Christ Heals All Things

You hear the phrase ‘Christ heals’ all the time, right? Do we really know what that means? Usually, when we think about healing we think of big miracles. Healing the sick, making the blind see, etc. Am I right? I could be wrong. But that used to be how I viewed this idea. The only way I saw this.

I was wrong. I think I’m a little closer into understanding now though, Christ heals all things.

I don’t really know why I’m writing about this – other than I feel like I should. Maybe it will help someone else understand too.

If you’re not LDS, bare with me. I think there’s still some good stuff here.

Anyways – I was inactive from the church for nearly 16 years. During that time I started drinking coffee. I liked coffee. I liked the taste, the ritual of drinking it every morning. It became a comfortable habit to have. But I was addicted. No question about it.

When I decided to come back to church, I gave up coffee. It was my choice and it was one I wanted to make. I believe the Word of Wisdom is there to help us, make us healthy, make us strong, and develop other healthy habits. It was not an easy habit to break.

I would drive by a coffee shop and a thought would enter my mind such as “one coffee wouldn’t hurt anything”. But you know what, it would. Because if I wanted to be able to go to the temple, then even one would hurt.

You see – those thoughts – those are thoughts of addict. The adversary will and does use anything he can against us. Even little things. Especially “little” things. Because those little things are small concessions. Each small concession gets you one step further and further away from where you really want to be. Those little things end up being a really big thing later.

Now let me tell you something simply miraculous. As soon as I had that temple recommend in my hand. Those thoughts vanished. The idea of wanting coffee – gone. The thought of drinking coffee actually kinda grosses me out now. I don’t want it.

CHRIST HEALS ALL THINGS

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I never thought that I would live out a scripture passage. But weak things definitely can be made strong. I fully believe that I will never again have the adversary use coffee against me. That addiction is gone.

I never would have ever called myself an addict either. I mean, it’s not like drugs or alcohol…. right? Wrong. There are so many possible addictions in this life. Thankfully, Christ can heal them all. Even the little things.

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Let Go and Let God

Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

—2 Nephi 2:16

Lately I’ve been getting some really strong feelings that I need to completely change my focus on a few things in my life. They seem like big things. I decided to talk to my dad about it on Sunday and his reply was basically – well you needed those things in the past. They allowed you to get to where you are today. You don’t need them anymore, not really.

Mind blown. It hadn’t really occurred to me that I really didn’t need all of the things that I work on all the time. Yes, I know I’m being vague. I’m gonna be for now. It has nothing to do with marriage or family. Those are really good!

The specifics aren’t really the point anyways. The point is learning to let go and let God. Sometimes this is really really easy. Sometimes it’s not so much. Why do we – and by we I totally mean me – get so caught up in these patterns, habits, lifestyles, goals, visions of what we perceived our future to be. I’m over here thinking that I need to be doing specific things for my future when in reality, I’m sure my Heavenly Father is there trying to say “Tarrin – com’mon, I have something so much better planned for you!”

But oh my WORD is it completely terrifying sometimes! My mortal mind just can’t let go of some of these ideas even though I know I should and I completely trust my God sooo… why do I wait?! Procrastinate?! Dip our toes?! lol it’s pretty silly when you really look at it like that.

2nd Nephi 10: 23 and 24 says –

23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

These scriptures remind us that we have free will. We have our agency to choose. When we get these promptings of the Spirit – we still get to choose.

But then these scriptures are pretty intense, aren’t they? I mean, it basically all comes down to an ultimatum. Did you choose God’s way, or not?

But then verse 24. Verse 24 tells us to reconcile ourselves to the will of God. When the scriptures use the word reconcile, they are usually referring to the Atonement. When we are reconciled unto God – we have chosen the Atonement. We have chosen repentance, love, and submitting our will to God’s. That word holds a lot of meaning and a lot of power. This also means that God knows that we will make mistakes. He knows we will need to reconcile ourselves to Him over and over again throughout our lives.

Isn’t God so good?

So even though these choices might be big. I know they will be good because God always has plans better than mine.

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Testimony Sunday

When I knew that I wanted to come back to church, I worried that I would be judged because I have tattoos. There are LDS people that have tattoos, especially nowadays. But I still worried because I have noticeable ones. Ones that I can’t hide unless I wear long sleeves all the time and shoes that cover the top of my feet. I worried, until I found the Tattooed Mormon’s blog. Her name is Al Carraway. When I found her blog, my thought was – “If she is this popular with mormons, I can walk into one church.” My point in telling you this is that she has also posted that everyone should bear their testimony every fast Sunday – even if it’s just to yourself. Ever since I read that, I’ve thought it’s a great idea. Because our testimonies should be growing and changing and evolving all the time.

So here’s my first one –

I know without a doubt that this Gospel is true. When talking to my mom last week, one of the things she said was “exciting things started happening the moment you committed your life to the Lord”. Boy, was she ever right. I was thinking about my life since I made the decision to come back to church. I knew I wanted to before I made the real commitment but that commitment has seemed to open a door to the Devine that I really had never thought possible. There is no doubt in my mind that God is real, Christ is real and risen, and the adversary is very real.

