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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Fun

Three little witches, their dad and I, started off our day of fun.  The girls were really excited this year for Halloween.  I made three capes out of black satin.  (A material I have sworn never to sew again!)  It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, even though I used the supposedly easy pattern from Mccalls.  I am just thankful that I have a nice sewing machine to get them done with.  It really was a job to put them all together.  I bought the girls witch hats and stripped tights.  They had the responsibility of coming up with the rest of their costumes.  They were so excited and each one is just a little bit different.  They were able to wear them to school and also wear them tonight, so we got a lot of use out of them.  We went to the church for trunk or treating.  Imagine, 300 people, 50 cars, hot dogs, chili, kids and darkness, and you have the idea.  Miracle decided that she was too big this year to go trick or treating, so she volunteered to sit in the trunk with her best friend Amy Maglich.  They both dressed up and passed out the candy to the younger (and even a few older) children.  Miracle, Mikayla and Amy also decorated the truck with a pumpkin that they carved themselves and the halloween door cover as well as other items of halloween fun.  After we went to the church, we drove over to Bison Ranch for the rest of the evening.  Bison ranch was done by the Chamber of Commerce and the businesses.  There were all kinds of candy and treats for the kids.  More hot dogs and more hot chocolate.  No one up in our area ever goes trick or treating door to door.   There are too many empty houses.  Since we had snow the other day, it is quite cold.  There was a beautiful full moon tonight.  We helped ourselves to the hot chocolate and went on a hay ride before the cold got to us and we all came home.  It is definately cold out there tonight.  We started a fire in the fireplace and now dad is making mexican hot chocolate (a family favorite) and we are going to watch a movie.  The candy is put away in a bowl and we are putting halloween behind us for another year.  The girls have decided that I am embarrassing to be with.  I keep singing "I'm a mean old witch with a hat!"  I love it when I can finally get to them!  It is my favorite part of the holiday!  We had a wonderful family day together.  Time truly flies when you really are having fun. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mikayla's Birthday

Today is my Mikayla's eleventh birthday.  It seems like not too long ago when I held her in my arms and thanked the Lord for this wonderful blessing in our lives.  Kayla is the 10th child of our rather large family.  Her middle name is Joy and she has brought so much of it into my life.  She is a wonderful young girl with a heart of gold.  She loves everyone and can't stand to see anyone hurting or feeling badly.  She makes friends wherever she goes.  She loves music, although she does prefer the chello to the piano.  (Her mom is mean and makes her practice both).  She loves animals and especially her cat.  She is quite a daddy's girl.  She shares a special bond with him and can't stand to go to sleep without being tucked in by her dad.  If he is not here, she reminds me that he has to come and tuck her in as soon as he gets home.  She loves her birthday.  It is today, the day before Halloween.  She was able to wear her costume to school today and took halloween cupcakes to share with her class.  Miracle helped me make them and Kayla helped decorate them with candy corn.  This year, she wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday.  So, Wednesday night, I took her and Anya to Walmart where Kayla picked out earrings that she really liked.  They are multi-colored flowers.  She got her ears pierced and only cried for a few minutes.  She actually only complained that evening about it hurting and has been really good about it.  She was so proud to be able to show them off in school.  I finished all the costumes last night.  I made all three girls black satin capes for their costumes.  I bought them all different witch hats.  They designed the rest of their costumes and have had a lot of fun with the getting ready.  They really love the capes.  I have to admit, they look pretty good, but they were a lot harder than I planned on.  Good thing my older kids got me a sewing machine for my birthday this summer.  I would not have got them finished with the old one.  That black satin is a bear to sew and I have black thread everywhere in my house.  One of these days we might be able to use the dining room again.  Right now, it looks like a sewing room.  But the girls think it has been worth it even if we do have to have a house cleaning party tomorrow.  Miracle also made Kayla a chocolate cake with purple frosting and we sang "happy birthday".  Daddy made her favorite chicken dinner in the crock pot so she was really excited when she came home from school and smelled it cooking.  Tonight we are watching "Ice Age, dawn of the dinosaurs", eating cake, and just having a relaxing birthday evening.  The nice thing about having your birthday the day before Halloween is that the day seems to last even longer because it has always seemed that the next day, Halloween, is still part of the big birthday party.  It is fun to celebrate your birthday with practically everyone!  Especially when you get to dress up any way you want!
I am so thankful today for Mikayla and all the love that she has brought into my life. 
Happy Birthday to my very special little angel, Mikayla

