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, August 29, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Reach

Yeah!  It is Friday again, and you know what that means.  It is time for our crazy group of five minute writers who just write without caring about whether it is just right or not.  You can find out all the details over at Kate's place.  Then, write your own five minutes of history and don't forget to go back over to Kate's and link up with the rest of us.  I can't wait to see what you do with yourself!  Today's prompt is simply:

REACH

START


REACHING
By Patricia A Pitterle

Arms stretched up
High toward the heavens
Up on tiptoes, dancing,
She wants to hold
Me
Arms stretched out
Sideways 
Along with her small body
Now she wants to hold 
You.
Arms stretched down
Open and out 
Pleading, begging 
To be let down and run
Free.

She grows, little by little
Inch by inch
Smile by smile
And becomes her own
Self.
Reaching up
Reaching sideways
Reaching down
Always reaching for 
More.
Never quite sure
What it is
She is looking for.
But when she finds it, she will
Know.

At last, she turns
Her aching soul
To the only one who hears
The agony of her 
Silence.
And He comes.
He sees her in sorrow.
He understands her heartbreak,
Heals her wounds and makes her
Whole.
His tender mercy
answers her seeking.
Reaches her reaching, 
With His loving,
Grace.

STOP

Now it is your turn.  What can you write in just five minutes?  Don't forget to meet the rest of us over at Kate's Place to share.  


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Your Story


I love this quote.  My story has been a hard one for me.  But I am learning, that no matter what you endure in your life, it will be hard for you.  Somehow, there is not such things as small or large trials. They are all trials for a reason.  It is only as we live through them that we can quantify them ourselves.  No one else has the right to do that.  
Learning to talk about them, well that is a whole different matter.  There are things in my life that I never imagined talking about.  I kept them inside for years.  I did not share.  I did not express.  I did not even knowingly get angry about them.  I have learned that part of letting go and moving on is learning to talk about my own story.  I can choose to leave parts out, but talking about it to others gives them a different experience.  Especially when they can see that those things did not cause me to make bad choices.  
I believe that there comes a time in all of our lives when we have to quit blaming the past for all the wrongs in the present.  There comes a time when we have to accept responsibility for the right to choose our own way.  That is hard to do.  It is so much easier to blame someone else for our own failings.  
I agree, bad things happen to us sometimes.  Terrible things happen to us sometimes.  But it is a choice to let it go.  It is my choice to move on.  I have seen the terrible damage that hate can do to a family, a life, a friend.  I have seen what anger destroys.  I have lived in my past before and I choose to not do it again.  I want the ending of my own story to be so much better than the beginning of it.  
The past, mine or yours, never needs to become your future.  We just need to talk about it, pull it out of the darkness and into the healing of the light, and let it go.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Boys Will Be Boys.


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, August 26, 2014

Memoir Monday - 20 Years



Today is Memoir Monday (OK, it is Tuesday, but I have an excuse).  This is where I give you a chance to write and link up and answer the question about your past.  Yesterday was my 20th anniversary, and my husband and I actually went on a date!  It was amazing.  So the prompt today is to: 
Write about a really good day!

Twenty years ago, I was married in a very small ceremony.  The church had almost no one in it.  My soon to be husband and I, met with the Bishop before the ceremony; John told me “You look like you thought I wasn’t going to come”.  What could I say?  I did think that.  
To that point in time, every man in my life had hurt me.  I was nervous and very afraid.  I was not sure that it would work out (And neither were our children).  I had six, he had two and we blended a very complicated family.  
On the very few pictures that I have somewhere of our wedding, there are seven of the kids with absolutely no smiles and one very young boy with the biggest grin you ever saw!  Blending a family is hard work, but it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.  
We have had a good life and raised all eight of those children, plus added three more girls to the mix.  It has been filled with good times and sometimes hard times, and there is still a part of me that will never understand what good thing I have ever done to deserve someone who treats me so amazingly.  
I am spoiled.
I am cherished.
I am loved.
And I do know that.  My really good day is the day I married my sweetheart and my friend.  It is the day that we both never forget.  John always tells me that it feels like yesterday (even though his Santa beard would show that to be a lie).  I always tell him that it feels like forever (that is the type of marriage I have always wanted).  The best part is that neither of us is wrong.  
We are good together.  We have worked together and raised good children together.  They are all loved and wanted, no matter what we have been through together.  We love each other through the years, no matter how difficult they can be.  We don’t argue often or have too many problems.  Mostly we agree on what we are doing and how we are doing it.  It took me a while to learn that not arguing could be normal.  That it could feel right and good.  

