Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Book Review // Faith and a Life Jacket

Faith and a Life Jacket - 
7 Truths for your Eternal Mission

About the Book:

Author: Ben Bernards

Released: 2016

Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.

Genre: Spiritual/Inspirational

Book and Author Sources:


Book Description:

Popular Youth Speaker, Ben Bernards recounts tales from his mission in Fiji, weaving stories of drunken mobs, rock bands, and rainstorms with scripture stories and principles learned.

The Result, seven eternal truths to train and guide a new generation of missionaries. These valuable lessons will help any missionary prepare for and make the most of his or her eternal mission. 

My Thoughts:

I was super excited when asked to review this book because I am a huge truth lover and a huge missionary advocate. In fact, my sister gets home from her mission in THREE DAYS!!! YAY! While this book is geared toward missionaries and teaching them truths and lessons that will really help them while on a mission, aren't we all on a mission? Seriously, this book is for EVERYONE!! So many scripture stories, so many helpful hints and tips to draw nearer to Christ, so many truths and lessons from such a great guy.

A Few of My Favorite Quotes:

"Timing is everything, and it's in God's hands."

"God can change caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into brilliant, precious diamonds using mostly just pressure and time. So if you feel like you're under a lot of pressure, maybe just give it more time."

"Change won't happen auto-magically or without consistent effort and sacrifice."

"Don't let tunnel vision prevent you from seeing God's hand around you."

"A heart full of gratitude will not have time for jealousy."

About the Author:

BEN BERNARDS // Ben Bernards grew up in a big Mormon family in a small farming town in the heart of Utah County where he and his 8 brothers and sisters were raised on a steady diet of Nintendo, Transformers, Dungeons&Dragons, and Star Wars. He geeks out on all that plus everything marching band, Marvel, and Tolkien (his autographed edition of Lord of the Rings is pretty much the coolest.)
He loves teaching youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be in Seminary, Sunday School, at youth conferences or EFY. He served a mission on the Fiji Islands where he survived cyclones, rampaging natives, and swarms of giant bats while living in a hut in the jungle. (He still hasn’t convinced his wife to go back and visit.) He is the author of a new book about missionary prep for the millennial generation, which will be available in LDS bookstores this fall. 
He currently works as a project manager for a certain fruity computer company in Northern California where he loves to run trails with his wife, expand his board game collection, and make plans for building his own hobbit hole in the backyard.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Book Review // You've Got This!

You've Got This! - How to look UP when life has you down

Al Carraway, Chad Hymas, Whitney Laycock, Dallas Lloyd, Hank Smith, Tamu Smith, Zandra Vranes

About the Book:

Author: 7 inspiring people (Compiled by Elise Hahl)

Released: 2016

Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.

Genre: Spiritual/Inspirational

Book and Author Sources:

Book Description:

Learn how to work through life's trials with advice from popular youth speakers who have endured a few challenges of their own. This encouraging book will help you see trials as essential stepping-stones to becoming the person you're destined to be.

My Thoughts:

I found myself picking up this book when I needed a few words of encouragement after a hard day. These stories are POWERFUL and very easy reads and they brought so much peace to my heart. I love the authors of these stories, all so funny, inspiring, and just real. I loved that scripture stories as well as real life moving events were being shared. 

Every LDS teen would benefit from reading this book to have more experiences they can add to the testimony they have already developed. 

A Few of My Favorite Quotes:

"God can use the damaging choices of others to lead us to where He wants us to be." - Hank Smith

"Sometimes you just gotta let go and let God." - Zandra Vranes

"When we recognize God pouring grace into our lives, it's difficult to remain sad and gloomy." - Tamu Smith

"Don't dwell on the could-haves, the should-haves, the wishes, and the wants." - Chad Hymas

"I focused on the things I could control, like reading my scriptures and saying my prayers. I saw these situations as challenges from Heavenly Father to prove myself and learn from the experience." - Dallas Lloyd

"Force yourself to say a prayer no matter how frustrated you are." - Al Carraway

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beautiful and Simple is the Way of the Lord

The way The Lord works is BEAUTIFUL! I don't know how He does it. I don't know how He turns every possible thing to our good. I don't know how He has the ability to love us in spite of the inadequacies we have on a daily basis. I just don't understand...and yet He does. 

