30 July 2010

A Favorite Place...

There are many things that I like, and sometimes -- a lot like my husband -- I have a hard time picking a 'favorite' this or that. I have a few long-time favorites...French Vanilla, for example, is my favorite ice cream flavor, but Thrifty's Chocolate Malted Crunch comes in at very near the top of the list, and on some days will be chosen over a top-notch French Vanilla! Of course, favorites can change over time, but it does seem strange to me to have a new favorite this or that if the last one didn't last very long. Maybe it depends on the type of thing we are talking about, such that a favorite color may only last as long as that blouse that you love so much lasts, but a favorite song will always pluck those heartstrings like only your favorite can. In lieu of having hard and fast favorites, a lot of the time I will elect a list of favorites instead of a top, all-exclusive spot with space for only one thing at a time.

All this being said, however, I do have a strong favoritism to a special place on earth called the LDS temple. Here again, though, another place comes into my favorite space and sits very near this special place on earth ~ home.

The temple is a place of holiness, sanctuary, prayer, peace, and countless blessings. A walkway between heaven and earth. A place dedicated to the worship and service of the Most High God. David & I were blessed to spend a few hours of our day yesterday in peaceful pursuit of its hallowed, transcendent space. What an incredible, magnanimous gift to be just minutes from a temple! These pics are from yesterday...such a beautiful day!

Answers to prayer may not come all at once. Sometimes they do! Sometimes we need to seek peace in our hearts and minds so that when the answer(s) come, or the parts of it we are ready for at the time, we will be ready to receive. I hope then that we can truly rejoice that Father in Heaven hears us and knows our every need. I am working on better expressing my gratitude and implementing what I know into my actions. Some needs He lets us figure out on our own. So many He grants us in grace and mercy without our even giving thought. Others we need to seek from His guiding hand. I know that in seeking, we can find Him. In finding Him we find peace. A friend once shared with me the thought that if there is something coming between you and God, that thing is closer to Him than you are.

* * *

May you have an opportunity to find peace...the peace that comes from knowing God and the awareness that He truly does know you. You may feel small and insignificant, and even less on some days, but I know that you His son or daughter, and I am grateful to know that I am your sibling!

With love.

26 July 2010


"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."
~ Doctrine & Covenants, 6:36 of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Christ, as our Savior, will guide and bring us safely home. In founding our lives on His Gospel and teachings we can find comfort and peace despite the inevitable turmoils of life, no matter how minuscule or seemingly insurmountable. This I believe...it is this I am trying to convey and live in accordance with when it is so tempting to doubt and fear instead of believe.

In looking back on my life, this may be the most challenging time that I have had to continue believing when life is hard, but that may mean nothing more than it is time to believe yet again because He has never failed me before.

23 July 2010

Being a light...

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.”

~ Dwight L. Moody

This quote really caught my attention on the blog of one of my sisters-in-law earlier today. Not only because I like what light is, and what it means metaphorically as well as metaphysically, but also because I am a quiet person. I try to be good. I try to do my best, and think that I do accomplish it frequently, though not in everything.

In other words, I do try to let my light shine. I am not as good at telling anybody that it is shining. But being quiet around others can often result in a lot of misunderstanding. Because I don't say something out loud some assume I have nothing to say, rather than choosing simply not to say it. Others assume I have nothing to say and take it a step further and assume I don't care or am altogether ignorant. Perhaps that's true in some cases. Most of the time I am simply quiet. I choose to speak my mind when I think it is appropriate and when I have the words to do it, or think I do; otherwise I keep my thoughts to myself. I'm not saying I communicate perfectly whenever I do attempt it. Far from it!

I am sorry if my being quiet offends anyone, but I do not take the responsibility for quiet inaction on my part being offensive since no offense is even intended on my part. Taking offense is the action if one is offended, not offending. One chooses to be offended, no one can make you offended.

Just a thought...

21 July 2010

A Walk Around the Pond

This past Saturday was a fun and busy day...

