Monday, July 8, 2019

My Jerry Maguire Moment

At 10:37 p.m. this past Friday, I published a blog post that took me a couple of days to write. It was a deep, heartfelt, very raw piece of work. I worried about sharing it here on Enthusiastic Fantastic because it contained a lot of truths that would probably hurt the feelings of my childhood family (i.e., my "first" family; the family of my birth), and possibly further damage our relationships, but I posted it anyway. 😬

Around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, I awoke with my heart pounding and the thoughts rushed into my mind, "What have I done?! I need to go revert my blog post back to a draft RIGHT NOW!" Yes, it was a true Jerry Maguire moment—I laugh that I now feel such a kinship to a fictional character! 😂

Like Jerry at the beginning of his journey, I typed and typed and typed to create my truth-filled blog post! I endlessly wrote my feelings about, observations of, and solutions to my issues with members of my childhood family—things I've thought throughout the years but haven't said publicly. It was such a therapeutic opportunity for me and I loved every minute of it! 💛 But then the panic set in, just like Jerry Maguire's realization moment!

Sadly, this YouTube clip doesn't show Jerry's pit-in-the-stomach scene when he finally internalizes what he's done by creating his 25-page memo and sharing it with everyone in his company (they edited it out 👎). Spoiler alert! Jerry's bold, truthful actions got him fired!

Side note: you can watch Jerry Maguire (the creator of this video clip spelled Maguire wrong!) for free on Amazon if you're willing to watch it with commercials! 😃 *Also, I don't normally endorse rated R movies, but I saw Jerry Maguire when I was a very young adult and I hadn't made the commitment to not watch rated R movies. I personally own the content-edited-for-TV version and I absolutely love it! #noswearing 😀 Despite its conflicts in many areas with my personal beliefs and commitments, Jerry Maguire has some great universal truths that everyone can learn from.

I had the same type of freak-out thoughts when I awoke so early Saturday morning: If members of my childhood family read my brutally honest blog post, they just might not recover! I could be fired from my childhood family! 😂 And, when I really thought about it, no, I didn't and don't want to be fired from my childhood family. Because, for good and bad, family is family, after all. 💔

I quickly got out of bed and sleepily hurried down the stairs as speedily as I could without falling over—I always get headrush when I get out of bed too fast! When I pulled up my blog's stats on "Hmm, What to Say," I was relieved to see that only three people had viewed my blog post—whew!—and I was one, if not two of them! Ha ha. 😅 After I clicked "Revert to draft," I felt immediate relief! My heart quit pounding, and I happily and very slowly went back upstairs to bed. I instantly fell back asleep and slept well the rest of the night.

When I awoke a few hours later, I wondered if I had overreacted by reverting "Hmm, What to Say" back to a draft. I pulled up my blog post on my phone—thankfully, it was still there from the night before! I felt so sneaky reading my blog post that technically wasn't there anymore—it was such my fun little secret! 😄 That sounds so silly, but I loved it!

I read through "Hmm, What to Say" again and was very happy 😇 with my blogging efforts—it was a great post that I loved writing and reading! Yet after analyzing my words in the very bright morning light of my corner bedroom, I knew I had made the right decision to revert it back to a draft and not keep it posted here.

Sunday, after church, while Greg and I were having a deep conversation about both of our childhood families, I read "Hmm, What to Say" to him. It was such fun reading aloud my words that I had so painstakingly composed. Greg thought it was a great post, too! Yay! Disclaimer: I gushed quite a bit about Greg in my post, so of course he enjoyed it! Ha ha.

Greg eventually agreed with me that I shouldn't post "Hmm, What to Say" on my blog. He only admitted that after I pestered him to really tell me what he thought. Greg is and has always been 100% supportive of my blogging efforts here on Enthusiastic Fantastic. He continually says, "Write whatever you want! It's your blog!" and has never wanted to get in the way of any of my blog posts. So it took a lot for him to tell me not to post it—and I definitely listened to him because of that fact.

