Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Gorgeous Song!

I saw the following video this morning, and love it soooo much!!! I love how mature and subtle David Archuleta 's voice has become. And I am also a big fan of Nathan Pacheo's lovely, clear voice. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am today! ♪ ♫

Merry Christmas, one and all!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

All Because A Child Was Born

He gives me hope that I will see my departed loved ones again.

He is why I have faith in a bright future for myself, my children, and future generations.

He is the reason I want to do good in the world.

He makes it possible for me to be with my family forever someday.

He gives me peace and strength to carry on.

He turns everything to our good.

He is EVERYTHING to me.

With HOPE in our glorious Savior,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Helping Our Husbands: Five things a good wife can do to make the difficult times easier

We've all been there; a job loss, financial setbacks, periods of unemployment, struggling through college, addiction, loss, troubled teenagers, and just plain old discouragement. How do we, as loving wives, help our husbands through the bumps and bruises that life dishes out?

Bruce Chadwick, a professor and researcher of sociology said the following during an address at BYU:
"Good marriages are created after you get up from your knees at the altar of the temple. Strong marriages emerge out of helping each other obtain your education, struggling financially, dealing with sickness, and coping with the shock produced by the birth of your first child."
It is truly the struggles we go through as a married couple that bring us closer together and create the oneness in heart and purpose that good marriages need.

So, how can faithful wives help and support their husbands through troubling times? My husband and I have been weathering some particularly difficult storms over the last couple of years, and I'd like to share what I have learned from my experiences.

1) Appreciate Him

"You... wives must realize that as your companion comes home from his day's labor, he comes sometimes with nerves that are taut with the tensions of that day's efforts, hoping to find in you someone to give him the strength and courage to go back inspired and better prepared to meet the problems of the next day. To nag and to scold and to fail to appreciate his problems is to fail in being the companion that he needs." ~Harold B. Lee
We all have bad days, whether we are at a job, or caring for a home and family. Modern women often complain that husbands do not understand all they do in a day. While that may be true, I would postulate that we stay at home mothers may not appreciate the heavy load that our husbands carry as providers and protectors.

The other night, as I was heading to bed late, I was looking around my home, and began to ponder about all the blessings that I have. My thoughts turned to my beloved husband as I realized that almost everything that comes into our house has been provided to me and my children out of the hard-earned paycheck that my husband brings home. That income feeds us, shelters us, clothes us, and takes care of all the temporal needs, as well as wants, that we all have.

My heart now swells with love and gratitude as I watch my husband head out the door each morning: rain or shine, whether he's excited to go or whether he dreads the day. We all know that we can count on him to provide for our family. What a blessing!

2) Comfort Him

"And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant,... thy husband." ~Doctrine and Covenants 25:5
So, what about those times in life when our husbands are having difficulties in providing for our families' needs? In most cases, not being able to provide for a family can be one of the biggest burdens a man can ever carry.

We should never nag, complain, or lose our tempers when our husbands are struggling. Have any of us ever-- EVER-- been motivated by someone who is constantly getting after us? We need to remember that our husbands need comfort and support from us. In fact, it is a divine mission from God for wives to love, support, and comfort their husbands.
We do need to be careful that we do not treat our husbands as we would our children, however. Our husbands are strong, and their divine mission includes protecting US. So we should offer kind, encouraging words, and lots of extra love and time alone as a couple, but not pity or patronizing. In times of trouble, a man needs his wife to be his partner, his confidante, and his lover, but NEVER to act as his mother.

3) Believe in Him

"[A husband] needs to feel that he is protecting you. He needs to feel and know that he is the leader in the family.... When he feels this he is a better man. He is a better husband. He is a better employee, a better employer. He is better adjusted and happier in life. He can do better work. He can be even more prosperous. But for the sake of all that is important, above all, he can be a better father, and a better holder of the priesthood." ~Boyd K. Packer
It is my experience that people generally rise to the level of our expectations for them. This is not to say that we should push our husbands to be something they are not, or that we should try to mold them into something they don't want to be.

This is not to say that our hoped-for expectations for someone will always be met. Each person will make their own choices. However, when we only see the bad in someone, and keep their faults constantly at the forefront of our thoughts, actions, and words, we will drive a wedge in the relationship that cannot be undone unless the fault-finder decides to change.

Ladies, our husbands each have things that drive us crazy now and then. But wives also have weaknesses that husbands try to see past, as well. We should have common courtesy and kindness for our spouses, and look for the good in them! No one wants to have anyone focus on their flaws.

