Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Laura Ingalls Wilder(1867-1957)

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Laura Ingalls Wilder is the renowned author of the “Little House” books. Her books are a first hand account of life as a pioneer child. She has an incredible history and was an incredible author. Today would be Laura’s 148th birthday. I thought a post would be fitting for the celebration of one of my favorite authors.

I remember when I got my hardbound copies of her marvelous stories. My mama had surprised me with a big basket of books, near the foot of my bed, for me to find when I woke up. My favorite of the series will always be “The Little House in the Big Woods”. It captivated me as a child, and captivates me even still. I also gained a passion for reading, writing, and imagination. I remember my parents taking me to the Banks of Plum Creek. I still have the powder blue bonnet that I got there, when I was much smaller. It was reading her stories and visiting one of the many museums, which preserves the history of her travels, that instilled in me a passion for learning about the past.

If you haven’t read her any of her books, I strongly suggest reading them. They are easy reads for adults, but the transport you into a different time. You learn so much about what life was truly like during her era.

Follow my board all about Laura Ingalls Wilder on Pinterest!

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Where Love Is, God Is

by Leo Tolstoy
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IN A CERTAIN TOWN there lived a cobbler, Martin Avdéiteh by name. He had a tiny room in a basement, the one window of which looked out on to the street. Through it one could only see the feet of those who passed by, but Martin recognized the people by their boots. He had lived long in the place and had many acquaintances. There was hardly a pair of boots in the neighbourhood that had not been once or twice through his hands, so he often saw his own handiwork through the window. Some he had re-soled, some patched, some stitched up, and to some he had even put fresh uppers. He had plenty to do, for he worked well, used good material, did not charge too much, and could be relied on. If he could do a job by the day required, he undertook it; if not, he told the truth and gave no false promises; so he was well known and never short of work.
Martin had always been a good man; but in his old age he began to think more about his soul and to draw nearer to God. While he still worked for a master, before he set up on his own account, his wife had died, leaving him with a three-year old son. None of his elder children had lived, they had all died in infancy. At first Martin thought of sending his little son to his sister’s in the country, but then he felt sorry to part with the boy, thinking: ‘It would be hard for my little Kapitón to have to grow up in a strange family; I will keep him with me.’
Martin left his master and went into lodgings with his little son. But he had no luck with his children. No sooner had the boy reached an age when he could help his father and be a support as well as a joy to him, than he fell ill and, after being laid up for a week with a burning fever, died. Martin buried his son, and gave way to despair so great and overwhelming that he murmured against God. In his sorrow he prayed again and again that he too might die, reproaching God for having taken the son he loved, his only son while he, old as he was, remained alive. After that Martin left off going to church.
One day an old man from Martin’s native village who had been a pilgrim for the last eight years, called in on his way from Tróitsa Monastery. Martin opened his heart to him, and told him of his sorrow.
‘I no longer even wish to live, holy man,’ he said. ‘All I ask of God is that I soon may die. I am now quite without hope in the world.’
The old man replied: ‘You have no right to say such things, Martin. We cannot judge God’s ways. Not our reasoning, but God’s will, decides. If God willed that your son should die and you should live, it must be best so. As to your despair — that comes because you wish to live for your own happiness.’
‘What else should one live for?’ asked Martin.
‘For God, Martin,’ said the old man. ‘He gives you life, and you must live for Him. When you have learnt to live for Him, you will grieve no more, and all will seem easy to you.’
Martin was silent awhile, and then asked: ‘But how is one to live for God?’
The old man answered: ‘How one may live for God has been shown us by Christ. Can you read? Then buy the Gospels, and read them: there you will see how God would have you live. You have it all there.’
These words sank deep into Martin’s heart, and that same day he went and bought himself a Testament in large print, and began to read.
