I’ll be honest, it has not been a great Easter. It hasn’t been one filled with reflection on the great gift He has given me. It hasn’t been one filled with laughter and memory making. I am stressed. How do I find peace in the midst of stress? If I knew I wouldn’t be writing this. I know He is the source of peace, and with each prayer I said today, I did feel a bit of calmness, but the moment it ended my sense of panic and fear came creeping back in. This causes me to be a not so nice wife and mother. I have to get the house back in shape for showings again. That’s right, the crazy buyers I talked about last week decided to terminate their contract. I knew it was going to happen, especially when they asked for an extension in their “option period.” I thought, the only reason they’d want that is so 1) they have more negotiation room or 2) they’re going to cancel anyway. First of all they sprung the inspection on us, then it took them nearly a week to get us the results back. They asked for no less than 10 items to be fixed. only 1-2 of them actually being code issues, the rest so that their house would have no problems in the next 20 years. They wanted us to replace the roof, which still has about 5 years left on it and they wanted us to replace the galvanized pipes for PEX pipes. If we did that we’d be listing the house at 230,000. There’s a reason it is only listed at 194,900. That being said, there isn’t anything wrong with the roof, like I said, it still has a couple of years left in its life, and the pipes are fine, but it might be a good idea for someone who plans to live here longer than 10 years to replace the pipes. But like our realtor said, these buyers were asking an outrageous amount for the value of the home, it would amount to over 10% of the asking price of the home. Goodness. So back to square one. I really hope and pray we get a buyer who understands the market and has a better realtor who will educate them and teach them house hunting etiquette. Andy will be headed to Georgia at the end of this week to close on our house, and luckily there haven’t been any hiccups with that. I don’t think there will be, I am just praying he drives safe since he’s planning on driving through the night to get there for closing Thursday morning. Better news: Andy finished his last day of medical school on Tuesday! Yay! Wednesday we caught up on things around the house and helped the YW with some service projects at our house. Friday we went on a ward camp out and we could not have been more blessed with beautiful weather. The company was pretty great too. I really enjoy camping, especially when the mosquitoes are minimal and the weather is cool. I was a little too cold during the night, but honestly I’d rather be too cold than too hot. We got home and were pretty wiped out (who sleeps well camping? Besides kids, that is). We cleaned up and crashed for what I thought was a half hour and ended up being a couple of hours.     Andy and I were able to go to our Stake conference’s adult session. I always get way more out of adult session than the morning session, and let’s be honest, does the morning Sunday session still need to be two hours? What about the children?? With the recent time changes of normal church hours, I could honestly see stake conference shortened to one hour, but that is probably hopeful thinking. The biggest take away I got was coming unto Jesus means being like Him. And on that note, I’ve recently realized something. We cannot be like He is without going through some of what he has gone through. Sacrifice. Loving others with their weaknesses. Dealing with tribulation and persecution and still relying and turning to the Lord. Last night they talked about prayer and fasting and the reason and results of this combo. Fasting is definitely not my favorite thing to do, but when they talked about the why it made me feel more determined to do it with purpose. Fasting is a symbolic sacrifice, a minimal sacrifice from physical comfort to help us turn our minds to our Savior who sacrificed complete physical comfort, in fact went through great pain and suffering on our behalf. As we fast, we can in some measure, feel our Savior near us by stepping in just a moment of his life. I know that fasting has real results, powerful results, I now understand its symbolic importance. But why is it so powerful? Andy and I had a discussion on miracles and faith this week and I think this plays into it. Andy asked me to look at the miracles I knew– like the lady touching the hem of Christ’s garment, etc. And asked me what the Savior said to each of them. The phrase, “Thy faith hath made thee whole,” came to mind. He reminded me that miracles are performed through our faith. I believe that fasting 1) shows our faith in Christ 2) builds our faith through seeing the fruits of sacrifice. It doesn’t benefit the savior anything to have us go without food. We could just donate the fast offering without fasting, but then we would not experience the tiny measure of physical sacrifice that would help us emulate and become like our Savior.  Of course there are literal physical ailments that keep some people from fasting (or physical conditions like pregnancy and nursing), but I think in lieu of fasting from food, we can come up with something that would be a sacrifice for us so that we can reap the reward of sacrifice. That principle is also important to understand– the gospel can be very individual. Well, the gospel of Jesus Christ is very individual. CS Lewis said, “He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.” So as we apply the gospel to our individual lives we need to make that deep connection with the spirit to know what He wants us to do to change, to do better, to be better. The gospel of Jesus Christ starts with Faith, which leads us to repent, which leads some to baptism, and for those who are already baptized it leads us to renew our covenants, renewing our covenants increases our ability to heed and listen to the Holy Ghost which builds our faith and we continue to this cycle until we reach our Savior. Moroni 7:48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. I know what I need to fix. I pray for His help to do so. I pray for the Christ-like love to accept people for who they are and have the ability to love them while encouraging them to do better. Christ does not condemn but instead uplifts and strengthens us. As I do this I am being like Christ. I pray for His help in doing so.

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