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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Birthday muffins-steel cut oats, flax, hardy and fulfilling, and nutrional.

Today is my cute little boys birthday! Love you buddy!
We don't do normal birthday cakes around here anymore. I just can't get myself to use a mix from the store, that is full of sugar and corn syrup, not to mention the corn syrup filled frosting too. So we usually end up having something homemade, like cookies, or pie. My sister used watermelon as a cake once, and that worked great too!

Something I have been learning to do a lot lately, is to be sufficient with all natural ingredients.....and my blender, haha. I think its great to be able to know how to make things from scratch, and straight out of the garden. :) (o.k., o.k. my garden didn't produce diddly squat this year, but I still buy everything from Whole Foods market. ;) and use stuff from my sweet neighbors who are willing to share.)

 Anyway, the foods I can eat have been restricted for the last month, so I have been figuring out all kinds of fun recipes. I could have just made a normal cake, but then I wouldn't be able to eat it too, so I googled for recipes with things that I can eat, and then tweaked it.

I found a muffin recipe, that called for wheat flour and oats, and eggs, and milk and sugar. I can have oats, but not the rest, so I changed it to this instead, and I am happy to say, they turned out fabulous!
So fabulous in fact, that my girls and I ate them all and now we have to make another batch. :)

1 and 1/2 cups of steel cut oats, blended in the blender to make 2 cups of flour.You may want to make a little extra to flour your muffin tins with.
1/3 cup of coconut sugar (or you can use a banana, or 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey)
 1/4 tsp of salt
1 3/4 tsp of baking soda
1 tbsp of flax, mixed with 3 tbsp of water (egg replacement)
3/4 cup of water
1/4 cup warm coconut oil

Mix your dry ingredients
In a seperate bowl, mix your wet ingredients, a long with the flax mixture and coconut oil.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir only enough to mix it all gently. (They will turn out harder the more you mix).

grease and flour your muffin tins with coconut oil and a little oat flour
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

The first batch I made, turned out wonderful, and they stuck together, yet they were crumbly enough to melt into hot butter.

We used maple syrup as frosting. :)

I will be making a little extra for this next batch, in case I get hungry again. :)

I would also like to try a few different versions of this in the future. While I was munching on my second helping, I couldn't help but think it looked like pumpkin bread. I can have pumpkin as long as its fresh from the actual pumpkin. I am sooooo going to make this into a pumpkin muffin recipe, sooon!

I also want to try adding some zucchini. I think 3/4 cup of chopped zucchini should do it well.

You could also add shredded carrots and zucchini too.

Pears and applesauce are great sugar replacements also, so I can't wait to try them too!

Let me know if you try the recipe, and if you tweak it somehow, and you like it, I would love to hear about it! :)


If you are looking for something gluten free, these are great-however read this article from Livestrong.com before deciding. I do not gain anything from sharing, except a happy heart, that I can help someone else with eating clean. :)

I apologize for no pictures, I am having issues with my sd card :( I will try to update as soon as I can though!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My life Binder-Daily Schedule Template

I have a binder that helps keep me organized. I call it my "Life Binder". Its much like a planner, only it has my own customized categories in it. My sweet sister at http://www.inthegardenofeatin.com/ gave me the idea, and I have loved it since.

In my Binder I have have a "planner" section. It has my daily schedule in it.
I am going to share the template to this for Free! I will have more templates available on my website soon too, for more sections of my "Life Binder".

Feel free to download this PDF file, for your own use! :)

Daily schedule "My Life Binder" Template

Print it out on Card stock, and hole punch it, to go in your binder. Fill it out to the half hour, with a pencil in case your schedule changes. :) Each line next to the time, represents a half an hour time slot. 

Remember to keep things enjoyable throughout your day, "Structure your time, but not the content!".

