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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Possible Perfection.


Last night I think my perfectionism was completely cured.  Finally after years and years, an answer came in the form of something small and simple--a text from my Dad.  Here is part of the text:

"I am glad you had such a good weekend princess :).  I love your family so much, and I am so very proud of you and everything you are and have become.  Thank you for being so good to your children.  You are the most wonderful mother, and please leave room for a tough day now and then because you know it happens.  I have learned that the perfect mother is not perfect in and of herself and she will even make mistakes from day to day, but her love is perfect, and that is what makes a mother perfect.  You are a perfect mother and daughter and I cherish the relationship that we have always shared. Hope your night is wonderful. Love, Dad :)"

And that's it.  A magic secret that has somehow been hiding from me all these years.  I can rest now knowing that I am perfect in one thing and someday, perhaps, (after many aeons of time and through my Savior's help) I can be perfect in all things.

Love for our families.  We can all be perfect in this one thing.

{image source}

Possible Perfection.


Last night I think my perfectionism was completely cured.  Finally after years and years, an answer came in the form of something small and simple--a text from my Dad.  Here is part of the text:

"I am glad you had such a good weekend princess :).  I love your family so much, and I am so very proud of you and everything you are and have become.  Thank you for being so good to your children.  You are the most wonderful mother, and please leave room for a tough day now and then because you know it happens.  I have learned that the perfect mother is not perfect in and of herself and she will even make mistakes from day to day, but her love is perfect, and that is what makes a mother perfect.  You are a perfect mother and daughter and I cherish the relationship that we have always shared. Hope your night is wonderful. Love, Dad :)"

And that's it.  A magic secret that has somehow been hiding from me all these years.  I can rest now knowing that I am perfect in one thing and someday, perhaps, (after many aeons of time and through my Savior's help) I can be perfect in all things.

Love for our families.  We can all be perfect in this one thing.

{image source}

Friday, September 28, 2012

For Today...

Yesterday fear gripped me as I thought of all the evil and wickedness and turmoil and unrest in the world.  And what I feared most was the unpredictability of the unknown.

But today I am shifting my views to the good that is still left in the world, the beautiful nature that surrounds me, all these tender mercies that a good Father bestows.  It is all grace, even the hard times.  And we must give thanks and praise to our Heavenly Father for all times and seasons.  But sometimes giving thanks for the hard is difficult.  It takes time to learn this new language of thanks when what we want to do is worry, complain about our trials, and be pessimistic.  I continue to work on this language-learning, and until I can master it fully, I will glory in doing the easy gratitude--thanks for all that's good around me.

Because it's there.  We just have to notice it.

image credit

For Today...

Yesterday fear gripped me as I thought of all the evil and wickedness and turmoil and unrest in the world.  And what I feared most was the unpredictability of the unknown.

But today I am shifting my views to the good that is still left in the world, the beautiful nature that surrounds me, all these tender mercies that a good Father bestows.  It is all grace, even the hard times.  And we must give thanks and praise to our Heavenly Father for all times and seasons.  But sometimes giving thanks for the hard is difficult.  It takes time to learn this new language of thanks when what we want to do is worry, complain about our trials, and be pessimistic.  I continue to work on this language-learning, and until I can master it fully, I will glory in doing the easy gratitude--thanks for all that's good around me.

Because it's there.  We just have to notice it.

image credit

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do your Duty.


A talk from Elder Joesph B. Wirthlin shed light upon yet another aspect of happiness.  Said he:
"When we accept duties willingly and faithfully, we find happiness. Those who make happiness the chief objective of life are bound to fail, for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself. Happiness comes from doing one’s duty and knowing that his life is in harmony with God and His commandments."
And what are our duties?  They are the assignments given to us from Heavenly Father.  Search your heart to know exactly which duties you've been entrusted with.  May I suggest that for men the God-given duties include being a husband, father, and provider.  For women, a wife, mother, and nurturer.  And for both, accepting the calls the Lord gives to serve our fellowmen.  As life meanders along, calls to serve may change.  But always there will be duties to perform and happiness to find. There is little that compares with the joy one feels after a duty is performed well.  It just feels so good to know that you have done all that is expected of you and your heart swells with gratitude to God for the opportunity to serve.

Happy Challenge:
Think of at least one duty today that you can give your whole heart, mind, and soul.  Do this one duty well and commit to always striving to do your duties with a willing and submissive heart.  Happiness will surely follow.

photo credit

Do your Duty.


A talk from Elder Joesph B. Wirthlin shed light upon yet another aspect of happiness.  Said he:
"When we accept duties willingly and faithfully, we find happiness. Those who make happiness the chief objective of life are bound to fail, for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself. Happiness comes from doing one’s duty and knowing that his life is in harmony with God and His commandments."
And what are our duties?  They are the assignments given to us from Heavenly Father.  Search your heart to know exactly which duties you've been entrusted with.  May I suggest that for men the God-given duties include being a husband, father, and provider.  For women, a wife, mother, and nurturer.  And for both, accepting the calls the Lord gives to serve our fellowmen.  As life meanders along, calls to serve may change.  But always there will be duties to perform and happiness to find. There is little that compares with the joy one feels after a duty is performed well.  It just feels so good to know that you have done all that is expected of you and your heart swells with gratitude to God for the opportunity to serve.

Happy Challenge:
Think of at least one duty today that you can give your whole heart, mind, and soul.  Do this one duty well and commit to always striving to do your duties with a willing and submissive heart.  Happiness will surely follow.

photo credit

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Approaching Perfection.


Have you ever considered that happiness, the true kind, the kind that stays in your heart long after a joyful moment or experience has faded into the twilight, bursts forth from the wellspring of a relationship with Deity?  Consider the words of the prophet Joseph Smith:
“We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1976], sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, 51).

"The nearer man approaches perfection"--in other words, the nearer a man approaches God, for is He not the sum of perfection?  This one little phrase, the simplest and yet by far the hardest test of mortality---to  approach perfection.  This one little key can unlock happiness?  This forging ahead and trying and failing and repenting and rising a little higher?  And with each step closer to God, "the greater [our] enjoyments."  The greater our joy.  The greater our happiness.  And if we feel somewhat unhappy today, could we move a step closer to our Maker tomorrow?  Would we, in turn, feel a bit closer to a lasting form of happiness as well?  Yes, we will.  But don't just take my word for it.  Try it out yourself.  And see.

