LDS Primary Temple Dedication Countdown

There is so much back story needed before posting this. But let’s just stick with the short version. That is: I was called as the Primary President on my second week in Florida. Oh, have I mentioned that I moved to Florida? Yes. I did–six months ago, this weekend.

(For non-Mormon-lingo speakers: The “Primary” is the children’s organization at our church. All children ages 18 months to twelve years old attend Primary during the second and third hours of our Sunday church meetings. As the President, it is my job to help strengthen the faith of the families in our congregation as well as oversee the children’s Sunday gospel instruction. My ward, i.e. congregation, has about 50 children in Primary.)

So yeah. Primary President. On my second week here. :) I. LOVE. IT.

Anyway, the building of the Fort Lauderdale Temple was recently completed. Open house tours are currently underway for the general public until April 19. Tickets are available here, if you’re in the area and would like to see the inside of a Mormon temple. On Sunday, May 4, the temple will be dedicated (consecrated) to the Lord and from then on, only members of the LDS church who have met certain standards of conduct and worthiness are able to enter.

As the Primary President, I’ve been trying to think of a way to help the children get excited about the dedication. To have one of our temples so close (only 2 hours!) is such a blessing and I wanted to help them see the importance of this holy building as well as assist their families in commemorating this special, sacred occasion in their own homes.

Here’s what I created:

Enclosed in this print-at-home activity packet is a template for a countdown chain. Each link has one simple activity children or families can do that day to keep their mind on the temple. The countdown begins Monday, April 7 with a Family Home Evening (FHE) lesson. Three additional FHE lessons are outlined in the packet for each additional Monday leading up to the dedication on May 4. If you’d like to print the packet, click here. And if you have any questions, leave a comment. Feel free to share the packet with anyone in the South Florida area. Enjoy!

P.S. If you’re wondering about Mormon temples, here is a 3-minute video about why they’re so important to us.

Halfway

Today, I turned 35.

And for the first time in my life, I’ve felt a small measure of anxiety over my age. I loved turning 30–like, love loved. In a weird way, I felt like I was catching up to myself–as though I’d always been 30. And in the ensuing five years, I’ve found myself feeling … relaxed … comfortable … happy with myself. There have been hard things, certainly. Sad times, yesofcourse. But in short, my 30s so far have been great.

But 35. Thirty-five is … really close to 40. And it’s half of 70. And because of that, for the last few weeks, the thought keeps rolling, I’ve lived half(ish) of my life.

It’s not so much the getting older. I don’t mind that. Aging has never scared me. And 35 isn’t even that old. It’s more the reality that what I thought my life would be by now … isn’t. And because time is ticking–so very loudly–I can’t help but think … What have I done? What am I doing?

The measuring stick, against which I’ve always compared my progress–the measuring stick by which the vast majority of society compares life’s progress, I would venture–seems to have snapped into splintering bits. At least for me.

I do not have a spouse. I do not have a home. I do not have any children.

And there are currently no prospects for any of those options.

When it didn’t happen at 21, like I always imagined it would when I was a little girl (surely my life will follow the same course parents’ did, I thought), I just assumed it would happen by 25. But when it hadn’t happened at 25, I thought, Oh–well 27, then. And when 27 came and went, It must be waiting at 30, I mused. But 30 breezed by and so I set my sights on 35.

Now, 35 is here. Certainly by 35, it was supposed to be.

But it’s not.

And while the absence of spouse and house are softer pills to swallow, I am keenly aware that the years and possibility of bearing children are slowly–no, quickly–diminishing.

I have about a decade left, give or take. A decade is not very long. In fact, didn’t I just turn 25? Yes, I’m certain of it.

And so again, I ask myself, for the ten-thousandth time, What have I done? What am I doing?

Today, in the shower, as the scalding water streamed, scorching soul and skin, I searched for an answer. I made list upon list.

I have been educated and have continued to seek knowledge. I am a bright, intelligent, inquisitive woman who loves to think and fiercely believes that her brain is her best feature.

I have seen bits and pieces of the world. No, I haven’t seen all I want to see and been everywhere I want to have been, but I have said “yes” to the chances that have come and been enthralled with the introductions they’ve provided to life outside of my own.

