Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Salad Day 5

My camera battery is dead.  I didn't get a picture.  Bummer.  But I had a salad.  A Taco salad.  I need to branch out.

If Only....

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, “If I only”…

• If only there were no more wars… the world would be at peace.

• If only politicians were all honest and really worked for the interests of the people they serve… there would be no deficit and we wouldn’t be voting on the size of chicken cages or wondering how to pay for schools and vital services.

• If only kids honored their parents… there would be peace in the home with no arguing, fighting, and far less worrying.

• If only what I say and do was the perfect thing in every situation… I would not accidently hurt others I care about deeply… especially when I truly didn’t mean to hurt them and sometimes even know I did.

• If only I had studied harder… I could have been a professor of something and maybe be making a difference in this world.

• If only I was smarter… I could have invented something or had started a fabulous theater company by now.

• If only I had more time… I could do more in my day, like become a fabulous author, have sparkling “Better Homes and Gardens” home, or exercise all day so that I can have the body of a Goddess.

• If only I had more money… I could be debt free and have a personal shopper, maid, chauffer, trainer and cook… like Oprah!

• If only I were in better shape… I wouldn’t have to work so hard for nothing.

• If I only I cared to have a gym membership, it might be easier to get my workouts in… then again, maybe not. LOL.

• If I only had a trainer to help kick my butt into gear, then I could lose more weight.

• If I only worked fewer hours, then I could get more workouts in.

• If only it wasn't so hard

• If only I was stronger.

• If only I was more flexible.

• If only I could be luckier.

• If only...

Today I spent too much time dwelling on what I don’t have and can’t accomplish instead of what I do have and do get done in a day. It must be that kind of day. I came to the realization that perhaps I’m not grateful for what I have, and I should be. I forget that I’ve come so far already… in my pursuit for better health, as a parent, and as a person. My biggest problem is that I keep focusing on how far I have to go. Yet, I have tools, friends, and family that will help me, but I don’t want the blame of not following through. Wimp.

• I do have a treadmill, and it’s in front of the TV. I have no excuse not to use it.

• I do have exercise DVDs, I just choose not to use them.

• I do have hand weights, I just keep them on the floor.

• I make time, granted it’s hard to come by, but I can do it.

I can play “If I only,” all day long. But it won’t get my hind end in gear. And it won’t get the pounds off. It won’t get the kids to mind. It won’t get the house to clean itself. It won’t start a career I don’t really need. Yet, I keep playing this game with myself.

No more “If I only.” More “I am.”

I am getting on the treadmill.

I am using the hand weights. I am using them during commercial breaks.

I am using the DVDs. They’re free, I’d be stupid to let them gather dust.

I am doing this.

I am going to be patient with my kids. I am going to teach them what is right and leave the rest up to them.

I am going to be the best person, and the best kind of friend I can be and leave the rest to God.

I am going to make a difference in this world, even if it’s only for one person.

My way, in my time. After all, it’s not a race, it’s a lifestyle.

What are your “If I only”s? What are you “I am”s?

If I only had a brain… a heart… some courage... I need the Wizard!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let It Shine and Watch the Cockroaches Scatter!

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine;

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

~written by unknown (gospel song)

Yesterday, this little song kept going through my mind yesterday. It’s not a song traditionally sung in my church. I learned it from my sweet little great-grandma when I was a young child. The principle is true.

Mathew 5:14-6 teaches that, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”.

So many people ‘hide their light under a bushel (basket)' because they do not think that their little light can possibly make a difference. I wonder why that is.

Just think about what a difference one person’s light makes in this world. My light, my testimony and faith in Christ may be small, but it can still chase away even the most stubborn darkness. Thankfully, I see lots of flames flickering around me in this ever darkening world. Together, our collective lights are a force to be reckoned with! Together we shine light on goodness… light shown on goodness multiplies and is a worthy use of our light.

Our light is also needed in places where evil festers. Without a well placed light, too often the pool of evil grows and those most vulnerable suffer.

Simply put, we need the light.

Light focused on the issues that plague this world can provide impetus for repentance, for the kind of change to which we as people committed to compassion are called. Our individual lights won’t make this a safe for place by ourselves, but our lights gathered together upon the faithfulness of those using their communal voice for good will provide witness and courage for the struggle to continue.

