2:30 Church

Yep. Church starts at 2:30 and, if you’re not familiar with the LDS faith, our church is three hours. So… you can image with kids, 2:30-5:30 is not the easiest time. I’ve been looking forward to Finn turning 18 months old for some time now because that would mean for the last two blocks of church, Finn would get to go to nursery and I would be kidless and enjoy Sunday School/Relief Society once again!

Well, the time came! Finn’s first class was last week and he did great. He cried for a minute when I dropped him off, but each time I checked in after through the window, he was playing or sitting nicely in the chair for singing time. It was adorable.

And since I’m already posting about church last week, Eva gave a little talk in Primary and it was so sweet seeing TJ help her. I’m grateful to have a husband who takes us to church each week and leads us in the gospel.

Bloom Where You’re Planted

As I mentioned last month, I’m on the Relief Society activities committee at church. If you’re not Mormon, then basically what it means is I help plan the activities for the women at church. This month was the anniversary of when the Relief Society was created, 175 years ago. We got to thinking as a committee about the theme “Bloom Where You’re Planted” and what the early Saints of the church went through. They sacrificed so much and had such great difficulties yet took what they were given and made the best of it. So, we wanted to use that idea for a Spring inspirational activity.

We had a Cafe Rio style salad bar along with a soda bar and beautiful cupcakes made by someone in our ward. It really turned out nicely, although I did learn a lot about planning a big dinner for a large group! We had an inspirational speaker who has been given five years to live by her doctors because of the type of cancer she has. She has “bloomed where she was planted” and is making the most out of her time and showed us why each day is a gift from God.

Thanks to all who came and helped!

A Pinterest Party

I have a pretty fun calling right now at church. I’m on the Relief Society (the organization for the women) activities committee. We threw a little party last month where people brought treats from Pinterest ideas and made two different (very easy) crafts. We had a pretty good turnout and I think the gym looked nice so I decided to share!

Rock the Boat

A week ago in Sunday School, our teacher asked us when was the last time we wrote down a spiritual experience that we have had and if we have any experiences that we haven’t written down, but should. I thought about it all week long. What experiences have I had that I haven’t written down? Something I want to remember forever and want my children to be able to read one day. Something that maybe one of you all need to hear?

First off, I had one thing instantly pop into my mind that I haven’t been able to shake. Back when I was about 19 or 20, I’d go home in the summers and attend the singles ward with my brother. At the time, we didn’t really love going because we didn’t know many people, but I did make two memories there. The first thing was just funny. There was a man who bore his testimony and pounded SO hard on the podium saying something like, “Have you ever been so mad…” I don’t even remember what else he said, but he was passionate that day! The second memory is something that is so simple but so dear to my heart now. We would urge each other to go up and bear our testimonies. We called it “rock the boat.”

“Are you going to rock the boat?” We’d ask. “Only if you do it first.”

Those Sundays were good ones. And as Andy Bernard says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

Then today, I was still thinking about spiritual experiences or memories that I wanted to write about when I realized one was enfolding right before my eyes. It was Eva’s primary presentation today, where all the children (there are probably 80 of them in our ward!) sit on the stand, each say something and sing all the songs they’ve been working on each year. Watching Eva sit up there as an almost 5 year old is touching, itself. To realize I have this real big kid who is brave enough to say a line into the microphone in front of everyone and to sing loudly, proudly, smiling and waving at me through the whole presentation… it’s just incredible. I’m truly blessed. But there was one song that stood out, and specifically one verse that sincerely touched me.

We have been saved for these latter days
To build the kingdom in righteous ways.
We hear the words our prophet declares:
“Let each who’s worthy go forth and share.”
I instantly felt the Spirit when I listened to these words, sung by my daughter and all the other children. They have been saved for THIS TIME. This critical and difficult time that we are living in. They were saved because they have the capabilities to be strong enough to make it. We need to be good examples for them. Teach them, show them the way. So that they can carry the gospel throughout the world. When I see all the hatred going on this week, all the riots, the crazy election stuff… Eva and Finn will be immersed in this world so soon and have a lot to bear. They are such precious spirits and God has entrusted them to us. I hope I can be a good enough mother and follower of Christ so that they are ready for what is to come, and that they one day can “go forth and share.”

,

Cascade Springs

I took the kids up to Cascade Springs (info about it over here) and we really had a great afternoon. Blue skies, nice breeze, it was beautiful.

I had a little spiritual moment up there that I thought I’d share. The Springs are surrounded by three loops, all paved. It’s an easy walk, doesn’t take too long to do all three loops. I had my stroller with me, so we had to backtrack a bit because I didn’t want to carry my stroller up the stairs. Well, at one point, we put the quilt down and enjoyed the scenery for a while, then when we were heading out, I went the wrong way. We got back to the stairs. Then I backtracked again but it led me to a dead end. There were maps pretty much every 100 feet or so, but I never took the time to look at them. I kept thinking, I can do this by myself, it’s three simple loops (with a couple extra dead-end paths). But I couldn’t. Even though it was a simple path (we weren’t in any danger, so Mom, please don’t be alarmed!), we still got lost. After a couple minutes, we went back to the map we had just passed and figured out the pathway without the stairs. The map led us back to where we needed to go.

I immediately felt that those maps are like the scriptures. They’re there for us. They’re ALWAYS there, ready for us to turn to when we get lost. Even on the simplest paths when we think there’s no way we’d need help, no way to get sidetracked, they’re there. If we don’t turn to them (even if life is easy), we won’t be able to find our way to safety. Things will come up, we will get lost. We need to swallow our pride and stop thinking we can do it by ourselves. We can’t. We need their help.

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