Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gospel Doctrine Class - "I Have Finished My Course"

Today's lesson was New Testament, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus and the title is a statement by the Apostle Paul "I Have Finished My Course" for the attention activity they suggested asking questions about racing, about finishing races, how many winners, how our life is like a race, etc.

All week long after I had read the lesson I kept thinking about an email that my son-in-law's father sent me in 2009 about his experience of running his first marathon. When he sent it to me I remembered thinking this experience he has shared with us (everyone he emailed) is such a great metaphor for life and I saved it, thinking that some day I might want to refer to it for a lesson or talk. Well, 2 yrs later I did.

I started my lesson with the following excerpts from his story:

"...The first eight miles flew by. I hardly remember them. We ran about a 10:45 pace up through mile 19 or 20. By then, the fatigue starting kicking in as both the long run and the heat began to really take their toll.

"...[My] daughter Becky ran from the finish line out to mile 22, met me there, and then ran on in with me. That was pretty cool. I was very glad to have her along with me. We didn't talk much, because I was quite focused on keeping going at that point, but I felt her encouragement as we pounded the hot pavement and put one foot in front of the other. Marianne (his wife) was waiting at mile 24 and ran in the last two with us. That was great too... although in many ways I wasn't very tuned into their presence. My brain was definitely focused on just making my body do what was required to get to the finish line. I knew there was no way I was going to quit after having gone so far. I couldn't truly imagine quitting at mile 22 or 23 or 24 or even 25, even though my body really, really wanted me to. Those last four miles were certainly the most physically grueling experience of my life. ...By then, my right knee was finally numb (which I was quite thankful for since it had been screaming at me since about mile 14) and a nail on my right foot informed me that it no longer wanted to stay connected to its toe."

"My training program really emphasized mental focus and preparation. I had practiced many of the program's visualization and focus techniques over the 5 months, but in those final four miles I ended up using something that was totally new for me and very basic. I simply began to mentally chant, "I will not quit, I will not quit." Then, in a way that was quite spiritual for me, I put the chant to music, adopting the melody from the last two lines of the hymn Press Forward Saints. So my chant became, "I will not quit, no I will not quit. I will not quit. I will not quit. I will not quit." This might seem weird, cheesy or overly churchy to others, but it was quite meaningful and powerful for me -- the combination of my assertive language and the resolute tone and tempo of the hymn gave me the strength and determination to keep going."

"I finally crossed the finish line. I had expected that to be a very jubilant moment, but it was almost surreal. I couldn't quite believe that it was over, that I had gone the full 26.2, and that I had indeed finished my first marathon. In fact, I was pretty disoriented. Maybe the heat had gotten to me or maybe I was just fully and completely exhausted. More likely, it was both. I kind of wandered around a bit, looking for water and shade, and unsure if I should sit or walk, stretch or lay down. Marianne and Becky kind of followed me around asking what I needed or what they could do for me. The event organizers were serving all the runners strawberry shortcake. Once I got my senses about me, that's what I wanted. I had two huge helpings and immensely savored every wolfed-down bite."

"[I] finished in about 5 hours flat. That was on the long side of what I had expected to do (I figured 4 1/2 to 5 hours), but I have no disappointment about it. My goal was to complete a marathon and that's exactly what I did."

I then asked the question - What similes are there in this story and to the course that we are trying to run/finish in our lives?

  • enduring to the end

  • That he did not remember much before mile 8 (much of our life before the age of 8 is not remembered)

  • The "I will not quit"

  • That even though he had done all the training programs of mental focus and visualization that it was the spiritual that got him through

  • That he did not have to run alone - Becky & Marianne ran beside him, (much like we are not asked to go through life alone)

  • That it was a Hymn that gave him strength

  • That even though he had pain and struggles that was not what he focused on in his story, it was the lessons learned, and the spiritual that he remembered

  • The great reward at the end

  • That even if he wasn't able to do it in the time he had hoped to, he was not disappointed (so many things in this life relate to that)

  • That he met his goal

    • There were others, I know, but that gives you the idea.....and then we went on to talk about the things that Paul teaches us that we need to do -

      To finish my course, I must:

    • Learn and teach true doctrine

    • Be an example of the believers

    • Follow after righteousness and deny ungodliness

      • But I loved how this awesome journal entry helped start out the lesson so beautifully! Another cool part of this is that most of the people of our Ward had met John Rex, Sr. at the wedding reception here it Tx, so that added an extra, "oh, I know this person" kind of meaning to the story!!

