1) The way my Heavenly Father works his mighty miracles. I have witnessed several of them over the course of the last several weeks and I am completely and utterly blown away by each and every single one! Those that have blessed the life of my husband, those around us, those we do not know, as well as my children and myself. Each and every time I am humbled by them and drawn to my knees in thanks and gratitude for all of them.
2) The blessing and precious gift of the Holy Ghost in my life. How I love hearing that still small voice as a whisper or as a load roar too. Each time I heed the promptings received whether as a load roar or a soft whisper I NEVER regret following them for they have brought me to peace, and through so many obstacles that I cannot even begin to count them all.
From the Camera:
This is where Danielle is staying in Montana. I love the deck on the front of the house. I bet the view from that deck is just awesome. I love how green everything is! Not exactly what we see here in Arizona is it? At least not here in the valley.
From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:
This is so amazing!!!!
From the Heart and Spirit:
I love this talk and couldn't help but share the entire thing.
Quench Not the Spirit Which Quickens the Inner Man
When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He “quickens” us, that is to say, enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman.
In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, Paul admonished the members to act in a manner as becometh Saints. He proceeded to list appropriate attributes and behaviors. In verse 19 Paul counseled with these four simple words: “Quench not the Spirit.”
Interestingly, some 500 years before Paul’s writings, aBook of Mormon prophet named Jacob sought to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to a resistant people. He boldly inquired of them as follows: “Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye … deny the good word of Christ, … and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit?”1
In our day, so many centuries after both Paul and Jacob, we too must be careful not to hinder, disregard, or quench the Spirit in our lives.
The beckoning invitations of the world attempt to divert our attention from the strait and narrow path. The adversary labors to dull our sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit, whether we are teenagers, young adults, or mature men and women. The role of the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, is essential in every season of our mortal lives.
From the beginning the Father has promised each of His spirit sons and daughters that through the Atonement and Resurrection of His Beloved Son, we allmight return to God’s presence and inherit the blessings of eternal life in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom.
Each of us knew that the journey to exaltation would be long, strenuous, and sometimes lonely, but we also knew that we would not travel alone. Heavenly Father provides all who fulfill the prerequisites of faith, repentance, and baptism with a companion and guide, the Holy Ghost.
The path to eternal life is not on a plateau. Rather, it is an incline, ever onward and upward. Hence, ever-increasing spiritual understanding and energy are required to reach our destination. Because the pernicious opposition by Satan continues, the continuous enlightened guidance of the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential. We dare not hinder, disregard, or quench the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Yet when it comes to drawing upon the promptings and the blessings which flow from the Holy Ghost, we often “live far beneath our privileges.”2
In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses recorded that Adam, having been baptized and having received the Holy Ghost, “became quickened in the inner man.”3
When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He “quickens” us, that is to say, enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman.4 As a result we notice a measurable difference in our soul. We feel strengthened, filled with peace and joy. We possess spiritual energy and enthusiasm, both of which enhance our natural abilities. We can accomplish more than we otherwise could do on our own. We yearn to become a holier person.
Do you wish to know the price to be paid for the privileges that are offered after we have received the Holy Ghost? The price is not a predetermined or fixed amount; rather, it is determined by each of us individually.
If you set your payment, which is your personal effort, very low, you may not be able to avail yourself of all the Spirit has to offer. You may even quench the Spirit! However, if you set your personal contribution high, you will reap an abundant harvest from the Spirit. The payment I reference is, of course, not money; rather, it is a greater commitment to and involvement in personal spiritual endeavors and behaviors.
We determine the level of our current personal contribution by examining our present choices and priorities against questions such as these:
Do I spend more time with sports than Church attendance or callings?
If I have a free day, do I choose to attend the temple or to visit the mall?
Do I resort to computer games or surfing the Internet rather than offering meaningful service to others in my home and community?
Do I read the newspaper religiously but find it difficult to read the scriptures daily?
There are other questions you might formulate which will reveal the appropriateness of your current choices and priorities.
