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An Incredible Journey

When my third baby was born, I decided on a natural birth.  No meds.  In preparation for this birth, I took classes that included self-hypnosis and visualization exercises.  I give that brief intro just as a little bit of background, since this post is about visualization, not about natural child-birth.  At any rate, that is the point in my life where this mental journey started.

The visualization exercises included one where I was to create in my mind a peaceful place, someplace I could mentally "go" to keep my body relaxed in all stages of labor.  My peaceful place was a little stone cottage on top of a windswept cliff, overlooking the ocean.  But the focus of my visualization was the flower garden surrounding the cottage.  It was a beautiful, English style garden, filled with roses, lavender, peonies, and other floral beauties that I could never name.  Stone paths wound in and out of the flower beds, and there was an ornate iron bench in an open area of the garden.  As I…
Recent posts

I'm So Happy and Thankful to Be Unemployed...

I realized that a couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I lost my job back in June.  I mentioned that fact, but never told the story behind it.  So here is the story.  Not because you need to know every detail of my life, but because it is a cool story, and I learned a lot from the experience.

I've heard about the importance of giving thanks, of feeling gratitude, even in difficult circumstances.  I've even taught about the importance of being thankful.  But what does it really look like?

I've spent the last three years as an online English teacher.  It has been a great job that has worked really well with being a stay-at-home-mom.  But it's been a 9 month gig, meaning that during the summer months, when I wasn't actively teaching, I was also not bringing in money. Coming into summer of 2017, this was a concern.

Teaching, however, takes a lot of prep work.  It's easiest if the prep work is all done in advance.  I was hopeful that I could spend the summer preppi…

Come, See the Miracle

Recently as I read the Book of Mormon, I read the story of Alma the Younger.  I've always loved this story (which I say about EVERY story in the BOM), and when you love a story and have read it many many times, it can be easy to overlook the lessons that are there.  Every time I read there is a new lesson (whether or not I pick up on it is a different story...).

At any rate, I started this particular session of scripture study with a question: how does Heavenly Father want my to use my gifts and talents to serve His children?
Because I had asked a specific question, my mind was focused on finding an answer.  I did largely skim over many of the details of the story (rebellious Alma and his trouble-making friends are out trying to lead people astray, when they are stopped and rebuked by an angel of God.  Alma is so astonished that he cannot move, and is carried home by his friends).  But when I got to this point, I knew I had found my answer:  And [Alma's friends] rehearsed unto…

Well, if You're Such a Genius...

Last weekend was my first official Genius Bootcamp--as a facilitator.  WOW!  I had forgotten how powerful this workshop is!  Not really--after all, that's why I wanted to teach it in the first place.  But it was amazing to watch each participant come to some really big realizations, discover direction, and put their trust in God to lead the way.  They all seemed so appreciative of me, but I was so appreciative of them.  I have wanted to teach this class for five years.  I got to the point where I figured it would never happen.  It turns out that I needed these last five years to give me the experience I would need to be an effective instructor.  I simply didn't have enough practice with the principles before hand, especially in terms of handling discouragement and grief.  The last five years have given me that!

Our fantastic group of Geniuses!
 Genius selfie :)
 As I was preparing for Genius Bootcamp, I was searching for my own direction.  Since I lost my job a few months ago…

Who Is Influencing You?

We have really been going the rounds as a family.  Fighting, bickering, blaming, yelling, screaming, shouting (and that's just Mom!).  We've tried talking about the inappropriateness of the behavior, emphasizing positive qualities of our kids to their irritated siblings, and praying for guidance as to what to do.  We have made efforts to increase our family prayer and scripture study, relying on the promise that increasing our time in the scriptures would increase the Spirit in our home.  To be fair, those efforts have all but disappeared during the summer, but it was a serious concern for us even as we made diligent efforts.  The contention seemed to be ever-present, even when (even while!) we were regularly studying. But in talking to one of my daughters about this problem, I may have hit on an aspect of it that we haven't addressed before.

She was particularly upset with one of her sisters.  I asked her how she thought Heavenly Father felt about that sister.  What words…
“I am determined to be happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery is dependent upon our dispositions, not our circumstances.”
This has been my favorite quote for many years.  I have most often seen it attributed to either Martha Washington or the ever-wise “Anonymous,” but I haven’t been able to authenticate either.  Regardless, it is a truism that I have experienced in my life.  When I was first introduced to this quote at 15 years old, my Young Women’s leader challenged me to look at myself in the mirror while I repeated this quote with conviction.  I did.  After several weeks, I recognized that I was seeing things in a more optimistic way.
Today as I was thinking (as I am apt to do), this quote led to a broader truism: the greater part of my happiness or misery is dependent upon my own thinking.  When I think and act in accordance with natural law, I experience happiness.  When my thoughts and actions ru…
(I happened upon this unfinished draft this morning.  I wish I had published it back in December when it happened.  But it was still a good memory, and a good reminder, especially as Easter is not far away.  We can remember the Savior and make a difference any time of the year.)

This year (2016) we have been participating in the #LightTheWorld campaign with a little success, though certainly not perfection.  Day 6 was, "Jesus read the scriptures, and so can I."  I know this, because we had just decided to forgo our family morning scripture study due to oversleeping, and just pray instead.  We checked out what the activity for Light the World was, and when we saw "read the scriptures," the reminder couldn't have been clearer.  Even on hurried mornings, the scriptures MUST be a part of our lives.  They are a vital protection to our family every day.  But I digress.  A post on the scriptures is for another day.

This post is about feeding the hungry.  I wanted to d…