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


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good-byes are hard to do


We had to say good-bye to Kitty this week and it was a hard thing.  She got sick and died before I could get her to the vet.  I did not even realize that she was ill.  My girls really miss her already and want another cat, but we just can't.  Too many of the older kids are allergic no matter what we try and a couple of the Grandkids have asthma, so kitties are out of the picture for now.  Still, it is never easy to lose a friend and this one slept with the girls, purred at them, and really loved them.  Their hearts are sad and it is hard to understand how this takes time too.  This week has been full of tears and missing and good-byes.  It is a time to remember that friends are those who love of unconditionally, just as we are, messy rooms and all.
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

Good-bye Kitty, we will never forget how much we loved you and needed you in our lives.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Broken Crayons



So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening at this pulpit: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there” [Thomas S. Monson, “We Never Walk Alone,” general Relief Society meeting, Sept. 28, 2013]. 

There are times in each of our lives when we are "broken", when we are discouraged, when we are down, but those feelings do not make us less valuable than we are.  Our ability may be damaged for a time, but the Lord does not look at that in judgement on our person.  He knows what we need.  He loves us, He wants us to be happy.  His is an unconditional acceptance of us in the face of our trials.  He knows that this too shall pass.  

My daughter, when she was young, loved to color.  We were sitting in church and I went to pull all the crayons out of my bag for her to color on the program.  Somehow, (in a large family there is never anyone to blame!) the bag had been sat on and all the crayons were broken in pieces.  I told her that she could use her dad's pen instead and she looked at me and said, "that's ok mommy, the broken ones still color."
What a lesson for me to remember.  In my own fight with depression and discouragement, I still have worth.  I can still make a difference.  Just like the broken crayons, I too, can still color.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Taking Offense


If you are on a common, 
continuous search to be offended, 
you will always find what you're looking for; even when it isn't there.

It is easy to be offended.  It is easy to be provoked.  It is easy to look for the negative with all the stresses in this life we lead.  All I have to do is stand behind a counter, or drive down the road and I manage of offend someone.  
I attended a conference where a councilor spoke about how we take things personally, and about the way we respond to anger and yelling and gestures.  She spoke about being happy, and about how it was possible, no matter what place in life you find yourself.
So, I made myself a promise.   I would try to be kinder in the words that I speak.  I would try to choose to act instead of react to the problems that I face.  I would lower my voice when I am angry instead of raising it to be heard.  This has been a week of experimenting.
I have discovered that when someone is yelling, if I lower my voice, they lower theirs.  I have found that saying "I'm sorry" goes along way toward calming down a disgruntled customer.  I am experiencing the results of my own kindness.  
When I search for the good in others, I find it.  If there is a misunderstanding, I am trying to straighten it out as soon as I realize it happened.  I am learning that it is up to me to choose what I find in life.  If I look for offense, it is all around me, and I am miserable because of it.  If I look for kindness, it is also all around me, and I am happier for seeing it in others.  
I am learning that it is up to me to decide what I am looking for.

Mormon 9:31 Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

When I can not see


I will walk with faith
Even whenI cannot see.


"You can learn to use faith more effectively by applying this principle taught by Moroni: “Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”  Thus, every time you try your faith, that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. Those feelings will fortify your faith. As you repeat that pattern, your faith will become stronger. The Lord knows your needs. When you ask with honesty and real intent, He will prompt you to do that which will increase your ability to act in faith. With consistent practice, faith will become a vibrant, powerful, uplifting, inspiring force in your life. As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise".  Richard G. Scott

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Hands


Oh, it is Friday again (or in my case, another Saturday) and I really love these days of writing for five whole minutes.  This is where we link up over at Lisa Jo's and share whatever we want to without worrying about whether it is just right or not.  Today the prompt is on -

Hands.....