Whatever level of spiritual development each of us may presently have, there always exists a higher level within our reach. Time is a most precious asset. Would you consider investing more of your time in the things of eternity in order to merit the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and to benefit more fully from His influence?
If your answer is yes, the initial offering in this pursuit of deeper spirituality is an intensified desire to receive greater inspiration and to become more holy. When these desires fill our hearts, we will eagerly increase the price we pay for heaven’s help.
Our next contribution to this effort will be to immerse ourselves more consistently in the words of Christ and of the prophets. When our study efforts expand, so will the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives increase. Let us search the scriptures with pen in hand, making note of new insights and recording spiritual promptings. Thereafter, let us strive to apply what has been learned to our personal lives. The Spirit will quicken our inner selves; new understanding will come precept upon precept.
To ensure we quench not the Spirit, but rather invite His presence, there is another step to take. Let us pray frequently and fervently. The Savior’s tender and comprehensive promise is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants:
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.”
“Seek me diligently and ye shall find me.”
“Ask, and ye shall receive.”
“Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
“Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you.”5
Note that sequence, brothers and sisters. We draw nearer to the Savior as we keep His commandments with exactness. We earnestly petition the Father in the name of Christ. Then, through the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we receive divine direction and clear understanding.
As we fast, renew our covenants during the sacrament, and attend the temple, we further access the Spirit. In these settings the Holy Ghost may manifest His influence with great impact.
The temple is a marvelous environment to seek personal revelation. When we attend as often as we can and listen thoughtfully, pondering the glorious promises and expectations pertaining to eternity, we depart with heightened understanding of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us. The Holy Ghost extends our vision and allows that eternal perspective to influence the decisions we make in our daily lives.
If we undertake this effort and quench not the Spirit, our inner being is quickened. As we persevere, eternal life awaits us. Thus, we dare not quench the Spirit through disobedience or neglect. Rather, let us “live in the Spirit,”6 enhancing the sacred and essential role of the Holy Ghost in our individual lives. I testify that as we truly seek the Spirit, we shall benefit more fully from the quiet, but essential, workings of the Holy Ghost. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
From the Kitchen:
Amish White Bread
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast ( or 1 packet ) 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons oil ( Crisco ) 3 cups bread flour
In a glass measuring cup, dissolve the sugar in the warm water, then stir in yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to proof until it gets foamy.
Sift flour in mixing bowl, add salt. Pour yeast mixture in bowl and mix until combined with a paddle on your mixer. In the meantime rub oil in a dry metal bowl. After you finish mixing dough put in new bowl and roll the dough to coat with the oil. Cover with a warm damp rag to rise 30 minutes. pour out on a floured surface and punch down. Form dough into a loaf and put in a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Allow to rise 30 more minutes ( dough should be 1 inch above the pan ) Bake 350 degrees for 30 min. Let cool before slicing
From the Schmidt's:
This morning I got up and was out the door by 8 a.m.
I had to get up to the hospital to be able to learn a few more things about how to care for Kevin from the head therapist. We were learning how to get Kevin in and out of the bed, which can be a little tricky if the bed is higher than the wheelchair. So, we may need to take the wheels off our bed frame eventually, but we shall see. I'll leave it up to Kevin unless we just flat out cannot do it any other way. We also learned that Kevin will come home with a slightly smaller wheelchair than what they have been letting him use at the hospital, so that will help him get in and out of the bathroom easier. I have a few things to adjust and they gave me some good suggestions on how to tweak things to work for us.
While we were there the doctor came in to see Kevin too. We talked about medication. The doctor was wanting to know how Kevin wanted to handle the medications he is currently on. Surprisingly, Kevin wants to start decreasing the amounts. Then Kevin asked the all pressing question about when the feeling in his legs and waist come back. Kevin wanted to know when that happens will we need to increase the medications at that point. The doctor then said that because of everything that has happened his body or brain could have reset itself and the pain will not come back. Which was interesting to learn. The doctor said, of course, there are no guarantees of anything and we will just need to ride this out. But do you know what that means if that is true???? That means that this entire spinal cord injury would become a complete blessing in disguise for us!!! A MIRACLE!!! Literally! So, we are extremely hopeful that this indeed will happen for Kevin.
