Thursday, July 18, 2013

Girls Camp Devotional

I got to spend a week at Girls Camp this year. I have never been as an adult (the last time I went was in 1998) and I was a little nervous. I always had such amazing experiences at camp and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to be the kind of leader/friend/spiritual advisor that these girls needed me to be.

The fear and anxiety that I felt was really just a fear of failure. I wasn't really looking forward to sleeping in a tent, but I wasn't afraid of it. No showers for 5 days? Not comfortable, but not scary. I am not even in the YW program at church! I'm a primary teacher and I haven't been in YW for years. I was afraid that everyone would regret asking me to come to camp and that the girls I was with would have been better off with someone else.

As an "Adult Helper" I really wasn't in charge of anything. I was mostly there for supervision, support, and transportation. The girls really did everything else. I was asked to do one thing and because it was really the only thing I was actually responsible for, I really wanted to do well. I was asked to give a 5 minute talk about how the values Knowledge and Individual Worth help me to know that I am a daughter of God.

The girls would be coming by in groups to hear my message and then we would all have a short testimony meeting together where the Presidency shared their testimonies with us and then we would go back to our own individual camp sites for another testimony meeting. I knew that my words would help to set the tone for the following meetings and I wanted my message to come from the Spirit.

I sat down a few times to write, but everything that I wrote down seemed wrong. Not wrong  wrong, just wrong for this. I knew I had a few more days, so I gave up and decided to try again the next day. Before I got in bed, I prayed that I would have some kind of inspiration the next day so that I would be able to write the things that would be of most importance. I said Amen, climbed in my bed and tried to fall asleep.

Ben and the kids were in Idaho at the Pitcher Family Reunion so I was all alone in bed. As I tried to fall asleep, ideas for my talk popped into my head. I was happy that I finally knew what to write and actually looked forward to writing my talk the next day. I snuggled deeper into my pillow (it's quite late by now) and tried to fall asleep. The Spirit had to practically knock me upside the head and told me that I knew myself better than that. I would forget everything if I didn't get up right then and write it down. So, a little sluggishly, I turned on my light, found my paper and pen and started to write. I wrote and wrote until my hand cramped and my pen ran out of ink. Eventually, the ideas stopped flowing, my brain turned off and I felt like I finally had permission to go to sleep.

I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

The next morning, I read over what I had written the night before. I didn't remember most of it. It was a completely different talk than the one I thought I would write. I was worried that the Presidency would not be happy with the direction that I was taking it, but I knew in my heart that if the Holy Ghost wanted me to say these words, no one would be upset about it.

Girls Camp finally came and as the days went on, I read and re-read my talk so that I could give my presentation well. I loved the message I had been chosen to share and my testimony of prayer and personal revelation was strengthened by the experience of writing it. It was finally time for me to give my message to the first group of girls and I was ready.


Nothing. I tried to give my talk, but the words stopped on my tongue. I had the distinct thought come into my mind, "These words were for you. Not for them. They need something else."


How could this be happening? I didn't have anything else prepared to give to these girls. I started to panic, but almost as soon as the panic started, a feeling of peace came over me. I knew that the Holy Ghost would direct me and help me to know what to say to these beautiful Young Women that I had just spent 4 days with.

I don't remember most of what I said. I know that some of it was related to what I wrote down. Some of it came from stories of my own experiences. But each time I delivered my message (5 times total) it was different. I had a few girls come up to me the next day or later that night and thank me for what I said, but I feel like I was the one who really had my testimony strengthened that night. It had been many years since I had felt the awesome power of the Spirit like that.

I know that sometimes we are given answers to our prayers in ways that don't always coincide with what we want or expect. I know that our time table is not the same as the Lord's. But I know that I am a Daughter of God and that He loves me and I love Him. I know that with His help, I can do anything He wants me to do and I have nothing to fear.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I enjoy cooking. I really do. I like to try new things and take recipes that I've used for years and tweak them a little. I especially like cooking when I can listen to some good music or an audiobook. It can be frustrating when my kids are in one of those I-need-all-of-your-attention-all-the-time moods. Today, I had nothing in the fridge to work with; nothing in the freezer either. So, I decided to bag it and just roast hot dogs over a tiny fire instead. Thanks to Ryan and Tamara Palmer for the use of their fire pit thingy. We had fun.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What Will 2013 Bring?