God is good.
God is merciful.
God is so loving.
God is forgiving.
God is one of hope.

I often overthink and overcomplicate things. I don't know sure makes my life HARD! And yet He makes incredible things come together. He testifies of truth when I finally settle my racing thoughts and He reminds me to look in the simple things, for His ways may be MIGHTY but they are simple. They are beautiful. Sometimes I struggle to just let go and to trust. (Funny story for another time, remind me.) But seriously, every time I forget or struggle to trust Heavenly Father, He is oh so very patient with me and then it works out so perfectly. Better than I could have ever hoped for or planned on my own. 

I'm so blessed to serve in the calling that I do. This week I have had three beautiful experiences that show me I am meant to be where I am at this moment...proving God is involved in all the details. Tonight I had the beautiful opportunity to sit down with my presidency and we had some great gospel focused real conversations. We were talking about the empathy we gain through the experience we go through. We discussed the perfect timing of God and the way He prepares us perfectly, we may not be perfect when we arrive but God's timing is one we can't understand but it surpasses anything we could have the ability to plan. We talked about the lessons we need to learn and we are all learning the same things, just on different roads to get to the same destination. 

These ladies are a huge blessing in my life, more than I give them credit for. This presidency is a team and not one of us runs the show above the other...we are all in this together and it's a beautiful journey. We help, we lift, we support, we encourage, and we celebrate with one another. 

I'm so blessed that God puts people in our lives at the times that He does. I'm so thankful that those that open their hearts to the Spirit can often say the things that are so needed at the times they are said. I'm incredibly impressed by the compassion of the Lord to give us second chances to learn lessons we have learned once before but possibly forget to apply.

I don't have too many answers right now, but what's beautiful is I have every single answer I need at this moment. Heavenly Father will guide me to more and more as the moment's press on. 

I know this post was random, just so many thoughts have been on my mind today and I wanted to testify of the beautiful spirit that's been with me today because I was willing to put my life in a greater balance He could be pleased with. Obey the Lord. Trust Him. Be accountable. Blessings will flood in your life, this I testify of. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Overwhelmed in the Grace of Christ

The thirteen-year-old in me decided this was the picture that was going to pull me through the rough times in life. Life is beautiful in so many incredible ways, but sometimes it gets hard. I don't want to focus on the hard today, I want to focus on the grace; the grace of Christ. Lately, I have felt a little overwhelmed. 

Overwhelmed with time. 
Overwhelmed with planning.
Overwhelmed with mind games.
Overwhelmed with chasing perfection.
Overwhelmed with cooking and eating healthy.
Overwhelmed with a lack of balance.
Overwhelmed with inadequacies. 

In life, as seasons start to change and new chapters begin to unfold it can be hard. Even if they are the very seasons we have been pleading Heavenly Father for, they still take a time to adjust. I've been stretching myself so thin lately that my life has been missing a little balance...or maybe a lot. My Savior has given me everything and I mean EVERYTHING. I wouldn't be the girl I am today without him and his atonement. 

For some reason, I keep stressing and problem-solving as if I have to do every little thing on my own. Why would I take my problems on myself when I've not once been able to overcome them on my own? My Savior has always helped Him when I let Him. When I don't let him, I sure make a mess of things. And it's not like worrying solves my problems for me. It adds more stress, more chaos, and subtracts balance out of my life. 

I may be imperfect as I desire perfection. I may lack faith at times I need it the most. I may let inadequacies in myself get the best of me and at times stop me right in my tracks from even trying. I may not have every single thing in life figured out quite yet. But it doesn't matter because I know my Savior. I know He walks this path with me. I know as I turn to Him, the powers of Heaven are opened and prayers are answered. I know every single answer I need is found in the scars of His hands. He paid the price for me to have hope and every single day He will without a doubt bring me that hope if only I ask and then allow Him to do so.  

Why fear? I don't have to do this on my own. Christ is on my team!!

The scripture doesn't say I or Him - it says WE!!! How exciting is it to have Christ on your team and on mine? The only perfect person to ever walk on this earth. The only one with complete faith to always have the ability to draw down the powers of Heaven. The only one with perfect patience in spite of my countless imperfections. I have CHRIST ON MY TEAM! And so do YOU!! 

I've been pondering lately on how to access the atonement. We hear all the time that the enabling power of the atonement is for us to use, but how do we access it?