In contrast to seeing the imperfections in our husbands, what if we could view them with an eye to their potential? What if we saw our sweethearts as the sons of God that they truly are? Can we even begin to imagine how wonderful these amazing priesthood holders will be in the next life?

Our husbands need us to see them as our heroes, and to recognize all they do for us! Our love for them and our belief in them will truly help them conquer whatever dragons the world has for them to slay.

4) Pray for Him

“Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion. Pray for the love that makes weaknesses and mistakes seem small. Pray for the love to make our companion’s joy your own. Pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften the sorrows of your companion.” ~Henry B. Eyring
There will be days that we want to do anything but pray for our husbands! Praying for our husbands can make the marriage relationship sweeter.

My husband is currently going through a difficult time with his job. After our family prayer this morning, I asked the children to pray for their dad today in their personal prayers. So during the prayer over our breakfast, my daughter asked the Lord to help her hero-- her father. My heart was tenderly touched as I heard this little girl's pleas for her daddy.

The more we pray for our husbands, the more our hearts and thoughts are softened toward them. I know that the Lord is pleased when we pray for our husbands. There is a power in prayer that can be felt in a tangible, real way: lives and hearts can be changed!

5) Make the Fight Worthwhile

“Marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does any other human relationship. Yet some couples fall short of their full potential. They let their romance become rusty, take each other for granted, allow other interests or clouds of neglect to obscure the vision of what their marriage really could be. Marriages would be happier if nurtured more carefully.” ~Russell M. Nelson
Sometimes all a person needs during a difficult time is a smile, a hug, and an encouraging word. We can text a love note to our husband, make a special treat, or kidnap him for a special date night. It's the little things like holding hands, or just going the extra mile to make our homes a place of peace and safety that can make heavy burdens that much easier to carry.

Over the years, we come to know more about the things that make our spouses feel better about being in the family circle. If a husband needs some time alone after a long day of work, we should do what we can to insulate the noise and chaos from him, even just for a little while. Maybe there is a tiny something that helps give him encouragement that we can do to go the extra mile: a warm and ready dinner, or laundry that is put away and folded. 

Husbands may not even notice the little extra things that we do for them, but that is not the point! We should not do these things to gratify ourselves. Rather, we should do them out of love for him, with a heart of charity.  

I know in my own marriage that our weekly date nights, and intimate time as a couple have blessed our marriage immeasurably. The deep connections we make physically and emotionally act as a healing balm to a hurting heart, or a strained relationship. 

Love is the Key

In our busy lives, we have to make time for these things, and keep them as a high priority, in order to keep our marriages as strong as they can be. Husbands and wives need each other, in good times and in bad ones. I pray that my husband knows that he has a safe haven he can always rely on in my heart.

Wishing you all the best in your marriage relationships,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Family is Ordained of God

Dear friends,

This sweet video, made by a very talented family, really touched my heart. I am so very grateful for God's plan of happiness for His children. He has sent us to earth to live in families, with a mother and a father who are married, for very important reasons. I know that His plan is the very BEST way for us to learn about Him, to find joy in life, and to have hope for a future with our eternal families on earth and in heaven.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did. The Family truly is ordained of God!



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy at Home

"Home is where women have the most power and influence" ~Julie B. Beck 

Sacred Service

"To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes."

Every day, around the world, an army of mothers rise up out of bed, and step forward to nurture their families. The work we do is sacred because it is unselfish, done out of the purest love. Every dish washed, diaper changed, and bit of laundry folded is an expression of love for our husbands and children. 

Of course, there can be bad days where we feel completely unappreciated and unnoticed-- we have all experienced these at one time or another. But I don't know anyone who has chosen the path of motherhood in order to garner attention. (Okay, let's hope that is not the case!) Anyone who might have done so will be sorely disappointed!

With true love comes sacrifice, and when we serve our families with hearts full of love, we truly consecrate our efforts. The Lord sees every sleepless night, every tantrum endured, and each tear we wipe away.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, spent His life serving without ever expecting anything in return. Just think about what a privilege it is to be a mother, giving of ourselves as He did!

Joy in Homemaking

"Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home."
Whether we like it or not, we mothers set the tone and example in our homes. When we serve with cheerful hearts and smiles, our children will do the same-- and the opposite is certainly true!

I know that we ALL struggle with this! Very few of us would find a sinkful of dishes something to rejoice over. (Hee! That's kind of a humorous image... LOL!)

