Daily Life, Thoughts

The Chosen Makes You Think

So this past week I finally sat down and watched The Chosen. My husband and I and some of our kids watched it over the course of a few days. It has been awhile since we had a series to watch together. Again, I have pretty high standards. I don’t tolerate much swearing and immorality even though the story “is so good”.

I’d seen this series advertised and I didn’t give it really a second thought. Then I saw a gal I follow on Instagram saying she finally gave it a good try and got hooked and binge watched it multiple times. Okay I thought, I’ll give it a shot. I downloaded the app and started to watch it. I got maybe halfway through the first episode and I was hooked.

It was so good!

Do I think that it is 100% accurate? No. But what I do think is that it is good.

For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.

Moroni 7:5

I was praying and wondering if it was a good thing and the answer I got was “If it brings you to Christ it is a good thing.” Good enough for me.

I am excited for Season 2. The first one made me cry, made me laugh, and made me feel more of a longing to have more of a relationship with my Savior. He is my elder brother. The Chosen I don’t think took away from the deity of Christ, but rather showed him in more of a 3D perspective. It reminded me that He knows me and loves me and understands what it is like to go through mortality.

So this weekend if you have some time and even if you think you don’t, you should give the show a chance.

Daily Life

Missing

Last night and this morning were stressful. There is a holiday around here where we celebrate our pioneer heritage and some celebrate with fireworks. I didn’t use fireworks and never saw any but we sure heard them. For over two hours. Boom! Boom! Boom! I am half deaf and didn’t know they were going on until later.

After prayer we sent the kids to bed and the dog wasn’t sleeping where she normally does. We’d left her out back to go do her thing. We looked all over inside the house. Called outside. Walked around the neighborhood. Drove around the neighborhood. She was nowhere to be found. I told the kids she’d probably be home by morning.

I was wrong.

I had gotten up several times in the night to check and see if she was outside the front door. She wasn’t. I prayed and worried myself sick. At just before six as the sun was about to peek over the horizon I got up and dressed and got Michael up and had him come with me to drive around and look for our dog. No sign of her. We figured the fireworks scared her away. We always put her in the house during fireworks. This year all the festivities were canceled due to covid so I didn’t think about it.

When we came home from the first drive of looking I put a notice out on Facebook about what happened and a picture. A friend suggested I call the police. I did. They didn’t have her but would let me know if she was brought in.

I was restless and teary the whole morning. I had done all I could. It was a waiting game now. I sat at the table making rolls and Benjamin came up behind me and gave me a hug. He said it would all be okay and that she would be home soon. It was so sweet of him and I really hoped for the kids’ sake that it was true.

A few hours later a friend commented on my post that a woman on another Facebook page had found my dog. Yes! My stomach had been clenched tight for hours and it finally relaxed. The woman called me and we confirmed that it was indeed Skylar, my dog. I kept crying but this time tears of gratitude and happiness. We went and picked up Skylar. The people who found her said they found her in the back corner of their yard just shaking. She had managed to get herself over a mile away through lots of fields to where she ended up. When we got to her and saw her we were so happy. She jumped in the van right away. The kids were petting her and talking to her. Lauren and I were crying. I think the dog was relieved, too. She doesn’t do well when we’re gone and to be lost probably put her over the edge. She stuck closer to me than usual the rest of the day.

The kids think that I don’t like the dog. I really do and I hope they realize it now. She is with me pretty much all day and though I sometimes need a break, I do care about her.

When we got home we said prayers of gratitude. Gratitude that she was returned to us so quickly. Gratitude that she was alive and unharmed. Gratitude for the help of others in finding her.

I really hope she never goes missing again. She will definitely be inside on all firework holidays and days surrounding them from now on.

Daily Life

There is Peace

I don’t think I wrote about this so I will try again.

I had been struggling. I could see myself getting off track. Nothing major but I could feel myself distancing myself from God. I don’t know why exactly. I was being a stubborn and petulant child. I wasn’t enjoying the feeling of it either but my stubborn pride would not let me fix it. I told myself “not now, I’m not ready” which is a very sad mindset. But just like when my children are upset and refuse to be comforted I patiently wait until they are ready. I am sure that my Heavenly Father does the same. How hard it must be for Him to patiently wait for so many of His children who refuse to be comforted to finally- hopefully- come to Him.

I finally am coming back around. It has been four months since we’ve been to church. Church makes it easy. You just show up and share the job of teaching each other. Sometimes you just show up and learn. But at home it is all on me and Alex to teach our children. We made it a priority to have church at home every single Sunday. It is work. It is good work, but it is work. There is no one to carry you along. No one to make sure you do it. It is all on you. It has been an opportunity to see what our priorities are and are we willing to follow Christ when no one else will see it?

