Thursday, February 04, 2016

A slice and some crazy dreams

So, yeah, it's been another week since I last regaled you with my WILDLY EXCITING life.

Sorry if the dripping sarcasm got onto your keyboard (Did I mention that I recently had to be a new keyboard? My "h" key stopped working. It was really weird. And frustrating. There's only so much that autocorrect can do, really ...)

Bruise and Bucket had their Fall Strings rehearsal and concert ... which meant that Bruise missed TWO Cub Scout meetings, poor guy (Bucket managed not to miss ANY, since her group of Activity girls meets towards that middle of the month, instead of the last and first weeks of any given month).

I've had the bigger kids helping a bit more around the house. They're washing clothes and getting them through the dryer. I need to get them to continue to clean their frakking room. And to LOAD the dishwasher, too. But, hey, anything is a bit of improvement, right?

I'm enjoying the electric kettle that my stepmom-but-not-by-law (my dad's long-term girlfriend ... but they've been together for over a decade ... so SHOULD I just call her my stepmom? I don't know) sent up to me after I mentioned that I'd been wanting one for a while (I'll admit that it makes tea-making much easier (tisanes, really, since they're not black/green/white tea. It's rooibos or herbal teas, aka tisanes ... but you already look bored, so I'll shut up about that).

Last night, after the concert, Michael and I sat down to watch an episode or two of The Vicar of Dibley (Dawn French is hilarious, by the by), and I did one of those little Pinterest-y crafts of wrapping my phone's charging cord with embroidery silks. It turned out pretty cute. And I'll be able to tell it from my tablet's micro-USB cord at a glance now. (Though I'll wrap THAT one later, with different colors and with a different stitch (the knotted method, where the knots end up spiraling around the cord), so I can tell the difference even in the dark! Check out my master plan! I know you're totally impressed and amazed. Go ahead and nominate me for a Nobel prize. Just rememd me that you've done it so that I can be sure to thank you in my acceptance speech. ;P

I also bought some of that pretty elastic cord from Wal-Mart ... used some to make a few hair ties (all you have to do it cut a piece big enough, then tie a knot in it. It's the perfect craft for anyone (1) with opposable thumbs (2) who knows anyone with long enough hair that might warrant tying up said hair).

I go back and forth in being absolutely gung-ho on being prepared for teaching my Sunday School class and reading in advance for Gospel Doctrine (even though I can't attend, since I'm teaching my own Sunday School class) and Relief Society (which, naturally, involved buying new highlighters and some awesome washi tape for the cute handouts ... when I'm not gluing them into my scriptures, that is) ... and NOT. I mean, I'm still working to actually prepare ... but it's a more almost-by-the-seat-of-my-pants way.

I've been reading the holds that have come in on my Overdrive (library) e-book app. I've been reading some library books. I'm trying to get our house NOT to smell like the catbox (There was an AWESOME deal on TidyCat litter on Amazon. I'm actually rather glad now that I only ordered the one 27-pound bin of it. It's not as great with the odor as either Arm and Hammer or the Walmart brand (what is it? Something twee ... "Special Kitty," I think? Whatever the name is, it's not too dearly-priced and WORKS).

My stepmom (or whatever) called yesterday, since she couldn't get into her email ... to see if I knew her password for that account.
(Yes. She had told me a mnemonic ... which is stuck in my head ... so I was the golden child who EARNED that electric kettle. ^_^  ... Especially since I woke up from a doze to answer the phone. Go me.)

Monday, (yes, I know, I'm totes jumping around this last week. Wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey ...) the kids and I ended up doing a little Valentine craft.
Word to the not-so-wise (like moi): If you have a hole-punch, USE IT. If you choose not to, you could end up giving a finger a bit of a slice if your scissors slip.

Also, it's nice when your older daughter is quite decent around blood. She helped me to get a band-aid on it. And, when I bled through THAT, to rewrap the cut ... and, once the bleeding stopped, to put new band-aids on it. She could be a nurse. She was quite calm and competent (even if she didn't know where everything was. Not her fault).

I have had a bunch of weird dreams.

Monday, I woke up shortly after Michael left for work (or else I'd have snuggled with him a bit) after having a zombie-infested dream. I was (much smaller/skinnier) and had to first wrestle a VERY overweight female zombie (with a HUGE goiter) and throw her out of a window of the abandoned-ish house I was taking shelter in.
Then, I was with a few other people. I was hoping that, since I was wearing some purple latex gloves, that the goiter-zombie's bite on my hand wouldn't do anything.
There was a little kid who got bitten by a virus-frog ... a little red frog (like a poison-dart frog) with yellow hindquarters, but with teeth and would spread the zombie-virus. So I had to chase that little son-of-a-bee-sting (the frog, not the possibly-infected child) about and stomp it before it could infect the rest of everyone. And the little kid ran over to the carpet that the frog got smashed on and started to play in the little blood puddle.
And the little kid, later was lying on her/his back ... and this kid is maybe two-ish?
And the kid start spouting out, "You know, the eggs that you cooked at 8 am were fine. But the ones that you cooked at 10:30 were ****."
And I was like, "One, you're too young to be talking so well. And, TWO, you're too young to know such language. That's wildly inappropriate."
And then I woke up.

Last night, I had a few dreams. The one that woke me up had me driving with Michael. And I couldn't stop the van soon enough -- because the brakes weren't responsive enough, and I ended up running through a red light into the left-turn lane and driving through THAT red light (to go straight) ... and a motorcycle cop pulled me over and informed me that he was taking me to JAIL. And I was freaking out. "I can't stay overnight in JAIL! If I'm in JAIL, I CAN'T DONATE BLOOD!"
And, yeah, there was the stuff about not being able to volunteer in the kids' schools and stuff ... but I REALLY was worried about not being able to donate blood.
Enough so that, as Michael was kissing me goodbye, I had to ask if it was normal procedure to be arrested for a traffic mishaps ("Not unless there are outstanding warrants, no." ... SO, since I paid that ridiculously-expensive ticket back in 2014, I should be fine.)

