This blog is not an official website of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

On The Way Home

Dear Friend R,

My heart is so heavy for you.  I'd like to tell you a little story.

A few months ago I was driving Daughter home from the public library.  We had had an enjoyable time participating in the Story Time and then playing in the park outside.  As we were driving home I told her that we were going to stop and pick up a few groceries because we drive right by the store (it's even on the right hand side of the road, so very convenient).  As we were getting close to the store, I noticed that Daughter's eyelids were starting to droop, not just a little, but a lot.  I then had to make one of those "Mom" decisions where I decided if letting Daughter nap was more important than the grocery stop.  I decided to skip the store when she noticed the sign and "reminded" me that we were stopping for groceries.  I stopped.  We bought the few things that we needed and then headed on our way home again.

I was thinking the remainder of the way home about our little deviation.  Then I started to think about my way home to my Heavenly Father and all of the deviations from my planned route.  There are many, but I DO know with absolute surety that I will get there.  I will go home.  Just like in the car, I can't tell you how long it'll take to get there.  I cannot predict if I will drive 40 mph the whole way or if I will have to slow down for cars in front of me, or even stop at a light.  I could not give any specifics except for a general outline, stay straight until the 3rd left after 3 lights and then follow the curve.  Vague, yes.  Just like my life.  I am married.  I am having children at a reduced rate and I plan to stay faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I don't know where I will live in 10 months.  I don't know what career decision Husband will make.  I don't know a lot of things.

I just know that I am on the way home.  Heavenly Father has a plan for me.

John 14:27

May your family experience peace at this time.  I love your family.  I love you.  I have always looked up to you since the day that I met you.

Love,
Lindsay

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Heart Pioneers

Dear Readers,




Can I blame my internet connection?  Sorry, that Monday's post didn't work out.

I can't lie, I was preoccupied, on vacation in Nauvoo, IL, and when the Internet connection was a little tricky, I didn't try very hard, because I didn't want to waste too much time on it.

It will take several posts to share everything about my marvelous and magical vacation.

Sunday was the 24th of July.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints recognizes this day as "Pioneer Day".  A holiday to remember the early saints, their sacrifices, and their pioneer zeal.

I spent my Sunday (at church of course!) and then walking around the Nauvoo temple.  It was burned by an arsonist, and then a tornado finished it off.  It was rebuilt about 10 years ago.  Then that evening, in the setting sun, my family walked down the Trail of Hope towards the Mississippi river.  The Church now has plaques that give journal accounts of their trip west.  We walked down Parley Street (where the Saints lined up their wagons waiting for the ferry to take them across the Mississippi) and read every sign.  We sang all of the songs in the Children's Songbook that we could remember about pioneers with Daughter.  We walked, and walked.  We looked back at the temple on the hill.  The same way that the early Saints might have, walking away from everything they had.  When we reached the river, we watched the sun set and then we pondered.  There is a monument there that has names listed of those who died along the trek West.  We read some.  I thought about how they had truly consecrated their whole life to the building up of the kingdom of God, ultimately giving their own life in their service.

I love the pioneers and the examples they are to me.  I want to be as faithful as they were.  I want to work as hard as they did.  I want to consecrate all that I have to the Lord.

Come along my journey of Old Nauvoo...

With fervor,

Lindsay

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just the Same



Dear Readers,

By Diana Lynn Lacey
 
Sometimes—
God sends rain
Straight from the sky
To nourish the young flower
and it grows.
 
Sometimes—
God sends rain from the sky
To the mountaintops,
Then over hills and through valleys
Until it reaches the flower
and it grows, just the same.
 
Sometimes—
God sends a child
Straight from His realm
Into a mother’s arms
and love grows.
 
Sometimes—
God sends a child
From heaven to another’s arms,
Then over hills and through valleys
Until he reaches the arms of his mother
and love grows, just the same.


Yep, we're adopting!!!  We're just starting the process, but wanted to share our news.  After talking about it for almost 3 years, we feel that now is the time to start.  We're not really sure how everything is going to work out, because it all seems so impossible, but we will trust in the Lord because that's all that we can do.  Wish us luck!