I have shared a home with someone I loved. It may not have had my name on the deed, but I was wrapped and sheltered by its walls–walls that formed rooms filled with laughter, happiness, peace, contentment, and the Spirit of the Lord.

I have loved a man so deeply I was changed. He never loved me back, or even knew I loved him in fact, but the years I spent loving him were some of the most illuminating years of my life.

I have massaged a birthing mother’s legs and confidently affirmed that yes, you can do this, physically pushing my certainty in her ability past the contracting space between us and into her body, mind, and spirit, as she labored to bring life. And I stood steps away as life’s first breath was breathed.

I have rocked babies to sleep. No they may not have been mine, but my arms have filled in when their mothers’ were weary or unable.

I have praised God and am saved daily by His Son. I have heard His voice and I have held my faith.

But above all these things, as I look at my life and think, What have I done? What am I doing?, I see a life filled to the brim with people–people to whom I have sat close, holding hands and hearts, sharing stories and shoulders. People, with whom I have cried, laughed, played, and prayed. People who have nudged my rumination and stretched the capacities of my contemplation. And in those moments of blessed connection, I have found born within me such jewels as sincerity, compassion, testimony, adoration and a loyalty stronger than the Rock of Gibraltar.

No, I may not have a house, but I have known home.

And I may not have a spouse, but I have known love.

And I may have never borne a child, but I have given birth.

And while yes, certainly, I want more–I do believe life is for wanting and reaching–this is only intermission.

I still have the whole second half (and hopefully, then some) to go.

Guatemala, Day 2 – Arriving in the Village

A recap of my experience traveling to Guatemala on a philanthropic expedition with CHOICE Humanitarian. Click Here for Day 1. The following is my journal entry from Day 2.

18 August 2013

We made it to the village!

And what a ride it was. We all loaded onto the bus at 8:00 a.m. and headed out of Guatemala City. And my, my, my, was the bus ride crazy. Our driver totally knew what he was doing, but he was swerving in and out, passing with traffic coming head-on, racing up and down hills–I’m thinking perhaps we have too many traffic laws in the States? And oddly enough, I never once felt fear.

The landscape was incredible–so lush and green, which is totally cliche, but I don’t know how else to describe it. It was everything you would imagine a South American jungle to be.

We stopped for a quick lunch at a resort on a lake (our last moments of “1st world”) and then drove on for another 45 minutes, at which point we stopped and changed buses. Meaning, we got off the nice tourist bus and hopped on the un-airconditioned, one-step-above-a-”chicken-bus”-bus. The remaining three-ish hours of our nine-hour trek was mostly dirt road and we needed something that could handle the terrain and the mountain climb.

It. was. great! I had my window open and eyes agog the whole bumpy ride and never once did it feel like a nine-hour drive to me. I loved every second and couldn’t soak it all in fast enough.

Soon after changing buses, we entered the Polochic region and climbed the mountains to the very tip tops. Truly, I’ll say it again, this is such an incredible experience. And so beautiful. It’s hard to believe that it’s real. As we drove, little children would wave by the side of the road, “Gringos!”

Side note: we also, oddly enough, passed two Latter-day Saint (Mormon) churches (!). One was Spanish-speaking and the other was Q’eqchi’ (the indigenous Mayan dialect here). I even saw two missionaries walking the dirt roads between villages. (I can spot those white shirts from a mile away.) Such a testament to the Lord’s admonition to take the gospel to the corners of the world. To every climb.

As we drove, I couldn’t help but wonder–what are these people going through? What are their hopes, dreams, and desires? What are their questions? What answers and comfort and hope could the (would the) gospel of Christ bring them?

Once we “arrived,” we still had to climb down a steep, slippery hill to get to the village center and schoolhouse. As we reached the end of the path, all the villagers were waiting for us–well the women and children were, at least. The men had climbed up to the top of the hill to carry our bags down for us. Good thing too, because I barely got my body down that hill. There’s no way the bag would’ve made it too, had I been left to my own devices.

It was overwhelming and in a sense, emotional, to see all those beautiful people gathered to welcome us. A few brave children came close to check us out and smiled wide when we took their pictures.

