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January 31st - Embrace Joyful Simplicities

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"Year by year the complexities of this spinning world grow more bewildering 
and so each year we need all the more 
to seek peace and comfort in the joyful simplicities."
-Woman's Home Companion, December 1935 

I think somehow this has been lost to many of us. 

Sarah has some great things to say on the subject today.

Start quote
"As we become curators of our own contentment on the Simple Abundance path, one of the great payoffs is that we start to seek peace and comfort in the 
joyful simplicities

Little things begin to mean a lot to us.

Joyful simplicities nourish body and soul by engaging our senses. 
They teach us how to live in the present moment. 
Life comes together when we seek out the Sublime in the ordinary. 
...
We all have days in our lives that are marked by 
great moments of rejoicing and celebration...

but life is not an endless round of cake and champagne. 

There's a lot of drudgery to most of our days...

To keep our daily round from being all drudgery, 
we've got to savor the art of the small; 
discovering diminutive delights that bring us peace and pleasure."
End Quote


I feel like today is a summary of January in a way. 

I thought of something as I searched for peace and pleasure on lds.org, I thought how "small and simple things are great things brought to pass"...but the next part says that "and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." -BOM 

I think a lot of people may scoff and take for granted what Sarah has said, what the gospel teaches, because it is simple. This is not rocket science. 

But I know that it works. 

One of those small things that sometimes will confound is the atonement. I liked this talk, the gist is you can find personal peace when you're righteous, just like you can find peace when you are true to your authentic self, and find peace when you are finding joy in the little things. 

Kinda cool how it all flows together, huh.



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Gratitude Journal
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1) Exercise. I don't exercise on my own, I can never make myself exert the effort. But in a group I can at least try, and every week I get a little stronger. Exercise is awesome.

2) My body. The human body is an amazing thing. I can do so much, and feel so much, it's almost incomprehensible. 

3) My kids. They were almost little angels today. I loved spending time with them, playing at the park, cuddles after nap time, putting puzzles together and trying to teach Jacob to ride a bike with training wheels and Chase to ride the tricycle. Kids are fun. 

4) Goals. I had a lot of goals today, nothing large, just simple things like get dinner ready on time and finish that pile of laundry. And it took me until 10 but I did it. And not only did I accomplish my goals, I was a pretty good mom today and I'm getting to bed at a decent hour. What What?!

5) Good friends. There really isn't much else to say. I am so blessed to have such good friends, and that most of them have kids so we can all go to the park together. 

Life is good. 

January 30th - Golden Mirrors

Monday, January 30, 2017

Today Sarah introduces another tool that she uses, this one to help discover her authentic self. 
She calls it the "golden mirror meditation". 

"Whatever we visualize in our minds can come to pass in the physical world."

This ties into her treasure map tool, that you have to see it in your mind first before it can ever materialize. The treasure map is more about where you want to go, what you want to do in life and how you want to do it, but the golden mirror mediation is about your authentic self, your soul and who you are meant to be. 

Sarah introduces the idea of your authentic self on January 5th, 25 days ago. Well now that we have had plenty of time to think about what that means, now lets actually do something about it...

Like meditate.

Because things don't just happen without you doing a lot of thinking about them first. 

So whether it's a golden mirror, a red mirror, a mirror made of pennies or corks, silver, butterflies...whatever you fancy...Take a few minutes to look inside yourself and look at your authentic self. She's in there, somewhere. Really look at her, what do you see? 

What do you want to see? 

"See the reflection of an extraordinary woman. 
She is beautiful and radiant. 
She possesses a strong, healthy, vibrant aura. 
Her eyes are sparkling and she is smiling warmly at you.
...
She is the highest reflection of your soul, the embodiment of the perfect woman who resides within and she sends you Love to light your path."


This made me think of the Primary song "Search, Ponder and Pray". 

I think that it totally can apply to other things, like who you are. Search within yourself, ponder, pray, and you'll find out who you are and who you are meant to be. 

I found this cute little story from the Friend. 
Remember that you can change and become what you want to see in the mirror.

