Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Parenthood- The Joys

Aah, the joys of parenting.  Too numerous to count and, at times, too humorous as well!

I'm getting a kick out of seeing my daughter and her husband experience the...well, EXPERIENCE.
Here's a great video to enjoy!
If the frame is partially cut off, watch it in its entirety Here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Pathways

 “When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open.”
~ Alexander Graham Bell

Having lived in many different places, I have come to deeply understand how you can leave some of yourself behind when you move away.  Memories become just that- no longer living in a certain home or town, you can't look to a spot and say, "That is where we picnicked."  or "Remember when she took her first steps right there?" 

 There is a beauty in living in one town or home or area from the moment you marry and begin to raise a family.  Your family and children can have deep roots and combined memories of that place- because virtually everything happens there.

 While we have had many adventures in different states, for the most part we can't visit those places and reminisce when we feel like it.    It's rather sad, honestly.

I have always enjoyed the art and thoughts of Mary Engelbreit.  Her artwork above struck me recently.  I realized that it really is easy to look back, regretfully and longingly on closed doors and past roads.   Does this add to my life in any way?  To long for things I no longer have, to wonder what life would be like now if we had chosen differently?

 That, my friends, is a recipe for misery.  

We all make mistakes, life throws us challenges and new opportunities. 
 We carefully make choices based upon the knowledge we have at the time they're presented.   
That's truly all we can do.  

 The last home we left was amazing.  We were so blessed to be surrounded with the comfort and beauty of the place, the peacefulness of the land that filled our souls.   I've had many a pang of regret for having left.  

We made choices.  We chose to move closer to family, to move back to an area where we have strong roots and are surrounded by good people. 
 Because those things really matter.
  Has it been easy?  Definitely not 
I have longingly pined for my past home as we waited almost two years, living in a furnished rental.    I have missed my Ponderosa pine trees and green grasses and snow-covered hills as we've tried to wrestle out an existence in a drier, wilder climate.  
Every step of the way, this new place has been difficult.  We've had our doubts and have wondered, why?  
Why is everything so hard, when we felt sure of our plan to return here?

Little by little, we are being comforted.  God is revealing that His plan for us is better than what we thought we wanted.   As we've let control of the details slip through our fingers a little at a time, we are shown more and more that He is mindful of us, He knows what will make us happy and if we just allow it, He will take care of things.

I can't tell you how good it feels- to let go of the reins of life somewhat, get out of my own way and know that my Father is caring for me. 
I am learning to look forward to doors that are opening, new pathways being cleared.  
I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Simple Things

I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head.
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through the door.
I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my windowsill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.
Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things--old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.

--Grace Noll Crowell

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to be Happy

Sourced from weheartit.com
With summer winding down and fall and winter approaching, (oh, how I love autumn weather!) I want to remind myself of these great truths about happiness.

A reminder for us all, inspired by John Bytheway's 'How to be Totally Miserable'

“If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.”
“The Imagi-Nation is a little country in your head. When you're young, you go there to play. When you get older, you go there to worry.” 
 John Bytheway, How to be Totally Miserable

So, in order to be happy, follow these suggestions:

-Don't worry about things you can't control
-Count your blessings and be filled with gratitude
-Forget yourself, think of others
-Let go of bad memories (don't relive them!)
-Be kind to yourself and find things to praise
-Be happy and content with what you have
-Learn new things
-Have faith and courage- don't take counsel from your fears
-Have adventures 

 Here's to a happy life!

Sourced from http://wisesass.com

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summertime Busyness

 Lots of fun over the past few weeks, lots of activities.

Visiting the coast
Spending time with friends and family
Spending time with my beloved grandparents
Eating  yummy foods and hiking around where I grew up

Welcomed home by our lovely grandbabies, animals and ginormous WEEDS, then back into the swing of things like gardening and school preparations.
Canning and school are beginning simultaneously this year, it seems!

But for now, I want to record some of our summer garden bounty.  
(So I can look back over winter and know summer will come again!)

 Sauteed veggies and chicken over spaghetti squash- yum!
 Zucchini bread and cookies,
Enormous turnips....
 I was still in my jammies, or I'd have let the Man of the House put me in the picture for size reference.  : )

 Zucchini and Dill
 Cabbage  and Cantaloupe

 Tomatoes growing and baby broccoli

 Pickling cukes starting to come in!

