can be so incredibly hard for one person but super easy for another person.  It makes sense that the Lord gives us our weaknesses because they aren't natural weaknesses for everybody.  The more we are down on our knees asking for help with that weakness, the more humble we will be which will in turn help us to become more like our Savior.  I'm sitting here trying to think of one of my weaknesses that has become a strength to me and I'm drawing a blank.  So I think I might pick one and start really focusing on it and exercising faith and see if I can't, through the Lord, turn it into a strength.  One of the great things about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can "experiment upon the word."  Don't have a testimony of tithing?  Try it out and see what happens.  Since I can't think of anything in my life that fits this particular promise of the Lord, I think I'll try an experiment and see what happens.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Days 31 & 32

Read Mormon 9 and Ether 1-3
Mark & Ponder Ether 12:41
Scripture of the day: "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil...Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:11, 13-17)
Thought for the day: "Next to acquiring good friends, the best acquisition is that of a good book." (Charles Caleb Cotton)

One of favorite principles in the Book of Mormon is found in Ether 2: 24-25 and Ether 6:5-6. "For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea, for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come." "And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind. And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind."

I love this principle because it applies so much to my daily life.  The Lord sends wind and tempests against us to blow us toward exaltation.  If there weren't any storms the Jaredites boats would've just sat in the water and not moved and they wouldn't have made it to the promised land.  Likewise, without trials, tribulations, afflictions, etc we cannot progress.  The only way we can make it back to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again is through our trials.  They move us toward Him.  He sends them because He loves us.  He also promises to "prepare us against these things."  He made their ships "tight as a dish."  He made sure they weren't swallowed up in the depths of the sea.  The Lord gives us the tools we need to get through our trials and He makes sure we aren't given more than we can handle.  These principles really help me when I'm going through something difficult because I know I can get through it.  I know the Lord is watching over me.  I know He will give me whatever I need to cope with my trials.  I know that through my trials I can become more like the Savior and get back to live with Him again. 

Read Ether 4-10
Mark & Ponder Moroni 7:16-17
Scripture of the day: "And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him and continue in fasting and prayer, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved." (Omni 1:26)
Thought for the day: "Success is not never falling down, but rising every time you fall."

This whole secret combination things makes we wonder about our day.  The oaths, signs, etc are given to men by Satan.  Moroni warns us that we should destroy all secret combinations among us or they will lead to our destruction but what form do they take in our day?  There are secret society such as the skulls which, at least according to Hollywood, completely fit the description given to us by Moroni.  But I don't know anything about these secret societies.  I have no idea what kind of wickedness they've done or how powerful they are or anything.  Gangs seem to fit the bill somewhat but law enforcement is always working on those and they seem to be on too small of a scale to destroy our nation.  Terrorists groups seem pretty likely but again, we are constantly trying to get rid of those.  We've even declared a "war on terror."  The last group I can think of are the revolutionaries currently trying to fundamentally change our country: George Soros and his ultra-left minions.  Each day there is new evidence that they've been putting things in place to destroy our country for a very long time.  They've done all these things secretly behind the scenes.  They want power.  They want to destroy freedom and liberty.  This group seems the most like the secret combinations found in the Book of Mormon to me.  And I think they really can prove our entire destruction.  So what do we do about it?  How can we destroy them before they destroy us and we repeat the pattern so often seen in the Book of Mormon.  I don't know the answer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Does this really bug anyone else?  I'm only thinking about it because I keep hearing updates on the Brian David Mitchell/Elizabeth Smart trial and it just annoys me. 

1.  Just because you're crazy doesn't mean you're not guilty.  You're still guilty of the crime.  Maybe you shouldn't be held accountable in the same way a "normal" person would be because of your particular mental illness but you probably still need to be kept away from society so you don't do it again.  So yes, you're guilty, but maybe your sentence is in a mental hospital instead of prison.  But still guilty. 

