Guest Post by Shelby {Good Things to Come}

hola amigos!

Yesterday I was teaching one of my preschool tumbling classes when one of my three year old students that doesn’t stand much taller than your average American Girl Doll (that’s actually not true, but you get the point) gave me a hug and said “Teacher, you have skinny legs.” 

And people wonder why I love my job so much. haha

I have something super awesome for my blog post today! Even better than hugs… and even better than three year olds that tell you that you have skinny legs…

The following blog post comes from one of the coolest chicks in all of blog land. Her name is Shelby and I’ve asked her to take over my blog for a day! She’s kindly accepted. So enjoy her lovely writing, and then stay tuned for a guest post I wrote for her blog!


Hey Guys! My name is Shelby and I am so excited to be here guest posting for Whitney. You may remember me from this post. Whitney also did an amazing post here that you should definitely check out!

A little bit about me:
    – I blog over at Moore Light Shine
    – I love photography and design
    – I also love music.
    – I am Mormon. I try my hardest to live it and I absolutely love it.
    – I think the youth program is one of the most amazing things ever.

It is now February 4th, you probably set some awesome goals 35 days ago.
I know I did. How many have I completely stuck with? I don’t know if I have 100% stuck with any of them, but I’m trying my hardest.
I’m not discouraged or disappointed because I’ve come to realize that the only way for me to be perfect is through Christ. So I’ll keep running towards him. I’ll keep trying my hardest. And he’ll keep standing there with his arms open wide ready accept me and you and help us become perfect. Isn’t that amazing?

Today I’m here to talk about keeping goals and sticking to things, whether they are new years resolutions or not. I’m talking about the kind of things that can seem tiring or worthless to some. The repetitive things that make you wonder if you can possibly learn anything else from it.

Everyone has something like that.
A standard they struggle to keep.
Something they just want to skip one night. Until it becomes 2. Then 3. Then 4 months.
It may be prayer, scripture study, going to church, media standards. Anything.

But I’m here to tell you to keep going. To keep moving. To not give up.

Because something bigger and better is waiting for you right around the corner. Your dreams are about to come true. Heavenly Father will be near you soon with his arms around you. Your Savior is ready now to give you hope, and peace, and joy.

All of these wonderful things are about to happen. But they won’t if you give up now.

You may want it so bad. You may feel like your prayers are being said to air. You may want to quit, But don’t. Because I promise your Heavenly Father is listening. He hears your prayers. He wants to help you. But he knows what’s best, so he waits until the perfect moment. You think you know the perfect plan, the perfect time. We humans think we have everything figured out. Ha! We don’t. Not even close.

We are so far from seeing the big picture we simply have to trust God and realize that his timing is not our timing, it is the best timing.

Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you are getting discouraged. It happens to the best of us. While reading my scriptures the other day, I noticed a verse in Nephi that had never caught my attention:

“And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all…..” (1 Nephi 15:5)

Even Nephi, the great prophet and a faithful servant of God became discouraged. He became dragged down because the world was beating down on him. He let others affect how he felt about life and himself.

Later it goes on to say “And it came to pass after I had received strength(1 Nephi 15:6)

I love this verse because he received strength. He didn’t become strong through himself. He received strength from The Lord. And our Heavenly Father is ready and willing to do the same for you.

He is ready to comfort you and encourage you. He may not be ready to fix everything. But he is ready to help you. To strengthen you. To love you.

I know this is so true.

I absolutely love the quotes below.

“There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened. It is the very Son of God Himself….Cling to your faith. Hold on to your hope… Don’t give up…. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it…… You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

Please don’t give up. Please keep going. Whether it is a new years resolution, just getting through the day, or deciding if you beleive in your Savior. Please don’t lose hope. Know that you have devine capabilities and that you are loved beyond comprehension.

I hope you all have a wonderful, spectacular, amazing day!


