Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Because of Him

Hi... I just have to tell you,  I love this video! :D



This month has been AMAZING! :D Why? Because the theme at church has all had to do with the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have learned some small things, which feel like SO MUCH! And my life is more beautiful as a result of it! :D Isn't the Atonement of Jesus Christ wonderful? Isn't HE amazing! :D

By the way, I'm super excited about being reminded of this theme. I, and another family member or two, have had a challenge that resurfaced this week. I think we got a bit over emotional and perhaps overreacted (I think it's because we care about and love each other so much!). But it's OK. Live and learn, right? Thanks to personal application of the principles of the Atonement - things are going to be OK. :D

In one class we listed some of the ways that grace, through the Atonement provides us with personal strength in our lives. I know we didn't put a dent in the list of possibilities. It seems there is no pain, sorrow, or struggle the Atonement can not penetrate.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a blessing of peace... A blessing of healing... A blessing of hope and love, and of the ability to look past sorrows and see the blessings in life - TODAY! It is a blessing of redemption... change... restitution... overcoming... empowerment... forgiveness... and peace! It is SO MANY BEAUTIFUL GIFTS all wrapped up and given freely to each and every one of us; and all made possible by one amazing life... The life of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ.

Do you ever wonder how much good we (all of us, individually and especially accumulatively) can do in the course of a lifetime because of Him?  I know I do! :)

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*I hope you don't mind if I just switch gears here, because my mind just took a turn. In fact - bear with me, because this writing might just turn a little corny. ;)

Sometimes I feel so alone and so isolated in this big world.
Sometimes I feel so small...

I LOVE Bees! :) They remind me that alone, we can do little, but together, our little bit adds up to a lot; and we reach out and bless so many! :)


EACH bee is just ONE among the millions... ;D
***No bee is more important than another...
***There aren't some accomplishing much while the others accomplish little.
***They all accomplish very little alone; creating only about a tsp. of honey each over the course of their entire lives!

With that in mind, is a bee's life then insignificant? If we killed one, would it matter?

YES! YES! YES!
Each life is needed!
Each bee makes the same SMALL but MEANINGFUL contribution.

Bees remind me to keep doing the good things that I do -
no matter how small they may seem.
  To keep smiling, and loving, and serving others
in my own tiny ways.
To Keep Striving to make a difference,
Even if it seems that almost no one in this great big world
 ...even knows I exist!

SomeONE knows.
I don't know who, but someone knows.

Do you ever feel that way?
Small and seemingly insignificant?

DON'T.
Someone knows you exist.
Someone needs you...

You may not even know who that someone is. It could be someone you don't even know. Someone you did a small and random act of kindness for.

SomeONE knows that you exist.
And SomeONE Cares - because you cared about that someONE. :)

The worth of EACH and every soul - is GREAT!

Whoever you are reading this, keep up the small good works that you do. Keep loving. Keep serving in your own small way. Just like these tiny little bees, YOU ARE GREAT! :D And someone NEEDS you, so keep up the good work in your own little way! :)

Lots of Love,
Corine :D

PS. I'm a little frustrated with myself, because I haven't been developing the skill of jotting down little joys with family and friends! I write so many thoughts, but not much about the little day to day joys! :0 ~ If you don't mind, maybe you can pray for me to have the inspiration I need to change this. :o ~ I would truly appreciate it! :D Thanks!

Corine :D

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Church on Easter Sunday - Learning How Grace Applies to My Life

Before writing, I'd like to share with you a beautiful song. You can listen to it while you read if you want to... :)



Church service on Sunday was wonderful! :) I felt SO GOOD... so at peace and happy while there. And I learned some things! :D I really felt like Heavenly Father was bringing together in my mind the patches of a beautiful intellectual quilt – blessing me to understand MY OWN LIFE and helping me to apply the principle of grace in my own life and in the life of my husband.

Miles learned too. :D Two things really stood out to us...

