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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

The goals I made this year were more of a to-do list format than I’ve done in past years.  I’ve made a dry-erase chart with a list of things to to daily, to do weekly, and to do monthly.

Last’s years list was kind of a flop, since many of my things were related to movement and I ended up with a hernia on January 2nd.  I’m hoping to lighten the load this year.

Nevertheless, I’m behind again already.  I’ve yet to check off the “Write a Blog Post” on my weekly column yet this year, although I plan on doing so tonight.  Part of that might be related to the fact that our camera quit working a few days before Christmas, so we only have our phones right now.

Because I’m in a sharing mood, here are my goals:

Daily:

  • Beds made
  • Family scripture study
  • Exercise
  • Take fiber
  • Read to the kids
  • Dishes away
  • Wipe counters
  • Wipe table
  • Sweep
  • Personal scripture study
  • I should have added “Laundry away.” That might be included in an update.

Weekly:

  • Family Home Evening

Musical number

  • Journal
  • Read the Relief Society lesson
  • Vacuum the living room
  • Vacuum the bedrooms
  • Mop
  • Clean the toilet
  • Dust
  • Empty all the garbages
  • Clean the microwave (this could have been a monthly, I think)
  • Finish a sewing project (this is turning into a daily lately)
  • Library or park
  • Blog post

Monthly:

  • Date with Steve
  • Temple trip
  • Visiting teaching
  • Read a novel
  • Pick out pictures for annual photo album (more likely to accomplish if I do a month at a time)
  • Wash the sheets
  • Scrub the shower
  • Clean out the fridge
  • Wash the mirrors
  • Dust the ceiling fans

There you go.  It is interesting, I’m finding that the things I am most likely to check off each day are not the ones I would have guessed.  I’m finding I’m much more likely to do the cleaning than most of the other tasks (well, except sewing).  I certainly don’t see that as my strong suit, but it looks like my good, better, best priorities might need some straightening out.

I’m hoping that, because I like to share my craftiness on this blog, I’ll be more inclined to write as I share my weekly sewing project accomplishments.  Already this year I’ve reupholstered our dining room chairs (yeah, microfiber wasn’t nearly as kid-friendly as I may have led you to believe), made a teething guard on Mikey’s crib (he is a gnawer!), half-fixed Evelyn’s bed skirt (it could use a trim),

Evelyn's bed

mended a handful of items, made Mikey some new church pants, embroidered a stack of things I had been saving since my machine quit working last summer, and a few other little things.  I love having my machines in working order again.

And there you have it, my 2013 goals/resolutions/what have you.

I’ll do my good better best to keep you more updated this year!

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Sunday Musings- Voices of Anger

Today in Sunday school we discussed the doctrine of Christ, mentioned in 2 Nephi 31:2.  We went on to discuss what it means to speak with the tongue of angels (versus 13-14, chapter 32:2-3), or in other words, to speak the words of Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost.  This led to a discussion of how to keep the influence of the Holy Ghost with us, and what things we say, how we say them, and what and whom we listen to.

My husband then stated something that made me immensely proud of him- “Well, doesn’t this mean that we shouldn’t listen to angry voices?”

I knew he was referring to specific angry voices- the ones on the radio and the news telling you who not to vote for and how awful certain parties, viewpoints, and candidates are. And I totally agree with him- the spirit cannot testify truth to us if the voices we are listening to are voices of wrath and contention, regardless of their message. And as a fairly conservative independent voter, I have been interested in the GOP race.  While I’m certainly not anti-Obama, I don’t totally agree with the way he has done things and I’d be interested to know how someone else would do things differently.  The problem lies in finding out how they would do things, because all I hear is yelling, tyrades, and back-biting. “Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.” (Proverbs 29:8)

And while Steve’s comment works so well to convey the message he meant (but didn’t explain, he didn’t want to make anyone angry…), it extends so much further than that. Angry voices are everywhere.

