Sunday, February 14, 2010
WOW it has been almost two years since I have posted. I started listing everything I was thankful for and never finished; what a disappointment. I could never run out of things to be thankful for; so I hope you don't think I was finished. School has been great, but working full time and going to school full time makes my time limited; so instead of writing my gratitude hopefully I have been sharing it with my family who rarely sees me. I have to write a few things about those that mean the most to me; first of all I have the greatest children a parent could hope for... Zachary, Ryeleigh, Rebekah, Christopher, and Porter... Soon to be one more. I love my children and hope they know that even though their dad rarely sees them or spends time with them that I love them very much and love being around them and the joy they bring. What a blessing it is to have wonderful children who are healthy, happy, and full of energy. This brings me to one of the most amazing people I know and have the pleasure of being a part of her life... My cute, witty, loving, endearing, charming, smart, funny, crafty, talented, beautiful, and pregnant wife. I don't know what I did to deserve such a wonderful blessing as she has been to my life, but everyday I thank my Heavenly Father for sending me this wonderful angel. She is my strongest supporter, my most loyal soldier, my comforter, my conscience, my reality check, my best influence, my pick me up when I get down, and my best friend. I know she loves me because I was poor when we met and I am still poor today, but that doesn't change how she serves, treats, and talks with me. She is the love of my life, the one person who completes me, and the energy I need to keep going. I don't know where I would be without her, nor do I wish to imagine. She is selfless, sacrificing, ever giving, and the greatest companion a person could have. I wish her a happy Valentines day and all the love of my heart. She truly is my inspiration to succeed.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I like to think that I have so much to be thankful for that I cannot decide what to write about. While this is true it is not the reason I have not written them down. Two weeks ago I was blessed with a new son and while I am grateful and extremely blessed to have his little spirit here early he will not be the topic of my gratitude this week. As I have written before I am saving my family for later posts. I have been reflecting on many great blessings over these past weeks and the topic I have been contemplating for some time will be my next post. For now the birth of my son did bring a great blessing I have witnessed many times in my life and I decided to write about that this week. The blessing and miracle I am referring to is the Priesthood and Priesthood blessings. Perhaps because I grew up in a home where the Priesthood was exercised that I took it for granted growing up. However now that I am grown it sometimes becomes difficult for me to use this Priesthood power for anything but extreme circumstances. Growing up we received a blessing from my dad every year before school started to help us with the year, and in needed occasions. One of the highlights of my life was receiving blessings from my dad. As you may or may not know my dad was and still is my hero. I looked up to him for everything as he always had the answers I was looking for. He had a way to calm or correct me in any circumstance. His prayers and blessings always made me feel wonderful and full of the spirit. I became a member of this church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost under the hands of my dad and even though I cannot remember what was said I remember what was felt. Starting the school year every year with a blessing let me know that everything was going to be alright. Those of you who know me know that I do dumb things once in awhile in which I need to go to the emergency room. Well September, 1997 I managed to blow up a water heater in my face and was rushed to the ER. I was lucky and managed to have only first and second degree burns on my hands and face and even though I was wearing contacts they were un-affected. This is the first time I have been to the ER and got rushed right in (and I have been quite a few times). The pain was terrible as I felt like I was constantly on fire and could not quench it no matter how I tried. They hooked me up to morphine and while I had access to an excess it did not help. My dad arrived soon afterward and with the help of my brother Todd they administered to me and my dad blessed me that the pain would leave and I would be left un-scarred. This blessing came to fruition as the pain almost instantly left and I have no scars of that event. My brother Todd mentioned how blessed we as a family were that we had not had serious accidents or deaths of any family members. Three months later my dad passed away and that was the last blessing I received from him. It's hard for me to accept blessings without my dad being the vocal piece; yet I was ordained an Elder by my grandpa years before and I did receive a blessing from my bishop years later when I rolled my ankle (another blessing story). I am thankful to say that whether a blessing is given by the hands of my father or by the hands of another it is the same Priesthood that