It's interesting to see how this whole thing has in a way, given me back my husband. Before surgery Kevin would spend 90% of his day in bed and in more pain than you could ever imagine. With this recent development and what we first thought to be a set back, (his spiral cord injury) Kevin has been up and mobile and anxious to get on with life and learn new things. It has been wonderful! I honestly do not know what I am going to do with this new man I will be bringing home soon. This is a good thing.
While I was at the hospital we also met with the Neuropsychologist too. She came in and we had a little session in Kevin's room before his next therapy session. It was there that I learned that Kevin has also noticed that he and I now have an even closer relationship now. That alone is probably the best part of this entire thing, hands down. It's funny how that happens. Kevin said that he feels very fortunate that the kids and I have rallied around him and support him. He said that he has watched other patients that do not have that support system and it has really been bad. I feel for those patients that do not have a good support system around them. The doctor then answered some of our questions about a couple of resources and then planned to stop back by with all kinds of contacts for Kevin and I to reach out to for various things. I love that!
By the time I am done typing this post today, Kevin will have met with his a mentor the hospital has hooked him up with. This is someone that will be there for Kevin after he leaves the hospital and will help with any questions or concerns he has. I found it interesting that Kevin fully intends to also be a mentor for someone else when he leaves too. I think that is awesome!
I have to say, everyone that has been a part of Kevin's care has been totally amazing! I cannot thank them enough for all they do. I get now why people donate to that Health and Wealth Raffle here in the valley. The proceeds go to benefit places like Barrow's Neurological Rehabilitation Center. My Mom buys a ticket every once in a while. Now I know where that money goes. ~smile~smile~
After the hospital I came home and decided to go to the mall to try and get my ring fixed. I am so glad we have a warranty on that! When they quoted me and hour to an hour and half wait, I wasn't thrilled but I went wandering the mall for a bit. When I was done with that, I sat in a comfy chair while I waited for my ring to be done. I had all ready walked from one end to the other end of the mall and through a few stores. So, I got a good walk in at least. I was surprised the mall was not as busy as I expected it to be with school starting the next day. You know how it is when you are at a place like the mall...you see all kinds of things, if you know what I mean. I was sitting alone in this little sitting area next to the elevator when this man came and sat on the couch near the chair I was sitting in. I was watching people and checking things out on my phone all while keeping an eye on this man out of the corner of my eye. He was clearly under the influence of something because he couldn't sit up straight and he looked like he had just left some type of construction job site because he was wearing work boots and his clothes were a mess with paint, grout, or something. After a while of sitting there he tried to talk to me through slurred speech and everything. Well, I wasn't having it and I went to go check on my ring which still wasn't ready. So, I went back out, but this time I sat on the other side of the elevator away from that man.
After waiting there for what seemed like a long time and doing some people watching I noticed this mother and young girl walk by and up to the elevator. I could see that this young girl was tall with really pretty long curly hair. After the mother and the girl waited at the elevator for a minute or two the young girl came over to me and asked if she could give me a hug. I do not know this girl and I have never seen her before and I was completely surprised that she would take the time to come and give me, a random stranger a hug, but I have to say, she left an impression on me and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day too. I was also impressed that this girl, at such a young age knew the value of a random act of kindness. How awesome is that? Anyway, it made my day!
Well, the day that we have been waiting for all summer long has finally arrived! Tomorrow school starts! WOOT! WOOT!
And I only have this to say about that......
