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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Patience and a Hike

A moment of patience
In a moment of anger
saves you a hundred moments
of regret.

We went hiking several weeks ago, around a lake called Willow Springs.  It was supposed to be a 3.5 mile hike, but since the girls picked the trail, it ended up being closer to six miles.  Not on flat ground mind you, but over rocks and through brush and in holes and around obstacles.  I really did not think that I was going to make it.  I thought they just might need to send an indian travois back to drag me home.  
My mind could imagine that it would take about ten girls or so to get me back.  I never imagined in my wildest dreams that my feet would hurt so much.  I think I sprained areas that I never knew existed.  
I was, of course, last.  My two girls were with me, one on each side holding me up and helping me around the last two miles of trail.  The girls were angry because every single time we caught up with the group, the group would start off an leave again without giving me a chance to rest.  
This was an important lesson for my sweet daughters.  Sometimes, anger is not the best way to handle things.  You see, if I would have stopped, I think that I would not have been able to get going again.  Heavenly Father knew that, even if my daughters did not.  So, I kept walking and walking, and walking and stumbling and stumbling and stumbling some more.  
When we finally made it to the picnic area, I was done for the day.  I could literally not walk anymore.  I could wobble, but not walk.  My girls were still angry, but I let them know how I felt, and how grateful I was for all their help, and how much it helped me to make the journey because of their positive attitudes.  I needed them there that day.
I could have been angry, I never was, but I suppose I could have felt left out, left behind and out of the crowd and angry if I would have focused on that.  Instead, I did nothing but praise every single  one of those amazing girls who managed that hike.  They were all troopers, but especially my own two girls who were willing to be my little "hiking sticks", one of each side as I kept putting one foot after another.  
I have no regrets.  My feet still hurt, I had to get new shoes, and I don't know when I will actually feel better, but that is ok.  There are still no regrets and no sorrows.  
I am grateful for that beautiful day of hiking and kayaking and sisterhood.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - I'm A Big Girl Now!

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, July 29, 2014

Holding On and Letting Go

I've got 99 problems, 
and 86 of them 
are completely made up scenarios 
in my head that I'm stressing about 
for no logical reason!

After going through the past couple of weeks with animal injuries and Kitty dying, I am learning a lot  about problems in general.  I tend to be a worrier.  I worry about all the things that might happen, all the things that could possibly happen and all the worst case scenarios that I can imagine.   This is exhausting.
I am good in an emergency.  I can deal with blood and guts and screaming and crying with no problem.  It is before the emergency (or even after) that I am not so good.  I love the above quote, because in my case it is totally true.  I completely make up the worst scenarios in my head, you know, the ones that could never happen.  
The problem with that is that when something does happen, I am not prepared because it is not one of my own scenarios!
Take our poor dog Gracie.  She was attacked by a black lab about too weeks ago.  The lab did a lot of damage (600.00 at the vet).  She had cuts that took many stitches to fix up.  She had wounds to her abdomen and her chest.  However, Gracie never worries.  
Oh, she did attach herself to us a little extra careful for a few days, but now that the cone of shame is gone, the stitches are out, and she is feeling better, she is right back to barking and running and just loving everyone.
Now, I know that Gracie is just a dog, but she is teaching me an important lesson.  She is teaching me how to live with every fibre of her little being.  She romps and plays and loves and sometimes even drives us slightly crazy, but she lives in the moment.  She loves in the moment.  And if you scratch her ears, she lives for all the attention that you are willing to give her right now.  
Maybe, just maybe, I need to learn to let go to the 86 made up problems that I am stressing about and just learn to let them go right into God's hands.  My own "cone of shame" seems to be my willingness to get sucked into the stress.  Maybe it is time to take it off and let it go.   I need to trust that this moment, is the one I am supposed to be living in.  I need to learn to have a little bit of faith in His timing.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Memoir Monday- Discipline

