Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Abundant Life by DeAnn

Hello, I am DeAnn from The SIP project (Service Is Painless).

I started my blog a few months ago as a way to hopefully reach out and inspire anyone who comes across my blog. I wanted to find a way to use my talent (photography) to serve others and was not completely happy with anything I saw out there. While there are many worthy causes, they are all very narrow in their reach, which is fine, don't get me wrong, it just doesn't fit me. So I started the SIP project. 

Here's how it works:  I pair up with someone and take their photos and in return they do a service project of their choosing. Then I post some of their photos and service project experience is on my blog. I offer this service in hopes of inspiring others to use their time, talents, and hobbies to serve others. Being a wife and a mom are my first priorities. My life would be empty without them. A big motivating factor in starting The SIP project was my kids; I want them to know how to serve. I want it to be a very natural part of who they are. 

I am excited to be here today! I was so excited when my sister sent me a link to Jocelyn's blog. It's so refreshing to have someone like Jocelyn, (an intelligent and wonderful Mom), have her blog totally focused on sharing and encouraging us to live the Gospel. When I saw her service page I was stoked and knew I had to talk to her. Come on, leave her a comment and tell her how much you appreciate her hard work. It will make her day, I promise :) 

I love that in the First Presidency message in the Ensign this month, President Monson breaks down "The Abundant Life" in three simple steps. That's how I like it...tell me exactly HOW you get from point A to point B.

He Breaks it down into what he call's the ABC's of an Abundant Life.

President Monson, well he is just remarkable, isn't he? Have you read his biography To The Rescue? If you haven't, you should. He is intelligent and and he follows the spirit. I imagine he is much like our Savior; he doesn't yell at us or get mad at us...even if sometimes we feel like we deserve it. President Monson points us to our Savior because he KNOWS it is through the Atonement and living the gospel that we can return again to live with our Father in Heaven. 

As I think about the above message, this story from Elder Carl B. Cook in the last General Conference comes to mind. I feel this is what he is ALWAYS saying to US; it exemplifies Pres. Monson's character and his desire to have us look to our Savior.

Elder Cook shares this story in his talk, "It is Better to Look Up". During his first week as a general authority, in the elevator as he was leaving the office of the seventy he was pondering, "How can I possibly do this?" As he stared blankly at the floor, someone came in the elevator. The person asked, "What are you looking at down there?" He recognized the voice to be that of Pres. Monson. "Oh nothing," he responded. Of course Pres. Monson could see that he was having a hard time and said, "It is better to look up!"

Pres. Monson could have said many things at this point like, " will be okay," or "don't worry you'll figure things out." How many times do we hear ourselves and others saying stuff like that to others? I do. But what we need to do is do as Pres. Monson did - point people to the Savior. 

It is in Him we will find our comfort and not in food or blogging, or TV, etc. If we seek to be comforted by anyone or thing but Him it is wrong. 

Why don't we look to Him more? Because praying is work! And the natural man is LAZY. It's EASY to shove something in your mouth or go shopping, but will we find our solace there? 

President Monson is the prophet after all, don't you think he could have shared some grand advice? He simply said, "it's better to look up." We could all learn from that. People don't need those kinds of empty words no matter how good our intentions. We need to keep it simple, say what we feel inspired to say and let the spirit work on them and bring them comfort. This will turn them to our Savior.

Elder Cook continues, "As we parted, the words of a scripture came to my mind: 'Believe in God; believe that he is...; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth.' As I thought of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's power, my heart found  the comfort I had sought in vain from the floor [or cookie, or home goods] of that descending elevator." The spirit spoke to him. All because of Pres. Monson's simple words, "It's better to look up."

Thanks for letting me take over your blog for today Jocelyn :) 

Thank YOU, DeAnn!  As you guys may or may not know:

FEBRUARY is always Service Boot Camp around here.

You can participate in a number of ways, which I am talking about today over on
DeAnn's blog The S.I.P. Project.

Please come on over and say hi!


  1. good thoughts to ponder...

  2. I really needed this today- it has been a rough year! Thank you soo much for sharing!!!!

  3. Elizabeth LangstonWednesday, January 25, 2012

    Thank you soooo much! I really needed this today!

  4. Good reminder to get on knees instead of into the chocolate stash....

  5. Great thoughts, and a wonderful idea up at the top.


  6. I am excited to check this out! Thanks!

  7. What a great way to inspire service.  Thanks for sharing!

  8. great thoughts, DeAnn - I especially loved this, "
    It is in Him we will find our comfort and not in food or blogging, or TV, etc." My husband travels for work a lot, and is sometimes not in places where I can communicate with him - but the Lord is always within reach. When my husband is gone, I try to "replace" him in some of those ways you mentioned, when in reality, I just need to go to the Savior for comfort when I feel lonely. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Perfectly said. Loved the home teaching message this month. Great way to start the new year!

  10. Thanks for a great post, DeAnn! It was fun swapping blogs with ya!

  11. So happy we could do this Jocelyn!  And thanks for all the nice comments about the post :) Thanks for taking the time to comment.