I also had a dream about the no-longer-friend. Someone had brought up her Instagram page (which had this bright background and was more like a picture-blog or MySpace than Instagram, but bear with me), and she had a picture posted that involved me, described as a sister-friend, and linked to an audio clip of me, Michael, and his brother, C, as we made pirate jokes and I launched off into a rather-clever (It's my dream. I can be clever if I want to!) monologue rife with pirate puns.

At first I was a little sad, since if she liked me and what I do/say so much, why aren't we friends anymore? ... Then I was a little creeped out because, in my dream, when that conversation took place, she wasn't anywhere near to record that. So, either someone recorded it and sent her a copy or stranger things are afoot.

Dreams are weird.
Especially my dreams.
Either I don't really have "normal" dreams ... or I just don't remember them well.
I mean, I do recall that I've had the naked-at-school dream (like ONCE) and the flying dream (again, like, ONCE) ... but then I have the fighting-an-invisible-ninja-lord-(and-having-my-butt-handed-to-me) dream. Or getting in trouble and being most upset because I won't be eligible to donate blood to the Red Cross anymore. Or I'm shopping and I find something AMAZING ... then I'm all disappointed when I wake up because that was an awesome thing and I DO NOT have it in real life kind of dreams.

But, yeah.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Missing ... the point

So, I had a thought strike me (not literally. That'd be painful.) that I should ask a mutual friend about my someone-that-I-used-to-be-besties situation.

Yeah, it's nice when you follow inspiration.

Not only was she patient with the near-novella I sent her, but she also responded IMMEDIATELY.

She confirms with Mom and Michael that this other friend has changed a lot. And she's also sad about it, too.

But she assured me that it's 100% not my fault (which means that I HAVE to stop moping about what I might have done/not done ... since it's not me) and that our past-friend is nuts for not keeping me around.

Which, again, was what I needed to know.

And I saw this tweet from a different Facebook friend

And, you know ... I think I'm going to be all right after all.

Even though I hate missing people.
It's one of the reasons I so don't deal well with people/pets dying. Because I'm going to miss them. And that's hard.

But, like Mom and Michael have pointed out, maybe past-friend is doing me a favor.

I still hope that she is doing okay, that she finds happiness, that everything works out for her.
But, yeah, it's going to have to work out without me. And that's okay. Or it will be, anyways. Which isn't always the same thing ... but it'll do.

I mean, except for a handful of friends from mostly pre-email days, I've kept in contact with most of my friends.

(In case you're wondering, here's a list of the friends I still need to track down:
  • Sabrina from my first-grade class. Her family moved after she got chicken pox REALLY bad. It was in her lungs and we weren't sure she'd get well. She has red hair and wore glasses. I named a red-haired doll of mine after her.
  • Katrina and Shaneeka - These were my two best friends in fifth-grade. We were in Ms. Sommers' class at Thorndyke Elementary in Seattle. They were really, really fun. I haven't been able to track them down. And I was a horrible letter-writer. So it's my fault.
  • Amy Brown - from WOU. We were in the Ed Program together. And her email stopped working after we graduated. She always was so very, very nice. She called me her Phoebe-friend, since I reminded her of Lisa Kudrow's character on friends. She also gave me a teeny book with useful French phrases.
(But, see? I do my best to keep track of most people that I know. Some people collect china figurines ... I do my best to stalk everyone on Facebook.)

But, yes, following inspiration is a good thing. Glad I followed it.

Only a week? Aren't you the lucky one!

Yeah, yeah, I suck at updating.

Okay, in no particular order, here's stuff from my life:

  • Michael built a new bookshelf in the living room. It's already full of books.
    I need to paint it. And the other bookshelf that he built last summer. (Was it in summer? I have no idea at this point.)
  • I've been playing that supercute Neko Atsume (Kitty Collector) game.
    I can be a crazy cat lady without having to worry about attracting animals to live under my house. I like that the cats can give you the gold sardines. OR that you can sell the regular sardines to buy gold sardines. Totally worth it. Good on them.
    And there's a daily password to get some sardines. That's a nice game design.
    And the cats are supercute.
  • Bruise and Michael went to the Cub Scout Lock-In last weekend. They stayed up late. Michael didn't sleep well, since I wasn't there. I didn't sleep well, since he wasn't here. Bucket stayed up WAAAAAAAY too late. So, after Bruise and Michael came home, Michael and I slept for a couple hours, got up, took the kids to the Taiko performance (Japanese drumming. Pretty awesome), went to Home Depot for light bulbs (we have SUCH the wild life. You jelly?), went home. He worked on his lesson for EQ (If you ask the lesson. there's apparently a chance that you'll end up teaching). I was going to work on my Sunday School lesson write-up-bit, but I fell asleep and napped HARD. Then we went to a birthday party.
  • Friday was my not-anymore-friend's birthday. I was going to wish her a happy birthday ... but I didn't really know how to do that without seeming like I was forcing myself on her attention.
    So I didn't. And I don't know if it was a good decision or not.
  • Church on Sunday. Went home, made lunch, took a nap, went Visiting Teaching (touched bases with all our sisters! Yay! They [hopefully] know that we love them! Yay!), went back home, went to a fireside about helping prepare our Youth for serving missions (apparently pornography is a BIG, BIG problem. And it's not just because the sexual aspect ... it's because the youth doesn't seem to have other ways they've developed to deal with stress.) ... it was a good fireside. I took a lot of notes.
  • My kids' strings concert is coming up. Tonight's the rehearsal.
  • I go between being GREAT on studying scriptures and preparing lessons ... and then NOT so much. What gives?
I really miss my friend Kim McD ... she's the one who passed a while back.
I was going through my GoogleVoice messages ... I had some texts from her. And that made me miss her a lot.

I also am realizing that I'm scared of being hurt in friendships ... a lot more than I used to be. I mean, I hate feeling like I've fallen out with a friend. But I'm not very social anymore (except online ... and sometimes not as much as before).

I need to deal with this. I don't like feeling sad or like a failure as a friend.
I mean, I know that I tried hard to be there, to be supportive ... and now I almost wish that I hadn't put so much effort into a friendship that WAS fun (and I met some great people through) ... and that's sad.

