Sunday, June 30, 2013


I love people! I am one who enjoys sitting and watching people do every day things. I enjoy seeing people's differences and respecting them for their differences. 

What attracts you towards people?
Is it their....

I feel like, as human beings, we are afraid of people who are different than us. Different whether it be by religion, by looks, by social status, etc. We need to remember that we are all human beings on a journey. We need to help each other as we journey through life together. I feel like we are being robbed when we avoid people that are different from us. We can learn so much from people who have come from many different areas of life. Sometimes I forget how grateful I should be for the things I have and am bitter for what I don't have, and then I meet a person like this...(Or see a video)

It is inspiring to me to see how someone can make so much out of their life when they are missing something that I take for granted every day of my life. 

Working with disabled adults has helped me to be more grateful for what I have. I have been reminded many times not to take for granted the life I have been given. We all have things we wish we could have, but wishing generally gets us no where. It takes our focus away from what he have been blessed with and has us focusing on what we cannot have. Our experiences, the things we have and don't have, are all things to shape us into someone better. 

Be Grateful For YOU and for what YOU can do NOW!!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Like to SING!

I love to sing and play my ukulele whenever I get a chance. Here is a video of me singing, 
"Dream A Little Dream"

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Life; An Arduous but Beautiful Journey

Life is definitely a journey with ups and downs, switchbacks, and sometimes much pain. But life is also filled with much beauty and tender mercies. It is amazing how when you focus on the negative, all you notice is the negative; but when you take a moment to notice the beauty around, then the negative dissipates and doesn't matter as much. It it still there, but the beauty all around matters more. 

I've been in a negative place for the past couple of months, but have slowly been pulled out of the negativeness by someone more powerful than me. My Heavenly Father and my Savior. It just shows me how much they love me when they send little tender mercies my way to help me change my negative perspective. 

I have been in a lot of pain for quite some time now. Mostly physical pain, but the physical pain has also caused emotional and spiritual pain. It is hard to be in pain every day and not start to question if God really does love me. My physical pain has caused me to question even the very existence of God. It has caused me to question how a loving Heavenly Father could watch me suffer every day of my life and not do anything about it. How someone all powerful couldn't step in and just ease the suffering just a bit. It caused me to ask the question why me? Why so much pain? Why no answers? Why, why, why? I was so frustrated I became bitter with God. I was bitter that He wouldn't give me a simple answer. No answer of even the cause of my physical pain. I was frustrated that I had so many limitations and nothing I could do about them. I have been completely helpless. It has been quite frustrating many days. 

As I have been slowly moving towards more despair, pushing God aside, questioning his very existence, I have had many tiny tender mercies happen that have slowly brought me out of despair without me even noticing. As I now look at the tender mercies in my life, I see that God truly is aware of me and wants to help me. He knows me and knows what I need. He knows what I can handle and will help me conquer anything thrown my way if I let him. 

Evidences that God is aware of me: 

God has put specific people in my life to help me along the journey.

 Heavenly Father has placed Brianna Jean Call in my life from the day I was born. We were born 6 days apart but have not been apart much at all. She is one of the biggest blessings in my life! I know we are family, but we are more than family! I KNOW we were with each other in the pre-existence and I am sure we promised to help each other get through the arduous journey of life. I don't know if I have been much help to her, but she has definitely kept me going! She has one of the most positive outlooks on life despite difficulties that come into her life. She knows who she is and she knows where she is going. I am so lucky to have her as my bestest friend, cousin, and soul sister!!!

A couple of weeks ago I was really struggling with some doctrine in the church because of all the questioning I was doing. I was so grateful when a friends mom text me and invited me to dinner. We talked and eventually I was able to tell her all of my struggles and concerns.I had missed a couple of weeks of church and didn't plan on going the coming Sunday. She said I could go with her to her ward if I wanted. I kind of shrugged it off and then felt a push to ask if I really could go with her. Of course she said yes. So I went to church. It was just a normal day at church, nothing exciting. After church she invited me to their house for dinner. I went to their house and talked with her husband while they were preparing dinner. We talked about many things that was wrestling with. He was able to help ease my mind. This family has been a MAJOR blessing in my life. More than they could ever imagine. 

