Sunday, March 30, 2014

All About Easter

Easter is coming in the middle of all of my life craziness: my husband graduates from college, we are going on our honeymoon (finally--we've been married for over three years and have 2.5 kids...), and we are moving across the country for the summer, so before all of the above happens, we have to be moved out of our rental and have everything cleaned. We are in for a lot of busy happiness!

I want to start to celebrate Easter NOW so that I am not too overwhelmed on Easter Sunday to truly worship my Savior. It is He that we celebrate on Easter; not a bunny, not an egg hunt, not decorations or candy or baskets; we joy in Christ the Lord.

Easter to me is about the atonement. It is about the resurrection. It is about the love that one divine Man had for me and for my fellow mankind--the love that was so strong and so powerful that it overcame death itself. Easter is a day to extend our gratitude to the One who gave it all.

I am so grateful for Christ and for His sacrifice for us. I know that He lives, and that we all will live again because of His resurrection. I am glad that as Christians we celebrate Him on Easter and have the chance to be more like Him and recommit ourselves to following His teachings.

(Having said all this, I still plan to do an Easter egg hunt and Easter baskets for my kids, but I will do those things on the day before Easter, not on Easter Sunday. What kind of LDS trinkets or things do you put in your kids' Easter baskets?? I need ideas!)

Have a wonderful Easter, and enjoy these two Easter subway art prints!
How do you and your family remember to keep Christ as the focus on Easter?

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Truth About Luck

With St. Patrick's Day just a few days away, I have been thinking a lot about luck and how to teach my children what "luck" really is. Is luck getting the right job at the right time? Is luck happening to win a raffle at a party? Is luck finding money on the ground, right when you need it? I guess each person can interpret these things in their own way, but many of them I feel are blessings that the Lord wants us to have.

"Luckily," I came across this amazing quote from President Spencer W. Kimball that teaches us the truth about luck:

"Remember also that if you succeed, it isn’t because of luck. Success comes from faith and work and prayer and from constant righteous effort" (read talk here).

I love that in President Kimball's description of luck, he focuses on us consistently doing the right things. I find that the "luckiest" times of my life are the times I am striving to be consistent in gospel living, which helps me to know even more that I am being blessed for my efforts. I can teach my children to be consistent in righteousness, to pray, and to trust that God will give them what they need as they are striving to live His will.

Despite my lack of strong belief in "luck," I never hesitate to say, "Good luck!" to friends and family...but I usually add in, "I'm praying for you!" (Hey, can't hurt to add a little luck and blessing both, eh?)

Happy St. Patrick's day, my friends!

What are you doing with your family to celebrate St. Patrick's day?

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fear and Faith Cannot Coexist

It is so easy to get discouraged, isn't it? For me, it is far too easy to fear the future, to fear getting through the day, to fear an event...anything! My family is preparing for a potential move across the country, which would take us away from our extended family and close friends and put us in a completely unfamiliar place. I have allowed fear to enter my heart so many times with questions like, "How can I do it?" and, "How can we afford it?" and, "Why would we leave this place where we are so comfortable?" I try to make a little room for faith, knowing that God has a plan for me and my family and that everything will probably be fine, but my fears push it out much too quickly.

In a talk entitled "You Know Enough," Elder Neil L. Andersen said, "Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time."

I know what he said is true, but that doesn't make it less difficult to push out the fears and have complete faith, especially when everything looks so uncertain or unfamiliar...or scary. However, I know there have been times in my life (my mission, getting married, having kids, etc.) where there were plenty of fears that could have overcome me, but my faith was so much stronger.

Maybe I just need to do things to gain a little more faith. :)

I often think about the apostle Peter, who once walked on water because he trusted Christ so much, but then began to sink because he let fear enter his heart. What made him stop believing? What was it that caused him to doubt the Savior, who was right in front of him? Perhaps it was a lesson to him, an opportunity to reach his hand out to the Savior and cry for help to save his life, which maybe we all need at some point. But wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all have as much faith as Peter started out with?

What do you do to keep your fears out of your heart so there is room for faith?