Item #1. The Lord wants us to pray to have the tools we need to change our own circumstances, rather than praying for him to change our circumstances. This is what grace is about. As stated in the last post, we all know that Grace makes forgiveness, redemption, and resurrection, all possible. But how often do we remember that as amazing and wonderful as these blessings are, grace doesn't stop there... Grace is also there to “empower” us... to give us the tools we need to change our own circumstances!

Item #2. Sometimes, a circumstance is not ours to change, or is something we must go through for our eternal progression.

At these times, the Lord desires for us to “be willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict.” Mosiah 3:19 Grace gives me the courage to be refined and the strength to submit...

For me right now, this also means to “lay aside the things of the world, and seek for the things of a better.” D&C 25:10

Item number two has been the case for me with the challenge of income not being quite what we think it should be. For many years, it has been a repeated experience for me to desire to act, to improve certain circumstances, only to be told by the Lord to let my husband worry about that, and to instead focus more on improving circumstances in the areas which he directs me to focus on.

As the kids grow older my duties expand; I must put first things first and do these things in wisdom and in order. I must be willing to prioritize and "lay aside the things of the world..." Grace gives me the courage to put first things first...

I can work more, now that my children are older, and to also find a way to help people with their health (for money, too!), but as I expand my activities, I must not add too much; I need to focus on family, friends, and service. The Lord desires that I have time for - “things of a better.” 

It is in those moments of clarity from the lord that I am at peace and move forward with faith. Sunday placed me there again, and this time I also received understanding along with the prompting... :)

I am so excited to better understand why I should be doing what I should be doing, and to finally let go of letting the world (and sometimes friends and family) convince me that I need to go get another job. At this time in my life, helping my husband with his business and doing some nutrition counseling are enough! TODAY - I don't need any other job. I need to do these things... the things which the Lord has revealed to me that I need to do, like continuing to care for my family, and His children. I need to focus on family, friends, and service. The things He desires of me, are “things of a better.” 

For just a moment, I must tell you this... I am SO THANKFUL to Heavenly Father for allowing us to experience struggles, (even though they are not quite over and I only feel that they will soon end but do not know for certain when or how). Struggles don't take away happiness. We have a peaceful home, and that is worth more than any amount of money. The challenge of not having a stable, year round income (seasonal work) has allowed me to learn to plan ahead and to live by faith. And I'm thankful for this. It has also given us compassion for others when they lack, and a desire to serve and bless them in their times of need.

I'm also thankful that I got to learn from experience - Life IS beautiful, EVEN WHEN things are not ideal! Grace makes this possible! And so many have it so much harder, but they too are loved of the lord, and their lives are beautiful, too!

Miles and I are both very thankful for the lessons we learn at church and through life. We both feel like the principles taught on Easter Sunday sunk deeper into our minds than ever before; our understanding expanded. :) And with that understanding comes the empowerment to continue to accomplish more and make life that much better!

I think it is AMAZING that solutions to big problems are usually quite small.

I wonder what will happen as a result of going to church, this one day! I feel really good about this, like it may be a turning point for Miles and I to make more positive changes in our lives; and am so thankful for the gospel and grace of Jesus Christ ,which empower us and give us both patience and the power to improve!

I hope you have an awesome day!
Corine :D

Monday, 21 April 2014

Amazing Grace (+playlist)

Yesterday was Resurrection Day. :) I love Easter, for the reflection and gratitude it stirs within our hearts, for the love of our Savior and His Atoning Sacrifice for us. And of course, because He overcame death, we too will get to be resurrected! :D

The most beautiful concepts known to man have to include the Resurrection, Grace, and the Atonement. And yet, so many either misunderstand grace entirely, or do not understand it fully. I'm sure there is more to it than I understand, but I am so thankful for my growing understanding that I have and rejoice in it. :)

As I understand it, Grace is more than being forgiven of our sins and being blessed to be resurrected again, though these gifts are beyond huge... Grace is also an "enabling" power that Christ gives to us (according to our faith) so we can have the strength to break out of the chains that keep us bound, no matter what those chains might be. They may be chains of sin, addiction, poverty, sorrow... If there is anything that threatens to hold us down and keep us from moving forward, the grace of God is there to help us to progress, overcome, change ourselves or our circumstances for the better, and keep moving forward. Grace is there to make bad men good, and good men better. :)

Grace is also there to help us to find joy in our journey through life - even while in the midst of circumstances which are not in our control to change. It can help us to patiently, and cheerfully endure well... to submit to whatever God sees fit to allow us to go through.

