Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Patience


Patience is not the ability to wait. 
Waiting is a fact of life. 
Patience is the ability to keep 
a good attitude while waiting. 
Joyce Meyers

I really love this quote.  I think there are times that we all struggle with the ability to wait.  Either the ability to wait for good things to happen, or the ability to wait for the bad things to go away.  Waiting truly is a fact of life.   We wait for everything.  I have customers that come into the Post Office and they are not good at waiting.  They get frustrated if the wait is more than 30 seconds.  I find it interesting that they have such a hard time waiting for the people in front of them and then such a hard time leaving when it is their turn.  
I am going to work on my own attitude while I am waiting.  A smile, a kind word, or even letting someone go first in line just might remind me how blessed I am.  Patience is hard to cultivate.  I realize now that it is even harder than I thought.  It is not about the waiting at all, it is all about how we wait and what we do while we are waiting.  
Isn't it interesting how Christlike our behavior needs to become, even or especially when it is not what we are thinking about.  We live in a world that is always in a hurry.  We drive fast from here to there and we have drive throughs and Quick Trips.  We don't even always cook our own dinner or take leftovers for lunch.  Life is a hurry to live and we forget to savor the moments.  Perhaps waiting is the time when we can spend savoring our opportunities to do better and to remember Him.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Hold


Today is Friday, at last.  I am so glad it is here.  This is the day that I join with a bunch of other writers and write whether it is just right or not.  I hope that you all join in over at Kate's Place with the rest of us.  Don't forget to read and comment on the person who linked up before you did.
Today, the prompt is

HOLD

START

One of my all time, favorite quotes is:  "I am sure our Heavenly Father is displeased when we call ourselves, "nobody", as children of God, we are somebody.  He will build us, lift us and magnify us if we will but hold our heads up, our arms out, and walk with Him.  

I have been guilty of feeling like a "nobody".  I have been guilty of letting my head hang down.  I have been guilty of forgetting that I am also His.  
Sometimes, the hardest thing we do is to simply hold on.  To keep moving forward when everything seems to conspire against us to pull us down and back.  Sometimes, we just need to reach out for Him and hold on with everything we've got left.  He never lets go of us.  It is always us who let go of Him.
I remember when my girls were very young, one of them was very stubborn, and wanted everything to be her way.  She wanted to run ahead and leave the rest of us far behind. She wanted to be wherever we currently weren't.  No matter what we did, it was not the outcome that she wanted for herself.  
I was holding her hand and we were in a very crowded place.  She pulled with all her might and took off running.  I did not let go, she did.  She made it impossible for me to hold on.  She got lost.  It took us awhile to find her.  As I wiped her tear-streaked face and held her trembling body close, she asked me why I let go.  I told her that I did not.  She pulled away and slipped off into the crowds where I couldn't see her.  She told me that I was lost and she was afraid.  
"I know", I said to her, "I know.  Tell you what, you hold onto my hand and don't let go and I will promise you that I will never be lost again."  She thought about that for a moment and said, "OK, mom.  I don't like it when you get lost, it scareded me.  Don't do it again".  
So, she held my big hand in her little one and we were both not lost that day.
As children of God, we are all Somebodies.  Hold your arms out to Him and remember that He never, ever will let you go.  

STOP

Now it is your turn.  What can you write in only five short minutes?  Don't forget to join the rest of us over at Heading Home.  I can't wait to hold on to your words today.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Argument



You don't have to attend
Every argument
You are invited to.


It really does take at least two people to argue.  Or, in our family, more like six.  Not too long ago, I had an argument with one of my adult children.  It doesn't happen very often.  I love them so much, and I think that most of the time, I am willing to forgo the argument for the relationship.  But every once in awhile, my world is rocked by something that is said.  
Interestingly enough, for all the times that my children have seen and been around depression, they don't handle it well when it is me that is depressed.  Somehow it is easy to get caught up in the "how could you say that" and the "how could you even think that".  They have been through a lot in their lives and I realize that they don't want to see their mother struggle inside a black place.  However, I really felt at the time that I had heard enough.  It was hurtful to me.  Not because I misunderstood, but because it threw me back into the chaos of the past.  
Sometimes I think that the past will never let me escape it's dark clutches.  I feel like I have to keep paying the price for sins that were not my own.  It is bad enough when you make mistakes as a parent, but when someone else makes them for you, well, let's just say that you never quite get over the guilt and anguish for not fixing it.  
My one strong ability is to love those around me, no matter what they have done.  I genuinely care for each one of my children, no matter their age or their choices.  That does not mean that it doesn't hurt.  That does not mean that I don't feel.  It does mean, that I need to be loving enough not to attend the argument.  Something for me to work on next time.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Monsoon


A single photo 
– no words –
capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What You Leave


The measure of a woman's Character
Is not what she gets from her ancestors,
But what she leaves her descendants.