At first he meant only to read on holidays, but having once begun he found it made his heart so light that he read every day. Sometimes he was so absorbed in his reading that the oil in his lamp burnt out before he could tear himself away from the book. He continued to read every night, and the more he read the more clearly he understood what God required of him, and how he might live for God. And his heart grew lighter and lighter. Before, when he went to bed he used to lie with a heavy heart, moaning as he thought of his little Kapitón; but now he only repeated again and again: ‘Glory to Thee, glory to Thee, O Lord! Thy will be done!’
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From that time Martin’s whole life changed. Formerly, on holidays he used to go and have tea at the public house, and did not even refuse a glass or two of vódka. Sometimes, after having had a drop with a friend, he left the public house not drunk, but rather merry, and would say foolish things: shout at a man, or abuse him. Now, all that sort of thing passed away from him. His life became peaceful and joyful. He sat down to his work in the morning, and when he had finished his day’s work he took the lamp down from the wall, stood it on the table, fetched his book from the shelf, opened it, and sat down to read. The more he read the better he understood, and the clearer and happier he felt in his mind.
It happened once that Martin sat up late, absorbed in his book. He was reading Luke’s Gospel; and in the sixth chapter he came upon the verses:
‘To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloke withhold not thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.’
He also read the verses where our Lord says:
‘And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth, against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.’
When Martin read these words his soul was glad within him. He took off his spectacles and laid them on the book, and leaning his elbows on the table pondered over what he had read. He tried his own life by the standard of those words, asking himself:
‘Is my house built on the rock, or on sand? If it stands on the rock, it is well. It seems easy enough while one sits here alone, and one thinks one has done all that God commands; but as soon as I cease to be on my guard, I sin again. Still I will persevere. It brings such joy. Help me, O Lord!’
He thought all this, and was about to go to bed, but was loth to leave his book. So he went on reading the seventh chapter — about the centurion, the widow’s son, and the answer to John’s disciples — and he came to the part where a rich Pharisee invited the Lord to his house; and he read how the woman who was a sinner, anointed his feet and washed them with her tears, and how he justified her. Coming to the forty-fourth verse, he read:
‘And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath wetted my feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but she hath anointed my feet with ointment.’
He read these verses and thought: ‘He gave no water for his feet, gave no kiss, his head with oil he did not anoint. . . .’ And Martin took off his spectacles once more, laid them on his book, and pondered.
‘He must have been like me, that Pharisee. He too thought only of himself — how to get a cup of tea, how to keep warm and comfortable; never a thought of his guest. He took care of himself, but for his guest he cared nothing at all. Yet who was the guest? The Lord himself! If he came to me, should I behave like that?’
Then Martin laid his head upon both his arms and, before he was aware of it, he fell asleep.
‘Martin!’ he suddenly heard a voice, as if some one had breathed the word above his ear.
He started from his sleep. ‘Who’s there?’ he asked.
He turned round and looked at the door; no one was there. He called again. Then he heard quite distinctly: ‘Martin, Martin! Look out into the street to-morrow, for I shall come.’
Martin roused himself, rose from his chair and rubbed his eyes, but did not know whether he had heard these words in a dream or awake. He put out the lamp and lay down to sleep.
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Next morning he rose before daylight, and after saying his prayers he lit the fire and prepared his cabbage soup and buckwheat porridge. Then he lit the samovár, put on his apron, and sat down by the window to his work. As he sat working Martin thought over what had happened the night before. At times it seemed to him like a dream, and at times he thought that he had really heard the voice. ‘Such things have happened before now,’ thought he.
So he sat by the window, looking out into the street more than he worked, and whenever any one passed in unfamiliar boots he would stoop and look up, so as to see not the feet only but the face of the passer-by as well. A house-porter passed in new felt boots; then a water-carrier. Presently an old soldier of Nicholas’ reign came near the window spade in hand. Martin knew him by his boots, which were shabby old felt ones, goloshed with leather. The old man was called Stepániteh: a neighbouring tradesman kept him in his house for charity, and his duty was to help the house-porter. He began to clear away the snow before Martin’s window. Martin glanced at him and then went on with his work.
‘I must be growing crazy with age,’ said Martin, laughing at his fancy. ‘Stepánitch comes to clear away the snow, and I must needs imagine it’s Christ coming to visit me. Old dotard that I am!’
