Monday, May 1, 2017

The Source From Whence It Came + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I got off work early the other day. As I was walking toward the main doors to the parking lot, I had a lot of things going through my head. I had a list of things I needed to do that day and I was excited to get to it. 
But then I saw Midy, one of our school trackers. I knew her from some interactions we had concerning a certain student and so we had talked briefly before. She struck me as someone who was very firm with the students, letting them know she was in charge and that they needed to respect her, even though she is petite and non-dramatic in her appearance. And I noticed that it worked! She has a lot of power in that school, to make sure that students are wearing the proper attire, not abusing electronics in the classroom, being respectful to each other and to their teachers. She is a force to be reckoned with, if you don't comply immediately with her respectful but firm request. She can take your phone away and confiscate it until your parents come pick it up, she can have you removed from campus if you are in violation of any school rules.  But she is just as quick to lend a helping hand to any student who appears sad, lonely, or depressed. The students really love her! As she walked toward me that day, she seemed relaxed and happy, with no pressing duties at hand. I said hello and asked her how her day was going. She responded positively and then I asked her what she does outside of her job.

I learned a lot in the few minutes of conversation we had! I learned that she has her parents living with her and that she takes care of them. That struck a chord with me, since that is what I do as well. My dad lives with us and we help him enjoy his elderly years, rather than have him live in a nursing home. Her parents are culturally rich--her dad is from Haiti and her mother is from Paris. They both speak fluent French! That explained why she speaks with an accent. I couldn't quite place where it was from before, but now it was evident.

She is married and has a very bright little girl in kindergarten, who school administrators wanted to put into 2nd grade because she is so far advanced in her reading and math. Midy declined the offer because she wants her daughter to have the social experience of kindergarten, getting along with kids her own age. 

She likes to cook both ethnic and exotic foods, which I'm sure she does amazingly well, since she has such a rich cultural heritage with both her parents. 

She talked about her parents quite a bit, revealing that her mother spanked her when she got a B in a college class and she didn't apologize for it because she wanted her to do the best of her ability and not squander the opportunity she had for education here. She also says that she believes in children doing hard work and learning how to be independent and not being spoiled with many things. Midy has taught her daughter to do many chores at home and to be very independent. 

Her dad is very happy and when he has a birthday wants cake, even though he can't have cake because he has diabetes. They make him the cake and then he simply looks at it, takes a small bite and then enjoys everyone else eating it and celebrating his birthday. He is very grateful to be living here in America. Midy says that one of his favorite quotes is "When you drink the water, don't forget where it came from." 

And the last thing that Midy told me is that she loves to stop and help others when they are in need of help on the road. It is a college town and so there are lots of chances to give people rides. She knows that in today's world that could be a bit creepy, but she assures them that she is only there to help and has actually helped quite a few students get to where they need to go, rather than walk. 

I imagine, though she didn't actually tell me, that the words of her father really did sink in. I imagine that helping where she can, even though she is very busy with her own pressing duties, is one small way that she can give back, to show she hasn't forgotten from whence her own opportunities come.
 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  

Monday, April 24, 2017

To Step Away + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content


 I'm a little late to the party, but I recently viewed the series 'John Adams'. This is a must-see series if you want to be entertained while getting to know a bit more under what conditions the U.S. was founded and what this lesser known 2nd president sacrificed in terms of family, hardship, and prestige. He was uncompromisingly true to his beliefs, even to the point that he probably sacrificed a 2nd term for the presidency because of it. 

His wife, Abigail, was one of the most intelligent women of that century, and was regarded as her husband's equal in terms of intelligence and judgement. He listened to her and treasured her opinions. Their relationship is regarded as one of the moving love stories of American History. Even Thomas Jefferson looked to her as an equal, one of the only women he deigned to regard as such.

The movie was produced by Tom Hanks, among others. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney both did a superb job playing, respectively, John and Abigail Adams. 

Why I Loved It

I loved the portrayal of early American life. It was accurate and even showed how dental care was almost non-existent. Both George Washington and John Adams had horrible teeth when they were older men. Even Abigail had tooth problems, as I'm sure most society did in the absence of dental care! I'm sure glad that we have access to that today!

