Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I did the same thing in preparation for that talk I mentioned before.  It really is quite an enlightening exercise and I'm glad you're learning so much.  You know, it's funny any time I'm studying and come across a quote or verse about love I think, "Andrea probably loved that one!" or "Andrea would really like that quote."  Funny!  The biggest thing I learned from the heart exercise revolved around the word "esteem" as well.  Esteeming ourselves above or below others AND esteeming others' opinions above God's opinion.  That's where the heart became the center for me.  What do I feel in my heart and making that feeling the same as what God would have me think or feel.  I have one particular child who I have worked diligently with on the whole "hard-heartedness" thing.  We've studied that idea in length together and then it's a simple reminder for both of us when she (or I) are in that more hardened state of mind.  Anyway, just my thoughts on your thoughts.  Thanks for sharing!  JULIA

Pure Heart

One of the challenges in the heart book is to read all the scriptures in the topical guide under "heart." I'm almost done and it has been a very interesting/enlightening experience. I've learned a few things (or solidified a few things).

First, the term "pure in heart" doesn't just pertain to morality/virtue. In fact, and this is probably because of my age, but what stood out to me most is that pure in heart means lots of things including motivation/desire.

For example, Proverbs 17:22, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he . . ." or Hebrews 4:12 which says that God is a ". . . discerner of the thought and intents of the heart" with "intents" here linked to "motivations" by a footnote. How about James 4:8, " . . . purify your hearts, ye double-minded." It is saying that hypocrisy or the desire to do something other than what we are doing rests in our hearts. God can see our intentions as clearly as our actions. I'm pretty sure those with pure intentions, those with a strong desire to do right, receive grace and get counted among the pure in heart despite mistakes.

Pure in heart can also be connected to turning to the Lord (softening your heart), turning away from the Lord (hardening your heart or losing your desire to obey and believe), embracing the commandments, feeling the joy of the Atonement, being taught by the Spirit, and communing with God. I didn't realize that in the scriptures our spirituality or spiritual health is all talked about through the word "heart." Obviously, the scriptural heart is the center of all things spiritual while the physical heart can, arguably, be the center of our physical health. More symbolism?

These scriptures are amazing in their range. 1 Samuel 7:3, ". . . prepare your hearts unto the Lord." In other words, if you want to be taught by the Spirit, you have to purify your life.

1 Samuel 16:7, ". . . for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearane, but the Lord looketh on the heart." The Lord cares about our spiritual health.

Ezra 7:10, "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it . . .." Clearly, Ezra's motivations/desires were pure and he wanted to follow belief with action. (Did everyone else know there was a biblical Ezra and I'm just not much of a scriptorian?)

Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Our joy in the Savior is rooted in our "heart."

Proverbs 17:3, "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but, the Lord trieth the hearts." To the Lord everything is spiritual, but we forget that sometimes. All trials are a test of our desires/beliefs/faith/willingness to obey, and all those other things that are rooted in our hearts.

Isaiah 51:7, "Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law . . .." This one seems important. If our spiritual center is our heart, then the commandments had better be emblazoned there, with the requisite desire to follow through. If only a few commandments are imprinted on our hearts or if the commandments are only resting there, then it will be easy for our hearts to harden.

Ezekial 11:19-20 says something like, "God will take out my stony heart and give me a heart of flesh." Or, God will help me want to believe and then to believe.

Matt 6:21, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Matt 11: 28-30, "Come unto me and I will give you rest/all ye that labor/for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest (that was a paraphrase)." Jesus is meek and lowly in heart because his desires/motivations are perfectly aligned with Heavenly Father. He isn't kicking against this commandment or this one or why isn't my life going the way I planned. Also, His motives are completely pure--He just wants to help us. When we go to him we find rest because there is nothing of competition or angling. He loves us purely and unselfishly.

Luke 24:32 says that we feel the Holy Ghost in our "hearts." If we want revelation, if we want confirmation, we have to fix our hearts. Romans 10:10, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness . . .."

John 12:40, "Let not your heart be troubled." If we've given our hearts to the Savior, we need to let a lot of worry go. If we're asking for and receiving revelation, our lives will go where they should. We might feel sorrow, but we shouldn't feel fear.

Acts 2:37, "pricked in their hearts." Our conscience also lives in our "hearts."

Acts 4: 32, "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart . . .." " . . . because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:5. Ephesians 3:16-21, ". . . that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend . . . and to know the love of Christ." When we are pure in heart we want to take care of others and our ability to feel love and give love increases.

