I know it is cliche, but time really does go by too fast.
I heard an elderly couple in the grocery store talking about how time seems to move even faster now that they are older and it just scared me. If time is going to start moving even faster than it does now, I am seriously going to have to start slowing down my life... or I will miss everything!
For Asher's birthday I was printing off pictures of him for his photo album and it just about made me cry. He has grown up so much, even in just the last six months, and except for having to buy him a new stash of shirts... I hardly even noticed it.
My baby really isn't much of a baby any more.
Then... I was hanging up our wedding pictures in the hallway and realized that Jon and I look young. It had never occurred to me that I have aged. I still feel like the same 21-year-old whose happy, excited eyes beam out at me from those photos. But, I'm not really. My hair is different, my hips are wider, my face more lined, and my heart and soul have expanded bigger than I ever imagined they could. I have learned and grown so much since then, but it has happened almost without me even noticing it.
It makes me sad, and yet happy at the same time.
Sad because I can't get back what has passed, and happy because I have so much more to look forward to.
I guess it is a good trade off.
Anyway, sentimental new year thoughts aside....
It has become a fun New Year's tradition for me to share with you my most popular posts of the year. So... without further ado. Here are the TOP FIVE winners for 2013!
"...After I went through this I saw that if my children internalized the basic concept of those nine attributes, that many of the other virtues and skills I wanted them to learn would come naturally or easier. In fact, it dawned on me that these nine qualities were THE MOST IMPORTANT things I could teach my children.
If they never learned to read but had Christ-like charity for others, or if they couldn't add or subtract but could obey God, the prophet and the Holy Ghost, or if they didn't know where Cambodia was but had unshakeable faith in Christ... they would have learned what really matters.
Don't get me wrong, I still plan on teaching my children how to read and add and subtract but I have realized that focusing on teaching them how to become like Christ is the-single-most- important job I have as their mother. And whether I home school, public school, or do something in between that responsibility doesn't change.
So for our pre-school this year I have devoted one month to each of those nine Christ-like attributes. I separated "Honesty" and "Respect/Reverence" from their umbrella categories and gave them their own month because I felt like my kids need extra help in those areas. As I get them done I will post them and make a list at the end of this post. " Read the rest
"...It almost made me cry to think that here, in front of the whole world and in front of our almighty God, this sister was praying the prayer of my heart.
But I don't think it is just the prayer of my heart. I think it is the prayer of hundreds of thousands of LDS women around the world. As I have listened to women I have felt that many of us are hungry-- ravenously hungry-- for more understanding about who we are and what our mission is on the earth. It isn't that we are dissatisfied with our faith, it isn't that we feel unequal or left out, and it isn't that we want to be ordained to the priesthood. We are just ready for MORE.
More light. More understanding. More truth.
I think this hunger is what is driving things like the Ordain Women movement and other religious feminist movements. They clamor for the priesthood thinking that it will fill the hungry void, but it won't.
Priesthood is something that is given to priests. A priest is a man. We are not priests.
We are priestesses, and what we really want is priestesshood." Read the Rest
"...It completely changes our perspective on Eve if, instead of thinking of her being tricked into eating the fruit, we see her undergo an intense multilevel experience before choosing to partake. It is important to remember that Satan had used the symbol of the serpent, a symbol of Christ, to try to deceive her into thinking he had power and authority. He also didn't lie to her outright, he just told her half-truths.
"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die (Lie) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Truth)" (Genesis 3:4-5)
Yet even his disguise and half disguised lies were not enough to deceive Eve into blindly eating the fruit. What Satan's efforts did do however was to beguile her. He made her question, made her doubt, and sent her on a soul searching journey.
What was her purpose in the garden?
How were she and Adam to fulfill God's command to multiply and replenish the earth?
What was God's plan for her?
Was there any other way it could be accomplished?
These may have been questions she struggled with in the garden and one can only imagine that her choices must have weighed heavily on her heart.
Eventually Eve chose to eat of the fruit, but not because she was deceived.
"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it waspleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6)
Eve ate because she saw." Read the rest
"There was a time in my life when I had a lot of anger about issues relating to women. I wasn't angry at a specific person or organization per se, but angry at a world that treated women as objects, raped them, enslaved them, prevented them from being born, paid them less money, and undervalued their contributions. Like the Savior cleansing the temple I felt my anger was justified; I was seeing injustice and I was getting motivated about it. Yet the more I went down that path the more I saw that anger was a drug and an illusion. Being angry about wrongs didn't really change anything.
Most of all I could feel that my "righteous indignation" was killing a beautiful part of my soul.
I found that I was becoming more judgmental of other people, that I was more easily provoked to anger and impatience by things people said or did, and that I was slowly loosing my faith in the goodness of other people's hearts. Most of all I wasn't as happy. One day it dawned on me that if I went much further down the anger path, I would never be able to come back up again.
It worries me to see people embracing, even unknowingly, an attitude of anger as it relates to feminist issues, or any issue for that matter. Not just because of what it does to their souls, but because actions motivated by anger-- in any form-- will never really change anything.
Let me explain...." Read the rest
"...In D&C 123 Joseph Smith urged the Saints to make statements as to the abuse and sufferings they went through. He wrote:
"It is an imperative duty that we owe to God, to angels, with whom we shall be brought to stand, and also to ourselves, to our wives and children, who have been made to bow down with grief, sorrow, and care, under the most damning hand of murder, tyranny, and oppression... Therefore it is an imperative duty that we owe, not only to our own wives and children, but to the widows and fatherless, whose husbands and fathers have been murdered under its iron hand; Which dark and blackening deeds are enough to make hell itself shudder, and to stand aghast and pale, and the hands of the very devil to tremble and palsy." (D&C 123: 7, 9-10)
I was curious to know what it was that these wives and children went through that was enough to make "hell itself shudder", and so I did a little research. I was able to find the affidavits of several of the early church leaders, including Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, and Sidney Rigdon, who testified to a court of law about what they and the Saints went through.
Reading their accounts, given in their owns words, was powerful and overwhelming. I realized as I read their testimonies that the violence the saints went through was not just the "suffering or hardship" that we often talk about. They were facing genocide-like violence. The soldiers had been commanded to drive the Mormons out of Missouri or destroy them. They had full license to use any sort of horrible means they could devise, which they did.
As I read these accounts I saw men and women literally fleeing for their lives. If they were caught they faced violence that was comparable to any of our modern day genocides--- think Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, Kosovo --- and you get a better idea of what they were facing. And just like in any genocide, rape was one of the primary weapons.
I feel like it is important to share these early LDS women's stories. It makes my heart ache to think about all they went through for the gospel.... and that we don't even know their names. Granted, they probably didn't want their names to be shared given the nature of their experience, but I think they need to be remembered.
Warning: Some of these accounts are hard to read and so if you are sensitive to things like this you might want to skip the rest.... Read the rest
Thank you so much for reading this year. I appreciate all the emails, comments, phone calls, visits, and prayers that I have received this year from my readers. Thank you so much. I can't tell you what it means to me to know that the Lord is able to use something that I write to touch your hearts.
I'd love to hear from you what your favorite post was this year!
Happy New Year!
Oh, and don't forget to make your New Year's Miracles. I wrote four last year and TWO (kind of three) of them happened this year!
Miracles really do happen.
Miracles really do happen.