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What a moment? I was at the park this morning with some friends, enjoying some social time for me, while my kids got to play with their friends too. It is a small park, and I hardly ever see any one else there.
Today was different though, and the park was busy with other mom's taking a relaxing break with their kids also.
One particular young lady, showed up with her beautiful Doberman dog, and immediately started throwing a frisbee for it. The dog looked as happy and excited as her master did, to be at the park together playing.
I watched them for a few minutes, and then my attention turned back to my kids and the ladies I was talking to.
About 5 minutes went by, when a strange scene caught my eye.
The Doberman was laying on its back, and a woman was giving it chest compressions!
My first reaction: "Are they playing?"
I didn't even recognize what was happening!
My friends saw it too and their commenting, brought me to the realization of the seriousness of the situation. She was performing CPR, and it was real.
My next thought was "Am I really just sitting here? What can I do?" I started to pray inside. I prayed that the dog would come back, and then my feelings directed me to pray that they would all have comfort instead.
I felt like gathering my friends around to pray to bring the dog back to life, but instead I found myself grabbing my son, and going to them, to see if there was anything I could help with.
When I reached them, I realized they had given up. Everyone was in disbelief at what had just happened.
She was a healthy dog, but for some reason her heart just gave out on her. She was so full of life at one moment, and then...........
I felt tears well up in my own eyes, because we had just lost such a beautiful animal so suddenly, and also because of the helplessness that everyone felt.
I couldn't believe it.
In a situation like this, I am always reminded of my testimony of the spirit world being a loving place. I know there is life after this one. I know we will see our loved ones again, and I know that those who pass on, even our beloved animals, still can dwell near us in spirit, while they wait for us to achieve our own potential in life.
I know that through faith, even a little bit, miracles do happen. I question myself on why I was afraid to show my desire to pray for the situation. Something I will work on for sure, but I somehow sensed that it was meant to be otherwise.
My heart breaks for the sweet girl and her husband who lost their loved one today. I will keep them continuously in my prayers today, that they will feel comfort, and have healing in their own hearts.

I ask myself:

What can I learn from this?

Why did I need to experience this today?

How can I be more aware of what is going on in others lives, that I might be able to help somehow?

This is what will be on my mind all day I am sure.

How can I make sure it sets a spiritual tone for my day, rather than dwelling on the loss.

What would you have done?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kindergartener Mommy-

One of the great things about having my home be my children's primary location of education, is I get to learn along with them! In fact, I get to be an example to them, of learning to love to learn, so that they will see how its done first.
I really feel like I am starting the beginning phase of the Thomas Jefferson Method, for myself. I am in the phase of learning how to love to learn. Pretty much the Kindergarten stage :)
I am really liking it too!

I can just pick any old subject of my choice, and then study it out as much as I want, by googling it, or finding books to teach me about it.

The greatest way we can teach our little pupils, is by example. If I want them to learn to love to study things out, then I must first, show them that I love to study things out. (I really do love to. I am a huge fan of facts, and history, and non-fiction information, and documentaries. Yep you can say it, I am a nerd.)

So, the other day, I was thinking about clocks and how they work, and why we have clocks, where they came from, how they were invented......all those sorts of questions. I naturally assume, they are in direct connection to the sundial :) I decided I want to know all about sundials now. :) I have already googled "where was the first sundial invented", and got a brainful of reading material to indulge in. I learned there are several different kinds of sundials, and up until the medieval times, they used a sundial with uneven hours. They would plan events around their shadows being in a certain position to their sundials. The sundial that intrigues me the most is a "gnomon" style. Apparently it is a universal type, that can be taken anywhere on earth to be used. Here is a fun article about one from Egypt.http://www.wijzerweb.be/egypteengels.html I am dying to look up a blue print to make my own homemade sundial. :) I love, love, love the freedom of learning that homeschool provides!! I am going to blog some more about this new subject, if anyone is interested in following what I discover! :) 
 Other ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sundials and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundial
 A simple question, of how something is done, can turn into a whole new world of fun and learning, if the answer is sought out and worked for! When you ask a question, and then study it out, the answer can be as big or as small as you want it to be. :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How can we strengthen the family unit?

My Husband and I were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting, last Sunday. Here is the talk I gave. I went to LDS.org and found about 5 talks about the family that I liked, and then pieced it all together from there. I used a lot of quotes from other talks, that I loved. As a reference to where a lot of my material came from, you can read from the talks here: Click on this link

How Can We Strengthen The Family Unit?

"All human beings-male & female, are created in the image of god. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of Heavenly Parents, and as such, each has a Divine nature and destiny.

One of the reasons we were sent here, is to build an eternal family.
In these last days-there are many forces against keeping the eternal family together. 

The greatest help we will have in strengthening families is to know and follow the doctrines of Christ."

Sister Barbara Thompson; a councilor in the Relief Society General Presidency, also works as a social worker for families. In a general conference talk she quoted the following:

What Is Happening to Families?

"Satan is working overtime to attack the family. He tells us that marriage is not important, that children do not need a father and a mother, and that strong families are not important. He tells us that moral values are old-fashioned and silly. When challenges come, Satan tells us to abandon our beliefs and go with the ways of the world. He entices us with fame and fortune and tells us where to find the easy life. He attacks our faith in God and tries to discourage even the strongest and most loving families. Satan is delighted when we give in-even just a little."

