I don’t have long to write this Easter morning, but I have been contemplating my relationship with Jesus Christ lately. It amazes me how His sacrifice could be both intimate and infinite. While every single person who ever lived is saved from sin and despair, I have also been saved. His grace and power coupled by divine love and empathy gives me the strength to live my life with purpose and obedience. What a comfort it is to know that because He conquered death and was resurrected on the third day- we all can live again with our loved ones. In my limited experience with such things the knowledge of eternal life and resurrection was truly a balm of Gilead. It is my greatest desire to follow Him and be a worthy disciple. I love Him and know that His church has been restored. He truly did die for my sins and sorrows- as He did for yours. I have gained this knowledge through personal prayer, scripture study and the promptings of the Holy Ghost to my heart. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter morning and that you try to find ways to be more like Jesus Christ every day. Build up your testimony and then strengthen others. This is the way you will be Happy in life! God bless.
I must admit to being tardy in my Christmas/end of the year posting. Since I was sick for 2 weeks at the beginning of the month I have been behind on everything else. I still have a great deal to do work-wise, but I am making progress. Luckily I work for understanding people including and especially my father who is patient and understanding with me.
Even with all of the illness and work I have managed to squeeze together a great Christmas season. It all started at the beginning of the month when I volunteered for Festival of Trees. I have been working on the planning committee this year, which has been a great experience. The Festival of Trees is an event that raises money for Primary Children Hospital in Utah, which is a hospital that treats all children regardless of ability to pay. It was a neat way to serve the community and make new friends along the way.
I also continued on my two favorite traditions- going to see Christmas Carol at Hale Theater Orem and participating in the Messiah Sing-in in American Fork. Both of these traditions just make Christmas for me. I also had my Christmas tree which I call my Memory tree. It is full of ornaments that have significance in my life, that remind me of good times and memories.
Now I am finally getting that done. Thanks for all of your comments through the year. Please continue. My blog gives me great happiness and satisfaction throughout the year.
2009 in review
Probably the largest part of my life revolves around my work. I am fortunate to still be self-employed as a property manager/events coordinator/sales tax filer (that’s a mouth full hah!). Basically I do whatever it takes to make a living and stay free and unfettered. I LOVE being my own boss, setting my own schedule and motivating myself to succeed. I have never taken kindly to being told what to do and work is no exception. I love my job!
The most exciting work development of 09 has been my transition from vacation into long-term rental sales in August. Due to some problems, we decided to forgo vacation renting and find tenants interested in at least a year. Without any training I was able to find wonderful, reliable tenants for three homes in a matter of weeks. I feel blessed with such results and it is one more proof to me that I am doing what my Heavenly Father wants.
With the long-term tenants requiring less management, I have been taking on more responsibilities for Grabber including doing some sales tax work and handing out free warmers at events around Utah Valley. I love the art of making the sale and in many ways it brings me back to the street contacting we did on my mission. Whether it is real estate, warmers or Book of Mormons, I enjoy talking with people and trying to help them.
Work has not been the only satisfying facet of my life. The most exciting news for my family this year was the birth of my fifth niece Sparrow. Ben and Nahanni welcomed their new baby girl in October, and she has been easy and sweet. My only regret is not seeing her. Hopefully I can get up to Portland soon!
Another big development for the year was my sister Anna’s acceptance into my alma mater BYU. In August Anna moved to Provo and began her schooling. Now she is 35 minutes away, which allows us to spend a great deal of time together (sometimes I’ve been as much as 4 times in one week!). I love having my sister close by.
I have also had the opportunity to visit my sister Megan and the rest of my family in California many times. Megan even hosted Emily Whitman and myself at her house for nearly a week in September for the first ever Roommate Reunion! It was great!
In some ways this year has been challenging friends-wise simply because a number of my best friends have moved/gotten married recently. I miss my friends when they aren’t nearby. Luckily, I have also found ways to connect with friends far-away. Some highlights include visiting with Raelene in January after my cruise, seeing Emily at the reunion and 2 other times, a visit from Julia Graves in October and getting to see my old roommate Stefanie J in Hawaii in June. Visiting with old friends may be my favorite thing in the whole world!
While my 09 travels do not compare with 08, I have taken some great trips throughout the year. It all started with my LDS singles cruise in January. It was a particularly bold trip because I went without knowing anyone and ended meeting many new people. Plus, I got to visit Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vaerta. The best thing about the trip is due to the high fees I hardly used my phone or checked email for 7 nights. What a nice break!