        I'm always so grateful and humbled that when I listen to the spirit tell me to "save a story" or to "use a story" that it is a great teaching moment and an instrument in strengthening mine and others testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

        Weekend update......

        So, sad, the Ranger's lost the World Series. I really couldn't believe that we didn't win the 6th game -- 11 innings and 3 times that they were 1 strike away from winning and the Cardinals win. Crazy and even though I hoped against it, once that happened I figured that the Cardinals would win the World Series, I didn't dare speak it, but I wasn't too surprised even though I yelled at the TV all night. Then I would go and check on the TCU/BYU game when the World Series game 7 got too stressful and then BYU was losing. Basically BYU gave TCU 3 touchdowns by punting errors!! There I was in my sick bed wanting good things and both games were sad!!

        I think BYU would have won if they would have sent John with them on this road trip as one of the Athletic trainers..............I'm just sayin!!!

        The guy in the BYU shirt is pointing at John's back -- picture is of John getting a football player ready by wrapping (I think maybe it's called taping) his ankles etc.. So this is what the football room looks like.

        Saturday some friends of ours were having an estate sale of their parents home and they told me there was some antique luggage. Now, ever since Allison has started doing her photography she had mentioned that she would like old luggage as props. I have been tempted at different times to just go to an antique store and pay a lot of money and just get them for her. But something in the back of my mind told me to be patient and just check out garage sales whenever I see them and eventually I would find success. Now, me not being the patient person that I am, fought against this a couple of times, but have waited and this weekend found success and it only cost me $26.00 ($35.00 total, but last day discount of 25%) Yay!!
        I'm also excited because the last time I went to the movie, I saw my first trailer for my favorite series of Books the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evonovich that is coming out in December, I think. "One for the Money" - I can't wait.

        Wednesday, October 26, 2011


        Testimony, you never know where you are going to be bearing it. It could be talking on your cell phone to your sister while waiting in the drive through lane at Sonic, it could be while talking to your children, it could be while doing your calling at church, OR, it could be at the Doctor's office that you work at.

        Today after our last patient had left for the day I had an interesting experience with the Doctor I work for. I guess with all the talk on the news etc. of whether we are Christians, or a cult, it has made people randomly talk about "Mormons" for no apparent reason. Luckily, I am not the first member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) to work for this Doctor. So he knows quite a bit about what we believe. He himself is Jewish and very religious, very devout. So when one of our patients said something about us (Mormons) not believing in Jesus Christ, he immediately told them that was not true, and that our Church was even called, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" - BRAVO Doctor!! Of course he likes to remind everyone that Jesus Christ was Jewish!! Indeed he was.

        As he was telling me about correcting this misunderstanding by one of our patients, he went into a whole spiel to something of the effect, that all religions were good and that if God only wanted one religion on the earth, he would tell us, He would appear to man and He would make it happen. And that if God had told him that there was only one true church he (the Doctor) would let everyone know, so we could all be apart of it, and maybe a few other sentences along this line. Now normally when religion comes up because he is Jewish and very devoted to his belief's I just listen and shake my head, comment when appropriate, but because he is my boss, I do not get into religious debates. But I have to tell you when he said those particular statements, I looked right at him and said......

        "Then I feel that I should let you know that God has appeared to man. That Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father did appear to Joseph Smith. And that God the Father through Jesus Christ did tell Joseph Smith that none of the Churches on the earth were the true church, that he should join none of the them and that he would have Joesph Smith bring the gospel back to the earth through him as our prophet in the latter days. And that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth today."

        He told me that he knew that was what I believed and that he would have been disappointed if I had said anything else.

        I went home and told my husband about this experience and before I got to the last part about what the Doctor said in response, he looked at me and said, "so do you still have a job tomorrow?" ha-ha!! Yes, of course! We have been promised that when we Stand for Truth, or Stand with Jesus Christ we will lose nothing!

        But if anyone would like more information about my church or if you still have any concerns about if we are Christians please go to or ask me!!

        Tuesday, October 25, 2011

        A mother's right to brag......

