Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Turn That Frown Upside Down

(That post title is way too perky.)

I'm having a "I-feel-like-I've-failed-at-everything" kind of morning.

I look around at my house, and it's a disaster.

My kids: total rag-a-muffins.

My dog keeps licking my hands because she's probably so desperate for attention, and I'm just annoyed.  Another thing that needs my already-scarce time.

And I'm mad at myself.  Not my today self, she's the one suffering.  She's the victim.

I'm mad at my yesterday-self, and my day-before-yesterday-self.  And all of my last-week-self.

Then I start to notice this familiar theme: the downward spiral into the self-loathing/woe-is-me depression.  I recognize it because I've been to this park before.  There's the "why is this happening to me" swing, and the "my life is so unfair" slide.  It's really not a great park, I don't know why I keep coming back here.

Anyway, a few years ago my present-self had a long convo with my past-self and they battled a few things out.  Present-self really thought past-self could step it up a notch, and past-self did that obnoxious thing of pointing out the obvious: no time like the present.

Start now?  Like...right now.  Help my future-self out?  That chick is so dang needy.

I wrote this post a few years ago about trying to change, and recognizing that I'm not a tree, so I can change where I am, and other catchy memes.  I'm one of those slow people who have to continually be reminded of my own good advice.  So I'm gonna take some past-me advice and move forward.

Today, I'm going to:

  • Recognize three things I did yesterday for my family, for my friends, and for myself.  It sounds like a big task, but when you think about it, "waking up" can count as a high five for myself.  Making my bed, BOOM!  Another high five.  How about that time I got to pee in privacy.  I call that a win.  Not to mention all the great stuff I did for my family last night, like getting some much over-due R&R with a pal.  How is this helpful to my family?  I think you know.
  • Recognize three small ways I succeeded yesterday, that seem to be making today easier.  Well, I cleaned a lot yesterday, but it wasn't the "out in the open" kind of clean.  I went through the clothes.  The kids clothes.  I separated, folded and stored (complete with a printed label for each!) into those nifty vacuum bags.  Sure the rest of my house was destroyed, but the top of those closets are...cleaner.  I also did some other stuff.  But I won't bore you with it.  Cause closet cleaning and clothes sorting is all sorts of interesting
  • List three things I'm going to do for my tomorrow-self.
    1. Read with the kids.
    2. Go to the library - with the kids.
    3. Make dinner and eat - with the kids.
Making these lists always draw my attention to reality and truth.  Sure I didn't out perform perfection yesterday, and I'm positive I won't today.  But I did succeed in small ways.  The small stuff, in the end, is quite literally what life is made of.  You know, like atoms and stuff.

So buh-bye life-sucks-me.  You are of no use to me here.  But I do have a self-loathing day coming up.  I've scheduled it off as "Netflix" binge.  *Need to remember to buy Puffy Cheetos*

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mormon Monday: Fast Offerings

Once a month, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are asked to fast with a purpose and give a fast offering.

This is one of the most powerful blessings given to us.

About a year ago, my husband counselled me about all the amazing blessings that can come from fasting.  He opened up to Isaiah, Chapter 58.  Read some of the promises that come from a true fast:

6: loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke.
8: ...Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and they righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be they reward.
9: Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am...
10:...then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.
11: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose water fail not.

So here's the run down: wickedness can't touch you.  Your burdens will be lifted.  If you're oppressed, you'll be set free, and anything weighing you down will be gone.  Your health "shall spring forth speedily"(this resonates with me, a lot!).  You'll get the glory of God.  Heavenly Father will answer your prayers.  The darkness in your life will be as "the noonday".  And you will have Heavenly guidance, continually.

Say what?  And all I have to do is fast once a month?  Of course with every blessing, Heavenly Father asks of us an offering, a sacrifice.  In our case, we give a fast offering that is equal to or greater than the meals we would have eaten had we not fasted.

For example, if I spend $15 a  meal on our family of six, and we fast for three meals (technically the littles don't all fast for three meals.  The older really only fast for one or two...) then we would offer a fast offering of $45 or more.  Isn't it fun when religion turns to math?  I know, right?!

Anywho...the amount you offer is between you and the Lord.  But when you get in return is all the above.  Blessings are poured down upon you.  It's awesome.

Mormons use these fast offerings to lift up the afflicted, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and help the poor.  100% of the fast offerings given go directly to this cause.  It's beautiful.  I'm so thankful for Fast Sunday, however you can fast any time.  Anytime you need extra strength, and answer to an important or deep prayers, or added love and guidance.

Our Savior set a beautiful example when he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  Having met with the greatest of temptations by Satan himself, even in his weakened state, the Savior withstood.  Truly each blessing promised by the Lord in Isaiah rained upon the Savior, and he was strengthened and blessed.  We are promised the same the blessings.  They are ours for the taking.  Anyone can do it.

In April of this year, we were blessed to hear from leaders of our Church.  One of the kindest most compassionate men, Elder Henry B. Eyring gave this beautiful talk: "Is Not This the Fast I Have Chosen?"

Again, you can leave any questions you have in the comments.  Or visit for more information.

Magnetic Airhead

Hello Friends.