In the end, I'm so thankful I took the time to blog about something so serious, even though I didn't keep it published here. Writing is so therapeutic to my soul, it always makes me a better version of myself! I especially love blogging and always will! I'm so truly grateful to Blogger for hosting such a great space where I can share myself on the World Wide Web! Thank you, Blogger, from the bottom of my heart! 😘

Here is a quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell's brilliant talk, "Enduring Well," that we can all learn from. His words apply to every experience we have in this life—especially when it comes to our families. 😊

"Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us and do so in ways which sanctify these experiences for our good (see D&C 122:7). Thereby, our empathy, too, is enriched and everlasting."
I am grateful for Elder Maxwell's wise words and will try my best to remember them when dealing with my childhood family and our ongoing issues.

Finally, I found this fabulous dress (photos below ) at Lulus for a fantastic price of only $14! Yes, I really did! Believe it! 😄 This dress is no longer available, as Lulus' inventory moves very quickly—especially when it's on sale. But Lulus always has amazing dresses and if you watch their website closely, you can frequently get outstanding deals like this one. That said, if you find a dress that you absolutely can't live without, I don't recommend waiting for it to go on sale because you might miss out on your size! And I don't want anyone living with dress regrets! 😂

*By the by, I'm not being paid or sponsored in any way to share my thoughts about Lulus—they are mine and mine alone without any sort of outside influence whatsoever.

Oh, how I love dresses and dressing up! 😍 I'm so grateful that my sweet little family puts up with my dress obsession and takes photos of me wearing said obsessions whenever I ask them! Ha ha. 😆 My darling Gregor took these photos for me after I got home from church yesterday. I love how he snapped a bunch of pics while I was trying to keep my hair from blowing all over the place—it's fun to see behind the scenes! Thank you, Greg! 💙😘

Click on each photo for a crisper/clearer view.

Bye now! I hope you have a wonderful day! 👋😀

Friday, May 10, 2019

Just Say "NO!" to Mark Zuckerberg

Guess what?! I finally and thoroughly said "NO!" to Mark Zuckerberg! And just how did I say no to the all-powerful Zuck, you ask? Simply by deleting my Facebook account! 👏😃 I'm also leaving Instagram, but that process is taking longer to complete than it took for me to delete my Facebook account—more on that to come.

You might wonder why I suddenly decided to delete Facebook after all of these years, and leave my beloved Instagram. Well, it's because I read a lot of articles that share just how much Facebook and now Instagram have messed with our society. It's not good news! If you're interested, here are the articles I read that solidified my decision:

Also, in late 2018, I watched Frontline's documentary"The Facebook Dilemma," and it definitely had an influence on my #deleteFacebook! decision. I highly recommend watching Frontline's entire presentation! ⭐

What's crazy is that those articles are just a sampling of the negative press about Facebook! Instagram didn't used to have much bad press, but since it was bought by Facebook, I've seen IG in the press more and more and it's not good news. Oh, how I wish Instagram had never sold-out to Facebook! 👎 That said, let's continue with my story. 😊

On March 23rd, 2019, I logged back into Facebook for the first time in four years so I could finally delete my account once and for all! (I deactivated my account on March 9th, 2015.)

Let me tell you, logging back in to Fakebook was the strangest moment I've had in the past four years! It was so odd seeing very familiar parts of FB, but there were also new things I wasn't familiar with. I read the instructions as to how to download all of my data and permanently delete my Facebook account; it took me a while to figure everything out.

While I waited to get my Facebook account's data download, I looked at several people's pages that I hadn't had contact with since I left that blue and white world. I was surprised to see that a couple of my friends had new babies, and several friends had moved to new homes, but everything else in everyone else's lives pretty much fell in line with their posts from four+ years ago.

