Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gospel Topic Tuesday: Tithing

Last week I missed my Gospel Topic Tuesday. I woke up early Wednesday morning and realized it was Wednesday and I had missed it. I planned on doing it that day but totally spaced it and then the week passed me by. Now here it is yet another week passed and I am late again. I had my topic picked out for last week also so it wasn't because I had nothing to write it was just because I am adjusting to my new life.

At Stake Conference one of the topics discussed was tithing. My friend Kenny was sitting next to us and commented on how it's always the same topics discussed. Now I don't disagree but the thought came to me there is a reason why. People struggle with it. If all church members faithfully paid their tithing 100% in full they would not talk to us about tithing as much.

In the Old Testament in the book of Malachi chapter 3 verses 8 - 10 it reads, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." We have been commanded to pay tithing which is one tenth of our income. When you step back and think about how everything is the Lord's and he is blessing our lives it really is a small thing to give one tenth of what we earn. Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi said, "The earth belongs to the Lord, and this includes our own lives. He allows us to use everything on this earth. He only asks us to return one-tenth. Tithing is a token of gratitude, obedience, and thanksgiving—a token of our willingness and dedication. Paying tithing, willingly, develops an honest and pure heart." (Will a Man Rob God?)

There is a story or an account in the New Testament found in the book of St. Mark chapter 12 verses 41-44 "And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." This story tells of a woman who is very poor and gives the last of her money which I am sure was hard. Why would she do this? I believe it's because she knew that she would be blessed and the Lord would provide a way.

Back to the scripture in Malachai it states "prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." The Lord wants us to prove him. If we faithfully pay our tithing and do as we are commanded we will be blessed. I've experienced this personally in my life. I am not good with money. I never have been and may never be but it is something I am working on. When I moved out on my own I was a little apprehensive. I was making a big step and taking on a lot of responsibility with getting my own place and paying for everything. Before I had only my car insurance, gas and cell bill. Money was tight for me when I was only paying those 3 bills. I knew though that if I faithfully paid my tithing I would be able to pay my bills and manage to get by each month. And it happened. There were some months that I am not sure how things worked out but they did and I know it was a direct blessing from the Lord that my money managed to go as far as it did.

President Hinckley said, “While tithing is paid with money, more importantly it is paid with faith.” (Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Unceasingly) It does take a great deal of faith to pay our tithing especially when money becomes tight. We have to trust in the Lord and have faith that he will do what he promises he will do. Things will work out, it might not work out the way we hope or plan but the Lord will bless our lives immensely and everything will come together.

I have a strong testimony of tithing and the importance of it. I know and have experienced the blessings that come from faithfully paying that tithing. It does not mean we won't have trials but we will be blessed and strengthened through those trials.

My First Outing

On Monday I had a plan to go to the store. I had a decent list of items mostly groceries that I wanted to get. I was a little apprehensive about going out because on my last outing with Jared I realized I didn't know how I would go to the bathroom while shopping by myself. I started to panic thinking I could never go out on my own. So of course I had to face my fear and deal with it head on. I got everything ready to go and when Benjamin was ready we went out. We timed it pretty good because he slept the whole time we were gone and for awhile when we got home.

Now the car seat we have is an incredibly safe one but it does not fit in shopping carts like most models do. So we have to place it down in the shopping cart which as you can imagine takes up quite a bit of room. I carefully stacked all my items around Benjamin's car seat and filled up the cart. The last item on my list or really the main reason for going shopping was bins. I needed 3 large bins to store clothes in for Benjamin. We've been amazingly blessed with a ton of clothes so many I really don't have room. I decided and discussed it with Jared and he agreed that bins labeled and kept in the closet would work. We would be able to rotate easily through his clothes and hopefully not miss out on anything.