Neal A. Maxwell, said in one of his talks on the family-

"As latter day Saints, we need to do better in our families-much better! There should be less wringing of hands and more loving arms around our families. 

Of all the work of "perfecting the Saints" none compares to that done in healthy families. President David O. McKay taught, "The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place, nor fulfill its essential functions."

Instructively, after the resurrected Jesus taught the Nephites, He said, "Go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said," and pray and prepare "for the morrow" (3 Ne. 17:3) Jesus did not say go to your civic clubs, town meetings, or even stake centers!" He said "Go ye unto your homes."

Attending to all family duties includes really teaching our children "to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God" (D&C 68:25). What a different view of parenting from that of the world.

When parents fail to transmit testimony and theology along with decency, those families are only one generation from serious spiritual decline, having lost their savor.

In addition to our having loving family "sociality, " which, one day, will be "coupled with eternal glory," we stress again and again the available remedies of family prayers, family home evenings, and family scripture study (D&C 130:2). Moreover, personal revelation regarding parenting can provide customized guidance and reassurance!

Applying basic remedies will take some time and will not fix everything immediately. What could be more basic, however, than "Love at Home,"

In the face of such challenges, we need more mothers who know the truth, whose children do not doubt their mothers know it. We need more kind and thoughtful fathers who also carry the authority of example. 

In the healthy family, first and best, we can learn to listen, forgive, praise, and to rejoice in the achievements of others. There also we can learn to tame our egos, work, repent, and love. In the families with spiritual perspective, yesterday need not hold tomorrow hostage. If we sometimes act the fool, loving families know this is not our last act; the curtain is not rung down."

"What Are Some Simple Things That Will Help Families?"

Sister Thompson quoted:

"Remember, children are precious. They are spirit children of God." 

"Dear sisters, love and nurture your children. Tell them you love them. Put your arms around them. Appropriate affection will accomplish miracles. Express kind words. Show them by example how to work. Teach them to pray. President James E. Faust said, "Praying together as a family is a bonding experience. Younger children can learn how to pray as they hear the prayers of their parents and older sibling. Individual prayer and family prayer are indispensable to personal and family happiness."

"Read to your children. Read from the scriptures. Help them learn that the scriptures will guide them throughout their entire lives. Have family home evening with them. Let them know that family time together is very important to you."

In our little family, since the time my oldest was a newborn (7 1/2 years), we have had a tradition every night, to hold a night devotional. Rarely do we miss a night. My husband reads a story, then we all kneel in a circle & hold hands to have a family prayer. Then we read from the scriptures together, and then we give hugs and tuck the little ones in to bed.
 Sometimes this can be done in as quick as 15 minutes, but more often than not, it can take us over an hour, from just enjoying our time together and talking.

I didn't mention the following in my talk on Sunday, but wish I had-

[I remember Elder Oaks saying in one of his talks, that they didn't have to have "Family Home Evening", because everyday was "Family Day". 
I feel like this is how we are at my home too. We hold our Family Home Evening's, but they aren't much different from what we do at night devotional. We add a lesson and some songs, and a planned activity. In our nightly devotionals, and all throughout the day, we keep a spirit of teaching the gospel too, and we play, and laugh, and we try to make sure that our kids understand that family is the most important thing we have. 
When ever there is quarreling, (and yes we have our fair share of that too, we are not perfect by any means), we remind each other, that "we are loving and sharing", and "we are best friends, and always will be", to help regain harmony. We make sure to teach our kids an eternal perspective of things, and why family is important that way.]

While we are reading & praying, rarely is it completely reverent, and I feel like I am always trying to get the kids to be "respectful and reverent", and some of miss out on the doctrine part of it quite a bit- but what counts, is that we are doing it! I remember a general conference talk, that mentioned they did this too, and that it often felt like no one was listening to the scriptures, or the lessons, but when the children grew up, they talked about how they loved it! That sort of time spent together as a family, was important to them. They will now teach and apply that principle with their own little families. 

Our kids will grow up knowing that family time, scripture study & praying are important values that our family keeps. 

The traditions of doing wholesome things together, can train the children for when they get older and can make more choices for themselves. 
They will have a foundation of values to fall back on, when difficult life circumstances come upon them.

"No better advice can be found than that given in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Read it. Study it. Adopt it as your family standard. Make it the topic in several family home evening lessons so no one in the family has any misunderstanding about how your family operates."

