When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Following the Crowd

I am a very social person, at least, once I know you.   It makes my heart sing to be with others who enjoy my company as well as I enjoy theirs.  That being said, I know that once upon a time in my life, I went wherever and whenever I could be with the crowd.  I was lonely and so very tired of being alone.  I felt like I needed others in my life and I have even been guilty of changing the person I was to be a person who fit in better with the expectations of others.
I am older now.  And have found the above saying to be truer than I ever thought possible.  I no longer need a crowd.  A couple of good friends, and kind husband and family who love me are more than enough.  I walk alone through many things and yet I am not ever really truly alone. 
When I wanted so much to belong, I found myself settling for things that I was not interested in doing.  I found myself doing the things that others wanted.  I found myself feeling unhappy and very unfulfilled. 
When you have the opportunity to walk alone, you learn who you are.  It is not an easy journey, but it is an important one.  I have learned that I like art, I love drawing and painting.  I even was able to see the life story of Picasso in Kanas City with my family.  Don't get me wrong, I still don't like his art!  But I loved learning about his life and seeing the influence of African art, especially in the tribal masks, throughout his lifetime.  It made the way he paints a little more understandable and interesting to me. 
I have also learned that large crowds of people are hard for me.  It makes me feel closed in and vulnerable.  I prefer smaller groups.  I prefer quiet visits and shared experiences.  I have learned that those experiences that I walked through have given me the strength and desire and ability to help others on their own journey.  I have found myself in places that I never imagined I would be. 
And most of all, I have found joy in that journey. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Two Cents

As I go through my struggles, it is hard to remember that not everyone else's opinions of me should count or do count in the grand scheme of things.  It is easy to have my day ruined by a customer that yells at me, or someone who is snarky to me.  By the person in the grocery store who runs over my foot or the person driving on the road and laying on their horn.  
I have discovered that it can be easy for my feeling to be hurt, for my heart to ache and for my anger to bubble up and sometimes even spill over.  
I am not sure why it matters so much, I only know that it does.  There are days when tears are right at the surface and when I literally can't face another bad word or angry person.  There are days when people can yell and I am just fine with it.  I have yet to figure out what in me responds in a bad or a good way.  
All I can say is that 2 cents doesn't buy us much today.  I remember when I was growing up and we would collect coke bottles for 3 cents each.  We thought that was such a lot of money.  And for children, it was.  
But sometimes I forget how little 2 cents really is and let it build all out of proportion to what is really going on.  I take that 2 cents and somehow, in my crazy world, it becomes equivalent to 10,000 dollars.   
So, as you go about your day, don't let someone else's belittling words matter more to you than they should.  You are worth so much more than the measly 2 cents. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Our Inner David

This one gives me comfort when life is hard.  I think it is important to note, that although He allows us to face that Goliath, He does not leave us alone while we do it.  I also have found it to be true, that for every single struggle I face, I receive something in return.  It can be as simple as added compassion for the difficulties of others, or added strength for the difficulties that I will later face in life.  It can be my experience that gives me a baseline to help someone else going through similar circumstances.  It can be greater faith in my Heavenly Father, and a willingness to move forward with something that scares me.  It can be strength in opposition and understanding in His love. 
Regardless of what it is, the honest truth is that I find something about me changes.  It might not happen very quickly, but I change.   I might not want to be stronger, but I become.  I might not want to forgive, but, hopefully, I learn.
I have finally figured out that we are all going through hard things.  We don't have to try and "one up" each other.  The biggest fish story is not necessarily the best.  And there is no "extra credit" for keeping count.  Sometimes, the very best we can do is simply to endure and be willing to learn from the experience. 
Believe me when I say that I don't even like looking at trials as a gift, and I am not sure that they were meant to be that way, but Heavenly Father makes those difficulties become a gift to me by helping me along the way. 
He helps me to become "More Savior, like Thee". 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wordless Wednesday - In Her Shoes

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.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The magnitude of Trust

I am trying to remember this in my day to day moments.  I feel overwhelmed way too much of the time.  I have a hard time seeing the person that God trusts to get everything done.  I put a lot of expectations upon myself, and when I fail, I fail spectacularly. 
I love that President Eyring has addressed this.  I think many of us feel this way.  We want to do good.  Actually, we want to do more than good.  We want to be our best....all the time.  We want our homes to look nice.  We want people to enjoy visiting with us.  We want to cook good nutritious dinners and we want our children to behave and be happy.  Somehow, something always turns out wrong. 
I never thought of the difficulties that I face as a way that Heavenly Father has placed His trust in me.  I never saw myself as being that trustworthy.    Life is really not easy.  I used to think that the Pioneers had it so much harder than I ever would, but now I believe that each generation must accomplish hard things. 
We live in a fast paced world where we are constantly in a state of chaos.  It is hard to pull our families together when the entire world is striving to pull us apart.  We have technology that takes over our daily moments.  We can be reached in an instant.  We have so much going on all the time that there never seems to be enough time to just breathe. 
And so, we trust that the same God who placed us here, knew we were up to the challenges of this time and place.  We trust that He knows who we are and that He will help in every step of the way.
We breathe trust in and we breathe it out and we keep moving forward.
One tiny step at a time. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sabbath Day Scribblings- Risen Hope

This painting is entitled, “Risen Hope,” by Joseph Brickey  

“The light reinforces that idea of overcoming death and darkness, of rising above despair, of finding hope,” Brickey said. “Not only is Christ risen, but also Mary’s hope rises when she hears her name from His lips. She represents each of us—this very personal interaction typifies Christ’s role in our lives. He knows us. He watches over us when we weep. His voice overcomes darkness and brings resplendent hope.”

"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".  Romans 8:39 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Be Here

We live in an age of electronics and text messaging.  A time of blogging and facebook and twitter and even snapchat.  A time when it is easy to get lost in the view of the world, without really being part of what is going on around us. 
I have heard so often that there are times when we need to "disconnect".  It is easy to let life rule you with alarms and texts and emails and projects.  But sometimes, we just need to be in the here and now.  We need to stop and look around us.  We need to be right here, exactly where are feet are. 
When we are living in the moment, instead of in the future or the past, it is easier to be kind to ourselves.  It is easier to find joy and satisfaction.  When we can see our children playing with the puppy, or laughing at the birds or bouncing on the trampoline, we can be a part of their lives instead of passive observers along the way. 
I love to take pictures.  I love photography and the chances I have had to observe what is going on around me, however, I don't think I ever realized before how often I am not in the pictures.  I am the left out observer and recorder of the events.  When I look back through the family photography, I am missing from most of the shots.  I really do hate having my picture taken.  But I am realizing that there are times when we all need to be a participant, exactly here and now, and not on the outside looking in.  There are times when we need to come out from behind the viewer and be in front of the lens. 
We need to be
right where our feet are.