Blessed in Abundance

Earlier this week on Instagram I shared this scripture and thought:

Nephi’s family made it to the promised land. They explored. The planted ALL their seeds- because that’s what they were commanded to do. They did something that made them exercise faith! They didn’t save a few seeds in case the first ones failed.

They planted ALL THE SEEDS.

And their faith was rewarded with ABUNDANCE.

When we exercise our faith…all we can muster…in aligning our will God’s, and then use our spiritual gifts to fulfill that will, then we will be blessed with ABUNDANCE.

I 100% believe that.

In this YouTube video, I share a miracle that our family recently experienced.

I hope that as we go forward, we can ask ourselves…

Have I planted all my seeds?

Am I exercising faith, and watching for the miracles to come?

Am I using the gifts God gave me to lift and help others?

I know that miracles are real. They happen every day. But often they require our faith before they are seen. Let’s increase our faith and do things that require faith.

Today there is a reason to hope.

Homemade Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies

These cookies are my most requested birthday treat! They are so incredibly good. They are hard to resist, so it’s good that they are kept in the freezer…out-of-sight slightly helps me to keep them out of my mind that they are in the house!

I created this recipe when my son, Taylor, was experiencing food sensitivities. And boy am I glad I did! This recipe is made without egg or soy. You could totally make them with both, but my recipe is without. They are a bit time-consuming, but TOTALLY worth it!

Monkey likes cookies too!

Ingredients for Wafers:

2 C Sugar

2 C flour

3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 TBSP ground flaxseed + 2 TBSP water–let stand 2-4 minutes to thicken OR 1 egg

4 TBSP butter, melted OR 4 TBSP shortening, melted- this gives you a crispier wafer

2/3- 3/4 C water, divided–you carefully add water just until the dough comes together

Coating ingredients for Wafers:

3- 3 1/2 (12 oz) bags of Guittard milk chocolate chips–seriously the ONLY kind I’ll use

4 TBSP butter, cut into chunks —here is where shortening(soy) would help if you use that–it makes coating the cookies much quicker and easier, but we still do the butter anyway.

3/4 tsp McCormick PEPPERMINT extract

Directions to make Wafer:

Place dry ingredients in bosch mixer(this is what I have so it might be slightly different with another mixer). Pulse several times to mix well.

Add the flaxseed/water combo, melted butter, and 1/2 cup of the water.  Turn bosch mixer on speed one.  While it is mixing slowly add only enough water to form the dough!  You may need more or less.  I always pause once in the middle of adding the water to scrape down the center and sides.  You don’t want to add too much water.  You will know when you’ve added enough because the dough comes together and scrapes the sides of the Bosch bowl clean.

Place dough into a bowl, cover it and place in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets with butter.  Grease really well! Set aside.

Then roll out dough onto parchment paper that has been lightly floured. Roll out dough and cut circles out using a 1 1/2-2″ circle cookie cutter or biscuit cutter.

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 Place circles on greased cookie sheet.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes(I cook two sheets at once and switch their place in the oven at 5 minutes).

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Let cool on sheet for 2-5 minutes( I usually do at least 4-5 minutes).  Then cool on wire racks. When all dough has been baked, wash and dry the cookie sheets.  Then line with parchment paper.

Directions to make the Coating:

In a large microwave safe bowl, warm the chocolate chips for 2 minutes in the microwave. Stir really well.

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Add chunks of butter and peppermint extract and microwave for 30-45 more seconds. This can get somewhat thick, so using a knife to stir seems to help.

**Be careful to NOT over microwave your chocolate.:) Burnt chocolate chips is a terrible smell.

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Using a knife, spread the coating on both sides of the cookie.  These cookies are soft, so this is a bit of a careful undertaking.  I frost the bottom of the cookie first, then place it on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Then put some of the coating on the top and sides and spread around until the cookie is covered. This is messy, but OH SO WORTH IT!  When you have filled your cookie sheet, place cookies in freezer for 10-15 minutes. When the coating is solid, take off cookie sheet and put them in a freezer safe bag or well sealed container.

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If the coating cools to much, place back in microwave for 10 seconds and stir again. I usually warm it back up in between switching a done cookie sheet out for a new one in the freezer.

If you don’t have time to do both sides of the cookie, just frost the top.  They are still good! 

Store them in the freezer! Then just let them sit a few minutes before eating–if you can handle it! Or pop them in the microwave for just a few seconds.