With the Kim friendship ... I just miss her a lot. And wish that I'd been able to do more for her and her family,
With the other one, ... I just am left wondering what I did wrong, what I didn't do ... I don't know. And I get frustrated by not knowing.
I've been spoiled by the internet. I can look up and research nearly ANYTHING, drop of a hat .... and I have little-to-no way to figure this out.
Not without going around and asking people.

I did ask the now-not-friend. I could see that she'd viewed the messages.

If I ask other people, it feels ... I don't know ... like middle school.
"So-and-so doesn't want to be my friend anymore, what's up with THAT?!? Can you ask her what's up?"

I mean, since she and I have a few dozen friends in common, it is almost tempting (though horribly immature) to post something like "So, [Name] unfriended me, my husband, and my mom [#] months ago. But she's kept almost everyone else. Someone want to help me figure out what I/we did that was so horrendous that she couldn't tell me about it? That she never responded to messages that I sent her? Because I'm find of boggled. I mean, they say that if a friendship survives seven years, it'll last forever? And we were friends for, like NINE FULL YEARS ... so, what gives?"

But, like I said, that would be REALLY passive-aggressive and immature. So I'm not doing that.

I tried. And it didn't work. So ... well, either I've DONE something pretty horrible (since in my FB message to her, I did give her the out of well-maybe-facebook-was-being-wonky and she could have JUMPED on that. "Oh, yeah! How weird! It's all fixed now!" ... but, no. So ... yeah.) or I HAVEN'T done something that was MANDATORY.
And, either way, I really .... just don't know.

And it eats at me. What did I do/not do?
I try to be a good friend ... and, well, apparently, I'm not as good of a friend as I'd like to think I was/am.

In other news, two of my friends are twitterpated with each other. It's cute.
And I rather wish they'd gotten together in high school (even though she and I both crushed on him, but I didn't realize that she'd crushed on him ... if she asked, I'd have willingly given him up).
They're really cute together. And that's a good thing.
Happy looks good on her.
And they both like me, which is nice. They'll both FB message me and tease each other. And it's pretty adorable. He's good for her. And she's good for him.

So, for Bucket, Bubbles, and my Girl's Night In (Bubbles fell asleep during the first movie), we watched Legally Blonde, While You Were Sleeping, and the Wedding Singer. Good times. It's nice that Bucket is willing to watch chick-flicks with me. Next time, I think I'll work towards getting her into costume-dramas (if I ever get Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea, that'll be a good start. If not, well, maybe Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day?).

My stepdad's dementia is not getting any better. Neither is my Nana's.
At least, though, with Nana ... if you're confused or something is flat out wrong, you can mention it to her and she'll be, "Oh. It's the dementia. Okay."
If you tried that with my stepdad, he's all, "NO. I'm right. I'm telling the truth. You're not remembering it right. I'm telling the truth!"
And ... well, that's not easy to live with. So I really need to look for a good place for Mom. Since there's going to be a time when she needs to be some place without someone trying to gaslight her.
(If we had another bedroom or two, it'd be FINE. Well, fine-ish.)

Okay. Time to head out to storytime. And run some errands.

I wish life came with an instruction manual.
I'll keep things together.
I mean, I have faith that everything WILL work out ... but I just wish that it was easier and that people didn't have to suffer in the meantime.
And that I had no responsibilities for a while, no bills, and a hole to curl up in for a good cry.
Since that's not going to happen, I have books. Books are good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wow, I suck at keeping this updated ...

Good thing you still love me, right?

I couldn't sleep last night.
I'm sure it had NOTHING AT ALL to do with the fact that I had two HUGE cups of Dr. Pepper when we went to McDonald's yesterday. (My mom came up, since it was a no-school day.)
Of course, after I finished the ebook I'd checked out on my library app, I checked our bank balance.
And FINALLY Michael's paycheck came through before any overdrafts (way to cut it close, right?) ...

Still, it was pretty frustrating, since he is supposed to get paid on the1st and the 16th ... and this is the NINETEENTH DAY of the month. I thought that direct deposits were, you know, scheduled in advance and all that  ... but, yeah, whatever.

I hate adulting sometimes.
Especially when you don't have tons of liquid assets (that you THOUGHT you'd have) the morning of your twins' birthday party.
(Good thing it was a small, family party ... They'll get together with friends ... sometime. Especially since one of their friends doesn't celebrate birthdays, so she couldn't come to a BIRTHDAY-thing ... but she COULD come to a playdate-thing, I'd hope.)

But, yes, tender mercies of the Lord: =No overdrafts. (phew.) We had cash that covered (and had some leftover) lunch for us, cake and ice cream and drinks (and plates, napkins, and cups). We had enough food in the house to cover meals without scrimping. Our bread wasn't moldy. The milk hadn't gone sour. (And, even if it HAD, Bubbles is still receiving WIC, so that's nice).

I came to a conclusion, which I wasn't thrilled about ...
Michael and I keep thinking about (someday) building our "dream home" and what we want in it.
We go about this VERY DIFFERENT WAYS.
His way = design a floorplan. Ask me if I like it and what I'd prefer to see. I waffle on the whole thing.
My way = Create a Pinterest board. On it exist NO floorplans. Rather, it's filled with ideas for decorating and organizing. Or cool ideas to integrate INTO rooms. Again, not what Michael had in mind when I told him about that board.

SO, as I was thinking (in the shower, since that's where I do my best thinking for the most part nowadays), I realized that a big reason that I haven't planned on designing actual SPACES (besides my crack spatial skillz /sarcasm) is because deep down, I'm scared that we'll never have the money to actually DO it. And that realization ticks me off, since it feels like, in a way, I'm doubting my husband and his ability to provide for us ... which is stupid. And I DON'T LIKE doing stupid things.

Last week, I was crap at studying (let alone READING) my scriptures. I need to do it. I KNOW I need it. I have a class to prepare for, let alone that it's a GOOD thing that we've been COMMANDED to do.
This week has been better so far.
After church, I holed up in our room for a couple hours -- changed the sheets, looked at the lessons to be covered, read through next week's Relief Society lesson, caught up in the BoM365 (read the Book of Mormon in a year) schedule ... It was nice. I felt productive.
Yesterday morning, since I wasn't in any rush to get dressed or whatever, I started looking through the lesson I'll be teaching in RS in a couple months (Originally, it was going to be lesson 5, about Joseph Smith. BUT, due to needing to reschedule things due to a Stake Broadcast added into the calendar, I'm now teaching the lesson about the Atonement and Resurrection. It's a great lesson (not that the JS one wasn't ... but I like this one a lot and am not at all upset that I get to teach it)) and I read a conference talk, since I do need to go through those a few times (I didn't highlight in my November Ensign yet. Later).

