Pressing Pause

One of my favorite talks is called "Stay by the Tree" by Kevin W. Pearson. In his address, there is a specific phrase he shares that has stayed with me since I first heard it. It resonated so deeply with me and really had me thinking about how I am using my time on social media.

Searching #SpaciousBuilding for knowledge will not lead you to truth. It’s not posted there. Only The Savior has ‘the words of eternal life’.
— Kevin W. Pearson

I know that social media can be a blessing if we allow it, but on the same token, it's also too easy to unconsciously let it consume not only our time, but our perception of ourselves. For a while, I had been feeling spiritually tired and unable to pinpoint the reason. After hearing that simple phrase, however, I knew why. Instead of more readily and eagerly tuning to The Lord for peace and spiritual strength, I was allowing a good portion of my day to be spent searching "#SpaciousBuilding". 

Since hearing that talk, I've been striving to make a more conscious effort to disconnect, pause, meditate, and listen. Not just disconnecting from social media, either. But rather, taking moments to disconnect from the noise I bring into my life. While driving to work, instead of blasting my music, I'll take those ten to fifteen minutes to sit in quiet tranquility and try to welcome The Spirit. If I feel a sudden urge to pray, whether it be on the drive to work, as I'm sitting at my desk, or at the gym, I'll listen to that prompting and open a dialogue with my Heavenly Father.

The difference that a little bit of daily quietude can bring into your life is astounding. In this world that we live in, there is so much hustle and bustle going on around us and sometimes we just need to press pause on the noise, recharge spiritually, and then keep going.


Photos for Foundation c/o Lori Romney Photography

Allexis is currently studying Communication at the University of Utah and works as a Social Media Marketing Specialist by day. By night, she explores the great outdoors as a means to draw closer to The Savior and His creations. She believes that the end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place as home. In her spare time, you will find Allexis planning Gospel Doctrine lessons for her Sunday School class, eating baked goods like they're going out of style, blogging about her personal life and style, and trying to do as much of all the above while sitting atop a mountain. Visit www.cleverlycoy.com to learn more.

A Safe Harbor

Growing up near the ocean has lead me to have a deep love and appreciation of the sea. The tang of salty air, the soft call of sea gulls, the rocking motion of a ship, and the gentle sea breeze are things my soul craves. There is something so wonderful and energetic about the ocean and yet, it is one of the worlds most dangerous places.

I can remember as a child, my mom loading my sister and I into the car, just before a hurricane was about to make landfall, and driving over to the beach to take a look at the ocean. When we got there, I remember it being a mesmerizing site of some of the most forceful acts of nature, moving with such power in it's natural element. The sound of colossal and foamy waves crashing against the pier and the wind whipping sand and sea spray against me is something that I think I will forever have memorized.

How many times in life have we felt like we are the pier weathering an oncoming storm? Pelted from all sides with the power of life? Like we are sticking out our limbs, unprotected, into a raging tempest and being ambushed from all sides. In the many seasons of life, how can we find peace and protection? Where can we turn for safe harbor during life's most difficult times?

The answer is simple. We must make ourselves our own safe harbor. We must build up a strong foundation for ourselves so that we are spiritually and mentally prepared to weather the storms of life. We must become an anchor unto ourselves of unwavering faith with a true knowledge of and faith in God.

Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble- that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies truth are not deeply embedded within us. We can rely on the faith and testimony of others only so long. Eventually we must have our own, strong, and deeply placed foundation, or we will be unable to withstand the storms of life, which will come.
— Thomas S Monson

We must prepare ourselves for the raging tempest of life by building our personal foundations out of truth and righteousness. Charity, meekness, kindness, compassion, health, wisdom, knowledge- these are the tools we are given to fortify ourselves. Armed with these things, we will be able to feel a sense of peace and calm during life's roughest patches. We will be able to look at life with an eternal perspective and to step back, so that we might see the magnificent light outlining the dark and stormy clouds of life.


Photos for Foundation c/o Lauren Werkheiser Photography

Leslie graduated from BYU-Idaho with a BS in Communications. She is a firm believer that all good relationships start with healthy communication. She believes in seeing the best in those around her and loving everyone for who they are. Leslie is a new mother and enjoys spending time at home with her son. She loves to cook and travel, and she is a hockey fanatic. Visit www.diariesofadumpcook.blogspot.com to learn more.

