Wednesday, June 21, 2017

May: Hope, Positivity & Joy

I'm always a little late in posting these, but I still want to make sure that I do! 

In case you missed it, I made a New Year's resolution to pick one gospel topic each month and study it in depth. So far...


As usual I start with a topic and throughout the month it evolves into something completely new. I love it though. I learn so much more this way. I started off wanting to study positivity. It evolved into a whole string of topics- faith, hope, joy, and happiness. Let me explain, ultimately it's unrealistic to be happy and positive 100% of the time. We will inevitably experience sadness and hardship in this life, and that's okay...

Because of Jesus Christ, 
no sadness, negativity, pain, grief, or failure
 is permanent.
Period.

I am know it sounds like I am over simplifying, but I'm not. It may feel like we are just stumbling through this obstacle course of life, (and maybe we are) but we can have complete assurance the Lord is the master game keeper. He is strategically putting and pulling those obstacles in and out of the way. If we have faith in Him and His all encompassing Atonement, rest assured everything will work out in the end perfectly.

 Isn't this the best news? Talk about a sigh of relief!

**SHOVEL** 
Recently I came across an idea in my new favorite podcast (Bold New Mom), which I LOVE, that reaffirmed this idea. Whenever you experience something that is less than ideal, try on the thought "this is exactly what's supposed to happen." I am trying this out lately and it's making my life so much easier. It makes not knowing WHY things happen more bearable.  

"If clouds instead of sun spread shadows o’er our heart,
If pain afflicts us, never mind; we will soon know who Thou art.
Jesus guides us with His hand, and He will tell us why;
If we listen to His voice, He will tell us by and by.
Confide in God unwaveringly, and let Him us sustain;
Sing His glory endlessly, for later He’ll explain."

-“Not Now but in the Coming Years,” found in the LDS Portuguese hymnal


So knowing all of this, how could I not have joy and happiness? I am already on the winning team. I know everything is going to work out. Why not choose to be happy and positive in the process?

John 16:22 -"... your joy no man taketh from you."

And now some pictures of the girl who gives us the most joy...










Tuesday, June 6, 2017

10 Months

#ProjectVandMe

V: 
You are in size 6-9 month clothes and wearing size 2 diapers. You are changing so quickly these days. It’s hard for me to remember a time when you slept all day, didn’t crawl, didn’t eat solids, and didn't chat all day long. You are extremely mobile- crawling so fast everywhere and walking all over the furniture. Your new favorite toys are boxes. You especially like to use them to walk around. You are developing some stranger danger and get anxious when Dad or I aren’t around. This last week on vacation you became a serious Daddy’s girl. You say “Dada” all the time. You love to wave like an adult, and it’s the cutest thing. You are eating almost everything we eat, but still eating some baby food. You have two teeth on the bottom. You are sleeping well, usually taking two naps a day. You love men for some reason, (Get the gun now, Dad…) especially Uncle Marcus. He’s a close second behind Dad. You are our world and we love you as much as ever.

Me: 
I feel like I’m in one of those “when it rains, it pours” times. I went to the dentist and got bad news. I have cavities, like a lot of them… On top of that, I need to get my wisdom teeth removed. (Yep, still have them.) I also have an ear infection. All around my head is taking a beating. BUT we also just got back from an awesome vacation with my family- so much fun time together playing games, swimming, boating, hiking, etc. Amidst the struggles of life, I have so much to be grateful for. Side note: I studied positivity and joy this month, and I obviously needed it. Blog post to come soon. 
















Thursday, May 4, 2017

9 Months

#ProjectVandMe

V: You had your 9 month check up today. You are weighing in at 15 lb 3 oz, and 26 inches tall- still on the small side but following your own growth curve. You are a little tornado now! A master crawler that hardly ever sits still. You are loving exploring on your own, although you still don't want me or Dad to be too far away. You are pulling up and standing on anything you can reach. It's making for lots more pumps and bruises. Poor thing! You are feeding yourself finger foods. You are babbling and imitating us all the time. You are teething. Those two little buggers are coming in on the bottom. You are mostly still sleeping fine, but falling asleep has been a major struggle with the teeth issue. Socially, you have come a long way. You are smiling and waving at strangers! Every new stage comes with new struggles and joys. It's so fun to see your personality come through. We LOVE you so much, Little V.

