Wednesday, January 30, 2013


How to feel "young" as a 30 year old in just 3 seconds or less...OH BELIEVE ME, there is a way!

Just two weeks ago as I read the announcement at church about a single adult fireside I felt impressed I needed to go. I pulled up and thought it was odd that the place was not packed, but as I walked in my natural snow white skin turned a rosy pink ... the further I walked into the chapel the more I realized that I had been taking the word "young" in-front of the phrase Single Adults Fireside, for granted! I was the only one 20+ years younger than at least half of the room and for the rest of the room, maybe I was up to 30-40 years younger!

I contemplated backing out of the building as my face became crimson but I felt impressed, "no, stay." My thoughts as I went to the middle of the chapel to sit down were "Okay, Heavenly Father, just so you know these women are going to think I am here to steal their Men!..." To calm the blood filling my face cells I simply told myself, "It's okay, I will just pull the 'granddaughter' of the speaker card."

Seriously, who ever knew that the word young would be so pertinent to "single adult"! :) But even with my cherry face, (which I am sure the Lord and all His angels were having a good chuckle at my squeamish complexion) God was very much into the details of this inspiring night.

The fireside theme was:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

A theme that I felt I could not walk out on, embarrassed at my long brown curls or not, I knew it was going to be good!

A picture Grampy took while serving in Germany
From my notes and recall of the string night...

Brother Wolferts was born and raised in Germany. When he was 1 1/2 years old the his family went through their first bomb raid. His mother recalls how awful the sounds were. The dropping, the hitting, the detonation and the exploding. Their apartment was hit. The city was in flames. Brother Wolferts's parents rushed to a neighbors (cellar I believe) but only to find to their horror that it on fire. They had a choice, stay and hope to survive the fire or rush through the flames and take their chances with scenes outside. His mother and father took he and his twin brother- pressed them to their chests and covered them with their coats as they dahsed through the flames and onto the street. There were 47 others in that cellar. All of which were killed in the flames.

I believe he said that no one in their small branch had been killed that night, however all were scattered.

2nd bomb raid, in a different city. Another bomb hit their apartment and crashed through and landed in their neighbor's bed. The destination miraculously did not go off. (I believe it was at this time or before that Brother Wolferts's father was taken into the military to help fight the war.)

3rd bomb raid in a new place. His mother was in the city when she heard and saw the bombs. She only had time for a quick prayer. A man from out of no where came and grabbed (one or two) of the twins and told her to run for the hill. They hid in a dug out that had some type of wine barrels.

Refuges, with nothing, Brother Wolfert's family was staying in a new city that was invaded/taken over by the Russian solders. No one was allowed in or out of the city.

I believe after two weeks his Uncle, mother's brother, snuck in by night and told them they were going to sneak past the guards/line. A group that was warned before hand, tried sneaking before them. As Brother Wolfterts family crouched in the night they heard gun shots and shouting. All that tried to escape before them were killed. At this point Brother Wolferts (age 3 1/2 I believe) started to cry. His mother had witnessed once before a woman trying to shush her baby and ended up suffocating the baby to death, so his mother dare not cover his mouth. His twin brother joined in on the crying.

Brother Wolferts said even at that young age he can still remember the young Russian solder that found them and had the barrel of the gun pointed down at him. The solder started scouting and Brother Wolferts Uncle pleaded for their lives while handing over his wrist watch. And for a wrist watch, they were all spared. Shortly there after they were able to sneak away and escape.

Brother Wolferts, years later was called to be the Mission President where he grew up. He said so much heartache, and people not wanting to believe in God or give Him a chance because of the devastation that was seen/done to so many... but Brother Wolferts testified that there are three things that will lead one to have an unshakeable trust in the Lord.
1.) Have a richer understanding of God's plan of Happiness. 
2.) Have a better understanding of the principle of "opposition" and how it is in all things.
3.) Have a greater understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
He then asked:
How can we learn to trust if we don't overcome doubt? Christ healed the blind, not blindness. 
Out of his extensive library his most precious piece and the most value to him--is his mother's journal. She said (wish I had the exact quote) in essence:
 I was surrounded by one giant fire ball, but I was at peace and felt, 'whatever will be will be'. The only thing I could do was pray that Heavenly Father would give me strength; and He did.
Brother Wolferts ended his remarks with the reminder that it was not fun to be on the cross, but it was the joyous view of the victory that the Savior kept... and He who led a sinless life...led that life for sinners.

