Honoring Heavenly Mother on Mother’s Day

Honoring Heavenly Mother on Mother’s Day

Honoring Heavenly Mother on Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s day and I hope yours was wonderful, mine was. Together, Lee and I watered our newly planted seedlings, and then I went to church, enjoyed the talks and the singing in Sacrament meeting.  Next I really enjoyed being with all the women in our Ward in Relief Society. The Elder’s Quorum came in at the end and served us the most delicious strawberry shortcake. One of our daughters came to dinner with 2 of our adorable grandchildren.  We ate and played games and had a good time together. Our other girls called and we visited with them.  Afterwards, Lee and I took an afternoon nap and then called his mother. It was a very happy day.

I Missed Hearing About Heavenly Mother

Last year on Mother’s Day, I went to a friend’s church for Sacrament meeting, where she gave an amazing talk about what we know about our Heavenly Mother. Sadly, yesterday I missed hearing about my Heavenly Mother, so I spent  some time curled up with my phone in one hand and my computer in front of me, reading the Gospel Topic Essay titled “Mother in Heaven“. Additionally, I read all of the footnotes and source material.  After that, I read Elder Renlund’s recent talk “Your Divine Nature and Eternal Destiny”.  I felt a deep desire to Honoring Heavenly Mother this Mother’s Day.

Seeking Greater Understanding

I woke up early this morning excited to continue my gospel studies.  In the early morning I used my time to journal about all the things that I have learned about my Heavenly Mother. While at the same time, being careful to avoid the “speculation” that Elder Renlund warned about in his talk. Surprisingly, I was amazed at all the things we know!

Here Are Some Things We Do Know About Heavenly Mother:

  • She exists and is a cherished doctrine of our church.
  • We are Her beloved spirit children.
  • She loves us.
  • We (females) look like Her.
  • She is as concerned about us as our earthly mothers, and from beyond the veil is working to help us. 
  • She was a partner in the creation.
  • She helped design The Plan of Salvation.
  • Our Divine Heavenly Mother is side by side with the Divine Heavenly Father.

It was a wonderful ending to Mother’s Day, considering the part Heavenly Mother plays in my life.

I know our Heavenly Parents know us individually and want the best for me and for you.

I ask myself – How do my Heavenly Parents see me?  Where do I see them influencing me today? 

I know that I love and trust them.  Consequently, when things happen in my life that I don’t understand, I believe that instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?”,  I want to ask, “How is this happening for me?”

Similarly, when your spouse or even your children leave the church, sometimes we make it mean that our Heavenly Parents have forgotten us, and perhaps we have offended Them somehow.

They Want Us Home With Them Again

After careful consideration, we can begin to realize how much we are beloved by our Heavenly Parents. They not only want the very best for us, they are always looking for ways to get us home to Them. To reframe our thought, we might ask, “How this trial, event or situation will work out for us and bring us closer to Them?

That was my Mother’s Day message. I hope by sharing my insights you will find something that resonates with you too.

General Conference is awesome! Sometimes it’s hard…

General Conference is awesome and sometimes sad

General Conference is awesome! Sometimes it’s hard…

In the first session of General Conference, as I listened to President Bonnie Cordon speak, I received personal inspiration about how I can testify of Christ to my unbelieving family. There was the thrill of the spirit and also writing down the personal direction so I can remember and act on it.

During the very next talk, I wrote that it is so very hard to hear stories of “those who just kept going” and made it through their faith crisis’. I wrote that it’s hard to hear because that’s not what happened to my loved ones who have left the faith.  See one of my earlier blogs, “5 ways that working with a life coach helped me when my husband left the church” for some suggestions.

Not All Talks Encourage Me

Sometimes as I listen, I feel on top of the world, and other times, I struggle with feeling like I don’t fit in and feel left out when the talks are about families who all believe together.

This is so common for families that start with a common belief and some members later choose a different path. The believers love feeling the spirit and the feelings of being a part of the body of Christ and yet there is sadness that they worship alone.