        Saturday night Anne Marie calls to tell me that she has been invited to become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Salt Lake Community College!! I'm so excited for her because I know that she has worked hard to keep her grades up and it is nice to be recognized for doing so!!

        I think there are some good benefits for being apart of this society but whether she joins or not, she knows that she earned the privilege to be a member! Great job Anne Marie we are proud of you!

        Monday, October 24, 2011

        It's not me after all.....

        Happy day, it's not me after all!! In a previous post a told you that I thought I was jinxing the Texas Rangers because whenever I watch the whole game from the beginning to end and not just tune in at the 7th or 8th inning they lose! But I watched game 4 of the World Series from beginning to end (I couldn't help myself) and it was an awesome game to see and they won!!! My mother always told me that "everything is not about you, Lois" and she as always is correct!! But I will say I'm relieved lol! Derek Holland did an awesome job of shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals and the last few minutes of the game gave me a heart attack. But they won and now the series is tied up 2 each. Can't wait to see tonight's game! GO RANGERS!!!

        Sunday, October 23, 2011

        Weekend update

        I was so excited that BYU won and won big!! TCU did the same thing, so they are gearing up for their match up this coming Friday!! I told Alan he definitely needs to get tickets for this, especially if John is coming with the team for that game as an Athletic Trainer.....We won't know until Monday or Tuesday if he is coming or not, but either way its going to be a great game and he should be there.

        (John is on the right side of the football player)

        We saw John several times on T.V. during the game and not just quick little shots, but times on the air where we really got to see him for several seconds before moving on. So it was a good time to go and get a picture of John from the televised Idaho State/BYU game. We always love seeing our son-in-law on t.v.

        The sad news is that the Ranger lost their game on Saturday!! I kept thinking they were going to have a comeback, but I guess it just wasn't their game. I worry that I jinxed them, because Texas never wins if I watch the whole game.....and I did watch the whole game. So Game 4, I'm going to go back to ignoring the game until the 7th or 8th inning and then start watching!! They seem to win when I do that. So I will do my part! Goooooo Rangers!!

        For my Gospel Doctrine Sunday school class today, It was on the letters that Paul wrote to the Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon but started with the 13th Article of Faith, where it talks about that we follow the admonition of Paul..... And talked about where does the admonition of Paul that Joseph Smith talks about come from..... Philippians 4:8. But as I was thinking about the 13th Article of Faith all week long in preparation of what I was going to teach, I kept visualizing our Family picture of us all laughing and enjoying life blown up in B&W at Kinko's with the 13th article of Faith below it. So that is what I did, and it did look like...."if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or praiseworthy or of good report, we seek after these things"!!

        I'm now going to take this 24 x 36 B&W printed copy and frame it and put it above my bed so that every night and every morning it will be the 1st and last thing that I see with the admonition of Paul below it!!

        Friday, October 21, 2011

        Texas Rangers win game 2 of the World Series!!

        My father is a huge baseball fan and loves watching the Rangers. Baseball is a long drawn out game I feel most times, but my Dad loves to watch and keep score in his program and has a deep love for America's favorite pastime!! I think it is because it is the one sport he played and was good at. I love watching the Rangers "live and in person" for any game but I don't usually watch the games on TV. But if they are in the World Series I'm glued to the TV every game!! Last nights game was so exciting in the 9th inning!! What a way to win the game. My favorite part is that the commentators had written off the game and figured it was over and that St. Louis had won, but they don't understand the fighting mentality of the Texas Rangers!! And they won, by running bases....the old fashion way of winning baseball games!! I love it.

        Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus delivered back-to-back singles in the ninth inning Thursday night before Hamilton and Michael Young brought them in with a pair of sacrifice flies, allowing Texas to tie the World Series with a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2.Read more:

        Tuesday, October 18, 2011

        Seminary, oh, how I love my students.....

        As a former seminary teacher, it is so wonderful to watch my former students continue to wait for and make correct choices in their life!! Bruce Malone graduated seminary, served a mission to Mongolia, graduated BYU in April, has started his masters program, and a few weeks ago was Married in the Mount Tempanogas Temple for time and all eternity!! Congratulations Bruce, I'm so happy for you!! Your parents told me it was perfect in every way and I can't wait to celebrate with you at the open house here in Texas!! It has been such a joy to be apart of your life during your teenage years and see the awesome man you have become!!