Here is what works for me:

1 - PRAYER! 
Pray morning & night every single day without fail! Tell Heavenly Father EVERYTHING...seriously, don't leave anything out! 

Sometimes if you need more divine help or to develop a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father it's going to take a TON more prayer. I have had days where it feels like I'm not doing anything but prayer. Praying in my car, while I'm exercising, praying with my scriptures open, praying through the tears. Embrace the moments that call you to your knees. These are the moments that build your faith, that shape you, that help take you from a piece of coal to a diamond.

You can't know Christ without studying the words of Christ and His stories. To access the atonement, you must invite the word of God into your heart and mind and allow it to be written on your heart. This is one of the basics which means EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Striving for exact obedience and honesty in all things is what helps me to access the atonement and invites the Spirit into my heart. Even if you come up short a time or two, trying counts. 

Accessing the atonement is really hard when your heart isn't focused on giving love. It's hard for love and forgiveness to warm your heart if you're not seeking opportunities to extend it to others.

"After all that Christ and you" do together, as a team, do you believe? Do you believe that the atonement and it's enabling power will be used in your life? FAITH is the answer to just about everything you hope and seek for in this life. Without faith, nothing matters. Faith drives us to action. It drives us to beliving in possiblities and things we never thought were possible. Believe, and if you don't believe just yet ask for help in your beliefs. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

I Survived Week 1 of Whole 30

Well, I survived Week 1 of the whole 30. Whole 30 is an eating whole program for 30 days being very cautious of every single label. I'm not doing this program to lose weight, I am doing this program to take charge of my health and power over my life. A symptom isn't just a symptom; a headache isn't there just because, every single symptom we experience is a signal trying to tell us that something is out of order. Since I have been facing a lot of bloating for over a year and acne for over two years on top of a few other things like emotional distress, eczema, low circulation, etc. - I decided I was  ready to take power over my health before these minor symptoms turned into bigger problems down the road. Prevention is KEY in health.

I feel SO STRONGLY that Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies, he's given us very specific instructions on how to feed them and stay healthy (see word of wisdom) and he wants us to be healthy if we are willing to care for them. He desires healing, health, and happiness in our lives and I'm so grateful I've found resources that give me power to take action.

So here's what week 1 has looked like for me:

Day 1: I did not feel like eating healthy or doing this program. I was so tempted to give up before even starting. It was a long day and I just wasn't in the mood to jump in and take on this challenge. Thank goodness McKay was doing it with me, he sure kept me motivated and disciplined. That's how I know Satan cares so much when we choose to take power over our physical health and eat healthy; from May until now I have been studying health and nutrition like nobody's business. I've spent so much time learning about the benefits of the food Heavenly Father has blessed us with, and I was SO excited about it; but when it came down to me really taking action to do something about it, all my motivation was lost. Satan truly desires to stop me, and that is so motivating for me to push harder.

Day 2: Overall it was a pretty good day but I had such a headache. I went to a kickboxing class that night and I couldn't give it my all because I didn't have all the energy I needed.

Day 3: I made McKay and I lunch and then we were about to head out to the store and I suddenly got so dizzy which turned into nausea. It lasted the rest of the day. I was weak and I couldn't really move. I hate feeling icky but I got excited when I googled to see if this was normal and boy was it ever. These icky feelings were coming from the bad toxins rising up and wanting to be released. My body had been storing these ugly guys for who knows how long. It was exciting to me that the pain meant I was healing.

Day 4: I felt so much better this day. I had a lot more energy and overall I seemed happy. My emotions did feel a little off, like I couldn't experience emotion as much as I wanted to but it wasn't too big of a deal.

Day 5: I started to feel a little bit nauseous again but nothing quite like day 3. By the end of the day I was just exhausted, all I wanted in life was to sleep, sleep, sleep.

Day 6: Emotionally I felt fine. I couldn't take normal medication for some pain I was experiencing which sure made things worse, but overall the day wasn't horrible.

Day 7: I was so happy, it was like I could think clearly while experiencing so much happiness. We made Sheperd's pie, it was good but I've been in the kitchen more this week than I have been in my life, I'm kind of over cooking right now haha.

I'm so grateful I've made it through seven days! Bring on the next week. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

What I Thought Was My Disadvantage Turned Out To Be My Advantage

Sometimes our disadvantages are really our advantage. 