I have no summary remark. I haven't finished reading all the scriptures yet, but seeing my "heart" as my spiritual center helps me visualize whether or not it is healthy and open, or shut down. Good stuff.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Reading, reading, reading...
Playing and coaching basketball
Cooking(new interest due to new dietary needs)and Nutrition
Strengthening relationships around me
Ice Cream
Traveling anywhere I have money to go
Museums and Zoos
Hiking and camping
Singing in choirs, solos, anything and anywhere I can; especially in the car :)
Genealogy and Family History stories(are they the same?)
Learning about other peoples lives (sorry if I ask too many questions-I am fascinated by this)
Babies and young children

I am sure I can think of more but half of them are the same as the ones already stated.

Amber :)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Geneology and family history
Learning to Communicate with Others (Andrea wrote this and I do agree, but I think it's more about strengthening relationships rather than communication for me . . . all the same, kind of, right?)
Reading about how to be a better parent!
Studying the scriptures (probably another duh! for everyone, but it's why I wake up in the morning!)
Education:  (NOT the polical, theories, etc . . . more the how to spark the interest of education in others!)
Card making
American Idol (even though it was mentioned in Sister Beck's talk!! agh!)
Planning . . . everything
Celebrating quirky holidays
Educating my children & learning with them
Writing in my journal  (writing in general, really)
Hiking and camping
And last but not least, I want to learn how to juggle! 

I think I'm the only one who did NOT put cooking/baking on their list!!!!


Thursday, May 13, 2010


So yeah, Khans are cool and they rode stellar horses and decimated people--which is awesome. But Napoleon had a complex about being short, had a funny voice, and because of him we have the great old country song, "Where did you meet your Waterloo?" Trying singing the word Waterloo with a very nasally/old-timey voice and you'll understand where I'm coming from.

Everything you wanted to know...and more!

Welcome to Amber! Good to "meet" you. :-)

So here are the things on Andrea's list that I share, followed by anything of mine that's different:

Healthy Eating - and eating in general/ Nutrition
Education--all the political stuff and theories and research
Homeschool Educating
Basketball & Track
5K running
art/art study (no, I'm not an artist)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interesting Interests

Umm, Genghis Khan hands down. Andrea, really, Napolean? He didn't get half so far as Genghis. :)

At Andrea's request, here's a few of my interests:
  • Family History--the highlight of my summer this year is that I'm going to the Family History Conference at BYU!!! YESSSSSSSS!
  • Baking--desserts mostly, but baking in general is my favorite type of cooking
  • Arts and Crafts, occasionally sewing--though I stink at it
  • Floral Design-- I wish I had a chance to do this more
  • Reading
  • Travel (Can wished for hobbies be listed?)
  • Archaeology (I'm assuming that wished for interests can be listed.)
  • Watching foreign and independent films
  • Gardening
  • Yogurt making (Okay, I only made it once, but it was delicious.)
  • Eating and trying new ethnic foods. My favorite is Middle Eastern. I love hummous and tabooli and chicken schwarma and lebni and, well, I'll stop there.
  • Learning Spanish. (This is a joke.)
  • Cultural events--I drag my kids to as many free or cheap ones as I can afford.

The end. I also like sports and camping and hiking. I wish I did more of that. I have a lot of wishful interests. My husband wishes that I had more interest in going to bed right now though, so I'd better go. Ta ta.

Welcome Amber

Welcome, welcome, Amber. We're glad to have you.

In the spirit of welcoming a new person, I wanted to conduct a small survey here on our little blog. We have lots of new people whose blogs I frequent, and old people (not myself--I'm young, but Kami is getting on in years) whose blogs I also frequent, and I have noticed that many of us have interests in common that I didn't know about. For example, Marilyn is a fellow bread baker. So, I wanted to list a few of my interests here and if you have those interests, speak up. If you have other interests that I fail to mention, speak up about those also. It is fun (for me anyway) to get a better sense of those with whom I blog.


Healthy Eating
Reading (duh)
Education--all the political stuff and theories and research
Homeschool Educating
Writing fiction and nonfiction
Playing softball
Making Out with my Hubby
Chocolate (yes, it deserves its own mention)
Geneology and family history
Books of Remembrance (I'm huge with this and love to hear what people are doing to follow Pres. Eyring's counsel)
Learning to Communicate with Others (in other words--allowing oneself to connect with others on a deep enough level that some amount of risk/vulnerability is involved. How does one do that effectively?)
Homemade Cleansers

Okay, I totally stretched my brain and thought for a full five minutes to come up with that list. Now, all of you list the ones we have in common and any of your own interests that haven't been listed. PS--If you want to make Kami's day, you can also mention your favorite would-be world conqueror. It is one of Kami's hobbies to find that out about people. Mine is Napolean.