We have both changed over the years; mostly in better ways.  I am more patient, and he is more outgoing than he used to be. I have learned to be calm, and he has learned to help others when they are in need.  We complement each other.  We care for each other, we love each other.  And that makes every single day, a really good day to be married to him.     


Friday, August 22, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Change

Today is my favorite day of the week.  It's Friday once again.  This is the day that a bunch of us gather together over at Kate's Place to write, without worrying about whether it is right or not.  The rules are simple, write for five minutes about the assigned prompt, link back over at Kate's Place and leave at least one comment for the person that linked before you did.  Enjoy yourself and experience writing the way it was really meant to be!


The prompt this week is: 

CHANGE

START


Change
By Patricia A Pitterle

A baby is born
Not able to do anything
And we love them
Anyway
she changes a little
And soon
She is scooting 
Cross the floor
Then crawling 
On all fours as 
She hustles into
A whole new world.
She changes again 
Into a toddler,
A child who stumbles 
Walks, and learns to run
One who asks questions
 And loudly yells, NO!
She changes again 
Into a child
Growing day by day
And starting school.
Learning to read 
And write
And understand 
Just a little bit more
This life that she is living.
Soon she becomes a teen
With all the doubts
And lack of self-esteem
Friendships that begin
And end
Like a summer rain.
Heart that gets broken
Over and over
Yet still she goes on.
She becomes a woman grown
And looks back at her past;
She sees the good times,
More often than
The bad ones.
Life, cannot pass
Without heartaches 
And pain.
And growth
And grace.

STOP

but I can't quit without finishing what I started, here is the rest.  I hope you like it.

Change is
The process of becoming 
Something totally different
Than the person
I used to be.
It is growing up
And learning those things
That help me to survive.
Change is not allowing
My environment, 
Or sin,
To dictate the person
That I will choose to become.
It is believing that the past
Can truly stay in the past,
And that the future
Is as big as my dreams.
It is knowing 
That we are each
Guilty of sin;
That we have hurt others,
As well as ourselves.
It is believing 
That His tender mercies
Will be enough
To wipe away 
The red stains
On my soul.
I have learned that
We all have hurts
We all have pain
We all suffer
We all sin
But as we move forward
In our journey,
We can choose to change
We can choose to become
Whoever 
We might want to be.
As we seek 
To walk with Him; 
We can find strength,
We can find love,
We can find peace,
We can find grace,
We can, at last, find Him.  


Now, what can you write in your own little world of Five Minutes?  Don't forget to link back over to Kate's place and let us read your work.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In a Dark Place


In A Dark Place
by Patricia A. Pitterle

Sometimes,
The road I walk
Seems dark and deep.
I find myself
Sinking into despair.
I am in an aching state,
I am in a lonely place.
My past catches me
Unaware
And all those things
That I thought taken care of
Come back for another round
Of pain.
It might not be so bad
If the past were 
Things that I had done
Myself,
But when it is full
Of evil done to me
There is no escape,
And when it intrudes 
Into the present
It is worse than
When it happened 
For the very the first time.
I am in a dark place,
A space where my heart
Falls into 
so many tiny pieces
And where, 
no matter how hard I try,
I cannot glue them 
together again.
I am in a space 
where it would be easy 
To wish myself no more
To walk away from pain
To put aside the sorrow
To be something 
I have never been,
Free.

