Monday, September 13, 2010

From Hoping to Doing: TOFW Friday Night

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. (13th article of faith)

Wish this wood installation was hanging in my home. Instead it hangs in the Sacramento Convention Center.

Last year at Time Out for Women (TOFW) I was so inspired (post one and post two)and so grateful that I wanted to give something back to the speakers. Unfortunately I didn't have the foresight back then. So I committed that this year I would go prepared with treats for the speakers. Making food for people is one of the ways I share my love and appreciation.

My friend the Greek Goddess (center) flew up from LA to visit and attend TOFW with me!

So... I made cake pops - pumpkin cake pops for each of the presenters.

Like last year, I was inspired, moved and pumped up to continue to keep my heart full of hope and to work step-by-step to accomplish those hopes.

Friday night at TOFW always includes powerful, entertaining speakers and performers....

QS, Jenny Oaks Baker (center) and Greek Goddess

I had the pleasure of attending TOFW last year and Jenny Oaks Baker, a masterful vioilinist, adorable pixie and loving mother entertained us, moved us with her music, and regaled us with her humorous stories.

This year she said:

We never know how our weaknesses and imperfections can help someone.

Don't shy away from difficult things - just means we need to turn to God.

Ardeth Kapp and QS (see the cake pop?)

Ardeth Kapp was one of the most influential General Young Women Presidents - she is a woman of grace, and when you're around her you can feel her love. She radiates truth, goodness and joy.

At TOFW she said one woman is helpful, 10 women are influential, 100 women are powerful and 1000 women are invincible. Righteous women have incredible influence - we have a noble calling.

Sister Kapp also referenced Elder Ballard's inspired talk Women of Righteousness, specifically this quote:
More than ever before we need women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity, as the Relief Society declaration proclaims. We need women who can hear and who will respond to the voice of the Lord, women who at all costs will defend and protect the family. We don’t need women who want to be like men, sound like men, dress like men, drive like some men drive, or act like men. We do need women who rejoice in their womanhood and have a spiritual confirmation of their identity, their value, and their eternal destiny. Above all, we need women who will stand up for truth and righteousness and decry evil at every turn and simply say, “Lord, here am I, send me.”
I also love how Kapp said, "Hope is reflected in our vision of the future. ...It is never foolish to hope. ...Look forward with hope and optimism."

I loved hearing what she said about hope, optimism and the vision of the future. I don't get jealous. I don't see the point of it anymore. I used to, as a kid, a teen... I've just learned little-by-little over many years how to overcome that weak trait. After listening to Kapp I realized it's because of my hope, that I often think is a bit of naiveté. When I see other people have opportunities to travel or live abroad - I don't find any envy or bitterness in my heart. In fact, I get really excited for them, and can't wait to learn about experiences. I feel that way because I have that hope that one day, some day in the future, that that will happen for me. Hope is powerful. It brings joy, peace and anticipated excitement for each new day.

Kapp was giving her talk and lost her place for a moment. She was adorable as she said, "I have a photographic memory, but not the same day delivery." heheheheh She is the type of lady I would hope to be like one day. Full of joy, faith and a perfect brightness of hope. She has never been able to have children of her own. When she was first married people asked her if she had any children and her response was "not yet." Now that she's in her golden, elegant years, people still ask if she has children, her answer is still "not yet". I have to say, with the years of service and creating the YW program and the inspired theme - she has children... wonderful young women who have grown into righteous women and mothers.

Kapp also shared how important it is to include constant prayer in our lives. We need to be on guard. We are refined, strengthened and sanctified daily in our trials. "Hope is a catalyst for change and repentance."

Kapp quoted Elder Todd Christofferson:
"In times of distress let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact."

Kapp also quoted Pres David O. Mckay about our influence:

As individuals, we must think nobler thoughts. We must not encourage base thoughts nor low aspirations. If we do, we shall radiate them to others. If we think noble thoughts, if we encourage and cherish noble aspirations, there will be that radiation when we meet people, especially when we associate with them.

Every man, every person radiates what he or she is. Every person is a recipient of radiation. The Savior was conscious of this fact. Whenever he came into the presence of an individual, he sensed that radiation, whether it was the woman of Samaria with her past life; whether it was the woman who was to be stoned, or the men who were to stone her; whether it was the statesman, Nicodemus, or one of the lepers. Christ was ever conscious of the radiation from the individual, and, to a degree, so are you, and so am I. It is what we are and what we radiate that affects the people around us.