2.  If you go on a killing spree aren't you a psychopath by definition?  If you can cut up little children you're obviously crazy.  If you think it's ok to rape, murder, assault, etc I personally think you have some mental problems upstairs.  Normal people don't commit these crimes.  So again, you kind of have to be crazy to commit the crimes so doesn't that mean that everyone is "not guilty by reason of insanity?"

3.  Why are all mental disabilities lumped into "insanity."  A person with autism or cerebral palsy that does something wrong but doesn't understand what they did was wrong vs a sociopath that does something wrong because they're sick and think it's fun are TOTALLY different.  I'm not trying to make light of mental disabilities.  They are real and they are a very hard thing for a lot of people to deal with.  But it bugs me that the sick and twisted and totally evil out there try to sit in the same boat as the innocent victims of mental disabilities. 

4.  I don't think delusional should qualify as "insanity."  I think Brian David Mitchell is completely delusional.  But so are 95% of people that audition for American Idol.  Seriously, you honestly think you can sing?  And you're not deaf? 

Do I think Brian David Mitchell is a nutt job?  Absolutely.  Do I think he is guilty as sin?  Absolutely.  Playing crazy is offensive to me for all the poor people who deal with mental disabilities each day of their lives.  He made evil choices that he understood full well.  He is not a victim.  Lock him up and throw away the key. 

The Best Gifts Part 2

I've been thinking a little more about this and I've decided the reason I'm so annoyed/frustrated is because of my own gift-giving, not other peoples.  I want to give everyone the perfect gift and yet find myself just getting someone a present just to get them a present and it really irks of course, I blame society.  We never have as much money as I'd like to have so our budget is always a constraint.  I don't want to waste our hard-earned money on something that's going to end up in the trash or a closet somewhere.  But I can't find something they would love for the amount I have to spend.  I can't think of any service that I could actually do and they would actually appreciate.  I don't want to give them cash per my reasons in my previous post.  I'm really struggling with this.  I don't want to buy someone something just to buy them something but I'm not having much success doing otherwise.  So...I just wanted to clarify...I'm not all "man that present sucks I can't believe they gave me that."  It's more "I suck because I couldn't or didn't want to invest the time to get you a gift that actually shows that I care about you."  I blame society.

40 Day Walk with Christ - Days 29-30

Read 3 Nephi 22-30
Mark & Ponder Ether 12:6
Scripture of the day: "For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immorality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)
Thought for the day: "The test of the church is the kind of men it produces." (Pres David O Mckay)

How cool would it be to sit at the feet of the Savior as he described all that has happened since the world began?  To have Him explain all those weird things in the Old Testament that make no sense to me.  And even more so, to have Him teach new stuff that we've never heard because we're too wicked and prideful.  I always look forward to General Conference and for whatever reason, always hope I will hear something new.  But conference after conference it's the same things over and over and over again.  Why?  Because we still can't even do those things right so why would the Lord give us more?  There are all sorts of glorious things waiting for us but we can't get our acts together enough to receive them.  I still struggle with reading my scriptures every day.  I still struggle with forgiveness and anger and charity and love..the list goes on and on.  When will we ever learn these lessons well enough to be given more blessings?  The people of Enoch surely did.  How did they do it?

Read 4 Nephi & Mormon 1-8
Mark & Ponder Ether 12:27
Scripture of the day: "He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, bot in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the father through Jesus Christ, his son. but no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin." (D&C 50: 26-28)
Thought for the day: "We can press forward with hope in Christ, like green shoots growing upward toward the sun, only if we have within us the peace and stillness that are the rich seedbed of such growth and progress." (Eloise Bell)

How did Mormon and Moroni live their whole lives surrounded by such wickedness being the only two people that were righteous and believed in Jesus Christ.  It is truly remarkable.  I don't know where the source of this so it could be totally untrue but I've heard throughout my life that the evil in the last days will be worse than anytime on the face of the earth.  If that is so, I wonder if the prophets who saw our day or those who are watching from the other side of the veil think the same thing about us.  Do they wonder how we can live righteously and follow the commandments with all the evil that surrounds us?  Sometimes I look at the world and see wickedness abounding; other times I look at the world and see how much good there is.  So I'm not really sure how wicked we are today or how much more wicked we will become before the end.  It would be pretty cool though if they do look at us and think "wow, how do they do it?"  Sometimes I feel like I am doing a terrible job at living the gospel or at being a good mom, or whatever it is...but sometimes our own perspective isn't the most reliable.  It just makes me wonder.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A few updates