        It has been a long time since I have been to Babes restaurant, so when a couple of my girlfriends asked me to go to lunch with them on Friday, I was kind of excited, because they do have good smoked (roasted) chicken! The company was awesome as well!! Thanks Becky Wangler and Shawna Rhea for thinking of me!! It had been a long hard week so it was a nice way to start the weekend!

        Saturday, October 15, 2011


        I honor of Allison's birthday I would like to show a few of my favorite shots of the work she has done with her photography!! This in no means is all that I love, because there are so many its hard to choose -- but these are some of the ones that made me go "Wow, how does she do that!" You can see all of her work on her website. Allison Rex Photography.

        Wednesday, October 12, 2011

        Allison turns 23 today!!

        It is hard to express the feelings a mother has when her baby - they last one that she had - is such a beautiful grown woman!!

        She has always been a joy. She was such a happy baby and little girl and a great source of healing to Alan and I after Aileen. She has so much compassion for others. She is a woman of great faith and has always been a good example to others and to her family! She succeeds at anything that she puts her mind to doing, not necessarily because it comes easy to her....but because she is willing to work hard and perseveres and then masters it! We can't wait to help her celebrate her graduation from BYU in April - another goal that she has worked diligently towards and will accomplish with great honors.

        I know that she is an excellent wife, daughter, sister, really could not have better!! And for me personally - she makes me an extraordinary mother!! Love you sweetheart!! I know right now you are going through a hard time, but the light will shine through soon!! Happy birthday Allie-boo!!

        Tuesday, October 11, 2011


        Last Friday afternoon, after I got off work and Alan was through with his job interview (yay!) Alan took me out to the movies!! I will say it is fun to be able to go the matinees with Alan home during the day that don't cost as much. Add to that, we don't need to get a babysitter because Aileen isn't home until after 5:00 pm. So it has actually been happening for the first time in a long time that we are able to go on weekly dates. That has been a great bonus!! However, Alan and I will both be happy when we have to struggle to find a babysitter because evening time or the weekend is the only time we can go out. But until then, why not enjoy!!

        We saw the movie "Contagion"! It is not for the faint of heart, or germaphobes. But Alan and I were talking about it long into the evening after seeing that's usually the sign of a good movie or at least one that brings up interesting subjects that need discussing!! I like alot of the actors that are in this show. Not one that I will buy or see again, however!!

        Monday, October 10, 2011

        Dancing With The Stars.....

        This weekend was an extremely hard weekend for many reasons of which I will not go into, but the one highlight was re-watching my recording of last Monday nights "Dancing with the Stars". It was a really touching night with everyone's background stories. I don't know why I love DWTS, but I do!! I've watched all 13 seasons!! I have 3 favorites that I hope do really good. And so far they are!!!

        I loved Chynna Phillips Rumba, to her own song of "Hold On"! And I really would like to see Tony (dancing pro) go all the way to win this. I love that he has a good partner this year. I've felt sorry for him when he has had difficult partners like Kate of Kate plus 8 fame and a couple of others. He has come close to winning a couple of times, so I think it would be nice for him this year.

        I also really like JR, the veteran/actor, he really is a hero in so many ways and his Rumba was so emotional with the song they danced to by Tim McGraw, about a soldier who doesn't make it home. I had tears when it was over!! I don't think that has ever happened to me while watching DWTS. It really was emotional. The choreography was great at portraying the story.

        But the best of the show, was Ricki Lake and she is who I would ultimately like to see win this....although any of the other two would make me happy as well, her Rumba was BEAUTIFUL !! You know how you watch the other dances and they are so good and you listen to the judges and you don't always understand why they don't judge it higher than they do.....until you see Ricki Lake and Derick Hough's dance and then witness, all the things that the judges are commenting on, on the others performances!! Their dance was just a thing of beauty, where every movement of the dance was essential to the story and it was fluid and performed basically perfectly!! I think Derick Hough is one of the best choreographers on that show.....he always makes everyone look good, but this time he has someone who can dance it beautifully as well!! (not that the other partners he won with didn't as well but I'm making a point here! lol!) I can watch their dance over and over and never get tired of watching it.

        If you haven't seen it, it would be worth a trip to ABC's website to watch it!!

        Can't wait to see what happens tonight!!

        Thursday, October 6, 2011

        Breakfast out - my favorite meal to eat out!!!

