His work.

I have been thinking about it all week now.

The hastening.

His timing.

There is an energy that surges through my soul in the moments that I focus on it.

He knows exactly what He is doing.  But do I?

There is work to be done.  The work that requires labor, burning the candle on both ends, giving up all.

Sanctifying, and purifying, and cleansing.

Prayer and fasting.

The actions that lead to moments of true learning through His Spirit.

Why?

So that we will be prepared.

Because He will call us.  He will send us.  There is a mission He has in store for each one of us.

His hastening.

His timing.

His call.

His mission.

Have you discovered what He has in mind for you?  The mission that you have been prepared for?

Have you heard the call?

We must remember that sometimes calls don’t come by telephone.  And most missions don’t come in a white envelope on a Wednesday in the mail.

They come from the Lord.

Through invitation.

Through the Spirit.

This book?

It’s all about listening to those invitations.  Discovering your potential in His eyes.

We thought you might like a sneak peak into what’s inside, so every day for the next two weeks we will post some of our favorite quotes.

We hope you love them.

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L~ F~:~
~M

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The stars hung into the deep blackness at 11:45 pm and we whispered and teased about matchmaking.

“Josh, what is your first base?”

The question came after one full hour of laughter and questions.  It’s what you do on the first night of trek if you are sleeping in a tent full of 20-year-old boys.  There were six of us gathered into one tent.  Greg and I, Grace, and the three single boys.

So we all took turns playing the role of matchmaker.

Talking about the girls they admired into the darkest moments of the night.

Giving unsolicited advice to our audience tucked snuggly into sleeping bags.  Held captive by the warmth in the bag, they listened…they shared…and they laughed.  Oh, I won’t forget that night.

It was in the midst of that high quality conversation that we started talking about first base.  Steven, self proclaimed expert on girls, coaching Josh on how to win Jennie’s heart.  (There is probably a saying about what happens at trek staying at trek, but I am about to let you become part of that night’s conversation.  Don’t tell the boys…)

So Steven took over the conversation.  What to say to her.  When to hold her hand.  How soon you can text her after trek.  You know how it goes…

But, first base, it was something that had to be settled on.

Josh’s lips were sealed.  There was no way he was giving up that information.  So we turned to the self proclaimed expert…

Steven, what is your first base.

He wasn’t giving up that information either.

It was at that moment that Meg texted from a dorm at Utah State.  Just checking in.  Letting us know how her day was going from miles and miles away.

Immediately the boys chimed in.  Ask Meg what her first base is!!!

Let’s be honest…how could we resist?

Maybe you don’t know Meg.  Perhaps you haven’t heard us talk about her Megan Moments.  We have a book of them.  Because she is absolutely brilliant with not an ounce of common sense.  And the things that she comes up with…

Oh, one day we should just talk about those moments.

So we asked:

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In the stillness of that black, black night our tent erupted in laughter.

The kind of laughter that builds …expanding happiness into every single corner.

And I thought about how much I LOVE that girl.  Her goodness.  The way she makes us laugh, spilling her happiness into every single corner of our lives.  Her innocence in a world that is greatly lacking that one redeeming quality.  She is like a star that hangs into the darkness.

I woke up the next morning and hoped that would be her response for the rest of her life.

Because there is goodness in that answer.

And if her first step always includes Jesus then how could she ever go wrong?

 

L~ F~:~
~M

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On Thursday nights I attend a Bible Study class.

The women gather with Bibles in hand, but more importantly with stories in their hearts.  We lose track of time searching for God’s answers, leaning in to God’s word, sharing the life moments where we find God’s strength.

Sometimes we cry.

These conversations?  They circle around God’s scripture.  We are fast becoming friends whose commonality is holy words bound in soft leather.  Our friendship is based on a love of His words.

There is a strength that is borne of friendship like that.