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ~ Marianne Williamson

The world as a global village, interconnected in ways social, economic, cultural, environmental. My little light is shining - can you see it? Is yours? Do you have a basket over your light as Jesus talks about in verse 15 of chapter 5 when you are in the world?

I'm not suggesting everyone wear a t-shirt that states, "Choose Jesus or choose Hell." But there are ways I can be a Christ-like example to those around me. How is my manner of speech around people? Do I curse a lot or gossip? Do I prayerfully consider how I can help others in need? Do I practice what I preach? When people look at me, do they see a Christian? If people can look at me and notice something different, my hope is that they too will desire that peace and joy that comes with having a relationship with our Lord, and turn their lives over to Him.

It is His light that I let shine. It is His light the shines forth into the darkness and brings to light all those things that may hold us back or keep us from peace and happiness.

We don't always know how Jesus will use us as we shine Him in us. That's not the most important thing anyway. Most important thing is that the lost and lonely see the light in their dark world and draw to The Light which is Jesus Christ.

I say… Let It Shine! Join me! Let It Shine and watch the cockroaches of the world shatter in the brilliant light!

Salad Day 3

This was a brilliant idea... Fajita salad. I am allergic to tortilla shells and the family was having fajitas for dinner. I used 1 cup lettuce, pico de something, sautéed onions and peppers, guacamole, 8 corn tortilla chips, black olives, tomatoes, and fajita chicken strips. It was so yummy I decided it should be lunch the next day. Yummy left overs.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Salad Day 2

This salad isn't that pretty to look at, but it was yummy.  Lettuce, shredded carrot, fresh spinach, a tomato, "everything - free" ranch dressing (remember I am allergic to milk products, soy, and wheat so I mix a packet of ranch seasoning and coconut milk.  It works), and my home canned tuna.  There is nothing like home canned tuna!  It is delish!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Salad Day 1... again

I know it doens't look much like a salad... but it is. It's my "Happy Trails" salad. Can you tell I need to go to the store? LOL.

Well the goal of a salald a day it to eat more fruits and especially veggie; to eat more raw foods.

This "salad" accomplishes that goal. LOL

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reflections of One Beautiful Day

One week…

Last week, Friday, March 18, 20011, my beautiful daughter Kimber married her best friend, Raymond, at noon.

The last of our family has left. We still have a few barrowed wedding items to hunt down, and our home has been cleaned (admittedly, it took 6 days to get it clean since my other daughters decided to switch rooms, paint and down size belongings), and most of the leftover broccoli has been eaten. It is over and to quote the line from the Father of the Bride, “It is funny how empty a house can get, isn’t it?” Even funnier since I still have 4 kids at home.

The weekend was beyond words that I can use to describe. We all felt the Lord’s amazing presence all week, but especially on the day of Kimber and Raymond’s wedding. The weather co-operated – considering it is March in Oregon – rain stopped for the pictures outside the temple. Thank you Lord for such a perfectly beautiful day….

Our family was surround by people who love us. How do I describe the love and support we all felt that weekend? Once again, there are no words to describe the feeling. My friend Shar, who came over from the coast to manage all the stuff for the party, made the reception amazing. My friends Amanda and Nancy made the delicious food; my 13 year old helped my friend Elizabeth with the amazing cake and cupcakes; and my friend Tiffani made some awesome party punch! My sister and her family came from eastern Idaho; my parents from Bend and brought my 85 year old grandma with (amazing in itself since she didn’t attend the majority of our weddings); and my brother and his family up from Corvallis. John’s parents flew in from Utah and his sister and most of her family drove from Utah; his other sister drove in from Boise. And then my two uncles and an auntie drove in from Utah. They have lived far away (New Zealand and Utah) for quite some time. AND, an aunt and cousin I haven’t seen in 15 years came. It was so exciting to see the across the hall. I’m sure many of the guests must have thought I was crazy as I squealed and hopped across the crowd to greet them. LOL. God has provided us with friends who travel from near and from far to celebrate with us. There are no words to express how thankful we are for all of these dear family and friends. We love each of you. Thank you Lord, for the love of our family and friends….