So here is a picture of Morgan's stitches last Tuesday and his scar as of today

These boys LOVE to make messes. Every time I leave the room for a second I come back to styrofoam pieces all over the floor or toys dumped all over the floor.  I seriously can't keep up with the cleaning.

Cute little Teagan is such a midget.  He's still comfortably wearing size 2 shoes.  Some babies never fit in size two while others at least never walk in them.  They are quite spacious on him.  People comment all the time that he is walking so early.  Then I tell them he's almost 15 months old.  He looks more like 9 months old.  But I love it.  He's still my sweet little baby and isn't growing up quite so fast.  He says ta-dah, uh-oh,  and his own little version of thank you.  He's such a doll. 

I've heard it's the terrible threes instead of the terrible twos.  So far two has been pretty good for Morgan but I'm definitely seeing some of the terrible threes coming on.  We have our challenges ahead of us for sure but still...also a doll.  By the time he turned two he was talking better than a lot of four-year-olds.  Now he holds full-on adult conversations.  He's such a character and he just talks and talks and talks.

I just love these boys so stinking much!!!


We LOVE Chuck-e-Cheese!  I got some $20 gift certificates for $8 through city deals and have been quite a few times.  For $8 we can get a large pizza, four drinks, and hours and hours of entertainment for the boys.  It's seriously fabulous.  My parents got some too so we went with them and my niece and nephews on Saturday (so their mom could have a break since my brother is out of the country). Super super fun.

This is one of my new favorite picures!!!

The Best Gifts

At this time of year I can't help but think about how much "stuff" we all have and I find myself becoming annoyed with gift-giving rather than finding joy in it as I should. Here are my issues with gifts:

1. Giving someone something just to give them something.  If it's not something they'll like or use it's just a waste of money.  And you can't tell me "it's the thought that counts" because gifts that fall into this category usually have little or no thought put into them.  I would much rather someone give me a lipsmacker that costs $1 (and is something anyone that knows me at all would know I love) than something I don't like or will never use that costs $20 or $100.  Don't give me crap out of obligation.  If you feel like you have to give me a present, please take a minute and think about something I might like or enjoy because that's the whole point of giving someone a present. 

2.  Sometimes number 1 is almost impossible because nowadays people just buy everything they want.  If they want it and don't have it yet it's because it costs too much money which usually takes it out of the running for someone else to give them anyway.  Why are we so focused on stuff that we actually have everything that we want?  I think there's something truly wrong with that.  (Granted there are people that aren't focused on material things and thus, they don't want anything, but I'm talking about the majority here)

3.  Asking for cash.  I am a super deal shopper.  Because I'm always shopping sales, looking for deals, using coupons, etc...we actually get to eat good food instead of just ramen and we get things we want that we otherwise couldn't afford.  I love finding presents for people that are a fantastic deal.  I can't even count the number of times I've been able to get a gift that someone really wanted but was way out of price range because I was able to get a good deal.  We're usually on a pretty tight budget so this is important for me.  If I spend $5 on every person on my list but get them all $20 presents I feel pretty good because I got them something nice without having to go into debt for Christmas.  But I feel like a schmuck if I just give you $5 for Christmas.  I probably shouldn't but I do.  I hate it when people tell me they only want cash.

