Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Step Back In Time~

Graphic by LeAnn@Living Waters - Photo by Debbie@It's All About Purple~

I have been feeling a bit nostalgic. Part of it is because my sweet cousin Becky passed away. She was three years younger than I. When I was younger I used to play with Becky and her sister Jacky for hours at their Grandparents home and ranch. Their grandparents were my Uncle and Aunt. We had such a delightful time riding horses, taking little hikes, climbing trees and playing cowgirls.These are tender reflections. 
We traveled to my home town for the funeral. Seeing so many friends and relatives gathered for this occasion brought feelings of comfort and warmth for the sense of loss I was feeling.  

Becky, Jacky and LeAnn
  While there we visited a neighboring town where my Aunt Alene resides in an assisted living center. Memories flowed of times spent with this dear Aunt. I used to play for our hours with my two cousins in their home.

Delightful experiences from the past filled my mind as though they happened yesterday. Though the occasion brought sadness to my heart the memories that accompanied me throughout were indeed tender. 
While sorting through family records I came across letters and journal notes that caused me to recall endearing moments when my husband returned home from his two year mission to California. At the time he left we were in love and considering marriage; but we both had a goal for him to serve a mission for our church and for me to finish my nursing degree. It was so hard to be with out him. However, the joy of his return was worth the waiting. When he walked through my front door every feeling that I had for him came flowing back and it was almost like he had never been gone. We were engaged within 2 weeks and married in June of 1967. It was 50 years ago, and my love for him now has multiplied many times over.

Naturally, I was basking in the joy of those precious memories when I started to look at some photos of our children when they were young. My thoughts shifted again. This too was a joyful era in my life. I was busy with my family of six children as well as many other responsibilities. It seemed like hours were only seconds. As I now look back on those moments of mothering; I wish I would have simply slowed down a tad and enjoyed those treasured times more than I did. 
My Family~
To all you dear mothers; slow down and enjoy the precious moments of motherhood. Soon your children will be gone with families of their own. You cannot recapture those moments nor create the would be memories that are lost. My sincere advice is for you to hug and tell them you love them more. Don't let a day go by without warmly embracing your children. In today's world they need to feel your love more than ever before. They won't find it in their environment. Technology knows no emotions. Let them know how much you love and cherish them. Let them know that you are always there for them. Sometimes, your silent listening provides the precise answers they need. 
I speak from life experiences. My children now have busy lives of their own, with seemly less time to stay in contact with parents and grandparents. With the advent of technology, the phone is seldom used. How I love it when I can hear the voice of one of my precious children or grandchildren. A Facebook message, an email or text is lovely but hearing the live voice of a child can bring such joy to my heart. I miss my children and grandchildren a lot. 
Savor the moments when your family is together and defiantly take hundreds of photos and keep a journal. I am so grateful that I can go back and revisit the treasured moments of my past. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Two Greatest Gifts Of Love~

At the close of this month of love;  I thought I would write a post about "The Two Greatest Gifts Of Love. First, is the Gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16. 
I found that statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland to be profound: " I ask you, what father and mother could stand by and listen to the cry of their children in distress, in this world, and not render aid and assistance? I have heard of mothers throwing themselves into raging streams when they could not swim a stroke to save their drowning children, rushing into burning buildings to rescue those whom they loved...[ Our Father] saw [His} Son finally upon Calvary; he saw his body stretched out upon the wooden cross; he saw the cruel nails driven through hands and feet, and the blows that broke the skin, tore the flesh, and let out the life's blood of his Son. He looked upon that....His Father looked on with great grief and agony over his Beloved Son, until there seems to have come a moment when even our Savior cried out in despair; "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer; and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room, so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his Son. Oh, in that moment when he might have saved his Son, I thank him and praise him that he did not fail us, for he had not only the love of his Son in mind, but he also had love for us. I rejoice that he did not interfere, and that his love for us made it possible for him to endure to look upon the sufferings of his Son and give him finally to us, our Savior and our Redeemer. Without him, without his sacrifice, we would have remained, and we would never have come glorified into his presence. And so this is what it cost, in part, for our Father in Heaven to give the gift of his Son unto men."
Here is a great video~