How does a Mother describe her emotions as she sees her oldest daughter get married? I have never done this before. All throughout the day, I would remember that little girl who graced our home with great joy and I was overwhelmed at the beautiful bride she was. Everything about the day – her hair, the dress, the flowers, the temple – was “so her.” Seeing Kimber as a bride took my breath away. Thank you Lord, for allowing me to be the Mother of this beautiful bride.

And then there is Raymond, this young man I prayed for since I learned of my pregnancy with Kimber. The man, Kimber met when she was six and became instant best friends with. How thankful I am for the good family that raised him and for his own commitment to Christ. How grateful I am to feel so safe trusting this fine man with the care of my daughter. There really is no one better to Kimber than Ray. I think it always has been this way. I can see how they compliment and complete each other. I remember how many times I encouraged Kimber to marry her best friend in the right place. It appears that God has had a hand in making this happen for them. Thank you Lord, for working in Raymond’s life to prepare him to be Kimber’s husband….

I am thankful for my husband John. We have had some rough times and it was a relief to sit peacefully in the temple and witness the marriage of Ray and Kimber. As Kimber and Raymond greeted guests, John and I shared a moment of thankfulness that God had kept us together. As we visited with family and friends – we felt so blessed. Thank you Lord for gracing our family with love, especially Your Love and peace. I am so thankful for the glimpse of heaven You provided at Kimber and Raymond’s wedding in so many ways. It was a perfect day because of YOU.

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:3

But now it’s time to get down to the business of health. I’ve really neglected it for too long. So I’m going to start over with my salad a day for a year. There was a couple weeks there where I missed getting one in. So… this time I’m going to post a picture of my salad for the day to keep me honest.

It is time to move onto the next “production” of life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not just the Luck o' the Irish

I’ve not kept up with blogging this past week and the next week doesn’t look promising in getting many of my thoughts into print. There is too much to do to get this wedding done and over with and Friday is approaching far too quickly!

That being said, I thought that I’d celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, rather than on Thursday because we will be wading through wedding décor and food preparations all day and into the night. When my oldest child was younger I was all kinds of fun… but my youngest child is getting the stressed out boring version of a mom. Thus, today I made:

Rainbow salad, complete with a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow….

… and Irish stew with soda biscuits…

Stop right there, turn around slowly, and DROP that picture in your mind of the little guy on the Lucky Charms cereal box. We didn’t invite him to dinner. Actually, that jolly little imp, and his counterparts on greeting cards, and pub signs, bears almost no resemblance to the leprechauns of Irish mythology. To borrow a phrase from a long-dead philosopher writing about something entirely different, they were "nasty, brutish, and short." Leprechauns were grumpy, alcoholic, insufferable elves in the employ of Irish fairies. They made shoes for fairies (hence their depiction as cobblers) and guarded their treasure which to the leprechauns’ eternal frustration was revealed occasionally to mortals by a rainbow. Somewhere in the course of the Irish American experience, the leprechaun took on the characteristics of the loveable, but ultimately contemptible, stage Irishman. So, no. He wasn’t invited because I was seeking HAPPY, PLEASANT people working together to get through this week!

You see, I’m going to need “the Luck of the Irish” to make it through this week… or do I?

This rather bold pronouncement brings to mind images of tiny green men, rainbows with pot’s of gold, and of course the lucky shamrock. It is an ironic phrase. LOL… The Irish have been, and are a spectacularly unlucky race. What sort of luck is it that brings about 1,000 years of invasion, colonization, exploitation, starvation and mass emigration?

I wondered about it… so, like all smart people, I “googled” it. I learned from several sites that this ironic phrase is misused so often it is embarrassing. The "luck of the Irish" is BAD luck, as any reading of Irish history will document. I found the original and proper use of this irony goes clear back to the Old Country and migrated to America early on. Nowadays many misuse the phrase to imply GOOD luck. Let these misinformed folks eat only potatoes for a few decades -- if any potatoes can grow in their fields. Then we’ll see how lucky they feel.

I’ve thought about scouring my front lawn, which is full of clover, in search of the ever elusive “lucky clover.” Some have suggested it derives from an earlier Celtic tradition of using the shamrock as a metaphor representing a "trust in your soul," "belief in your heart" and "faith in your mind."

That got me thinking even further. The meaning of the word “luck” is defined as: “Circumstances that lead to a favorable outcome.” But we like to call it by another name…GOD’S BLESSINGS!”

