Monday, February 27, 2012


for strength

The Lord can reassure that He is near and that He will lead us through the darkest days of our lives.
Of the Seventy

Life is not always easy to live, but the opportunity to do so is a blessing beyond comprehension. In the process of living we will face struggles, many of which will cause us to suffer and to experience pain. Many people will suffer in personal struggles, while others will suffer as they watch their loved ones in pain.
To gain strength in our struggles, we must have a positive perspective of the principles in the plan of salvation. We must realize that we have a personal Savior whom we can trust and turn to in our times of need. We must also learn and live the principles that the Lord has given to receive the strength needed during our struggles.

Positive Perspective

In the Grand Council in Heaven, the decision was made to “make an earth whereon these may dwell” (Abr. 3:24). This earth is the place to prove ourselves worthy and to prepare to return to the presence of the Lord. He explained, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abr. 3:25).
The Lord explained the purpose for which we must be tested during this earthly experience: “My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them” (D&C 136:31).
Part of the plan is “that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Ne. 2:11). We are given the agency to choose between these opposites in the proving process (see 2 Ne. 2:27D&C 29:35). In our pre-earth life, we understood and sustained the plan of salvation with the principles of opposition and agency. We knew we would have experiences in this life that would cause us to struggle and sometimes to suffer.
Some of our struggles involve making decisions, while others are a result of the decisions we have made. Some of our struggles result from choices others make that affect our lives. We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond. Many struggles come as problems and pressures that sometimes cause pain. Others come as temptations, trials, and tribulations.
Yet struggles are a part of the sacred sanctification process. There are no soft or slothful ways to become sanctified to the point that we are prepared to live in the presence of the Savior. And there can be blessings in the burdens we bear. As a result of these struggles, our souls are stretched and our spirits are strengthened. Our character becomes more Christlike as we are tried and tested.
Even though these experiences may cause pain, suffering, and sorrow, we have this absolute assurance: “No pain suffered by man or woman upon the earth will be without its compensating effects if it be suffered in resignation and if it be met with patience” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 168).
The Savior gave comfort and counsel to the Prophet Joseph Smith while he was suffering in Liberty Jail, explaining the beneficial effects and blessings that come if we bear our burdens well: “All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7). He continued:
“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes” (D&C 121:7–8).
People respond to struggles in different ways. Some feel defeated and beaten down by the burdens they are called to bear. Many begin to blame others for their difficulties and defeats, and they fail to follow the counsel of the Lord. It is a natural tendency to seek the easy road on life’s journey and to become discouraged, filled with doubt, and even depressed when facing life’s struggles.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, then an Assistant to the Twelve, distinguished the difference in responses to difficulties: “The winds of tribulation, which blow out some men’s candles of commitment, only fan the fires of faith of [others]” (“Why Not Now?” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 12).
If we follow the revealed eternal principles, we will gain strength during our struggles and will be blessed as we bear our burdens and deal with difficulties and overcome obstacles in our lives. If we are to gain thestrength that we need, we must come to know the Savior and follow His counsel.

