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, April 28, 2017

Life - The difficult

This one has real meaning for me.  I know that in my life, I have spent too much time trying to copy the people that I admire and respect.  Cutting my hair like them, dressing like them, picking up on their words and phrases.  It was much worse when I was younger and so insecure with the girl that I was, and even more insecure with the young woman I was becoming.  
The sad part is that inside, I am still sometimes that girl.  I still want to be liked.  I want people to admire me and my family.  I want to be like the other families in our small community, that everyone looks up to.   I want my children to be liked, respected and popular.  Intellectually, I know that popularity isn't everything, but in this community, it really seems to make or break the kids.  People here think that bullying doesn't go on in our town or our schools.  We are talking really big city here.  My daughters graduating class two years ago was 31 students.  So, I think that bullying is even harder in a small town.  If you are not with the in crowd, than you are out, and no one will be your friend. 
It breaks my heart to watch my girls go through this.  It causes so many emotional problems.  My love isn't enough for them.  They want the acceptance of their peers. 
I have grown older (yep, think grey) and now it is not so important to me what "everyone" thinks.  The elusive "everyone" really does not exist.  It still matters what they say though.  For some reason, it is not what is done that is the most difficult for me to handle, it is what is said.  I remember the words long after the deeds. 
I am content with just a few close friends.  I think if I had any more than that, the guilt of not being able to be there for "everyone" would overwhelm me.  I am very grateful for my friends who support me and help me through the hard times.  I am not as grateful for those whom I thought were my friends, but they turned out differently.  I suppose High School lives on in some peoples lives.  As for me, I am so glad that part is long over. 
The reason I love the quote above is because it reminds me that Heavenly Father made me who I am.  He did not make me to be another Mary or Martha or Eve.  He made me and placed me in this place because I can do some good.  I can learn and grow and become more like Him.  He does not ever want us to be "everybody else".  He has always intended that we would be ourselves, with our own talents and blessings.  Most important of all, He loves us exactly how we are right now.  With our makeup off, our hair straight (or frizzy in my case), and our clothes wrinkled and worn.  It isn't the face that we show to the world that He sees.  It isn't how we did on someone else's test that matters.  It is who we are becoming and what He needs us to be. 
So, don't be a poor example of anyone else.  Be your own unique self and know right now that you are loved. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What I learned - Gathering the Family of God

Gathering the Family of God

April 2017 General Conference

"You see, the names “brother” and “sister” are not just friendly greetings or terms of endearment for us. They are an expression of an eternal truth: God is the literal Father of all mankind;"
Now, I should tell you that a large part of the talk concerned Genealogy and  finding our ancestors.  Turning the hearts of the hearts of the children to the fathers.  I am trying to learn to do family research, but right now, I am absolutely sure that my daughters are much better at it than I am.  So, I am struggling to do that. 
For me, I loved the talk most because he mentions a loving Heavenly Father who really does want us to return to Him.  That is such a contrast from the angry God that I grew up knowing.  I love feeling like there is hope in my own journey. 
I love that we were not sent here in the dark.  That each one of us has an innate sense of right and wrong.  We may choose to ignore it, but it is there. 
We may choose not to be gathered "home", but it is a choice we will each make.  It doesn't depend upon our birth.  It depends on our own choices while we are here.  There are millions of Heavenly Father's children who have not had the chance to hear about Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us.  They don't know anything about the atonement.  But they are not penalized for that.  They also will be given the choice to decide. 
That is what I love about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It shows me, always and in every way how much our Father loves us, and also how individually He knows us. 
It reminds me, that He wants us to come Home. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Little Red Head