It was so interesting to note that all of my Facebook friends and family (that I don't have continuous/regular contact with) basically stayed the same—meaning, we are who we are! Good, bad, or indifferent, we fundamentally don't significantly change over the years! It really was such a fascinating "experiment" on my end! I'm actually really glad I was able to experience my own version of a "social scientist study" by being active on Facebook, then deactivating my account, and later going back on it for a couple of hours!

What surprised me the most about my adventure of logging back in to Facebook is how much time I spent there! 😬 I pulled up many pages of people I wanted to check up on, so that took time in and of itself. Yet I never could have predicted my many random clicks—i.e., my wonderings about other people who showed up on my friends/family members pages—and how long my "inquiries" took to resolve! 😆

I really "fell down" the Facebook Rabbit Hole and it was nothing close to a happy Wonderland! Ha ha. It was a stark reminder of how Facebook is/was not good for me—it's a HUGE time waster!

*Please let me clarify that the people I care about aren't a waste of time. It's just that the way Facebook is set up is meant to make us waste as much time on there as possible, which is not good for us. If you'd like concrete evidence of that fact, read this statement from New York Media's Intelligencer article, "Sean Parker: We Built Facebook to Exploit You": 

"Parker explained just how he and the other early Facebookers built the platform to 'consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible.'"
Sean's statement makes me cringe and get a pit in my stomach! It's terrible what the Facebook machine has purposely and very knowingly done—and continues to do—to our society!

If you'd like to hear more from Sean Parker's interview, watch this video that also includes an interview with Chamath Palihapitiya, an early senior executive at Facebook

*As a warning, be aware that Chamath uses strong language—i.e., swear/cuss words which I can't stand!

When it came down to actually deleting my Facebook account, I double checked everything very carefully. I made sure I had all of my data because those posts/messages/comments were important memories from my family's history! 💖 Once I was certain that my data download was complete, I clicked the blue box that said " Delete Account"! It was such an amazing feeling to click that button, you have no idea! Wow, talk about an adrenaline rush! 👏😃

Okay, that might seem like a strange reaction to have, but knowing I still had a Facebook account—even though it was deactivated—was always in the back of my mind, and it bothered me! I felt like a hypocrite because I so did not support Facebook and all of the problems it's introduced into our society, yet I still owned my deactivated account! 😬 By continuing to have a deactivated Facebook account, I wasn't living congruently to my soul. Thus I was so very happy to rectify my incongruous situation by finally deleting my Facebook account! Yay yay happy day! 😁

*In my estimation, my previous Facebook account has now been deleted from our universe for two-and-a-half weeks! Woohoo! 👊

Deciding to also delete my private Instagram account was a bit more difficult for me. I absolutely loved my time on Instagram over the past five years—I joined on February 26th, 2014—and I knew I'd deeply miss it. 😥 Yet after reading all of the articles I listed above, and knowing how Instagram has fundamentally changed for the worse since Facebook gained control, I knew what I had to do.

When I downloaded my private Instagram account's data, I was extremely disappointed to find that Instagram doesn't put your photos and captions in the same files! In fact, I couldn't even find all of my photo captions! They seemed to be hidden away deep within my data download, and the only way I could access them was to download my captions' file folder contents to a sketchy online program that converted them into an Excel spreadsheet which I then had to re-download.

I later discovered that that online conversion program downloaded a tracking virus to my computer, too. Boo! 😠 Thankfully, I eradicated the virus from my computer. But even when the sketchy online conversion program separated out my captions into the Excel spreadsheet, some of my captions were still missing—which ticked me off!

After all of the time and effort I spent downloading my Instagram world, I realized that this manipulation of our data is yet another devious Facebook tactic meant to keep its users hooked and brainwashed every day! But I will not fall for it! No, I will not! #feistyAdrie 😇

Thus, as much as I was so giddy to also delete my private Instagram account right away, it will have to wait for a future day hopefully not too far away. For now, I need to work on copying/pasting all of my photo captions into a Word document. Unfortunately, my captions won't match up exactly with my photo files as Instagram's data download just groups them by month 😞, but at least I'll have them!