Happy Challenge:
Identify one step you can take to approach a little closer to perfection, a little closer to God.  Just one.  And when you've taken that step, don't be satisfied.  Take another.  And another.  And another.  Measure the increase of your happiness after the span of a week.  And a month.  And even a year.  Record your transformation.  Each step, each habit conquered, is a molding of ourselves to the image of Christ.  Every step makes a difference, each small effort is eternally needed.  Don't discount the small and simple things.

image source

Approaching Perfection.


Have you ever considered that happiness, the true kind, the kind that stays in your heart long after a joyful moment or experience has faded into the twilight, bursts forth from the wellspring of a relationship with Deity?  Consider the words of the prophet Joseph Smith:
“We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1976], sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, 51).

"The nearer man approaches perfection"--in other words, the nearer a man approaches God, for is He not the sum of perfection?  This one little phrase, the simplest and yet by far the hardest test of mortality---to  approach perfection.  This one little key can unlock happiness?  This forging ahead and trying and failing and repenting and rising a little higher?  And with each step closer to God, "the greater [our] enjoyments."  The greater our joy.  The greater our happiness.  And if we feel somewhat unhappy today, could we move a step closer to our Maker tomorrow?  Would we, in turn, feel a bit closer to a lasting form of happiness as well?  Yes, we will.  But don't just take my word for it.  Try it out yourself.  And see.

Happy Challenge:
Identify one step you can take to approach a little closer to perfection, a little closer to God.  Just one.  And when you've taken that step, don't be satisfied.  Take another.  And another.  And another.  Measure the increase of your happiness after the span of a week.  And a month.  And even a year.  Record your transformation.  Each step, each habit conquered, is a molding of ourselves to the image of Christ.  Every step makes a difference, each small effort is eternally needed.  Don't discount the small and simple things.

image source

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quest for Happiness...or something more?


I have been thinking a lot about happiness, as I always do.  It truly seems to be the object and the goal of every person.  To seek joy and receive it in abundance.  But for several days I have been having a slight paradigm shift.  Perhaps there's something more to life than seeking for happiness.

The words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin are thought-provoking:
"Those who make happiness the chief objective of life are bound to fail, for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself."
A strong statement like that makes me realize that this lifetime quest should be to find the things that will bring happiness if they are done well.  What are some of these things?  I'm sure there are many.  And for the next several days, I will explore the things I have found that bring real and lasting happiness, practical things that any of us can do.  For today, here is one.

1. Maybe we should make the quest of our lifetime, the quest to receive the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.  There is a quote I love by Parley P. Pratt that sums it all up:
“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. [1965], 101).
Did you catch that?  "It (meaning the Spirit of the Lord) is joy to the heart."  For the past week I have been attempting to make the quest of each day the quest to obtain and keep the Spirit in my heart.  As I have done so, happiness has been my lot.  How can one not be happy when the Spirit covers one wit a sense of sublime peace?  Even if daily circumstances do not seem conducive to happiness, if we will do something, anything to obtain a greater portion of the Holy Ghost, inward happiness, the kind that really counts, will flow to us like manna from heaven.  And this is why I love this thought so much.  This seeking and gaining the Spirit is a sure guarantee for happiness...true happiness that doesn't go away or dissolve or fade.

In closing, ponder on the words of Elder Keith K. Hilbig today.  They are beautiful:
"In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses recorded that Adam, having been baptized and having received the Holy Ghost, 'became quickened in the inner man.'
"When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He 'quickens' us, that is to say, enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman. As a result we notice a measurable difference in our soul. We feel strengthened, filled with peace and joy. We possess spiritual energy and enthusiasm, both of which enhance our natural abilities. We can accomplish more than we otherwise could do on our own. We yearn to become a holier person."

Happy Challenge:
Today, and every day, seek the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.  When you are feeling down, stop and do something that invites the Holy Ghost into your heart--sing a hymn, read a scripture, serve a child, smile, pray.  Then stand back and watch your happiness meter grow.


Quest for Happiness...or something more?


I have been thinking a lot about happiness, as I always do.  It truly seems to be the object and the goal of every person.  To seek joy and receive it in abundance.  But for several days I have been having a slight paradigm shift.  Perhaps there's something more to life than seeking for happiness.

The words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin are thought-provoking:
"Those who make happiness the chief objective of life are bound to fail, for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself."
A strong statement like that makes me realize that this lifetime quest should be to find the things that will bring happiness if they are done well.  What are some of these things?  I'm sure there are many.  And for the next several days, I will explore the things I have found that bring real and lasting happiness, practical things that any of us can do.  For today, here is one.

1. Maybe we should make the quest of our lifetime, the quest to receive the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.  There is a quote I love by Parley P. Pratt that sums it all up:
“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. [1965], 101).
Did you catch that?  "It (meaning the Spirit of the Lord) is joy to the heart."  For the past week I have been attempting to make the quest of each day the quest to obtain and keep the Spirit in my heart.  As I have done so, happiness has been my lot.  How can one not be happy when the Spirit covers one wit a sense of sublime peace?  Even if daily circumstances do not seem conducive to happiness, if we will do something, anything to obtain a greater portion of the Holy Ghost, inward happiness, the kind that really counts, will flow to us like manna from heaven.  And this is why I love this thought so much.  This seeking and gaining the Spirit is a sure guarantee for happiness...true happiness that doesn't go away or dissolve or fade.

In closing, ponder on the words of Elder Keith K. Hilbig today.  They are beautiful:
"In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses recorded that Adam, having been baptized and having received the Holy Ghost, 'became quickened in the inner man.'
"When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He 'quickens' us, that is to say, enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman. As a result we notice a measurable difference in our soul. We feel strengthened, filled with peace and joy. We possess spiritual energy and enthusiasm, both of which enhance our natural abilities. We can accomplish more than we otherwise could do on our own. We yearn to become a holier person."

Happy Challenge:
Today, and every day, seek the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.  When you are feeling down, stop and do something that invites the Holy Ghost into your heart--sing a hymn, read a scripture, serve a child, smile, pray.  Then stand back and watch your happiness meter grow.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Mountaintop Pondering


Last week we had two family vacations, I was sick with a cold, and we had a wonderful week.  While on our campout up in the moutaintops, I took time to really ponder my life and simplify.