Like I said, I was getting off track. I didn’t feel the spirit like I needed to because I wasn’t doing what I needed to. I started doing what I needed to. I started praying more and with more thought and sincerity. I started to study the scriptures more earnestly. I started listening to more uplifting podcasts and religious material. I got back on track and it will be a daily effort to stay there.

In the scriptures Christ commands us to pray always that we will not be tempted. He didn’t say it because it sounded like a good thing to say. He said it because it is imperative. As I follow the news daily I am astonished at how much we need the Gospel of Christ. It really is the only true anchor we have in a world of shifting values and daily changing opinions and “truth”.

It might have been easy to just float along as a Christian up until a few months ago but it feels like we are being sifted now. Where do you stand now? Are you firmly rooted in Christ or are you wish-washy, still trying to grasp the world? It has been interesting to watch these days unfold. It was prophesied that in the last days before Christ would return that men would call good evil and evil good. I never understood how it could be possible really until now. To me it feels like time is running out. Chaos seems to multiply daily and it is time to choose a side. As it says in the scriptures, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”

I hope that things are going well for any who read this. I hope there is peace in your life. This song is so beautiful and if you have a minute or two to listen to it I highly recommend you do so.

Have a great day!

Daily Life

It’s Been a Couple Days With A Lot of (Little) Miracles

I’ve said this before and I will say it again (and again)- if you look for them, miracles happen all the time.

Earlier this week Michael said that he needed $10 so he could go out and eat lunch with his friend. I gave him a pickax and a spot of ground and he got to work digging. It was a patch of weeds that I wanted to plant grass in- grass os easier to take care of than controlling weeds. It took him a couple hours over a few days. He gained $10 and some muscles to boot. We all won.

I spent several hours weeding this patch of dirt. Two 5-gallom buckets full of weeds and rocks were pulled out of this patch. My plan was to get it prepped to plant grass seed. It would be a weeks long process growing grass from seed. Then one night I was done working on the yard when I checked my Facebook feed. A man in my church had posted that he had extra sod from a project. Free to whomever got there first. I grabbed two of the kids and we jumped into the van and headed over. It was still there. Over 60 square feet of sod. It really was a blessing. Saved me so much time. A miracle because it showed up right when I could use it.

I still have some work to do on it but that work was cut down significantly.

Next miracle. I have wanted some nightstands to match my dresser I got last year. I finally had the money saved up and I was planning on buying them and picking them up this weekend. I just couldn’t make it feel right. I tried and tried and tried. It just felt wrong. I kept trying to make it feel right because I wanted them and I couldn’t see a logical reason to not get them. But I finally gave into the feeling and like a petulant child said to Heavenly Father “Fine, I’ll do it your way though I don’t understand why.”

(As a quick aside, the store, IKEA, is in Salt Lake City, hours from my house and shipping is ridiculous but I would be nearby when visiting my family over the weekend so picking them up wouldn’t be a big deal.)

When I got home Saturday night I finally checked the news. Rioting and vehicles set on fire in Salt Lake City last night. I might have or might not have been in the area when all the chaos broke out. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been in harm’s way but I am grateful that I was able to avoid all of it.

Another miracle happened on the way home. As we left my parents house the weather that had been hot and pleasant all day turned into thunderstorms. About halfway home in the fading light and the worst part of the drive for it to happen, the storms let loose. I have a hard time seeing the road at dusk and the rain didn’t help. The winds picked up and I was having a hard time keeping the van driving straight as the big gusts would push the van violently. I told the kids to pray. I was praying and putting all my concentration into keeping us from crashing. There was literally nowhere to pull over and wait it out as we were in a canyon. It seemed as though as soon as the prayers were uttered the windshield wipers worked better, the headlights seemed brighter, the winds let up, the rain let up and I was able to see where we were going. Lauren said she noticed it too as she prayed. It was scary. The rest of the drive was still rainey, some parts a heavy downpour, but I was able to see well enough without panicking. The lighting flashing around us was amazing and we were able to enjoy the rest of the ride.

There were more, too, as I sit here thinking about it and though they seem small and possibly insignificant and some people would explain them away as mere coincidences or imagined threats, I choose to see them for what they are- God’s hand in my life, evidence that he cares for us and that he cares about the little things- the details. All we have to do is look.