Greg suggested that I create a private blog to post our photos and captions there, but that would take up entirely too much of my time as I have 950 private Instagram posts and multiple photos on many of them! So yeah, at this point, I'd rather have a journal-type document and keep it in the same computer file as my Instagram photos. It's not a perfect system, but it's better than not having my captions at all!

You see, I absolutely loved writing photo captions on my Instagram posts! It really helped me remember all of the wonderfulness or frustration of each day or experience that I posted about. Plus, I just love love love words!!! #EnthusiasticFantastic! 😁 So yes, a big part of the reason I loved contributing on Instagram was because of the wordy details I shared there. I love composing captions! 💛

And yes, I fully know that blogging is the best way to share large amounts of words, which is why I'm currently in the process of retraining my brain to come blog at my computer rather than composing and posting via my smart phone. It's been a long process to eradicate the "addictiveness" of Instagram from my daily life, but I'm totally getting there! I am making progress in my Instagram-free efforts! Yay! A fabulous quote I heard last night (while listening to a wonderful BYU Devotional, "Wrestling with Comparisons" by J.B. Haws—go listen to it right now! 😀) really helps me solidify that writing on my blog is one of the best things I can do:

"Writing makes an exact man."
– Francis Bacon
I absolutely love that quote and couldn't agree more! Yes, writing makes me an exact woman! #choosetowrite! 😁

Here are some of my Instagram side notes: my final post was on April 3rd, 2019; I completely deleted the app from my phone; I no longer scroll my feed; and copying/pasting my many photo captions into a Word doc will be one of my summertime projects of 2019!

Guess what else?! I have even more information to share about why we should just say "NO!" to Mark Zuckerberg and get off all of the social media platforms Facebook controls. Are you ready for this?! 😃

A little while after I started my Facebook account deletion process, I saw this incredible new TED Talk given by Carole Cadwalladr at TED's April, 2019 conference—it's an absolute must-watch!

Around that same time, I stumbled upon this article that deeply disturbed me 😧:

Here is the gist about what one former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did to his family members and friends, and the other people whose family/friends signed up for his "services" online via personalized Facebook ads—it's utterly appalling to me! I just can't believe that Facebook allows such blatant targeting of its users!

"...The project was called MormonAds, and it was a brief but perhaps unprecedented experiment in targeted religious dissuasion. In four months at the end of 2017, the project targeted more than 5,000 practicing Mormons with messages painstakingly crafted to serve as gentle introductions to the messier elements of LDS history that were glossed over within the church. All the names and email addresses for the campaign came from disillusioned ex-Mormons.
"...Jones had a working knowledge of Facebook's ads tool through his business, and he knew that he could precision target an ad to a custom audience as small as 20 people. All he needed were their email addresses. 'If I target my family with ads, then I’m not the apostate messenger,' he said. 'Maybe they’ll look at it or read it. If they knew what I knew about Mormon history, they’d understand why I left the church.'"
Based on that article alone, it's clear that Facebook is not safe for any of us! Facebook is not our friend in any way, shape, or form! We should run as far and as fast as we can away from Facebook's creepy alternate universe!

All of the information I've shared in this post would have easily been enough, but yesterday morning, I was introduced to two additional, shocking articles that further support my stance that we should all delete our Facebook and Instagram accounts immediately! I highly recommend reading both of them as they will blow your mind! 💣💥 I hope they will convince you to strongly say "NO!" to Mark Zuckerberg, too! #justdoit! #justsayNO!


If we want anything to change within our social media atmosphere, we must band together and stand up for what is right and true! You might think I'm overreacting, but I know I'm not. The future of our society for generations to come depends on what we all do right now! We cannot wait for some government to change our social media climate! Only we can make that positive change that needs to be made!

