Featured · Gardening · Lifestyle · Motherhood

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds


Last year Kender and I harvested seeds from a sunflower he grew for the first time (read more about that here: Faith is like a Sunflower Seed). This year, we planted those seeds, grew more sunflowers, and have been harvesting more seeds.

It’s actually a pretty cool process! Kender really enjoys it, and I like that it’s something fun and productive for us to do together. Something besides playing Minecraft and watching annoying videos on YouTube Kids, which I get increasingly sick of as the days of summer slowly pass us by. I’m torn between enjoying summer while it lasts and desperately wanting it to be over so Kender can go off to kindergarten… And then I panic a little at the thought of Kender being a kindergartener already, and I want to cherish our time together… But then he asks me to play Minecraft with him and the cycle starts again.

Anyway, let’s get back to those sunflowers. I’ll walk you through the process in case you’re interested in trying it out 😊🌻

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Family · Featured · Inspiration · Motherhood

Enduring life’s tantrums: Why God gives us trials

Rhett was in the worst mood this morning. At church, he threw one wicked tantrum after another, and as I wrestled him out to the car in the middle of the meeting I found myself asking, “Heavenly Father, if you want me to go to church, why do you make it so hard!?”

I strapped Rhett into his carseat. I wanted to take him home, but worried about leaving Kender. I could have found a way to leave, but I decided to stay in hopes that I would be blessed for my obedience. I drove Rhett around the block a couple times and then took him back inside.

This is Rhett’s sassy face. It’s the look he gives me when he tells me to stop taking pictures πŸ˜€

Sunday school was about how God gives us trials to refine us for his future purposes. We talked about how God may send us in one direction, only to send us in a completely different one soon after. He does it because he has a greater plan for us, and we need the experiences he gives us.

It was exactly the lesson I needed.

It reminded me of when Ryan and I were back in college in our pre-kid days. He felt strongly that we should move back home to Washington and join the Air Force, so we prayed about it and packed up our little apartment and moved back home. Soon after we arrived, Ryan felt strongly that he should wait to join the Air Force. He didn’t understand why, and was confused by the seemingly conflicting promptings, but he obeyed.

There were many times after that that we almost joined the military. Looking back, I think Heavenly Father was using that time to prepare us both for Ryan’s current job – Deputy Sheriff – which he never would have gotten if we hadn’t moved back home. He LOVES his job, and that in itself is a huge blessing. We didn’t understand it then, and many times felt hopeless and confused, but God had a plan for us all along.


I don’t understand now what good will come from enduring Rhett’s church tantrums, but I know the Lord has a plan. Maybe Kender sees me struggling, and how I choose to stay even though it’s hard. Maybe someday this experience will help him realize how much the gospel of Christ means to me, and helps strengthen his testimony. One can only hope!

Anyway, the takeaway from all of this was:

Keep enduring. Keep moving on. It will all be worth it.

Happy Sunday!

Why does God give us trials? To refine us and make us stronger. Keep enduring. Keep moving on. It will all be worth it!


Featured · Inspiration · Lifestyle

Faith is Like a Sunflower Seed

Last year a weed popped up in our yard and Kender adopted it. He watered it every day and took very good care of it. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and we could just pull it once it was grown if it started to become bothersome (plus, I was curious to see what kind of weed it was – some are pretty!) Weeks went by, and Kender’s weed grew bigger and bigger. When it finally started to blossom, we realized what it was.
It was not a weed at all in fact, but a beautiful (and huge) sunflower! It must have grown from the birdseed that had fallen from the deck above. It amazed me that Kender saw the beauty in that little plant from the beginning. I’m grateful that he chose to care for it.
Once this sunflower had run it’s course, we harvested the seeds to see if they would grow. This year in our garden I planted those sunflower seeds in an extra bed we had. I wasn’t expecting much since they were harvested from a flower that had grown from “junk” seed, but I kept watering them and watching over them just in case. To my amazement (and joy), the seeds began to grow!
I was thrilled at the idea of having a bed full of beautiful sunflowers, but a few days later all but one seedling had vanished (eaten by savage deer or bunnies, I assume). I planted more seeds in hopes of having that bed full of sunflowers.
I watered those seeds for months… Ok, it was actually about 10 days, but it felt like months. Then one day, I saw more seedlings!

Β This whole seemingly small experience reminded me that our testimonies are just like those little seeds. When we fail to protect our testimonies by doing little things like study our scriptures and converse with the Lord in prayer, they vanish just like the seedlings that were eaten by animals. But when we do all we can to nurture and protect our faith, it will grow.

Β So I’m going to take that as a reminder to water my testimony with scripture study, and let it bask in the sunshine of prayer. I want my testimony to grow as big and bright as Kender’s sunflower, so that I can set a good example for he and Rhett and be my best self for them. This life is messy and hard, and none of us can do it alone. We need the comfort and guidance that comes from the Holy Ghost. I want that comfort and guidance in my life.

Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselvesβ€”It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. – Alma 32:28