Smallpox ran rampant in those times and Abigail was one of the first to make sure her children got vaccinations so that the dreaded disease would pass by their front door. There were certainly risks to doing it, and the way it was portrayed in the movie was very graphic, although I'm sure accurate!

There were many other depictions of early American life and for me it was fascinating to think of how far civilization has come in some ways and yet seems to have devolved in other ways. 

John Adams was honest to the point of receiving ridicule from the social circles he was sent to move in, in order to bridge diplomatic relations between the infant Republic and the  French and English monarchies. He was such an independent thinker and was able to articulate his reasoning in front of a skeptical public. In some instances he was successful and in others not so much.
Image - Ryan Schantzenbach
 Because of his unpopular stance of neutrality when much of the country was clamoring for war, he avoided a very expensive and unnecessary war which, at the time, might have broken the country financially before it even got off the ground. 


He was able to step away from the crowd, think logically about his beliefs and get his footing before coming back and becoming a strong and persuasive force for the good of the infant country. He was indeed a strong individual and was willing to sacrifice much for his beliefs. 

I relearned that it's OK to take a moment, step back and get your head together. Before one rushes to do what everyone else is doing, it's wise to take a second and make sure it is consistent with who you are and what you really believe inside!
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

6 Easy Ways To Quickly Increase #GutHealth And Why Everyone Should!

  My stomach has always had issues. I've had to bow out of activities and parties because I've had these crazy, disabling, sharp, pains in my stomach. I thought that maybe I was experiencing the precursors to Irritable Bowel Syndrome or even Crohn's Disease, which my mom had later in life. Thankfully I figured out that the majority of my problems stem from my unhealthy stomach environment and that I am able to correct it with a few things. 

I must have given myself a good headstart at having a horrible gut environment every time I took antibiotics as a kid, and there were quite a few times! I'm sure most kids have to have at least several rounds of antibiotics to get through childhood. But I'm definitely for medicine if you need it.

Then we added insult to the injury and my little sugar addiction turned into a monster! You know you've got a sugar addiction when the sight of macaroons (or brownies, cakes, twinkies, candy, or anything sugary) makes you salivate! And when you succumb to having "just a taste", you find that, like a crack addict, you can't stop at just one. You have to go back again and again!
Somehow I managed to get it under control with only a few instances per year of falling completely off the wagon. But I do have the residual weight gain to get rid of and I wonder if that will ever happen. I think I could muster up the motivation if my husband were to promise me the car of my dreams. I'm thinking he and I should have a chat about that. I do feel that the best chance I have of losing weight is to get my gut health under control. I'm ecstatic to learn that my metabolism can be so much better if the ph balance of my stomach is alkaline and has a better ratio of good bacteria vs. bad bacteria. And how do we get that good ratio?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Feel Gratitude This #Easter Through Music #PrinceOfPeace

Music has always held a special place for me. That is why at various times I have become very determined to practice dance, violin, or piano. Never at the same time and never for long periods of time. I don't enjoy playing in public, but will if the need is desperate! I don't get paid for it, but the satisfaction is priceless when you are able to practice and perform something to the best of your ability! Last week I, along with my talented cellist and pianist friends, recorded a rendition of "The Lord Is My Shepherd", a free arrangement by Jenny Garlock.

  
I love this beautiful old hymn, words written around 1821 by James Montgomery, based on Psalm 23, and the music written around 1895 by Thomas Koschat. This unlikely collaboration made the song available to the public at around the turn of the 20th century. So when the opportunity to play the song with these awesome ladies came up, I took a fresh look at the song. Here are some of my favorite phrases within the song and what I got from them.
Image - Brent Borup, Artist
"Restores Me When Wandering" - We, like sheep, tend to wander if not led by our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, the Prince Of Peace. But He will always find us if we want Him to be our shepherd and try to find Him as well. We may be temporarily out of sight from Him, but if we cry to Him, He will hear our cries. He is the Good Shepherd!

"Redeems When Oppressed" - There are so many people who are going through horrible things. No one is exempt. But ultimately, the Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will redeem those who love Him and who will stand up and be counted. This life is so short--we are young one day and elderly the next. However, this life is not our only existence. Using our earthly collateral to make temporal gains is a risky business. We could be investing in heavenly stock, the one sure investment!

"Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear" - Why should I fear the designs of evil, when I have the ultimate guardian to help me? I need only to trust in Him and show my love for Him by keeping His commandments as best as I can. When I make mistakes, I can repent and keep trying!

"In the midst of affliction my table is spread. With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er." Even on the worst of days, I must remember how truly blessed I am and how much I owe to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ! I have been given the gift of life, I have been able to give the gift of life to my children, I have family, friends, a roof over my head, I am a citizen of a country where I have been given so many freedoms. I have food, water, shelter, and all the modern conveniences of the 21st century! The list goes on and on! We are very blessed. Is it really OK to gripe and complain after all of these amazing blessings?


The overall feeling that this song gives me is gratitude. The imagery for me is sitting by a peacefully flowing stream or river, with the clouds gently moving in the sky. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I will be feeling so grateful to the #PrinceOfPeace for all that He has done for me. I'm grateful that He rose again after taking on not only his own death but everyone's death and then conquering it by rising from a tomb! We don't ever have to look upon our deaths as a permanent thing!
"...whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day!"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Forced Perspective + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content


I take a photo editing class along with my class of Spec Ed students at the high school where I work. I need to monitor things like behavior while I try to learn the material so I can "assist" them. Thankfully, they were born at the turn of the century and they can pick up the various tasks on Photo Shop surprisingly easily. Not so myself, I sometimes struggle!
One thing that I caught onto pretty quickly, however, was the concept of 'Forced Perspective', using the camera to trick the mind to see something differently than what is really happening.Oh yeah, I'm an expert on forced perspective--considering I get it everywhere, and have for years now. Consider the following:

Camouflage--Animals are experts at using the art of camouflage to protect themselves from the dangerous eyes of predators.  I am amazed at chameleons and the octopus. They are wonders of nature at blending into their environment! Celebrities do the same thing! You can be sure that at San Diego Comic Comic Con there are celebrities everywhere going incognito via disguise. Unless you make a study at recognizing a certain celebrity or animal, you'll be forced into a false perspective!!!
News - I thought news was supposed to be impartial and based on fact. But, apparently, that is so pre-Vietnam War. So much of what is going on today is based on inflamatory rhetoric and intentional fact distortion. To get an accurate picture, one is now forced to rely on multiple news sources and experts. If you rely on just one source, your perspective is sure to be skewed and inaccurate!
Peoples' Lives - So many times my perspective at what I thought was the truth about someone has been shattered. I've learned long ago, for instance, to never expect any kind of permanency in Hollywood marriages! They will break up 90% of the time. When I was a teenager, I babysat for a couple, Mike and Jan, with 3 beautiful little boys. I idolized them because I thought that they had it together so much more than my own family. I felt like they were so classy, neat, clean, and beautiful. When she filed for divorce a few years later, it really shocked me. Apparently Mike was flirting around with girls as young as me and she finally had enough. It forced me to realize that things, no matter how perfect they look, often aren't what they seem.


Pinterest and Instagram Accounts - Oh those picture perfect lives! They inspire me and discourage me at the same time! I can immerse myself for inordinate amounts of time, in awe of the creativity, beauty, and picture perfect settings. Sometimes I am forced to turn off my phone and leave it so I can get something else done! Little did anyone realize, when both start-ups officially began 7 years ago, how they would explode into a collective mass public obsession! It changed the public's perspective of  how they look at potential purchases and where they look!

Fashion/Makeup/Cosmetic Surgery It is the job of the beauty industry to create looks that are designed to deceive the eye into believing someone is thinner, younger, more aesthetically pleasing than they could ever be on their own. They aren't doing their job if  the following discussion isn't forced--"was she was born with it or wasn't she"? It is amazing, to the point that just because you were born a certain gender doesn't mean that you can't be transformed to look like the opposite gender. These days, just because you were born with it, doesn't mean you can't get rid of it! The sky is the limit and it's a perspective that many welcome, while confusing and frustrating to just as many.
As for myself, I realize that I am a product of my environment and I happily go along with some views and reject others. I feel like I have wised up and developed a good sense of what is real and what is fake. But I always want to be able to step away, hit the re-set button and try to see things in a different perspective! What other examples of forced perspective can you think of?

