Friday, October 16, 2015

Behold, My Mother!

Meet Heidi Jo Giles, the woman I call Mom. Born 41 years ago TODAY! She stands about 5 Foot and 2 inches tall and is full of life. Mom is a friend to SO many people and let me tell you what, people prefer to keep it that way because you wouldn't ever survive as her enemy. She is known for her blunt, fun, and giving personality. If she knows that there is someone in need, she is always there to lend a helping hand. One of the things I love most about her is the love she has for little children. I believe she is the best preschool teacher out there (I am definitely not biased or anything). My mom spends countless hours each day teaching children. She knows their names and loves them each individually. 

I have found no woman who loves and adores her family like my mother does. If you were to ask her, she would tell you that we are her world and nothing else matters. There isn't a moment in time where she isn't 100% devoted to our needs, wants, and dreams. 

Mom has always been my biggest fan and has encouraged me to believe that I am capable of anything I put my heart to. Mom and I have been through a whole heap of trails, but we have overcome each one together. I wouldn't trade the relationship I cherish with my mother for anything this world has to offer me. It was those trying times that brought us to where we are now. Mom and I have always shared the desire for an eternal family and our dreams came true in September of 2009. As I gathered with my family in the temple, I looked first at my mother and we both began to weep as we knew what this meant for eternity. I will never forget that tender moment.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." I know that Elder Holland was inspired to give a tribute to mothers in such a way by our Heavenly Father. I know that my mother is everything God knows she is. Elder Holland continued, "You see, it is not only that they bear us, but they continue bearing with us. It is not only the prenatal carrying but the lifelong carrying that makes mothering such a staggering feat." I owe it all to my wonderful mother for bearing my burdens and continuing to carry me through. I am so blessed to call this woman MY mother and my very best friend.

Thank you for being my mom. Thank you for loving me just as I am and making me always feel like I matter most. Thank you for raising me to work hard and be smart about my decisions. I am grateful for your guiding influence and encouragement along the way. Thank you for giving me the confidence to walk with with my head held high, remembering that the Savior is always near. I love you! Happy Birthday!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Was That All...?

The reward is far greater than the trails we face.

With conference right around the corner I can hardly contain my excitement! It almost is unfair to tease us with Women's Conference only to wait an entire week for more to come. There are no words to describe my experience from this last weekend except a big fat WOW! As I sat listening with my dear sweet mother, my heart was opened and I was forever changed. How blessed we are to have so many incredible leaders to enlighten, encourage, and provide warning for us.

Over the course of the last several months I have experienced some difficult times and I have had to redirect my path so that it is in line with our Heavenly Father's will. Sister Linda S. Reeves' talk hit home and changed my perspective about the trials we face.

"Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?"

Does this not strike a chord deep within your heart and bring you to real heart-felt tears? Sister Reeves, a member of the general relief society presidency just said so herself that she doesn't know why we have the trials we do, but points out beautifully that at some point we will be saying, "was that all?" In mortality it is hard to gain that perspective that in the end it will all be worth it, right? As I have read this message over and over again the Spirit sings to my hear of its truthfulness. I know that what Sister Reeves is calling her personal feeling is a beautiful new perspective that we all can learn from.

I believe that as we strive to follow God's plan no matter the trials that come our way, if we endure them well, we shall have eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Speaking of Enduring, Elder Kevin W. Pearson said, "Enduring to the end is a hallmark of true discipleship and is ESSENTIAL to eternal life." (emphasis added) He goes on to say. "But when trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply "hang in there." Let me be clear: to "hang in there" is NOT a principle of the gospel. Enduring to the end means CONSTANTLY coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him." (emphasis added) We can't hang around and wait for trials to pass because I promise you they won't. Endure to the end clinging to rod which leads to the fruit bearing tree, our Savior Jesus Christ.

My message to you is simple. When your trials seem like more than you can handle, don't you quit, the reward is far greater than we truly comprehend. They are the very things that may qualify us to meet at the Savior's feet and soak them with our tears. Enduring to the End is the only way to true discipleship and simply "hanging in there" is not the way to Christ.

God is speaking to His children in just two short days and He has a message for you specifically. Are you ready? Have you done all you can do to prepare? Have you cleared your schedule? If you have not done all you can do to make conference a priority for your weekend, its not too late to do so. Show God you are serious about what He has to say.