We hiked 3 miles up to a lake and 3 miles back down.  And during the hike I breathed in the surrounding nature and communed with my Heavenly Father.  Together, we simplified and realigned priorities, and created a schedule for the upcoming school year.  And then, several times during the hike, a light drizzle would fall from the sunny heavens, and it seemed to me to be a confirmation to the ideas I was receiving.

Now today I begin again to live a new routine.  Until last week, I dreaded the thought of changing up my schedule every so often.  It seemed that just when I'd construct one, life would change and I would have to start all over.  I wondered when, if ever, I would find the perfect routine.  But during my simplification process last week, the Spirit whispered a truth that has changed my paradigm:

"It's okay that I have to realign priorities and develop new routines/rhythms.  I did this in school each year, each semester, trimester, and quarter.  Life is constantly changing.  I have faith that the Lord will help me create an excellent way each time I have to adjust."

You see, it doesn't mean that the routine was wrong, when it comes time to change.  Life will always flow and change as the times and seasons do.  There is no one perfect routine.  One must be constructed again and again, and if done with the help of the Spirit, every routine can be perfect.  Now I know that I have found the perfect routine...at least for now.  And someday, life will cause me to tweak certain parts of the schedule, and maybe overhaul completely, but for now, it's perfect.


Happy Challenge:

Evaluate your routine or rhythm.  Ask the Lord if your life is going in the direction He wills.  Adjust priorities, if necessary, and create or tweak your routine until it fits the plan the Lord has for your life in this season.

Mountaintop Pondering


Last week we had two family vacations, I was sick with a cold, and we had a wonderful week.  While on our campout up in the moutaintops, I took time to really ponder my life and simplify.

We hiked 3 miles up to a lake and 3 miles back down.  And during the hike I breathed in the surrounding nature and communed with my Heavenly Father.  Together, we simplified and realigned priorities, and created a schedule for the upcoming school year.  And then, several times during the hike, a light drizzle would fall from the sunny heavens, and it seemed to me to be a confirmation to the ideas I was receiving.

Now today I begin again to live a new routine.  Until last week, I dreaded the thought of changing up my schedule every so often.  It seemed that just when I'd construct one, life would change and I would have to start all over.  I wondered when, if ever, I would find the perfect routine.  But during my simplification process last week, the Spirit whispered a truth that has changed my paradigm:

"It's okay that I have to realign priorities and develop new routines/rhythms.  I did this in school each year, each semester, trimester, and quarter.  Life is constantly changing.  I have faith that the Lord will help me create an excellent way each time I have to adjust."

You see, it doesn't mean that the routine was wrong, when it comes time to change.  Life will always flow and change as the times and seasons do.  There is no one perfect routine.  One must be constructed again and again, and if done with the help of the Spirit, every routine can be perfect.  Now I know that I have found the perfect routine...at least for now.  And someday, life will cause me to tweak certain parts of the schedule, and maybe overhaul completely, but for now, it's perfect.


Happy Challenge:

Evaluate your routine or rhythm.  Ask the Lord if your life is going in the direction He wills.  Adjust priorities, if necessary, and create or tweak your routine until it fits the plan the Lord has for your life in this season.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Simplify by Serving.


Today is the last day in this Simplification Series.  I may revisit the subject as time goes on and I glean more experience, but for today, may I share one more way we might simplify.

That of service.

At first, this doesn't seem like simplifying at all.  It appears like more things to add to our overflowing plate.  But I'm not suggesting we become "Super-Mom" or "Super-Dad" or even "Super-Server."

I am suggesting that we offer our services to the Lord in prayer each morning and ask Him to bless us with inspiration to know how to bless the life of just one person....

A few years ago I had the impression that if I committed to blessing just one person's life each day, by the end of my 80 or something years I would help the Lord in blessing thousands of life.  I recorded in my journal that I wanted to seek to bless the life of one person every day.

As the years have passed, there have been times where I've been more focused and committed than other times.  There have been times when I have felt the joy of daily service to those in my circle of friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, and times when I have felt to focus my blessing on those in my immediate family.  But always, ever present in the back of my mind, is that little voice that whispers of that day when I received that personal "call."

Today I have the desire to recommit and serve...just one person...just one small and simple thing...every day.



Happy Challenge:


Read these beautiful words and see if your heart doesn't swell with the desire to reach out and bless someone's life...
“God bless all who endeavor to be their brother’s keeper, who give to ameliorate suffering, who strive with all that is good within them to make a better world. Have you noticed that such individuals have a brighter smile? Their footsteps are more certain. They have an aura about them of contentment and satisfaction … for one cannot participate in helping others without experiencing a rich blessing himself.”  ~Thomas S. Monson, “Our Brothers’ Keepers,” Ensign, June 1998, 39

{Photo Credit}

Simplify by Serving.


Today is the last day in this Simplification Series.  I may revisit the subject as time goes on and I glean more experience, but for today, may I share one more way we might simplify.

That of service.

At first, this doesn't seem like simplifying at all.  It appears like more things to add to our overflowing plate.  But I'm not suggesting we become "Super-Mom" or "Super-Dad" or even "Super-Server."

I am suggesting that we offer our services to the Lord in prayer each morning and ask Him to bless us with inspiration to know how to bless the life of just one person....

A few years ago I had the impression that if I committed to blessing just one person's life each day, by the end of my 80 or something years I would help the Lord in blessing thousands of life.  I recorded in my journal that I wanted to seek to bless the life of one person every day.

As the years have passed, there have been times where I've been more focused and committed than other times.  There have been times when I have felt the joy of daily service to those in my circle of friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, and times when I have felt to focus my blessing on those in my immediate family.  But always, ever present in the back of my mind, is that little voice that whispers of that day when I received that personal "call."

Today I have the desire to recommit and serve...just one person...just one small and simple thing...every day.



Happy Challenge:


Read these beautiful words and see if your heart doesn't swell with the desire to reach out and bless someone's life...
“God bless all who endeavor to be their brother’s keeper, who give to ameliorate suffering, who strive with all that is good within them to make a better world. Have you noticed that such individuals have a brighter smile? Their footsteps are more certain. They have an aura about them of contentment and satisfaction … for one cannot participate in helping others without experiencing a rich blessing himself.”  ~Thomas S. Monson, “Our Brothers’ Keepers,” Ensign, June 1998, 39

{Photo Credit}

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Simplify by Listening.


