Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Trusting that Hard is Good and Why

This Past Sunday I was asked to speak in church and I have felt that I should share my talk here...We were asked a few weeks back to speak but quite honestly I did not look at my talk until the week of...I am sure some of you can relate..lol...when I finally sat down and listened to the talk that was given to me I had a flood of thoughts poor into me from the Holy Spirit and He told me that I should share alot of what I know to be true and that I was prepared for this talk...

As I wrote, I knew that this talk was not just for me...although I feel I have learned much from and thru it...After I spoke I was blown away by the response from others in our Church about how it had been just what they needed to hear and an answer to a prayer for some...I am so thankful for the opportunity that Heavenly Father gave me in prepping this talk and for His Blessing to be used as His instrument for others:)

**On another Note we have recently moved into a new Ward (well in October) so I began with an intro about us and our background but I know that in this blog many of you know all of that stuff so I felt it was unnecessary to rewrite that here...

Trusting that Hard is Good and Why

I would like to ask you some questions and for you to answer them in your mind…
  • Do You TRUST Heavenly Father?  
  • Why are you here…. 
  • Do you TRUST in HIS Plan?  
  • Does His ways sometimes scare you 
  • Do you only Trust when its Easy…
  • What about when its Hard and really Difficult to want to
  • Do You Flee or Fight when it is HARD to TRUST
  • Do You want to TRULY Be Like Him...

When we think of these Questions we may initially answer them blindly or like a robot…

We instinctually know some of the answers…We may even think "Why am I being asked these questions"…But most likely some of them struck a cord and even tugged on your heart….

When we think about Trust we often think of it being a two way street…
We usually earn trust thru consistent behaviors that show we are capable of keeping our promises with others for Good.   Thus in turn developing relationships that help us grow as people.  

When someone we Trust asks us to do things that we think are hard we question if we capable but often we just go do it since we have a high amount of Trust for them.   Sometimes  we even do it blindly since we know their intent for us is good…in turn we grow and become better than we were.

When we don’t want Trust we struggle more…we often resist and slow down our learning of valuable lessons.  Or as I usually say we are choosing to "go around the mountain" and learn the hard way or repeating it till we do learn lol

Why do we choose not to Trust?  

Especially if it is Heavenly Father?

Typically we think of these statement first: 
  • oh that is too Hard! 
  • I can’t do that! I don’t want to do that
  • I don’t understand why I need to do that
  • or we lack understanding completely  

When things are Easy, we of course just go with the flow…but when its Hard we typically question and struggle and then we are forced to make decisions…Decisions that in This case can bring us Closer to our Eternal Destination... Stall us… or sometime we end up going backwards.  

So How do we make it thru Hard…How do we Decide we even want to…

I have learned in my life that often Hard leads to NEW…When we go thru Hard experiences we often become completely different people…There have many times in my life that I have felt BROKEN…

Have you you ever felt Broken?

Have you Ever gone thru of felt... 
  • Heartbreak
  • Rejection
  • Aloneness
  • Feeling like a total Failure
  • Divorce
  • Death of a family Member
  • Business Failure and Rebuilding
  • Custody Battles
  • Failed Adoptions
  • Infertility
  • Spiritual Darkness
  • Walking Alone in the Gospel
  • Feeling of you just aren’t good enough. 
  • Challenges Believing
  • Feelings of WHY ME
  • Feelings of Having to be the First always (pioneer)
  • Feelings of having to ALWAYS prove yourself to others
  • Feeling like you are just going thru the motions 

I have gone every single one of these hardships in my life…Some were way way Harder than others…Some I felt like I just wanted to crawl up in a corner and never come out…In those times I have had to CHOOSE (Yes it is a Choice) to Follow in Faith.  Often time just one step at a time was all I could do at first…  

President Thomas S. Monson stated: "May We ever choose the Harder right instead of the easier wrong.”  

In my life there have been so many times that it would be much easier to just give up…to throw in the towel…to not follow…but when we make it thru Hard things by choosing Right (although often times Harder) and Following in Faith that Heavenly Father’s Plan is in fact much better than ours… then it makes the Blessing so much sweeter when we do get to the other side of Hard.  We are able to understand His ways often times only in hindsight.

I know I could tell lots of stories about of how I have to Learned to lean on Heavenly Father.  

I truly KNOW that He takes all the HARD or the UNFAIR things... that happen to us and makes it all GOOD…

He ALWAYS uses it for HIS GLORY…

He uses it to teach us to become more like Him…

He uses it to soften us and give us compassion for others...He uses it to teach us Forgiveness…

He uses Hard to Humble us to come to Him and Him ALONE, often times when we wouldn't otherwise…

Most times when these things happen it is NOT just for us…Really Hard experiences are ALWAYS for the benefit of others in our Heavenly Family.  

