Earlier this month of September I got to be in Utah to see 4 out of my 5 boys participate in the Mastering Knighthood Summit. Having them participate every year has become a family tradition. One of them, the 18 year old, got to be the Royal Master Knight. It was so wonderful! Here he is below with King Richard and Queen Emily. They have been wonderful mentors to him as they worked together to put on a knight-based simulation for almost 200 hundred little boys.
So as a side benefit for this quick trip to Utah, I planned a Veggie Gals lunch with my girlfriends. We left during the dark in a monsoon here in southern AZ before 5 AM and 15 hours later we arrived in Utah! (It usually doesn’t take that long, but we had to come back after driving away 30 min. to get our church clothes that we forgot and then we took a detour through Sedona.) I was so looking forward to seeing my Veggie Gals! The very top picture above is from a Veggie Gals lunch over two years ago, but it’s such a great picture I am posting it again, haha. The one that was taken from this most recent Veggie Gals doesn’t look nearly as pretty, because of the way it was taken, with all of us far away around my parents’ dining room table, the light bouncing off the vinyl tablecloth, and all the stuff in the room, which I never thought of as clutter, but it distracts from the people’s faces.
Anyway, we as a group of girlfriends have been meeting, since before my 18 year old son, the Royal Master Knight, pictured above, was 2. He has grown up with these kids of Veggie Gals. He and his friend Kam, Veggie Gal Shauna’s son, joke that they are going to start a “Meaty Men” group in honor of Veggie Gals. My two other older children who have flown the coop have bumped into children of one of the Veggie Gals. Audrey, at BYU-Idaho. They all shared some hearty laughs over the “interesting” health food that we Veggie Gals have dined on over the years, things like stuffed squash, bean fudge, avocado pudding, and spanish moss lasagna! Veggie Gals cuisine is definitely not mainstream! If you are into whole, real foods, then it is the best food you will ever eat! We Veggie Gals always go away feeling physically and spiritually nourished. This in turn allows us to be the best mothers we can be, to raise our children to be heroes.
Here are some of the principles we talked about:
1. Intermittent Fasting (IF). I have experienced the tremendous health benefits of IF lately and share all about it here. I lost 9 lbs in one week by doing IF! if you know anyone who has diabetes or is overweight, please share this information with them. Dr. Jason Fung says diabetes is curable with IF and a low carb, high fat diet. We also talked about fasting in general. Shauna asked if fasting means going without food or food and water. Mindy said she knows someone who fasted for a week, completely going without food or water.
2. Relying on faith the power of the word of God, to allow God to manifest miracles for us. One of our new Veggie Gals, Mindy, shared all about this. Here are some gems from that conversation:
- D & C 42:48-52 says that when you are sick, you are to be either healed or die. Have faith to be healed and find out if that is God’s will for you. If it’s not, then we get to have the opportunity to have faith that death is God’s will for us. Either way, we can have peace in God’s will.
- Do you like your kids to keep asking you after you say “yes”? God is the same way. If he says “yes,” then have faith it will happen.
- A guy named Thurman Scrivner, a Christian preacher from Texas, has lots to say about the subject of faith in the word of God and the power of God’s healing. You can watch his youtube videos here. Here is his web site. All of his downloads of his speeches are free and highly fascinating! Go to his web site and click on “watch and listen.”
- I shared the scripture I recently found that totally harmonizes with all of this. It’s Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” That’s the power of God’s word!
- One of the Veggie Gals shared an experience with the power of God’s word. She said one day she was driving in her car and pondering her husband. She wanted him to have more missionary opportunities. She then recalled some words from his patriarchal blessing. She prayed out loud as she was driving and reminded God of these words from the blessing that promised he would have missionary opportunities. She said just a short time after this, he was called to the bishopric. A perfect opportunity for missionary work!
- We talked about repentance, and God’s word on the subject. in D&C 98 we are told that the Lord will fight our battles for us if we repent or restore “fourfold” for our trespasses and our forefather’s trespasses. Mindy shared a story or two of healing that came by repenting. She told the story of a woman who tricked her husband into having another baby. The baby was born and eventually developed a terrible skin rash. When the woman confessed to her husband what had happened and apologized, the skin rash went away.
- James 1:6 says not to come to God double minded. We have to decide if we have faith in Him and his word and declare it.
- Hebrews 4:16 says, ““Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Here is a beautiful General Conference talk on the subject, from Elder Gene R. Cook, called, “Receiving Divine Assistance through the Grace of the Lord.” (That reminds me, that the Ensign recently published an amazing story from Elder Cook about how he lost his scriptures to a thief in South America and was able to recover them through divine assistance. Read this story, The Lost Scriptures! It is wonderful!)
3. The power God has to multiply our resources when we trust in Him and dedicate our resources to Him for good. Mindy shared the story of a man named Bob LeTourneau who, when deeply in debt, made a commitment to pay 90% tithing and live on 10%. He seriously committed to have God be his business partner, and was blessed abundantly, so that he became super wealthy! Then one of the Veggie Gals shared her story of not having much money, having sick kids, and wanting to heal them naturally. She only had a little bit of money to buy some tea tree oil. She said that little bottle of tea tree oil lasted a super long time, by the miracle of God.
