Showing posts with label our Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label our Faith. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Easter and Living an Abundant Life

^^ Brooks enjoying the Easter Bunny's leftovers ;) ^^

After my last post, I am feeling especially happy to think back on our little Easter Sunday, it was such a good day...filled with sunshine, an inspiring day at church, finding the eggs Brooks had painted and the Easter bunny hid, making festive deviled eggs (that took for-ever. haha), a lovely dinner at the Kjars, Brooks an Ava enjoyed time with cousins, and of course time spent thinking about and discussing the love of our Savior and His Resurrection and Atonement.

I'm so grateful to know that "the miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly"...such an inspiring truth from His Grace is Sufficient, a devotional speech given by Brad Wilcox. That is what I want. I hope and pray that I'm creating and living an abundant life, for me and especially my family, filled with real joy and time spent doing things that are lasting and that make a difference.
With Him, I know we will. :) 

Happy (belated) Easter everyone!

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Son-shine" Easter Package for Our Missionary

Easter is in just a couple weeks, and I wanted to make sure that my sister Corrie had some Cadbury Mini Eggs down in Chile. :) But I didn't want them to be the only thing in the package (even though that heavenly candy would have held its own;) so I searched the web for creative Easter packages for missionaries...and I scored when I found this post about a cute mom sending a "Son-shine" package to her boy serving a mission. LOVED that it was fun and festive, but emphasized that Easter really is about God's Son and the miracle of His resurrection. It was so fun gathering yellow treats and trinkets I thought she'd enjoy, and a few things for her to read as spiritual food-for-thought. Rolled up and tied with yellow ribbon, I put in an awesome devotional about the Atonement by Elder David A. Bednar called "In the Strength of the Lord." And I shrunk down a copy of an inspiring passage called "The Fellowship of the Unashamed" that she can keep in her scriptures. It is SO powerful. And right before I sealed and taped up the box, I slipped in some pictures of Brooks and Ava for good measure. :)

 I can't believe this week she will have been serving her mission for 7 months. Still crazy for me to think that she's been living in Chile for most of that time, AND she speaks Spanish fluently! We miss her so, so much...but we are beyond proud of her. It's been incredible to hear from her in her weekly emails about how she's doing, inspiring experiences, the hard days and lessons learned, and how the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is touching peoples' lives. If you want to read and keep up with her journey in Chile, you can check out her blog here. I'm managing it, and I share her emails she has said can be public. :)

In case anyone wanted to send an Easter package full of "Son-shine" to their missionary, family member, or friend that lives far away this Easter, I wanted to pass on the idea. I sure hope it makes Corrie smile when she gets it!

^^ Brooks was so excited to send our package to Aunt "Co-wee!" ^^

Sunday, March 3, 2013

This chapter...

I loved this quote my awesome team teacher gave our Sunday School class:

"No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations."
-- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

And then the Relief Society's message was 'Be of Good Cheer' so it got me thinking... I feel beyond blessed that I can look at this "chapter of my life" and know that it is such a wonderful one. Brooks and Ava are still my babies (what am I saying...they'll always be my babies right? Right?), Adam is working and finishing school so we make it even more of a priority to make our time together count, and I have a young, healthy body that has more than enough energy [most of the time] to take care of those two littles I mentioned. I truly love it, and I'm trying not to take it for granted. But there are days and moments that seem "bleak"...especially when I struggle with patience and being selfish, and I feel like I'm failing at this balancing act of being an individual and being a mother and being a wife. No matter how big or small my low moments are, I know that Jesus Christ understands what I'm going through and He is waiting for me to confide in Him. And then, He has promised that if I stay faithful and follow in His footsteps by doing my best to lose myself in the service of others, the ending to my book of life will be incredible, and better than anything I could hope or dream!
I really needed that today...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Scriptures and Snow-Covered Mountains

While I am not a fan of public speaking and I am no master teacher, I love teaching Sunday School to the 16 and 17 year olds in my ward/congregation (I co-teach with a friend who inspires me, hi Debbie!). The youth are incredible, and I feel blessed to be able to teach and discuss spiritual topics that are so close to my heart. Today in class, after we watched this awesome video on my laptop, we talked about how fortunate we are to have the scriptures at our fingertips, in paper print and online, and how studying them helps us learn about our Heavenly Father and how it brings us closer to Him. At the beginning of class I asked them to write on the board things they know about Heavenly Father...who He is, what He does, His characteristics, His purpose...and I loved seeing what they shared (above). They also searched the Topical Guide for scriptures that held those truths and shared them with each other...those kids are awesome. I displayed and read a few quotes from past prophets and apostles about our Father in Heaven that touched my deeply...and my favorite is this one:

"We once knew well our Elder Brother and His and our Father in Heaven. We rejoiced at the prospects of earth life that could make it possible for us to have a fulness of joy. ... And now we're here - our memories are veiled - and we're showing God and ourselves what we can do.  And nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us."
--President Ezra Taft Benson, 'Jesus Christ--Gifts and Expectations'

God is good. I'm so grateful that I know He is my Heavenly Father, and that He loves me no matter what. If I look, I can see His hand in my life, every day. Even in small things like a lovely Sunday with blue skies and the view of snow-covered mountains from my backyard. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The greatest Love story ever told...