Thursday, October 29, 2009

First Snow

I love a first snow.  Soft white flakes, drifting down through the cold, crisp air and pillowing on the ground.  If I am really lucky, the snow sticks to the tree branches, the cars, the roof, the swings and even the chicken house.  I don't know what it is about the snow that I like so much.  Maybe it is just that I never really lived in it before.  I certainly didn't grow up with it softly covering the dessert of Arizona.

So, I feel very blessed to have it as part of my life now, (although I might not feel that way in February).  I was watching out the window today as the snow was falling and couldn't help thinking of one of my often reflected on scriptures.  Isaiah 1:18  "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool".  The snow really is white.  So what does that mean for me?  Have you ever washed a red sock or shirt in with your whites?  What happens?  I will never forget the time I did that on accident and all the
underwear turned pink!  Now, that wasn't so bad for me, but my husband wasn't very happy to be sporting pink underwear.  It just doesn't fit the manly image!  Not only were they pink, but it was a pink that would NOT come out.  No matter how many times I tried.  I even tried bleach, to no avail.  Those whites stayed pink in one shade or another until we wore them out.  I have ruined more postal shirts with red ink staining the shirt than I care to think about.  There is just something about red or scarlet color.  It is nearly impossible to ever get clean again.  I think the Lord knew that when He gave us this scripture.  He wasn't talking about ordinary color, He was talking about Red.  He knows how difficult it is to ever get that red out and be clean again.  Isn't it wonderful that the gift of the Savior works so much better than the bleach I used.  Not only are our red sins made white, but they are made white like snow!  They are so white that you can't even see a fading of the red that used to be there.  Sometimes, I have a hard time understanding how that can happen.  It seems that even when I know I am forgiven, I am always looking to see if the red is still there.  If there is still a spot somewhere that He missed.  I keep wondering how He could love me so much that He would give me that great and amazing gift.  Somehow, it is hard to believe that I am white as snow.  When I look out on a morning of fresh snowfall, it renews my hope.  It reminds me of the Saviors love for each of us and it also reminds me that I too can be clean like the beautful snow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why can't I ever be on time!

Tonight I learned another great lesson.  I needed to leave the office.  Miracle had a volleyball game in Holbrook and I was planning on attending.  She has been so good about trying all the sports at school this year, and I really wanted to support her.  One thing led to another at work, and I left later than I meant to.  It was going to be close, and I knew that I would be late.

It is a long drive to Holbrook and the wind was blowing over 50 mph all the way there.  To make matters even worse, I got behind a bunch of trucks, none of whom were going faster than 45 mph.  Sooo....I got there late and completely missed her game.  Although she was happy to see me, it wasn't the same thing as having me there early enough to see the game.   
 This got me to thinking a little bit about our earth life and the distractions that take us away from doing what we know we need to do.  Sometimes, we have the desire to do right.  It burns in our hearts.  Our intentions are good, we start out great, we go along just fine, and than something gets in the way.  We get distracted by the world and wonder off the path.  I love 2nd Nephi 28: 20-22

"For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say:  All is well in zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well - and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
And behold, other he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them:  I am no devil, for there is none - and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverence".

