Monday, February 22, 2021

Recede in Priority

In 2019, President Russell M. Nelson gave a talk directed
 to the women of the church titled Spiritual Treasures.
I remember the night so well. I sat in the church on a pew in between
 Claire and Jane.  His words that night were life-changing
and he said something in particular that struck
a deep chord within me.
As soon as I could get my hands on a copy of his talk I read,
prayed, re-read, prayed more, and counseled with Christian about it
and what it meant for me in my life.
I marked it up with my notes, my questions, and other scriptures
and gospel references. 
( And it kind of looked like this:)

"How do I draw the Savior’s power into my life?

You won’t find this process spelled out in any manual. 
The Holy Ghost will be your personal tutor as you seek to understand 
what the Lord would have you know and do. 

Part of this endeavor will require you to put aside many things of this world. 
Sometimes we speak almost casually about walking away from the 
world with its contention, pervasive temptations, and false philosophies.
 But truly doing so requires you to examine your life meticulously and regularly. 
As you do so, the Holy Ghost will prompt you about what 
is no longer needful, what is no longer worthy of your time and energy.

As you shift your focus away from worldly distractions, 
some things that seem important to you now will recede in priority. 
You will need to say no to some things, even though they may seem harmless. 
As you embark upon and continue this lifelong process of consecrating
 your life to the Lord, the changes in your perspective, feelings, 
and spiritual strength will amaze you!"
Publicly blogging has been such a huge part of my life.
It's opened doors for me and my family.
I have met and enjoyed friendships with so many people from 
all over the world!
I have been the recipient of so much love, faith, and support
and feel so overwhelmed at the goodness of so many strangers.

My blog has been a priority in my life for almost 17 years, 
 That's a really, really long time!
As I have prayerfully considered my life and my priorities now,
publicly blogging is "receding in priority".
But I want you to know that I believe in Christ.
I believe that He blesses our lives when we listen,
heed, and obey His words and commandments.
I have confidence that He will bless me and my family
with the things that we need and desire by letting things
recede naturally in our lives.

“It takes both faith and 
courage to let God prevail. It takes persistent,
 rigorous spiritual work to repent and to put off the natural man
 through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It takes consistent, 
daily effort to develop personal habits to study the gospel,
 to learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ,
 and to seek and respond to personal revelation.”

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Back to School Feast 2020-2021/ HEAR HIM

This year our Back to School Feast was extra special because Umi was in town

to celebrate this special tradition with our family!Christian took the Nies out in the morning for the whole day so

 I could decorate the table and make our feast.  Umi sat on the couch while I worked (I made her),

and we talked and laughed, and I was in heaven.  

I decorated with a black and white theme and spray painted 

cotton stuffing with black glitter spray for our centerpiece. 

Under the cotton was my very favorite Bright Lab lights in black and white.

It added such a cool glow under the cotton.  Then I stuffed our beautiful new glass stars inside the

 cotton in front of each table setting.

Piggy & Dirt didn't disappoint this year (they never do!)

 and sent us the coolest black and white patterned stars with 

 each name and grade etched in the center.  

I also had a main star made with our theme "Hear Him"

of course, Umi got one too!

As per our tradition, I had our theme printed on the cover of personalized

 notepads for each Nie and our theme framed for our theme wall.

I found @the_hyggehouse and ordered the Family Proclamation and the

 new Restoration Proclamation.  These new framed masterpieces will 

proudly hang in our living room as sacred words our family will live by.

After I took a million photos of everyone we went inside and sat down

 and before we prayed Christian and I unveiled our new theme.  

This year was different though, this year Christian told

the Nies that someone special would be saying our theme.  

He had Presiden Nelson cued up on the speaker as he read our new 

2020-2021 family theme from his most recent conference talk "Hear Him".  

Tears rolled down my face as I listened to a prophet of God

speak powerful words as a guide for our family.

After he finished speaking I looked across the table at Oliver who was literally 

on the edge of his seat listening intently to the Prophet.

Then his eye widened and he clapped enthusiastically.  

He genuinely seemed pumped up.  I will never ever forget that moment.

* * * * * *


Fresh lemonade mint slush

Arugula and Wild Rice Salad with Zippy Lemon Dressing

Cherry Couscous & Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Figs with peaches drizzled with warm olive oil 

Watermelon topped with a vanilla salt rub


and for dessert, I made my famous better in three days chocolate cake

 and a simple vanilla cake.

After dessert, we left the table and the dripping candles and went outside to 

shoot off a few giant fireworks into the dark night sky. (Thanks, Spencer!).

This new school year has been challenging and difficult, but I am reminded that

our children will always be safe and free from despair in our home,

and just like our theme says: "Our Father knows that when we are

 surrounded by uncertainty and fear, what will help us the very most is to hear His Son."

The Nies are ready to "HEAR HIM"!!

* * * * * *