So who do you want to see?




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Gratitude Journal
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1) Really, really, REALLY bad days. I had a bad day today. I couldn't breathe I missed my sister so badly. A bad depression day. All three of my kids spent all day, and the day before, and the day before that, and I think the day before that, spending all day screaming and whining and hitting and kicking and biting and throwing (and not just each other, I was also a recipient of the physical lash outs)...all day. All the time. I basically spent the whole day crying. But I'm grateful for really bad days like this, because I had this day. Because it was my three babies crying at me and when I was on the floor crying in my arms they were playing with my hair and laying on top of me asking if I was okay. Because I didn't have to suck it up and go to work. Because when I called Robbie he dropped what he was doing to answer the phone and make sure I was okay, and offered to come home if I couldn't handle it. And that after the end of this no good very bad day, being able to look back on it and see that it really wasn't as bad as I thought. It was still bad, but it could have been much worse. 

2) My best friend. She felt prompted to call me, and even though I didn't want to talk, she gave me my space and texted me a little, sharing her love. How'd I get so lucky?

3) McDonald's. I think we were there for 2 hours. And in those two hours we ate a lot of unhealthy food, and the kids played and had a blast. I had problems with my camera, but I think you get the gist.
 Look at these jumps!

3) Today is over, and tomorrow is a new day.

4) At least 2 of my friends are reading this book along with me. You're awesome, and for some reason, that makes me really happy.

5) Sheet music plus. I love that I can run out of books, order more online, and then have them mailed to me before the next lesson. Something we probably take for granted, but I'm really grateful I didn't have to find a sitter, or get dressed or get my kids dressed and into the car and out of the car to just buy a few books that the store might not have even had. Thank you internet.

January 29th - Treasure Map

Sunday, January 29, 2017

You wouldn't go looking for buried treasure without a map, would you?

I didn't think so.

Sarah quoted the scripture in Matthew 6:21

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

She uses the term treasure map, but I've also heard the term vision board
She tells us to visualize our ideal life, and then find compelling pictures of the things we want in our lives, and put them on a board with a stunning picture of you smiling in the middle  She says no one needs to see your private wishes, keep them in the back of your discovery journal. 

"Our wishes for the future, our hopes, our dreams, our aspirations are our truest treasures...
The greatest secret to living a happy and fulfilled life is the realization that everything is created in our minds before it manifests itself in the outer world. We must believe it before we can see it. You have to know what you're digging for, before X can mark the spot."

Now I know that these boards work for some people, but I'm not a big fan. 

I am a big fan of knowing that you have to believe it before you can see it, that it starts in your mind as a thought and you have to create it, and that you heart is where your treasure is. Like the Little Engine that Could, you have to think you can in order to do it. 

Your treasure is what you make it. Your heart is where you put it.

This made me think of Believing Christ. I loved this book. He talked about how we often believe that Christ atoned for us, but then that we are unworthy of accepting His grace. Also that we can not get to the Celestial kingdom, we are too far gone, or can not be worthy enough. But the truth is that the atonement is for you to use, and that you can have the Celestial kingdom as the goal on your treasure map. 

I hope it's on yours, it's sure on mine.

We can get there, it is possible, just follow the map. 


If this sounds like something you might enjoy, or might help you, give it a shot! If you do create your map, don't forget the Celestial kingdom...not everything on your map needs to coincide with that, but nothing on it should keep you from getting there, know what I mean?



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Gratitude Journal
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1) My health. There are a lot of sick people in this world, and I'm grateful to have enough to afford insurance and not be sick.

2) My home. I'm grateful to have a roof over my head, and I like the way the roof looks.

3) Blankets. There is nothing better than a blanket, and I got to carry one and wrap myself up in one at church today for our service project. 

4) Jacobisms. He repeats everything I say like "Hey guys, come here", "Let me help you", and some stuff I wish he wouldn't repeat like "crap!". And "I'm the Avatar, I'm Aang, hi ya!". He says the funniest things, and I can never remember what they are later...