Letter from a new convert {guest post}

Hello friends! Happy New Years Eve! I’m celebrating with a morning of yoga, breakfast, books, and blogs, and a super awesome guest post!
Today’s post comes from Marie-Rose who is the author of one of my favorite blogs, Hope Always and Pray Constantly. Marie-Rose is a new convert who was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day saints in the middle of November. 
This is her letter to all members of the church titled “Letter From a New Convert” and it is addressed to all members of the Church. In return, you can find my letter to her called “Letter To a New Convert” over on her blog. My letter is addressed to all those who, in the words of Jeffery R. Holland, “[are young in the church…] young in years of age or young in years of membership or young in years of faith. One way or another, that should include just about all of us.” So don’t forget to click on over to her blog after you’ve spent some time here!
Hope Always and Pray Constantly

Letter from a new convert,
My baptism was last month and it was amazing. Do you remember yours? The Spirit was so strong 🙂 the water was so warm and welcoming when I walked into the font. Everything melted away for a minute, other than the words spoken, and suddenly I was underwater. I had waited for this moment for so long. I’d already had one baptism date fall through, cuz my dad wasn’t sure if he was okay with my choice. For two years I knew, deep in my heart, that Heavenly Father wanted me to get baptized. I just had to wait for the right time. 
I’m so excited that I’ve been able to go to church regularly since I’ve been at college. In 2013, I took the sacrament exactly once (in like July, I think). It was not a fun time, having to miss church. Sometimes, sitting in sacrament meeting, it feels like you’ve heard all these things a million times before. But it’s so easy to forget them if you’re not hearing them! And feeling the Spirit at church is my favorite part of the week. Being surrounded by other people who love you is amazing. I think they call that a ward family.
That’s a thing about us new converts, we’re still getting used to the lingo 🙂
Have you talked to your ward’s missionaries recently? I bet they’re pretty awesome. My sister missionaries are the best. We’ve been meeting weekly since I’ve been at college and I love them so much. I haven’t figured out how to serve them dinner yet, cuz I’m in a dorm with no kitchen and live off of a meal plan, but you should see their faces when I bring snacks to lessons 🙂
Speaking of missionaries, you’ve probably heard that you should be a member missionary, right? Guess how I first heard about the church. My friends are pretty good member missionaries. They weren’t afraid to mention church things in my presence, and they certainly weren’t afraid to answer my questions, even if it meant hunting down an answer and getting back to me later. They invited me to activities and seminary and church and dances and girls camp and youth conference. They gave me a Book of Mormon. Most importantly, they let me go at my own pace. They never pushed me to investigate faster than I was comfortable with doing. So when you hear that you should be a member missionary, think of new converts like me. You wouldn’t be reading this letter if it weren’t for member missionaries.
I have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and is always there for us. I know that Jesus Christ is our savior. I know that prayer is powerful. I know there’s a Plan, and eternity is bigger than whatever trial I might be going through at the moment. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I can feel that when I read it. 
I am so happy to be a member of this wonderful church. 
Thank you for your missionary work, 
❤ Marie-Rose

p.s. I’m searching for some awesome New Years Resolutions. What are some of yours?

Which wolf will you feed?

Read Al’s blog post HERE!
I just read this blog post over on Al Fox Caraway’s blog and oh boy! It’s one I want every single person to read. Find it HERE
In this blog post she talks about “the secret to have your best life” and I couldn’t have needed this more at any other time.