I've asked the questions so many times...the what if questions.

What if I had played sports in high school?
What if I had attended a University away from home instead?
What if my family had been more into health?
What if I had been born at a different time?
What if? What if? What if?

Oftentimes I have felt as if I was at a disadvantage; as if others were better off because of you name it. I've wondered what life would be like without so many weaknesses or if I were more like so and so. I've spent so much time wishing that my life were different than it was. I've wasted so many moments feeling as if I was at a disadvantage.

But what if what I thought was a disadvantage turned out to really be my advantage? Let me explain. Growing up I was so picky and my parents never forced me to try new fruits and veggies. I grew up in a comfort zone of macaroni and cheese and frozen dinners and for some reason, my parents were okay with that. I became undernourished to the point of malnourishment. I rarely ever had veggies, I'm talking like maybe two times a week tops. I never felt super amazing and I remember staying home from school a lot. I didn't make the connection that what I was eating was really affecting me mentally, socially, and physically. 

Even after high school, there were so many vegetables I hadn't ever given a try and what I called a healthy meal was whole grain noodles cover with cheese and broccli...and I would have that every single night for years. I was clueless to the damage I was causing my body. I was left to a disadvantage from the way I grew up, a disadvantage I knew nothing about. 

Well, time went on and I started subscribing to all the health magazines I could get my hands on. Studying about health intrigued me and I wanted to learn everything I could. I had symptoms I wanted to know how to treat and I then learned I had leaky gut which was causing acne, eczema, digestion issues, brain fog, ADD, and anxiety to the extreme. I wanted to learn how to treat it. I have never studied and been so passionate about health until I hit this wall and I wanted to find a way out.

It was my disadvantage to not knowing enough about health and seeing the first-hand effects of poor nutrition in myself and my own family that has made me this passionate about health. If I had grown up in a healthy family, yeah there is a chance I would have this passion, but it's so much more real and personal to me to say that I overcame an obstacle in my own life through my own research. Research that is allowing me the tools I need to pass it on and inspire and help other people to do the same. A passion for digging and pouring out my heart in the word of wisdom to understand it like I never have before. 

This research has lead to a personal health journey, the journey of Whole30. McKay and I are embarking on this epic journey starting today. A journey that will test our patience, our emotions, and even our wallets but what we hope will bless our lives forever. If you haven't heard of Whole30, you should look into it. But the gist of it is to eliminate certain food groups for 30 days and eat foods that are whole such as meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. We hope to achieve better health, more energy, more mental stability, and allow our ab definition to shine through. No, we are not doing this for our appearance by any means, we want to learn to master the body; a great instrument Heavenly Father has given to us so we can be better equipped to use it in ways He would want us to, such as serving others. 

I don't plan for this to be easy, in fact, I am planning on there to be many obstacles and weaknesses that come up, but weaknesses are an opportunity to come unto Christ and lay it at his feet. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me. My disadvantages are always turned into advantages when I give it to Christ. He makes weak things become strong and all things shall work together for my good.

I choose to take Christ on my journey to health, healing, and wholeness because I know I won't succeed without him. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Give It All To Christ

This morning I was studying my little heart out on nutrition and health. I was trying so hard to self-diagnose and take every little matter into my own hands. The more information I read, the more opinions I contemplated over, the more ideas and possibilities I felt there could be. I became overwhelmed and exhausted very quickly, to the point that anxiety washed over me and I felt helpless and very frustrated.

"Why? Why? Why?" were the only words I could seem to think. Why do they believe that? Why am I believing that? Why the timing? Why the circumstance? I just wanted all the answers and to know what was truth and what wasn't. Why was I so confused on what to believe and what to do about it?

This sharp panic started to take over to the point where I had to choice but to pause and take a deep breath, and that's when it hit me. Why did it matter what was right and wrong at this moment? Why did I need all the answers? I didn't. I was trying to do every single thing on my own. I was trying to come up with all the answers to my problems and solve them all by my inadequate-queen-in-training self. The girl that has weaknesses for a purpose and I thought I could overcome every single one of them by reading enough and then following a plan. Yeah, there's definitely some good intentions and desires in that plan, but it's lacking. 