As I apply these principles to my own life, I am finally learning from my own challenges and experiences... If my circumstances are my responsibility to change and I have faith in Jesus Christ, His grace gives me power/strength to change it. If it is the responsibility of another, His grace gives me patience and peace of mind, to be able to be happy and experience joy... regardless of circumstances.

Great examples of these principles are given in the scriptures, and in the following talks about Grace and the Atonement...

In the Strength of the Lord - Elder Bednar - in which we learn about not only the "redeeming" but also the "enabling" powers of the Atonement of Jesus Christ - to help us to change, improve, become better... This talk is a MUST read/hear; it is absolutely fabulous! (Thank you to Brother Zaug for speaking from this talk in Sacrament on Easter Sunday! :D)



His Grace is Sufficient - Another amazing speech about grace, given by Brad Wilcox at a BYU Devotional on July 12, 2011. This talk as famous. Click on the following links for  Script, or Video or you can watch it here, from you-tube...




These are the testimonies that I leave with you today... That He lives, and He loves us all. And His grace is sufficient for all, regardless of circumstances.



I know, I said I was going to write more about family, and I still will! :) But with Easter and all the joy that comes from all that we celebrate on this beautiful day, I just have to write about grace and the Atonement, first. :)

I am SO THANKFUL to our Savior Jesus Christ for all he has done for us! I pray that we will all remember how much he loves us, and that we will allow Him to help us, to make ourselves better. The greatest joys in my life have ALWAYS come through the Grace and Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Corine :D

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

It is a Beautiful Rainy Day! :D

(Photo taken from borntobeabride.com)
Hi. :)

It is a cold, rainy, grey day...

Earlier today, the rain seemed to be
affecting my mood. :o

The pilot was out. I was cold.
My husband was out of the house
 - and I missed him.  :(

But now... :D 

The pilot is lit.
The house is warm.
My husband is home...
I have a husband who loves me. :D

Miles and I have kids who get along well and who make us smile. :D
We have a car with windows that roll up and keep the rain out. And with a working heater.
My family may have gotten a bit bored today with the rainy weather - but we are at peace. :)

This evening, as the rain comes down outside our bedroom window - my husband and I have enjoyed sitting side by side on computers next to each other - working on our business together. We have always enjoyed working together, even when we do different tasks and are simply in the same room or building together! :) Honestly, I LOVE that man! I love the way we both really enjoy working side by side... the way we both BEAM with happiness - just because we get to be together! :D ~ I AM a blessed woman!

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL DAY!  :D
 
Corine :D



 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Jenny Oaks Baker Shares Testimony

From what I can see, this lady is amazing! Enjoy!



Corine :D

Saturday, 12 April 2014

I Gotta Tell You, It's Been a Great Week! :D

I am beaming with joy right now - so I just have to write! :D Several good things have taken place. It has been a great week! Here is a small list of experiences I am thankful for... :)

We have a guest in our home! A very nice and decent young man who is really growing on me FAST! :) (last night I just HAD to give him a hug before retiring to bed). He is a senior in high school who needed a place to stay for at least a short while. I will admit, since we had only met him once and therefore didn't know him, etc., I was nervous about it at first. A couple things helped... First, I read a quote...
"Who is not afraid of pure space - that breathtaking empty space of an open door? But despite fear, one goes through to the room beyond.' -Anne Morrow Lindbergh"
A feeling of peace flooded over me as I realized that I was not alone in my feelings, that this anxiety did not stem from a wrong decision, or from personal inadequacy that a somehow more competent person in this situation wouldn't feel; but rather, I was feeling what anyone feels when faced with an open door that has never been stepped through before...  I was simply feeling fear of the unknown. 

