Friday, October 28, 2011

One Answer at a Time

I've thought of many different ways I can share my testimony.

While reading Mosiah 7, Ammon taught me something very important.

After being tied up, escorted to King Limhi and finally given permission to plead his cause, here is what Ammon did, "he went forth and bowed himself before the king; and rising again he said: O king, I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak."

Did you get that?

Did you see how Ammon bore his testimony of God to the king right from the very beginning?

Which makes me think about questions that I get from time to time and if my answers are bearing testimony of Him.

Question: Why did you move here?
Answer 1: Well, we sold our home and found that this area was most suitable to my husband's work.
Answer 2: The Lord was looking out for us and brought us to this area.

Question: Did you always plan on having nine children?
Answer 1: No way! If you would have told me that 14 years ago I would have laughed in your face or more seriously, had a mental break down.
Answer 2: No. But I have always willing to have as many children as God would want me to have.

Question: How do you manage having your husband self-employed?
Answer 1: I've learned to deal with it. At least he's happier working for himself than for someone else.
Answer 2: I'm learning that being self-employed gives our family sweet, learning opportunities to have faith in the Lord and recognize His marvelous blessings in our life.

Question: Do you do all of your own cooking and baking?
Answer 1: We certainly can't afford to go out to dinner as a family very often, if at all, so I've been consigned to be as frugal as possible.
Answer 2: The Lord has opened up the possibilities for me to learn new talents and skills.  Those talents have also allowed my family to eat some very delicious meals!

The other day my sister was in a car accident. It wasn't her fault. She was broadsided in a middle of an intersection. After the initial shock of what had happened and the assessment of the extensive damage done to her vehicle, the Spirit reminded her of was said during their family prayer that morning. That every member of their family would be safe and protected.

Okay, so there was major, collateral damage to the car. But she, and two of her children who were in the car, were unharmed. Unhurt.  Protected.

So when my sister approached the driver, who was sobbing hysterically and saying the words "I'm so sorry" over and over again, do you know what my sister did? She bore her testimony. She simply said, "It's okay! My family and I are okay because this morning during family prayer we prayed to the Lord that we would be safe. It is His miracle this afternoon that none of us are hurt!"

She bore her witness.

Just. Like. That.

And so like Ammon and my sister, I'm going to do better at sharing my testimony that God does live and that He does have a hand in my life.

One answer at a time.

There's a WHOLE LOT MORE to "Love At Home!"

Sometimes, I am the last to know.

Thank you to my sister who made me aware that John Hugh McNaughton penned more words than just the ones we sing to the beloved hymn "Love At Home."

There is beauty all around,
When there’s love at home;
There is joy in every sound,
When there’s love at home;
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on every side,
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.

In the cottage there is joy,
When there’s love at home;
Hate and envy ne’er annoy,
When there’s love at home;
Roses bloom beneath our feet,
All the earth’s a garden sweet,
Making life a bliss complete,
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Making life a bliss complete,
When there’s love at home.

Love becomes a way of life,
When there’s love at home;
Sweet, insistent end to strife,
When there’s love at home;
Glad submission each one’s gift,
Willing pledge to love and lift,
Healing balm for every rift,
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Healing balm for every rift,
When there’s love at home.

Anger cools and pressures cease,
When there’s love at home;
Children learn to live in peace,
When there’s love at home;
Courage to reach out in grace,
Meet a stranger face to face,
Find a reconciling place,
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Find a reconciling place,
When there’s love at home.

There’s no question you can’t ask,
When there’s love at home;
There is strength for any task,
When there’s love at home;
Sharing joy in work or play,
Confidence to face the day,
Knowing love will find a way,
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Knowing love will find a way,
When there’s love at home.

Kindly heaven smiles above,
When there’s love at home;
All the world is filled with love,
When there’s love at home;
Sweeter sings the brooklet by,
Brighter beams the azure sky;
Oh, there’s One who smiles on high
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Oh, there’s One who smiles on high
When there’s love at home.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Creeping Me Out!

So the other day a news story caught my attention.

And of course I had to wait until the very end of the news to hear what I wanted to hear.

The story was how to keep spiders out of your home because arachnids want to find a warm place to live during the cold, winter months. (Imagine that)!

And one of the ways to keep spiders from hanging around your home (punny, 'eh?) is simply, to destroy their webs.

Because webs are a food source.

And while I don’t know how others think about the whole webbed matter, SPIDER WEBS CREEP ME OUT!