Put Off The Natural Woman

Something that has helped me to counter the sad feelings and accept and embrace the lonely part of being the believing member in my home has been learning and applying Mosiah 3:19. This is the scripture about putting off the natural [woman]. In my natural state I am prone to all my natural emotions like fear, depression, and despair. When I learn to put off that “natural woman”, I am able to access the fruits of the spirit, which are peace, joy and patience, among others.

I’ve been studying how to quiet, and even silence these “natural woman” voices so that I can hear the voice of the spirit by using simple mindfulness exercises. These exercises help us access the part of our brains that allows for agency rather than the feelings of being “acted upon”, that being sad and lonely generate.

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and how it can help you find the peace you desire, click the button below and schedule a time for us just to talk.

Loving My Family – Right Where They Are

Loving My Family - Right Where They Are
Loving My Family – Right Where They Are

This last month my daughter had her baby dedicated at her church.  It is interesting, a few years ago I might have felt bad for her “choices”, possibly even thinking that she was making the “wrong” choices.  It is not be accident that I am getting better at “Loving Family Members – Right Where They Are”.

Thinking about my mixed-faith family:

One of my focuses over the past few years has been on learning to soften my heart around all members of my mixed-faith family. Less criticism, less judgement, more patience with myself and them. My goal was to learn to love them exactly where they are. To have eyes to see the good in their lives. Observing the progress I’ve made brings internal peace, and I sincerely loved baby J’s dedication. Truly feeling only love and appreciation for being there.

It was beautiful how their congregation spent the first 10-15 minutes of their meeting standing on their feet, singing and worshiping Jesus. How warmly we were welcomed! How my daughter has been accepted and loved by her congregation! I loved how they have embraced my daughter and her baby’s dedication. 

Finding common ground:

I am able to see all the good things that my daughter is experiencing in a different faith, and it feels really heart-warming.  I continue to love my daughter and now have added respect for finding her community. 

We have found common ground in our mixed-faith family, and it’s based on stronger unconditional love and respect for each other’s choices.

Feeling peace and love:

How are you doing with your mixed-faith family? Take a second to check in with your emotions. Do you feel peace and love towards them and their choices or do you feel worried and anxious?

If you feel worried about your spouse or child and the decisions they are making, I can help you see how YOU may be the one impacting your relationship.  I can help you develop the skills needed to master your mixed-faith relationships

Intentionally developing new skills and “muscles” for ourselves. Understanding that we aren’t responsible for choices our spouse or our child make. Appreciating that we are only responsible for how we respond to them.

I can help YOU learn the skills that lead to increased peace and love with all members of your family. 

If you find yourself in a similar situation, click here and we can chat!

Making Decisions For Others

Making Decisions For Others

Making Decisions For Others

Several weeks ago, I bought a workbook titled, “Heavenly Parents: A Couple’s Guide to Creating a More Divine Marriage“.  (More info to come on this.)

Even though my husband no longer participates in the LDS faith, the marriage we’ve created together has always been based on principles that we learned from church. Consequently we usually enjoy taking marriage courses together.

After I bought the workbook, I looked through it and liked the 12 principles, one for each month. However I thought there were too many General Authority quotes for my husband and he probably wouldn’t like it. 

So I didn’t show it to him…

I’m a super mind reader – NOT!

I read his mind and decided for him that it wasn’t something he would be interested in. He would think it was “too churchy”.

A week later, he found the chapter that I had printed and asked about it.

It turns out that he loves the principles! He is perfectly capable of overlooking quotes that I thought he wouldn’t like. Even though I had the best of intentions in mind, I was just protecting him from a non-issue to him. That old “I assumed” problem we all trip over once in a while. Sure enough, it came and bit me once again. Perhaps this assuming has happened between you and another person?

This kind of mind reading and then editing information is something that we all do in marriage.  Making decisions for another is never a great idea. In a mixed-faith marriage, assuming we know what our no-longer believing spouse is thinking, can result in missed opportunities.  In this case, I would have missed out on conversations with my husband. Conversations that would bring more of the unity and closeness that we both want in our marriage. 

Lesson learned (again) – DON’T “assume”, simply ASK!