5) Robbie made dinner. And did the dishes. That's delicious, and cool. 

January 28th - Discovery Journal

Saturday, January 28, 2017

"The key to loving how you live 
is in knowing what it is you truly love."
-SBB

Yes. You read that right.

Another journal. 

First you've got the gratitude journal.
Then you've got a journal that you can just let it all out in, your feelings, your thoughts, your worries, hopes, dreams, plans, questions, answers, etc. 

And now you've got a discovery journal. 


***
Please don't let this worry you, or overwhelm you. 
It isn't hard. 

Sarah says to write in these journals everyday, but if that takes too much time then don't. I'm a big fan of cutting stress out of your life.  

But these things aren't supposed to be stressful, they are supposed to be helpful in alleviating stress. So I hope even when it seems hard and you miss a day, or two, or three etc, that you'll try again to use these tools. 

***


Now the Discovery Journal.

It's fun.

I was doing this before I even knew what this was.

When I was in middle school I plastered my bedroom wall with photos from magazines and words and quotes and all sorts of things. There literally wasn't any wall visible. 

This made my parents very mad.

This was probably not the best way to display my discovery journal. 

Now I use a binder. 

The whole point of the discovery journal is to find out what it is that you love. 

"Knowledge of what you love somehow comes to you"

So save cards that come to you in the mail, pick out pictures from magazines and make collages. 

"We feed our imaginations and get in touch with our authenticity by gathering together beautiful images that speak to our souls."

I just use a binder, but Sarah suggests, like the gratitude journal, to make it pretty. In my binder I keep sections for fashion and makeup, and ideas for what I want to do for each room in my home, and a section for my garden. Now to be fair, I haven't really used it lately. Something about not having money to do the things I want to do and no longer subscribing to magazines. 

But when I do come across something that catches my eye, that's where I put it. 





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Gratitude Journal
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1) Grandparents. Robbie and I have some pretty awesome parents, and we are super lucky that we live close by.

2) Weekends. It is so nice to have everyone home and spending time together. Cleaning together, cooking together, working together, playing together, sleeping together...

3) Grapefruit. From a friend's tree in her backyard. Gorgeous and delicious.
I took this picture!!! I feel all professional :)

4) One out of three of my children are potty trained. It just makes life so much easier.

5) Robbie. Handy, helpful, amazing...and mine.



January 27th - Write to Yourself

Friday, January 27, 2017

"I will write myself into well-being."

Sarah talks today about something I think we can all relate too, how there is "rarely a quieting of my mind...

I discovered that my mind will grab hold of a single thought like a pit bull terrier with a bone and not let it go until I'm exhausted or have lost interest...

[and] desperate to quiet the voice in my head"

What did she do?

She wrote. 

Not in a fancy journal, that would be intimidating. But just in something that you can write down what you're thinking. 

"What I was doing was not so much recording the events in my life as much as eliminating the mental minutiae that was depleting my creative energy and driving me crazy. I was then able to let go and get on with my day...Just get down on paper whatever's hovering on the horizon of your brain disguised as a dull headache."

"Groan and forget it"

Writing creates a "reassuring rhythm", a "self-nurturing ritual...it clears my head and calms my restless spirit."

She says don't be shocked if you complain a lot at first, but "you can't moan about a situation for months and not decide to do something about it. You'll get tired of the sound of your own nagging and be inspired to get moving."

"With pencil and paper, I could revise the world"

"Writing...is a sure way of revising yours as you search for your authenticity."

She suggests writing a little every day, 21 days to make it a habit...I haven't exactly been writing like she says, but the last 27 days I have written something every day, and it has been relaxing. I do feel like as I write I am rewriting myself. I feel like it's easier to do what she's saying, to let it become a part of me, as I write about it, adding my own personal touches. 

So now I guess you need two journals, a gratitude journal and a notebook you can write anything in. 

I don't know if there's a spiritual thought or not, I'm too tired tonight. 

I've had quite a few people say "I wish I had your talent for writing"...well, why don't you start? 