Every day, we have a decision to make before we begin performing our homemaking duties: will we work with the attitude that we are nurturing our family, or will we work begrudgingly, feeling sorry for ourselves?

We can be a blessing or a martyr-- every day the choice is ours!

Teaching Children to Serve

"Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate." 
Once we get started in our homemaking duties, we get into a familiar rhythm and end up feeling better about ourselves for what great housekeepers we are! (At least *I* do.) I know that when I begin with one task, I find it easier to begin wiping down countertops, washing pans, and sweeping. If I allow myself, I find that I turn into a cheerful fairytale character, singing and dancing while singing. (And no, this is not an everyday occurrence, but when it does happen, it is fun!)

When we can make cleaning fun and take the time to turn chores into a family time that unifies, we teach our children much more than how to work and clean. We teach them that there is joy and satisfaction in caring for the home and family!

The Noblest Career

Because the work we do in the home is repetitive, sometimes we honestly wonder if we are doing any good in our own families, much less in the world! But I love this complete quote by C.S. Lewis, which most of us have often seen paraphrased.:
“I think I can understand that feeling about a housewife’s work being like that of Sisyphus (who was the stone rolling gentleman). But it is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, miners, cars, government etc exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? As Dr. Johnson said, “To be happy at home is the end of all human endeavour”. (1st to be happy to prepare for being happy in our own real home hereafter: 2nd in the meantime to be happy in our houses.) We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist…” ~C.S. Lewis (pg 447-Letter of CS Lewis 1988 ed.)

Each one of us IS making the world a better place, day by day. We can be happy in our service at home, when we remember what our end goals truly are. We can do it-- with the Lord's help, we can find happiness at home through our nurturing!

Doing my best to serve my family with a joyful heart,

Friday, May 22, 2015

Is Forgiveness for Everyone?

Satan wants us to think that when we have sinned we have gone past a 'point of no return'—that it is too late to change our course. In our beautiful but also troubled world, it is a sad reality that this attitude is the source of great sorrow, grief, and distress to families, marriages, and individual lives. ~Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I despise how scandal-crazy and unforgiving society is right now. Since I first read the story about the horrible situation involving Joshua Duggar of the Duggar family, I have been just sick to my stomach with all the vile things said and spewed all over articles and comments about the incident that happened long, long ago. I am devastated that this family who has opened their home, faith, and lives to the world are being kicked and discarded by the very people who have watched, supported-- and now even those who created-- this show

 I believe that ALL of us make mistakes. NONE of us is perfect enough to cast the first-- or second, or third, or fourth-- stone at someone else. 

I also believe that the great Atonement of Jesus Christ is powerful enough and big enough to cover ALL sins. 

When someone has repented, confessed, and done all they can to make something right, if we continue to condemn and scathingly blame them, WE are the ones currently sinning.

Painting by Liz Lemon Swindle

I agree that sexual abuse is terrible. It is a a horrible sin that has long-lasting effects for ALL those involved. But what happens to the person who chooses to do something horrible after they confess and apologize, and do all they can to make it right? Is there not repentance for them? Is there not forgiveness? 

In the battle of life, the adversary takes enormous numbers of prisoners, and many who know of no way to escape and are pressed into his service. Every soul confined to a concentration camp of sin and guilt has a key to the gate. The adversary cannot hold them if they know how to use it. The key is labeled Repentance. The twin principles of repentance and forgiveness exceed in strength the awesome power of the adversary.
I know of no sins connected with the moral standard for which we cannot be forgiven. The formula is stated in forty words:
“Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:42–43.) ~Elder Boyd K. Packer (emphasis added)

I believe that it CAN be forgiven. Sexual sin is not a disease that never goes away-- especially when it is addressed with counseling and the proper ecclesiastical channels.

I know people (yes, more than one) personally who have done terrible things who have paid all the price that they could and have tried to move on with their lives. What should they do instead? Retire from life, never marry, never have children, never go out in society again, and beat themselves over and over again for what Christ has already forgiven them for?

When Christ protected the woman found IN THE VERY ACT of adultery from being stoned, he did not excuse her terrible choice. But He did protect her so that she could live to "go and sin no more."

Our society is salivating with twisted glee over the fact that the "squeaky-clean" Duggars (Ha-ha!!!) have something so black and vile that they are "hiding." 