 I may be tired of the heat and ready for cooler weather, but I truly LOVE summer and am so very grateful for what the earth provides.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pony Express

A knock at my door this morning:

Mail Delivery!  The Pony Express is still alive around these parts. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Making Life Easier

Today is grocery day.  Twice a month, faithfully, we make the rounds to places like Costco and, my favorite, Winco Foods.
For years this trip was made with many children in tow- from babies on up.
There were times when I dreaded getting groceries.  Dreaded loading and unloading loads of groceries, only to have to make lunch or dinner an hour later.  Years when I struggled to keep six young bodies polite and organized as we made our way through the aisles.   When I had serious doubts about the designer of the freezer section...who chose to install a pattern of black and white floor tiles with which to lure my children
away from my side.  Those black tiles became hot lava and the white tiles the safe spots on which to jump.
 In retrospect, I wish I could go back in time, tell myself to relax and enjoy their antics and not feel hurried through the store.  However, back then, I was very conscious of the fact that we were a larger-than-average family (which attracts stares and contempt at times) as well as a homeschooling family; which made us very visible shopping during school hours.  My children knew they were to be clean and well groomed and on their best behavior if they were to have the privilege of going to town.

I'd give a lot to have a photo or better yet, a video of just one of those excursions!  One of the most memorable involved a fist fight between my oldest two, over who got to run the conveyor belt and who got to bag the groceries.  That was the same day when, still steaming over their public display of rudeness, and while lecturing them on the way to the van, I found that my keys were locked in and we were locked out.  It began to rain and the kids got really quiet.  I marched them back to the store, pushing two wet, fully loaded grocery carts and sat them on benches just outside as we called The Man of the House to come rescue us.  Silently, they waited- sensing that Mom could not tolerate one. more. thing.

 For the most part, though, grocery day has always been looked forward to.  It was the day they could pick out a treat if they were good, they could help plan the menu for the next week or two and often, we would leave the food in the van on a winter's day and head inside to watch a matinee movie at the dollar theater.  Good times!

A few of my best tips for shopping with children are these:
*  Feed everyone a good meal before heading to the store.  This cuts down on cravings and impulsive purchases and puts the kids in a decent mood.
* Go early!  Getting your shopping done before 11 am the best.  Less crowds, shorter lines, better parking.  Enough said.
* After including the kids in menu choices for the next week or so, let them write the grocery list.  Every week, I would choose a child (often the older ones) and dictate my list to them while driving into town.  It was good spelling practice!
* Let children 11 and up take their own cart through the store.  Our routine was to have the list written and once we arrived, I would rip it into three sections.  I would then pair up responsible kids: my 12 year old son with his 7 year old brother, for example, and my 11 year old daughter and her 5 year old brother.   They would each have their portion of the list and a cart.  They knew to act mature and it was great to feel important!   I was amazed at how quickly they learned to look for sale items and better bargains.  I taught them how to look for the best price per ounce and often, they discovered brands that we ended up preferring over name brands.
* Keep little children's hands busy.  So often, my toddlers and preschoolers wanted to be out of the cart seat and walk themselves.  This wasn't the most efficient way to get through a store.  So, some bribery became the rule.  They knew if they sat buckled up in their seat, they could have a treat while we shopped.  Skittles or fruit snacks were favorites- but any item that had lots of little pieces so it required some time to eat.  With Skittles or M& M's I did two things: first, I had wipes ready for the unavoidable messiness and second, I only allowed a small opening in the corner of the package.  Just big enough for one or two little fingers to work hard to get a piece out.   This made the treat last much longer.
*  Expect children to behave in a store.  Once or twice, we had to leave items in a cart and go home because someone was really disobeying or throwing a fit.  Not fun for me, not fun for them.   I had to be tough and lay down the rules.  Basic child exuberance is part of life and fun to be around- but running in front of people, pointing and gawking at people with disabilities, grabbing things without asking or throwing tantrums wasn't allowed.
  At the same time, I don't believe in harshly punishing children- especially in a store!- or expecting them to be cheerful when they're tired or hungry and don't want Mom dragging them from place to place. I've seen far too many mothers screaming at their tired children late at night or ignoring their crying babies because they want to shop.  On the other hand, I've also seen parents who allow their children to run all over, helping themselves to 'free' items from the bulk bins and be generally wild.
*  Praise them for their help and for being good!  Kids love to feel needed and helpful.  I often told them I couldn't do it without them. I also told them that since they ate the food, they could help bring it home!

