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, November 30, 2013

Another Letter To God

"The soul is healed by being with children."

This letter was harder for me to answer.  Probably because I worry too much.  I worry about things that have happened, mistakes I have made, and I worry about the future with all it's possibilities.  I know that many of the things I worry about never come to pass, but still, I worry.  I worry about being worthy to enter Heaven.  I worry about making the right choices and giving enough love to others.  

"Worry is like a rocking chair, 
it gives you something to do, 
but doesn't get you anywhere."  
Erma Bombeck
Here is a child who is not worried about the normal, childish things.  They just want to go to Heaven and see God.  What a beautiful wish.  What a pure heart.  And what a sweet reminder to me about what is most important after all.  I will remember this letter for a very long time. 

Dear Child,
Thank you so much for your letter.  I am so happy that you want to live with me in Heaven.  That is what I want too.  Right now, I need you on earth with your family, learning and growing and becoming the person that I need you to be. 
When you have faith, it leads you back to me.  It helps you to make good decisions and it helps you to keep my commandments. 
I am never far away.  You can talk to me in your prayers anytime that you would like.  I will always take time to listen.  I am aware of the good things you are doing.  I know who you are.  No matter what happens or what troubles you face, you will never be separated from my love.

Romans 8:38-39  
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
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.

You always have my love and I am with you here.


Friday, November 29, 2013

A Letter To God From A Child

"Children are the hands 
by which we take hold of heaven."

Sometimes, weird things happen to me in my work.  We have a special mailbox in the grade school that the Chamber of Commerce and Santa's Kid's sponsors every year.  They collect all the letters and bring them to me.  I answer the Santa Letters from the kids that write.  Sometimes, those letters really touch my heart.  I always send a letter back with a Candy Cane.  I am used to those types of letters. 
A couple of months ago, I received two letters to God.  That was something that has never happened to me before and I did not know what to do about it.  I did not know who they were from until the mom came in and asked my clerk if I would answer them for her children.  I put them in my desk and ignored them because I didn't feel worthy to speak for God in any capacity.  
This week, the mom came back in and talked to me (so I couldn't ignore her).  She told me that her kids have been through a lot in their lives.  She asked me to please answer their letters.  Their birthdays are on Thanksgiving and it would mean so much to them to have an answer.  I told her that I really felt inadequate for this one and asked her to take the letters to a minister.  She insisted that I would do the job exactly right for them.   She had more faith in me than I have ever had in myself. 
So, I wrote the letters.  I answered them as simply and as sincerely as I knew how.  Perhaps, that is all any of us can do.  Then, we have to trust God to do the rest. 

Dear Child,

I love getting pictures and letters from my children.  I always like to see the good things that you are making.  I am only as far away as a prayer and I always hear you.  You can talk to me anytime.  You can find me in the world around you and in the Scriptures. 
The Bible says:

“By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

One of the best ways to show love for Me is to be kind to others. Love your family, your friends and even those who are mean to you.  That can be hard, I know, but you will feel better when you make good choices. 
Thank you so much for thinking of me.  Keep praying and keep learning. 

I love you so very much.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Am Thankful

“Gratitude doesn't change the scenery.  
It merely washes clean the glass you look through 
so you can clearly see the colors.”
Richelle E. Goodrich

I have so much to be thankful for.  This man, this crazy, smiling, thinks he is Santa man, makes me smile and laugh  He teaches me to find joy in the ordinary.  To not be so weary.  He loves me even in the midst of my trials, even when I struggle.  He cherishes me, nurtures me, and most of all, he cares for me.  
I have found just a little of my Heavenly Father's love in his eyes.  I can sometimes see myself close to how he sees me.  We have been married over 19 years now, and in all that time, he never yells at me.  He never criticizes me.  He just loves me and supports me and helps me find my way.  
Learning to be grateful for him, doesn't change him, but it changes me.  It helps me to see him in the ways that made me fall in love with him the first time.  I see the color of happiness in his eyes and I know I am home. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Count Your Rainbows

Count your Rainbows,
Not your Thunderstorms.

I have lived an interesting life.  One that seems, too often, to be full of thunderstorms.  Once, many years ago, when we first moved up to the mountains, the girls were very young.  They were also very afraid of storms. 
Now, if you have never lived in the mountains, the lightening can seem very close.  It actually has struck the trees outside my house.  Our first storm was the worst.  I was at work and received a frantic phone call from three little girls who were crying.  I rushed home to find each and every one of them hiding under the kitchen table, complete with pillows and blankets and stuffed animals. 
I had to dry their eyes, wipe their tears and teach them, slowly, to learn to like watching the storms from the safety of our front porch. They had to learn that after those fear-filled mountain thunderstorms, come the rainbows, and they are amazing to behold. 
In my own life, I have had to same experiences as my daughters with the storms that often seem to surround me.  I get so enmeshed in the fear and the pain, that I can't find the rainbows.  I don't even look up to see them.  My eyes only focus on the things I am afraid of.  That is a hard way to live.
I am trying to find the rainbows around me each day.  The little moments of wonder that slide through the raindrops.  The kindnesses and caring of those I didn't expect it from.  The abundance of blessings that I didn't quite realize I really have.  I am learning to count the rainbows. 
And through the rainbows, I am learning to see God's hand in my life.  And that is the most amazing blessing of all. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Importance of Family

