Faith


Intentional Marriages

WHITESMarriage requires constant work and effort but nevertheless can be the most rewarding commitments one can make in their lifetime. I don’t know how it is for some people but for me I had a lot of changes I had to make. I didn’t realise how selfish I was, I didn’t realise how prideful I was, how to communicate my feelings effectively and the list goes on all of this became so evident in our first year of marriage. I doubted my marriage decisions many a time and even if I was worthy to be married to anybody.  Not to mention I was pregnant 4 months later and was feeling self conscious about my self confidence kept declining not to mention a lot more hormones adding to the mix.  It was a very bumpy road and therefore we had to be very intentional about our marriage or it would literally fall apart. We both had a lot to learn and still do  but today I wanted to share some things that we did and currently do.

  •  God First: Putting God first has immense power. When you put God first you have the desire to be patient, understanding, forgiving and helps you put things in perspective. Take a look at the blog post which I dedicate to this topic. Includes praying and reading together often like everyday! This can help you before problems occur. Reading the scriptures and praying together enables you to have strength to have your priorities in order. 
  • Love languages: The wonderful book by Gary Chapman. I did a video about this forever ago. But understanding each others love language really helped me understand how I can show love to him. In fact reading any books on love and marriage can help propel your marriage.
  • Self Time and Date Time: We need alone time. I didn’t realise this until recently but we need time to ourselves individually or doing something that you enjoy. Sometimes that might be with just the girls or the boys. And date time you need to make date night a priority with you two alone to keep the fire blazing!
  • Recognize the underlying problems: Sometimes because your spouse doesn’t want to go to your parents house isn’t because they don’t like them but because they don’t feel they spend enough time with you. Try digging a litte deeper to find out what the real problems may be.
  • Communication: Can’t get enough of this one. Words, Tone, Body language have a big impact on our communication especially in the most sensitive time. Be aware of what you are communicating to each other. Pay attention to your body language because it may send messages you don’t want them to take the wrong way.
  • Calming Techniques: This is the hardest area for me. Letting your husband you just need some time to think it over is better than just storming off. Before you let your top blow off try counting to 10 , taking deep breaths or any other calming techniques. The best time to talk is when you are both level headed.

Marriage is a journey full of ups and downs. Enjoy the ride as you grow closer each day. How are you being intentional with your marriage? I would love to hear some of your tips. Comment and share if you found this useful.

Thanks


Power of Forgiveness {Inner Beauty Series}

At some point or numerous points in our lifetime we will come across a time when we will need to forgive others for wrongs that have been done against us. But many a time there will also be times when we will need to ask for forgiveness for wrongs we have done against others.

Forgiveness is a pill that we all need to swallow at some point so we too can benefit from it later on. To me it’s a double edge sword, I think that if I hold a grudge against someone I am hurting them but little do I realise the only person that I am hurting is myself. I heard a quote once that not forgiving somebody is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. It’s so true when we don’t allow that person to be forgiven our freedom is taken away, we are letting that person govern our feelings instead of us taking control. The funny thing is the person that we have the grudge against majority of the time doesn’t realize we have it and our living a happy life unknown to your bitter feelings towards them. These bitter feelings can also cause other problems such as health problems, depression, anxiety if we don’t choose to release them through forgiveness.

I the Lord will forgive whomever I want but of you it is required to forgive all men.

How can we forgive someone who has hurt us?

  • Take a step into their shoes many times people have their own issues they don’t realise. They may be reacting to problems that are going on internally. Having compassion and understanding and sympathy for them will help you forgive them and  you may be able to help them come to a realisation of their actions.
  • Take a look at the bigger picture. Has there been a time you have needed forgiveness? Ask yourself how would I feel if I wasn’t forgiven?
  • Write a letter to that person. This doesn’t have to be sent to them this can be just for you to express your feelings towards this person and once its written you may want to burn it to symbolize your letting go and forgiving them.
  • Pray for the spirit of forgiveness. Pray ask God to help you see that person how God views them. If you can envision this person in Gods eyes you may be able to develop a greater love for that individual.

Remembering that forgiveness is a two way street. Forgive in order to be Forgiven. Just because you forgive it doesn’t mean you will forget. And Forgiveness can take a long time for some people. It took my a couple of years to forgive somebody who is very close to me. We are all in our own journey of forgiveness but once you can release it you will gain freedom to move forward and have power of your life so you are not a victim to circumstances.

