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, September 26, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Because

Today is a day I really look forward to.  It is a day to just write without worrying whether it is just right or not.  It is a day when we can say the words that need saying in just five minutes.  I hope that you take a few moments of your own time to join the rest of us over at Heading Home.  Kate writes good words.  Don't forget to leave a comment for the person who left their own words before yours.

Today, the prompt is:



Because we sin,
We needed a Savior.
Because we aren't perfect,
God sent His Son.
Because He sent His Son,
We know that He loves us.
Because that Son bleed and died,
We can have eternal life.
Because He was resurrected,
We can be resurrected like Him.
Because He atoned for our sins,
We can repent and become clean.
Because He loves us,
He wants us to love each other.
Because we try and be like Him,
We are kinder and more tender.
Because we try and do good,
other hearts are touched.
Because we care,
lives are changed.
Because He is the son of God,
my life has been blessed.
Because of His life and love and gifts,
All that I have is enough.


Now it is your turn.  What can you write in your own five minutes?  Don't forget to join us over at Kate's Place and share!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Bruise

Failure is a Bruise
Not a tattoo.

I know some pretty wonderful people who have made a few mistakes.  As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that not a single one of us has the right to judge anyone else for their sins.  I believe that we don't have to love the sin, but we do need to love the sinner.  After all, we can't help them turn back to a loving Heavenly Father if we don't teach them that they are lovable and have worth in His eyes.  
I live in a small town.  It can be a hard place.  Every once in a while, something will happen and the entire town can't seem to gossip enough about it.  It breaks my heart to hear the judging and the condemning that goes on.  Especially when the mistake is one by a teen or a child.
It can be very hard to live down a sin.  In a larger town, you can escape the gossip sometimes.  In our small one, if follows you every where.  Do you remember the song "Mary had a little lamb"?  Sometimes I wonder if that lamb was her sin.  "It followed her to school one day.  It made the children laugh and play to see a lamb at school".  That is so much like sin.  Others laugh and make fun over a situation that they only think they know about.  They point fingers and ridicule and tease.  All in the name of fun, of course.
My point is simply that we never know when the words we speak will hurt another.  We can take a pretty good guess though that if we are busy pointing out their weaknesses, they are probably not done in a Christ like spirit.  Sin does not last forever.  It only lasts as long as we continue to give it power over us.
Let us all take a moment today to be just a little kinder to those that we might believe don't deserve our kindness.  Someone whom our hearts tells us Christ loves, but our minds keep telling us differently.  Maybe someone a little like me.  A sinner, but someone who is trying the best she knows how to be closer to Him.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Crazy Dog!

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, September 23, 2014

The Dance

When you dance,
your purpose is not
to get to a certain place on the floor,
It's to enjoy each step
along the way.  

It is easy to get caught up in where you should be, or where you want to be, or even where you might think everyone else is.  Sometimes, we get so focused on the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey.  We keep missing the things around us because we are looking ahead to the next phase.  Like, when they laugh, when they crawl, when they walk, when they run, when they play sports, when they go to school, when they are in middle school, when they are teenagers, when they leave home.  
Our goal as parents is to raise children that are independent, self supporting and happy adults.  But if we become so focused on getting them there, we will forget to enjoy the small everyday moments that have become the breath of fresh air in my own world.  We forget to enjoy all the steps.  We forget to leave the "if only" behind.  
All of us would change things if we could about the past.  But those things we would change are not about hurrying faster, or doing more.  Most of the things I would change would be the time I didn't get to spend with them.  I think that I would choose to laugh more, to play more, to show them how much I loved them more.  I would want them to know how beautiful they are, how grateful I am for them everyday.  I would hold them more and scold them less.  I would want them to believe in themselves more, to know that I believed in them always.  
I would want to introduce them to the God that I have come to love.  I would teach them that He is always there, in the hard times and the sad times and the hopeless feeling times.  I would teach them to reach out to Him no matter what the sin, no matter how lost you feel, or how forgotten you think you might be.
If I could go back, the things that I would do more of are always those things that matter the most.  As I grow older, my eyes are opened more and I can see that each step we take should be cherished, enjoyed and lived in.  Our loving Heavenly Father does not expect us to always look toward the future.  He wants us to live in the present.  To be a part of our families and our friends.  He wants us to forget about where we are going, and focus on the movement along the way.  
I believe that He wants us to enjoy the dance.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Memoir Monday - Called to Do a Work