blesses and heals and comforts. Today as a father myself I give my children fathers blessings every year before school starts and more recently I was able to bless Porter. While I had faith that Porter who was born 5 weeks early would pull through and overcome the challenges that faced his new life my wife thought a blessing was in order. I guess I didn't see this as an extreme circumstance and knew the lord would bless him. I was reminded however that sometimes humility (another later blessing story) and gratitude for what we have is more important and because I have the Priesthood I can use it to bless and heal also. I may not be as wonderfully versed as my dad, but I took that little baby in my arms and blessed him that his Billy Reuben levels would drop and that he would be a great servant for his Father in Heaven. We took Porter to the hospital and even though his levels had climbed everyday, that day they dropped and continued to drop on his own. I know now that there is no situation where the Priesthood cannot be used, and we do not need to wait for an extreme event to exercise it.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I know this is almost a week late, but I have a good excuse I moved over the weekend and I am a bit tired. However that is no excuse for not posting so I decided to get this posted and then try to get back on schedule. As I was reflecting over the past couple of weeks about what I am thankful for I keep going to my childhood and how I was influenced for the better. There are a lot of things I learned as a child that I can definitely improve upon in my adulthood because I know better, but I am grateful to them nonetheless. One of the great blessings in my life is family home evening. Every week on Monday my parents would begin the unenviable task of rounding up children that did not want to be round up. What was the purpose of this task? to sit everyone down, sing, have prayer, a lesson, a scripture, more singing, family planning and sharing, more singing, and a prayer. This was usually followed up by dessert, and once in awhile family night would be in the form of a family game such as baseball. With 6 boys and 2 girls you can imagine the chore of getting everyone home, rounded up, excited about family night, and actually have them prepare lessons and such. The older the child usually the less enthused he was; I say he as it was usually the boys that had better ideas. Looking back now I see how much I grew from sitting with the family (even though I may not have been enthused about it then) and hearing about each others day as well as having a spiritual meeting to start the week. That spiritual meeting which lasted anywhere from an hour to two hours (usually an hour) prepared us for the week ahead and made us stronger and ready to face any challenges. Our family has always been really close and I thank the family home evenings for making us that way. It seemed so hard as a child to be a part of that experience every week even though we knew not to plan anything for Monday night and to be home to be with the family. As a father I can appreciate the experience that it gave me and how I would like my children to have a similar experience as they grow up. With so much television, electronic games, the Internet, and just worldly experiences children need a stable strength that will help direct them in time of need. We go to church every Sunday and that instills in them the gospel and strength within the church; each Monday we reaffirm that strength and our children can see that this isn't a once a week thing, but a lifestyle we believe and practice. Each week we give our time, our efforts, our knowledge, and our spirits to each other to strengthen and help one another. Because of this once a week activity I am stronger, more blessed, and have less doubt about my purpose here on this earth. I may not have all the answers, but I do know where to find them and for that I am eternally grateful.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I remember about 30 years ago I was jumping from bed to bed; now I knew this to be wrong yet I continued to do it with my older brother. Soon after the jumping commenced I missed the bed and landed on the corner of the bed frame with my leg. I started wailing at the top of my lungs as this hurt tremendously and then I did something I wish I hadn't, I looked at it. This sliced my leg wide open with the bone exposed and the muscle hanging out of a four inch cut (sorry for the graphic details) I screamed even louder as I thought I was going to die. My mom and dad came running up the stairs and immediately carried me down stairs; however we did not leave at this time we stopped in the family room, gathered the family around, and had family prayer. 