Focus on the Gospel

In our (LDS) last General Conference Elder Russel M. Nelson said,”Focus on the gospel, joy comes from Him, not our circumstances.” If you would like to read the whole talk, you can do that HERE. I feel like I really needed to hear what he had to say. With Instagram, Pinterest, people doing lifestyle blogs and HGTV it is so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have. I don’t have the white carrera marble countertops or high end clothing or weekend trips to New York or a month long galavant in Australia while doing yoga. Would I like all those things? Sure. And there is nothing wrong with having those things, but when I start feeling inadequate or getting off track with my focus I remember what I have. 

I have knowledge of the restored gospel, which I knew to be true when it was taught to me. Really, what more could I want? Having the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ and that we have a loving Heavenly Father has changed my life and persepective of the world. My dreams, desires and goals evolved over time with this knowledge. 

Through Him comes power, peace, courage and answers. Through Him we can feel true love and charity. Through Him we can thrive during hard times, not just survive. He is waiting for us through a simple prayer in our heart, through us remembering Him, through earthly angels willing to do His work, through service and going to church to take the sacrament, through showing faith and having hope, through magnifying our calling, through going to the temple.  We can hear His voice through the scriptures if we but just open them in order to find Him waiting patiently for us to turn to Him. 

When I keep my eye single to God I can be in the world, but not of it. I can be happy for others remodeling their bathroom while mine still has holes in the walls 4 years later. I can feel gratitude while I watch my homeless looking children run around instead of wishing I could shop at boutiques. I can feel thankful while I work out even though I can’t run a marathon. “I feel my Savior’s love in all the world around me. His spirit warms my soul through everything I see.” (LDS children’s hymn, 74) 

New Vision. New Mission

I have had a new vision and have been given a new mission for my social media life placed on my heart. I finally feel like I have purpose and a focus. I also have an idea for a project so stay tuned to hear about that! 

Many of you that know me know that I have struggled with addiction issues. I was going down a very dark and dangerous path in my early 20’s. I felt surrounded by despair, darkness and evil. There were several occasions I became suicidal and cops were called. I woke up one morning and looked around me and was sober enough to see the filth. I was beyond disgusted with myself. How did I get here? I was raised better. I guess that was my rock bottom because I made the conscious choice to change. 

All of this was a year after I had already met with the missionaries of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think I knew the was the gospel was true, but I had hardened in my heart and wasn’t ready to break my addictions or change my lifestyle. So a year passed until I was ready. As I remember it, I was ready in my heart and wanted to get baptized. Sometime that week (it felt like that night but I don’t remember for sure) the missionaries knocked on my door. They said they were looking through old names and my name jumped out at them. To their surprise I told them I wanted to get baptized ASAP. I had to go through the discussions again, have the interview and then be interviewed again beacause of some of my answers. That was the worst agony. I wasn’t sure if I could get baptized because of my past and I prayed so hard to my Father that he would forgive so that I could be washed clean.  And then VOILA! I was baptized!! BEST decision of my life and it always will be. I have found the light of Christ and a peace that I have never known. I have what I always knew in my heart to be true ever since I was a little girl put into a conceptual context of truth. The true and FULL gospel of Jesus Christ, my Savior. 

My new social media life mission is to bring joy and happiness to others through Christ! I hope as I write more that you may share my posts with others and help me spread the gospel to all the ends of the earth! 

Arizona on Business

My husband and I recently went to Arizona for a business retreat. We stayed at the beautiful Wigwam Resort. Where they welcomed us with golf carts and toated us and our luggage to our room. We are part of a coaching group and we meet every 4 months for three days. The philosophy of this coaching group is to create the life you want to live. People talk about everything from problems with children and their marriage to business. We joined for our business, so I view it as “for business”. Although, personal issues come up it all helps with growth and becoming a better person which will melt into our business. I learn greatly from listening to others, receiving feedback and hearing myself speak. 

We also had 2 extra days to ourselves to relax and get to know others in the group better. Chad and I had a spa day which was incredible to be able to just hang out in a sauna, steam room, hot tub, relax by the pool and receive a massage and facial. I feel so blessed that we were able to have this experience as a whole. The retreats are a great time for Chad and I to reconnect because, let’s face it, marriage can be hard and every day life can place wedges. We experience and pleasure in talking about serious topics without interruptions and we are in a state of mind for growth, therefore we are less likely to be defensive. 