Rescue a story about an event or action you felt called to do. This story will be a valuable addition to your legacy stories collection.
I would say that one of the greatest things that I have been called to do happened back in the summer of 1976.  I was in Rexburg Idaho with a friend and the Teton Dam broke.  We were both 16 years old and wanted to help.  We were able to sandbag along the river in Idaho Falls to try and keep the flooding to a minimum.  We were also called upon to help clean up the basements of those in the Rexburg area.  We helped in bucket brigades that hauled mud and muck out of basements.  It was smelly, hot work.  We were transported by bus every morning to somewhere new.  We would help people clean out their basements and houses.  The floods had done so much damage. 
As I traveled around, I saw dead animals on top of roofs, along with couches and even TV sets.  I saw bloating, dead pigs and cows along the road.  It took all summer to even begin to get things cleaned up.  I would help bring up two year supplies of food from the muddy recesses of basements, only to have the State and Government tell the people that all of it was bad.  I watched families cry over pictures that were completely ruined.  So many things were lost and could not be replaced.  
I loved helping.  I didn't mind the mud or the smell.  It felt so good to be making a difference in the lives of those people.  I watched the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, put all the homeless up in the dorms of the college.  They fed us in the cafeteria and they even trucked clothes through Deseret Industries.   I was amazed at the organization and the ability to keep everyone safe.  
Only a few people lost their lives.  They were either right under the dam when it burst, or they refused to leave their homes.  It was such an amazing experience to be a part of.  To see an entire community come together, work together, help each other, and start to pull themselves out of an awful situation.  
It was a summer of hard work.  It was even harder to watch those who lost everything.  Most of the homes ended up being torn down and rebuilt.  There was agony, strength and miracles to behold.  The church building only had a little damage in the chapel.  We tore the carpet out and took out the pews.  The damage was repaired.  But right across the street, the flood waters washed the houses right off their foundations.  
I will never forget the summer of my 17th year.  I saw more in that one place than I have ever seen in my life.  I saw love and grief and sorry and great joy.  I met a Prophet of God in the hallway of the Manwaring Center.  I even got to talk with him and felt like I stood in the presence of the Lord's anointed.  The experience touched my heart in ways that were never the same.  I grew so much with those opportunities.  

Now it is your turn.  What can you write for your Memoir Monday.  Come back and link up your own story.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Patience

Patience is not the ability to wait. 
Waiting is a fact of life. 
Patience is the ability to keep 
a good attitude while waiting. 
Joyce Meyers

I really love this quote.  I think there are times that we all struggle with the ability to wait.  Either the ability to wait for good things to happen, or the ability to wait for the bad things to go away.  Waiting truly is a fact of life.   We wait for everything.  I have customers that come into the Post Office and they are not good at waiting.  They get frustrated if the wait is more than 30 seconds.  I find it interesting that they have such a hard time waiting for the people in front of them and then such a hard time leaving when it is their turn.  
I am going to work on my own attitude while I am waiting.  A smile, a kind word, or even letting someone go first in line just might remind me how blessed I am.  Patience is hard to cultivate.  I realize now that it is even harder than I thought.  It is not about the waiting at all, it is all about how we wait and what we do while we are waiting.  
Isn't it interesting how Christlike our behavior needs to become, even or especially when it is not what we are thinking about.  We live in a world that is always in a hurry.  We drive fast from here to there and we have drive throughs and Quick Trips.  We don't even always cook our own dinner or take leftovers for lunch.  Life is a hurry to live and we forget to savor the moments.  Perhaps waiting is the time when we can spend savoring our opportunities to do better and to remember Him.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Hold

Today is Friday, at last.  I am so glad it is here.  This is the day that I join with a bunch of other writers and write whether it is just right or not.  I hope that you all join in over at Kate's Place with the rest of us.  Don't forget to read and comment on the person who linked up before you did.
Today, the prompt is



One of my all time, favorite quotes is:  "I am sure our Heavenly Father is displeased when we call ourselves, "nobody", as children of God, we are somebody.  He will build us, lift us and magnify us if we will but hold our heads up, our arms out, and walk with Him.  

