The Tender Mercies of a Cupcake

I want to describe to you a spiritual impression I had a few days ago during the Saturday sessions of general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Just minutes before the afternoon session came to a close, Aaron and I left our apartment to drive an hour and a half to Logan, Utah to be with his family for the evening. My cute sister-in-law was celebrating her birthday, so we stopped at the cupcake shop across the street to grab her a sweet little birthday treat. However, minutes before we left, I experienced a moment where I felt like God was not hearing my pleas, and sometimes, tearful prayers. Have you ever experienced that? The feeling that you don’t deserve heaven’s blessings? If not, I offer my sincere “good for you!” exclamation with a warm-and-cozy side hug, because that means you have a lot of faith and a heck of a lot more confidence than I do! However, if my experience makes sense to you, then you probably have felt those exact same “I-don’t-amount-to-anything” feelings. But let me tell you a tiny secret: These feelings are LIES. All lies. They are perpetuated by society,

If We Loved The Savior More

I don’t thank my Savior enough. Even though it isn’t the popular thing to do on the internet, it is necessary for me today, and especially during this special time of each year. Yesterday was my Grandpa Ray’s 93rd birthday and I love him with every ounce of my being. But sometimes I worry about him. I worry about his health. I worry that he might still carry emotional pain from serving in World War 2. I worry that he is lonely. As I listened to my Grandpa Ray’s cute, squeaky voice over the telephone, I was reminded of this story by Robert D. Hales from October 2016: “Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel was in the hospital recovering from open-heart surgery when he was visited by his five-year-old grandson. As the little boy looked into his grandfather’s eyes, he saw his pain. “Grandpa,” he asked, “if I loved you more, would you hurt less?” Today I ask a similar question of each of us: “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?” -Robert D. Hales I wondered the same question; if I loved my Grandpa more…if I called him more, sent him post cards more, prayed for him more…would

“We are Daughters of our Heavenly Father”: A Testimony of The Young Women Theme

Hi friends, it’s been a while (like, a month & a half while)! I thought writing + my blog was on the top of my priority list, especially after quitting my day job but — HA! Yeah right. It’s not, but at least it’s still a once-in-a-while hobby. I think we need those, our own “once-in-a-while hobbies” to energize us and refocus us. Mine are running, getting a pedicure, writing in my journal (or, if I have a few hours, on my blog) and napping. We need these activities because life is full of surprises. Some are amazing, some are imperfect, but we find fulfillment from our crazy, chaotic lives in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the past 13 days, and the following 15, I am living out my husband’s gigantic worn-out missionary suitcase moving house to house as I tend children of various families while the parents go out of town for mini getaways or work-related trips. I refer to myself as “The Travelling Nanny” because it’s who I am, really! It’s a fun gig where I’m able to meet so many cute little kids, drive them to and from school and soccer practice in a snazzy

Face Plants and Prayer: Why It Takes all the Energy of our Hearts to be Converted

At a Women’s Conference I attended earlier this year, a speaker expressed this thought: “Prayer keeps us converted. It’s a commandment because He wants us to seek proximity to Him.” We are constantly on the path to conversion and it takes all the energy of our hearts to become converted, to become like our Savior. Sometimes, though, life feels like a constant face plant. See, just like this, and they hurt. We experience stresses of mortality (illness, arguments, death, financial problems, work difficulties, sleep deprivation, parenthood, media overload) that have the ability to numb our eternal vision. We judge others and hold grudges, we’re jealous, impatient, and experts in self-doubt. Each of these are referred to as our “weapons of rebellion” and it may begin to feel nearly impossible to become as He is. A weapon of rebellion in my life recently has been demanding answers to the “if’s, why’s, how’s, and when’s” of mortal life. Aaron and I are anticipating some significant changes within the next few months (change is still the only constant in our lives and probably will be forever) and we have found ourselves overwhelmed with doubts that have only led to fear and arguments.

“Voices of early-returned LDS Missionaries: The Daily Universe”

“Overtime, I learned that I served exactly the time I needed to serve and taught the people I needed to teach.” When I was thirteen years old, I attended an EFY (Especially for Youth) the summer before eighth grade and my counselor had asked us on the first day to think of questions we wanted answers to. They could be gospel related, familial, or academic – anything we wanted – and she promised us by the end of the week, if we sought for answers from the scriptures and prayer, we would receive an answer. The question I wrote was: am I meant to serve a mission? I had watched my older brothers prepare and serve and I felt that experience was something I wanted. During the week, I read a particular scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that influenced my decision. The spirit was so overwhelming in that moment that I knew I had my answer. From then on, I tried to live my life in a way that was preparatory for a mission and read that scripture on a daily basis. I served in the Illinois, Chicago mission for exactly seven months. I entered the MTC on July