In a world full of varying religions and beautiful faiths, rich with culture and different beliefs, I love how the holidays this time of year bring us together to count our blessings and try to give and reach out to each other after being so blessed. Some are blessed with physical things, but more importantly, blessed to be surrounded by people we love and care about so much. We are praying for those who don't have their loved ones with them this Christmas.

Celebrating Christmas this year, our family has loved thinking about the birth of our Savior. Reading scriptures from our advent with Brooks, missing some days, but catching up and reading more than one story some days, has been such a sweet experience. Adam and I have talked about various parts of Christ's birth and how Heavenly Father's hand was in every part of it. It really is an incredible miracle...a loving Heavenly Father sending His Son in the most humble circumstances, who willingly served His children and set the ultimate example of Love in its purest form. It really is the greatest love story ever told. 

I wanted to share the video above...the beautiful music paired with the depictions of Christ's life is breath taking. I've watched it nearly 10 times this last week, Brooks too (along with another 20, just having the music play) and at about 3:25, I can't help but have tears come to my eyes. If you watch it, I hope you feel of His love. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chocolates and Compassion

Yesterday, being December 1st, was the first morning Brooks was able to open one of the golden boxes of our advent calendar. Adam and I loved seeing his eyes light up when he saw the "nummy hot chaw-let!" inside the box (he calls all chocolate "hot chocolate"). That Rolo was gobbled right up. And, as I expected, this is giving us a chance to work on patience with Brooks...he wanted to open up another box two minutes later. ;) One day, and one box at a time sweet boy. 

Then, while we ate our scrambled eggs, we read the special verses for that example of Christ's compassion in the book of Luke (Luke 8:41-56). Yesterday and this morning, I loved reading the scriptures to Brooks during breakfast. I hadn't ever done it while he was eating, and I think it helped him stay seated and focused better. As always, restating a few of the verses in a way he would understand definitely helped. :) I told Brooks about how Christ went to the house of a man named Jarius, to help his little girl who was sick and sleeping. Jesus held her hand (so Brooks held Ava's and my hand) and said a prayer for her...and He helped her wake up and feel all better! Brooks got excited and said, "Feel bettoo! Good morning Jesus!" It was such a sweet moment. I'm looking forward to reading more of these inspiring accounts of the Savior's life every morning 'til Christmas...and after. It really is the perfect way to start the day.

After seeing the list of scriptures my friend Rachel shared, which she found here, I changed and replaced the scriptures in our advent that we'll be reading each day leading up to Christmas. And I thought I'd share too. :) 

12/1    Jarius’ Daughter raised, Luke 8:41-56, Was compassionate
12/2    Sinful woman forgiven, Luke 7:36-50, Was forgiving
12/3    Nobleman’s son healed, John 4:46-53, Had power to heal
12/4    Temple cleansed, John 2:13-17, Was reverent and opposed to evil
12/5    Storm calmed, Mark 4:35-41, Had power over elements
12/6    Children blessed, Mark 10:13-16, Loved children
12/7    Savior dined with Mary & Martha, Luke 10:38-42, Made people happy
12/8    Savior suffered in Garden of Gethsemane, Luke 22:41-45, Was Submissive
12/9    Apostles’ feet washed, John 13:3-17, Was humble
12/10    Apostles chosen, Luke 6:12-13, Was prayerful
12/11    Christ’s wisdom advanced, Luke 2:51-52, Obeyed parents
12/12    Christ baptized, Matthew 3:13-17, Obeyed God’s law
12/13    Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:2-16, Gave counsel
12/14    Christ in the temple, Luke 2:42-49, Taught when twelve years old
12/15    The Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6:9-13, Taught proper way to pray
12/16    Parable of the Sower, Luke 8:5-16,Taught with stories
12/17    Parable of the Lost Sheep, Luke 15:4-7, Helped sinners
12/18    Story of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:29-36, Was kind
12/19    Promised the Comforter, John 14:26-27, Promised the Holy Ghost
12/20    Fishes and loaves shared, Matthew 14:15-21, Performed miracles
12/21    Story of Lazarus, John 11:40-44, Raised the dead
12/22    Mary’s visitation, Luke 1:26-33, Is the Son of the Highest
12/23    Christ’s Birth, Luke 2:1-11, Fulfilled prophesy
12/24    Shepherds visited & Wisemen brought gifts,  Matthew 2:9-13 & Luke 2:12-16, Was worshipped as Savior

Saturday, October 6, 2012

you are loved beyond measure

Yesterday I spent a little time painting that sweet message on a wood plaque for my Ava girl, to go on her bedroom wall. I really like its variations and imperfections. And I hope she and my son Brooks both know that I love and adore every bit of them, imperfections and all.

