Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Paradox of Man

This past week has been a pretty busy one so it's taken me a week to get around to blogging about this but last week a girl in our ward gave a really great talk that I really loved. Here is what she talked about.

Her talk was based on President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk from Octoboer 2011 conference titled "You Matter to Him." Find the full talk here.

In this talk, he talks about the great paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. We are less than we suppose but we are also greater than we suppose.

We are less than we suppose:
"Astronomers have attempted to count the number of stars in the universe. One group of scientists estimates that the number of stars within range of our telescopes is 10 times greater than all the grains of sand on the world's beaches and deserts."

Think of all the sand on just one beach or in one desert. It is unfathomable to think of how many grains there are in the universe and even more unfathomable to think of how many stars there are. With so many stars, so much sand, so many universes and so many people, it is easy to feel like we are nothing.

We are greater than we suppose:
Although man is nothing, "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10)
We matter to God. 
I, Aleisha Morgan, matter to God.
YOU matter to God.
He loves each of His children with an unconditional love.

That means that when you feel like nothing, when you feel like no one knows your suffering, when you feel that your life is so hard you cannot go on, GOD LOVES YOU. He is mindful of you. He will always be by your side. Celebrating the successes and weeping for the challenges. He is a constant friend, a loving Father.

Now we must ask ourselves, 
"Does God matter to me?" 
Do I celebrate my successes with Him?
Do I share with Him my trials?
Do I go to Him in weakness?
Do I thank Him for my strengths?
Is Heavenly Father my friend?
What is my relationship with Him?

These are the suggestions this girl gave in her talk about how we can develop a relationship with our Father in Heaven.

1. Talk to Him:
  • have meaningful conversations - if you were wanting to make a new friend with someone, you wouldn't do that by saying the same thing to them every time you saw them or by talking to them once a year
  • talk to Him as you would a friend - you would talk to them every day, even multiple times in one day. You would tell them meaningful things about yourself.
2. Learn about Him:
  • when you want to find out more about someone new you talk to their friends, you stalk them on facebook (admit it, we all do it :)), you talk to them! 
  • this works with God too! (except he doesn't have facebook). But you can talk to people who know Him (church leaders, General Authorities)
  • You can read His words (scriptures)

3. You will recognize Him and you will trust Him:
  • think of someone in your life who you know very well. Do you trust them? Would you do anything they asked even if you didn't know why they were asking?
  • We must be this same way with God. Sometimes he will tell us to do something and we may not know why. To strengthen our relationship with Him, we must be willing to step into the dark and do what He asks. 
4. You will live in a manner that He wants to be around you:
  • If you have a new friend, you will make sure that they want to spend time with you
  • You won't ignore them, you won't talk bad about them, you will be kind, you will be loving, you will love those around you so they can trust that you love them too
  • We must live in a manner that the Spirit of God can dwell with us always.

I really love this advice and this analogy to building a relationship with God. Gaining a new friend is something we can all relate to. When I look around at the world and all the blessings I have, it is easy to see that God loves me. The daily beauties and tender mercies that surround us are evidence of the unconditional love that he has for all His children. If we look deep enough, we can find blessings in our life and see the love that God has for us.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chicken Sausage and Veggies

I am always looking for new, easy meals to make. I go through stages where I enjoy meal planning and making those meals and then I go through more frustrated stages where I hate meal planning, shopping, and even sometimes eating haha. It is just so much work and always involves dishes at the end which I hate. During the week we have little time for meal planning, dishes, and extravagant meals. Also, I am bad at coming up with meals that don't involve chicken or ground beef... I guess that's what being college does to you. Anyways, my mom invented this recipe that is super delicious and SO easy and I wanted to share it with you all! Also, it has a variation from the typical chicken and ground beef meals that I feel I make so often.

We call this dish the "sausage with veggies and rice dish" or "sausage and celery stuff". Very original and creative, I know. I will give you permission to call this dish whatever you like. Here is how I make it.

Start a pot of rice. I usually do 2 dry cups with this meal so that we have enough rice for the leftovers too.
Chop 5-6 stalks of celery into bite-sized pieces.
Chop a full onion into bite-sized pieces. (I need to come up with a better description I think.. Bear with me, this is not a cooking blog). Scroll down for a picture of how big my bite-sized pieces are.
Put onion and celery into a frying pan with butter or oil.
Sautee 10ish minutes until celery and onions are almost soft.
While sauteeing, chop sausage into slivers about 1/4" (is that better?). We buy our sausage at Costco. It is a pretty great deal because this one meal  makes about 5-6 servings with 5 sausages. The packs at Costco come with 3- 5 packs of sausage. So it seems a little expensive at first ($13.00) but it goes a long way. You can also use the sausage in spaghetti sauce or... well you get the picture!

Anyways, after 10 minutes add the sausage. It is pre-cooked so all you need to do is warm it up. This will take about 3-5 minutes.

We usually just eat this dish plain but when I made it a few nights ago I added a lot of some Cajun seasoning which gave it a pretty good flavor too. I also think it would be good if it was somewhat spicy. The onions really soak up the flavor well so if you season it, do it while they are still sauteeing.

Then serve over rice and enjoy!

P.S. We also had our first singles ward activity last night! Oscar's night, we dressed up fancy (and matched of course), it was fun. But I'll tell ya, those singles like to party late on a school night. We were up late finishing homework which makes for a tired Leisha.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tortellini Bake

Please everyone go make this right now.

 It is the best thing ever. 

photo taken from

You won't be sorry.