 The Second Greatest gift is that through Christ's Atonement all men can be saved from sin and through His resurrection; we can live again and return and be in the presence of our Heavenly Parents.
Our Redeemer love us all so much that He freely made the choice to give His life for each and everyone of us. 
"That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to Eternal Life.
~Elder Jeffery R. Holland 
I love this thought by C.S. Lewis; "He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less."
Elder David A. Bednar stated the following: "The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I every experience during out mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, "No one understands. No one knows.: No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we every did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch , succor -literally run to us- and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power. 
We feel and know the Savior's love more abundantly than ever through our opportunity to be MLS missionaries in the Utah Salt Lake South Mission. We experience miracles in our work where we know that we are being guided to help someone in need, to teach someone about our Savior and are to lift someone who has fallen and feels hopeless. God loves us all so much and we are His spirit children and He wants to see us all again and our Savior, Jesus Christ provided the way. He is the truth and the light for all the world. 
I echo the words of our beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson; "Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives. I know that my Redeemer lives. May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge I humbly pray. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day To All~

Today is a special day of love so, I thought I would share my list of love thoughts~
1. My first love is of course, my wonderful Eternal Companion. He makes everyday a special day of loving him. I know and feel his profound love for me.  He is amazing. 
2. I love beyond measure each of my Children, their wonderful spouses, all my 32 Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren. They are my life's greatest gifts. 

3. My love expands to all of our Brothers, Sisters, Aunt, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews and Cousins. We number quite a few.
4. We have a special little dog named Sammy whom I adore. I love him like unto a child; and he acts like one too. 

5. I have a multitude of friends that I love. I have a group of High School friends that I share a special bond with they are friends forever. I have various friends that I have made in the different areas we have lived that I will love always. I have Social Media friends that have brightened my life with their thoughts and many of whom I hope to meet someday. I love them all.
6. I love all the missionaries that we serve with both the younger Elders and Sisters and the MLS couples that we intermingle with. I love the leadership in our mission. We have the best mission ever here in the Utah Salt Lake South Mission. 
7. A special love is reserved for each of the individuals and families that we work with on our mission. Their life stories and concerns have helped me have a deeper understanding of love, forgiveness and compassion. 
8. I love The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all of the leadership and individuals that I have had the privileged to serve with over the years. I love our living Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and our beloved twelve Apostles. 

I have a deep and eternal love for my Heavenly Parents and my Elder brother Jesus Christ. 
I can say with all my heart that I love the people of this world because I know they are my spirit brothers and sisters. 

May you all have a spectacular day of celebrating the word love. "Love One Another;" What a marvelous world we would have if we could just do that. Someday, we will have a more loving world.  

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"Love Is The Very Essence Of Life"~ by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley

Love is in the air during the magical month of February. I love this month. I love all the messages of love, the Valentines, the Chocolates, and just the feeling of love that surrounds us in our everyday life. If we can just feel this love in our relationships in our families; wouldn't that be so wonderful. We can be part of making these feelings of love happen. Even nature shows off it's feelings of love as these two love birds swim together. I love how the first signs of spring often occur in this wonderful month of love; showing us that there is a gift of love and warmth coming.  
I love knowing that I have a loving Heavenly Father who knows each of us and loves us all. I love my Savior Jesus Christ with all my heart and I know He loves me and each of you. 
"Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely." --President Uchtdorf

"Love is of the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church, and neighbors." ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley His full message can be found here. 
This is 4 days late but here is a marvelous challenge for us all! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has issued a 14 -Day Challenge to Love One Another. Let's all do it!

#Share Goodness  #sharelove

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Happy Birthday Thoughts to My Eternal Companion ~

Happy Birthday to my marvelous husband, Roger (aka. Elder Williams)

It's time to celebrate your birthday. I have written about my feeling for you a few times before. You are really the best husband ever, or at least for me, you are. I thought today that I would share briefly some things about you that most people don't know.
Besides, being thoughtful, serving, kind, loving and the list goes on; my man has a wonderful personality. He is extremely funny and most people just see him as rather serious. He has a great sense of humor. Even his children don't really know how funny he can be. I think he could do a great comedy sketch. He has had me in stitches more than once when telling me of some experience he has has. 
He is very sensitive to the spirit even more than I most of the time. Tears flow easily when he is spiritually touched; I love that attribute. He loves His Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ and desires to be a good servant unto them.He has a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a wonderful missionary and I love being his companion. We have learned so much together.Our testimonies have grown even stronger in the past several months that we have served as full time Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We have experienced many miracles in the work we are doing. It has been amazing.
He loves His family and would do whatever he can to assist them. He has given countless priesthood blessings to all of us and we have witnessed many miracles through those blessings. 
 I love you more than I can ever express in words and I am so grateful that we are sealed together for eternity and our greatest desire is to  be a forever family and return someday again to our Heavenly Parents. 
Happy Birthday To You my Darling Husband, Roger~

My Children all wrote Birthday Messages to their Father and if you would like you can read them here.
This all of our Children and their spouses which are our children too ~
Our Eternal Family~
Happy Birthday Dearest Husband of Mine~

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Finding Joy In The Different Seasons Of Your Life~