Image - Caroline Stone
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  
Image Credits - Mashable  imgur

Thursday, April 6, 2017

#Giveaway 4 All-Day Passes To This Is The Place Park

 
Baby Animal Season is in full swing and I'm teaming up with This Is The Place Heritage Park to give out 4 free all-day passes (Adults - $12.95, Children - $8.95)! The baby animals are just so sweet! Life is teeming and spring is in the air!
We checked out the park a week ago and it was so much fun! I can't think of a more fun and diverse place for family fun! Emigration Canyon is just above the park and you can see people trekking across with horses, dogs, or bikes! 
We especially liked shopping at the Gift Shop this time. It is packed with many unique and beautiful items, one of the largest inventories in the West! Just a couple of my favorites are shown below. Check out their 50% off section too!
Beautiful Copper Bracelets

Hilarious when you open it!

Horseback trail rides are also so much fun and right now you can score an introductory rate of 2 for the price of 1 plus $5 if you book online and put in the code SPRING! And don't forget to tell them A GAL NEEDS...sent you!

For a chance to win 4 all-day passes, enter in the Rafflecopter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Disclaimer: Open to U.S.  A GAL NEEDS...received free passes from this sponsor to facilitate the review of this venue. Affiliate links may be present. No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Klout nor any other social platforms are involved in any way!
Must be 18 or older to participate, Winner will be contacted by e-mail
after 04/20/17.  Must respond within 48 hours.
After notification, winner will be asked to acknowledge their win by contacting sponsor on Social Media and letting them know of their win.
Entrants with invalid entries will
be disqualified.
Sponsor, This Is The Place Heritage Park, is responsible for fulfillment of prize package. A GAL NEEDS...is not responsible for prize fullfillment.    

Monday, April 3, 2017

Move Forward With Faith #PrinceOfPeace

Easter is upcoming and it is the second most popular religious season in the U.S., Christmas being the first. I love Easter because it gives me a chance to pause and think about why we celebrate it! This video is so moving to me and hopefully to you as well!

  
In addition to this video, the Easter Campaign called #PrinceOfPeace has identified 8 spiritual gifts that belief in Him, Jesus Christ, can give to us. The first one is Faith and I'd like to share a story about my friend Jen. Her simple faith in the Savior and His ability to heal us today, just like when He was on the earth, gave her a miracle that made her faith even stronger and set a great example for me.

It started on Christmas Day. Jen lives alone--an Aussie who became a U.S. Citizen some years ago. Her family lives far away in Australia. I just love listening to her accent! 

Although it was very cold and the roads were covered with snow and ice, she decided to walk to church to celebrate Christmas there. Halfway through her trip, she saw that it was more icy than she previously thought. But she decided to continue on. Unfortunately, she fell and broke her hand in 2 places. It was excruciatingly painful but she had to wait until the next day to receive medical care because it was Christmas.
She requested a priesthood blessing from a member of the clergy in her church group (known as a ward). In the blessing, she was counseled to be patient in her recovery. From that blessing she got two things. 1) That she would eventually be healed and 2) She needed to practice patience.
She had two different injuries. One was the bony side of her hand where the little finger adjoins to the hand. It had been shattered into 5 different pieces and the doctor said they wouldn't even try to repair that. It would not heal, but it also wouldn't be too critical (his way of reassuring her, nothing else to do!), with arthritis probably occurring later in life. The 2nd  part was the thumb. It came off of its "shelf" and also had a very bad break. That was set while she was in the hospital by a surgeon from Arizona. It was still severely injured and broken.
She went back every 10 days, 2 or 3 times, each time with the doctors not being sure whether or not surgery was the route to go.
Her cast became painful and made her hand swell and was in danger of infection. She had to take it off, but since it wasn't healed, her doctor left it up to her whether she wanted to opt for the surgery or if she wanted to try her luck and let it heal on its own.
She thought about her blessing and thought about what option would require "patience". If she opted to not have the surgery, she would need to hold her arm and hand completely still until it hopefully healed, with no guarantees. Could she even do that? Having the surgery would also require patience and risks, including an incision and extra cost. also with no guarantees. She opted to NOT have the surgery.
To ensure that optimal healing take place, she had to keep her hand still for 4 weeks. But she found that the patience that she needed was readily available. She found that, amazingly, it was even a pleasant experience. She felt that she couldn't have had that kind of patience on her own, but that she had been given the gift of patience in order to bear the burden.
Finally, her hand completely knit itself together on its own, even the part that they said wouldn't heal. All 5 shattered pieces came together and became whole.  She still needs to practice patience, however. Because of the length of time she had to hold her hand still, she has atrophy and needs extensive physical therapy. But it is a small price to pay in exchange for her hand being eventually completely healed!
I feel that this was a miracle that occurred because she practiced faith. First, by going to church even though it was hard. Second, by requesting a priesthood blessing. Third, by being mindful of what was said in the blessing and following the instructions given in that blessing. Because of her faith and obedience, she was blessed with a hand that is whole and a stronger testimony of the power of the priesthood and the blessings of being faithful! 