David & I went to a picnic activity celebrating our church's pioneer history, specifically the 24th of July (we celebrated early!) of 1847 when the first groups arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after trekking great distances and surviving horrifically trying circumstances. Since we are new in our ward we did not recognize a lot of people, but we did get to visit with a few and meet some as well. Toward the end of the event we took a walk around the pond in Elk Grove Park. It was my first time there, so I went a little shutter happy...I see why it is the perfect setting for the annual Strauss Festival!

I enjoyed observing the ducks and geese playing in the water...

David was sweet and patiently waited for me to catch up - frequently! It was a beautiful and relaxing sight to enjoy with my honey just before we helped clean up after the picnic and headed home...

...then it was off to win the cupcake wars...okay, not really...

...my sister-in-law Debi is the family cupcake queen, and she made cupcakes (all day!) for a wedding in the evening, and I got to help during the afternoon. It was fun, and great to find that chilly room on such a hot day! I didn't feel a breeze in the afternoon...so sad...but cupcakes make it all better, right? It's funny...I have not been a fan of cake or cupcakes as long as I can remember...but Debi is influencing a paradigm shift in my life regarding cupcakes!
Then...(yes, there's more!) later in the evening David & I joined Debi at the hospital to visit the newly added upon Hinds family and enjoy cherishing little Naomi. I shared my favorite photos yesterday from Naomi's & my photo shoot, but here's my favorite from Friday (Naomi's Day 1)...

No words are adequate!
Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.
Louis D Brandies---1856-1941
United States Supreme Court Justice
(quoting Abraham Lincoln)

20 July 2010

Adorable Naomi...

We have a new niece! She came in the middle of the night, 12:15am of Friday, July 9th. Weighing in at 7 lb, 11 oz and stretching to a height of 20" she is a tiny package of wonder and newborn beauty! I just love her tiny, yet elegant fingers and toes! She is one gorgeous girl...but you can see that for yourselves! :-) Welcome...Naomi Elisabeth Hinds!

These pics are from day two...about 45 hours young. Naomi and I had a bit of time together for cuddling and a photo shoot while mommy, daddy and an aunt and uncle played a game. Out of the dozens of shots, these are my favorite. She's really the perfect model when she can hold a pose for five minutes at a time! :-) Not much compares to holding such a little one in your arms. There is a special piece of heaven on earth, I think. I enjoyed every second of it!

There has been a lot going on that I'm working on posting about...this is just the best of them all!

09 July 2010

The Shore and the Ocean

"In order to discover new oceans you must have courage to lose sight of the shore."

These words have been on my mind a lot lately, and so I share them with you in case they can serve as a catalyst for positive change in your own life.

Regardless of the shore you are on or trying to let go of -- whether it be a physical shoreline or a metaphorical one -- sometimes we need to reach out toward the ocean and let go of what has been in order to discover what is ahead. It seems to me that since we are human a lot of us would rather be more like a monkey and swing from one branch to another, rather than be in a boat and hoist anchor, looking to and moving toward the horizon beyond which we cannot see.

San Luis Obispo has been the comfortable, blessed shore and harbor home for David and I for most of our married life. Outside of the short months between getting married and moving to the SLO area for school, and the past couple of weeks, it has been our haven...our home. While we will forever cherish our home there -- and especially friends and loved ones we met there (many have also moved away) -- the ocean beckons us to a shore we have not yet found.

These thoughts bring to mind a story I heard in which a young boy really understands what 'home' means...

Some years ago a fire erupted in the middle of the night and completely destroyed a family’s home. A neighbor came by to console a seven-year-old, not knowing that he was about to be taught a great principle. “Johnny, it’s sure too bad your home burned down.” Johnny thought a moment and then said, “Oh, that’s where you’re mistaken, Mr. Brown. That was not our home; that was just our house. We still have our home, we just don’t have any place to put it right now.

...That last statement truly typifies how I feel right now. While we are immensely blessed to live where we are right now, and we love being here so much to boot, the ocean still beckons. So, I am counting our blessings daily and pray for the strength to be able to head out into the ocean once more when it is time to leave this safe and comfortable harbor.

May you have peace in your heart if your current shore is best, courage to leave a shore behind you to make a positive change in your life and definitely the wisdom to distinguish between the shores!

With love.