Tag Archives | christian life

Tag Archives | christian life

happy camper

Last week I had the opportunity to join the teenaged (and pre-teen) girls of my church for “girls camp”.

I wasn’t raised in our church, and so this was my very first time at girls camp!  I must admit, I was quite nervous and contemplated every excuse I had to get out of it, but I turned my heart to prayer about girls camp, and felt strongly impressed to go.  The stars aligned with awesome volunteers to help watch my children (I owe you, Cher and Grandi!) along with Mr. Miller, and on Tuesday morning I was on my way for 48 hours of camp.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect – and when you look at me the term “roughing it” may not come to mind – but all my dearest friends assured me that girls camp is the absolute best, and so I leaned into faith, slapped a smile on my face and went.  My goodness, they were right.

We slept in tents, cooked over an open fire, played endless amounts of games, I smuggled in diet coke (ha), and learned a plethora of wonderfully corny camp songs.  We want on walks all over the gorgeous pine valley mountain, and cried tears of gratitude, love, and truthfulness.  I got to know my sweet young women like I hadn’t before, and got to bond with the leaders, too.  I came home with such a full heart.

It was so wonderful to get home to my Mr. Miller.  While I was gone, I had missed our 9 year wedding anniversary!  So we celebrated over the weekend.  My girls couldn’t wait to hear all about camp and are looking forward to when they can go.  (when they turn 12! I hope I’ll still be a leader then!)

I feel like youth church camp is a right of passage that I had missed, and I’m grateful to have been able to experience it now at 28 years old!  Looking forward to next year (although I’m glad to have a year between “roughing it”). ;)

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Building a Life

“She shaped her own world exactly to her liking when nobody was looking.”
– Author Unknown

A profound truth hit me when my oldest baby girl was just a few months old.  We had just moved into a cute little rental house, we didn’t have a lot of anything at the time, but happiness and contentment seemed to fill every room.

After a whirlwind romance, and an unexpected pregnancy, life had moved quickly for me in the last year and a half.  In fact, right before I met Mr. Miller, I was walking out of the darkest 4-year season of my life.

The light my life radiated now was a blinding contrast from that of the season I had recently left behind.  Only a couple of good choices had landed me here.  To take a chance on love, to say YES, to jump in with both feet into something that felt to be right in my heart.  On that one afternoon, as I swayed my baby to sleep in my kitchen, I realized that life truly can be whatever you make of it. 

From that day on, I have delved deep into the details of my life, filling them with things that make me happy.  I learned that following spiritual promptings is always a good idea, no matter how wild they may seem.  I learned that any amount of beauty can fill up a space, and make my heart happier.  I learned that a shortage of money only meant an abundance of creativity – and that often where you find simplicity, there too you will find happiness.  There was simply no excuse to not create a happy life.  And that’s exactly what I planned -and still plan- to do.

If I could share the one secret to a happy life, it would be this.  I’m so thankful that the Lord brought this knowledge to my life, and that I have a partner who trusts the inspiration I receive for our home and family.

Mr. Miller said to me recently as we drove home from our weekend trip to our trailer on the mountain, “Most of the inspiration for our family comes to you, I’m just here to help make your vision come to life.” and my heart filled right to the tippy top – because I know that the Lord is guiding us, and me as a mother to this family.  He knows my deepest desire to create a good, happy, beautiful life for my family and He is so faithful.  Always there helping guide me.  As the years tick by, we are doing just what we set out to do. Our life doesn’t come without the stresses and obligations everyone’s life has – but we chase after that light, we chase after the things that will make us happy – big or small.  We have come to learn the things that bring forth the fruit of a good life, and we go for those things.

“We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” – LDS Article of Faith 13 (my favorite AOF)

 

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Harlo’s baptism day

This weekend was a sweet one for our family as we celebrated Harlo’s baptism.

As Christians, we believe we are trying to follow Jesus Christ’s example.  It has been important to me to allow my children room to develop their own relationship with God.  I didn’t have a relationship with God until I was an adult, so I’m not exactly sure what that is supposed to look like for kids, but what I have found is that these children of mine are more of an example to me than I am to them.  Like praying when they need help with something, leaning into faith when they don’t have another answer, having forgiving hearts, loving unconditionally – like Jesus taught.  In areas that I over-think, my girls easily cling to truth.  Turning 8 in our church is special, because we believe it’s the time these children can clearly understand right from wrong, they can start to understand how the holy spirit guides us, they can see goodness and truth.  So a baptism at this age just feels so fitting.  It has been so sweet for me to watch Harlo mature in this way, and I am so excited for what is in store for this precious girl of mine.

For Mr. Miller to be able to baptize our girl was such a special milestone for us.  Harlo is our constant reminder of how far we’ve come in this life, and she was the perfect strong soul to push us to be better, do better, love better.  We truly are eternally grateful she came to us.

With each and every milestone that passes, I can see so clearly why Harlo was sent here first, as the head of our children.  She was naturally born with the unique gifts she would need for this role in our family.  I loved watching her younger siblings so eager and excited to watch her.  Grae and Stella have been talking about their own baptisms and how they too want to be baptized just like Harlo.  Harlo has been excitedly telling them all the inside details, how she feels, and how excited she is to see them be baptized some day, too.  As their mother, there is nothing better in the whole world than seeing them love and support each other in their own little ways.

At the end of the night, as I tucked the girls in for bed, I asked Harlo, “What was your favorite part of the day?” (between wearing a fancy dress, having a baptism, a special after-party with her favorite things, and being the guest of honor) she sighed and said, “Just being baptized.” and Stella chimed right in, “That was my favorite part too, Harlo.”

Bless their little hearts.

 

♥ ♥ ♥

(photos: cher houston photography)

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Anchoring to Happiness

Mr. Miller and I often talk about how we can do better, be happier, live fuller.  I love this part of our relationship.  I love feeling like Mr. Miller brings out the best in me.

Yesterday I was telling him that when I feel down or unhappy, I try to think of a time I was the very happiest.. I anchor myself to that time and try to recreate those feelings.  Was I feeling very spiritual in that time?  Was I feeling very domestic and peaceful at home?  Was I doing fun things with my family?  Then I try to bring those aspects into my current life and it always helps snap me out of a funk.

I was curious, “When is a time that you felt like we were the very happiest?  Our family was good, our marriage was good, our spirituality was good..” I asked my Mr. Miller.

“I think right now.” he answered.

As he said these words, I could so clearly see God’s hand in our lives.  This year has been SO FULL of highs and lows, and we really have found ourselves in such a happy time after a stormy season.  This happiness has been hard-won and very deserved.  I have learned so much about forgiveness this year – something I didn’t realize I needed to understand so well until I was brought face-to-face with it.  Forgiveness of others, forgiveness of my past, forgiveness of myself.  Mr. Miller has been my anchor as I have dealt with a lot this year, and now it seems that the things that weighed so heavy don’t weigh as heavy anymore.  I am lighter now, and I am better for my trials.

I am so grateful for the atonement.  This is what the atonement is –> forgiveness.  Through the atonement, we can forgive.  Through the atonement, we can be forgiven.  Through the atonement, we can live happy lives despite problems, or worry, or stress, or tough relationships.  I have really learned that this year and my testimony of God is better for it.

This year was a learning/growing year, and I am hoping that next year I can share the faith, knowledge, and lessons I’ve learned.

(photo credit : ashley flowers photography)

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