How on earth could I possibly do it on my own? I CAN'T! And really I don't want to. It's too anxiety causing, it's too overwhelming, and it's too impossible. Christ is the answer. I hadn't included him. I thought back to all the times I thought my life was ruined or that I would never recover. Every single time I felt I had to do it on my own and felt that weight, it was burdensome and I didn't end up winning. All of the times I allowed Christ to help me, to lift me, and to strengthen me; it all worked out.

The scripture doesn't say I can do all things on my own; it says "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME"! We need Christ, it's part of who we are and the way we are wired; to NEED Him. We shouldn't try and do it on our own. We weren't asked to and it is impossible to find hope without Christ, simply put He is the ONLY way. 

In Relief Society a couple of weeks ago we were discussing the Book of Mormon when a member of the bishopbric made the comment that the Book of Mormon is the ONLY scripture that talks fully about the grace of Christ. In the bible we learn a lot about the character of Christ and get to see first hand his endless miracles and unconditional charity, but we don't fully get to experience the testimony and beauty of his grace. The Book of Mormon is the only book on this earth where we can fully learn and understand the grace of Christ, something we all need.

I'm so grateful for my Savior. He is always there for me. His grace means the world to me, it's my favorite thing about this gospel. It's the answer to my every plea and it's the hope to my endless weaknesses. But those weaknesses don't matter and aren't permanent when I give it to Christ and allow myself to be perfected in Him. With Christ on my side and as my advocate, absolutely nothing is impossible! 

A Balanced Life is a Powerful Life

You were BORN to take power over your life. You are a Daughter of God and in that you hold His Character or at least the potential to resemble His character as you progress in this mortal journey.

Moses 2:26-28 "And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

"And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them."

"And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

Heavenly Father gave dominion over "all the earth." You are a Child of God, and with that you are part of "all the earth." You have dominion over every living thing, that means YOU! You have the ability and control to TAKE POWER OVER YOUR OWN LIFE!! You were born to improve, to learn, to grow, and to become like Him.

Parley P. Pratt has said:
"An intelligent being, in the image of God, possess every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, affection, that is possessed by God himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state,... these attributes are in embryo; and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud, a germ, which gradually develops into bloom, and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit, after its own kind."

You were born to be AMAZING! You are a CHILD OF GOD and because of that YOU ARE AMAZING!!

Here are some tips to help you create more balance giving you a greater sense of power over your own life: 

1. Clean your room and your car AND KEEP IT CLEAN!!
Whenever your space is in a state of chaos, you will find your life and your spirit will be too. Make it a goal to always make your space cleaner than it is. This means spending a few minutes putting away your make-up in the morning, or making your bed, or picking up clothes off the floor. It means using extra minutes when you have them to put away papers, sort socks, hang up clothes.

Never leave food, water bottles, or any papers in your car unless they serve a purpose. If you brought it to your car, take it out of your car with you. This will help your mind to be clear, you to feel confident at ease, and for you to never run into a panic of "Where did that go?" or "I don't have time for this mess."

2. Prayer, Journal, Scriptures 
I feel these all go hand in hand. Don't try and separate them! In Young Women's we used to call them putting on your PJ'S, you know kind of like putting on the Armor of God. Your spirit needs each one of these daily and you find out that life is so much better and more beautiful when you giving your heart to God through each one of these spiritual building blocks.

3. Well Groomed
You always feel better when you've showered, done your hair, shaved, and your just clean, right? Showering always makes me feel simply renewed and in power of my life. You will feel so much better when you put effort into getting ready. Don't do it for the world, do it for YOU! You decide what well grooming means for you and then always take the time needed to make it happen.

4. Eat Healthy 
Your body needs nutrients to function well. It needs many vitamins and minerals to help you function strong mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Yes they all go hand in hand and yes a huge part of your life comes down to the foods you are eating and the vitamins you are getting. If you aren't eating every color of the rainbow daily, then you are missing out on many functional vitamins your body is craving and in need of so you can thrive. 

5. Get LOTS of sleep 
Your body needs SO much sleep and it's so easy to not get it when you're going going going. But take a minute to rest. Every week, go to bed early at least one night if not two so you can be sure you are catching you're quality Z's. For optimal mental function and a healthy body you need about 8 hours a night. Don't skimp.

