I Am Home

I know that I’ve been less than consistent with this blog and I’m so sorry! I am hopeful that this year will bring consistency and balance to my life.

This last year and a half has been nothing less than a whirlwind!! Some of you may remember the beginning of my blog when I wrote about the decision to sell our house in Harrisville. It was not something I had been wanting to do, nor did I even want to consider it. After finally relenting to my husband’s requests to just go for a drive with him and look at some of the houses available in the next county over I consoled my daughter (and myself) that we were looking, nothing more. I had no intention to move. Not until the kids were both graduated from high school. But then…

I could not get one of the houses out of my head. I brushed it away numerous times like a pesky fly. Finally a little thought popped into my head… “Why don’t you pray about it?” At that point I began to sob, because I already knew what “pray about it” meant. It wasn’t in my plans, but it was in God’s. And so I knelt down and asked for confirmation. It came and we began the process. Within four months we had fixed up the house, listed it, sold it, packed, and moved out.

As I unpacked in the house we were renting my mind was spinning and I couldn’t help but wonder if we had done the right thing. How long were we going to be there? Where would we end up? Would it be a place I would love as much as I had loved Harrisville? As I struggled with these feelings I began to pray. And as I sought answers on my knees and in my scriptures, I was comforted with the very clear answer… Where you want to stay doesn’t even compare to where I want to take you.

Last year was a year of personal growth and learning. It was a year of moving forward in faith and trusting God’s hand to lead me. I took courses and attended meetings to help me better myself as a writer, speaker and businesswoman. I transitioned from being a mom of children to the beginning steps of being the mom of adults. I cheered my daughter on, with my heart breaking, as she moved out, knowing that the timing was right, but if it was up to my selfishness I would never let her go! I got to teach in my church and soaked up every second of the calling and opportunity. We scouted and researched, bought a lot and built a home. I learned much about my fears and anxieties. I learned to live outside my comfort zone as I pushed through those feelings and found so much magic on the other side of that circle.

Our home is beautiful! It is an open home where I can enjoy the company of my family as I cook and clean the kitchen. It is the perfect combination of all the colors I love most and every choice I made from floor, to light fixtures, to appliances, to my accent wall, and even the color of my front door make me feel joyful just to look at them. It is on a half acre of land overlooking the most beautiful wide open valley. I love to walk at night and feel the stillness and revel in the space between the sparkling stars above and the twinkling lights below. The people are warm and welcoming. And the thoughts and feelings reverberate through my whole body… Where I wanted to stay didn’t even compare to where He has taken me!


I am home.

Casting My Net One More Time

Casting Net

I want to share with you what I have learned about casting your net when it is so empty and you are so tired.

As I have been studying in the Gospels this year I have been amazed at how many applications I can make from the lives of the apostles to my own. This last week I was thinking about how chaotic my life has been over the last year. So many changes and so quickly, like a whirlwind. Many of them have left me feeling unstable and reeling! And yet, amidst them all I have felt the peace of my Savior. This has come in surprising ways.

It seems like when I am going through the craziest most difficult times God will ask me to do just one more thing… for Him. Like the apostle Peter, He will ask me to cast my empty net into the water one more time. In my own very human mind I will say to Him, But can’t you see that I’m in the middle of a mess right now? I am so tired and worn out. My net is so empty and I don’t know if I have the energy to cast it one more time.

But because I want to be faithful, I do it anyway. I do the one more thing… for Him. And somehow, by some miracle, this one more thing ends up being the thing that saves me, the thing that actually fills my net. This thing I did for Him, ends up being the thing that draws me closer to Him and gives me added strength and energy and renewal. This thing I did for Him ends up being such a blessing from Him to me. I am so grateful that He knows how to fill my emptiness and pushes me to do just one more thing.

A Window to God’s Love

To answer the ponder question posted with the scripture on Sunday, tribulation is a part of life. It has a Divine purpose. I’m sure there are many reasons a kind and loving Father would allow His children to suffer. A few of the reasons that come to my mind are (in no particular order.):

1. To help us grow. Just like a muscle cannot develop without resistance neither can our spiritual strength.

2. To bless those around us. Many times we learn great lessons by watching those who ensure trials with faith and Grace.

3. To give us empathy. We have much more compassion for those around us when we can relate to their struggles.

4. To draw us to Him. It seems that we year for heaven and its help more fervently when we are struggling than when we are doing well.

5. He values agency. Or agency is so important to Him that He respects the line we draw on the ground between us.

The second question is a little trickier because we tend to identify peace as having our trials removed. But when everything revolves around God’s timing sometimes that is not possible at the moment. But I have found that no matter what we are going through we can always ask for peace, a little reprieve from the storm. I have had times when I have asked for this and could feel a blanket of comfort wrap around me and feel an almost tangible hug from heaven.

We can seek this peace through many tools. We can feaast on the word of God. We can pray and center ourselves. We can serve someone else in a meaningful way. We can choose to read/listen to uplifting books and music. We can pray and meditate. We can process or problems thorough journaling or talking to a friend. We can accept God’s willy for us and keep a cheerful demeanor. We can show God’s love to His other children by becoming a window to His love.

Obedience – Day 9 on a 14 Day Walk with Christ

When the shepherds first saw the angel they were “sore afraid.” Then with hasty obedience they hushed their fears and went to seek the Lamb of God.

Luke 2:

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

I think one of the things that holds us back from our full potential most in this life is fear. We often allow ourselves to be troubled and overcome by fear.

In John 14:27 the Savior tells us:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

In a talk called “Come Unto Me” Jeffery R. Holland talk about this specific scripture. He says, “I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord’s merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: as concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help or thought his or her interest was unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments.”

I think of all the edicts issued by Christ this may be one of the most important to Him because the results of our obedience will be immeasurable in our own lives and in our circles of influence. He wants us to choose faith over fear. He wants us to focus on the good we can do together rather than waste or time being troubled by the things that don’t seem to be working out. He wants us to follow the shepherds’ example and seek Him out. He wants us to spend time with Him and be yoked to Him that our burdens may be light. He wants us to trust Him with the bigger picture. He wants us to have peace.

Song: Do Not Be Afraid by JJ Weeks Band

Song: Oh What a Glorious Night by Sidewalk Prophets

Challenge: what can you do to obediently put your troubles aside and more earnestly rely on the peace of Christ?

(Artwork from http://www.jedicraftgirl.com)

And There Appeared an Angel… Strengthening Him.

Ponder these verses from Luke 22:

39 ¶ And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Have you ever prayed for your circumstances to be changed only to have that prayer go unanswered? How have you found peace under these circumstances?