Easter 2020

Sunday was Easter, and it was such a wonderful day. I woke up early enough that I was able to get fully ready and read in the scriptures before my kids woke up. I feel like when I’m able to do that, I have a better day. After the kids woke up, it was fun to watch them discover their Easter baskets. John made me a delicious egg sandwich for breakfast. While the kids played, we listened to two really great talks (devotionals); “Sunday Will Come” by Elder Wirthlin and “Mrs. Patton – The Story Continues” by President Monson. We took David to the backyard to hunt for Easter eggs. Then we had lunch and put the kids down for naps. I was able to take a nap for 30 minutes. Then I got up, did some Easter dinner food prep, polished my Grandma Daly’s silver (which we used for the dinner), and set the table. I took a break from the prep to sit down with John and discuss our insights about Easter and Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. This conversation was a highlight of my day. We then had a fun evening full of chatting, laughter, delicious food, and games. When I went to bed, my heart was full and I was a little sad the day was over.

DC Date Nights

I haven’t posted in almost a month. It’s been a quiet winter, and I can’t complain. John has travelled a lot less for work recently. He’s been home the last six weeks, which is a record since we’ve been married (and even since we started dating).

Over the last month, we went into DC twice for two different date nights. The first was to try a new restaurant Farmers and Distillers. This restaurant is operated by the same group who operates Founding Farmers and Farmer, Fishers, and Bakers. While I am a big fan of the latter two, truth be told I wouldn’t write Farmers and Distillers up as anything special. I think the other two restaurants have better options. Nonetheless, it was fun to try a new restaurant. Afterwards, we went and walked around the White House, which was all blocked off, and we enjoyed the unusual spring-like weather we had that day.

A blurry date night selfie.

The second date night in DC was to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes play in the B1G Ten conference playoffs. Iowa played Indiana and unfortunately lost in the first round. While it was too bad that they lost, it was still fun to watch them play.

In other news, Easter and spring are right around the corner. I took down my St. Patricks Day decorations last weekend and made room for Easter (the holiday with by far the best candy ever).

Here’s our entry way table.

While Easter candy is pretty darn awesome, the most awesome part of Easter is truly the opportunity we have to focus on the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am looking forward to this Easter season!

“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

What Easter Means To Me: It all comes down to one word

As I’ve prepared for Easter this week, my mind has been focused on the effect of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection on my life. This video (see below) has been all over my facebook newsfeed and the vast majority of my friends’ posts have included the hashtag #BecauseofHim. Naturally, my thoughts have reflected upon the question: What do I have because of Him?

The answer to the question what do I have because of Jesus Christ, boils down to one word: Everything. While it can be so easy to look at life and see what we lack, the truth is because of Christ, each one of us has everything. Because of Him, our trials and challenges can be for our good and blessing; our tears can be turned to joys; all of our sins can be forgiven; our weaknesses can become strengths; our broken hearts can be mended; our emptiness can be made whole. And this is made possible not because we lived perfect lives, never doubted, or never feared, but because of Jesus Christ. That is the miracle of Easter.

Our Father in Heaven knew we would come down to this earth and face challenges and make mistakes.Through Christ’s suffering and then rising on the third day, we can receive everything if we will believe in Him. I believe that we lived with God before we came to this earth and my greatest desire is to return to Him with my family — that to me sounds like the greatest blessing imaginable. And to know that blessing is made possible only through Jesus Christ, to me, that means everything.

Jesus Christ 2