A Personal Savior

The Savior knows each of us in a personal way. He has assured us of His personal acquaintance, His awareness of our needs, and His presence in our times of need. He counseled, “I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me” (D&C 38:7). Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained, “The Savior is in our midst, sometimes personally, frequently through his servants, and always by his Spirit” (The Lord’s Way [1991], 14).
The Savior knows all things past, present, and future. Jacob taught, “For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it” (2 Ne. 9:20). He knows the things that we stand in need of even before we ask (see 3 Ne. 13:8).
He also knows our thoughts and the intents of our hearts and sees into the innermost parts of our eternal spirits. He taught, “I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them” (Ezek. 11:5). Ammon stated, “He knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Alma 18:32).
He knows the temptations we face. The Savior was tempted beyond any temptation we could ever face. The scriptures say, “He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them” (D&C 20:22). He stands ready to deliver us in our times of temptation. Paul wrote, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [help] them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18). Peter proclaimed, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations” (2 Pet. 2:9).
The Savior “knoweth the weakness of man” (D&C 62:1). In spite of our weakness, He loves us in an incomprehensible manner and offers us great hope: “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
In addition to knowing our thoughts and intents, temptations and weaknesses, He knows all that we do in this life. He said, “Behold, mine eyes see and know all their works” (D&C 121:24; see also 2 Ne. 27:27). “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works” (Rev. 2:19).
The Lord stands ready to help us through our struggles. We have His assurance and His promise that He will be there to assist us in the days of our difficulty:
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
“Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you” (D&C 88:63–64).
He stands ready to comfort and counsel us in our season of struggles and suffering. Jacob taught, “Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions” (Jacob 3:1).
The Lord gives us a spirit of hope and a feeling of comfort and confidence that we can overcome the obstacles we face. He has shown the way to gain strength during our struggles. With His assistance, we have the ability to succeed. Listen to His words of counsel and comfort: “Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world … ; and none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost” (D&C 50:41–42).
Again, with a feeling of love, He reassures us that He is near and that He will lead us through the darkest days of our lives. His strength will sustain us during our struggles even when we feel weak: “Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall” (D&C 50:44).
Because of His infinite love for us, He is our advocate with Heavenly Father. He pleads our cause with Him. He pleads to the Father forforgiveness of our sins and gives us this counsel of cheer: “Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 29:5; see also D&C 45:3D&C 62:1D&C 110:4).


Tara Ashley

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Funnies

Here again for another week of
How was your week?
I'm so thankful for the weekend and the chance to sleep in...
Perhaps do a little shopping or finally she The Vow with my girlfriend.

Well said.....the last one gets me everytime...too soon?? NO WAY!

 For real!!

I LOVE THIS SHOW!! That's pretty good.

True story

That's what I wanna know.

 I laughed sooo hard at this yesterday

My thoughts yesterday

So last night I gave into the "trend" of painting your fingernails (YES...That's new, didn't you know?? ;)) hahaha
JUST KIDDING! No, but really have you seen on Pinterest or possibly in any magazine around were you paint one nail a different color or with a design? Yep, I did just that!

What do ya think?
Not sure of the color combo, but I'm taking it for a trial run.
Don't mind how wrinkly and old my hands look by the way

So what are your plans this weekend???

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Journey Forward {2}

I missed the first link up last week with my friend Chelsea over at life is a sunset because I was sick and out of the game, but I'm back...kinda.
Just taking a semi - break from the blog world, hope y'all don't mind.

 I did although make a commitment to myself...I must continue the CHALLENGE of LIVING my ONE WORD 
In order to do so, I've decided to join up with Chelsea every Thursday!!

The first challenge for Journey Forward was to define our word through the dictionary and through our own words.

The Marriam-Webster Dictionary defines con·fi·dence as
a: a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances 

b : faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way 
c: a relation of trust or intimacy

When I originally started thinking about the different words I wanted to live out and work towards, I had a couple options, one being trust the other being truth.
As I discussed this JOURNEY FORWARD with the pilot and explained "MY ONE WORD" he mentioned that my word be was perfect!!
It was trust and truth in one!
Everything I need!
I often struggle to see myself as a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman and that I have a lot to offer at whatever stage I am at in life.
...I need to trust in the truth of that...
So with a lot of consideration I have decided to
To "Let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly" ALL situations...

create a Journey Forward pinboard on Pinterest and fill it with anything and everything that reminds you and inspires you to work toward your word.

The good thing is...I LOVE Pinterest!! AND this is something I had already started.
Chelsea and I think alike!

I couldn't say it better myself!!


Tara Ashley

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It doesn't matter your age,
 the distance you live,
or the days that pass
...and she worries, regardless. 

So call, right now. Text her. Email her.
I tell Shayne this a lot, even though he is pretty good about checking in with his parents and family.

Last night I thought it was so cute, I was sitting on the couch with my roomie and she said, "Oh I should call my mom, it's Valentine's Day, I wonder what she's doing?" So she picked up the phone and called her up in Washington and they talked as if they were sitting right next to one another, like no time had passed since they last spoke. 