I think that in today's hard times, the thing we need to be most aware of is the deception that "all is well".  Satan seems to work very well with distractions.  We can do a little of this, or a little of that.  Gossip a little with our neighbors, not read the scriptures, forget our prayers, stay home from church, lie a little, cheat a little, swear.  The distractions go on, but they all have one goal in mind and that is to distract us from the road that leads to eternal life.
Satan doesn't have to lead us completely astray.  All he has to do is just distract us from our goal.  He just has to keep us off the road that leads home.  There is only one way home, but many ways to keep us off the path.  I used to wonder how anyone could be distracted away to the great building that Nephi saw in his dream.  He truely was talking about our time there.  There are so many things that lead to the world and away from the iron rod.
It is so easy to want to be like everyone else, but I wonder if we would make those choices if we could truely see into eternity.  Sure it's hard here sometimes.  It is supposed to be hard!  It is supposed to test us!  Remember that Satan's way was the one that would bring us all back, no matter what.  His was the way that offered no choices.
If you read the parable of the 10 virgins, you will see that they were all probably good women.  They were righteous, they were still virgins, they were waiting for the bridegroom.  They were all living the good life, at least by first appearance, But five of them got distracted with the things of the world.  They put more worth in the things that matter here and now, but have no value eternally.  Because of that, they had to go to buy oil for their lamps and missed their opportunity when the bridegroom came.
Remember, when we die, there are only three things we take with us.  Our character, our intellect, and our relationships.  Everything else stays.  What do you want to have in the next life.  Are you so involved in this one that you can't see what he is doing to you?  Don't make the same choice that I did today.  I sacrificed the things that matter most, for the things that matter least.

 Somehow, I don't think that when I die, a single one of my children will say:  "I really wish mom would have worked a few more hours!"  I think instead, that they will remember the things I did with them and for them and wished that there could have been more time.  Today, I let one of my favorite people down for a little bit of work.  I am so sorry.  I can't undo it though, so I will try and go again and hope that somehow that will make a difference.  Don't get so distracted with the things in this life that you make the same mistakes.  The things that matter most are always those things that make us better people.  They may not always seem to be the most fun, but they are the things that will bring you no regrets. May we each strive to stay on the road that leads to eternal life.  Hold to the iron rod.  It is worth it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Primary Program

Today was the yearly primary program at church.  It was about the Proclamation on the Family.  In the program, Anya was asked to give a talk.  I tried to write it for her, and we started it, but she wanted to do it by herself, so it evolved into something else.  I wanted to include it here because it really touched my heart.  This is Anya's talk:
"On my sister Miracle's eighth birthday, we went to the church and watched her be baptised.  It was a really special day.  But the most specialest part was when our family went to the Mesa Temple after the baptism.  Me and my sisters went into the temple nursery.  We got to play games and eat snacks.  It was really quiet.  Then they helped us put on white dresses and white bows.  They took us into a room where mom and dad were kneeling.  We knelt next to them.  Mom said the spirit was there.  It made me feel really good.  Now my family is sealed.  I know that families can be together forever.  Heavenly Father loves us.  Amen".

What a special blessing it was to hear Anya tell, in her own words, about this wonderful day.  I am so happy that all of the little girls have this memory.  Even if their favorite part is the snacks!  :-)  They also remember the reverence and the feeling in the Temple.  We are so blessed with our very large and wonderful family.  They constantly amaze me with their desire to do right.
I know my Heavely Father lives.  He loves us, guides us and blesses us as we strive to do His will.  May we each strive to grow closer to Him.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Murmur Murmur

Today, I have been thinking a great deal about murmuring.  In the dictionary it says that murmur means:
1. A low, indistinct, continuous sound: spoke in a murmur; the murmur of the waves.
2. An indistinct, whispered, or confidential complaint; a mutter.
Probably, the most famous murmurers are Laman and Lemuel from the Book of Mormon.  They are chastized several times for their continued murmuring.
1 Nephi 2:11 Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of  Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
Also they murmured:
1 Nephi 17:17 And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying: Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.
Now this is only two examples, but the Book of Mormon is filled with other examples so I will focus on these two.  I think the thing that is most interesting to me is that a murmur isn't a big rebellion.  It is an "indistinct, whispered, or confidential complaint".  Or an under your breath mutter.  The very interesting part of this is that they murmured, but they did the deed anyway.  What do I mean by this?

They murmured about going into the wilderness with Lehi, but they went.

They murmured about having to come back and get the plates from Laban, but they went.

They murmured about building a ship, but they helped to build it.

