Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Language We Speak

In each unit of my Family Foundations class we are assigned a project. This unit we are focused on Love Languages (I SOOOO didn't see that coming). All of the others have been relatively easy and I felt prepared for, but this one came out of nowhere. It's been a really interesting experience though. At the YSA conference I attended in August, one of the speakers I listened to talked about this and identifying our own love language to understand what it is we need out of our relationships, whether it be with a spouse, family member, friend, or even coworker. In order to function well within relationships, we need to know what we NEED! At this conference I took the little test and no doubt learned that I'm a "quality time" kind of girl. I knew that about myself so long ago, but it was nice to have it on paper.
This project has forced me to take notice of people I deal with on a regular basis and do my best to determine what their love language is. And then the kicker...I have to focus on one person in particular and do things to "speak their langauge".  I had a hard time at first but identified my "victim" and embraced the project.
I'm not quite finished, but I've already drawn some conclusions. Focusing on someone else's "langauge" brings me happiness! I find that I'm spending quality time in trying to learn this about these people and in turn feel more love and respect. The second was that as I tried to learn and speak this different "langauges" to people, I've discovered the ways in which they communicate. I found in one case that someone was speaking their language but because it wasn't my language, I felt they didn't like me at all! I'm slow, I guess, but I'm learning. And as I continue to learn I feel that I'm becoming a better person who will be able to communicate with EVERYONE (at least a bit better than I was the previous day). 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What I Learned From a Goat

My parents have a small flock of goats. We enjoy going out to the barn and feeding them, trying to win these animals over (we want them to be more like pets than farm animals...we have lofty dreams). Today we took apple slices. There are eight goats, so you can imagine how quickly one apple goes. But those little goat mouths don't give up easily and they will nibble on anything they can, including fingers. I was letting one of them nibble on my finger. When we first got the goats I was told that they don't really hurt when they nibble as long as you keep your fingers at the front of their mouths. Apparently the dangerous teeth are in the back.

Well, mom and I sat there and as we were talking and feeding the goats, she got a pretty hard nibble. She warned me again to be careful. I was watching what I was doing, but apparently I can't focus on two things at once and turned my head away from the goats and the next thing I know, my finger is in the grinding teeth of this goats!! OUCH!! It bruised the nail badly, and even broke the skin on my finger tip (and there may or may not have been some cries of pain). I learned a very valuable lesson and experienced an amazing tender mercy because of it.

The lesson: Be aware!! Not only when you are feeding goats, but in life. Be aware of the pain that comes from being distracted, the result of thinking "I have it all under control" or "I know what I'm doing". I'm sitting here tonight typing with only 9 fingers because I didn't pay attention for one moment. Satan is quick and crafty and only needs to distract us for a moment to cause us pain that comes from following him. We need to always be alert and on the path, never looking away from what our ultimate goal is (which, in case you're wondering, is to return to the presence of God).

The tender mercy: I was asked to accompany a quartet in church today. This week as I've practiced, I've been more nervous than ever that something was going to happen to my hand and that I wouldn't be able to play. I hurt my wrist mid-week and thought that my worries were coming true. I took it easy and prayed a lot and I didn't have any problem. They performed today and it was one of the most beautiful pieces I've heard, sung by four very talented individuals. I was grateful to be able to play as planned. The miracle to me is that I didn't have a goat bite my finger last night. There will be no piano playing for a day or two, but I accomplished what I needed to today, and I can deal with the rest.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Everywhere you turn on Facebook, you find notes of gratitude that people are posting through the month of November. I'm apparently a bit of a scrooge about this, not because I'm not grateful, and not because I don't want to share, but I've been handling my thoughts of gratitude a bit differently this year. I've been (attempting) to write down my things that I was grateful for. Among those things are things that I'm blessed with, but I have also been including daily experiences I've been having. My intent was to put them in a mason jar and fill it up throughout the month. But they've gotten as far as my purse, and it's getting full. I just have to share a few.

