I have to start by saying I am terrible at consistency. I am bad at exercising, eating good, reading scriptures, cleaning the kitchen… anything that should be done consistently I have difficulty with. I was looking through an old journal yesterday looking for something, and I got caught up in reading some of it (naturally!). I had a period where I was being consistent and writing every day for a few months. It was fun to go over it and brought back memories of a special time in my life. Have you ever looked back at your journal? It’s almost like meeting someone new or reading a story that seems familiar, but almost forgotten. I happen to have a bad memory, so reading over the entries was fun. I have always been told how important journaling is. I’ve tried on and off throughout my life to be consistent with it, but generally fail. Reading over my past, however, has led me to realize that recording even the most mundane, basic daily routines or happenings can be a joy to read about later on in life. What may be the daily norm right now may not be in a few years. It also allows us to see the Lord’s hand in our lives. When we are going through something or even before a major trial happens, we may not see His influence, but if we record those times then look back it becomes so much more obvious that He was with us. I know some people who have left the church who say they were brainwashed or never felt the Spirit in their lives, it was just peer pressure. I think we are encouraged to journal to help us remember in the tough times that those experiences were real, that the Spirit truly has guided our paths, and that the Lord has a plan for our lives. Remembering the Lord when we have a difficulties is our best chance to get through them. I saw a quote a while back from Janet Brigham that said “Sacred experiences gain validity by being recorded… And seen over a period of years, a life recorded day by day and page by page assumes pattern and purpose. A journal thus becomes a vehicle for seeing God’s interaction with us. ” (Read the article here) Just like anything else where we measure progress, if we don’t record what we’ve done, how do we know what to do or how far we’ve come? Journaling is our life’s progress and record. By diligently recording our daily activities and spiritual experiences, we can look back and see how we’ve grown, the paths we’ve been down, the Lord’s hand in our lives, and gain a greater testimony of His love for us. I hope you can (if you haven’t already!) make time for journaling and use it as a way to see God’s interaction with you. This is my hope, that I will try to work on consistently journaling to better see His hand in my life.

Enjoy the 7×5 digital download below! (logo is not on the download)

Autumn and Misinterpretations…

Autumn is in full swing! Our Halloween went well (see pics below!) and it has been so very cold here. It was a weird year for us since normally the sweaters don’t come out until Christmas or even after here. The temperatures are starting to get back to normal for us now, warming up some but still with chilly mornings. Sharp, brisk mornings are one of my favorite things. My parents sent me a video of the Midwest where they’ve had their first real snow of the year and I can’t help but miss it (Maybe I’m crazy ha!). I can’t help but be thankful for the beautiful world we live in. There was a quote I saw from a book that about summed up my feelings on autumn. I did an 8×10 digital download for you that’s available below. It says,

“Steam rising underneath a canopy of whispering, changing aspens; starlight in the clear, dark night, and wondrous beauty in every direction. If only all could feel this way, to be so captured and enthralled with autumn.”

The sky does seem clearer in the fall (when those big clouds finally roll away!) and there is most definitely beauty in every direction. I am grateful for the uniqueness of autumn.

The other thing I wanted to touch on was a funny misinterpretation I had of the scriptures on a chapter on Isaiah (surprise!). Scriptural comprehension is not a strength of mine, as you’ll see… I was reading over 2 Nephi 7, which is compared to Isaiah 50. I don’t understand some of it still, but there were a couple things that stood out to me. First, in verse 5 it says, “The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” How often does the Lord bless us with the ability to know and do more and we turn away from him or even rebelled? I hope I can have the humility, faith, and strength to listen and do as He asks. Verses 7-9 tell us,

“For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded…

And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.

For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.”

There are so many confusing messages today. Youth are being deceived and misled as are women, specifically. Satan knows that by targeting these groups he can greatly influence the future. Sheri Dew told us, “It is no wonder that Satan has declared war on motherhood. He understands full well that those who rock the cradle can rock his earthly empire.” If mothers are targeted, children are targeted. I’m not saying men aren’t, I think they’ve struggled and been targets for a long time, but this point in history seems to be especially detrimental to the work of women and the progression of children. What I love about these verses of scripture is that it tells us that when the Lord is near we can “not be confounded”. Discernment is a gift. It’s something we can work on throughout our lives, but it is truly a gift to those who desire to do good. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and His willingness to help us as we navigate this difficult world.

