Being grateful

Learning from Stephanie Nielson

I got to listen to Stephanie Nielson speak on October 1st! She is my hero for so many reasons and I love reading her blog so I was extremely excited to listen to her speak at Utah Valley University. I was disappointed that I had to sit in the back but it was just incredible to see the place totally packed with people who are also inspired by this woman!

She told her story of being a mother, her trial and struggles after surviving a plane crash that burnt over 80% of her body, her hard work and dedication to living a beautiful life despite pain and challenges, and her profound faith in Jesus Christ through it all.  What is there not to admire about this woman? I am so glad I went to hear her speak because she said some things that I really needed to hear.

The first thing that really stood out to me was (more…)

Dumbledore + Sister Linda K. Burton = More happiness in my marriage

I am a huge Harry Potter fan! Like I was completely obsessed with it growing up to the point that I slept with all the books under my pillow and as punishments my mom threatened to take away my Harry Potter books. I am not joking…

dumbledoreOne of my favorite popular quotes from the book comes from one of the best characters, Dumbledore, “Soon we must all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy.” Now, there is a lot of depth to this quote and I love and remember this quote often. As I was reading the talk We’ll Ascend Together by Sister Linda K. Burton, I came up with a twist on the quote to help me remember to make a happier marriage.

In the talk she asks a couple of questions to us wives and the one that stood out to me the most was, “When was the last time I chose to be happy rather than demanding to be ‘right’?” This hit me because I love to be right and majority of the time I truly believe that I am correct and everyone else is wrong. This can cause problems in my marriage when both my husband and I believe we are correct about different things. Plus, I am stubborn and demand to be right.

CBw8JDzUoAAFGq7The first thing that came to my mind when I read this question was a twist on Dumbledore’s quote and Sister Burton’s question, “Soon we must all face the choice between demanding to be right and being happy.” Now I know, it’s not as cool sounding but by combing the two quotes it made it easier for me to remember. That way it reminds me to work on this because I can quote it to myself often.

This week I had one of these times when the choice came up. My husband and I were going to meet my family at the temple to do one last session with sister before she left on her mission so I was very excited about it. My husband and I disagreed on what time we needed to leave in order to make it there in time. I am the kind of person who likes to be early where my husband likes to just show up right in time. I was super worried about leaving at my husband’s time for fear of missing the session but we left at his time regardless.

When we got into the temple we were too late and just missed the session and my family. I just sat their holding back tears as white hot anger towards him coursed through me. I so badly wanted to tell him that it was all his fault because I’m always right and he was being dumb to not listen to me! Then the “quote” hit me, “Soon we must all face the choice between demanding to be right and being happy.”

DSCN0995Yes, I had been right about what time to leave but did I need to demand from him to understand that and make him feel guilty about it? Or did I need let it go and just be happy that I get to go to the temple with my husband? I have to be honest, it wasn’t an easy choice because I was hurt and angry and those emotions were running deep and hot, but I decided to forgive him without saying anything about being right. I just focused on the positives of being in the temple with my husband.

By going through this experience I was surprised how much happier I can be by not demanding to be right. Yes, demanding to be right I get this short lived gleeful feeling that is addicting but it’s followed by a sad and hurt husband which in turn hurts me and my marriage. When instead of getting angry and gently forgiving my husband it created a a closer happier marriage. In to book, Fighting for you Marriage, it explains this when it, “When you experience your partner behaving toward you with care and sensitivity, you develop a greater sense of trust, which also deepens intimacy. We call this a positive feedback cycle: each positive behavior leads to another positive behavior.” When I choice to focus on the positives it gave me true happiness that lasted the rest of the night. I fell more in love with my husband and had one of the best temple sessions I had had in a long time all because I made the uneasy choice to be happy instead of right.

Pre-mission jitters! And I’m not even the one leaving!

11830889_1618067938458295_1172946764_nIn two days my sister leaves on her mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Atlanta, Georgia North Mission. I am filled with so many emotions at this point but mostly I am so excited for her! I am excited to watch her learn and grow both mentally and spiritually. As I listened to her farewell talk, which was wonderful by the way, I could not help but wonder how more amazing her homecoming talk is going to be. I am just excited to see her become the woman she has always had inside of her.

11012520_1594451417486614_729651280165604140_oWhile I know she is nothing but ready to leave and move on with her life to grander adventures, I am also a little sad because I know that I am going to miss her. She is my only sister. There was a point in fourth grade where my teacher told me that one day my sister would become my best friend and I remember thinking, Oh sure! Because at that point we fought like cats and dogs! Now I know what my teacher is talking about. I actually now enjoy spending time with my sister! We have girl dates and go to Cafe Zupas and get cupcakes and pretend we are judges from Cupcake Wars. We call each other up and talk about how we can’t believe what happened on our favorite TV show’s. She motivates me to work out because she is so diligent at it. At the beginning of this summer we went to St. George, Utah and ran a 5K together which is something I would never have done on my own. I am going to miss these moments!