Just for today, make the choice to listen a little more closely to the voice of the Spirit.  Just a few minutes ago I was talking with my husband on his lunch break and spilling to him the worries and troubles from my heart.  In his wise and wonderful way, he asked me to do 2 things for him.

#1. Follow the Spirit.  He asked me to do what I am prompted to do for the Spirit will lead me to do things that will comfort and uplift my soul.

#2. Be comforted.  He promised me that because of prayers and faith the Lord would seek to comfort me today.  But I must let the comfort in.  I must choose to feel the comfort He will inevitably provide for me.

And then he asked me to have faith.  So I promised I would do these things, he told me he loved me, and we said goodbye.

Now it has been 25 minutes since I hung up the phone and I am already witnessing miracles from acting on the two simple suggestions from my sweetheart.  I know that I will only witness more as the day goes on.

Thank you, Sweetie, for your words and wisdom.  And thank Thee, Father, for the miracles.

Would you care to take the challenge as well?  I can only attest that miracles will follow--even if they are small and simple.  They will come.  They have for me...

Simplify by Listening.


Just for today, make the choice to listen a little more closely to the voice of the Spirit.  Just a few minutes ago I was talking with my husband on his lunch break and spilling to him the worries and troubles from my heart.  In his wise and wonderful way, he asked me to do 2 things for him.

#1. Follow the Spirit.  He asked me to do what I am prompted to do for the Spirit will lead me to do things that will comfort and uplift my soul.

#2. Be comforted.  He promised me that because of prayers and faith the Lord would seek to comfort me today.  But I must let the comfort in.  I must choose to feel the comfort He will inevitably provide for me.

And then he asked me to have faith.  So I promised I would do these things, he told me he loved me, and we said goodbye.

Now it has been 25 minutes since I hung up the phone and I am already witnessing miracles from acting on the two simple suggestions from my sweetheart.  I know that I will only witness more as the day goes on.

Thank you, Sweetie, for your words and wisdom.  And thank Thee, Father, for the miracles.

Would you care to take the challenge as well?  I can only attest that miracles will follow--even if they are small and simple.  They will come.  They have for me...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just 1 Thing....small and simple.


For today's simplification goal, all I want you to do (and me as well) is write down one small and simple thing you want to do for your children (or nieces, nephews, neighbors, those you serve at church, etc.)  Something that is very important to you. 

Perhaps it's a greater focus on music or reading or teaching how to serve.  Maybe it's cooking comfort meals or spending quality giggle/tickle time with them.  Maybe it's as special as participating with them in one of their hobbies or as simple as asking them one sincere and specific question about their day.  Choose just one thing that is very small and simple.  Write it on a notecard and place it by your bed or on your nightstand where you will see it first thing each morning.  If your goal is specific enough, commit to trying it out.  If it's a general goal, then perhaps create a few smaller and more specific goals that will allow you to feel successful once complete.

Refrain from choosing more than one thing.  It's hard (especially for perfectionists) to pick just one, but if you list 25 things, and then only do one or two (or none because you're too overwhelmed), it will only result in feelings of failure.  Remember, the whole intent of this week is to SIMPLIFY.

Now look at the Master List you made yesterday--remember the 3 headings (Personal, Relationships, and Household)?  Insert this one specific goal under the "Relationship" heading.  If your list is beginning to look too long, reevaluate it.  Do you really need to do and engage in everything on the list, or are there a few things that can be cut out or honed down?  Remember, your small and simple thing you just jotted down may be more important than some of the original things on your list.

Good luck!  And have a Happy Day!

Just 1 Thing....small and simple.


For today's simplification goal, all I want you to do (and me as well) is write down one small and simple thing you want to do for your children (or nieces, nephews, neighbors, those you serve at church, etc.)  Something that is very important to you. 

Perhaps it's a greater focus on music or reading or teaching how to serve.  Maybe it's cooking comfort meals or spending quality giggle/tickle time with them.  Maybe it's as special as participating with them in one of their hobbies or as simple as asking them one sincere and specific question about their day.  Choose just one thing that is very small and simple.  Write it on a notecard and place it by your bed or on your nightstand where you will see it first thing each morning.  If your goal is specific enough, commit to trying it out.  If it's a general goal, then perhaps create a few smaller and more specific goals that will allow you to feel successful once complete.

Refrain from choosing more than one thing.  It's hard (especially for perfectionists) to pick just one, but if you list 25 things, and then only do one or two (or none because you're too overwhelmed), it will only result in feelings of failure.  Remember, the whole intent of this week is to SIMPLIFY.

Now look at the Master List you made yesterday--remember the 3 headings (Personal, Relationships, and Household)?  Insert this one specific goal under the "Relationship" heading.  If your list is beginning to look too long, reevaluate it.  Do you really need to do and engage in everything on the list, or are there a few things that can be cut out or honed down?  Remember, your small and simple thing you just jotted down may be more important than some of the original things on your list.

Good luck!  And have a Happy Day!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Simplify Life: Divide and List


Today we begin the simplification process.  First, we must divide our lives into 3-4 different categories: Personal, Relationships, and Household.  If you have a job in addition to these responsibilities, add "Work" as well.  I found it helpful to list these 3-4 categories as headings at the top of a sheet of paper.

Next, choose one category and list the things you do for that particular aspect of your life.  For example, the list under my Household heading looks something like this: cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, paying the bills, cooking.  Do this for each category until most of your life is mapped out on paper.

Now, look over your lists and cross out anything that is not "small or simple."  Especially on the "personal" list analyze your hobbies and other things you devote your time to.  Make sure they are building your spirit, or bringing you a sense of fulfillment or purpose. Most of the "household" and "work" list will need to stay out of necessity, but is there a way you can revise any of the tasks to make them a little simpler?  Is there anything on any list that is draining your time and energy?  Are there things that need to be changed or completely crossed off?  How about adding a few small and simple things to your daily schedule that you've really been wanting to, but haven't had time because of your busy life.  Consider adding a few (not too many at first).  Things such as reading for a few minutes with your children, writing a thank-you card, a small service, or a personal hobby or pursuit may be a worthy investment of your time.  I won't set a limit to how many items can be in each category, but be very careful not to overload yourself.  The point of this exercise is to cut out, or at least to cut back and simplify, simplify, simplify.  Take some time and play with your sheet until your life feels more simple and small.