This recipe makes just enough coating, so if you discover that you’ve been putting too much coating on and are running low, then switch to only frosting the top or make another small batch of the coating-I do this sometimes when I haven’t gauged correctly. This recipe makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Then comes the hard part…summoning the will power to not eat them all before your family gets home!  I always, always eat one, OR maybe two, before they come home…They never know!  Well, now they might.  Before serving, take out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Life is better with chocolate…especially these cookies.

**Now if you CAN eat eggs and soy, then it does make a much easier for the coating part to use shortening.  I still prefer to use flaxseed instead of eggs in the wafer, but you would use 1 egg instead of ground flaxseed. I recommend using shortening instead of butter too with eggs for the wafer. This does make the wafers crispier too. The coating is smoother with shortening- so you could actually dip your cookie in the coating instead of spreading it on with a knife. I still do egg and soy free, but it’s more work. 😊

**If you only have time to frost the top, use the extra frosting later to dip pretzels in.  It’s SO GOOD!

And as always, Today there is a reason to hope! Especially if you are making these!

4 Ways To Help You Discover Your Life’s Work

Do you feel like you could use a pep talk? I know I definitely need one every other day it seems. I often hear words in my head that tell me I am not good enough, that my efforts won’t make any difference, that my failings offset any good I might do…and on and on.

As I was searching for some inspiration, I came across this talk by Elder John C. Pingree Jr. from the October 2017 General Conference entitled “I have a work for Thee“. It’s like pouring hope right into your soul! It was a talk full of “you got this” “don’t give up” “remember you are loved” and “God has a plan just for YOU!”. I highly recommend reading this talk. It will lift your spirits!

One of my favorite quotes from this talk was by President Russell M. Nelson. In his book, “Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do”, he says this:

“The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself! You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place. The Lord needs you to change the world. As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!”

So. Powerful.

We are needed! There is no getting around those words. There is no exception. We are ALL needed. And Elder Pingree gave us four ways that can help us on our journey to become what God intends us to become, and do what He intends for us to do.

  1. Focus on others.
  2. Discover and develop spiritual gifts.
  3. Make use of adversity.
  4. Rely on God.

Elder Pingree said, “We can approach decision points in our lives–like what to study, what to do for work, or where to live–in the context of helping others.” I know that when I do anything with the intent to help others it always goes SO.MUCH.BETTER than when I don’t start with that objective. For example, when I have a grouchy attitude about cleaning my kitchen, I am only more grouchy when it is done. Usually because the entire time I am thinking selfish, depressive thoughts. Contrast that with the times when I start my cleaning with the intent that I’m making my home a place where the Spirit can dwell, where my family has a clean space to make memories, then you can bet I am more cheerful WHILE I clean and AFTER I have finished.

In regards to using our spiritual gifts, Elder Pingree said, “Heavenly Father gave us these gifts to help us identify, perform, and ENJOY the work He has for us.” I bolded ENJOY because that it what stuck out to me. We are supposed to be having FUN using our gifts. If life is feeling like it’s just HARD and not much FUN, then maybe we pause and re-evaluate our intent. Intent is my “word” this year. It has been a good word for me to ponder. To really think about how I have the power to create a life I love. A home that my family with love to be at. And a life’s work that will bring me joy and joy to many others.

Speaking about adversity, Elder Pingree said, “Our trials help us discover and prepare for the work Heavenly Father has for us.” As I have thought about this, especially in the context of my ten miscarriages, it has made me pause and think about what Heavenly Father was teaching me through those years of secondary infertility. I hope that it has helped me learn how to love more and judge less. And I hope that this little, tiny blogspace I have created helps even one person to feel that they are not alone. That they are loved by our Heavenly Father. That Jesus Christ walks the journey with them. And that angels are ever at the ready to lift our hearts.

I loved how Elder Pingree ended with Rely on God. He said, “When we ask Him in faith with real intent, He will reveal our divine assignments to us. Once we discover them, He will help us fulfill those assignments. ‘All things are present before [His] eyes’, and at the right times, He will open the doors necessary for us.” Having faith to wait for “the right time” can be challenging. And sometimes, I just really wish the “right time” could hurry up and get here! But learning to find joy in the waiting…well that has been a lesson that seems to keep coming up in my life.

When I choose to find joy in the present, I know I am enabled with more patience to wait.

So if you are feeling low. If the waiting is getting hard. If you are struggling to keep seeking your purpose and life’s mission, then read this talk! It will give you strength to keep going.

