Sunday, July 26, 2015

Speaking In Church and the Post Pregnancy Brain

Last week I was approached by a guy at church. He is in charge of assigning talks to the congregation, amongst other things. 

He handed me a talk:

The talk is titled "Choose to Believe" by Elder L. Whitney Clayton. I was supposed to speak on how we choose to believe  in Christ, rather than being forced into belief. I could take any quotes from the talk, insights I had, scriptures, or stories that followed my theme.

I told him "No Problem" and stuck it in my bag. It was a crazy day. Carter gave a talk to all the children, I lead the music to the congregation, and I taught a class.

Today, another man at church came over and said "I noticed you are speaking today." What? Me? You're talking to me? He shows me the program. I thought it was a joke. He mentioned that the man who asked me was out of town (which I knew ahead of time) and they thought he asked everyone ahead of time. I reached into my bag and pulled out the untouched talk. Yes, he did ask me. I will have something ready. 

On the top of the talk, there was a hand written time frame: "8 - 10 minutes". I was hoping to make it to 5! 5 minutes of my rambling on and on would suffice right? They would be tapping me on the shoulder and asking me to sit down before I ever got to 8 minutes right?

My first instinct was to run out of the chapel, find a quiet classroom and plan something in the 15 minutes I had. However, I lead the music. I was able to read ONE paragraph and up on the stand I went (Thank goodness we were there early!!). After I led two songs, I ran back to sit with David so he didn't have to keep the kids quiet on his own the entire time. Also, I didn't want to miss Beckett's first time taking the Sacrament. 

There was a 13 year old young man who gave a talk, 6 or 7 minutes long, then it was my turn. I completely winged it. I have never done that. I used two quotes from the paragraph that I had read, some stories from my life that applied, and I sat down. I spoke for 7 minutes and 55 seconds. . Whew. I did it.

I walked from the podium, to the organ. I grabbed my book, and led another song. I sat down with my family. I listened to the last speaker fill the rest of the time nicely - even cut some out of what he had originally intended to say - then I got up and led the last song. I went from there to teach my class.

What a crazy whirlwind of a day!!

My brain just does not work like it used to! Babies really sucked the brain cells out of me. 

After I have had time to think, I realized something. I was super stressed out for about 20 minutes today. However, had I remembered, I would have been stressed out for 7 days. I stressed out over Carter's talk, and I wasn't even able to be there!! This would have put my stomach in knots all week! What a blessing!


As my long time readers know, I feel partaking of the Sacrament is a sacred ordinance that should not be so robotic that it has no meaning. I feel like we forget the importance of it. I mentioned before that we started to practice the Sacrament with Beckett and it didn’t go well. This week, Beckett started to introduce it to us. I would act up, and he would tell me “No, you need to be reverent” or “No play with toys, read your scriptures.” He asked me to read him the Sacrament prayer so he could memorize it. He had a pretty good handle on it before I even started. This video is him before I read him the prayer. You can find it highlighted here near the bottom, and follow along with him (Since he can be rather unintelligible sometimes.). This version is completely from listening to the boys pray on Sundays. We have not practiced at all since our last attempt.

So today, on his first day partaking the Sacrament he was so proud of himself. He was so reverent. I could tell it really meant something special. It may not have meant the same to me or someone else who needed the gift of the atonement. However, it was special to him just the same.

Everest: Conquering Challenges with God's Mighty Power

This week Carter learned about how to do hard things, knowing that God is there to help. When we do all that we can, He provides the rest. When we are sad, feeling that we cannot go any further, He will comfort us. He will heal our heart and even our bodies. When we make mistakes, he has the power to forgive. He loves us.

Beckett didn't get to participate. He was too young. However, he still learned the songs. I am pretty sure this song was one he learned last year at Vacation Bible School. They just made a new video to make it apply to the new theme.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


This summer, we have a long list of parts of the yard and house to reclaim. One day, I was feeling very overwhelmed at the task. These two young men approached me and asked if they could do any service for me. I brushed them off because they are 18 or 19 year old boys wearing nice clothes. I told them that I didn't want to see them get their nice clothes dirty. They said it was no trouble at all, but I didn't really believe them. Finally, after a couple months - I told them we really did need help and I would love to take them up on their offer. They showed up in work clothes, brought a couple friends, and really took care of things. I feel so much better about the list because we made so much progress today.

This has happened once before - last summer. I was pregnant and trying to get the blackberry vines out of our bushes by myself. These two young men in white shirts and ties walk by and ask if they could help. No thank you, I only have one pair of gloves, and you are not dressed for the work. "Not a problem" they say and they get to work - pulling vines with their bare hands. I went to the garage and dug out two more pairs of gloves. They got all of those vines out of the bushes on our hill. I was so grateful. 

Service really is amazing.

4th of July

Friday, July 3, 2015

To the Edge: Encounter the God of the Universe

Carter LOVES Vacation Bible School. I told him it was summer camp, where you got to sleep at home each night. This week, he wore the astronaut costume my mother bought him, and shot off into space. They learned about how God is over all, that He cares about each of them, knows them personally, offers forgiveness of sins, wants to lead us in the right direction, and wants us to serve others to show our love and devotion for Him.

They memorized Bible verses, learned scripture stories, and made friends of other churches and cultures. Carter had a blast (pun intended). 

The church he went to sponsors missionaries in Africa. On the last day, the kids all got to Skype with the missionary dad himself and see what it is like in Africa. Although we did not agree on all of the theology, the message we left with was "It is never too early to commit yourself to serving a mission for God."

The church offers points to kids who bring their Bible, friends, and pennies to support the missionaries. They also get points for the Bible verses they memorize. On the second day of school, Carter won the most points in his age group - 110,000. His age group consisted of 19 -23 boys between the ages of 4 to just completed Kindergarten. I asked the pastor about his points. He told me that he memorized a lot of verses in order to get that many. He got to pick a box of candy. 

On the last day, they awarded the student with the most points in their age group. To my surprise, Cater won. He had earned 441,000 points. I talked to his teacher. She said that out of all her students (19 - 23 boys ages 4 to 7), he was the best behaved and the most eager to learn. He was very disappointed that they didn't do the Bible story worksheet on the last day. The teacher said she could not reign the class in - they were too unruly. She said Carter was the only student who had asked for it, and he was the only one who seemed to be looking forward to learning the scriptures. I have to admit, I was a little stunned. He had been so out of control at home, I couldn't believe he was well behaved for them.  

I had a friend of another faith also attending the same program ask me why I choose to send my children to other churches when we believe different things. I explained to her that we all worship Jesus, we just do it differently. Some people worship in a foreign tongue and say the same routing prayers over and over again. Some worship with vibrant music that urges you to stand up and shout. Some show their devotion to God by keeping their heads covered, or wearing skirts. Some show their faith by wearing sacred clothing outside, or underneath their clothes. We are all showing our reverence for our Father in Heaven and His son. I want my son to see that we express our worship differently, but we are all children of the same heavenly parents. 

Bad Hair Day

What's a girl to do when you have a bad hair day??

Smile, of course!