Sometimes, I think that I might be more like Laman and Lemuel that I am like Nephi.  That really makes me nervous!  There are many people in the church who really believe that Laman and Lemuel were wicked.  And I do believe that eventually they became that way.  However, they didn't start that way.  They are like the woman that the bishop called to teach primary and she told him that she "already raised her children and didn't need to do that anymore".  Or the man who is asked to do a work project and just can't find the time to participate, but he found the time to go out shooting with his boys.
How many of us are given a task and we have to grumble about it first.  Someone asks you to teach primary, you come up with reasons why you can't, eventually agree half-heartedly, and maybe you don't show up on Sunday.  You allow the presidency to teach the class for you.  You are supposed to help with a roofing project, you complain because you can't kneel on the roof, and you need to spend family time with the kids.  It's not that what you are doing isn't important too, it is just that sometimes we all need to do things that we don't like to do.
I think there are many of us who are murmurers.  We just have to complain a little first and than we do it.  I love the scripture that says: 
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25
We are supposed to LIVE the gospel, not just talk about it.  But I want to say that it is also important to live it and not complain about it.  I think that too many of us participate in murmuring about our friends, family, community, or church.  We murmur about the rules that we have to keep and the time it takes to do our home or visiting teaching.  Lately, I have been thinking how important it is for me not to fall into the trap of murmuring and complaining.  I look at Laman and Lemuel.  I really don't want to be like them.
There is an old saying that "when you choose the first step on the road, you also choose the last."  There is also another quote that I used on all my kids as they were growing up.  (and still use on the last three).  Probably all of them could recite it easily.  It is, "If you are going to do it anyway, do it with class!"  Meaning, to do it like you mean it.  Put your whole heart and soul into it.  If you don't love it, that is ok, at least you gave it an honest try.
I had one of my children participate in the pioneer trek a few (ok, several)  years ago, Some of the kids complained about the preparation, than about how tired they were, how much their feet hurt, and how they didn't even have toothpaste.  Some of them just rolled their eyes and pressed on.  But not a one of them would have chosen not to participate.  It was a real growing and learning experience.  They each grew closer to their Heavenly Father even though it was so hard.
So, why do we need to complain?  Who do we help when we are busy gripping?  Does it make the trial easier to bear if I murmur about it first?  Is the journey any harder if we don't murmur?  Maybe, I need to look at myself and make sure that I am not having a Laman and Lemuel moment.   Instead of gripping and complaining, maybe I need to ask myself, "who would I rather be like?  Laman and Lemuel? or Nephi?"   I am sure that I will still have my moments, but maybe they will come less often if I remind myself of the One who is truly my example.  May we each go forth without murmuring!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The dogs of Life

