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If You Weren't Afraid

I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic of fear lately and realizing that I have not been the best, most amazing me I could have been. I have let fear and self-doubt stop me from excelling in anything. That’s a pretty sad statement. And to make it sadder, I can go back to my 14th year and highlight a list of things that fear kept me from doing.

4 years ago, Ivy and I were in a car accident with my cousin-in-law, Lisa. It was one of those kind of accidents that should serve as a major eye opener that there is more to do than what we’re doing. We were lucky to live through the accident and to walk away without a bruise or a scrape, was truly a miracle. One that left us saying, “what is it we are supposed to be doing??” Lisa and I talked about it afterward and wondered what we should do. And then life and the daily rigamaroll got in the way.

Tumble Down the Mountain

As you can see from the photo, we were very lucky, blessed, in a sturdy car, and watched over. I still have nightmares about that November morning, especially when it is near the anniversary of it. But this is the first year that I have really stopped and thought about what good have I done since that day? And what difference could I be making in others’ lives if I weren’t afraid.

I’m afraid of a lot. And FAILURE isn’t really the biggest one that keeps me from trying hard things.

I’ve debated sharing with you my list of things that I didn’t do because of fear. But decided that maybe I’ll share that in another post. Instead, I’m going to share my rational and irrational fears.

  • I am afraid that what I have to say isn’t good enough or important enough for someone else to listen to.
  • I’m afraid of not making enough money to support our hobbies and most importantly, the girls’ dance and other lessons.
  • I am afraid of disappointing my family.
  • I’m scared of being laughed at.
  • I am afraid of putting myself out there and being made fun of for my beliefs and thoughts.
  • I’m afraid of being wrong.
  • I’m afraid of being dumber than everyone else in the room.
  • I’m afraid that my voice doesn’t matter and that it shouldn’t be heard.
  • I’m scared of being judged harshly.
  • I’m afraid that I’m just not good enough.
  • I’m afraid of succeeding.

And that last one really is the one that holds me back the very most. Because, if I succeed, then I have to keep it up and keep succeeding and keep being awesome. I wanna be a one-hit-wonder at whatever it is I’m supposed to do and continue getting residual income and accolades from that one success. And I don’t want anyone to expect a sophomoric hit from me. Cause the pressure would drive me nuts. But you and I both know that no one ever approached something and said that it was the only time they were gonna give it a try (except marriage – that’s the only “one-hit-wonder” we should try for). No other success comes from that approach.

What are your fears? Suggestions for getting past them?




RS Lesson – Sabbath Day is a Delight

Nelson Quote

I was asked to substitute for the 4th Sunday of the month Relief Society Lesson. The 4th Sunday is pulled from a General Conference Talk.  I was asked to teach from Elder Russell M Nelson’s talk titled “Sabbath Day is a Delight.”

Elder Russell M Nelson began his April conference talk saying, “because of what you have heard and felt during this conference, how will I change? Whatever your answer might be, may I invite you also to examine your feelings about, and your behavior on, the Sabbath Day” and continued with this first question…

Is the Sabbath really a delight for you and for me?

So, let’s speak candidly about the Sabbath and how we feel about it. Is it a delight?

I have a list here of questions about the Sabbath day and I don’t want anyone to raise their hands, but I want you to think about how your Sabbath fits into these questions.

  • Do you look forward to Sundays?
  • Are you frustrated about all of your Sabbath responsibilities?
  • Do you find time to study the scriptures?
  • If you have children at home, is it a fight to get them to church on time?
  • If you have a teaching calling, do you wait until the last minute to prepare, making Sunday morning a bit of a panic?
  • After the Sabbath, are you rested and ready to conquer Monday? Or do you look forward to Monday when the kids are back in school?
  • Do you find quiet time to ponder or listen to uplifting talks or music?
  • Is Sunday dinner so much effort/work that you are cleaning up from it til late?
  • Are you able to gather your family together and strengthen your relationships?
  • Do your kids fight more on Sunday?
  • Can you find time to serve?
  • Is your Sabbath filled with laundry and homework?

Some of those “yeses” that frustrate us are difficult to change. But some of them can give us goals to set to help us make it a delight. But maybe before we can make it a delight, we need to address why we have a Sabbath day at all.

What did the Savior mean when He said that “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath?”

Through out the scriptures, we are told several reasons and meanings of the Sabbath. First, following the creation, the Lord “rested” on the 7th day. In Hebrew, the Sabbath is translated as “rest”. In the Ten Commandments, we are told to keep the Sabbath day holy. Later it became a day of remembrance of the deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt. And it was called a reminder that the Lord may sanctify His people if they honor the Sabbath. And still later, it became a day of remembrance of the Atonement. But ultimately it comes down to the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day. And He has asked us to “keep” it.

Elder Nelson shared his personal belief on what the purpose of the Sabbath day is to him.


I believe He wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal. God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.

Why do you feel that God has given us the Sabbath?

How do we “keep” the Sabbath?

