Saturday, December 21, 2013


There's a lot of things I love about Christmas. Since I was getting tired of grading and when I get tired I tend to grade more harshly, I thought I'd take a quick break and start this list of things I like about Christmas and assorted Christmas memories.

  • I remember setting up the tree with my family, usually the day after Thanksgiving. Along with all the ornaments, we'd put candy canes on it, and the best part about that was that we could pick the candy canes off and eat them later.
  • We always used an artificial tree, but one year, when I was five or six, my parents decided to get a "real" tree for once. So we did. Then one morning as I was leaving for kindergarten, I found the tree tipped over in our living room with the cats looking extremely pleased with themselves sniffing around it. So that was the first and the last time we had a real tree.
  • While we decorated the tree, we listened to Christmas music. Christmas doesn't sound like Christmas without Mannheim Steamroller albums.

Why trials?

I was listening to a talk from October 1995 by Elder Richard G. Scott and I decided I should share a couple of the quotes. The whole talk is great, but these two quotes especially stood out. If you want to read or listen to the rest, click on this link.
Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Prov. 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain. 
To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it.
I like the talk because it reminds me that things are hard, but that it will all be okay. There is a reason for everything we go through, even if we don't know what it is or how things will turn out. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Escape Plans

My book is done. If anyone wants to check it, here is the link:
Tomorrow and Wednesday it will be available for FREE. After that it will be $1.05.