Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Simple Book

Yesterday we were having Family Home Evening with Steve, Hannah, and Max using Skype. For those of you who don't know what Skype is, pretty much it's a video phone conference. Every Monday we do our lessons together, even though we are states apart. This week we were talking about how different we are all, but how we all together make up a wonderful family. We each went around and shared some different things about ourselves. When it was Ellie's turn one of things she said was how she is reading the Book of Mormon. I felt so proud of her and her choice to read this special book.
The kids have been missing their dad a little more lately than usual. I am sure missing their dad comes from a combination of me getting married, the anniversary of his death, and Easter. Ellie came in my room one night and seemed very upset and sad. I told her when I am sad, I start reading the scriptures and then I start to feel peace. I asked her if she thought reading the scriptures could being her peace. She said yes and went off to start reading. Well for the first week, she carried them around with her everywhere, reading whenever she had a chance. A couple of weeks later I asked her how was her reading going. She said that it's been kind of hard now that she was in 2 Nephi. I just had to smile and tell her, lots and lots of people find 2 Nephi hard to read! She than went on to say, before when she read the scriptures, she was just reading the words not really thinking about what she was reading. But now she was actually thinking about what she read, which made it easier to read.
Yesterday was a very rough day for me! The monkeys had spilled water on my laptop, which now no longer works! This put me into major stress mode! Ellie just started to take over and help me. She got the monkeys ready for bed and picked up the house for me. I have noticed lately a positive change in her as she consistently read her scriptures. I see her want to be more of a peacemaker than a trouble maker. She becomes my little helper and knows exactly what to do to make my life easier. As I was reading the Ensign this morning a wonderful thought came into my mind. Without the loss of Ellie's daddy, would she be reading the scriptures right now? Would she has such a tremendous desire to feel the spirit? Would her faith be growing? Not, that I would wish any trial on any one, but are we growing from what life is trying to teaching us? Do we take the trials in our life and become a better person? I hope Ellie will discover for herself the importance of reading the scriptures everyday. She can start a pattern now in her life that will be a tremendous support, no matter what situation lays ahead for her. She is such a blessing to me. I love my boobalicious!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This morning I was talking with a friend of mine while we were exercising. She was telling me how she missed how knowledgeable she was in the scriptures while she was on her mission. How she just didn't understand where that knowledge went! Then said to me, I never thought I would ever forget all that knowledge. We both knew the answer to her statement...

Here's something frustrating for me... I have worked out pretty much for the last 13 years of my life. The only time I would really take off exercising is right after the birth of my children. I remember going to the gym the day before Ellie was born. I would have gone the day she was born, but we needed to be at the hospital so early! So long story longer, I haven't worked out consistently since I ran the Ragnar Race in June. One would think, I have worked out for 13 years, I can take some months off and be fine! Well that isn't how it works. Those who work out consistently can feel a difference when they take even a couple of days off. You can build up a little reserve, but not much! It has been so hard for me to get back into working out. I never thought it would be this difficult. I love to exercise. I have always made time for it in my life. I know the benefits to working out. I know I feel better and look better when I am exercising! So why is it so hard for me to start back up?

This brings me back to the conversation I had this morning with my friend. Scripture studying is just like exercising in so many ways! But the most important similarity is the consistency of doing it every day. There may come times in our lives when life will get insane and scripture study will go by the way side. Or we may feel there are more important areas in our life that need more attention. But just like exercising, even going a couple of days without studying the scriptures, we feel the difference in ourselves. And the longer we go with studying, the harder it is going to be to get back into the habit. Just like the children of Israel receiving manna from heaven. The manna only lasted for one day (except for the day before the Sabbath). They could not build up a storage of manna for the week they were going on vacation or when they didn't want to go out and collect. Every day the children of Israel would have to do the work to be fed from the Lord. Every day we have the same opportunity to be fed from the Lord. the question is: are we willing to do the work? We were not put on this earth to have an easy life. We are here to prove to the Lord that we choose Him first, no matter the challenges, no matter the ease of life.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sunday Will Come