Recently, I attended a Relief Society Activity Meeting in one of the wards we're assigned to as full time missionaries. The meeting focus was "Finding Joy In The Different Stages of Life". They assembled a panel of women representing various age groups and life circumstances. It included a young woman who was married with no children, a young mother with children under 12, a mother with pre-teen children and teenagers, a mother of young adults, and also a grandmother. Each panel member told what brings them joy in their present stage of life. Then it was opened up for questions from the audience.
It was enlightening to hear the diverse thoughts concerning what brings women joy. During the open discussion, there were several comments from women with circumstances quite different than those of the women on the panel. There were a couple who were married but presently unable to have children of their own. There was a woman whose only child had a critical illness throughout life. He married but could never have children. This woman would never have grandchildren, which caused her deep pain. There was one mother who felt overwhelmed by her children and didn't feel she was a good mother because she always wanted her children to grow up faster. Then there was a grandmother who is now independent from her children and although she enjoys tending and being involved with grandchildren; she doesn't want to do it all the time. There were beloved widows who struggle with loneliness on a daily basis.There were working mothers that talked about how hard it was to balance work, church callings and home life. 
As I listened to each of their various circumstances in their given seasons of life, I contemplated what has made me happy throughout the stages of my own life. Here are some of my thoughts. 
First of all, I feel that being happy is a choice. I made a choice as a young mother to bloom where I was planted. I decided that no matter where we lived, how big our house was, what our financial circumstances were, that I could choose to be happy. Of course, that doesn't mean that I just skipped through life with a smile on my face. I had many moments of stress, sadness, regret, and anger over various things that were going on. So with that in mind this is what has kept me centered. 
In a nutshell is is the faith I have in my Savior, Jesus Christ. I trust Him completely.  Before I was married I had a situation that was very concerning to me and I read in the The Old TestamentProverbs 3:5-6. " 5.Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths." 
 I determined that I would trust in the Lord and this one scripture has been a guide for me.
We have been through many trying times. My husband has had serious health issues, including a heart attack at age 45 with severe complications in his lungs. He had a double by-pass, a hernia repair and his gallbladder removed the following year. He has had pulmonary emboli and clots in one of his legs. He has had kidney stones and a few other interesting medical conditions. I, myself have had some unusual health issues through the years including a few years where I could barely function. I had severe headaches for years which were very difficult to live with. My children also had some serious illnesses. Two of our grandchildren have had life threatening conditions that required time in Intensive Care.  Both my husband and I have lost parents and siblings.We have moved 22 times and lived in 4 different States and 7 different cities. My husband lost jobs three times during our marriage. I have worked off and on as a nurse while raising our children; thus knowing well the plight of a working mother. We have had financial reversals. We lost a home and had to start over. We have had difficulty with various children and grandchildren. We have had some of our adult children with our grandchildren live with us at times. I won't load you with anymore difficulties. That being said, we have gone through these moments with a complete trust in our Heavenly Father and his plan for us individually and as a family. Yes, we have experienced deep grief and sorrow in our lives; but we have also had many moments of great joy. 

 I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that loves us; we are His children. He cares deeply about us. We have a loving Savior who gave His life for us that we might live again and return someday to live with our Heavenly Parents, if we are obedient to our Father's commandments. My faith has helped me through it all. I believe strongly in prayer and fasting,  priesthood blessings and we have had mighty miracles occur. This is what has keep the tears at bay, the stress levels decreased, a positive attitude and  a smile on my face through the majority of life experiences. 
Second, I have the philosophy of enjoying the moments of each of the stages of life that I have experiences. I try hard to live in the moment. I can't say I am perfect at this one but I do try to be positive and upbeat. That doesn't mean that I never raised my voice in concern over something  my children were doing. I can say that I apologized often and loved deeply each of the precious spirits that blessed our home. We certainly know that we are not a perfect family or perfect parents by any reach of the imagination. Raising children was a challenge but we are grateful for the help received from on high and within our church organization. 
We were not a family that had a lot of vacation time. My  husband worked hard to support our rather large family. When we did have our days off and moments to travel we worked hard to have fun and enjoy those precious times. Don't wish the away the seconds that you have with your young family, your growing family and or your mature family. Just enjoy each an every opportunity that you have to be together and love one another. 
Third, in my line of thoughts was to look for the miracles in my life. I maintain that miracles surround us. That the more we look for them, pray for them and recognize them the more we have a grateful heart for all the blessings our loving Heavenly Father bestows upon us. 
As a missionary for our Church in every meeting we have a miracle moment. This is where we can share the miracles that have occurred in our work or lives the past week. Every week my dearest companion and I have had some kind of miracle we could share. Most of the time it is a miracle that has occurred in our work but there are some very unique and wonderful miracles and blessings that have come to our family, also. The more one looks for miracles the more you will see them. It is amazing. Try looking for those beautiful flashes of time  in your own life. Have a grateful heart.  Our Heavenly Father wants us to have joy and recognizing His blessings is what brings joy into our lives. 