Forgiveness may cost you your pride but not forgiving will cost you your freedom

Best Wishes my lovelies! xox


Untouched by Fire

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While driving through and enjoying beautiful New Zealand country side we received tragic news that my husband’s sister had just had a large house fire in Utah, USA causing their family of 7 to be displaced from their home. In discovering this our thoughts immediately went to their safety, their belongings, to their beautiful house, to their children, and to their emotional state. Feelings of helplessness, sorrow, sadness and empathy overcame us. Our family who are across the other side of the world and we couldn’t be there to give comfort. The most important news was that they were all safe and were lucky to get out of the house before the roof had collapsed in on them.

Once composed Granny suggested that we pull over to the side of the road and say a prayer for them, to help them feel comfort and peace during this difficult time. During her prayer, one thing that was mentioned that stuck with me was that in all bad things that there is always some good that will come of it, and for us to recognize it.

After a couple of hours, and once the fire had been put out they went back inside to see what the damage was and what could be salvaged. There lying in one of the rooms was a Book of mormon left completely untouched by the flames. Also the eldest daughters set of scriptures and a few photos of Christ were left untouched and unharmed by the fire!!!!

For anybody reading this, they may just think this is fake or just a mere coincidence that this book happened to be untouched by the flames.  I too would probably be a skeptic to this story if this wasn’t my family first hand. I don’t know the complete full story, but all I do know is that our life is guided by a loving God who is guiding and protecting us. He also sends us little reminders in mysterious ways that he is there and will never leave us even though it may seem like all hope is gone. Seeing this photo seemed unreal to me that this only happens in movies or other people’s families not my own! I couldn’t help but feel so much love for my Heavenly Father for still giving us a sign that He was still there even though this difficult thing had just happened.

This beautiful house that was once filled with beautiful things, furniture, decor, clothing, accessories, toys, latest gadgets and many more beautiful things.  In an instant was purged of all its earthly possessions, only remains are a Book of Mormon in ashes as a little reminder to us all of the only thing we ever need in this life is a firm testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ as our foundation will help us overcome all trials, obstacles and give us purpose in this life.  This beautiful miracle in this unfortunate accident will forever strengthen the testimonies of this family, their community and all the generations that will follow. I believe in a God of miracles. God is Amazing!

If you would like to show your support, their friend has started up a gofundme page here. Every small donation is appreciated! “By small and simple things great things are brought to pass”


Materialism at its finest!

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I had an interesting conversation with this lady where she shared with me a personal story about her granddaughter; she had found out that her granddaughter had been stealing people’s belongings. Listening to this I would have automatically assumed she was just a naughty child! I would label her as a thief and want to avoid her. But as this grandmother continued her story she went on to say how this grand-daughter had been sexually abused and been moved around from home to home. This changed my outlook on her behaviour. As a result of her unstable upbringing she turned to material possessions for comfort for security because she felt she lacked that kind of love from any physical relationships in her life. I thought this is such a beautiful example that illustrates how much we need real love in our life. This young girl felt she had no other option other to turn to physical things and if she didn’t have it she ended up stealing it. From this story there are so many lessons we can learn but I want to focus on detaching ourselves from Material Possessions.  Many of us haven’t been through this traumatic experience, but we all have experienced something which has made us attach ourselves to physical temporal things, although we may be  surrounded by many loving family members, friends and even our dear animals.

Why are we humans so attached to stuff? Why do we let our possessions define who we are? Why do we let our possessions take over majority of our life? Why do we work the majority of our lifetime to fill our homes and lives with things that diminish in value? Why do we constantly buy things that always need an upgrade the year later?

If we actually take some time to reflect on our life, we may be able to pinpoint a time or a thought process to why we have attached ourselves to physical things. Whether we do it because we had nothing growing up, or we do it because the society we have grown up in or we do it because of security. Once we figure out our root cause we will then be able to slowly detach ourselves from those physical things.

What’s the big deal?

Materialism is a trap that is never ending. It is ongoing and can never suffice. We can go our entire lives trying to accumulate things and things that will never give us true happiness and joy. Why? This is because we are not physical we are spirits in a physical body therefore only that which is spiritual can give us complete joy. Many people only recognize this once they get to the end of the lives, they regret spending the majority of their life on the things that didn’t matter most.