Me: Austin was in Africa for about a month and has finally returned!!!!! It was hard having him away especially since V was learning to crawl and move. It changes your whole world when they become mobile. We went home to visit my parents in Washington. (It's still so odd to think they moved over the river to Vancouver.) We had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa, and Vienna did awesome being in a new place. In general I'm feeling really happy and at peace with our lives. Although our future is uncertain, I know we are being guided and watched over. I've discovered this podcast called "Bold New Mom." The host, Jody Moore, is a life coach (I was super turned off by that at first). To my surprise, she has some great insights on how your thoughts shape your life. It is really changing my outlook and attitude on everything. I LOVE it. Highly recommended. 














Monday, May 1, 2017

April: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

In case you missed it, I made a New Year's resolution to pick one gospel topic each month and study it in depth. So far...

January: Patience & Kindness
February: Prayer
March: Individual Worth

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is so grand, yet so personal. I was brought to tears many times during my studies this month. The event itself is so far reaching it is hard to comprehend. I don't have words to adequately express the grandeur. I will say, it truly is the greatest event to take place in the history of the world, and it has implications for all of us.

Much of what I learned this month is fairly personal to me, so I won't be sharing a ton. What I do want to share though, is the following:

"Everything points to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His teachings and messages were good, but the whole purpose of those teachings is to bring us to HIM so we may repent and be SAVED."
-Tad R. Callister 
(The Infinite Atonement)

After studying and realizing the importance of that point, things became so clear to me. So here's my main take away...

**SHOVEL**

Going forward, both with my studies this year and really the rest of my life, I need to recognize how everything points to Christ. I need to study each topic in conjunction with Jesus Christ and his mission. I see now that everything we are taught is important only because Christ suffered, died, and was resurrected for us. If he did not complete that act, nothing else would matter. 

The great news is that Jesus Christ did complete the Atonement, and because He did we have so much hope, joy, and purpose.

March: Individual Worth

In case you missed it, I made a New Year's resolution to pick one gospel topic each month and study it in depth. So far...

January: Patience & Kindness
February: Prayer

March: Individual Worth

I chose each of the 12 topics to study this year for different reasons. I chose individual worth for two main reasons: 

1) Lately, I have been pretty down on myself. I am doing a lot of comparing myself to others, physically, intellectually, monetarily, etc. I don't like how it makes me feel. I want to get back to the roots of who I am and why I matter. 
&

2) Because I am judging myself more harshly, I find I am also more critical of others. I want that to change too.

Each month when I write these posts, I find it impossible to share everything I read and learn. I will keep it (relatively) short this month, but know, there is so much evidence of how important we are. It's all around us every single day. For me, it all boiled down to this:

You and I are individually of infinite worth. How do we know?

First, we matter so much to our Heavenly Father, that he sent his perfect Son, Jesus Christ, down to earth to suffer and die for us. 
Second, we matter so much to Jesus Christ that he willingly suffered all things for us, physical & emotional.

In contrast to this, Satan knows how important we are and tries his hardest to make us believe otherwise. 

“If the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, it is trifling in the sight of Satan. He is bent on slowing and, if possible, destroying the progress and happiness of any soul. We see it in the violence, abuse, and despair he inspires in individuals and in societies. His philosophy is degradation, his policy is domination, and his method is coercion.”
-D. Todd Christofferson

**SHOVELS**

1) Everyone matters to the Lord. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and atone for all of our sins, pains, and trials. He loves each one of us infinitely and unconditionally.

2) This worth demonstrates to us how we need to treat OURSELVES. We matter to the Lord enough for Him to personally and individually suffer for us. TREAT YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.

