Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Tradition of Fall


I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Fall! I was trying to figure out why. I mean I love winter, too. It's when Christmas comes. It's a time of much giving and hot chocolate and cookies. Valentines Day is in there too with lots of fun sharing love with a little more strength on that given day to our special loved ones. Then there is the spring which is just as cool as the Fall, sometimes even cooler (I'm referring to the temperature of course and this being relative to Texas weather). The spring is also the time to celebrate the Atonement and Resurrection of our Savior. Then we have summer, lots of family togetherness as school is out and we get to go on vacation together and get projects done. Family reunions are usually held during this time, and it's the best time for one of our family favorites...swimming! So why am I very passionate about the Fall? It does have very beautiful warm colors for a warm season. I know you are saying, "now wait a minute you just said that it was cooler". True, the weather starts cooling off, which would definitely contribute to my loving the season. And after the scorching heat of August, those first couple of cold fronts lead to some wonderful bursts of activity. However, by warm season, I mean it's a time for counting blessings, for beginning to be service oriented again within the community as our wandering around trying to create vacation memories comes to an end. It could be that our family comes together for eating a yummy feast full of food saved and savored only once a year. Or that we get to dress up in fun costumes, and my birthday gets celebrated. But no, even though I love all those things there are similar things that occur during other seasons of the year, with the exception of my birthday of course, but as you get older a birthday isn't as big a deal anyways, until your really old and it's a big accomplishment to keep going year after year, lol. But I digress. What it boils down too, I believe, is a combination. It's the harvest. A time to work and prepare for the seemingly long winter months ahead. It's a time to reflect and count blessings (one of my joyful past times ;) ) It's coming together. Like in a science experiment of molecules. The heat causes molecules to scatter and move apart, but as it cools the molecules start to come together. That is Fall. We are coming together after being moved apart by the heat. We know from biblical and current prophetic teachings that the earth and its seasons move in cycles, and it is the same of the Lord's work. The earth actually symbolically teaches us about His work. I believe that we are in the Fall season. He is speedily gathering those to him that will believe in Him and do his work. It is not a time to goof off, or be nonchalant. It is time to be passionate, get moving, choose a way to use your talents to bring others to the truthfulness of His gospel. This is my Fall tradition, working hard! Whether it is to put up decorations to help others enjoy the season, inviting others to activities to help them feel connected, baking cookies or meals for those that need an uplift or a little kindness, reaching out a little more, lengthening and strengthening my stride, all these things are helping me and those around me look forward and be prepared spiritually for our Saviors coming. I am so thankful for the time we do have to prepare.
"If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Love letters


      My eldest son and I were at logger heads this past week, and knowing him and myself. I didn't want a conversation over his choices to disintegrate to a huge battle of ugly words. So I started praying. Some words of advice from another situation weeks earlier rang in my ears, "write a letter".
     I have in my possession some of the most beautiful love letters ever written (in my ever so humble opinion). Some of them are the simple, "I love you" with hearts from my children and the sweet drawings that accompany them that express what words do not. Some of them are from my husband, thanking me for things that I've done and expressing his love and gratitude for being blessed with me in his life. A recent one is a beautiful tribute penned by my step daughter for Mother's Day. I also have one given to me by a stake president many years ago expressing his admiration for my never give up attitude and the belief he had in me that I would be able to achieve my goals. Another one is from my brother, while on his mission, telling me how he looked up to me and admired me for the changes that I had made in my life, and the strength that I had as a single mother. I have some sweet ones penned from my younger sister and older sister as well. Offering me strength when I needed it. My father left all of us children with a loving letter of farewell and admonishment before he passed from this life. All of these letters have had a profound effect on me over the years, and helped me to believe in myself, strengthened me, and given me the love and courage that I've needed in the past. I occasionally still look back on them and read them gathering that love to me again and again.
     Back to my experience with my son. With those letters in mind I penned what I hope will be one of many love letters that he will cherish over the course of his life. How do I know that I was successful in listening to the spirit as I penned that letter? It is because the letter had the desired effect to draw him back to me in love. There was no accusation or anger in our ensuing conversation, but honesty, understanding, and love.
     I thank God for all of the people in my life that he has prompted to send me such encouraging, personal, and loving correspondence. And I thank God, for helping me express that love to my strong minded teenager in a way that would gather him to me instead of pushing him away. What an amazing effect written words of love can have on our lives. They give lasting power and spiritual strength to us in away that spoken word cannot, as our frail human minds have a tendency to forget. If we have any questions on that subject, we need look no further than the love letters of the scriptures of our Father in Heaven who has written to us of our divine worth and our potential lest we forget.

image found at:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grateful for Chocolate!

Better sugar understanding is needed for sugar-free chocolate success

I mean who isn't! You take one bite of that velvety rich bitter and sweet goodness and you know you've died and gone to heaven! But seriously, chocolate is responsible for so many blessings in my life. Well maybe not responsible, that's not a good way to put it. More like, it's been a connector. Last Christmas because everyone loves great chocolate desserts I started getting together with a friend occasionally to make yummy desserts and take them home to our families. She's not a super outgoing person, not an introvert mind you, but just not always looking for away to start a party like me, lol. Anyway, because of our mutual love for Nutella and chocolate it's given us a chance to be friends. Then we expanded to invite others and we are turning this love for chocolate into a way to cheer people up and socialize. Just hope we can keep it going with crazy in session school schedules and more people involved.
There are so many jokes about chocolate being the thing for ladies, and I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule, but it's true we do love chocolate. It helps my husband and I bond when we find a kind of chocolate that we both agree is the balm. I just bought some Belgian truffles from Sams, (yes I have some left Mom. It's in bulk there remember?lol) and we, meaning me, are sharing it with everyone. This is so we don't kill our diets by over dosing. Can you believe that 4 are a serving size!?! Who made that rule? Anyways, I haven't gotten turned down yet. Chocolate helps bond people! I think I want John to do a study about that for his next science project. I think it would be a good study. I know there have been studies as to how it effects the pleasure centers of the brain, but it also is a bonding tool. Maybe because it has the same effect on so many people that it is almost a universal commonality, but whatever it is, I am grateful for God giving me taste buds to enjoy it, the gumption to invite others and bless others with that enjoyment of one of the sweets of life, and the physical fitness to work it off!
Have a sweet week everybody!