So there I was with a full cart and needing 3 large bins. They wouldn't fit on the bottom (I was wishing for a Costco cart at the moment) so I put the lids on the bottom and pushed my full cart with one hand and carried 3 large bins to the front of the store. While maneuvering down one aisle a lady smiled and stood on the side. I self consciously commented, "Overdid it." She replied, "Multi talented woman." It made me feel a little better. I picked a line and unloaded my cart. Now I started thinking hmm how in the world are they going to put the groceries back in the cart. In bags it won't fit. I decided to take Benjamin out but the bins in and load the bins up with the bagged groceries and carry Benjamin out on my arm and push the cart with one arm again.

It was a successful trip. A short one so the bathroom wasn't an issue but I know I can handle going out on my own now. But man I do love my security blanket of Jared though.

Father's Day

Father's day we woke up to Benjamin around 7am. I got up and took care of him and tried to let Jared sleep in. That didn't last very long of course and I couldn't wait to give him his Father Day gift or gifts. Jared and I had gone shopping the day before together and while I shopped for him he took Benjamin and found him a wonderful Sunday outfit. When I gave Jared his bag he felt it and I asked him what he thought I got him. He guessed right. A tie. Well partially right. I bought him 5 ties to be exact. Different colors and patterns. He put them on display for Benjamin to look at which entertained him for a little bit.

I made bacon and eggs for breakfast along with blueberry muffins that are really delicious. So moist!! We gave Benjamin his bath and got things together to go to church. It was week 3 and we were going to go to church for all 3 hours. I was a little nervous.

Anyways after church I made myself a sandwich and Jared the last pizza in the freezer. He is trying to get rid of all the food in the house that I cannot eat. Way to take one for the team. :)

We hung out doing different things and then I made dinner for Jared. Homemade chicken nuggets and salad. It was wonderful.

Jared is an amazing Father. I knew he would be because he is so great with kids but I cannot express how my heart feels when I watch him with Benjamin. He talks to him, cuddles with him, comforts him and ensures he is safe. Benjamin and I are both very blessed to have Jared in our lives.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandpa Meets Benjamin

My Dad came into town this last week and met his grandson Benjamin. It was a nice visit to spend time together. Dad is busy with his new boat and getting ready for the fishing season.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Punch Dub

Jared and I drove to Snohomish to do some shopping today. While traveling down Hwy 2 we started to notice an absurd amount of VW cars and other European cars like BMW and Audi's. There would be batches of these cars in a row and then sometimes every other car or every 3-5 cars. It was insane. VW cars were definitely the majority of the European cars we saw. I told Jared it's a good thing we aren't playing punch dub. Do you know what punch dub is? It's like slug bug but it's for any VW car. We would have been really sore if we were playing punch dub while driving into and through Monroe.
On the way back from Snohomish I saw a sign on the back of a truck that said, "Buy a gun and piss off a liberal." I started laughing and looked at Jared and he smiled. He knew exactly why I was laughing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Projectile Poop, dairy and 11 lbs.

I have a few things I want to write about but I don't think I can make it a cohesive piece. So I am going to write them but in separate paragraphs so it will be a little random.
"No one warned us about projectile poop!" Last night Jared changed Benjamin's diaper and while doing it got hit with projectile poop. I laughed hysterically as I have been peed on many times. Today Jared was changing Benjamin's diaper again and it happened again. More projectile poop! Again I laughed hysterically at the situation. Jared made the previous comment listed about how we were warned about a boy peeing everywhere but not about the projectile poop. Now maybe the reason no one said anything about projectile poop is because it's rude, disgusting, or even taboo but if you truly know me you know my boundaries are pretty limitless in some regards.
We found that Benjamin cannot process the proteins derived from cow's milk. So now that means I can no longer partake of dairy. Which is a hard sacrifice for me because I do love milk products like cheese, ice cream and chocolate. But Benjamin is worth the sacrifice. It makes eating a little difficult. Jared and I are trying to get a bit creative. I got a craving for something sweet last night and decided I need to buy some Popsicles to fulfill my sweet tooth. But today Jared made a strawberry lemonade slush... it's a daiquiri type drink. It was delicious! Totally hit the spot and easy to make.
11 pounds to go!!!! I only have 11 pounds left to lose to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight. The weight has just been melting off so far which has been great. Jared and I have been taking walks together with Benjamin too which helps. I am going to start working out on my Wii Fit again too. That combined with trying to eat healthy should make it happen but we will see.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Everyday is Saturday

Everyday feels like Saturday right now. With Jared home it really does feel like Saturday every single day except Sunday's (to some degree even Sunday does). We've been sleeping in, staying up late, eating our meals at weird hours, doing chores off and on, and just hanging out.