So many wonderful thoughts! This is two firesides I have mistaken to be for "young" single adults... but now I think I am going to have to start taking Grandma Ratcliffe with me! Then I will truly be there as a granddaughter and not as someone trying to steal the silver-greys! ;) ha ha

The following Monday I studied Elder Nash's amazing talk from GC... Soo good.. I was impressed with all the reminders on faith. And because of the giant fireball testimony from the night before, when Elder Nash quoted Doctrine and Covenants 27:17 and the shield of faith, I was deeply moved by what faith has to offer me..
 ...if used, I "shall" be able to quench "all" the fiery darts/giant fireballs. That is a pretty hefty promise.

This is what I decided my shield of faith would/should be made out of...

And obviously so many more things can be placed on there, but for starters.

God is amazing...

This morning, after a somewhat long late night, I arrived at the temple with a heavy heart. God knew the condition of my heart, for who should be there to greet me-- Sister Hyatt! She was subbing for Marva. We started chatting. And the questions she asked struck some chords and tears and annoying boogers were dripping. She was very inspired and I praised God for putting her on my path.

Then it was seeing Sister Mckown! She is in the MTC right now working at heading to Hong Kong. Didn't plan on running into her!

Then it was Anamea whom I visit teach, and a sweet Tongan sister that I have loved for years (we only know each other from seeing one another in the temple), and Berniel whom I served on a shift forever with, and as if God just wanted to see how many marshmallow blessings He could shove into my already full heart, as I was walking out the door, one of my old young woman, beautiful Jori, was walking into the temple! I did not get to go to her mission farewell talk yesterday and was bummed about that. But here she is headed off to the MTC Wed, and God let her cross my path just now. I haven't seen her in nearly a year.... and He did it just because He is kind like that.

Don't tell me God is not a God of miracles! I know He has all power. I know He can change my very nature. Jesus is His son, and my brother. ...And although the fireballs are allowed to sore and destroy the very air I breath; I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Happiness is making a real, dates included, commitment for progression/change-with/for God.
I am grateful for a cousin who took the time to write an email for a hurting friend.

 Is my shield ready?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

MOMENTS OF GOD...Lessons on/in "LIFE".

Do you want a few profound, yet simple thoughts...? I have had a handful cross my path and I am still chewing them over. They are beautiful. They are deep. I believe they are all insights to the nature of God. 

In speaking with Hill she told me of a conversation that she had just recently had with her husband.

After some colic days and nights with their fairly new cute little wonder, Eric commented that he had always thought he had patience/was a patient person... but with the change of events, he came to the realization that what he thought was his strength of "patience", really was just his life lacking tests in/of patience. It wasn't until his patience was tried, that he found a new truth to himself. That patience was not necessarily his strong point, and for the moment it was in, non-existent!

How does one go 100% confident of one's attribute, to a view of I am at 0%?!

Perhaps Peter knew this when he declared:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
The trial of my __(place my whatever "vice" here)___, being much more precious than of gold....
How can I truly know if I have kindness, unless I am given the opportunity to react to something/someone not kind. How strong my love is unless I am tested in the lack of love. How deep my service is offered through a non-convenient opportunity, the depth of my hope amidst a hopeless odd... the virtue of forgiveness, temperance, holding the tongue, replacing the thoughts, turning the cheek or shutting the eyes, speaking no guile.... How can I know if I achieved any sort of Christlike attribute in strength, if the strength of the attribute (or in my case often, the lack of), is never tested?

