Monday, November 18, 2013

You Are Loved

So, I've become a bit of an insomniac, not by choice, but a combination of a non-sleeping through the night toddler, among other things really puts a damper on my sleeping. Therefore, rather than sleep, I think,

It's tiring. :)

Recently, I was up and down all night with various sick children, and was thinking as I medicated, rocked and soothed, how a parental love is a type and symbol of God's love for His children.

It's imperfect, the love parent has a for child, but it's still to teach us, to draw us nearer to the love that our Heavenly Parents have for us.

There have been quiet (or not so quiet moments) when I've felt that my heart would burst for the love I have for the small ones with whom I've been entrusted. Any parent can probably testify to the same or similiar experience. The love for your child can cause an actual, physical ache and pain in your body.

Then, magnify that feeling by an infinite amount, and bam, you've got God's love for you.

Not just for "His children" in a very vague general billions and billions over the eons, way.


God is so great, so all-knowing, so perfect and infinite that you are loved NOW, as you are, today, and always, individually, specifically and wholly.

In Exodus, Jehovah tells Moses, "“I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight” (Ex. 33:12)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,


Even if you have forgotten God, He has not forgotten you.

Can you even begin to imagine the amazing all-encompassing love that this is? I can't. All I can do it try every single day to be worthy of a love I do not deserve.

Amazingly enough, that is God asks of us. To try a little harder, every single day.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

If the Savior Stood Beside Me...

I'm the Primary Music Leader in our ward, and it's a wonderful amazing calling. I've learned SO much over the last nine months. One of the things I continue to be reminded of is the power and testimony that exist in sacred music.

Our Primary Program is in a few weeks so we've been hitting the songs particularly hard in preparation. One that isn't in the primary book but is included in this year's program is a song called "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" by Sally DeFord.

Throughout the year, I can't tell you how many times the words from this song have come back to remind me to be better.

If the Savior stood beside me
would I do the things I do?
Would of think of His commandments
and try harder to be true?
Would I follow His example?
Would I live more righteously
if i could see the Savior standing
nigh watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me
would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind
if He were never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel?
Would I speak more reverently
if I could see the Savior standing
nigh watching over me?

He is always near me
though I do not see him there.
And because He loves me dearly
I am in His watchful care.
So I'll be the kind of person
that I know I'd like to be
if I could see the Savior standing
nigh watching over me.

(see more verses HERE)

Over and over again, I fail at this. Over and over, I'd be utterly ashamed if I had Jesus at my side, when I'm unkind to my kids, when I fail to think before I speak, when I just make BAD choices.

My own personal behavior would be 110% different. My patience level would be raised, the tone of my voice would be lowered. I'd be far less likely to snap at a child or be short with my husband if Jesus was sitting on the couch, observing my days.

Al Fox Carraway (she's super cool, get to know her) recently posted a YouTube video about a day she carried a picture of Christ with her everywhere, not in her purse, not in her pocket, but in her hand. She said it made quite a difference in the way she thought and acted.

If I didn't have to wrangle 156 children everywhere I go, I'd do the same. Just to see.
( I can not for the life of me get this to embed! ARG!)

Here is the issue, friends, as true believers in Christ, we KNOW that he is INDEED watching our every move. Every sin and weakness that He paid the price for is on display for Him to see.
And that truth is on my mind a lot. The fact is that I'm a hypocrite, saying one thing and then doing another. Aren't we all?

Elder Uchtdorf said, "If you define hypocrite as someone who fails to live up perfectly to what he or she believes, then we are all hypocrites. None of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be. But we earnestly desire to overcome our faults and the tendency to sin. With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

YES! We are. But, so long as we are EARNEST in our attempts, and desires to be better, then we are on the right path. So, even though Jesus sees and knows all that we do, more than Him being present here in our physical space, He is present in our minds and in our hearts. He knows what we are truly trying to be.

I know that this sweet little primary song teaches a true principle: that when we are striving to be as Jesus wishes us to be, we will be better, kinder, more patient, more gentle and meek. I promise you it's true.

Christ is in our lives and in the details of every single day.

So, keep trying friends to do and say the things you would if the Savior stood beside you.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Rambling Post About What I Don't Know

Things have been quiet around here lately. I'm just kind of at a loss for words, everything I think to write in the middle of the night is forgotten by morning, silvery wisps I can't make solid. It's driving me crazy.

In the last few months, I've felt deeply, permanently that the Lord has changed me. He's changed my heart. It is so easy as a human person, to stagnate, stay the same, refuse (whether conciously or unconciously) to change. It's comfortable, clinging to our sins and weaknesses.

God doesn't want us to stay in our comfortable ungodliness though. He wants to burn all that away. He wants to exhalt us every single day.

And it's hard. And it hurts. And it's more fun, sometimes, to stay the same.

The thing is, God loves you and me, as we are, right now. Loving someone requires we accept them. God is the ultimate example of this. He loves us as we are, even when we are terribly disobedient.

But just as a parent hopes for their child, He has hopes and dreams for us and KNOWS we can accomplish them.

So, I've felt that pull to be better, be more, give more, think of myself less in the last months. My soul has begun to hunger (Enos 1:4) for a deeper understanding of my role on earth, my duty to the kingdom, my job, so to speak.

And I've found that when I let that change enter my heart, when I pull away from the sins I love so dearly, that I can more fully recognize my Father's hand in things, I see His face more clearly.

Much like a child running to a parent with a skinned knee from falling off a bike, I quickly find myself flinging towards my Parents in Heaven, desperate for refuge for a moment, before I head on back out, to keep trying, to keep learning, to keep moving forward.

I'm also having to learn to let go of some things I think I want. They aren't BAD things either. But I am learning to trust that whether THOSE things I want come to pass or not matters far less than the reality that no matter what, Heavenly Father has a plan.

So, I'm trying. And this whole book/blog project is a part of this whole thing. I can't explain it, I can't put it in words (which is why I've been struggling mightily with words lately), but I know that THIS is what the Father wants me to do. Even if it is solely for my own growth and development, so be it.

I'm trying.