And to think that allowing webs in my house enables these eight-legged, multi-eyed, carnivorous trappers to live c.o.m.f.o.r.t.a.b.l.y. in MY environment creeps me out even more.

Which made me think of the webs I have hanging around inside of me.

Webs I have craftily spun within my heart.

And in my mind.

Webs that are a food source for things that, quite frankly, should be creeping me out.

But more seriously, they keep me from feeling His light.

And receiving His love.

One way to destroy these webs is to sweep them away.

And as Enos teaches, having faith in the Savior and relying upon His atonement, allows those webs to be swept permanently away!

No more food source for the adversary as I rely upon the enabliing power of the Savior, the Ultimate Exterminator!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rated PG

This weekend we bought 17 Miracles.

Which is a BIG, HUGE deal because we very rarely, if ever, purchase DVD's.

But this movie is top on our "exceptional" list.

During the very end of the credits, the rating of the movie is posted.

PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
For thematic material involving hardships and suffering.


Because I'm thinking, who doesn't go through life with at least that type of PG rating?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Laundry 101

I do a LOT of laundry!!

Five, six, seven loads on most days.

Except Sundays, of course, when I rest from all my labors (including laundry). But believe me, I pay for it BIG TIME come Monday morning.

So, as you can imagine, I do my fair share of thinking about laundry while sorting, soaking, washing, drying, sorting, folding and putting away . . .

And even MUCH more time thinking about laundry when I have to match socks (times eleven) and, without fail, always come up matchless in the end.

Of all the batches I wash, The Whites are the ones on which I spend the most time.

There's the careful sorting, of course.

And a spot wash here and there.

Then the soaking and scrubbing.

Then there is the cold rinse/wash followed by the hot wash, which is occasionally enriched with a bleaching process.

And that doesn't include the time I spend ironing.

So after all these years of laundry, laundry, laundry, last week I got to thinking about laundry on a bigger scale.

Like the eternal picture of laundry.

And I have decided that I am part of God's Big White Laundry Project.

Because I'm not so white and clean and stain-free as He would like me to be.

And He would like me to be.

And I want to be. Because if I'm not, I don't get to live with Him someday.

And while I am slow to learn, I am beginning to figure out that the soaking and the scrubbing and the cold and hot washes and the whole bleaching process are not only very good things for me, they are vital for me in coming clean and pure before Him.

But there is one thing that surpasses all of my meager understanding.

It is the way (the only way) that I can become the clean.

Clean without spot.

For while a blood stain on white fabric is difficult or impossible to remove (although hydrogen peroxide does a great job), it is the very blood of the Son of God that cleanses me from all stain, from all blemish, from all sin.

It is His blood that can make me, as Isaiah says, "white. as. snow." (Isaiah 1:18).

I don’t pretend to understand how God does His laundry. . .

But boy, am I grateful and indebted to be a part of it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - The Grass is Greener

"The grass that looks greener on the other side may be artificial turf."

-Mary Ellen Edmunds

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tipping Points and Miracles

I just got through reading two remarkable books, both by authors Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart. The books are entitled: "The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points that Saved the World" and "Seven Miracles that Saved America: Why They Matter and Why We Should Have Hope."

These books gave me reason to ponder more deeply the vibrant, undeniable assertion that God does live and that He does care about nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

God cares about the earth that He formed and created and placed man thereon to till and sweat and multiply and replenish.

God cares about agency, liberty, and freedom.

God cares about you and He cares about me.

It has been during these pondering sessions that I realized that even in my small and rather simple life, there have been tipping points and significant miracles in my life.

I guess I never thought them as so until reading these books.

So I made two lists.

One list is contains the "Tipping Points" of my life.

The other list is entitled "Miracles" and contains, for now, just a brief summary of events, of which I have personal knowledge of the hand of the Lord protecting and preserving my life.

By all means these two lists are not long.

But every, single thing on both lists are real happenings in my life that adds to my certainty that God lives.

It also adds to my conviction that not only does God watch over and care for the great and marvelous (such as ancient prophets and the restoration of His true and everlasting gospel), but He is ever aware of the seemingly small and simple who are largely unknown by the 99.9% of all mankind (like the lilies of the field).

In my paltry attempt to remember God's direct hand in the tipping points and miracles of my life, I am filled with the absolute witness, confirmed by the Holy Spirit, of His interest in my mission on earth.