This sheet now becomes your "Master List."  Make copies or convert it to the computer where you can easily duplicate it in Word or Excel.  Then every week add the specific things in addition to the general things already listed that you must accomplish.

Now, before this just becomes another day planner or organize, let's make sure this is a means for simplification.  Before you add anything on the list, ask yourself, "Is it small?  Is it simple?  Does it bring me joy?"  If you answered yes to any of the questions, you have permission to add it to one of the categories.  If you answered no to all three questions, and it really must be done, add it to a 4th (or 5th) category called, "Necessary." On this list are those things that must be done.  However, put a limit as to how many things you can have on the list at a time.  For me, 3 seems to be the magic number for now.  Only when I am able to cross off something on the list can I add something else.

Happy Challenge:

Do the above steps and see what changes you can make to simplify your life.

How to Simplify Life: Divide and List


Today we begin the simplification process.  First, we must divide our lives into 3-4 different categories: Personal, Relationships, and Household.  If you have a job in addition to these responsibilities, add "Work" as well.  I found it helpful to list these 3-4 categories as headings at the top of a sheet of paper.

Next, choose one category and list the things you do for that particular aspect of your life.  For example, the list under my Household heading looks something like this: cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, paying the bills, cooking.  Do this for each category until most of your life is mapped out on paper.

Now, look over your lists and cross out anything that is not "small or simple."  Especially on the "personal" list analyze your hobbies and other things you devote your time to.  Make sure they are building your spirit, or bringing you a sense of fulfillment or purpose. Most of the "household" and "work" list will need to stay out of necessity, but is there a way you can revise any of the tasks to make them a little simpler?  Is there anything on any list that is draining your time and energy?  Are there things that need to be changed or completely crossed off?  How about adding a few small and simple things to your daily schedule that you've really been wanting to, but haven't had time because of your busy life.  Consider adding a few (not too many at first).  Things such as reading for a few minutes with your children, writing a thank-you card, a small service, or a personal hobby or pursuit may be a worthy investment of your time.  I won't set a limit to how many items can be in each category, but be very careful not to overload yourself.  The point of this exercise is to cut out, or at least to cut back and simplify, simplify, simplify.  Take some time and play with your sheet until your life feels more simple and small.

This sheet now becomes your "Master List."  Make copies or convert it to the computer where you can easily duplicate it in Word or Excel.  Then every week add the specific things in addition to the general things already listed that you must accomplish.

Now, before this just becomes another day planner or organize, let's make sure this is a means for simplification.  Before you add anything on the list, ask yourself, "Is it small?  Is it simple?  Does it bring me joy?"  If you answered yes to any of the questions, you have permission to add it to one of the categories.  If you answered no to all three questions, and it really must be done, add it to a 4th (or 5th) category called, "Necessary." On this list are those things that must be done.  However, put a limit as to how many things you can have on the list at a time.  For me, 3 seems to be the magic number for now.  Only when I am able to cross off something on the list can I add something else.

Happy Challenge:

Do the above steps and see what changes you can make to simplify your life.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How to Simplify Life: Is it Possible?


There are some who say that our modern life these days can't be helped--we're just destined to be busy.  While it may be true that our technologically advanced society is adept at swarming in upon us from every angle, I personally believe that busyness is a choice.

We can choose to be busy, or we can choose to live more simply.  The trick is to know your personal limits, how much you can realistically and feasibly do without becoming frenzied and frazzled.  There is no magic number of things we can take on.  It is different for every individual.  Each one of us must take an inventory of everything that has been placed on our plates, as well as the things we've opted to add ourselves.

Tomorrow I'll mention some ideas for the "how" of simplification.  But for today, believe that life can be simplified.  We may not know all the answers yet; it may take days or even months to begin and complete a personal life simplification.  But know that it is possible.

Virginia H. Pearce, in a BYU Women's Conference last year, told about a little sticky note she has on her desk.  It says, "Keep it small. Keep it simple. Give it time."  I love this.  It is a very good motto to live by.

It reminds me of one of my very favorite verses in the Book of Mormon. Alma 37:6 reads--
"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."
 As I was thinking about this verse the other night, it struck me.  This verse is not just speaking about how our little efforts can someday bring about great things.  It's also talking about life itself.  If we choose to live a small and simple life, our lives will turn out great.  And isn't this what we all desire deep down?  To leave a legacy of a life well-lived?  This can best be done by living small and simply.  This I know.


Happy Challenge:

Repeat in your mind and ponder in your heart throughout the day these words:  "Simplicity will bring me happiness.  Small and simple things will make my life great.  I can choose to simplify my life."

How to Simplify Life: Is it Possible?


There are some who say that our modern life these days can't be helped--we're just destined to be busy.  While it may be true that our technologically advanced society is adept at swarming in upon us from every angle, I personally believe that busyness is a choice.

We can choose to be busy, or we can choose to live more simply.  The trick is to know your personal limits, how much you can realistically and feasibly do without becoming frenzied and frazzled.  There is no magic number of things we can take on.  It is different for every individual.  Each one of us must take an inventory of everything that has been placed on our plates, as well as the things we've opted to add ourselves.

Tomorrow I'll mention some ideas for the "how" of simplification.  But for today, believe that life can be simplified.  We may not know all the answers yet; it may take days or even months to begin and complete a personal life simplification.  But know that it is possible.

Virginia H. Pearce, in a BYU Women's Conference last year, told about a little sticky note she has on her desk.  It says, "Keep it small. Keep it simple. Give it time."  I love this.  It is a very good motto to live by.

It reminds me of one of my very favorite verses in the Book of Mormon. Alma 37:6 reads--
"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."
 As I was thinking about this verse the other night, it struck me.  This verse is not just speaking about how our little efforts can someday bring about great things.  It's also talking about life itself.  If we choose to live a small and simple life, our lives will turn out great.  And isn't this what we all desire deep down?  To leave a legacy of a life well-lived?  This can best be done by living small and simply.  This I know.


Happy Challenge:

Repeat in your mind and ponder in your heart throughout the day these words:  "Simplicity will bring me happiness.  Small and simple things will make my life great.  I can choose to simplify my life."