Arizona is beautiful, with its red rock draping the background of palm trees. The array of succulents and arid plants look exotic to me.  The dry air purged my lungs and filled me with new life. I love the air out west. Even though I was born and raised as an East Coast girl, the West calls my name and always welcomes me home. 

Labor Day Weekend

We have an amazing church family.  An incredible family put together a Labor Day cookout with a huge blow up slip n slide. The kids hardly wanted to eat before running over to the slip n slide. There were way more people and food than I imagined. All the meat and food people brought to share turned this cookout into a feast! The line of kids for the slip n slide was all day. I kept waiting for it to shorten so I could go, but I soon realized it wouldn’t. I jumped in line with my one of my youngest, but I couldn’t talk him into it. Instead, he stood by the side moping until I finished going down. He was tired and grumpy the rest of the time. All in all it was a memorable Labor Day weekend that I know the kids will look back on and talk about. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? 

Surviving A Hurricane

We survived Hurricane Hermine! Really, for us, it was no big deal. We had headlamps, pillows and candy. Those are the necessities, right? The wind was whipping, the palms were bending, the rain was loud sounding on our roof and it was just a category 1. In college we used to have Hurricane parties, but now that I am a mom and reformed follower of Christ we tell stories and eat M&M’s.

Picture 1: Thankfully we had power when we woke up and I did a walk around the property to make sure there were no gaping holes in the roof. While I was outside I saw the view of 2 munchkins watching me and laughing because I didn’t see them.

Picture 2: Since we got power back the kids have been watching documentaries and learning about animals. Autumn made a nest where she could create origami hats.

Picture 3: 2 of my precious darlings have gotten a cold and subsequently passed it to me. So, I have been hanging out in bed, homeschooling, dabbling on the computer and eating chocolate. When I ran out of regular chocolate I went to our baking chips. Are you surprised?

Picture 4: Bed head and breakfast

Picture 5: My sweet dog who laid her toy on my leg wanting me to play while I was trying to feed the baby.

Picture 6: Autumn really wanted a fish for her birthday which is in 3 weeks, but I will be out of town. We made a date of it, before the storm and got a fish.

That’s how we survived the storm, bought a fish and ate baking chips.


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Travel to Chicago

Back in May Chad and I were able to take a road trip to Minneapolis for business. We left Florida with our big van full of kids and headed up North where we left our offspring with my parents. We broke down only once on our way. Not too shabby.  We continued our travel to Chicago. I had never been to Chicago and was really stoked to check out the city and get my tourist on. We stayed at the Palmer House which sits on the edge of Millennium Park. The Palmer house was amazing! I use my handy dandy app to book reservations so sometimes I’m not really sure what type of place we are staying, but the Palmer house did not disappoint. The lighting made me feel like a billionaire (I’m sure that’s exactly what they were going for), if we had time for their indoor shopping I may have spent more than what I had because of course I have to have gold tipped stilettos!)  Just kidding, I am extremely thrifty, I would have asked for it in sterling silver. I digress, we did not have a whole lot of time, but I did get to experience a genuine Chicago style hot dog and played like a kid with my husband at Millennium Park. I tried going down the slide and hit my head and banged my hip. Yup, I’m the real athletic type.  I really wanted to take a trolley tour, boat tour or a Segway tour, but we had no time for any type of tours.  The weather was cloudy and chilly, which fits my inner most personality just perfectly. It felt like home. Not really, I’m not a big city girl. Put me on a farm and give me a cow to milk.

I loved the scenery and the pictures I was able to take. I drive my eternal companion crazy with my picture taking at times, but he deals with it like a champ! After our quick stop in Chicago we headed on to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Another place I had never been. This was for business so, unfortunately, I did not get to see any of the city except for the Mall of America. Which was astonishing! Ya’ll they have rollercoasters inside! I had no idea! We walked around a bit and ate like royalty at Chipotle. We headed back to pick up our heritage at my parents and headed merrily home. Or not so merrily, the kids were terrors in the car. But we all survived and I need to write a post on traveling with kids so I can remind myself of the stuff I should do because I didn’t do it on that trip.

Next travel plans: Arizona and then Colorado!


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