Monday, February 17, 2020

the Lord's Hand to Revealed

This is me reaching out longingly toward this blanket that I started crocheting back in January. Lately I've been so busy with my calling that I haven't had time for this little creative hobby.

But I'm an so grateful for this calling of Stake Director of Communication. This weekend was an "emergency" Stake Conference, in which we had a new Stake Presidency called because our other recently called Stake President is moving away.

In preparation for this Stake Conference we invited lots of local government leaders to attend. We met with them and invited in person or over the phone. And basically they all said yes!!

I mean, that's to be expected when the person doing the asking is a former Pittsburgh Steeler with two Super Bowl rings, however, I am still amazed.

Perhaps the persecuted Joseph Smith might have been amazed. I think possibly the visiting Elder Montoya (whose great grandfather was killed by soldiers in Mexico 105 years ago for being "Mormon") was slightly amazed.

But it was indeed a remarkable show of support, one we haven't seen in this area previously, and I could see the Lord's hand in it.

I was worried when they called me to this position. Being a SAHM, fairly new to this area, and not having government connections, I wondered how it was to be done?

Wouldn't you know, the Lord already had set a plan in motion?  As it turned out my daughter's homeroom/health teacher is one of the Township Supervisors for our local government.  A way was already provided before I was even called.

Other things to note: the person who held this calling before me only held it for three months. He didn't know me, but my name came to him as the person to call to the committee. After I had been called, I asked him if he knew anything of my background. He said that he didn't. He had no idea that I had worked at CNN, was a journalist and did some PR in my career.

And Chris Hoke, that Pittsburgh Steeler, and member of the Stake Presidency who has been my "missionary companion" as we have gone out visiting government officials for the last month or so has been instrumental, using his name and connections to open doors that would not have opened to me. Now, he is our new Stake President, an excellent choice for a leader. But he was 2nd counselor long enough to guide our Committee and jumpstart these community relationships again.

I told Pres. Hoke yesterday in a text how much I respect him, however not because of his worldly fame. After all, unlike most other Yinzers, I have never seen him play a minute of football in my life!

But I have seen him take the field for the Lord, and I have been most impressed with his willingness to repay the Lord for his success by using his name, fame, time, and all of his amazing talents to Serve the Lord and Build His kingdom. I have all the respect in the world for that.

So if Chris Hoke can do it, I guess I can put down my crochet hook and cast in my sickle for the Lord.

It's much more exciting than crocheting anyway!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Some People are Just Magic

I know I'm a little late with this post, but I just have to give a shout-out to the Santa at the Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens this year.  

He was warm and sincere and did an amazing job of sparking joy and a sense of wonder in my children when we visited with him.

I absolutely adore people who are so much like children themselves that children accept them as an ally pretty readily.  This is how this Santa was for us.

Just so amazingly sweet and kind.

For this Mom who spent much of the entire holiday season tending a sick household, watching him interact with my babies was a treat in and of itself.

Thank you, Santa!


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Monday, February 10, 2020

A Thought for This Week

Just thought I'd share this to get you psyched up for the week ahead.  No matter what you face, remember this:

"You were taught in the spirit world to prepare you for anything and everything you would encounter during this later part of these latter says. That teaching endures within you!" - President Russell M. Nelson

Make choices today that will allow the Holy Ghost to remind you of those teachings when you need them most!  

You can do this!

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

My Mom Turned 71

My Mom turned 71 on Saturday, so we bopped on over to Cleveland to spend the day with her and my Dad (and also got to see my sister.)

Because, we can do that now that we only live two hours away.  We couldn't run over and back in a day when we lived nearly five hours away.

I count that as one of the major blessings of our move, the move that was so hard to make three years ago.

But God truly works in mysterious ways to bring about what is best for us, and what is best for me now is being able to live closer to my family.

My Mom is a truly remarkable lady.  She is always learning new things.  Like currently she apprentices for a local balloon shop learning to become a balloon artist.  She is so creative and fun like that.

Another thing about my Mom is that she will always tell it to ya straight.  She doesn't mince words.  I always know if I ask her opinion, I'll get an honest answer. I trust her because of that.

My Mom and my Dad are straight about the gospel.  They try their best. They point me to Christ and to his prophet.  I love them for the excellent examples they are to me.

And I'm grateful I get to share more of my time with them now that we live a lot closer.

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

What Come Follow Me Looked Like One Day

Lately, I cannot get my kids to sit down and listen to scriptures unless food is literally going into their mouths at the very same time.  I guess this shouldn't surprise me that much, since we've used this as a strategy since they were little.

On Saturday, after a day of relaxing past-times (such as water-coloring, puzzle-solving, raclette cooking, and trash-collecting in the neighborhood, I sat down while dishes were being cleared from dinner and just started reading and interpreting the scriptures aloud.

I had a semi-captive audience.  I was really just doing my own personal studying amid the chaos, and as I'd discover one truth after another that I'd somehow missed the other 40 times I'd read the passages, I'd exclaim with excitement at what I had learned.  The kids would draw nearer and want to engage.

Soon, four of my kids were working on water color paints and passively listening while I read, jotted down notes, and pointed out what I thought was so amazing about what I had just learned.

Every day, it seems I approach Come Follow Me a little differently.  But this was one of those good days that I'll always remember.


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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Book of Mormon Timeline (Printable)

Last week I stumbled on a post on Facebook somewhere about a Book of Mormon Timeline that you can color and cut out and put on the wall.

This kind of hands-on activity sounded like a good fit for our family, so that's what 3-year old Val is working on in the picture above.

The kids (young and older) had fun coloring the characters in and it gave us a chance to recap what has happened in the book so far.

If you're interested in ordering one to help your family keep the events of The Book of Mormon in order and top of mind, you can find the download (for a fee) here: Timeline Travelers.

You can also find it on FB:

If you use it, let me know what you think. I am NOT paid to share this product. I just thought it was a good help in teaching about the events of The Book of Mormon.

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