Did you know that I'm a natural blonde?

And that I also have a magnetic personality.

No.  Literally.  I produce heavy magnetic waves that essentially effect all electronics around me.  Also, I'm a ditz.  You put those two things together and you're met with a lot of broken or lost cell phones, and posts that don't get posted.

My husbands blog, which is a lot more sciency and boring than mine (just kidding, hun!) automatically posts HIS posts for him.  So I thought, "Genius!  I shall do as much!"  This is how I think.

So I scheduled my Monday blogs to go out on Mondays.  And somehow, it did not happen.  I am only just now realizing this. son threw my cell phone into the toilet.

Why are two years olds sometimes jerks?  I mean, he looked right at me when he did it.  Like, "I'm going to throw this electronic time waster into the pot, where it belongs, and you're going to watch me do it.  And you're going to like it.  Got it, mother?!"  Cause that's how he thinks.  He's a ginger.  That's how Ginger's roll.

And now I can't call out.  Le sigh.  Whatev's.  You gotta make lemonade with broken cell phones, ya know??  So I'm gonna go and do just that.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Mormon Monday: By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

One of the reasons I love the internet, and blogging, is that I get to meet and befriend so many people from all over the world.  Along with this blessing are ample questions brought to me about my religion.

And it's no secret that I love my religion. 2 Nephi 25:25 says it all. "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

This blog, I hope, is a testament to my love of Christ, and my desire to share that testimony to anyone who reads these posts.

So in an effort to answer mass questions brought to me daily, I'm going to spend each Monday for awhile sharing a bit about our Church.  If you want even more information, please visit, or hunt down the handsome men and beautiful Sisters with name badges in your area.  They'll tell you everything in exchange for food ;)  If you want a free Book of Mormon, message me, and I'll get one out to you myself.  On to Mormon Monday...

One question, concern, or even sometimes accusation I get is about our tithing.  We give ten percent of our increase (for us, we choose our increase to be the gross amount of money we earn) to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Here are some of the things our tithing goes towards:

  • Building beautiful buildings where we can attend meetings each Sunday to partake of the Sacrament and learn more about our Savior and Heavenly Father.  We also use these wonderful buildings for weddings, baptisms, games, Ward activities, and occasionally they can be used for shelter.
  • Temples.  Our beautiful Temples are where we go to make promises with God, and then to help our deceased ancestors make those same promises they were denied while alive.  I'll talk more about Temples on another post.  Suffice it to say, I would give 100% of our earnings if it meant I could have a temple near me.  Thankfully, this isn't required.  I have two beautiful temples a short drive away from me, and I'm so grateful for them.
  • To sustain missionary work.  There are roughly 84,000 sons and daughters serving missions across the globe.  They need places to live, food to eat, and bikes to ride.  
  • On every tithing slip is the option to donate to specific areas, like missions, temples, buildings, education, etc. 
  • We also have the opportunity to give a Fast Offering each Sunday.  This will be it's own post as well.
Something not listed here are the enumerable blessings we've received from the Lord because we payed our tithing.  Those are sacred blessings, that I would love to share with anyone privately.  But for the sake of the audience, I'll keep them close to my heart right now.  Feel free to message me if you would like to know more.

But here is what you really need to know about tithing.  Look at the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Look at our fruits.  Are we purchasing jet planes to send our prophet around the world to ask for more money?  Heavens no!  Do we offer humanitarian aid across the globe?  You bet!  Do we provide help for people who are struggling?  Absolutely!  Are we, as members, provided with books about the gospel, lessons, manuals, pictures, paintings, pianos and music to help us grow to know Him more?  We sure are!  Do we do anything differently from the ancient church that Jesus himself was head of?  We do not!  

Things we do not do with our tithing funds: finance bishops or other leaders.  Our amazing leaders, who spend hours and hours away from family and home, are a  lay ministry.  This means, they do it on a completely voluntary basis.  Bishops usually serve for five years, Stake Presidents can serve for up to 10 years, Mission Presidents uproot their families and move to foreign countries to serve for 3 years.  This is all done to build up the Kingdom of Zion, it is all done "free of charge" and on a voluntary basis.  And I am eternally grateful for their service to me.

If you would like to know more about tithing, click here: tithing

I struggled with paying my tithing when I was first married.  We were already dirt poor and I often thought Heavenly Father would understand.  In the end, I am the one who didn't understand the blessings and promises that come from paying my tithing.  When Brett and I started consistently paying our 10%, we were blessed.  I know it's from our faith in this law that we were blessed with a house, that Brett was blessed with a lucrative job, and that we were blessed with innumerable other things pertaining to revelation and the Spirit.  

This is a law that should only be obeyed when it's done with faith and love.  It's hard for someone outside of the Church to feel the Spirit testifying to them of the wonders of tithing, so I'll do it for you!  It is a sweet blessing!  It is a simple thing to do!  And we are so grateful that we get to pay our tithing!  

**Interesting Facts** In the early days of the Church, shortly after the restoration, people were asked to tithe their time and work in place of money.  They each spent every tenth day building a beautiful temple.  What an amazing way to give of yourself to Heavenly Father and to your fellow members.

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