Start writing, I think it may surprise you where it takes you.




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Gratitude Journal
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1) Elder Nelson. I got to be in the same room as an apostle! How cool! It wasn't as cool as I thought it was going to be, but it was still cool.

2) Cute Kids. Why are kids the most adorable creatures? With those squishy cheeks and their pudgy hands and little fingers and toes, and all that baby fat? 

3) My cousins. I have some pretty great family. My cousins are super talented, and I love making music with them. We sound amazing, it's cool.

4) Vintage clothes that came from Grandma. Need I say more?

5) Clean babies. They were getting a little dirty, so we had a nice long bath. There is nothing better than clean babies to cuddle. 

January 26th - Moments of Silence

Thursday, January 26, 2017

When you become a mom, all you want is a spa day, a week to sleep, and no one to bother you when you go to the bathroom or are trying to get ready (anything ready, yourself, dinner)...

"There is no companion so companionable as Solitude"

And that feeling gets worse, and worse and worse, if you don't make time for yourself. 

You can meditate, pray, read, plan your day, do something you enjoy, "and then just sitting in silence. Listening attentively. Waiting expectantly." -SBB

Sarah says to give yourself one hour "to journey within" everyday, but take baby steps. If one hour seems like too much (which she assures me it's not) try 15 minutes, then 30 etc etc. Break it up and take some time in the morning and at night. 

"You need breathing space to allow your heart to ponder what is precious. 
Or perhaps you can let your imagination soar to the twilight where dreams first dwell."

She says that most days if may feel like nothing has happened, there are no sudden revelations or ideas, just an hour of silence, taken to listen. Sometimes the ideas don't come until later in the day.

"This much I know: if you go deep enough, often enough, something good is bound to come back to you...Each day offers its own gift."

This made me think of pondering. Pondering doesn't just refer to pondering the scriptures. Why not ponder your life? How else can you ask a question, or even know what questions to ask, and receive answers? 
Answers from your authentic self, or from God? 

Search, ponder, pray.


"Be still, and know that I am God" -OT 




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Gratitude Journal
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1) Work out group. I am terrible at working out on my own. This morning I didn't want to go anywhere, and the little devil in my head tried to convince me that I could workout at home...but I knew that wasn't going to happen. I got my butt and my kids butts out the door and workout we did. I always feel more energy after working out, and a good kind of tired...like I deserve to be tired. 

2) Good friends. I got to see two groups of friends today. One planned, one spur of the moment. I love that my friends are planning people and spur of the moment people. I can just call and say "hey are you free? Like right now?"..."I'm home, about to do Pilates"..."can I join you?"..."yes!" Good friends are hard to come by, I am very blessed to have both quantity and quality.

3) Dishes. Doing someone else's dishes is so relaxing. I don't know what it is...doing my own is relaxing too, but not nearly as much.

4) Recipes. That ham hocks, kidney beans, ginger ale, bay leaves and a few other spices, onions, garlic, bell pepper and water mixed together and simmered for 3 hours tastes amazing. Serve with some rice and corn bread? Ah-may-zing

5) It's bed time. I'm pooped. Goodnight ya'all.






January 25th - Don't Procrastinate

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Accept your reality
Bless all of your circumstances
AND WORK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT

This day spoke to me. I totally believed once upon a time that I could wait to do the things I wanted or needed to do, that there would always be more time, that I was just too busy right now. 

Sarah called me out. She called us all out.

"Many of us have secretly believed that we had to wait until things calmed down a bit before we started to get our act together. 
Tomorrow we'll begin discovering authentic pleasures. 
Tomorrow we'll treat ourselves better. 
Tomorrow we'll take the time to enjoy ourselves. 
Tomorrow, when everything calms down...

LIFE NEVER CALMS DOWN LONG ENOUGH FOR US TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW TO START LIVING THE LIVES WE DESERVE.

Life is always movement, always change, always unforeseen circumstances. There will ALWAYS BE SOMETHING trying to grab your attention."