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, April 25, 2017

Touching Heaven

“To love another person
is to see the face of God.” 
- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables 
Oh how I love this play!  It is amazing and this is one of the most sensitive and profound statements in the entire play.   It reminds me that He is very aware of us, and whether we admit it or not, He is in everything around us. 
How many of you remember holding your very first baby?  The love that filled your heart and mind.  The all consuming, I would do anything and everything to give her or him the best life possible.  The physical need to hold the baby close and protect them from any harm.  The look of absolute trust and love in that baby's eyes.  Those eyes that seem to see into a world you were not privy to.  Those eyes that looked into yours and drew the very breath out of your lungs.  Those eyes that reminded you of eternity and beyond. 
I am amazed when I look into the eyes of a child and they look back at me in trust and love.  I literally feel God's love in that small gaze.  I feel His trust that He would give me the responsibility for one of His most precious children.  I wish we could hold on to that.  How I wish I could remember that moment when the child is talking back, not listening, yelling or even calling names.  I wish, that for that moment, I could recall God's gaze of love. 
Life happens, time passes, and each one of us have bad moments.  Looking back, there are so many things I could have, would have, and should have done differently.  So many ways to show God's love for each and every child.  But there are also so many ways that I did things right!  So many changes that I made to give my children a better life.  So many sacrifices and heartaches in the name of love.  So many things that I will never regret. 
Maybe, that is why I love being a Grandmother so much!  This is my moment to appreciate the love that I have been given in my own life.  It is my chance to be what each of these precious gifts, needs.  It is to be old enough, and mature enough to recognize God's face in the face of others, even when they are cranky or challenging.  It is to watch my children become amazing parents and grow and learn and do so much better than I did.
When we look for God's eyes in the eyes of those we love, we will find His love for us gazing back.  
We will find His peace and His joy.
Most of all, we will find His healing and His Grace.     

Monday, April 24, 2017

Walking into a Church

Billy Graham has said many times: “Walking into a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than walking into a garage
makes you a car.”  

I love, love, love this saying.   It reminds me that we are made up of what we DO, and not so much because of where we ARE right this minute.  It also reminds me that Christians are more than just beliefs, they are designated by their behavior toward every one of God's sons and daughters.  It reminds me that my family is more than just my biological family or my church family.  My family encompasses friends, neighbors and even those who are hard to love.   
I suspect, that at various times in our lives, we are all a little hard to love.  I also suspect that there are times when each one of us behave in a very unchristian-like way.  We want to be a BMW, but instead, we are more like the common gremlin!  No matter how cool the outside looks, inside we are what we are.  And that person shows through, no matter how we disguise the outside.  Who we become, is the result of our choices. 
We all get to choose the person we become.  We do it each day through hundreds and thousands of individual decisions that we make.  We may not choose exactly what happens to us, but we choose how we react to it.  We might not get to choose the path we are on, but we choose what we see and what we realize.  We choose how we see the world that is around us.  Every choice we make brings us farther away, or closer to, the person that we want to become. 
So, maybe walking into the church doesn't make you Christian, but choosing to stay there, choosing to change, choosing to become, does.    And for me, the most wonderful part of this is that, although we can't change the past, every one of us has the ability to rewrite our futures.  We start today and use the Atonement for our good.  We repent, we grow, we change, we become. 
Isn't it wonderful, that we have a Father in Heaven, who loves us enough to provide a way for each of us to arrive home.  Our paths might be different.  Our pasts might be completely opposite, but none of us are forgotten on this journey.  He cares for each of us individually.  He gives us what we need to grow, and allows us to experience joy in our journey, no matter how rocky the path.   

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sabbath Day Scribbling - God Is....

1 Chronicles 22:18
Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Overwhelm the World

Today, I am asking myself what little bit of good is it that I am doing?  There is a part of me, that wants to do great things.  Sometimes, I really want to be an amazing person in this world.  I look at the people I admire and they have all done so much for the world around them.  Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks and so many others.  I love reading about women who have changed their own little piece of the world.  Women who made a difference in their lives by the many, many little things they did. 
I love the quote that says to "change your own small corner of the world".  I may not be able to change everything, or even most things, but if I can make it better for a few, than I will be a part of something that means so much more to me.  I believe that we each can play a small part in overwhelming the world with kindness and love, with goodness and righteousness, with hope and peace.  I believe that we can start to change things just by changing ourselves.  We can make a difference one single act at a time.  Together, we become overwhelming.