It’s Not a Test

27 Aug

Many times while I was growing up, I heard people say things like, “Life is a test.” and “God tests us,” and things along those lines. Though the word “test” is not in the scriptures, there are verses which use words of similar meaning, so I guess that’s where people get the idea:

Exodus 16:4 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Abraham 3:25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

Ether 12:6 … I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

1Corinthians 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Now in school, I was an “A” student. I mostly made “A” grades.  If I ever received a lower grade, even a “B,”  I felt that I had failed.  Though I knew there were other kids who would be happy to have a “B”  to me, 80% was failing because it was not 100%.  I liked to get 100% on everything I turned in. Many times I would get back a test or an assignment and my score would be marked 98% or 95% and the 1 or 2 questions I had answered incorrectly would be marked. Those mistakes bothered me. I did not like to get even 1 question wrong and those red marks on my papers were like a physical pain to me. I would obsess about them and go over and over my wrong answers in my mind. 

Similarly, through my life, I have kept in my mind a sort of spiritual report card.  And sometimes I would think back to all the times I imagined I had failed the tests of life.  I would count up my “F” grades and feel like a terrible failure as a daughter and a friend and wife and mother and as a child of God.

Then there was a time when I needed a specific answer from God about a thing related to my calling (the children I was teaching at church).  I was really concerned that I get the right answer, and often when I prayed, I would worry that I would misunderstand what He was trying to tell me through the Holy Spirit.  So I had kind of put off praying about this thing that I really needed an answer about, because I didn’t want to get it wrong.

Finally the time came that I really could not procrastinate any more.  As I knelt down to pray, I had gotten myself so worked up in fear that I was actually trembling.  As I began my prayer, suddenly to my mind came the kindest words:

IT’S NOT A TEST

 I stopped in surprise  and pondered over those words, and the strongest feeling of peace and love flooded over me.  I realized some things.  I realized that God loves His children even more than I do, and that He wanted them to be successful.  I realized that He would speak to me in a way that I could understand so that His children could learn what they needed to learn in church and be successful. I realized that He wants me to be successful too.

Life is not a test the way I used to think.  All those “F’s” I was collecting, those are washed away, erased by the Atonement of Jesus Christ when I repent.  They are no more.  I think that our life report card looks a lot more like the report card my kindergartener brings home.  It says stuff like “Beginning,” “Progressing,” and “Haven’t worked on that Yet.”

If life is a test, then it is an open book test.  It is like when I help my kiddie pies with their homework.  I sit down with them and we read through the problem together.  I don’t tell them the answer, but I say things like “have you thought about it this way?”  or “did you try this?”  I never suggest to my kids to try something that won’t work, and I stay with them as long as they are willing to keep trying. 

If we will go to Him in prayer, God will go over our problems and fears with us.  Through His Holy Spirit, He will inspire us to think about our problems in a different way.  He will prompt us to try something we hadn’t thought of yet, or encourage us to try something we knew we should do, but were too afraid to try.  He will stay with us as long as we keep coming back to Him.

If there is a test, it is not to see if you will be perfect and never make a mistake.  There is no test to see if you can do life all by yourself.

The test is, Will you ask God for help?

Will you try to follow the answer He gives you?

Do you have faith to do what the scriptures tell you to do, even if it’s hard or doesn’t seem like it will work?

Will you turn to Jesus Christ for help?  Will you let his Grace work in your life?

The peace that this realization has brought to my life has been so wonderful. 

Matthew 7:12 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Writing Slump

13 Aug

I know I’m not the only one to have lost my blogging mojo for awhile this year, but it feels like it.

I have plenty of stuffs to write about, but just not the energy to fight off 6 kids from the computer so I can have a turn.

Now school has begun and I might have time to write, if I ever get caught up with cleaning and food. Seems like there’s been nothing to eat for weeks around here.

Lots of days I feel like complaining, but generally my day isn’t half as bad as 2 or 3 other peoples I know, and that sort of makes me feel like an ungrateful wretch for whining.

And lots of stuff in my life is awesome, but when I sit down to write about it, the writing comes out sarcastic and gloomy. bleh

maybe I’ll try later

Maybe a lot later

I don’t know why I’m posting this.

Father’s Day 2014

16 Jun

Lesues

I have posted about my dad before, and this Fathers Day, I want to post about the father of my children. 

StrongBonds

One reason I said, “Yes”  16 years ago was because I felt he would be a wonderful father for my future children.  The other reason was that I was totally in love with this handsome and very kempt man. 