Daily Life, Dating My Sweetheart

Tuesday

Tuesday was a good day. Monday had been a struggle in the fact that the house was a disaster. I told myself I would keep this blog real and this is real. I had been meaning to get the kitchen/ dining room portion of the basement cleaned for days. We’d cleaned the carpeted/living area daily but beyond the couch the kids didn’t recognize as being part of the basement. They didn’t consider their rooms to be part of it, truth be known. It had gotten bad and one reason or another it had slipped off the to do list. Out of sight out of mind. I’d walk by and say that I’d get to it in a minute and then get distracted by something. My ADD (I swear I have it) would pull me in a million different directions but not to that one thing. Moldy bowls of food were hiding out of sight, sticky spills on the floor and table, pudding splattered on the counters, garbage that didn’t make it to the can. It was looking like a mild case of hoarders. I hadn’t gone into that room, just walked by on my way to do other stuff. I knew I needed to get to it.

I got up and went for a walk. I took the time to pray and I asked for help because I needed help focusing. Sometimes I can focus with laser ability but most of the time I’m like a pinball bouncing around without any clue which direction I’m going to go next. I prayed to be able to find solutions and for help to get done what I needed to get done. As I was praying, I could see in my mind’s eye exactly what needed to be done and in what order and even how to do it. Little miracles. I got everything done that I was needing to do. The kids helped and the mess was cleaned really fast. They even cleaned their rooms quickly. I was shocked because we’d been nagging them for weeks to clean their rooms all the way.

One of the things that I saw to do was a school schedule and a chore chart. I have a couple charts of things the kids need to do and they are fairly good at getting them done but they needed a little more direction. I’ll implement it today and see if I can get the ball rolling.

(It’s true.)

I’ll tell you about another miracle. This is a big one and it is not mine. My sister-in-law moved to be closer to her work this past week. She moved into a rental and cleaned out her house to rent or sell. It is a large townhouse, newer, and thus it isn’t cheap. The economy going down wasn’t going to help matters. She asked for her family to pray that it would sell because she needed it sold this week. We all prayed and y’all, it sold. In less than a week. She signed the papers tonight. An investor happened to be in town today looking for property and bought it right there and then for asking price! God answers some prayers really fast!

Alex and I went on a date tonight. We needed an outing. I told him I wanted a date that didn’t include Walmart. We went and got Taco Time and the guy taking our order didn’t hear half our order. Oh well, we didn’t need it anyways. We drove to a local park and the place was packed! It is a college town and it was all room mates and newlyweds all over. The whole town looks like nothing has changed except you have to do take-out for everything. Social distancing at its finest. Not.

We sat and people watched while we ate in our car. One guy had a gun in the back of his pants. We thought it was a bit odd. Did he really need protection while playing lacrosse with his girlfriend?

The date idea Alex came up with was to find properties for sale that had at least an acre of land and go see them. There were quite a few but only one I would have bought because the view is what I’ve been wanting since I moved here. A view of the Teton mountains. Look it up and tell me you wouldn’t want that outside your window. It was a fun date. We talked and dreamed and didn’t go grocery shopping. And dinner was only $15. Not bad. It is so nice having kids who are old enough to babysit so we can go on a date whenever we need to.

That was pretty much it. Bring on the next day.

Daily Life

Can I Hear Him?

I was looking forward to General Conference, as you well know, and ot was good. The talks were good, I learned from them. I felt like I was missing something though. I felt like I should have felt more, learned more. Does anyone else ever feel like that?

I feel like I’ve been in a spiritual slump. I don’t like it, at all. But I did experience a tiny miracles last night. I needed 10 white handkerchiefs for today (Sunday). It was a last minute thing and I wasn’t going to go to the store to get some. They wouldn’t have any anyways, trust me. I knew we had six in the house. That, was another tiny miracle #1- we’d bought those on a whim years ago and never used them and I knew exact where they were. (With as many people and things as there are in this house we are lucky to be able to find anything.) I knew I had two more I had saved from other occasions, but I had moved them months ago and didn’t know where they were. I looked for a few minutes and couldn’t remember. Then a picture popped into my mind of exactly where they were (miracle #2) I still needed two more. I could probably do without but I wanted them. I knew I had white fabric; I’d been using the fabric to make the boys blankets. The fabric was in the storage room, right on top- no digging (miracle # 3). I wanted to make it pretty to look like my other two and I looked on the next shelf and sitting on top of the basket was the white thread- just what I needed (miracle # 4). And this could be a miracle if you want to count it, but I knew just what to do with it all because I have had tons of practice.

The Lord is in the details. It was important to me, even though it is a simple thing. I was able to hear the still small voice and was quickly able to accomplish something that if I had been left to my own devices would not have happened- it would have been a frustrating endeavor. You could say it was just a coincidence. But I don’t believe that for a second.