 She starts off her blog post with a quote by Wayne Dyer that says:
“I have two wolves barking inside of me. The first wolf is filled with anger, hatred, bitterness, and mostly revenge. The second wolf inside of me is filled with love, kindness, compassion, and mostly forgiveness.‘Which wolf do you think will win?’ the young boy inquired. The grandfather responded, ‘Whichever one I feed.’”  
                                                    (—Wayne Dyer)
I love so much that she shared this quote. And I feel like that even though we possess both wolves inside of us and we have the option to feed both animals, the first wolf is more aggressive. It demands to be fed in a way that is unavoidable. It fights hard for our attention and doesn’t leave us alone until we feed it. And while the first wolf is demanding to be fed, the second wolf sits quietly watching. The second wolf doesn’t fight as hard and doesn’t threaten to hurt us. The second wolf is more like a guide dog (or maybe like a mini guide horse like Sugarfoot on Heartland! haha) It is patient and wants to help us. The second wolf is the wolf that deserves to be fed, but by the time the first wolf is satisfied, there is nothing left for the second.
As is our war with our self worth. Satan wants us to feel bad about ourselves and he spends so much energy trying to convince us that we are worth nothing. He has nothing good to offer us, but still we let him convince us we don’t measure up. And after you’ve spent so much energy looking in the mirror telling yourself you aren’t good enough, there is no energy left inside you to remind you of your magnificent self worth.
Al goes on in her blog post to talk about comparison. Right before I read her post I was sitting there thinking about how much farther some of my tumbling teammates had progressed over the last couple of years, and how much I have been stuck in a stationary point. Four years ago I competed level 8 against one of my best friends, and this coming year I am pushing for 9. But even level 9 is a maybe. While this teammate is working towards becoming a senior elite (the highest level in tumbling). 
This green envy monster likes to pick on me when it comes to tumbling. I love all my teammates so much and they are truly some of my best friends, but I sometimes wonder why they have been able to go so far and why I have been stuck in the same place for so long. I put in just as much effort and sometimes more. I attend the exact same practices, I have the same coaches, and I follow the same work progression. But still, I fall behind.
So I was sitting here reading Al’s blog post and pondering all the ways I have fallen behind when one line she wrote stuck out to me:

God does not define you by your faults or shortcomings, but by your heart and potential.”


It was then that I realized I had been approaching my self worth all wrong. It isn’t about how cute your clothes are, because clothes are just things you wear to be modest; it isn’t about good you are at tumbling, because tumbling is just a form of exercise; It is about what you have inside you. It’s about how you treat others. It’s about how you combat adversity and about your relationship with God. It is about your potential.

When God looks at two people he doesn’t think “oh… Sara is so much better than Emily because she drew a better line on her eyelid today.” In fact, God doesn’t compare us at all. So why should we? Why is it that to the world, the outgoing girl in the cheer uniform with the perfect makeup is worth more than the quiet girl with the book that has only put on makeup twice in her life? Because it isn’t true.

We are all worth the world in God’s eyes.

I love this statement by Al that says;
“the secret to having your best life is seeing you the way God sees you and knowing it. When you look in the mirror next, look longer and deeper.
Learn to not be so self critical because you are so beautiful in the eyes of God. His thoughts toward you are more numerous then you could even begin to imagine.”
I love this so much because I have found it to be true in my own life. When I forget about comparing myself and I am focused on the more important things like serving others, I begin to feed the wolf that deserves to be fed. I begin to realize how God sees me, and how God sees those around me.

You are a child of great worth.

feel my sunlight
p.s. It’s the second week of school already? Yay for senior year!!! 

Maybe I’ll talk about

Hi lovelies!

Remember when I blogged about these two awesome efy counselors?

Well, they’re getting married today.

Every efy participant’s dream. I cannot even handle how happy I am for them. Congrats to Braden and Randi. #EFYtoETERNITY #UpbraidethNotForever #Literally

You’d think that with school not in session that I’d be able to keep up in this blog land that I love so dearly, but God has had some other plans for my time.

I have been out of school for exactly a week and every single day has been filled with so much good, and I am oh so grateful for it.

So… what do I want to talk about today?

Maybe the fact that I completed 9:3 on the Whip Chart today. (for those of you all of you who are now going “WHATTT?” I will explain, at tumbling we have a chart that has a list of combinations of back flips. We work on them almost every day. We’ve done it for years. Today I did the hardest one on the list. It was fun.)

Maybe I’ll talk about how much I love summer and how much I enjoy the whole no school thing. Last night I had a dream that there were all these desks in the gym and my coaches were telling me to tumble on top of them. I thought I was going to die because desks are not safe to tumble on desks (obviously). I’m pretty sure that was my subconscious telling me to avoid school at all costs.

Maybe I’ll talk about how I’m going to Portland with the family next week and how I can’t wait.

