Cancer Converted Me: 5 Lessons I've Learned Through My Journey

It’s a good bet that life will have its fair share of challenges when the first words the doctor speaks at birth are,

“It’s a girl,” and “she has Mongolism.”

Thankfully, my birth defects were not a symptom of Down Syndrome, as the physician had diagnosed, and I avoided a condition that could’ve defined my life to a certain set of challenges. As you might expect, more trials, many of them physical, inevitably came my way. Before my 3rd birthday, a cat scratch to my left eye had doctors explaining to my parents, “she’ll most likely be blind for life.” Many, many years later, another doctor confessed, “I do not know what is causing these miscarriages or if you will be able to have children.” Like many in this life, I have endured personal difficulties, disabilities, infertility, career letdowns, and other struggles. Life’s ups and downs have made up the peaks and valleys of my story.

Life has held many challenges since that first misdiagnosis at birth, but there have also been beautiful blessings—being able to use my talents in a teaching career I loved, marriage to a good man, and the birth of 3 beautiful boys who all defied the 50/50 odds of inheriting my genetic defect. After 10 years of moving and schooling, we finally bought our first home, were settling into a career and a neighborhood, and doing the best we could to live a good life, when another storm hit with the words of yet another doctor.

“It’s cancer.”

Lead, Kindly Light

Darkness was settling in on the last night of my first month in Yongin, South Korea. What an…interesting…month it had been. I was still a little green, no question about it. Yongin was only my second area. Three different companions in my first three months in the country; and I was about to receive my fourth companion the next day.

A month earlier when I first learned I was transferring to Yongin, I was elated to find out I would have my first native Korean companion, Elder Kuon. This would be full Korean immersion. Bring it on.

5 Fathers I am Grateful for this Father’s Day

There are many men in our lives who can play the role of father at different times. This brotherhood of fatherhood is something that helps feed my spirit and that I can draw strength from. Here are just a few of the father figures I’ve had in my life and why I am grateful for them.

5 Things That Will Surprise You About Being a Primary Chorister

The calling of Primary chorister might be one of those under-recognized callings.  It’s not that they are unappreciated, but they often serve humbly and quietly. During my brief time in this calling, I have learned how important this service is and how much work goes into the planning.  I also noticed some surprising experiences and blessings that have changed my view of this calling.

6 Ways to Spiritually Connect with Your Spouse

Dishes. Kids. Work. School. Laundry. Church callings. Family scripture study and prayers. Personal scripture study and prayers. By the time you crawl into bed at night, there’s precious little time left to connect with your husband or wife on any level.

When you’re low on sleep and energy, it’s easy to begin feeling disconnected from your spouse. A marriage between even the best of people takes hard work to make it last. If you are feeling disconnected from your spouse, consider trying to reconnect spiritually to enrich your relationship. A marriage must be Christ-centered in order to succeed, and successfully connecting spiritually will help bolster all areas of your relationship.

By prioritizing your to-do list and with a little time management, you can fit in spiritual connections every day that will help you feel closer as a couple and closer to the Lord.