This life is a test, a time to prepare to meet God. Looks like seeking for opportunities to work on the flaws or polish off what I am confident is crystal, when really it just glass, is still heavily needed.

The other day Julie and I were headed on our way to go make a visit. In catching up Julie mentioned just how much she loved her daughter Livie, and then basically said: "She [Alivia] is completely dependent on me and I serve her 24/7. How can you not love someone you serve so much? The more I serve her the more I find myself falling in loving her even more."

Livie literally can do nothing to sustain her life by herself. She needs to be fed, changed, bathed, hugged, burped, picked up, put down.... a mother and father's selfless work.

My thoughts immediately turned to Heavenly Father.... is this a secret into how He unconditionally loves me?! He is constantly serving me 24/7 and whether I think I am independent/okay to take care of myself, in all honesty He grants me my very breath and even the dust is greater than me, but, through His son's atonement, the very life I live, 24/7 God is serving me... What does that say about His love for me? Because He is always serving, He falls more and more in love with His children, with me... what does that tell me when I am not fully loving, or when I am serving and still not feeling ample love for who I am serving. It's a statement for sure of the condition of my heart. ...a deep insight in HOW to love others. ....
"Unless [I] lose [myself] in service to others, there is little purpose to [my] own [life]." --President Monson
Beautiful thought.

During fast Sunday last week, a sister shared this awesome experience. She had to set her baby down to go get a bottle or something... and the baby started to cry. She held the baby tight and whispered in the ear that, "If only you knew how much I love you, you would never need to cry. I only have to leave you because I am doing things for you--because I love you." And as she set down the baby to hurry to the needed task, the words from Heavenly Father pressed onto her heart and mind, "If only you knew how much I love you, you would never need to cry. I only have to leave you because I am doing things for you--because I love you."

Such insights to the nurture and admonition of the Lord... choice.

A few weeks back we had a HORRIBLE snow storm. It was so thick and heavy. As I was driving to go meet with a vendor for HM, I turned a corner and saw this little grove of trees. ... immediately the thought came to my mind,

"Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin."--2 Nephi 4:28

I smiled at how God could not have demonstrated any better to my mind what it means to "droop". This little grove is a bunch of vivacious overgrowth just off the side of the road. I was interested and concerned about the burden they were caring.

For several days, because of the cold, all the trees in the area seemed to remain hunched over and lifeless.

Any sin in my life is exactly the same way. And if I am not careful,
and don't take care of the "snow" by doing actions that can "melt" snow, in time the sin (could be lack of faith, or trust, unwillingness to obey, stubbornness or pride) will mold me completely into something opposite of what I was born to be. And not only will I burden bound, but frozen from movement "progression" at all!

As I drove the rest of the day, I noticed burdened trees EVERYWHERE. No one but Christ, is void of being drooped by something.

After many concerning views in the morning, my heart leaped for joy when the blue sky and sunshine came out. Finally, high hopes that the snow would melt and the trees would have relief. After all, It was the sun, shining on the snow, melting should occur right?!...  in came another life lesson...

Sometimes what I have allowed myself to "droop" in/with, is/can get so caked on, that even a full day in the sun does not have immediate results.  Some burdens are heavier because of the nature the sin or whatever is causing the burden. And just like God will be slow to hear my cries if  I have chosen to not be obedient to Him....being fulling immersed in sunshine--the process to "awake, my soul" can only be awoken by being where the sun is, it is a process of consistency... and forever how long that takes. Staying where light isn't (choices I choose that take me away from such things) keeps me in the "shade"/darkness of the world, where if I remain I will end up like the icecycled tree.

So at the cross roads of my decisions,
 what do I decide to be/do? Droop in sin?! No AWAKE, MY SOUL! Let me surround myself with Gospel light, Christ's atonement, via: Church attendance, meaningful prayer, fasting, scripture study, service, love...  for however long the days may take!

I may only be able to melt one limb at a time, but that is one "limb" that will no longer be DROOPing!