These are women I admire.  Not because their lives are perfect.  Oh, they are far from perfect.  Sometimes they share the imperfection ––they way life is handing them lemons, the unexpected detours, the sadness that keeps them awake at night.  What I admire is the fact that in the midst of carrying the weight of the world, of trying to keep control of the chaos, of constantly treading to stay afloat they set aside one night a week to study God’s word.

One night.  For two hours.

They could choose a movie with buttered popcorn and milk duds.
They could go to dinner and laugh and catch up.
They could go to the gym.

But they don’t.  They use those precious hours, their short glimpse of respite, to gather and contemplate holy words.

I admire that.

And I am so grateful to be a part.

My friend Sarah and I had a conversation as I was leaving last night.  About the group.  About how she put it together and how the women came from all different walks of life, unexpectedly, gathering.

She prayed.

A simple prayer.

Lord, I am available, and I am willing.

Because of that prayer we are experiencing blessings.  Each of us gathered there in that home.  Souls are expanding.

All because of one simple prayer.

And I wonder, in the midst of the weight of the world, of trying to keep control of the chaos, of constantly treading to stay afloat, what I could be doing more for His cause.

Not something extraordinary.  Something simple.

So this morning I prayed.

A simple prayer.

Lord, I am available, and I am willing.

L~ F~:~
~M

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 It rained on Pioneer Trek.

The kind of rain that pelts your skin, soaks to the bone, chills you through.

It came down hard and fast, the dark clouds splitting open, unleashing torrents of rain.  At first it was a reprieve from the blistering sun.  But it wasn’t long before it drenched our clothes adding extra weight to the journey.  Shoes, once a means of protection, became a danger for blisters.

I walked against the rain.  Head down, bonnet protecting my face against the fury.

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At one point I lost sight of the goal, putting just one foot in front of the other, focused only on the path ahead of each step…nothing more than that.

And I wondered how many days the pioneers walked like that.

Head down.

Focused on the path ahead of each step.

What was it that pushed them forward on those days?  That thought occupied my brain as the rain fell down, step after step until the answer finally settled in my heart.

The simplicity captivated me.

A prophet.

A book.

A temple.

That’s it.  That’s what they clung to.  When the rain soaked in, when the snow seared through blistered and bloody feet, when hunger gnawed relentless.  Up rocky ridges, across frozen rivers, against the biting winds of Wyoming.

A prophet.

A book.

A temple.

It was what they held onto.

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On the last day the sun inched its way up over the horizon.  We stood at the base of Rocky Ridge determined to walk the trail we had heard so many stories about.

They call it the trail of blood.

In ninety degree weather it was hard to imagine below zero, snow obscuring the trail, bare and bloody feet slipping over sharp and frozen rocks.  To think of cracked and frozen hands grasping to the handle of a cart filled full of belongings, filled full of loved ones, filled full of a burden you no longer have the energy to bear.

I closed my eyes and tried to imagine as we started off, and then I opened them and looked up to the trail ahead.

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You see them walking there?

It is more than 150 years since that November night, and yet they know what it is to bear burdens.  To struggle in the battle between God and mortality.  To fight against the challenges of our day …not snow, sleet, or rocky passes that seem unsurmountable, but challenges that are just as hard to pass through.

God knows how to refine a soul.  He knows the battles that will besiege us.  Our generation?  We walk the same rocky ridges as those who went before.  Ours may have different names, but the burden that exhausts…it is the same.

For each it is a struggle that has the potential to destroy us.

And yet, God is there.

And he sends rescuers to walk with us.

To strengthen us.  To guide us.  To protect.

I wonder, when Ephraim showed up with the buffalo meet if there were any who said, “No thanks”?

The thought seems preposterous.

But how many of us turn our backs to those who reach out a hand of rescue instead of leaning in, finding strength there, holding on.

It was when we reached the top that I studied these three boys.

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Mine has been the privilege to watch over them for many years.  I have seen them there for each other every time the path has gotten rocky.  To lift, to strengthen, to pull each other through.