Lexi LOVES it when I play this commercial or sing the words to the song for her. NOT! I can't help it. We have a little fun each year with the kids while singing this song. It's become a little ritual for us. ~smile~smile~
Kyle and I have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. Tomorrow we learn how to get Kevin in and out of the car. So, Kyle needs to go with me on that one since he will be taking his Dad to and from a lot of appointments down the road, or at least more than I will for the next few weeks. Lots of things go do and places to be. But its a good thing. We still have lots to do around the house too, but that is a work in progress and we will get there. If your start to think about all the things that need to be adjusted for someone in a wheelchair, you could drive yourself nuts. Simple tasks like doing laundry becomes a problem for someone with a top loading washing machine. Getting in and out of your home when there is something as small as a 4 inch step, becomes something you cannot do without the help of someone else until you become better at maneuvering in your wheelchair. Moving through doorways can also be tricky, or even going to the restroom in private can become an issue if you can't get into the restroom and have enough room to close the door behind you. All these things. Or even getting to your clothing that was once hung up high in the closet is an issue too. I have literally sat and thought about how to reposition things while sitting on my bed or in a chair. How would I get to this or that, if I couldn't walk to it or stand up to get it. Even the microwave becomes an issue since mine is basically above the stove. (It's actually on it's own shelf under the upper cabinets) We will get there, and then by the time we are done, Kevin will have full use of his legs again, at least that is our hope. It's all good. We can do this. What we could not have done is do without my husband. That I could never do. Anything that does not take him away from me is a good thing. So, while YES, this may seem overwhelming or too much at times for those of us dealing with this, and for those looking on, but we know there are much harder things we could be asked to deal with and we are very grateful that we have not had to do those hard things. That is the blessing, the silver lining, the blessing in disguise, the best part, or whatever you want to call it. We refuse to let this be a burden on us. I thought it was a little funny yesterday when I saw my therapist that she was really really concerned about how this was effecting me. In fact, as I was telling her that we are grateful that we are not dealing with other things, and she stopped me for a minute to make sure I had grieved about this. I had to laugh. While I know she is probably right, we need to give ourselves time to get angry and get bummed out about all of this. We do. I also find it very interesting that my life is busy and I am going non-stop with things right now. I think the busyness of it all helps me to stay focused on what is most important, and that is remembering that this is a blessing in disguise and we can already see so many blessings that have come from this. I truly believe and have put my complete trust in my Heavenly Father that he knows why we are going through this right now. That He knows what it is that He wants us to learn and the blessings He wants us to receive as we learn and grow through this process. That is the amazing part! That is what makes this whole thing very interesting to me. Each day I find or see new things that prove to me and to Kevin that the Lord is in charge and He knows exactly what He wants the outcome to be. He has a plan for each of us, and it is His design to put those things in our path that will give Him the outcome He desires, which is the best that we can and will be.
I have come to understand some of what was meant what the Lord told Joseph Smith in Doctrine & Covenants 121: 7-9 & 26 when Joseph Smith pleaded with the Lord over the suffering of the Saints. Sure, Kevin and I certainly are not at all in the same situation Joseph Smith or the early saints were in, but in a sense, we have come to appreciate these scriptures a little more now....
7. My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
9. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
26. God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost......
I know this to be true. I know that this spinal cord injury and the lose of feeling and movement Kevin has in his lower body will be but a moment and he will regain the use of his legs again. I know it! No we do not fully know why this has happened. In fact, I don't even think we have posed that question to anyone through this entire ordeal. We have never questioned the Lord. We have never questioned the doctors. Sure, we had questions, but they were quick to provide answers before questions could even come. I can honestly say, there is something different about how we have handled this situation than other situations we have found ourselves in. I'm sure Kevin would say the same thing. Honestly, I think that is the difference. That is what we have had to learn. How to NOT ask why. How to NOT question the Lord. And I have seen a quickening, if you will, for all of us through this entire situation as we learn and grow. This is the amazing part! This is the best part. This is the part I love...learning by the Spirit. It is wonderful!
I am rambling and for that I do apologize.
I should go.
I hope you all have had a wonderful day and that tomorrow is amazing too. Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.
From the Missionary:
Tomorrow we get to hear from this young man!
Each time we do I think of the big grin on his face when we talked to him on Mother's Day. I love hearing from him and reading his emails. Each time I read one of his emails I can sense the smiles on his face as he anxiously shares the latest happenings on his mission. What an exciting time for him! We are so proud of our missionary. Keep up the good work Curtis!