Category Archives: Gratitude

My Blessing is the Wrong Color!

girl-sprinkler-umbrella-873557-galleryIn the October 2014 General Women’s session of Conference, President Uchtdorf gave a talk titled “Living the Gospel Joyful”. He gave an analogy about blessings and umbrellas that everyone fell in love with:

“…we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked up in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us.

“His commandments are the loving instructions and the divine help for us to close the umbrella so we can receive the shower of heavenly blessings.”

When I first heard those words I loved the message and imagery that came with that quote. At the time, however, I didn’t apply it to my life because I thought that my umbrella was already closed. I had faith in God, I followed His commandments, so of course I would notice any blessings that came my way. Almost two years after his talk, I learned that I needed to be more consistent in keeping my umbrella closed. Continue reading

Do You Know God as a Friend?

Have you ever had the experience of casually listening to something and without fully paying attention to what is really going, on a certain phrase will stick out and enter your subconscious? That phrase will work on you, coming to mind over and over again until you realize, “Oh! God must be trying to teach me something!”

dieter-f-uchtdorf-largeThis past Saturday I sat in a darkened chapel with four of my daughters and my infant son. It was too dark to take notes so I became distracted watching my daughters interact with their baby brother trying to get him to smile. I was only half-heartedly listening to Pres. Uchtdorf (did I just admit that publicly?) when I heard this part of his parable, A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose.

“And every evening as the two of them knelt by Eva’s bed to pray, Great-Aunt Rose would say the most beautiful prayers, thanking her Heavenly Father for the blue jays and the spruce trees, the sunsets and the stars, and the “wonder of being alive.” It sounded to Eva as though Rose knew God as a friend.”

“Rose knew God as a friend.” That statement pierced my heart causing me to ask myself pointedly, “Do I know God as a friend?”

I feel I do and, yet, why would the question come to mind to begin with? Maybe there are some areas of my life I need to work on. I looked again to  Pres. Uchtdorf’s parable to teach me more about becoming God’s friend. What actions did Great-Aunt Rose take? Continue reading

Finding Joy and Peace In Troubled Times

portrait-family-hawaii-852140-galleryOver the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a real change in what people are posting on social media. There is a thoughtfulness that I’ve never seen before. Thought provoking questions and scenarios seem to be woven into everything I read. We all seem to have realized at the same time that there are serious things happening around us over which we have little or no control. We are seeing prophesy fulfilled.

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The Soul Knows Its Worth

None of us came to earth to gain our worth.; we brought it with us. Sheri L. Dew“None of us come to this earth to gain our worth; We brought it with us.” (Sheri L. Dew,  No One Can Take Your Place, pg. 21)

From the time my children are born and on into adulthood we remind them that they are God’s children first before they are ours. As I rock my baby or tuck my young children into bed, I sing “I Am a Child of God” to help them remember they were in His presence not too long ago. As my older children have entered Young Women, they memorize the Young Women Theme which starts, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.” This is reiterated in the Relief Society Declaration, “We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction.”

We are immortal beings come here to have a mortal experience. I love these lines penned by William Wordsworth:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:

 

We came here “trailing clouds of glory.” Our souls know their worth! Have you ever gazed into the eyes of a newborn and felt the strength of her/his spirit? Or watched young children as they play and explore the world around them? Certain talents and abilities are plainly evident as they begin to grow and mature. Where did those particular talents come from? I believe those special characteristics that we each have are those “clouds of glory” we bring with us. Continue reading

Christmas and What it Means to the World

Christmas “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2: 8-11)

As we pause to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, into the world and what that means to all of us — not only in this life but also throughout eternity — we are filled with deep reverence and gratitude for the great gift of His life.

From John we read, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Within those few, inspired words is our Heavenly Father’s plan to save us from the inevitable sin we would incur (while in mortality) and bring us back into His presence, clean and pure, to live the same kind of life that He enjoys as an exalted and resurrected Being of glory. That is our destiny as children of the covenant. Continue reading