Monday, October 24, 2016

Blessed Assurance.

Disclaimer: I know that my blog is becoming less about my family and more my journal. I am a little  uncomfortable about that and pondering what to do... When I sit down to my actual journal...nothing. When I sit down to my blog--well, it comes easily. Not sure about the reason, but I  know for sure that I want to keep a record of this time right now. goes another journal entry. 

 When I was in college, I spent a good deal of time 
camped out in the parking lot of this temple. 
Long conversations were had with just me and Heavenly Father. Lots of them.
One night, as I poured out my heart in some sort of college-induced anguish, 
I heard this sweet message:
"Brenda, I've done everything I can for you outside these walls."
I believe that "invitation" was the beginning of my anticipation and eventually my love for the temple. It was several years later that I entered for the first time and it felt like coming home. 
And it still does.

Saturday, as I struggled with keeping a check 
on my emotional stability :) --
I felt an urgency to get to the temple. Urgency.
And so I dropped everything and went.
He had a lesson for me that needed to be taught 
in my hour of need -and I was oh so glad to receive it. 

And even though I still have lots of long 
conversations with Him, filled with heartache and worry-
such power comes from being on the inside of those walls.
I can hardly believe how amazingly blessed I am.
True Joy.

And for real-- listen to this: Blessed Assurance. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Runner's High.

My favorite moment at each cross-country meet 
was not when Will crossed the finish line. 

It was this: 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Labit Family Roundup.

It's time for one of these so here goes:

Michaela (pictured with her cuz Lindsey):

Michaela is in her second year at UVU. She has found her true passion in the Digital Media program there--her ultimate goal right now is post production video editing but has found many things she loves in that program. She is doing a ton of writing--screen plays, original scripts, etc. etc. She is a super talented writer and is receiving some attention for that from her professors and others. Recently, she and her friend wrote the opening monologue for the Glenn Beck program after the Orlando shootings. It was really powerful and he complimented them after delivering it. :) She is seriously considering, however, doing at a stint at Disney world next fall. Yay for free passes...we support her in that endeavor!!!

Bethany just returned from her second tour of China. She went to play but fell into the opportunity to teach again for the month that she was there. She definitely managed to play as well--Disneyland in Shanghai was a highlight! She is back now working at the newly opened Sodalicious in Springville and is planning to go back to school in January.


Elijah is attending UVU as well and is in the aviation program there. His goal is to become a commercial pilot. We are all hoping for that as well--lots of perks with a pilot in the family!
He is a stellar student and after a summer working the zipline at Sudance, he has joined Michaela at her place of employment, Get Out Games.  Not only will he work as a game master, but he will also work in the Zombie room as, you guessed it, a zombie... kind of takes you back to his Shakespeare days....

Caliban-from The Tempest...

Hannah is a junior and still Merit Academy--a charter school in Springville. She works part time at a grocery store and loves the independence that having a paycheck brings. If only it could bring her her own car...she is a super proficient driver and probably the one I have worried the least about on the rode (knock on wood now that I have said that out loud). She  is my right hand man most of the time and I love spending time with her. She loved our trip to Washington (pictured above) and whenever we get rain here, she is at her happiest...go figure!

Will just finished cross country season at Timpview. As a former cross country runner myself, I totally admired his commitment to the sport. Either it is something you love or it is something you endure...we are both endurers..but he endured well and kept at it. Proud of him for that and he has no
plans to stop. High school  has been as adjustment but he has done so well. Sure love this kid.

Michael and I are doing great- we love the religion class we are taking together. It is the highlight of our week. We should have done that long ago. We are surviving the new challenges that life is bringing us in this stage of child rearing :) We are glad to have each other.

And so: that is the round-up of life thus far. Good things are happening. For that we are grateful. 

Adios and amen :)

P.S. Soundtrack of the month--anything James Ingram. You might have forgotten how much you loved him back in the day. Sooooo good. :)

Blessed Assurance  ( a more current one from a gospel album---love it!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Parable of the Toilet Paper.

A simple story about blessings-- in such a silly way that I am tempted to write it off as coincidence and move on.