Easter Is a Time for Quiet Moments Where We Can Focus on Him

This morning I was able to share a precious moment with a 6-year-old little girl. Aaron and I are here tending for a cute family of three kids while mom & dad are taking a little TLC in Costa Rica and I woke up this morning to this sweet little thing who had a bad dream. I cuddled with her on the couch and pulled out my phone. My mom had messaged me the link to the LDS church’s Easter videos and I asked her, “Navy, do you want to watch these videos with me?” She kindly smiled as we tucked ourselves underneath the white, velvety blanket. I loved teaching her new vocabulary words like “tragedy,” “gratitude,” “sculptor,” “hostile,” and “perspective” throughout and after each two minute video, I wrote down a few of my thoughts in my blue journal. Navy looked at me and said, “I have a journal!” I excitedly responded, “Do you write in it often?” “I mostly just draw pictures,” she told me. After watching Jon’s video about gratitude, I wrote down his words: “I have so much to be grateful for that I’d be disrespecting God if I wasn’t happy.” Navy wrote, “I love

Wings

Manhattan awoke to a snowstorm that Thursday morning in January. Flakes whipped through the skyscraper canyon and a bright white coat covered all that was gray. Arctic air brought in winter’s coldest day, a single-digit wind chill, as ice formed around the edges of the Hudson River. The day was already rough for Martin Sosa, an architect, who was heading to Charlotte with his wife and kids because of a family emergency. They arrived at the airport in the early afternoon on January 15, 2009 with their four-year-old and nine-month-old and suffered through the inconvenience of security officials who insisted on checking their infant’s baby food, jar by jar. “Would you like to enter a private room for inspection?” probed the inspectors. Fifteen minutes later, the family moved on. They boarded Flight 1549, a plane that had been flying for ten years and was about to make its 16,300th takeoff. Before departure, Mrs. Sosa protested the separation from her husband and daughter who were seated three rows back but Doreen Welsh, a flight attendant, settled her down in her middle seat with her baby. The man on her left was sleeping. The man on her right coo-chi-cooed the baby,

Then Cometh Jesus Unto A Place Called Gethsemane: Why He Asks Us to Be His Hands

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we often discuss what it means to be “His hands on earth.” It means we serve those around us as He would serve them and we love those around us as He would love them. Sometimes we may feel, though, “Why does He ask me?”, when we know He is fully capable of doing it on His own and that He would (more than likely) do a better job than we ever would. Note, though, that our Father is Heaven asks us. He doesn’t demand us, threaten us, or quite frankly, need us. All it is is a simple asking, an invitation. If we do as He asks, we show Him that we sustain Him. We choose to stand with Him and His counsel in a darkening world. Everything He asks us to do is important, and when we do as we are asked, we are blessed. Recently, God has asked me to serve a lot. And not just me; He has asked my mom, my brother Eric, my sister-in-law Siera and my husband Aaron to serve as well. You see, my healthy, happy, go-big-or-go-home father found out on Tuesday after weeks of absolute unbearable pain,

GIVEAWAY!!!!! Increase Your Everyday Confidence with My All-Time Favorite Pep-Talk

Who (besides me) LOVES to read? If you do, let us please start a weekly book club. If you don’t, this book will change that entirely. I pinkie promise. It’s a quick, easy read and you’ll experience laughter, tears, an increasing amount of faith in Him and recognize His faith in you, and you will be encouraged to ponder your purpose as His daughter. I was introduced to this book by my adorable mom and it’s called “Does this insecurity make me look fat?” The title alone! How can you not laugh?! As women we have days where our faults, weaknesses, disappointments, and our insecurities dog-pile on us and weigh us down. Those are the exact moments we (I) dig out the Dove Chocolates from my kitchen candy cupboard and indulge in one big fat pity-party but the truth is: we are not, and will never be, perfect in this life. We know we’ve made mistakes but we also know is that Heavenly Father loves us exactly as we are. He loves us and He needs us. He is directing a great work and He hurts when we don’t see ourselves or others through His eyes. Through reading this book, I’ve

Hot Showers, Repentance, And An Eternal Perspecitve: Our Everyday Essentials

Have you ever taken a shower so hot that it sets off the smoke detector? I have, several times! And it happened again this morning. Hot showers are one of my everyday essentials because it relaxes me in an instant. BOOM. Problems, be gone. I’m talking about problems like the thousands of dirt particles that lodge their sneaky little selves under my skin and embed there throughout the day that result in many terrible, terrible things: acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Luckily, the steam from my shower water gives all the gunk that I collected throughout the day the chance to wash away. Although life’s “real” problems still await me after my hot shower, I enjoy taking 10 minutes out of my busy schedule to stand under a nice, soothing stream of tepid water. Sound good? Of course it does. And not just because of my use of positive adjectives either! A hot shower is an idyllic beginning to a wonderful day; a day where we “devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness” and give all we can to God. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,