I have been guilty of feeling like a "nobody".  I have been guilty of letting my head hang down.  I have been guilty of forgetting that I am also His.  
Sometimes, the hardest thing we do is to simply hold on.  To keep moving forward when everything seems to conspire against us to pull us down and back.  Sometimes, we just need to reach out for Him and hold on with everything we've got left.  He never lets go of us.  It is always us who let go of Him.
I remember when my girls were very young, one of them was very stubborn, and wanted everything to be her way.  She wanted to run ahead and leave the rest of us far behind. She wanted to be wherever we currently weren't.  No matter what we did, it was not the outcome that she wanted for herself.  
I was holding her hand and we were in a very crowded place.  She pulled with all her might and took off running.  I did not let go, she did.  She made it impossible for me to hold on.  She got lost.  It took us awhile to find her.  As I wiped her tear-streaked face and held her trembling body close, she asked me why I let go.  I told her that I did not.  She pulled away and slipped off into the crowds where I couldn't see her.  She told me that I was lost and she was afraid.  
"I know", I said to her, "I know.  Tell you what, you hold onto my hand and don't let go and I will promise you that I will never be lost again."  She thought about that for a moment and said, "OK, mom.  I don't like it when you get lost, it scareded me.  Don't do it again".  
So, she held my big hand in her little one and we were both not lost that day.
As children of God, we are all Somebodies.  Hold your arms out to Him and remember that He never, ever will let you go.  


Now it is your turn.  What can you write in only five short minutes?  Don't forget to join the rest of us over at Heading Home.  I can't wait to hold on to your words today.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Argument

You don't have to attend
Every argument
You are invited to.

It really does take at least two people to argue.  Or, in our family, more like six.  Not too long ago, I had an argument with one of my adult children.  It doesn't happen very often.  I love them so much, and I think that most of the time, I am willing to forgo the argument for the relationship.  But every once in awhile, my world is rocked by something that is said.  
Interestingly enough, for all the times that my children have seen and been around depression, they don't handle it well when it is me that is depressed.  Somehow it is easy to get caught up in the "how could you say that" and the "how could you even think that".  They have been through a lot in their lives and I realize that they don't want to see their mother struggle inside a black place.  However, I really felt at the time that I had heard enough.  It was hurtful to me.  Not because I misunderstood, but because it threw me back into the chaos of the past.  
Sometimes I think that the past will never let me escape it's dark clutches.  I feel like I have to keep paying the price for sins that were not my own.  It is bad enough when you make mistakes as a parent, but when someone else makes them for you, well, let's just say that you never quite get over the guilt and anguish for not fixing it.  
My one strong ability is to love those around me, no matter what they have done.  I genuinely care for each one of my children, no matter their age or their choices.  That does not mean that it doesn't hurt.  That does not mean that I don't feel.  It does mean, that I need to be loving enough not to attend the argument.  Something for me to work on next time.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Monsoon

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, September 16, 2014

What You Leave

The measure of a woman's Character
Is not what she gets from her ancestors,
But what she leaves her descendants.

I have ancestors that traveled on the Mayflower and ancestors that came from foreign lands and ancestors that traveled across the plains and even helped to settle the current State where I live.  I have ancestors that are vikings and ancestors that are royalty.  I am sure I have some unsavory characters in there somewhere too.
Some of my ancestors embraced the faith that I carry on today and some did not.  But they all struggled and they all worked and toiled and survived all manner of trials.  My character is not built on what my ancestors have done.  I had nothing to do with those things.  I have never worked at a blacksmith shop, or collected dolls, or traveled on a ship across many waters.  I have never had to deal with the exhaustion of a long journey by wagon, or the roll of the sea beneath booted viking feet.
What happened in the past gave me opportunities today (or not) but it doesn't define who I really am.
My character is developed by me.  By the choices I make and the way that I live.  It comes from the changes that I make and how I overcome my own trials.  My character is determined by the values that I keep and the way my posterity thinks of me.  I suppose it depends a lot on what they remember me for.
I know what I want them to think of when they think of me.  I hope it is always with love.  As much as I remember and love the Lord in my life, I want them each to know that they are loved.  No matter what choices they have made or will make, I will still love them.  I cherish them in my heart and in my very soul.
I would want to leave them a legacy of love.  I would want them to know that we can change anything we want to change.  We can become whoever we want to become.  I have overcome many trials and even life altering events in my life.  I have been a better woman and a better mother because of those things.  I have tried to teach my children that their life is simply a reflection of their own choices.  No matter what happens to us in our journeys, there is nothing that damages us more than the atonement can heal.  There is nothing that can take God's love away from us.  So, reach out your hand and your heart and know that you will always be loved.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Memoir Monday - Childhood Fear

