Sep 29, 2013

Hooray for Fall

Celebrating Grant's 3rd Birthday in Mueller Park
I say this every fall, but I really do love it.  I love the nip in the air, I love the smell, I love that our power bills finally become bearable again.  I love a good, cloudy day with a few sprinkles, that in Utah are almost always followed by days with skies of piercing blue.  Life is full of challenges, stress and uncertainty, but the wonder of fall with it changing leaves and temperatures help to keep me grounded.  (Just like spring does after a looonnngg winter)  Just like Pres. Uchtdorf said, there are seasons in all of our lives, some are good, some not so much, but always there is the promise of something better even in the darkest and longest of seasons.

I loved the Relief Society broadcast.  I was reminded of things I need to do to be a better covenant keeper.  I loved Pres. Monson's message.  We weren't sent here to walk alone, and God's love is ALWAYS available to us.  In this crazy world of constant change, how wonderful to have a loving Heavenly Father and Savior to be a constant in our lives, to help us through all seasons.

In other news-Grant is turning 12 on Tuesday!  I listened to my very last primary talk today.  He is so excited to go to Priesthood with his Dad on Saturday night.  I suppose he does have some deacon-like behavior showing up, but nothing too serious.  The other night he was in our room before going to bed.  He was walking out of the room and said, "I love you, Mom."  Tony was standing right by me, but he said nothing to him.  Tony responded, "What am I? Chopped liver?"  To which Grant responded, "Good night, Dad," with a huge grin on his face.  Grant and I started to laugh, and as he walked out of the room he added, "Dad, I love you too."

Sunday Funny-a young boy in the primary shook Tony's hand today, and seemed to be very excited about it.  Then Tony heard him tell a classmate in an animated voice, "I just shook the hand of ..wait was that the Bishop or the prophet?"  

Can't wait for General Conference next weekend!  Best two weekends of the year!  (Interesting that they come in Spring and Fall...)

Sep 18, 2013

What's the Big Deal About Sunday?

The kids after attending church in Island Park
First can I just start out by saying I love the new youth curriculum! (I might have mentioned that before, I really have no idea)  It makes me think, it helps me learn, and although it is challenging to get the girl's to participate on the level I would like, I always like a good challenge.  And when they share something personal, and preface it with a comment  like, this wasn't a big deal or dramatic or anything, and proceed to explain how they chose to do the right thing - I love it!  Can I just tell you, that I want to hug them, thank them, and tell them it is ALWAYS a big deal when you choose to follow the Savior!  Anyway I digress...

The topic for our discussion on Sunday was, "Why are we commanded to keep the Sabbath day holy?"  I know I have mentioned before how much I love Sunday's, I may have even gushed about them because I live for Sunday.  Life is hard, and I need Sunday to rest, to be spiritually fed, and to have some family time.  Pretty sure I didn't always feel this in Brazil was a challenge.  Hello-three hours of understanding about 3 words?  But the language came, the spirit was still there, and I worked through that one.  I also remember hating going to other wards, especially if we had to go to primary or other meetings-not a favorite for a shy person like myself.  No matter my dislike however, when we went on vacation we found a ward to attend, because that was how we rolled.  But even with these challenges, I don't ever remember really disliking Sunday.  I remember well my first Sunday in college when my alarm went off thinking, "No one is here to make me go to church."  I laid there for a few minutes, and got up.  I wanted to go to church. 

I believe for a long time I went to church because it was a commandment.  Not just any commandment, it is one of the big 10.  I made covenants to keep the commandments, and this was part of the deal.  Obviously there is more to Sunday than going to church, but that is, in my opinion, the most important thing.  Ok, let me rephrase, going to Sacrament meeting and partaking of the Sacrament is the most important thing. Like all of Heavenly Father's commandments, they are to bless us.  He knew that life would be hard, that we would struggle with worldly realities, and that we would need reminders to stay on track.  He knew we would make mistakes, and that we would need forgiveness.  He knew that even though the Atonement is the most amazing gift ever, we would need help always remembering.  So we go to church, where we have the privilege of participating in the ordinance that the Savior instituted long ago.  I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I have every Sunday to get my life in order, to repent, to think of the Savior, and promise to keep trying through another week.

It has long become something much more than "just" a commandment to me though.  It is what I do because I love the Lord, and I recognize how much I need His help.  Always.  This is why I hunt out places to go to church even when we are on vacation, and funny thing is, it has become one of my favorite things.  I love going to church in strange places, and feeling at home.  Absolutely love it!  Crazy that I hated it as a kid. :)

Of course Sunday is more than 3 hours of church, for Tony it is more like 10 hours of church, so we try to make the day different.  We listen to different music, we TRY to have gospel discussions, we laugh, we rest (the teenagers rest a lot), and we try to keep the spirit with us as we prepare for another week.

Up next week in Young Women's-Fasting.  In D&C 59 it says fasting = rejoicing.  Still working on that one.  This will be a good lesson for me!