I may not have a ton of Irish ancestry… But I’m even more blessed to know that I am a royal heir to the Heavenly throne and in line to receive every spiritual blessing bestowed upon those who are called, “Sons and Daughters” of the King of Kings!

This “Irish lass” has seen the other side of the rainbow and found her ‘Pot of Gold’ and His name is Jesus Christ -- the very Maker of the rainbows, the gold, the shamrocks and most of all…the blessings of the glorious wealth of our heritage!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

Thankfully, I have within my grasp the best kind of luck… my testimony of Christ and the blessings that come from righteous living. However, I could also use a second kind of “luck”: The kind of luck I create for myself, rather than just waiting for something good happen to me. I create, in large part, the kind of luck that starts heading my way.

I make seemingly infinite choices everyday of what to accept and what to avoid. Be honest, now. You do to. I don't always make the right choice of what to do in terms of my fitness journey. (and probably not anyone else for that matter). Everyone has to give in to their little cravings (and a little laziness) every so often. This is life. But, in order to live my best, most healthy and empowered life, I must choose wisely more often than not. And in honor of St. Paddy's Day, I thought it would be helpful to throw out an Irish-inspired, very “modern” tip: Go green! There are so many green veggies and other foods that we know are good for us, but may not be at the top of the grocery list. For instance, avocados are an excellent choice. They are full of monounsaturated fats, the kind that can help bring your cholesterol down. They also contain vitamin E and lutein, a natural antioxidant that is good for maintaining eye health.

Broccoli not making your top 10 anymore? Want something different? Go for the broccolini. Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. This gem is loaded with certain powerful nutrients -phytochemicals- that are linked with lowering your risk of breast, prostate, cervical, lung, and other cancers. Broccolini also offers up a healthy dose of vitamin C.

But you could also try spinach, swiss chard, celery, green beans, peas, cabbage, kale, Chinese cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, etc.

And just to catch ouy up...

 John and I enjoying a night out without kids at STOMP.  Totally amazing!

... my son's first rugby game.  He played and had a ton of fun.  Nothing like sweating in the mud.

... but I missed it because I went to the temple for my oldest....


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dancing with Daffodils

As winter draws to a close here in the Northwest, the hearty daffodils begin to poke their heads up through the leaves, grass and twigs on the surface of the ground, braving the down pour of rain and the whipping of winds.

During the dark days of winter it is common to walk by the green sprouts of the daffodils and miss that they are there struggling to peek up and rejoice in the spring light. Whether we don’t take that added time to notice the beauty in the carpet of last year's fallen leaves, which still exhibit every little leaf-vein or we are weighed down with our everyday worries, frustrations, or just plain, too tired, we often miss God’s message of hope springing into life around us. It is easy to forget that last year's faded splendor is nourishing the soil to insure this year's beauty.

D&C 90:24 “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, an all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember…”

As the maturing buds of the daffodils continue to swell and open, the inner blooming beauty becomes evident for all who care to observe. The hardy green stems that poked their heads above the ground just a short time before have given the world the beginnings of this delicate brilliant golden flower, displaying their crowning glory. God's majesty seems to be magnified the in the magnificence of the daffodils' maturity.

Lo, the winter has passed.

Just the vision of the beaming yellow blooms as I pass BRIGHTS me on cold gray days. The image of daffodils gives me hope that spring may be on its way.

My friend Goldie (her name is perfect for my story) grows these beautiful, sweet and simple daffodils (Narcissus cantabricus) in her own little “Garden of Eden.” Each week she picks the best flowers from her garden and brings them to church. Today was no exception.

I enjoy daffodils in a general way, much like I enjoy most flowers. Today, however, I was obsessed with the simple bouquet at the front of the chapel. Perhaps I was a little surprised to see daffodils this early in the season. It’s typically the early bloomers like snowdrops that make the first appearance of spring. I was just glad to see flowers! By the end of winter I am so gleefully giddy to see that spot of color peering out to brighten the gray winter days, I could throw myself onto the ground and cry with thankfulness.

We’re going to make it out ALIVE!

That grateful enthusiasm is a bit how I feel about these daffodils.

I have a thing for symbolism and I realized as the meeting wore on that these daffodils were teaching me something… something about life.