Yet after he had made a dozen stitches he felt drawn to look out of the window again. He saw that Stepánitch had leaned his spade against the wall, and was either resting himself or trying to get warm. The man was old and broken down, and had evidently not enough strength even to clear away the snow.
‘What if I called him in and gave him some tea?’ thought Martin. ‘The samovár is just on the boil.’
He stuck his awl in its place, and rose; and putting the samovár on the table, made tea. Then he tapped the window with his fingers. Stepánitch turned and came to the window. Martin beckoned to him to come in, and went himself to open the door.
‘Come in,’ he said, ‘and warm yourself a bit. I’m sure you must be cold.’
‘May God bless you!’ Stepánitch answered. ‘My bones do ache to be sure.’ He came in, first shaking off the snow, and lest he should leave marks on the floor he began wiping his feet; but as he did so he tottered and nearly fell.
‘Don’t trouble to wipe your feet,’ said Martin ‘I’ll wipe up the floor — it’s all in the day’s work. Come, friend, sit down and have some tea.’
Filling two tumblers, he passed one to his visitor, and pouring his own out into the saucer, began to blow on it.
Stepániteh emptied his glass, and, turning it upside down, put the remains of his piece of sugar on the top. He began to express his thanks, but it was plain that he would be glad of some more.
‘Have another glass,’ said Martin, refilling the visitor’s tumbler and his own. But while he drank his tea Martin kept looking out into the street.
‘Are you expecting any one?’ asked the visitor.
‘Am I expecting any one? Well, now, I’m ashamed to tell you. It isn’t that I really expect any one; but I heard something last night which I can’t get out of my mind Whether it was a vision, or only a fancy, I can’t tell. You see, friend, last night I was reading the Gospel, about Christ the Lord, how he suffered, and how he walked on earth. You have heard tell of it, I dare say.’
‘I have heard tell of it,’ answered Stepánitch; ‘but I’m an ignorant man and not able to read.’
‘Well, you see, I was reading of how he walked on earth. I came to that part, you know, where he went to a Pharisee who did not receive him well. Well, friend, as I read about it, I thought now that man did not receive Christ the Lord with proper honour. Suppose such a thing could happen to such a man as myself, I thought, what would I not do to receive him! But that man gave him no reception at all. Well, friend, as I was thinking of this, I began to doze, and as I dozed I heard some one call me by name. I got up, and thought I heard some one whispering, “Expect me; I will come to-morrow.” This happened twice over. And to tell you the truth, it sank so into my mind that, though I am ashamed of it myself, I keep on expecting him, the dear Lord!’
Stepánitch shook his head in silence, finished his tumbler and laid it on its side; but Martin stood it up again and refilled it for him.
‘Here drink another glass, bless you! And I was thinking too, how he walked on earth and despised no one, but went mostly among common folk. He went with plain people, and chose his disciples from among the likes of us, from workmen like us, sinners that we are. “He who raises himself,” he said, “shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be raised.” “You call me Lord,” he said, “and I will wash your feet.” “He who would be first,” he said, “let him be the servant of all; because,” he said, “blessed are the poor, the humble, the meek, and the merciful.”‘
Stepánitch forgot his tea. He was an old man easily moved to tears, and as he sat and listened the tears ran down his cheeks.
‘Come, drink some more,’ said Martin. But Stepánitch crossed himself, thanked him, moved away his tumbler, and rose.
‘Thank you, Martin Avdéitch,’ he said, ‘you have given me food and comfort both for soul and body.’
‘You’re very welcome. Come again another time. I am glad to have a guest,’ said Martin.
Stepánitch went away; and Martin poured out the last of the tea and drank it up. Then he put away the tea things and sat down to his work, stitching the back seam of a boot. And as he stitched he kept looking out of the window, waiting for Christ, and thinking about him and his doings. And his head was full of Christ’s sayings.
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Two soldiers went by: one in Government boots the other in boots of his own; then the master of a neighbouring house, in shining goloshes; then a baker carrying a basket. All these passed on. Then a woman came up in worsted stockings and peasant-made shoes. She passed the window, but stopped by the wall. Martin glanced up at her through the window, and saw that she was a stranger, poorly dressed, and with a baby in her arms. She stopped by the wall with her back to the wind, trying to wrap the baby up though she had hardly anything to wrap it in. The woman had only summer clothes on, and even they were shabby and worn. Through the window Martin heard the baby crying, and the woman trying to soothe it, but unable to do so. Martin rose and going out of the door and up the steps he called to her.