With every bit of seriousness I can muster, please understand that (from everything I've read, watched, and listened to) Mark Zuckerberg certainly will NOT be the positive and righteous change agent for our world. No, Zuck is fully looking to keep his world domination and has zero intentions of ever stepping down from his data-driven, citizen-powered throne! Furthermore, the many Facebook executives and employees won't step up and make the necessary changes either because they're all enjoying their vast amounts of money entirely too much—money that they've all made from us wasting our precious time on their addictive and destructive apps!

So, you might be wondering where I will go in our social media universe, as there aren't too many options outside of Facebook's empire. It's true, I'm definitely not going to give up social media all together just because of a few really bad apples in the basket. Thus, after doing a lot of research, I decided to join Flickr! Yay Flickr! 😀

I really like that Flickr was sold by Yahoo in 2018 to a conscientious, family-owned company named SmugMug. Based on what I've researched, Flickr is now all about its users': photographs; experience on Flickr; connection with people they want to be connected to; and privacy!

I also love the fact that I can pay for Flickr Pro(!) and get the following, "Unlimited storage, ad-free browsing, advanced stats, and more." I am so interested in unlimited storage, and especially in an advertisement-free(!) Flickr experience! Yes, I am totally willing to pay a small fee for social media freedom from constant advertisements and insane invasions of my privacy!

If you're interested, here's more information about the Flickr/SmugMug partnership:

*In case you're wondering, no, I have not been asked to promote Flickr in any way. I've not been contacted by Flickr to sign up, share my thoughts, nor anything close to that. I'm simply sharing my opinion on what I think is currently the best replacement for Instagram and Facebook.

The only problem is, I can't get any of my friends to sign up on Flickr with me because they're all so in love with Instagram and Facebook! (They're probably also "addicted" to IG and FB to some extent.) #sosadface! 😢 My dearest mom and sweet auntie have both signed up on Flickr (Thank you, darling ladies!) and we're now following each other, but we're it! Oh, how I would love it if my other family members and friends joined me on Flickr!

Here are my stats for my other social media accounts:

I don't plan to ever quit Twitter unless something really crazy happens in the future. I haven't used Twitter a lot yet, as I've been super busy lately, but that awesome time will come in the future where I'll be sharing my blog post links to Twitter on a regular basis! Yay yay happy Twitter days! 😄 I've researched Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, and while he seems a little extreme in some of his personal views and habits, I feel much better about him and his leadership capabilities than I ever did about Mark Zuckerberg. Maybe I'll just refer to Jack as being a little we all are in our own ways! 😉

I will totally keep my Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts, too. I share my blog post links on Pinterest, but I also love posting the many additional articles, videos, and podcasts I feel are worth sharing and referring back to. I'm not super active on LinkedIn, but I absolutely understand the tremendous value of being a member on LinkedIn! It is a great networking tool!

And of course, I will continue sharing here on Enthusiastic Fantastic! It is and will remain my main internet and social media love forever! 😄 Unless something catastrophic happens to me or the world wide web, I will always keep posting here!

Finally, I understand that many of you will choose to stay connected via Facebook and Instagram indefinitely, which is totally your right and privilege. I won't hold your choices against you—I promise! 😘 We are all so blessed to have the God-given gift of free agency! Each of us gets to choose how we live our marvelous miraculous lives and spend our precious beautiful days. 💗 But we are also subject to the consequences of our many actions—be they good, bad, or boring. 😉 Thus, we must be satisfied with the choices we make, for it is terrible to be filled with regret! Yes, I'm so happy that I choose to live my life free of regrets every day!

My sincere hope is that each of us as individuals, and our society as a whole, will wake up to this mess Mark Zuckerberg has created and be the positive change that makes our world a better place for everyone!