Learning to Love As Christ Loves

Love as Christ Loves

Learning to Love As Christ Loves

Have you seen the multi-season series about the Life of Jesus called, “The Chosen? It portrays events in the life of Christ from a whole new, much more relatable perspective. I have learned so much that after finishing season 3 last week, I went back to and started Season 1 again. Each episode helps me learn to love as Christ loves.

I love watching the character who plays Jesus. He shows love in such a genuine way to love as Christ loves in the series.  As a result of the watching this character of Jesus, I am learning about what loving kindness, charity and the pure love of Christ looks like.

Lessons On Love Learned At Church

For a long time I was confused by what I learned about “love” at church.  Over the years, I’ve heard so much about service and sacrifice, which is part of the pure love of Christ.  Unfortunately, I was always worrying if I was loving or sacrificing enough.  I even had a mental checklist of service to perform, and I worried that I wasn’t ever doing enough. I just thought I was really bad at love.

Watching the Jesus in “The Chosen” series show love and compassion is teaching me that I can do it too.

Preparing for Church

In preparation for church recently, I took a few minutes to quietly meditate on upcoming parts of the day. I mentally went down my planned activities for the day. These included; Sacrament Meeting and Relief Society. Our daughter and grandsons coming for dinner, planning my week, taking part in a workshop on marriage with Lee. 

I thought about the people I would be with. I thought about how I always want to show up as a little bit better version of myself. 

Practicing Love At Relief Society

During Relief Society a few weeks ago, the lady who sat behind me was introduced as new to our Ward. I turned around and introduced myself, and invited her to sit next to me.  Throughout the meeting I thought about what I could say to her when Relief Society was over. I simply wanted to get to know her a little better.

I was just curious

The question I asked her was, “ tell me the story of how you came to be part of our Ward?” I didn’t want to assume that she was married, had children, etc. We had a delightful conversation about where she lived and what she was doing, and that she has three fur babies and no human babies yet. 

I went home feeling great about how easy it was to talk with someone when I was not simply checking the box, “speak to someone new”.  I genuinely enjoyed getting to know her and I caught a little glimpse of my better self.  Perhaps I was actually “loving as Christ loves”.

How are you doing at becoming the “better self” that you want to be?

What are you learning about love from Jesus Christ?

It is challenging to accept others’ choices and not be disappointed. Or perhaps even “loving” them when the people we love choose different paths than we’ve chosen.

Perhaps I can help?

I coach faithful women affected by family members losing their faith or leaving the LDS church. It’s a really rough time. From my own personal experience, and from the experiences of many others I have worked with, I know how tough this time can be. I would love to help you negotiate this overwhelming time. We learn that loving choices are always available to us.  In conclusion, mixed-faith marriages or families are not new or unique, however personally experiencing this situation can be super disorienting.

If you are in this type of turmoil, perhaps now is the time to get some help?  We can discuss where you are and we can talk about learning to love as Christ loves.

I invite you to set up an appointment and we can just talk about what’s on your mind and in your heart.

It’s NOT about ME!

It's NOT about ME!
It’s NOT about ME!

A couple of days ago, I got a phone call from a loved one with discouraging news. 

For some reason I was not able to gather my thoughts together and make sense of what happened. Or even know how to respond.  Ultimately, I had to end our call to process the news. 

My mind went to the conversation with my loved ones, and why I couldn’t respond. After thinking about it a bit, I realized that my first thoughts were about me and not them. Strangely, my mind was making their news all about my feelings, thoughts and concerns. I wasn’t thinking about how this would affect them, except by way of how it was affecting me. 

One of the hard parts about being willing to do the work of making ourselves better is discovering really embarrassing things about ourselves. This was one of those embarrassing moments for me… 😳

The character trait that I was trying to avoid here was being “self-centered“. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines self-centered as “concerned solely with one’s own desires, needs, or interests

It’s NOT About ME!

The life lesson I relearned this week was, when we make it about us, we can’t respond to those in need. We can’t mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. We can’t lift the hands that hang down or strengthen the feeble knees. We can only worry about how it will affect you.