BenbeforeBecca

He is a great dad.  Not only do some of his natural talents make him so, but he has also changed and made efforts to become better in some things that did not come naturally to him. He’s awesome, and I love him!

soldierdudes

This  year, he isn’t home for Father’s Day.  He is gone for 2 weeks Annual Training with his Missouri National Guard Unit.  The kids and I love him and are very proud of him for his love for his country.  We feel like he loves us more because he loves his country as well.  Also, the kids did not mind eating his Father’s Day chocolate kisses since he couldn’t be here to eat them himself. 

 

 

We love you, Daddy!

Happy Mother’s Day 2014

11 May

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Today was Cherry Pie’s first time to give a talk for Sacrament Meeting, she being newly 12. I looked up several stories, scriptures, and quotes for her. She chose a story from our family history to share and the quote she wanted.

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Today is Mother’s Day. Today we remember and honor our Mothers. Our mothers give us life. They teach us the gospel. They feed us. They keep us from eating too much candy. They help us feel better when we are sad.

President Monson said: May each of us treasure this truth; one cannot forget mother and remember God. One cannot remember mother and forget God. Why? Because these two sacred persons, God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one.

I would like to share with you a story about my great great great grandmother, Lucy Ann Bingham. Lucy Ann had 13 children. In the spring of 1908, her youngest child, Florence, who was 6 years old, became very sick with scarlet fever. Lucy’s husband was away. Her neighbors were so afraid, they passed by the house on the far side of the street. With humble faith and patient work, Lucy Ann nursed Florence back to health. But before Florence was quite well, her 12 year old daughter, Bertha became sick. For 2 whole weeks, Bertha’s fever burned at 106*F every day. The doctor said there was no hope. He told others in town that he did not know why or how the child was still alive.
Lucy Ann worked and fasted and prayed. Bertha asked for a priesthood blessing, but the family was quarantined and no elders would come. After 2 weeks, suddenly Lucy Ann could tell that her daughter was dying. She gathered her children together around Bertha’s bed and prayed, “Heavenly Father give us wisdom to know what to do, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Just then, she heard out in the street, one man call to another. She went out and called to them, “My daughter is dying, are you afraid to come in and administer to her?” The 2 men left their horses in the street, came in, washed their hands, knelt by Bertha’s bed and anointed her with oil. Before they had finished the blessing, Bertha’s eyes were closed in peaceful sleep and her fever was gone. Lucy Ann’s prayers and the prayers of her children had been answered.

Later, Lucy Ann’s daughter wrote:
Mother’s hopes were high; that we, her children, would always remember and do the things she taught us, by her life, her words, and especially her deeds.
“Are there any sick among you?” She was there.
“Are you burdened with sorrow or shame?” a touch of her toil worn hand or words of encouragement she gave with a smile. Honor the Lord’s anointed. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy! If you cannot say anything good of people, say nothing at all. But if you look you will find good. Remember a tenth of your earnings belong to the Lord. These are words of our Savior, but they came to us from our mother’s lips.

I think all of our mothers have the same hope that we will remember and do the things they teach us and that we will obey the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Hunka Munka

10 Mar

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Baby Cream Pie is 2 months old!

She weighs 14+ pounds.

She smiles and coos at us.

She drools and makes spit bubbles.

A  lot.

She does not sleep from 9pm-1 am.

Sigh. I’m doing pretty well on just 5 hours of sleep a night.

It sure is fun to snuggle this little fatty. I had forgotten how much I love babies.

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I Could Have Danced All Night

10 Mar

I love dancing.

Well to be accurate, I should say I love the idea of dancing, since I don’t actually know how to dance very well.

But think of it:

Wearing a beautiful dress, romantic music filling the air, slowly gliding in the arms of the one you love while you gaze into his eyes

It’s the closest life ever comes to being like a movie

Your Man doesn’t even have to say anything romantical, because who needs to talk if a Monster Ballad is blasting so loudly that the sound waves practically hold you up? What more can be said with Celine Dion screaming in the background about the power of love?

You just glide and gaze and grin at each other and it’s lovely and you can remember it forever.

New Foodie Blog

10 Mar

I’ve started a second blog. It’s about all the food we eat now that we are mostly vegan. My new blog has recipes, meal plans, and foodie type discussions. We LOVE our new lifestyle. An aunt asked me recently to tell her about my new diet. I was confused for a few seconds, because I don’t think of it as a diet. High vegetable, whole foods, no meat is just how we eat now. Are we purely vegan?No. It’s probably more accurate to say that we are low-dairy vegetarians who on rare occasion eat meat. Flexitarians is a term I’ve heard a lot. But whats the difference really, between a Flexitarian and anyone? It’s more fun to say we are

Practically Vegan

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