As it is true of the individual so it is true of the home. Our homes radiate what we are, and that radiation comes from what we say and how we act in the home. No member of this Church, no husband or father, has the right to utter an oath in his home, or ever to express a cross word to his wife or to his children. By your ordination and your responsibility, you cannot do it as a man who holds the priesthood and be true to the spirit within you. You contribute to an ideal home by your character, controlling your passion, your temper, guarding your speech, because those things will make your home what it is, and what it will radiate to the neighborhood. You do what you can to produce peace and harmony, no matter what you may suffer.
One more note about Kapp. When my sister was a young woman, she attended a conference where Kapp spoke. After the conference my sister talked to her and post-conference my sister corresponded with Kapp via post. I always found that story incredible, that a woman as busy as Kapp was, would take the time to share her precious time and love with a young woman. As I'm working on this blog post, I checked my email to find a sweet email from her. Naturally, reading her sweet words, I could feel her radiating her love. I am in tears. She expressed gratitude to me. Me?! I hope I can be like her one will take many, many steps to reach her ability and wisdom...but I'll keep hoping. I love her because despite the trials and challenges she has encountered in her life, it is so obvious that she is a happy person.

John Bytheway and QS (now it's a game, find the cake pop...)

Growing up my Mom bought tons of John Bytheway audio tapes of his talks. We found events he spoke at in the Bay Area and traveled to them just to hear him speak. He was single for a long while before he met and fell in love with Kim. As fans we followed him through his journey, and he shared humorous, wise insight along the way for us.

When my hubby and I were dating and first married we both listened to his talks. In fact, I purchased John Bytheway's What We'd Wish We Knew When We Were Newlyweds book.

In the book he talks about how he and his wife come up with a nonsensical word, "sternfalter" to be the final truth word when it came to expressing their feelings and actions. For my husband and myself, we'd have issues making decisions. We'd go out to dinner and both wanted to let the other person choose, we cared more about the other's preference than our own... with "sternfalter" we were able to assess truthfully how we really felt. Silly, but effective.

Bytheway began his talk with a quote from Sister Patricia Holland:
"If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I would stage a full blown blitz on its women. I would keep them so distraught and distracted that they would never find the calming strength and serenity for which their sex has always been known. He has effectively done that, catching us in the crunch of trying to be superhuman instead of realistically striving to reach our individual purpose and unique God-given potential within such diversity. He tauntingly teases us that if we don't have it all- fame, fortune, families, and fun- and have it every minute all the time, we have been short changed; we are second class citizens in the race of life. You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to get these messages in today's world, and as a sex we are struggling, and our society struggles. Drugs, teenage pregnancies, divorce, family violence, and suicide are some of the every-increasing side effects of our collective life in the express lane."

Bytheway also shared Alma 29:14, 16 - How do we react when others do well?

14-But I do not joy in my own success, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.

16-Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.

This is now one of my fav scriptures. I totally agree with what Alma has to say.

Find someone who knows how to be content. -Smurthwaite

Let our spirit take the Lead. - Wendy Watson Nelson

Sin makes you stupid and it costs a lot too. - Sheri Dew

Bytheway challenge:
-for five days pray for the Holy Ghost to be with you
- throughout the day in the midst of anything difficult, pray for the spirit to be with you

Having the gift of the Holy Ghost trumps any Internet filter. - John Bytheway

Tell yourself, "I think I'll be delightful today..." - John Bytheway

Usually marriages go through the appreciate/expect/demand stages.
Let us oft speak kind words to each other.

"Never let our spouse, kids wonder what it would be like for us to say kind things about them." - John Bytheway

"Valuable diamonds shine vastly brighter against a dark background." Pres James E. Faust to the youth

"When we trust Him, our questions change." John Bytheway
That was the first day... and it was marvelous. Plus, I got to host my sweet friend the Greek Goddess and her delicious son at my home this past weekend. I should also mention, I returned home to find my house sparkling like a palace. My heroic husband detailed the house while taking care of my girls (who missed me...yay!) and cleaning up the backyard... all in the space of only six hours. I love that man.


The Atomic Mom said...

Ok, I've got to come back and read this and give its proper due, but you must tell us in blog land how to make a cake pop...those are just too cute! :)

Queen Scarlett said...

It's the famous and lovely Bakerella. Go check her out. She just came out with her first book!