Tuesday, February 2, 2016

River Is Six




Remember how I recently asked you to travel back to January 1, 2016?  Well, I'm going to take things one step further and ask you to go back to December 31, 2015.  Why?  Because my not so little man turned six and I can't possibly forget to document that momentous occasion.

River at six is a true treasure.  He loves to snuggle.  In fact, I asked him how he knew I loved him and he said, "Because you snuggle with me."  Can we say Physical Touch might be his love language!  He's kind of like a cat.  If I have anything I'm working on, he moves in and takes over my lap.  I might not be a physical touch kind of person, but I'm powerless up against his big brown eyes and long lashes.



He is so enamored with and protective of his baby sister and she's still in my  belly.  He loves to snuggle Jel (her nickname is Jelly Bean and that is his nickname for her nickname).  In public, I have to make sure he's not lifting my shirt up to get to my belly.  He checks the pregnancy app on my phone to let me know how many weeks she is and what size of fruit she is.  He loves to try and feel her kick and he was so concerned we didn't have a dresser for her yet, that he and Ash took $25 each out of their piggy banks and asked me to buy the best dresser for Jel.  When I said they didn't have to spend their money on their sister, River said, "We want to. We want to."  His current worry is that we don't have any church clothes for her, only two pairs of pants, and one pair of shoes that will not work for cold weather...yes, he is taking stock.  I adore his tender, generous heart.

He loves to be silly.  He is happiest making others laugh.  His laughter still sounds like magical sleigh bells to me and is one of my most favorite sounds.  His humor is mostly poop and fart jokes, for example, May The Farts Be With You and while it does get a little old, I dare you not to laugh along with him.  His laughter is contagious and the twinkle in his eyes when he is having fun overrides any sense of propriety I might have.



Star Wars is his current obsession.  Light sabre battles are a daily, if not hourly, occurrence at our house.  He knows character names, color of light sabres, names of planets, etc... better than I do and I have been a fan forever.  His favorite character is Obiwan Kenobi, which goes right along with his responsible, dutiful and loyal personality.




He's doing great in school.  He likes his teachers and gets along with all of his classmates.  His teacher says he is the rare social child that transitions quickly and quietly from friend time, to listening time.  He's a great reader and quicker at addition and subtraction than me.  Our main source of worry academically, is that he hates making mistakes.  He is super sensitive to any corrections, especially from me and gets really frustrated at himself, if he doesn't get it right the first time.  We're trying to curb this, so learning will be joyful and not so competitive.  I don't know where he gets it from...cough...hmm...cough.



He writes the family love notes all the time.  His brother is his best friend and they fight, as siblings always do, but River is the peacemaker.  When he gets mad and says something mean, he'll apologize on his own, without prompting.  He wants us to know he loves us and doesn't like arguments to drag on.  If Ash is mad at me and saying things that aren't very nice, River will come up and whisper I love you and you're a good mom, just to reassure me.  He's pretty obedient with things like bedtime, turning off games and doing things when I ask.  He can still be sassy and I've heard, "Who cares!" "I already know!" and "Whatever!" a few times, but thankfully, it seems to be less frequently lately.

He's learning to play the Glockenspiel in Kindermusik.  He wants to learn how to play the drums. He's taking gymnastics lessons and wants to start swimming lessons again.  He also wants me to teach him a language and get him into soccer, flag football and baseball.  We have more interests than we have time or money, but I love that he is engaged.

He is shy about saying family prayer, but when he does say it, he says, "Thank you for this beautiful planet to live on." (which he did not get from me) and it totally melts my heart.

He has his first loose tooth.  It his bottom, right tooth and he can't stop wiggling it.  He's excited about the tooth fairy, but also mentioned he's worried, because the dentist wants him to stop sucking his thumb before his grown up teeth come in.  I hope he does, but man that boy sure loves his thumb.  It is instant comfort.  I'm going to have to see if we can figure out how to replace the sense of security he gets from it somehow.



He is a sports fan(atic)!  He takes the games to heart and we're working with him on not getting so emotionally attached to the outcomes.  He was over the moon when the Royal's won the World Series and heartbroken when the Dolphins were eliminated and then later, the Chiefs.  Even if his teams aren't playing, he'll pick a side and commit wholeheartedly.  I love the passion, but the tears are pretty extreme if his side loses.  We're still finding the healthy balance.