Bright At Last

I think one of the commonalities in life is the struggle to continue to move forward without knowing exactly what lies ahead. It seems to me that it’s just in our nature to want to have an exact timeline of how our lives will go and when exactly things will happen. Heck, there are some days when I wish with all my heart that I could have such a timeline. A little map of sorts that would tell me- “In __ amount of time you will graduate school. Immediately following, you will work at ____ place, and during that time you will meet ___ person who will be your eternal companion. You will then proceed to live at ___ place.” So on and so forth.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake to guide the future as he has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
— Be Still my Soul | Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697; trans. by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

It’s in those moments, when I let the uncertainties of the future rack my peace of mind, that I think of that beautiful verse from “Be Still My Soul”. It is such a soft reminder that there is a loving Heavenly being that is guiding the future, just as He has the past. What’s more is the incredible use of the word “guiding”, in that line. I think it clarifies where the role of agency comes in. He isn’t making decisions for us, rather, if we turn to the definition of the word “guide” we understand that he is indicating the way.

I think, regardless of the stage of life that we’re in, there are moments when we all feel that the uncertainties of the future can become overwhelming. It’s in those moments when we can take courage in the line, “Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last.” What we can’t see or understand now will be made bright at last through unwavering hope and confidence.

So much of our fear of the future comes from our limited scope on the “bigger picture”. I recently went to a devotional, at my university’s Institute, where the sister who was speaking, related a story that put the concept of the “bigger picture” into a deeper context for me. She told us of a time in her life when, because of health issues, she had to take her young daughter to rigorous weekly hospital visits. She told us how, as a parent, it was difficult for her to see her daughter have to face these challenging treatments. But because she understood that in the long run they would be beneficial to her daughter’s health, she could brave each visit. Her daughter, however, could only see the discomfort and difficulty and couldn’t see how the challenge of each visit would be beneficial to her in the future. She then related what this experience taught her about our own relationship with our Heavenly Father. Similarly, when we face trials and difficulties all we can see is the struggle. When if we could see with the perspective of our Heavenly Father we would be able to see how the struggles we’re facing are for our eternal benefit.

I recently came across a verse of scripture that is a new favorite:

For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
— Doctrine & Covenants 58:4

Developing an eternal perspective can be difficult but through the confidence that “all now mysterious shall be bright at last” we can have the courage to trust that the hour when all that we’ve been promised will be given is “not yet, but is nigh at hand”.


Photos for Foundation c/o Lori Romney Photography

Allexis is currently studying Communication at the University of Utah and works as a Social Media Marketing Specialist by day. By night, she explores the great outdoors as a means to draw closer to The Savior and His creations. She believes that the end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place as home. In her spare time, you will find Allexis planning Gospel Doctrine lessons for her Sunday School class, eating baked goods like they're going out of style, blogging about her personal life and style, and trying to do as much of all the above while sitting atop a mountain. Visit lifeofacoyfish.com to learn more.

Pattern In All Things- Guest Artist Jessica Frech

There are a myriad of facets that make up “me”. So many reasons and “whys” to what I do. I can trick myself into being passionate about a corn dog if I look at it long enough to find the one thing we have in relation (it being that a corndog is also made up of many unknown facets… points me). For the past 22 years, I’ve seen this sense of passion as a gift. At age 23 in 2015, that changed.

I hustle. I call it survival mode. Doing anything and everything to keep myself together. For the last year, I’ve worked full-time for a start up company, freelanced video production on weekends, and somehow made my sophomore record for my “artist career”, then toured over the summer. And I loved all of it. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to create things. I want to make music. I want to make videos, take photos, paint, find a resolution to homelessness, and make a life changing social app. I JUST WANT TO MAKE COOL STUFF. But, under all of these facets, lied my passion for faith.  Forgotten under all of the things that I wanted to do and become.  

Priority check.

I was happy and surviving, but nothing was sticking (the definition of complacency).  I was unknowingly spread too thin, and forgetting my purpose.  I was forgetting His purpose for me.  To better refine my search for “purpose”, one of my facets was divinely eliminated… aka I lost my full time, rent paying job at the start up company.  I later recognized this as a manifestation of fatherly love. 

With what felt like my arm being torn from the rest of my body, I moved forward.  I had other facets to entertain.  I started asking what is my “real” purpose? My specific calling, if there is such a thing. Who am I to be?

We can fill our lives with accomplishment and well-doing, but in the end, if we do not enter into sacred covenants to follow Christ and faithfully keep them, we will have utterly and completely missed the mark.
— Elder Kevin W. Pearson | Stay by the Tree

I missed the mark.

I caught myself defining who I am with what I do. My sense of self was built from my many titles. With one of my facets gone, there was room. Space. A place for something with an assured “return on investment”. Faith. 

I began unburying key principles, truths, and testimonies that I already had. I pushed my facets aside for one second. Answers didn’t come immediately neither in full, but I started to discover what I really wanted to do and who I really wanted to become (am becoming).

Pattern in all things.