What is something you were afraid of as a child?
For me, it was always the dark.  I was terrified of the night.  That blanket of darkness that would swoop down and take away my sight.  My heart would thump in my chest and I just knew that something awful was going to happen to me. 
The darkness was something that hid my deepest fears.  The monsters that went bump in the night came from there.  I had a very vivid imagination.  I still do actually, and to this day, I won’t watch scary movies. 
During that time of my life, my brother and I shared a room, and I would lay awake, long after he was sleeping, watching in the darkness.  One night, I saw eyes in my window.  They were shiny in the night.  I was terrified, too scared to even scream.  I could see the face trying to look in the window.   It became my first real experience with prayer.  I had just learned about using prayer to calm a troubled heart.  I know that I clasped my hands together tightly and prayed with all my might.  I was too afraid to close my eyes, but in spite of that, eventually the eyes went away and I was able to go to sleep.  I have never forgotten the comforting feeling that washed through me when I prayed.  I knew that all would be well.  I felt safe for the first time in the darkness.
I was fine in the dark when someone was with me, even if it were my younger brother or sister.  I could handle being in the night as long as I wasn’t alone.  As I grew into a teenager, we would spend evenings walking in the quiet desert.  We could see the brilliance of the stars overhead and the welcome light from the full moon.  Sometimes we would light a fire in one of the sandy washes and roast marshmallows while talking and laughing.  The desert is a wonderful place with friends. 
You could smell the mesquite trees in the spring and especially after a rain.  There is nothing quite like the smell of the rain in the washes of the desert.  The first few sprinkles will bring out the smell of mesquite and of earth.  If I close my eyes, the memory still comes back to me;  the thunder in the distance, crashing in large, jagged lightening streaks in the sky, the smells of rain all around me and the sounds of a summer thunderstorm.
It was the aloneness that got to me.  We lived in the city, but back then, it was quiet at night.  There were big river toads that came out in the monsoon season in the desert.  There were owls and hawks.  There were crickets that made a loud symphony of sound in the evening twilight. 
I remember walking outside my door one night and finding a frog on the doorstep that was bigger than one of my shoes.  It scared me sitting there all silent and creepy, then it’s throat bubbled out and it made a very loud sound.  I was not expecting that! 
I have never quite gotten over my fear of darkness.  It feels like anything can happen once the lights are gone and then I become afraid.  I am good when my husband is home, but I don’t like being the only adult in the house at night.  Usually, I need to leave the television on so that I am comforted by the sound of other voices. 
It is funny how that one childhood fear has stayed with me all my life.  Even now, when I am old enough to know better, the fear is still there. 
Today, we live in a small town.  There are no lights after dark and it is a deep dark that surrounds us.  I still find myself afraid when I am alone.  I still have a need to others to be with me.  I still want to feel protection.  I don’t like the dark, but without it, I would never see the stars that twinkle brightly overhead.  I would not see the face of the man in the moon looking down at me and my silly fear.  I would miss the sound of the night whispering in my ears. 
I have learned that with others, I can face my fear of the night. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Not Perfect

God is fully aware
That you and I are 
Not Perfect.
Let me add,
God is also fully aware
That the people you think
Are perfect,
Are not.