GO

For the past few weeks, I was able to hold my sweet new grandson in my arms.  I was able to clasp those tiny hands in my own well worn larger ones.  What an amazing blessing, to watch those we love bear children of their own.  To find the faces that look like ours so many years ago.  When I was a young mother, I used to think that the time would never pass quickly enough.  There were so many hands that needed my attention and my time.  So many things that my own hands had to do.  So much work and so little rest.
I never realized how quickly time really passes.  Sometimes now it seems to roll by like a noisy train wings.  My own children have grown, (most of them) and they are having families of their own.  It is so wonderful to hold onto these little hands that are a part of me as well.  Oh, so quickly those hands go from holding me to pushing me away and finally into letting me go.
I wanted those days to last forever.
And so, today, I cherish the moments of little hands.  I am willing to take a moment and breathe the smell of baby in and out.  I want to have hands of my own that are examples.  Hands that are tender and loving. Hands that are at peace.  Hands that bring comfort.  Hands to serve.  Hands to lift.  I want to be more than I have ever been. I want to be like Him.
I want to have Hands like my Savior.  Because I know that we are each His.  His hands were alway gentle and kind.  His hands succored the sick and lifted the dying.  His hands fed the multitude and dried the tears.  His hands are what I want mine to be.

STOP

Psalms 31:20 
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Now it is your turn.  What can you write in your own five minutes?  Don't forget to join the rest of us over at Lisa Jo's!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Being Defeated


Being Defeated is often a temporary condition;
giving up is what makes it permanent.  

Every single one of us in our lives will suffer a little from defeat.  When I was young, we played sports, we raced bikes, we raced on our skateboards.  We played games.  I learned chess and checkers and cards.  I lost at most of them for a long time before I started winning.  I learned to roller skate (yes, at one time we had skates instead of blades!), and I fell down over 300 times on the first day of learning.  It was hard.  
I believe that every one of us needs to realize that defeat is only as permanent as we want it to be.  I can be beat for a game, or I never need to play it again.  I can fall down, but choose to get right back up.  It is always hard to keep trying, but losing is really a matter of attitude.  
I loved my skate board.  It was skinny and small and I could do jumps and ramps.  I have banged up my hands and knees and broken my fingers catching myself, but through it all, I had fun.  I ran, I raced, I lived.  
Sometimes, I think that we want everything right now.  We aren't always willing to work for it, or work toward it either.  It is like singing.  I love to sing, but I am only as good as I practice and study.  I have to practice reading the notes and work at getting them right.  When it all comes together, the music is amazing.  Giving up, is what makes it a noisy mess.  
One of my very favorite scriptures is found in Joshua 24:15
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
I love this because the people chose to be defeated.  They were on the "other side of the flood".  But Joshua did not make the same choice.  I love that he teaches that we all have choices.  We can make any one that we want to, but they all come with their own set of consequences.   Defeat is only as permanent as we choose it to be.   

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Run With Patience

The Apostle Paul’s counsel to the Hebrews has great application for us today. He urged them, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:1–2).

So many times in life, we forget to "run with patience".  We are so busy trying to go here and there as fast as we can, that we sometimes don't realize it is not the speed that is important, it is the race itself.  It is the time we have between the start and the finish that matter most of all.  We get so focused on the finish line itself, that we forget to enjoy the race.  To welcome those we meet.  To race beside our friends and family.  We forget to truly enjoy the being together.  The love, laughter and even tears that bring us together in these wonderful moments.  Often, in the race, we find that the very best things are those which come from the waiting and the wanting and the dreaming.  We find our happily ever afters in the reaching.  The good is so much more appreciated and enjoyed when we are not sure that we will find it.
One of my favorite quotes of all comes from Neal A. Maxwell.  In a meeting years ago, He said,
"The goal is not only to win the race,

But to run it in honor and dignity,
In testimony and worthiness." 

For me, I have ceased to believe that we must cross the finish line, in first place and completely out of breath.  Instead, I have come to understand that the important event is simply that we cross it being our best selves.  Knowing that we are worthy for the other side.  We all have questions.  We all have concerns.  At one time or another in our lives, we are even afraid.  But the goal has never been to win all by ourselves.  The goal has always been to make it home with as many of our loved ones as it is possible to bring.  In hiking, we slow our steps to the steps of the hiker at the back.  I think in life it would help us so much more to do the same.  Often, the one at the back has so much to give if we will only take the time to slow down and listen.