Sunday, January 27, 2013

What are you willing to do to invite the Spirit into your home?

This week I've had the opportunity to attend multiple sessions of our Stake Conference and while I've been greatly fed with inspired thoughts and messages, there is one thought that has implanted itself in the forefront of my mind:

What are YOU willing to do to invite the Spirit into your home?

Not, "what are you doing to encourage or teach or compel others to invite the Spirit?" Not even, "what are you currently doing?" If you're home isn't as Christ-centered as it could be, if a spirit of contention keeps rearing it's ugly face, if happiness doesn't fill your walls, WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO TO CHANGE IT? 

Imagine for a moment a place full of tranquility, peace, kindness and love.

If you're home is anything like ours, tranquility can seem an almost impossible destination. With two teenagers, a tween-ager, and a energetic ten year old, a moment of peace can often be hard to find. We juggle busy schedules, stacks of homework, household chores, and family time among other things. I trip over backpacks, pick up discarded candy wrappers, and search frequently for misplaced shoes. On top of it all, we seem to be under the constant influence of  the TV, computer, or iPods. And, as much as I'd like to believe that other's are living in the blissful state of Utopia, I can't help but wonder if we are more normal than not.

More than once I've been accused of setting the bar high for myself and my household, but I think it's safe to say that most of us desire a happy, clean, chaos free environment to one degree or another.  Peace cannot coexist with contention. It is impossible for light and dark to fill the same space. In short, Satan cannot bare his influence where the Spirit of the Lord dwells.

"One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes."  (Joseph B. Wirthlin)

I invite you to ponder, as I have, the degree to which you have the Spirit in your life. Are you happy? Are you doing anything in your life or in your home that might offend the Spirit? Are you spending your time in pursuit of pleasure at the cost of more important things? Do the programs you watch and the music you listen to overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost? Are you kind? Forgiving? Patient?

Each of us holds the power to change. As parents I think we sometimes forget that it is not our right to change our children. We can't force change upon anyone. Even the best laid intentions to force someone to do something beyond their will is in fact contrary to the agency our Heavenly Father desired for us. The only person we can change is ourself! We can look for "teaching moments" and carefully try to influence our children towards good decisions, but ultimately they need to be allowed to exercise their independence. Thus, I can encourage my children to solve their conflicts constructively and with kindness, but I also need to recognize the possibility that I could (unintentionally) be part of the problem. The influence of one can have immeasurable impact on many.

Which brings me back to my original question, but this time I pose it in a more personal prose:

What am I willing to do to invite the Spirit into my home?
What am I willing to change? What am I willing to sacrifice? What am I willing to let slide, to forgive, to repent of, or to do differently in order to be personally worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

It really is a question of choice... we can choose to direct our path towards true happiness or we can choose to continue down the dead-end road to despair. Either way, the choice is ours. Choose wisely, however, for we will reap what we sow.

Monday, January 21, 2013


There are the books everyone has heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags five other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag five new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

I was tagged by two authors: A.L. Sowards and Karey White. 

You can learn more about Sowards and her book Espionage from her website (, facebook page ( or through twitter (@ALSowards). Espionage is available for purchase in most LDS bookstores and on Amazon.

You can learn more about Karey White via her blog ( You can read my interview with Karey as well as a review of Gifted here. And don't miss out on her much anticipated new release (Dec 2012) For What It's Worth! 

This blog hop includes a few questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress, so here’s a little info about my current project:

1: What is the working title of your book?  All the Finer Things 

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?  The entire story-line unfolded to me one night in a dream. I saw the characters,  

3: What genre does your book fall under?  Fictional Suspense (with maybe a touch of Romance!) 

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  Ooh, tough call. I'm gonna have to go with Trevor Donovan as the rugged Ammon Carter, Bradley Cooper in the dark role of steely-eyed Dr. Matthew Hamilton, and maybe Amber Heard for my heroine, Megan. 

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Megan Hamilton, the young trophy wife of a highly desired, irresistibly handsome, smooth talking, wealthy plastic surgeon, has the perfect life.... or, does she? 

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Undecided.... leaning towards self-pub.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I'm a slow writer: about 9 months.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Off the top of my head I can't think of any books that deal with the realities of domestic abuse quite as realistically as All the Finer Things. - Movies wise, however, think Sleeping With the Enemy. 

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book? Unfortunately domestic violence is far too rampant today. There are many women in my life whose personal stories inspired All the Finer Things. I think the biggest thing that inspired me was the desire for women/young girls to know that they deserve to be treated with respect and that there is not a man on the planet worth sacrificing your self worth and safety for. 

Here is a list of authors who will be joining the hop. I hope you’ll visit their blogs and learn more about their books. Maybe one of them will become your new favorite author!

1. Mandi Tucker Slack  ( )
4. Jill Vanderwood (

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The last chapter of 2012

Better late than never, right? Not a super clever pitch, but it's the best I've got, so I'm sticking with it! 

If you're much of a Kreating Krazy follower, you know that I was pretty much MIA for the entire month of December. However, that doesn't mean I wasn't busy. The holidays have come and gone, the celebrations are over, and its time to revisit reality.... but before I do, let me give you an idea of what December in the Worlton house was like:  

We added a third canine (and subsequently seventh child) to our fold...  
Sir Kodiak Cooper - 10 weeks old. So smart and curious! 

 We baked mass amounts of cinnamon swirl bread.

Decorated 3 Christmas trees, hung 6 stockings, and listened to at least 4 hours of Christmas music every day! . 

Braved the WILD - aka retail scene - for lots of shopping fun! Survived by the skin of our teeth and the youth of our feet. And yes, American economy, you're welcome! We did our best to contribute. 

Gained 5 lbs during the consumption of all the sugary goodness that arrived at my door! 
Disclaimer: this is NOT my picture - I "borrowed" it off the web . Who can keep cookies long enough to take a photo? 

Made oodles of gifts including a dozen cute snowmen for my cute young women. 

Gathered TONS of photos of our ancestors, assembled a fun collection of eclectic frames (lets be honest, this took many, many months! But it finally got finished in Dec.), and arranged them on the wall beside our nine-generation family tree.  
The secret to hanging your layout perfectly THE FIRST TIME? (Because who wants bazillions of holes?)
Finalizing the layout, then tracing it on butcher paper. 

Perhaps when I have a few minutes I'll pull the 1000+ pictures off my camera and share some more. Not likely, but its always good to hang the option out there, right? :) 

And now on to 2013! 

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