Love: A Choice

holding hands1

Ah, falling in love.  There isn’t a feeling more sublime nor desire more universal; to find someone to love and fall hard.

Where did we get the term “fall in love”?

It carries roots in the English language, however, no one is certain of its original source.  Apparently, one of the earliest known uses of the phrase “fall in love” occurs in Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queen, published in the 1590s.

While it is a romantic idiom, it is really accurate? I mean, using the word fall in the same way we say “fall into a trap,” or “to fall ill” implies that the process is in some way uncontrollable, tragic, risky, with no choice involved.  And, carrying that implication further, we use its corollary, “we fell out of love” as an excuse for failing marriage.

“Falling in love” and “falling out of love” sound as if love were something accidental and involuntary. Is this really the case? Continue reading


Being Tall

Me and my roommate last semester - and I am leaning so I can fit my head under the arch.

Me and my roommate last semester – and I am leaning so I can fit my head under the arch.

I am a tall person.

Ever since my first day of kindergarten all the way to graduation day, I have always been the tallest girl in my class. My legs have not fit under a desk since fourth grade, I stopped wearing heels in eighth grade, and I was creepily hit on by a guy in his thirties when I was a sophomore.
And without fail, the first comment I get whenever I meet someone new is, “Wow! You’re tall!”

I have spent years trying to think of the perfect response to this statement. I have toyed around with:
“Wow! You’re observant!”
“Really?! I never noticed!”
“I just thought everyone else was short.”
But I usually settle on a simple “Thanks” and a change of subject.

Despite the daily annoyances, being tall does have its advantages. Continue reading

Love: A Package Deal


Like most moms in my childhood era, my mom had dinnertime rules, which was – finish everything on your plate.  There are starving children in Africa, so be grateful for your food and empty your plate. My mom was a decent cook, but every now and again she’d add in some things that made cleaning the plate impossible. Things like: Brussels sprouts. Seriously?  They are like methane on a plate!  But mom was not concerned with what we kids liked or disliked.  The rule at mealtime was: Eat everything on your plate!

But that was not the rule at the cafeteria. When I was a kid, I loved buffets. Oh, to take a tray and gaze at the endless food selection. The choices were intoxicating. Yes to the garlic bread, no to the chicken livers. Yes to the berry pie, and a big no to Brussels sprouts. When I was a kid, I loved cafeteria selections.

Author, Max Lucado posed a great question, “Wouldn’t it be nice if love were like a cafeteria line?” Yes. Yes it would!  “To look at your family and select things that you like and pass on what you don’t?”

“I’ll have a large plate of good moods and high praise, but I’ll pass on the job transfers and inlaws.” Or, “Please give me a double portion of good health and support, but mood swings, sharp tongues, and housework are not in my diet, thank you.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if love were like a cafeteria line? It would be easier. It would be painless. It would be convenient. But, you know something? It wouldn’t be love. Love doesn’t just pick and choose some things, says Lucado. Love is willing to accept all things. Continue reading

The Secret to Loving is Receiving

heart in handWhen my daughter, Lauren, was in first grade, the elementary school gave students the assignment to write, illustrate, and “publish” an original book. Because she wanted her book to be unique, writing about animals, flowers, vacations or poetry was out of the question.  She was going to pull from her six years of sisterly knowledge and experience, and the result was a how-to book entitled, How to Be a Great Sister.  Here is just some of her wisdom: Continue reading

Mount Pride

mountain-1340721352kjqIn our lives, we encounter many mountains. Some are trials that we have to navigate. Others are fears that we must overcome.

However, there exists one mountain that no one should ever climb. No one ever comes prepared to scale this mountain and no one can safely traverse this mountain, for it is that dangerous.

The purpose in climbing this mount is not for experience – people climb it for the pleasure of being elevated above others.

Its name: Mount Pride.

If we find ourselves climbing the mountain of pride, we have to deal with the dangers and side effects of altitude sickness.

One suffering for Mount Pride altitude sickness might experience: Continue reading

Whatever You Are, Be a Good One


Reed Nef

Groundhog Day holds special meaning in our home. Not because of Punxsutawney Phil, Gobbler’s Knob, furry weather forecasts, or the Bill Murray movie, but because it is my husband’s birthday. Yes, our very own resident groundhog brings early Spring to our household every February 2nd.

So, in honor of my sweetheart, I am re-running an article I wrote about him for the Saratoga Sentinel soon after he was called to the Stake Presidency November 2011.

Meet the Presidency:  Reed Nef
“Whatever you are, be a good one!” was just one of the many bits of wisdom Reed’s father, Lamar, imparted to his family. Continue reading