3) This worth also demonstrates how we need to treat OTHERS. Each and every person matters enough to Him to do the same thing that he did for you. TREAT OTHERS ACCORDINGLY.

Next Month: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

8 Months

#ProjectVandMe

V: You have changed SO MUCH this month. You are weighing in at 15lbs on the dot. You moved up to size two diapers this month. You are moving all over the place, and learning to master the crawl. You take a few "steps" and then roll onto your stomach like a seal. It's the best. You are eating more and more solids now. You sleep in your crib like a champ. You are a great sleeper in general (...and let's hope that never changes). You hold your bottle when you eat. You are just the cutest little thing and we LOVE you SO VERY much!

Me: I look back at pictures of Vienna and can't believe how fast she changes. I love getting to be with her everyday to watch her grow. On a more gloomy note, Austin left for Rwanda this week and it hurts my heart. We miss him like crazy and look forward to our FaceTime sessions. We're trying to stay busy! I have changed my eating habits over the past few weeks and I feel better already. I'm recommitted to work hard to lose that prego weight. I am going strong in my scripture study. I see the difference it's making in my daily life, and I love it.

LOTS of pictures this month...








 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Women, Equality, & Infinite Worth

Yesterday was International Women's Day, I guess? I was seeing all sorts of "women power" posts on social media. To be honest, sometimes I cringe a little when this topic comes up. Combine this with the topic I'm studying this month, individual worth, and these thoughts were dying to get out of my head.

Before I go into this here's what you need to know.

1) I realize this is an unpopular opinion in today's world.
2) Don't get me wrong, I am all for strong women. I honestly believe women have real power, purpose, and force in this world.
3) This is just my opinion from my own experience. I recognize not everyone in the world has the same rights and privileges that I have.

So here it goes...

Sometimes I feel like women overcompensate for the inequality they feel. There ends up being overcompensation in the form of degrading men and completely abandoning our strengths as women. Again, unpopular opinion... But I honestly believe we were designed differently than men for a reason.

I think lots of women honestly don't feel of worth. That is just heartbreaking to me. I never want my daughter to feel that way! I always want her to know that she has infinite worth, and it isn't defined by most of things we seek in this world.

D&C 18:10 - "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

Some of the strongest women I know are the most humble. They lead by example. They are constantly reaching out to others and selflessly serving. They are developing their talents, whatever they may be - and no that doesn't just mean cooking, sewing, or raising children. I GET that. 

"Feelings of worth come when a woman follows the example of the Master. Her sense of infinite worth comes from her own Christlike yearning to reach out with love, as He does."
-Russell M. Nelson

I guess what I am trying to say here is that we don't need to overcompensate. We don't need to be the same as men. We are different for a reason! Equal, but different. We are of infinite worth, and we possess strength beyond belief. Let's embrace that!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

7 Months

                                                                                              #ProjectVandMe 

V:
You are weighing in at 14 lbs, wearing size 1 diapers, and 3-6 month clothes. You are becoming more animated and active everyday. You are wanting to crawl but don't have the arm strength just yet. You do this head tilt, smile combo that just melts our hearts. You are loving bath time. You still sometimes cry when people who aren't mom & dad hold you... or even look at you haha. BUT you're getting much better! You are beginning to hold your own bottle! You are improving at eating solids (mostly veggies, and a few fruits), but still a complete mess after. You are starting to babble actual words! (I'm convinced you're trying to say "mama" but it sounds more like "blah blah" or "dada"....) We love you as much as ever, Little V! 

Me:
I finished nursing this month and I'm still feeling a little guilty about it. My supply had dwindled so much and V honestly preferred the bottle. I have been sick so my workout routine has gone down the drain, but my scripture study is going strong! (Individual worth this month). I'm trying to focus on not judging- myself and others. I'm coming to realize a big part of that is not comparing. This advanced tech/social media world has us programmed to compare ourselves to everyone and everything around us.  I'm trying to unplug more and appreciate what I have around me.