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.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Believe in Miracles

This is our little miracle boy.  He is an amazing testimony to me of perserverence and strength.  He has overcome so many obstacles to get where he is today.  He is now a welcome member of our family.  We can't be more pleased that he is with us. 
My life has been pretty difficult these last few years, but I look at him and realize that it doesn't really matter after all.  Families are what matters most.  Loving each other in spite of our differences.  Those are the things that are most important.  Because of things, I have wanted to back away and not participate in life.  A wonderful person gave me some much needed advice.  This life is but a couple of minutes in eternal time.  I am changing myself into someone I am not because of a few minutes of eternity.  I am just starting to glimpse how vast eternity really is, and although I still think that there are many things that are unfair, I am realizing that there are even more things that are great blessings. 
This person told me to cherish the blessings, to talk about them, be involved with them and to post all about them.  Only by being myself will the difficulties be overcome.  And if not in this life, I can have faith that in the next all will be revealed. 
I know in the next lift this little guy will be just as amazing as he is now.  He is perfect to us and a very long awaited blessing, one we have waited anxiously for.  My grand-daughter Sadie has been praying for a baby brother for years, even when her mom and dad told her that there wouldn't be one.  She believed in spite of the difficulties to overcome.  This little guy is literally an answer to a young girl's faith and prayers. 
What a beautiful testimony to me about the love of a Heavenly Father who absolutely listened to a small girls desires and found a way to bring them to pass.  We are eternally blessed with this beautiful baby boy. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What I learned - Standing With Our Leaders

The growing question of today is clear:
are you standing with the leaders of the Church in a darkening world so that you might spread the Light of Christ?

It can be hard to stand with our leaders.  Sometimes, they seem so far away, and they are so much older than many of us.  It is easy, in our questioning, to doubt their influence and knowledge.  It is easy to tell ourselves that they don't understand the way the world is today.  That we live in a different time and place.  It is easy to forget that they just might know the world all too well.
In my life, I have seen many things.  Some are amazing, and many are not quite that good.  I remember what it is like to be tempted and tossed about on the winds and waves of trial.  It happens nearly everyday for me.  I believe that our leaders know those trials also.  They are not perfect, but they are getting their direction from one who is. 
There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
[No one] goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.
Edwin Markham
We can send our support to our leaders, our sisters, our brothers and our friends. When we reach out to lift one another, we prove those powerful words: “[No one] goes his way alone.”
Most of all, we need our Savior, Jesus Christ. One of the accounts from scripture that has always spiritually moved me is when Jesus Christ walked out on the water to meet His disciples who were traveling in a ship on the Sea of Galilee. These were leaders newly called, many did not have the experience of being leaders.  They were common (or even uncommon) fisherman.  
The account is recorded in Matthew:
“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with [the] waves: for the wind was contrary.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
“And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, … and they cried out for fear.
“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
Peter heard that call of love and encouragement from the Lord.
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
“And [Jesus] said, Come.”
Pretty bold. Peter was a fisherman, and he knew about the hazards of the sea. However, he was committed to following Jesus—night or day, on a ship or on dry land, in stormy or calm seas.
In my mind I can imagine Peter leaping over the side of the boat, not waiting for a second invitation, and began to walk on the water. Indeed, the scripture says, “He walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” As the wind increased in strength and force and as the waves swirled about his feet, Peter became “afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried [out], saying, Lord, save me.
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.”
For me, this is a powerful lesson. The Lord was there for him, just as He is there for me. He reached out His hand and drew Peter to Him and to safety, Just as He has reached out His hand for me many times before.
In my life, I have needed the Savior and the touch of His hand so many times. I need Him every single day.  I have wanted to feel confident enough at times to leap over the side of my own struggling boat, figuratively speaking, into the unfamiliar places that I must go, only to realize that I could not and never will be able to do it alone.  And so, like Peter, Christ reaches out to take my hand and help me through the troubled waves of my trials.  And like Peter, I am not alone in my journey.  He does not leave me to sink and drown in my tribulations.  He is there for me and is willing to rescue one, even as imperfect as I am.   

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Family

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, May 24, 2016

You are not a waste of time

I needed this reminder today.  It is easy to get caught up in what other people perceive me as.  It is easy to start to believe their perception of what I am, especially when they are particularly vocal about it.  I struggle daily with self worth and with even liking myself.  I see all the imperfections and find myself lacking from where I think He wants me to be.  Then I read something like this, from someone that I admire so much.  She has changed her life and turned it around to become who she needs and wants to be.  So today, I am going to keep repeating to my broken heart:
You are not a waste of time.
You are not a waste of time.
You are never and have never been a waste of time.
I hope that you remember always that you are loved.  He has placed you right where you are needed.  I know it is hard.  I know it can be heart-breaking.  I know it can be filled with anguish and even anger and hate.  But when I picture His face in my mind, it is always filled with love.  I truly believe that you and I are not a waste of anyone's time. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Guilt and Peace

I am sometimes over come with guilt.  I judge myself harsher than you or anyone else could ever judge me.  I find more faults with my imperfections than anyone else I know.  I don't look at yours that way, only mine.  I am so much harder on myself and my own mistakes.  Like, somehow, I should have seen into the future to know how a person would respond.  I should have worded things differently or seen what was going to happen.  I find myself guilty in everything. 
Perhaps, that is why this quote touched me so much.  It promises that even with my guilt, I shall obtain peace.  Peace is possible for each one of us.  It is something to be desired and sought after.  It is something that might seem elusive, but actually is not.  It will happen in God's own time. 
I have found peace in many instances of my life.  I have found comfort in the words of the scriptures and in the kindness of others.  I have found peace as I seek to follow the Lord's council, even when I don't understand.  I have found peace when I finally, after fighting for so long, let go of those things that are not mine to bear.  When I give them over to His care, and let Him carry the burden. 
Peace is the opposite of anxiety.  I carry so much anxiety about the past and the future.  It is only when I am willing to let it all go that the blessing of peace comes quietly into my heart.  Peace is knowing that He has it under control.  It might not be quite the way I want it to be, but it will work out.  Peace is trusting Him. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Service

In contrast to the narcissistic life, President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) offered a simple expression of the more excellent way:
“When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves! 

Matthew 10:39-40 
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
 40 ¶He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

No life so shattered

I can't be the only one who has ever thought that my sins are so terrible that there is no way back.  I can't be the only one who has felt the terrible grief and remorse for a life that is not the pristine one I wish it could have been.  I would venture to say that each one of us have skeletons that dance a boogie dance in our closets! 
There are so many things I wish that I could go back and have a "do over" for.  So many decisions that didn't work out the way I wanted them too.  So many times I should have, could have and would have, if I had only known then what I know now.
However, as bad as life has been sometimes, I really do believe that none of us are beyond His power to save.  Every single one of us are surrounded by His love.  He does not turn His back on us, we choose to turn our backs on Him.  We choose to put our heads down and not meet His eyes.  We choose to keep our hands behind our backs instead of stretched toward His grace. 
So, if you are someone like me, with a past that makes you regret and bow your head in shame, I hope you remember that you are of great worth.  You are still, and always will be, a child of a loving and forgiving Father in Heaven.  He has prepared a way for you to return Home to Him.  You might be broken like Humpty Dumpty and all the kings horses, and all the kings men, can't put you together again.  But your Father in Heaven not only CAN, He WILL. 
You are not broken beyond His power to save.
He loves you in spite of your sins.
He knows your name and He is calling out to you. 
He has given you the power to change.