And so,
I fall upon my knees
With tears upon my cheeks
And pray for relief 
From the darkness.
I pray for understanding
I pray for love
I pray for forgiveness 
And most of all
I pray for peace.  
I want to wish it all
So very far away.
I want to know 
That it will not 
Taint the very air I breath.
I want to be 
The person that 
I have always tried to be.
I want the darkness 
That seeks to destroy
Me from within
To go away,
To be destroyed,
To never return.
And so I fight
One breath,
One moment,
One fear, 
One hurt at a time.
I fight to believe 
In myself.
I fight to feel loved, 
And needed, 
And enough,
Just as I am .
I fight to remember 
Not only who I am, 
But whose I am,
And where 
I have always belonged;
With Him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Glow In The Dark


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, August 19, 2014

The Lord's NO's



I don't like to be told "No".  It just makes me feel bad.  Generally, when I ask for something, it is something that I think I really need or really want.  I spent way too much of my life hearing the word, "no".  Still, when the Lord says No, as disappointed as I might be, I have learned to wait.  I am not able to see the bigger picture.  I am living in the here and now, not in forever yet.
Sometimes, (OK, all the time) the Lord knows and sees so much more than I can.  He has told me "no" a lot.  Later when I look back, I am so grateful for that simple unanswered prayer.  No matter how heart felt it was at the time, there was so much more in store than I could have imagined.
I have learned that the Lord is mindful of me and my needs.  He is always willing to bless me and wants what is best for me.  He allows me to struggle, but He also rewards my efforts.  The purpose of life here is to grow, to struggle, to be strengthened through our own many experiences.
We may never know when we will receive the answers that we seek, but I know, with time and strength, we shall find the yes that we really needed after all.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Memoir Monday - What you can't live without

Today is Monday and I am starting a link up again.  The rules are simple.
1.  Just write, a sentence or a paragraph or a story.  It is up to you.
2.  Answer the prompt
3.  Read what someone else has written and comment.
Thats it, so let's start writing.  


Name three things you just couldn't live without and explain why.
1)  God
2)  My Family
3)  The Scriptures


I think I take a very spritiual view of this question.  
The first answer is God.  This is because I do not believe that I would even have a life without Him.  I want Him to be the focus of my life, no matter what happens to me, without God and His influence, I am nothing.  My purpose is gone.  It is what I try so hard to share in my writing.  How much I believe.  What faith means to me.  There is nothing left if I don't have God.  He has given me every single thing that I have.  A home, food to eat, clothes to wear, and blessings in abundance.  There are still trials, there are struggles, there are setbacks; but without God to help me through it, there is no meaning and purpose.  I believe that in a way I cannot understand, all these things will be made right.  
The second thing that I can't live without is my family.  Since I believe that families are eternal, they are essential for me.  I love my family.  I love them in spite of their mistakes and their accomplishments.  I love them no matter their choices, although I often wish they would have listened to the lessons that I taught them.  I am pretty sure that our Heavenly Father must often feel the same way about me and my choices.  I am never happier than when I am around my family.  They keep me healthy and sane!  They bring me joy and love.  They are my retreat in a world that is full of anger and sin.  I love every single one of them.  
The third thing that I can't live without is the scriptures.  They are the things that help to keep me on the right path.  They answer my prayers and help me to think and learn.  I love to read, and if all I had to read were the scriptures, than that would be enough.  I could learn and grow and draw closer to God by the writings from the prophets.  I could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost and be reminded of those things which are so very important.  Every time I read, I find things that I didn't see before.  My eyes are opened and I learn.  

Now it is your turn.  Don't forget to link back up here with your own story.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sabbath Day Scribblings - The Name of Christ



Every week, I have the opportunity to teach the youth more about the Savior.  I am finding that the more I study, the more I seek, the more answers to my own questions I receive.   One of the things that we have been teaching the girls is how to become more like Him.  I was able to teach the lesson on what it means to take upon yourself His name.  
I think when we realize that we are all an example, all the time, no matter if we think anyone is watching or not, that is when we start to become more like Him.  When we are kind even though someone is not kind to us, when we are happy even when we want to cry, when we help others even when it is not the popular thing to do, all those are ways in which we start to become a little more like Him.  
I want the girls to understand how much He loves them.  How much He gave for them and how very much He wants them to return home to Him.  I want them to know that their actions are always a choice;  a choice to be more like Him, or a choice to turn their backs on His way.  It can be hard to go against the things in life that are popular.  It can be hard, but it is also so very worth the effort.  
  8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
  If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none othername under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Tell