What can I say, I love, love, love this man cub.  Before I was a mother, I would picture my children and never in a million years could I have imagined, dreamed up, or created anything close to the miracles I have been blessed with.  I can't wait to meet my newest cub in just a month and see how her brothers are with her earth-side.  One thing I know for sure, she is lucky to have River wrapped around her finger.






Thursday, January 14, 2016

Beginnings



Happy New Year!  This photo was taken exactly six months ago, on July 1st 2015 and it almost didn't come to be.

We were visiting Glacier National Park with our friends, the Wiests.  Marianne Wiest isn't just our friend, but she is an amazing photographer, as well.  She had clients booked that day at Glacier and mentioned she might have time to do a 15 minute mini session before her bookings.  Of course, I jumped at the chance, but when we arrived, Glacier was having a ridiculous wind storm.  Everyone at the park kept saying they had never seen anything like it.

Nothing and I mean nothing is worse for pictures than wind.  My boys hair was short enough to be spared, but mine was out of control.  It was all over my face, in my lipgloss, sticking straight up like a rooster.  My loose, billowy shirt was being  blown around and filled up with air, giving me the ever so flattering stay puft marshmallow man effect.  The kids weren't in the mood for photos (are they ever) and we had such a limited amount of time.  I almost called it... never-mind, not worth the effort, not going to happen...but photos are pretty much my most favorite thing and you really just need one good one, right?

I'm so thankful for my stubborn streak and Marianne's skills.  I love this photo.  Is there anything better than snuggling your children and holding them tight, no matter what is going on around you? Also, it happens to be the very first photo of our family of five.  Little did we know, I was five weeks pregnant at the time.  We would find out soon after and embark on a three month journey into the black...also known as the world's worst morning sickness.  While I experienced the brunt of it, it was a trial for my whole family.  I was completely out of commission.  Food was barely happening. Activities were not happening.  The kids were bored.  Bear was exhausted from working and having to pull double duty at home.  Meanwhile, I prayed to be put into a medically induced coma and awakened after it was all over.

But.... before all that... there was this moment. The five of us all together for the first time, smiling and holding each other in the middle of a storm, right before we entered a storm of a different kind. And... here we are again... beginning a new year.  Life is probably going to get pretty wild for us and who knows what it holds for you.  I just wanted to wish everyone the best and remind you (and myself) that if you have people to hold on to, you have all you need, come what may.  Here's to 2016 my friends.  Let's do this!  Ever up and onward.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Really Listen


I was irritable today.  I feel sickness creeping in.  My boys have both been under the weather and I feel that familiar tingle in my throat.  My energy is low and my eyes aren't clear.  I have a million things to do and I have a voice over job tomorrow, so I definitely can't get a cold, or a sore throat.  Anyway, I was irritable.  My boys, who are struggling with the same thing, minus the adult responsibilities, were irritable.  They were at each other's throats all day and my ability to be patient with such behavior was very low.  Not to mention, because they were sickish, they were breathing heavy through their mouths all day, eating loud, sniffing, snuffling, snorting and trying to get them to use a tissue was near impossible.  I found myself giving a lot of reminders to River in particular.  Isn't it fun being the oldest child?  I should know.  Most everything that came out of my mouth was a criticism.  Wash your hands, don't touch your nose, I asked you to use a tissue, try eating quieter.  The more I said, the clingier he became and the more irritable I became.  I used the word please and I told myself, it's my job to teach him manners, but really, looking back, my tone was not kind and I was acutely tuned into any noise he was making.  I really didn't notice anything amiss.  We weren't having screaming matches.  He huffed and puffed and rolled his eyes a few times, but that was it.  At the end of the night, I heard him say under his breath, "You didn't like me all day."  At first I was annoyed by this too.  I mean, I bend over backwards for these kids.  My days revolve around caring for them and coming up with interesting, creative activities for them to do.  It's not fair that I'm not allowed to correct something that needs to be corrected, without being perceived as a bad guy.  I'm not sure why I didn't start the spiel, but instead I realized it doesn't matter that he knows I love him, if he doesn't feel loved and I don't feel loved if someone is correcting me all day long.  In fact, that is probably one of the things I hate the most.  How could he possibly feel loved?  So, instead, I pulled him in for a tight hug.  Holding him heart to heart, I whispered in his ear how much I love him.  That he made me a mom and everything I am is because of him.  Nothing could ever change that.  I love him forever and always, no matter what.  I told him I was sick and I said I was sorry if I wasn't a good mom to him today and I promised I would do better tomorrow.  Then I held him while he cried and said thank you and that he loved me too and that he was so glad to know.  I held him until he let go first.  The poor guy hugged me for a long time.  His love tank must have been pretty low, but when he pulled away he was smiling through the tears and the sparkle was back in his eyes.  I can't tell you how glad I am that a small part of my spirit heard his comment and not just my tired, sickly self.  I'm immensely grateful I really heard him and answered with love.  I loathe the common marital advice... never go to bed angry with each other.  There is nothing more toxic than two tired, hurt humans battling it out on no sleep, each convinced they are in the right.  However, when it comes to my kids... I hope I never let them go to bed without feeling loved.  I'm sure there will be lots of nights when they go to bed mad at me, but I hope I can pause long enough to make sure it's just surface mad and it is not from feeling unloved that day.  Thank goodness for second chances and the forgiving spirit of children.  