Further comfort came as I also thought of the fact that even though the future is unknown to me, it is not unknown to our Father in Heaven, and He gave me a peaceful feeling that this is a good choice, and that I need not worry about the future. I had a renewed feeling that Heavenly Father is aware of me and my family and what was happening in our lives...

Anxiety quickly fled. In it's place a new desire and feeling developed... to love and care for him like I love and care for my own... :)

He has only been with us for a few days, but already, I really do like him! As a mutual friend to us both (Dakota) assured me, "as soon as you start to get to know him you will realize what a good person he is and you won't worry at all." Our friend was right. I'm so thankful!!! :D

Other news...

Levi - just started a new job! :D Our precious friend, Yulia, put in a good word for him and surprised him with an interview. He is quite happy about it, and I love that he is so independent about getting himself to work and back. On the first day I drove him so he would not be late, telling him to time himself walking home so he would know how long it would take to walk there in the future. Ironically, I didn't know my husband was letting the gas tank dry up to do some work on the truck; we ran out of gas on the way there and he had to run part way and got there late. :o Thankfully, his new boss had a sense of humor about it. Yeah! :D Though unplanned, I think this experience taught Levi a couple important lessons... Be self sufficient and leave early! ;D

I updated my "Intro to Me" page on my blog. AND I made some other minor changes on my blog as well... width, banner size, etc. I really should have done that BEFORE showing by blog on FB. Oh well. 

By the way,
I'm so excited to get back into blogging! :D

General Conference was GREAT! I will have to write one more post about it - just to give a brief summary of one thing I personally appreciate hearing from each talk. More to come on that...

Miles and I took Devry to the bus station to go visit friends for a week. We miss him. :o Oh well... I'm so happy for him to get to visit such close friends (second family)! Besides, after Miles and I took him to the bus station in Spokane, we got to go walk around at River Front Park (only one of my FAVORITE places in the world). That made the trip to Spokane extra fun! :D

I have also had visitors in my home (friends really do make life worth living! :). Earlier this week Dakota came and visited with our family and our new friend who is now staying with us. We hung out and talked, then watched Studio C together. It was so much fun! :D Then last night my friend, Marcia and her family joined us for dinner. And, I had a sudden unexpected guest at my door from out of town... my dear friend Kathy who was a neighbor to us before we moved here over a decade ago! I feel so blessed! :) I love my friends! :D


Spring is here! 


Miles and I are getting lots of work done!

Miles had a job interview - and enjoyed it! :) We pray for good news on this subject in the coming two weeks...

Life is good. 

Enough rambling for today...
Love you all! :)

PS. Here is a sweet video that I recently found that made me cry. 
I hope you Enjoy! :D





Corine :D

Blond Moment #Egotistical

HI. :) It is 1 something AM. And I just got done visiting with a friend from out of town (Hi Kathy! :) But I will just have to write and tell you about one of my "blond moments" which I told my friend about. (Do you ever have those? Moments when you just let the obvious go unseen, and you have to blame it on your blond hair? ;) I do! Anyhow... Kathy agreed that I should write about the one I told her, so here I am! :)

Recently I was adding to the "About Me" page (here on this blog) a short list of characteristics about myself, when I suddenly realized that almost everything I was writing was positive

I thought I should write some negatives, too, so I started to think about what to write, but nothing came to mind. :o Really! Now I know there are plenty of negative things to say about myself, so this really took me by surprise; honestly! Was I so arrogant and egotistical that my mind couldn't admit to myself what my weaknesses are? :o

Since I was having trouble with this, I asked my husband: "Miles, tell me something about myself that is a negative or weakness."

"There are no negatives about you."

"Oh, come on Miles, that's ridiculous. Tell me some things that I should work on or some weaknesses that I have."

"There isn't anything you need to work on. You're perfect." (You can just imagine a big smile here coming from Mr. Charming...)