It has been a long hard winter in more ways than just the weather. These flowers reminded me that new life is here. These little flowers represent the spirit of hope – hope that all sadness comes to an end – hope that light will return – hope IN Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the light and life of the world. He comes at our darkest hours and brings with Him a renewal of spirit, much like those daffodils. What’s more, these beautiful creations have a trumpet right in the center. They herald in the message that “Spring is here! The dark days of winter will soon be finished!” I think we all need to do the same as we begin to feel the warm of the rays of the SON – we need to herald the message that, “New life is here! The Savior is coming!”

On October 20, 2001, communities in New York City started The Daffodil Project. More than 10,000 volunteers planted 1.5 million daffodil bulbs. These bulbs were donated by people and organizations in the Netherlands and New York. This project brings a spirit of hope to the city. The daffodils remind people each year of the heroic rescue and recovery efforts after the tragedy on September 11, 2001. Each spring a golden Field of Daffodils weave through the city in more than 1000 parks and green spaces.

Interesting. These simple blooms remind me of the heroic rescue and recovery effort that Gospel of Jesus Christ brings to countless souls. Daffodils, the flowers symbolizing friendship, represent that ultimate sacrifice of the truest friend we all have… Jesus the Christ. Think of the fields of gold as we shout from the house tops, “Jesus is the Christ!”

When I got home I looked up trivia on daffodils. I discovered that daffodils are native mainly to the Mediterranean region. I am on a roll now. Jesus lived and taught in the Mediterranean area!

Can my mind handle all the symbolic possibilities?

Their golden color reminds me of the eternal and celestial origin of the message, “Jesus is the Christ!” Each daffodil seems to have a uniqueness all its own. Some are even white and golden yellow. The white reminds me of the pure clean light that is bursting into the darkened world.

With my aging eyes I thought I counted 5 pedal on each bloom. This reminded me of the Gospel message of God’s grace, particularly His compassion towards man’s fallen state. In scriptures, the number 5 often represents the wounds of Christ for the redemption of all mankind. However, when I got closer to the front of the room I realized that there were 6 pedals. I giggled to myself as I remember that 6 often represents a deficit and imperfection. My defective eyes had misled me. Thank God there is a Savior to complete me and to make whole that which I cannot fix!

I started thinking how these daffodils could even symbolize me and all those creations of God that herald His coming.

There are subtle differences between the petals of a single flower, much like our own fingerprints. Only God could have created such variation within a single variety of daffodils. He has done the same in His people. We are all different, yet radiate and reflect the perfect light that created us.

Daffodils multiply. I have a few in my garden that started from a single bulb which I planted several years ago. Each year I have more plants, which add to the early spring beauty of my yard and remind me of God's provision. The same could be true with people. One testimony of Christ brings more souls to His fold. One small little family, started by the marriage of two people brings to pass a multitude of family as babies are born and marriages continue and more babies are born.

It reminds me of a poem I read by William Wordsworth


I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed--and gazed--but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

We can make this a kinder and more gentle world, if we want to. It's in our power to do so. Just like daffodils we can dance, we can trumpet, and we can paint the Light that created us.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Losing Sportsmenship

Tonight I went to a HS girls basketball game. The girls played well and worked hard, but in the end they lost the game. I was impressed with most of their attitudes, for the most part. I can’t say that I was too impressed with the attitudes and behavior of the audience around me. Admittedly, I was sitting near the student section and the parents section did appear to behavior politely from across the court. A real shame poor sportsmanship behavior has to be so casually displayed by students and a few adults who encouraged the “boos” and “cat calls.

This kind of behavior speaks volumes of where sportsmanship is heading these days. I believe all players, winners and losers deserve praise for their hard work and certainly do not deserve “boos” and “cat calls.” I was embarrassed to be part of my community as the kids around me “booed” at the opposing team.

Sportsmanship is the first thing one has to learn when playing sports, at any level. The point of sports is the competition and the fact that there will always be a winner and a loser. It reminds me a bit of war made civilized… except the civility is fleeting.

Learning to lose in sports is as important as learning to win. In fact, it is true in all areas of life. This is in fact the basis of sportsmanship, especially because we all know that losing is not easy to cope with. Still, sportsmen who lose can keep their integrity as respectful individuals when losing is the right aim. Tonight the girls on the court did just that. The spectators missed the point.