John H. Groberg said:

Our Father in Heaven wants us to have strong, loving families. One of the great helps he has given us to achieve this is family prayer. 

All of us, single or married, are eternally part of some family-someway, somehow-and much of our joy in life comes as we correctly recognize and properly develop those family relationships. We come to this earth charged with a mission: to learn to love and serve one another. To best help us accomplish this, God has placed us in families, for he knows that is where we can best learn to overcome selfishness and pride and to sacrifice for others and to make happiness and helpfulness and humility and love the very essence of our character. 

We learn that friends and neighbors come and go but family is forever, and as we learn this, we find that we are eternally our brother's keeper and we begin to realize how much help we need. How we should thank God for the opportunity of family prayer!

Third Nephi: "Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and children may be blessed."

Can you detect that if we do not pray in our families always they may not be blessed-or at least not so fully? If we truly love our families we will constantly pray for them and with them. I know of no single activity that has more potential for unifying our families and bringing more love and divine direction into our homes than consistent, fervent family prayer."

This was from my husband's talk he gave, but I wanted to share it in my words, because when he brought it up, it struck a memory in me of the experience, and how precious it was. 

[ When my 3 year old little girl was just a couple weeks old, she gave us all quite a scare. 
I had just nursed her for the morning, it was about 6:30 a.m. and my husband would be getting up soon to go to work. As I was burping her, she spit up a whole bunch. When she tried to catch her breath from it, she started coughing and gasping. Her spit up was caught in her throat, and blocking her airway. I tried everything I could think of. She would cry out, and then go silent, and wouldn't take a breath in. Her skin, after a few minutes, was turning purple from not breathing very much at all, and she was getting tired. My husband, hearing the panic in my voice was awake by now, and trying to help. He gave her a priesthood blessing (I am soooo thankful to have the priesthood in our home), and we tried to figure out what we should do. I wanted to take her to the E.R., but I was hoping she would overcome it before we had to do that. I also, wondered if she would even make it to the E.R. In my mind I was preparing myself, if we lost her. Even though it was very scary, everything was so calm at the same time. Our older daughters heard their baby sister crying, and my worried voice, and woke up and came in to join us. They were very concerned about her as well. They were 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 years of age at the time. I remember my 4 year old asking about what was happening. I told them they should pray for their little sister. I remember my 4 year old saying "o.k.", and then kneeling on the bed with her 2 year old sister, next to us, to say a prayer. At this time, I thought, "is this it?", are we going to lose this sweet baby right now, while we are all together?" I was strangely comforted, in knowing that we were all together, in that time of worry and unknowing and helplessness. I had an eternal perspective of our family being together forever no matter what, so the thought of losing our little girl, was sad, and scary, but not hard. I am sure I also had the sense that it would all be o.k. too though, and that she would be fine. I know that angels are always helping out in these sort of circumstances, and comforting us too. It seemed like her gasping for air lasted for so long! It was probably all about 10 minutes of trying to help her, hold her and comfort her, and we then decided we had to get her to a hospital. When we took her outside though, my husband had a feeling to put her in the sun. Somehow, the sun settled what ever she was choking on, and she started breathing normally. Her cheeks returned to a normal color, and she was o.k.! I was still worried about her after that, so I did take her in to her pediatrician a little later, but she was fine. It's incredible to think back about how comforting it was to have all of my family in the room, during this time, and how that was all that mattered to me, (besides getting my daughter to breath normally again) my family and our opportunity to be together eternally. ]

"We all want more love and unity in our families. We all need more help with some who may be wayward or in special need. We all desire more assurance of divine guidance and direction. 

I promise you that as you consistently and fervently pray as a family, and as each member takes his or her turn and sincerely prays for others, impressions will come as to what you individually should do to help others. Thus, you can, in a family prayer, receive personal and family revelation as to how to love and serve one another."

In our daily prayers, I see my 7 & 5 year old even doing this. 
We have made it a habit, whenever we drive any where, to have a prayer first, for safe traveling. My kids usually take turns saying the prayer. In the morning when we would take my oldest to school, my 5 year old would often say "Please bless Adria, to have a happy day at school." It's a really wonderful feeling to hear your children pray for their siblings or parents, or friends.

" Now, Satan will do everything he can to keep us from family prayer, or at least to see that our prayers are only intermittent and mechanical and without sincerity. In Daniel's day, Satan influenced evil men to pass laws against praying. In our day, Satan's efforts seem a little more subtle (although he is trying a little of that law business, too).

