Sunday, September 29, 2013

General Relief Society Broadcast 2013 Thoughts

I'm not going to lie...I didn't catch much of the General Relief Society broadcast last night. I had plans to watch with my mother and sisters, but the stomach flu overcame me and my children, so our plans turned into crackers, water, and sleeping near the toilet. Not much of a glamorous or spiritual evening like I was hoping for. :(

However, I did listen to the broadcast this morning (since I couldn't make it to church either...dang flu! Go away!) and was amazed at the importance of the messages for me in my life right now. Note after note, spiritual revelation after revelation, I learned what Heavenly Father wanted me to learn this morning.

I loved the focus of making and keeping covenants. I loved that we were taught how to teach our children to keep simple promises to prepare to make baptismal and temple covenants. I appreciated how much love I felt from the sisters and from President Monson, and how reassuring their words of peace and comfort were. I learned that when I am struggling with loving or serving one of my sisters (in RS or elsewhere), I need to turn to Heavenly Father to ask Him what I should do; after all, these women are His children and He knows their needs.

Here are three quotes that stood out to me in particular this morning:

"We go to the temple to make covenants with Heavenly Father. We return home to keep them."

"You aren't tied down any more. You are free."

"Keeping covenants is essential for true happiness."

I have been experiencing some discouragement in my life, feeling like I will never have the true happiness that I desire. The talks I heard today reminded me that I can have the true happiness I want and seek for as I keep my covenants. I keep them, in the sense that I don't to anything "wrong" in my life, but I know I can magnify my talents and abilities and serve more and truly keep my covenants. I need to put my covenant-keeping as a priority and attend the temple more. I am not tied down by my sins or problems of the past; I am free to live the life that God has given me and achieve my full potential.

I know that our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, is a true prophet of God. I know that the Relief Society presidency has been called by revelation to inspire, uplift, and teach the women of the Church how to be more Christlike and more obedient. I know that the Spirit of God was present during the broadcast, and I am humbled by the things He taught me. I know that the Church is true.

What messages stood out to you the most during the broadcast?

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The print above below is now also available in blue.
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New color version of above print available.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome to My Favorite Season

I know I'm a few days late welcoming my favorite season, but I've been enjoying the fall so much already that I practically forgot to share a new printable with you! This printable coordinates with my other seasonal printables (get spring and summer here - and winter will come in a few months!) and will be a great addition to your fall mantel and decor.

What LDS topics come to your mind during the autumn season? The doctrine of the fall? Thanksgiving and praising God? Change?

For me, the doctrine of the fall comes to mind. I love that we know that, because of the fall, our Savior Jesus Christ came to the earth to redeem and give us a way to come back to Him and to our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful that we can learn and grow, make mistakes, repent from them, and be made clean. "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:27). I will do my best to remember Christ and find joy during this wonderful "fall" we have been blessed with!

What do you love most about the fall season?

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Draw Near to God

I have tried to write this post a few times, but nothing seems to come out correctly. I don't know how to adequately explain what is going on in my mind today, but my heart is feeling a bit...lonely. Yeah, that's the word. Lonely.

In the last few weeks, my family and I moved away from a place we loved with friends we adored and a ward that was fantastic to another great place where we have friends and family close by, and our new ward is also wonderful. Life is beautiful in both places, and I know I have been blessed. However, I have been feeling like I'm missing something.

As I pondered on what I've been missing, the answer became clear: I am missing my Heavenly Father. I am missing the relationship and connection I have had with Him in the past. I miss His love, His guidance, and His comfort. I know I have felt all of those things recently, and I'm not breaking commandments or trying to stray from those things, but I think I have been too distracted to recognize them. With the start of my new Etsy business, See Nikki Create, our move out of state, two sick babies, and a million of life's stresses that have piled up, I have unintentionally distanced myself from my Father.

That happens sometimes, doesn't it? We get so busy trying to live our lives that we forget to counsel with the one who KNOWS our lives. We read our scriptures, but only read a few verses right before we go to bed; we say our prayers, but we are half asleep; we go to church, but we are distracted by our children or our to-do lists and we miss the spiritual lessons; we try so hard to do everything we can as mothers and wives (crafts, perfect meals, gorgeous home decorations, play dates, intimacy, etc.) that we forget the important fact that our families need God more than anything.

Luckily, Heavenly Father knows our hearts and knows that we are trying our best. He will accept us back unconditionally with loving arms, whenever we turn back to Him and make Him our priority. As Elder Uchtdorf explained in his talk The Hope of God's Light from the April 2013 General Conference, "As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us."