Once all the luggage had been brought and everyone was gathered (Seriously. The whole village came to greet us.), the leaders of the village stepped forward to welcome us officially. Their speeches had to be translated from Q’eqchi’ to Spanish and from Spanish to English, but they basically said that they were so glad to have us, that they were so grateful that we would come to help them with their water system, and that the spiritual leaders of their village had begun praying for us weeks before our travels began and throughout our journey to their home.

Then one of them asked to pronounce a blessing on us. We don’t know what we said, but he began to pray and it was the most amazing experience as other villagers began to pray too. Soon, all these individual voices were speaking, simultaneously lifting their voices to God (Gods? I think they might believe in more than one.), all saying different things, but collectively praying, pleading, and blessing on our behalf.

I closed my eyes to take it in and I hope I always remember that sound–all those voices. Praying. I wanted so badly to raise my voice too, to join in their prayers, but I just raised my thoughts.

(I did find it interesting that no women joined in??? At least none that I saw.)

After the blessing, we introduced ourselves. At one point, Dr. Ambrose, an OBGYN from California who came on the expedition to offer medical training to the village, said his name was Anton and one of the older villagers said his name too, was Anton. Then he said (in Q’eqchi’, of course) in honor of this delightful coincidence, “I am now going to play you a song, and you will dance.” It was hilarious, but Doc went along with it and soon we were all dancing with the villagers while Guatemalan Anton played his xylophone (marimba?).

After dancing, we had dinner (chicken, rice, and beans) and all the villagers watched us eat. Then we painted nails (boys too!) and learned names.

It took me a little while to jump in. I don’t know why but I hold back, a little shy, in situations like this, but soon, a young girl, Gertrudis, smiled shyly and asked my name, “como te llamas?” And I was able to get in and start talking. My Spanish isn’t great and neither is theirs–the children are learning it as a second language as all of them speak Q’eqchi–but we got along just fine.

Gertrudis is 16 and likes her writing class at school (girl after my own heart!). Josephina is 15 and likes matimatica and Benjamin is 10 and like Spanish.

I still just can’t believe I’m here and doing this. The generator has been turned off and it’s dark and the crickets (among other things) are chirping outside. I’m laying on a not-very-cushy sleeping pad on the concrete floor of the bright aqua schoolhouse … and I’m happy as can be. Amazed that I’m here experiencing this. Meeting these people–people who matter, in this tiny, remote, humble village in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle.

Father in Heaven, thank you, thank you for these people. Thank you for this opportunity. Please fill my heart with your love. Help me show that to them. Help me to know how to communicate. And help me be big enough to take it all in. I love you. And I love them. Already. I do.

Guatemala, Day 1 – A Prayer

Last year, in the midst of all the crazy, I went to Guatemala.

My company is a corporate partner of CHOICE Humanitarian and each year, our CEO selects a handful of employees to go on one of their expeditions. All our expenses are paid and we don’t even have to use any PTO (seriously, I work for the most amazing company). I was lucky enough to be included on the 2013 team. We traveled to a tiny village in the Polochic region of Guatemala, called Chimaxyat, to help them build a new water system for their village. This is a recap, albeit late, of my experience.

On the first night, rather than a journal entry, I wrote my prayer:

17 August 2013

Heavenly Father,

First, before I dive in to today, I need to say thank you again for your help last night as I spoke at that Girls Camp. You totally covered me. I felt like I had nothing left to give to anyone. Granted, that’s how I’ve felt for weeks, but once again, you filled me up.

I’m also so grateful to be here in Guatemala. I was blow away by the beauty I saw below me as we flew in. It’s so cool to see the world from that perspective. Your perspective. You really made us something beautiful here–this Earth. Thank you.

Thank you, too, for the safety we enjoyed today as we explored Guatemala City. I wasn’t nearly as scared as I thought I might be, and it was so fun to dust off my Spanish. I’m really excited and happy to be here.

Father, please help me–help me to see and understand–whatever it is that you need me to see and understand. Please help me to be open to thy Spirit, to let it into my heart and to listen to it. Please bless my new friend Allison with whatever situation brought her here on this expedition. Please give her comfort. And please help me be a good friend. Please bless my family back home while I’m away, that they will be watched over and kept safe. Please grant us safety as we travel to the village tomorrow. And please bless my body and spirit. Please help them to do the things they need to do–to keep up. In the name of Jesus Christ …

xo,

Krista

Quote Board – Eleanor Roosevelt

Because I don’t want to lose this quote. Does this mean I’m blogging again? Who knows?

“Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively. After a short time, a very short time, there would be little that one really enjoyed. For what keeps our interest in life and makes us look forward to tomorrow is giving pleasure to other people.

[…]

It is easy to slip into self-absorption and it is equally fatal. When one becomes absorbed in himself, in his health, in his personal problems, or in the small details of daily living, he is, at the same time losing interest in other people; worse, he is losing his ties to life. From that it is an easy step to losing interest in the world and in life itself. That is the beginning of death.

I have always liked Don Quixote’s comment, ‘Until death it is all life.’

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: ‘A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.’

But there is another basic requirement, and I can’t understand now how I forgot it at the time: that is the feeling that you are, in some way, useful. Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe and the food we eat and the privilege of being alive. And it is its own reward, as well, for it is the beginning of happiness, just as self-pity and withdrawal from the battle are the beginning of misery.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt, “You Learn By Living”

Processing the Last Two Months

There is much to write. Too much, in fact. And I’m determined to do so. But there is much to process first. Too much, in fact.

Last night, I sat down and wrote out the basic timeline of events as a starting point. Here’s how the last two months have gone since Frit got engaged on June 29.

June 30 Teach Relief Society
July 4 Take Frit and Timmy’s engagement photos
July 6-7 Roadtrip to Las Vegas–See NKOTB, Boyz II Men, & 98* in concert
July 9 Edit and “deliver” Frit and Timmy’s engagement photos
July 11 Speak at Week 1 of Retreat for Girls in Logan, UT
July 11-14 Roadtrip to South Dakota–See Mount Rushmore
July 14 Decide to move to Florida
July 15 Begin planning Frit’s Bridal Shower for 100 people
July 16 Speak at Week 2 of Retreat for Girls in Logan, UT
July 17 Fly to Arizona, Speak at Time to Blossom Girls Conference
July 18 Design and print Frit and Timmy’s wedding announcement
July 19 Start therapy
July 21 Teach Primary at Church
July 23 Farewell party for friend in the neighborhood
July 25 Teach music marketing class at Refinement Records
July 27 Make headway on quilt pledged for Mindy Gledhill’s CD fundraiser
July 28 Teach Primary at Church
July 30-31 Be with baby sister at hospital as she labors to give birth to darling nephew
July 31 Dear family friend is brutally murdered
Aug 2 Dear friend passes away after a long battle with cancer
Aug 3 Attend baptism of Emily, one of my Primary students
Aug 4 Teach Primary at Church
Aug 4-5 Fly to San Diego for Global Business Travel Association’s annual trade show (end result of months of planning and designing my company’s 30×30 booth)
Aug 7 Hostess Frit’s Bridal Shower
Aug 11 Speak in Sacrament Mtg. @ Church & Teach Primary
Aug 12 Begin shopping & packing for Guatemala
Aug 15 Attend Frit’s family bridal shower
Aug 16 Begin selling furniture
Aug 16 Speak at a Girls Camp in Eden, UT
Aug 17-24 Travel to remote village in Guatemala
Aug 25 Teach Primary
Aug 29 Frit and Timmy’s Reception
Aug 30 Frit and Timmy’s Wedding Day

I’m tired. My brain is tired. My body is tired. And my heart is tired. Exhausted, in fact. And it’s not over.

I still need to make a list of everything that’s happening/needs to be done in September. What happens if I don’t want to do any of this?

That Time I Lied and Timothy Proposed

Get her to Park City. That was my job.

Their first date, nearly two years ago, had been the town lift ride in Park City and Timothy (Sometimes I call him Timmy. He loves it. But not really.) thought that would be the perfect setting for his proposal.

He and I had been working on the plan for two and a half weeks. But Frit’s a tricky one. Had I just said, “Hey, let’s go to Park City for the day,” she would’ve told me that she couldn’t, too busy, no time, Saturday’s the only day to get stuff done, blah, blah, blah. So I knew it had to be elaborate. And definitive. And requisite.

Lucky for me, I work for a travel agency. And sometimes I go to meetings where we win travel packages. And so I lied. One morning, I laid my trap. “Hey! So I have this work luncheon today and it’s supposed to be one with prize drawings. Cross your fingers I win something awesome.”