I do need to work on saying sincere prayers ... and having formal, little prayers ... as opposed to just little statements of gratitude or what I need. Prayer is more of a conversation with our Heavenly Father, so said our High Council speaker on Sunday. It's not like text messaging (that's what I'm telling myself).

I'm still having dreams, every so often, about that bestie who's dropped out of my life.
I mean, yeah, I still miss her. But ... well, in my dreams, she's always ignoring my presence or trying to actively avoid me. And, usually, I find her and tell her point blank that I still love her, that I miss her, that I hope for the best for her.

They're not the most happy-making of dreams. But, at the same time, I'm not sobbing or irate or whatever else when I wake up. So ... yeah.

I'm enjoying my new class of students (in church, you usually change classes based on your birth year. So, I have all the students who are starting 2016 as 12- or 13-year-olds. I had a lot of students (all but one, actually) during that last quarter of 2015 who had or would turn 14 before January 1st.
I miss my old class, yes ... but I'm having fun getting to know a new bunch (and making sure that I get everyone's names right).
The Sunday before (being the 10th), tradition continued ... in that I had another adult join my class (usually for observation. It's enough to make a girl nervous!). So far, I've had our Ward Sunday School President (who's a friend, so that's not so nerve-wracking), the STAKE PRESIDENT (a little more nerve-wracking, though I know him and I know that he's not scary ... You make a joke about going onstage in your nudie-pants, and realize that the Stake Prez is in the room and HAD to have heard you ... and you apologize ... and he tells you that it's okay ... Yeah, one has to admit to oneself that he's not going to be shocked by anything else you do. So that's out of the way. Yay?), a friend who was visiting your ward for the day (I practically dragged her to class, so I happily brought that upon myself), the bishop, one of the members of the bishopric, ... and now the STAKE SUNAY SCHOOL PRESIDENT (who I didn't know at all).
So that was kind of ... nerve-wracking.
But he said that I did fine.
In fact, my Ward Sunday School Prez reported to me on Sunday that (1) he didn't have anyone lined up to observe my class (That's fine. I told him. Next week. It's tradition!) and (2) that Brother ___ was impressed with my teaching.

So, that's nice. Because Brother ____ sure didn't have to say that. ^_^
I guess it's a good thing that I brought a handout for the class. And that I printed up strips with the scriptures to read on them. And that I tell my students about great resources to help their scripture study. Because if there's one thing I love (besides the gospel, since I do love it bunches. And my family, ditto), it's books. Or knowledge available on the interwebz.

I know there's more to report about. but my hands are tired of typing. I'll do more later.
But sooner than a month from now.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's too early for attempts at clever titles

A few days ago, I had a crazy/creepy dream.

In it, there was a bookstore (good thing), but the girl who worked there had noticed something odd while she was closing up by herself (it was a BIG, like two-storied at least, with an elevator, building. Seemed rather historical-type of building). She had dropped a pile of her books and ran out, coming to me and some dark-haired guy for help.

We were debating on waiting until it was daytime again to go back, when Bubbles took off and RAN into the building. So, then, OF COURSE we had to go and get her ... might as well get those books while we're in there.

We went up to the floor where the books had been dropped.
For some reason, we ended up sitting at this HUGE, HEAVY wooden table ... and started taking pictures with our phones. As I took a selfie, I noticed that there were a couple statues behind me.
One was a fisherman in a blue hat. The other was some grey female-type statue.

Kind of like this. But in color, without the plaque or wheel.
And, like, ten-trillion times creepier.

As I took a couple more selfies (you know, so that you can guarantee a good shot, you take a handful right after each other), I noticed that the statues were ... getting closer. And the fisherman had this REALLY CREEPY smile on his face, like almost ripping his face in two, it was such a big smile.

I turned around to glance at the statues, since that couldn't be real. Statues don't move. Not that faxt and without help.

And I found myself faced with the statues, which, had indeed moved.

I jumped up, somehow jetting over to the other side of the table (putting the table in between us and the statues), and ... well, I exorcised them in Jesus's name.
And they did stop moving.

And we grabbed up the books, Bubbles, and ourselves and RAN THE HECK OUT of the building.

So... apparently, if The Doctor won't show up, I take matters into my own hands.

But I ended up wide-awake, not wanting to take the chance at closing my eyes, at 3:30AM one day this week.
So I then snuggled into Michael and grabbed the cat. And managed to go back to sleep.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Did you know that my scroll button, when I scroll really fast, sounds rather like a duck? 'Cause it does.

No, I'm not dead.

I wasn't in a coma. Or in prison. Or stuck in a well, waiting for Lassie to fetch help.

Nothing that exciting.

I've just been ... lazy? busy? busy-lazy? lazy-busy?
I don't know.

I have been reading more. So that's something.
I've been trying to get caught up on the bazillion bookmarks I've saved either to my OneTab (LOVE that Chrome extension) or to my list of saved links on Facebook.

I cleaned my desk off (well, mostly. But it's a VAST improvement).
I worked on the "junk counter" ... so that's better.

I'll work on the kitchen, since it's a sty.

I've gotten most of my Visiting Teaching done. Not bragging ... but it does take a little time.
I do my Visiting Teaching, not because I want a trophy ... but because I really want the sisters I've been assigned to visit to KNOW that they matter, that someone loves and cares about them. It makes me sad that not everyone gets Visiting or Home Teachers who are willing to sacrifice a little time to make sure that those sisters/families know they're important enough to merit that sacrifice.
(Which reminded me to go and fill out the VT Survey in my inbox. Which is NOW done.)

Most Christmas presents are bought. Some are even wrapped (not all of them. Not yet. Soon, though).

