Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Woman I Want to Be

I'm not sure I can adequately do this topic justice, so please read it in the spirit it was intended, and read between the lines. Unfortunately I was unable to attend my church meetings this morning. You see, my great grandma is at our house on hospice and my grandparents are on their way to North Carolina to see my Aunt and her family before they move to Sicily. So, I had some quality time with one of the most influential women in my life, and then I decided to work some on my personal progress for Young Women's. My girls are kicking my butt and I am supposed to be the example. I have SO much to learn and I'm learning a lot of it from these wonderful Young Women.

Anyway, I was working on one of the value experiences for faith and it includes reading two conference talks on the topic of faith. Both that I picked touched me deeply. The first was about choosing faith over all the fear and unknown in our lives. I remember when that talk was first given, I was just beginning my divorce process and had a lot of fear and uncertainty. BUT, I was very quickly reminded that I was in good hands, and I knew where my strength would come from. I chose faith, and it has turned out fabulously. I must continue to choose that faith!

The talk that I REALLY wanted to focus on though is entitled "A Woman of Faith." It was first given in October of 2002. I remember this one too and have always wanted to be the kind of woman that Sister Nadauld spoke of. She said, "A woman of faith trusts God -- She knows of His interest in her life. She knows that He knows her. She loves His words and drinks deeply of that living water." She then went on to list three specific ways that we can be women of faith.

First, she said, "A woman of faith trusts God and faces adversity with hope." Those of you who know me well know that I am no stranger to adversity. But I have always taken the attitude that it makes me stronger and more able to help other people in that situation. For example, I lost my mom at seventeen and it was one of the hardest times in my life. I often wondered exactly WHY a loving Heavenly Father would take someone from me that was SO integral to my life. Fast forward several years to an amazing family that I married into. Sadly, we found out that the matriarch of that sweet family had lung cancer. When she lost her battle, my sisters were seventeen and fourteen. How amazing it was for me to be there for them and be able to understand the impact of losing such an amazing woman at such a young age. I am fully aware that losing a parent is different for everyone, but I have always felt that I was better prepared to love and nurture them because of my own life experiences. I hope they still know how VERY MUCH I love and respect them. They have become INCREDIBLE women and I'm proud to know them and have them in my life.

Second, Sister Naduald tells us that, "A woman of faith is confident because she understands the divine plan of our Heavenly Father and her role to bless lives. She is confident that any sacrifice she makes is worth something in an eternal sense. She knows about sacrifice from knowing about the life of the Savior. She knows that her sacrifices may be small by comparison, but she knows that Heavenly Father understands and values what she does to strengthen her home and family and the world in which she lives. Her confidence grows because she is virtuous and lovely and gracious, which is even better than beautiful." This confidence has always been a struggle for me. I have never felt like the most beautiful girl, the most popular, the smartest, whatever... However, I have always tried to be a virtuous and gracious person. More importantly, I DO know that I was put on this earth for a purpose. There are lives that I know only I can impact, mostly that of my children and I truly would sacrifice anything asked of me for them!

Finally, we are told that "A woman of faith is fearless...A fearless woman of faith has the courage to talk with her children about practices which would destroy them. They not only hear her discuss her commitment, but they SEE her commitment in her daily living -- in the way she dresses, what she reads and watches, how she spends her leisure time, what she loves and laughs at, whom she attracts, and how she acts at all times, in all things, and in all places. She has a certain style of her own that is attractive and joyful and bright and good. Our little girls and our young women can safely trust in her example." This one is incredibly important to me as I am raising three beautiful little girls, and the young women's president in my branch right now. There is nothing more important to me than being a good example to all six of these amazing girls entrusted to my care. I love them all dearly and pray I can do what Heavenly Father would have me do to benefit their lives.

Sister Nadauld closed by saying, "A woman of faith loves the Lord. She wants Him to know it by the life she lives, by the words she speaks, by the service she renders to His children, by her every action. She knows that He loves her even though she is imperfect and still trying to be better. She knows that when she does her very best, that is enough." I readily admit that I have a long way to go. This is the kind of woman I want to be. For now, I will continue to do my best and remember that that IS enough! May we all love our Savior the very best that we can is my hope and prayer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time Flies When We're Having Fun

This summer has been flying by and I'm honestly not really sure where it went. Hailey starts first grade in two weeks and I start nursing school next month, so I figure an update is in order....I'll do my best.

I have participated in several festivals and fairs this year selling my bows and other girly accessories and it has been a great help to my budget. In fact, just last week a cheerleading team ordered three sets of bows for this coming season and that was pretty exciting....definitely the kind of contacts that are good to have with a small business.

We have done some driving and had lots of visitors this summer. My great-grandma has not been doing very well health wise and so most of the family has come to see her at some point or another. I have seen cousins, aunts, uncles and wonderful people that it had been FAR too long since seeing last. That has probably been the highlight of my summer (other than the reasons behind the visits).

Hailey has loved the summer time, and especially playing in the water, but tells me almost everyday how excited she is for school to start again. She loves to learn and loves to be around other kids her age. She's a beautiful and smart little girl and I can't believe she turned six last week. Hailey played on a t-ball team this summer and is VERY excited to start soccer this fall.

Alyssa is hyper as ever and goofy as can be. She can always make everyone laugh and is becoming quite the little talker, even if it's not always easy to understand yet. She will be four in two weeks and is also very much looking forward to playing soccer this fall and going back to school (daycare, but she calls it school). She loves her friends there and has fabulous teachers and I feel so blessed that that is the case.

Kimber turned two last spring and her personality is starting to flourish. She is sweet and loving, crazy and outgoing, loud and proud, and all around a great kid. She's very two, but we are working on that and I have to remind myself sometimes that she will grow out of it long before I am ready for her to grow up. Kimber would be very excited to tell you that the girls got a new puppy a week or two ago. She is a black lab and they named her Shadow. Very sweet dog! =)

Church is fantastic and I love my Young Women more than ever. I got the wonderful opportunity in the middle of July to go up to camp with young women from all over the stake. It was up near Kirtland, Ohio which is one of the early historical sites for the church. It was an incredible experience, especially when I realized that I was walking the same fields a prophet of God had walked.

In other BIG news...I'm planning a vacation this winter to UTAH!!! I'm SO excited to see some wonderful friends and family. I can't wait....134 days and counting! Not that I'm excited or anything....Rocky Mountains here we come!