‘My dear, I say, my dear!’ The woman heard, and turned round.
‘Why do you stand out there with the baby in the cold? Come inside. You can wrap him up better in a warm place. Come this way!’
The woman was surprised to see an old man in an apron, with spectacles on his nose, calling to her, but she followed him in.
They went down the steps, entered the little room, and the old man led her to the bed.
‘There, sit down, my dear, near the stove. Warm yourself, and feed the baby.’
‘Haven’t any milk. I have eaten nothing myself since early morning,’ said the woman, but still she took the baby to her breast.
Martin shook his head. He brought out a basin and some bread. Then he opened the oven door and poured some cabbage soup into the basin. He took out the porridge pot also but the porridge was not yet ready, so he spread a cloth on the table and served only the soup and bread.
‘Sit down and eat, my dear, and I’ll mind the baby. Why, bless me, I’ve had children of my own; I know how to manage them.’
The woman crossed herself, and sitting down at the table began to eat, while Martin put the baby on the bed and sat down by it. He chucked and chucked, but having no teeth he could not do it well and the baby continued to cry. Then Martin tried poking at him with his finger; he drove his finger straight at the baby’s mouth and then quickly drew it back, and did this again and again. He did not let the baby take his finger in its mouth, because it was all black with cobbler’s wax. But the baby first grew quiet watching the finger, and then began to laugh. And Martin felt quite pleased.
The woman sat eating and talking, and told him who she was, and where she had been.
‘I’m a soldier’s wife,’ said she. ‘They sent my husband somewhere, far away, eight months ago, and I have heard nothing of him since. I had a place as cook till my baby was born, but then they would not keep me with a child. For three months now I have been struggling, unable to find a place, and I’ve had to sell all I had for food. I tried to go as a wet-nurse, but no one would have me; they said I was too starved-looking and thin. Now I have just been to see a tradesman’s wife (a woman from our village is in service with her) and she has promised to take me. I thought it was all settled at last, but she tells me not to come till next week. It is far to her place, and I am fagged out, and baby is quite starved, poor mite. Fortunately our landlady has pity on us, and lets us lodge free, else I don’t know what we should do.’
Martin sighed. ‘Haven’t you any warmer clothing?’ he asked.
‘How could I get warm clothing?’ said she. ‘Why I pawned my last shawl for sixpence yesterday.’
Then the woman came and took the child, and Martin got up. He went and looked among some things that were hanging on the wall, and brought back an old cloak.
‘Here,’ he said, ‘though it’s a worn-out old thing, it will do to wrap him up in.’
The woman looked at the cloak, then at the old man, and taking it, burst into tears. Martin turned away, and groping under the bed brought out a small trunk. He fumbled about in it, and again sat down opposite the woman. And the woman said:
‘The Lord bless you, friend. Surely Christ must have sent me to your window, else the child would have frozen. It was mild when I started, but now see how cold it has turned. Surely it must have been Christ who made you look out of your window and take pity on me, poor wretch!’
Martin smiled and said; ‘It is quite true; it was he made me do it. It was no mere chance made me look out.’
And he told the woman his dream, and how he had heard the Lord’s voice promising to visit him that day.
‘Who knows? All things are possible,’ said the woman. And she got up and threw the cloak over her shoulders, wrapping it round herself and round the baby. Then she bowed, and thanked Martin once more.
‘Take this for Christ’s sake,’ said Martin, and gave her sixpence to get her shawl out of pawn. The woman crossed herself, and Martin did the same, and then he saw her out.
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After the woman had gone, Martin ate some cabbage soup, cleared the things away, and sat down to work again. He sat and worked, but did not forget the window, and every time a shadow fell on it he looked up at once to see who was passing. People he knew and strangers passed by, but no one remarkable.
After a while Martin saw an apple-woman stop just in front of his window. She had a large basket, but there did not seem to be many apples left in it; she had evidently sold most of her stock. On her back she had a sack full of chips, which she was taking home. No doubt she had gathered them at some place where building was going on. The sack evidently hurt her, and she wanted to shift it from one shoulder to the other, so she put it down on the footpath and, placing her basket on a post, began to shake down the chips in the sack. While she was doing this a boy in a tattered cap ran up, snatched an apple out of the basket, and tried to slip away; but the old woman noticed it, and turning, caught the boy by his sleeve. He began to struggle, trying to free himself, but the old woman held on with both hands, knocked his cap off his head, and seized hold of his hair. The boy screamed and the old woman scolded. Martin dropped his awl, not waiting to stick it in its place, and rushed out of the door. Stumbling up the steps, and dropping his spectacles in his hurry, he ran out into the street. The old woman was pulling the boy’s hair and scolding him, and threatening to take him to the police. The lad was struggling and protesting, saying, ‘I did not take it. What are you beating me for? Let me go!’