Have you ever tried to read online reviews?  Take ratemyprofessor.com (I’m not linking to it, because if you feel you want to check it out you can type it out yourself).  How likely is a student to go online and tell about how great their Religious Studies teacher was?  Or how much they enjoyed their Geography class? Not likely.  However, if that teacher flunks you how are you going to feel about it? Are you going to want to blame them and tell the whole world what a waste of time and money their class was?  It sure seems that people in general are a lot more likely to talk about what angers them than about what they liked about something (unless they are getting something for it). This goes for movie reviews, waiters at restaurants, product reviews, etc.

So there is just one more thing I love about my husband.  Not only is he wise about whom he listens to, but he is wise in the way he speaks himself. If you are going to hear an angry voice in my house, I can totally assure you that it will not be his.  I have never heard Steve raise his voice in anger.  “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) It is something I’m trying desperately to learn from him- and I think his example is definitely helping with that.

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We’re moving!

The Flynn family is finally making it back to Ellensburg! Tomorrow at noon we get to go sign our lease and do a walk-through our new apartment.

This morning, however, I woke up in a panic and can’t get back to sleep. I can’t believe we are actually moving into a place we haven’t seen! What if our king size bed won’t fit in the bedroom? What if the kitchen is too small for our table and we have to keep it in the living room along with the (still unfinished) couch, the computer, the bookshelves, the sewing machine table, the chest freezer, etc, etc, etc.

We were so lucky to have the place we did before. For a 2 bedroom apartment, it had a fair amount of space. We used every inch of that space, too. And now we are going to add another person! It has been difficult living at my parent’s house- trumping up and down the stairs, Steve’s daily commuting and the fact that means we see him less often, the awful bunk bed we’ve been sharing. But the blessings have been tremendous! I’m so grateful that both Evelyn and I have been able to have the help and companionship of my family.

Should we have waited a little longer and held on to the hope of a 3 bedroom apartment? Should we have spent (a lot) more money and moved somewhere else?

And then I think to myself “Wait a second, Heather… You haven’t even seen this place yet! Why are you freaking out? Could it possibly be because you are hormonal and exhausted and pregnant and laying in an uncomfortable bed and suffering from constant hernia pain?” Yeah, maybe that could be what is wrong…

This is the place that the Lord has provided for us to live. We have prayed about it, thought it through. By living here we can save up the money to pay off our student loans, and (hopefully) replace Steve’s aging car.

Is it the end of the world if I have to leave my fabric stash in our storage unit? If we can’t have big groups of people over to party with us? No.

And so I’m now choosing to get up off the bunk bed, cozy up in a comfy chair, and start my day over again. Today is an exciting day- one I get to spend with my family, preparing for a move I’ve been praying for for a long time. It is going to be a great day.

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Power of a Prayer

Wednesday morning I started having sharp pains in my abdomen, about 3 inches above my hernia.  They were infrequent, but bothered me throughout the day.  I worried a little that they might be contractions, but my stomach didn’t get tight, so I didn’t worry a lot.  I mostly just felt sad.

During the night they got worse.  A lot worse.  I felt like I was going to vomit with each one, I couldn’t move, and they were happening every couple of minutes.  I woke up Steve, he said a prayer with me, I decided they were the world’s most horrible gas pains, and I did my best not to move the rest of the night.  It was the first time I’ve ever thought to myself “If someone asks me where I am on the 1-10 pain scale, this is definitely a 9.”  They got better, I got a few minutes sleep, and as the day progressed I started to feel a little better.

I had an OB appointment Thursday morning, so I talked to my doctor about it and he examined me.  It seems likely now that I was experiencing a strangulated, or incarcerated hernia that somehow managed to relieve itself.  The part about it “relieving itself” is fairly unlikely, however, in the course of history.  That doesn’t happen.  A strangulated hernia requires emergency life-saving surgery, which would have been even scarier since I’m 28 weeks pregnant.  But I’m okay, and my baby is okay, and I know that it was through the power of prayer.