Today, my grocery partner is my 16 year old son.  He's a huge help.  He knows exactly what we need and always puts my cart away for me.  I may actually cry the day he's grown and I realize the cart return is all up to me....forever.
This son is the person who has been on my case to print a grocery template so we don't have to write every last item down when we go shopping.  Probably because often now, he's the list writer.  Okay, okay, so he can spell cabbage and spaghetti and lasagna noodles on his own and doesn't exactly need the practice.    For him, today, I will print a grocery list.  It probably will make life easier.

If you're interested in using a Grocery List template, here's one for you!
Master Grocery List

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

For the Love of Dad

They say any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad.
 I agree.
 The Man of the House became a father at the young age of 18.  Still a kid, really.
He could have done any number of things- running away or shirking his responsibilities was an option.  Many have done it.    None of his friends would have blamed him, I'm sure.

He was scared.  He didn't know exactly what a dad should do- and had no one to give him a crash course in fatherhood.

I know this....because I was his wife-and I was just as scared.

I can say that it hasn't always been easy- and sometimes it was VERY hard.  Adjusting your life and future plans for major growth in a short period of time is always painful.
But the rewards were beautiful.

Over the past 24 years, I've watched that 18 year old young man grow, falter at times, change-- pull himself up by his bootstraps and carry on.  Over and over again.  Each era of growth making him a better man, a more caring human being.

I know that at times I have been hard on him.  I had high expectations and I didn't believe in doing parenthood and family life half-way.  Our children inspired us to be better than we were- pushed us on when times were tough and carried us through on sheer joy, family fun and love.

We created a family together.  We've shared hardships and laughter, disappointment and awe.  Our family binds us together unlike anything else in this world.

He is not perfect, my Man of the House, but neither am I.   He's better than perfect in many ways, still learning in others.  (Aren't we all?)  The fact that he is still willing to learn- still striving to be a good husband and father after 24 years is, to me, proof of his devotion and love.

Every single day he demonstrates his love for me and every day, not just this one day in June, I'm grateful for him and the children that have blessed our family.

Looking out my window at this very moment, I see him standing in the evening sunshine, joking around with our youngest daughters as they sit on the horses.  Those girls (and all of our children) know that their dad loves them  deeply.  I know that when my husband shows love and kindness to our children, it means just as much to me as when he's showing love and kindness to me personally.

It's true that any man can be a father- and it's also true that it takes a special man to be a dad.
I can honestly say to my children that I love their dad!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Writing My Name

“You don’t have to love this land,” said Maggie.  "But if you don’t love it, you  won’t survive.  Jacob’s right. You have to write your name in the land to live here.” Sarah didn’t speak. She took a handful of dry prairie grass in her hands, letting it crumble through her fingers.  Then she walked away from us, through the dried grass, out onto the brown prairie that stretched all the way to the sky.  She stood there all alone until Papa went to tell her it was time to go home. 
-From the book 'Skylark'

I've thought a lot through the years about Sarah and her inner turmoil: Leaving behind her green home by the ocean, giving up cool climates and scores of trees.  Embracing her life on the dry prairie in order to raise a family, have a place that was hers and to make a good home. 
We have a lot in common.
I wrote some of my thoughts about her here.

Sarah chose to write her name in the land.  
So do I.

Life's been busy, but while out planting my garden (beneath a full moon rising in the east) and without fanfare, I wrote it.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Moving into a new house, celebrating birthdays, taking a truckload of teen girls to the drive-in, seeing two girls off to their first dance, joyfully welcoming our third grandchild (a boy!), watching children grow and change....this is what Spring 2013 has brought our way:

Baby Hayden!

I sometimes feel as if everything is in fast forward- there is so much to experience, so much to enjoy and savor and yet life slips by faster than I can grab hold of it.  I feel breathless and, as I've mentioned before, as if I have one foot continuously on the brake, trying to slow things down.

Today I read a quote that summed up those feelings.
 From Courtney Kendrick (on the eve of her son's fifth birthday):  "....His birthday, the anniversary of my motherhood, is the date my life hit a fast forward button and everything started sinking rapidly into a vortex of time and information.  I never knew this was motherhood--watching life disappear into memories at a speed you can't control.  It's a rush of so many sorts."

I so agree!  My life, this blog, everything that I am is dedicated to my family.  It's all-encompassing and yet, 
I wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Beauty and Wonder of Ordinary Life

wet peony
Photo by Muffet

-For some reason, the link to this April 2011 post is broken, so I'm reposting it.
(I'd also like to recommend at this time, the book and film 'The Magic of Ordinary Days.')