Dang Sarah. That's brutal. But it's honest. 

I remember thinking that I could wait to do things I wanted to do. I remember thinking that in middle school, then in high school, then in college, and even when Jacob was born. After 25 years of life I could finally read this and say yes, this is true. 

I try and tell anyone who will listen this. Just like when I hear someone saying "sorry" when there is nothing to be sorry about, I tell them straight up that they have nothing to be sorry about. I usually threaten a sorry jar, like a swear jar but for sorrys. When people start talking about what they want to do, and naming off all their excuses, and they look so sad, I try and tell them to just do it, or at least start or try...but I try not to push it. No one likes it when you push your ideas on them...it's never effective. 

Sarah tries to convince you not to wait either.

"So what are we going to do about it?

We can stop waiting for life to become perfect and 
START WORKING WITH WHAT WE'VE GOT 
to make it as satisfying as we can.

We can accept, bless, give thanks, and get going...

Procrastination has robbed us of too many precious opportunities."

While it kind of sounds ominous and daunting, she says to start small. 
Start with doing one thing that would give you a moment of happiness today. 

Procrastination, now that's a scary word.

"I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed." -BOM

Here are a few talks that I really enjoyed. One from Elder Eyring, and this Q&A

I also thought of the parable of the talents, how if you don't make more with your life then what you're given you're just wasting it.

Procrastination doesn't just apply to repentance.

Make every day a day where you do something you love.
If you get a feeling or a thought that you need to do something, like be a better sister, do it. Right then and there. Don't wait until it's too late. Because one day, very unexpectedly, it will be too late.




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Gratitude Journal
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1) Vacuums. If I couldn't vacuum up all of the dog hair, and dirt, and little pieces of toilet paper littered and wadded up all over my house, I might just go crazy. I love my Dyson.

2) Washing Machines and Dryers. It is so nice to just put clothes in the machine and then the dryer, and I can just walk away and it's done! I feel like I'm multitasking.

3) Laundry dates. I have a mountain of laundry, so Robbie and I just put on a movie and fold together. It's nice that we can do little things like this together, still spending time together but getting done what needs done.

4) Pizza. Have you ever had Pizza Junction in Clovis? Amazing!

5) Family. Blood and adopted, that reach out to me because they know I'm busy. 

6) My Piano Students. I had a funny conversation today. I give my students candy after every lesson, and I told him they were Hanukkah chocolate coins, and he looked at me funny and said "You're Jewish?"...no, I go to the same church you do...with another look "Your husband's Jewish?"...no, he goes to the same church you do too, I have an adopted Grandma who is Jewish...a even more shocked look "You're ADOPTED?!" ...NO...I love these kids, they are seriously so funny. 

January 24th - Bless our Trials

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you...If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you..." 

Sarah took accepting our reality to the next step. 

"After accepting our present circumstances, no matter what they are, we must learn to bless them. 

Right. Bless misery?

Through gritted teeth if necessary. Usually we don't know why something has occurred and we won't until there's enough distance to take a backward glance."

That sounds like it came right out of a lesson manual from church.

I think this is one of the reasons I like Sarah so much. She sounds like me! A girl after my own heart...I couldn't have said it better myself.

Jesus said it too.

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 

But I say unto you, 
Love your enemies, 
bless them that curse you, 
do good to them that hate you, 
and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" 
- NT 

I remember the first time I tried to do this. There was a bully in middle school, and I didn't like her and she didn't like me. I didn't like her because she was mean, but I don't know why she didn't like me. I don't know if we had a lesson at church or if my parents talked about it or if I just read this, but I had the impression to give her a valentines day card. It didn't change her, but it changed me. I suddenly wasn't afraid of her or didn't like her, I just accepted she was probably going to say hurtful things to and about me, and that was okay. I knew the truth about me, my friends knew the truth...I was suddenly sorry for her. 

Funny how a memory from middle school sticks with you. 