It was a spiritual boost that needed so badly. I didn’t need a big neon sign to let me know God loves me. I looked back on the day and there were lots of little moments, lots of little helps and thoughts brought to my mind that all point to God’s love.

Once or twice could be considered a coincidence. 20 plus is not. But like I said, I don’t believe in coincidence anyway.

General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is continued today if you would like to participate. You can watch it here.

Uncategorized

Texting, Writing, and Jobs

I am an introvert. I was thinking today how much I love social media and text messaging. I don’t have to answer a phone call hardly ever and I still get to stay connected and get the information I need. Occasionally there are people who insist on calling me. The school, doctors office, people. I have become adult about it and I answer the phone if I get to it in time. If not I figure they will leave a message or text me or call me back if it is that important. So, if you really need to get a hold of me just text.

Today I missed a call. Elizabeth was playing a game on my phone and brought it to me and said, “I don’t know what this game is doing.” It was a phone call. I was just a hair to late. I figured they would leave a message and since there was a voicemail icon on my phone I decided to be an adult and check it. All the messages were old but one of them was so wonderful. It was my husband Alex. I had missed a call from him and instead of just hanging up and calling again so I would hear the phone, he left a sweet message telling me he loved me and all that lovely sentiment. I loved it! It was an unexpected surprise and so I saved it to listen to it again later.

This morning I got up and was going to make the kids breakfast, be a good mom. They all beat me to it. I had bought cereal last night and they all went to town. Fine. By the way, the new Post cereal Banana Nilla Wafer—- amazing. It shouldn’t be a breakfast food. I had a few bites and had to drag myself away from Lauren’s bowl.

Right before the kids left for school Michael said he felt like throwing up. Ugh. So he stayed home and was nauseous all day. I guess. That is what he said. He did eat a little though. Noah on the other hand threatened to throw up and then actually followed through with it. I told him to aim for the garbage can. He didn’t make it. Luckily it was just once, he ate and then fell asleep for three hours.

I spent a bit of the morning doing bills, budgeting and then Christmas shopping online. I have in my cart most of what I am getting. I have about 5 more things to pick out and then I should be good. I’m going to look in the stores on Saturday though because I don’t like buying clothes online usually and some of the stuff I want isn’t online.

I was telling Alex what I was getting the kids and he said, “I thought we agreed we weren’t getting the kids anything for Christmas?” Yeah, he says that every year and every year I ignore him because I am not Scrooge. I have a pretty strict budget this year and I explained to the kids what it was. They are okay with it. It will be a good year. The last two years around Christmas time were pretty bleak. Who am I kidding– they have all been a little on the skim side when it came to us having money. Luckily we are blessed to have such good family and friends and strangers who care for us and help us out at Christmas.

Two years ago Alex’s job got yanked out from under him and he worked part time while looking for more work. Then he got a job working for a construction company that was not a good fit. He interviewed and found a job that said he could start January 1 of the upcoming year. He put in his two weeks and they said don’t bother coming back. Right before Christmas. Thanks guys. We used the time to finish projects on the house. Then the next year at his new job the work slowed down and he got kind of laid off. I was pregnant and we had no work starting in October. Great. Luckily we had friends who helped Alex get hired doing construction temporarily while we looked for work. Then a friend of an in-law called and said Alex should apply for a job at his work. The job wasn’t anything we’d ever considered but Alex applied and interviewed anyways.

We had been in the jobless and in-between-job and laid off of a job position so many times before. It seemed like that was our trial. It is a stressful position to be in. I should have learned how to handle it sooner and maybe I’d have been done dealing with that kind of trial. But the last time it happened last year I was calm. I trusted the Lord. I trusted that it would work out because it always had. And guess what– we were in the hospital in December and had literally just given birth when the phone rang. It was the place he’d interviewed for. He got the job and they wanted him to start on Monday– four days from then right before Christmas. It was a miracle. Still is.

So this Thanksgiving I am definitely thankful that we still have a job.

The last few days it has come to night time and I think, ugh, I haven’t written anything today. I have kind of a glum attitude but I told myself that this is my goal and I am going to do it anyways. And you know what? I start writing and I love it. I have always loved just getting my thoughts out there. Even if they aren’t important, ever if they are rambling and even if I am the only one who ever reads it, I love to write. Elizabeth came up to me a few minutes ago and asked why I have to write every night. I don’t have to– I get to. Then at the end of it I have a record.

Noah just said he was going to hug me forever for the rest of my life. I could live with that.