22 stitches and a few weeks later I was fine, but the memory of that event has stuck with me my whole life. I try not to think of the disobedience, but the memory I have of my mom holding me while my father prayed is something I will forever be grateful. This part of my life is something I have greatly been blessed with and yet at times it has become one of my biggest weaknesses. The power of prayer and the ability to pray is something we have all been blessed with and given as a gift to help us through this life. My family instilled in me the importance of prayer at an early age and I remember family prayer every morning and every evening for as long as I can remember; what a blessing to know I can communicate with my father in Heaven at any time. Because I learned the value of prayer from an early age I was blessed with the miracle of prayer throughout my life. For example I wear contacts and have lost them on several occasions, yet because of prayer I have found them in the grass, under the seat in the car, and even in the snow. I firmly believe that when we prayed to be safe we were protected with a shield that watched over us; I was involved in two major accidents (almost head on) where each vehicle was totaled and even though I was not wearing my seat belt (I know right) I came away with out a scratch in one and stitches in my lip on the other. I had a water heater blow up in my face and had first and second degree burns on my face and hands and because of a blessing my father gave me I healed without a scar. On my mission I tracked into a lady because she prayed us there. Obviously I can go on and on with stories about my childhood and how prayer played an intrical part of my life; yet I would like to focus on what prayer has and continues to do for me today. My patriarchal blessing states to be prayerful unto your father in Heaven that he may know of what blessings I am in need of and pour them out to me. How great is that "ask and ye shall receive", yet even though I have been blessed with such amazing promises and have witnessed first hand the effects of daily prayer I have found myself sometimes too tired to pray or falling asleep as I pray and sometimes in too much of a hurry to pray. I was thinking about this today as I told Bekah I loved her and she did not respond; how often does our Heavenly Father tell us he loves us without us responding back. I know I can do better and I know I know better so I picked up a book called how to pray and stay awake, by Max Skousen. It is one of the greatest books I have read and I highly recommend picking it up and reading it. It talks about us having conversations with our Heavenly Father and not just talking, it also says we should pour out our whole souls as if our Father in Heaven is in the room with us because he is. It opened my eyes, because I know he listens and answers prayers yet how many times do we pray for help instead of praying for ways TO help. He is always there for us and wants us to succeed and be happy, but he is not opposed to us going through trials as this makes us stronger. He will not eliminate our trials, but he will give us the strength to push through and endure. He has blessed my life time and time again and has answered my prayers many times over; in fact some of the greatest prayers I have had answers to are the ones he simply said no. We are here on this earth to grow and to do that we must have trials, we must have opposition, and we must do this on our feet with out being carried through. Else why are we here? We are promised help, guidance, and strength if we but ask and it is not hard to ask; we knew this as a child when our faith was simple; we do not need to complicate things, simply swallow our pride and ask for He is always listening. Like the time my dog was missing for three days and I prayed for help to find him and then I went and searched; I put forth the effort and when I got home he was there. Heavenly Father answers our prayers and he knows what is best for us; sometimes the answer is no, sometimes the answer is yes, but we must always put forth our effort before he will put forth his. I know sometimes I forget that and reflecting this past week on prayer has helped me realize the miracle of this special gift.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The great thing about posting a blessing a week is it gives you an opportunity to reflect through the week on the many blessings you have. I knew what blessing to write about early this week because of this wonderful Mother's Day holiday; because of this I had the opportunity to think and ponder over how this blessing has affected and brought joy to my life. This week is a special tribute to mothers everywhere, especially the mothers in my family including sisters, sisters in law, grand parents, aunts, and recently a niece. I would like to focus however on the three mothers in my life that I think are tremendous and have brought an abundance of joy not only to my life, but to the lives they influence daily. While it seems the world is out to get the mother in law and most people do not fully appreciate their mother in law, I have an amazing mother in law that has overcome many of life's obstacles and continues daily to defeat the odds. When I think over her life it amazes me that she worked several full time jobs while attending school and raising four young children. She has proven time and time again that you can do anything you set your mind to and do it with a heart full of gratitude and cheer. Next is the mother of my life that raised me, nurtured me, healed the hurt, earned every Eagle Scout in the family (there were six), accepted everyone, and holds an abundance of love for every child she has ever encountered. The love of her life passed away just over ten years ago and despite the pain in her heart she managed to get a job (she hadn't had a job in over 30 years) to support herself, and