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Simplify Life: It's Time to Slow


Summer for us went from a stroll to a canter to a gallop to a full-out tornado-ish whirlwind. Family weddings, photo shoots, registering for kindergarten, family vacations, plans for building a new house, millions of things little and big seemed to crowd in upon us before we could even blink.  Today was the ground-breaking for our house and tomorrow is my sister's wedding.  Then, maybe, hopefully, next week will start to slow down.

I have sincerely missed the slow ebb and flow of how summer usually is.  Many of the things that have transpired this summer have been out of our control, but, of course, there are things I have added that have made the summer a little more stressful.

Perhaps this is a lesson for me---a warning---to keep this fall, winter, and next summer as small and simple as possible.  I have always been a small and simple kind of girl and busyness and me have never quite meshed.  So many of us want to simplify our lives, but the question is, HOW?  When our fast-paced modern life naturally gravitates toward busyness, how do we fight back?

I think it's time for me to post a series (my first!) on how to simplify life.  Join me for the next few days as I think through this topic (and hopefully simplify my own life at the same time!)


Happy Challenge:

Today, sit down for 5 minutes.  Don't have 5 minutes?  Use your bedtime routine of brushing and flossing or some other automatic part of your day to quietly think.

Analyze your life.  Is it too busy?  Do you need to simplify at all?  If so, (and I think for most of us the answer is 'yes') jot down a few ideas of how you think you could simplify a little.  Don't take too long on this, just follow your heart and your first impressions, then make a few notes.

Then, if you wouldn't mind, leave me a comment with some of your ideas.  I can learn so much from you.  Good luck!

How to Simplify Life: It's Time to Slow


Summer for us went from a stroll to a canter to a gallop to a full-out tornado-ish whirlwind. Family weddings, photo shoots, registering for kindergarten, family vacations, plans for building a new house, millions of things little and big seemed to crowd in upon us before we could even blink.  Today was the ground-breaking for our house and tomorrow is my sister's wedding.  Then, maybe, hopefully, next week will start to slow down.

I have sincerely missed the slow ebb and flow of how summer usually is.  Many of the things that have transpired this summer have been out of our control, but, of course, there are things I have added that have made the summer a little more stressful.

Perhaps this is a lesson for me---a warning---to keep this fall, winter, and next summer as small and simple as possible.  I have always been a small and simple kind of girl and busyness and me have never quite meshed.  So many of us want to simplify our lives, but the question is, HOW?  When our fast-paced modern life naturally gravitates toward busyness, how do we fight back?

I think it's time for me to post a series (my first!) on how to simplify life.  Join me for the next few days as I think through this topic (and hopefully simplify my own life at the same time!)


Happy Challenge:

Today, sit down for 5 minutes.  Don't have 5 minutes?  Use your bedtime routine of brushing and flossing or some other automatic part of your day to quietly think.

Analyze your life.  Is it too busy?  Do you need to simplify at all?  If so, (and I think for most of us the answer is 'yes') jot down a few ideas of how you think you could simplify a little.  Don't take too long on this, just follow your heart and your first impressions, then make a few notes.

Then, if you wouldn't mind, leave me a comment with some of your ideas.  I can learn so much from you.  Good luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Discover the Jewel.


For a long time I have had a little motto called, "Discover the Jewel."  I believe there is a jewel in every day (and sometimes many!)  All we have to do is find it.  Know at the beginning of each day, that somewhere, somehow, a beautiful thing will happen, something you can rightly name a jewel.  And then watch for the serendipity to come to pass.  It's like going on a treasure hunt daily.  And it certainly puts a happy spin on our otherwise mundane routines.

At the end of the day, look back and count the jewels as you fall asleep, the good things, the miraculous little blessings provided by a loving Father in heaven.  And even on the bad days, there will always be at least one tiny jewel--if we seek hard enough to find it.

Happy Challenge:

Commit to discovering the jewel(s) daily.  Give yourself the childlike joy and elation of a daily treasure hunt.

Discover the Jewel.


For a long time I have had a little motto called, "Discover the Jewel."  I believe there is a jewel in every day (and sometimes many!)  All we have to do is find it.  Know at the beginning of each day, that somewhere, somehow, a beautiful thing will happen, something you can rightly name a jewel.  And then watch for the serendipity to come to pass.  It's like going on a treasure hunt daily.  And it certainly puts a happy spin on our otherwise mundane routines.

At the end of the day, look back and count the jewels as you fall asleep, the good things, the miraculous little blessings provided by a loving Father in heaven.  And even on the bad days, there will always be at least one tiny jewel--if we seek hard enough to find it.

Happy Challenge:

Commit to discovering the jewel(s) daily.  Give yourself the childlike joy and elation of a daily treasure hunt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Thoughts.

I can't emphasize enough the truth of this statement.  Are your thoughts pure, wholesome, virtuous?  If so, you will be happy.  Are your thoughts, positive, optimistic, uplifting, edifying, and charitable? If so, you will be happy.

Happy Challenge:


Take a minute several time today to analyze your thoughts.  See if they are adding to or detracting from your happiness.  Applaud yourself or change if necessary.  Do this consistently for a week and note if your days are not noticeably happier...

Our Thoughts.

I can't emphasize enough the truth of this statement.  Are your thoughts pure, wholesome, virtuous?  If so, you will be happy.  Are your thoughts, positive, optimistic, uplifting, edifying, and charitable? If so, you will be happy.

Happy Challenge:


Take a minute several time today to analyze your thoughts.  See if they are adding to or detracting from your happiness.  Applaud yourself or change if necessary.  Do this consistently for a week and note if your days are not noticeably happier...

For Yesterday.

 Sometimes we can't do everything (like not posting yesterday).  And that's okay.  Happiness in life is all about accepting ourselves as we are and accepting our efforts as enough.  Perfectionists tend to only focus on the negative...the things that didn't work out...the things done wrong.  In other words, perfectionism is another word for pessimism.  This is something I struggle with on a daily basis.  I wonder to myself, how can I enjoy the whole when there is a flaw in it?  My eyes and mind are drawn to the flaw and then I find I can't enjoy the other 95%.

Let's choose to be optimists...recognizing and focusing on the positive things, the things we're good at, the things we've mastered.  Maybe then we'll realize that the color of our days is a warm yellow glow with only a few dots of gray instead of the other way around.


