Life Lately

I haven’t been super consistent at posting lately. But I feel drawn to blogging again. I sat down to write today, wondering what should I write about? There are so many things to say. There are concerns I have. People are losing their faith in God and their love for one another. Our country is in turmoil.

In January, I decided to break away from Facebook. It started to take a bigger portion of my life than it should have. (read: I was addicted to it). I feel like after eliminating Facebook, I probably freed up about 60-90 minutes of my life!

I also have freed up feelings of anger, frustration, and general depression about this world around me. I turned off my phone, got up and started getting out more and tuning into my family more.

Here’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods…

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Oh Deer

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Quilty fun

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Tiger made a dress. And Sasquatch has glasses.

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T-Rex being a boy and finding things like dead snakes (and bringing them home!)

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There IS peace in this world. Just go outside. Look up.

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Handmade Pixie Shoes. (The show off the cutest little dirty toes).

I know that life isn’t perfect. And I don’t want to claim that mine is. Am I blessed? Yes! Absolutely!!! Despite my bounteous blessings, this is life, and I’m experiencing my share of trials. However, we can remember this:

“…thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.” – 2 Nephi 2:2

Know the Greatness of God

I guess that this is what I mean by wake up, put down the phone, and get outside. I find that one of the quickest ways to feel God’s greatness is to go out for a walk.

Put down the phone, get off the internet (even before you finish reading this post!) and serve someone else. Into instant gratification? Get out and serve someone else. Nothing is more invigorating or electrifying as feeling the love that God has for all of us, and this comes to us as we serve each other.

And I know what you might be thinking! It’s easy for you to say, Choco, You aren’t dealing with _____[fill in the blank]_______ problems. However, I guarantee that anyone reading this can find someone who is happier than they are while having it worse than they do. When I’m feeling frustrated or down, and I don’t want to let God into my heart, I can’t help but remember Viktor Frankl. Who found purpose and stayed positive to his purpose WHILE IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP!

Know the greatness of God.

He Shall Consencrate Thine Afflictions for Thy Gain

As we come to know the greatness of God, trusting Him follows. We realize and remember that He isn’t just some arbitrary God up in heaven finding some kind of entertainment in our suffering.

He is our Father.

” Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” – Matthew 7:9-11

If you are a parent, then you should be better able to imagine our Heavenly Father – and why He allows us to endure adversity. No he doesn’t want to see us suffer, but He knows what we will see when we get to the other side of suffering.

Yes, there are horrible things happening in this world around us. But maybe there are some pretty great things, too. Maybe we can take a few minutes to know God, trust Him, and then count the ways that He is consecrating all that we are enduring for our gain.

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Creativity is pretty. And joyful.

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🙂

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Take a breath and look around!

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If you blink, you’ll miss it. 🙂

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Gratitude List 41-50

I’m working on my gratitude lists still…You can find out more about the choice to be grateful here.

Ten Things about Nature I Am Grateful For

  1. Flowers – my favorites are Johnny-Jump-Ups
  2. Birds – last night we saw an owl sitting on a large branch. It was huge. I love birds. Eastern Bluebirds, Cardinals, Goldfinches, Downy Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds…I even like the grackles and pigeons that we had everywhere in Phoenix.
  3. The Ocean – Even though I don’t live near it or go there very often.
  4. The Woods – Growing up, we would go out and play in the woods often.
  5. The wide open skies and spaces in the west. – I love how huge everything feels and how small I seem when I’m in the west.
  6. The desert. As much as I love the woods, I am also enamored by the desert. It is mysterious, and harsh. The wildlife there is also really amazing.
  7. The sound. I love the noise of the locusts here in Arkie-land. I love how in spring, you can tell that things are warming up when you can hear the spring-peepers. I love the screech of an owl and the bellow of the bullfrog. It is so noisy here in Arki-land, with bugs, critters, and nature, but it is the soothing kind of sound.
  8. Feeling refreshed – I admit I live an insulated life. I’m inside most of the time. It is kind of depressing. I have reasons for it: I have two small kids who have to nap a lot. It is cold outside, etc. However, I know that these are more or less excuses. I have noticed that any time I spend a few minutes outside, I feel happier. Even if it is cold and I am uncomfortable, I’m refreshed. Being outside, especially in nature, kind of restores us.
  9. The night sky – I don’t really know constellations or anything. I admit, that I’m not really as much of a nature lover as I’d like to be, but I love looking at the stars at night. I have lived in places where I can see them clearly. I’ve also lived in places where you can only see a star or two because of the light pollution. It is amazing to be out, on a clear night, in a place where you can see stars. I can’t help but think, again, of how I am nothing, yet the Lord loves me. It is a humbling feeling, yet I’m comforted. It is pretty amazing.
  10. Observing – I guess that the thing I love the most about nature is how it causes us to reflect, think, and observe. I love exercising in nature. (trail running – the best!). I love just sitting outside. I love figuring out the trees, animals, and birds in the area. I admit that I’m not the best at this, and I’d like to do more to be connected to the natural world. I love how when I’m outside, I observe more. When I take time to pause, I’m noticing things: the sights, sounds, smells, of the world around me – even without really thinking about it. We learn from nature, even if we’re not trying to. It is just amazing. And when we observe the world around us, I feel like it is obvious that Heavenly Father loves us.

” 44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” – Alma 30:44

Thinking of these things makes me want to resolve to be more grateful for nature by experiencing it more, teaching my children about it. And just getting outside.

What are the things in nature that you are thankful for?

The Stars at Night

Recently I’ve moved cross country. Overall, it has been a really good experience. There are many new things to learn about this new area, but overall I like it.

One thing I complained about was how there is not a giant city nearby. Everywhere else I’ve ever lived has either been in a city or in a major city’s metropolitan area. (Phoenix, Philadelphia, Houston, Salt Lake…). Well, now that I’m in Arkie-land, I’m in an area that is relatively populated – it feels like any suburb I’ve ever lived in, but I keep forgetting it’s not a suburb. So, there are many things we don’t have here, and when I ask about where I may find a (Whole Foods Store, Museum, Craft Shop, Theater, etc), usually the answer involves me driving somewhere that is at least three hours away.

I haven’t been too upset about this, but at times it does feel a little inconvenient.

But last night, my mind changed about everything.

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I saw stars.

  • "But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." - Luke 10:42.
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