Today is Friday, one of my favorite days. This is the day we all get together and write, without worrying about whether it is just right or not.  Then we link back over to Kate's Place and tell our stories.  We also read and comment on the post before us.  This weeks prompt is:

TELL 



First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

START

Sometimes, when I think of telling, I think of saying things I shouldn't say.  Of doing things I shouldn't do.  I think of speaking up when I should remain silent, but I have learned that often, we should stand up and tell the things that are important.  Often, when we are silent, it is because we are afraid to speak up, we are afraid to tell anyone about how it really is.  We are afraid to defend the weak and the weary and the hands that hang down.  
Sometimes, we are too exhausted to cope with all the wrongs that surround us.  We just don't have the energy to get involved in something that might not be our business.  We are trying to do what is best for ourselves instead of taking care of those who need us right this minute.  
So, I try and teach my children that they should always tell when something doesn't make sense to them.  They should always speak up when someone is being a bully.  It is their business when others are cruel and mean.  I don't want them to hide in a small corner of their life afraid to live because of the evil that is all around us.  I want to teach them to tell, to speak out, to be involved and to try and make it right.   
More than that, I hope that by teaching them, I will teach myself.  I don't have to hide from anyone.  I am strong enough to stand up and tell them exactly what I think and what I know and what I believe.  I am always strong enough to tell.  

STOP

Now it is your turn.  What can you write in your own little breath of five minutes?  Hope you come over the Kate's place and share with the rest of us!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Don't Waste It Whining


Life is too beautiful
to waste it whining.

Sometimes, life can throw us a few curve balls that really test us to our limits.  Perhaps it is your children, or a friend or a speeding ticket.  Maybe it is someone who gossips about you or puts you down.  Maybe it is even someone in your church or your school.  It can even be that three mile hike that turned out to be more like 6 miles and felt like 20!
My point is that we all have problems.  We all have adversities in out lives.  We all have reasons to whine.  It is not that we have reasons, it is simply what we are going to do about it.  I am not a fan of whining.  I have found that it makes me more unhappy and the journey seems so much longer than I thought it would be.  
My sweet daughter was with me on our "forever" hike that we all felt was never going to end.  She helped me over the rocks and through the rough spots.  She smiled and laughed and sang and just about when I was going to give up she said, "look mom, isn't that tree great?  It even has a seat.  I love the way it twists.  Can you take my picture?"  
So, here is her picture on a tree that twists in the middle of a miserable hike.  Don't you just love her smile?  She remember how much I love to take pictures on interesting things.  She knew how much I really do love nature.  She reminded me of all that with a smile and a seat upon a tree.
I have always said to my children, "If you are going to do it anyway, do it with class."  I love that line.  We know when we have to do hard things.  We even know that we might not like them.  But we really don't have to whine about them or complain or do our best to make sure every one else has just as bad of a time.  Sometimes, the best way to handle a situation is with a little class and a smile, or maybe just pointing out are really cool tree.
Life really is beautiful and no misfortune is so bad that whining about won't make it worse!
We should honor the Savior’s declaration to “be of good cheer.   (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!) Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly. As someone once said, “Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow.”  Jeffrey R. Holland, The Tongue of Angels.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Off To The Rescue


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, August 12, 2014

Your Decisions



The more you love your decisions,
the less you need others to love them.  