It is so much better to be in the light, in hopes that He will melt our loads... for He has promised He will. Am I willing to expose myself to constant "sunlight" day in and day out, to allow the SON's light "the atonement" to make the difference?

When a cross road of life comes, of whether to move forward with Christ or figuring things out on my own--I need to work it out, IN THE LIGHT!! His light! The Sonlight!

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF MY GOD FOR IT...Over and over I have had the impression to Study Enos.... so many crazy cool thoughts, but this particular last week, meant something so personal... very personal.

Enos 1:1 reads:
 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—
... instead of typing a statement... I am going to try and do a data dump of what my thoughts were as I picked apart this verse. When I read Enos 1:1, I had no intentions of picking apart the verse, but my mind and thoughts were as follows (my thoughts in color.)

  Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man [How did he know/believe he was a just man? Cross reference, who is Enos's father? Oh Jacob, little brother of Nephi, saw the Savior when he was in his youth, killer sermons... Yep Enos has all right to believe and know his father was a just man.] —for he taught me in his language, [Why is it so important for him to be taught in His language? Just reading "his language" my first thought was oh, his dad taught Enos in Enos's language... teaching a teenager, teach them in teenager language, if you are teaching a toddler, teach them what a toddler understands. Further inspection of the words, I found that the language taught was Jacob's (Enos's Dad's language). ... I have heard that statement often in the scriptures, what is the deal/why is it important. Cross reference-okay lots of other folks taught in their language... Okay, he really isn't going to teach him in a language his son can't understand, so then what is a language?? Search dictionary:  a body of words, system of linguistic signs/symbols any set system of such symbols. So a language= a lot of different parts that make up a systematic way of communication something. Different pieces that work all together to create something beautiful... sooo Enos's Dad taught him in his language-- What is his language? What systems did he have to offer (LIGHT BULB FREAK OUT MOMENT).... Jacob knew how God worked. He had seen Christ, he knew how to have prayers answered and obviously used the priesthood... each one... A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE. And here, in what he knew, the "language" of how the spirit works, or the "language" of the atonement in his life--Jacob (the dad) was teaching Enos what he himself had come to know of how His personal language was with the gospel, was with Christ! He taught his son in His language=what HE KNEW of the workings of God.!! (SILENTLY FREAKING OUT AT THIS INSIGHT, more reasons to come] and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord [Huh, there is an "in" in that statement. I could have sworn it read and also the nurture and admonition, not "in the"... nurture and admonition. Nurture and admonition was the style by which He taught the "languages" = Workings of God with!]—and blessed be the name of my God for it [and Enos praised His dad for teaching Him about the things he knew  of god "his language" in the style of God which is nurturing and counseling-admonition.... (THIS SCRIPTURE IS ALL ABOUT BEING A TEACHER?!!! WHAT!!]

Sooo... I know that is random, but what you just read was pretty much my whole thought process as I dug into a verse I have read at least 100 times... now for the extra tenderness of the verse in my life. Letting you see my thought process is yes random, but part of what I learned. I was called to be an institute teacher for mission prep. There are a whole lot of details that go into receiving the call because for one I am not even a member of the Stake to which called me to serve.

Concerns: Just letting you into my thought process, for that is where lies the beauty of this tender, personal mercy/insight for me.

