Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I've moved!

Please visit the new site at  A new link called Praise Faithfule is coming soon!  You will need a password to view the Live Faithfule link.  Find me on Facebook or leave a comment on this post that you'd like that information and I'll contact you individually.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I was brought low, and He helped me.

First some you may know (or may not know for that matter), I've recently gone back to college. This is quite a big step for me because, while I definitely enjoy the learning process, I struggle to find the time to get all of my homework done, especially when I have 4 kids I'm raising alone. My goal of course is nothing less than the best there is...graduation with summa cum laud honors and to do so in the shortest amount of time. Last quarter I took 19 credits with a 3.95 (but really it's a 4.0 cuz an A- is still an A after all), this quarter I'm taking 24 and at present, I am holding a 4.0 GPA. It's work believe me.

Anyway so because I'm a brainiac by nature, because I don't ask for help very well, and because I'm fairly independent, I often find it difficult to ask for help. More than once Heavenly Father has reminded me that if I'd just ask for help in the first place, it wouldn't get catastrophic but it's usually not until the thing I need help with is about to be a crisis that I finally swallow my pride, or independence or whatever it is that keeps me for asking for help and then I'm actually begging for it.

So last night I'm cramming for homework (nothing like the pressure of a deadline to get you focused right) and my Humanities assignment escapes me. For the life of me I can't find a single word to write on the assigned topic. This is a huge deal because I'm a writer/speaker and never at a loss for words...ok rarely at a loss for words.

So I sit there and stare at this word document for hours, literally. I can't think of an entire solitary thing to say. First the topic is a critique of fine art...something I know very little about. Second the instructor asks some very specific questions to consider when making our critique and my brain is just completely locked up tight. I continue to stare getting nowhere.

This morning I open the file again and stare some more. At least three times I feel a prompting to just pray about it. Each time I ignore it. You see asking for help for me personally is not something I am very good at.

In a talk called Improving Our Prayers, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin says "with faith our prayers connect with the powers of heaven and can bring upon us increased understanding, hope, and power. The doors of heaven will ever be closed to those who hold out their hands, waiting for blessings to drop from heaven upon them." I testify that this is true.

While sitting there looking at this word document and unable to complete the assignment I was essentially waiting for a blessing (the words to say to complete the assignment) to just fall out of the sky. Finally I folded my arms and bowed my head and went to my Father in prayer. Then the blessing came immediately...what I had been unable to do in at least 6 hours, I was then able to do in a matter of minutes. My frustration with the assignment brought me low and He helped me.

What a simple thing that prayer is but I wonder how often we thing we can only ask for help with the big things, or spiritual things. My children know that they can call upon the "powers of heaven" to help find the keys, or church clothes, or get good sleep, or pass a test at school, or...and the list continues.

A favorite dialogue from the movie Facing the Giants has Coach Carter talking to his football team about playing the game to bring glory to God, whether they win or lose. One of the players says something like "so are you saying God cares about football" and Coach replies with something like "I think God cares about you and you bring honor to Him by playing football then yeah He cares about football." The point being, while God might not care about a critical analysis of a piece of fine art, He DOES care about me. When I call on Him to help, he is always willing to grant that help unto me. By asking him for help when I need it most, I show honor and reverence toward my Father. Though divine and deity, God is our parent, He desires to communicate with us like we desire to communicate with our own children.

Thank you Heavenly Father for helping me find the words I needed to complete my assignment. Thank you for allowing me to go back to school, thank you for the intelligence you've given me that allows me to do as well as I am doing in school, thank you for all you have given to me and everything you are waiting to give me the moment I ask.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trust in the Rock

A few weeks ago I was in sacrament randomly searching my scriptures. I do this a lot. I wasn't looking for anything specifically really, but I came across this scripture:

"The God of my rock, in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence." 2nd Samuel 22:3

I've been thinking about this scripture a lot since discovering it (or rediscovering it since I've read the bible numerous times...yes cover to cover) and am amazed how just how true it has been for me. Especially the "thou savest me from violence" part. Then I started to take a good look at the word refuge.

Refuge, according to is : shelter or protection from danger or distress, a place that provides shelter or protection, something to which one has recourse in difficulty

The definition of the word got me thinking any further. Aren't the arms of the Lord a shelter or protection from danger or distress...certainly they can be at least right? Do we not find shelter and protection in the Plan of Salvation? This last definition though...that's what I've found the most interesting..."something to wish one has recourse in difficulty." Recourse means a source of help or strength, a turning to someone or something for help or protection. I never honestly thought about Heavenly Father being a recourse in difficulty. I know I often turn to him in difficulty but sometimes I think it's more of a long-winded rant rather than a complete trust in him to provide the help and protection I seek or am in need of.