"The most important cause of our lifetime is our families. If we will devote ourselves to this cause, we will improve every other aspect of our lives and will become, as a people and as a church, an example and a beacon for all peoples of the earth."
—M. Russell Ballard, "That the Lost May Be Found"

My family means the world to me.  We have been through a lot together.  We have learned together, played together and grown even closer together.  I have children who are now grown, many with children of their own, and we have the last three teenagers, still at home.  
I was talking to one of my customers today at the Post Office, and she was sharing with me how much she loves the relationship that she has now, with her grown children.  And how very different it is to mother them as they grow older.  I agree so much.  I love babies and children, I enjoy most of my time with teenagers, but I really love the friendships that I have developed with my children once they are grown and gone from the nest.  
Our opportunities to love and support each other do not go away with the diapers and the dishes and the laundry.  Now, I can take the time to listen and to love and encourage.  Now I get to hear their problems and the difficulties and their trials.  Now they actually might ask for advice (such a thing was never heard of when they were younger, as a matter of fact, if I wanted them to do something, I told them to do the opposite!)
My family means so much to me.  I can't begin to explain how my heart fills with more and more love as the years go by.  I enjoy getting to know each of them as adults.  I believe in devoting myself to the cause of family.  I believe in always letting them know how much they are loved and needed in my life.  No matter what path they choose, I believe that God shared them with me to love, to honor and to cherish, for all the days of their lives and long into the eternities. 
My family, are each gifts and joys in their own way.  They are each a blessing and a comfort.  They are my children and my friends.  My Heavenly Father has taught me to love through the service to my family.  I am filled with gratitude each time I think of them and remember their unique attributes.   

Monday, November 25, 2013

Have a Little Gratitude

"Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, 
but it also unlocks the doors of heaven 
and helps us feel God's love."
~Thomas S. Monson,~ 

I am working on this.  I am often grateful.  I want to see the blessings in the world around me.  That is one of the reasons that I started blogging.  It helps me to recognize the gifts that surround me.   And I am surrounded, each and every day, by thousands of blessings.  I just don't always recognize them that way.  Sometimes, the things that happen in life can seem so overwhelming.  I get tied up in the day to day difficulties and I can't seem to remember to recognize the blessings in the midst of the trials.  But still, they are all around me.  
Yesterday morning, we woke up to a fresh coat of snow.  It was glistening and white.  It was frosty and beautiful.  It was amazing.  I love sitting in a warm house, with the fire burning in the fireplace and watching the snow fall outside my window.  Winter has two sides for me.  It can be a burden or a blessing.  It all depends on how I look at it and on what is going on in my life at that moment.  Winter itself doesn't change, just the way I look at it.  
We have a loving Heavenly Father.    One who can't wait to bless us.  Who does bless us continually.  But we have to be willing to open our eyes and behold the blessings.  I know that I have had hard times in my life, but my point is that, even though things did not turn out quite the way I thought they would, in a very strange way, they have turned out much better than I have ever imagined.  I have so much more than I dreamed.  
It can be hard for me to focus on what I have.  It can be hard to remember the blessings.  But I can tell you, that when I do, I feel peace.  I feel the divine gift of my Heavenly Father's love.  I feel His tender mercies in the wonders that surround me.  They have always been there, I just needed to stop and look and heal.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Finding the Good in Others.

 "Recognize the good in others, not their stains. 
At times a stain needs appropriate attention to be cleansed, 
                      but always build on his or her virtues."
                  ~Richard G. Scott~, "For Peace at Home"

I am learning that it can be a hard road, to find the good in others, especially when they are working so hard to hide it.  It can be hard to recognize them as a child of our loving Heavenly Father.  It can even be hard to recognize myself that way.  I continue to struggle with it.  Especially when all my buttons are not only pushed, but stomped on with abundant joy. 
I can't control what others say to me, or to my children.  I can't control their own choices in their behavior. I can't control what they do or don't do.  But I can control myself and the way that I react.  I can control what I choose.  I can control what I say.  I don't always do that, but I can.
Today, I am grateful that the Lord has cleansed my stains.  I am grateful for His abundant mercies and love.  I am grateful that He cares for me in spite of myself.  Today, I want to be just a little more like Him and a little less like the person that I am.  Today, I want to choose how I act and not just react to a bad moment.  Today I want to become who He needs me to be.  
In this world of strife and pain, today I want to spread just a little more joy.  I want to share with you how very much you are loved.  We all make mistakes.  We all make bad choices.  We all sin.  But there is nothing we have done that He doesn't already know about.  There are no secrets in your life.  He is just waiting for you to bring all your burdens to Him and to release them into His keeping.  He will help us through the hard times.  We just have to have a little bit of faith in His Sacrifice and a little trust in His timing.  
Life is good.  Life is amazing.  Life is full of blessings and abundance if we will only take the time to see them.  
In this joyous season, today, may you be blessed with His peace and love.  May you find it within your hearts to overlook the stains of others, and also of yourself.  His forgiveness is not for the perfect, but for the imperfect that surround Him.  He will help us become who we are seeking to be if we will just walk with Him.