Gratitude Grams

mmm… The world has left me breathless lately.

The way the seasons change is enchanting and I love it, even if it does mean I do have to double and triple layer all my clothes.

I’ve reticently created a new portfolio site, which is still in the works, but if you feel so inclined you can CLICK HERE to check it out!

Yesterday we had a party at one of my young women leaders house and one of the leaders, Sister Hartvigsen, walked in with a plastic grocery sack. When we inquired about the contents she replied, “I brought my favorite treat…” Being sure to leave dramatic suspense she then added, “MEN!!!” As she pulled out an assortment of ken dolls in scout uniforms. We died. Each of us now have a new bæ and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Aren’t they the cutest?!
 
And in other exciting news, shout out to Briana and Allison who are both turning 18 today!!! I hope you guys had the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! 🙂

This week has been awesome and I’m finishing it off with speaking at STAKE CONFERENCE tomorrow. TOMORROW! I’m freaking out, but it all the best ways.

On an unrelated note, my life has been centered around gratitude lately. Gratitude grams that is. I am on the seminary council at my school and for the month of November we’ve been having the student body write gratitude grams, which are little slips of paper that students write notes to their friends to tell them how grateful they are for them.

We had a lunch activity this week where everyone came and ate graham crackers (see what we did there?!) and wrote gratitude grams. It was a blast and I must say that I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve on seminary council. I absolutely love the people I work with and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Here are some cute pictures I took at the lunch activity.

So in spirit of the month of the month of thanks I want to challenge everyone at my school to keep sending gratitude grams, and I want to challenge everyone else to send a text or leave a note for someone you are thankful for, because they need to know.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Go read this blog. Exciting things are happening over there.

Thankful Christmas season

So I started this post on Thanksgiving and just now realized I have neglected to post it. Whops. So here is a late Thanksgiving post along with a few updates.

First, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that on thanksgiving the status bar on Facebook said “what are you thankful for?” instead of “what’s on you mind” like it does today. I think it’s awesome.

Second, I must say I’m sorry for not posting regularly like In normally do. I should have no excuse since I’ve been out of school with nothing but time, but the reality is I’m half way done with my 4th book this week. I think that well explains why there has been a drought when it comes to posts.

So I guess it would be fair to start with catching up on the 5 days of 30 days of Thanksgiving I have missed. haha I have really struggled with this.

day 25
I am thankful for books. Like, a lot.

day 26
I’m thankful for my progression as a writer. I’m by no means a great writer, but looking back at some of my earliest posts I just wonder why anyone ever read my blog back then. Improvement feels good.

day 27
I’m thankful for my little athletes. My kids are the naughtiest stinkers at times but the hugs and smiles always make up for it. There is nothing like one of your students telling you they want to be a tumbling teacher when they grow up; that they want to be “just like you”. It’s the most fulfilling job and sometimes I wonder how I was so lucky to have it placed in my lap. I love it.

day 28
I’m thankful for missionaries. I love all the emails and Facebook posts I read about my friends that are serving around the world. It makes me so happy to watch the gospel spread. I’m so thankful for all the missionaries in my life who have set such a good example to me in my life.

day 29
I’m thankful for music. I’m thankful for EFY music, I’m thankful for Christmas music, I’m thankful for country music, I’m thankful for movie soundtracks, and most of all I am thankful for the music that can still be called “clean”. Clean music is a good thing.

day 30
I’m thankful for EFY counselors. In the words of Peeta “you have no idea the affect you can have.” You have no idea how much you have affected my life. Weather it be helping me gain a testimony, helping me strengthen my testimony, or simply being a friend that I can look up to. You have strengthened me and I will always be grateful.

Now, with Thanksgiving over there is a tendency to immediately forget everything you just said you were thankful for and explode into the “I WANT I WANT I WANT” Christmas frenzy.

I find it funny that hours after we say a prayer thanking the Lord for what we have, too many of us find ourselves at stores pushing people over for what we want.

The end of Thanksgiving does not merely mark the start of the Christmas season. It should be a continuation of thanks. Thanksgiving and Christmas should not be two separate holidays, but should be two Holidays that are one in the same. They are both holidays where we thank the Lord for what we have and we give to those around us. They are both holidays to help us become more like Christ.

Try to remember that this Christmas season.

On a totally unrelated note, watch this video. I can’t even deal.

Feel my Sunlight

p.s. I am very extremely tremendously grateful for my readers of this humble blog. Basically if you have ever read even a single post I love you. For those of you who read and comment regularly I like to refer to you as “the coolest people on this planet.” You are seriously the greatest.

never be the same

HEYYY! Sorry about the lack of posts over the last few days. Do you know that feeling where you feel empty. Like someone has just grabbed your squeeze bottle of motivation and emptied it to the point where there is only that miniscule amount of stuff left that is so small that it is never coming out of the bottle? That’s how I’ve felt the last couple of days. There has been enough for me to open blogger several times, but never enough for me to get anything out of my head; therefore, here is my blog post 4 days late.