Maybe I’ll talk about an awesome spiritual experience where I read an awesome scripture that demands to be shared. (Doctrine and Covenants 21:6 is awesome.)

Maybe I’ll tell you about how I finally drove on the freeway for the first time since I crashed my car. It was incredibly scary and I didn’t like it one bit. But, guess what! I’m alive!

Maybe I’ll tell you about all the plans I have for the summer. I’m going to Portland with the family, and Palmyra New York for EFY, and Girls Camp, and Youth Conference. I am just so very excited for it all.

Maybe I’ll tell you about how I think family history work is awesome and how I have no idea what I’m doing as a family history consultant. The bishop said that the only way I can do anything wrong is to not do anything at all. This is going to be exciting. I seriously can’t wait!

Maybe I’ll tell you about how we start doing stuff for Seminary Council next week and how I am VERY OVERLY EXTREMELY EXITED for that to happen. I really like seminary. Like a lot.

Maybe I’ll tell you about how excited I am to serve a mission in a year, but how I wish the whole “getting your wisdom teeth out before you go” wasn’t a thing.

Maybe I’ll ask you what your current favorite books are because I need some new ones to read.

Or MAYBE I’ll just refer you to somebody else’s blog because I can’t decide. Perhaps Al Fox Carraway. I really liked her blog post this week.
Read her post HERE

Ya. I think I’ll do that.

Well, I love you all, and I hope you all have a fantastic day. I hope somebody brings you ice cream or cake because that would make your day even more awesome and you deserve that. Cake and ice cream are always a good thing because it’s always somebody’s birthday somewhere.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Sorry for the randomness of this post. ha I don’t know how that happened, but I kinda like it.

New York and a sweet reunion

Todays post has three pieces and they all happen to relate to the State of New York. How that happened, I don’t know, but I think it’s kinda fun.

NY #1
Remember when I said I had a big decision to make regarding this summer? (aka the P.S.S. of THiS POST.) Well, I made a decision, and I made it official. I am officially registered to attend EFY in Palmyra New York this summer!!! I am SO excited about this and it feels so right. This does; however, mean I probably won’t be able to compete at the US Power Tumbling National Championships this year in Louisville, KY due to the fact that bank accounts aren’t bottomless. I am super bummed about this, but I have prayed about this and NY is where the Lord wants me to be. I can’t wait for this adventure!

NY #2
The second piece of this blog post is simply a link to something awesome. I don’t know about you but I get sick of listening to stuff that is on the radio at times and I just need something else to fill the sound waves in the air around me. CLICK HERE to listen to some awesome recorded blog posts by the incredible Al Caraway {aka Al Fox}! I have been listening to them today and they are probably my favorite thing. How is this related to New York you ask? Al lived in New York before she moved to Utah. It’s a big part of her awesome story. Go check it out!

NY #3
Number 3 is the main bulk of what I wanted this post to be about and it is related to New York due to the fact that my current scripture/seminary journal looks like this…

This thought originated from my seminary teacher but I thought it was so powerful that it needed to be shared.
This comes from Alma 17
This is the part in the book of Mormon where Alma is reunited with the sons of Mosiah.
It had been 14 years since he had last seen these friends (Alma 17:4). And these sons of Mosiah had not only been his friends, but they had shared a conversion story. They were there when Alma was first visited by an angel.
Now, Alma hadn’t seen them for 14 years. And not had he not seen them, he hadn’t heard any word from them. After 14 years of no word it could have easily been thought that they had perished in the land and that they would never return. Imagine how sweet this reunion would have been.
Alma 17:2 says “Therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still is brethren in the Lord.”
Think of the longest time you have been away from someone you love. How sweet was the moment when you were finally reunited?
Now, imagine what the reunion will the reunion be like when we go back to our heavenly home? What will it be like to go to heaven and see those you haven’t seen in years, to see those who you thought wouldn’t make it.
How will it be to see your Heavenly Father again?
I ask you, is this not motivation to live your life in such a way that this sweet reunion will be made possible in your life?
Have hope in this reunion.
Feel my sunlight
p.s. Seminary is a very good thing. Go to seminary.
p.s.s. Here is an awesome Mormon Message about being Strengthened in the Lord. Can you guess were the youth are from in this video? That’s right! New York!!!

