Sunday Best: Adversity

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In church I taught the girls in my class about adversity.

This is a tough one for me,

which is why I think I decided to study it and then teach it, again. I need to keep reminding myself so I can wrap my brain around this one.

I know we need it.

I know it’s part of our mortal experience.

I know why we have to go through hard things, I just don’t like it.

“As part of Heavenly Father’s plan.., you experience adversity during mortality. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress as you turn to the Lord.” -True to the Faith. Paraphrasing: Adversity comes from different sources, consequences from disobedience, as a natural part of life, because of others’ poor choices. 

I have been struggling with and watching others deal with all of the challenges of life. It is “a hard knocks life” to quote Annie. So much sorrow, so much selfishness, and dishonesty. So much hurt, and pain.

I recently heard of a terrible incident where a man accidentally killed his own son while target practicing. The young son had a wife and two children. Tragic. Their lives will never be the same. How does someone go on after that?

If you look, you can find all sorts of devastating news about how this or that happened and their life is changed forever. There are evil people, famines, and natural disasters all over the world. So much adversity.

According to True to the Faith- We can complain and become bitter, and let thoughts of “why me?” dominate our thoughts, or we can ask our Father in Heaven to help us learn what He would have us learn, and remember our many blessings. Sometimes if the adversity is illness, we may have to simply be patient and faithful. If our adversity is because of another’s words or actions, we need to work toward forgiveness. Maybe, if it is abuse we need to seek help. 

“Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trial, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.” Alma 36:3

One of my favorites stories is about Corrie ten Boom. She and her family were put in a concentration camp during World War II, because they hid Jews from the Nazi’s. Miraculously they were able to keep a small Bible with them in their barracks. For some time the Nazi soldiers would avoid checking on them. They later found out that the soldiers were avoiding them because the barracks was infested with fleas. Corrie’s sister Betsie had encouraged Corrie to give thanks for everything, even the fleas. Corrie had a hard time with this, until she found out that it was because of the fleas that they were able to read their Bible. In the book that tells their story it says,

“like waifs clustered around a blazing fire…The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.” -The Hiding Place.

In the most horrible circumstances they were able to learn from their experiences, and become close to God. They were able to remember blessings.

Neil L Andersen said, “In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around a young sapling, forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure to return.

You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life. The whirlwinds in your youth, like the wind against a young tree, can increase your spiritual strength, preparing you for the years ahead.”

I told the girls in my class that if we do what the trees that live in a windy environment do, if we help our spiritual roots to grow faster and deeper when faced with a challenge by developing our testimony of the Savior and having faith in God’s plan for us, and become thicker and more flexible by staying close to the Lord and His word, we will make it through the challenges and adversity that we will face in our lives.

I am amazed how many times I have had to learn this. I guess I’m still learning and always will be. I will focus on the lesson in life, what God is trying to teach me. I will “receive all things with thankfulness” and become the woman God is leading me to become.

Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy

Sunday Best!

“Life is to be enjoyed, not endured”
―Gorden B. Hinckley

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It was a beautiful, snowy, cold day. It was a busy, challenging day.

It was a day we have been looking forward to for a lifetime.

It was also fun, exciting, spiritual and wonderful.

Enjoy!

Don’t just endure!

Hope your Sunday is the Best! Love, Joy

Busyness Pt-2: Planning a Wedding!

 

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Planning a wedding is so much fun!

It can be very stressful if you try to do too much and not let other people help. It is something little girls think about a million times while they are growing up. It is an event that moms look forward to sharing with their daughters from the time they are born. We build it up and have so many expectations about how it is going to be. It can be very beautiful and very reasonably done. It’s best to be realistic though, and know that things don’t always go perfect and that’s ok.

With that I will say I am very frugal. I have taught my children to be careful with their money, and I know they will be careful with their parents money, too.

I will never spend an insane amount of money on an event that will last a day.

The most important part of the wedding day is the Wedding, the actual vows. Making promises and professing your love to all, especially God. When you look into your sweetheart’s eyes and your know you want to be with them forever. That is the most important part of the day. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have that.

Within a day or so of the announcement of the upcoming wedding, I usually find a book that I can use for the planning. The book I used for Emily and Anthony’s wedding was just an address book that I knew I would never use for it’s intended purpose. I separate it into sections.

I find it is easier for me to simplify the categories. Most of the planning can fit into one of the following categories:

1-Important-Things in this section are, you guessed it, important. *Research of and final choice for the wedding venue. *The address and phone # of the county you will be married in, with the information about when to purchase the wedding license. *Contact information about the officiator at the wedding.

2-Budget-Of course it’s very important to have a budget. You can spend a lot of money on a wedding, enough to save a small country. Or you can be very careful with most of the wedding and spend a little more on special things. Pick the part of the wedding or things at the wedding that matter the most to you. It could be the location, the dress, or something like the flowers. We bought Emily’s dress at a vintage clothing store and I made modifications to it to make it what she wanted. We used canning jars that were decorated for the centerpieces. They are very popular and cheap or free.

3-Guests-Start listing and gathering all the addresses of those who will be invited to the wedding, the wedding luncheon, and the reception. The same people may be invited to all of the events, but maybe not. I usually invite family and close friends to the wedding, and the luncheon. Then I invite more casual friends, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances to the reception.

4-Reception-I put everything about the reception in this category. Location: All of the possibilities for the location, their phone numbers, prices and details about what they offer. I went on google and checked addresses to see if the address for the wedding and the address for the reception are close enough to make it convenient for those attending. You need to know that we are LDS, and our daughter got married in the LDS Temple. They don’t hold receptions there, so the reception location was different. Decorations: Table decorations, back drop where the bride and groom will stand to greet guests, sign in table, pictures and decor placed here and there to add to the total feel of the reception, ceiling decorations (we used paper lanterns), etc. Food: What will be served, what type of food and how you will serve it. How you will present it? Will you have servers, or helpers to clear the tables. Some weddings serve a full meal. We didn’t do that, we served refreshments. More about the reception in a future blog post.

5-Misc-The wedding luncheon (or brunch or whatever you decide) can go in this category. I put information about the colors for the wedding. Swatches of the fabric we used, etc.

Another helpful part of the planning is to get a Pinterest account. It is a fantastic resource for planning fun “do it yourself” decorations. You can purchase a couple of magazines, to look through for ideas. A Google search of this place or that place, or different types of decorations, etc.

These are some things that have helped me. I planned two weddings last year. One was our son, and the second was our daughter. Both weddings turned out great and they were both different. It was very fun, and stressful, but I loved doing all of this for my kids and their sweet spouses.

-Just an FYI, I planned Emily’s wedding in 3 months. It can be done! I promise!

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Busyness, Etc.

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Where do I start? 

I have been a slacker…..Only in my blogging!

Life is so wonderful, and hard, and awesome! Our family had a wonderful blessing on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Our daughter Emily, my Bonus Baby was married for time and all eternity to her sweetheart in the Jordan River Temple.

It was wonderful!

It was a blizzard.

It’s was very overwhelming and fun!

I have had my two son’s get married, but this is my first wedding for a daughter. Let me just say there is a big difference in what you do to get ready for a son to marry, as opposed to what you do to get ready for a daughter to marry. I have been sewing, and hot glueing and organizing for weeks and weeks for this blessed event.

It all turned out great!

Now that we have had our day with Em, I’ll share some of our preparations with you.

I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in preparing. I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned. I will share pictures and fun ideas.

Watch for my next post!