Friday, December 13, 2013

What Shall We Give? - Christmas Music Video

As the Christmas season is approaching this year it seems I am feeling it so strong so early in the month.  I woke up this morning feeling especially grateful for my life and for the opportunity to give to others. 

I found myself feeling a bit sorry for myself earlier in the week.  Things that I have been concerned with of a personal nature and just kind of feeling a bit selfish in my thinking.  And then yesterday my daughter in law was having a bad day and I had the opportunity to be there for her. To listen to her, to hug her, and to cry with her and once again I was reminded that life is about so much more than "me" and how "I feel".  I was grateful and a bit humbled by the opportunity to forget about myself and be there for someone else.  Then as the day progressed and as I came home from work and continued on with my evening and went about my business.  Then Mike and I had an appointment to visit with some less actives in our ward as we are now ward missionaries (Mike is the ward mission leader) and we were blessed as we sat and spoke to these wonderful people who obviously have had a tough time in the past several years.  I was grateful to be able to show them friendship and love.  And again I was humbled to think that I was given the opportunity to be there for someone other than myself.

I am so thankful for the blessings of the gospel in my life.  For family and friends.  For experiences that have taught me what this life is really all about.  I am thankful for my life and the people and experiences that lie ahead of me where I can reach out to others.  I am especially thankful for this Christmas Season and the love of Christ that shines throughout all the world.  It truly is a blessing to give the gift of the love of Christ at this time of year!

Then I found this wonderful video that gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes!  It is beautiful!
So, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and that it will help you too feel the Christmas Spirit more fully today!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Born Leaders

     So, I am feeling very humbled lately by the realization of the fact that my children are growing up to be such leaders. Leaders among their peers and leaders of their surroundings.  I remember when Michael was a teenager and especially as he got closer to his mission.  He was very busy doing good things and being involved in so many activities that required him to be a leader and to be an example.  And then as he served his mission and became the man that he is today, it was apparent that his Heavenly Father was watching him and using him to be an example of the believers and the doer of his word. 

     Now as I watch Stephen it has become even more apparent to me that this is the case.  And I am in awe of them and I acknowlege the fact that I am raising born leaders.  And it causes me to reflect back on my younger days as I was prompted to serve a mission and then envisioned myself raising young men who would grow up to be such great leaders.  It was a revelation of what was to be.  I feel honored and blessed to have been chosen to be the mother of such valiant, strong and passionate servants of my Father in Heaven.  In this way the Lord has shown me my worth. And I am once again humbled.

     I remember as my boys were growing into teenagers and starting to make plans for their future.  We would talk about their gifts and talents and we would talk about how the Lord had blessed them with all that they have.  I would remind them that it is the Lord who they must magnify in all that they do.  The Lord giveth and he can taketh away.  I reminded them to remember that he blessed them to use their talents to glorify and honor him.  I truly believe this.  It may or may not be true for others, but I know that is true for my boys. 

     They inspire me, they humble me, they motivate me to be better, and I adore and love them for who they are and what they are becoming.  They are leaders with work to do for their Father in Heaven.  I am happy to give them as a gift to my Father in Heaven. To do his work here upon the earth.  To be his servants and his tools.  To use their gifts and potential to serve him and to help him bring other souls back to him.  It is an honor and a blessing to be raising.....Born Leaders!

Still Standing .....Amazed!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Life is about the get crazy!

So, 14 days until Michael and Megan get married.  I am so happy and pleased with the choice Michael has made to marry someone who is grounded, beautiful, strong in the gospel and a return missionary.  She has certainly set the pace for the other boys to marry equally as well.  However, Life is about to get crazy!

We will be leaving for Arizona on April 24th.  We arrive on a Thursday night and will be staying in Mesa near the temple that night.  The sealing is at 3:00 pm the following day.  I am pleased that some of our close friends and family are actually going to make the trip out there to attend the sealing.  After the sealing we will all be heading over to a Mexican Restaurant for dinner.  It should be pretty good.  Mike and I plan to say a few words at the dinner and then let the Best Man and Maid of Honor do a toast.
We will stay that night in Mesa again for the night.  The next day we will travel to Tucson where Megan's family lives and where the reception will be held.  We will help her family get things ready for the evening and we will attend the reception from 6:30-9:00 that night.  After which we will spend the night in Tucson that night.  The next morning we will get up bright and early to head back for home.

The following weekend, May 4th, we will hold another wedding reception in their honor here in Springville.  So, I have been busy at work getting things ready for it!  I've been lucky to have one of my close friends and my sister help me plan it.  I'm excited to see it all finished.