The good news, I won't be on my lady-cycle on Christmas.
The bad news = I spent a few days FREAKING OUT because I wasn't feeling the true meaning of Christmas ... and I'm not able to go spend Christmas Eve at Nana and Pop-pop's or Christmas morning at my Grandma's house ... and I miss the SMELLS of those places. And you can never go home again because time only goes ONE direction and I hate that and I miss being a child and I miss the feeling of Christmas when I was little ... and  ... and ... and ...

So, well, it made a LOT of sense in a few days. Joy.
(But I have a trunk of my Pop-pop's that spent nearly 40 years in their attic. So it smells like that.
And I discovered that one of the tables from Nana's house has a drawer that smells like their living room at Christmastime ... so that's nice. I wish I could totally bottle those up. Just in case. But I'll accept these as answers to prayers, anyways.)

We had our ward Christmas party. Bubbles had her first dance performance (some of the 2-6 year-olds did a little dance to the hot chocolate song from "The Polar Express"). She had a blast ... though it was a little touch-and-go at times. But, for the majority of the time, she loved it. So that's nice.

I've been teaching my Sunday School class. And I'm bummed at the fact that I'm only keeping one of my students for next year (The rest will be in the 14-15 year-olds class).
And, as I said to Michael today, I've been blogging ... but for them. Because I love them more (no offense. I love you guys, too. And I'll stop being a jerk to you. Pinkie-swears!).
And, it's not even like I've been blogging that well for them, either.

I've gotten through most of my library books. So that's a nice thing.
My main goal is to read my books and not get any more fines ... for, like, the next twenty years or so.

I volunteered a couple times at the kids' school. I've been taking Bubbles to storytimes.
I used to be caught up on dishes and the laundry. That's not the case anymore. Sorry.

We did our family portraits ... just need to get them sent out to people. And the rest of the presents wrapped up.

I (finally) painted my nails.

Bucket and I made brownies a few nights ago.

Michael and I ate cheese. Lots of cheese.
Yeah, I'm sure that we've done other stuff ... but it's been over a month since I blogged and my brain is falling apart. Seriously, it's after 2:30 now and I still haven't taken a shower. And I NEED TO.

We put together our Doctor Who LEGO sets (Michael got me my own. He's sharing his with the kids. Because he's a GOOD DAD). And they had to go and buy the Ant-Man set ... because Bucket NEEDED to get "a messed-up looking dog." (Don't worry, Bruise was totally on board with this, too.)

Bruise earned his Bear patch in Cub Scouts. Now to bust our butts and get him what he needs to finish a couple other things (and hope that our Cubmaster had some arrow points for his uniform, since he earned them, but they've been discontinued).
Aaaaaaaand, I need to sew some patches on. I'm behind.

Well, that's all that's in my head for now.

Just be excellent to each other. I'm tired of news stories and  Facebook posts about people being jerks. There are only so many cat videos that I can watch to combat that ... don't make me find more. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Finally ponderizing

I know, it's been a month since General Conference ... but I'm finally doing the right stuff. Well, trying, anyways.

So, I chose  Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 for this week (even BEFORE the kerfuffle about the new Church policy change/clarification occurred).

Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 - "Look unto me in every thought; Doubt not. Fear not."

I will admit that one of the perks of choosing this verse is that it is SHORT. It's not THE shortest verse in the scriptures ... but it's bite-sized, for sure, in length.

And, with how this week has gone, it's been very helpful. Even though we see "through a glass darkly," and we don't understand all the reasonings behind every bit of doctrine and policy, we can know that we will understand it one day. The truth will come. We will understand.

So, we have two choices:

  • Keep moving forward in faith - knowing that God loves ALL his children, but doesn't approve of all our choices; that He has given us loving leaders who hearken to His voice, for the benefit of the Church and the world; that obeying the commandments of God brings us safety and peace.

  • We don't. We think that we know better than an omniscient, loving God ... or the leaders that have been called by the Lord. 
I feel for those whose hearts are conflicted. I feel for those who feel that this new policy is hard. I have compassion for them.

Truly, the main reason why I did not automatically meet the news of this announcement with joy was because I know there are those who would malign our leaders as making this policy change out of spite or bigotry. That people out there could think that we, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aren't doing this out of love and compassion for those who struggle with the trial of same-sex attraction.

I have friends who identify as straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Does this mean that I love any of them more or less because of their sexual preference?

(The main reason I like and love people is because of what kind of person they are. I get that everyone is going to sin. Heck, I'm a sinner, too. We all will make different choices. Some will lead us closer to Heavenly Father. Others won't, they'll lead us further away from Him. ... If I decided to only have as friends people who kept the commandments ALL the time, I wouldn't have ANY friends here on earth. We're all in this together. It's our duty to help each other along. It's our duty to show love and compassion to each other. Even when we don't agree.)

Heck, I consider this the same kind of mostly-non-issue as having friends of other religions.
We all have different beliefs and understandings. Dude, even other Latter-day Saints in my WARD (church-speak for congregation) have vastly differing views.
I have friends that are LDS. I have friends that are Catholic. or Baptist. Or Methodist. . Or non-denominational Christian. And there some Christian sects that I haven't even named. I have friends that are atheists. Or agnostics. Or pagan. Or Wiccan. ... I don't know if I have any that are Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist. But I look forward to making friends with them ... because the more that I can learn of their characters and their religions, the better of a person I will be. Not only because I'll have more factual knowledge, of course, but also because I'll be able to better understand THEM and their beliefs and the beauties of the tenants of their faiths.

Just like I appreciate when my friends of differing sexualities help me to learn about and understand them as people. I refuse to pigeon-hole them into their sexuality ... just as I hate to pigeon-hole any of my friends into their race.
It just sounds wrong and belittling to say "my black friend/my lesbian friend/my pagan friend/etc" as if that were the only thing about them.