I had to drive all the way to Tucson and back yesterday.  It was a long trip and a very long meeting, so I did not get home until after 10:00pm.  I had lots of time to think and reflect, so I spent so time doing just that.  I really love to listen to talk tapes.  You know the kind?  The ones that talk about your relationship with your Heavenly Father, how to make it better, how to be a better mother, wife, daughter.  Just motivating speakers about subjects that I am interested in.  Anyway, I was listening to one CD and it made be think back through some of my biggest challenges and trials. 
Once upon a time, many years ago, I used to be a mailman.  Yep, that is right.  A real, live, honest to goodness mailman.  (It is a title that everyone gets who carries the mail).  Anyway, I have to admit, one of the most difficult things I faced were not the people, but their dogs.  I have decided that I am not a dog person.  I like them when they are little.  I like them when they are nice.  I even like them when they are somebody elses, but I am not too fond of them when they are vicious, mean, or just plain mad. 
One day, I was delivering the mail out in the old part of Mesa, and I watched as a German Shepard mix CLIMBED up a six foot fence and jumped down to the other side not 10 feet away from where I was standing.  Now, if I have learned one thing about dogs, it is that you NEVER run away.  Once you turn your backside to them, you give them a pretty big target and they just can't seem to say no!  :-) 
Anyway, this dog ran up to me snarling, barking, growling and snapping.  I had taken out my dog spray when he was on his way over the top of the fence, so I guess you could say that I was as ready for him as I was going to get.  I started spraying the dog right in his face.  Most dogs don't like this.  The spray is a cayenne pepper in an oil base and it can sting and burn in the dog's eyes, but doesn't do any lasting harm.  I sprayed the dog, he shook his head hard back and forth, (still growling and snapping), licked his lips and came at me again. 
In the meantime, I had turned myself with my back in the direction I needed to go and had backed up a couple of steps toward the end of the block and the safety of my vehicle.  He came at me again, I backed up, and we repeated the process.  I used an entire can of spray on the dog and most of the second can.  Suddenly, I reached a place that must have had some kind of an invisible line.  He quit growling and snapping, turned around and trotted back toward home.  I looked around me and realized that I was 1 and a 1/2 blocks from where we started this fiasco.  I was near my truck and safe at last. 
We went through this everyday for three days.  He always stopped when I reached his invisible line and it was always in nearly the same place (within about 10 feet of his predetermined yard).  Believe it or not, I have a point with all this.  I have found in my life that nearly any trouble I face is a lot like this dog!  You really can't turn around and run (troubles have a way of biting you in the rear if you do!).  Most of the time, you probably won't find any extra help just waiting to dive in and keep the dog away.  You pretty much have to face the problem or trial head on, armed with whatever weapon you have been given.  Sometimes it is the scriptures, sometimes it is a book or a talk or an article in the ensign.  Sometimes the weapon can be good advice, or answers to prayer.  But you still have to face the trial and get through it.
I think most of my trials have a line that if I can just make it there, I will be safe and the trial will be over.  It is so tempting to stop!  Sometimes, I don't want to go through it.  Sometimes, I am weak or afraid.  Sometimes I want to just sit down and give up.  I want to cry and murmur and complain.  But if I can just persevere through the trial, there will come a point where I will find myself on the other side and the trial walking off into the distance. 
Trails can feel a lot like that mad dog attack did on that fall afternoon. But I know, if we can just work through it we will cover the distance and arrive home at last.  Our Heavenly Father has not sent us here unarmed.  We have the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the word of God.  We have the ways and means to come through any and all of our trials.  He has promised that He will not send us any trial that we can not bare.  It is up to us to have the strength and knowledge to face out trials and the ability and desire to endure them. 
This life is meant to be a test.  But it is a test where we know the answers.  They have all been given to us before, and we have them here to guide us and lead us home.  Armor is not suppose to be comfortable.  It can be a little stiff, a little awkward, a little heavy, or even a little bit not like everyone else!  Heavenly Father does not want us to be just like everyone else.  He wants us to be in the world, but not of it.  Are we spending too much time trying to be like the world?  Or are we spending our time trying to be like God?  Are we worried a little too much whether or not we look like the Smith's or have as many things as the Smith's, or are we centered in the Lord and following His councils and teachings.
Everyone has trials.  It is not the trial that breaks us in the end.  It is how we have endured it, what have we learned from it, and how it has changed us that matters.  I hope that the dogs of life that are our trials don't make you forget where you came from, or where you are going.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keeping Awake

I am an EMT and a driver for the Heber/Overgaard Fire Department.  Tonight we had a call and I was the driver.  I had to take the Patient 45 minutes away to the nearest hospital.  It was the middle of the night, I haven't had enough sleep in days because I have been sick myself with a cough that keeps waking me up, and there were many elk on the road.  I did the white knuckle driving that I really hate to do, but sometimes it is a must. 
Because I have been sick, I found the 29 degree weather just a little on the chilly side and I turned on the heat.  Naturally, when you combine tiredness with heat, you get sleepiness.  So I drove the route alternating between being warm and sleepy, and freezing cold and coughing (I put the windows down periodically so that I don't fall asleep at the wheel). 
While I was driving I reflected how much this is like my life and my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  If you remember from your scriptures, Jesus went to pray in the garden of gethsemane.  Three of his beloved apostles were also there.  He asked them to watch with Him awhile and went up onto the mount and prayed and bled from every pore and would that He might not have to drink the bitter cup.  He came down and found them sleeping.  He asked them, could yet not watch with me awhile?  And went back and prayed again.  Again when He came down they were sleeping.  He did this three times and all three times they slept. 