In June I was fortunate to take another Hawaii trip with Camille. This time my sister and her friends came along, as well as Stefanie and Camille’s friend Angie. As always, we had a magical trip. I can’t even describe how wonderful the beach is and how much I love Sunny Hawaii! Aloha!
Finally the year ended with several trips home for the holidays combined with my October trip with Emily at Megan’s. I always love coming home and being near great family and friends.
In between all of this travel I‘ve been keeping busy with my voice lessons through Hale Theater Orem, and my real estate classes through Stringham Real Estate school. I also love any chance I get to go to a movie, cook new recipe, read a good book or watch my favorite TV shows. If I get to do any of those things it is usually a pretty good week!
At Christmas time I feel so blessed to have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to know that His sacrifice saves me from sin and unhappiness. I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us that if followed will bring us happiness here on earth and bring us salvation in the eternities. I am grateful for my testimony of the Savior and the chance I have at Christmas to sing “Joy to the World the Lord is come!”
I hope each of you has a Merry Christmas and that we will chat again soon. Thanks for all of your support and love during this year of growth. Visit me soon in Draper and I can show you a great time!
Merry Christmas and God Bless, Rachel Wagner
One of my favorite things during the Christmas season is the music. This year I even broke the cardinal rule and started listening early in November ( I know what a rebel!). I have over 300 Christmas songs on my ipod, so I can put it on shuffle and listen to holiday tunes most of the day. I like a variety of songs including everything from All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey and Santa Claus is coming to Town by Frank Sinatra to For Unto us a Child is Born from Handel’s Messiah and I Saw Three Ships by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Sometimes I wish I could listen to Christmas music year-round. I love the happiness and memories the songs evoke. (I also love Christmas movies- Christmas Carol in all its variations, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Polar Express, and even Charlie Brown Christmas- so great!!!).
Unfortunately most of my songs are m4a not mp3 so I can’t share them with you; however, I am including a few mp3’s that I have. Enjoy and have the best Christmas time ever! Oh how I love this time of year!
On this Easter Sunday I feel grateful for the many blessings in my life. Above all, I am indebted to Jesus Christ for saving my soul from sin and despair. I am an imperfect person but with Christ I can be forgiven and be made whole. It took a God of the world, a perfect person to atone for mankind’s sin but that is exactly what Jesus did. In agony He bled from every pore and hung on the cross, so we could be forgiven. He felt the anguish of every sin, sorrow and moment of grief ever felt by any human ever. It’s one of those things which is tough to explain but nevertheless true. I have experienced moments where I felt alone and confused- where I felt weighed down by my own sins and shortcomings. In those moments Jesus Christ has testified to my heart that He is real, He does live, and He did die for me.
It is this knowledge that has helped me move through difficult times to the happy life I currently lead. I say this knowing others have faced far worse; however, my challenges were still hard for me to experience. Part of the reason we have been sent here is to be tested and grow strong- how can we do that without some faith-testing opportunities? Through it all, the Savior has never forgotten me. I know that He loves me. I know He listens to my seemingly small problems. I know these things because I have prayed and gained confirmation for myself that they are true. I have felt Jesus Christ’s presence as an active force in my life- purifying, comforting and forgiving me each day.
I can’t tell you what comfort it gives me when the world criticizes my life, my appearance, my faith, to know deep down inside that I am loved- and not loved by just anyone but by the God of the Universe, by Jesus Christ. I feel privileged to have such knowledge but it is by no means limited to me. All men and women can gain a testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ through faith, prayer and repentance. I hope He knows I will do whatever it takes to follow Him. I love Him and on this Easter I say with the angels “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11)
Let’s not stand gazing into heaven- let’s get out there and make a difference. Whether it is speaking out on faith-based issues, finding a day a month to serve, calling an old friend, doing an extra load of dishes unasked, smiling when we want to complain, and so much more. I believe He wants us to look at His example and then “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). None of us can be saved without His sacrifice and resurrection, but we can all be His helpers down here to spread His gospel. He has asked us to “be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). I hope you feel His love in your life. Your life does matter. A high price was paid for it. Let’s try and give back in any small way we can! He truly shall reign forever and ever! God bless you and thank you for being my friends and reading my blog. Happy Easter. Love, Rachel.