1. Making new friends and feeling apart of something.
2. The testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His restored gospel, and the opportunities I have to bear it. The day I wrote this came a day after having had the opportunity to voice my testimony of the importance of marriage and family and missed it. I didn't turn away from it, but I just wasn't with it. I prayed that night that I wouldn't let that opportunity pass by me again. I was blessed the very next day to have an opportunity to tell a coworker of my testimony of the importance of marriage and families and how that is something that I'm striving for.
3.Words of the modern day prophets & apostles and the strength and direction they offer.
4. Tender mercies!! The day I wrote this I had a CRAZY busy week and couldn't see how I could possibly get everything done that I needed. And then I got an email that the assignments for one of my classes and been postponed and entire week! Amazing!
5. Jesus Christ, the gift & power of the Atonement, and for His restored gospel.
6. Good music that lifts the soul.
7. Family! I am fortunate to be blessed with such wonderful parents. They raised me well and taught me to work, serve, and love others. They taught me the importance of church attendance, family prayer, and quality time together. For some reason they love me despite my sometimes awful attitude and silly quirks. My sister is my best friend! I grow more and more thankful for her every day! I'm grateful for my older siblings! I don't know them as well, but I'm beginning to and I LOVE spending time with them. I'm grateful for all of these wonderful and amazing people that I get to call my family!
8. Children who love me and give me hugs! I'm grateful that they want to be my friends (my philosophy in life is that it doesn't really matter if any other adults like me, as long as there are children who do, I'm all set).
9. I'm grateful for trials I've gone through and the mistakes I've made, and for the lessons both have taught me. There are lessons I couldn't have learned any other way than going through a trial, and there are some lessons I learned as a result of my mistakes that I wish I hadn't learned, but all have strengthened me and have helped/are helping me become the woman I want to be.
10. I'm grateful for the knowledge that families can be together forever. I've been lucky that death hasn't been a very large part of my life to this point, but recently tragedy has come to many that I know and love, and I know that one day it will also happen to those that I know and love personally (and it will even happen to me). I know that the separation has got to be so difficult and heart breaking, but how truly comforting to know that it is only temporary, that they, and we, will live again and that we can live eternally with our families!

This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but are the things that I felt I wanted to share tonight. My heart is overflowing in gratitude for the many gifts, blessings, and opportunities the Lord has given me! I'm learning that the best way to find contentment in life is to be grateful.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Law of Chastity

We've started another section of my Family Foundations class regarding The Law of Chastity. Below, I'm sharing one of the posts I made for this class, not because I think what I wrote is worth sharing, but because as I'm studying and understanding more and more the "why" of keeping the Law of Chastity, my testimony is being strengthened and I know now what I wish I had known so much sooner. I mention several talks below, but the talk I loved most on this topic was Elder Holland's "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments". I know that we were given commandment to keep the Law of Chastity and to uphold the sanctity of life. I know that Satan is out to thwart the plan of God and to lead us away, and he's successful. For those of us who have made mistakes, we have the privilege of being able to repent and to be made clean and pure again. I am so grateful for the gift of the Atonement! Hopefully this will help you gain further understanding as it has helped me!

I was particularly touched by Elder Holland’s talk “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments”. In speaking of the future he said, “But the future, at least any qualitative aspect of it, must be vigorously fought for. It won’t “just happen” to your advantage. Someone said once that the future is waiting to be seized, and if we do not grasp it firmly, then other hands, more determined and bloody than our own, will wrench it from us and follow a different course.” Outside of ourselves, there are really only two people who are so concerned with our commitment to the law of chastity; Heavenly Father and Satan. The future of our souls, of our spirit and body, is what is at stake as taught by Elder Holland. If we wish to remain morally clean and to be worthy of the blessings the Lord has for us, including exaltation and eternal life, we have to make it happen. Heavenly Father has provided the plan and tools by which we can achieve this success, but make no mistake that Satan has readied his arsenal against us. In his talk entitled “Things as they Really Are”, Elder Bednar stated, “Because a physical body is so central to the Father’s plan of happiness and our spiritual development, we should not be surprised that Lucifer seeks to frustrate our progression by tempting us to use our bodies improperly. One of the ultimate ironies of eternity is that the adversary, who is miserable precisely because he has no physical body, invites and entices us to share in his misery through the improper use of our bodies.” Daily, we must be careful, we must be “steadfast and immovable” (Alma 1:25). 

Elder Richard G. Scott, in his talk “Making the Right Choices” said that as we learn to make right choices, we “will have confidence to do right and overcome strong negative peer pressure and bad influences.”  We are the ones responsible for what we think and ultimately do. We must, as it says in D&C 10:5: “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work”. With the Lord on our side, we can expect to see miracles in abiding by the Law of Chastity.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Seeking the Will of God

I got to watch the CES Devotional tonight. The speak was Brother Russell T. Osgethorpe. I just had to share two quick thoughts. These are not direct quotes, but rather notes I took as I listened to him, but hopefully they are close.

1. With the Lord at your side, you can do ANYTHING!! You WILL experience miracles!!

2. Desires are EVERYTHING! We need to want what God wants!!

I also really liked that giving our will to God isn't a one time act, nor is it an "end" act. It is just the beginning. We give the Lord our will and then returns it to us with an even greater capacity to do what He requests!

Did you get to watch it? What did you take away from it?

If you haven't had a chance to watch/listen, check it out HERE (please accept that I'm forgetful. They haven't posted the link yet for the video (it did just end 30 minutes ago) and I'm likely to forget. Check out the Mormon.org page and search for Brother Osgethorpe).