I have a great friend, Connie. She has also helped me SO MUCH. Just the other day I was really struggling. It was late at night, and I had no one to talk to. So I sent Connie a facebook message saying: Question? If God is all knowing, all powerful, and all loving... then why does he allow us to suffer so much... especially with no answers...(the pain I am going through with no answers) She replied with the perfect answer for me. She said: Because there must be opposition in ALL things. I think he hates to see us suffer and wishes we didn't have to. Sometimes we do things that make us or someone else suffer, but there are also times we don't do anything to cause our own suffering. Can you imagine how much Heavenly Father suffered when He watched His son die? He didn't get out of it. He suffered the most pain of all. The last statement made me think the most. It changed my perspective. Yes, I am suffering, but Christ suffered more than anyone will ever suffer because of his love for everyone. His love for me. God watched him suffer and did not step in. 

God knows what He is doing with me. He knows what I need to suffer through to mold me into the person He knows I can become. He knows my potential. I don't. Why would he step in to stop my suffering when He knows the type of person the suffering will cause me to become. He is the refiner holding me in the refiner's fire. He didn't just throw me into the fire. He is holding me in the fire, watching me and making sure I don't get damaged. He can see the impurities and knows exactly how long I need to be in the fire. I just need to trust him and remember that he is holding me and watching me every second. He WILL NOT fail me. 

Heavenly Father knows I love his creations. I love being outdoors and stopping to smell the roses. Last week my car had a gas leak so I took it to get fixed. I had to walk home. On my walk there were beautiful gardens full of all sorts of flowers and plants. There were magnificent rose bushes that had the sweetest smell I had ever smelled! Despite the negativeness of my car needing a repair, I was able to enjoy the beauty of Gods creations. I was able to stop and smell the roses. 

These are just a few tender mercies in my life. As I recognize and focus on the tender mercies in my life, I still suffer with pain, but I also live in BEAUTY and recognize more MERCY in my life. Having pain allows for more mercy to be manifest in my life. If I didn't have pain and darkness in my life I wouldn't be able to recognize and appreciate the LIGHT and STRENGTH I can have through my Journey through life.

Life is an arduous journey, but there is beauty all around


....Or the flowers :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Talk: Hope

I find it quite interesting that whenever I am asked to give a talk or prepare a lesson, the topic is always something I am struggling with at the moment. And I’m not going to lie, but this talk was extremely difficult for me to write, so bear with me if it seems a bit jumbled. Today I will be speaking on the topic of hope. What is hope? As I was thinking about hope, I was thinking about how I use the word hope in my daily life. Such as, I hope I pass this test, I hope I have enough money, I hope I get better quickly, and so on. I think we can all come up with ways we have used the word hope in our daily lives. Each time I use the word “hope” it comes with uncertainty. Each thing I hope for, but may not necessarily get.

The definition of hope in a regular dictionary is: Noun: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. As a verb: Want something to happen or be the case. Again, uncertainty. You want it, but it may not necessarily happen.So why have hope when there are so many opportunities in life to lose hope and become hopeless?

Many situations in my own life cause me to have this “hope” which has much uncertainty, causing a loss of hope and eventually leads to moments and days of hopelessness. In the past three years I have had some health problems that have caused me to lose hope at times. I have gone to many doctors, had many tests, and received very few answers. I hope for answers, solutions, and anything that can help alleviate even a bit of the pain I experience every day. Each doctor I go to I get no answers; or few answers that then lead me to nowhere. Living with no answers to what is causing the physical pain I experience has been extremely difficult and brought me down into the depths of despair at times.

Think of a time in your own life where you hoped something would happen, whether it be a certain job, physical healing, answers, consolation from depression. anything.  and when what you hoped for didn’t happen, How did you feel? were you pretty disappointed? What did you initially do?

We all experience disappointments and loss and this worldly hope becomes a barrier or roadblock to what can bring us true happiness.  We focus so much on the future and think we know what is best, when in all reality, we don’t know what the future holds. No wonder so manys heads hang hopelessly low. The hope they are trying to hang on to is a hope that often leads to uncertainty and disappointment. As I have tried to cling to this hope,I have spent all my energy hoping for things that either won’t happen, or will happen in their own time. Why waste my energy on this worldly hope?