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Gratitude Journal
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1) Sunshine. It's like God knows that we need the rain, but since we are Californians we need the sunshine too. Last Tuesday we had sun, and again this Tuesday! It was a wonderful sunny day.

2) Good music. Over the weekend I borrowed some tuneage from my mom and Grandma. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, the Remember the Titans soundtrack...good jams. My kids are so cute dancing. 

3) Good friends, and play dates. And rock walls and parks. Did I mention the sunshine?
 He and Jacob were totally climbing that all by themselves. When did they get so big?

Mr cool man with the sunglasses and no shoes.

4) Piano lessons. I love teaching. And my students are awesome. I love having them in my home every week, and seeing them progress? Holy crap. It's super cool.

5) 7:00pm. Bed time. Thank goodness. 

6) Phone calls. Texting. That I can talk to my best friends, no matter how long its been or how far away we are...love knows no bounds. 


January 23rd - Accepting Reality

Monday, January 23, 2017

Huh.

I'm pretty sure I've said that like three times now...but Sarah thankfully shed some light on it. 

"What is acceptance? Acceptance is surrendering to what is: our circumstances, our feelings, our problems, our financial status, our work, our health, our relationships with other people, the delay of our dreams. Before we can change anything in our life we have to recognize that this is the way it's meant to be right now. 

It's 'all right'...This is simply part of the journey."

Sarah talked about how she struggled to be content because she stubbornly resisted reality. But when she decided to "surrender to the reality of a particular situation...a softening in my soul occurs."

Acceptance brings relief and release. "Acceptance also illuminates reality so that we're better able to see the next step."

"Cast a glance around and acknowledge what's going on...
This is okay. This is real life.

Today, let go of the struggle. Allow the healing process of change to begin. 
You're ready to move on."


Those of us who are LDS have heard a lot about softening of hearts, so this is not a new phrase to us. 

I thought of the story of Nephi tied to the ship by his brothers. 
"And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts; wherefore, when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me." -BOM

Doesn't that sound like they accepted their reality? 
We are going to die unless we repent and untie our brother.

Isn't that what we do when we repent of our sins? The first step is accepting we were wrong? 

Not accepting your reality, I think, is wrong. It gets you all angry and fired up over things and doesn't help you in any way change them. (I'm not saying don't get angry, or fired up...I'm saying do it the right way)

I fear I'm starting to babble. I don't think there is anything left to say. 
So I shall accept my reality and say goodnight to you all :)

Peace out




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Gratitude Journal
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1) Hair. After spending the weekend at my parents house, I had to go into Shelby's room before we left. I had stayed away because it still feels like she's going to come out and give me a hug and say hello...but I couldn't stand that her bed wasn't made, or that her room was a mess. So I started cleaning and going through things. I took some stuff home like her hair brushes (mine are toast, thanks for giving me yours sweetheart). As I was cleaning them out I thought "how weird would it be to smell her hair?"...well, I did. And it still smelled like her. I miss her. I know I'll see her again, but who knows how many years it'll be. I don't like to wait...it's going to be a long time if I don't learn some patience.

2) Hair brushes. Indy smelled like wet dog, and I had this great idea to use one of the sturdy brushes Shelby had to bathe Indy. It worked amazing. The brush worked better than my fingers ever would have. Thanks Shelby.

3) Going through Shelby's room. It was almost like I got to talk to her while I made her bed, threw trash away, did some organizing. She was (is) amazing.
She was different from the world, and she did make a difference. The dove chocolate wrapper says something about love the little moments...I can't read it from the picture, I told myself "I'll remember"...uh huh.

4) Graham crackers. I had opened a pack for the kids...but apparently one wasn't enough. Riley decided to rip another pack open with her teeth and bit into them like an apple.

5) Lazy day. We just played, and slept, and watched tv and cuddled. For some reason I couldn't make myself work today, so I tried to just love my kids. We watched Hotel Transylvania, and they went to bed saying Blah Blah Blah. 





January 22nd - The Prosperity of Living

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I think it is so cool that Sarah was able to spend one year? Two years researching and writing this book. She found some pretty amazing quotes and things.