Happy Challenge:

Choose today to be an eternal optimist and see if the hue of your day doesn't turn around instantly.  I dare you! :)

For Yesterday.

 Sometimes we can't do everything (like not posting yesterday).  And that's okay.  Happiness in life is all about accepting ourselves as we are and accepting our efforts as enough.  Perfectionists tend to only focus on the negative...the things that didn't work out...the things done wrong.  In other words, perfectionism is another word for pessimism.  This is something I struggle with on a daily basis.  I wonder to myself, how can I enjoy the whole when there is a flaw in it?  My eyes and mind are drawn to the flaw and then I find I can't enjoy the other 95%.

Let's choose to be optimists...recognizing and focusing on the positive things, the things we're good at, the things we've mastered.  Maybe then we'll realize that the color of our days is a warm yellow glow with only a few dots of gray instead of the other way around.


Happy Challenge:

Choose today to be an eternal optimist and see if the hue of your day doesn't turn around instantly.  I dare you! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Choose Your Pick.

How will you choose to be happy today??

Choose Your Pick.

How will you choose to be happy today??

Friday, July 20, 2012

Celebrate.


I got a text today from myself.  It said, "Celebrate now!"

At the beginning of the year I randomly selected 6 days to celebrate.  Sometimes we get so busy with day-to-day life that we forget to enjoy and celebrate our little successes and accomplishments.  These little reminders in my phone were to help me remember to have fun, enjoy life, and celebrate--for a big reason, a small reason, or no reason at all!

I wonder how I will celebrate today...:)


Happy Challenge:

Pick up a calendar and randomly select 6 days sometime in the coming year.  Put a reminder in your phone to "celebrate now."  You deserve to enjoy life today!!!

Celebrate.


I got a text today from myself.  It said, "Celebrate now!"

At the beginning of the year I randomly selected 6 days to celebrate.  Sometimes we get so busy with day-to-day life that we forget to enjoy and celebrate our little successes and accomplishments.  These little reminders in my phone were to help me remember to have fun, enjoy life, and celebrate--for a big reason, a small reason, or no reason at all!

I wonder how I will celebrate today...:)


Happy Challenge:

Pick up a calendar and randomly select 6 days sometime in the coming year.  Put a reminder in your phone to "celebrate now."  You deserve to enjoy life today!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Call Mother.

Some days when the world is swirling, all we need to do is pick up the phone and call our mothers.  It is she who cradled us as infants, she who cradled our growing-up dreams, and she who will still be there to cradle our hearts when we most need it.  Thank you, Mother, for always being there for me. 
I love you.


Happy Challenge:

Call your mom today to tell her you love her and to thank her for everything she has done for you in your life.  And when the days are stormy, call her for comfort or advice.  She will always be there.  And if she has already passed through this life and into the realms of the next, talk to her in your heart.  Heaven is so much closer than we think.

Call Mother.

Some days when the world is swirling, all we need to do is pick up the phone and call our mothers.  It is she who cradled us as infants, she who cradled our growing-up dreams, and she who will still be there to cradle our hearts when we most need it.  Thank you, Mother, for always being there for me. 
I love you.


Happy Challenge:

Call your mom today to tell her you love her and to thank her for everything she has done for you in your life.  And when the days are stormy, call her for comfort or advice.  She will always be there.  And if she has already passed through this life and into the realms of the next, talk to her in your heart.  Heaven is so much closer than we think.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When you hit a roadblock.


My husband and I were asked to speak in church on Sunday.  The topic is perfect, and I have so many points jotted down on a little white notecard.

But today when I sat down and thought about how I could pull it all together and organize my ideas, my mind went blank.  I sat and thought and prayed for nearly a half an hour.  Nothing.  So I followed the prompting to go about my daily tasks with my talk on my mind.

And though I desperately want to put my thoughts together in a cohesive, inspiring way right now, I know that the Lord will help me--in His own way and in His own time.  He always does.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8-9

Happy Challenge:

When you need a solution, but don't feel like the answers are coming, trust your problem, your concerns, your worries to the Lord and let Him solve in His own, perfect way.  Trust His timing.  It's the only way to feel peace and joy in the midst of waiting.  Someday the rock will be removed.

When you hit a roadblock.


My husband and I were asked to speak in church on Sunday.  The topic is perfect, and I have so many points jotted down on a little white notecard.

But today when I sat down and thought about how I could pull it all together and organize my ideas, my mind went blank.  I sat and thought and prayed for nearly a half an hour.  Nothing.  So I followed the prompting to go about my daily tasks with my talk on my mind.

And though I desperately want to put my thoughts together in a cohesive, inspiring way right now, I know that the Lord will help me--in His own way and in His own time.  He always does.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8-9

Happy Challenge:

When you need a solution, but don't feel like the answers are coming, trust your problem, your concerns, your worries to the Lord and let Him solve in His own, perfect way.  Trust His timing.  It's the only way to feel peace and joy in the midst of waiting.  Someday the rock will be removed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Counting Beans.

 A few years back I had the most marvelous opportunity to live with my family in Portugal serving a mission for our church.  It was indeed the greatest and most shaping experience of my entire life.

While my family remained in the country for three years, I only stayed for two so I could return home for college.  Though leaving my family was one of the hardest things I've eve done, I knew it was necessary for my growth and I knew a new chapter awaited me back home.

As the days were drawing nearer for me to leave my family and my beloved country of Portugal, I wanted desperately to be able to enjoy each and every day.  So I took two jam jars and counted out a number of dry kidney beans to equal how many days I had left.  Then every day I would remove one of the beans and set it in front of the jars, reminding me to enjoy and savor this day to its fullest.  At the end of the day I would take the bean and place it in the other jar, almost ritualistically.  As the beans were slowly but surely transferred from one jar to the other I was saddened, but also grateful for the inspiration to do this small task.  It helped me visually see the days I had left and not waste a single one of them.  A year later when my family was preparing to leave, they followed suit and did the bean countdown to savor each day.

Now, seven years later, I have found another use for dry beans.  This time to inspire a love of reading in my children.  Every time my children read a book or I read one to them, they get to put a bean from the bowl to the jar.  When it is halfway full, I'll take them to the bookstore and they get to pick out a book, and when it is all the way full, they get to buy several books.  I'm excited.  I love books and I hope to be able to foster a love of books in my own little ones as well.