First I must catch up on the four days of 30 days of Thanksgiving I missed because I was lazy.

day 14
I am thankful for Sunday mornings. Every Sunday I race the sun to see who can get up first. After that I get ready and take a hurried drive over to the seminary building where I pretend to be a missionary and I teach fake investigators about the real gospel. The spirit is always so strong and I just love everything about mission prep. The drive home is always the prettiest drive of my week. I don’t know why but this same drive that I take on the way home from school everyday is so much prettier on Sunday mornings. I’m pretty sure it is 50% the spirit felt at mission prep and 40% the lovely church music playing in the car and 10% the weather.

 Sunday morning drive song of the day.

day 15
I am thankful for service. I had this brilliant idea for a service project that my friends and I are going to do instead of buying each other Christmas presents this year. I am super excited about it and I am so glad my friends are just as excited about it as I am. I will share more about the details of our project when we get closer to Christmas.

day 16
I am thankful for my readers! Today I hit 12,000 page views! My readers are incredible. I don’t know where this blog would be without you. I promise that I will always keep writing as long as you keep reading! Thank you all so much!

day 17
I am thankful for an incredible ward. I love my Young Women’s group, I love our leaders, I love our bishop, and I love everything about going to church with my ward. There is so much love and joy that everyone brings that makes it an enjoyable experience for everyone. In our Young Women’s group everybody fits and It is so nice to have a place to know that even though in the world I’m different, I believe different things, I am not popular, and I get mocked for my decisions, I know that there is always a place where I fit and where I have friends, and where I don’t have to worry about being the weird one who follows the rules because I am surrounded by great friends that also follow the rules. We have a good time.

feel my sunlight

p.s. I have no Idea what I want for Christmas. Any ideas?

My heart is full. Buckets full. {day 10 & 11}

http://www.mormonnewsroom.ph/

This is going to be short because it’s late and I have buckets of homework still to do, but I just couldn’t miss today. My heart is so full and I can’t even express the joy I feel in my soul right now.

Day 10
My heart is so full of love for those incredible people in my life who have ultimately changed my life. Some of these people have faced the greatest of difficulties, yet never cease to amaze me with their incredible strength. I am so thankful for those amazing people who wrap me in their arms and who make my days brighter. These people include, but are not limited to, those I spend time with at the gym, and those I spend time with in the Laurel class. These two groups that I spend a fair amount of time with have changed me more than they will ever know and I am so so so thankful for the great love and humor they have shown me. I love you guys!

Day 11
Today I am thankful for this news release. I am brought to tears knowing that the Lord is watching out for his people. As stated by the LDS newsroom “The Philippines emergency management agency reports more than 1,700 people are confirmed dead with that number expected to rise. Thousands are missing as search and rescue efforts continue. Nearly 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon. More than 23,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes.” And out of all that it is stated that ALL of the missionaries have been confirmed safe and alive.
I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have that the Lord will protect his people. I am thankful for this news and how it has strengthened my testimony that God lives and God is good.

feel my sunlight

p.s. My heart is so full. Buckets full. Also, I get to hear Hank Smith speak tomorrow and I’m just a little bit excited about that. Okay, a lot excited.

thankful month day 6. Also, free printables just for fun!

Today I am thankful for heroes.

When I say heroes I don’t mean those ones drawn up by Marvel that wear capes and tights.

I mean those heroes who risk their lives to protect mine.

I’m thankful for policemen. I’m thankful for those fighting for our country. I’m thankful for fire fighters. I’m thankful for security guards. I’m thankful for random citizens who go out of their way to do good.

I’m thankful that I can go to school every morning and not worry about making it home safely.

Now, on a totally unrelated note. Here are a few free random printables just because. Feel free use them!

feel my sunlight

p.s. Should the printables continue? I think yes.

pretending I’m a DIY blogger

Today I’m going to do something crazy (sorta) I’m going to pretend to be a DIY blogger for a day.

See, I’ve been wanting a scripture cover for months due to the fact that my scriptures are looking just a little too loved, and by too loved I mean the binding is being held on by bobby pins, they don’t close all the way, and my pages look like a package of highlighters exploded. But that’s exactly how I like it. They just needed a little more protection.

The only problem is the ones on etsy are just too dang expensive for my mission saving self so we went the alternative option. Pinterest.

I was thinking “Oh! I’ll make an awesome scripture cover and do a tutorial on my blog! And then I found this tutorial by delia cretes… and it’s really good. I ended up using her tutorial almost exactly so I am just going to link to her blog and skip the whole tutorial thing.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iluT0so5vgg/TWXbhRBJdeI/AAAAAAAAF1o/dd3slIS8Xj8/s1600/scripture+case-7.jpg
delia creates tutorial

Aaaaand…. my creation.

As a few of you know I am doing 30 days of Thanksgiving with my friend Hannah from The Perks of Being Happy. My day one just so happens to be a guest post on sprinklesonmyicecream.blogspot.com and you can read that post HERE.

So this is day two and I’m thankful for… can you guess it?… THE SCRIPTURES!

We as the Mormon Church “believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. {Article of Faith 8}

The Book of Mormon is not meant to replace the Bible, but it stands as “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” It tells of Christ’s dealings with the people in the Americas. It contains the fullness of the gospel and it tells men what they must do in order to gain eternal live and achieve eternal life.