We have a little something in out lives called free agency.  That means, we have the responsibility and the opportunity to choose for ourselves.  Have you ever noticed, that when we are choosing wisely, we don't make excuses?  Yet, when we are choosing not so well, we tend to make all kinds of excuses about our choices.  Human nature seems to be to want acceptance even when we know (or especially when we know) that something is wrong.  
I used to have a very hard time making decisions.  I was so afraid that no matter what I decided, it would be wrong.  There was a lot of solid (for me) evidence behind that belief.  As I was faced with trials, I had to learn to make decisions quickly.  It was not easy.  It was not something I wanted to do. But it was very, very necessary.  
Now, I make a lot of decisions.  I make ones at work that people do not like, I make them with the public, I make them with family, I make them with employees and I even make them with the school.  Not everyone likes the decisions that I make.  However, I am learning that when I know it is right, I don't need the approval of those around me.  I just need to be comfortable in my own skin.  
This is what I want my children to learn.  When we have to excuse our decisions, we need to look at them again.  For instance, if my daughter is late getting home;  I say, "honey, what time did you get home last night" (mind you, I already know the answer).  She says, "about 12:15, I know we were late mom, BUT...."  It is the buts that will get us all.
So I am trying to teach them the language of responsibility.  "Mom, I got home at 12:15.  I am sorry.  I know I was late".  Now, it is up to me to decide the punishment for that tardiness, she decided to be late.  She made the choice.  Now she needs to be willing to live with the consequences that go with that choice.
It is the same for all of us.  We choose our own path.  We get to make our decisions.  I really is up to me and if I learn to take responsibility for my actions, than I am less likely to get caught up in bigger and not necessarily better, excuses.  
I learn to love my own decisions.  I learn to stand by them.  I learn to be responsible for myself.  
After all, isn't that what we all want for each other?  And isn't that exactly what Heavenly Father wants for each of us?  What are you waiting for?
1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Memoirs - Peace and Serenity

It's Monday again and I hope that you take a moment to write on your own blog something concerning the prompt in your own life.  There really are no rules, just something that you want to pass on to your family and friends.  Link up at the bottom and share with the rest of us.  



Where do you find peace and serenity? 

PEACE
noun


1. The absence of war or other hostilities.
2. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
4. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace.
5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.

SERENITY
noun (plural serenities)

1. The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled: an oasis of serenity amidst the bustling city

Once upon a time, I used to believe that peace was never possible. I had too many struggles in living to even think about finding peace. Church was a place that I went to, sat on a bench and tried my best to keep six little ones “sort of” reverent. I don’t know if I even got a single thing out of the Sacrament talks until after the majority of my children were grown. My ideas of peace have changed a lot over the years.

I used to imagine peace as lying next to the ocean or a lake or a river and just relaxing; spending time communicating with God, and learning to know myself. As I have gotten older, I have learned that peace and serenity both come from within and not so much without. Peace can be found in simple moments of life when there is no arguing or hostilities. In the case of our children, dinner time is not the time to argue. It is our efforts for peace in our world of chaos. Peace can be found in uplifting music, in reading good books, in studying the Scriptures and in spending time with my family. Peace doesn’t have to be quiet, (although that is such a nice minute or two to find), it just needs to fill my heart.
Serenity means something a little more difficult to me. It means to find myself filled, to know
that I am enough, to feel His spirit in my heart and in my soul, to really hear the answers to prayer and know that I am not alone. It truly does mean to find a place of calm within myself. A place where my troubles no longer are all I think of. For me, serenity is being free from worry and stress.
When I was young, I thought that you had to be old to experience either of those things, but as I have grown, I have learned to find them in the smallest moments and the wonder of the everyday blessings that are so much a part of my life. I have learned to see the tender mercies of the Savior in the world around me.
I find peace as I say my prayers, and mean them. I find peace as I help children with homework and kayak on a mountain lake. I find peace in the soaring of eagles and the beauty of a thunderstorm. I find peace when I see God’s hand in the world around me. I find peace when I quit looking for a quiet life and focus on amazing blessings. I find peace in the small, everyday matters of the heart.
I find serenity as I come to know my Heavenly Father. To realize that I am never truly alone and to find His promises are sure. I find serenity in the calm that comes after the storm. In the blessings that always follow a trial, and in the knowledge of His redeeming love.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Carest thou not that we perish?