Counting Beans.

 A few years back I had the most marvelous opportunity to live with my family in Portugal serving a mission for our church.  It was indeed the greatest and most shaping experience of my entire life.

While my family remained in the country for three years, I only stayed for two so I could return home for college.  Though leaving my family was one of the hardest things I've eve done, I knew it was necessary for my growth and I knew a new chapter awaited me back home.

As the days were drawing nearer for me to leave my family and my beloved country of Portugal, I wanted desperately to be able to enjoy each and every day.  So I took two jam jars and counted out a number of dry kidney beans to equal how many days I had left.  Then every day I would remove one of the beans and set it in front of the jars, reminding me to enjoy and savor this day to its fullest.  At the end of the day I would take the bean and place it in the other jar, almost ritualistically.  As the beans were slowly but surely transferred from one jar to the other I was saddened, but also grateful for the inspiration to do this small task.  It helped me visually see the days I had left and not waste a single one of them.  A year later when my family was preparing to leave, they followed suit and did the bean countdown to savor each day.

Now, seven years later, I have found another use for dry beans.  This time to inspire a love of reading in my children.  Every time my children read a book or I read one to them, they get to put a bean from the bowl to the jar.  When it is halfway full, I'll take them to the bookstore and they get to pick out a book, and when it is all the way full, they get to buy several books.  I'm excited.  I love books and I hope to be able to foster a love of books in my own little ones as well.

Monday, July 16, 2012

One Happy Challenge.



Today I just want to give you one Happy Challenge.  It's simple and it's something each one of us can do.  Are you ready?


Monday's Happy Challenge:

Express gratitude to your spouse or a member of your family each day this week.  It can be as simple as a "Thank You" or as elaborate as a handwritten poem.  Take a deep breath and sincerely express heartfelt appreciation for your loved one.  Then feel your heart happify.

One Happy Challenge.



Today I just want to give you one Happy Challenge.  It's simple and it's something each one of us can do.  Are you ready?


Monday's Happy Challenge:

Express gratitude to your spouse or a member of your family each day this week.  It can be as simple as a "Thank You" or as elaborate as a handwritten poem.  Take a deep breath and sincerely express heartfelt appreciation for your loved one.  Then feel your heart happify.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Starting my Book...



Yesterday afternoon I officially started writing my book...the one that's been rolling around my mind for a while now.  It scares me, this full commitment to doing something that I've always wanted to do.  I have wanted to be an author since I was about 8 years old, and I can't believe I'm finally taking the lunge.

Why is it that daily posting is so much easier than writing an all-out book??  Maybe for the simple reason that I desire so much to inspire and uplift that I want everything to be perfect?

But even if it is scary and a bit daunting, there is something so satisfying in trying something new, something that the Spirit has pointed me towards.  There is something so soothing and refreshing in striving to use my talents in a way to bless others.  Wish me luck and send a few prayers my way! :)


Happy Challenge:

What are you feeling prompted to do with your talents?  Or maybe you have something new you would like to try but have always felt a bit reluctant?  Commit to take the plunge and do something TODAY to begin following your dreams....

Starting my Book...



Yesterday afternoon I officially started writing my book...the one that's been rolling around my mind for a while now.  It scares me, this full commitment to doing something that I've always wanted to do.  I have wanted to be an author since I was about 8 years old, and I can't believe I'm finally taking the lunge.

Why is it that daily posting is so much easier than writing an all-out book??  Maybe for the simple reason that I desire so much to inspire and uplift that I want everything to be perfect?

But even if it is scary and a bit daunting, there is something so satisfying in trying something new, something that the Spirit has pointed me towards.  There is something so soothing and refreshing in striving to use my talents in a way to bless others.  Wish me luck and send a few prayers my way! :)


Happy Challenge:

What are you feeling prompted to do with your talents?  Or maybe you have something new you would like to try but have always felt a bit reluctant?  Commit to take the plunge and do something TODAY to begin following your dreams....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lessons from a Corn Cob


Two Lessons Learned as I prepared corn cobs for my family:

1. We are so very much like a cob of corn.  Each of us has incredible treasures within us, just waiting to be discovered.  All we need to do is husk off the layers of green...remove our fears, weaknesses, insecurities, doubts, and failings.  The sweet yellow kernels of our potential, talents, abilities, strengths, and influence lie just beneath the green husks--just within reach.

2.  After we remove the layers of green, we must be refined.  Corn on the cob goes from raw to juicy through the process of great heat and/or boiling water.  Likewise, it is only through great trial that our natures are changed and refined and made ready to benefit others.  We must learn to refrain from resisting these challenges and instead welcome them as necessary parts of becoming glorious.


Happy Challenge:

First, ponder what talents are hiding just beneath the green husks in your life.  Commit to remove these husks and unearth your God-given abilities.

Next, think back upon your life to at least one significant trial that was placed before you.  Ponder on how you grew and were refined by the experience.  Record the unique lessons you learned and the special abilities that were honed in your heart as you passed through this challenge.  Feel in your heart how blessed you were to have this trial so you could gain these valuable characteristics.  You will see that because of this refining, you are just a little more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lessons from a Corn Cob


Two Lessons Learned as I prepared corn cobs for my family:

1. We are so very much like a cob of corn.  Each of us has incredible treasures within us, just waiting to be discovered.  All we need to do is husk off the layers of green...remove our fears, weaknesses, insecurities, doubts, and failings.  The sweet yellow kernels of our potential, talents, abilities, strengths, and influence lie just beneath the green husks--just within reach.

2.  After we remove the layers of green, we must be refined.  Corn on the cob goes from raw to juicy through the process of great heat and/or boiling water.  Likewise, it is only through great trial that our natures are changed and refined and made ready to benefit others.  We must learn to refrain from resisting these challenges and instead welcome them as necessary parts of becoming glorious.


Happy Challenge:

First, ponder what talents are hiding just beneath the green husks in your life.  Commit to remove these husks and unearth your God-given abilities.

Next, think back upon your life to at least one significant trial that was placed before you.  Ponder on how you grew and were refined by the experience.  Record the unique lessons you learned and the special abilities that were honed in your heart as you passed through this challenge.  Feel in your heart how blessed you were to have this trial so you could gain these valuable characteristics.  You will see that because of this refining, you are just a little more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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