Around 2:00 p.m. I began texting her. “Ugh, this luncheon is so boring! I’m just biding my time till the drawing!” “Ooo, here we go! Wouldn’t it be awesome if I won the Delta passes?!” “Boo. We didn’t win the overnight stay at the Grand America.” “We didn’t win the Brookstone gift certificate.” And on and on. Until I texted, “Woohoo! We won a Park City weekend! We got an overnight stay at Deer Valley and lift tickets and dinner and a ride on the Alpine Coaster!” Then I told her it expired at the end of June so we’d better get planning. I even made up a little flier, complete with Park City logos and contact information to make it look legitimate. And she bought it. Hook. Line. And sinker.

Saturday rolled around and I told her we needed to leave by about 11:30/45ish. She didn’t think we needed to leave that early–that she “needed” to run some errands. And because I didn’t want her to catch on, I obliged (albeit reluctantly), and tried to keep her moving at the Wal-Mart, the bank, the Post Office. And then, just as we were about to finally hit the road, she decided she needed a smoothie. Oh, and then she needed to try on some dresses she’d bought the week before and would I help her decide which one to keep. (Oy vey!)

Poor Timmy. He had flown in that morning (he lives in Iowa), made his way to Park City, bought the lift tickets and left them at the ticket booth in my name, and was waiting, waiting, waiting (and baking in the hot sun) while I tried to get Frit out the door and while she lollygagged around.

But finally we were on the road, and finally we made it to the Park City ski lift, where I was handed the tickets I “won,” where we got in line, and where I said, “Oh maybe I should go to the bathroom first,” and where Frit got a little worried that she was wearing flip flops and maybe she should go back to the car and change into her TOMS. And as she turned around, there was Timmy–walking towards us with a bouquet of sunflowers (Frit’s favorite).

“Wait. What are you doing here?” She was completely confused, continuing to stammer about her flip flops, and “what about the overnight stay, are we just not going to do that?” and even turned to me at one point and asked, “Well, are you going to come with us?”

Yes, Frit. I’m going to come with you. I’ll just squeeze in here between the two of you. Timmy, I believe you had something you wanted to ask Frit? Don’t mind me.

When she finally got her wits about her, and stopped yammering about her flip flops, the two of them smiled for a picture, and off they went. To the tops of the mountains. Where he told her he loved her. That he wanted to be with her for forever. And would she marry him.

She said yes.

And that is the story of how I lied and Timmy proposed.

My Heart

29 June 2013

My dearest, closest, deepest, bestest friend,

Today. How do I even begin to write all the feelings coursing through my body, heart, and mind? Today.

Today you got engaged. Today, your handsome, wonderful, kind, and caring Timothy asked you to be his for forever. And today, you said yes. And the angels rejoiced. And I couldn’t help but join in the party. Today. Today has been a wonderful, wonderful day.

In the midst of today, I found myself riffling through my files. My mementos. The papers and scraps and programs and cards and ticket stubs and newspaper clippings that document each year of my life for the last decade. And of course I couldn’t help but linger over 2004, where I found a little yellow card. The very first card you ever gave me.

It reads: Krista, Thank you for those scrum-diddily-umptious cookies! (I think there might be 2 left—and I have them under lock and key for tomorrow). :) Truly, I’m so glad you were able to come to dinner and it was so fun to chat with you after. We definitely need to do some fishing—so, whatever color that is in your planner, can we pencil it in one of these days? (Maybe a Monday about 7:00 p.m.) :) … Well. We can talk about that later. In the meantime—please know that even in your independent state :)–should you need any assistance, I’d be honored to receive a phone call. :) Truly—you’re darling and I hope you have the very best day!! :) Kim

That was exactly nine years (minus a week) ago that you wrote that card. How the time has flown. I’ve since become Kristafer. You’ve become Frit. We’ve survived flu seasons and Forgotten Carols seasons. We’ve managed all your office changes plus the loss of my job. We’ve gotten a house, painted the entire house, received a dozen new Church callings, and planted 7 years worth of gardens. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained 100 pounds. While you stayed 100 pounds. ;) We’ve been to San Diego, San Francisco, Hilton Head (x2), Fort Myers, Jackson Hole, Glacier Park, Arizona, Idaho, Denver, even Farmington! (by way of Park City, of course). You were 32 when we met. I was 25. Now we’re 40 and 34. You had four nieces and nephews. Now you have 11. I gained 2 brothers-in-law and 1.5 nieces and nephews. I had a breakdown. You stayed beside me.

