Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Love Notes From God in the Temple

How glorious the temple is. It was ward temple night tonight and traffic was so bad to get to the Draper temple because of rush hour so I was running a few minutes late. I finally arrive at the temple and I can't decide if I want to get out of my car, Satan really wanted to stop me from going to the temple and having light in my life today obviously. I say a quick little prayer to know if I should go inside knowing I won't be able to do a session with my ward. The spirit says go; and it wasn't a loud voice or anything like that. It was a peace and more of a guidance helping me out of the car when I didn't feel like it. 

I get inside and tell them I wanted to do a session, thinking I could maybe try and hurry to be with my ward by a slight possible chance (what can I say, I'm an hopeful thinker), the kind man told me it was too late and suggested I do itineraries so I agreed. (Side note: it's 11:11 right now #LoveNoteFromGod) I sit down in the only spot available, next to this cute girl and I start reading the Book of Mormon. A lady hugs her and says to her "How is being president?" I got the impression that she must be the Young Single Adult Relief Society President in her ward as well. For the next twenty minutes or so I keep thinking I should talk to her, I just felt like it wasn't a good moment to do so and so I didn't. Well, she goes in about fifteen minutes before I do so I started to believe I would never get to talk to her or see her again. 

She happened to be in the dressing room the same time I was just finishing, then she walked out and came back in after forgetting her keys. God's timing is PERFECT! I was just walking out and the spirit led me to talk with her. I mentioned how I had heard the previous ladies comment to her and asked if she was the Relief Society President. I told her I was the president in my ward too. I told her of the feelings of my inadequacies and how I often feel I come up short from what I COULD be doing. We had a beautiful heart to heart as we talked and brainstormed with one another. 

Then we started talking about jobs and goals and she told me of a connection she had for me. I couldn't believe it. What a sweet girl God put in my path today. What a tender mercy the Lord blessed me with to let me know that He hears every single word I say and He is so aware of me. 

I left the temple this evening with a little extra pep in my step, and as I went into the store this evening I just wanted to compliment everyone I saw. I just wanted to people build and so I did exactly that. As I walked out of the store, I know the lady who had helped me felt a little more peace and happiness in her life as she couldn't stop smiling either. When you feel the Lord's love, you just can't help but pass it on! It's not even something you have to think about, it just naturally happens. 

This experience was proof to me of just how much the adversary tries to stop us from doing good things and allowing light to shine into our lives. It's not even through huge things either, but the simple yet beautiful ones. If you feel a lack of motivation or desire in your life it could be the adversary trying to stop you from feeling the love of God. Invite Christ into your heart, just talk to Him and tell Him every single thing and he will guide and bless you, this I testify of in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Oh, P.S. I went through the temple exactly one year ago from Monday. It's honestly been the hardest but most blessed year of my entire life. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Thoughts Create Our Emotions + Random Thoughts by Ashley

Hope you had a beautiful weekend and you got outside to enjoy the sun! It was beautiful this weekend. The sun is one the greatest creations ever. Seriously, craving summer right about now.  

I had such an amazing weekend spending time with some incredible young women, fourteen very choice and amazing of them to be exact. We filmed a video introducing The Power of One Girl. Every girl was interviewed by me. These girls have powerful testimonies and being around them was such a strengthening experience for me. 

Then what a spiritual and sacred Sunday as the Provo Temple Dedication took place. My heart was filled with the love Heavenly Father has for His children. How glorious it is that Heavenly Father has purpose in all things and He can make beauty out of ashes. I also enjoyed some time playing with kiddos, they sure give you a different outlook on life and make you appreciate it that much more. 

Some days I feel empowered and it's as if I can see God's hand in my life as things come together. And then there are the days where I just feel stuck and in a funk. The days where I use more faith than eyesight to know that the Lord is aware and opposition comes at us for a reason. This life is supposed to be hard, it's supposed to test us. If every single day was perfect, if everything worked out like we thought it should we probably wouldn't ever learn and we definitely wouldn't grow. 