We are a Spiritual being having a Human Experience

Are you focusing on buying a fancy american dream home? Are you focusing on making sure you have the latest model cars or gadgets? Are you focused on looking like you are doing “WELL” on social media? No it’s not bad to enjoy things and have nice things, but what you should always remember is that things won’t give you the joy and happiness you really want. If your goal is to buy a fancy house evaluate it so that your goal is to make beautiful memories with your family in your home.

Create a life of deep experiences, people, family, friends, nature. Develop talents, character as we serve those around us. We need to seek to have spiritual experiences so that our spirits grow and feel a sense of real fulfillment and joy.

What do you do to enrich your spirit?

 


5 favorite christmas traditions

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Yes you read right.. I am already talking about CHRISTMAS!!! My favourite time of the year woop woop!!! It’s never to early to be prepared right… Nothing is more fun than just doing a simple activity with the family time and time again. Holiday season is a time for family and loved ones to bond,reconnect and build memories. I have compiled a list of my favourites as of 2015

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1.. The tree! One of my favourite traditions as a little kid was to put up our fake christmas tree and decorate it as a family with Mariah Carey all I want for christmas and Snoopy’s 1st christmas blasting in the background. My time round we have chosen to cut down or pick a real christmas tree with the kiddies.  But there are some that don’t want the hassle of going out in the cold and prefer a real christmas tree. Hilltop Farms offer you a range of Fresh Balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees ranging from Tabletop (3-4 ft) right up to 8 ft. You can choose a date for you tree to be shipped and Hilltop Farms will deliver your tree to your door. Take advantage of their 10% off before November 1St. If you get a tree delivered your tradition can be the decorating part!

2. Christmas Eve – Making cookies together as a family and having hot chocolate while you watch a christmas movie. My husband’s family would also open a gift which would always be christmas pyjamas to sleep in that night.

3. Presents. My mum loved preparing gifts for the extended family, seeing we didn’t do the whole santa’s gifts we just gave gifts to each other. Christmas eve we would deliver them to people’s houses we would take turns running it to the door. As we got older we got lazy and just waited till they came over sometimes that meant we had lots of late christmas gifts. This year we are going to focus on a less is more mentality and also giving experiences whether it be a restaurant gift card or a gift card to get a luxurious massage,  instead of physical things that are usually forgotten about 2 days later.

4. Christmas Story – Reading the christmas story together is something I wish we did this more often. Whether on the night before or on the actual morning taking sometime to focus on the WHY we have christmas can help us all keep a Christ centered christmas.

5. Anything Service oriented – look for something where everybody can feel the spirit of christmas. We all know most joy comes from brightening the day for somebody else. You can invite somebody who is lonely to join you in christmas celebrations, or volunteer at a homeless shelter or elderly home. One year I took my ambitious little sisters to sing and dance and play their recorder while I played the piano at an elderly home. I secretly hoped that most of them were hearing impaired!

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6. Lights – Temple lights are what I have always loved to see. We also love just driving through neighbourhoods and looking at everybody’s fancy light displays.

some others are…

– cookies and milk for santa and oats and water for his reindeer

– elf on the shelf

– thankful list

– DIY christmas decorations

–  gingerbread men and houses

What are your favourite Christmas traditions?


5 ways to Fight Homelessness

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When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are in the service of your God

We have all walked by a homeless person and lied that we didn’t have change in our pocket. Maybe we have walked by them and felt guilty that we really didn’t have anything to give them. Or we left the $10 bill in our wallet and gave them the $1 bill…Many a time we have been plagued with the stereotypical argument that they just want to use it for drugs and alcohol therefore making us hesitant to want to give freely and with love… But have you ever sat down and spent 5 minutes to hear their story? In my endeavors to being less judgmental I have researched some ways that I can be kinder and open to the homeless and anybody else less fortunate than I.

1. Recognize the bigger picture: We are all beggars  one form or another… Whether it’s for love, for time, for food, for money or forgiveness. We are all wanting something from somebody so put ourselves in those shoes of feeling  helpless before we make a quick remark, smirk or judgement

2. Educate yourself about them – There are so many reasons why somebody is in the situation they are in. They could have run away from abusive circumstances, they may have a mental illness, somebody who has lost their job. Talk to them and actually find out what they need some may just be in need of attention and a listening ear.