WE are like a lil piece of coal…

Coal go thru LOTS AND LOTS of Pressure to become a Diamond...at first a diamond looks like a dirty rock…It’s not pretty right away……it takes more than initial pressure…it still takes lots of chipping...chipping...chipping away and buffing...buffing...buffing to make it into a beautiful stone.  

Sometimes we see gorgeous Diamonds and forget the process it took for them to get there… 

REMEMBER - People around you are watching you go thru your Hard times, they are watching you become that diamond and this is how HE Glorifies your Hard times for His good.  

At this point I felt impressed to speak about THIS specific blog at the time of giving this talk....This Blog has been such a Blessing to me and has allowed me to write thru pain and at times I had no idea of how many people were truly reading and being touched by it...to this day I still have people come to me and feel like they are truly connected to me...He truly has used the Hard of some of my posts in this blog to Bless others...in turn Glorifying the Hard that has happened in my life...then I continued with my talk.

In Elder Stanley G. Ellis’ talk from Last Octobers General Conference Titled DO WE TRUST HIM? HARD IS GOOD he states:

  • Members of the Godhead are no strangers to hard things. God the Father sacrificed His Only Begotten Son to the terrible suffering of the Atonement, including death by crucifixion. 
  • The scriptures say Jesus Christ learned “obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). He voluntarily suffered the agony of the Atonement. 
  • The Holy Ghost must be long-suffering to prompt, warn, and guide us, only to sometimes be ignored, misinterpreted, or forgotten.

We are like Silver that has to go thru Fire to get rid of all of its impurities, we too are being refined to be perfected in Him.

I have gotten to the the point where I accept and embrace Hard…because I learned the Lord works in Patterns.  …Often time Satan Tells us otherwise, and wants us to not want to become Pure by saying "IT'S JUST TO HARD to be Like our Heavenly Father be like me instead which is Easy.”

In Closing…I would like to Bear my Testimony That I know That thru the Hard and Difficult times that we DO become like Heavenly Father and our Brother, our Savior Jesus Christ.  

We can Be Like them When we choose (again it is a Choice) to TRUST and EMBRACE the teaching of the Gospel. I testify of the truthfulness found in the Scriptures that when we turn to them in times of need... that we do in fact GAIN Priceless UNDERSTANDING so that we may be able to bear what may be or may come...so that we can ALL return to be with our Father in Heaven.  

And I leave this with you in the Name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

An Audri style Blessing...

SO tonight, I was helping Abbe clean her room and we ended up talking about the Gospel and as she calls "rules" that the church has...I had reminded her that those aren't the church's rules those are Heavenly Father's standards to help us receive all the blessings he wants to give us...Then it got me to thinking with her (all on a conversational note with her) that "IF" James and I hadn't made the choices we have made to follow HIS standards we would NEVER have Audri in our home and with our family right now...How is that for heavy?...

What an amazing way to teach Abbe how one choice of say grabbing a coffee, not paying our tithing, not choosing to being baptized, not choosing to get married in the Temple, or not following thru on our Temple covenants could have kept Audri from making it to our family!  Cuh-RAzy if you really think about it... Everything is interconnected...all of it!

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. 
Proverbs 8:17

What a huge unbelievable, unimaginable, never would have ever guessed in a million years BLESSING that has come to our family thru our Obedience to Heavenly Father!  Do you want to know what the biggest deciding factor for Audri coming to "our Family" was for her birth family?  That we were a faithful, Temple worthy, LDS family for her.  One that can guide her and give her the opportunity of growing up in the Gospel!

Often, when we go about our everyday lives so many of our choices seem insignificant to our day or to our lives as a whole, especially when we are not thinking eternally...We often think "how is not having a glass of wine going to effect anyone else but me in my worthiness" or "what is the big deal if I NEVER read the Book of Mormon and know for sure if it is true or not?" But this is the thing, Heavenly Father has such immense Blessings waiting for us and we are so small minded in our thinking that we can not even conceive of what he wants for us!

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for Blessed are they that keep my ways.  Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hearth me, watching at the posts of my doors.  For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord.  
Proverbs 8:31-35

I am so thankful for this epiphany that Heavenly Father gave me tonight...To be able to SEE what we can not SEE normally...To SEE what He and only He has done for us...To SEE how we must, must Trust...To SEE that we must Follow...To SEE that He is the Master Planner, and To SEE that I don't want to EVER EVER miss out on an Audri style Blessing..who would!  I will stay obedient and follow because He sooooo knows what He is doing.  It makes me wonder what other Audri style Blessings are out there waiting for me...Seriously, OUR God is so sooo Good!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Lord is so Good...To Him we give ALL the Glory!!!