But remember, the greatest schools on earth are individual homes. Yet how many homes voluntarily give up family prayer by allowing other less important things to take priority. 

Satan doesn't care how he stops us-just so he stops us. Ask yourself: How many times did you have family prayer this last week? Who is winning in your home? What's the score? Don't let the evil one win. You can overcome him with God's help. 

The greatest help we will have in strengthening families is to know and follow the doctrines of Christ and rely on Him to help us. 

Christ has suffered everything we could possibly imagine. He knows how we feel. He understands. He will help.

Sister Thompson shared some of her favorite examples of how Christ has helped and will help. 

  • "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
  • "Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."
  • "Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers."
  • As often as thou hast inquired thou has received instruction of my Spirit."
  • "Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love."
President Hinckley said, "It is imperative that you not neglect your families. Nothing you have is more precious....When all is said and done, it is this family relationship which we will take with us into the life beyond."

Remember the great love of our savior. He said in Isaiah 41:10, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee." Then in verse 13 He says again, "I will help thee." And once more in verse 14 He says, "I will help thee."

Elder Robert D. Hales said, "Strengthening families is our sacred duty as parents, children, extended family members, leaders, teachers, and individual members of the Church."

M. Russell Ballard also says-
"I believe the mission statement for mortality might be "to build an eternal family." Here on this earth we strive to become part of extended families with the ability to create and form our own part of those families. That is one of the reasons our Heavenly Father sent us here. Not everyone will find a companion and have a family in mortality, but everyone, regardless of individual circumstances, is a precious member of God's family.

As members of God's family, we have a responsibility to strengthen our neighbors, family & friends. To be examples, and to show service & unconditional love. 

In "The Family: A Proclamation to the world," the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declare that "successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, work, and wholesome recreational activities"

The principles that we choose to incorporate into our lives will determine the spirit that we contribute to our relationships with others. It is especially important for our children to feel the influence of these principles.

Moroni 7:28 it says-
Claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing."

That faith comes from hearing the word of God, the word of God is heard more powerfully in the home, with family home evening lessons & scripture study. 

There is no better place to build faith than in the home, where the lessons and practical applications are realized and lived day to day. 

"The person who obtains meekness and lowliness of heart and who enjoys the company of the Holy Ghost will have no desire to offend or hurt others, nor will he feel affected by any offenses received from others. He will treat his spouse and children with love and respect and will have good relationships with everyone he associates with."

I encourage us all to evaluate how we are doing in our homes. Do we have unity in our faith. Are we taking the time to build our family relationships, and centering them around our eternal family?
Are we having family councils, and one on one interviews with our loved ones, to see where their faith can be increased? Or even just to inquire about what is important to them at this time in their lives?

Are we allowing our busy schedules to run the home, or the addicting distractions of the world? Or are we allowing the precious moments we have together, to bring extra joy & closer relationships between us.

Do we judge each other in our home, or allow selfish feelings to dwell, or are we understanding & supportive of each other, and continually forgiving?

As parents are we being living examples to our children & spouses, of the kind of people we hope for them to be?

I am learning more and more, that if I want my family to learn to love something & embrace it & set it as their own standard,.... that I must first love it, embrace it, and set it as my standard & be an example of it, in a loving, and patient, and non forcing way. 

Do we have our own personal relationship with our savior and Father in Heaven, and what kind of relationship is it? Do we trust them, and go about our work diligently & joyfully? Or do we complain and murmur through it?

Do we keep our marriages sacred, and strive to show our children the importance of eternal marriage, so we can all be together in the life hereafter?

Do we show them the joy a marriage can have, by being patient and understanding to our spouses. 

How do we handle situations that need to be worked out, between a couple? Our children watch, so we should be especially careful of this!

Do we show them the close relationship that is possible between a Mother and Father?

Although Circumstances are different for everyone, we can still make our goals, and standards clear by the way we live our daily lives, especially in the Home.

Let us make our Homes, a place where our families love to be, a place where the Savior can dwell. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

What are some ideas, that you use in your home to help strengthen your family? Please share in the comments below! Thanks!


  Don't forget to vote on my poll, on the right side of this page, for your favorite virtue from Proverbs 31!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Her Children rise up-and call her blessed

Lds.org is a great place to find old general conference talks, about any subject you want to learn about. I found a couple of really great talks by Barbara Smith, that give enlightenment and encouragement about being a woman of proverbs, and the family. This is the one I listened to tonight to get me ready for bed. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/04/her-children-arise-up-and-call-her-blessed?lang=eng


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Are you spiritually prepared - will you rise to the call?