Have a great day making your best choices! 😘

Monday, March 18, 2019

Be One: Being One with the Saints

Hi! 😀 Yesterday morning, I was a speaker in my ward's sacrament meeting! I had several friends ask if they could have a copy of my talk, so I decided to publish it here on my blog! 😃 While I had such a great time researching and writing my talk (I would have enjoyed the process even if it was only for me!), I'm so very happy others found my words to be helpful! 💛 I hope you enjoy them, too! 😘 Have a wonderful day! 😁


Be One: Being One with the Saints 
Adrie Peterson

Good morning! 😀 I’m super excited with the topic I’ve been asked to speak about, which is: Be One: Being One with the Saints. 

To begin, let’s discuss what it really means to be considered a saint. We’re not talking about the worldly view of sainthood—you know, the one that engenders the image of perfection with a halo on top—rather, the true, foundational definition of saints contained in the scriptures.

While summarizing the Book of Acts with my daughter for her World Religions class, I enjoyed knowing that the first disciples of Christ—the believers—were always called saints—even though they fumbled their way through everything and frequently made mistakes. In the Bible Dictionary, it clarifies that in the New Testament, saints are all those who entered into the Christian covenant through baptism. In Guide to the Scriptures, a saint is defined as a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Mosiah 3:19 explains that we becometh saints through the atonement of Christ the Lord. Romans 1:7 tells us that those who are “beloved of God” are “called to be saints.”

From these examples, it’s evident that if we’ve been given the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we’ve been baptized in His name, and we’re striving our best to be His disciples, and we’re faithfully utilizing His Atonement, and we are obviously “beloved of God,” then we, too, are called to be saints—the latter-day version! 😊

Okay, so now that we know all current members of the Church of Jesus Christ are called to be Latter-day Saints, why is it important that we continually be one with the saints?

As you well know, we are currently living in a fallen world where things are definitely less than celestial.

Journalist and author, Sebastian Junger, has written a book that talks about how our modern society—while great for ease, convenience, physical health, safety, affluence, and other positives—is actually causing us significant psychological problems, which include increasing rates of depression, PTSD, and suicide.

He points out our great need for belonging in tight-knit communities that highlight loyalty, meaning, and opportunities to help others. He explains that when humans don’t have those close, interpersonal relationships with opportunities to participate, collaborate, and be involved in others’ lives, we will absolutely not do well. He further states that, “Humans do not survive alone in nature—they don’t survive psychologically, and they don’t survive physically—they die in every sense.”

He also writes about how contempt is especially corrosive to the unity we humans are seeking and yearning for because it implies that one group doesn’t deserve society’s benefits.

All of that said, Mr. Junger shares this good news: that being embedded in a close community buffers people from their psychological problems. He absolutely believes that the way to save humanity begins at the community level.

I couldn’t help but associate all of that information with the significant benefits of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s amazing to see how our Church—and all it encompasses—meets every one of his criteria for psychological health and well-being. We just have to be willing to fully participate in the Church—to the best of our abilities! 😊

To further back up my feelings, I’d like to share a little of what I’ve been learning through my study of positive psychology—which is defined as: the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.

Positive psychologists have found that the ancient Greeks were right in their definition of happiness, which is: the joy that we feel in striving for our potential. Researchers have also found that joy is inextricably linked to meaning, and happiness is linked to the way we live our lives. They’ve concluded that real social connection is as predictive of how long we’ll end up living as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking. Their findings prove just how much we genuinely need each other!

After all I’ve experienced and researched in my life, I can’t think of a better place where people can go to strive toward their potential, find meaning, and experience happiness, than our Church. Truly, living the gospel of Jesus Christ is our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness! 😊

For years, scientific studies have found that when people practice and experience more gratitude, they report feeling happier, healthier, and more connected to others. Grateful people also feel humble and have a larger response in the brain toward charitable giving.

Positive psychology research also shows that when meditation is combined with gratitude, the body relaxes, breathing is regulated, and the brain experiences feelings of safety and love. And those benefits last longer the more a person practices it. In fact, if a person meditates on gratitude for less than two minutes every morning for 21 days, they will become happier and more optimistic!