The dream lives on

This post is going to be different.

This post is going to be about Power Tumbling.

This is a topic that used to be among my repertoire and appeared more often than not among my writing. I mean, I did write a blog on just this topic alone for 4 whole years. ( At one point in my life this was THE MOST important thing. Nothing else mattered. In ways this has changed, although in retrospect, it hasn’t.

Let me give you a quick back ground since I know I have several newer readers who don’t know a whole lot about this lovely sport and how deep my roots are tied in it.

I began this sport at the age of 7. This was 10 years ago.

I walked into the gym wide eyed and shy. I was a skinny toe head that never imagined where this sport would take me. I never thought it was anything more than “tumbling class” but still, I adored it.

This love for cartwheels and handstands continued as I traveled through a few years in this dance studio, a year in a lady’s unfinished basement, and eventually landed me in a small gym called Flipside Tumbling.

This little place was where my story really began. This was the place that really started it all.

Flipside was run by Jill, who was also my teacher at the time. Jill would continue to be my teacher, she eventually became my first boss, and to this day I am proud to say I still call her “coach”.

I learned how to do a back handspring and was invited to join Jill’s first competition team. My wide eyed self still didn’t know how much this would entail.

I walked into my first meet in my little pink and black leotard scared as can be. I did a few back handsprings and decided that this was the place I wanted to be and the thing I wanted to do.

Long story short (well, as short as a 10 year story can be) I continued in this sport for the next 7 years. I became better. I started to become obsessed with the sport.

I have competed in countless competitions including many State Championships, a few Regional Championships, The Kalon Ludvigson Invitational (an international meet), as well as the U.S. Power Tumbling National Championships 3 different time. I have met some incredible people, seen some incredible things, and had the experience of a lifetime.

Now I share this with you because I want you to get where I’m coming from. I am a well experienced athlete in the sport of power tumbling. I have been a part of this sport for a long time. I have had unimaginable opportunities, however, I will never be a house hold name.

At one point in my life amongst the trophies and medals I dreamed of becoming the greatest tumbler in the world. I dreamed of standing atop the podium with my face broadcasted to TVs everywhere. I dreamed of signing autographs and wearing USA on my sleeve. This has not happened, nor will it ever happen.

In truth, if I disappeared from the tumbling world very few people would notice. I am not great, I hold no real titles, I am not what you call “elite” and I ultimately have done nothing for this sport, however, this sport has done everything for me.

It has taught me so much. I have been forever impacted by the people I have met, the trials I have overcome, and the life lessons this sport has taught me. It will forever be a piece of my heart and will forever be one of the greatest pieces of my life.

Today I am preparing to enter into my 7th season of competition. I am training this year to compete in the Utah State Championships, the Kalon Ludvigson Invitational (international), and I am hoping to compete in my 4th US National Championships in Louisville, KY.

In conclusion I have discovered that I am still that wide eyed little girl that walked into the gym that one day 10 years ago. I am still in awe with the whole thing and want nothing more that to be a part of the fun. I am still that little girl that dreams of being great someday, and while I may never make it to the podium on the world stage, I now have an even greater dream.

Today I dream of standing on a much bigger podium. I don’t dream of standing before thousands, but I dream of standing before my Maker. I dream of meeting my father in heaven and being called worthy of his kingdom. Because in this event medals and standings will not matter to him. What will matter is the love you show, the faith you acted upon, the people you helped, the good deeds you did, and the good you did in the world. I dream of standing before him on this great day being able to say I did all of these things. Today this is my greatest dream.

The dream lives on.

This is not a normal post. This is a   L   O   N   G   post and if you made it through the whole thing I applaud you.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Competition season starts in 26 days!!!

Blogswap! Work is sweet

Hey guys! Today I’m going to something awesome and let the Lovely Sarah from 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!}


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. 😉 ]
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:
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:

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,