Today we woke up took care of Benjamin and then Benjamin and I went back to sleep for a bit together. Jared went and hung out downstairs playing video games which is just how we used to do it and Benjamin fits right in.

I've done some dishes, made beef and broccoli, watched TV and cuddled with Benjamin.

I love these days. Jared goes back to work on Friday and I am a little nervous about that because I will have to figure things out on my own. I know I am capable but I've really enjoyed having Jared home and spending all this time together.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Say Good Bye

We went to Jared's parents house today for a party for Olga to say goodbye. We had a family party on my side a week ago that we took Olga to also for her to say goodbye. We had a good time just hanging out visiting and eating food.
We let people hold Benjamin which is a rarity still at this point. I will be very honest it's hard for me to let other people hold him. It's not a trust issue...I can't completely explain it. Maybe it's just possessive or protective together.

I took this picture of Corey trying to catch him licking the back door that just cracked us up. He did not want to get his picture taken at that point though.

We are home now just hanging out.

2 weeks and a graduate

Olga's graduation was yesterday. Jared and I felt a little weird going to graduation for a Senior when we had a 2 week old baby. We new it would happen that way since September but it was still pretty weird. We decided to walk to the graduation since we knew traffic and parking would not be great. It turned out good for us anyways since we hadn't taken our daily walk (we are trying to take Benjamin out for walks each day when it's nice). We got there just on time to see the graduates coming in or should I say walking down the track. They walked the track 2 at a time in no specific order. Olga walked in with her friend Jessica.

Jared and I walked around trying to keep Benjamin asleep in his stroller. We took turns taking pictures of Olga like the paparazzi.
It took us like 15 minutes to find Olga after everything was done. But we finally found her and took some pictures together before we headed home.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tough on the heart

Being a mom is tough on the heart. I've been getting glimpses of what our Heavenly Father's love for us must be like. I don't think I will ever completely comprehend it but I've seen some glimpses.
Today we had to take Benjamin to the Dr. to get his PKU and I prayed before leaving that I would be able to be strong. I might have been strong in some way but listening to my sweet baby boy cry at the top of his lungs as they poked his foot and squeezed the blood out my heart just swelled. I wished I could endure it for him. I wished that I could take it all away. I know it's for the best and that he had to have the test but it broke my heart to watch him in pain. My eyes burned and I tried to breathe the impending tears away but I couldn't. The tears just started to flow down. As soon as I could I had Benjamin in my arms trying to comfort and calm him down. Jared had his arm around me to try and comfort me too.
Benjamin is just so adorable. We love watching him smile and looking around. We really love watching him sleep and cuddling with him.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gospel Topic Tuesday: He Will Never Leave Us

I really want to write about the atonement but I still don’t feel I can give it justice yet. The atonement is something I hold very dear to my heart and I have learned more about it over the past week. I want to make sure I get my thoughts and feelings well documented so I will wait. While doing some research though, I found an interesting article with a point that stems from the atonement and gave me great comfort while facing trials this last week.

While the Savior was in the garden of Gethsemane he asked 3 of his disciples (Peter, James and John) to stay and pray with him. They fell asleep and Jesus came and found them multiple times asleep. It was a little thing that he asked of them and yet they could not do it. They left him in his greatest time of need which was prophesied of. Even Heavenly Father had to leave Jesus and withdraw his spirit at one point. “…the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.” Jeffrey R. Holland, “None Were with Him”