6. Serve Others 
It's so easy to get focused on a way street, trying to constantly solve your own problems and never leaving enough time to save the worlds as well. While it isn't your obligation to fix all the chaos that is happening in our own backyard, you sure have the ability to do something. We were born with talents and skills and we keep on improving these gifts because God created us to DO SOMETHING! The more you focus on the lives of others and start bringing joy to those who may be struggling with loss of hope, the more you will find joy and self-esteem entering your own life. Just like it says in Alma 41:15 "For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again." Give more to find more balance. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I'm So Grateful For YOU!!!

If you're reading this right now, THANK YOU! Thank you for being a part of my life.

Thank you for inspiring me to be more.
 Thank you for the example and influence you have left on my heart!
Thank you for cheering me on when I had dreams that I needed to grow into.
Thank you for believing in me.
Thank you for teaching me lessons my heart was in need of.
Thank you for being patient with me when I was full of weakness.
Thank you for serving me.
Thank you for being someone who has a story that I can be inspired by.
Thank you for simply knowing my name.
Thank you for having faith to come to earth.
Thank you for being unique and one of God's finest creations.
Thank you for being YOU! 

I've been thinking a lot about the hand prints we leave on the hearts of another and the role we each have to play in this life. There are approximately 7.4 billion people on this planet and yet God orchestrates it so that we meet the people that we need to. Whether we have the ability to make a difference in their life or they have a lesson or impact they need to make on ours, God is behind it all with so much love. How grateful I am for the people that I know and love.

There are a lot of things I am working on overcoming in my life right now. There are a lot of things that have held me back from allowing the light within me to shine like I know it can shine. There are a lot of things I wish I could take back or undo but my heart is overwhelmed by the atonement of Jesus Christ and the infinite amount of hope and possibility that can come from this precious gift. 

The heartbreaking thing about obstacles such as anxiety and depression is they make you selfish. They don't make you selfish by choice, but my second nature when your mind is in a state of unhappiness, your brain signals that you are in a fight or flight response and you need to do everything you can to defend yourself and protect your life. The brain has a way of misjudging what actually is reality at times and it can leave a negative outcome as a result. 

My heart and true nature has this desire to serve, to love, to spread joy, to be kind, to smile always, to be outgoing and talkative, to make friends instantly, to build others often, to never get offended, and to forgive instantly. 

My brain has a completely different way of handling things when it feels the burden of anxiety and sometimes deep sadness. When it feels attacked even though it is misjudgment or inaccurate observations I don't live up to what my heart and true nature longs for. 

I'm so very sorry if I've ever hurt you, if I forgot to smile, if I left you guessing if I noticed your presence. I'm so sorry if I've ever caused you pain, sorrow, feelings of being left out or offended. I'm so sorry if I was quiet and kept to myself when you needed someone to talk to, or if I have acted in a way that wasn't as Christ-like as I could have been.

The beauty of the atonement is the second chances it offers. Just because we don't get all the answers right on the first test doesn't mean we have failed, it means we have the opportunity to pay our way to retake it again. As much as this world hates birthdays, what a beautiful opportunity to have a fresh start, a clean slate to start to become who we long to be. The more we take Christ as our constant companion, the more we have his powers and bounteous love to help us overcome our obstacles, conquer our weaknesses, and replace those faults and pieces of coal with new light of beautiful Christ-like attributes.

Because of Christ, we are under no obligation to be the same person we were five minutes ago and I want to change. 

I'm so incredibly grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. Every single day is a day to honor him because every single day is made possible through Him. He loves me. He knows me. He wants to bring me light. He has the greatest desires to help my pieces of coal turn into diamonds. He gives me hope and second chances more than I deserve. My Savior is my absolute best friend and I'm so grateful that through him no weakness or sin need ever be permanent. Ho grateful I am for his sacrifice that allows me to try and try again.

I've learned it's impossible to think too much about the Savior. The more I ponder of His love or His character, the stronger my own relationships become. The closer I am to my Savior, the closer I feel His love through every single individual in my life. It's His light that brightens my soul and reminds me to try again when I feel as if I have permanently failed. 

I will keep pressing forward with steadfastness in Christ until I become the girl God sees in me. I will keep turning to Christ as I strive to become better, kinder, more meek, and a little bit more like Him. 