Okay, so now on to verse 11. This one I was completely and totally wrong about! Here it is:

Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow.

So my first thoughts (and even what I wrote in my journal) was that we are required to put in the sparks and kindle our relationship with the Savior, who will then give us guiding light and warmth, love, and comfort. Totally NOT what this verse meant!!! What it’s actually saying is that those who kindle their own fire and follow their own desires through life rather than turning to the Lord will find sorrow. Basically the complete opposite of my initial thoughts. I think I need a book on understanding Isaiah! I was totally off, however, I thought my initial thoughts were important. Sometimes we understand things in the scriptures differently because that’s the way the Holy Ghost wants us to interpret something at that time so we can understand what we need to do in our lives. At this point, I recognize I need to continue enduring and bringing my efforts to the relationship I have with my Savior in order for Him to bless me. I need to work harder at adding my “sparks to the flame”, getting my head right, and ensuring my priorities are straight. If I can do this, and maybe you need to hear it too, I know the Lord will share abundant blessings. We had a member of our stake presidency speak to us last week briefly and one thing he said was, “The Lord’s way is always the best way”. So many times we think we know best or we are set on doing something a certain way, but we don’t stop to think or realize that the Lord is trying to lead us differently to something even better. It may not be easier, but it will always be better. By improving our relationship with the Savior, we can more easily understand what the Lord’s path for us is. This is my goal and something I know I will continue to work on. Will you?

Lily at Halloween!
Download this 8×10 print below!

Peace and Strength

This world doesn’t seem peaceful a lot of times. It’s tumultuous, overwhelming, depressing, and hard. There is conflict. There is pain. There is sadness. There’s a lot of reasons to want to stay inside, away from everyone, where you can just be isolated from the tribulations and confusion of everything; but, we aren’t here to focus on that. We aren’t on this Earth to let the darkness consume us. We aren’t here to let fear overcome hope. We aren’t here to let Satan win the precious fight for our souls. There is peace in this world when we recognize the hand of Christ in our lives. There is peace through the hope of a child. There is peace through the natural beauty of the earth. There is peace through the unwavering testimonies of those who have utilized the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. There is peace when we include our Savior in our daily lives. Satan wants us to feel overwhelmed and he is working hard to make us miserable, but he does not win against Christ, nor will he win against you. Don’t give him that chance. You’re too important. Be still, find peace, and feel the power of the Lord as He helps you overcome all that burdens you in this life.

Good Timber

I saw a quote recently by Thomas S. Monson, but found it was actually an excerpt from a poem called Good Timber by Douglas Malloch. The quote is “Good timber does not grow with ease; The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees”. This is profound to me, as struggle is an important part of life, whether we like it or not. We can embrace it and recognize it for the growth opportunity it is, or we can be negative about it and miserable through the trial. Either way, struggle will come. There are trees that buckle under the wind. Some are uprooted. Some lose branches. When we are rooted in Christ with a firm testimony of His love for us, the winds won’t affect us like that. We may lose a branch here and there when times are tough, requiring healing and faith, but our roots are still good and our trunks still tougher. Many trees have scars. Trees are one of my favorite symbols of ourselves and our lives because they endure much and change much. The seasons bring drastic changes to leaves and branches, either by taking them away or bringing new life. The most majestic of trees have stood the test of time and been through great change. I needed this quote in my life as a reminder that struggle and change and endurance are all part of the plan. With the Lord’s help, we’re all tough enough to make it through any wind that comes our way.

Here is the full poem by Douglas Malloch, with free digital downloads below of the quote!