I have had a case of the doldrums for a very long time now and, as I struggle to come out of it, I am learning how essential it is that we trust Heavenly Father to be the very things he tells us he is and will be...even our refuge.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Latter-day Prophets and Apostles

It occurred to me recently that not only can I NOT name all 15 of the previous Latter-day Prophets, I also could not name all 12 Apostles or tell you much of anything about them. Sure I know who President Monson and his two counselors are, I mean Monson is my all time fave GA. And I recognize a few others like Bednar, Perry, Oaks, Ballard, Scott, and Nelson but I think it's important I be able to name all 15 past prophets by sight and it'd be helpful to know a little bit about them too. For instance, did you know that Heber J. Grant was President of the Church longer than anyone else in history EXCEPT for Brigham Young? And, did you know that David O. McKay spent more than 60 years of his life as a GA? Yeah I didn't either till I started making the pieces for a game to be played during this week's FHE. The game is here to download it. You can play it a variety of ways....match the picture, to the name, to the "who am I". Match the picture to the name. Match the Name to the "who am I". Match the picture to the "who am I." You could even play "around the world" with the "who am I" or picture pieces. I laminated mine and altered a cricut cartridge box to store them it. It worked beautifully. I'll post a picture of my container later. Enjoy the game.

Answer Key: Please click here for the answer key. Sarah pointed out it could also be used as a study guide.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Because He knows and He is ALWAYS there

As many of you know from my FB status messages, the last couple of days have been extremely trying for me. My FIRST Darling Daughter, oldest of the Clan, is making very poor use of her agency. It's so heartbreaking as her parent to have to sit idly by and watch her make mistakes that will set her ship sailing on the most tumultous of waters. Mistakes that I KNOW she knows better than to make. I mean I raised her, I know how she was raised, I know the values that have been instilled in her, the morals I've inspired her to have, etc and yet she makes CONSTANT and DELIBERATE choices that wind up getting her the very opposite of what she claims to want the most. No amount of counsel, guidance, love, support, encouragement, faith, or even prayer has managed to re-direct her path at present. For the better part of these past two days I've just cried and cried but in 2 Nephi it says "for it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things." Notice the word ALL. There must be opposition in all things...sometimes though I wish we could get by without so much opposition. Am I the only one who often wishes there only had to be opposition in SOME things?!?!? I realize that if I didn't have so much drama with my oldest, I may not appreciate the lack of it with my youngest three; however that is honestly little comfort.

Last night as I was chatting (and crying) to or with a neighbor, I had an ah-ha moment. The clue bird landed and I finally got it...

Heavenly Father must feel the same heartache, pain, agony, and sorrow when WE, His children, transgress. When He looks down and sees us making choices He KNOWS we know better than. When He sees us DO things He KNOWS we know we ought not be doing. I know first hand how difficult it is to cast out a child. I can't imagine the heartache He must have experienced in having to cast Lucifer out...not just for a brief period of time, but forever. Lucifer, despite his evil nature and goals, is nonetheless, still our Father's child as well.

My heart breaks for my daughter on a regular basis. It is extremely painful and difficult to see her choose to be who she is when I know she is capable of so much more. Well wait, maybe I don't KNOW it, I just think it. I think she is capable of much more than she chooses to become and it is difficult to see her suffer after having made some very bad choices; it's difficult to see her cry and scream "I'm mad at you this is all your fault" even though I know that she knows better.

It is difficult for me, and I have just one challenging child. Can you imagine the position of our Heavenly Father...I have no idea what the world population is but I'm CONFIDENT He has quite a few more than just ONE challenging child. How His heart must break for us as we stumble and fall and get ourselves into troubled waters. And yet, no matter how many times we stumble, trip or in some cases jump in the so fast we forget to plug our noses and hit the bottom, HE is STILL here. Never forcing us to come to Him, or even to come around, but always here if and when we choose to do either.