Today she talks about hard times, and how everyone has them. She found a particularly stirring quote from a depression era issue of Ladies' Home Journal.

"The return of good times is not wholly a matter of money.
There is a prosperity of living which is quite as important as prosperity of the pocketbook.

It is not enough to be willing to make the best of things as they are.
Resignation will get us nowhere.

We must build what amounts to a new country. We must revive the ideals of the founders. We must learn the new values of money. It is a time for pioneering - to create a new security for the home and the family...Where we were specialists in spending, we are becoming specialists in living." 

Sarah asks us if we're ready to become a pioneer? To take the time to "invest your soul with all the creative energy at your disposal". She describes the path of a pioneer, that it's long, but also comforting and nurturing. It can only be taken one day at a time. "Don't be afraid. We are not alone...we will learn to live by our own lights and the stars of heaven...There is no obstacle that true grit and Amazing Grace cannot overcome."

A lot of us have pioneer ancestry, lots of us can remember lessons in school history about the pioneers of the West. There are many touching stories about LDS pioneers. Elder Uchtdorf described modern day pioneers as having faith, perseverance, and sacrifice. Merriam-Webster defined a pioneer as a person or group that helps set up a new line of thought or activity.  

This is kind of cool, being a pioneer in my own life, making my way through the path of simple abundance.




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1) Creamed eggs. Woke up to my mom making a seriously awesome breakfast. Creamed eggs is saved for Easter, Father's day, and Christmas...and now rainy Sunday mornings.

2) Sacrament meeting. I think one of the reasons God gives us children during church is to help us learn patience and be okay with things like a screaming toddler (whether it's yours or not) when we're trying really hard to listen and feel the spirit.

3) Cuties. My kids just eat up those little orange slices, like manna from heaven. And my kids are cute eating cuties...haha.

4) Blankets and Fires. There is something wonderful about being cold and then warming up with a blanket and a fire.

5) Indy. I always think she'll love the mountains, she'll have so much fun playing and exploring...but instead she has just been standing at the door, pitifully whining, very wet, wanting to come inside. Sorry puppy, not till you get a bath. You reek of wet dog.




January 21st - Illusions

Saturday, January 21, 2017

I have somewhere in the recent past become a huge believer in accepting your reality. I think it was when I finally got out of denial and admitted to myself that raising three kids under the age of 3 was hard, and was going to be the hardest thing I ever did. The simple act of seeing my life as it really was, instead of what I thought or wanted it to be, has become immensely helpful to how I live my life now. It's kind of hard to explain...

Denial was like an illusion that clouded my life. I didn't see things clearly. Everything was okay, and I was fine, when I really wasn't. I wasn't living, I was surviving, but I had convinced myself that I was thriving. You can't move forward if you can't clearly see the path in front of you. 

But at the same time, that's not really true. Sometimes we have to take leaps of faith, not being able to see clearly. But being clear headed, clearly seeing your life for what it is and the power you have over it, maybe that's it. 

Today Sarah talks about illusions that limit us. One is that fate determines our destiny and we don't have any control. Another is that we can control everything, and so can't even dream of trusting an outside source like God or the Universe or Spirit. 

"We buy in to the illusion that external events possess the ultimate power to deny our dreams...and we wonder why we're so unhappy? Let go of limiting illusions that have held you back from knowing that just to be alive is a grand thing."

She talks about suspending disbelief. If you're suspending disbelief, then aren't you gaining faith? If you're getting rid of something, doesn't something take it's place? I really enjoyed going through this talk, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you're not a big fan of religion, that's okay. I still suggest you read through this to learn about gaining faith and the power that it has. Because faith is universal in the sense that you can have faith in many things, so the concept of having faith in Christ and faith in yourself should be the same. He talks about the 6 D's that destroy our faith, doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief.  

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." -NT 

Sarah quoted Agatha Christie, and I feel the same as she. 

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."

What illusions are holding you back?