continually manages to watch every grand child and great grand child on a weekly or monthly basis (there are 30). Besides all this I know she still goes to the cemetery and brings flowers and sits and chats with my dad on a weekly basis. She pushes forward and finds the joy and peace in her family even though she doesn't think she deserves it or is even worthy of it. This is my mother ever giving, and not wanting to receive. To these two women I wish a lifetime full of happiness, joy, and love and I say Happy Mothers Day!!! The third mother in my life is the love of my life and the mother of my children. While she is not "MY" mother she loves, cares for, and teaches our children. One of the great things about this woman is her ability to love and care; I have two children from a previous marriage which she took in as her own and loved and cared for them despite the challenge it posed for her. Tiff married into a family which a lot of people cannot do; she did and with love in her heart. We now have two beautiful children of our own with the third on his way and she is such a natural mother who cares so deeply and loves so freely I just watch her at times and smile. Tiffany has given up so much by putting up with my wanderings and searchings for a career and life lessons; yet she does it with a smile and a genuine care. I want to be better because of her and I want to succeed for her. She truly is my inspiration and the love of my life. She is one of the greatest miracles and blessings I could ever hope for. Happy Mothers Day my love...
Sunday, May 4, 2008
I thought in this post I would list a few of the blessings I have had in my life and perhaps through the next several postings I could have them all down. I could put down my obvious blessings in this post (my wife and children) but most of you know them and what they mean to me; I will save that post for the end of this series. Years ago my grandmother told me I should write down the many miracles I have witnessed so that my children may know how I have been blessed. This is 20 years late, but I think the message will still be the same. Grandmother you are the inspiration for the next several posts. This first set of blessings in my life will be early in my youth and while I had a hand in (witnessed and notified a parent) rescuing a drowning child (younger than me) and prevented my father from sitting on a rattlesnake; these are not hero stories, but merely humbling and faith promoting stories. I have always been blessed with a closeness (belief) in the gospel; meaning I never questioned, doubted, or resisted the gospel. I think this is because of the belief of my parents and their unwavering faith. In 1978 President Kimball told my father to take his wife and kids and move from Hawaii back to Utah to be with their family. In 1979 my father sold his business told us we were moving and with tears and defiance from all of us we moved to Utah. You may wonder how this is a blessing; in fact I never thought of this as a blessing until I got married had a family and realized the sacrifice (financially) my father and mother went through to follow a prophet of God. In Hawaii we were living a comfortable life with a new home on the hillside and not a care in the world (or so I thought). Perhaps Hawaii wasn't the best place to raise children or there wasn't a lot of good influences; however that is not the point of this story. I never thought of us struggling as a child and my family never wanted for anything yet I never realized how hard my dad had to work to support his family until after he passed away. Money seemed to come easily to my dad and we lived a pretty comfortable life; after we moved to Utah the sale of his business fell through and my dad never did receive any of the money from that business. After that business deals fell through and people took advantage of him and his good nature. My dad worked hard for everything he had and he made us work hard as well. He taught us the value of hard work and what it means to raise a family. Following the prophet did not mean a comfortable life filled with riches and possessions, but it did mean a strengthening of the spirit and a closeness of the family unit which today continues strong. From this blessing I learned the value of doing what was right is more important then doing what is easy. Through hardship and struggle we find our greatest strengths and education.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Wow it has been awhile since I have posted and I don't want to upset my fans (Tiffany) who support me. I thought I would mention what is happening to me and my family in the next few months and also take a stroll down memory lane to give a little look at what the next few months mean to us. The year is 1991 I am graduating from American Fork High School with the intention of never going back to school... EVER! I tell everyone I am going to take a break and go to school when I get off my mission. The year is 1994 I am home from my mission and I still do not have a desire to return to school. Everyone (parents, friends, friends parents) tells me I need to go to school and my mind is too smart to let it go to waste. I am working for an auto parts store making minuscule profits and spending it all on ????? I do not know. Lets fast forward 11 years; it is 2005 I still have not