You have a work to do! You are needed! Your mission is just that…It is YOURS.

Let’s change the world. The Lord needs us to.

Today there is a reason to hope.

PS If you haven’t seen my new etsy products, check them out here

PSS And just a reminder that if you sign up in my little pop up box, you get at least one free printable every month! These are great to text to a friend or print off for your home.

Happy Mother’s Day

I couldn’t let this weekend go by without a little tribute to my mother. I have a great love for my mother. She taught me so much…but probably the most important thing she taught me was to love and serve.

From the time I can remember, I observed my mother serving. Not only in every single thing she did as a mother, but to those around her. I remember her taking ALL of my siblings to go visit elderly sisters in our church back in Marion, Illinois. I loved going on these visits! I’m not sure my mom loved having to take all of us, but I remember watching how my mom cared for, listened to, and brought hope to those women. My mom has the heart of an angel.

Now that I am a mother, I am amazed at how easily I see what I should have seen years ago. A mother sacrifices daily, a mother teaches daily, a mother serves daily, and mother leads daily, a mother nurtures daily, a mother herself grows daily.

I will be forever grateful for my mother. I am so grateful for all the emotional, physical, and spiritual support she has given me from my birth.

Mom, I hope you know that every day I am grateful to Heavenly Father for you. And to my mother in law, I am grateful for you every single day too. I won the lottery with mother-in-laws! She is an angel on earth. She also exhibits all the traits I have shared about my mother. And she loved me from the first time I met her when I was dating Mark. I am forever grateful for being totally accepted and loved by Mark’s family.

Happy Mother’s Day to anyone who mothers. You don’t need to have children to mother. I have come to learn that to be a Mother, is simply to love- to care for and nurture another soul. To partner with God in loving His children. That is to Mother.

May tomorrow be a day of joy. A day to remember that to love someone is indeed a great gift. Tomorrow I hope it will be a day all about sharing love and making memories.

Today there is a reason to hope.

PS If you would like to receive free printables each month sent right to your email, please subscribe to the popup on this site.

PSS Next week I will be launching new products in my etsy shop! I will be selling a bundle of six digital cards with matching envelopes! Stay tuned next week, and watch for them to go live at

He will carry us

Have you ever tried to carry a child while hiking up or down a mountain?

I have. And in this picture, I look like I’m doing fine right? But actually, I had just fallen down…note the dirt all over. Because I was carrying this sleeping child, I wasn’t able to see the ground and stepped in some loose dirt and fell…hard…but I kept her safe…she didn’t even wake up!

In this picture, I am smiling, but what I felt like doing was crying. The pain was pretty intense in my knee…and 8 months later…I still have a bump from that fall. It was hard to carry my child. I wanted to be strong and carry her all the way back down the mountain without any help. But I needed help.

When we need help, Christ will carry us. And He doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t slip and fall and drop us. He is steady. He is safe. He brings peace to our souls.

I know that many times in my life I have been strong enough to walk next to the Savior on this journey of life…but I know that many, many times, He has carried me. And He kept carrying me until I could stand on my own again.

I hope today that if you are feeling worn down, lost, worried, or overwhelmed…that you will let the Savior carry you.

Pause and look around to see how He already is.

Today there is a reason to hope.

Be With Me

Are you a Star Wars fan? Well, in my family, we love Star Wars, we’re not crazy fans, but we do watch every movie at some point. We just recently watched Rise of Skywalker. I know it’s not for everyone, but one part of this movie really touched me. Rey just had most of her life sucked out of her by the Sith Emperor Palpatine. {forgive me if I spell every name incorrectly…like I said, I love the movies, but am not knowledgeable fan}. She was laying on her back, watching her friends being destroyed up in the sky. And as she was laying there unable to move, she whispered, “Be with me” over and over. She was speaking to all the past Jedi’s. She was pleading for their help. She was pleading for strength to carry on and complete her unique mission. A mission only she could perform.

Have you had a moment like that? Maybe during this pandemic you have felt a moment like that. A moment where life was overwhelming. A moment where you felt like you couldn’t move. And you found yourself pleading for help. Asking for strength to make it through this day or even that moment.

Yesterday was a hard morning for me. Overall, during this pandemic, I have been really positive, ready to roll with whatever came. But for some reason, I was overcome with frustration yesterday. That mood hung and clung to me like our lovely Riverton clay mud. I couldn’t seem to shake it. My family was driving me crazy. They were driving each other crazy too. Maybe the Easter Bunny didn’t quite get things right, maybe we all should have gone to bed hours before we did. But at any rate…yesterday morning was hard. And I wanted the mood to go away so that we could focus on Jesus and the amazing gift He gave us.