I'm so grateful to know women of faith like Jen! I need examples like her in order to strengthen my own faith! And I'm grateful for the blessings that our Savior, Jesus Christ, gives to each of us as we reach out in faith to Him. It doesn't matter that we just have a little bit. It just matters that we practice it. And once we practice it, we can see it grow! 

Sometimes the outcome of faith doesn't look like a miracle to other people. In fact, it could look tragic. But it is how we rely on our faith in Christ that is personal to us and not to anyone else. Consider the video below, where the family had every right to become bitter but didn't and continues to have faith!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Memorable Horseback Ride at 'This Is The Place Heritage Park' #DiscountCode

Getting out after this long winter and enjoying the crisp, clean air in the Rocky Mountains is something I relish this time of year. It is absolutely gorgeous. And to enhance it even more, why not enjoy it on a horseback ride? 'This Is The Place Heritage Park' has an amazing set-up for riders of all experiences, making it a great group activity. There are horses for first-timers, horses for adults, and horses for children. The setting is beautiful and there are some historical points of interest along the way as well!
I found out that my sister was expecting last year when we went horseback riding at the park. She had some reservations about riding because she was about 8 weeks pregnant at the time and so she privately asked James, the cowboy at 'This Is The Place' if it was safe. He reassured her that it was and gave her an especially gentle and slow mare, just to reassure her. I happened to overhear a bit of the conversation and asked her about it. She confirmed it and so I became one of the very first people to hear the good news! The ride was really fun and we had a great time!
To kick off the riding season, I've got an amazing offer from 'This Is The Place Heritage Park'! Normally a one-hour ride at the park is $55 per person. I've seen it on the signs at the park and on their website. But for anyone who mentions the code word, or that you are with A GAL NEEDS....at booking, you can get a one hour ride for 2 people at the great rate of $60! That's just $30 per person!! It's basically buy one, get the other one for $5! I totally recommend this if you have ever wanted to go horseback riding and just never had a chance to do it! 

Bookings are open for March 15th and go Mondays thru Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
You can either call James the Cowboy at 801-448-6126 and make sure to mention you are calling from the Bloggers Network, specifically A GAL NEEDS...  OR
Visit www.thisistheplace.org, go to the 'HorsebackTrail Rides' Tab and put in the code SPRING before you complete your transaction for your discount! Say you heard it from 'A GAL NEEDS...!'
I can't wait to go again this season! Remember to wear a good hat, sunglasses, and some good riding boots or shoes! Hope to see you on the trail!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

'Sun Time Fun Time' $50 Del Sol #Giveaway


Right now in the Rockies the weather is temperamental, and we are longing for spring! One day it's snow, the next rain, and the next sun! Patience at this time of year is indeed a virtue! To help you get through these last dicey weeks before the sun comes out for more than just a tease, we'd like to let you in on a giveaway from Del Sol! Del Sol literally means 'of the sun'!
Del Sol makes color-changing apparel, nail polish, and accessories. Using Spectrachrome Crystals that work like a flower exposed to sun, they literally change colors outside during the day! Even cloudy days will work because clouds can't block out the rays of the sun! Check me out in my Del Sol Solize sunnies while I was accompanied by my Civil War Era detail! What a fun day! All their sunglasses are polarized
(and more) and come with an amazing lifetime guarantee!