No, I prefer to think and categorize my friends in better-nuanced ways (i.e., "my friend, L, who teaches theater and I've known since my freshman year of college and we would walk down the main drag of campus saying "little French" and "HORROR" back and forth and had cats named Lucifer and Angel and is hilarious and we joke that we're twins since our first and middle names are so similar and we had tons of fun in German class and she says some of the funniest things and she happens to be black." OR "My friend, H, who I met through blogging and a mutual online friend and she likes cats and she is a powerhouse at working out and she posts some of the most hilarious things on facebook which always makes me smile and laugh and she's just as hilarious when she texts and she wants to be a gangsteeeer when she grows up and I found her doormat for her online and she loved it and actually ordered it which made me feel useful and she's so down-to-earth and seems like the most fun mom/mom-friend ever and she happens to also be a lesbian." OR "My friend, D, who I crushed on my sophomore year of high school and he would insist on carrying my hugely, heavely backpack of doom and he made me the best ever mixed-tape which I still have and he used to have hair like Jareth from Labyrinth and he's very funny and he's a great dad to his girls and I once stabbed him in the leg with a pencil and it left a little scar and he's really forgiven me after I've begged for forgiveness but he loves to rub my nose in it and declares that he'll be telling the  horror story of the ALLANNA when he's in a nursing home to scare the other residents and their families and he's convinced his daughter that he IS Prince Jareth and my friend's daughter that he IS Deadpool and he happens to also be pagan. ... And he and I have some GREAT discussions about religion. He's very well-versed in a lot of mythology that I'm not so knowledgeable about  ... and there are other friends that I have like that.) Yes, there all have differences that I could pigeon-hole these people as, but I really believe that we're all more than just a sum of our parts.

So, love and compassion are what Jesus taught and what I want to emulate.
He also wasn't accepting of sin ... he was compassionate and empathetic to the sinner, of course! ... but, if sin wasn't a big deal, he would never have said, "Go and sin no more."

But he did.
He didn't say, "You do you."
He didn't shun those who sinned or tried to make them feel like crap.
He loved. He led. He showed us how to improve by His perfect example. He gave us a higher law to follow. And part of that was showing love and compassion while eschewing sins. He never promised that it would be easy or feel fair or be easy for us to understand.
So, my goal is to keep the commandments, to do my best to show Christ's love to everyone around me through how I treat them, and to doubt not and fear not.

And that's what I'm going to do my darndest to do.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Rambling Reaction (but not a heat-of-the-moment reaction ... more of a mule-this-over-for-a-bit reaction)

If you've been anywhere around social media during this last weekend, you've heard about the policy changes made by my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

I just need to get a brain dump made ... because I have thoughts. And I deserve a place to write them down.

Before I really start, I want to make it clear that I have friends with many, diverse opinions and lifestyles. And I know that it's my Christian duty to love everyone, regardless of age/sex/orientation/lifestyle/race/religion/whatever. In fact, I consider it an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to have these people in my life (even when I don't always understand their choices). Because, heaven knows, I'm not at all perfect myself. (Seriously, if you think that I am ... well, you're very sweet. And deluded. But I appreciate it. Please be aware that I am SO. VERY. NOT. perfect. I'm a total screw-up. But I'm working at it. Even if I leave myself LOTS of room for improvement.)

Point #1 - God loves ALL His children.
And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. (1 nephi 11:17) -- See also this pamphlet - God Loveth His Children
He loves us perfectly, eternally, never removing any of His love from us. Jesus loves us. Again, perfectly. He was willing to give His life for us, to suffer more than any mortal being could possibly bear ... because He LOVES us.
Because He loves YOU and ME, He'd have been willing to atone for just a single one of us.
And, through His Atonement, He KNOWS EXACTLY how we feel, how we suffer ... There is nothing we go through that He cannot understand from OUR viewpoint. (And, since, unlike us, He does have a perfect knowledge of things, He understands us better than we understand ourselves.)

I KNOW that God loves ALL His children. ALL of them. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
When we make bad decisions, when we sin, He STILL loves us with a perfect love.
He is steadfast. He does not change.
We are the ones who, through our actions, either remove ourselves from Him or approach Him.

Still, there is NOTHING that we can ever do that would cause Him not to love us. Nothing.
His love is constant and unwavering. Because He is unchangeable. He is eternal.

Point #2 - We are not our temptations. Being tempted is not the same as sinning.
Think about it ... if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only perfect being to live on this earth ... if HE was tempted, why shouldn't we -- imperfect as we are -- suffer temptations as well?

Just because someone is tempted or has a proclivity towards a certain behavior that is not in keeping with the gospel, that doesn't mean that s/he is, inherently, a bad person.
If that were true, I'd be completely irredeemable (If I were my main sins, I'd be a gluttonous, slothful, vain, proud lazeabout. These attributes are things I need to work [VERY HARD] to overcome. I'm a work in progress. ... And, for the record, those are NOT my only sins. I've got quite the laundry list to choose from. That's why we have repentance. That's why we have the gospel ...).

We all have moral agency. We have the freedom to choose for ourselves -- to ACT, rather than be acted upon. When we are faced with temptations, we will always have a choice. And, our loving Heavenly Father will always provide a safe way for us to withstand it. If we choose to look for and follow it.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
And, knowing that we are not perfect, He provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, to come to earth -- to teach us, to atone for us, to die for us -- so that we are able to overcome physical death (through the resurrection) and spiritual death (our separation from God's presence -- through repentance).
Jesus was willing. He chose to come to earth and to atone for us, as a sinless sacrifice, and to die for us.

As it says in one of our hymns (#193 - I Stand All Amazed),
"I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine, that He would extend His great love unto such as I, sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify. Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"

Truly, it is beyond description ... He loves us so very, very much. And, whenever I think of this ... I don't have the words to state how awed, how grateful I am ... because it is not possible to comprehend that amount of love and compassion.

And Jesus Christ was willing to suffer for ALL our sins. Because He loves us. Because He wants us to ALL be able to return to His/our Father's presence. Because He considers US worthy of such pain, suffering, and sacrifice. EACH OF US. INDIVIDUAL. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Point #3 - God loves us. He wants us to be able to return to His presence. So, not only did He send His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to atone and die for us; He also sends us, from the beginning of time, prophets to help guide us. Our prophets give revelation to the whole Church and the whole world.

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." - Amos 3:7
Because God loves us, we have prophets and other leaders to help guide us, to teach us what we need to know, so we can progress and grow and develop those attributes and character that will help us to become more like our Heavenly Parents.

