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I’m McKenzie and I make stuff like it’s my job. More specifically, I design brands & develop websites for people that want to share their amazing ideas with the world! I also love to do personal projects. Whether it’s through design, photography, knitting, calligraphy, cooking, crafting — I’ll try just about anything! My motto is: Why be a master in one thing when you can be great at dozens of things...

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ChristianCome Follow Me — 2 min read

Born Again — A Labor of Love

A certain analogy was brought to my attention as I studied Nicodemus and Jesus’ conversation about being “born again” in John 3. Maybe it’s because I am close to giving birth to my third child, but this idea struck me deep in my soul and gave me a whole new meaning of how I see my Savior.

In John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that in order to see the kingdom of God, we must be born again. Nicodemus wonders aloud, how can that be — do I return to my mother’s womb?

For Nicodemus, as a Pharisee (and as any typical human being), he thinks he has to do this and do that in order to see and enter the kingdom of God — a checklist of 613 items in fact, for the 613 commandments the Pharisees strictly follow at that time.

But being born again does not necessarily work that way. It truly is like being born, of course metaphorically. A helpless, defenseless child needs someone else to do the labor for them in order for him or her to be born. After a mother gives birth, no one congratulates the baby for a job well done. Sure, a child can put him/herself in the right position for the best labor and instinctly shifts his or her body as they come through the birth canal. But it is that mother, in that intensity of surges her body creates, who does the work (speaking of a typical vaginal birth here for the analogy of course).

ChristianCome Follow Me — 2 min read

Look Up — Matthew 4; Luke 4-5

Jesus just had a powerful spiritual experience during His baptism by John. The Holy Ghost descended on Him and His Father claimed Him Beloved. He then went into the wilderness where Satan did what he does best. Tears one down.

Down. That word is used or alluded in all three of Jesus’ temptations. Satan comes to Him and tells Him to look down at the stones at His feet — satisfy immediate gratification for his hunger. To cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple — manifest a miracle and receive the followers He desires. Satan tells Him to fall down and worship him — empty promises to give Jesus a crown of glory before the necessity of putting on the crown of thorns.

Satan is always telling us to look down. To let earthly things absorb our interests and attention. It is a dark hole too easy for us to go down into. But what does God do? He is consistently exhorting us to look up. To lift our eyes and lift our hearts. To fear not, to trust in Him. To turn our eyes upon Jesus.

It takes effort to look up instead of down. It is also pretty difficult to look up and down at the same time. A quote I heard from Elder Sterling W. Sill in April 1961 General Conference explains this well:

ChristianCome Follow Me — 2 min read

Mary and Joseph’s Family Culture — Luke 2:39-52

Usually when you read or think about Luke 2 and Matthew 2, you read the Christmas story and stop before you get to the end of the chapter. This week, I really enjoyed focusing more on those last verses of the chapters this time.

In the last dozen scriptures of Luke 2, we actually have a deeper peek into the family culture that Mary and Joseph cultivated in their home than what originally seems. As a young mom in the beginning stages of motherhood, this idea of fostering certain values into our family dynamic has been on my mind a lot.

As I establish patterns, routines, and traditions for our household, especially ones that will teach my children to walk uprightly before the Lord, I desire to help them have a deeper connection with God, relationship their Redeemer, and with the Holy Ghost.

For Jesus as a child, His greatest influences were His mother, father, and God. I felt the depth of the responsibility the moment after Hazel, my oldest, was born. It can feel overwhelming, but knowing that I hold influence and power beside my loving, hard-working spouse as well as even more loving and hard-working Heavenly Parents gives me the confidence that as a team, we can raise these children the way towards peace and eternal happiness.

We as parents have the opportunity to co-create who our child will be with the Divine.

So what are is this family culture we find in the scriptures?

ChristianCome Follow Me — 4 min read

It Seemed Good to Me Also

As I begin the year of studying the New Testament, I want to stop and sit in the first few verses of the Gospel of Luke. There is a lot we can learn from this small introduction to his book.

In the first 4 verses, he begins by explaining how many have undertaken to write out an account of the things that are currently believed and trusted sources. However, Luke continues, “it seemed good to me also,” to write his story and his perspective with the carefully constructed investigations he gathered and put into order from the beginning of his own belief journey.

We don’t know much of Luke’s history, but it’s obvious that there were already many books written about Jesus that were well-loved and believed among the community of believers (there could have easily been even more accounts written than the ones that have been found, preserved, and accepted as canon today). So why write another one? I’m sure Luke had many doubts and it would have taken a lot of courage to feel worthy to write one next to Jesus’ actual apostles.

Just think of the tragedy it would be if if he had let the doubts from the adversary sneak in and we didn’t have the Gospel of Luke today! We would miss out on so many stories of Jesus’ life and ministry, especially ones that include and celebrate women: their amazing testimonies and their key part of God’s plan.

There are many parables that we only have because of Luke. Think if we didn’t have the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, and many others! How misfortunate if we didn’t have the contribution of the beautiful details of the Passion of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, as well as on the Way of the Cross.

You can tell that Luke is an investigator, a detective, a journalist. He wants as many details as he can find. He searches and questions and seeks the answers. He doesn’t rely on just what other people have told him to believe. He seeks answers of his own. That is a great quality we can emulate as we become seekers of our own faith journey and testimony of Christ. And once he found that perfect understanding, he desired to share it with those around him.

Obviously, since Luke is the writer of the book of Acts (making him the writer of 25% of the New Testament), he had a talent in journalism and writing, and took that God-given talent and put it to use for His kingdom.

Whether we feel talented in writing or not, these first few verses are a great reminder that it will only benefit ourselves and others if we write, so “that thou mightest know the certainty of those things” and bear our own testimony of the Great and Wonderful Savior.

So this is what I’m doing for this year. I want to write out the things that I learn throughout the year, what stands out to me in my studies, and create another witness to what I think my fellow “friend of God” might come to know the certainty of through my own journey.