Friday Link Pack

24 March 2017

I'm going to post some fun links from around the internet more often.  Because I've been collecting articles and pictures I've loved in a folder on my web browser, and they are getting digitally dusty.  So I'll post them here over time and share them with all of yooooouu!  :)   And keep emailing me your good finds too!  I love seeing what you are reading, listening to, and liking.

Cutest gif ever.  (Based off the live news video when a professor was interrupted by his little family).

I'm all about phone boundaries.  (do you agree with the slot machines and social medial creating the same ludic loop?  Interesting, huh?)

I could use one of these - Bouncer for my brain.

**Curiosity vs. passion.  Elizabeth Gilbert could drop a mic after everything she writes. 

An "almost" sleepover party invitation.  This is my kind of party!

Have a great SUNNY weekend!

Upward and onward,

image source

The Auther who finishes our stories

19 March 2017

I found this post buried in my drafts today.  I re-read it, and my thoughts are exactly what I needed to hear today, exactly one month later.


Written February 19.

During church, I had a flow of thoughts within me that wasn't synced with any talk or lesson I heard that day.  Something my consciousness has been mulling over lately.  And as Charlotte and I each occupied a chair in the mother's lounge.  She in one, and I in the other, facing each other, with my boots pressed up on her chair, rocking us both, I let my mind wander into this flow.  (Charlotte was busy wondering why her crib was not packed with all the other hundred items we brought to church with us).

I thought about how a lot of our greatest pains are largely gut-wrenching because they leave unwritten stories.  A loose thread that is left unwoven.  A spare wire that is exposed.  A protruding nerve that is very, very vulnerable.  It's the open-endedness of our stories that can cause so much hurt year after year.  Still waiting.  Still wanting.  Still needing.  It's an open orbit - circling and circling around us, never having a launch pad to finally retire, gear down, and power off .  So the embers of old wounds stay smouldering for a long, long time.  

Several weeks ago in a BYU devotional speech, I heard the presenter said boldly:  "Take hold of your life and order yourself to be valiant."  Like he was stating boldy, "You're the accountable one for you!  So take control of yourself and be better."  Love that!  So I jotted that quote down on a sticky note and added it to the collection pile of influential sticky notes in the drawer of my desk, which come to recall when I need them. 

Then several days ago, I thought back on this quote, relating it to the side of ourselves that is weighed down with grief.  Instead of a motivated declaration: "Take hold of your life and order yourself to be valiant,"  it became a hopeful, comforting plea: "Take hold of your mind and write a new story."  Once again, calling myself to accountability; this time for my sorrows.  Self, you can take control and find a new way to see things.

We have the power to rewrite any story we please.  Every circumstance has a hundred vantage points.  If our vantage point is dissatisfying, we can pick up our feet and move to a new one.  Same with our stories.  If we dislike how one of our life stories turned out, we can pick up our feet and lay hold to a new ending. 

So I thought today about the reason the Gospel bears so much hope and light for us is because it helps us either finish writing our unwritten stories or re-write a past story from a better vantage point.  The curtain hasn't fully closed on any part of our lives, because we haven't returned to our Maker and wrapped anything up yet.  But, we get hung up on pains and sadness that keep orbiting around us, and we just keep seeing them the same thing over and over.  Truth be told, we aren't very good playwrites sometimes.  So Heavenly Father sent Christ down here to us, because we all need a co-author. 

Christ helps us finish the story.

He promises that we will receive the love we want - or that acceptance, or that child, or that health, or that security.  We will get the lost piece to our story.  His promise is so sure that we can rewrite our story now with His ending.  In a way, we yield our pen to faith, to what will come, and our stories can balm themselves now.  We can land our orbiting places of grief now.

Now when my sadness rises to an open-ended story, I remind myself that this story was rewritten.  The story is sealed with His pen.  Remember, self, what Christ told me that ending is?  The Plan of Salvation and celestial life and all the joy and love and blessings that He has promised beyond any of my best imaginings.  My story is re-written and closed with faith of what is to come.

I take hold of my mind and allow myself to be healed with faith.

Upward and onward,

image source

Scenes from our Sabbath

Snapshots that Ryan received of his two princesses enjoying their Sabbath:

Two little ladies all ready for church.

 Nothing like the weight of a dozing babe in your arms.

 Gotta love a teeny baby neck. <3

A winter baby finally getting naked in front of the sun.

Upward and onward,

C.S. Lewis, you've done it again. Written thoughts that are solid gold.

17 March 2017

"The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self–all your wishes and precautions–to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call “ourselves,” to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be “good”… If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown."

C.S. Lewis || Mere Christianity

The other day I saw this picture, paused, and thought, "That's the bag I'd pack if I were on my way to meet C.S. Lewis."
That's how much I like the guy.

 Upward and onward,

Ryan goes snowcaving! A feat that Olympic athletes probably could not even do.

11 March 2017

Entry from Ryan!!!

Okay, so Ryan really posted this to our neighborhood facebook page, but I asked him if I could also post it to our blog scrapbook.  I got you all excited thinking that Ryan is blogging on here now too, right?  Ryan does have a blog..  a private one just for me! ;)  Anyway, here is a post "from" him!


Last night, the varsity scouts pulled off a very successful snowcaving campout! It was a blast! We had delicious chili cheese dogs, worked hard, learned valuable survival skills, and bonded as a troop. The feeling of accomplishment was something I heard many of the boys express. We finished off the evening with a great campfire devotional, where the spirit was in abundance as we talked about member missionary work and serving full time missions.


Chantel again:
How about that?  Digging and digging through the snow until you hollow out a cave large enough for 3-4 people to sleep in.  And then actually sleeping in it!  Men at church the next day were jealous that they had not been a part of it.

I came home from church and hugged my pillow and my bed and all the reachable heater vents.

And then I hugged Ryan because he's just so darn manly and such a good leader for these youth!