When we choose to be obedient, to make those sacrifices in our lives so that we can become more like our Heavenly Father, full of love, light, and knowledge, ... well, it's rather obvious that we draw closer to Him. And, by following the commandments that He gives us, through his prophets (both ancient [Moses, Abraham, Jesus, etc] AND modern [Joseph Smith, Jr., continuing through our living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson ... and whoever follows him], we are blessed.

Obedience is founded upon faith. And we are not to follow our leaders blindly ... we, in fact, are COMMANDED (though these same leaders) to seek for personal confirmation, from the Holy Spirit, through personal prayer and scripture study.

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me. (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8-9)
I know that when I follow the counsel of our prophet and the apostles, I am blessed. I KNOW this, because I've seen it happen over and over again in my life. I also see that when I make choices contrary to the commandments, I lose the presence of the Holy Spirit and his constant guidance.
Life is (overall) easier when I choose to follow the revelations given to us from God through his prophets.

So you'll understand my sadness over the reactions to the changes in Church policy ... and, truly, they aren't really changes ... CLARIFICATIONS is a better word for this.

The more that I think on this, the more that it is confirmed to me that this clarification of Church policy is for the GOOD of these sweet souls. It is to protect the family, ALL FAMILIES, from contention.

This will help children, especially young children, not to have to deal with very adult/advanced issues of reconciling the fact that their parents are living a life that is contrary to the gospel and eternal progression. (Bear with me on that. I'll explain. Pinkie-swears!) It will allow these children every blessing they have been promised ... it's just delayed.

And, yes, it's quite sad that these sweet souls will have to wait. However, it's just a small matter of time. And they WILL be able to receive those blessings.
And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. 
And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more. (Doctrine and Covenants 78:18-19)
The Lord is aware of you. The Lord is aware of them. He will hold nothing back from them.
Rather like it's said in The Princess Bride, this policy cannot (indeed, does not) stop these individuals from receiving their promised blessings, it just postpones the delivery for a while.

We will face opposition in this life. Satan is striving to make it hard to tell what is good from what is not. And, I think in this case, he's working overtime.

So, back to the point that I promised to elucidate on ... The plan of salvation, or the plan of happiness. It has both names for a very good reason. Because if we follow the plan, we achieve both those results.


 Here's the plan of salvation, made simple (if you want to read more about it, follow the link in the caption. Courtney Aitken also has a backside for the bookmark FILLED with scriptural references.
You could also ask me. Or another LDS friend that you have. Or the missionaries. Or go to and read about it there ... there's lots of options.

  • Before we were born, we all existed as spirit children of our Heavenly Parents.
    Heavenly Father presented a beautiful plan to us -- one that would allow us to learn, grow, become more like Him, and return to His presence.
    To do this, we would be born in mortal bodies, on earth. We would have the opportunity to learn the commandments, prove ourselves by making good (or poor) choices, and make covenants with Him. 
  • We would have need of a savior, knowing that we would make mistakes and sin.
    Jesus and Lucifer both offered to be that savior.
    Lucifer promised to return EVERY soul to Heavenly Father (which would require negating agency), if he received all the glory.
    Jesus offered to go, allowing us to have our own agency to choose for ourselves, and the glory would go to Heavenly Father (which is fair, since it was His plan, in the first place).
  • Some spirits followed Lucifer and they were cast out -- Lucifer became Satan. Those other souls that followed him were not able to come to earth and get bodies. This is why they are damned -- they made it impossible for themselves to progress (just like a dam stops the flow of water in a river. At least, for the most part. But you get where I'm going with that analogy, right?)
  • Jesus created this world for us. It is a beautiful place.
  • Adam and Eve came here and were placed in the Garden of Eden. They, as we, were made to forget our pre-mortal existence. If we all remembered everything that we knew then, this life wouldn't be a true testing opportunity (and, as it is, what with the scriptures and prophetic counsel and personal revelation, it's quite an open-book test). They were tempted and chose to eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. This allowed them to become mortal, which enabled them to fulfill the first commandment of "multiply and replenish the earth."
    Also, just for what it's worth, we honor Eve as being very brave and selfless in this decision. Yes, it was a transgression ... but it was for a noble purpose. And Adam, as our first prophet, is quite worthy of admiration, too.
  • Because of this, "The Fall," as we call it, where Adam and Eve were removed from God's presence (by having to leave the Garden of Eden), which is a spiritual death AND being made mortal (so they would die), we all had need of a savior. (Which we discussed a bit earlier).
  • From the beginning of time, we have been blessed with prophets to help guide us. The Lord gives revelations to the prophets that apply to the whole world and the whole church. He loves us and wants to give us every opportunity to return to Him.
  • Jesus came, in the meridian of time, to live here on earth, teach, serve, atone and die for us. Because of His sacrifices for us, we are able to repent (thus overcoming that spiritual death) and be resurrected (overcoming physical death).
  • After we die, we will go to the spirit world, since our bodies and spirits will be separated (that's what death is). Those who did not have the opportunity to make covenants (baptism, receiving one's endowment, eternal marriage, etc), will have the opportunity to receive them through vicarious work done on earth (These covenants require a body to do them, you see. That's why our church is gung-ho about temple work, since the temple is the only place we can perform this service for those who've passed on). We all will be able to learn more and make some (slower) progress here in the spirit world.
  • We will be resurrected. Our bodies will be immortal bodies, made perfect. (That isn't to say that we'll all be supermodels or bodybuilders ... but we'll have bodies that work perfectly, for sure.)
  • After the resurrection, there will be a final judgement. We'll be judged for our choices (Now, if we've repented, God won't remember those sins. Neither will we). If we're worthy, we will be comfortable and confident in His presence. He will be able to welcome us into His presence.
    If we aren't worthy of his presences, we will go to a lesser kingdom. The Telestial Kingdom is the lowest. It's, pretty much, what we're dealing with here. The Holy Ghost can be here to teach and instruct.
    The Terrestrial Kingdom is better. You have to live a higher law than what's required for the Telestial Kingdom. Jesus will come to minister.
    If you want to receive all the blessings promised, then work to be Celestial Kingdom material. We will be in God's presence. We will be able to be with our eternal families. We will have the ability to progress and reach our overall goal of becoming like our Heavenly Parents.
    To qualify for the Celestial Kingdom, we need a few things:
  1. Faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior
  2. Repentance (We show remorse, make restitution, and work to change our character to overcome these sins that are keeping us from our eternal goals)
  3. Baptism by immersion by the proper authority
  4. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (to, if we are worthy, be our constant companion as a comforter and guide) 
  5. Enduring to the end by following the commandments and keeping the covenants that we make with our Heavenly Father
Yes, it is a trifle difficult to explain it all in one nutshell ... but, of everything in this world, it's the one constant that makes sense (at least to me. Per the 11th Article of Faith, you're free to believe and worship as you see fit. You have the moral agency to do so. We respect that).