I have been home from the mission for a long time, 7 1/2 years. I never was assigned to be a trainer and there is nothing wrong with that, but I always feel a tinge of sadness that I wasn't "good enough" to train someone. (And yes I do know where those feelings come from. I am just exposing my full raw self to you at the moment, so please hold on.) The Stake also said that every person who even starts their mission papers will be required/requested to attend the class. No pressure, right.All these young men and woman are going to serve God.... back to my thoughts:
God, Thou knows who I am. Doest Thou really want me to set the example for others to follow? Remember that just a few weeks ago, I got this text that I know states what others think of me, just don't verbalize it... [never mind the "to" instead of should be "two"]. My ways tend to be not very matching with other people's ways. I am cool and always encourage others to find out how Thou communicates with them, but I don't want to impose all that Thou has brought me to know, on them and I don't know the scriptures...
   Those were the thoughts as my mind was plagued... But from Enos, sweet Enos, I was given the kindest revelation, that I have my own "languages" with God. My own language "parts and pieces that work together in a beautiful flow" with the spirit, and how I receive revelation. God was telling me through Enos's comment of His father's teachings--that GOD wants ME to TEACH in MY language, the languages I know... that is why I was freaking out. My "style" is to be in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and the "what" is teaching the Languages I know: the Language of prayer, the Language of the spirit, the Language of discipleship, the language of relationship with the Savior and Heavenly Father. ... I am not perfect in any of them, but they are my own languages... and God wants me to teach them- expose my thoughts/ways/insights that He has had me learn... and hopefully in the end some student will "bless God for it". As I thought about Richard G. Scott, he does not dance around issues or allude to how he gets things. His talks are out right: here are the steps I took, to get A. B. C. He always teaches in his languages of how God has worked with him. ... what a beautiful insight, and kind encouragement to teach in my language-- which is the language God has taught me.


Last Sunday I anticipated going to Davey and Mandi's little Mazie Moon's blessing. Before hand, I had a pretty intense scripture study. My soul was filled with fire as concepts of the blessing of agency came to my mind. I finished my study and rushed to the blessing. 

I was so happy to see Davey and Mandi! I knew this was Davey's first baby blessing since him joining the church and being sealed. When he got up to give the blessing I noticed he had a paper which to read from. *I later found out that he had an inspired bishopric member comment that often most people think the priesthood is spare of the moment/ inspiration needed on the spot and at times it has to be, but as long as one is directed, someone can contemplate and write down inspired revelation when under the direction of the priesthood power and authority... Davey did just that. He went to the temple last week in preparation to give the blessing and when he wrote down the baby blessing in which he would/did read, he felt the spirit confirm to his mind and guide his thoughts and what he penned. I did not know this at the time, but while he was giving the baby blessing, the spirit filled my soul and seemed to serge through me very being during the whole blessing. I have very few times experienced such a powerful baby blessing. Afterwards when I found out that he had prepared the way he had I could not help but smile and praise God for such a priesthood holder.

After the blessing as we prepared for the sacrament, I had the impression that I needed to bare my testimony. I seemed to sink in my seat with just the thought. "Oh no, Heavenly Father, not me. I am sitting on a bench with a whole bunch of folks who do not have anything/want anything to do with the gospel/church and there is even handfuls that are not members. I know them, they know me.... Oh I can't testify of agency, they will think I am pointing my finger at them." So where the pleadings/agony that filled my soul. But how could I not share what God had obviously just prepared my mind in the study to share. Swallowing hard I got up and shared my testimony on the gift of Agency. I sat down and none of my fellow bench friends looked at me. I didn't blame them, however I can not deny what I felt impressed to say... for they surely were not my words.

Davey stood up and apparently it was his first time sharing his testimony in that ward since moving in Aug or Sept I believe. He testified of how church brings people together. He had had the impression to invite his friends, which he did. They came. He encouraged all to embrace truths and come to the light. It was wonderful. Some tears were shed. 

After the meeting, a little leery with how bold I felt the Lord had had me be--I made a comment to Mandi and Davey how I didn't want to get up but felt compelled to do so. Mandi then reveled that as soon as she and Davey saw me come in the building, they started praying that I would bare my testimony. Davey then became a little emotional in saying he felt I shared exactly what he had been praying someone would share for his friends to hear. (It was not me, but the Lord.) I teased them that if they both had that much power/influence with the Lord over my life, they should both start praying for my husband to come out of the wood works then!  

It was beautiful. I hate/ashamed that I hesitated. But I am thankful the Lord gave me courage to say what he would have me say. 

