February 8, 2017

Service in our Community

     On Saturday I went to a church activity for the women of my stake where we were able to listen to Janice Kapp Perry, most known for writing primary songs.

    I learned many things from her but what I would like to share is how she served in her community. Janice decided to find something to do that would be a sacrifice for her. So, she called a friend that could no longer read and offered to read her a book. She thought oh... I'll just go once but after visiting she offered to return every week at the same time. Her service increased with time first it was one hour and then it was three. And she would never regret spending her time there.

A few years my daughter and I did something similar. In our ward was a lovely old couple that we visited all the time. She would make cookies for the neighborhood kids that were returning from school.

Soon after we moved in they invited us into their home. My daughter at the time was only one. And a bit much for them yet they always had a cookie for her and a basket full of toys. They would ask us to stay for dinner and they invited us to their family activities. When I needed a ride to church they were there and when she could no longer see well enough to drive.... I would drive them in their car. I loved to sit with them in church, Grandpa would always help with my daughter. And Grandma would give her rides with her walker. Grandma always encouraged me to be the best I can be. I remember her telling me that if you don't feel well to just get up and do it, that it will pass.

The sense of community we felt because of them was amazing. We planted a garden together even though all she could do was tell me where to dig and where to plant. We grew to love them very much. Since moving away we haven't be able to visit much and earlier this year our dear Grandpa Petersen passed at age 93. In his obituary it says "he never met a stranger" and I know that to be true.

At times serving others can be a sacrifice but I know that as we serve in our neighborhoods the love in our community will increase. You will find your place in this world.

February 6, 2017

Be your own kind of beautiful

Every day we are assaulted by images. We see them on television, online and in magazines. A lot of the time they are ads to make us think we need what they are selling to make us as beautiful as the people in the ad.
Other times we compare ourselves with the pictures we see online from people we know. That seem to have it all together(hint:they don't...) What we see is their best front. I'll give you an example, if you take 100 pictures how many are good enough to share? Even the most experienced photographer will have bad pictures.
It happens yet life is beautiful because of the hardships. There are beautiful weeds... 
I look around me and think that other people are beautiful, smart, accomplished. They are all roses and I want to be a rose but I'm not a rose. I'm a wildflower.
Some people really like wildflowers and some do not. Yet I'm beautiful and resilient.
Do you know how many types of flowers there are? There are over 400,000 and those are types, not including all variations and colors.  
Don't compare a rose to a lily.... Be your own kind of beautiful.

February 4, 2017

Love of God, Perfect Love, Happiness

       Christ in white robes in front of billowing white clouds, walking across large stones seen in the foreground.
As Valentine's day approaches I thought it good to remember the best example of love. I'm sure many of you can think of people in your life that have shown you what love is, and how to show love to those around you.

       In the Bible it says:
John 3:16 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      Our Heavenly Father is the best example of love. He gave His Son for us for us to be happy. Men our that they might have joy(2 Nephi 2:25).
Real love is not to desire a person, but to truly desire
their happiness–sometimes, even, at the expense of our own happiness.(Richard Paul Evans)

      Loving others can be hard at times, it is easy to think of our own happiness before another's.
How often has someone asked you for help and you deny them? To love our families seems
 easier but how often do we ignore their desires for our own?
I invite you to show love and to serve those around you. 

February 2, 2017

Marriage with kids

       Do you remember those days when you first feel in love with your husband? How excited you were to see him across the room... I remember in college, I'd go find him between classes just to say hi. It was all new and exciting to know I would marry that man and be with him for forever.

       Just like many of you I didn't think about what it would be like to have a kid in the house but we talked about it, you know, the great how many....

       That first summer was the best of my life so far. We worked together in the mornings and then had the rest of the day to explore and explore we did. We took long walks and hikes. We went camping and enjoyed dreaming together.

        We dreamed, but it never prepared us for reality. By the end of the year we were expecting our first child and that is when my focus went from him to our unborn child. It was an exciting yet very overwhelming time. And I had no idea how to be a wife and a mother at the same time. To me it was always one or the other.

        It took me a long time to realize that the best thing I could do for my daughter was to love her daddy. You'd be amazed, you fill his bucket of love, and it spreads.... Those moments of daddy/daughter perfection increase exponentially.

      So I ask you, what have you done for you husband today? Do you still seek him for love and companionship?

Love him, listen to him, pay attention to what is important to that man you married.