gone to school, I have worked for over ten different company's and still I do not know what I want to be when I grow up. My wife and I decide to move to Oregon to be closer to her mother and I decided it would be good for me to go to school (go figure, I don't know where that came from). The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result; this was me and my life, I thought I had direction, but I was mistaken. Tiff's mom found some information of schools and I called the University of Phoenix and talked to a great councilor who helped me step by step get enrolled. If it wasn't for him and the easiness of enrolling I probably would have backed out. I decided to enter Accounting because it pays well and I love math and have been blessed with the joy of numbers. Fast forward two years; it is now 2007 I graduate with an associates in Accounting, I have a great job with a great product and I am meeting wonderful people; however my life is still missing something. I continue my education and pursue a Bachelor's degree in business and finance things appear to be falling into place and we are offered an apartment managing job making more money. We take the job and move in Jan. 2008. This is where things started to change; for the better? I think so. I heard a saying once that said whether you decide to do something and make a change or not the time is going to pass and where you are at the end of that time period is the difference of if you made that choice. When you look at an education it seems 4 years, wow that is a long time, but deciding not to go to school kept me doing the same non fulfilling jobs, and making barely enough to scrape by even though the 4 years came and came again and again. These last three months have been more eye opening and life directing then any other time period in my life. Three months ago I stepped away from Myomed as the Northwest is not growing as fast as they would like; however I still do the occasional show. This plus the new apartment job, and going to school set the stage for our direction. I couldn't find a job in accounting; at least not one that paid enough to live off of and I realized I really didn't want to be an accountant anyway. I looked at management positions, even auto body (it is an interest, perhaps a later hobby) however nothing seemed right. One day I am with my wife at the Dr's office and she is having an ultrasound and I had an epiphany "this is what I want to do" it felt right I was excited and I realized I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. Now all I have to do is find a school that teaches this. At first I thought I could take a course that lasted 6 months (there again with the hurry up and get it done attitude) but realized it was a two year course. Next was finding a school in Oregon and we couldn't find any; plenty in California and even Utah, but none here. We decided I would finish my bachelors and then move back to Utah and go to school out there. This is where perspiration turned to inspiration and divine intervention took place. 18 years ago I received my patriarchal blessing and was told to pursue my education that I may gain the truths of the earth and be able to find a vocation that would be meaningful to me. This was it I was not meant to sit behind a desk or to work a job I didn't enjoy, but to help people; this was what I wanted to do. All I had to do was go to school and I would have figured it out (put forth the effort) exercise faith by doing the work and then you will be shown (HELLO). Well through a series of small events we found a school in Southern Oregon, the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) and it turns out it is one of the top ten schools in the country for Sonography, wow have we been strategically placed or what. We went to Klamath Falls and walked around the school last weekend and spoke with a counselor. We applied and are awaiting news of whether we got accepted or not. The program is four years; first year is prerequisites, the next two are the course, and the final year is the externship which sends you wherever (your name is pulled out of a hat). I could go to Washington, Alaska, Montana, even the east coast; most of the schools are in Oregon however. Getting into the school shouldn't be hard, but once the prerequisites are done it is tough to get into the course which is why I am taking the prerequisites at OIT (better chances). Because the course is hard to get into you have two choices and I am applying for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and Nuclear Medicine. I am excited for either and can't wait to start in the Fall. If all goes well we are looking to move the first of June and get to know our town and find a job that can help pay the bills. In four years I will have a degree with experience in my field and the school has 100% job placement within six months which is excellent. The time will pass whether I make this choice or not and I like the end results of where I will be after going to school. This is a big step for us and throws us out of our comfort zone; other than this move the only other time we stepped out of our comfort zone was when we moved to Oregon. This was a great experience for us and by stepping out again, we look forward to many more great experiences and blessings, but that of course is another story.