At the beginning of the month of June this year, my husband and I received a call from the leadership in our ward.
I was down stairs sitting on our recliner chair, not expecting what was to come when my husband answered the phone.
After a few quiet words, my husband then called down to me and said "Hey Julia, do you want to speak in church on Sunday?"
My first reaction was in my head, "are you kidding me?! No!"
I then exlaimed "I don't think I can, I usually feed the baby during Sacrament." I hoped that would do it, then I tried to explain a little better, "I really don't think I can", and suggested to my husband silently, to consider my extreme anxiety, and inability to control my emotions when I have to speak in front of people. My condition is considerably worse than every one else after all. :)
My nervousness is as bad as it gets and worse, when it comes to public speaking. :)  Please don't ask me to do this!! 
O.k..........I know everyone gets nervous when they have to speak in sacrament, or teach a lesson in Sunday school for that matter, but I really, honestly felt, like I had the worst case ever of "looking like a fool" in front of everyone. The fact that I tried to bare my testimony a year or so ago in a ward full of strangers, and cried for the first 2 minutes before I even said anything, and then shook uncontrollably in front of everyone while I did try to speak, made me feel like the worst public speaker ever, and I just didn't trust my body to be able to do it ever again.

My husband explained to the man on the other side of the phone, "I know you have probably heard this excuse before from other people, but my wife gets really bad anxiety when she has to talk in sacrament." (um, ya, thanks sweetheart :) haha! He said it in a way that says, he understands me and cares about my feelings, yet he knows I can do it.

A few more words were discussed between the two of them, and it concluded with, "we will let you know her final answer tomorrow."

I knew deep down inside, that yes, of course I would be speaking in Sacrament. How could I really actually turn it down. I would feel guilty the rest of my life for it. I just needed that night to gather my courage and conduct to officially give the word. Whether or not I would make a fool of myself, was up to my faith.

We ended up with a whole month to prepare. Originally, they had wanted us to speak that next Sunday, but because I didn't give a definite answer until the next day, they asked someone else to take that Sunday, and then gave us the last Sunday of the month.

I called my mom, and told her we had been asked to speak, and I was so full of anxiety about the whole thing, that I just cried while I talked to her. This was a very scarey thing to me. I just did not trust myself to be able to hold it all together. I was literally terrified! I do not like having the spotlight on me, especially when I cannot control my emotions over silly things!
However, I was enlightened on quite a few things, and while talking to my mother, I knew by the end of our conversation, that if I prepared with all the tools I had been given, it was going to be great!

Are you spiritually prepared?Will you rise to his call?

No, I wasn't spiritually prepared for this. Had I been, I would have immediately agreed to do what was asked of me, and I would have plowed through my anxiety on it later.
I have never turned down a calling before. Simply because I truly believe that my leaders are inspired to ask me to take on specific callings. Unless the spirit prompts me otherwise, I have promised myself to never turn down a calling. I believe this life is all about lifting our body in faith and goodness to be equal with what our spirits already are, and accepting the callings we are given in this life, is how we do it, because they teach us and strengthen us.
Speaking in church, to me is a calling. Why? Because it is an experience in which, I know tremendous inspiration can be given, to myself and to others! We often come away from these teaching moments, learning more for ourselves, than what others might learn from it. I am all about spiritual growth, and I do not want to miss out on the opportunities for it.

The last time I spoke in church, was about 7 years ago, when my oldest daughter was 4 months old. I was more willing back then to do it, but as I have had more children, my motherly body, has lost control over its hormones and emotions, and I can cry at the drop of a hat, over anything pretty much. Its sad.
I have been using natural remedies, and a clean diet to try and get things back to normal, just for the ability to talk and sing about something emotional without getting teary eyed.

I believe in the law of attraction a lot, and consider it to be a great tool, to achieving the growth we can attain in this life. Its all about faith, and believing things can go the way we hope for them too.
I also believe that if we let negative thoughts control our minds, that it can attract not so good things. So whenever I would have the thought, that we would be asked to speak in church, I would immediately push it out of my mind and say "NO" to it! I believe this is partly why 7 years went by without being called to speak in church. It sounds crazy, but it is very real to me.

I have this desire to be able to speak with the same control that our leaders of the church speak with. I have a desire to be a missionary for my savior by sharing my experiences and my thoughts with others too. However I have always had a public speaking fear (and I also know that its pretty normal to fear public speaking).