Just a final thought, I love to write in a journal. I have kept a journal for 40 years. This journal has been filled with my life experiences. I have had many struggles and trials but though them all; I have grown and learned valuable life lessons. I have witnessed many miracles and received countless blessing. I am so grateful to have kept a journal of my life and can see the thousands of moments of joy that I have been blessed with. 

Wishing everyone a very wonderful Sabbath Day and New Year full of joy~
#HisDay  #SabbathDay #Journals #Families #joyinthemoment

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Years From Our Home To Yours!

Wishing all of our wonderful friends and family a very Happy New Year for 2017. It is remarkable how time flies and we are now at a New Year moment. We have certainly been very busy this year in our Mission endeavors. We have had many prayers answered, miracles received and a few disappointments along the way. We enjoy serving with the MLS couples and younger missionaries. We have worked with Elders most of the time until recently.  We now have great Sisters to serve with. We love attending our District, Zone, and MLS couple meetings. We have also had some outstanding Zone Conferences and recently a Mission tour and a Christmas Devotional. We have a lot of individuals and families that we meet with on a regular basis and have been blessed to see them progress in different ways. 
Our greatest source of joy has been those sweet times with family. Although it hasn't been as often as I would like we have enjoyed some fun minutes with them. Our Grandson Jackson returned home from his mission in Omaha, Nebraska in March. Our second son, Travis received his BA degree from BYU, Idaho which was such an awesome accomplishment.  We had a spectacular family reunion in June and everyone was able to attend. We were able to break away and watch a few of our Grandson's play in football and soccer games. The ones we were able to see play were Joseph, Jonathan, Jeffery, Joshua, Austin, Ethan, and Christian. Some of the games were on the internet but that counted as seeing them. My dear daughter in laws Amber, Amanda and my Granddaughter, Justice took me to TOFW in November for my birthday and Amandas. 
We had Sean's family down for Thanksgiving which was really nice. Our daughter visited us from Australia which was a highlight for this year. Then two of our Granddaughter's Sariah and April came in December to visit us from Australia. I shopped till I dropped with those two. We then had our son Sean's family down for our traditional Christmas Family Home Evening. We had a wonderful Nativity activity. 
We had a delightful Christmas. We attended the Christmas sacrament meeting held in the building we are assigned too. They were all very spiritually uplifting and we felt the spirit as talks and music were given on the Savior, His birth and atonement. We then had a quiet Christmas time with phone calls and Skyping with our children. 
The following are some more of our Christmas Activities - 

We are assigned to attend and work in the 5th ward. This is their Christmas Party. It had the theme of "The Grinch Stole Christmas". It was an elaborate celebration and everyone had such a good time. They put on the play; "The Grinch Stole Christmas." It was fantastic. 
We attended the 3rd ward Christmas breakfast. We loved having our photos with Santa along with our sweet sisters who were there enjoying the celebration. They had a great Nativity program and the Primary children were awesome. 
The 8th ward had a Christmas dinner. It was so fun. My husband played the part of Moroni in their Nativity program. The dinner was wonderful and the program was a lovely one. I loved the play and the music so much. The dinner of course was delicious. 
We had a uplifting Zone Conference and it was so fun to be with all the MLS Couples and the missionaries in two of our zones. The messages were so inspiring and helpful for our work. We found out that Elder Bowen who is in the photo with us is a 3rd cousin to Elder Williams.
We always have great District meetings. The large photo on the left side is a photo of a convert, a return missionary and then the sisters we are serving with; Sister Hanson and Sister Turner. The Upper right  photo is  Sister Pinkham and Sister Turner. This was transfer day and Sister Pinkham's last day in our Zone. We will miss her. 

Here is a flash back photo of our family Christmas's in the past. . We have several traditions in our family but doing the Nativity story is the one I love the most.  
This is our oldest son, Sean's family that came down for a Christmas Party. We have this every year and sometimes other families join us. We continue the tradition of the Nativity program. This was a sweet year. 
We had a fantastic Christmas with just each other and Sammy, of course. It was a really lovely day. We feel so blessed. We attended our ward meetings. The highlight of the day was hearing from our children. 
May this coming New Year bring you all many blessings from our Loving Heavenly Father. May your faith in Jesus Christ continue to grow. May you feel the peace, comfort and love of Savior more abundantly in your lives. May this year be a blessed one for all!


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