Martin separated them. He took the boy by the hand and said, ‘Let him go, Granny. Forgive him for Christ’s sake.’
‘I’ll pay him out, so that he won’t forget it for a year! I’ll take the rascal to the police!’ Martin began entreating the old woman.
‘Let him go, Granny. He won’t do it again. Let him go for Christ’s sake!’
The old woman let go, and the boy wished to run away, but Martin stopped him
‘Ask the Granny’s forgiveness!’ said he. ‘And don’t do it another time. I saw you take the apple.’
The boy began to cry and to beg pardon.
‘That’s right. And now here’s an apple for you, and Martin took an apple from the basket and gave it to the boy, saying, ‘I will pay you, Granny.’
‘You will spoil them that way, the young rascals,’ said the old woman. ‘He ought to be whipped so that he should remember it for a week.’
‘Oh, Granny, Granny,’ said Martin, ‘that’s our way — but it’s not God’s way. If he should be whipped for stealing an apple, what should be done to us for our sins?’
The old woman was silent.
And Martin told her the parable of the lord who forgave his servant a large debt, and how the servant went out and seized his debtor by the throat. The old woman listened to it all, and the boy, too, stood by and listened.
‘God bids us forgive,’ said Martin, ‘or else we shall not be forgiven. Forgive every one; and a thoughtless youngster most of all.’
The old woman wagged her head and sighed.
‘It’s true enough,’ said she, ‘but they are getting terribly spoilt.’
‘Then we old ones must show them better ways,’ Martin replied.
‘That’s just what I say,’ said the old woman. ‘I have had seven of them myself, and only one daughter is left.’ And the old woman began to tell how and where she was living with her daughter, and how many grandchildren she had. ‘There now,’ she said, ‘I have but little strength left, yet I work hard for the sake of my grandchildren; and nice children they are, too. No one comes out to meet me but the children. Little Annie, now, won’t leave me for any one. “It’s grandmother, dear grandmother, darling grandmother.”‘ And the old woman completely softened at the thought.
‘Of course, it was only his childishness, God help him,’ said she, referring to the boy.
As the old woman was about to hoist her sack on her back, the lad sprang forward to her, saying, ‘Let me carry it for you, Granny. I’m going that way.’
The old woman nodded her head, and put the sack on the boy’s back, and they went down the street together, the old woman quite forgetting to ask Martin to pay for the apple. Martin stood and watched them as they went along talking to each other.
When they were out of sight Martin went back to the house. Having found his spectacles unbroken on the steps, he picked up his awl and sat down again to work. He worked a little, but could soon not see to pass the bristle through the holes in the leather; and presently he noticed the lamplighter passing on his way to light the street lamps.
‘Seems it’s time to light up,’ thought he. So he trimmed his lamp, hung it up, and sat down again to work. He finished off one boot and, turning it about, examined it. It was all right. Then he gathered his tools together, swept up the cuttings, put away the bristles and the thread and the awls, and, taking down the lamp, placed it on the table. Then he took the Gospels from the shelf. He meant to open them at the place he had marked the day before with a bit of morocco, but the book opened at another place. As Martin opened it, his yesterday’s dream came back to his mind, and no sooner had he thought of it than he seemed to hear footsteps, as though some one were moving behind him. Martin turned round, and it seemed to him as if people were standing in the dark corner, but he could not make out who they were. And a voice whispered in his ear: ‘Martin, Martin, don’t you know me?’
‘Who is it?’ muttered Martin.
‘It is I,’ said the voice. And out of the dark corner stepped Stepánitch, who smiled and vanishing like a cloud was seen no more.
‘It is I,’ said the voice again. And out of the darkness stepped the woman with the baby in her arms and the woman smiled and the baby laughed, and they too vanished.
‘It is I,’ said the voice once more. And the old woman and the boy with the apple stepped out and both smiled, and then they too vanished.
And Martin’s soul grew glad. He crossed himself put on his spectacles, and began reading the Gospel just where it had opened; and at the top of the page he read
‘I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.’
And at the bottom of the page he read
 