Good Timber

by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

He restoreth my soul

I read this from Psalm 23:3 while looking over the talk, “Good Shepherd, Lamb of God” by Elder Gerrit W. Gong. I was thinking about how our souls get tired and exhausted. They get tired from worry, from spiritual strain, from longing for our heavenly home or for people who have passed, or from seeking guidance and answers that seem to never come. Sometimes our prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling and we become jaded or even bitter. Our souls, like our bodies, sometimes need to be refreshed, restored, and rested. This works differently for everyone, but it can come from learning more about our Savior by reading about Him. If we can strengthen our relationship with Him and learn to love Him more, our souls are restored. It can also come from serving others. Dieter F. Uchtdorf told us, “As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger.” Service restores our souls. I have also found, for me, temple attendance is incredibly helpful. It goes along with service, but it is a special and unique kind of service. President Gordon B. Hinckley gave us a promise that “if you will go to the house of the Lord, you will be blessed, life will be better for you.” He didn’t say it’d be easier. I don’t expect that, although it may be easier in a sense when we realize Christ is sharing our burdens and helping us endure the storms of life. But that’s what makes life better. When we recognize the presence of our Savior and His hand in our lives, we can find peace in our trials and a refocused eternal perspective on things. Temple attendance restores our souls. I know attending the temple is challenging for many, but it is so important to try to attend as often as possible. If you can’t, at least keep your sights on it. Remain worthy to attend. Show the Savior that if you could step into the temple right then, you’d be able to do so in His presence. The temples are so special and give us an opportunity to give and receive unique blessings. I hope you can find ways that you can step back and restore your soul through Christ. He is the one who can help. He’s the one who will give you peace, comfort, and strength. Reach out to Him with the intention of restoring your soul, and you’ll find a different feeling than other requests. The Holy Ghost will confirm His love for you the way you will understand it best!

You Can be Mended

I saw a quote the other day that I wanted to share. I looked back at the original talk, called “Broken Things to Mend” by Jeffrey R. Holland and realized the entire talk was pretty amazing. I love Jeffrey R. Holland anyway, but was thankful for the nudge to go back and read this talk.

The quote I saw was, “If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.”

I know there are times when I feel down and think there just isn’t any light, or there is no way to get out of my slump. There are negative feelings that I struggle with sometimes that just snowball into a black hole. Satan loves this, because once he’s hooked our mind into his trap of negativity, he can keep you from realizing you can pray for help. This is why it is so important we learn to control our thoughts. If we can realize when we are slipping into a mindset contrary to the Spirit, we can stop it before it gets out of hand. There are medical exceptions to this where more assistance may be needed, but there is no harm in practicing positivity. Learning more about our Savior and His Atonement for us can also aid in strengthening our abilities to fend off the adversary in his attempts to trap us. Jesus Christ will always have his hand outstretched, ready to comfort, give hope, strengthen you, or mend you. Never let Satan allow you to think otherwise.


I was looking through some general conference talks from last year, looking for a specific one that talked about how the members aren’t called to callings because of their efficiency in that area, but because they can be given an opportunity to grow. I’m sure Spencer knows who gave it, but I can’t think of it off the top of my head right now. I was searching for it because I think we often criticize or judge those placed in callings who “can’t” do it right or “shouldn’t” be there because they just don’t have the training or aren’t efficient enough at it. This particular talk had addressed this and how important it was that we weren’t concerned with top-performing efficiency status in our wards, but instead with how people are doing spiritually, giving them the opportunity to serve and grow. I thought it was in the talk from David A. Bednar called “Meed and Lowly of Heart” from April 2018. It wasn’t, but I couldn’t help but read through this talk, as it pulled me in and I felt strongly about writing about it and creating a digital download. This is one of my favorites!

Elder Bednar gave a quick description for us- “Meekness is a defining attribute of the Redeemer and is distinguished by righteous responsiveness, willing submissiveness, and strong self-restraint.” How often do we need to exercise strong self-restraint? I am a mom, so… all the time 😉 Luckily I worked retail management for a long time and had A LOT of practice! I always try to be submissive to the Lord, putting pride aside and doing as I’m asked, but I’m not perfect at it. I also know I am terrible at righteous responsiveness, as most the time I feel like I’m just thinking to do something silly in my own mind instead of following a prompting. I have a lot of work to do, no doubt. But that’s why I feel like this talk was perfect for me right now. I love the message Elder Bednar shared when he said, “The Christlike quality of meekness often is misunderstood in our contemporary world. Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash. A meek person is not easily provoked, pretentious, or overbearing and readily acknowledges the accomplishments of others.” Sometimes I focus too much on what the world thinks about me. I care about the way I look or if I’m liked. I have worked with people who have encouraged me to do wrong things because that’s what an “independent” woman would do. Meekness isn’t something to be ashamed of. People may not understand it, but it is a divine attribute we desperately need in these latter-days. I hope we can work to be more meek as a people. Pride will tear people apart and away from their Divine Parents. Meekness will bring them together and turn them towards their heavenly home.