I need to draw nearer to God every day. Here are my goals to accomplish this:
1. Get on my knees every morning to thank Him for my life and blessings.
2. Pray with my children when they wake up.
3. Spend a consistent amount of time every day doing gospel studies.
4. Pray for His approval on my priority list, and when I get His approval, stick to it.
5. Put my family, church service, and my spiritual growth before any other matters.

I hope that as I do this the next few days, I will be able to feel God drawing nearer to me. I know He will, because He has promised each of us that blessing.

How are you going to draw nearer to God this week?

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Like to Look for Rainbows

It's raining outside. Over the years, I have learned to love the rain. I enjoy the moisture that it brings to the earth, the pitter-patter sound as the raindrops fall on my roof, and the lightning and thunder that often accompany the rain. (Cue the thunder...perfect...) I love running through it and feeling the water cleanse my body and send chills down my back.

One of the best parts about the rain is the rainbow that comes afterward. I love to look for the rainbows and remember the promise that God made to Noah that He would no longer flood the earth. The symbolism behind the rainbow and the flood is so beautiful, and I especially love that it represents baptism.

As a missionary in Iowa, I taught people all day every day about the importance and necessity of baptism by immersion. I shared with them the truth that the priesthood of God is on the earth again, and that each person can be cleansed from their sins by the power of the priesthood ordinance of baptism. We loved to sing the song "When I Am Baptized" from the Children's Songbook at the baptisms of our converts. My heart rejoiced each time I saw one of God's children accept the essential, saving, cleansing covenants through their baptism.

I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.

I am teaching my daughter about baptism already. She recognizes photos of people being baptized, and loves to sing the Primary songs about baptism. I hope she chooses to follow God's path and be baptized when she turns 8.

How have your baptismal covenants blessed your life?

Enjoy the rain. :)

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Aquí está la canción en español:

Cuando me bautice

Me encanta el arco iris después de ver llover,
y pienso en lo limpia que la tierra ya se ve.
Tal como tierra limpia cuando acaba de llover,
yo quiero comportarme bien y con mi Dios volver.

Cuando yo me bautice se limpiará mi ser,
mi Padre me perdonará y el bien querré escoger.
Tal como tierra limpia cuando acaba de llover,
yo quiero comportarme bien y con mi Dios volver.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rise and Shout

I am really excited about this new printable. The inspiration came to me this morning as I got things done (including making the famous BYU mint brownies with my mom...yum...), eagerly awaiting tonight's big game against Texas. I saw my dad singing the Cougar fight song with my baby boy (who is dressed in his Cougar blues!), and I envisioned this fun print for my fellow BYU fans. My younger sister had her room decorated with BYU prints, and I thought this would have fit perfectly in her room. 

Rise and shout! The Cougars are out!

Here is my attempt at a scriptural application for this non-religious print: There are many things that we need to "rise and shout" about in our lives. We need to rise and shout that our God sent His Son to the earth to atone for our sins. We can rise and shout because we are saved from spiritual death, and we can return to live with God again someday in families. We should rise and shout because miracles happen every day.

Let's hope for a miracle for tonight's game...we need it! :)

What is something you want to "rise and shout" about today?

Also, for any of my followers and readers who are interested, I have started a second website and Etsy shop called See Nikki Create. The purpose of the site is to have a place to share my printables that are customized for individuals, some printable requests by my friends or followers, or prints that don't necessarily fit with the purpose of LDS Printables. Feel free to check it out, and look at the freebies and my Etsy shop. If you are interested in customized prints or invitations, be sure to email me through my See Nikki Create site.

This other BYU print below is available free on See Nikki Create here. Thanks again for all of your support, suggestions, and wonderful comments/emails!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Love to See the Temple

Today I drove by the new temple being built in Provo, and my heart filled with happiness. I really love to see and visit the temple, and I am so excited for all the blessings that the temple will bring to the people here. (Click here to see the Church's information on this temple in construction!)

My daughter is about 21 months now, and she loves to sing all day. One of our favorite songs to sing is "I Love to See the Temple" and she knows most of the words now. She smiles and I know she can feel the peace that the Primary hymns bring. She loves to say, "feel the Holy Spirit," and I hope that she will recognize the Holy Spirit's presence as she visits the temple grounds, and someday enters the temple.

I love to see the temple.
I'm going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.

I love to see the temple.
I'll go inside someday.
I'll cov'nant with my Father;
I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I've learned this truth:
A fam'ly is forever.

I am grateful that we live in a day where there are temples all over the earth. I know that the temples really are the House of God and I know that we can grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior as we make covenants in the temple.

I am going to print up some of these temple printables to hang in my kids' nursery. I hope it reminds them to prepare now to enter the temple.

What temple do you live closest to? How has the temple blessed you?

Click here to download temple printables.