Indeed, it is humbling and marvelous for someone as nothing as me to think that His hand has been a part of my existence, even before I could ever remember.  How grateful I am for recognizing the "Tipping Points" and "Miracles" that have happened in my life this far!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 2011 General Conference Meme

This is what's going on at Diapers and Divinity, so I decided to join in.  You can, too!!

First of all, I wanted to know, what in tarnation is a meme?  Now that I've got the idea of what a meme is, here are my thoughts on this weekend's General Conference!

1. Who were your three favorite speakers?
     Do I really have to pick only three?  I think I'll go with four :)

President Boyd K. Packer - I remember a talk he gave along these lines in October 1989.  It was a great reminder and comfort to me.

Neil L. Anderson - With a family of nine children we frequently get the question "Are these all yours?"  We had a good laugh together when we heard Elder Anderson say that.  And believe me, in a family of 11, life's no picnic!

Carl B. Cook - Not only did his message go straight to my heart, I was so awed by his humility.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  - I admit, I watched the priesthood session Saturday night after my priesthood holders came home!  This was an INCREDIBLE talk!

2. Which talk spoke to you the most?
    The talk by Elder V. Devn Cornish on prayer.  Oh how I needed that this weekend!

3. What was your favorite Hymn and why did it move you?
     I Am A Child of God!
First, because who can hear that hymn without being moved to emotion because of the doctrine taught and secondly, because every single one of my children sang along with the choir.  It was a heavenly few moments in our General Conference Weekend home. (Not that we have a "weekend" home, just that our home was a place for General Conference this weekend.)
4. Which speaker was the best dressed? (Come on, we can have a little fun.)
WOW!  What incredible display of colorful ties! Red, being the most dominant color, with blue ties in second and black in third.  Elder Randall K. Bennett wore a sweet gold and brown tie. and President Uchtdorf's yellow tie on Sunday was pretty styling as well.

5. Were there any topics that you felt like were repeated often? Any conference “themes”?
     My children took note that  2 Nephi 32:3 and 2 Timothy 4:12 were scriptures that were repeated over and over again - even in priesthood session!
6. Share a few of your favorite quotes from any of the talks (paraphrasing is fine).
     Be Loyal to the Royal Within You
     Don't just say and pray
     The Savior has lifeboats for everyone!    
7. Name something(s) that made you smile or laugh during conference.
     President Monson's happy, surprising "Hello!"
8. Was there any evidence that your children paid attention?
     Ha Ha.  I hope my oldest was listening as he was drawing intently on a piece of paper.  The funny thing was between the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions of Conference one of my boys had a friend from our ward over to play.  Upon entering oue home, our boys asked him, "Hey, did you like Conference?"  "Umm, I didn't listen," he replied.  Ten minutes before the afternoon session began I said him, "You are more than welcome to stay and watch Conference with us."  He looked at me and said, "Uh, could I go home now?"  While our family room wasn't the most reverent place to listen to General Conference, I was pleased that my children opted to do so!

9. What doctrine did you learn as you listened to the choir(s) sing?
     God lives!  Jesus is the Christ!  I am happy and grateful to be alive!

10. Did the music enhance your General Conference experience? How?
     I loved having our whole family sing along with the congregation even if we were a little bit lot off key.

11. What are some of your post-conference goals?
     1) Dedicate more family scripture time and personal time to scripture memorization!
     2) Open my mouth and share my love of the gospel.
     3) Enjoy a juicy piece of fried chicken!

Sunday Afternoon Session of General Conference in Six Words

Truth seeker. Gospel teacher. Covenant keeper.

What six words describe what you learned during the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference??

Sunday Morning Session of General Conference in Six Words

Conversion = Death of all things unrighteous

What six words describe what you learned during the Sunday morning session of General Conference??

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Priesthood Session of General Conference in Six Words (times four)

Because I didn't personally attend the priesthood session, here are four insights from the priesthood holders in our family who did:

Worthy males needed for priesthood service!

14 year old:
Esteem yourself highly as an LDS!

12 year old:
You CAN repent of your sins.

12 year old:
Put the priesthood power to work!

What six words describe what you (or your husband) learned during the priesthood session of general conference??

Saturday Afternoon Session of General Conference in Six Words

Hint: It's Better to Look Up!

What six words describe what you learned during the Saturday Afternoon Session of General Conference??

Saturday Morning Session of General Conference in Six Words

"Hello!" Memorize scriptures. God hearts me.

What six words describe what you learned during the Saturday morning session of General Conference??