"They (the Disciples) set sail upon the Sea of Galilee. The scriptures tell us that Jesus was weary, and He went to the back of the ship and fell asleep on a pillow. 2 Soon the skies darkened, and “there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves.” 3The storm raged. The disciples panicked. It seemed as though the boat would capsize, yet the Savior still slept. At last, they could wait no longer and they awakened Jesus. You can almost hear the anguish and despair in their voices as they pled with their Master, “Carest thou not that we perish?” 4Many today feel troubled and distressed; many feel that, at any moment, the ships of their lives could capsize or sink. It is to you who are looking for a safe harbor that I wish to speak today, you whose hearts are breaking, you who are worried or afraid, you who bear grief or the burdens of sin, you who feel no one is listening to your cries, you whose hearts are pleading, “Master, carest thou not that I perish?” To you I offer a few words of comfort and of counsel.
Be assured that there is a safe harbor. You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you. Your Heavenly Father—who knows when even a sparrow falls—knows of your heartache and suffering. He loves you and wants the best for you. Never doubt this. While He allows all of us to make choices that may not always be for our own or even others’ well-being, and while He does not always intervene in the course of events, He has promised the faithful peace even in their trials and tribulations".
In our own storms in life the Savior is our solace and our sanctuary. If we seek peace, we must come unto Him. He Himself spoke this eternal truth when He said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 17 When our souls are anchored in the safe harbor of the Savior, we can proclaim as did Paul: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed".                    Finding a Safe Harbor, Joseph B. Wirthlin

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Fill

Oh, it is Five Minute Friday again.  How I love this day.  The link up has moved over to Kate's Place, but the rules are the same and the hearts long to mesh one with another.  Won't you join us there as we fill each other with words of love?  Don't forget to comment on the one who went before you.
The word today is:
FILL


So Fill Your Heart With What's Important, 
And Be Done With All The Rest.

START

When we took the girls to camp this year, we wanted them to really focus on filling each other's buckets.  It was metaphorical of course, but we wanted them to really know that we can be kind, loving, patient, understanding, hopeful, thankful, happy and Christlike in all we do.   It isn't as hard as you think.  
We had a wishing well in the center of the great room at camp.  We put buckets in the wishing well, and during the day, the girls would put little notes in each others buckets.  They really seemed to love this, and gave each other encouraging thoughts all through camp.  
Sometimes, our buckets seem empty, but as we strive to fill the buckets or each other, we will find that our own bucket gets filled as well.  And I have noticed, that when my Heavenly Father fills my bucket, He tends to fill it all the way to the brim until it overwhelms me with goodness and love. 
When we are each filled with God's love, we can see and do and understand things that would otherwise be invisible to us.  Filled with his love, we can endure pain, conquer fear, forgive freely, renew strength, lift up the feeble knees and the hands that hang down.  We can bless and help others in ways surprising even to ourselves.   
We all have differences in life, and it can be so easy to point out the things we don't understand and to even make fun of them, but instead of spending out time pointing, wouldn't it be more Christlike to spend our time treating each other the way that He would.  
Let His love fill you and overflow from you as you work on filling up those who need it most.
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
STOP 

 Now it is your turn.  What can you write in just five minutes?  Don't forget to visit the one who linked up before you and fill their bucket too.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Long Way Around


WE CAN DO HARD THINGS!

I went hiking with all the girls in girls camp this year, It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  As we did this hike, all around the fingers of the lake and back and forth looking for something, anything that resembled a trail, I couldn't help by compare it to my own life. It seems to me as if there have been plenty of times when I just had to take the long way around.  I knew the road to travel, but for whatever reason known only to my crazy brain, I just had to try it my own way.  
I know that I have learned from those experiences.  I know that I have even become better because of most of them.  But often, I have had to question why the learning seems to be so much harder for me that it ought to be.  What is it that tempts me along the paths of the hard road?
I have learned that we all go through those "long way around" times in our lives.  The closer that I am able to be to my Heavenly Father, the easier the road is to find.  Many tears later, I wonder why I would not listen in the first place.  
It would be easy to blame those times on my life, on the things that happened to me to put me in that place, but that is also not the whole truth of it.  At some point, in each of our lives, we get to choose.  We get to make choices in spite of (or maybe even because of) our pasts.  We get to get out our own compass and map and find the right trail.  
I have learned that my past does not have to define my future.  I can change.  I can choose.  I can become.  We all get to do hard things.  The question is, are you making excuses, or are you making a trail?  It really is completely up to you.  

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.