I have a strong testimony of prayer.  I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, that I am one of His daughters, and that he is aware of my needs.  I know that He loves to answer sincere prayers, and that His blessings are available to everyone.  I also recognize that the answers don’t always come the way we expect or want them to, and that sometimes He has to answer with a “no.”  But my perspective is so tiny, and His covers each person and all time.

So now my weight limit has changed from “no lifting anything 20 lbs or more” to “no lifting” and I’m told to spend as much time as possible laying down.  Poor Evelyn is so unhappy with me.  Bed rest may be likely in my future.  For now, however, I’m counting my blessings and I’m so grateful for what I have been given.

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Happy New Year 2012

We’re so happy to be together for 2012!!

Steve made it safely home from Russia on the 18th and we had a lovely Christmas together.  I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my life than I am that he is here with me.

Speaking of gratitude, along with our New Year’s Goals this year, Steve and I decided to take the Gratitude Challenge issued in the December 2010 Ensign.  In the days leading up to the New Year, we wrote down 10 things in 10 categories to help us “Count our Blessings.” I thought I’d share mine with you.

10 Physical Abilities I’m Grateful For:

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Sight
  3. Temperature Regulation
  4. Walking without pain
  5. I can breathe on my own
  6. Listening to music
  7. Touch, especially the ability to feel another person
  8. Taste
  9. Distinguishing sounds/voices
  10. Rational thought

10 Material Possession I’m Grateful For:

  1. My smart phone
  2. My KitchenAid mixer
  3. My embroidery machine
  4. My car
  5. My computer
  6. My wedding ring
  7. My Christmas ornaments
  8. My clothes
  9. My mattress topper
  10. My fabric

10 Living People I’m Grateful For:

  1. Steve
  2. My children
  3. My parents
  4. Steve’s parents
  5. My siblings
  6. Leslie
  7. President Thomas S. Monson
  8. My Activity Days girls
  9. My aunt Alice
  10. Mandi Garrett

10 Deceased People I’m Grateful For:

  1. Jesus Christ (in this category rather than the other because He died, although I know He lives again)
  2. Joseph Smith
  3. Grandpa Tolson
  4. Gordon B. Hinckley
  5. Thomas Edison
  6. The founding fathers
  7. William Tyndale & Martin Luther (I feel like including them in the same category because it makes sense in my head)
  8. Mormon
  9. Lehi
  10. Granny Han

10 Things About Nature that I am Grateful For:

  1. The sound of a river
  2. Tranquility of the mountains
  3. Stars on a clear night
  4. Wildflowers
  5. Camping
  6. Beauty of snow-capped mountains
  7. The beach
  8. Thunderstorms, from a safe distance
  9. The sound and smell of rain
  10. Summer fruit-picking

10 Things About Today (12/30/11) that I am Grateful For:

  1. Cuddling with Evelyn in the morning
  2. Tetris on my phone
  3. The curl in Evelyn’s hair
  4. Steve’s eagerness to help me with everything
  5. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents to help me keep Evelyn safe
  6. Comfy pajamas
  7. The opportunity to visit with family we don’t see often
  8. Cold cereal
  9. The feel of the baby moving in my belly
  10. The cute things that Henry says

10 Places on Earth that I’m Grateful For:

  1. Temples
  2. Ellensburg
  3. Rock Canyon in Provo, UT
  4. Mom’s house
  5. Sedro-Woolley, WA
  6. The mountains
  7. The beach
  8. Orem, UT
  9. Parks
  10. Waterfalls

10 Modern Inventions I’m Grateful For:

  1. Vaccines
  2. Plumbing
  3. Internet
  4. Skype
  5. Automobiles
  6. Flight
  7. Print
  8. Phones
  9. Medicine
  10. Electricity

10 Foods I’m Grateful For:

  1. Cheese
  2. Cereal
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Cookies
  5. Potatoes
  6. Bread
  7. Eggnog
  8. Sugar
  9. Eggs
  10. Meat

10 Things About the Gospel I’m Grateful For:

  1. The Atonement
  2. The Restoration
  3. Hope
  4. Peace
  5. Eternal Families
  6. Guidance
  7. Service opportunities
  8. Knowledge
  9. The Holy Ghost
  10. Joy

There are so many other things I’m grateful for, but it was fun to make a list this way and to think about things categorically.  I hope you can also start this new year with gratitude in your heart.