While that happy information is fantastic all on its own, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg has found through his research that prayer is much better and more powerful than basic meditation or mindfulness training. He has proof that when athletes—who believe in God—pray, something happens in their brains that actually improves their athletic performance!

But let’s take all of that information a spiritual step further. I find it fascinating that in our Church, we know through revelation that the second step of prayer—after lovingly addressing our Father in Heaven—is to express gratitude and thanksgiving. It’s wonderful that, from day one, we are taught the four principles of prayer. Yes, Heavenly Father created His plan so that every one of us will succeed in happiness throughout our entire lives if we will simply pray with gratitude every day! 😊

“Happiness researchers” have also discovered that when people write in their journals about gratitude—including reflecting on all the people and even their ancestors who helped them get where they are in their lives—their brains show a greater neural response to giving, their gratitude increases, and their overall happiness increases, which helps them rise to their challenges of daily living.

They also found that when people write in their journals about one meaningful experience they’ve had over the past 24 hours, their brain doubles the value of that experience. If they do that journaling exercise for 21 days, they’ll find an upward trajectory of meaning in their lives which results in greater happiness!

That reminds me of our Church leaders’ continual counsel to keep a journal, and the power that accompanies our writing efforts. It’s not a coincidence that the scriptures contain verses that urge record keeping. And just think about the amazing opportunity we’re given to do temple and family history work because of our Church. The blessings of turning our hearts to our fathers and mothers are legitimate!

I could go on for days about the scientifically-proven physical and emotional benefits of exercising! Every day, our bodies are meant to move at whatever level of ability we’ve been given. When we follow the crucial health principle of physical exercise, our brains understand that our behavior matters—which is optimism—which causes us to create an entire constellation of positive habits around us. And this falls right in line with the scriptural teaching that each of our precious bodies are temples of God, and we must care for them as such.

Positive psychologists have also found that random acts of kindness are happiness multipliers. Not only do random acts of kindness make the receiver happy, but as soon as the giver starts talking about those acts, or thinking back on them, they immediately start to smile. Random acts of kindness also show us how powerful we are—that we have the power to change the reality we see around us; that we can improve the lives of others!

Obviously, we can choose to do random acts of kindness for others every day of our lives—it’s exactly what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to do! But again, we have so many additional opportunities to bless the lives of others because of our membership and dedicated service in the Church.

I enjoy knowing that the science of positive psychology is now validating what many souls have found in religion for thousands of years. Science keeps showing that the things religious traditions have been teaching are actually valid. Oh how I would love to introduce those researchers, psychologists, and scientists to the benefits of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

But wait! There’s more! 😀

While researching stem cells, I came across a study that floored me. Dr. Omar Yilmaz, a gastrointestinal pathologist and professor, has discovered that a single 24-hour fast dramatically improves the function of stem cells and their ability to regenerate—regardless of the age of the patient.

I’ve personally experienced and witnessed the awesome and humbling miracles of following the Lord’s commandment of fasting, but this new information about stem cells was positively thrilling! And just as a side-note reminder from President Joseph F. Smith, “There is such a thing as overdoing. A man may fast and pray till he kills himself; and there isn’t any necessity for it; nor wisdom in it.”

Last year, I was excited to learn of the scientifically-proven physical and emotional benefits of singing in a choir which include: strengthened feelings of togetherness; regulated heart rates; reductions in stress levels and depression; improved symptoms of Parkinson’s and lung disease; improved feelings of social well-being; and increased life expectancies.

I’ve always loved singing in ward choirs because each musical experience fills my soul—so I would have kept participating regardless of what the research shows. But you must admit how fun it is that science is now backing up what D&C 25:15 has taught us for years: “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.”

Yet, when we really think about it, should any of this wonderful news I’ve shared today surprise us? Because as we know from Moses 3:5, “...the Lord God created all things…spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.” Of course, our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us! He has clearly told us that His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men and women—He has fully provided our way to happiness! All we have to do is follow His plan!

