Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day Six: When Hope is Gone

"When the apostles asked Christ why the blind man was blind, He answered that it was for one reason, "that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:3). Never underestimate the purpose of a trial. It is through adversity that we experience the sweetest parts of the Atonement. Enduring our trials allows us to experience the healing power of Jesus Christ. This process stengthens our testimony of the reality of Christ and enables us to eventually help lift the hands of another.
Pres. Heber J. Grant gave this sweet promise: "The Lord will always be near you. He will comfort you; you will feel His presence in the hour of your greatest tribulation." He will give us the hope to move forward when hope is gone."
21 Days Closer to Christ by Emily Freeman

Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Ordinary Day

I really tried to look with a grateful heart all day and see the tender mercies of the Lord in my life. I am grateful for the bus driver who waited for me before taking off; thankful for a comfortable place to work, food to eat, and warm home to live in. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend the Spokane Temple tonight with my ward. I learned tonight that the angel Moroni atop the Spokane Temple is a new one as of a few days ago. The prior was replaced because of bullet holes. The new Moroni is facing the front of the temple, or West, not East like it was before. A temple worker escorted me to the van as I was by myself, for safety. I am grateful for the blessings that I was given today, including the unseen, unrecognized blessings.

Day Five: Who is this Jesus? - Discover

"If one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes, and search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it, and [it would] draw to itself the almost invisible particles, by the mere power of attraction! The unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour some heavenly blessings; only the iron in God's sand is gold." (Life Thoughts Gathered from the Extemporaneous Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher, 116)

  • What heavenly blessings can we discover in every hour? I will begin my day today with a thankful heart, and search. I invite you to do the same, and share what "gold" we have found.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day Four: Never Stopping, Ever Searching

"The cultivation of Christlike qualities is a demanding and relentless task-it is not for the seasonal worker or for those who will not stretch themselves, again and again." -Spencer W. Kimball

"Sometimes our search to find the Savior can be complicated. We seek Him for direction and advice, searching through the maze of our everyday life to feel His spirit."

In a few instances in my life, the Savior found me and I have felt a particular feeling that I can only describe as intense joy and a feeling of rejoicing. That feeling came over me when Matthew passed on through the veil and it stayed with me for a long time. I was reflecting on that feeling recently, wishing that I had it every day, but it is not something that I can control. It is as if a big bucket of joy and happiness gets poured into my head and it permeates every fiber of my body and spirit, and I realize that it is no earthly feeling, but is Heaven-sent. This feeling returned to me a week ago while I was preparing for my endowment session in the temple. Oh, what joy!

Last night I was reading my scriptures, and I received an understanding I did not heretofore have:

"And after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy..." (Mosiah 4:2-3)

I can testify that I know what it feels like to have the Spirit of the Lord come upon you, and it is worth searching for. "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." All I can say, is, all other feelings I have ever had pale in comparison to this. I am filled with gratitude to know from whom this feeling of intense joy and happiness came from.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day Three: A Common Thread

The keeper at the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there. - 2nd Nephi 9:41.

The goal for this day (and going forward) is to keep a journal of my relationship with Jesus Christ. To write about the attributes that I admire in Him, lessons He has taught me, or moments when I have felt His love. Nephi recorded a promise the Lord gave to him in this regard, "that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled...For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ." (2nd Ne. 25:21, 23)