I finally sought refuge in my bathroom. Please I prayed, “be with me”. I need help today to overcome these depressive feelings. After a nice long, hot shower, and a little more quiet time, that spirit of depression left.

In the movie, after Rey repeats those words, she hears the voices of all the Jedi’s who have gone before her. She is given strength beyond her own. And, “spoiler alert”, she finishes her mission.

How can we like Rey rise from the ground when we have lost all strength?

Let me suggest three things.

  1. Seek strength from those who have gone on before us. I am constantly amazed at stories in the scriptures that apparently I have read before, but stand out to me in new ways. Maybe it’s just because I am older that I can relate better to those pleading parents, those who are fighting battles, those who are yearning for answered prayers. Search those stories. There are answers there.
  2. Let the Grace of the Savior lift you. I am reading the book, Grace Where You Are, by Emily Belle Freeman {it’s on sale right now too!!}. I love this quote from her… “God knows who we are, as tiny and insignificant as we might feel. We are precious to Him. Our value in His eyes is beyond our ability to comprehend. Where we see imperfections, He sees possibility. What we view as inadequate, He can turn into abundance. What we determine to be a failure, He knows is a proving ground for faith. How is it done? Through His grace. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field…shall he not much more clothe you?’ In those moments when we are faced with what we cannot do, we must remember that the Lord can enable us to do so much more than we could ever do on our own. Next time you don’t have any more to give, when you feel inadequate or find yourself wondering if you will ever measure up, maybe you could remember this: Ours is the God of more, much more.
  3. Let people help you. Because when we let people help us, what that really means is we are letting God help us. It seems that is something that I need to continually learn. Just last week, out of the blue, a meal was dropped off to our home. I have no idea who gave us this meal. But it lifted my tired mama heart that evening. I generally love cooking. But sometimes, I just need a break. And so when our elder’s quorum president called that someone wanted to anonymously give us dinner…well, I jumped for joy!

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.”

He continues…

“Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear.”

For the month of April, I will be sharing stories on Instagram all about blessings seen in the midst of this world-wide pandemic. I know that when we focus on the little blessings instead of the hard things, our hearts are lifted. I know in my life, when I let my focus settle on the challenges, I just become saddened and depressed. When I keep my focus on seeking the daily blessings God provides, my whole household benefits. I have invited several women to share blessings they have seen in their families. I hope you will join me this month. If you aren’t on Instagram, you can see my photos here on this blog. And I will also do a follow-up blog at the end of the month.

Together we are stronger. And together with Christ, we can always rise up, for He is always with us individually. Just like each tulip is unique, so too are we and the missions we each must fulfill.

Today there is a reason to hope.

Goat Cheese Dip

I have never tried goat cheese…at least that I am aware of…until today. My sweet neighbor gave us some. So, I thought I would find a recipe to try. I found a dip recipe…tweaked it a little to my liking…and! It was so delicious! I served this with tortilla chips, but it would also be delicious on a baguette.


  • 5 oz goat cheese, room temperature
  • 3 oz light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP chives, dried
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


  • Stir together goat cheese and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add Parmesan cheese, garlic, chives, sea salt, and pepper. Stir until all combined.
  • Using a spatula, spoon into a small “creme brulee” sized ceramic bowl.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Take out and sprinkle lightly just a little more Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Then put it back into the oven to Broil on low for 1-3 minutes.
  • Best served warm.

Family time…good food…great memories.

Today there is a reason to hope.

PS The first weekend in April, my family surrounds our TV to watch General Conference and eat good food. It is an uplifting, spiritual feast! You can find out more about it by clicking below.

Light Descending


For some reason, I just love to blog about food when I’m here at home…maybe because I find myself baking and cooking more than before. So, maybe you need a new recipe.

I actually have shared this recipe on my old blog, but now it’s here too.:)

This dessert is so rich and delicious.  It is a hit at every party!  It’s hard to find a dessert that doesn’t need eggs, but this dessert fits the bill.  My friend also makes these gluten free!  Just substitute a good flour such as Better Batter and gluten free oats.

