Thursday, July 28, 2011

Looking For Inspiration

I am always looking for inspiration. When I see pictures like these they inspire me. I love seeing pictures where it looks like the windows of Heaven are opened.

I love thinking about Jaxon & him being with Jesus. It gives me so much Peace. I have been thinking about him a lot lately, as I strive to be worthy to attend the Temple. His 12th Birthday is coming up. I can't believe that. He would be becoming a Deacon.

I Love to Read. I always have a stack of books on my nightstand. You can often find me reading several different books at a time. Ryan & I often read the same books. He has a lot more time to read then me & is always looking for a good book. I am reading Water For Elephants which is a great book, but not very Inspirational. So I kind of made up this little reward system for myself. When I read a book that is just for escape..then I have to read something Inspirational for 5 minutes before. It may sound silly but for me it helps me be in tune with the spirit & be more aware of things that aren't pleasing to our Father in Heaven. I have had so many people tell me how much they love Water For Elephants, But when I first started reading it I actually had to say a prayer & ask for kind of is Riskee' as Ryan would say. It has a great story to it. I just wish their wasn't so much profanity. So anyway I found a great talk just for us Sisters. It encouraged me so much.
Your Happily Ever After

By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Here's the link if you would like to check it out. I highly recommend it.

One of the things that struck me pretty hard was "Trial Is Part of the Journey"

For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.

Cinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.

In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle.

In the tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” a poor miller promises the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king immediately sends for her and locks her in a room with a mound of straw and a spinning wheel. Later in the story she faces the danger of losing her firstborn child unless she can guess the name of the magical creature who helped her in this impossible task.

In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?

Sandwiched between their “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy, and love?

The scriptures tell us there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter.2 Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?

In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy.

Stay True to What You Know Is Right

Sisters, young sisters, beloved young sisters, stay true to what you know is right. Everywhere you look today, you will find promises of happiness. Ads in magazines promise total bliss if you will only buy a certain outfit, shampoo, or makeup. Certain media productions glamorize those who embrace evil or who give in to base instincts. Often these same people are portrayed as models of success and accomplishment.

In a world where evil is portrayed as good and good as evil, sometimes it is difficult to know the truth. In some ways it is almost like Little Red Riding Hood’s dilemma: when you are not quite sure what you are seeing, is it a beloved grandmother or is it a dangerous wolf?

Another great talk I came across was....

Motherhood - The Master of Heaven and Earth is There to Bless You.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on motherhood:

“When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, “pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task,” that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.

You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you—He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.” Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Because She Is a Mother’,” Ensign, May 1997, 35

When Life's storms seem neverending...It brings me to my knees. I want my kids to know how much their Father & Mother both in Heaven & on Earth love them. There have been so many times that I have been prompted to really take Motherhood seriously. I talk to the kids everyday about values & the importance of not letting Satan in. When the kids are arguing or nit picking each other I will tell them that when there is contention & negativity they are inviting Satan into our home & into their lives. They don't like that. They always want the Loving Spirit Of God with them...So do I.

"The world can at times be a frightening place in which to live. The moral fabric of society seems to be unraveling at an alarming speed. None—whether young or old or in-between—is exempt from exposure to those things which have the potential to drag us down and destroy us. Our youth, our precious youth, in particular, face temptations we can scarcely comprehend. The adversary and his hosts seem to be working nonstop to cause our downfall.

"We are waging a war with sin, my brothers and sisters, but we need not despair. It is a war we can and will win. Our Father in Heaven has given us the tools we need in order to do so. He is at the helm. We have nothing to fear. He is the God of light. He is the God of hope. I testify that He loves us—each one."
by : Thomas S. Monson

I know there is No Greater Call then that of being a Kind,Patient & Loving Mother. There is also No Greater Blessing.

Fran C. Hafen has captured in words the very thoughts and emotions of a grieving mother's heart and mind. She skillfully describes the grieving process through her own experience — stages like shock and anger — and illustrates that it is natural and appropriate. She is bold enough to share her most intimate thoughts regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ, and her probing questions about it, all while maintaining her steadfast testimony in it. In the end, Hafen shows that through the evolution of time all will be well.

As one reviewer said, "It is one of the most meaningful gifts that can be given following the loss of a child — because it hurts, and it hurts for a long time — but the book provides the hope of healing, and eventually joy."

Quite awhile ago My sweet Mother-in-law gave me this book. It took me several moths to get through it. It was an extremely hard thing for me to take the time & grieve over the loss of Jaxon. It is something I deal with on an hourly basis. This book took me to a very raw & emotional place. I loved reading it & hearing what the Author had to share. It was just extremely difficult. She helped me heal a lot of emotions that were buried alive.

What is the difference between selfishness and depression? Immoral behavior and same-gender attraction? According to psychologist Wendy Ulrich, the difference is that the former are sins, while the latter are merely weaknesses.