Oh my, this is big. I am flooded with the memories of times when the Savior has blessed me with his love. I'll just write about one today. When I was in active labor, laying in a hospital bed, pregnant with one of our last children, it was Jennie, I think, I decided that everytime I had a contraction, I would focus on the Savior. I wanted Him to be with me through the pains of this birth. Gayle and I had gone to Lamaze classes and learned the breathing techniques, and so all our seven children were born naturally, with no pain meds. Such was the case now, as I focused on a spot on the ceiling, and breathed, and thought about the Savior with every contraction. Birth was beautiful, and it was afterward that I had a truly spiritual experience. After Gayle had left, and I was alone in my room, I had to continue with a pitossin drip (yes, I had been induced), and it was awful. The drip made my uterus contract, so it felt like I was still in labor, and they get stronger with each pregnancy, so, after 7, you can imagine how painful it was, and at this point, I just wanted to sleep. Plus, the delivery staff was extrememly busy with other deliveries, so I was given the assignment to "ring" the nurse when my IV bag ran out of it's fluid. What? Were they kidding? It was the middle of the night, and I wanted to go to sleep. I prayed to my Heavenly Father about my dilemma, and of course, thanked him for our new beautiful baby He had just sent to us. Feeling very calm, I fell asleep, and awakened just as the last drips of fluid were flowing through the tube. I called the nurse. She came, took the IV bag, and hung up a new one. What! Another! I prayed. I fell asleep, and the entire scene was repeated again. I woke up as the last drips were flowing through the bag. I was overcome with gratitude. I called the nurse. She came with a third bag and replaced the 2nd. Again! Again I prayed, and fell asleep. And a third time, I woke up just as bag was emptying. I know that it was nothing short of a miracle that I could have been awakened just as the last drips were going. I knew that I was not alone. I prayed with gratitude for this experience, and I heard someone say my name. "Nancy." My spiritual ears and heart heard this. Do Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us personally? Yes, I know they do, and they love us so much...more than we can comprehend. So much, that Jesus gave his life for us in Gethsemane and Calvary. Do I have a personal relationship with my Savior? Yes, I do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day Two: Take His Name

"By partaking of the Sacrament, we covenant that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus, and always remember Him, especially in our daily walk and conversation. (see D&C 20:77). Think about the past week. Were you able to always remember Him? How did you represent His name?"
King Benjamin said, "Therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ...And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ." (Mosiah 5:8-9)
Today, I will remember Him. My actions and conversation will be a reflection of what He taught us.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

21 Days Closer to Christ

I have accepted an invitation from our Bishop, with my friends Tamy and Jen, to read the book "21 Days Closer to Christ," in preparation to speaking on Easter Sunday. He presented us each with the book last Sunday. Emily Freeman, author, invites us to embark on a 21 day journey toward a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I invite you to do this with me.

Day 1: Come and See

Two Thousand Years ago, two fishermen left their nets and walked away from everything that would hold them back from coming to know Jesus Christ. Heeding the invitation, they followed the Savior and were blessed to experience incredible events, which burned an undeniable testimony upon their souls. They asked "Rabbi,... where dwellest Thou?" The answer was, "Come and See."

What fills our nets today that keeps us from completely following the Savior? Can I make more time for the Savior?
Mark 1:16-18 and John 1:38-39

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Cory!

Happy 31st Birthday, Cory!

Bob and Sherie


Cory's birthday was today. We actually celebrated last Saturday due to my work schedule. Sherie, Bob, and Joseph joined us for dinner. Sadly, they will be moving to South Carolina in the near future and then I will have no siblings nearby. Sad for me, good for them. They'll be much nearer to several of their children, so it will be nice for them.

Even though I was at work today, I couldn't get my mind off of Cory. How fast the years fly by. It seems like just yesterday he was a darling little toddler, our 5th child out of seven. Those years were so very busy for a mother, now a little sentimental thinking back on so many memories. Being a mother has been the best thing I have done with my life. And the love just keeps growing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

East Valley Ward's Melodrama

Every year our ward does a Melodrama, and last night I photographed the dress rehearsal. That is, when I wasn't laughing! They have done an outstanding job! What fun it will be for the audiences of one of the three performances: Friday night, Sat. Matinee, and Sat. night. I am told that people come from Montana to see our Melodramas! What, with free popcorn, candy, and pop, I would think there would be "sold out" performances! Kudos to all who are acting, directing, working lights, sound, and music. It's a fantastic performance.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dad and Mom
At the Evans Family Reunion, July 2008

March 1, 2009

While driving home from work on Friday night, I heard a commentary about a show playing in another city about the life of Kirk Douglas, starring Kirk Douglas, now 92 years of age. Much of the stories of his life are also in his autobiography, but, of course, without the interaction of an audience present. This segment I heard told a story about his father, who left them when he was quite young. His father did attend, however, Kirk Douglas’s first acting gig, which took place when he was about 6 years old and in the first grade. Afterward, his father didn’t say a word, just brought him an ice cream cone. At that moment, Kirk thought he’d reached the moon, and knew that he that he wanted to be an actor when he grew up. At the end of the senior Kirk Douglas’s show, his son, Michael Douglas, surprisingly appeared on stage with an ice cream cone for his Dad.