When the little things come up that pull at my emotions, I'm grateful for the reminder to check in with the Lord. Negative emotions are necessary because they are powerful in pointing us back to the Lord. We have power over our emotions and the more we turn to the Lord, the more we can fight our negative emotions. However, it's not something that can fully avoided in this life because this life is a time to learn and grow. A time to turn our hearts to the Lord and know how to do just that. It is our thoughts that create emotions. Sometimes it's one simple thought and other times it's a cycle of thoughts that turn them into emotions; but nonetheless it is up to us to anchor our hearts in Christ so we can take over our thoughts and have power over our emotions.

The times where I feel off balance and in a funk, the times where I start to feel bitter or angry over a simple experience; it's in these moments that remind me I'm not planting my heart in Christ or my burdens at His feet and it's time for me to let go. Every time I turn to the Lord, every single time I tell Him about a trial or what's weighing down my heart, He either fixes the situation or lifts me up so I can keep going. God doesn't leave us in the ashes. God takes us and makes us whole. God has great plans for us; sometimes I understand how powerful those words are and other days I have to walk blindly and submit my will to His. No matter what, no day is wasted. No trial is unavailing. No broken heart is permanent. 

You are not forgotten and you are never alone! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Our Deepest Fear is Letting Our Spirits Shine

For the past several weeks, Satan has been beating me up. I have no doubt that my passion of empowering girls to come unto Christ is my calling, but somedays Satan knows exactly what buttons to push to make me feel unmotivated. The voices saying what I do doesn't matter, isn't needed, or will never be enough to make a difference can sometimes pull me down. 

When these voices and lies come up out of nowhere, I have to pause and catch my thoughts in action. Isn't that exactly what I'm teaching these girls to do, to take power over their own life, thoughts, and actions. So shouldn't I take power over mine? We aren't objects to be acted upon, we are agents to act for ourselves. 

I've had an idea for quite sometime to make a video about my blog and the purpose behind it, the opportunity suddenly came together and today we filmed it. There were so many reasons why I didn't want to follow through today; so many lies from the adversary that tried to keep it from happening and yet Christ led the way. Because of Christ the impossible becomes possible. Turning to Christ took power away from the adversary and the power's of Heaven took over.

What a blessing it was to spend time with fourteen beautiful young women today. Young women that have their hearts planted in Christ. Young women that strive to take power over their life every single day because they know the blessings Christ has to offer.

The video project went so smoothly; the sun was shining and the girls united instantly. God is good. God is on our side. Even when we feel we have no control over our thoughts, moods, road blocks, and circumstances; we do. God is with us. Satan wanted to blind me from taking action on something that came from Deity. Satan wanted the light of my spirit to be hidden, he wanted to stop me from acting on a good thing. 

{From the movie 'Coach Carter'}

I love this quote so much; I'm sure you've heard this quote before but what if this time you could see it from another deeper perspective. What if every single "good thing"; because ALL good things come from God (Moroni 7:12)  that we felt prompted and inspired to do we acted upon drawing down more power from Heaven leading us to become unstoppable in who our spirits longs to be. 

Even if we don't understand what we are doing or why we are doing it in the moment, our spirits do! Our Spirits communicate to one another more than we can comprehend. As we choose to take action on the good things in this life; those things we want to do and feel inspired to do that are very good things come to us for a reason. Even if the motivation for the task only lasts for .02 milliliter of a second, it STILL came to you from God and it is still being directed to YOU for a reason. 

We each have different talents and gifts for a purpose, if we all had the same ones we would be limited in the things that could ever be accomplished here on earth. We must act so we can unconsciously inspire others to act on their own good ambitions and promptings. Just what if we are most fearful of the missions are spirits are sent here to accomplish because we don't recognize with God's power how possible it is. What if our very divine nature is the answer to every problem and obstacle that is ever put in front of us. 

Let your light shine! You were given light for a reason and unhappiness comes when we allow Satan to rob us of that very light that was meant to be shared with others. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

YSA #LDSFace2Face // Elder Holland - My Takeaways

I am a huge fan of Elder Holland...but I mean, really who isn't? He is so full of love, honesty, compassion, and humor. 

Watching the YSA Face2Face event tonight was so inspiring and full of the Spirit. So grateful for his words of wisdom and for the way he lives his life to bless us with such incredible words of the sprit. 

If you missed it - check it out HERE

I just wanted to share some of my favorite takeaways from the event...

1. Find a man that would do ANYTHING for you, knowing all that they would ask of you would be righteous. This is what true love is.

