Sorry for the Low-Quality Picture...

January 31, 2016


sorry for sharing this happy memory that happened to be captured through a grainy picture.

Okay, why are we apologizing for sharing moments?

I mean, I get it. Good quality pictures are awesome and I try to take them myself, but that's not always how life works. Most of the time, we just have our cellphones on hand and do our best to capture all the sweet moments that life has to offer.
So we make a great memory and we want to capture it - and that's great! But then we go home, take a look at those pictures, and put a bunch of filters on them to try and make them salvageable to post but if they just aren't 'up to standard' we either apologize or delete the pictures altogether...Why does a picture need to look perfect to share with others?
When did sharing pictures on social media become a competition...a place to prove we can take clear pictures with perfect backdrops? Isn't the point of social media to share our memories and moments with those we care about? 

Some of my favorite memories are the grainy ones. 

sorry for hurting your eyes with this sub-par photograph of my husband and me. 

So take pictures...take lots of pictures! And if you want to share a memory with the world, DO IT. Quit tucking away your grainy pictures just because you're afraid people will judge you for posting them. I promise you I won't, and I'm pretty sure no one else will either.



God Didn't Answer My Prayers

January 16, 2016



Heavenly Father heard “their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage” (Mosiah 21:15; emphasis added).
In recent moments of desperate prayer to be relieved of my burdens and feel light again, I came across a tough realization. The Lord did not see fit to deliver ME out of bondage.
I was frustrated because I was pouring my heart out to the Lord and praying with all that I had, just begging my Father above to take away my pain. And guess what? He didn't.

The Lord didn't take away my trial. In fact, I got hit with more trials and more intense pain every single day following that initial prayer for help. 

Why would He let me suffer? Isn't He supposed to lighten my load? Isn't He supposed to comfort me and get me through the hard moments? I asked and cried and yelled..Why would you let me go through this Father? Why can't you just help me? Why can't you just ease my pain for a second so I can breathe? I felt like I was drowning and nothing I was doing was helping. And guess what? I still feel that way.
However, I have never felt as hopeful as I do now. You see, you can feel the crushing weight of the world while still remaining hopeful. It's an interesting feeling really, to feel so entirely ensnared in sadness while feeling so incredibly filled with hope. But it is possible to remain hopeful even in the darkest moments of despair, and just because your burdens are not being lifted now, does not mean they will last forever. It is so vital to know that prayers are always answered. However, the answer to our prayers is not always a big resounding 'yes'.
God didn't answer my prayers..at least not in the way that I wanted Him to. President John Taylor (1808–87) has said that afflictions shouldn’t overwhelm us, but that we should rejoice in our challenges, for we need these experiences for our eternal well-being with God. THIS is why I am hopeful even through moments of despair. Through diligent prayer I know that the trials I currently face will not actually be lifted from me. However, it is up to ME to rejoice in my challenges. Why?? Because I NEED these experiences and I need them more than I can probably even comprehend right now.
God didn't answer my prayers by making my trials disappear. He answered my prayers by giving me a greater understanding of my trials, thus giving me the strength and patience needed to overcome them.
God doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we desire, but God will always answer our prayers in the way that is most needed for our growth. God knows me, Christ strengthens me, and the Holy Spirit enlightens me. And because of them, I know that I am strong enough to overcome all things no matter the magnitude.
God didn't answer my prayers to rid me of pain, He answers my prayers to guide me through pain.
The plan of happiness is an eternal plan that requires an eternal perspective. So next time God doesn't answer your prayers, remember: He has something greater in store for you.
"Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." (Doctrine & Covenants 121:7-8)

Finding Light in Dark Moments

January 04, 2016

At the start of every year, I like to take a moment to reflect upon my growth throughout the year before. And as hard as it is to admit, 2015 was a year of spiritual regression for me. I began the year with an unshakable testimony and a steady devotion to scripture study and temple attendance. However, as life became hectic, my priorities shifted and I felt that I was stuck in 'survival mode' - and still struggle with feeling that way now. It has been a tough realization, and that realization has brought on trials of its own. Now that I realize how apathetic I have become to church activity, I recognize the need for change. And because of that, life. has. been. tough.
My first thoughts were to stick it out and that I would just begin to dive back into the gospel after my sadness faded. But I soon realized that that's not what the gospel is about at all. I realized that the gospel is there for us NOW. In those moments of sadness and sorrow, Christ IS there to help us through. Christ is waiting for us to talk to Him about our pains and our trials, for as He helps to lift our burden, His burden is in turn lifted as well.
Jesus the Christ died for you and for me, and he has felt exactly what we have gone through, are going through now, and what we will go through in the future. Our Savior -- MY Savior -- has felt precisely what I am feeling in this exact moment. And as I have lived through my darkest moments, He has been there to hold my hand and feel that pain with me as I am feeling it. So when I beckon to Him for help, He is then enabled to lift my burden as well as His own, and how incredible is that?! The Savior Himself is aware of our very emotions and understands them at an even deeper level than we ourselves can comprehend. He lives! He lives to comfort me, always. And with that constant comfort, how can I possibly remain sorrowful?
Through Christ, I can and will conquer every trial that besets me - and you will too. Life is hard, but of one thing I am sure: Light shall always conquer. I finally see that now. I see that joy always comes after sorrow. Light is never out of reach. And there is a loving Father in Heaven as well as a loving Savior who are waiting and willing to help each of us through everything. Everything! So fear not, be steadfast, and be believing. Christ IS there, and I am determined to make this year a year of progression. And when I have those inevitable moments of regression, I know that my Savior will help me and lift me higher than before.
The gospel is here for us now. So again, fear not! Light can always be found in dark moments with the help of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and of these things I know.

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