Friday, May 28, 2010


Right now, now that I am feeling good and past a couple challenging weeks, it is already hard to remember the hard times (of fighting exhaustion and the lack of desire to do anything) because I feel so good today.

So today is not the day that I need a reminder about faith and courage, but surely enough that kind of day will come again and when it does I can re-read this passage from an article on Meridian Magazine about courage:

President Henry B. Eyring tells the tender story of being with his father during the famous scientist’s last days, through the end of a long struggle with bone cancer. In great pain, it was hard work to move him from a chair to his bed, and the nights were long.
President Eyring said, “One night when I was not with him and the pain seemed more than he could bear, he somehow got out of bed and on his knees beside it—I know not how. He pled with God to know why he was suffering so. And the next morning he said, with quiet firmness, "I know why now. God needs brave sons.”

It takes brave sons and brave daughters to live with faith in a difficult world. It is easy to be cynical, easy to give up. It demands nothing of us, if our faith blows over in the first strong wind. Our faith and courage have to surmount strong winds of even gale strength. That’s how we know who we are. That’s how we find out who He is, when he encircles us in the arms of his love.
But we must be warned too, that it is in our deepest exigencies that Satan comes calling. He would like to zap our courage, turn our insides to putty. He wants us to think our faith is unwarranted and useless. He wants our memory to be marred so that every trace of what we know about God is revised out of our life by our terror or discouragement.

Brigham Young used to describe our challenge: "The men and women who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom will find that they must battle every day."1 We battle not just against the conditions of a fallen world, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” but more significantly, “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Satan is ever nipping at our heels with his insidious suggestions that we should fear, that we cannot do it, that we are all alone, that our lives will come to nothing.
He is a tenacious sort who does not give up. Thus, on our journey, even after we’ve received times of revelation and conviction, even after we’ve been to the mountain and felt God, even after we’ve seen rescue before, he will still send his fiery darts at us attempting to make our hearts faint. Courage is not just for one time when we’ve been assaulted or one moment of desperation; it is the mode we must have for every, every day.

Paul said in Hebrews, “Call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions” (Hebrews 10:32). What? Again and again we must exercise courage, and again and again we must seek deliverance? Yes!
It is not once, but becomes the pattern of our lives, that even after we’ve received revelation, even after we’ve seen God’s hand, we will be assaulted by Satan, tempted to despair, and must look again for the Deliverer.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said we need encouragement because we face opposition often “after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose. 2
We know it well. The job we were inspired to take becomes more difficult than we imagined. The way we were shown to go is fraught with thorns and thistles. The marriage we were impressed to enter includes illness, economic deprivation and times we are strangers to each other. The child we feel so connected to at birth becomes our biggest problem in life. The investigator slated for baptism does not show up.

Paul therefore advises, “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” This is a powerful admonition because he makes it a question of our own agency. He says, “You decide to ‘cast not away therefore your confidence.’” You choose to be brave. It is in your hands to be courageous and faithful—even if you must wait and then wait again for deliverance.
He says, “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38). Even in our difficult times we can choose to draw back or press forward with hope.
He assures us that we can have courage because God will come. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10: 35,36).

When the wait seems long, I think of what the Duke of Wellington, who won the Battle of Waterloo, said of his British soldiers. He said they were not braver than other soldiers; they were just brave five minutes longer.
When our courage and faith, flag, we can choose to be brave five minutes longer, five days longer—or if need be, and things are tough enough, we can take it minute by minute with our hand in the Lord’s.

Joseph Smith, who always impresses with his faith and boldness, said it this way, “Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage...and on, on to the victory” (D&C 128: 22).
Again, a choice, a decision. We decide to cast away our fear, instead of cast away our confidence.
Joseph Smith can say that, because he knows God, and courage for life’s journey will always be a product of that knowledge.
When life is too much and courage would falter, remember what you know. Remember Who you know, the One whose face will be so familiar to you when you see your Father again. He is perfectly capable of doing His own work which He proclaims is saving you.

To add to this beautiful message, if you need some soul soothing music try these beautiful songs (scroll down in the blog post and you will see the link for download)  that you can download for free that I am enjoying immensely.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beach Day

Where are all their faces - well, in a hurry to get to the beach apparently.

We tried out a new beach at Sanibel Island, it was beautiful, but I'm not sure it was worth the hour drive. I love the top picture of Lydia - a very determined walk, and the skipping one of Becca.

The boys were busy at work catching fish.

Can you see it?

How about now?
There are two fish (not broken in half like Jeremy thought when he saw the picture).

It's so fun to watch my boys work together, they really are best friends and are always working together on some project or other.

My Best Helper

Lydia is my best helper. At 21 months old she is the perfect 'mommy helper'. This photo is a common occurrence - she climbs on the counter and gets my keys, sunglasses, and phone - because these are the things that mommy needs when we leave the house, and it is her cue to me that she wants to go somewhere.

She is also really good at helping me with other things. She is really good at picking up and at taking things to the trash. The cutest is when she helps with dishes. She knows where the silverware drawer is and can reach her little hand up just high enough to get the silverware up and over the drawer and gets it in there in a hap-hazard fashion.
The cutest is watching her climb out of the van and pushing the button that closes the door - she has to stand up on tip-toe and reach as high as she can to reach the button, but she loves to be the last one out of the van so she can close the door.

Lydia radiate pure sweetness and she gets such joy out of life. Today she was peering down in a crack in the sidewalk saying "bug, look mom, bug" and she wanted me to get down and look at the bug.

She has thus far been a bit timid at the pool, but tonight when we were there she was warming up to the idea of getting in with us. At first when I was trying to coax her into the pool she would run away and say "no" and if any of the other kids would get near her, she would bolt away. Later Becca was jumping into the pool to me and it caught Lydia's attention and she wanted to try to. Then I was doing "ring around the rosies" with Becca and Lydia really wanted to do that. She wanted it again and again and was even okay when I would dunk her on the "all fall down" and she would say "ashes, ashes" to indicate that she wanted to do it again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

These are my joy

Lydia likes to hide, especially if I am asking her to come to me - like to come get dressed.
Do you see the feet?
Here's the cute face peeking out.

Cute, cute. I don't know how I got such blond little girls, my hair is as dark as theirs is blond.
Friends at first are friends at last.
These are my joy.

Friday, May 07, 2010

It's a Bug's Life

We are all about bugs and creepy crawly things around here. The boys are constantly finding bugs, crickets, lizards and such things to make into their pets.
This was Max, a pet bug for Tom. Last week, when Tom adopted "Max" they spent the afternoon together in the back patio, building with blocks and crawling around. Tom literally spent hours with his new bug friend and was very sad when Lydia got ahold of Max and pulled off all his left legs. Poor Max didn't handle the trauma very well and his life ended soon after.

This picture of Charlie doesn't need much in the way of words, it is just a funny picture of how dramatic and silly he can be.

This beautiful little dress was given to us by a neighbor (thanks Liz) and the girls are having all kinds of fun dressing up in it.