Friday, June 26, 2015

Truth will always be truth

The search for truth is difficult sometimes. But that is not because it is not there. Usually, the search is difficult because it has to be a little obscured for it's sacredness. In the New Testament, Christ spoke to his disciples in parables. Those who wanted to know the answers to questions would actively seek out the Master for the answers. We still have a decision to accept the answers we are given (see the Mark 10).

This is how I see many of the questions we struggle with as members. The recent ruling on marriage in this country is one. Our conduct on the Sabbath is another. We can either go with our own ideas or we can receive revelation from the One who knows everything from the beginning to the end. 

The miracle? We will not be abandoned because those around us are not making choices in accordance with His will. He can strengthen us to continue to stand for the family or to continue to observe the Sabbath, despite pressures. This does NOT mean that we become belligerent against those who do support these habits, we just stop from continuing along the same path. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A help-meet for him

Today I was listening to a talk by Linda K. Burton. She spoke of our divine roles as men and women, and how Eve was a help-meet for Adam. As she explains, The phrase help meet means “a helper suited to, worthy of, or corresponding to him.” She was created specifically for Adam, which especially makes sense in the fact that he had a very specific roles to complete: He was to be the earthly father of all mankind. He could not, however, do this without Eve. Marriage is between a man and woman, not because it was created by that man, but because marriage is "from above". So, since Adam had the divine role of being the earthly father of us all, Eve had to help him in this regard. She knew her role. It was clear. I'm sure she contemplated what that role meant and she was not passive about it.

In Moses 4:12 we read "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat." There was something missing for Adam and Eve- knowledge. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit the were able to have that knowledge and begin the steps back to their Father. And so now all mankind could come to earth and partake of the sorrow and joy of mortality.

I am grateful for Eve, because she teaches me that I have a role as a woman. I am to be a help-meet for Stuart. That, however, means we must be unified in our purpose. I have found that the best way to be unified is through God- He can give clear direction to both of us and confirm the needs of our family. He could ask us to go to Iowa, Oklahoma, or Singapore... and we would go. He could ask us to pray, and we would pray. He could ask us to wait, and we would wait.

I know my role. It is clear. I will contemplate what that role means and not be passive about it.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's the little things

Stuart has got this husband thing down. 

Last night we were at "Science unwrapped" and I saw a haircut that I really liked. I leaned over and told Stuart, "When I cut my hair (one day in the far future) I would love to pull something like that off, but I don't think it would look very good." He reaches over and pulls my hair away from my face, studies me, and says, "I think it would look great". 

It's those little things that I am so grateful for. Living in Utah, while my whole family is in Georgia, is hard. But I know Stuart loves me when he begins to list possible graduate schools and most of them are in the South. 

I know he loves me when he, knowing how much I enjoyed the licorice he bought at Winco over Spring Break, pokes his head around the corner and sticks the last one in my mouth while I'm finishing my hair. 

I know he loves me when, while we're on a run, he switches sides so he'll be closer to the road. 

And even the song from Frozen can remind us that "Love is an open door". I know, I know. Ana meant that love means freedom, but also think that love is an open door. It makes me feel so special when Stuart opens my car door. 

Elder Jeffery R. Holland reminded us, all of us, when he spoke in a BYU devotional, that love is about doing. 

"I have taken for a title to my remarks Mrs. Browning’s wonderful line “How do I love thee?” I am not going to “count the ways” this morning, but I am impressed with her choice of adverb—not when do I love thee nor where do I love thee nor why do I love thee norwhy don’t you love me, but, rather, how. How do I demonstrate it, how do I reveal my true love for you? Mrs. Browning was correct. Real love is best shown in the “how,” and it is with the how that Mormon and Paul help us the most."

Just another reminder of how blessed we are when we have love in our life, and because of Him, we have eternal love. How have you seen love, from anyone, in your life today? 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Does everything happen for a reason?

With St. Patrick's day approaching I was thinking about luck, especially after seeing this post on Facebook. Does luck just happen because or does it happen for a reason?

After some contemplation and reading I think that everything does happen for a reason, but only if we allow ourselves to see the reason. In 1st Nephi, it reads, "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Sometimes those tender mercies come in the form of cookies, a hug, or a phone call. They are simple ways to remind you that Heavenly Father is listening. Other times though, these "tender mercies" come in the form of trials. 

I often think of my parents as a good example. They pushed me through piano lessons when things were hard. Sometimes, my hands hurt, my arms ached, and my arpeggios didn't seem any better. But they say something I couldn't see- the piano was not about learning a musical instrument, it was about discipline. Granted, those years of study has paid off for them when they get beautiful music in their home, but that is beside the point.