Everyone needs time in the sun and Del Sol makes your fun sun time even better! Join us as we give someone a $50 eGift Code to Del Sol. Read the review here and enter below and your valid entries will be counted at the time of the draw!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: Open to U.S. and Canada!  A GAL NEEDS...received product from this sponsor to facilitate the review of this product. Affiliate links may be present. No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Klout nor any other social platforms are involved in any way!
Must be 18 or older to participate, Winner will be contacted by e-mail
after 03/30/17.  Must respond within 48 hours.
After notification, winner will be asked to acknowledge their win by contacting sponsor on Social Media and letting them know of their win. 
Entrants with invalid entries will
be disqualified. 
Sponsor, Del Sol, is responsible for delivery of prize package. A GAL NEEDS...is not responsible for delivery of product or prize.
 

Monday, March 6, 2017

'Eyes Led By The Heart' #MyPostMonday + The Week's Best Original Content


I've decided which movie star my youngest son resembles! I had figured out long ago who my first-born son looks like, duh, Tom Cruise! I swear he has his profile to a tee, and even down to the little twitch Tom gets in his jaw when it tenses up. (I study these things very carefully) Tom Cruise is an action star and my son is 100% action as well. He just won his 2nd belt, held simultaneously, for his work in the ring. He's an MMA fighter, right now ranked #1 in Utah for his weight class. (Look him up on Instagram!) He's also in the military and ready to go to war for our country. He's as full of testosterone as anyone I've ever seen. 

But I could never find anyone that my youngest son favors. Not that it mattered one bit--I know I have the best looking sons on the planet! (lol, do all moms think like I do? ) Joe is a gentle giant. He has two championship rings from playing on his high school football team, winning the state division championship two years in a row, and he is an awesome wrestler, making state. But his easy-going nature is a contrast to my eldest son. He chose to serve an LDS mission. He cleaned up his act, put his affairs in order, and left in January to serve for 2 years in La La Land! Yes, he's in L.A.! He e-mails me every week giving me short updates on what it's like to serve. It has been so much fun to share some of the things that happen to him since he decided to take on that role. 

Once a week they are able to take some time off and have a day to do laundry, grocery shopping, get together with other missionaries in their area, and maybe even do a little sight-seeing, like last week. They went to the Petersen Automotive Museum to check out all of the amazing cars there. But what was really cool is that they ran into Chris Pratt, star of Guardians of the Galaxy, and Passengers!
Only in L.A. am I right? They were in the gift shop, with no one else there but themselves and Chris Pratt! They said hello and introduced themselves. He had his little boy with him and he explained, "Hey, it's the elders! They meet people and talk about God!" When he drove off, he waved to them. Nothing huge, but enough to certainly make me take notice. 

Well, of course, I had to go see Passengers, because I am a slacker and didn't see it when it first came out. As I'm watching it, and seeing Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) go through that agonizing dilemma of whether or not to wake up Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), and then living with what he did, trying to make up for what he did, and more than making up for what he did, I was so moved because I saw my son in him. He has those gentle blue eyes and those good looks! And what a coincidence that he met his doppelganger so early on in his stint as a missionary in L.A.!

Am I being unrealistic in thinking my sons are so amazing and good-looking? Some people would say yes. But I know the feeling is real for me. It doesn't matter that other people may see it quite differently. The point is that those you love take on a beauty that maybe only you can see, or maybe the whole world can see. But the point is, the beauty is there for you! 

Image - Eric Melander
I've seen so many examples of little old men and women who have been married for years and years. They are old, wrinkled and past their prime, but to each other they are beautiful. They see beyond the imperfections that time has wrought and they just see the beauty. It's so sweet to see!

I've given up rejecting the compliments my husband gives me, telling me I'm pretty, cute, sexy, etc. I realize that to him, it's true. As time passes, I quit thinking that he's just saying those things to get something from me, a fault on my part. He genuinely believes it! 
So I must conclude that despite the deluge of photographs, models, fashions, and fleeting standards of beauty, truth be told--true beauty must be seen with eyes that are led by the heart!
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)