And yet, we spend so much time and energy
comparing ourselves to others - usually comparing
our weaknesses to their strengths
...As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts
Because they seem to be less
Than what someone else does.
Deiter F. Uchtdorf

I hope today, that we each celebrate our own strengths.  Our own efforts.  Our own successes.  They are there within.  Our Heavenly Father did not send us to this earth without strengths.  He did not send us here to compete against everyone else.  The only person that we should ever compare ourselves to is the person that we were yesterday.  Honor your trials and your journey, and especially honor the overcoming of your difficulties.    
Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Ready

Today is Friday.  You have another wonderful chance to join us over at Kate's Place which is called Heading Home, and write about the weekly prompt.  Don't forget, this is the time when you get to write for five minutes flat; no editing, no erasing.  Just write without worrying about whether it is just right or not.  Then link over at Kate's and join the rest of us.  Make sure to comment on a few other posts and let them know you care!  I can't wait to hear what you write on today's prompt.  It is:

: prepared to do something
: properly prepared or finished and available for use
: almost about to do something

Ready, set, go!  How many times in life have I heard those words?  The first time you  jumped off the high dive, and my heart hammered in my chest as I wondered if you could really swim good enough.  The first time you tried to compete in a race, tripped over the hurdle and came in last place, limping across the finish line with skinned knees and elbows.  The first time you went climbing and repelling and got stuck on the cliff, clinging for dear life until I could go up and get you.   
In my life, I have been told that if I waited until I was ready, I would never manage to do anything.  There has always been a lot of truth in that.  I was not ready at 17 to get married.  I was not ready to have a baby at 18.  I was not ready to have more than one, or two, or three.  I was not ready to make decisions, live alone, raise children by myself.  I was not ready to start over again.
I have come to find, that we are never really ready for the challenges and even blessings that life hands to us.  How can we be?  Being ready just might entail knowing what is in store.  It would mean knowing the ending as well as the beginning and the middle.  When we are going through tough times, we don’t even understand what might be waiting around the next corner.  We just have to hope and pray and trust in Him.  We just have to take a deep breath and move forward, one step at a time.  We just need to reach out for His hand and know that He will be there to catch us when we fall.  Learning to be ready, means learning to trust in Him, even (or especially) when you know, that you can’t trust in yourself.  
Life is all about how you handle plan “B”. 

Now it is your turn.  What can you be ready for in just five minutes?  Don't forget to link back over at Heading Home and join the rest of us.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Be True To Your Faith

I am not asking you to pretend to have faith 
you do not have. 
I am asking you to be true to the faith 
you do have.
Elder Holland

I have some adult children that I hope will one day read this.  I want them to know that I do have faith.  That is did not come quickly.  That I struggled for it just like them.  I want them to know that whatever faith they have is enough for now.  
I love this quote from Elder Holland.  I don’t believe that Heavenly Father wants us to pretend to anything.  If there is one thing that I have learned in my life, it is that we are all in different places with our faith and our testimonies and even with our willingness to learn and grow.  He does not expect us to pretend to be anyone that we are not. 
I have been blessed to know some pretty amazing people in my life.  One couple, embraced the gospel and struggled.  They had problems with people and teachings and study and even prayer.  We all knew about the problems that they were having and it was necessary to step up and help them through it.  It was a teaching opportunity for all of us.  They asked questions, they went out with the missionaries, we went to their house, they kept learning.  I know that it strengthened my own testimony to find the answers to their many questions and to try and work with them and help them along. 
Another couple seemed to embrace the gospel and believe everything they heard.  They did not ask questions.  They did not seem to struggle.  Everything on the outside was going great.  But internally, they were going through the same exact things that the first couple was.  The difference was that their faith was never strengthened.  Their testimonies withered.  I failed them because I did not see or understand that there were problems until it was too late to help and they no longer were willing to accept the help.  They became inactive and eventually joined another church.
I wish that these experiences were only those two couple’s, unfortunately, I have seen it happen time and time again.  I have come to understand that one of the biggest problems we seem to deal with is pretending you have faith when you actually do not.  This causes many of the problems that you will face later on in your journey.  It is pretending that you don’t have doubts.  It is pretending that you are farther along than you really are.  It is pretending to be the person that you think everyone else expects you to be.  
When you pretend to be strong, no one is aware that you need help.  They aren’t praying for you or checking on you and trying to bless you.  They aren't serving you or taking you along to serve others.  When you are pretending, the doubts can’t be addressed and no one realizes that you are in a crisis until it is over. 
In a very tragic way it is like pretending that you don’t have cancer, when in reality, you are dying from it.  No one knows that you need help, that you need their strength, that you need their love and prayers.  No one is aware because we are all so busy with our own lives.  It is not that we don’t want to help.  It is not that we don’t care.  It is simply that we are busy and overwhelmed with our own different problems.  Sometimes, we need to recognize an opportunity to be a blessing in someone else’s life.  We need a reason to look out for you.  I wish I were perfect in that respect, that I could just read your mind and know, but I am not.  I am only human and I don't always notice the things that I should.  
Where ever we are in our own spiritual journey is OK.  Whatever we have as faith is good.  But whatever we have, we need to be true to that faith.  If you have faith that prayers work, than pray!  Be believing in the Lord’s blessings in your life.  If you struggle with prayer, than let others know.  Study to find out what the problem is.  Work on it little by little.  Just because you don't understand a concept now, doesn't mean that you won't understand in the future.  Don't push everything aside because you don't get it right this minute.  The Lord never intended for you and I to become perfect in a single day.  It will take well into eternity.  The questions will all be answered.  You will understand.  
Whatever current state your faith is in, be true to it.  Know that you are never alone.  Know that you are loved and needed.  Know that the Lord wants to bless you and is waiting to bless you as you draw ever closer to Him.  Don't abandon the things that are true just because it is a difficult road.  All of our journeys are difficult.  All of us have problems.  All of us need Him in our lives.  Each one of us has faith.  It is up to you to cling to that which you have and nurture it and cherish it.  Be true to your faith, whatever it might be.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Best Friends