This story was endearing to me, and it prompted me to think about my own father, John F. Evans, Jr. and the wonderful home that I grew up in. Dad, you have always been a hero in my eyes. You have always been one to promote peace in the home I grew up in. I cannot recall one time when I ever heard you raise your voice in anger or complaint. Do you know how important that is in a growing child? I liked to cook, and though the details are a little vague to me now, this is what I remember: One night I made “French Toast” for dinner. I made a mistake in reading the recipe, which called for a ¼ tsp. of salt, and I made it with ¼ cup of salt. It tasted badly, but Dad, you were very pleasant and never made me feel like I had done something terrible, or ruined your dinner. In fact, you ate it anyway! Now there is an angel.

Dad, you had a sense of humor that sometimes I didn’t appreciate. I remember one time you thought it was pretty funny to chase me through the house with a dead goldfish sticking halfway out a hamburger bun, and to play tricks on Kay and I by putting a bloody mannequin arm (catsup) on the floor sticking out from under the couch. When we came home from school, we heard an anxious cry, “Hurry and help me get your mother out from under here!” Once I lifted up the toilet seat and found the mannequin arm sticking up from the hole! It is a wonder I turned out normal. J We had a lot of fun, most of the time. I loved how you would flood the backyard with water and make an ice skating rink every winter, hand swings from the weeping willow tree in the backyard, take us to shoot bee bee guns, and fly kites we get so high I felt like it would nearly lift me off the ground. I feel blessed to have been able to spend vacations in Big Cottonwood Canyon at Aunt Marjorie and Uncle Phil’s Cabin in the mountains. I can’t believe that I used to go exploring Doughnut Falls and the mine! I am sure Kay must have been with me, though I don’t remember. I just remember that mom and you let us go, and we had a wonderful time. When we would drive back home to Iowa, secretly I used to cry as I did not want to leave the mountains.

Thank you for your positive outlook and pleasant disposition. Being greeted with a smile and “Good Morning!” is a wonderful memory that I have.

Dad, you have always been a worthy example of the life of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that you taught mom the gospel, and together you built a home filled with love, music, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I know that you tried earnestly to follow the latter-day prophets, and taught us the importance of living close to the spirit. I know you and mom did this, and both of you were spiritual giants of great faith. I have to mention mom, because you were unified in all you did. You have held many callings in the Church. It didn’t matter what calling you had, I saw that you took each one seriously and fulfilled it the very best you could. Many times we would wait to eat until you returned. I saw how supportive Mom was in all that you did, and she was a very good example to me of how a wife should act and support her husband. Now that you are in your senior years, and have health issues, I see how you continue to put the other first and show in whatever way you can that you still support and love one another. You continue to be my example.

In honor of your birthday today, Dad, I just want to say that I love you so very much. Thank you for being a perfect Father to me. I could not have had a better one, and I am grateful for all you have taught me, for your example, for your love and devotion to Mom, for your love to the Savior and for living his commandments. Thank you for providing me a safe and loving home in which I could grow up in.

You should be proud to look back on your life and see the many noble things that you have accomplished. Thank you for writing your personal history, a gift that I will always cherish. But most of all, I am grateful that you are my father, for time and all eternity. I am grateful for temple covenants which bind us together forever. I am grateful that Jesus Christ has atoned for our sins, broke the bands of death, and rose from the grave. And because of Him, we all will live when we leave our mortal bodies, for we will be resurrected too; I know that you will live in Celestial glory, and that is where I want to be too. Thank you for showing me the way.

With all my heart,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tess's Baptism

What a nice time we had in Utah recently, spending time with family. The culmination of the week was attending our granddaughter Tess's baptism into the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We don't photograph the sacred ordinance of baptism, so instead I have chosen to post pictures that were taken afterward at a brunch that her Grandma Deamer hosted.
Highlights of my week:
Spending time with Hailey: I can't believe she let me take so many pictures of her! Tyler wouldn't hold still long enough!
Watching the production "Burden's of the Earth" at BYUI.
Visiting Heather and seeing her pregnant for the first time. OH, she looks so cute, I just want to pat her tummy. I am grateful she was well enough to join us.
Photographing Temple Square...
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Dad & making cinnamon rolls...
Being at Eric and Penny's for Tess's Birthday, eating spagetti, (comfort food!)
Going to the Children's Treehouse and watching the kids play.
Going to Mary and Jeff's on Sunday.

I love my family so very much! More pictures coming soon...
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Rejoice! - A New Day