And remember, you really can do it! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Weeding



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, August 5, 2014

Looking Sideways



I found this great quote on Pinterest.  I think it is now one of my newest favorites.  It is so easy to look sideways at everything.  It is easy to compare ourselves at our "worst", to everyone else at their Sunday Best.  It is so easy to get caught up in the world.  It is easy to look at beauty and not imagine ever being there.  It is easy for me to see my chubbiest and my grey hair and my wrinkles and not ever see the good qualities that I have taken a lifetime to develop.  
I just need to put on blinders and not worry about what sideways is telling me.  If I look up, the only words are hear are filled with love.  I know that I am a daughter of God.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Fear not.  You are my sheep.  
There is nothing the the words of God that is designed to make me feel like I am worthless.  Instead, there is so much in the scriptures that reminds me of those things that matter most in my life.  There are so many words that remind me that I am loved.  That I am valued.  That I am His.
So, my challenge to all of us, no matter what we might think of ourselves, is to simple look up.  Stop looking sideways and keep your focus on the One who matters most of all.  
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught, “Disciples of Jesus Christ understand that compared to eternity, our existence in this mortal sphere is only ‘a small moment’ in space and time (D&C 121:7). They know that a person’s true value has little to do with what the world holds in high esteem. … The Lord uses a scale very different from the world’s to weigh the worth of a soul” (“You Matter to Him,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 20, 22).

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Memoirs- Reminiscences

So, I am trying to start something new on Mondays.  I am learning to research my own ancestors, and am using words and sentences to help me remember parts of my own life as well.  I want to leave a Legacy for my own family to find.  So, the challenge is to write about the prompt and come back here and link up to share what you have written.   There is no time limit, so write however you would like too.  Write a sentence, paragraph or page but write something today!  Don't forget to come back with your link!


REMINISCENCES

Where did you attend first grade?

Memory Triggers- Favorite teacher, classroom walls, best 1st grade friend, favorite activity.
I went to first grade at Laird Elementary School in Tempe AZ.  I don't even remember the name of my first grade teacher, although I do know that I loved her.  She was kind to me.  School was about 1/2 mile from my house, and I walked with the other neighborhood kids every day.  This would have been around 1965 and we were not allowed to wear pants or shorts to school.   I had "dirty blond" hair (that is a color by the way and it was not actually dirty!) and also white glasses that were very visible on my face.  
My mother said that I broke everything, so she bought me glasses for kids that were plastic.  They were very old fashioned and I cringe even today when I see things like them come back in style.  Amazing how the things that go around come back around again, even when they really should stay gone.  
The girls all had to wear dresses to school.  It wasn't until I got into the older grades that I learned how to sneak shorts under my dresses.  In first grade, I did not know those things.  I was a tom boy and loved to swing and slide and run and was forever ruining my dresses.  I remember wishing that I could be a boy so that I could wear pants.  
We had to be polite in first grade.  We did workbooks and writing and learned our letters too.  We also learned classical music and listened to it often in class.  I loved school when I was young.  I wanted to do well, but really struggled sometimes.  I think I was a bit of a daydreamer and that was frowned upon by the school.  We were supposed to draw what we were told and write what we were told and really not think for ourselves.  
I learned to read in first grade.  It was very boring stuff called "Fun with Jack and Jill".  I remember because I didn't like those books, but they opened up a different world for me later on.  Our slide was very high and silver metal.  You couldn't slide down it when the sun was too hot.  We had swings and a merry-go-round also.  I loved to grab the bars and "fly" as it twirled.  We also had monkey bars that I loved, but was forever in trouble for getting on because it wasn't "ladylike".  In my life, I came to hate that word!
I was the smallest girl in first grade.  I tended to be picked on by the bigger kids, and my mom was divorced, so that alone made me different.  In those days, parents were supposed to stay together and when they did not, the children were the ones who struggled.  Of course, women made less than men then, so I think it was rough on my mom too.  I remember that she worked every night.  I went to a babysitter's house in the afternoons until my mother got home.  
School was always something that I looked forward too, at least in those early years.  I had friends, and I wanted to do well.  It is so different today than the lessons that I had then.  I think that I was learning in first grade, what my grandchildren are learning in Kindergarten.  It is amazing when I think of how much knowledge these children today are learning.  
Ok, now it is your turn to write about first grade.  What are your memories about that time?  Don't forget to come back here and link up so that I can read what you write too.