Saturday, April 19, 2014

Because of Him

A while back I wrote a few things about how much I enjoyed reading the book Divergent.  And then the second came out and I was like, "Meh." And then the third book came out and I read it and gave it away, telling my friend, "Don't bother returning it!"

But apparently the world doesn't need my poor review of Allegiant--the third book in the Divergent series.  There's enough negative reviews of it out there already.

So instead I will write about the one passage of excellent thought that stood out to me in the book.

It's when Triss' brother (who betrayed her terribly) is trying to redeem himself, and asks her if she will be able to forgive him.  Triss considers this in her mind:
"To me, when someone wrongs you, you both share the burden of that wrongdoing--the pain of it weighs on both of you.  Forgiveness, then, means choosing to bear the full weight all by yourself.  Caleb's betrayal is something we both carry, and since he did it, all I've wanted is for him to take its weight away from me.  I am not sure that I'm capable of shouldering it all myself--not sure that I am strong enough, or good enough." (p. 410)
I know that is truth.

To be able to truly forgive someone, we must be willing to take the full burden on ourselves.  If we are still holding out for the person that has wronged us to "make it up to us" some how, or take away the weight of that burden they unfairly placed on us, we will never find the peace that comes from true forgiveness.

Healing comes when we are willing "bear the full weight all by yourself."  However, her last line about not being "strong enough or good enough" is also true.  We are not strong enough or good enough, only Jesus Christ is, and to find true peace through forgiveness, we must take the entirety of the burden, and then hand it, completely, over to the Lord.
“He shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11–12; emphasis added). 
The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. No one knows.” No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power. (Elder David A. Bednar)
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).


I am grateful this Easter season for my Savior #BecauseofHim I can forgive.  Because of Him I have forgiven.  The burden I thought was too great to bear, and which was placed on me unfairly, has been removed.  

I have peace.

I have love. 

I have hope.

Because of Him.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Bunny Bags

Sometimes while I'm perusing Pinterest I see a project idea, that's totally adorable (like little felt Spring rabbit treat bags for Easter) and I know I want to do it.  And often one criteria for projects I choose is: It looks like a really quick project.

Because we recently discussed how my big projects --like a quilt-- can take me three years!

So quick is good.

And I think, "I will make that quick project,  it will be fabulous and wonderful!

Except I forget that I now have four children, and no matter how quick a project is supposed to be, when you're making four--it is still a substantial undertaking.

 But it's all right, because I started early enough, and hadn't given Emily back her sewing machine yet.  So we made it in time.

Four little bunny treat sacks.  

 And filled with candy. . . Sooo Cuuute!

The little part between the ears is not sewn together, so you just fill with treats and tie a bow around the ears and they stick out all cute.

(And they actually hold more than I expected.)

I liked doing different colors, and I used different fabrics for the ears and different embroidery thread for their faces.  And even tried pinking shears for cutting out the charcoal one.

They weren't tricky, except for trying to transfer where the eyes were supposed to go onto my fabric.  Maybe she had a good suggestion for how to do it in the tutorial, but I couldn't tell you, I'm not really the instruction-reading type.

So go ahead, try it!  There's plenty of time before Easter.  It's a totally cute, really quick project.

(As long as you're just making one!)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Circle Around Quilt

It's interesting the way a project as big as a quilt comes along.

I worked on this quilt three days at a time every six months!  That's why it took three years.
The last time I had pulled it out was right after baby Rory was born.  I made great progress, and then didn't get it out for six more months!

A month before Jonas' birthday I decided it was time to finish.  I knew it was a reasonable goal, I just had to make a sustained effort and not put it away again after three good days.  

And I did it!

It did require borrowing my friend's sewing machine at the last minute when mine went on strike!  (Thanks Emily!)  And begging the advice of a stranger at the fabric store for binding fabric advice--but I made it.

I love the fabric and the colors.  In the end I chose to back it with a sunshine-yellow quilting flannel.  I really want this quilt to be one Jonas will cuddle up in.  We received a simple quilt for a wedding present that was backed in flannel, and it's so cozy, so I knew I would use flannel.

The fabric choice for Jonas' quilt top was very intentional.  It has these sweet woodland motifs with mushrooms, woodland critters, and --most important-- acorns!  When I bought this fabric, Jonas was a sweet little speech-impaired toddler who loved to collect "atorns" on our walks.

(I can still hear it!)

I chose a brown patterned fabric to bind the quilt in, because I always had imagined the quilt having more brown in it.  Quite a few of the pieces have brown, but the quilt is mostly predominantly the off-white.  The brown binding just brings out a little more of the brown fabrics, which I had chosen because of Jonas' beautiful clear brown eyes!
I'll have to get some pictures of it on his bed to show the binding, and the backing.  But when I have free time at night the quilt is always busy doing it's job of keeping my sweet boy warm and cozy.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

And Now For Something Different

Today (actually month ago, but this is how long it took me to get through the technical difficulties of getting it online) I recorded my very first video blog, vlog, video podcast, or variation thereof.

It was a lot of fun.

It's an interesting sort of challenge to try and get through a certain amount of information while not taking too long, and while not completely screwing up the straight take.  Sure, there are great resources for home editing these days, but there's a certain challenge to completing it in a single take, especially if I don't want video blogging to take even more time than my typical intensely-edited written blog post.  Plus there's something fun about a non-edited view of "reality."



So, may I present my video.  And as a teaser, I will note the highlights of the video to watch out for:

  • find out why Jeremy wrapped my anniversary present in aluminum foil.  (Hint: It's both strong yet flexible.)
  • my general feelings on technology
  • two moments where my mind goes to complete outer space
  • and an awesome story about my family's love for BACON

Was that fun?  I thought it was.  (I crack myself up with my blog writing as well--this is no exception.)

I will not be switching to video blogging exclusively, but will definitely be adding videos to the mix of my contributions to the world wide web.

(Oh, and here's my Instagram account as mentioned if you want to follow my photos-- fun all around.)

Instagram

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Woodland Birthday

I love party-planning.  

My boys have birthdays and I think, "Oh we won't do anything big this year, we had a nice party last year."  

But then I get one more idea, and then another, and then we're doing the big birthday deal again.  It started about a month ago, when I decided I was going to finish Jonas' quilt I started three years ago in time for his birthday.  I knew that if I worked consistently on it I could actually get it done for his birthday.  (I did, post to follow!)

Then Jonas was thinking about "what kind of birthday" he wanted.  He threw around a lot of ideas, but then at one point said he wanted an owl cake like Wyatt had last year.  (See a picture in this post.) He had actually said immediately after Wyatt's birthday that he wanted the same cake for his next birthday, so when he said it again I went with it.  

Jonas' quilt has fabric with a few different woodland motifs including critters, and acorns and mushrooms.  I decided the whole birthday could be based off the quilt, after all--it was an amazing feat on my part, and I want him to really feel how special his quilt is!

The quilt colors are so great, for fun I wrapped his other presents up in corresponding packaging.


 We had a few friends over for dinner: pasta salad, Bierrocks, and veggies.

But of course the funnest part was the desserts!


"Mushroom Cap" French Macarons.


And little chocolate acorns.


And of course the owl cake.

Happy Birthday Jonas!

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