Sharingly,
Lindsay

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Show Was Awesome!



Dear Readers,

Thank you for your patience.  I have been resting all week to recover from MONTHS of work, but I can tell now that I am rested.  How do I know?  I ate carrot sticks for lunch.  First, this means that I ate lunch (significant, yes).  Second, that means that I am caring about what I eat (don't ask how many times a handful of chips counted as lunch the past few weeks...).

Last week I was involved in a regional Youth Conference.  Youth Conferences are for those aged 14-18 and their leaders.  It's a great way for the youth to feel the strength of others who hold their same standards.  The goal is to have a lot of fun all while strengthening their testimonies.  Youth Conferences don't usually happen on a regional level, but this time a special pageant was planned to be the Youth Conference activity.  It was to follow President Monson's counsel that we should provide these types of experiences for the youth.  I already referenced the Laie, Hawaii cultural pageant, but I first saw the Kyiv, Ukraine Temple Youth Cultural Celebration many months ago and that made me excited for the opportunities that would come to our region.  Youth were involved from 4 different states numbering 900!!!
 
The Youth sang and danced about the history of our region and also shared our beliefs.  There were original songs composed/ orchestrated just for our youth!!!  Our stake was assigned with another Stake to dance a German polka and Indian themed dances to celebrate the diversity of immigrants that have settled our state.  Husband and I were some of the dance teachers that had the responsibility of helping the kids learn the dances.  Some of the kids lived 150-170 miles apart.  This led to a lot of sacrifices to get everyone to practices so they could look their best and get a costume that fit them.  Some of the other numbers involved kids that had even greater distances between them.  It is a miracle how it all worked out.


The show was projected to be attended by 9000.  I never heard what the real number was, but I saw that it was fairly full.  The crowd was so responsive to the kids.  They whooped and hollered for every little thing.  The youth loved it and performed even better.  It was an amazing experience.


The Youth Conference was 3 days long.  When the youth weren't practicing they were able to attend workshops.  These were about many topics including personal revelation, patriarchal blessings, the Second Coming, music, dating, technology usage, importance of education, etc.  There also were several meetings where we were able to listen to Sis. Dibb.  Sister Ann M. Dibb is the second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency.  She is also President Monson's daughter.


She spent some time talking about her father, giving personal insights.  She even took questions from the youth that they wanted to know about the prophet.  Sister Dibb also asked the youth to be 100% in their prayer and scripture reading.  She also asked them to SMILE.  Right before the performance, she spoke of miracles and said we would see them during the show.  President Monson experienced a miracle during a youth performance like this and he says it changed him for the rest of his life.

I know that the youth all saw their own miracles.  I certainly did.  The day before the Youth Conference started someone called me up and said "I'll see you tomorrow" and I panicked because I had been in bed with a really bad sinus headache.  I had been there for days and nothing I did or took would relieve me of my pain.  I went to the doctor and got a shot of steroids and miraculously I was fine throughout the whole Youth Conference so that I could perform my duties.  When I came home, so did the pain.  There also was a situation with the dance couples that we didn't come out to the right number.  I prayed that someone would materialize overnight and the next morning at the dance practice there was another person that could fill in the spot that we needed them to.  If each and every youth and leader who attended this Youth  Conference all experienced their own miracles then Satan better watch out, because the Church has been greatly strengthened here in the Heartland.

Photocredits: I don't know...someone in the stands who graciously allowed their pictures to be emailed to everyone without their name.








Photo credit: My old college roommate!!!

See you Monday!!!

Your Friend,

Lindsay

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meaningful Scripture Study

Dear Sister,

You knew this wouldn't be a short reply.

So here's my situation, only one child probably a lot like the people you'll be talking to, this is for your old ward right?  Anyways, mine is older than just a baby that sleeps all of the time.  The one child thing is that they don't have a playmate, so they sometimes beg for MORE of your attention.

