Thought Box



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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

A Fresh Start

A fresh start. That's what we all need. That's what the new year promises. A chance to work towards a better version of ourselves with renewed energy and an inspired perspective. I've waited for inspiration for my writing as long as we've all been waiting for a vaccination to end this world-wide pandemic. I figured I'd start by refreshing my blog. 

This blog has always been a creative outlet for my writing and design. My goal began with having a place to compile some fun and inspiring words for my kiddos. Now my kiddos are older and advising me to revamp and refresh. And they're right! It's hard to feel inspired when your surroundings feel like they are caving in on you. My blog, like my home, was in a rut.   

I have spent the last few days reorganizing and decluttering pantries and closets, cupboards and bedrooms. For me, organizing is therapeutic and resets my brain. This time, however, it has taken on new meaning; a letting go, of sorts. Sometimes we hang on to things too long. Maybe we're afraid of change, but change is the only constant in life. If I learned anything from 2020, it's that life as we know it can change on a dime and things become out of our control. But, life goes on and we adapt. Sometimes the ways we adapt teach us new and better ways of doing things, turning challenges into strengths.

I am truly grateful for the challenges we faced this last year, and I do realize that those challenges were different for everyone. But the pandemic that brought on those challenges is the same. 
I am grateful for the lessons I learned (patience is a BIG one that I'm still working on, but better at). 
I am grateful for more time with my family. We spent a lot of time hiking, playing games, and watching movies.
I am grateful for technology. Even when the world seemed to pause, we were still able to work, learn, "visit" loved ones, and watch all those streaming movies.
I am grateful for a living prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, who was inspired with the "Come Follow Me" program in a home-centered, church-supported way of learning. We were prepared to continue learning and growing spiritually through a very trying time.
I am grateful for the chance we have to start fresh and try to be better ... every day.

So with this fresh start at the beginning of a new year, I hope my writing and designs will continue (or start) to inspire you and give you the boost you might need in your day. In a world full of uncertainty and negativity, we all need some positive inspiration to become the best version of ourselves. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be." 

What are you doing to make a fresh start this year? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

Fresh Start, Now Is The Time

Saturday, June 30, 2018

There's Always Light. Always.

In a world so full of hate, anger, violence, and greed our children need to know, now more than ever, that they have a safe and loving place to come home to at the end of the day. As I watch my children grow up and set out on new adventures, I want to make sure they know their home is a safe haven from the turmoils of the world and they will have love and support to help them find the silver linings in life. Always.

I originally started this blog with the hopes that my children would have a compilation of uplifting and encouraging words to guide them through rough days. It's not always easy to have a positive attitude, to look for the good when things feel so wrong everywhere you look. But, even on the hardest days, there is ALWAYS something good. Find that good -- that light and let it brighten the darkest and loneliest corners of your day.

Here is some light I want to share: First, I want my children to know I love you. Always. Growing up in the days of social media is tough! Don't ever let the number of followers you have or the number of likes you receive on a post determine your worth. Ever! You will always have a support system and people who love you within the walls of your home. You will never be alone. No matter how dark the world may seem.

Second, I want you to know I'm proud of you. Always. I have watched each of you struggle at different times through different situations. You each have a determination to find answers and work through your situations. You've done so prayerfully and faithfully which is why you always find the light at the end of your individual tunnels. You amaze me every day and I couldn't be more proud of your good hearts and your good spirits.

Third, I want you to know that I believe in you. Always. You are children of a Heavenly Father who loves you. He knows your name. He has a plan for you. He believes in you. When life gets rough, He carries you through. Love who you are. Stand tall and believe in yourself. When you believe in yourself, anything is possible. Don't ever let anyone keep you down. If you fall and have days of doubt -- and we all do -- pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and get back to work.

Just as we can all find a light in the darkest hours of our day, you, my beautiful children, are the light in mine. I am grateful that I have been entrusted to love you and teach you and guide you, although I often feel I am learning more FROM you. Keep shining your light. Don't ever let anything or anyone dim what's inside of you. You will inspire and lift many. I love you! Always!

Friday, January 5, 2018

You Can't Defend It If You Don't Know It

We, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently lost our dear prophet. He had been sick for a while and it was obvious that his health was deteriorating as he would use the pulpit in the Conference Center to hold himself up as he spoke his words of wisdom during General Conference last spring. His absence was felt during fall's Conference, however his last talk, although short at only a couple of minutes, rang ever-strong and powerful in the ears of listeners: Read the Book of Mormon.

This was one of the many "pearls" President Monson was known for. He also encouraged members of the Church to know who we are, to know what we stand for, to not be afraid to make it known to others, and to always be kind. He was a great example of kindness and charity. Because of the way he lived and treated others, he was respected by leaders of other religions and people from all over the world. He lived his religion, always. He was firm in his beliefs and was an example of Christ. He knew the Book of Mormon to be true and promised us that if we read every day, we will be strengthened to withstand the temptations of the world around us.

We live time where wrong seems right and right seems wrong. How vital it is that we read and know the words of the Book of Mormon so we are ready to defend the truths of its gospel. How can we defend it if we don't know it? How can we say we believe the words to be true if we haven't read it?

The words of the Book of Mormon tell us that when we are doing right in the eyes of the Lord, we will be blessed and strengthened. When we are doing those things that are pleasing unto our Heavenly Father, He will never leave us alone. When we stand firm in our beliefs -- that Jesus is the Christ, that He came to earth to Atone for our sins, that He was resurrected so that we, too, can live again -- we will one day return with honor to the presence of our Heavenly Father, who loves us.