Our Town, a wonderful play by Thornton Wilder, is set in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire at the turn of the 20th century.   I'd only heard of this book in the last year or so and finally took the time to read it.

From Sydney Theatre Company's 'Our Town', 2010

Our Town is a love story about George Gibbs and Emily Webb.  Childhood sweethearts, they grow up next door to each other amidst  common, all-too average daily life. They marry right out of high school and begin their family, both learning to sacrifice for the good of the family. But during the birth of their second baby, Emily dies.
The last act is about her death and what she experiences. She watches her own funeral and burial and sees those she loves.
 From the book:
“Live people don’t understand, do they?” she asks. “I never realized how troubled and how…in the dark live persons are…From morning till night, that’s all they are – troubled.”

Then, even though those who have already died before her try to persuade her not to, she chooses to go back and relive a day of her life- her twelfth birthday.
They tell her it's not a good idea.   Still, she goes.

She steps into her mother’s kitchen, circles the stove and table, watches her mother prepare breakfast. She sees the birthday gift George left on her doorstep early that morning. A post-card album she had forgotten about.

“I can’t bear it. They’re so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old? Mama, I’m here. I’m grown up. I love you all, everything. — I can’t look at everything hard enough…Oh Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really see me…Mama, just for a moment we’re happy. Let’s look at one another.”
Finally, she begins to sob.  Overcome with the grief and beauty of it all – the wonder of her ordinary life.

“I can’t go on. It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another…Take me back – up the hill – to my grave.”
Before leaving, however, she wants another look. Longingly, she says good-bye to clocks ticking, her Mama’s sunflowers, new-ironed dresses, hot baths, sleeping and waking. Then suddenly she throws her arms out wide and cries,
“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you! Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it – ever, every minute?”
“No.” the narrator, replies. “The saints and poets, maybe – they do some.”

Unfortunately, there is so much truth in that 'no'.  
Just yesterday, I looked at The Man of the House....really looked at him.  I noticed the silver creeping into his hair more, the tired lines around his eyes.  
So often, we look at each other but in our busyness, we don't really see.   

My children tell me about exciting moments in their lives- eyes shining, crooked grins forming , hands gesturing wildly.  How many times have I listened half-heartedly, focusing more on tasks I'm working on or worries plaguing me?

How often do I really see the beauty in the daily activities that we sometimes call 'grind'?  
Running a bath for my daughter- only occasionally now as she's likes to do it herself- and hearing her sing to herself; in her own water world that has transformed into whatever her imagination has fantasized.    Then, later, waiting impatiently to blow dry her hair, she arrives in fresh PJs, with her towel wrapped turban-style with only her eyes and nose showing.  She makes me smile.

Cooking dinner and trying to get things done before rushing off for soccer practice; my eleven year old daughter comes up behind me and gives me a hug.  Not just a cursory hug- a real hug.  She smiles, looks into my eyes, knows I'm about to wriggle out of her grasp in order to drain the pasta.   She tells me, "We have a connection, Mom."  I put down the pot, wrap my arms around her and press my forehead to hers.  Yes, we do.

Taking a breather...really trying to relax after cleaning like crazy for a house showing (that was later canceled), my fourteen year old son walks by and just lifts my hand and holds it for a moment.  He smiles at me and encourages me to relax.

Hearing my children chorus much like frogs in the night with their "thank yous" at dinner time.  I sing out a long "You're Welllcome" with a smile on my face.

Taking a morning- really grasping hold of it and claiming it for my own- to stay in bed and snuggle with The Man of the House.  To first absorb the deliciousness of a quiet house (kids not woken yet) and a warm, familiar body.  To feel worries and tensions drain away.  Then to talk softly about life: goals, children, etc.  And, last of all, to put on an old movie and watch it, legs entwined, pillows a wonder of downy softness, the view out the window pale gray and foggy.

Later, the children waking on their own schedule and wondering why the house is so quiet on a school morning; coming up to find bacon and eggs cooking and Mom and Dad full of patience and serenity; waiting for warm hugs.

Even noticing the dog- who spends years of her life anticipating what we may want or need of her, greeting us with the same exuberant joy every. single. time. we arrive home.   She gets ordered off the couch if we need more space or put outdoors if we have company over.  Cheerfully, she complies.  Never does she complain.