I have ancestors that traveled on the Mayflower and ancestors that came from foreign lands and ancestors that traveled across the plains and even helped to settle the current State where I live.  I have ancestors that are vikings and ancestors that are royalty.  I am sure I have some unsavory characters in there somewhere too.
Some of my ancestors embraced the faith that I carry on today and some did not.  But they all struggled and they all worked and toiled and survived all manner of trials.  My character is not built on what my ancestors have done.  I had nothing to do with those things.  I have never worked at a blacksmith shop, or collected dolls, or traveled on a ship across many waters.  I have never had to deal with the exhaustion of a long journey by wagon, or the roll of the sea beneath booted viking feet.
What happened in the past gave me opportunities today (or not) but it doesn't define who I really am.
My character is developed by me.  By the choices I make and the way that I live.  It comes from the changes that I make and how I overcome my own trials.  My character is determined by the values that I keep and the way my posterity thinks of me.  I suppose it depends a lot on what they remember me for.
I know what I want them to think of when they think of me.  I hope it is always with love.  As much as I remember and love the Lord in my life, I want them each to know that they are loved.  No matter what choices they have made or will make, I will still love them.  I cherish them in my heart and in my very soul.
I would want to leave them a legacy of love.  I would want them to know that we can change anything we want to change.  We can become whoever we want to become.  I have overcome many trials and even life altering events in my life.  I have been a better woman and a better mother because of those things.  I have tried to teach my children that their life is simply a reflection of their own choices.  No matter what happens to us in our journeys, there is nothing that damages us more than the atonement can heal.  There is nothing that can take God's love away from us.  So, reach out your hand and your heart and know that you will always be loved.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Memoir Monday - Childhood Fear


What is something you were afraid of as a child?
For me, it was always the dark.  I was terrified of the night.  That blanket of darkness that would swoop down and take away my sight.  My heart would thump in my chest and I just knew that something awful was going to happen to me. 
The darkness was something that hid my deepest fears.  The monsters that went bump in the night came from there.  I had a very vivid imagination.  I still do actually, and to this day, I won’t watch scary movies. 
During that time of my life, my brother and I shared a room, and I would lay awake, long after he was sleeping, watching in the darkness.  One night, I saw eyes in my window.  They were shiny in the night.  I was terrified, too scared to even scream.  I could see the face trying to look in the window.   It became my first real experience with prayer.  I had just learned about using prayer to calm a troubled heart.  I know that I clasped my hands together tightly and prayed with all my might.  I was too afraid to close my eyes, but in spite of that, eventually the eyes went away and I was able to go to sleep.  I have never forgotten the comforting feeling that washed through me when I prayed.  I knew that all would be well.  I felt safe for the first time in the darkness.
I was fine in the dark when someone was with me, even if it were my younger brother or sister.  I could handle being in the night as long as I wasn’t alone.  As I grew into a teenager, we would spend evenings walking in the quiet desert.  We could see the brilliance of the stars overhead and the welcome light from the full moon.  Sometimes we would light a fire in one of the sandy washes and roast marshmallows while talking and laughing.  The desert is a wonderful place with friends. 
You could smell the mesquite trees in the spring and especially after a rain.  There is nothing quite like the smell of the rain in the washes of the desert.  The first few sprinkles will bring out the smell of mesquite and of earth.  If I close my eyes, the memory still comes back to me;  the thunder in the distance, crashing in large, jagged lightening streaks in the sky, the smells of rain all around me and the sounds of a summer thunderstorm.
It was the aloneness that got to me.  We lived in the city, but back then, it was quiet at night.  There were big river toads that came out in the monsoon season in the desert.  There were owls and hawks.  There were crickets that made a loud symphony of sound in the evening twilight. 
I remember walking outside my door one night and finding a frog on the doorstep that was bigger than one of my shoes.  It scared me sitting there all silent and creepy, then it’s throat bubbled out and it made a very loud sound.  I was not expecting that! 
I have never quite gotten over my fear of darkness.  It feels like anything can happen once the lights are gone and then I become afraid.  I am good when my husband is home, but I don’t like being the only adult in the house at night.  Usually, I need to leave the television on so that I am comforted by the sound of other voices. 
It is funny how that one childhood fear has stayed with me all my life.  Even now, when I am old enough to know better, the fear is still there. 
Today, we live in a small town.  There are no lights after dark and it is a deep dark that surrounds us.  I still find myself afraid when I am alone.  I still have a need to others to be with me.  I still want to feel protection.  I don’t like the dark, but without it, I would never see the stars that twinkle brightly overhead.  I would not see the face of the man in the moon looking down at me and my silly fear.  I would miss the sound of the night whispering in my ears. 
I have learned that with others, I can face my fear of the night. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Not Perfect


God is fully aware
That you and I are 
Not Perfect.
Let me add,
God is also fully aware
That the people you think
Are perfect,
Are not.

And yet, we spend so much time and energy
comparing ourselves to others - usually comparing
our weaknesses to their strengths
...As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts
Because they seem to be less
Than what someone else does.
Deiter F. Uchtdorf


I hope today, that we each celebrate our own strengths.  Our own efforts.  Our own successes.  They are there within.  Our Heavenly Father did not send us to this earth without strengths.  He did not send us here to compete against everyone else.  The only person that we should ever compare ourselves to is the person that we were yesterday.  Honor your trials and your journey, and especially honor the overcoming of your difficulties.    
Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.