About 3 weeks later Stephen will graduate from High School.  So, that is my next goal.  I've got to get pictures of him taken for both graduation and mission.  And send out his graduation announcements.
May 24th he will graduate.  Wow, another one!

Then it's mission prep time.  From that day forward we will be shopping and preparing for Stephen to enter the MTC on June 26th.

And that is it!  All this craziness will end on June 26th and we will have one married son, one missionary son and one son at home.  Life is going to drastically change around here.

So here goes!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The power of the mind

     A single footstep will not make a path on earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.  To make a deep physical path we walk again and again.  To make a deep mental path we must think over and over the kinds of thoughts that we wish to dominate our lives!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Big Men on Campus


   I was on my way home from work and he called me to tell me that his friends were coming over to talk.  I knew that I needed to lay low and out of the way.  It sounded serious.

     These are the 5 most popular boys on campus.  Seniors, cute, athletic, friendly, good boys, aaronic priesthood holders.  One of them ,Student Body president and a captain of the football team. Another, the teams quarterback and probably the most sought after by girls of all ages, also a captain.  And another, the President of the Seminary for the high school and another team captain.  The other 2 just as active and involved and well known on the high school campus as the others.  All 5 of them working together have quite an influence on their peers and make an awesome team.  Where one goes, the others follow.  Where one leads, the others support.  Where one falls ,the others rally around to buoy him up.  An unbelievable team of powerful young men.  Where ever you find them together they will undoubtably be laughing and joking, or making plans to do something spectacular.  Always up to something fun.

    They come and go in a whirlwind.  Never missing an activity and often the instigators of crazy tricks.  Never tiring of good deeds and constant involvment while carrying high grades and setting the example of what a young aaronic priesthood holder should be.  Very aware of the fact that they have hundreds of kids looking at them and watching their every move.  These are definately young men of the Latter days.  The kind that mothers only dream of raising.  Truly young men preparing to be on he Lord's errand.

     As I came thru the door and approached the living room where these 5 boys sat, I gave a friendly greeting then quickly entered my bedroom and closed the door behind me.  Their joking and laughter continued for a bit, but soon it turned quiet as one boy began to slowly reveal to the others the burdens he had been carrying.  I moved a little closer to the door as I folded the clothes on my bed trying not to eves drop too closely.  I could not hear a word clearly so I decided to go about my own business and let them have their privacy.

     As the time passed this boy continued to pour out his heart. Suddenly, the silent stirrings of the spirit entered my bedroom, and then my heart, and I began to cry.  Then I heard some of the other boys one by one say something so quietly that again I could not make it out and the tears continued to come.  Eventually I heard the boys move in the room and I could tell that they were moving closer together as I  wiped my face. I had a sudden urge to run through my bedroom door and grab them one by one and hug them tightly.  But of course I could'nt.  The only thing I could hear at this point was the sniffing back of teenage boy tears.  Finally after about an hour of this solemness, I heard the unfamiliar quiet in my house break and the talking, joking and laughing started again.

     Suddenly I heard a knock on my bedroom door as my son announced that they were moving to another boys house to do homework.  As he prepared to leave, I told him, "I couldn't hear a word you boys were saying but the spirit in this house was so thick it had brought me to tears."  I told him that they had something very special with this friendship.  Something that doesnt happen very often."  He smiled and said, "I know" he only offered that they had had a prayer.  Then he said "bye Mom, I love you".

I stand all amazed.

"Still amazed by my children"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Seeing thru their eyes

     I am definately going thru a new season in my life.  Things are changing all around me.  It is as though I am going thru another dimension of life these days as I watch my oldest child experience the struggles of adulthood.  Mission life is great spiritual preparation and a place to create a solid foundation in the gospel.  And then there is temporal preparation.  That is another story.  I think that is why the spiritual foundation is so important.  Because it is what keeps you going when nothing temporal makes sense.  Which happens a lot.  We are mere mortals living in this big wide world.  There HAS to be something more than what we appear to be physically.  Thank heavens there is! 

     As I watch my kids go thru grown up things it is the most insecure feeling for me know that they must figure things out for themselves.  I have faith in them and I believe that they will.  However, I know that it sometimes takes a lot of mistakes and falling down before we can get on our feet and stay on our feet.  This is a truth and a reality. 