But, okay, so we're working to be like Heavenly Father -- He is perfect, has an immortal body, is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. Pretty awesome goal, right?

Another blessing that we can receive in this journey to become more like him is to have family bonds that are not ended with our deaths (e.g., "til death do you part.").
Through the power of the Melchizedek priesthood, we are able to be sealed to our families with an eternal bond. A husband and wife can be sealed together. Their children can be sealed to them. (If a husband and wife are sealed before their children are born, those children are born in the covenant, already sealed to their parents).
If we keep those covenants that we've made in the temple, we can be together forever as families.

That's the big reason for the Church's support of moral issues, like marriage between one man and one woman.
It's not because we don't love these other people. We do. We're commanded to. And, if we're being Christlike (like we SHOULD be), we WANT to love them ... and to make sure that they know that they're loved, valued, and cherished by our Heavenly parents.

Sadly, we don't know WHY same-sex attraction is given as a trial for some people.
I do know, though, that they are strong, worthy individuals who are capable of withstanding this temptation ... as we are all capable of withstanding being tempted ... through the power of Jesus Christ.
And if they, like we all do sometimes, fold? They are able to repent. Just like the rest of us.
If they choose to enter into a same-sex marriage, that is their choice. However, that marriage cannot be sealed through the Holy Spirit of Promise. It will end with their death ... and I find it terribly sad that they'd put so much time, effort, emotion, and energy into something that cannot be eternal.

Sometimes, our own choices affect more people than just ourselves.
Sometimes, due to our choices, other people will suffer.
This is yet another reason for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Through the Atonement, ALL wrongs will be made right. All sins will be forgiven. All hurts -- physical, spiritual, and emotional -- will be healed.
Oh, it is wonderful to me.

Will Heavenly Father hold back any blessing from them, if they actively seek those blessings?
Because He LOVES us all.

And, knowing that Heavenly Father loves us, would he send us leaders who would lead the Church to withhold blessings and opportunities due to hate or bigotry?
So I KNOW that there are reasons of love behind this.
Because I KNOW that our prophet and apostles and all our other leaders are working to emulate Christ and His love for all God's children.

Just like how, because I love my children, I'm not going to condone them doing things that will hurt them.
I gave my kids the example of, "What if we bought a motorcycle? Are you allowed to ride it by yourself?"
"What if you did ride it by yourself? What would happen?"
"We'd get in trouble."
"Would it make sense for us to get rid of the motorcycle ... especially while you weren't allowed to ride it by yourself?"
"Would that be because we're being mean?"
"Well ... no, not really."
"Then why would we take it away?"
"So that we couldn't get in trouble."

Just like how, when an individual is excommunicated from the Church, it's NOT because the leaders are wanting to be mean ... it's to allow the person to either continue the problematic choices without being under greater condemnation from the Lord for breaking (and continuing to break) covenants -OR- to allow the person to repent while protecting himself/herself from bigger punishments.

Does that sound like it's something done out of hate? Or a plan from a loving Heavenly Father through loving leaders?

To me, it's definitely the second. Because, even when a person is excommunicated or disfellowshipped, we have every hope and desire for them to return. We love and watch and wait. If they CHOOSE to repent and return, we rejoice. If they don't, we just love them while maintaining our standards and not condoning their actions.
Because we are all worthy of love.

Because Heavenly Father loves us all.

And because I KNOW that He loves us, I know that He would never do something just for the sole reason of hurting people. He will ask hard things of us, just like our earthly parents ask us to do things we'd rather not do (take out the trash/clean our rooms/etc) -- like we ask our kids to do ... because we know that it's (1) important for them to learn and/or (2) it's to help them develop into something better than they were.

I also know that, if ever it should occur that a prophet were to cause God's church to be led astray, He would TAKE THAT PROPHET OUT. And, there's the fact that this matter was discussed and agreed upon unanimously among 15 apostles and prophets. Do you know HOW HARD it is for even similar-minded people to agree completely? ...

Yes, my heart hurts for those who find this news hard to bear. I wish I had a way to make it so that they automatically felt loved and supported enough to wade through any doubts.

Still, regardless of this sorrow, I will not support those who try to tell me that this is an evil move, that our leaders are uninspired ... because everything points to the contrary.

The Family Proclamation was delivered just over 20 year ago. It is Church doctrine. It has not and will not change.

That doesn't mean that we are not under commandment to love everyone. Because we ARE.
But, if we choose to be politically-correct to the point where we eschew the teachings of God, given through His servants, we are putting ourselves (and those we influence) in danger.

So, TL;DR:
  • The commandment to love everyone still stands. 
  • We don't have to agree on everyone's actions. 
  • I choose to support President Thomas S. Monson, our prophet, and the other God-appointed leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as I have raised my arm to show my support. It makes me most sad when I hear/read others maligning our leaders for not bowing down to the demands of the world/being politically correct ... as if they really had a choice to do otherwise.
  • I do not understand all things. But I will keep my covenants, because they are precious to me.
    I have too much to lose, otherwise. I treasure the fact that my family can be together forever.
  • I wish that I could ensure that all God's children, my spirit brothers and sisters, received those blessings that come from making and keeping covenants with the Lord. Because they bring more than happiness -- they bring JOY. In this life and in the life to come. 
  • And I want the best for you all. Because I do love you.
  • If you desire those blessings, they CAN be yours, too. They may be delayed, but never denied. And you will be blessed for your patience. Because our Heavenly Father loves you.
    And it WILL be worth every struggle. 

If you have questions or if I need to better explain things in the rambling, oh-so-very-long post, please let me know.

Counting ...

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