‘Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren even these least, ye did it unto me’(Matt. xxv).
And Martin understood that his dream had come true; and that the Saviour had really come to him that day, and he had welcomed him.
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The Old Shoemaker

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This video is based off of the short story, “Where Love Is, God Is“, by Leo Tolstoy.
It is a sweet tale about an old cobbler who sees the Lord.
                   
May you see God today. Have a blessed Friday:)
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“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
~Matthew 25:40
 
 

A Beautiful Day

I have recently had a crash course in what it means to have a beautiful day. I have always had a deep understanding of the truth that things don’t always go according to plan. However, it’s is what you make of those situations that God looks at. He doesn’t determine our hearts by the trials before us, but by the way we handle such trials. Look at Job. He had his entire life blessed with worldly greatness, but in the blink of an eye, everything was taken in a brutal fashion. His mortal world came crashing down, and yet glory was given to God. Through the desolation he felt on this earth, Job still praised the Lord for His goodness, His majesty, and His ultimate knowledge of what we need on this earth to become more like our Father in Heaven. I have realized that no matter what struggle, or non-struggle, is before you, throwing yourself into the arms of the Lord is the only way to feel the Spirit of God and to have true, lasting Joy.

My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. 
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breathe of the Almighty hath given me life. 
If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. 
Behold I am according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay.”
~Job 33: 3-6 KJV

The Beehive Challenge

Today, September 23rd, 2014 marks the start of a new approach for this small little blog. Today is the launch of something that has been in the works for quite a while, but it has never felt right to start until today.

And now for a drum roll please!!!!

I Introduce to You!
 (linked above)

This idea has been something that I’ve been toying with for quite a while. A couple years ago, the LDS church came out a publication recognizing 100 years of Girls’ Camp. In this publication, they listed some of the goals that girls of the early 1920  accomplished through the Beehive Girls Program (similar to the original design of Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls).

Girls would learn skills in any area that interested them and would come together to discuss what they learned, share their knowledge, delight in the joys of womanhood (WO-MAN-HO), and fellowship together to give praise to the Lord.

As the times changed, so did the program. Eventually it was no longer relevant to the needs of the girls in the world and so it became a memory to the few left who participated. The program was replaced by the Personal Progress program (which most LDS ladies today have grown up with). Personal Progress has also taken many forms. Today it focuses mainly on finding your relationship with God and making your own path to Him through the of learning life skills and offering service to others. Where this Program is wonderful and commendable in its own right, there seems to be something in regards to the completeness and well rounded person that is idealized in the goals of the Beehive Girls. Where Personal Progress is a wonderful tool (I encourage mothers, daughters, grandmothers, wives, etc. to look at the lessons and continue to work on new goals as it truly does have a way of focusing our lives around our Lord), there is something lacking in the general gaining of life skills that are of a more practical and self-sufficient nature in the adult world.

The goal of this challenge is to be an aid used for learning skills that have been forgotten through the last century. The tasks set in this challenge are not meant to be a hindrance or distraction from anything of the busy lives of women today, but rather a tool to help guide a restoration of practical skills. Although some of the skills listed in the book are dated (most people don’t need to know how to drive a team of horses, or have a need to kill dozens of house flies because they are ever present), there is still much we can learn from the skills that these young women once learned. Wouldn’t it be nice to know which how to dress wounds and clean bandages? Wouldn’t it be easier to understand babies if you knew what each cry meant? Wouldn’t knowing how to sew save you tons of money by mending an article that ripped or a child outgrew rather than going to buy a new one when it is perfectly salvageable?

That is the purpose of this challenge- to see how much you can learn.

If our call as women is to be as the one described in Proverbs 31, then let us take the challenge and mark how we can improve our world. Confidence grows when people are enabled. What better way to grow your confidence than to be well rounded and capable?

“Strength and Honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come”
~ Proverbs 31:25 KJV

May the Lord Bless you today.

September 11

This post is a week over due. But I wanted to write something special because 9-11-01 was a day I will never forget. I had relatives scheduled to be on one of the flights that had been intercepted, and I know people who fled business meetings because they had a prompting it was not safe to remain in the buildings any longer. I have listened to first hand accounts of the events of the day from people that I know on a personal level. I also remember the fear of living near Los Angeles and the rumors of strikes hitting the major city within the subsequent days.

September 11, 2001 is a day no patriot will forget living through. But what many people forget to see is that through all the terror- through all the fear- God was watching us that day. God was watching Americans rally together and find a cause worth fighting for. Yes there was devastation, and yes there was tragedy. But our country also saw the miracle that God gave us of finding hope through the chaos. Lives were destroyed and families were torn apart. It is no day that we want repeated and it is certainly not something we should cause us to lose our faith. It is a day that we should look at and remember that God is good. That even when we are living in the darkest of times, that there is still a blessing to be found. And until the last believer loses faith, God will not remove miracles from this earth. He will be there to give us strength to continue.

