When Faith is Required

I posted this on The Faith Friends this morning. Since it’s been something I’ve really been thinking about, I figured I would post it here too.

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I had an epiphany earlier this week. The epiphany came as a result of something I’ve always known, however, I didn’t fully understand. Even still I am not sure I fully understand.

It occurred to me that real faith can only be exhibited in darkness. If our path is lit and we can see clearly the next step, we do not need faith; we know what the next step will be.

God placed us here on earth to exercise faith.  Yet sometimes when the path is dark, I find myself struggling to be happy and feel loved by God. But I know that faith is a necessary part of our loving Father in Heaven’s plan. I realized this week that I must cherish the opportunities to exercise faith. And instead of focusing my prayers solely on asking for the path to be lit, I need to also ask that my faith will be strengthened to endure the darkness.

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California 2015

I got back from my annual work trip to California early in the morning on Sunday. I was able to extend that trip a couple days and visit my Great Aunt Fannie in Long Beach. The weather in California was amazing 🙂 It is nice to be back home though.

On the yacht for the Big Bash.
On the yacht for the Big Bash.
Me and Aunt Fannie before I headed home.
Me and Aunt Fannie before I headed home.

 

A New Journey Begins

About a year ago, my sister jokingly sent me a text saying she had found my future husband. My sister and I attend the same church congregation, and on a Sunday when I was out of town, a guy, who had recently moved into our congregation, gave a talk during the service. After hearing his talk and knowing he was from Iowa (I love Iowa), my sister sent me “the text.” Little did she or I know how fortuitous that text would be.

I had previously met this guy (John) a few weeks prior to my sister’s text. I recognized he seemed like a great guy but our social interactions were very limited outside of church. At the beginning of 2015, we started interacting with each other a bit more. Shortly after the start of the year, we took a road trip to Kirtland, Ohio with a group of friends. We rode together and spent seven hours there and seven hours back just talking about all sorts of topics. It’s amazing what you can learn about someone in 14 hours in a car!

Shortly after returning home from Kirtland, we went on our first date. Things progressed from there, and on the 4th of July, John and I got engaged. We’re getting married October 24 in the Washington DC LDS Temple.

It’s funny because John and I both remember meeting each other a little over a year ago. I thought he seemed like a cool guy and he thought I was very “bubbly.” Honestly, I know that neither of us had any clue during that initial meeting how drastically our lives would change as a result.

I made him take a selfie with me after he proposed.
I made him take a selfie with me after he proposed.
The ring :)
The ring 🙂

On the day of my first date with John, I went to a Chinese restaurant with my coworkers. The fortune inside of the fortune cookie I received at lunch that day said, “Your dearest wish will come true.” My dearest wish has always been to be a wife and a mother. What a fun coincidence receiving this fortune cookie was 😉

In the days since John proposed, I’ve been so overwhelmed by all the kind well-wishes I’ve received. From friends sending links to helpful websites in the wedding planning process to a book of wedding wishes, the response has been so touching.

I am very grateful I can marry John, and I am very grateful to friends and family who have celebrated with me since hearing the news. People are seriously so thoughtful and kind. I am excited for this new journey and grateful I get to embark on it with John.

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Where Did June Go?

June was a busy but delightful month. I started off the month in Madison, Wisconsin at Midwest Institute. Then I celebrated my birthday, and the day after my birthday, I headed off to Athens, Georgia for Southeast Institute.

Midwest Institute

It's tradition to take a "staff selfie" during the Big Bash.
It’s tradition to take a “staff selfie” during the Big Bash.
With our wonderful Trustees Chairman.
With the wonderful Institute Trustees Chairman.
Someone decided to get creative in their picture taking skills. This is the entire staff that was on-site at Midwest Institute.
Someone decided to get creative in their picture taking skills. This is the entire staff that was on-site at Midwest Institute.
Enjoying the Kickoff at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Enjoying the Kickoff at Buffalo Wild Wings.
In front of the Wisconsin State Capitol.
In front of the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Birthday

I had a great birthday this year. John was out of town so we celebrated the weekend before. On the actual day, I spent time with my mom and sister looking at venues for an upcoming event I have yet to write about on the blog (but will soon!). In the evening, I went to dinner with friends and then headed over to my parents for cake and ice cream.

John was out of town on my birthday so we celebrated the weekend before.
 The iPhone/restaurant lighting doesn’t make for the best picture.
Dinner with friends on my actual birthday.
After dinner, we headed over to my parents for cake. My mom decorated the mantle in the family room.
My mom decorated the mantle in my parents’ family room.
Two delicious cakes - coconut and chocolate peanut butter!
Two delicious cakes – coconut and chocolate peanut butter!

Southeast Institute

Someone brought a selfie stick to Southeast Institute. I had never used one before.
Someone brought a selfie stick to Southeast Institute. I had never used one before.
Staff wearing the funny hats at the First-Timers Reception.
Staff wearing the funny hats at the First-Timers Reception.
The traditional "staff selfie" during the Big Bash. This time I looked tired and felt tired :)
The traditional “staff selfie” during the Big Bash. This time I looked tired and felt tired 🙂