Thursday, November 19, 2015

Threenager


It's Ashy Boy's third birthday and he has fully entered that special time of life when you have all the fight and turbulence of a teenager, but the reasoning of a three year old.  This kid has always been passionate, but 2 and under is easier to deal with, 3 and up seems like willful rebellion and he has me going 2007 Britney at times.  Honestly, I consider shaving my head every night at bedtime.  It seems less painful than pulling it all out.

This year he has weaned, moved to a big boy bed, started sleeping  through the night (finally), had his first swimming lessons, learned he was going to be a big brother, starred in his first movie (he even threw a fit and walked off set...diva) , attended his first Royals game, begrudgingly adjusted to brother being at school, mostly potty trained, learned a zillion new things and gave the whole family a run for our money.

Even though he is a handful, he brings me great joy every single day.  They say a kid that sings to himself is a happy kid.  So, despite the rocky moments, I know he is happy and aware of how loved he is.  His latest masterpiece is singing his favorite baseball player's name (Morales) over and over again to the tune of the Star Wars theme.

He can do every single thing by himself.

He doesn't like the inside of his pockets to be white.  I have to convince them that they are a very light blue, or gray, to get him to wear jeans.

If River is reading a book, Ash repeats everything he says and then tells me he read it too.

He loves trying the monkey bars at River's school.  I still have to hold him, but he insists on practicing every time I drop River off for Kindergarten.

He has been the biggest lover and cuddler of Jelly Bean (Baby Girl Bear).  He nuzzles my pregnant belly every chance he gets, especially after bedtime.  He asks how many weeks along I am and then sticks out his little pot belly and says he's a week farther along than me.  He only wants to sleep if I lay down with him and he can sleep on Jelly Bean, but then he complains Jelly Bean is too bumpy.

We had a goal to be out of diapers by his birthday and it wasn't going well until two weeks ago.  He is completely out of diapers during the day, but I put him in a pull-up at night.  He wakes up dry most of the time.  I can't call him potty trained yet, because I am still reminding to go and making him sit on the potty to try, even when he thinks he doesn't need to go and then it turns out he does.  It is a major improvement from a few weeks ago when he was fighting me so hard about it, it seemed like he was regressing.  The change came from getting stickers on the Potty Time app and me assertively telling him to try going potty, even if he doesn't think he needs to, rather than passively asking him if he needs to go and then aggressively making him go after he has told me no.  I am happy with the progress and the small diaper break before the new baby comes.

He loves playing the Star Wars Lego video game and is constantly conspiring to play on days other than Saturdays, the day I allow video games.  He is cute and a master manipulator, I mean negotiator, but I've gotten pretty good at withstanding his adorable voice and long lashes batting away at me.  Daddy on the other hand... well... we've just decided that what happens when mommy's not home is best left unsaid.

He couldn't decide on wether to be Anakin Skywalker, or Darth Vader for Halloween.  He finally picked Anakin, but told me, "Mom, most times I'm Anakin, but sometimes I'm a little Darth Vader."  Truer words have not been spoken.

