Well, Kori was expecting their first baby - sweet Genevieve and didn't think she'd be up to the whole event, and turns out Ashley had some new things planned shortly after as well (moving with her family just days before to the state of Washington). SO - our plans were a bit changed. In fact, it turned out that my mom would be around the area on her way home from a 2 week vacation - so she got to come. So the final line up was my mother-in-law Tammy, my mom Earlene, and me. We were all sad that Kori and Ashley didn't end up with us - but we love you girls! There is always next year :)
Because of some crazy work schedules and things I worked to make sure that Cory wouldn't have to take off more time from work to come up to Logan with me, and we arranged so my dad would drive down to Cedar City from Salt Lake (on the way home from their big trip) to help watch the boys when Cory would be working. Then when he arrived I headed to pick up my mom in Salt Lake and we drove to Logan. We got there in time for some dinner with Tammy and Kori at a FANTASTIC restaurant - Firehouse Pizza in Providence, UT. (YUMMO!)
Then we headed to USU for the evening event of Time Out For Women. WOW! The music was provided by Kenneth Cope and Jenny Oaks Baker and James Ferril spoke. It was fabulous. I felt the spirit, was inspired, and left feeling very uplifted. The message that Brother Ferril shared was that "You have to be down to be up" - focusing on being humble towards the Savior in order to be exalted. With the music intertwined with his speaking - it was just wonderful.
After the event was over we headed to see Chase and Kori's sweet baby. She was sleeping when we got there (it was around 10:00 pm) - but I LOVE holding a sweet, little, sleeping baby. It made me think to the fact that Hunter and Gabe used to be tiny like that....they used to have those sleeping baby sighs and wimpers....I told them it was probably good that Cory hadn't been there - I would have been telling him I wanted a little baby again (and I think at this point in life he might have slapped some sense into me :).......) It was sad that our time with Chase and Kori was so limited - we love you guys!
Saturday morning we got up and headed back to campus for the Saturday events. Once again - we were not disappointed. Each speaker spoke on Joy in different ways - finding joy through service, finding joy through our family, finding joy through forgiveness, and most importantly - finding joy through the Savior and the peace his atonement offers to each of us. I loved how they mixed the musical performances of Kenneth Cope in with the speakers, and that it was set up so that you did not feel bored at all. I sat there thinking of so many friends and loved ones that I wish I could have taken with me so they could all feel uplifted too.
I left feeling so loved, so inspired, so full of a desire to serve more and be more. But at the same time I didn't feel down on myself - I felt like I could do it, and I had the tools to do it! I loved the time with both my mom and mother-in-law. I can't think of anytime in my life that I got to spend time with just me and my 2 moms - that's pretty awesome, and I'm grateful that Tammy was ok with my mom joining us. Thank you both for being my examples, my friends, and ones who frequently pray for me and my little family. With you 2 out there as my advocates (among others) I will hopefully be successful in the things I need to do.
Unfortunately as soon as the event was over on Saturday afternoon my mom and I had to jump in the car to head home. My mom and dad would be heading back to New Mexico Sunday morning, so it wasn't going to work to stay in Logan any longer (darn!). The drive went by quickly as my mom and I chatted. I felt very uplifted by some of the things she said to me too - making me think about them the last few days. Thanks mom!
So here are just a few of the thoughts I gleaned from my notes today as I was trying to type up a synopsis. I don't totally know which speakers I got which thoughts, and a lot of things weren't their words, but were my interpretation of their thoughts - so I'm sorry if I don't quote who said what exactly:
- Matthew 6:12-14 - We are told, "Forgive us our debts - as we forgive our debtors." We MUST forgive others if we want to be forgiven!
- Trials are trials - yes, some may feel different from others (death of a loved one vs. issues with misbehaving children) but we can become closer to our Savior through ALL of our trials. I need to have the Lord with me through my daily trials.
- We are all broken. It's not about who is more broken than someone else - but what we are doing, and how we are handling it.