Well, I figured it was about time to write on my blog again since I haven't since little Miss Audri (that is what we have named her with the help of her birthmother) arrived into our home...She truly is a "Princess of the Lord" as her middle name SARIAH means.  She is absolutely beautiful and I am so thankful for the Lord's tender mercies in all the events surrounding her placement with us.  The Lord was preparing us for her and her birth family for us.

I was speaking to my best girlfriend today and she asked me how it all felt to have her especially in light of the struggles we have had to endure to get to this point and all I could say is that this was all the Lord's work...He is truly in control of it all and everything we do in this life is for Him and His purpose.

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. 
Proverbs 16:3

The past few months have been some of the most rewarding and darkest moments of our Life...But thru all the hardship and struggle we had to endure after Emerson's placement disruption we could have easily chosen to turn away from the Lord and try to deal with it within "our own understanding" and not progressed to be what He wanted us to be, but instead we CHOSE to stay close to the Savior..to rely on Him, to Love Him, to seek Him, to cry to Him and to truly get to know Him more than we ever thought we could...In many ways I am so thankful for this struggle (I am not saying I would have chosen it and still it sometimes hurts to think about).  It pushed us to dig deeper and feel more and look at others as He does.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him; He shall direct thy paths.  
Proverbs 3:5-6

I haven't shared Audri's placement story yet (not sure how I plan to share it on here due to wanting to keep Audri's birthmothers privacy) but the same day that we found out that Audri's sweet birthmother wanted us to be Audri's family, it was the same day Emerson's adoption placement finalized!  Talk about amazing...that morning I saw a picture of Emerson's family commemorating it and all I could feel was JOY...I felt no pain at all...none...The Lord is so good to have always given me peace in this way...  I was so incredibly happy he was in their family now forever.  He is loved, adored and most importantly has the Gospel... His adoptive mother and I have a really special connection, one I can not explain and I love her dearly for all she does for him.

I had seen their finalization picture on Facebook when I thought that Audri was just going to be with us temporarily to foster...her birth-mother had to choose a family still and I was't sure if that was going to be us or not, but I remember thinking how grateful I was to the Lord that He would even trust us a few days with His precious daughter and How beautiful He was for this.  Of course, you can only imagine my joy when I showed up to LDS Family Services around noon and they told me that Audri's birthmother had chosen us!  All I could think was Thank you Lord for trusting us and I realized that for the first time in my life I truly gave ALL CONTROL to Him and He Blessed me more than I could have ever imagined.

Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 
Proverbs 30:5

Today, while I was taking care of Audri I watched the movie This is Our Time and in it they were dealing with grief.  It spoke of the fact that often times pain helps us to become who the Lord needs us to be at this very moment.  Meaning, if we hadn't endured this 7 year struggle of infertility, an adoption scam, a failed placement, and Emerson's placement reversal...we wouldn't be the people He needs us to be right now for Audri, Abbe, Audri's birthmother, for each other, and most importantly for Him. He truly has used us to touch other people's lives thru this struggle and to Him we give ALL the glory of this precious gift...  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Yesterday, we got a call that a sweet baby girl had been born and LDS Family was needing a possible temporary foster home and today we found out when we went to get this sweet baby that her selfless beautiful birthmother was wanting to choose us as a family for her!  She was born on Monday...

Her birthmother is so selfless and we are so beyond grateful for this little sweet spirit.  James is in Hawaii working so he hasn't gotten to meet her "officially" yet but he at least has gotten to FaceTime with us...she is Absolutely BEAUTIFUL and the sweetest thing...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why did she choose Adoption?

I posted this on the LDS Adoption Connection blog the other day (I write and help admin the blog) but I couldn't help but think that their may be a girl that could be considering placing her baby for adoption that might end up seeing our blog and I didn't want them to miss out on hearing Tamra's story...It is raw and real but if it were me considering placing a baby for adoption this is what I would want to see...no fluff...just real stuff...

She said "I've seen people tell me after the fact, "Had I known the information, had I heard your story, I would have placed my child [for adoption] and they would have had a better life." I've had people who have had abortions tell me "Had I had accurate and current information, had I heard your story, I would have made a different choice." 

"God was using me to find his family. On this mortal side of things it looks like I shared him with them, but in reality they shared him with me. And the reason is because I needed him too. God got 2 birds with 1 stone: Justin had to go home, but he saved my life on the way." -Tamra

**BTW if you need to mute the playlist on my blog it's located all the way on the bottom of the right side of it:)

What's mine is yours...

Amazing Birth-mother video of her placement....

Such a Time as this...