Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Few of My Loves...

General Conference is this weekend and I can hardly wait. It isn't so much about the talks, although I love them. (My problem is I have a hard time concentrating, thinking and continuing to listen at the same time. I much prefer to re-read the talks, see the words, highlight and take notes, stop, consider, look things up and come back to the talk and all of those things are nigh to impossible during the live sessions.) But I do love conference. I love the feeling of unity, of kindred spirits, of gathering from all over the world to sit and listen to the Lord's words. I love that I feel a part of something so wonderful, so grand, so holy, all the while sitting in my living room alone. Just watching the lines of saints waiting for their seats makes me tear up. And I love the spring flowers! Flowers are like a soothing touch - a caress. Do the gardeners have any idea how much I appreciate their hours of love and labor?  And I love the music! One of these days I want to experience conference in the tabernacle and conference center just to hear the music, to feel the vibrations,  the energy. I can only imagine how it must sound it person when it sounds that amazing over the internet.

The last week before conference is always hard - I always feel beaten down by the world, overwhelmed by the lists, powerless against those mightier than I. I am hungry for the unity of the saints and the words of the Lord.

I ran across this link to Conference Packets. They are the best I've ever seen and I just wanted to share. 

I also wanted to share a couple of blogs that have touched me deeply. I have others, but these two I really wanted to share tonight.
Resolved 2 Worship - I have really loved glimpses into this family and I love her playlist. I put it on most mornings while we are getting ready for school and Ryan has many of the songs memorized. She has made me think about my relationship with the Lord and with others so many times. I love, love, love the pictures on this site.

Chocolate on My Cranium - I always come away so uplifted and encouraged from Chocolate's messages. So much love, wisdom, and joy are freely shared here. Chocolate has a new blog that I am loving as well called Society Sunday - I love the content and I love the layout & graphics of this site.

I have never met either of these women and yet they have made an impact on me.They have helped me to think, ponder, consider, prioritize, and love more. They have encouraged my heart, strengthened my convictions, and exemplified grace. I love that they both have large families and are both pregnant with wanted babes. I love that they love their children, find joy in being mothers, that they cherish their marriages. I love that they embrace beauty and that they create, and most of all, I love that they love the Lord.

Much Love,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top 'O The Morning to Ya!

I missed Pi day (3/14) so I don't want to miss the opportunity to wish you all a very happy St. Patrick's day. I am reposting my thoughts from two years ago -I love St. Patrick Day! I have corned beef in the crock pot and will be having potatoes and cabbage later today. If I am feeling up to it, I may make some Irish Soda Bread as well. Yum!

St. Patrick's Day

Having bright red hair and fair skin, I have been asked many times if I am Irish. I believe we have a few drops way back when, but I have come to love this holiday for more reasons than just ancestry. First, I have been to Ireland. In college I was part of a touring singing/dancing group which toured the British Isles for 5 weeks. We performed in Belfast, Cork, & Limerick. I kissed the Blarney stone & roamed the Blarney castle ruins. I had an amazing time and would go back in a heart beat.

Secondly, I learned about St. Patrick. He was an amazing man and has become an example of faith for me. He was born Maewyn Succat in Scotland around 373 AD to a Roman Christian family. The Roman Empire was close to collapse and was being invaded by enemies. When he was 16, he was kidnapped & taken to Ireland. He became a slave to Irish chieftains and sold around. He spent much of his time alone tending the sheep & praying. He said,

"Every day I had to tend sheep, and many times a day I prayed - the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. And my spirit was moved so that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers and almost as many in the night, and this even when I was staying in the woods and on the mountains; and I felt no harm, and there was no sloth in me - as now I see, because the spirit within me was fervent. "
After 6 years of being a slave he had a dream where a voice told him that a ship was waiting for him. He felt that God was telling him to escape. He made it to the sea where he convinced a ship captain to carry him home to England. Once home, he was determined to dedicate his life to God amidst his father's protests. He went on to France to study religion and become a priest. He had another dream in that he felt God called him to be a missionary to Ireland. He began his mission in 430 AD (age 57) amid constant danger. He spent the next 30 years preaching the gospel of Christ. He was ridiculed, persecuted, and imprisoned. He wrote, "Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who ruled everywhere." Legend says that he used the 3-leafed shamrock to teach the principle of the Godhead. History records that St. Patrick founded more than 300 churches and baptized more than 120,000 people. Many of his converts became missionaries to Scotland, England, Germany & Belgium. St. Patrick died in Ireland on March 17, 460 AD. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral carrying so many candles & torches that the sky was as light as day.("The Holiday Book" by Jill Connelly)

Lastly, I was a missionary. I served for 18 months in Santiago, Chile. It was an amazing experience which I remember every day. One day I hope to go back. For me, St. Patrick's Day is a celebration of missionary work. I can relate to his love for the Irish people. I have that same love for the Chilean people. I also love that green is the color of St. Patrick's Day - green is the color of life and it reminds me of the new life we have with the gospel of Christ. The gospel makes us new again, full of life & possibilities, full of hope for the future.

Stretch your faith today. Exercise your spiritual muscle. Share your testimony with those around you in deed and in word.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet agin, 
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Irish Blessing

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