And a few weeks back one of my other roommates (I have three by the way) happened to stay at her mom's house to "dog sit", mind you she is not a dog person hahaha, but she did it for her mom. And after her four day stay she came home and said, "Guess what? My mom had drumstick ice cream, marshmallows and good coffee just for me!!! " We just laughed at her and told her it was because her mom wants her to move back home.

It's amazing to me the bond that mothers and fathers can have with their children...even if we are 29! or 50!

My {heart} goes out to those that don't have that special relationship or might not have their moms or dads here or know who they are, even.

I say this because that is the situation I have when it comes to my father. I know him, he was around while I was growing up, but we don't have this type of relationship. I have tried, but it is just not there and hasn't been for many, many years.
Of course, I do remember how awesome it was setting off rocket ships in the park or riding mini bikes with 'dad' with I was younger, but those memories are both far a few between.
It is something I have come to except.
While other girls will get flowers and candy from their daddy's on Valentines Day or even a sweet message, I won't be.
When girls dream of their daddy walking them down the isle, I don't.
Some days it makes me sad, yes. But I am very much OK with this now that I am older.

 My hope is that one day when I have kids that if I have a daughter my husband will treat her like a princess and WORRY and CARE about her...forever.  Regardless of her age, the distance, or days that pass. So that she won't have to be OK with it.

I'm not saying that my father doesn't do these things, because I'm sure he does.
But when I read THIS it just confirms what I already know
That is not the father I have, unfortunately
(no pressure ;))

I have come to be OK with this because regardless of my age, my status, or the miles apart we may live I will always have my mom and she will always be my Valentine, my constant that will worry and care and text me to make sure I am 'doing OK' because I slipped and fell on Sunday afternoon. 
I honestly can't imagine my mom not being in my life and being my best friend. 
I can now look back on those tough times we had a few years ago when our relationship was being threatened by other parties and I just scoff them because YOU CAN'T and WON'T BREAK THIS!

Even when I'm old and gray and she's long gone and my children have children, she will be in my heart
 for-ever and always. 

This woman would do anything for anyone and has one of the biggest hearts I know. 
I want all the happiness in the world for her because she deserves it.

Let us NEVER FORGET TO CALL our MOMS (or dads) just to say "HI!"
But most importantly,
let us always remember those parents who might not be all that we had hoped for or are absent in our lives for whatever reason. 
Because they may just be doing THEIR best!


Tara Ashley

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Regardless of your "status"
Happy Valentine's.Love.{HEART}.Day!!

My sweet Pilot sent me a bag full of "69" chocolate kisses (don't worry, its a fighter pilot thing) and with each kiss there was a reason why he was in love with me! 
Honestly, the sweetest and most thoughtful gift I've ever gotten. 
Thank you, baby!!

I wish you were here so I could snuggle with you on the couch and give you a big HUG & KISS!
Just know that no amount of distance will ever keep us apart

Remember when we were laying in bed and you said, "I think I love you" and I said, "hmm ok"
You had me so confused, but I refused to say it first.
So I waited
...& waited...
Then finally one night you finally said it and I knew it was real love, because I loved you too.


Tara Ashley

Monday, February 13, 2012

BABY you spin me round, right round, right round

What do you get when you have a dad who's in a rock band, a mom who loves music and a baby who's on the way???

Baby Shower!

We had sooo much fun!!
 I think that Amy appreciated all the hard work we did.
And I got a lot of compliments on the decorations too.
Soooo ya know, if you are in Arizona and need some help with party decorating, I'm your girl!

 The entrance 

 Thank you treats for the guests!
 A lyric (message) for Grayson
 This was the diaper drop area...where they were given a "concert" (raffle) ticket

 Don't you just love that face?!

The food-The girls put all of this together and did a great job
A family friend made the cake...she did an awesome job. 

Those are cake pops, make by yours truly...They were red velvet and soooo goood!!
Drink station
This was the sweet saying we put on the thank you gifts
My little Grandma
And my momma too!

The expecting mom :)
With her boys

We can't wait to meet you Grayson Michael.
I love you!

Have a ROCKIN' Week everyone!


Tara Ashley