Just today, washing up some dishes by hand- those that couldn't fit in the dishwasher- I noticed how therapeutic it can be to immerse your hands in hot, soapy water.  To think or dream while methodically washing the dishes.  

These little things, little moments are the stuff of which a good life is made.  

A few quotes to remember:

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take; But by the moments that take our breath away….."

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about Learning to Dance in the Rain."

Of course, life is full of difficulties, too.  Children argue, people get grumpy and things go wrong.  But, I think if we make it a habit to really see the loveliness in an ordinary life, not only will we have so many less regrets later, but we'll be able to withstand the difficulties thrown our way with a greater patience and broader outlook.  

Here's to looking for that which is lovely! 

(And I highly recommend reading this play or, even better, watching it in person!)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Learn As You 'Go'

Live Extraordinary by Life Manifestos
I'm a big believer in taking advantage of learning moments.... and a captive audience.   My older children joke about the times alone in the car with me, vehicle moving, when I'd bring up sensitive topics to discuss.  Things like body changes and the Birds and the Bees.  They could sit and squirm, but they listened!

Another favorite has been the use of teaching tools for the captive audience in the, ahem, bathroom.
My learn as you 'go' method, you might say.  : )
Through the years, I've posted items of interest,  ideas to memorize and inspire.
My two biggest complaints in renting a home or having a home on the market are these:  painting over or erasing my children's heights off the wall and not being able to hang learning tools in the bathroom.

Every once in a while,  I casually ask my kiddos if they've learned anything from the educational wall art.  At times I've seen eye rolls, or heard flat-out 'no', but mostly I have learned that they do absorb the information.

This afternoon, I overheard my two youngest daughters laughing over the discovery that they both had developed their own songs to the words on the above poster.  This poster being one of my very favorites from Life Manifestos.  I heard one daughter, singing her tune to the words, "Be an intiator, not a criticizer. Be a player, not a spectator."    Then my other daughter, laughing, singing her own tune to, "Make every day an adventure.  Keep your word, no matter the cost."
Hearing this, I asked them if they read it every time they're in the restroom.  They both said yes and then went on to tell me that they and their brother have also been paying focused attention to the Periodic Table of Elements I recently added to the wall.
From posters of the solar system or wonders of the world to famous art prints and quotes, all I can say is-
 It works!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I Like My Life!

I'm thinking today about this youtube video:

 In following her lead;

I like my life,
I like my family,
I like my house,
I like my hair,
I like my room,
I like that I don't have to sell a home,
I like that I am free to care for my new home any way I please,
I like my husband,
I like my future (and I'm learning to be okay with the past!),
I like that I still have piles to unpack and find a place for- and I can take all the time I need,
I like my freedoms,
I like that my garden is planted,
I like that summer is here and school is out this week!

Recently, I heard a woman speak to a room full of teenage girls and she mentioned the above video.  She said that no matter how many affirmations people shower upon you, all it takes is one or a few negative messages to make you discount the good, true affirmations. Most of the time, those negative messages come from ourselves!
 Why is it that negative messages or thoughts have so much power?
 Don't we know that we are are special?  That our uniqueness is grand?

I'm challenging myself to focus on what I like and love about my life; leaving out the negative, focusing on the positive.  Quitting comparing myself to others when I am already niftyGiving myself a whole lot more 'Atta girls' rather than allowing silent criticisms to fester in my brain and body.

Here's to being ME and loving it!

Friday, May 17, 2013

How to Preserve Children

'From the Garden' by Robert Duncan
1 large, grassy field
1/2 dozen children
2 or 3 dogs (small or large)
a pinch of brook
some small pebbles

Mix the children and dogs well together and put them in a field, stirring constantly.  Pour the brook over the pebbles; sprinkle the field with flowers.  Spread over all a deep blue sky.  Bake in the hot sun.  When thoroughly browned, remove and set to cool in a bathtub.

~author unknown

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Life doesn't come with a manual...it comes with a Mother.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

 May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human enough hope to make you happy. -Unknown

The past few years have been a major trial and learning process for me.
Wanting things in life-GOOD things, striving for them and yet, still having things turn out differently or feeling as though prayers are not being answered the way we want, or that we must be doing something wrong to be experiencing all of these trials in the first place.
I have learned some important things- which is the point of all trials, right?  LEARNING and GROWING.
I have truly learned the following (even if I thought I knew it before):

*Faith and Fear cannot coexist.
*We are carefully watched over and are engraven in the palms of the Lord's hands.
*What we think we want may not be what we need.
*If, at any time we pridefully think we know all the answers in an area of life, we will surely be made aware of our weaknesses.
* If we think our trials are difficult, remember, there are always those experiencing much more difficult things!
* At times, we may think others have it 'all together' when in fact, they may be experiencing deep pain or hardship.