As far as making time for scripture study goes.............this is what works for ME:

I tried waking up earlier than Daughter for awhile, but sometimes she'd wake up that early too (small house) and that made for no scripture study and 2 very grumpy people from waking up early, so I canned that.  I also hate to read at night.  I usually am tired and that is my best "project" time AND Husband is home.  It's hard to give up some of that precious spouse time even for something good like reading the scriptures (He reads in the morning while he eats breakfast and Daughter and I are asleep).  I also don't like to read at night, because I don't need to build up my armor to promptly fall asleep.  When I read in the morning little phrases that I read will pop back into my head all day long (even if I am not purposefully trying to ponder them).  I love that, because I can tell I have the Spirit with me all day.

So my mission was to try to figure out how to read while Husband was at school as to maximize our couple time and read earlier in the day so as to draw from that strength ALL while a child has the potential to interrupt making the scripture study questioningly meaningful.

These are things that I have done.

1. I take my scriptures/ journal outside.  I read/ write while Daughter plays in the backyard.

2. I have taken scriptures/ journal/ Ensign to the park, Science Museum, zoo, library, mall etc.  Anytime I am going somewhere that I know Daughter will be completely enraptured by something, I take them along.  Many times I come home without having read, but many times I have been able to get something in.  (The zoo has a park, the science museum a walled off children's area and rocking chairs for the parents to sit in, etc......I don't just drop her off somewhere, these are places that have areas for her and comfortable places for me to sit while I supervise.)

3.  Not going to lie, I let Daughter watch TV sometimes, so that I can get in my reading.  She wakes up with Husband and when he leaves for school, she is usually watching something (to distract her so I can sleep longer), so when I wake up (or she wakes me up) I just encourage her to go watch a little more so that I can read first thing.  I am trying to think if I have specifically turned on the TV so I can read, can't remember, but wouldn't be opposed to it :)

4.  I have made her take a bath so that I could read/ study/ pray.  It's contained and I know she'll play with herself.  I can see the bath from my bed (small house), but sometimes I have just sat in the hall right by her as well.

5.  I have read during her nap time (takes discipline to do it first thing and not start something else that I want to do during coveted nap time).

6.  I have read during her breakfast or lunch....it's not my favorite, but she is self-contained and when she eats slow (or a lot) then it is a chunk of 10-15-20 minutes.

7.  If it is a weekend or Husband is home, I have specifically asked for time alone for personal study (when I'm about to explode and I know I really need it).  They can just go in her room, out in the backyard, or leave the house, depending on how much I need silence to have the moment that I want to have.  Happy mom, happy family.

8.  Sometimes if she keeps interrupting me, then I ask if she wants to read with me and then start reading out loud wherever I am on the page.  This doesn't usually last long, but at least I am showing her that this is important to me, exposing her to the scriptures, and I will have read a few verses (if I had just started).  It drives me nuts when she comes into my room right after I say my prayer (that I say at the beginning of my scripture study).  It can be really disappointing.

9.  This disappointment that can happen a lot (and maybe why you were asked to teach the class) has caused me to re-define what "scripture study" means to me.  This is kind of where the "meaningful" part kicks in for me as well.  We read family scriptures every night before Daughter goes to bed (so technically I am getting scriptures everyday).  However, it is that "personal study time" that is what is most meaningful to me.  First, I recognize that the Ensign is modern scripture from living prophets.  Second, I recognize that journal keeping is part of my personal scripture (because it's the revelations that Heavenly Father has given for me personally).  Sometimes, I only get to these during the day and rather than beat myself up, I celebrate.  It is nearly impossible for me to get through my whole routine of prayer, read the scriptures, and ponder/ write in my journal.  There are even days that I don't do any of it.  I know that President Benson said that we should read from the Book of Mormon everyday and I do try, but I can only do my best and I know that Heavenly Father is happy with that.  I don't beat myself up that I haven't done a "textbook" or "perfect" or what we might even think of as "the only correct way" scripture study.  Maybe I never had alone time during the day to read, but Daughter and I sang songs out of the Primary Songbook for 45 minutes.  Maybe I didn't read or journal, but I went visiting teaching and had a gospel discussion.  I count all of these types of things as "scripture study" because they all yield the same result.