They know what it is to rescue.

Even more important, they know what it is to be rescued.

And through the process they are coming to know God.  All three learning in to Him.  I see them pushing through…sometimes with head down just one step at a time…focused only on the path ahead.

And clinging.

To a prophet.

A book.

A temple.

Sometimes they come to me, holy scriptures clasped in humble hands, and they read verses and teach me truths I would never have come to understand unless I saw them through their eyes.  And in those moments I know, in the deepest part of this heart of mine, that they will see this journey through.

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L~ F~:~
~M

Summer has overwhelmed me.

Usually I run at a pretty fast pace and can keep up with everything.

Not this year.

Perhaps you remember that our house is pretty full right now.  Everyone moved home for the summer.  Currently this house is bursting with 9 people whose hearts all reside here.  Of course me and Greg are here.  Then there are seven others ranging from the age of 15 to 22.  You do the math.  It’s a circus.

I love circuses.

And my world revolves around those people.  From seven in the morning until one or two in the morning.  Yes.  That’s an eighteen hour day.

It was the laundry that got behind first.  Then the straightening up of the house.   And the kitchen sink…oh boy.  (In just a moment I will tell you about the kitchen sink…because you deserve a good laugh on a Monday morning.)

You’ve probably noticed I have been missing.  Don’t worry….I will be back soon.  See, everyone leaves in August…except for Grace.  Some on missions.  The others to college.  The week of August 20 everyone will move back out and back on with their lives.

And it will become quiet around here again.

A while ago I was mourning the fact that I had lost control of my life.  (wink wink)  Actually, it was serious enough that I got down on my knees to figure out how to hold all of the pieces together.  The answer came back clear.  You have this short window to celebrate every single person you love the most.  Soak it in.  Embrace it.  Let everything else go.  You won’t have this opportunity again.  When August comes the world will return to the way it used to be, but right now your priority is eight hearts.

I trust that prompting.  So I am soaking this up.  I shop at Costco and make meals all day long.  I do projects, and help with work ideas.  I sit on the couch and talk about love, and friends, and future plans.  When they call at eleven to say people are coming over and can I make treats…I can.   And when they ask if they can pull their scriptures out and ask questions…we do.  Help me chose an outfit for work?  Come with me to the temple?   Will you make me an egg?  In every moment I remember Marjorie Hinckley, “Let your first response be yes, rather than no.”

It has been a summer full of yeses.

I am exhausted.  But fulfilled.

In fact, there really has only been one no.

It has to do with the kitchen sink.

Seriously…things got out of hand.  Dishes stacked to the ceiling 24/7.  I could have a full time job.

So one day, after I had cleaned the kitchen for the upteenth time I put sticky notes all over the counter and both sides of the sink.  “NO DISHES HERE!”  “NO DISHES”  “NO DISHES”

I was serious.

And in the sink that was most often used I put packing tape over the sticky note to make sure no one forgot.

It took one week and they were trained.  Hallelujah!

So I took the sticky notes off the counter.  And pulled the one out of the sink.  And when I did, this happened…

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Yep!  Permanent.  The sharpie marker bled right through.  Had I known that was going to happen I probably would have used my best writing.

So, now there’s that reminder of this summer.

Oh well.

Sometimes life happens.  And remember, I am soaking it in.  All of it.  Even the sharpie marker on the kitchen sink.

At least they won’t forget.  About the sink, I mean.  But hopefully they won’t forget this summer either.  The summer I dropped everything and let my world revolve around theirs.

Don’t worry…I will be back soon.  We have an awesome idea that will start August 1.  Oh…you are going to love this next journey.  I can hardly wait.  Meanwhile, for the next couple of weeks I am going to post some awesome teasers from the Peter book.  Thoughts to think about.  To lift your spirits.  To lead you to Christ.

Daily…

 

L~ F~:~
~M
B e c o m e   a   F r i e n d