One of my favorite quotes from President Monson is:

Dare to be a Mormon;
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known.

As we read the Book of Mormon and follow the teachings of our beloved prophet, we will have the strength and courage to stand up for what we believe. That doesn't mean we force it on others to believe the same. It means we stand firm, no matter what the world is telling us is "right" at the moment. It means we stay true to the gospel, which is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the teachings of President Monson. He will be missed but I believe he is reunited with his wife. I am grateful for the knowledge that this gospel brings that death is not the end; that we can be together again with those we love; that if we stand with "a purpose firm", we will never be alone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stand As A Witness

Missionaries don't always wear name tags. And they don't always travel in pairs. Sometimes missionaries are 7th grade students sitting in a new class on the first day of school wearing a CTR ring. Or maybe it's a 14-year-old boy at his first summer job who teaches others by his example of not swearing and walking away from inappropriate conversations. Or maybe it's a 16-year-old girl who always befriends and includes those around her who look like they need a friend.

There are missionary moments all around us every day. We just need to look for them and then ACT on them! Being a missionary isn't always about teaching the gospel ... it's about LIVING the gospel. We can have a big impact on people by living the standards of the gospel; by standing as a witness "at all times and in all things and in all places," (Mosiah 18:9).

The world tells us every day that what's right is wrong and what's wrong is right. We need not be confused or afraid, but instead hold tight to that which we know is true. The gospel doesn't change with trends, when the government bends or because of pressures of society. It's the same yesterday, today and forever. That should give us the courage to LIVE the gospel and be an example of Christ "at all times, and in all things, and in all places."
Stand As A Witness

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mothers Come In Many Forms ...

Mother's Day is almost here! I love this holiday because, even though I may not have my own mother here to pamper and celebrate, I get to pay tribute to all the beautiful women in my life who have been such great examples of love, service, and motherhood.

I am blessed with a wonderful step-mother who took on eight children when she married my Dad ... and she has stayed with us for 18 years! That alone is worth celebrating. She has been, and continues to be, a great companion to my father, a wonderful grandmother to my children, and a caring and loving step-mother and friend to my siblings and me. I don't know what we would do without her.

I am blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law. I am grateful for the mother she was and is to her kids and for the wonderful son she raised. I admire the friendship she has with her children and the relationship she strives to maintain with her growing grandchildren.

I am blessed with beautiful aunts who have always been so loving and supportive. They have always shown they love my siblings and me as though we were their own.

I am blessed with an "other mother". She was one of my mother's closest friends and she was always there with a listening ear and a helping hand.

I am blessed with my mother's dear friends. These women have remained close friends to my siblings and me and feel as close as family.

I am blessed with wonderful young women leaders from my youth who remain friends with me today. These women were great examples of how to serve those around you and be an example of Christ wherever you are.

I am blessed with sweet visiting teachers, neighbors, and friends in my neighborhood who are the kind of friends and neighbors I want to be. They love and serve with full hearts and I am grateful for each one of them.

I am blessed with sisters and sisters-in-law, whom I love and think of as my own sisters. I love the friendships that we share and the memories we have made over our years of being mothers side by side.

So, this Mother's Day, I want to say "Thank You!" to all these beautiful women in my life. Thank you for shaping me, influencing me, lifting me, and loving me. Thank you for your example and friendship. I feel very blessed that I have so many wonderful mother figures in my life to celebrate!
Happy Mother's Day!

(I want to thank LDS Bookstore for helping make this Mother's Day special for those who entered to win the Mother's Day Give-A-Way. We had a huge response and I know four lucky moms will be a little happier on Mother's Day. To find your mom ... or yourself ... something special, go to


Saturday, April 30, 2016

And The Winners Are ...

Congratulations to:

Nola Child, Bracken Larsen, Allison Merrill and Christy Lillywhite

You are the four lucky winners in the LDS Bookstore-sponsored Mother's Day Give-A-Way! Now you get to choose from the four gifts listed below. Email me at and tell me which gift you choose and include your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone who participated! We had so many entries and it was great to read the tributes to the wonderful mothers. And a huge Thanks to LDS Bookstore for sponsoring the give-a-way. If you weren't a winner, you can still get great gifts for Mother's Day at
Nephi & Laban DVD
Temple Blossom Necklace
Piano Guys 2 CD
Enjoy Today ...
Before It Slips Away
Softcover Inspirational Book

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mother's Day Give-A-Way

Mother's Day is almost here. We all have someone we go to for advice, comfort, or a listening ear whether it's our mother, mother-in-law, step-mother, grandmother, aunt or sister. These women in our lives shape us into who we are. They set the example for the type of women we want to be.

To make this Mother's Day extra special, Say This Write is teaming up with for a Mother's Day Give-A-Way! All you have to do is:

1. Share, Repost, and/or Pin the Say This Write logo box above, then
2. Comment (here or on Facebook) with one word that describes your Mother. That's it!

* If you aren't on Facebook or Instagram, Email me your contact info (name & email) so I can contact you via email if you are the winner.

It's that easy! The contest ends Saturday, April 30 when FOUR lucky winners will be randomly selected to win one of these amazing gifts for you or that special "mother" in your life:
Piano Guys 2 CD
Temple Blossom Necklace

Nephi & Laban DVD

Enjoy Today ... Before It Slips Away
Paperback with a coordinating
"To/From" gift tag

These fabulous prizes are for the Give-A-Way, but for other purchase options, just click on the LDSBookstore ad above for a bigger selection of clothing, art, jewelry and more.