You always stay beside me.

And, oh the oceans of memories. Think of it—there hasn’t been one day in the last 3,285 days that we haven’t seen one another. And even when one of us was out of town, or when I was home in Hilton Head for the summer. We still talked, multiple times a day. Three thousand, two hundred and eighty five days. It’s utterly impossible to put it into words.

Somehow, you weaseled your way past my “independent state” and into my color coded planner. And my life has never been the same. We laugh about me “burrowing” (I AM a snuggler after all). But I’m realizing you’re the one who taught me how to do it—because you burrowed yourself right into the center of my heart.

You have taught me what it is to be a friend. To love without condition. To serve without expectation. I know you’ll roll your eyes and wish you could skip this paragraph … but you are incredible. Truly. Incredible.

I know Tim thinks he’s lucky to have you. But honestly, he doesn’t even know the half of what he’s getting. To be loved by you, is one of the greatest blessings a human being can experience. He has an eternity of wonder ahead of him.

You know, I also found, taped to that little yellow card, a tattered index card. Another note from you in 2004. On one side was a “thank you for dinner.” On the other side was a quote: “… all of us are largely the products of the lives which touch upon our lives, and today I feel profoundly grateful for all who have touched mine. –President Gordon B. Hinckley”

Truer words were never spoken. And how could either of us have known what would ensue from those early moments of friendship building?

As I made my way through 2004 and into 2005, I found the letter you wrote me the night before my 26th birthday. I think it was right after my “thing” (whatever it was) with Bryce, and in the midst of a difficult time (gosh, when am I not having a difficult time?!). It’s three whole pages, typed, single-spaced, of pure Frit-love—the very best kind. In the first page, you detail where your life was at when we met, the difficulties you were going through, and the tears you cried as you left your family camping trip and drove back to Bountiful that “fateful” July Sunday when we very first met.

Oh, had we only known what Heavenly Father was orchestrating. Could we only have seen how he was bringing our little lives together. How He was guiding us to each other. That He was blessing us (ME) with the greatest friendship of all time.

“Friend” doesn’t even begin to describe you, my Frit. Truthfully, “best friend” doesn’t do you justice either. Nor does “sister” or “kindred spirit.” You. You are my heart. Yes, you are my heart.

And I love you beyond words. Here’s to another 3,285. And from the tips of my toes, from the depths of my swollen heart … congratulations. You found him.

xo

I Think God’s Trying to Tell Me Something …

“Take faith, Krista.”

it’s about embracing the bits that don’t make any sense. trusting that the story is in fact made by the departures and aberrations. it’s about wonder and curiosity. about moving forward and upward even if the movement is a sort of graceless thrashing about. it’s about clawing and clamoring and dirt beneath the fingernails. it’s about saying i don’t know. and i don’t know. and i don’t know, again. because one day i will. and if one believes that in the end it’ll all work out–even and most especially in the face of overwhelming doubt–than those moments of discomfort and unease and fear are made sweet and holy and wholly lovely by their impermanence.

more faith.

hell.

that’s really is the answer, isn’t it?

-Meg Fee

_______

All movement requires faith no matter how big or small it may look on the outside – whether you’re stepping into the unknown or stepping into the same thing as yesterday … Take heart, friend. The size of your faith isn’t really the point; only the size of your God.

-Emily, Chatting at the Sky

______

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 … Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 … for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

-Matthew 6: 26-34

______

Oh and let’s not forget that I was asked months ago to give the lesson on this sermon by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, which I’ll be teaching this Sunday:

“… you have more faith than you think you do … this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.”

 

Growing Against the Wind

It’s been particularly breezy the last couple days.

Today I was staring out my window at work, watching the wind whip a tree around. Goodness, was it bending its branches back and forth, this way and that.

And I started thinking about how the tree responded, which was this–in the midst of swirling wind, its branches, though flailing, held on to its trunk, which held on to its roots, which sunk deep in the earth.