This makes me so sad and frustrated. How would any of us like our deepest darkest sins brought out to be "shouted among the rooftops?" Not me!!! I don't think ANY of us are lacking something we deeply regret doing.

I have read the Duggars' books and watched their show for years, and I have never ONCE heard anyone in their family claim to be perfect. In fact, in both of the books written by Michelle and Jim Bob, they have talked about working through sins with their children. 

The measure of our success as parents, however, will not rest solely on how our children turn out. That judgment would be just only if we could raise our families in a perfectly moral environment, and that now is not possible. ~Elder Boyd K. Packer
The Duggars are just good people trying their best to come to Christ. And I think that someone should stand with them in this terrible time when they are being forced to relive this pain in such a degrading, public manner. 

And so I am.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Where is the Lord Leading Us Today?

I really needed to hear this message today, and thought that it might also inspire some of my readers here. What is it that our Heavenly Father is leading us to today?


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Serving in the Home

"A woman with a mother heart [knows that to] nurture and feed [her family] physically is as much an honor as to nurture and feed them spiritually. She is “not weary in well-doing” and delights to serve her family, because she knows that “out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33)." ~Julie B. Beck

Recently during our church meetings, one of our church leaders talked about the term "Personal Ministry." 

Of course, I realize that many Christians use that term quite a lot, many times as a way to support their family monetarily. But that is not the way I am thinking of the term. 

I am pondering on the difference between a "Personal Mission" and a "Personal Ministry." Is there a difference? Should there be? 

Personally, to me, the latter term makes the idea of having a personal mission more about serving other people, and less about ourselves.

Motherhood Ministry

The service-- the ministry-- we are giving our family has an ENORMOUS impact on the lives of God's children. A Motherhood Ministry creates a generational impact like no other. 

What other ministry touches people's lives every day? What other example is before our children, day and night? 

From the sheets our children sleep under, to the nourishment our husband and children consume, to the underwear on all the family member's bodies, our SERVICE is ever-present.

"...out of small things proceedeth that which is great"

Remember that the little work you do every day DOES make a difference! 

I am so excited to serve and minister to my family today...


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Why Moms Get Nothing Done"

Ain't it the truth? LOL! (Prepare yourself for cutenesss overload...)

I submit to you that there is not a mama out there that cannot relate!

With love,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Word for the New Year

Image Source

The last couple of years, I have joined some of my blogging friends and chosen one word or phrase that encapsulates all my goals and ideals for the new year. 

Last year I took the phrase "Law of the Harvest" and began applying it to my life, especially in our homeschool. We definitely made some strides, and I am grateful for the lessons I learned about being more consistent. I still have a long way to go, but I can see that we have improved. And improvement is progress, right?

Ups and Downs

I feel like 2014 held some of my biggest, most difficult trials, and also some wonderful blessings. I've seen several people online saying how glad they are that 2014 is over-- and I kind of agree. 

But the good things that did happen in 2014 were worth it, including:
  • Two children serving as missionaries: one in a part time service mission, one in a full time proselyting mission.
  • The birth of our beautiful and beloved thirteenth child.
  • Simplifying our homeschool group to offer classes only to youth aged 12 and older. (I'm the chairman.)
  • Being cast as the Narrator in a musical program for our church based on the parable of the Ten Virgins.
  • Welcoming home one of our missionaries.
  • Learning more about high school transcripts, preparing my high schoolers' transcripts, and teaching other homeschool parents about keeping records for their homeschooled high school students.
  • Giving my very first keynote address to a winter homeschool convention.

Creeping In

The last few days, I have discovered something that I am not proud of; gradually, imperceptibly, I have let a huge amount of cynicism into my heart this past year. 

It surrounds how I feel about homeschool, and the methods I have used in my home. It has also come as a result of letting go of things I had always hoped and dreamed for my children. It appeared as a result of mistrust of some close friends, the choices of some loved ones, and maybe also because of the loss of both of my grandmothers this year. (Though I know they are in a much better place, now!)

As an optimist, dreamer and idealist, I am astonished at how much negativity has been able to sneak into my soul. It scares me, in fact! 

I am NOT a negative person.

But in the winter of my trials, I have forgotten who I am. And WHOSE I am. And that in the midst of the "cold and snow," light and happiness can still be found.

Looking Up

And so, I am looking up this year. I am gazing into a much brighter, lighter future-- not because I think all my problems will disappear with the power of positive thinking.


It's because I have HOPE in salvation because of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

And so that is my word for 2105.


With love,
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