In Hebrews 13:5 we are told that He will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us. Sometimes though, we forsake Him. I feel like my child has forsaken me. I suspect He feels the same emotions I am feeling now when we turn from Him. I pray I can have His strength to be the same constant for my child as He is for us...that I will have the strength to never leave or forsake her. I pray my heart won't break beyond its ability to mend and that in time, my child will turn away from wrongdoing and find calmer waters on which to sail. I pray I can be a source of constant comfort to my child like Heavenly Father is to me so that when she is ready to reach out, she will find my hand there to steady her.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How do I prioritize so I can accomplish all that is expected of me?

That was my question today...and then I quieted my soul and went to the scriptures. Here's what I found:

2 Nephi 31:20: "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

Notice there is NOTHING in this about priorities really. No magic to do list clearly spelling out what my priorities should or must be...but then I went to the footnotes about the word steadfast and it says to also see commitment, dedication, perseverance, steadfastness, and walking with God in the Topical Guide...ut oh, NOW I get it.

Commitment...the way to prioritize and accomplish all that I need to do is to develop a commitment and dedication to CHRIST. In being committed to Christ I will not have to stand alone and will have everything I need, more even actually, to do what I'm responsible for doing. Remember, that's what grace is and HIS is always sufficient for our needs.

I honestly thought I WAS already committed to Christ but then I decided to look up commit in the dictionary and here's what it says at "to put into charge or trust; to obligate or pledge oneself" and I realized that I am not always (though I am getting better) putting Christ in charge all the time. In intent sure of course, but not always in application.

Sometimes I honestly forget Christ...I get so caught up in the mundane necessities of life I forget to read my scriptures and often fall asleep before we can get a family prayer. I'm so busy sometimes just thinking about everything I need and should be doing that I fail to actually DO anything. Can you relate at all? So I again think about this word commit.

I know that I am DEEPLY commited to my kids and would do anything for them but would I do anything for my Lord? Sure the answer we all hope everyone says is yes but really would we, do we? Do we do all the things He wants us to do on a daily basis? For me, I've been in a viscious cycle...I know I SHOULD be doing a, b, c, and x, y, and z but can only manage to get a and y done and so I feel guilty and then that guilt makes it so I don't want to try anymore and that sense of defeat is the very moment Satan is in control. Have you ever felt defeated? Have you ever struggled to do things when deep down you're thinking "what's the point" anyway? I know it's just me that this happens to right?!?!?

I have decided it's time to re-commit to my Lord, to give him back the keys and scoot over and I am trusting that, as I put Him first in my life both in ACTIONS as well as thoughts, He will intercede on my behalf when I feel indequate thereby making me powerful beyond measure. With this realization has come some's what I've decided to do differently:

1. AM scripture study and personal prayer
2. Establish a PM routine that involves family prayer and bedtime
3. PM journaling and prayer
4. Weekly FHE even if I don't teach it, we have no official program, and it's not on Monday (there will be more on this at my main blog later)
5. Time management and allocation.
6. Taking care of me spiritually (see 1-4) and physically.

I'll let you know how it goes...tune in tomorrow for another quesiton and perhaps answer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How do I find balance?

In a post I created on my main blog regarding TOFW, we were challenged to take one question to the scriptures every day and in them, we'd find the answers. I accepted the challenge and got started on this today. My question is "How do I find balance with all that is expected of me."

The answer I found was in Matthew 25 beginning in verse 15. It's the parable of talents. The word talent in this time is used for money. I'm sure you all know this paraphrase it though, everyone got a different amount of talents, some invested/spent theirs and one hid theirs in the earth...the ones that invested/spent theirs got it back double and the one who hid or buried his got scolded and of course ultimately loses it.

A very strange thing occurred to me as I read this passage this morning...let's look at talent as we use the word today. When someone says "oh you are so talented" it usually relates to some skill (or in my case I'm being super sarcastic with my children sometimes too) this person has. For example, some people think I'm very talented when it comes to graphic design.

So thinking of talent THIS a skill, let's visit this same passage. "And unto one he gave five skills, and to another two, and to another one, every man according to his several ability...then he that had received the five skills went and traded with the same, and made them other skills... his lord said unto him well done though good and faithful servant."

And I realized how true this is. Heavenly Father has given each of us different talents and skills. Some of us are very talented, while others of us aren't but I've yet to find anyone devoid of talent. Some of us share or "trade" our talents and learn or receive more, some of us don't. The way to find balance in my life is for me to use my talents...that was the answer. In using my talents to the best of my ability it will allow me to achieve balance. I'm not expected to do it all, I'm simply expected to use what I've got so that when the time comes, my Lord will likewise be able to say "well done though good and faithful servant."