Ingredients for Caramel sauce:

  • 1 C butter
  • 1 C light corn syrup
  • 2 C brown sugar
  • 1 can sweetened and condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions for Caramel Sauce:

  • In a medium sauce pan, melt butter until mostly melted. Add brown sugar and stir until combined.
  • Then add light corn syrup.
  • Continue stirring until it comes to a boil. Boil 30 seconds- 1 minute.
  • Add sweetened and condensed milk. Return to a boil and boil 1-2 minutes.
  • Removed pan from heat and add vanilla.
  • Voila! The BEST caramel sauce ever
  • Use this for carmelita’s, caramel popcorn, dipping apples, or for ice cream!

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1 1/4 C homemade caramel sauce
  • 1 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 C unbleached flour
  • 2 C quick oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 8-10 oz guittard milk chocolate chips {seriously friends, these are the ONLY kind I use}

Directions for Crust:

  • Make Caramel sauce according to directions above.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, and baking soda.
  • In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar.
  • Add flour/b. soda/oats combo and stir until well combined. Divide dough in 2/3:1/3 ratio approximately.
  • Press 2/3 portion into a 9×13 casserole dish that has been lightly greased on the sides(this prevents the caramel from sticking to badly)
  • Bake pressed crust in a preheated oven at 350º for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and pour the caramel sauce gently on top {the crust is only half cooked so it will come apart if you aren’t gentle}.  Smooth evenly very carefully with a spatula.
  • Then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel.
  • Top with remaining dough evenly over the top.
  • Return to oven and bake for an additional 15-17 minutes.
  • It is done when browned around the edges-the center will still look somewhat under cooked.  But have no fear, it will set up wonderfully as it cools.  Let cool completely before cutting and serving. 
  • This is one of those desserts that just won’t cut up nice until it is cooled all the way.  The homemade caramel needs time to set back up, and because of the butter content of the crust it needs that time too.  One tip I do is when it’s cooled about 30 minutes, take a sharp knife and cute around the edges like in the picture above.  The caramel touching the glass on the sides tends to caramelize just a bit too much and sticks to the sides.:)

So because these are so rich, I recommend, doing one chore, then eating a little piece, then another chore and another piece.  Ha-Ha!  This is how I bribe myself to clean my kitchen!

Chocolate and caramel…now that is a reason to have hope!

Today there is a reason to hope.

Here’s a pdf format of this recipe if you want to download it.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

What’s for dinner you ask?

Soup my friends!

This is my husbands new FAVORITE soup! Seriously guys, this soup is SO GOOD! You are going to want to try it! And even with our current Covid-19 pandemic, you can probably find these ingredients on shelves…I haven’t seen anyone with a cart-full of zucchini, green peppers, and cilantro.

But seriously, this soup is very tasty AND healthy! Now as a mom, you can’t beat that! I hope that you’ll give this a try and send me some feedback about how it goes! This is just my little way of sharing goodness when we are all staying home. I love to cook. I love to make good food. So this is me sending my love to you via this yummy recipe.


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 C bell pepper, I usually use green
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped
  • 2-3 oz green chilies, canned
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, I like sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 15 oz red enchilada sauce
  • 3 14.5 oz cans chicken broth {or equivalent homemade stock}
  • 1 can black beans
  • 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 C shredded chicken
  • 1 C shredded cheese {I used Cheddar, or a mix blend of Cheddar/Monterey Jack, both work great!}
  • 1/4 C cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3/4 C sour cream


  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, warm oil. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir together, and let saute for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are softened.
  • Add garlic and stir 20-30 seconds.
  • Add enchilada sauce, chicken broth/stock, and black beans. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in cream cheese and return to a boil. {The cream cheese will not completely blend}
  • Add chopped cilantro OR just throw in a handful like I did.
  • Blend soup. If using an immersion blender, follow directions{ I don’t have one or I would give specifics}. If using a regular blender, blend in small batches–don’t fill more than 1/3 full!! This soup is really hot! It flows up when you turn on your blender, so you will need a rag to hold over the hole in the top of your blender. Once a batch is blended, pour into a large bowl, and repeat. Then once all the soup is blended, return to pot.
  • Stir in chicken, cheese, lime juice, and sour cream over medium heat.
  • The soup should still be fairly hot, but you might need to heat it up just for a few minutes.

Enjoy with fresh bread and tortilla chips. I also think this would be amazing with extra cilantro and guacamole…but my picky eaters prefer their veggies blended up.:)

Download these recipes

And as always…

Today there is a reason to hope.