2010

2010

Being someone who just hates change, one of my biggest anxieties about my sister leaving on her mission is that then one of my brothers will leave on his mission while she is still out and then another brother who is in college is going to move out of the house. My family is going to change and that just saddens me. I am close with my family and the thought of them not all being there when I got home makes my heart sink. Because of all of this my family took family

2015

2015

pictures together before everything changes. Looking at those pictures compared to the family pictures we took back in 2010 I realized how much my family has already changed. We are all so much older and I’m moved out and married so we have a new addition to the family. The two youngest boys I still see as little boys but looking at the pictures I realized they are almost young men now! Taking pictures made me realize that my family is always changing and growing and it’s okay. My dad keeps saying that he’s not sad by all the changes but just excited to see what the future holds for each of us. Times are a changing and that is okay!

11845892_1618067941791628_1022918822_nI have to say how proud I am of each and everyone of my siblings. The more I am around each one of them I realize how much greater of a person they are and I admire each one of them for different reasons! Here I am the oldest and suppose to be the role model for them but their testimonies and lives are instead truly examples to me of how I can be a better person.

11062786_858246894223869_384427802855448900_nI am especially proud of my sister for making the choice to serve the Lord and the people of Atlanta for a year and a half. I know she is going to make a great missionary and that there are people their waiting for her specifically because she will make a difference in their life with her peaceful testimony. I also know that there are people that are going to make a difference in her life and who will change her life for good.

~*~

Good luck on your mission! I love and miss you so much! 11824218_1618067931791629_1354459170_n

Imperfect Nails

IMG_0662I get so frustrated with a small fact: no matter how hard I try to paint my nails and make them cute they just never are. It looks bad because the nail polish is always running onto my skin and no matter how still I sit while waiting for them to dry they still get messed up and look like a flattened a raisin on my nail. It is beyond frustrating because I want to feel cute when I wear nail polish! I want to look like someone who knows how to look nice instead of someone who tries to look nice.

Now this isn’t just about my nails, its about the fact that I struggle with self esteem issues. Now I am not dumb, I know that magazines are fake and everyone has imperfections, but I do know that there are people who are just naturally more beautiful than others. I know this because I see people all around me that are and I know that I am not one of the naturally beautiful people.

I feel like I try so hard to make myself look good so that I can feel good. I shave my legs, I wear make up, cute clothes and perfume, then straighten or curl my hair, and after all that I paint my nails. But in the end, after getting out of the shower my legs are all prickly. After awhile my cover up is allowing my zits to show through and eye liner is dark smudge running down my eye like melting chocolate. My only cute pair of clothes are old and probably have a hole somewhere that would make the What Not to Wear crew freak and tell me to throw it out. My hair is a frizzy mess regardless of what I do. Then of course there is the finger nails…

Now I am not trying to fit in or be beautiful or even look like someone else. I just want to be the best that I can be so that I can feel good about myself! Instead I feel like I try so hard and in the end get no were. Is this feeling normal or is it just me?

In my thinking this week I have thought about Lindsey Stirling, because she is someone who is absolutely beautiful! If I could switch bodies with anyone it would be her. I have even took her picture to get my hair cut countless times so I can wear it like hers. Anyways… she did a Face to Face with Lindsey Stirling for the LDS youth and talked a lot about her self esteem issues. One of the things that really stood out to me was the fact that when she felt like she weighted too much she was not happy, but then when she lost a lot of weight she still was unhappy. So, that means that even if my nails were perfect every time I would still be unhappy? Uh, yep… This got me thinking as I was trying to paint my nails that I need to be better at loving my natural self. If I love my natural self everything after that will be an enhancement instead of making up for what I feel I naturally lack. That way in the end it doesn’t matter if it is imperfect.

I so badly want to see myself the way my husband sees me or even believe what he is says, because no matter how I look he tells me I look beautiful and amazing.  It’s going to be a long road but someday I want to love and be happy with my natural self. It will start with me not criticizing the person that looks back in the mirror at me when I first wake up regardless of how she looks or if she is wearing nail polish or not, or its imperfect, or perfect. This is the first step of my New Years revolution of falling in love with myself.

~KN

Thankfulness

Recently I was really struggling with things going on in my life and I felt that everywhere I turn something was falling apart. Needing some spiritually guidance I asked for a blessing from my husband. I just wanted to hear that everything was going to be okay and I would spiritually be helped through these challenges I was facing. Instead I was told something that has had a profound influence on me!

In my blessing I got a nice lecture! That is when you know you are in trouble… it was explained to me that I am so incredibly blessed regardless of everything going on. I was told that I needed to focus on what was going right in my life instead of everything that was going wrong and let me tell you that the things going wrong were not little things! But regardless of everything, I was directly told that I have an apartment, a job, a family, and most importantly a husband who loved and cared for me despite my constant mistakes. It was driven into me that I am be grateful for the blessings I have instead of what I don’t. I know that sounds so cliche this time a year but its true.

I read this quote today that really just hit me hard. Even when everything is going wrong we are promised to be blessed. “The choice we face is whether or not to have faith in God, even when we can’t see how God’s promises will be kept.” Its hard when it seems everything is falling apart but we can not loose faith. I love that I got a lecture for my blessing because it helped me to see that even when it seems everything is falling apart the lord is right there giving you help in ways we don’t see unless looking for. I want to make it a goal to look for blessings not just now at Thanksgiving time but all year round.

Please post what you been blessed with recently?