What’s making you happy today?
First of all, there’s a new video up on Z’s site of her and Audrey swimming. Go check it out.
This is my focus for the day, just thought I’d share.
“The best of us are not too good; we all of us might be better, and do better and enjoy life better, having more of the Spirit of the Lord in our own homes and in our own hearts, and do more to promote the welfare of all who come within our reach and influence. To serve the Lord is one of the great objects of our existence; and I appreciate as a great privilege the opportunity we enjoy of worshiping God on the Sabbath day. And when we do meet to worship God, I like to see us worship him with all our hearts. I think it altogether out of place on such occasions to hear people talk about secular things; these are times, above all others perhaps, when our feelings and affections should be drawn out towards God. If we sing praises to God, let us do it in the proper spirit; if we pray, let every soul be engaged in prayer, doing it with all our hearts, that through our union our spirits may be blended in one, that our prayers and our worship may be available with God, whose Spirit permeates all things, and is always present in the assemblies of good and faithful Saints.” – John Taylor
This was a comment made on the post I linked to earlier in the week, and it keeps repeating itself in my head, over and over like a mantra. So I might as well acknowledge it as such, yes?
“We’re all imperfect mothers parented by imperfect mothers wishing for something different and not seeing the divinity of what we have.”
I think I’ll put it on a sign and hang it in my house.
What’s your mantra today/this week/ this year?
Things making me happy this morning.
Take a quiet moment in your day and read this. I have no words for the beauty.
I just started reading Suffering Is Optional: Three Keys to Freedom and Joy
by Cheri Huber- it is absolutely fantastic. I’d love to do a book club with this book- anyone interested?
A while back a couple friends of friends of mine took on a 365 picture challenge- where they took a picture a day for a year. Inspired by the idea, I’m going to try to take a picture a day of something that I’m grateful for/brings me joy. Here are yesterday and today’s pictures. (I’m not necessarily going to post them every day — I can probably keep up the taking of the pictures, but committing to the posting of them may be too much.)
Toast. Warm, buttery toast. Need I say more?
Z is talking back to Ni Hao Kai Lan, answering all the questions and saying YES! when Kai Lan asked “We’re going to the beach, do you want to come too?”.
My new pet phrase from So You Think You Can Dance: “Don’t let the feathers upstage you.” Let it be your mantra for the day. I’m sure it will change your life. We will not further discuss last night’s episode, however, because it was NOT of good report. SO. FRUSTRATING!!
We’re going swimming today, and then to the fabric store while we wait for maintenance to be done on the car. Yay for an excuse to go to the fabric store! And speaking of fabric, the package with my stash for the new project should be coming today. Hopefully we’ll be here to get it!
And lastly, the conversation I just had with Z:
“Momma, can I have some little marshmallows, please?”
“Sure, you can have one.” (Because, yes, I’m that kind of mom. What? She ate all her toast.)
“You can have one marshmallow.”
“You can have one marshmallow.”
What’s making you happy today?
Alma 32:28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.
32 Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.
33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.
34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.
35 O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect?
36 Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.
37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.
41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
I’ve got to get moving and clear all current projects off of my plate, because I just ordered fabric for a new quilt (just for me!) and that means I’m committed. Check it out:
Isn’t it gorgeous? It was actually designed by someone I knew in high school- she was more friends with my cousins than with me, but we were at seminary together every morning, and once almost got eaten by a bear together, so that’s got to mean something. Her whole family is insanely talented, so it’s no surprise to see gorgeousness coming from her direction.
I haven’t solidified my plan for the quilt yet, but it’s inspired by this one. Mine most likely won’t have the applique, but maybe, who knows. I do know that the back will be this fabric:
So that means I have to get two baby blankets, and two mini albums finished before this package shows up. I can do it, right? Honestly, life is just better when things are getting made. Don’t you think? I love (LOVE!) this quotation by President Uchtdorf:
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty.
You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”
If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.
But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.
If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.
You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.
What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.
If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.
Nearly a century and a half ago, President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day. “There is a great work for the Saints to do,” he said. “Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. In the mean time continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ.”
The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.”
(You can read the whole talk here — it’s awesome!)
What are you going to create?
Z’s birthday party:
Tiny standing up:
Z’s birthday pool party:
How was your week?
Ok, so I had part of an epiphany this morning, but my brain is on too many things to take it all the way. So help me out here and give me the application you see in it, if you’d be so kind.
When Zoe paints, she piles all of the colors on top of each other, in one little segment of whatever she’s painting, leaving the rest blank. This morning it was a treasure box she got for her birthday, and as she attacked the glitter paints with glee, I suggested that she not put all the colors in a little 2 inch space on the top of the box, but also paint the sides and back and front, so that 1)you could see all the colors, 2) the whole box would be covered, and 3) it wouldn’t take years to dry.
And as I explained this I had the distinct impression that there’s a lesson for me to learn in that, particularly in the whole box being covered. But my thoughts on it are swirling and won’t settle, so please share your thoughts, and we’ll see if they line up with mine.
Zoe finished her swimming lessons a week or so ago, and now my sister is making the trek up here with her kids two times a week so they can have lessons from the same teacher. (She’s amazing. The teacher that is, although Liz is amazing as well.)
They started yesterday, and I was the one who took them each over to the pool when it was their turn, because the first lessons are notoriously difficult- since it’s something new and the teacher has to establish authority, there can be lots of fussing from the kids, and that can be hard for parents to listen to. The kids did great, but Aiden, who is 3 and has never had lessons (the others have, and really didn’t have any trouble) had a rough beginning.
I’ve never been at a first lesson, since B took Zoe to her first last year, and this year it wasn’t a new thing. So watching Brittany work with him was really interesting. She tells the kids that her only rule is that there’s no fussing, no complaining, and if they fuss, then they have to swim. If they can be quiet and calm, then they get to rest on her shoulder. When he started to scream, she just calmly and lovingly told him that she’d wait until he was done, and put him in the water in the position to swim. He kicked around for a little bit and then she picked him up to find out if he was done. When he started screaming again, he got to swim some more. This went on until he stopped screaming, but he would still talk when he came up, “I’m cold, I want my mommy, I want to get out”, and so she’d put him back in. It got to the point that when she would pick him up I couldn’t hear anything from the side of the pool, but she would still tell him that she’d wait until he was done talking, and put him back in. She looked over to me, smiling, and told me that he was whispering to her.
Finally he stopped even the whispering, and she held him and he rested. When she put him back in the water, the difference in his swim was huge. He didn’t fuss when she picked him up, and he got to rest again, and again, when he started the swim again, there was improvement.
I’ve been thinking a lot about silence lately (hi Brandy!) and so this got me thinking. I wonder if there’s something to be learned from this to apply to our interactions with Heavenly Father. Are we so busy screaming, talking, whispering at Him that He can’t bring us in to rest? Is there a humbleness, a submission in silence that is requisite for us to make a jump in our progression?
What do you think?
I’m off, it’s Zoe’s birthday and we are preparing for a fun filled day.