And it just might be coincidence, except I have been asking Heavenly Father lately me to help me be more aware of Him and His blessings in my life.
Not because I doubt He is there, but because I want to be more grateful for the big and little ways that
He reveals Himself to me...thus toilet paper.
Last Sunday was a big day.
Elder Paynter's Sacrament meeting talk meant a family dinner later that evening, followed by a"welcome home" open house.
Bad timing for Angie to discover Sunday morning that she was down to a bare minimum of toilet paper.
Definitely not enough for the upcoming onslaught of guests.
And so she asked to borrow 2 rolls from me to get through the day.
The back story is that Michael and I have always prided ourselves in our substantial amount of toilet paper. Back when I couponed, I was able to stock us up on a good 6 month plus supply for minimal money. However, those days are over and concern over our diminishing supply comes up from time to time. We are weird like that...
However, 2 rolls was easy.
But when I went down to the basement to pull 2 rolls out of the 9 pack, the impression was to "give it all."
The whole pack.
It was a strange prompting and so, embarrassingly, for a moment I struggled with that.  
She only asked for 2, she only needed stash was low, but again, "just give it all."
So I took up the whole 9 pack and gave it to her.
She expressed that she didn't need the whole thing but I told her to keep it blah, blah, blah.
And that was the last I ever thought about it.
Until Thursday-
I was at Walmart and they were clearancing some toilet paper.
A good brand- at 2.00 for a nine pack. Normally, on the shelf it was 8.00 a package.
So I bought 14 of them.
Yay for me because those kind of deals bring me so much happiness :)
But it wasn't until I had stacked them in my basement next to my tiny existing supply of toilet paper that the bigger picture occurred to me.
That dumb little sacrifice of a package of toilet paper had come back to me more than 12 fold.
I felt silly for even thinking that those two things were related...Heavenly Father for sure didn't care about my toilet paper stash.
But He does care about me.
And for someone who has been so needful lately of reminders that He knows and loves me,
I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
Because I really am trying to "give it all"-- in much bigger ways than toilet paper generosity--and it was a beautiful reminder of the way Heaven operates.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Viva Mexico!

Just 2 years ago this young man left with much enthusiasm for his mission.
From the moment he got his call, it seemed that smile never left his face.  
Seriously though.
Maybe because of all that joy, some might have been a little worried that the hard work of a mission would be a huge wake up call. And as his letters continued to come without a word of discouragement, some worried that maybe he was faking it...for his mom? For everyone?
However, his testimony seemed solid and his expressions of that testimony were so real.
But could he really be that happy?
He returned last week with that same smile, that same aura of joy--it was real.
As stories of his mission have unfolded, lots of hard, discouraging things happened to him...muggings (thanks for hiding those stories) rejections, hard companions, etc. It was rough sometimes.
But here is what I know. Elder Paynter lived President Nelson's plea, his whole mission.
He found joy in the hardships because he was serving Jesus. True joy. 
To hear him choke up as he expresses how much he wishes he was still in Mexico, serving the people he learned to love so much, certainly tugs at the heart :)
That's the definition of the pure love of Christ.
Real, true, joy.
Yep. Elder Paynter is the real deal.
Sooo good to have him home but so glad to know he wishes that he wasn't.
That's a mission done well.
Viva Mexico!!!

Still smiling :)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Reflections on a Seventeen Year Old.

 Seventeen years ago today, Hannah Nicolena Labit was born--
one day after we moved into our brand new home. 
I prayed that she would wait until we were out of Angie's basement and into our own house. 
She did, by just a few hours :)

I love this girl.
She is a hero of mine.
I sincerely hope that this 17th year is one of peace and joy.
Happy Birthday my dear.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Change of Seasons.

Here is what I heard Pres. Nelson tell me at General Conference: "Brenda, it's time for your season of weeping to end."
I heard it loud and clear and I knew he was right.
I have been pondering how to accomplish that.
I'm pretty tied to my worry, sorrow, and heartache.
It's a fight--sometimes I win and I sometimes I lose.

Tonight in my religion class--Bro. Bartholomew taught something so simple and yet so profound.
I am not even sure I can put it into the right words because really it was a spirit to spirit moment...
and it resonated.
It was the answer I was looking for.
A lesson on focus and distraction that only the Savior can teach in a way that I feel so completely.
And believe so deeply.

Is there any doubt He loves me????

I think Thanksgiving has arrived ahead of schedule. :)

 Pres. Nelson's talk that was "just for me" here: Joy and Spiritual Survival

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Food For Thought.

This is it.
Just think about this.

I know it was General Conference Weekend.
I know our brains and hearts 
are crammed full of things to think about.
And we will. 

But for now...
Brownies and Ice cream.
Ponder the goodness. :)
Happy Pre-Birthday Celebration to my third and final daughter.
Hannah Nicolena.
Love you.

Shabbat Shalom.