 

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Day 9 Working Together

Evelyn, Steve, and I had a busy day of making turkey stock, cleaning, and sewing today.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work side by side with Steve, no matter what we are doing. Neither of us particularly enjoy picking scalding pieces of meat off of boiled bones, but we love doing it together. Ironing isn’t Steve’s favorite thing to do, but he spend the afternoon by my side helping me get ready for another craft fair, with a smile on his face.

“Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

I’m so happy to work with my husband.

And it sure doesn’t hurt to take a break with and play with our sweet daughter every few minutes, either.

(I wanted to post a video of her giggling, which she does quite frequently now.  Wordpress will only let me upload these types of files: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt, pptx, docx, pps, ppsx, xls, and xlsx.  Are any of those video files? Any idea how to convert the AVI from my camera into one I can upload?  Thanks for any help!)

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Sleeplessness

It is just past 3 in the morning and I’ve been laying awake in my bed for over an hour now.  Evelyn woke up at 2, wanting to eat.  She nursed for about 10 minutes before she was too exhausted to continue.  And, though exhausted myself, I just can’t shut my mind off.

A few weeks ago at church, my friend Carrie spoke in Sacrament meeting.  She based her talk on one given in General Conference by President Uchdorf, entitled “Of Things That Matter Most.” I guess that is what I’ve been thinking about for the last hour- what matters most.  Carrie said she has something on her fridge that says “If you are too busy for family home evening, you are busier than the Lord ever intended you to be.” She went on to apply that to a other things we do- “If you are too busy to have family dinners…” “If you are too busy to go visiting teaching…” etc.

Business.  I’m feeling too busied.

I mentioned before that I’m struggling with Russian this semester.  Last semester was hard (being very pregnant and all) but I scraped by and managed to keep my 4.0 GPA.  Things aren’t looking so good this time around.  If I manage to pass my classes it will be due to the mercy of my professor rather than any progress on my part.  I started out alright, but as each day passes I need to be learning new vocabulary words, and they just aren’t sticking.  The amount I’m not understanding is compounding.  I feel like I’m losing a race with a monster who is growing larger and faster every day.

My reflections tonight are on the future.  What about next semester?  We will be learning a new case soon, and working on plurals.  I’m not sure that I can do it.  I feel incompetent… stupid… feelings I’m not used to.  I want my Bachelor’s degree so badly.  I remember as a kid thinking that my Dad wasn’t very smart because he didn’t get his degree.  I recognize now that that isn’t the case, and that instead it was about his priorities and preferences, but is it silly that I don’t want my kids to think that way of me?  My parents in-law both got degrees with small kids, why am I struggling so much with only one subject and one tiny little girl? I feel insufficient that others can do something I cannot.

And yet, I recognize something else.  My priorities, like my Dad’s were, are somewhere else.  I’m a Mom now.  I’m not willing to send my child to daycare while I study and go to class, because that is not my priority right now. Perhaps if I were further along, if graduation was in the foreseeable future, then I might consider that.  I want to be with Evelyn every minute, to talk to her and play with her and watch her grow and comfort her.

Right now I’m starting to wallow in the stress of my Russian struggles. That stress is starting to make  me irritable with my family.  I recognize now that I’ve been subconsciously adding more and more to my proverbial plate- adding more stress in order to try and push the Russian stress out.  I can’t do everything, and I certainly can’t do everything well.

If I’m too busy to be a happy, loving, doting Mom, then I am busier than the Lord ever intended me to be.

So, maybe school and I are done for awhile.  I can push myself and do my best to make it through my exams in the next 2 weeks, but maybe that is as far as I can push myself.  Maybe that is as far as I need to.  Perhaps I’m not going to be the linguist I wanted to be.

I’m willing to put that aside to become the Mom I want to be.

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