Today in RS we had a discussion from the talk, Hearts Knit together;” a talk given by Elder Stevenson. It begins with a story about a scientific study where a number of bunnies were given a high fat diet. Their study showed that they had build up in their arteries, but one group in this study that was given the fatty food had 60% less buildup. They couldn’t figure out why until they realized they were all from the same scientist’s group. She showed these bunnies love and affection as she fed them. This really had an impact on me. This past year I have learned a lot about the way we think. I have learned that we all cherry pick things from the world around us to fit into the reality in our minds. I realized this because I became rudely aware that I had cherry picked the worst in myself, others around me, and the world in general. I wasn’t in a good place, and I probably wasn’t the nicest person to be around. Here we are a year later and I had to PRACTICE thinking positively. I started by keeping a journal. I wrote down all the things I loved about myself and those closest to me. I wrote down the things I was grateful for. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but I even wrote down the blessings that came from the difficulties of my life. I have to be honest and say I still have to practice. It isn’t innate in me yet, but I am celebrating that success I have made. And here’s the interesting thing. Last year I had gall bladder attacks which led to my gall bladder being removed. Did you know that our stomach has the second largest network of nerves- only second to our brain? Some scientists, especially in the psychology realm call it the wise mind. We all use a logical mind and an emotional mind, but when we focus on using them simultaneously we are accessing our wise mind. I’ve been meditating a lot and they walk you through relaxing all of your muscles and becoming aware of your body and how each part is feeling. What I’ve realized in my gospel study along with my emotional studies is that these align up perfectly. I believe that when I’m “accessing” my wise mind, I’m actually just allowing myself to be in tune with the Holy Ghost. It is no wonder that the scriptures refer to these feelings as coming from the heart or the bosom.

So here’s how those two ideas tie together. I truly believe that as I am in tune with my Savior, relying upon his atonement, that I am not only blessed with spiritual health, but can even access his atonement for physical health (if of course it is according to His will). I have noticed times in my life when things were out of sorts, that my migraines increased, my health declined, and I didn’t fare as well as I do when I am filled with the Love of God. Moroni 7:48 states:

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray 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 bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be dpurified even as he is pure. Amen.

I know that his Love, this charity, is EXACTLY what changes me. When I strive to be filled with this love:
45 And acharity suffereth long, and is bkind, and cenvieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily dprovoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
THAT is when I can access the power of the atonement. I also know that Christ has a lot of grace for me. I am FAR from being completely filled with this love, but the effort I make towards changing myself is magnified by HIS power. But here’s the beautiful thing; I have began to see the change in myself change my kids, our home, and even my relationship with those closest to me. My circumstances haven’t really changed from last year. I still juggle four kids while supporting my husband in his busy residency. I still live away from family. I still have unknown variables that make me anxious (like are we going to be able to stay here next year??)… BUT I feel so much more capable to handle it all and I know it is because of HIM!

Andy’s sweet grandma is in the hospital right now. I don’t know if she is going to pull through or not, but I learned so much from her during the sweet moments I got to spend with her. I know that if she does pass that she will be greeted warmly by those who have gone before. I also admire and look up to her daughter, my mother-in-law. She has taken care of Beverly for the past few years and continues to spend countless hours with her at the hospital, tending to her every need. I see Juliet act in this way with all of her children and grandchildren. She truly gives of herself till it hurts… well maybe it hurts, I honestly wouldn’t know because I rarely hear her complain. She is such an example to me of unconditional love.

As I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in motherhood (don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom!), I have realized how much my own mom and Andy’s mom have sacrificed for us in our lives. It truly is an example of this Christ-like love and endless charity. As my mom explained to me this week, “Our children really are just an extension of ourselves and when they hurt, we hurt.” I definitely feel this with my own kids and hope that I can be the mom that both Andy and I were raised with.

Here’s a sweet video of Beverly singing to my kids when we were visiting.

AND… some pics from the past two weeks for whomever made it this far on my blog ;).

Doctors gotta get flu shots too… even if it hurts 😛
Max got an amazing tackle!
In Tball it’s amazing if they hit the ball without the T! Go Mav!

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