     Seeing life thru their eyes is much scarier than it was seeing it thru my own. At the same time it takes me back to that time when I was going thru the same things and I want to kick myself for being so selfish and for putting so much pressure on My Man to do it all.  He truly was a blessing to me as I remember how he dealt with this immature selfish wife.  Watching my kids go thru their growing pains sure makes me wish I could do it all over again....better!  And makes me wish I could take away all the hard times so that they can just enjoy the good stuff.  But the truth is that going thru the hard stuff will make the good stuff just that much better.  I guess this is what I can teach them and try to show them.  It does get better. Especially with the Lord on their side. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Two Present worlds

     Well, to start the New Year off right, I thought I would share this awesome insight with you.  I have been recieving these blog posts by Kenneth Cope on a weekly basis.  I met him once and found him to be a very humble, kind and loving individual.  So, these posts that I recieve always feel so real to me because I feel as though I understand why he would write them.  They are inspiring and uplifting.  I dont always read them but today I did and todays seemed to be just what I needed.  I think we often get so caught up in this world in which we live in that we forget that there is another and a better one that we should be getting caught up in.  It is just as real even though we may not see it all around us, we can always feel it and touch it with our spirits.  It was a good reminder for me today.  And it helped me to be reminded of how blessed I am to know what I know about God and about this life.  To understand the real purpose and therefore to experience real joy in this life where others who seem to be more of this world may only experience happiness from time to time.
I hope you will enjoy this post as much as I did.  And I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Love, Lisa

Two Present Worlds

Link to Kenneth CopeKenneth Cope - Proclaiming the Gospel through the Arts

Posted: 09 Jan 2013 04:01 PM PST
I have often found myself on a plane heading somewhere and have discovered for myself that these are marvelous times to read out of the best books. Not only does it make the time go by quickly but it also usually ends up being uninterrupted time—the best time for reading, and something rather rare in our fast pace, calendar crammed world.
In late November, 2000, I was on a flight from Houston, Texas, headed for Cleveland, Ohio. It was mid afternoon, and with a couple of good hours ahead of me, I pulled out a beloved book, The Pursuit of God, by a beloved Christian writer, A. W. Tozer. I had recently started the book and found it to be loaded with wonderful gems. We were above the clouds and I felt the Spirit of God as I contemplated the beautifully communicated truths I read therein. Around 5:00 p.m. I came to the following:
A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting….This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality….
“Our trouble is that we have established bad thought habits. We habitually think of the visible world as real and doubt the reality of any other. We do not deny the existence of the spiritual world but [we do not treat it as real].
The world of sense intrudes upon our attention day and night for the whole of our lifetime. It is clamorous [and] insistent….It does not appeal to our faith; it is here, assaulting our five senses, demanding to be accepted as real and final. But sin has so clouded the lenses of our hearts that we cannot see that other reality, the city of God, shining around us. The world of sense triumphs. The visible becomes the enemy of the invisible….That is the curse inherited by every member of Adam’s tragic race….
Our uncorrected thinking…tends to draw a contrast between the spiritual and the real—but actually no such contrast exists….The spiritual is real….
We must shift our interest from the seen to the unseen….
The ‘other world,’ which is the object of this world’s disdain…is our carefully chosen goal and the object of our holiest longing.
But we must avoid the common fault of pushing the ‘other world’ into the future. It is not future, but present. It parallels our familiar physical world, and the doors between the two worlds are open.
At this point in my flight, I paused and looked out the window to reflect upon these things. The sun was low in the western sky, close to begin its setting beyond the blanket of clouds just below the plane. A radiant salmon colored hue highlighted the cloudy white layer. It was beautiful. As I continued to reflect, the plane began to descend into the opaque layer of clouds and the glorious view of the wonderfully lit sky slowly disappeared.  As we descended further and came out of the clouds, it was a whole different feeling. Beneath the cloudy ceiling, the sky was gray and foreboding, the sun’s light obscured from view. Everything felt so gloomy below that powerfully opaque layer of clouds. What an object lesson! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for such a visual aid! Within a matter of minutes I had been a traveler in both worlds: one glorious, peaceful and full of light; the other dark, foreboding and full of anything but light. Both worlds existed at the same time and yet both were completely separate from each other.
And so it is with that glorious spiritual world and our darkened world of touch, sound and sight. Why is it that hearing we hear, but do not understand?—and seeing we see, but do not perceive? Have our hearts grown lazy and our ears dull of hearing? Have we closed our eyes to that vibrant spiritual world?
Tozer continues with these words:
The soul has eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear. Feeble they may be from long disuse, but by the life-giving touch of Christ they arecapable of [the] sharpest sight and most sensitive hearing.”
He then concludes the chapter with this prayer:
O God….Open my eyes that I may see….Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been.”
And I passionately add my “Amen!”