If you're reading this! Thank you for being in my life either personally or by the intricate design Heavenly Father allowed you to come across this blog. I'm so blessed by people in my life. I promise you that you make a difference in my life. I have the deepest desire to share the good I see within you, to build you up, and to help you realize that you matter to me and to my best friend Jesus Christ. Here's to a brightness of hope and new beginnings. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Faith - Believe it! Live by it! Become it!

Art By: Robert Barrett

Sometimes the power of faith just astounds me! We hear about faith ALL THE TIME! By no means is it a new concept to us, but I will tell you there is POWER in studying faith and choosing to live by it. Faith is an action word, it something that we do by thought, by heart, and by action. All three of those must be in line or we truly aren't acting by faith.

I must admit that sometimes I wake up not feeling really motivated but having a desire to have a desire. Are you keeping up with me so far? haha, allow me to explain. I love The Power of One blog and program I am in the process of creating, especially the vision Heavenly Father has blessed with me to see the potential impact it could have on not only the lives of girls, but on future families and stronger mother and daughter connections. But sometimes that vision isn't as clear or as bright as it has been at certain points and when I can't really see the impact it is making or I am blinded by the vision, it's as if I don't even feel like working on it because what's the point? 

Um, HELLO!!! It's called faith! It's called doing what you don't feel like doing trusting light will come again soon. And while I'm being honest, I'll be honest some more. Sometimes I feel this way in other areas of my life too, such as avoiding sugar and going to bed earlier. Yeah so now you know my confessions. 

I think we all go through phases like this at one time or another. Phases where we wake up expecting the results and all of our hearts wishes to come true, wishes we didn't know about until they were placed in our heart 0.5 seconds ago. We expect it without praying for it, without working towards it, and sometimes we think the faith we had for those 0.5 seconds is enough to last a life time. 

I know I do it time and time again, but is that really faith! Yeah, I don't think so. Faith is AWESOME! Why wouldn't we want to live by faith. Why would we want every wish our heart makes to come true without any work put into it? That would just be fleeting! And we are here to experience JOY!! And of course JOY is a RESULT of FAITH! 

Ether 12:6 "...wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

In those moments when there is a big cloud in front of your sunshine and there is no light in sight...keep walking! When you're wondering what the point is to just keep going or why put in the effort for the things that are hard, time consuming, and the results seem to be in the that there is a point and light will come!

Alma 32:21 "And now as  said concerning faith - faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."


Positive affirmations are POWERFUL! You become what you believe and your thoughts are shaping you! It says so in Proverbs 23:7 "As a man thinketh, so is He." Positive affirmations about your life, your desires, your attributes, and the things you want to accomplish will impact your life. Don't believe me? Put it to the test and I dare you to see what happens. 

Anytime you don't feel like doing something you know you should, tell yourself aloud alone "I love doing... because it makes me feel..." or "I am the most successful...because of the hard work I put in daily." Create your own daily affirmations and you will really start to believe everything you are telling yourself. Why do you think you say the Young Women's theme every single week, because it is a positive way to create positive beliefs. Your mind needs to be reminded of truth often, feed it carefully!


Get out there and do what you wish you had the desire and motivation to do. It's about going blindly in faith. Once you start doing whatever you are dreading, chances are you will start to see the light come and the cloud move away giving you the motivation you were hoping for. Just because you can't see what's on the road in a mile doesn't mean that you should slam on your breaks and keep all the cars behind you held back as well. No you move forward so everyone around you can move forward and you can get to the destination you were hoping to reach in the first place.

Live by your faith always! Trust that even when you have no motivation or desire that God will bless your efforts and you will in the end be so rewarded for walking blindly. 


You are what you believe you are. The actions that you live by and the beliefs that you practice on a daily basis are shaping you to become who you are. If you believe and then live by what you want to have happen, that's what you can become.

Sometimes this can be discouraging when you realize you haven't been doing this all along or you've made mistakes along the way, but what's beautiful about the atonement of Jesus Christ and the every day powers it offers is that the past doesn't matter any more. It's about moving forward and having second chances. It's about making a commitment with the Lord that from this day forward you're going to try harder to be better. 

If you're looking for real joy and happiness, it's not just going to hit you on the head as you're standing still. It's something you work for and obtain because of your faith. Every single happily ever after begins and ends with FAITH!

If your heart is heavy or you feel in a funk or as if something is missing, study faith because faith has POWER!