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, September 9, 2014

The Lies We Believe

“Sometimes, our thoughts are backed 
by so much insecurity, 
that they create lies we believe”. 

I love this thought. It has been so true in my life. I really am working to make it better. A really good example of this is how we remember things when we are young. Several years ago, I went back to the neighborhood where I grew up. I walked to the school that I attended for elementary school, I looked at the apartment that I lived it. I drove the alley where we used to play cowboys and Indians and shoot each other with cap guns.

In my mind, the walk to school is so much longer than it really is, the apartment was so much bigger, and the alley was not a dusty track of gravel filled with trash and empty bottles. In my mind, I see the things that happened, but they are all bigger and somehow more, than reality. There are no more fields filled with tumble weeds waiting for us to build forts, there are no more canals to swim in.

My adult eyes see the area as not such a grand place.

My adult eyes see things that the child never did.

My adult eyes miss the wonder that the child once believed it.

My life has been filled with insecurity. I have large blanks in my memories. I don’t remember really being happy. There are few times that I remember laughing and having good family times. I know we did, at least once in a while, but I honestly don’t remember much of the good that had to be there. That must have existed in the world I knew.  I know it was, because my brother and sister remember good times. Sometimes, they even remind me and then I remember. They reminded me of going to pick an ice cream cone on Friday nights when my mom got paid. We all got to pick our favorite colors and flavors. My mom always got daiquiri ice. My sister always got bubble gum. I still can’t remember what I would get, but knowing me, it was probably some form of chocolate.

I tend to remember the bad times that I have been through. They live forever in my head and color my view of what reality was. I remember falling on my bike and needing stitches. I remember passing out when I got a penicillin shot. I remember heartache and not having friends.  I remember too much grief and pain and too little love and appreciation.

If it was not good, I remember those things.

My point is that both sides are a form of the truth. There were good times in my childhood, but there were also really bad ones. I had so much insecurity in my life, that the world became a scary place to live. I didn’t want to remember it and so, I have conveniently, forgotten everything that might be important.

My heart sometimes wishes that I could remember the good things that my brother and sister do, but my head creates another life for me, another form of reality. Things are like that to a point for all of us. We all remember things just a little bit differently. We remember heartaches differently as well as kindnesses. We hurt differently, we endure differently, we grieve differently. We all feel our pasts. We all remember our insecurities. We all create our own versions of truth and lies.  Interestingly, we even start to believe "if you don't remember it my way, you are lying".

So maybe, just maybe, we all ought to be just a little kinder to each other and try to understand just a little more. We need to open our hearts to the love that surrounds us. We need to let go of those things in the past that we are holding onto and that are holding on to us. We need to believe that He can Heal every single part of us. 
He knows us, He knows our insecurities and our thoughts and every single one of our lies. 
And yet, He loves us in spite of our worst selves. 
He loves us for the truths that we will come to know. 
He loves us for the hearts that are overcome with goodness. 
He loves us in our doubting.  
He loves us in all our imperfections.  
He simply loves us. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Memoir Monday - Talent

Describe a special talent you have used to your advantage.