- I really felt that I might not be going through a HUGE 'trial' as-far-as the world labels trials but even when I am going through small, mundane things - they are things I can take to the Lord and find strength in.
- The secret to finding gifts everywhere (having gratitude) is to be down, and humble before the Lord. Then everything we have will come across as a gift.
- LET IT GO! We can let go of our hurt and heart-ache and literally lay it at the feet of our Savior. He will bear our burdens.
- As we come to Him, He will take us to others and help us to see them as He sees them.
- Often JOY doesn't come when we EXPECT it, but we find it in the midst of difficult times.
- The disturbers of joy and peace are contention and guilt. Get rid of contention and guilt and we will find joy and peace.
- One of Satan's vicious lies is that there are no u-turns in life. He tells us we can't fix things, or repent - but we can! We can turn around and we can change!
- Everyday there are chances to be peace-makers and not be contentious. It might mean that we have to count to 97 instead of just counting to 10 - but we CAN be peacemakers.
- There is always a better way to do things than the 1st reaction we have. Wait and let the spirit guide you in a peaceful way.
- The fuller our heart is with charity, the less room there is for contention.
- The Savior leaves the 99 to find the 1 who is lost - UNTIL THEY ARE FOUND. He does not give up.
- Our bodies are not us. We were us before we had these bodies, long before we had these bodies.
- "Simba - you are more than what you have become" (from The Lion King)
- The story of Hannah in 1st Samuel - Hannah wanted a child so that she could 'turn him over to the Lord'. She promised that if she could be a mother, she would raise her son in a way that he would serve the Lord all the days of his life. I made a similar promise when we waited to have our children. I need to remember that I must raise our boys in a way that they will serve the Lord as missionaries someday.
- If we build on the rock of our Lord we WILL not fall (Hel 5:12)
- Sometimes it seems that we need to lean on others to make us feel good about ourselves - tell us that we are wonderful, tell us we're doing a good job, tell us that we are smart - but shouldn't we be leaning on the Lord to tell us these things? He is our ONLY constant, and He will sustain us!
- Our Savior only asks that we will trust in Him. We need to let go and hold on to Him!
- We need to ask, "Heavenly Father - what do you want me to be? Guide and lead me to my path of influence.
- No one is ever happy on command - the gift you can give them is to be happy yourself, and hope they will follow your example.
- Service is the tutorial to become like Christ.
- Lives can change in a split second of feeling joy.
- CPR stands for "Caring Plus Response" - if we don't respond - what good is our caring?
- Open your eyes. Open your heart. Pray. Contribute. Act.
- Serve as a family - and it will save the souls of our children.
- Where does energy come from - FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness needs to be a morning (or daily) ritual - do it every day!
- We can't MAKE anyone love us. My job is to love THEM but it's their choice who they are going to love. The only control we haev is our choice to love them.
- What is the spirit I bring to my work with my kids???
- We affect (or infect - depending on our attitude) everyone we interact with.
- Your best IS GOOD ENOUGH.
- The Lord can fill us with JOY through: forgiveness, trusting in the lord, and keeping our covenants
- Ask the Lord to help us WANT to forgive others.
- Matthew 11:30 - come unto the Lord and take his yoke. His yoke (or name) is light and will help lead and guide us.
- The Lord says, "Just trust me and do what I ask. I will take care of the rest."
- Our Savior literally carries all of our burdens - if we do our part, and if we will share them with Him.
- When we don't forgive there is not any room in our heart for anything else.
- The Lord knows what will make us happy! Trust Him as He leads and guides us.
- Do we understand what the Lord is offering us???? He offers us a banquet, but sometimes we say, "No thanks, I brought my own snacks".
- The Lord says, "Peace be unto you. NOT AS THE WORLD give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled.
- The Lord will NEVER give up on us! He loves us NO MATTER WHAT!
So I'm grateful for programs like this that give us the chance to recharge and renew. I'm grateful that I got to go with such wonderful moms, and that I had the support at home from my dad and Cory - who made it possible for me to attend. Love you all!