I have had numerous experiences in the last year that has proven this to me time and time again. One of those was when I had the flu, I was stuck in the bathroom (tmi, I know) for hours in the middle of the night. I felt awful and I was so tired. I finally said a prayer telling my Heavenly Father just that. That I was tired and I just wanted to go to bed and sleep. I immediately felt this real physical calm wash over me from head to toe and my whole body calmed down. I felt fine. I stopped and paused and thought “maybe I should just sit here for a while and make sure” and then my next thought was “nope, I’m going to go lay down while I feel this good and if I have to get up again, I have to get up again” but I didn’t. I slept the rest of the night and felt just fine by morning.

God’s grace is real. God’s grace is amazing. And a lot of times, most times, it’s not a big flashy thing. It’s as simple as – now I feel well enough to leave the bathroom and finally sleep.

We all have this grace in our lives. I see it in mine all the time. It’s when we get too busy, too distracted, too caught up in the world that we don’t see it for what it is. Because most of the time, it is these small things. People tell me all the time how overwhelmed I must be with 10 kids. And I do get overwhelmed. I get stressed. I feel really busy most of the time. But it is only by God’s grace that I really don’t feel overwhelmed most of the time. I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I know that I can find joy in the busyness that comes with having 10 kids. I know that I can teach my kids to find that joy in their lives no matter what – because of God’s grace.

I love this Gospel. I love my God and my Savior. I love what this Gospel has brought into my life. I know that my life has been guided by God since the moment I was born and I am (maybe slowly) learning to let God have the reigns completely. My job in this life is to be still. To listen. And then to act upon what I know and feel to be true and to let God decide and lead me where He wants me to be.

I say these things with all the love in my heart, in the name of Jesus Christ – amen.

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Can’t hide the tattoos. And that’s okay!

Laundry, Steam, and Social Media

If there was one chore that I could pay someone else to do all the time… it’d be the laundry. I’ve never really enjoyed doing laundry. I mean, I don’t mind putting it into the washer and flipping it over to the dryer. But putting it all away… never been my favorite activity. I think it’s just because it’s so monotonous and takes so much time. And now there’s 12 people in the house. I mean, John is gone a good chunk of time and Jordan does his own so I guess it’s really more like 10. But 10 people worth of clothes is a lot of laundry.

I’m not really telling you this for any other reason than to complain and say I dislike doing laundry. lol so there’s that.

I went to the gym today for the first time in way too long. I have to say, I feel so much better emotionally when I can get work-outs in. I usually go to the gym for 2 hours. I walk at an incline (totally don’t like running so I just increase the incline to make it more difficult 😉 ) for at least 30 minutes. Then I do various weights for arms, legs and core. I do squats and pull-ups and then I leave the last 20 minutes or so for the sauna. I’ve always loved the sauna. It’s just sitting in a hot room sweating a lot but it’s so relaxing to me!

The gym closest to my house now only has a steam sauna. I’ve only ever been in a dry sauna but I gave it a go today anyways because… sauna.

When I went into the sauna, I was the only one in there. I decided to sit and pray while the room filled with steam. There’s been a lot on mind lately – which I’ll write about sometime soon, I’m sure, but praying felt like a good idea. So I prayed for a few minutes. Maybe 5, maybe 10. I couldn’t really tell. When I opened my eyes the room was full of steam. I could barely see a few feet from where I was sitting. It was a room of white haze. It was so beautiful. So peaceful. I don’t know why but I immediately felt more at peace and just sat and watched the steam for another 10 minutes.

Another random thought for ya – I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love staying in contact with friends and family, I love my oily community, I love following gospel related people and organizations to get uplifting content in my feeds throughout the day. One of the things that I’ve noticed within the last year is that when I’m having a stressful time, there will always be a story or quote or picture or whatever that pops up that is exactly what I need, exactly what I’ve been contemplating. It really blows my mind that this keeps happening. The fact that God uses social media to help us – #mindblown but I’ll take it!

One of those quotes that popped up today was from Gordon B. Hinkley saying, “If we complain about life… we are thinking only of ourselves.”33992804_10103364497482068_6425437225625845760_n

This one was a little bit of a gut shot. I mean, not all messages we are meant to receive are going to be easy pills to swallow. Right? And I’ve been cranky this week (and last week, if you recall! Man…) So apparently I needed this. I needed a reminder that complaining is not only being selfish but doesn’t help anyone be in a positive mood. And no, I’m not saying that you can never complain (go re-read the first paragraph up above lol) or that you’re a bad person if you do. We all complain sometimes. But if that is interfering with your life. Then it’s time to reassess. I needed the reminder.

And then here was another one –

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I needed someone to tell me that it isn’t easy trying to… not stay because I feel like that isn’t the right word but maybe ‘seek to accelerate’? on the path of righteousness. But it is oh so good and oh so worth it!

Oh and kids are good! Last day of school for everyone is on Friday. Summer is only 2 days away…

Lots of random thoughts today. I promise I’ll try to organize my mind a bit better in the future. No promises though.