He still loves his brother more than anything in the world.  He hated not being able to go to school with River and his little heart broke every time we dropped River off for awhile, but now he has realized one on one time with mommy has its perks.  Thank goodness it is just half day Kindergarten.  First grade is going to rock our world next year.

He wants to name the baby Twinkle.

His favorite shows are Clone Wars and Octonauts.

His favorite books are The Golden Egg and The Night Before Christmas.

His favorite song is When Daddy Comes Home and Daddy Ate An Apple...which I made up, because ain't nobody going to make Bear eat fruit or vegetables.

He loves spaghetti and pizza.  He does pretty well with fruit, but faints at the sight of veggies on his plate.  Thank goodness for green smoothies, which he drinks with gusto.

He still has the most adorable toddler run and I still haven't been able to catch it on camera.  It involves a lot of arms swinging side to side (sometimes flamboyantly) and hips swinging side to side in the opposite direction.  It is the cure for any bad day!

You might not ever figure out what is going to set him off... butter on his toast, no butter on his toast, the fact I even made toast... but at the end of the day, no one will hug you more, love you more, give you more kisses and tell you you are beautiful more times than Ashy Bear.  He fights hard, but loves harder and the rest of us are completely enamored with our little blondie.  Ash, you had us from the very first cry.  Happy Birthday Love!









Sunday, March 22, 2015

My Talk


My name is Lillith Bear and Brother Flade asked me to speak on Strengthening Our Marriages.  Brother Flade is my home teacher, as well as Brother Wadsworth and the problem with having two members of the bishopric home teach you is, it puts you on their radar.  Before I moved into this ward, I hadn’t talked in Sacrament for a solid 13 years and this will be my third time speaking in this ward.  They are really messing with my percentages.

I have to say, I was a little intimidate by the subject matter of my talk.  It didn’t help that every time I told my friends and family what I was speaking about, they laughed.   I’m not sure why.  Anyway, most of the speeches I looked up on strengthening marriages addressed things like praying together as a couple, reading scripture together, etc.  My husband has never been active in the church and as solid as this advice it, it doesn’t really help me too much and since I feel like I was asked to speak for a reason, I wanted to find advice and answers that would apply to everyone, no matter the relationship. 
When it comes to matters of love, I have an interesting history.

I have been a Rosaline-Who’s that you ask.  She’s the girl Romeo was waxing on about, until he saw Juliet and forgot all about her.

I have been an Eponine-A hopeless romantic that fell in love with a guy that was just not that in to her.  I wore unrequited love for years, the way most girls wear make-up, every day and all over my face.

I have been a Jo-A best friend, a good buddy, a confidante that you could spend countless, effortless hours with, but then I had to stand by and watch them all marry their Amy’s.  Yes, high-maintenance, fussy, date-demanding Amys.  I didn’t get it.

I loved in so many imperfect ways.  I made vast improvements to my track record, when I fell in love and married Robert Bear, but I didn’t get everything right.  We are far from perfect and our marriage has a lot of room for improvement and that is okay, because as Elder Holland stated….

Christ is the only one who got it all right, did it all perfectly, loved the way we are all to try to love. But even though we fall short, that divine standard is there for us. It is a goal toward which we are to keep reaching, keep striving—and, certainly, a goal to keep appreciating.

So how does Christ love and how can it help us improve our marriage?

In his BYU address, Elder Holland turned to the scriptures to teach us how Christ loved.  We have all heard that Charity is defined as the pure love of Christ.  Moroni 7:45 says…

Charity suffereth long, and is kind- Suffering is defined as undergoing pain, distress, or hardship and long suffering is defined as being patient during hardships. The Love that Christ models for us comes hand in hand with suffering and apparently not for a short amount of time either and as a kicker, we’re expected to be kind throughout it.  We’re not supposed to scream and shout, threaten, abandon, call names and blame.  We are supposed to suffer, for as long as it takes and be kind. 