It brings the Spirit into my soul and my home.


That's what counts right?  We don't read scriptures to check it off of a list.  It is to strengthen us and help us understand the gospel better.

Good luck!!!  I hope this helps with your "making time for meaningful scripture study when you have kids, work, school, and are just busy" class.

Love,
Lindsay

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's Coming...

Dear Readers,

The Show was AWESOME!!!!

What show?  The big cultural performance our region put on, like President Monson always talks about in the first session of General Conference.  Don't believe me?  Read here.  He talks about the Laie Hawaii Temple Rededication and the cultural celebration that went along with it.  Watch a movie about it!!! 

I am still very tired, and on my way to Church.  I hope these 2 photos will suffice until I can tell you ALL about it. 

Daughter's "costume".   She didn't dance, but after attending ALL of the dance practices, I rounded one up so she wouldn't feel left out, because she did know the dances better than some of the kids!
 Practicing the big Finale!!!

Tiredly,
Lindsay

Friday, July 8, 2011

T-Shirts Do the Talking

Dear Mother,

I can't sleep.  I conveniently woke up at 3:40am and have not been able to fall back asleep.  My stomach is churning in knots and I feel very nauseous.  I know it is from the worry.  Stressed is an understatement.

M doesn't have white socks.  M doesn't have the right shoes.  What do I do with J and L?  What if they miss the bus?  How will I help the kids remember their flip flops?  We forgot to put them in the garment bags and  I cannot realistically find them all on this 72 acre campus in time.  Who will babysit Daughter?  The babysitter called and cancelled at the last minute and while we've been managing, it also hasn't been as good as if she was at the babysitter.  If I thought I could have managed with Daughter, I wouldn't have called a babysitter.....and all of the other details running through my mind.

Fifteen minutes.  That's FIFTEEN minutes.  One-Five.  That is ALL the time that I got to rehearse with the polka kids yesterday.  Five-six of that was placing the couples in spots.  The remaining nine-ten minutes was the only time that I had to teach the 15 partner-less girls their part.  That's it.  These girls are performing in front of 9000 people today and I only got 10 minutes with them.  They keep saying they'll try to give me more time today, but if it goes like yesterday, I know it won't happen.  I only need 10 minutes.  I have been rehearsing in my mind how to succinctly tell them the things they need to know, so that they can be successful and feel good about themselves.

The good news is the youth seem to be having a good time overall and have been feeling good about themselves.

While many details are up in the air, and I am just hoping and praying they will be able to be taken care of, there have been many good things here so far.

The energy of over 850 youth and their 200 plus leaders is just awesome.  I have made many friends myself with the leaders that I have been working with over the past few months.  There is always an energy when large groups of Latter-Day Saints get together.  I usually only feel it at Stake Conference, but this Youth Conference covers 7 stakes across the whole state!

Yesterday, Sis. Ann Dibb was here to speak to the youth.  Out of her 3 addresses, I only got to hear one because they changed my rehearsal schedule.  Of the one, I only heard part (see above babysitting comment), but I immediately thought of you.

Sis. Dibb invited some youth up to the podium that were wearing t-shirts.  She spoke of how t-shirts say who you are and what you are interested in and what you about.  "You don't wear a t-shirt that talks about something you're lousy at."  She had the kids explain what was on their t-shirt.  There was a girl wearing a high school art club shirt that she belonged to, a boy wearing a college football shirt of the team he likes, etc.  Then the last 2 boys were wearing blank t-shirts.  She said that when she saw someone wearing a blank t-shirt with no slogans, or identifying features that it spoke of the individual's confidence.  They didn't need to hide behind an interest or funny saying to try to fit in, they were just comfortable being who they were.

She told of a story where she saw a girl that had a t-shirt that said, "I'm a Mormon.  Are you?"  The Youth theme for 2011 is "We Believe".  Sis. Dibb wanted the kids to be courageous and wear things and do things that would project that they believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sis. Dibb said that she had a t-shirt for herself that would tell others about her.  She held it up.  It said,

I'm a Mormon.
I know it.
I live it.
I like it.