Thinking about ourselves first is a very common reaction from those of us who have loved ones who have left the church. We typically get all wrapped up in how this news affects us. How will we look at church? What if our loved one wants to bring home their girl or boyfriend to stay overnight with us? Why are we are hurting?

Things do take time to sort through

We do need time to process these things. To maintain a strong connection with our loved ones, we really need to have the eyes and the heart to see how this information is affecting them. What do they think about how others are thinking and talking about them?  Are they afraid that we will reject their girl or boyfriend? Where are their pains?

Sometimes apologies are in order

I called my loved ones back that afternoon and apologized for my reaction, and told them that I wanted to be supportive of them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at it yet, and asked for their understanding and patience. After I hung up, my brain was able to start thinking of ways that I could support them. With practice, I was making it about them,  (the people with the problem) and NOT about how it would affect me. 

For a few minutes after our 2nd phone conversation I was able to bask in the glow of being someone who was learning. Learning to walk the talk of all the things I am learning for myself and teaching others. This is what it feels like to be a follower of Christ. 

Recently I’ve been consiously practicing thinking more about others, and not just about me. I’ve found that making lasting changes frequently take time and practice. Like so many areas of my life, I am still a work in progress…

Lesson for today? We all just need to remember, It’s NOT about ME!

The Choice Has Always Been In You

The Choice Is Yours

I like to put my own name and pronouns in the scriptures that I am studying. Personalizing the scriptures help me internalize it more. Recently, I’ve been learning about agency – my own and the agency of everyone around me. Today I want to share with you what I learned about agency from thinking about this scripture:

Jennifer should be anxiously engaged in good causes and do many things of her own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness in the world, for the power is in her, wherein she is an agent unto herself.” (see D&C 58:27-28)


I feel that I bring to pass righteousness in the world when I do simple things like decide to smile and say hello to every person I meet on my walk. I bring to pass righteousness when I recognize that my actions may have hurt someone and apologize quickly, frequently, and sincerely. I bring to pass righteousness when I look into the future and see my interactions with others, then choose how I want to show up, and take actions to be the person I want to be.  Making my own choices and taking action is very powerful – and I love feeling powerful. It’s exhilarating!


There was a time when I thought I was always at the mercy of situations and people around me.  They all had power over my life. If the weather was terrible, it meant I couldn’t do what I planned that day and it made me sad.  When I thought that my children were unhappy, it meant that I needed to be unhappy with them. When my husband’s actions made me angry, I thought that meant that I could be mean back because “he made me angry”.  I thought that was the way things should be – but I also felt POWERLESS with every one else creating my feelings.


Then I learned how to take responsibility for myself and not be at the mercy of events or people around me. I learned how to coach myself using the self-coaching model, and it helped me see that my thoughts create my feelings and my feelings drive all my actions.  

Thoughts → Feelings → Actions

I’ve learned that it is ME!  I am responsible for how I act and react in every situation. I also learned that I have the power to choose my thoughts, and no one can take that power away from me unless I let them.


I didn’t learn how to use the self-coaching model instantly, it took practice, LOTS of practice, and I still make mistakes. I’ve actually learned that part of my power comes from knowing I am not perfect, and when I make mistakes, I can turn to Jesus and let Him help me.  I’ve discovered that using my agency to take responsibility for me has brought me closer to the Savior, because I can see how much I need Him. I never realized the power of the Atonement when I was blaming everyone else for what I did. 

I am continually learning to love myself, to love and trust God, and to love those around me. My desire to share these things that I am learning with others was the genesis of creating my Becoming A Whole-Hearted Woman program. I started putting my whole heart into becoming the woman that I wanted to be. 


If you want help defining and becoming the woman YOU want to be, to feel the power of being the one who has control of her own life, I would love to assist as your guide and coach. You have the power within you to be happy, joyful and loving, no matter what is happening around you. Let’s talk. 

You can reply to this email or follow this link to set up a time for us to chat.  This costs you nothing and will provide some useful tools.  We can talk about how you can stop feeling out of control of your life and how powerful it feels to be in charge of your life.