I left the parking lot, after a good chat with Davey and Mandi, praising the Lord and singing all the way back to my ward, full volume and salty tears dripping. How I love when God allows me to be around people who love Him and are striving to be like His son. All people are children of God. And bless those who are actively striving to live that way/raise their family in a Christ centered home. I am often overcome with deep emotions what I get to witness such devotion in the lives of those I love. 

I was speaking with Jinger the other night late. She commented how she was striving to work/figure out between being perfect vs. being pure/having purity. She mentioned that one attribute seemed to be a wheat and on the other hand the same attribute seemed it could be a tare. She was striving to know which one was which and how to pull out the tares. To my mind came Mathew 13:29-30
 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
If you try pulling up the tares (weaknesses) you will root up your wheat (strengths). We are to let them both grow together... until God's harvest (He is the one who makes weak things become strong) he will gather all the weakness and bind them and burn them!! And where did the tares come from anyway?? An enemy hath planted them... but Either tells us that God gives us weaknesses, so we will be humble and come unto him. And our God also allows Satan be on the earth. Perhaps Satan (allowed by God--opposition in all things) sows the tares which he thinks like in the garden of Eden (Eve partaking of the fruit) will mess up God's plans... but God allows/gives us weaknesses, through the enemy. 
The application is deep!

So the idea of being perfect, in the sense of, a field of only wheat--not happening! Throw that type of perfection out the window! Weaknesses and strengths grow together! But how sweet it will be when the Lord's appointed time comes and I am left only with my strengths... what a day that will be!


*For the "thought" dump--it is nearly done! If anyone has hung on this long, great job! This was not my plans today, but felt over and over to write these things that were/have been on my heart and in my mind.. 

Happiness is someone picking up kneaders for a friend, which ended up being a really cool prompting. 
I am grateful for Jesus Christ being my Savior.
I am grateful I get to "try" again.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


It started with a garage door screeching to a stop. Dryer heat not happening. Vacuum stopped sucking. Vita mix sputtering. House heater, not functioning. Computer program failing. Washer broken, twice. Car swirling, mountain rocks scraping, bummer tearing. Soar throat soaring and tonsils flaring.

...And all packed into an already packed last 4 weeks... :)
A few weeks back my Bishopric spoke in Sacrament meeting. The Bishop gave the guidelines to the councilors of finding a Christlike attribute they wanted to emulate for the coming year and to base their talk on that attribute. I was touched by the thought and knew immediately that for the next year I needed to be more grateful and strive for D&C's:

"Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things."


"...receiveth all things with thankfulness..."

...more gratitude give me. 

So with this thought, and all the events listed from my month of $$ expenditure amazingness... little by little my thoughts have been turning.

Washer broken first time. Okay gratitude that the fixing part was 20 bucks and my brother could fix it. Broken not even 3 days later and a 100+ part=brought me to a few times sitting in the laundry mat, in the quite, reminiscing about mission days at the laundry mat... choice reminiscing time.

My car swerving right but then God miraculous guiding me completely left, smashing and doing a 180 into the mountain rocks instead of when I was going right headed into the lake. I chuckled as I pondered on how I had made a commitment to be grateful for all things and God was surely giving me some quick constant tests to concrete my commitment! :) The morning was below zero. I was in high heals and nylons. In 10 years I have never received cell coverage at that particular spot. Prayed for a signal for how would I hike the ice road in heals? Mom and dad answered, came down with a truck and pulled me out. How thankful I am that God took me left instead of allowing me to continue right! For the heavens to be parted and a signal to make out the cry for help.

Being sick reminded me of the blessings of not only how awesome throat soothers are but that in a larger picture the Lord was answering a fast and pleading to overcome a natural man, to a father and mother who brought a whole bag of oils, remedies and mouth wash... down to the priesthood power. 

I have SOO much to be thankful. And these little tests are more easy to bare when I choose to see His miraculous hand in helping me along this path. It's beautiful! 

Happiness is a kind, spirit filled, excited co-teacher who loves God, a lot. 
I am thankful for mountain rocks.