Like that love for my children, today I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father, even with my many imperfections.

Snuggling with Adam and Ava, while Brooks played with toys, we watched and listen to leaders of our church share messages of hope and faith and love. Tomorrow we will listen to more. :)  Oh how I needed this General Conference weekend! If you'd like to watch or listen go here.

Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Brigham City Temple Open House

A couple weeks ago, our little family went to the open house of the beautiful Brigham City Temple. It was incredible being there together. Adam and I want so much for our children to grow up knowing they are children of God, and that he and his son Jesus love them unconditionally. And temples around the world are absolutely places you'll feel Heavenly Father's love.

Throughout the tour Adam and I liked to point out the beautiful paintings and whisper to Brooks the different scripture stories that each one depicted...and especially pointing out the Savior. It's so cute, Brooks kind of says "Cheese-us" for Jesus. :) There were also murals of gorgeous nature, God's creations. Brooks loved pointing out the water in the lakes and streams and the different animals. And when we walked into the Celestial room the chandelier was beyond brilliant with the crystals gleaming every color of the rainbow. He loudly said, "Ooooh! OH!" about 5 times, which got a few laughs from the people around us as it was a "silent" tour. ;)

Being there with my family, I didn't want to leave! I soaked up the peaceful spirit and loved being reminded of the many ways the temple has blessed my life. I cherish my sweetheart Adam and our children Brooks and Ava so much, and I've so grateful that the promises we made in the Salt Lake Temple when we were married make it possible for us to be together forever.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Rock

From the video, it's pretty obvious that one of Brooks' favorite primary songs is "The Wise Man"...Adam sang it and Brooks did the actions. Goodness those boys cracks me up. :)

I love that we can teach him, even at such a young age, that there is safety in building our foundation on Christ, who is our Rock. One of my favorite scriptures, Helaman 5:12, talks about the concept beautifully. 

Yesterday was a good Sunday, a very good Sunday

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should be"

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My sister Corrie may be younger than me, but I look up to her.  She wants so badly to lead the life that Heavenly Father wants for her...the life that will help her become the best person she can be.  And all along the way she impacts people because of her genuine, giving heart. Adam and I think she's a rockstar, and the kids absolutely adore their Aunt "Co-wee". So knowing that she's going to be in another country for the next 18 months is hard to swallow. BUT, like the lovely print above says, I know her journey is unfolding exactly as it should be.  And knowing that she'll be serving people and sharing a message of hope and love and happiness through the Gospel of Jesus Christ puts the biggest smile on my face!

She was in Arizona when she got her mission call (she's been working at Anasazi, an experience she absolutely loved!) and it was so fun joining in through facetime. Our parents and all of our siblings were linked in through phones or computers, thank goodness for technology!  It was awesome when she read that she has been called to serve in the

Corrie waving "Hi!" with sweet Emri on her lap, before opening her call...
I love Indi's reaction :)
Her mission call!

I'm so happy that tomorrow Brooks, Ava, and I are heading to Washington for a couple weeks so that we can soak up some good Corrie-time before she leaves. And Adam will join us next week. :)

There are some good times ahead!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ava's Blessing Day

Adam, what a sweet father he is, blessed our beautiful Ava Lu yesterday in our home, surrounded by family, some of our dearest friends, and our incredible bishop from church. It was such a lovely answer to prayer. My parents and two of my sisters were able to come (from Washington, Idaho, and Arizona) and we loved having them here! My Mom was such a help and support to me, we had just one day after the reunion at Bear Lake to get ready for the intimate gathering at our home to celebrate our baby girl, and she did so much! She is such a wonderful mother and grandmother! And Adam's parents and siblings were all so generous to bring something to contribute to the luncheon...we're so fortunate to have such awesome family. 

During Ava's blessing, I had such an overwhelming feeling of my Heavenly Father's love for Ava. And I think she felt it too, she was so calm. And then she was full of smiles after. I loved visiting with everyone during the little luncheon, knowing that they are such vital people in our daughter's life. She is one blessed little girl...and we are so blessed to have her!

The crocheted dress, shoes, and bonnet she wore were from her Grandma Kjar...such a precious gift! She gave it to us, sweetly wrapped in pink tissue paper, at the hospital the day after Ava was born. And I've been so excited to see her in it! I'll treasure it forever, and I know Ava will too.

Oh and I got the sweet idea for the framed print from here...and I created it here. :) Adam and I thought the verse in John was perfect.

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