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Teach Me to Walk in the Light

There are SO many things I am learning as my children grow older. One thing my two-year-old daughter is teaching me is that she listens to EVERYTHING I say. Literally. She may not lead on that she can hear me, but she memorizes the things I say and do, and later, she does or says the same things. For example, I put her down for her nap and listened to her talk to herself for a little while. She said, among many other random things, "Bubble spaghetti? No, that's not an option." I have never heard her say, "That's not an option," but I say it to her often. I never thought she would pick up on that!

It made me wonder what else I am saying or doing that she is picking up on...

My 10-month-old son has recently started trying to fold his arms for prayers, which surprised us. We had never "taught" him to fold his arms, or even asked him to try. He watched, observed, and copied. This is another lesson to me.

A Children's Songbook hymn that I love is "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" by Clara W. McMaster. The lyrics are so important, especially to anyone who could possibly be an example to a child or younger person.

Teach me to walk in the light of His love;
Teach me to pray to my Father above;
Teach me to know of the things that are right;
Teach me, teach me to walk in the light.

I hope that I am teaching my children to walk in the light of His love; I hope they are learning from my husband and I how to pray to and have a relationship with their Father above; I hope they are learning what is good and right from our examples. I am going to make a more conscious effort to say and do things that will teach my children how to follow their Father in Heaven.

What things have your children picked up on that you do?

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Pink versions are also available now!

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Love With An Everlasting Love - Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is less than a few weeks away, and I'm excited to spend the day showing extra love to my family.

As we reach out to others in love and appreciation, we must feel a bit like the Savior did when He was on the earth. He showed love everywhere He went, to anyone He met. I pray that we can do the same thing, and not just on Valentine's Day!

A reader recently requested a Valentine's Day card in business card size with Christ and a scripture about love, so I am sharing it with everyone today. The scripture I chose is Jeremiah 31:3, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love." The picture of Christ and the children is based off of the painting by Del Parson (see original here).

I know that Christ truly loves us with an everlasting love, and we should emulate Him and love others as unconditionally as He loves us.

These small cards would make great little Valentine's for your children (or you!) to pass out to people you love. Feel free to cut them out, write on the back, or attach them to a candy or treat. The possibilities are endless. Some say "Happy Valentine's Day" and some do not.

Have a wonderful Valentine's, and please share with me how you used your cards! I'd love to hear about your experiences.

How will you teach your family about Christ's love on Valentine's?

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Love Winter

I really enjoy the winter. I'm not a "winter" person by nature (I grew up near the beach and far preferred it over the snowy days in the mountains), but after my mission and as I have gotten older, I appreciate the snow and the cold in a different way. I love watching my kids play in the snow and throw snowballs and build snowmen. I love seeing their little noses and cheeks turn red, and I love how beautiful the snow makes everything look.

The snow is melting quickly here, although I anticipate that we will get a lot more this winter. I'm hoping we do! (My yard looks horrible without it! Haha)

The first scripture that comes to mind when I think of winter and snow is Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ that promises us that WE CAN BE FORGIVEN of our sins. To know that they can all be washed away, that they can be "as white as snow" again, is one of the most beautiful blessings I could ever imagine. I hope that my children learn and appreciate the symbolism of snow through the winter season.

What is your favorite part about winter?

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This print goes with a set of three other prints: "I Love Spring," "I Love Summer," and "I Love Fall." Get one for every season!

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Come Unto Christ

The 2014 Mutual Theme for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is "Come Unto Christ." The theme is based on the scripture: “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moroni 10:32).

My stake is focusing on "Hastening the Work" this year, and one of the things they continually mention is that they want each member in our stake to have a missionary experience. The experience doesn't have to be baptizing someone, or even having a friend take discussions; they want each person to help someone come unto Christ. I am going to focus on helping the women I visit teach to come closer to Christ this month.

The youth theme this year is focusing on helping the youth to develop relationships with their Savior, and this includes helping friends and family to do the same. I am excited to see the youth in my ward and stake grow closer to Christ as they learn more about Him, obey the commandments, and deny themselves of all ungodliness and embrace lives of happiness, purity, and faithful living.

These two printables are more for the Young Women than the Young Men (probably a little too girly for those Deacons...), but they highlight the beauty and serenity that each Young Woman can feel as they come closer to the Savior of the world. I know that coming unto Christ is the best thing that each person can do, and I am grateful for the personal relationship I have with Him.

