Weekly Nutshell

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Today in Sacrament meeting (the family hour of my church), one of the speakers, a lovely mother who is new to our ward (congregation), shared a quote by C.S. Lewis that really stood out to me. She was talking about adversity and how our trials can challenge us, strengthen us, and lead to personal growth.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Isn’t that lovely? Backing up… this was Marcus’ and my first week back to Arizona after spending most of the summer in Utah. Friends and family keep asking us if the temps are cooling down here. If cooling down means the upper 80’s to lower 90’s than I guess the answer is yes? To those of you who are enjoying temps in the 70’s and upper 60’s, and especially those of you seeing signs of fall, you are so lucky!

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The highlight of our week was three days of impromptu service, which of course pushed off our formal homeschooling in the best of ways. This service involved a lot of elbow grease, child care, and friendship. The only picture I took was a trailer I helped fill with potted plants!

horticulture gardens

It was also Marissa’s first week as a college student. She sent me these pictures that she took of the horticulture gardens and the Rexburg temple (which she took at a distance once she realized she was walking the wrong direction!). She loves her courses and has already made friends with her roommates. She even has a calling in her new singles ward, as a family home evening leader. She called and sent me texts several times each day, asking me for advice or to proof-read an essay or just sharing her day with me. I am still enjoying weekly calls and texts from my oldest college kids, sometimes as often as daily or an every-other-day basis. I’m so thankful we are a close family and nothing touches my heart more than to hear my sweet 18-year old baby girl call me, “Mommy”. ♥

And that was our week in a nutshell.

Sunday Quotes (My favorites from General Conference)

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One of my favorite talks from this General Conference was by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, whose tribute to mothers moved me to tears. He also said, “To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle—and all will—I say, ‘Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are.'”

helm

I loved how Elder M. Russell Ballard used the imagery of a ship, with our Heavenly Father at the helm, steering us in the direction of our eternal home.

light

It was a joy to hear from our prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, who spoke of ways we can be the light of Christ. He also said: “The words we use can lift and inspire, or they can harm and demean. … May we follow the example of the Savior, who spoke with tolerance and kindness throughout His ministry.”

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You can read the summaries of each marvelous talk from General Conference, here. It was truly a delight to listen to each message and to be introduced to three new apostles. You can read about who they are, here.

Sunday Quotes (Obedience)

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This quote was used in the Gospel Principles class today at church (that’s a type of Sunday School class in my church). The topic was obedience and we were asked to ponder why we are obedient. Are we obedient because we fear the Lord and the consequences if we do not keep His commandments? Or are we obedient because we love the Lord? Do we pick and choose which commandments to keep, justifying our choices? How does the world influence our obedience? What blessings come from our obedience? Things to ponder.