Sunday, September 23, 2012

You're Beautiful in His Eyes

      Recently I stumbled upon this song, Beautiful, and fell in love with it. This song came to me exactly when I needed it, and to me that's a miracle, an answer to my prayers. Miracles don't have to come in big miraculous ways, often they're small seemingly insignificant things that can change the course of your day, or help you get to where you need to be. This song was one of my miracles. I was struggling with my self-esteem and I felt alone and unwanted. I had just returned home from a a particularly bad day at school when my cousin tagged me in a facebook post that held this song in it. Curious, I clicked on it. I connected with the song instantly as it started with how we all feel weak and unimportant. Then it reminds you that there's more. How we're made for more than this, how we're His children and that He loves us. And over and over again it tells us that we're beautiful, we're beautiful because He made us that way and that's how He sees us. Overall, His opinion is the only one that matters, and when I realized that it made all the difference.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Miracle on the Columbia

I have to share this amazing experience my friend had with her 19-month old daughter.  This was written by her husband.  Nothing short of a miracle.

My heart is filled with gratitude to God after we experienced a near fatal tragedy Saturday afternoon. We went boating with some friends on the Columbia river and docked about 30 yards off an island to have dinner. Steph and I expected that we all would go eat on 
the beach so as not to get food all over inside the boat. So we took off Maycee's life jacket planning to carry her on shore. But our friends said that we could just stay in their boat and eat, so we did except for the boys who went to play on the beach. I had Maycee with me at the front of the boat where I was talking with my friend, and Steph was talking with my friend's wife at the back of the boat. Maycee was really restless and didn't want to stay on my lap so I let her down, and she walked to the back of the boat by Steph, her friend, Jaron, Shaylee and her friend. Nobody noticed Maycee climb up on the seat and then on to the back of the boat and fall into the river. Shaylee's friend noticed Maycee floating in the river about 15 feet away from the boat and told Shaylee, "Look! Maycee's swimming!" Shaylee then exclaimed, "Mom!!!" Steph looked over and saw Maycee and started to scream and jumped out of the boat towards her. I immediately leaped up and jumped into the river after Steph. Steph got to Maycee first who was floating on her back and moving her head back and forth. Steph grabbed her and I took her from Steph expecting to perform CPR to get the water out of her lungs. But amazingly Maycee did not have any water in her lungs, just a little in her mouth. She started to cry but otherwise had no side effects and was fine. We do not know exactly how long Maycee was in the river but considering how far away she was from the boat we figured it must have been at least a minute or two, which would normally result in a drowning. But since Maycee did not get any water in her lungs we figure that she must have been floating on her back most of the time, otherwise she would have swallowed water if her head was submerged under the water for more than a few seconds. We were dumbfounded. It was as if somebody had their hands beneath her back holding her up and keeping her from flipping over. The thought immediately came into my mind that an angel could have been holding her in the river. I know that sounds crazy to those who don't believe in God and even to many who do, but I have seen miracles more than once in my life and have no doubt that God and angels exist. Regardless of whether there was an angel involved or not, I know that it was a God-given miracle that Maycee managed to not drown or even get water in her lungs. We did pray before we left on our trip to the river and asked that we would be safe, and I am so deeply grateful that the Lord answered our prayers.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Compassion, Charity, Mercy, and Love

Recently, my husband took our son on our ward father's and son's camp out.  My husband spent some good time chatting with a former mission president around the campfire.  They touched on the topic of sending missionaries home (yes, sometimes LDS missionaries get sent home).  My husband and I have been guilty of taking a letter-of-the-law approach at times and would probably say in this situation, "Well, if a young man isn't behaving as he should on his mission, or if he wasn't worthy to go, then teach him his lesson: send him home."

This loving, kind, former mission president taught us something.  He said that when working with one of these young men, he'd handle it this way:  You can repent and take care of matters while on the mission and return home honorably, or we can send you home now where you'll face the embarrassment and shame of coming home early, and it will ruin your life and probably your involvement with the church (I'm sure he made it sound much nicer than that). Rather than making these young men miserable, he wanted to help them be successful. What a charitable approach.

I realized that I need to do better and give people the benefit of the doubt and to be more compassionate.  It's not my job to lay down the law; it's my job to show love and mercy as the Savior did and make life better for others.  I can leave the judging up to our Father in Heaven.

Not only does this help me be less judgmental of others, but it also, for some reason, helps me lighten up with raising my children.  I don't have to be too strict.  I don't have to make them be little adults.  They can be kids and have fun, and I can have fun with them and be a guide when they struggle just like that former mission president was with his struggling missionaries.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Deal

This video was submitted to this blog and shows some of the messages in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet that is available through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

"Movie produced by the Port Washington Branch youth in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Done for a local film festival with the Area Ward in the North Milwaukee, WI stake."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Power of Support

Recently my little girl has been moved to a difficult new program in school that is something we knew would be a big academic challenge. It is a fantastic opportunity, but to a six-year-old it is scary to feel behind and unsure of yourself. My husband and I know that she will be just fine in a few months, but my sweet girl has been pretty worried in the meantime. To help her feel better I have been writing little pen messages on the palm of her hand in the morning so she can look at them when she feels overwhelmed. She gets so excited to have this little note that is meant just for her and it makes me glad that I can do a little something to help alleviate the pressure. Yesterday morning I quickly wrote, "believe you can do it!" and continued getting kids ready for the day. As she walked out the door I noticed that she had written something else and took a closer look. My little girl slightly changed my message by adding one letter to read, "'I' believe you can do it!" I gave her a hug and asked her why she made the change. She sweetly replied that it made her feel so much better knowing that I believed in her.

I know that when I have been in need of help, knowing that others support me and believe in me makes all of the difference in how I feel. Many have been blessed with families and friends who love them and support them. However, if you ever feel alone please know that we can always rely on the support and love of our Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be happy. He believes we can do it! We are never really alone and really, just having that support can make all of the difference.