I read an article recently titled…

THE MOST OVERLOOKED CHARACTERISTIC OF WHO YOU WANT TO MARRY by Kevin Thompson and he stated that you want to marry someone who suffers well.  I definitely fall into the category of people that did not have suffering well on my list of what I was looking for in a spouse.  He says suffering is part of the human experience, and when life falls apart, you want someone you can run to, not someone you want to run from.
  • You want someone who believes in you.
  • You want someone who instills faith, not causes doubt.
  • You want someone who hopes no matter the circumstances.
In the Bible, Job’s wife responded to his suffering by saying, “Curse God and die.”
Had he not suffered enough?
Was life not difficult enough?
Enduring hardship was enough, yet Job was also forced to rebuke his wife during his time of struggle.
Life is hard enough; there is no need to make it harder.
Choosing a spouse who does not suffer well makes life harder.
It makes every grief stronger.
It makes every sorrow more painful.
It makes every hurt deeper.
Yet,
when our spouse knows how to suffer,
when they have don’t live in denial, but confront the sorrows of life,
when they don’t live in despair but know how to laugh and cry at the same time,
when they offer support and hope in all of life’s challenges,
when they can see the big picture of life,
then,
every grief is wedded to hope
every sorrow is matched with love
and every hurt is paired with healing.

So here’s the deal…. Don’t be Job’s wife.  (That includes you fellas out there.)  If you recognize some of those negative qualities in yourself, realize they don’t serve you and they definitely don’t serve your loved ones.  I saw a poster on Facebook that said, Negative people have a problem for every solution.  Don’t be that person.  If this is you and it’s probably been most of us at some point, desire to change and pray for help.  I have a major pet peeve when people say, that’s just me… I’m a pessimist, or I’m sarcastic or critical and I can’t change.  Of course you can change.  Changing for the better is the whole purpose of life. 

We can change ourselves, but we can’t change other people.  Ladies, you can’t make your husbands into Mr. Darcys, or Edwards.  There are a lot of Edwards in literature, so I’m going to pretend like I’m not talking about Twilight, but if you know me, you know the truth.  So what to do if you are married to, or in a relationship with a bad  sufferer.  I definitely don’t have all the answers to this one, but some ideas I had are; Set a good example, be one yourself.  Discuss how important the quality is in times where you are not currently in a hardship.  Cuz ain’t nobody like to be lectured to in the middle of an argument.  Forgive a lot, pray specifically for help in that area, read together in the scriptures and if they aren’t religious, read other stories, or watch movies involving both good and bad examples of this trait and discuss what that quality means to you.  My little boy plays cops and robbers all the time, but the other day, he was running around calling himself Nephi and calling my husband Laman.  He knows, even from a young age, who the hero of the story is and who he wants to cast himself as.  We want to be heroes and develop the characteristics of our heroes.  Maybe suffering well is a trait they haven’t really even thought about and just discussing it will help bring it to the forefront of their minds.   Also and this one is a little out of the box, you can do family history work.  Sister Nelson just spoke in our stake and said if we need help, we can ask for specific angels by name to help us, but many of them need their work done.

This struck a chord with me, because for the last year I have had the impression many times I needed to do the work for Bear’s grandparents.  This is weird to me, because I have never done temple work for family members, so it is not something I think about a lot.  I have never met my husband’s grandparents and I have grandparents of my own whose work is not complete.  During Sister Nelson’s talk, three things became abundantly clear to me; our dead, may have died, but they are not dead.   Bear’s grandparents, Jackie and Noble are ready for their work to be done and finally, they want to help us. 

Before I move on, I think it is important to clarify that it is not charity or kindness to endure any type of abuse or unrighteousness that may be inflicted on us by others.  Aileen H. Clyde said, “God’s commandment that as we love him, we must respect ourselves, suggests we must not accept disrespect from others. It is not charity to let another repeatedly deny our divine nature and agency. It is not charity to bow down in despair and helplessness. That kind of suffering should be ended.   If you are in that situation, please seek help from the Bishop, or another trusted authority.

The second part of the scripture describing how Christ loves in Moroni 7:45 says that true charity—real love—”is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity.”  Think of how many arguments could be avoided, how many hurt feelings could be spared, how many cold shoulders and silent treatments could be ended, and, in a worst-case scenario, how many breakups and divorces could be avoided if we were not so easily provoked and if we thought no evil of one another.

Thankfully, I have never been a Desdemona.  Just think of the pain and suffering that could have been spared if Othello had not let Iago sway him to see evil, where there was none.  I know a murder/suicide story is a harsh example of this principle, but in reality marriages die, relationships are snuffed out and friendships perish every day, because we can so easily be provoked.