Prompt: Describe a disciplinary method your parents used on you as a child that you use(d) on your own children?
My parents used a lot of ways to discipline, that i never have used in my life.  The one way that has stayed the same is grounding.  When I was a teen, I was often grounded to my room.  I wasn't an ordinary teen.  I did not rebel with drugs or bad friends, or running off.  My form of rebellion was to go to church.  Of  course, it probably helped that the church I went to was not the same as the one my parents wanted me to go to.  
When things were at their worst, I would sneak out my bedroom window and go to church, knowing that when I got home, there would be a beating and a grounding to go with it.  I was grounded from church for every seeming infraction.  I have stayed up to three months in my bedroom when my parents were home.  They "did not want to see my face".  
My parents couldn't ground me often from friends, I didn't really have any.  They couldn't ground me from babysitting, because I bought everything I needed with my own money and they did not want to buy anything that I might need.  I never thought I would ground my own children, but after all the other things I learned, this one, somehow has still stayed with me.
Of course, when my children are grounded, they still have to go the church and school.  They spend extra time on chores and homework, and they hate it as much as I used to!  Especially because I only use grounding when there is something that they really want to do instead of stay home with me!  
I have learned that grounding has to be fair.  They need to know it is a consequence based on their own actions.  They need to know that it is coming and that I expect the problem not to happen again.  I do think that grounding can be effective, although I don't believe in grounding for everything and I never ground them to their room.  I want them to be part of the family and part of what we do.  I want them to realize that although I am disappointed in their behavior, I will always love them and want to be with them.  
My family means the world to me.  They are the best blessing that I could ever have.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sabbath Day Scribblings - The Class to Forgive

Never sacrifice your class to get even with someone who has none.  Let them take the gutter; you take the high road.

“Of You It Is Required to Forgive”
President Gordon B. Hinckley
First Counselor in the First Presidency

A spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of love and compassion toward those who may have wronged us is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us has need of this spirit. The whole world has need of it. The Lord taught it. He exemplified it as none other has exemplified it.

In the time of His agony on the cross of Calvary, with vile and hateful accusers before Him, those who had brought Him to this terrible crucifixion, He cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

None of us is called on to forgive so generously, but each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy. The Lord has declared in words of revelation: “My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened.

“Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

“And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds” (D&C 64:8–11).

Forgiveness can be so very hard, but I have learned in my own life, that it is one of the things that bring me the most comfort of all.  When I am angry, I do not remember that the person I am angry with is a Child of God.  I do not remember that I too, make mistakes.  I only focus on what they have done to me or mine.  
When I forgive, I turn it all into the hands of a loving Heavenly Father, who knows their hearts better than I ever could.  He knows if they truly repent, or if they seek forgiveness and mercy for their sins.  I have need of that forgiveness for myself.  Who am I to deny it to anyone else.  
I know, that He alone is able to judge without anger or malice.  He alone, can make my own sins bearable to me.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Finish -Trying something new

So, today is five minute Friday.  It is a day when we write, just to write, without worrying about whether it is just right or not.  Today the prompt is finish.  
Don't forget when you are done to link back over at Lisa Jo's place and read some other words about finishing.  I hope to see you there.  

Never be afraid
to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the titanic.



Life is full of trying new things.  Babies learn to crawl and walk and run.  Children go to school and recess and learn to read and write and do math.  We become teens and learn to drive and date and find love.  We grow into adults and we think we are finished with all of that, but it comes around again.  One big cycle, one finish after another.  One new thing more.  
I have been places in my life that I would wish to change if I could, but the Lord had other ideas for me.  Things I needed to know so that I could finish and grow and evolve.  To learn new things is scary, but to discover the finish can be even worse.  It is that leap of faith off into the unknown place.  That instant when you realize you have done all you can and it is time to move on.  We finish school, we finish work, we finish with small children, we finish with teens, all things grow and develop and change.  All times in their seasons and in God's timing.  
2 Timothy 4:7 says simply:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

And so, I do the same.  I love the quote that says, "The goal is not only to win the race, but to run it in honor and dignity, in testimony and worthiness".  Marvin J. Ashton
We each try and finish the race.  We each stumble and fall, sometimes even crawl to where we know we need to be.  But not a single one of us can finish on our own.  He will pick us up in the storms our our lives and carry our burdens upon His shoulders and help us to run our own races in testimony and worthiness.  You are not now, nor have you ever been alone.  You can finish what He has called upon you to do.  You are His and He knows your name.  


Now it is your turn.  Don't forget to share your own thoughts!  I hope to see you back over at Lisa Jo's.  

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.