What are you doing this year to come unto Christ?

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Unshakable Faith

I think the Lord works in very mysterious ways sometimes. It seems as if we finally reach a moment where things seem to be going just right, then a trial comes upon us. Have you ever wondered why? I sure have!

Henry B. Eyring gave an amazing talk in General Conference of April 2012 called "Mountains to Climb." (You should see this powerful Mormon Message made from the talk here.) One thing he said in his talk is: "Now, I wish to encourage those who are in the midst of hard trials, who feel their faith may be fading under the onslaught of troubles. Trouble itself can be your way to strengthen and finally gain unshakable faith."

I really believe this is true. I believe that hard times give us the opportunity to test our faith. The more we rely on God in these tough times, the more we recognize His hand and feel of His mercy and love. Our faith really does become "unshakable" as we become the benefactors of godly miracles. God knows what He is doing–He is helping us to reach our full, divine potential. He is giving us a chance to think about, turn to, and feel the grace of the atonement of Christ. He is building us to BE godly.

How have trials helped you to gain unshakable faith?

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(Sorry, I originally forgot to make the download public! It should be working fine now. Thanks for all of your support!)
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Just In Time For Christmas - Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

My, oh my, how the month has flown. It is nearly halfway over, and Christmas is a mere 11 days away. I am entirely unprepared in the temporal matters (I still haven't hung up my 7 boxes of Christmas lights around the house or bought all of the gifts I intend to give to my children), but my heart is full and prepared in spiritual matters.

My children happily play with their nativity set as I reflect upon the glorious hope that Christ brings to our hearts during the Christmas season. His love brings warmth during the coldest time of year, and joy can be felt as we look at the snow falling (watching the Weather Channel counts if you don't have snow locally, haha), visit with family and friends, read the Biblical account of Christ's birth, and sing Christmas carols.

One of my favorite carols is, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." I love the way it reminds us of the glory of the Son of God. His birth was so important that a host of angels sang glory and praise to His name. Christ truly was born in Bethlehem.

May you have peace in your heart this Christmas season as you prepare your spiritual self for the wonder and awe of the birth of the Savior. And I'm sure most of you have decorated and done your visiting teaching...but if you haven''s a free printable that you can quickly print up and share or hang up!

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Families Are Forever - Primary 2014 Theme

I'm sitting near my Christmas tree, sighing with happiness, but wondering why I haven't put up any Christmas printables on this blog this year...I guess Thanksgiving got the best of me! I was so blessed to be able to spend the holiday weekend with my family, especially my husband. He has been so overwhelmed with school and work this semester, so it was an amazing break for both of us and I soaked up every possible minute by his side. (You can check out last year's Christmas printables by clicking here.) I do hope to get at least one or two Christmas quotes up, but we'll have to see...time is running short!

Interestingly enough, I have gotten numerous requests for me to do a print of next year's Primary theme, so I thought I'd take a whack at it. I love the theme of "Families are Forever" because I love the testimony I have of my family being together for eternity. It is the only thing that keeps me going on the hard days and through the trials. I know my family will be my family forever, and it brings me immense peace.

During this Christmas season, I am especially grateful for my Savior and His plan of mercy that allows our families to be sealed in the temple and to remain a unit after this life. He is so kind and so loving and I feel blessed to worship Him and celebrate His birth.

There are 3 color versions available of this print, and one set has "Primary 2014" and the other set has a blank ribbon. Feel free to use whichever works best for your Primary or your family. I hope you like them!

Happy Holidays!

What experiences have you had that have strengthened your testimony of a forever family?

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I love to offer my LDS Printables free of charge, but I can only offer so much of my time for free. I try to put generic files up on my site so that most people can use them without needing modifications. Having said that, if you would like to have a print customized with a different temple, names, labels (ie. Primary President, Primary Secretary, etc.), or different colors, you can check out this listing here on my Etsy shop for details. I will only charge for the time I spend on your requests. Thank you for your understanding!

***Aquí están los printables en español:

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*****BONUS PRINT*****
The Primary 2014 print is now available with the Provo, UT temple in the gray chevron version in both Spanish and English. This print is a 16x20 but would print fine as an 8x10, and should print at pretty much any other standard size you'd like. Thank you for all of your support! 

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