Elder Holland says, “Temper tantrums are not cute even in children; they are despicable in adults, especially adults who are supposed to love each other. We are too easily provoked; we are too inclined to think that our partner meant to hurt us—meant to do us evil, so to speak; and in defensive or jealous response we too often rejoice when we see them make a mistake and find them in a fault. Let’s show some discipline on this one. Act a little more maturely. Bite your tongue if you have to. Proverbs 16:32  says, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city”. At least one difference between a tolerable marriage and a great one may be that willingness in the latter to allow some things to pass without comment, without response.”

I read a great book about disciplining children called, “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey and one of her main tenets she teaches is to apply positive intent to your children’s misbehavior.  It will immediately diffuse an over-reaction on your part and allows you to teach your children, without making them feel like they are bad, or evil, or stupid.  A quick example is if one of your children hits his brother or sister, because they don’t want to share a toy.  Most of us would probably say, stop, hitting is mean, why would you do that?  Would you want them to hit you? All of these put the child on the defensive and communicate you are bad and mean.  By simply creating a positive intent for the situation, like I know you hit your brother, because you didn’t want him to play with your favorite toy,  you may not hit, hitting hurts, we teach them without putting them down, or on the defensive.  We model empathy for them and let them understand we know where they are coming from. 

So, I have been trying to do this with everyone.  Not for their sake, but for mine.  I am a happier person when I don’t believe that everyone is out to get me.  It has been pretty easy to do with strangers, if someone cuts me off in traffic, I think, he must really need to get home to take his insulin.  It’s been challenging, but doable for my children.  They’re just so dang cute… if I take a second to breathe, I can usually see things from their perspective and just why they thought the world was ending, but for some reason, the hardest person to apply positive intent to is my husband.  I am sure he leaves the slimy mess in the sink strainer, just to gross me out and I completely forget to be thankful for all the dishes he just washed.  The good thing is, I have an eternity to practice applying positive intent and so do you. 

Thirdly and lastly, Christ’s love “beareths all things, believeths all things, hopeth all things, endureths all things” Elder Holland says, Bear up and be strong.  I’ve been looking for a family motto that incorporates our last name and I might have to use this.  In Wyoming terms, since my husband is from Wyoming… Cowboy up!  Marriage is not for wimps.  No relationship worth having is for wimps.  Everyone will let you down at some point.  It is part of the plan.  If someone could be everything for you, all the time and never let you down, what incentive would you have to turn to Christ and as much as you love your spouse, and  your children, and your siblings and you strive to be everything for them,  you will let them down, or hurt them in some way, because you’re not perfect either.  It’s okay.  Bear up and be strong. We can endure almost anything if we have someone at our side who truly loves us, who is easing the burden and lightening the load.

I know this line is said by a woman, to a woman, but I think we would all benefit in our marriages, guys included, by being Ruth’s.  She was such a great example of loving Christ’s way when she said, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following thee, for wither thou goest, I will go and where thou lodgest, I will lodge, thy people shall be my people and thy God, my God, where thou diest, I will die and there will be buried.  The Lord do so to me and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.  How romantic is that, when those words are applied to our marraiges.

We can all strengthen our marriages, no matter our circumstance, by first-being long-suffering.  It takes patience, forgiveness and kindness to this, but it is within our power.  Second, not being easily provoked.  To do this, apply positive intentions to the other person’s actions.  Set limits, hold them accountable for misdeeds, but try and see things from their perspective.  It does way more to foster cooperation and a sense of unity and security, than seeing the worst in our loved ones and lastly, by bearing up and enduring when it is required.  Have hope and believe good things will come and learn to be on each other’s team.  We’ve all heard of Team Jacob, or Team Edward, or Team CoCo… make it a goal to be on Team Bear, or Team Oler, or Team Price, or whatever your last name is.

To end, I wanted to quote Elder Holland one last time.   He says, “I suppose no one is as handsome or as beautiful as he or she wishes, or as brilliant in school or as witty in speech or as wealthy as we would like, but in a world of varied talents and fortunes that we can’t always command, I think that makes even more attractive the qualities we can command—such qualities as thoughtfulness, patience, a kind word, and true delight in the accomplishment of another. These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them.


I bare testimony that this is true and that our Savior loves us and with practice we can love more like him each day.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.