Now I want to talk to you about a different kind of hope. A hope that does not lead to uncertainty and despair but to peace and certainty. The hope of the Gospel.  In Preach My Gospel it gives a great example of what hope truly is. It says, “Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you.”

Hope isn’t just a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. That is the worldly definition of hope. The hope that brings hopelessness and despair many times. The hope of the Gospel brings lasting comfort, peace, and joy. Preach my Gospel goes on to say, “[Hope] is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement.”  The hope of the gospel does a lot more for you than the hope of the the world.

This basic definition of hope was a reminder to me of why I need hope in my life, and not just hope, but a hope in the Gospel, a hope in Jesus Christ. A hope that all he has promised me will come to pass if I have hope and do my best to do my part.  

Hope does not mean we sit idly by wishing and waiting for something better to happen. Rather hope implies confidence that God will deliver what he has promised. Hope provides an anchor to our souls and propels us to act in faith. Hope, charity, and faith are concepts that are often linked throughout the scriptures. It is difficult to have one without the other.

Alma 32:21: says,  “... If ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

and in Moroni 7 it says, Wherefore, if a man have afaith he bmust needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be ameek, and lowly of heart... and if a man be meek and lowly in heart,... he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
These are just a few examples of how hope, charity, and faith are all linked together and how you cannot have one without the other.
President Uchtdorf said in a talk from the October 2008 Conference that, “Hope is one leg of a three-legged stool, together with faith and charity. These three stabilize our lives regardless of the rough or uneven surfaces we might encounter at the time. The scriptures are clear and certain about the importance of hope. The Apostle Paul taught that the scriptures were written to the end that we “might have hope.” 1 Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. 2 Its absence—when this desire of our heart is delayed—can make “the heart sick.”
Have you had this absence of hope? a sick heart? I sure have, but the times I remember the Savior Jesus Christ and his Atonement are when I am able to feel his healing power in my life and experience the power that hope can have when my hope is anchored in the Savior.

President Uchtdorf goes on to say: “Hope is a gift of the Spirit. 4 It is a hope that through the Atonement ofJesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. 5 This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, 6 and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, 7 mercy, 8 rejoicing, 9and gladness. 10 The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; 11 it is the foundation of our faith 12 and an anchor to our souls.” Who doesn’t want peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness? I surely do.

“Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Hope sustains us through despair. we learn to cultivate hope the same way we learn to walk. one step at a time. we grow in our ability to abound in hope through the power of the holy ghost as we more perfectly live the gospel we hope in Jesus Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the holy spirit. In the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us. 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. And to all who suffer, to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely, I say with love, and deep concern for you. Never give in, never surrender, never allow despair to overcome your spirit. For the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.”

So how do we obtain or nourish this hope? If we have lost all hope, we can still obtain it again.
We obtain hope by attaching ourselves to the wellspring of the Savior's love. We become steadfast and immovable in Christ. We no longer drift. We no longer waver. We don't allow unwanted change, trials or the heartaches of life to result in the loss of our hope. We choose to first confront and then move past our challenges. We look to Christ with a kind of joyous expectation. We allow faith to be our anchor in troubling seas. Christ invites all to come unto him and partake of his goodness. It is the glad tidings of the gospel that steady us and produce a perfect brightness of hope. We move forward, having a love of God and all mankind. God created us that we might have joy.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Let us live to dance in the rain.

While preparing my talk I was listening to music and this song came on. I want to share it with you. It is called: If you want me to

If You Want Me To
The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

No I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'll never go alone (yeah oh oh)

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the sufferin' Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

'Cause when I cross over Jordan, I'm gonna sing, gonna shout
Gonna look into your eyes and see you never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to you
And I will walk through the valley if you want me to
Yes, I will walk through the valley if you want me to

All we are asked to do is walk through the valley. It is not and will not be easy, but we are promised that we are not alone nor will we ever be. When you feel yourself losing hope on your journey through the valley, cling to this truth. Have hope, or an abiding trust, in Jesus Christ that he will fulfill all he has promised. Have faith that God knows what is best for each one of us. He sees the whole picture. As you have faith and hope, you will be able to work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. I bear my testimony that these things are true, and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Here is a video of the beautiful song "If you want me to" sung by Ginny Owens