*GO and DO, don't sit and stew. 
* Do NOT feed the wrong wolf within you.
*Trials make us stronger.
* Happiness is a Choice.
* The Sweet, Simple things in life are the real ones.

These trials, this period of our life, have changed us.  I realized the other day how much less we have laughed over the past few years or just enjoyed simple pleasures.   We have known burdens unlike any we had known previously.  
On the other hand, we have been blessed exquisitely and have felt a depth of satisfaction and love for our children and grandchildren that is amazing and has carried us through.

I have come to deeply admire those who have made it through trials and tribulations and my compassion and empathy have grown by leaps and bounds.  This is a powerful thing. 

At this point in time, I can carefully say that we are now safely on the other side of a major life storm.  We have weathered it- not always well, but having learned some big lessons.
A weight is being lifted from our shoulders and we are filled with gratitude for our blessings.

Here's to looking forward to experiencing simple pleasures once again, with a more wisened heart.  

  Trials are medicine which our gracious and wise physician prescribes, because we need them and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires, let us trust in his skill and thank him for his prescription. -John newton

Things for me to remember:

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."  (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

This has been my journey- and I'm sure always will be.  I know that as I have needs or desires or questions, I can pray and ask for an increase in faith.  " It is an upward spiral. When we ask in faith, we receive answers to our prayers.  When we receive answers to our prayers, our faith is strengthened.  With increased faith, we can receive increased blessings." From  You Can Become Pure In Heart 

"The Lord answers our prayers according to our desire and according to our faith. It is important that our desires are correct and that our faith is strong."

To that, I will add that every answer is in the Lord's time and is for our benefit- even though we may think we're not receiving what we prayed for.  It is a learning process to truly TRUST IN THE LORD....and He knows best!  

Getting Answers:

"Why does it sometimes appear that God is not listening or answering?  Perhaps we have not prepared properly.  The Savior said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to  him, and will sup with him and  he with me."  (Revelation 3:20)

"This promise is made to everyone.  There is no discrimination, no favored few, but the Lord has not promised to crash the door.  He stands and knocks.  If we do not listen, he will not sup with us nor give answer to our prayers.  We must learn how to listen, grasp, interpret,  understand.  The Lord stands knocking.  He never retreats.  But he will never force himself upon us.  If our distance from him increases, it is we who have moved and not the Lord.  And should we ever fail to get an answer to our prayers, we must look into our lives for a reason.  We have failed to do what we should do, or we have done something we should not have done.  We have dulled our hearing or impaired our eyesight." ~ Spencer W. Kimball

"If we are worried about something and upset in our feelings, the inspiration does not come.  If we so live that our minds are free from worry and our conscience is clear and our feelings are right toward one another, the operation of the Spirit of the Lord upon our spirit is as real as when we pick up the telephone; but when they come, we must be brave enough to take the suggested actions."  Harold B. Lee

Friday, April 19, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Looking Up


Back in 2011, I wrote here and here about our preparing to move.  At that point we'd already had our home on the market for some time.
TWO years later, after moving across four states, living for a summer in our 5th wheel- stationed at my mother-in-law's- which was cramped but fun if you minus out the teenage annoyance, then renting a large, furnished home that has been quite spendy to heat and cool, we are finally getting ready for our own home. 

It will be:
-Smaller than we're used to
-On land that was previously a farmed field, so we are starting from scratch with trees, shrubs  and lawn
-Cheaper to heat and cool
and, most importantly, our very own.

We were at a scout auction the other night and the Man of the House laughingly told me he was about to bid on a set of handmade birdhouses- until he remembered we don't have any trees.
 He then quickly asked me not to cry.

I didn't cry.  I am looking up.  Looking at my incredible blessings, looking at all the beauty around me, the hand of the Lord in our lives for these past 24 years.  Excited to be moving in on the cusp of Spring, ready to put a garden in.  Ready to beautify my home, make it my own.
I am very blessed, indeed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ever Feel Like This?

I'm happy to say I haven't had a day like this in a while and maybe never this bad.
Although there have been times....
 Have a GREAT Day!

Heath Robbins Lifestyle FoundFolios

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