Tonight I reflected how much I am like that in my own spiritual matters.  I drive around through my life and everything is going smoothly and I am not as diligent as I should be in my scripture reading, prayers, study and testimony.  Then, the cold air or the elk in life (the trials) come and all of a sudden I am wide awake spiritually and I am working really hard to stay that way and have the spirit in my life and come to a better knowledge and understanding of the Savior.
I wish that I too didn't make the same choice His loved apostles did and close my eyes much too often in spiritual sleep.  I think I need to remember when the trials come and the cold winds of tribulation blow, that is my chance to awake and walk with Him.  I am going to work at being a little more awake during the good times so that I can have the abundance in my life of having His spirit with me always.  I looked out tonight and the stars in the sky and was so thankful to be able to see and bear witness of His infinate glory and goodness.  He truly is my Savior, my redeemer and my friend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One More Today

I thought I would add a little today, as I am driving out of town until late tomorrow and won't have an opportunity to do it then.  I have been reading and focusing on the story in the New Testament on the 5 loaves and 2 fishes.  The Savior walked among the people and taught them all that long day.  To be in His presence as part of the multitude. 
I would have liked to see His face and participate in His miracles.  I wonder what that would have been like?  To hear His voice, and listen to His words, to watch Him as he taught.  After he walked among them for the day, He turned to His disciples and asked where they could buy bread to feed the multitude.  The disciples must have been surprised.  I know I would have been.  They did not travel with much, nor did they have much money.  So they turned to a young boy who carried their stores and found that he had for them five loaves and two fishes. 
Imagine, five small loaves of barley bread and two small fishes to feed 5000 people.
Now, I don't know how the people in your house eat :-), but the ones in my house would eat it all and there would be none to spare.  Yet, somehow, when they finished, there were in the hands of the twelve apostles, twelve baskets full. 
None of us know the answer of how the miracle happened.  None of us can explain it, but we know it happened and that the people that day had an abundance of food.  Enough and to spare for their needs.  The dictionary defines abundance as "An overflowing fullness; ample sufficiency; great plenty; profusion; copious supply; superfluity; wealth: -- strictly applicable to quantity only, but sometimes used of number."
I like the phrase, an overflowing fullness.  I may not have been there, to be part of those very blessed 5000 people, but I am here now and I have His teachings and influence in my life today.  I can still partake of His abundance if I strive to make His teachings a part of my life.  This morning we were reading in 2 Nephi and we were talking about knowing for your self through study and prayer. 
One of the examples used in the scriptures is to feast upon the scriptures.  We compared it to Thanksgiving dinner and feasting at the table.  We asked the girls what feasting meant.  One of the things that makes it possible is when we have great plenty.  In short, an abundance of food. We used Thanksgiving as our example of an abundant feast.  If you compare it to the scriptures and feasting on the Word of God, it puts the word abundance in an entirely new life. 
I wonder, do we have an Abundance of the scriptures and the word of God in our home?  Or are we simply starving ourselves by turning away from the abundance of the Lord's table.  Are we partaking of the abundace of God, or are we simply nibbling at the edges? 
I read a quote this morning from Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, "The acquisition of understanding and enthusiasm for the Lord comes from following simple rules.  One of those rules is to read the word of the Lord.  I know that with the demands of your studies there is little time to read anything else.  But I promise you that if you will read the words of that writing which we call scripture, ther will come into your heart an understanding and a warmth that will be pleasing to experience.  Let the Lord speak for Himself to you, and His words will come with a quiet conviction that will make the words of His critics meaningless."
That sounds like abundance to me.

October 21, 2009

Today is a good day. Maybe if I say it enough it will be so :-) I have been reading several good books lately. My new one is called "The Promise of Enough" by Emily Freeman. It talks about the principle of abundance. There is a short poem titled:


It is what He know best.
The principle of promise.
The underlying theme of His life.

It is the tender behind the mercy.
The unconditional behind the love.
The height, breadth, and depth behind the understanding.

It has never been otherwise and remains
true today.

And so,
when weary souls long for the abundant life,
it is to One source they must turn.