My prayer is that as we remember 9/11/01, we also remember that in the midst of such evil, we found faith and courage. We should not remember that day because of the atrocities that took place, but because of the realization that we had that there is still great horrors in this world and that only through God can the darkness be changed to light.

In the remembrance of a day so marked by fear and turmoil, may you find your courage and faith to keep moving forward and stand up for the truth and Light of the World.

Real life or Photo shop?

Anyone ever heard of “The Great and Spacious Make-up Box”?
How sad is it that this has become the standard for beauty?
This lady is already beautiful.  Did she need all of the photo editing
to make her even more so? No. So where is your standard?
Do you want to be YOUR best, or a computer’s best?
There is so much more to a person than what they look like.
Life isn’t virtual.  Go forth and be who the Lord wants you to be.
Dove came out with this video a couple of years ago, but I think its been lost in the bright lights of youtube.
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
~ 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV

think about it…

Looking through photos on facebook, and this one came across the screen…

Make it a great day, and may the Lord bless you!

“I have set the Lord always before me: because He is my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glorty rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope…Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy: at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

~Psalm 16:8-11 KJV

What is Beautiful?

Happy Friday!

***Purple is the traditional color of royalty, so it seems fitting to use it in the post today;)***


What does it mean to be beautiful? Many say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. But is that entirely true?  Beauty is a gift from Father.  Only through His Glory is true beauty possible; it is the manifestation of His spirit.  Beauty is in the countenance-through the way we hold ourselves, the way we speak, the way we treat others.  It is our call to be women in a time when the world holds value in putting one’s body on display.  We are divine daughters of OUR Father.  He makes us beautiful.  His Spirit shines in our eyes and draws the righteous to us.  It is through the understanding that “Every girl is a princess” because she is a daughter of HER Heavenly Father. 

         …His Words accents her lips,
              His Works softens her hands,
                His Light illuminates her eyes,
                  Her beauty is not from the world.
             He makes her beautiful…


Clothes, Jewelry, Makeup, this is not what creates beauty. It is a method to create aesthetic attraction, but not beauty. Yes, getting dressed up like a princess is fun, but dressing up is not what makes you beautiful. Beauty comes from virtue, not from being “sexy”. It is not something that you can gain through the worlds idea of a “beauty treatment”. The best way to gain beauty is to find beauty in all things. Even in the smallest creature, the wonders of Him are ever present. 
The beauty of a flower is not painted on. It is the product of the plant fulfilling it’s duty to create a flower.  Let us all be like the plant. We must experience the difficulty of growing to fulfill our divine potential. Everyone can be beautiful. It is their choice. 
How wonderful would the world be if every girl and woman realized this not-so-secret-secret? How much easier would it be to live through each day is everyone knew that they were children of The Most High God, The Great I AM? They would eminate with His beauty. The skewed idea that overpowering the beauty of life with the perversion of material obsession, would be gone.  Makeup would be used to accent what is already beautiful. It wouldn’t be used to “cover-up” the insecurity that many have of not being pretty.

It is our responsibility to help others find their personal beauty.  Those who know of this truth cannot let others drown while they watch idlely from the side. Everyone wants to be loved and how beautiful is it when someone realizes that they have always been loved. Their hope is renewed.
This is the formula for JOY:
                                        J     O   Y
                                        E     T   O
                                        S     H   U
                                        U     E
                                        S      R
                                                S       
Joy is infectious. When there is true joy in the truth, there is true beauty.  By putting Him first in your life, you are able to see the good in others. It is not the attractiveness of wealth and fashion. It is through loving the Lord, loving others, and loving yourself, that true beauty comes out.


I found this quote from Audrey Hepburn (I always thought she was beautiful…).


“Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle- My Fair Lady”

“…For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows.
The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.
If you share this with another woman, something good will happen — you will boost another woman’s self esteem, and she will know that you care about her…”


                              I hope that this brightened your day. Remember that we never know what someone is going through. It is our duty to ensure that everyone sees who they really are- Be in a place where the Spirit can work through you. Be the example that others can rely on.  Let us all work to not be distractions because we are concerned with outward appearance. Let’s focus on what is inside, and the outside will shine.  We must take care of our bodies and dress in a way that displays the confidence that comes from walking with the Lord.

 ~May you all have a blessed day, and remember that you are the Daughter of a King~