4. Beauty Tips by God. Joyce shared her beauty tips that come from inspiration of God. She reminded us of the time, years ago, when she noticed that she had huge creases in between her brows. Instead of turning to Botox, she felt inspired to use BreatheRight strips. I actually remember this! I blogged about it here. Her latest beauty challenge, she said, was a blackhead that she felt inspired by God to remove with a Q-tip rolled sideways. I had a hard time imagining how this worked, and couldn’t find a Q-tip for a demo, so I am still puzzled by that one.
5. New ab exercise from Joyce. Joyce shared her new ab exercise. If I recall correctly, she said it was from Body Flex. Boy, that gave me a jog down memory lane. I still have a set of Body Flex videos I got from my birthday probably 18 years ago!I almost gave them away when I moved but then I decided maybe they are still worth keeping. I am going to have to dust them off and see if they do for me what they have for Joyce. I kind of gave up on them, thinking they might be a gimmick. Have they worked for any of you out there? A quick Google search showed that the creator has had her claims disputed. I think the biggest key point for the ab exercise and other Body Flex exercises is “motionless exercise.” Not sure how you can exercise without motion. Maybe Joyce will comment and enlighten us more?
Veggie Gal Joyce now lives down the street from where the Summit was held. Who would have thought Joyce would ever live in north Utah county after being in Orem for decades?! We Veggie Gals all have found memories of her Orem home, with its indoor swimming pool and the xeriscaping of the yard. I had a delightful one-on-one visit with Joyce after dropping my younger son off at the Summit on Saturday. All I had to do was drive down the street, turn a corner, and there was Joyce! I learned the following things from Joyce on that fun Saturday monring:
1. Nuttzo. Joyce showed me this new product she found at Costco. It is made out of seven seeds and nuts. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are soaked before they are made into the nut/seed butter to remove the phytic acid that is natural to seeds and nuts, but the product looks great in that it doesn’t have sugars or fillers.
3. God coming through. Joyce told me the amazing story of her financial miracles as she and her husband sold their Orem home and had some other money come through before the house sold and they were about to run out of money.
4. The new teaching curriculum of the church Joyce told me how excited she is about this curriculum. She heard it was coming for over a year and finally it’s here! She is teaching Primary these days. I taught Primary for three years, so I shared my favorite tip, which was to always give one of the application questions at the end of the lesson as “homework.” Then when they came back to class, I would follow up by asking if they did the “homework.” Usually it was something like “Ask your parents about a time when they felt God answered their prayer,” or something like that.
So those ideas were swimming in my head Thursday through Saturday after seeing the Veggie Gals. Then on Friday night, I got to go to a meeting in “commemoration” of 9/11. This meeting is part of the “Highland Liberty Group” that meets monthly in my hometown of Highland, Utah. The speaker, Susan Lindauer, is a former CIA worker who boldly speaks out that the 9/11 attack was known ahead of time in upper federal government circles. She ended up spending time in prison and talks about that too. Here is a presentation by her on Youtube. It’s rather fascinating that 9/11 was the same weekend as the Summit. The Summit is to prepare youth to be heroes. which is fitting since some of these youth, the ones born before 2000 or so, are part of the “Hero Generation” mentioned in the Fourth Turning. According to Susan, if Hillary wins the upcoming presidential election, she will have the U.S. go to war against Iran. Our young men will be drafted. Hmmm…Perhaps that will be the test of what a hero is.
My visit with Joyce got cut short by a child calling me to remind me to come back home to Grandma’s so I could take him to the Summit where he was volunteering to be a villain. I did stop on the way at a yard sale and found a bunch of Tupperware-type containers for storing leftovers and packing lunches. Hooray! I got a whole bag full for $1. We have been short on those so I felt this was a tender mercy.
We are able to go see my mother-in-law and have dinner with her on Thursday night. I was so pleased that my three older children who were living in Utah at the time all made extra efforts to get there. The oldest rode his bike from Provo to Orem to get there! Then we were off to pick peaches in South Jordan down the street from Veggie Gal Shauna’s home. Free peaches! I am finding that peaches are hard to find here in southern AZ. Shauna had this amazing tool, a fruit picker that we had fun using. It’s like this basket on the end of a long pole. As a bonus I got to take two out of the three older children to pick peaches and talk with us. We dried a bunch and froze a bunch when we got home. I haven’t eaten any during these low carb days but I look forward to making a peach pie this Thanksgiving with what I preserved. I might even grind up the dried peaches into powder and make some kind of peach pancake syrup this winter.
I also of course checked out as many Deseret Industries and other thrift stores as I could while I was there. And lost my daughter at Walmart, and then found her. And got to see where my firstborn’s apartment is in Provo. And got pulled over by a cop for having an expired tag on my Utah license plate in the front. So I showed him that I was up to date on my AZ plate in the back and had a our car fully registered in AZ. But guess what?! I was wanting to find some black Sunday dress sandals with heels to replace my current black Sunday sandals with heels that are falling apart. I found the exact pair I used to have 7 years ago, at the Deseret Industries in South Jordan! Not the exact pair, those broke and I threw them away, but the same style, looking brand new! I loved those shoes because they were comfy and elegant at the same time. My sister-in-law gave me the money to buy them when I was super pregnant and needed bigger shoes for my bloated feet and I have always been so grateful for that. Hooray! I also found a book about Matthew Cowley for $2 that I am super excited to read. Mindy mentioned that he experienced many miracles by exercising faith in the power of God’s word. I also got to hold my new grand niece for the first time. I can’t believe that my brother is a grandpa! My grand niece is three months old and just the cutest thing. It’s amazing how time marches on. I am so grateful to have all of these wonderful people in my life!