About this time, I"m getting really frustrated with myself, because I really need help thinking of some things to add to this list to balance it out! But he does make me laugh with his sweet exaggerations. :)

I laughed...  ~ "Come on Miles, help me out here!"

Finally, after a bit of silence and a short sigh he responds...

"You can be too analytic... Sometimes you just analyze things too much."

In case you are as blond as I was (;0)... I thought he was telling me that it would take over analyzing to pinpoint my flaw, so I quickly responded, 

"Miles, come on... pl -"

Suddenly the light bulb went on! :o He was telling me that analyzing myself was one of my weaknesses! :o


I suddenly paused (and blushed)...

" - Oh. Thanks..." :o ~ 



So there you have it... That is how "Analytical, proud, arrogant, and egotistical got to be on that list. But I don't want to be that way, so I wrote them like this: 

-Analytical (sometimes too analytic), proud, egotistical... ;0 (there are negatives and weaknesses about me, but I like to think that I will overcome them, so I try to remember and focus on the positive. ;D)


Sometimes it just helps to have a little bit of a BIG sense of humor.

PS. I hope you have an easier time listing your positives than your negatives!

Have a great day!
Corine :D

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Saturday Session of General Conference - Kindness and Civility Towards Those Who Disagree With Us...

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch?lang=eng&cid=HPTU040114644
Photo of Presidency - taken from lds.org -

Hi. :) It's time for Semi-Annual General Conference! Whoot! Whoot! :D One day down and another to go!

I always look forward to General Conference, and am never disappointed... My favorite talks are usually those which give examples of practical application for Christ-like living.

I think my favorite talk that I heard today may have been the one given by W. Criag Zwick of the Quorum of the Seventy in the afternoon session.

This talk was very much about the disagreements or differences of opinions that we experience with loved ones as well as with others in the world whose perspectives are different than our own... and of the need to cultivate respect for one another.

Elder Zwick reminds us of the words given in a letter from the General Presidency...

"The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility, even when we disagree."

He also uses an example of this, as shown through a story we read from the Book of Mormon. This caused me to reflect upon the way my husband and I communicate and consider ways that we can be more respectful to each other. I am so thankful for the way this talk is helping me apply this story to my own life...

The story was of Lehi sending his sons to get the Brass plates, and of the worried response of his wife, Sariah, as she waited for their sons to return. I won't go through all the dialogue we read between these two from scripture, as was done so eloquently in this talk, but I will summarize the observations made...

Elder Zwick points out that Sariah had "legitimate concerns" which she "expressed in the language of anger, doubt, and blame." But his point is not to criticize her language, but rather to point out that she had reasons for how she spoke, and of the ability we have to look beyond the way a person expresses themselves and to understand their perspective and respond with compassion and love.

Elder Zwick points out that Sariah's husband, Lehi, listened to her with understanding. He did not make accusations of what she may have done wrong; instead he acknowledged how she was right.

Lehi first acknowledges the truth of what his wife says to him. Then he comforts her. He speaks words of understanding and empathy.

He does not worry about who is more right or who is more wrong; he simply seeks to understand her perspective and to respectfully and empathetically comfort her.

Elder Zwick speaks with such eloquence I am in awe at his speaking ability and thankful to the lord for blessing him. I will quote one of his statements here...

"The willingness to see through each other's eyes will transform 'corrupt communication' into 'ministering grace.' It may not solve the problem, but the more important possibility may be whether ministering grace could change us."

He continues...
"I bear witness that we can 'minister grace' through compassionate language when the cultivated gift of the Holy Ghost pierces our hearts with empathy for the feelings and context of others. It enables us to transform hazardous situations into Holy places."

He then applies the example of the Savior for us to follow...

"I testify of a loving Savior, who "looketh upon our hearts" and cares what we are thinking."

...sigh

Wow!

I just love General Conference! :D

Do you have a favorite talk, or one that you are still thinking of after listening today that you would like to share? I'd love to hear about it!

...looking forward to another wonderful conference tomorrow,

Corine :D