4.  Too much focus on money.  I told Randy I don't want any more presents for Mother's Day that costs money.  He can go to the store and buy me something without even thinking about why we're celebrating Mother's day or why he's giving me a present.  It's easy to run to Walmart and pick up a chic flic and not even consider how much he appreciates me as his wife or the mother of our children.  But if he takes the time to make something or do some kind of special service for me, it means a lot more to me and shows me that he's thankful for me and what I do each day.  The first present I received after making this request was a scrapbook page of Morgan and him in a scrapbook frame and I LOVED it!  He took the time to take pictures with Morgan (which isn't easy when you have a tripod, a timer, and small child you want to smile), print the pictures, create the page, and put it in a frame.  I felt so much more love and appreciation from that gift than something he just went and bought at the store.  Not giving someone a present for Christmas or their birthday because you don't have money is a crock.  It doesn't show that you don't have money, it shows that you don't care enough about that person to sacrifice your time, talents, etc for them.  Gift giving shouldn't be about money, it should be about love and gratitude. 

Please don't think I'm all self-righteous up on my high horse.  I am grateful for all gifts I receive and I don't sit down and critique every gift I get (even though the above annoyances may sound like I do).  I just think that we, as a society, have lost the meaning of gift-giving and become all too casual and too worldly about it.  If it doesn't show someone you actually care about them, what's the point of giving them something? 

All that being said...two of my brothers (Derek & Brandon) gave Randy a fantastic gift for his birthday this year.  Randy worked his butt of all summer on the yard just in time for the cold to set in but he still hasn't finished the stupid rocks out in the park strip.  He's spent hours and hours out there and just dreads it.  So they decided to finish the rocks for him for his birthday.  Costs no money and is something Randy REALLY appreciated.  The perfect gift.

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 28

Read 3 Nephi 17-21
Mark & Ponder 3 Nephi 27:8
Scripture of the day: "Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell and an everlasting destruction did await them." (Alma 5:7)
Thought for the day: "Why do the children of men set their hearts upon earthly things?  The moment that men seek to build up themselves, in preference to the kingdom of God, and seek to hoard up riches, while the widow and fatherless, the sick and afflicted, around them , are in poverty and want, it proves that their hearts are weaned from their God; and their riches will perish in their fingers, and they with them." (Pres Brigham Young)

I cannot even imagine how incredibly wonderful it would be to meet the Savior.  I bawl and bawl during the end of The Testaments because the movie helps me to envision what it will be like.  I cannot even find the words to describe how I feel watching the movie, much less how it will be to actually be there.  As I read the part about the children I imagined Morgan and Teagan sitting on the Savior's lap and I cannot think of anything more beautiful.  I pray that I remain righteous and worthy so that when He does come again I will only feel incomprehensible joy rather than guilt and pain and sorrow. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 27

Read 3 Nephi 11-16
Mark & Ponder 3 Nephi 12:48
Scripture of the day: "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God." (D&C 14:7)
Thought for the day: "It is a happy day when we come to know that with God nothing is impossible for us." (Marvin J Ashton)

These chapters are Jesus's direct words to the people and practically every single verse contains a new gem and something worth discussing.  I'm not even going to attempt to focus on one of them.  Also, I'm feeling really overwhelmed today.  It seems I can't ever get everything done and I pretty much had a nervous breakdown earlier so I'm not going to spend a lot of time blogging.  Suffice it to say, I love reading the words of Jesus.  His way of living seems almost impossible and yet I feel such peace when I read them. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 25 & 26

Read Helaman 15-16, 3 Nephi 1-4
Mark & Ponder 3 Nephi 11: 14-15
Scripture of the day: "The natural man receiveth not the things of Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto Him; neither can He know them, because they are spiritually discerned" "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." (Corinthians 2: 14-15)
Thought for the day: "The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think." (Aristotle)

So let's chat about faith for a second. The prophets tell the people about the sign of a day, a night, and a day without darkness for years and years.  Then it happens.  It's a big enough thing that you kind of have to believe because it would be pretty hard to rationalize away.  So almost everyone is converted.  But within just a few short years they are wicked again.  If you only believe because of signs and don't have faith without seeing a sign first...your conversion will be short-lived.  Look at Laman and Lemuel.  How many angels did they see?  It's hard to explain away an angel so they would repent and be a good for a short time and then be back to their evil ways.  Signs, no matter how great, do not usually result in a true conversion.  If you need a sign to believe you don't have what it takes to be truly converted.  Faith is believing in something you can't see.  Often the Lord doesn't give us what we ask for immediately because we need to exercise faith.  Faith helps us strengthen our testimonies and become truly converted.  It's hard to remember that when you've been going through a super long trial that seems like it will never end but the waiting is for our benefit.  Without faith we won't make it back.