I concede, not every sportsman is able to keep his dignity in the face of defeat. However, no matter what the reason for his loss, poor sportsmanship is never an acceptable trait in any person. Such behaviors are always condemned and often sanctioned by sports bodies.

As a general rule, when we think about individuals who practice a sport at high levels, we automatically think about people who are well educated and who, because of the discipline they must follow in practicing their sport, are respectful and fair in a game, no matter the result. A good player is a good loser as well. Usually, people who are good in what they do can easier accept the fact that there is someone better than them.

It is a shame that youth are not being taught sportsmanship as spectators.

On a side note, I am also saddened by the power sports has over everything else in education. Academics takes a back seat to sports. The arts are the first thing to go when school budgets cut programs. I recognize that it is a part of our culture, but we are losing too much in the process.

No wonder I struggle with exercise and sports. Sports make exercise into a form of war… and who needs it?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Paint the Light

It’s taken me a few days to process what I truly want to say. I sure hope it comes out the way I intend.

This past weekend I spent some time helping a dear friend through the dark night of the soul. It is difficult to see people you love go through dark days and to see them struggle with hope… especially when they are usually so full of life, even the life of the party.

The day before my friend needed help, I had watched a movie about Thomas Kincade. His brilliant career was inspired by his mentor, friend, and teacher. This teacher taught him to “paint the light.”

The few hours I spent with my friend, chatting, crying and laughing turned out to be more like a walk with God, as we sought His face, basked in His glory, and painted what we saw in our hearts and mind. Into the dark room and the dark corners of her mind the light came slowly, growing ever stronger by the minute. I knew that there would be more rough days, but I also knew that my friend was going to be safe and would find happiness as she painted the light.

The impressions I shared taught me many great truths as well…

Each day, each minute I need to seek to go to and meet with God; seek Him in my relationships, my circumstances, the creation around me. Every day I need to immerse myself in scripture. Every day I need to pray with my whole heart. Every moment I need to let His Spirit fill my heart and mind with light. Then I need to be determines to do what God has asked me to do — be a candle, a burning light, a city on a hill blazing with truth and shelter for those who are lost in the darkness.

I can use my words, my art, and my actions to reflect the light I find.

It is such a dark, dark world. We all must live through light. I’ve decided that that when it comes to light there is no gray. It is either light or dark but no in between. There is only degrees of light. Every day the light of Christ increases in my soul. The more I study, pray, and serve the more light I feel. This light is divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. It is the law by which all things are governed in heaven and on earth It also helps people understand truth. The Savior said he is the light of the world. Light gives life, eliminates and reveals the world around us, and gives warmth. I’d have to say these are all the ways the Lord lights my life as well.

Paint the light!

The Lord is my light - Ps. 27:1

So my message is for those who can paint the light:

Please show the world the beauty within and without. Paint with words. Pain with pigment. Paint with attitude. Paint with service. Paint with song. Paint redemption. Paint truth. Paint enduring love. Paint loyal friendships. Paint justice and hope.

Paint the light. Show us what it means to be human, but more, what it means that He is God.

Whatsoever is light, is good – Alma 32:35

Paint with passion, conviction and biblical authority. Paint with compassion, for what you share will make its way into the hearts of others. Your work will shape them. Paint because He is Lord, because He was crucified and because He is risen again.

Christ is the life and the light of the world – Alma 38:9

Paint the light!

Shape visions of families that do not break up, where fathers love their wives and sons and willingly die for truth. In story and song, show purity, chastity and virtue. In drama and dance, tell stories of children who grow up to leave selfishness behind and become what God would have them be. In poetry and prose, write the earth in its glory, in its mists, its ice, its rainforests and mountains — and let the world see in it not the cruel hand of chance but the wise hand of a Creator who loves us all beyond description.

I am the light of the world – John 18:12

It is dark, my friend. Paint the light.

Dear friends, let your minds be renewed and transformed by Christ. He is the Light. Let Him sharpen your thinking and make your understanding clear. Seek out truth and pursue it; love wisdom and knowledge; seek to grow in faith. And let your faith, your understanding, spill over in the words you pen, the pictures you paint, the dances you dance the dramas you play and the songs you sing.

Paint the light.

That which is of God is light, and groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day - D&C 50:24

Lift your faces friends; soak up the vision, and show me what you see.

Paint the light.