God Does Provide

What an amazing month March has been! Our world is experiencing something that hasn’t happened before in the way it is happening now. All of us moms are learning how to home school our children, some of us are experiencing financial stress like never before, and we are separated from family and friends.

For me, this experience hasn’t actually been all that hard so far. I like being home. I like having my kids around all the time. My kids teachers have been amazing and made school at home super do-able. The company my husband works for is tiny, so they have been able to continue working. We are all healthy. Our extended family is safe.

BUT, I know there are many, many people suffering and going through some of the hardest days of their lives.

I have been feeling like I should share the experience of having to depend on the generosity of the church I belong to, to feed my family. I pray this will help someone.

About 2 1/2 years ago, my husband walked through the kitchen door early one Friday afternoon. I was doing dishes with a screaming 7 week old snuggled into my wrap(she had SEVERE colic and reflux–she cried all day and night). I turned to my husband and said, Did you get fired?– half joking, but also worried because his boss was acting weird lately. He said, yes, he was fired. He was being replaced with someone cheaper.

So there we stood in the kitchen, holding each other and crying. This was a few days before Halloween in 2017. We let this news sink in. We now had six kids…Christmas was around the corner…now we would have no insurance…had we prepared enough?

We knew we wanted to be calm for our kids. So later we sat down and figured out our money-thanks to the inspiration 1 1/2 years earlier to get on a strict budget- we were able to quickly see what bills we had, what we could eliminate from the budget, and if we could afford Christmas. With the help of many surprises on our doorstep…Christmas did come!

Christmas did come!

One way we were going to make our cash stretch-because who knew how long it would take to get another job– was to depend on our church to help feed our family.

I still very strongly remember that in order to get help from my church, I would need to meet with my Relief Society president. I was actually terrified! What was she going to ask? Was she going to look at my food storage and tell me how much food I could have? What food was there even at the Bishop’s storehouse {a church grocery store for those in need}? Would my kids even eat it? Would I be wasting the Lord’s money? Did we really deserve this help?

So many thoughts.

But she came to my home, my baby was of course crying, but it was a beautiful experience. She made me feel totally at peace. She didn’t inspect my food storage, but instead, she asked me how I was doing– was I ok spiritually, mentally, emotionally? She asked how she could help. Then she guided me in how to get food for my family. She helped me know how much meat, veggies, etc that a family my size would expect to need in a two week period. Then she offered to come with me my first time to the Bishop’s storehouse. Oh how I was so grateful for that! This experience opened my eyes to some of the heavy burden a relief society president carries.

Going to the storehouse was an ordeal. Going in the car was difficult for my baby, she constantly choked and spit up because the car seat leans her back. She often would cry the entire 20 minute drive to the storehouse and back. So, I was already emotional when I got there because of my crying baby, being worried about how long we would go through this, and wondering about being judged by how I looked. After all, when I arrived in the parking lot, my suburban, although not new by any means, definitely looked nicer than most of the cars. I looked at my clothes, I certainly didn’t look like I needed any help. Would the volunteers look at me like I didn’t deserve this help?

Once again…so many thoughts.

But as my relief society president met me, we walked in together. And then, I saw that one of my daughter’s friend’s moms was a volunteer. My first instinct was embarrassment. What would she think of me? But that quickly went away, as she and a couple of cute elderly volunteers showed nothing but love and kindness. They oohed and awed over my tiny baby. They showed no sign of judgement at all. Only love. This storehouse also had beautiful pictures of Christ serving, which made me feel peace.

As I went around looking at all the beautiful produce, meat, milk {even CHOCOLATE milk}, cheese, BYU ICE CREAM, canned fruits and veggies…It was hard not to be overcome to tears. As I loaded the groceries in my car, I was just in awe of how God provides.

God had put into place a way that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could easily donate tithes and offerings. That money literally fed my family. That money literally made the difference in my family making it until my husband got a new job seven months later. That money, turned into food, provided the peace I needed. As a mother, I can’t think of anything worse than saying to my kids, I’m sorry there is no food today.

But mothers all around this world do have to say that to their kids.

We have the ability to help people. We can all pay our tithes and offerings. We can support local food pantry’s. We can do a lot of good and still stay home. For those of us who are able, I hope that we can look for ways to help lift hearts that hang down and are weary, worried, and scared.

God does provide. But he also needs helpers. And as we become His helpers, our hearts are changed–Changed into hearts like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Today there is a reason to hope.

Let’s share that hope.