Read 3 Nephi 5-10
Mark & Ponder 3 Nephi 11:29
Scripture of the day: "And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleve unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God. For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, and precept upon precept..." (D&C 98: 11-12)
Thought for the day: "Goal setting should cause us to stretch as we make our way...Realize that God will judge you by the way you make use of all your possibilities. It is wise and proper to want to make the most of every opportunity, but don't quit or weep because of failure or disappointments. Break down big commitments into smaller ones that you can handle." (Marvin J Ashton)

I hate when I get behind because it takes so long to read more than one day's worth that my brain becomes jello at the end and stops working.  Thus...I have pretty much have nothing.  In 3 Nephi 6:14 it says "...the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart form it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord."  I feel like I'm one of those types of people.  I know without a doubt that this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is my Savior.  I still struggle sometimes to do everything the Lord asks me to do but it isn't because I don't believe, it's just because I'm human.  I hope I can always be firm, steadfast and immovable.  I hope I will never let Satan get any control over me.  Yes, he still has some power to tempt me but hopefully as time goes on I can thwart him even in that.

Friday, December 3, 2010

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 23-24

Read Helaman 1-9
Mark & Ponder Helaman 5:12
Scripture of the day: "And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. And blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost. And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (3 Nephi 12: 5-8)
Thought for the day: "Be patient in little things." (William S Plumer)

A couple of things:  the pride cycle is repeated over and over again in the Book of Mormon but it usually takes quite a few years to get through the cycle.  They reading today spans 30 years and they go through the whole cycle multiple times.  It's quite ridiculous.  How can people go from righteous to wicked to righteous to wicked?  And it's not just a little less righteous like "I forgot to read my scriptures today" it's oh whoops I murdered somebody.  I don't get it.

Another thing I don't get that I've seen numerous times through the war chapters: they have this big war, thousands and thousands of people are killed and then when it's all over and the bad guys surrender, they just let them depart to their own land in peace?  I'm sorry but if some terrorists come over here and kill a bunch of people and then we catch them, I sure ask heck hope we don't let them depart in peace. 

Helaman 5:12 is one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon.  If we build our foundation about the rock of our Redeemer we cannot fall.  It doesn't matter what happens in this world, how evil the men around us become, what Satan throws at us, what trials we have to go through.  If we center our lives around the Savior we will always prevail. 

Read Helaman 10-14
Mark & Ponder Helaman 10:4-5
Scripture of the day: "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And ye ought to say in your heart - let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds." (D & C 64:10-11"
Thought for the day: "We are required to forgive all men, for our own sakes, since hatred retards spiritual growth." (Orson F Whitney)

The signs of Christ's birth and death were unmistakable.  The prophets told the people what would happen and then it happened.  How could you not notice if the sun went down and then came back up 10 hours later but it never got dark.  Likewise, how could you miss thunderings, lightnings, tempests, earthquakes, etc in the midst of 3 days of darkness.  The Lord made it so obvious and told the people it was coming for a reason: "that whosoever will believe might be saved, and that whosoever will not believe, a righteous judgment might come upon them; and also if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnation."  The Lord is wants us to believe; He wants us to follow Him and He gives us every opportunity to do so.  If we choose not to we won't be able to claim ignorance.   