        I love eating breakfast out!! It has always been my favorite meal to eat out! I knew I was on vacation when we could eat out for breakfast!!

        Today we had a re-assessment meeting with medicaid (Amerigroup) for Aileen to see if she still qualifies to keep getting Day Care benefits and other Aileen necessities!! It went well, but its always such a pain in the pattootie!! I understand why, there are those out there that do take advantage (not in a good way) of any and all benefits, but it's just such a pain.

        In March we will have to have a social worker from the Courts come and re-evaluate our home, Aileen, and us to make sure we can still be her legal guardians. It just goes on and on....however, we are happy to make any concessions that keeps Aileen well cared for and getting the benefits she deserves and needs!!

        After the meeting Alan and I went to IHOP for breakfast!! Kind of a mini date! It was nice to have him at the meeting with me (I usually have to do these things on my own) and then to get breakfast together!! It was like being on vacation on a Thursday!!

        Tuesday, October 4, 2011

        Last Thursday......

        Last Thursday night after I came home and took care of all the family stuff, and Aileen was in bed, a couple of my friends, Becky Wangler, and Shawna Rhea, came and picked me up for a 10:00 pm movie!! I haven't done a late show like that for quite awhile!! We went and saw the movie "Abduction" with Taylor Lautner. And I have to say I thought it was very entertaining, suspenseful, action filled, and a surprising storyline, at least it turned out to be different than i thought it the story was going to go. But I will say I had trouble not thinking of him as "Wolf Boy" from Twilight!! I know, poor guy, he is going to carry that around for a while isn't he!! But enjoyable!! Thanks girlfriends!! Oh, and I'm so excited, Shawna gave me a gift certificate for a free massage!! Wow oh wow! I'm excited!! Thank you for being so kind!

        Alan keeps applying and looking for jobs, no luck yet, but he is persistent and keeping a strict schedule of daily exercise, (YMCA swimming), giving service, and applying for jobs and networking! I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us and I am anxiously awaiting to see what it is!! Thanks for everyone's prayers and concerns!

        Sunday, October 2, 2011

        In getting ready for General Conference.....

        In getting ready for General Conference this last week, 3 friends, Linda Davila, MaryAnn Stephens, Anita Williams and I went to the Temple Tuesday night. I was so happy to get to go because I no longer have a babysitter for Aileen (she got married and moved away, how rude!!) so Alan goes on our Ward Temple Days usually because of being in the Bishopric as assigned, or because it was his friend that was going through for the first time, etc.... which means it had been several months since I had made it to the temple!! It was so nice to go with these particular ladies and it was really nice to go in preparation for General Conference this weekend.

        Alan went on splits with the missionaries on Friday, I thought that was also a really great way to prepare for General Conference!!

        My sister came to Fort Worth and we went shopping and visited Dad and Barbara Friday night. Aileen was really good at the mall.

        My brother went out of town this weekend, so my nephew Tytan, was with us this weekend and I have to say getting to spend time with him is always a blast. He's 10 yrs old and it's fun for Alan to get to "hang out" with a boy! Tytan had basketball games in Frisco, that Alan took him too, but I recorded Saturday's sessions for him so that he can watch them, plus I read him all my notes!!

        Sunday Conference was awesome as well, AND I got to talk to all my children today (Sunday)!! I took Tytan over to my Dad's so he could spend time with Grandpa and Grandma Barbara and he had fun visiting and playing with his cousins Lauren and Taylor!

        Some of my favorite things said in Conference are:

        "Memorized scripture can be an enduring friend".

        "I didn't keep my testimony during those hard times, the testimony kept me".

        In speaking about the Kingdom of God - "The work progresses silently, it progresses one heart, and one family at a time".

        "We don't need to hold a meeting to serve, we just need to serve".

        "Compared to God we are nothing, but we are everything to God".

        "Let us be as quick to kneel as we are to text".

        "We must look up, step up, and then we will cheer up".

        "Be loyal to the royal within you"

        In speaking about personal revelation from the Lord "Recognize it, trust it, and then follow it"

        "Teach by the spirit, not in front of or behind the spirit, but by the spirit".

        Can't wait for the November Ensign to read the wonderful words of the Apostles/Prophets that I have heard this weekend!! All and all it was a fabulous weekend!!