Let’s stop there – we could quickly get into a list of dozens of do’s and don’ts about what we can and can’t do on the Sabbath day. Personally, I have always struggled with the list, because the Sabbath is a day to gather as a church and partake of the sacrament and fulfill our callings and so much more. But it is also a day to build and strengthen your relationship with God and your family. When I was growing up, we received criticism from some about how we honored or kept the Sabbath. And as I look back on my Sundays growing up, they were my favorite day of the week. We would pack a picnic and go to the canyon for scripture study, Frisbee and dinner.

Other Sundays we would go to the “Symphony in the Park” with my cousins and  grandparents. I would love to return to those Sundays now. But as a mom, I often get caught up in that Saturdays are so packed that some of my tasks roll over into Sunday. And that frustrates me. But, I’m working on it.

Instead of making the list we started building, let’s look at the Sabbath the way that Elder Nelson suggested.

Exodus 31:13

Ezekiel 20:12, 20

What sign do you want to give to God?

D&C 59:9-10, 13, 15-16

How can you ensure that your behavior on the Sabbath will lead to joy and rejoicing?

I’ve brought with me a handout/activity to help each one of us create a sign that shows God that we love Him and are grateful for the Sabbath that He has given us.

There are five categories that can help us make the Sabbath a delight.

  • Strengthen Family Ties
  • Teach the Children
  • Study the Gospel
  • Family History Work
  • Render Service

In closing, I would like to share Isaiah 58:13-14

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

I am grateful for the Sabbath Day and pray that I can better make it a “Delight” and show my Heavenly Father how much I love Him.


Love One Another

Love One Another

I’ve really been feeling the need to post my thoughts and views about all that has been going on with the new LDS Handbook Policies. But as much as I have wanted to share, I have not wanted to do it on Facebook.  There are so many things being said on Facebook that make me sad, angry, upset and frustrated. So with my mixed emotions, I’ve decided my dormant blog is the safest place to share.

First, I would like to say that I have many wonderful gay friends, some of whom have children and are in a same-sex marriage. I love them, support them, celebrate their happiness and respect them. Because of that love and respect, I am most annoyed anytime I read someone comparing the children of a same-sex marriage to children of a serial killer, rapist, molester etc. Oh PLEASE! Every single same-sex couple I know loves their children and is raising them in a home filled with love, tolerance, respect and laughter – not darkness, hatred and anger. This new policy enforces the value of a loving, caring, and peaceful home and protects the children of a same-sex couple. Likewise, this policy discourages strife between parents and children within a home.

Next, a child of a same-sex couple can and is invited and welcome to attend church meetings, activities, participate in the programs designed to teach children and support children in their gospel learning. They can also receive blessings of healing and comfort. If anyone dares to think that they must now exclude these children, you are wrong! Love them, just as I hope you always have.

Also, I do not compare the children of a same-sex couple to a mother who had a child out of wedlock, nor do I compare them to a child of a divorced couple. That is another point of frustration I have had with this news and the many comments from people on Facebook. Single moms that are doing all they can to raise their children in a loving, caring, and respectful home and teaching their children about the gospel of Jesus Christ, I love you, pray for you and am constantly amazed by your strength. Your situation is different.

Over the years, my husband has given me many great words of advice. One that is hard for me, and for many of us is to “cross that bridge when we come to it.” (By the way, I have a very real fear of bridges). We know what has been stated in this much shared update, but we need to quit saying “what if…” and let each individual family and child cross this bridge as they come to it, knowing that they are loved and supported along the way.

I stand by the First Presidency and the brethren in this policy but I disagree with and am frustrated by the way that this news was released and handled. A friend of mine said that this will become a case study. She may be right. Elder Christofferson gave a very nice and calm interview about the policy change. Unfortunately, the damage, the anger, the confusion was far too wide spread by the time the clip was released. News of this magnitude should have been addressed with love and humility rather than in an attempt to fly under the radar (or at least, that’s how it seems). The quiet release resulted in headlines that stirred the pot more and ignited the issue in ways that could have been completely avoided – okay, maybe not completely.

I’ve served a mission where there was a woman we couldn’t teach because her husband threatened our lives and hers. She needed his okay to move forward with the discussions. Where I served my mission, there were dozens of young converts. They required permission from their parents, if they were under 18. Parents knew so little about the Mormons, they rarely forbid it. But even with the permission but without the support, we saw a large number fall into inactivity. Over the years, I have watched children struggle with wanting to attend church but having parents (not same-sex) that didn’t approve or simply didn’t participate and therefore made it difficult for the children to attend. Without parent approval, all children must wait until they are 18 years of age. The church values the family relationship and does not encourage contention within the home.

It is my prayer that we can remember that in the end, it is all about LOVE ONE ANOTHER and LOVE AT HOME.


Additional messaging from the First Presidency here.



Things might get crazy over here!

It s very possible that life at the Sanford home is going to drastically change.  In August, Jade auditioned for a reality show.  As it turned out, I was part of the audition too.