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My new thoughts on being fat

So I'm gaining weight at an alarming rate.  I did HCG a few months ago, lost a bunch of weight from having my babies and am now proceeding to put it all back on.  Yet I just can't find the motivation to do anything about it.  I definitely need to start exercising if for no other reason than to be healthy but the idea of dieting again makes me want to crawl into a hole a die.  I LOVE food.  I don't know why I love it so much.  I don't why I have such an emotional attachment to it; I don't know why it makes me feel so warm and cozy inside.  When I'm dieting I crave food every single second of every single day.  It's a constant never-ending battle for me.  And it sucks.  So I've been trying to decide what I'm going to do about it and what I'm willing to do about it and I've come up with some fantastic justification for keeping my spare tire and not worrying about it.

The government has spent trillions of dollars we don't have and are now printing money to pay off their debt.  It doesn't matter what side of the isle you're on: that's inflation.  Our dollar is going to be worth less and less.  It's just a fact.  I don't know how bad it's going to get but I think it's possible that it's going to get pretty bad.  We're already on a budget.  We don't have cable or satellite.  We don't have cell phones.  We only have the internet for a short time because we got a great promotional deal and then it will be bye-bye too.  I use coupons and shop sales and yard sale all summer long.  We just don't have a ton of extra money.  So if prices of everything start going up and my paycheck doesn't, it's not going to be pretty.  I'm always working on our food storage but I've been even more zealous lately because of this impending inflation.  We finally got it all organized downstairs and I decided that, if necessary, my family could live on it for a year if we rationed it.

About a month ago canned fruit was on sale for a great price at Smiths.  So I've got two choices, Light peaches in pear juice, or regular peaches in heavy syrup (sugar).  Since I'm always worried about my weight and since it's not the best idea to load the boys up with sugar I chose the Light; just a natural instinct.  We came home and opened a can and they were disgusting.  So I went back and got some of the heavy syrup kind.  I was telling my mom about this and she made a good point: if it really comes to the point where we're living off our food storage and having to ration our food, double or triple the calories for the same price is a better way to go anyway.  Good point.  Then yesterday, Ridleys had hamburger on sale for a pretty good price but it's only 81% lean and I usually like to buy leaner hamburger but I thought, if we're rationing our food we're gonna want those extra calories anyway (our seal-a-meal will keep hamburger in the freezer for 2-3 years so no worries about my stocking up). 

Which leads me to my spare tire.  If I have an extra 20 pounds to lose when we have to start rationing food I'm going to last a lot longer than if I'm at my ideal weight.  Keeping that extra fat is the responsible thing to do.  I'm thinking of the future and planning ahead and trying to be prepared for whatever comes.  Maybe instead of trying to lose weight I should be more like mama bear getting ready for winter.  I'm not talking about the kind of extra weight that makes you unhealthy and raises your cholesterol and increases your risk for heart disease and diabetes...I'm just saying that maybe my spare tire isn't quite so bad.

40 Day Walk with Christ - Day 22

Read Alma 59-63
Mark & Ponder Alma 41:10
Scripture of the day: "For I was hungered, and ye game me meat; i was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison and ye came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me." (Matt 25: 35-40)
Thought for the day: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." (Aristotle)

I can't believe I'm already through Alma.  Usually it takes FOREVER to get through Alma and you feel like you've been in the war chapters for ages.  But I'm done already.  Crazy.

History always repeats itself.  We are supposed to learn from our mistakes but we just seem to repeat them over and over again.  These last chapters sound like a frightening view of our future.  Our current government leaders want to fundamentally change America.  They want government to have all power.  They want to take away our freedom and turn us into slaves.  Even when the people don't want something they jam it down our throats anyway (Obama-care).  They have an agenda and are willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want.  In Alma 62:3-10 Moroni raises the title of liberty and marches through the land gathering all those who want to fight for freedom and to get their country back.  They fight, they win, and then "for the safety of their country" they execute all those "found denying their freedom."  I can seriously see this happening in our country.  Maybe not the whole march thing seeing as how we don't really walk anywhere in the country.  But even now voices are being raised in defense of our freedom.  I wonder if we will be able to turn things around or if it will really come down to civil war.  We live in scary times but it certainly isn't the first time in history that evil men have conspired to overthrow freedom.