Three days ago, I was introduced to the amazing conversion story of Dusty Smith on one of my favorite podcasts, “This is the Gospel.” As I listened to his testimony of how he became a member of our beloved Church, was subsequently excommunicated, and ultimately and humbly came back into the fold 26 years later, I was overcome with emotion! His utterly miraculous story shows just how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each and every one of us, and how intimately involved They are in our lives! Brother Smith’s incredible experiences remind us how vitally important it is for each of us to be one with the saints.

Finally, we are taught in 1st Corinthians 1:10 and Ephesians 2:19–20 that we should strive to have no divisions among us, be perfectly joined together as fellowcitizens with the saints, and be of the household of God who are built upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ.

What it all comes down to is that our Heavenly Father dearly loves each of us and wants us to be like Him! He wants us to experience true joy through continual learning and personal growth. He wants us to follow the supreme example of Jesus Christ and return home to His eternal family. 💛

I encourage each of us to follow Elder Quentin L. Cook’s wise words. He said, “As individuals, we would do well to evaluate our effort[s] in pursuing missionary work, temple and family history work, and preparations to meet God.” Yes, truly, this life is our time to prepare to meet God! 😊

I have a great love for our Heavenly Parents, our Savior, and His Church. I am a true believer in every sense of the word. I am enthusiastically and gratefully all in the gospel of Jesus Christ. 😊

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 💛

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Joining the Twitterverse

Good morning! So you might have been wondering where I've been these past three months. Well, I've been living! Ha ha. But seriously, life has been a bundle of surprises, changes, and a lot of work. Being a supportive wife, mother of three teenagers, homemaker, part-time piano teacher, occasional substitute teacher, and remaining strongly committed to my fitness regimen is surprisingly time consuming!

Every day, I think I'm going to have or make time for blogging, but then 11:00 p.m. arrives and I'm like, "Okay! I'll blog tomorrow!" Yeah, that's been one of my repeating phrases in my mind for umpteen weeks now! 😅 Someday, I'll actually be consistent at blogging again! Yet at this stage of my life, blogging as much as I want (my heart wants it so much!) is just not going to happen, and I'm okay with that. Right now, I'm so happy to help my children, husband, church, and myself with everything that is most important! But it would be such fun to have three extra hours each day to do more! Oh, yes, it would! 😁 One day, I know I'll have more time and energy to devote to my happiest Enthusiastic Fantastic! Until then, sporadic blog posts is my holding pattern. 😊

That said, I made a little progress this morning: I joined Twitter! I know, can you even believe I just wrote that?! I'm shocked, too! Ha ha. The reason I joined Twitter is because Google+ is going away. 😢

I've shared my blog post links on Google+ for years now, and I always loved the way my posts' images showed up on my profile page. So I was totally bummed out(!) when I found out that Google+ is being deleted from our Internet world! Seriously, what the heck, Google?! I still have my public Instagram account open, but I'm standing Wonder-Woman strong in my stance against Facebook, so I won't be posting publicly there (on my public Instagram account) anymore. When I looked at our world's social media ways, I determined that Twitter was my best option for sharing my blog post links from here on out. Yay me! 👍😁

While I'm disappointed that Twitter won't show my blog post links as prettily as Google+ did, I'm happy I have a place to share my links at all! It could definitely be worse!

I struggled with the fact that Twitter wouldn't let me create the user name I really want—@EnthusiasticFantastic—because it's over their character limit. What the what?! Why, Twitter, why?! After trying many user names that were either too long, already taken, or too short (seriously, Twitter?!!), I finally settled on @EnthusiasticAP. I'm going to let my handle sit for a while and see if I really like it. If not, I'll change it to something else. *But after searching and thinking deeply for quite a while, I really do think that @EnthusiasticAP is where I'll stay in the Twitterverse! Yay!

Okay, my happy blogging time is up—I get to go workout now! Catch ya later! 👋