For the last year, this has been on my mind, because I have been desiring to change this fear, and just have the ability to speak with authority and love, to help inspire and change people for the better.

I had a wish that it could just be an overnight change too. That I would just be what I want to be!

I let myself down though, by believing I wasn't good enough. Because of this belief, I let opportunities pass me by. I stunted my spiritual growth!

I was not spiritually prepared to be obedient, I was becoming Idol by not seeking opportunities to grow where I want to. I wasn't studying the scriptures like I should be. Sure I read them with my family each day, but I have been struggling with personal scripture study, and personal meditation and personal prayers.

I knew all this, yet I was weak and scared to change.

What are some things we can do to keep ourselves spiritually prepared?

I know that this is a common answer for  church questions, but it is amazing at how true and factual this answer is.

Read and study your scriptures, with an intent to love and learn them!
Pray to your best friend. Trust that your savior really truly loves you, and wants you to reach your full potential, and will help you with every step of the way!
He is more than our master. He is our Brother. He is our friend, the closest, most understanding and forving, and trustworthy friend you will ever find!
Trust that when you covenant with him, he not only keeps his end of the deal, but he goes the extra mile to make sure you can do your best and beyond. Having this sort of relationship, requires not only prayer, in the morning and at night, but every minute in between too. Have a constant prayer in your heart, and he will always be right with you!

When you read your scriptures, don't read them, because you have been told to. Do it because you have a true desire to learn from them. When we are forced to do something, it is not our effort, and therefore we don't learn and love it as much. When we do it, because we love it, and have a desire to have it be a part of our lives though, then it becomes a part of us, and our lives become centered around them.

Be ready to accept callings. Be ready to know that you will have trials in this life, but there is nothing in the world that you cannot accomplish, with the help of the lord.
Be ready to know that you will be given the tools to overcome whatever is set before you, if you ask for them, and if you have faith that they will be given to you, and if you study them out, with desire, love, and full intent and belief.
Imagine what this calling can look like for you. What do you hope for in it. What do you want it to look like for you. What do you want to accomplish from it. What do you want to learn from it.

How did it all go for me?

Well, a week before we were to speak in Sacrament, I knew I needed to prepare my talk, so I could have a week to relax from my anxiety about it. We had a full week of activities coming up, and I didn't want to be preparing it the night before.
My husband and I agreed on the topic of Families.
I got on LDS.org and looked up several different General Conference talks about it. What a wonderful place to find inspiration. I printed out at least 5 different talks that appealed to me.
Then I underlined from each talk, quotes and topics that I liked. I pieced them all together in order of how I wanted to present them, and I added my own life experiences to them. I ended up with a 10 page talk.
Every night I practiced giving it.
I prayed each day, that I would be able to have control over my emotions, and that I might be able to present my talk, in the same way they do in conference.

Our general leaders, have such a beautiful way of giving their talks. They are so humble about it, and they have such a wonderful feeling that goes a long with it all.
It is my hope to be able to speak like them someday. They have emotion in their talks, and occasionally they get sensitive and teary eyed about things, but they hold it together so well! That is how I want to be able to speak too!

I was expressing this to my sister the night before, and she gave me a great word to remember. I was hoping to find a word I could use to recollect myself, if I felt prone to losing control over my emotions. She gave me the word "Composure". It described what I needed so wonderfully! I kept saying I wanted control, but that meant, things would go according to the way I would forcefully make them go. Instead composure meant, that I would be able to convey a message that the spirit guided me to give, and I would be able to give it in a way, that I wouldn't overdue.

I prayed for composure. I prayed for the spirit to be with me, to help me hold it together. I prayed that I would be able to give my talk, with what I had planned, but also, to be able to be guided by the spirit to say things that I hadn't prepared, but that needed to be said.

When I first wrote my talk, I wanted it to be written word for word, so I could read it word for word, so I wouldn't have a chance at losing my composure. After preparing though, I knew I would need to go by the spirit too. When I am touched by the spirit, I get overly emotional about it, and embarrass myself by becoming a basket case about it. I thought, if I could keep emotion out of it, I could keep myself from losing it.
I knew that if I prayed to be able to keep my composure though, that if I had enough faith, I would be able to speak about something emotional, and keep it together.

The morning that we were to speak. I did some energy clearing techniques, and I just simply believed I would do it, the way I hoped I could.