On March 6, 2007 my husband, Rob Epperson passed away. We knew the day before that it would be sometime soon, but as for the time, it was any one's guess. I will always remember the night of the 5th of March with tenderness. Most of Rob's closest friends were able to come by and say their good byes. I can't really remember how many of us were in the tiny blue room surrounding Rob. We told stories, laughed, and I saw all these strong men break down and cry as they said good bye to a close friend. After they left, all of Rob's family arrived, not at all prepared for what they would see. Their strong, loud, larger than life brother/son, laying frail and weak in bed. They too now surrounded the bed with tears and stories. The question came to all of their minds, how could this happen? how could Rob of all people leave us? We can't go on with out him? he's the life of the party, the oldest brother who lead us through the hard times. We can't imagine life without him. As we all tried to come to an understanding, we learned to find comfort in prayer and turning to the Savior. Having faith that even though we don't know the answers, that we still trusted in the Lord. I stayed by Rob's side all night. Not wanting to sleep, because I didn't want to miss any of my last moments with him. I just remember praying all night that the Lord would release Rob's spirit from his body. I wanted Rob to be free from all his pain and discomfort. Finally the time come. Dr. Liss had told us what to watch for right before he died, so we knew when it was coming. Everyone was gathered into the small blue room. We all watched Rob take his last breaths and leave this mortal world. The next week was kind of a blur to me. I remember having moments, thinking, this can't be my life. There is no way I am picking out a coffin and flowers for my husband. It was almost best to not think at all, because I could not comprehend reality. During this most difficult time I turned to the scriptures. There I found a comfort and peace that could not be found any where else. I on the day of the first funeral, I was reading in Alma 31 and came across this verse,"O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me." How fitting were those words to my soul! The scriptures are the one place where anyone can find peace and understanding, no matter their situation.

I have told this story so many times when I am speaking, that I feel as if everyone has heard it. But then I realize very few people I know have actually heard me speak, so I thought I would share it with you all....

Rob was buried on a Friday. Sunday morning Jake, who was only 8 years old at the time, walked into my room and asked where's Daddy? I was confused by this question and asked what do you mean? And Jake said, it's been three days, Jesus was resurrected in three days and it's been three days, so where is Daddy? My heart ache for my Jake. I explained to him that yes Daddy will be resurrected, but not for awhile. The faith and knowledge of my little boy was far beyond his own years. I came across a wonderful talk by Elder Wirthlin the October 2006 General Conference (http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-646-11,00.html) called Sunday Will Come. Elder Wirthlin said, " Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come." I know this to be true. I know no matter hard our lives may seem at a certain time, Sunday will come. I have seen this in my life and I have seen it in other's lives as well. As we trust in the Lord, keep His commandments and turn to the scriptures, we will be blessed. Most likely we won't be blessed in the way we would like. But He blesses us far better than we ever could imagine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One speaking out of the dust

Two years ago this morning, Rob couldn't be woken up. I had to make one of the hardest calls of my life to his family and tell them to jump on a plane and come say good bye to their son and brother. At times this seems like another life and at other times it seems just like yesterday. Last night I went through and read some of Caring Bridge. I started from the beginning and read till 3am. I didn't even get pass the April journal entries. I read Andy's talk from the funeral, which brought both laughs and tears. I was amaze by my strength. As I read those entries, I knew what I wrote was from the Lord, not from me. The Lord was my constant companion during those days. I was only being an instrument for the Lord, sharing my testimony of Christ and His ability to bless and comfort. The Lord was showing us, how if we turn to Him during difficult times, He will strengthen us far beyond we could ever imagine. I love the scripture found in Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for i will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

A couple of weeks ago I found this card in some of Ellie's stuff. Those who know Ellie, know what a pack rat she is and is always keeping silly things. I just about died when I opened the card and read it. It was if Rob was speaking to me today...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Welcome to Miami

Steve had a conference he needed to attend in Miami and since I have the best babysitter in the world (yes Jessica!!) I was able to join him there! Until this trip we had only spent 4 nights alone with one another. We had such a wonderful time together. Honestly, I can't think of any thing better than, shopping, laying out by the pool reading, and spending time with Steve (not necessarily in that order). Yes, I did get sun burned! I was laying by the pool reading and Steve came up during his lunch break to see me. He asked me, don't you need some suntan lotion? I was like, no I never burn! Well as the night went on, my skin kept getting darker and redder! To give credit, he never did say I told you so!
We finally made it down to south beach on Friday night. It was a little cold (high 60s) but still a lot warmer than the snow I left back in Utah!

My cousin Emilee, who lives in New York, just happened to be in Miami that weekend for her birthday. We met up at the famous Joe's Stone Crabs. We had a great time talking and celebrating her birthday! I truly feel so blessed! Even though it was hard leaving Steve in Houston, I know it is just for a short time before we will be together again. I am just so happy and can't believe my life is this wonderful! (sorry about being so cheesy, I just can't help it)