My Intro

Hi All!

My name is Amber Mitchell and Julia mentioned this site. I love all your insights! It is wonderful to be in contact with so many awesome, thinking, questioning, and pondering women! Here is a little background on me and mine.

I have four little ones ages 9-2 whom I love to have home with me. I love TJEd principles and have really seen a difference in my life as I have implemented them in my home. The one that has impacted me the most lately is YOU not Them. I have noticed the more I have focused on my education the more the rest of the keys and principles have fallen into place. This sounds like "TJEd worked for me!" plug-sorry!

I read the Eve book and liked it. I had started it years ago and put it down because I thought it was too dry. Perhaps I just was not ready for it. I loved everything she said. I did realize that I already knew much of it because of my other gospel reading so nothing was really "new". One thing that did stand out to me though if I really thought about it it would have been "duh" was how we will continue to learn and grow beyond this life. I thought "oh, good. I don't have to learn everything right now! Maybe I can finally become good at Physics in a million years!" Good book to read and would not mind reading the second one.

I read the talk by Sister Beck last year. I also follow every word she says as she has not been wrong so far. I love her. The Lord has blessed us with her inspired calling. Reading that speech made me do a serious assessment of my teaching skills and what I want to teach to my children and others whom I serve. I would highly recommend reading it and any other of her talks and speeches.

I flipped thru Guns but will probably not read it. I might listen to and watch some of it but I have so many other books to read right now. This one did not grab me right off so sorry book! :)

Have a great day!
Hey Ju, I read Savvy a couple years ago (not too long ago - it's a pretty recent book I think). I thought it was okay. I hope you like it!

Everyone - I was recently pointed in the direction of a fabulous talk given by Sister Beck not too long ago. She is one of my absolute heroes these days. I love pretty much every word that comes out of that woman's mouth. :-) I thought you might like to read her talk. It has really helped bring into focus what teaching I should be doing with my children.

I haven't even started the Federalist Papers. I have them, somewhere, on my shelves. Right now I have a visitor who has to be Hands-On Entertained every day (for this entire week) so I'm getting virtually no reading done except my Gospel Study. Hopefully I can hurry and catch up once she goes home.

Hope you all are enjoying your spring! Mine has been lovely, but too much of the never-ending coastal winds!

When You Reach Me

Has anyone read this yet?  The newest Newberry book.  I found it quite intriguing and fascinating, but have nobody to talk with about it.  I tried to entice my son . . .but I think I gave too much away. Anyway, read it.  I liked it a lot! 

And just FYI these books are sitting next to my bed to be read:
The Education of Little Tree
Charles and Emma (a biography abt. the Darwins)
Savvy by Ingrid Law
I, Coriander by Sally Gardner

OH, and The Federalist, of course!

My son (age 10) is currently consumed by the Underland series (Gregor the Overlander . . . ) and the Charlie Bone books.  He informed me he does not like to read "old" books, lately (even though he loves them when we read them aloud!).  :-) 

Hope you're all reading something fun, too.  :-)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Still here

Sorry you haven't heard from me in forever!  I'm still here, just overwhelmed with a million other things at the moment.  But I do plan to check out Federalist Papers next time I get to the library!  Thanks for all your posts (I like it when you post on other books you're reading, too!).


I am currently reading The Federalist Papers.  But, don't move too quickly . . . I always feel like I'm trying to "catch up"!!!  :-)  JULIA


My husband cued me into this blog list that I thought I would share. 
Young-adult author Elana Johnson sparked a meme called "Spreading The Awesome", encouraging people to post about "ten-star books."

Just thought all ya'll might be interested.  

Eve and the Choice Made in Eden

I did finally finish reading this. It actually was a pretty quick read once I settled in to do it. I thought it was a interesting book and led to some good discussions with my husband. He didn't necessarily buy into all her arguments, but then he was only getting my condensed, less articulate version of her points. Overall, it introduced some things to me that I hadn't thought of before and clarified other things that I had guessed at before. I did find it rather annoying that each time she explained about a Hebrew word having a particular meaning, she never wrote what the Hebrew word was. I know that's fairly nit-picky of me, but it seemed overly "dumbed down" just by that simple act.

Sorry I have nothing more interesting to write than that, but I need to get to bed and sleep, and this was on my to-do list to get done first.

By the way, is it okay if we move on to the Federalist Papers now? I know Andrea's still reading GGS but she can catch up. I just wondered if anyone else was still reading it and planning on commenting. If so I won't move on quite yet.