A new year is a time for reflection. A time for goal setting. A time for dieting and a renewed dedication and exercising. A time to set expectations WAY too high and then be disappointed in yourself when you fall short. That's why this year I'm letting myself off the hook. I am making a few specific goals but overall, I just want to be better at the end of this year than I was at the beginning of it. I want to be smarter, healthier, more patient, loving and kind. I want to be a better cook, a better mom, a better wife. I don't need to be perfect, I just want to be moving in the right direction. There are times that I will fall short. There are times when I will eat an entire package of Oreos by myself because I am stressed or worried about something. I will not completely give up on trying to be healthier just because I had a setback. I will just cut myself a little slack and try again the next day. For me, do it any other way is just too overwhelming and frustrating.

One of my specific goals for this year is to do something creative every day. Maybe it's drawing or writing or making up a story to tell my children at bedtime. It might be making up a new recipe or taking photographs. It could be a lot of different things. I have never thought of myself as someone creative and I always wished that I was. So, this year, I will be more creative. This is something outside of my comfort zone and it scares me. I figure, if it scares me, it must be good for me. That makes sense, right?

Another one of my specific goals is to do some kind of exercise each day. If I'm not feeling well, it might just be stretching. If I'm super busy one day, I might jump on the treadmill for 10 minutes or just take my dog for a walk. Obviously, I will try to do something more intense on other days, but that won't always happen and that's okay. Every year, I make it a point to fit into my wedding dress on my anniversary. There have been a few times when that didn't happen (like when I had just had a baby or was pregnant), but I do it most of the time. So, this year I want to fit in my wedding dress AND be able to breathe. This will require a little more dedication.

I have also set a goal to do a blog post at least once a week. 2012 was a VERY bad year for blogging. I feel guilty for neglecting it (which is totally dumb) and so this year I will try harder to do a better job documenting my families life - our struggles, our achievements, and of course, a lot of pictures.

Wish me luck.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Family Pictures

Hooray for new pictures! My whole family spent some time at The Beach House together. We had a fantastic time and even had some good weather. I took hundreds of pictures, but I won't post them all, I promise. I was really excited about getting some new family pictures taken while we were there. We decided to do the pictures ourselves so that we could choose exactly the time and date that worked best with our moods and the weather. Of course, as soon as we were all ready and the weather was cooperating, Tyler got sick. He was throwing up on the beach while we were setting up the shot. Poor kid. He was very brave and sat in on a few shots before going back up to the house to lie back down. Here are some of my favorites.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Beach Trip!!

Yes, the Oregon Coast can be nice in December. No, I'm not crazy. Sure, we had some bad weather in the 4 days that we spent in Lincoln City, but we had some really great weather too. It didn't really matter what the weather was like because I was with my whole family and we had a lot of fun together. The house was packed and we had a blast. Here's some of my favorite pictures from our time at the beach:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas with the WHOLE family

Hooray! My whole family was together for Christmas this year and we got to spend a lot of time together. It was so great to all be together. It was the best present I could have possibly asked for. With Ryan living in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jason living in Bellingham, WA, and David and Sara living in Provo, UT, we don't end up in the same place at the same time very often. We played a lot of games, watched movies, and ate way too much food. It was everything I have ever wanted. Here are some of my favorite pictures from Christmas.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Leaf Pile

It's amazing how much fun kids can have in a pile of leaves. Especially when they are dry. We don't have a lot of dry days in the fall. We were lucky enough to have an entire week of dry weather and quite a bit of wind to pull most of the leaves down. The kids got home from school to a big pile in the middle of the front yard and they were so excited. I mean, really excited. Like Christmas morning kind of excited. It was so great to see them having so much fun.