Rewind to the audition.  Jade and Ivy both attended the audition and were faced with a tough decision.  The producer said that only one of them could audition.  They left the camera on the two of them while they talked it out.  There was a lot of going back and forth between the two of them, both wanting it and both putting their sister first. Then they were sent out to have the conversation on their own and the producer talked to me. Eventually they had the girls come back in and state what they had decided.  Ivy came in and said that they had decided that now is Jade’s turn because she is older and more ready for this type of experience.

The producer was so impressed with how the two of them handled it that he said that if Jade made it, then Ivy could go too.

Well December came with an announcement that we had made the reality show, unfortunately, Ivy wasn’t included in the deal.  I am hopeful that at some point Ivy will get to be involved as well, but for now, we’ll move forward with just Jade.

What is this reality show?  Well, here’s the storyline…

10 young potential stars will be put through a handful of acting challenges, ranging from meeting with casting directors and agents to auditions.  These 10 will be weeded down to the final 6 that will be taken to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams.  There will be different deadlines and if the child hasn’t booked a job, then they will be sent home.

Where do I come in?  Oh, well, umm, you know that show “Dance Moms”?  The title of this show will help you get a feel for what my role is in all of this.  Introducing “Stage Moms of LA”!

As you know, my blog is all about finding the perfect balance between Faith, Family and Life.  I’ve been debating changing the Life to “Fitness” but now I’m thinking more appropriate could be “FAME”.

If you want to get a glimpse into what just might be our future, here’s the link to the TEASER.

Stage Moms of L


The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me.

Our Heavenly Father has given us a very special gift.  That gift is something that will warn us when we are in danger or will direct us when we are lost.  Before we are baptized, this gift will be with us when we need it.  Once we are baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are given this gift to have with us as a constant companion.

What is that special gift?

I’d like you to listen to a few sounds and tell me what the sound is and what it means is going to happening.

Car, train, siren, blender, telephone, shower etc.

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 12.03.39 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 12.03.47 PM


(Hang up the pictures on the chalkboard when they guess them right).

You know what these sounds are because you have listened to them before and you have learned what they are through experiences.

Just like how you have learned these sounds, you can learn the sound of the Holy Ghost.

Here is a gift, and inside it are phrases that you might hear from the Holy Ghost.  We are going to see what we can do to learn how to listen.

**Inside the box have several warning strips that they can pick out from the box.  Have them whisper what the strip says.  Ask the other children if they were able to hear what the child said.  Have the child whisper it again.  Do this a few times until you notice that the room is super quiet for the children to hear.  Do this with 3-4 word strips.  On the last word strip, clang around with the chairs, try and have a conversation with the other leaders so that it is harder to listen.  (Idea from


  • Stop.
  •  Don’t go there.
  • Don’t touch that pan.
  • Put your shoes on.
  • Don’t run.


  • Don’t run.
  • Look both ways.
  • Look up.
  • Call your mom.
  • Don’t go alone.

In our lives it isn’t always going to be quiet when we need to hear the Holy Ghost.  So it is important that we learn during some quiet moments what he sounds like.  And we also need to understand that sometimes the Holy Ghost will direct people differently.

When I was a little girl, maybe 4 years old, my family had gone camping with our best friends.  My friend and I had wandered off of the path and somehow got lost.  I curled up in a ball and cried while I said a prayer that our families would find us.  Tara stood up tall and screamed at the top of her lungs! Our parents found us because we both did what we felt like we needed to do.

Sometimes we will feel a very strong prompting and we will never know why we felt it or what would have happened.  When I was a teenager and I was out with my friends for a drive, we had planned on going up the canyon.  But as we got closer to the turnoff, several of us felt like we shouldn’t go up the canyon.  We brushed it off until the prompting was so strong we all agreed to turn around.  To this day we have no idea why we couldn’t go up the canyon but we also know that we were safe.

Other times we will be prompted to do something but do it more carefully than we would otherwise.  A couple of years ago my family was up at a cabin by Sundance.  It had snowed lightly that night and I had to get Ivy down to a birthday party in Lehi.  My husband said, “be careful.  Are you sure you want to take her down?”  It was her cousin’s birthday so I said yes, I’ll take her but I also paid attention to the strong feeling to be careful.  While I was driving, my mom called me.  I told my friend, I don’t feel like I should answer the phone.  I need to be extra careful.  The next thing I knew, we were sliding off of the canyon road.  We rolled several times down the mountain and stopped on our side in the river.  No one was hurt.  We were watched over because we made choices to be extra careful and to listen to the prompting not to answer the phone.   The accident could have been much worse if I was distracted at all.

The Holy Ghost is a very special gift: one that we need to learn how to hear and take the time to heed his warnings.

How do we learn how to hear the Holy Ghost?

If you learn to listen to the Holy Ghost, you will gain blessings and experiences that will build your testimony and help you be a better missionary, friend, child, parent and person.

I am so grateful for this special gift from my Heavenly Father.  I hope that each one of you will take some time to pray and pause to learn how he will speak to you.

 In closing would anyone else like to share a time that the Holy Ghost helped you?

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


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