In Weakness Is Not Sin: The Liberating Distinction That Awakens Our Strengths, Dr. Wendy Ulrich poses the question: How often do we respond to weaknesses with impatience and guilt, mistaking human fallibility for sin? Ulrich explains that human weaknesses can either lead to sin, or to greater strength through the grace of God — but weakness itself is a morally neutral concept, separate and distinct from sin.

How often I have found myself feeling guilty for suffering from depression or anger. I try so hard to be patient. There are just some days when my patience is worn so thin, it doesn't take much for me to completely loose my temper. She talks about how we all suffer from human weakness & it isn't a sin. We must learn to not give into that weakness. Alot of the time with physical & mental illness there is regret & darkness that is often debilitating. I have learned that I must read at least 15 min. a day of something positive. Positivity is Satan's Kryptonite!!! He hates it... So I Love it. It is such a AMAZING blessing that when we repent...I mean truly repent we can be clean.

With keen doctrinal and professional insights, Ulrich helps us understand that sin and weakness have different origins, lead to different consequences, and call for different responses. Understanding the liberating distinction between weaknesses and sin sets us free to feel worthy and find true joy in our redemption. As we understand this important principle, we can learn to focus on strengths, and not despair over that which we cannot change.

Ryan & I have always felt it is critical that the kids have a good sense of self worth & self esteem. We try really hard to build them up...we want them to be humble, but know how unique they are. I worry about them & their safety. I am always telling them...there is only One Jacob Or One Marli or One Conor...I can't get another one. I want them to know they are priceless.

Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. ~Robert Fulghum

If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others. ~Haim Ginott

I was listening to Glenn Beck's radio program the other day...which I normally don't do, but was driving Ryan's truck & he has xmsatelite radio. (He loves talk radio, which sort of drives me bonkers) Anyway so he had Chris Stewart who is the Author of the new book The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points that Saved the World. I decided to order the book. I know Ryan will enjoy it. He is so Partiotic. I love that about him. He has always instilled this value in our kids. Who knows I may even learn something. This is what made me decide to order it.....

"How unusual is it, really, in the history of all known human experience, to enjoy the blessing of living free?"

The answer may surprise you. In The Miracle of Freedom, Chris and Ted Stewart make a strong case that fewer than 5 percent of all people who have ever lived on the earth have lived under conditions that we could consider “free.” So where did freedom come from, and how are we fortunate enough to experience it in our day?

“A deeper look at the human record,” write the authors, “reveals a series of critical events, obvious forks in the road leading to very different outcomes, that resulted in this extraordinary period in which we live.” They identify and discuss seven decisive tipping points:
1. The defeat of the Assyrians in their quest to destroy the kingdom of Judah
2. The victory of the Greeks over the Persians at Thermopylae and Salamis
3. Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity
4. The defeat of the armies of Islam at Poitiers
5. The failure of the Mongols in their effort to conquer Europe
6. The discovery of the New World
7. The Battle of Britain in World War II

The journey to freedom has been thousands of years long. Now that it has found its place in the world, the question for those of us who experience its benefits is simply this: Will we work to preserve the miracle of freedom that we enjoy today?

"The family is a creation of the Almighty. It represents the most sacred of all relationships. It represents the most serious of all undertakings. It is the fundamental organization of society."
Gordon B. Hinckley - 2005 Apr. Gen. Conf.

“These precious children of God come to us with believing hearts. They are full of faith and receptive to feelings of the Spirit. They exemplify humility, obedience, and love. They are often the first to love and the first to forgive… Have some of life’s experiences taken from you the believing heart and childlike faith you once had? If so, look around at the children in your life. And then look again. They may be children in your family, [or] across the street… If we have a heart to learn and a willingness to follow the example of children, their divine attributes can hold a key to unlocking our own spiritual growth.” (Jean A. Stevens, Become as a Little Child, April 2011)

We are so blessed to have so many incredible leaders in the church to look to for guidance. I am grateful all I have to do is pick up the Ensign & read a talk & I instantly am inspired!

I came across this quote & it struck a chord in me. Ryan & I been trusted with these beautiful children. What a huge responsibility & gift. We are given Families so we are never alone. I Love my Family dearly & would do anything for them. I pray daily that I may do better & be an example to them.

"I promise each of you, as you follow inspired direction in this, the true Church of Jesus Christ, that our youth and we who help and love them can be delivered safely to our home with Heavenly Father and the Savior to live in families and in joy forever."
by : Henry B. Eyring


Melissa said...

I love you Lori! Thanks for sharing all have a great perspective on life and I love how positive you are. You are amazing! Love you forever!

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

Such AMAZING pictures. I love to read too.

P. S. Thank you for that sweet comment on my blog. Zeke's middle name was Jackson. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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