Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just Doing It

I will admit it. I was a bit afraid of getting back to school. That meant losing my 3 biggest helpers for most of the day. It meant getting up at 6 am each morning, and I am not a morning person. It meant going to bed by 10 each night. And I also had this whole "schedule" for myself of the work I would do during the school hours.

So I know I am only 2 days in so far, but this scheduled life is quite wonderful. I get some fresh air each morning walking the girls to school. I get a workout running home. I get time to shower before taking Sabrina to school. And our morning routines have been going smoothly because I get up early to be the oil that moves things along.

One difference I changed this year that I think is going to make a big difference is insisting that we all come down to breakfast together and read scriptures. We have generally read scriptures while eating breakfast but we weren't all around the table and Jon wasn't there. This year, I put it first on the list. I built everyone's schedules around our scripture and prayer / breakfast time. This is now the only meal we get to eat together so we may as well make it a good one.

Additionally, watching the boys has been so much easier than expected. They play so nicely together and with no big sisters with whom to compete they are more easy going.

This experience has made me think what other things have I been hesitant to do because I was scared of how hard they would be.  I am resolved to forget the fear and just do it. Once you get going the work for something worthwhile is always handsomely rewarded.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I taught a lesson on prayer today at church. The best quote of the lesson was from a 2008 talk by Elder David A. Bednar who is an apostle of Jesus Christ. "The prayers of prophets are childlike in their simplicity and powerful in their sincerity." I found that statement profound. What makes a prayer powerful is the faith, sincerity and real intent of our heart when we offer it. As one who has benefitted greatly from the power of prayers on my behalf I testify of their power and encourage all men and women everywhere to pray to that God who gave us all life to find the answers, guidance, comfort and miracles you seek in your life and the life of those you love.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thoughts on Prayer

I recently got a church calling, a volunteer church assignment. I was called as a ward missionary. In connection with that calling I get a chance once every 7 or so weeks to teach a Gospel Principles class. This weekend is my turn to teach and the topic is on prayer.

I have been trying to be more mindful of my prayers this week to help frame my lesson preparation. One thing I have noted is how often I look to "connect" to those I know and love through instagram, Facebook, email or this blog. I long for this "connection." I love hearing news from "home" and friends and family I love and miss.

Last night as I knelt to prayer I focused on really "connecting" with my Heavenly Father and that heavenly home from whence I came. Rather than just thinking the words and being grateful and expressing desire, I sought to be fed.

True prayer takes effort. It is a mental discipline. It takes desire for a connection and a willingness to set aside your own will for the divine will. As we exert our efforts to find this connection we can be instructed even in what the subject matters of our prayer should be.

More importantly, at least for me, we will be fed spiritually with a wholeness. We can feel that "connection" with heaven and our true home that settles earthly cares and eases our daily worries.

Often we use prayer most earnestly only when we are suffering. But we are still in need of that connection and spiritual nourishment even when life is going well. Without it we wither and feel empty. With it we can make something more of our lives than we could possibly imagine. We can become a tool for the Lord to use for His purposes.

That is my prayer. I want so much to be a worthy and useful tool in His service. I hope that I can exert the mental discipline to truly connect in my daily prayers and find ways each day serve His will.