I was surprisingly joyful that morning, and didn't feel nervous at all. I started to speak, and at first I could feel emotion coming on, but I paused and gave myself a moment to re-collect, and I used the affirmation "composure", and I was able to move on.
I was able to read my talk, the way I had hoped for. I even threw in extra things, that the spirit prompted me to say.
I had composure! I lost my fear! I lost my anxiety! I got to the end of my talk, and wished I had more to say, because I was not experiencing any of the things I normally experience. No shaking, no anxiety, and out of whack emotions! It was wonderful!
I sat down, and thought, "why was I so scared to do this?" "I can definitely do this again, with the preparation and tools I have been given."

It was pretty incredible.

I then got to listen and enjoy my husbands wonderful talk too.

The leaders in my ward came up to us afterward, and jokingly said they would be calling us again soon. Haha, normally I would have felt dread from this type of talking, but secretly, deep down inside I was saying "yes, I am ready!"

I am so glad I got through it all. I am so glad, my husband was spiritually prepared for the call. He was so excited the whole month to speak in church. He was really a big part of what helped me believe I could do it. We are a good pair. :)

I still have anxiety over future callings to speak in church, but I have a better belief in myself that I can do it. I am not handicapped with anxiety. I can definitely overcome that. My crazy out of whack motherly hormones, can be controlled. :)

Its exciting to think about.

It was a foundational step for me to be able to accomplish what I want to in this life, and I know that my desire to be a missionary, and to be able to speak truth, with authority about the gospel and Jesus Christ
will be something I can do, if I continue to allow myself these opportunities for growth.

I have been rejuvinated it seems, and desire to learn and love to read from the scriptures personally more, and to have more personal conversations in prayer, with my best friend about how I can do better.

I hope that this helps you to know what your potential in this life can be. There are tools to help you overcome your trials, and you can overcome anything! I hope it helps you to desire to be more spiritually prepared to accept the callings that come your way also. You are an inspiration to others. We have a responsibility to accept these callings of growth, not only for ourselves, but for others who will learn from us too.

I am going to include a copy of my talk here on the blog, if you are interested in reading it. It is about the importance of Family, and what we can do to strengthen it.

Please feel free to comment about what you do, to make sure you are spiritually prepared, to rise to the callings we are given in this life. I love to read what you share!

Until the next post, Have a Happy Beautiful Day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Proverbs 31 Woman

There are many things that can describe virtuous living. I love the description of a Virtuous woman, in Proverbs 31. I just feel like that is what I want be. I want to love being it too!
How do I practice living virtuously each day? First, here are some virtues that I love to focus on.

  • Faith
  • Devine Nature
  • Individual worth
  • Knowledge
  • Choice and Accountability
  • Good works
  • Integrity
  • Patience
  • A quiet voice
  • Productive works
  • Service
Living daily as a wife, and mother, and mentor, is not always easy. I get frustrated easily. I have been known to yell. I love to shop. My life is utter Chaos at times!
However, I have been taught between right and wrong. The most difficult part, is choosing between my strengths and my weaknesses. Striving to live the values noted above, has created a place for me to turn, when I know I have done wrong, and need to try again. Living simply, and getting back to the basics!
  • As a wife, I hope to support my husband, by creating a sanctuary in my home, for him and my children to come home too. I want my home to be clean and organized and beautified, because I love my family, and I want them to be comfortable in our home environment. I want to do my best at taking care of the family here at home, while he goes out and provides an income, so I can take care of all of them. I want to be a wife, that makes sure my husband feels appreciated. I want a close relationship with him, that supports us in being unified as a couple, and as parents.
  • As a mother, I hope to be a mentor to my children. I want them to learn everything, that they want to learn and more. I want to create a way for them to learn to love to learn, so that they will love learning their whole life! Home School is one way I will be doing that. Home School is where you learn to love to learn. It is a daily process of reading, questioning, discussing, and mentoring. Home School is more than just learning the facts about our world. It is learning to live in our world, with good character and experience.
  • I want to teach them the joy of work, by allowing them to apprentice along side me, as I learn the joy of work myself. I love being productive, but having the motivation for it is often hard for a mother of 4.
  • I want to enrich our lives with developing our talents. If we don't use our blessings and talents, we will lose the ability to use them. Our talents were given to us for the joy and benefit of helping ourselves and others.
  • I love being a Home Maker! Our home of 10 years, still can use a lot of fixing up too. Among organizing schedules, having meals, mentoring in education and getting up in the morning, and then to bed on time, I also like to try to squeeze in projects here and there, to beautify our home, to also make it a place that others would feel comfortable visiting in too.
Be sure to check out my blog, to keep up with me on all of it, and all of my deep thoughts that encourage it all too!