I knew you'd like that.  She then spoke about those different phases that the youth would go through, "knowing", "living", and finally "liking" the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This was where I had to leave due to Daughter running behind the projection screen, and whipping a metal trash can with my necklace making a loud clanging noise, harassing a baby (but more so the mother), etc.

I'm a Mormon, and I like it.  I know you'd say the same.

Pray that all goes well tonight, please.

I am happy to be here.  This has been great for the kids in the branch.  Five out of the seven youth are pretty shy, but they've all really participated well.

Well, we already have received a wake up call and Daughter just woke up.  I better go.  I must get a picture of her in her "costume".

P.S.  I did meet Sis. Dibb yesterday afternoon in a hallway.  I shook her hand and then she embraced me.  I told her that I wanted to make sure I had her t-shirt saying right, because I wanted to tell it to you.  A woman showed Sis. Dibb her baby who is named Thomas Spencer (no joke!).  Sis. Dibb said, "I'll have to tell Dad, he'll love it."  Who gets to refer to the prophet as Dad?

P.P.S.  The food is very, very good :)

Love,
Lindsay

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mormon.org Profile

Dear Readers,

I have great news!!!

My profile is finally up on mormon.org.  Check it out!!!  Last July the Church announced that they wanted to get 10,000 profiles ready for the launch of the new mormon.org.  I quickly made a profile.  Well, for months and months it kept saying "pending review" and I had no idea why.  When Husband made his profile it said "pending review" and then it told him of a specific change that needed to be made.  Mine never said anything like that.  I have been pulling my hair out in frustration!

I have been putting off posting about mormon.org and all of it's features, because I wanted to be able to say that my profile was on it.  I finally just decided that I would post about it anyways.  I went to check one last time and THIS time it was finally "published."  It is definitely not current, but now I am afraid to change anything, because I don't want it to get lost for another whole year.

Mormon.org is a great way to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It answers lots of questions that are frequently asked about us "Mormons".  It also now has thousands of profiles that show who we are as members of the Church.  It shows what we do, and what we believe.  We are regular people with regular jobs, living in regular communities all around the world.

It looks like they have made changes to the profile process.  If you are already a member and haven't made one, start today.  It's easy.  Start HERE.  If you are looking for more information then just start clicking around.  I'm sure you'll be surprised at how much you have in common with those of our faith.  Or click on Mormon.TV at the top of the page (or just here), and you will find some videos. Who doesn't love videos?  That's what I thought.

Happy one year anniversary to the profiles on Mormon.org and happy celebrations that my profile is now one of them for all to see!!!

Celebratory,
Lindsay

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Dear Sister,

Thinking deeply can be so exhausting.  It's good to spew out my thoughts so they stop running around my head, but I've definitely been kicking back the past few days to celebrate our country.

Happy Fourth of July from my family to yours!!!

This is me.  Navy/ white striped shirt, red/white/blue hair bow, jean shorts.....
 and red sandals with sparkle toes!!!
 Here is a head shot from last week (notice the jumper in action!!!).  I really need to have Husband take my picture more.  I'm not picky.  I have 1 picture of me for every 50-100 of Daughter and Husband.
 Here is Daughter, the vision, sporting the same dress from last year, but new bow.  This was at the patriotic concert that we love to go to every year.  It was a few days ago.

The silly girl.

They hand out free watermelon and ice cream after the band is done playing.


Husband, handsome as always.
 Daughter wore red, Husband wore blue, and I wore a white patriotic tee.  I started sewing a top to wear, but didn't finish it in time to wear for this morning.  Since we sweat all morning at the parade/ festival I have to change anyways.  Hopefully I'll get it done for this evening.

Hope you had a fabulous time doing all of your celebrations.  I woke up not planning on anything huge, but now I have people coming over for dinner/ fireworks, so I better hop to it.  As always, I have more pictures, but THIS Thursday is D-Day, so maybe next week.

Love,
Lindsay