For He is known now just as He was known
in times of old.

He is
The Giver
of every good gift.

I really love that statement. "The tender behind the mercy. The unconditional behind the love. That is what I want to remember today. I want to develop those two attributes in my own life. I want to be more tender to all I come in contact with and have more mercy and unconditional love. Sometimes it is so hard to remember that we are each in a different place on the path of life. This journey can be so overwhelming at times. And a kind word, a simple touch, or an understanding smile can make all the difference in our ability to make it through one more minute, one more hour, and one more day. We all walk this path and we all have the choice to make it a little easier for those around us, or a little more difficult. I want to be the one who is tender enough to make a difference to those around me. He has promised us that we will have enough and to spare. Our needs will be met. The problem is determining WHAT is enough. What does He mean by abundance in our lives. I look at His life and He did not live a rich one, or a fast paced one, or a life full of His own wants and desires. Perhaps that is my answer. I need to seek the tender mercies and the unconditional love to find my abundance. It is not to be found in things, but rather in life itself and in the love of those around me.

Today I will seek abundance in the things that I truly need and not in my wants.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20th 2009

Today is a pretty busy day. I have been working on reports all morning and just need a little break. Maybe Chocolate will help! I was out all night on a fire. I got to stand and freeze and watch the guys put it out. It was a pretty cold night, so all of us were quite chilly and the guys were wet and very cold. It is quite different to work for the fire department. It is a job I really love. Too bad that there are some things going on right now that I am having a hard time with. All of us that used to be "part timers" have now become full fledged volunteers. That means we don't get paid for any more than five shifts a month. That has really given me a problem. Before, I could justify what I love to do based on the fact that it at least paid a little bit and helped support my family. Now I can't really justify all the hours that I used to spend on it because it has now become nothing more than a hobby. It would be a lot easier if I did not love to run on the ambulance and be part of this quite so much. Supposedly, the decision has to do with FLSA laws that say we cannot work those hours. All my research has not shown that to be true, but what do I know? I am just a volunteer. So, now I am researching the issue online and also spending more time with my totally great family. I suppose that this is what I need to be doing now.
I am trying to find the time to make everyone a halloween cape before the big day. I bought YARDS of black satin and the patterns to get the costumes made. Now it is just the cutting, pinning and sewing. To say nothing of all the blankets that I am behind in. I need to just set that sewing machine up on the kitchen table and have a great week or two. I would be really remiss if I did not write about the past couple of weeks. I was able to go to Time Out for Women. This is an event for Latter Day Saint Women and it is the first time that I have been able to go. I really loved it. I was able to listen to the speakers and feel motivated and uplifted. I really have a desire to draw closer to my Heavenly Father and to follow His counsel and teachings. I especially love the talk from John Bytheway. He spoke of a challenge that was given. Here is my favorite part.

Here's the experiment that was referenced in the talk. A Dr. Watson asked women to perform this experiment:
"For five days in their morning prayers, they were to pray with concerted effort for the Holy Ghost to be with them that day. Then, throughout the day, as they encountered any difficult, tempting, or trying situation, they were to pray for and really picture the Spirit being right there with them.
Among the results they experienced were:
An increased desire to "de-junk" their physical environments. A greatly reduced desire to watch TV. An increased desire to reach out to others and follow through on commitments. An increased ability to be kinder, gentler, and more patient. An increased desire to take care of their bodies by living the Lord's law of health more fully. An increased ability to see how they could have handled situations better. An increased mental focus. An increased ability and desire to study and learn. A greatly decreased desire to backbite, gossip, or be cynical. A dramatic increase in their physical energy because energy-draining negative emotions were gone. An unbelievable reduction in stress. Profound changes in their conversations with others."

The really amazing part of this challenge is that I tried it out for myself and it really worked! I have had a truely wonderful week that has been full of the spirit. Even the fighting between the girls in our home has decreased. That is pretty amazing as they all are teenager want-a-bees. I am so much happier and so much calmer than I have ever been. I need to keep doing this. I hope that it might be something that all of you want to try too. Have a wonderful day!