Our Heavenly Father is bound by His own laws. When we pray and ask for help or guidance He can come to our aid, or allow us to wait for necessary relief, or allow us to find the answer. I'm sure there are other answers, but those are the big ones that I have seen in my life. When we are in deep, deep despair he will come to our aid. I have felt this in the middle of the night, as I lay awake panicking about nothing. When he sees better blessings ahead, he allows us to wait. And, when we need to learn how to help His children, He allows us to find the answers. I am so grateful for a loving Father who gives me exactly what I need, even if it is not what I necessarily want. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I love being a woman

This morning for my scripture study I wanted to study more about my role as a wife. I have been doing that recently with a fresh copy of The Book of Mormon, but I wanted to know what modern day prophets had to say to me. I searched "wife" on The results? "Love your wife", "Being a loving husband and father", "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart".

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it is a core belief that women play an equal part in their marriage relationship. We are loved and cared for by the men who hold the Priesthood of God. I love the idea that men who hold the priesthood also hold women lovingly and tenderly. Men allow women to be women. We can cry at sappy movies and "ooh" and "aah" over newborn babies. As men love women, women can also more fully love men. Thus, we both fulfill our responsibilities.

Much like a circular glass of water can hold as much water as a square glass of water, men and women, though different, do equal work in the kingdom in God.

I am no more loved by my Heavenly Father than my husband, and my husband is no more loved by my Heavenly Father than me. I am so grateful to be a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Budgeting and blessings

Every time I sit down to do our budget, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the help we receive. I know not everyone has these specific blessings. Not everyone can make ends meet. I'm not bragging... I'm thanking.

Of course, there is my job at the university. It is something I love doing and I am struggling to realize that in a few short months, with the approach of summer, my job will be finished. There are also our amazing parents. From insurances of all kinds, to presents and gifts, and help with the little things, they are such a blessing. Although we look forward to the day when we are completely independent, right now we feel that a little financial help from our parents is a good thing.

Finally, there is my Grandma, Bubbi. She passed away many years ago. In fact I think she has been gone from my life longer than she was physically in it. But, she set up a trust fund to help her grandchildren get through school. Not only has it provided current security, but also a comforting feeling that there are fewer student loans to pay off in the end.

So, "thank you" for all of your help.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Making decisions

My friend, Elizabeth, was blogging about decisions and fear. This was my thought:

Sometimes Heavenly Father lets us walk into the darkness, but we are never alone. We are with the light of the world. Sometimes our eyes just have to adjust. 

As I rolled the idea over in my head I realized just how true it was. When Stuart and I got engaged, I knew it was right. I loved him, and we both loved God. Therefore, we were connected by something much more stable than a feeling. However, I had moments of fear during our final stages of courtship. You see, majoring in family studies, I see all the statistics. And, since working on coding, this perception is only worse. I see broken couples almost everyday. Affairs, anger, drifting apart. 

But, the Gospel, and the atonement, are not only there for our broken pieces. if we let Him in, Jesus Christ amplifies the happy times in our lives. With Him we "see the good in the world". 

We can understand that there is much more to this life than looking for a job, choosing a major, or any other decisions that have to be made. Instead, when a decision is made, we can focus on the good of it, and pray for continued guidance. 

If we move forward, not only in confidence with our decision, but in confidence with God, we will not fear. Instead, we will be warned if something is not right. We will have a stupor of thought. It's a feeling of being unsettled, of being discomforted. Those two feelings, fear and discomfort, take time to discern. But, they are discernable. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The homemade meal

Yesterday, I made a grocery list and still forgot a couple of things. But, I am determined to stay under our budget, despite only having a little bit left. That's when I started to do the math.

You see, I already know plenty about family dinners, as that was a big part of my studies during my undergraduate education. Family dinners are healthier, and give you added time with your children, which leads to better school grades for them, and less delinquencies.

However, this another, much more obvious, benefit to a homemade meal. The cost.

Stuart and I have a budget of $45 per week for our grocery budget. This not only includes food, but also includes any needed housing needs like sponges. So, if you took those expenses out, the budget is more like $41.

I go to the store every seven days... or six if you count that fact that I forgot the noodles last night.

So, divide 41 by 7. Go ahead, do the math. I was pretty amazed.

5.85. But, there are two of us in the house, so that means that our daily food expenses (haha) are 2.93. For three meals, that means we spend about 92 cents. Wow. If that doesn't persuade you to eat out one less time, I'm not sure what will.

Now, granted. We often have weeks where we don't really eat meat, and substitute beans instead. We save up for meat little by little, and we have an occasional night out to eat. Probably more than we should. But right now, I would say I am pretty pleased with how we are doing. We are well fed and happy.

How do you do your family meals? What tips have you learned about budgeting better?