3. Be Kind – A smile or a hello is a kind gesture and can go a long way instead of just ignoring them.

4. Carry something extra – In your car during winter I generally have an extra pair of socks, gloves or a sweater that I am wanting to donate. If you are out and about that could be the best thing to give. If you have a packed lunch maybe you want to put in an extra granola bar or cookies for somebody who may be in need.

5. Volunteer – your time is something so valuable. Whether you go to a homeless shelter and help out or a soup kitchen. I have looked into this many times and they get so many volunteers during the holiday season they actually prefer that you volunteer other times when they need more help.

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You are Not your Own!

Firstly I would like to start off by saying, I am so grateful that we get to go on sunday to church and to worship with one another and to learn from one another. I am also so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who answers prayers and knows the desires of our hearts.  I know that of course he doesn’t answer them when and how we want them but when He knows it’s right for us.

Why do I feel such gratitude you may be wondering… Well today in Sunday School I felt like Heavenly Father answered one of my many concerns.  For a really long time I have always debated in my mind the idea of dressing the way that I want! I always questioned why should I follow the council of the strength of youth? why should I dress modestly? why does what we wear even matter because I know the Lord looketh on the heart and not the outward appearance. I personally have a love of tattoos, I love crazy piercings and I love outrageous colour hair and I am always tempted to do one of them these days, although I know that it does go against the counsel of our brethren. I know it may seem silly to many of you out there but I feel that is one of my many weaknesses. To me I feel like the way I dress expresses who I am, how I feel on different days, it’s my own personal way of expression without words.

To start off the class the sunday school teacher posed a question. “What we need to do in order to maintain the Spirit with us?”  We then moved on to a deep in-depth discussion about the commandments vs councils from the brethren. Then at the end of the class we ended on this scripture 1st Corinthians 6.19

19. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.TC2013 (1099)c

It was like something just struck me on the head and I was dumbstruck. Firstly My body is a temple! I know that we hear that all the time that sometimes it loses meaning. But if we continue and actually think about it our body is a temple FOR the Spirit, you house the Holy Spirit in your body. You yes YOU.. house one of the most powerful SPIRIT in your body!!! Just ponder that for a moment. (It’s like the most powerful person in the world coming to visit your house what would you do?) I don’t think we ever stop to contemplate that ever!!! So of course we need to look after our body in thoughts, words and actions and also physically. (Would you just clean the inside of your house and not mow or clean the outside of your house if you had a special visitor) We need to treat our body as a temple so the Spirit will want to be there. I know for me I need the Spirit in my life, I need it to guide my every move and footstep, I need the Spirit to stay with me because I am so dependant on It for the vital things I do as a mother and a wife every minute of every day.  I know for me when I dress “immodestly” I feel that my behaviour changes as well, and I know that others treat me differently as well. (This may not be the same for others but it is for me)

And my second but vital point is “We are not our own we have been bought with a price”!!!! Yikes that is powerful!!! Yes I am an individual but my body is used to glorify God not bring attention to myself. I know I am totally guilty of this many times I get caught up in how I dress so people can look at me, look at my style, look how trendy, funky, crazy I am!!! Little do I know how much this distracts me from becoming the daughter that God wants me to be. My purpose here on earth is to bring others to Christ, for when people see me they should see Christ not see me TRACY!!! I am supposed to be an instrument in His hands to build up His kingdom. Our bodies our instruments to be used for good not an ornament on display.  Before you walk out that door out into the world whether its school, work, or church does your entire countenance say “I am a daughter or son of God?” Ask yourself “Will they see God through me or is my outfit or my behaviour too distracting and loud?” It is the whole package physical, words, thoughts and actions that will determine whether your Body is a Temple for the Holy Spirit of God.

Although the debate of modesty goes on every morning in front of the mirror, I know that Heavenly Father has given me my answer. It’s not easy especially with all media that satan uses to tell us to be more selfish and self-centered.  But Heavenly Father has given us the Spirit to help us look beyond that so we can see our real purpose our real potential. That we are worth is immeasurable. You are not your own! You are more than what you can even comprehend!!!!!!

xo


Our Secret to Perfecting Love

There are too many books too many advice on Love and Relationships. How to obtain it, how to strengthen it, how to find for it, or even how we lose it. But we only have one simple strategy.

