Friday, January 30, 2009

Say Yes!

This youth celebration was exciting, uplifting and motivating! I was so thrilled to see the church make such an effort to collaborate the talents and testimonies of our amazing youth to share with youth around the world! Since I watched a few weeks ago it has become a part of me and my family-we have downloaded all the songs and find ourselves bursting out in song and dance (and occassionally tears). ;) I had to post about it when this morning I overheard my precious Addy singing enthusiastically to herself: "If you feel like all you say is no, don't let go...o o oh, you will eat insactly what you sowt (you will reap exactly what you sow), don't let go... So we say Yes! Yes! Yes to Happiness! Yes, we're livin stronger!" ...then later... " there's a choice, a choice to be grateful a choice to gain knowledge, a choice to be clean!"

And my eyes swelled again.

I've heard some say it's cheesy... but if cheesy can bring an enlightenment of the spirit, motivation to be better, and pure sweet joy, bring on the cheese! The more I listen to it and reflect on the words, the closer I feel to Heaven. Enjoy

Go HERE to see and hear more!

Elder Holland to the Youth

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Brother Nate...I love you

Of course I have a few dozen back posts a waiting as I have been gone from my home for 3 weeks and gone from blogging for even longer... and I know you must all be desperate to see our hundreds of photos taken over the holidays-wink wink, but...

I have to start with NATE. We have been blessed to have my little brother, Nathan, live with us for the past few months. He is a delight. An optimistic, loyal, helpful, hard working, hilarious, talented, passionate, clever, handsomely fellow whom my daughters adore and I cherish. He'll be leaving our home in just over a week to pursue another path. I don't think he (or we) have any idea how greatly he will be missed.

I hope I don't embarrass him with my honesty, but I've learned a lot from Nate these past few months. I've learned and thought a lot about how differently we all make choices, how specifically we are influenced and challenged, and how personally we are encircled in the arms of Mercy. I've appreciated more the virtue of Hope and the ability to feel real Christ-like love. You See, Nate isn't your conventional LDS youth. Some of his choices have been different from gospel standards. His path has lead him down some rough roads with unique challenges and trials. I'm not certain all that he has learned or decided for himself, but I know he has come to know the reality of the grip of the adversary and the sweet refuge of the Master. Watching, listening to, and praying for Nate has made me think more about who I am and how seriously I am seeking to serve and love others as our precious Savior does.

I was extremely inspired by the spirit and words of Elder Holland (one of my most cherished Apostle) in this weeks BYU devotional. He encouraged us to "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32). 'He referenced the biblical story from Genesis, where Lot and his family fled at daybreak from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot's wife ignored God's command to "look not behind thee" and — upon looking back — turned into a pillar of salt'(Deseret News).

Elder Holland Said,
"It isn't just that she looked back — she looked back longingly,...In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin...."

"We remember that faith is always pointed toward the future — faith always has to do with blessing and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot's wife is to say she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord's ability to give her something better than she had. Apparently she thought — fatally as it turned out — that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."

" Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change — and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is it hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all it is charity, the pure love of Christ..."

"Dismiss the destructive and keep dismissing it, until the beauty of the atonement of Christ has revealed to you your bright future, and the bright future of your family and your friends and your neighbors..."

" God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been as he does about where you are, and with his help, where you are willing to go."
(*For those of you who get BYU Television it will be rebroadcast on Sunday January 25th at 8:00am, 4:00pm, and 10:00pm*)

How grateful I am to be allowed to change my way, improve my vision, look to the future with faith- and move forward! Thanks be to heaven for the plan of Happiness, for the Plan of Growth and Change! For the gift of living in families. I am honored to be a sister to Nate. To have his friendship and confidence. To have been allowed to be part of his journey. To know him how he is and how he can become. To be able to encourage each other in our quest for joy- stepping back at times- allowing agency, that we might claim joy for ourselves through Christ.

I love you Nate, forever. Press on dear brother.