“Have Courage And Be Kind”

Originally posted on The Faith Friends.

FF 3-30-2016

On Easter Sunday, I led Sunday School music time for the children in my church congregation. As we sang songs about Jesus Christ, I asked the children, “What can we do to show Jesus Christ we love Him?” One sweet 4-year-old girl, quoting the most recent Cinderella movie, answered, “Have courage and be kind.”

Have Courage

Recent world events have broken my heart and diminished my courage. When I hear of terrorist attacks like the recent attack in Belgium, my heart fills with fear. I fear what could happen on the trains I take in and out of Washington D.C. each day; I fear how increasingly more dangerous the world will be for my children; I fear for the safety of my husband as he frequently travels for work. However, I know that God doesn’t want me to fear. He wants me to have faith, which leads to courage.

I need to have faith that no matter what happens in this life, God has a plan. His plan enables me to return and live with Him again and with my family forever. Central to His plan is the ability for people to use their agency here on this earth. This means that bad things can happen as people use their agency for evil and wrong purposes.

God is a loving God, and He will be with us when bad things happen to us and around us. Believing that God will help me and my family through good times and bad times helps me to have courage. Believing that there is life after death and that families are forever helps me to have courage. Having courage and trusting God shows God we love Him.

Be Kind

For many years, I have felt that the number one attribute I want to teach my children is kindness. Kindness is more than simply being nice. Kindness is loving others with our whole hearts and acting accordingly. Kindness can be hard. It is hard to love others who degrade us or who are rude to us. Yet, God wants us to be kind to all people, regardless of how they treat us.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ said:

“And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain,” (Matthew 5:40-41).

When we realize that all we have is from God – our coat, our cloke, the ability to walk, etc. – we will be inclined to give more and be kind. I don’t think this scripture is God’s way of encouraging us to allow people to take advantage of us. I think He’s encouraging us to realize all we have is from Him.

Mean-spiritedness is pervasive in our society. Don’t believe me? Turn on any news channel covering the U.S. presidential election. This election cycle seems to promote the opposite of kindness. However, I have learned that kindness always wins. What makes a true winner isn’t the outcome of an election or an argument, but a true winner is someone who has the inner peace that only kindness can bring.

At the times in my life when I have focused on developing greater kindness, I have felt transformed on the inside. I have felt a peace and a love that I can’t fully describe. God wants us to be kind. He wants us to feel like true winners and have the penetrating peace only pure kindness can bring.

Cinderella’s mother and the sweet 4-year-old girl at church on Sunday were right. We need to “have courage and be kind.” That is exactly what we can do to show Jesus Christ, our Savior, Redeemer, and Healer, that we love Him.

Happy Easter 2016

Before I go to bed, I want to take a moment to record my feelings on this Easter day. Today in church, we sang the hymn “He Is Risen.” As we sang, my heart felt so full. I imagined all of us as spirits in Heaven singing this exact hymn with joy and gusto when Christ rose from the dead. Our lives changed forever in that instant. Because He lives again, all of us will live again. Because Christ overcame sin and death, we can return and live with our Heavenly Father again. That is so powerful. One of my favorite messages on the power of the ressurection was given in a LDS General Conference. The title of the message is Sunday  Will Come.

Happy Easter!

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Easter Sunday 2016

Our First Home

This post is mainly for posterity’s sake. A big reason I keep this blog is so that our posterity can look back and read about our lives. I also update a personal journal, where I record deeper and more personal thoughts. I enjoy reading the things my ancestors have written about their lives, and I want to keep a record for future generations.

This post is pictures of my and John’s first home. We live in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. It’s a great first home, and we love it. Here are some pictures of our home…

Our front door.
The living room.



The kitchen.


This is John’s office. This picture is from a few months ago. You can barely see the corner of his desk in this picture. Today the office has a lot of empty boxes in it we need to move out. Once we do, then I’ll probably take more pictures and update this post. The bookshelf in this picture is a lot more full now 🙂
There’s no great way to take a picture of the bathroom. We have a double vanity that you can’t really see. I love our bathroom because it’s so big.
Our bedroom.