Jesus had to experience everything that we would experience. If he did not experience he would not be able to help us in our times of need. Have you ever felt pain? Sorrow? Loneliness? Hurt? So has Jesus Christ. He suffered everything so that we might not have to but we have to turn to him and trust in him that he can help us. When we are in the midst of trials and feeling the heavy burden of the pain or loneliness we need to remember that we can turn to our Savior and find comfort. He has promised us that he will never leave us.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that he is there and will help us through it. We need to do our best to remember to turn to him for help, comfort, guidance and peace. While receiving priesthood blessings before giving birth to my son Benjamin one of the key things called out was to remember to turn to the Lord. I knew that everything would be okay as long as I remembered to turn to the Lord and rely on him. There were moments that I felt I should be scared or worried but I turned to the Lord and knew that everything would be okay. When I could no longer endure anymore I turned to the Lord for help and knew that with him I could make it through.

I am very grateful for the knowledge I have that I know I can always turn to my Savior, Jesus Christ, no matter what is happening in my life and find comfort and peace. I know that he understands all that I feel and that I do not have to experience it alone.

Monday, June 7, 2010

3 Generations

Benjamin is such a great baby! We love him so much! Yesterday my mom was over "Granny" and we did a 3 generation photo.

My mom was going home so I also got a picture of Olga and my mom together. Olga goes back to Spain this month.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Loving Motherhood

I cannot express enough how much I love being a mother! My heart is so full. Benjamin is my new obsession. Jared and I just can't get enough of him. We watch him sleep. Play with him when he is awake.
Benjamin slept for about 3 hours last night and then was awake for a few. He was just content to lay on the bed and look around. I couldn't help but grab the camera and take pictures.

After sleeping for another 3 hours or so Benjamin woke up for a bit and then went back to sleep. Jared and I were pretty well rested so we just watched Benjamin. I made Jared stay still so I could take pics and then took his spot so I could pose.

Benjamin's Granny is in town and enjoying as much as she can with him.

I wanted to make the bed before going to bed tonight and so I asked Jared to help. He picked up Benjamin and was going to move him to his bassinet. But once Jared was holding him he couldn't put him down. Jared is an amazing father and Benjamin has us both wrapped up around his finger.

His hat is a perfect fit huh?

I cannot describe what my heart feels when I look at Benjamin. I'm sure other parents understand.

More Photos

While at the hospital we had a photographer take some photos of Benjamin. We are able to access them now and they are great.
Benjamin was a real trooper. You can see some of the spots where he was poked, prodded and stuck with needles.
Go here and type in password 0529benjaminlutz to see some great photos. (These only last for 2 weeks so better hurry.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pool Winners!

Below are the winners for the Pools:
Day Born: May 29th
Winner: Connie (said June but meant May) & Olga

Time Born: 8:26am
Winner: Jacki with 8:30am

Weight: 10lbs and 2oz
Winner: Aunt Caren with 9lbs 13oz

Height: 22 inches
Winner: Jared & Emily Fricke
You will recieve your prize in the next few weeks.

Sleep what is that?!

Since Thursday night I have not gotten much sleep. I had contractions that started at 7pm on Thursday and lasted straight through until I had Benjamin Saturday morning. After I had him I thought maybe I would be able to get some sleep but I was wrong. Between things happening to me and Benjamin there was no time for sleep. So between Thursday night and Monday night I got about 6-8 hours of sleep total. Which I personally require about 8 hours of sleep a night to be a content, nice and happy person. Yet here I am functioning on very little sleep. Last night was a great night though. I got a 1/2 hour block, 2 hour block, another 2 hour block and an hour block. So 5 1/2 hours roughly which was great! After the 1st 2 hour block Jared and I both woke up feeling so great. Benjamin hadn't stirred or made a peep in his bassinet.
This morning we are letting Benjamin chill on his toy pad. He is really quite content and having fun looking at things and reaching for them some (I'm sure it's not totally on purpose).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pictures of Benjamin Michael

Alright some pictures of Benjamin, finally. I personally think he is adorable and perfect in every way (I know I'm a little biased though). I am still having moments where I go..."Oh my gosh, he is here and really mine. I have my very own child!"
I hope you enjoy the pictures below.