 

Thankful

What I left out of Friday’s catch up post was that I was feeling stressed and a little overwhelmed that day/night. When I woke up on Saturday the kids were already arguing and fighting. I had to separate a few of them more than once, make kids hug, talk about how we should be speaking to each other nicely, and one had to go in a timeout to cool herself off. This was just the morning. It hadn’t even hit 10am yet.

Now here’s where I should probably tell you that I’m a horrible homebody. I don’t like being stuck in the house for too long. It makes feel almost claustrophobic. And when kids are fighting, it just makes that feeling even worse. So my next thought was “I need out of this house!” I kid you not, not ten minutes later, my dad texted me saying a coworker of his had tickets to the color festival that she couldn’t use and asked if I would like them.

Now get this – I actually had the audacity to think “Do I really want to take the kids out of the house today?” And then my next thought was “Are you kidding me?! You just said this is what you needed and you got it. Take it.” So I thanked my dad, thanked his coworker and thanked my Father.

You might not think that God would care about little details like this. But He does. He so does. Our happiness is incredibly important to him! Even through our trials, through our tests of faith, through any hardships, He doesn’t want us to be miserable. There are so many instances in the scriptures where it talks about the righteous praising and thanking God all day long. Don’t think for one second that those people never had any trials. It’s that they thanked God regardless of those trials.

So we got out of the house. I felt better. The kids chilled out. Life is good.

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Alma 7:23 – And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

So thankful that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me enough to know exactly what I need when I need it. And so thankful for a father who obviously listens to the Father.

 

 

Amazed by Grace

My husband works out of state for 2 weeks at a time, then home for a week, then out of town for 2 weeks, and on and on. We got married 3.5 months ago. One of those work rotations, he was actually gone for 5 weeks at a time. I’m not saying this to be negative. I have accepted it as a fact. I’m not upset by it except that I miss him constantly.

There have actually been a few positives that have come out of this schedule. I know, you wouldn’t think so. I went from being a mother of 3 to a mother of 10 overnight. You would think my husband being gone for weeks at a time would make this even more difficult. But I think that this actually helped the 7 kids that were new to me, bond with me. They had to get to know me and depend on me because their dad was at work. We all bonded (at various levels depending on their age, of course) very quickly! I’m incredibly thankful for this. I’m thankful that it had seemed so easy. That we could all get to know each other and for them to learn that they can depend on me.

With that said, I would be completely overjoyed to have my husband (his name is John or JP – let’s just get that introduction out of the way) not leave town for work. I’m not saying that it’s good he’s out of town or that any of us are happy about it. But there have been some positive things that have come from it, and for that I can be grateful.

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Tiny Theia

Whenever he’s out of town, I have at least one tiny person climb into bed with me. It’s like they know. They know there’s room in the bed. They know that I wouldn’t mind the cuddles. Usually it’s one (or both) of the 3 year olds.

The last 2 weeks that he was out of town, I had a really hard time dealing with kids fighting with each other. It isn’t always like this. They do get along really well. But every once in a while, they fight. They’re mean to each other. They make fun of each other. I mean, they are kids. But I have to admit. It breaks my heart every time. It doesn’t matter which kid it is. I have a really hard time hearing them be mean to each other. Really hard. This was the last 2 weeks.

Whenever John called, I told him things were fine. Kids were fighting a bit but all was well. I didn’t want to worry him or stress him out. So by the time he got home after the 2 weeks, my heart was done. I was stressed, on the verge of tears most of the time, and… cranky.

During those 2 weeks, the word Grace kept showing up. Then I remembered that I had downloaded the audio book version Amazed by Grace by Sheri Dew. I kept thinking I should listen to it but was already reading another book so I put the thought aside.

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When my husband got home I had the clear thought – fast. Okay, I fasted. I prayed. I was still cranky. The next day I got the same thought – fast. What? No way, I think my brain is unhinged. Being weird. Why would I have to fast 2 days in a row? I didn’t. I know. But I didn’t. I was still cranky. The next day while making breakfast for the kids, I had the same clear thought – fast. Okay, okay. I get it. I fasted. I prayed. Later that day, I broke down in tears and told my husband how upset I was about it all. Apparently I have a lot of work to do on my stubbornness. Good thing God knows that too! Ha!

John, being the strong smart man he is, told me that even if he’s not here, the power of prayer is real and I should never not tell him things just because he is not here to help. Because he can help. Touche.

I asked if he would give me a blessing before he left for work again. I honestly believe that this power is very underutilized. Every time I get a prompting to ask for a blessing. I ask. There are no requirements, no special cases we need to wait for to find out what our Heavenly Father has to say to us. If you think you need or want a blessing. Ask.

One of the many things that was said in that blessing was that I was basically told that all I have to do is ask for the strength and help I need and it will be sent automatically. Grace.

Yesterday my husband left back to work and I finished the other book I was reading. So today, I pulled up that book – Amazed by Grace, by Sheri Dew. I had it finished before 9am.

Do you know what it said?

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When you are overwhelmed, your faith can unlock Divine power. This will give you comfort, peace, and strength.

The fact that I kept feeling like I should listen to this book during those 2 difficult weeks… I probably should have listened.

If you haven’t read it. Read it. It’s good.