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Gratitude Journal
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1) Waking Up. Waking up with the love of your life holding you, curled in the blankets because it's cold, and Jacob saying "I have to go poopoo" across the house. Then Riley waking up and the first thing she says is "Nana? Nana!" If she could say "come and get me Nana!" she would have.

2) Snow. It snowed, it didn't stick, but it snowed. It was beautiful. Shelby would have loved it. Then it rained, and now the sun is coming out...even if it's only for a moment, it's like it just wanted to pop out and say hello. 

3) Grandma. What more can I say?  

4) My mom. She cooks everything for us. "Here let me fix breakfast, here let me fix lunch." It's like she's fixing me.

5) Cute kids. No snow, but lots of water. The fun of splashing and getting wet.






Then Chase fell down and hated being wet. I don't blame him.


Then Jacob realized he was wet and didn't like it either.



And then Chase forgot about it. Riley never cared.

And the day is only half over. 
What a wonderful day so far. 

January 20th - Diamonds

Friday, January 20, 2017

"Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them."
- Russell H. Conwell


The lecture "Acres of Diamonds" was given more than 6,000 times. The gist is a farmer sold his farm and left his family to travel the world looking for wealth. He looked and found nothing. He ended up homeless and alone, and ended his life. But the man who bought his farm was grateful for it and loved working hard. He had his family and enjoyed the fruits of his labors. One day he discovered that there was a diamond mine in his backyard, literally an acre of diamonds, and was wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. 

"Conwell used this parable to illustrate an extraordinary and wonderful message: within each of us lies a wellspring of abundance and the seeds of opportunity. 
For each of us there is a deeply personal dream waiting to be discovered and fulfilled. 
When we cherish our dream and then invest love, creative energy, perseverance, and passion in ourselves, we will achieve an authentic success." 

"Success...is as close as your own backyard."
-SBB

I found this when I searched for "acres of diamonds" on lds.org

“If I were to tell you in all seriousness that in your own backyard you could find an acre of diamonds, would you ignore the suggestion and take no trouble to search? Today, I am telling you with all the fervor of my soul that in easy reach there is a prize of inestimable worth. Diamonds can buy one food and shelter. Diamonds can embellish and decorate. But the prize that is within your grasp is more brilliant than jewels. It will not lose its sparkle, nor can it be stolen by thieves. I speak of the greatest gift—the gift of eternal life. It may not be obtained through mere asking; it cannot be purchased with money; hopeful wishing will not bring it; but it is available to men and women the world over who comply with the requirements” (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 83).

I just found this talk and this day so touching. That God loves us so much to give us diamonds and more. 

How cool is that?




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Gratitude Journal
***

1) Sad Days. I want to make it absolutely clear that my life is not perfect. I am not Mary Poppins every day, I am not happy every day, I do not get everything done I want to get done, I do not have patience with my kids all the time, sometimes I don't like them....Sometimes you can see someone's life online and think that it's perfect. I just wanted it to be clear that mine is not.

But even when I'm sad (it's been three days straight now, I strongly suspect my period has a lot to do with that, and the fact that my sister just died) I am grateful for this life. I'm grateful for sad music and movies that make me cry or at least start me crying so I can let it all out (don't we all feel better after a good cry?). I am grateful for sad days, and the rain, and that all sad days or weeks must come to an end and the sun will shine again, just maybe not today.

2) Robbie. I called him to talk, and after a few minutes we said goodbye. He called me a few minutes later apologizing for not giving me his full attention and really talked to me. I mean, how awesome is that?

3) Forgiveness. I was not a good mom today. I totally freaked out. Yelled, spanked, everything. I feel like the worst person in the world. Why is it that you have to go past the breaking point to reset? After a mommy time out, I went and apologized, and all three of my kids forgave me and hugged and kissed me. Jacob just held me. They are amazing.

4)  My dad called to tell me it was raining and to drive safely. I didn't think it was raining at my house. I went to take the trash out, and closed the door. I was not walking out in that. Thanks dad.

5) Watching the lighting with the kids. How exciting, and awe inspiring. 





 
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