Yes, it’s been a rough couple days to be that tree. And maybe a few branches snapped. And maybe a few leaves were blown away.

But … The tree is still standing. And it’s still a beautiful tree. And tomorrow, when the wind stops (so the weathermen predict), the tree will go back to standing straight.

Growing toward the sky.

Pledge Mindy Gledhill and Enter to Win A Vintage Patchwork Quilt

Pledge to Mindy Gledhill’s CD campaign and enter to win a quilt I’m making from vintage bedsheets.

(Contest CLOSED. Congratulations Alisha Stamper–you won the quilt! Please email me your contact info.)

Hi friends. So if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (We actually call it “the Iggy” at our house. Because we’re cool. You just watch. It’s going to catch on. ;), you’ve probably seen that my dear friend, the super-talented singer-songwriter Mindy Gledhill, is releasing a new album in August.

I love Mindy for so many reasons–not the least of which is that she’s funny and and unabashed and creative and interesting. I love being around her. Plus, we’re both Pisces so I feel like we “get” each other on this deep astrological plain. Oh, and here’s a fun factoid: Mindy’s first CD was actually the first project/album I ever worked on when I began my PR career nine years ago. I’m so proud of the risks she’s taken in her career. She inspires me with the way she follows her heart. She gives me courage to chase my passion.

So here’s the scoop: Mindy’s doing things a little differently with this CD release and is seeking to “fan-fund” the project. This basically means fans buy the album before it’s released, i.e. we provide the capital for the recording and release of the CD, which also allows fans (us!) a really cool opportunity to be a part of the creative process.

Now there are also other opportunities to pledge more than the minimum $10 for the digital recording, which in turn grants you extra goodies beyond the single CD … i.e. lyric sheets, your name inside the CD cover, personal phone call from Mindy to sing you to sleep, listening parties before the release date, songwriting lessons, etc. (In my humble opinion, a person should at least pledge $20 so as to get the hard copy of the CD too. The design is sure to be lovely.)

But here’s the deal, there are about 5 days left before the pledge campaign ends and she’s still 12% away from her goal. If she doesn’t hit the goal, then … no dice. I don’t want that to happen. I want her to succeed beyond her expectations. She has pinned her heart to her sleeve with this pledge campaign in much the same way she pins her heart to every lyric she writes and every note she sings. So, will you help?

If this is a CD you think you’ll end up buying eventually anyway …

If you want to support independent artists (heck yes!) …

If you need the perfect gift for an upcoming birthday, or Christmas, or Arbor Day …

If you know someone who would love, or does love, her music …

And shoot–even if you’ve never heard her before, but are wanting something new (and good!) to toss into your playlist rotation …

Would you consider buying it now so that she can reach her pledge goal?

It’s gonna be so good. I promise.

[Go here to Pledge Mindy]

And just to sweeten the pot a little more (as if getting this CD isn’t enough!) I’ve decided to give away a quilt I’m working on to one of the pledgers (pledgees?). I started taking a quilting class last year and am sewing a patchwork quilt made out of vintage sheets. It’s totally Mindy and totally rad. So go pledge (please?), then come back here and leave a comment and I’ll enter you to win. (This drawing is certainly retroactive, so if you’ve already pledged, still leave a comment.)

Thanks friends! I really like it when people’s dreams come true.

[Watch Mindy Gledhill music videos here]

Related posts:

 

 

What I Need

It’s almost summertime. And actually, for all intents and purposes, it already is. I stopped at a lemonade stand today. My three rules of thumb when it comes to lemonade stands are: 1) Always stop. 2) Always pay double the asking price. 3) Never drink it.

But summer–it’s my favorite season of they year. And yet, I approach this one with a mixture of one part trepidation, two parts anticipation.

No. That’s a lie. It’s actually, quite equally, one part trepidation, one part anticipation.

I felt a whispering today, deep in my bones, that I need to make this one count. That I need to be mindful. That I need to be prayerful and careful to see and smell and taste and touch every molecule of every day. That I must savor it. So that I will always remember it.

It’s a busy one, this summer is. A very busy one. There is much to sort through and figure out and become okay with. There is much to learn and much to put into words. There are adventures to be had, memories to be made, hands to hold.

I just want it to go slow.

Please, can it go slow?

I really need it to go slow.