He took me from what I call “complacent to patience to placement”. It’s the pattern that Heavenly Fathers works in my life. He plucks me out of a comfortable position, asks for my patience, then places me in an extraordinary situation I couldn’t have conjured myself. Now, there are two tricks to this.  

  1. Recognizing good, better, best.  Complacent < Extraordinary.
  2. A cycle of disciplined patience, endurance, and faithfulness. 

I hope that you’ll make space for this system in your life. Our circumstances are different; I’m sure of it. I’m also sure that He works the same patterns in your life. Look for them. Write them down. Draw them out.  Make room for them. Make room for Him. An extraordinary future is in store for you.


Jessica Frech is a quirky, pop-folk artist who has been entertaining listeners and viewers for the past four years, bringing in over 77,000 subscribers and over 17 million viewers on her witty and energetic videos on her self-titled Youtube channel. In a Zooey Deschanel meets Norah Jones mash-up, the twenty-two year old Nashville native is tapping into this latest record with her southern-folk roots with an ever-growing spirit and hopefulness. Listeners of all ages are sure to find their own stories alongside her heartwarming and uplifting songs.

Be sure to check her out on her WebsiteYoutube | Instagram | Twitter |

photos for foundation c/o Russ Dixon

Don't Look Back

In life we have many opportunities to reflect on choices we have made. Some were good, others bad. But all choices lead us to our here and now. Which for me, is quite a lovely place to be.

Finding direction in the storm of life is a constant struggle. What job should I have? What school should I attend? Whom should I date? Will I ever love someone enough to marry them? Will I be a good mother or father? The endless questions of life are enough to drive any person to doubt themselves. It is a natural part of this life to have doubts and to feel confusion and regret. But we should not become consumed by looking back over past choices and wondering 'what if' that we forget to look forward and say 'I hope'.

Hope should be the cornerstone of the foundation of our future. It should be our constant companion so that it can provide a light during some of life's roughest weather. Hope can be the key to deciphering our own personal map of life.

With hope comes faith that things will work out. We often spend too much time analyzing our choices. Instead, we need to work on developing a deeper faith in ourselves and our relationship with God. He may let us make mistakes, but He will never lead us astray. The moment we cease to have hope and faith is when the adversary wins. To lose hope and faith is to give up an eternity of potential. I believe that we are divine beings with infinite potential in this world and beyond.

I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.
— Lewis Carol | Alice In Wonderland

We must stop dwelling on who we were yesterday and think about who we want to be today and tomorrow. So, don't look back and wonder, but move forward with hope, having faith and determination to make your life what you choose it to be. Because the possibilities are limitless.


Photos for Foundation c/o Erin Christine Photography

Leslie graduated from BYU-Idaho with a BS in Communications. She is a firm believer that all good relationships start with healthy communication. She believes in seeing the best in those around her and loving everyone for who they are. Leslie is a new mother and enjoys spending time at home with her son. She loves to cook and travel, and she is a hockey fanatic. Visit www.diariesofadumpcook.blogspot.com to learn more.

Patience

Something that has seemed to be a recurring theme in my life has been lessons of patience. I don't know how many of you struggle with patience, but for me, patience is not a virtue that comes easily.

From early on in my teen years, up until just a couple of years ago, I was facing what, at the time, felt like the trial of a lifetime. This trial tested my patience to its utter capacity. I wish I could say that I had endured well and with a happy spirit, but my relative inexperience with difficulty left me feeling angry and bitterly disappointed with the cards that life was dealing me. Despite my hardest efforts, no solutions were coming.

In hindsight, now that the solution to this trial has come, I can see that what I needed from those years of trying to overcome difficulties, with no success, was to learn to have a spirit of patience.

Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well! Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith.
— Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Once again, as I'm sure will happen often in life, I'm finding that I'm having my sincere desires delayed. Truth be told, who of us hasn't had a sincere desire delayed? The difference for me, this time around, is that I'm trying to build a solid foundation of patience as I move forward, trusting, that as I align my will with the Lord, everything will fall into place in His way and His time. Life can be challenging and difficult, but that doesn't stop it from also being beautiful and joyful! As we face the challenges of day to day living, let's strive to build a strong foundation of patience, so we can endure well and happy!


Photos for Foundation c/o Lori Romney Photography

Allexis is currently studying Communication at the University of Utah and works as a Social Media Marketing Specialist by day. By night, she explores the great outdoors as a means to draw closer to The Savior and His creations. She believes that the end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place as home. In her spare time, you will find Allexis planning Gospel Doctrine lessons for her Sunday School class, eating baked goods like they're going out of style, blogging about her personal life and style, and trying to do as much of all the above while sitting atop a mountain. Visit lifeofacoyfish.com to learn more.