2. Focus on what is right rather than who is right.

3. Happiness comes from taking the blinders off and looking outside of yourself.

4. We are not going to form a 2nd class citizenship for girls who do not serve missions.

5. You don't know the backstory on everyone, often even your closest friends. We should never judge or assume.

6. Don't ever give up on ANYONE, the power of the atonement is so real.

7. Study the life of Christ long enough to truly know Him and love Him.

8. Blessings are available to those that are chaste.

9. If it's a good thing, go with it.

10. Whatever the question, the gospel of Jesus Christ is THE ANSWER!

11. Christ is the beginning and the end for me, He is where I begin and where I end.

12. Christ is Alpha Omega!!!

13. He is the bright morning Sun and Son that ALWAYS comes up!

14. In the dark of the night, Jesus will find you.

15. We are indebted to the women of the church, as I am to the women in my life.

16. Memorize D+C 4 = the formula for a happy marriage.

17. The work that needs to be done for the church can't be done by missionaries alone.

18. Christlike attributes are the foundation for all relationships.

19. God can speak to you through your thoughts, heart, intelligence, and every good thing. So if it is a good thing, trust it is from Him. Don't get so caught up in worrying if it's the spirit that you stop moving.

20. Love is what you go through together...don't wait when you have a good thing! Don't wait on money, school, a career. 

Elder Holland asked us to respond to this question:

What do I do to find peace + happiness in times of trial? 

My answer: I keep in perspective that it was I that fought to come to earth and be tried. Of course it is going to be hard but one day I will look back and it will be beyond worth it. I also get up and serve others. I find ways to build others so I can forget about my own problems. I read conference talks and listen to them as I go on long walks. I go to the temple to feel of God's peace and love. I pray aloud in my car, my room, outside in the park or in front of the temple. I take my Book of Mormon with me everywhere I go. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

O Remember, Remember - That We May Have His Peace

Art by Robert Barrett

There's a reason the word REMEMBER is used in the scriptures 277 times. Every single day I seem to be reminded of this important principle. Satan is real; him and his evil spirits are out to stop us from touching lives and reaching our full potential. If he can make us forget peace, truth, light, love, hope, and that all good things come from Christ, then he starts to win.

There are so many things that I know I should remember. Remember to pray, remember to read scriptures, remember to love your neighbors, remember to go visiting teaching, remember to pay tithing, remember, remember, remember as the list proceeds on. Remembering that we should do the primary answers is easy. Remembering WHY we do them and remembering to ACTUALLY DO them... I think that's what Nephi and Lehi were talking about in Helaman 5. We have to remember why we are even being asked to do all of these simple but powerful things in the first place!

We do them because we have to remember who we are! Do you know who you are? Do you really know who you are? And if so, do you feel that burning in your soul today? If not, there is something else you have forgotten! Go look in the mirror and see if you can find out what it is.

Every single day I seem to forget something, whether it be what peace feels like or what hope really is, or sometimes I forget to be consistent in saying my prayers at the exact same time so I can create patterns that will bless my life now and my future family to come. There is always something that we need to remember.

We didn't come here to fail, not a chance!!! We are children of God; and with God ALL things are possible! You better believe we came here to win! You better believe we have a loving Heavenly Father who will do everything He possibly can to help us succeed! You better believe Christ paid the price for so we can know hope and have second chances! Faith is the most powerful weapon we have; when we believe in the truth we have been taught and we review it often, that's where peace is found.

We can't forget the good nature of God and that His love never ends no matter what. We can't forget to turn to Christ. We can't forget that trials are apart of this life; but with God we will get through anything and we can always have His peace can always be with us!

How do we remember these things:

1. Pray - ask Heavenly Father to remind you what you may have forgotten. Pray before you study that you may always remember the truth you are obtaining and learning.

2. Consistency - the more you create patterns and repetitions; the more truth and peace will live inside of you.

3. Journal, Write and Take Notes - Take notes at a fireside or church when you hear something that stands out. Journal every night to remember how God's hand was in your life today. Write about experiences so they can come to your mind easier later on.

4. Put on the Armor of God - shield yourself from the adversary - he will distract you, tempt you, make you feel worthless, and push you down if you are not fully shielded.

5. Open Your Heart - the more open your heart is, the more you will allow yourself to feel of God's love which will then always help you to remember.