My husband and I met while we were serving full time missions for our church. But our love story didn’t officially begin until we returned home and started dating other people. I lived in New Zealand working as a teacher and also attended graduate school,  while he was working and attended school in Utah. It all started with a simple message on facebook eventually led to skyping each night. Without ever having a physical relationship we decided we were going to date exclusively. You can imagine how difficult this was to tell your family and friends you are dating someone halfway across the world that you have never kissed, held hands or even hugged.

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Because of the distance we had to rely wholeheartedly on God to give us our answers on whether we were to be together or not. Both being broke students we couldn’t just jump on a plane to go halfway across the world. So we prayed and fasted fervently to receive answers whether this is what God wanted for us. Eventually on several occasions we both received our spiritual confirmations. I then flew to Utah for just over a week to meet his family and to make sure he and his family was “normal” haha. Conner then flew to N.Z to meet my family and be with us for a few months. It was not all pink hearts and daisies it was rough for the both of us as we had to learn to adjust to each others families, lifestyle and culture. (Especially seeing I was the first Polynesian girl Conner had actually had a conversation with.) But during this period of transition we always had to rely on the spiritual confirmations we received from God on being together. Even once we were married for the first couple of months it was extremely rough, especially for me being away from my family and adjusting to married life. But I am so grateful that my husband and I had both set a deep spiritual foundations in which we could always fall back on. (Especially grateful for my husbands commitment, patience and humility with me during this time.)

1378180_591373764254812_842734700_nHow does a relationship with God help and strengthen our marriage you may wonder?

Because we CHOOSE to be DEPENDENT on a never-failing, all forgiving, completely loving, all-knowing, all-powerful creator. We know that He will never fail us. We ourselves are on a journey to be more like Jesus Christ therefore because Jesus was patient we try to more patient with the faults and weaknesses of others. We also hope for patience from others with our shortcomings. We love even when sometimes we feel we don’t get love in return just like Jesus was to those who persecuted Him. We look to be selfless and serve each other as our Savior was selfless and gave His life for us. We endeavor to be humble and let go of pride when we get in silly arguments. There are so many attributes we can develop to be become better wives, mothers, husbands and fathers as we look towards God and Jesus as our examples. Our marriage will become that of strengthening and building each other instead of belittling and competing with one another.  The love triangle allows us to look towards God as our example for how we should treat and love our families. We have a perfect example that we can follow to create happier and eternal marriages and families.

Below is the spiritual love triangle, it is pretty self explanatory. The closer each of us move towards God in our own personal relationships with God, the closer we would come together in our marriage.

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For me this triangular model works time and time again. This model only fails when one of us are putting ourselves before God or not strengthening our relationship with God. This is why I wholeheartedly believe that marriage is a 3 way relationship with God. Marriage is from God and he has given us a way to create a happy family life. We can not and should not take him out of the equation. I pray that we will remember this as we build and strengthen our personal family relationships.

Marriage is a Gift from God to us the quality of our marriage is our Gift to God

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Remember you are of Infinite worth and are amazing beyond measure!!


July Goals

My favorite month of the year!! Why you say.. because its my birthday month!!! Yay even better living here in the US its summer time and it feels like the whole country is in party mode this month! Fireworks and all!!!

So I have decided to set monthly goals to work on as I am all about personal development learning and growth. Because what better birthday present to give myself than a better me!!! I decided to set a goal for all 4 areas faith fitness family and finance, if it’s to much next month I will probably just cut it down to two.

Faith – 21 day Book of Mormon  Testimony Challenge (our stake leaders challenge for us)

Fitness – Junkfree July (i know no birthday cake for me haha)

Family – No Social Media between 5-9pm – want to make sure I have QT with the family.

Finance$20 Weekly Grocery Budget – So it can help me buy the necessary things at the grocery store to prevent wastage. (Usually there are lots of things at the bottom of the fridge that I forget about and end up having to throw away because I don’t use!)

What are your goals for this fabulous month? Would love to hear and see your progress! Wish me luck. Don’t forget how beautifully amazing you are!



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