I have a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know know of its truthfulness and I have felt it’s power in my life. I encourage everyone to see what it’s all about.

Read more about the Book of Mormon HERE.
Request a FREE copy of the Book of Mormon HERE.

feel my sunlight

p.s. My family just told me I have blogosaurus. Whatever that means. I think it is supposed to be some kind of disease, but it sounds like some kind of dinosaur to me. Either way, I like it.
p.s.s. Notice how my scripture case matches my blog. coincidence? You decide.

Blogswap! Work is sweet

Hey guys! Today I’m going to something awesome and let the Lovely Sarah from sprinklesonmyicecream.blogspot.com take over my blog! She is a FANTASTIC writer and I love her blog. Today I am also taking over her blog as well so as soon as you read this post hop on over to her blog and read my guest post. {This post marks day one of 30 days of thanksgiving so check it out!}

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Hey guys! Whitney and I are doing a blog swap today! My name is Sarah. I am a Mormon teen, lover of ice cream, blogger, avid photographer, and really slow runner. [I included running in this list so I would sound cool and buff, but I wouldn’t be being honest unless I also added that I run slower than a gold fish. And yes, I’m aware gold fish don’t run. This goes to further illustrate my point. 😉 ] 

https://i1.wp.com/i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01396/fish_1396516c.jpg
Image Source



But I have an even greater love than reading, photoshopping, playing the piano, and eating ice cream out of the carton with a spoon. The gospel of Jesus Christ is my rock and my strength. Speaking of which, let’s stop talking about me and talk about Him instead, shall we? 😉


Have you ever heard the song, Sweet is the Work? Since my website is “a blog about the sweet things in life”, I like to think that I’m a pretty good judge of things that are sweet [especially ice cream. Delicious!]. But do you want to know a secret? Whenever I hear the word “work”, I don’t usually think about sweet things. In fact, my first instinct is usually to cringe and make a face like this:
https://i0.wp.com/www.blufftontoday.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/superphoto/photos/blogs/30398/babycrying.png
Image Source
Do you feel my pain? 

I think that all too often we associate work with bitter brussel sprouts instead of the wonderful, luscious, decadent candy that it truly is.


The other day, my seminary class was reading from 2 Nephi 5. In this chapter, Nephi explains how he has just separated the righteous part of his family from the Lamanites. I’m sure you remember how different the Nephites and Lamanites are from each other at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. The Nephites were righteous followers of Christ while the Lamanites, well….weren’t. 


Eventually, it became imperative that Nephi separate his family from them so that his children would be able to grow up in a righteous environment. 


I’m sure you remember how many times the Lamanites were reminded that they should repent or they would be punished. [I wonder if Heavenly Father kind of felt like my Mom when she asks me to clean my room. “Sarah, I’ve told you a million times…get your laundry off the floor!” Does that sound familiar to you, too?]


So, after the Nephites left, it was time for Heavenly Father to fulfill His prophecy that the Lamanites would be “cut off from His presence” if they didn’t shape up. They never shaped up, so they got cut off like my hair at the beauty parlor. [I know that might not sound very dramatic, but you should have seen my last haircut. I asked for 1/4 inch off and came back with 2 inches less hair. It was pretty intense.]


I find it really interesting that one of the first things Nephi notes in this account is the difference between the Nephites and Lamanite’s work ethics.


In verse 24, Nephi says this of the Lamanites:

And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people….
Now, here’s what the Nephites were up to while the Lamanites twiddled their thumbs:

We did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses. (Verse 10)
 And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. 
And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind (Verse 11)
And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. (Verse 15)
And I, Nephi, did build a temple. (Verse 16)
 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands. (Verse 17)
How many times did Nephi mention forms of work in there? I’m no math expert, but I counted ten different examples in just these four versesThat is a lot of labor! 


Now, here is the killer point I’ve been getting at. [Sorry it took so long!]


Which group do you think was the most happy? The TV-vegging Lamanites [just kidding!] or the industrious Nephites?


Upon first impression, it might seem like the Lamanites were the most joyful. I mean after all, who likes doing chores, anyway? But guess again, my friends.


The Nephites are actually the ones who got the better end of the deal. While the Lamanites became a “loathsome” people (verse 22), it is said that the Nephites “lived after the manner of happiness” (verse 27)


I don’t know about you, but living after the manner of happiness sounds pretty awesome to me. 


It might seem like a catch-22, but even though work is hard and unenjoyable at times, it truly does open the doors to a whole flood of wonderful blessings. Says Elder D. Todd Christofferson:


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-okvgfdk9CpA/UnRJn7UoazI/AAAAAAAAApk/Wi63O3_E1Mg/s1600/work.jpg


I have found these words to be so true in my life. Work truly is a grand blessing– not a horrible curse. Just like the people of Nephi, we can “live in the manner of happiness” as we are diligent in our labors. 


As the beloved hymn says, work truly is Sweet. [Sweeter than sugar and ice cream, I might add!]

May we all willingly partake of it’s deliciousness,


 Sarah