I suppose that the only talent I have used to my advantage is writing.  I never knew how to write.  When I was young, I did not get good grades in English.  I did however, read like a crazy person.  I was reading at college level by the time I was in 7th Grade.   I wrote for the school newspaper in 7th grade, but did not do it for High School.  I also wrote poems about things that I felt strongly about.  Funny thing, I found out after my mother died that she even saved some of them.  I never felt like they were very good, but it was nice to know that she thought so. 
When I finally got to go to college, I did not know the first thing about writing formats or how to put together a paper.  I did not know what MLA was or APA.  I did not even know there was a difference.  Imagine my shock when I had certain teachers that wanted it one way, and others who wanted it a different way.  I had a lot to learn.  I took classes in writing.  I learned how to format papers and how to research.  I learned how to write and what to write.  When it came time to work on my Master’s Degree, I even had to write a 5 page paper every single week, along with a 10 to 15 page group paper.  I learned to write. 
Once I had an MBA, then I was able to put that to use and write in my job.  I wrote reports, I did investigations.  I learned how to put the: who, what, where, when, why and how, into everything. 
I learned that I actually like writing.  I like doing investigative reports.  I like interviewing others, I like hiring, I like writing grievances and arguments. 
But the best thing I write is not for work.  I like writing on my blog.  I like finding the positive in my very ordinary life.  I love to share the Love of my Heavenly Father with others.  I know that not everyone believes the way that I do, but I really want to share the personal love of our Heavenly Father.  I hope through writing, that I can help others to see and feel and know some of the things that are most important to me. 
Writing has been an advantage in my work, in church, and even in my family.  I write because it frees my heart from struggle.  Writing gives me wings of words to carry me on and to send a little hope to others.  Writing lets me work through my hurt and through my lack of understanding.  It is a way for me to express how I am feeling and even why I am feeling that way.  Some of my writing is dark, but most of it looks for the sunshine behind the clouds.
Someday, I dream of writing a book.  Interestingly, as much as I love fiction, that is not what I want to write.  I want to write something that reminds others that they are better than the think, that they have more than they could ever imagine, that they are loved more than they can possibly believe.  I want to write something that leaves people with the knowledge of who they are and whose they are. I want to write something that makes a difference in the lives of my own posterity.   
Words on a Page
by Patricia A Pitterle

Words on a page, flowing forth 
Good and bad, all in a row.
Each sentence now becoming clear  
With words that make them flow.

Sometimes, life throws obstacles
Like rocks, along the way.
The words I write will help me know
The darkness isn't where I'll stay.

I keep searching for the positive,
Hidden here along the trail.
He suffered too, I'm not alone
and His love never fails.

He won’t stop protecting me,
He won’t forget I’m here.
He knows all about me.
He knows I need Him near.

And so I keep on writing
Words of truth to help me see.
His love burns within my heart
His hands reach out to me.

I have seen His miracles,
And I have felt His grace,
He holds me tight within His arms
Safe in His embrace. 

Now it is your turn.  What talent to you have in your own life?  Don't forget to link back up and share.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Whisper

Today is the day that I love.  I get to join with a bunch of other women who love to write just as much as I do.  I hope you take a minute to join us over at Kate's place and leave your own five minutes of joy with the rest of us.  Today's prompt is:


Many years ago, I found a scripture that I love with all my heart. It is found in 
1 Kings 19:11-12
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice
Sometimes, our lives can be hard. We cry out to the Lord and want Him to answer with a shout, or at least a talking voice. We want desperately to know that He hears us and that He knows us and that He will take the burden from us. We want Him to punish those who hurt us or who hurt others. We want Him to fix it all. To somehow make it not hurt anymore. We want Him to be a fixer of all pain, a healer of all hurts and we want it right now.

I have had to learn that the Lord doesn’t usually shout at us. His voice doesn’t roar. It is a very small whisper of hope. And if we are not paying attention, it is drowned out in the noise of everything else around us. It becomes nearly impossible to hear.

Sometimes, in my heart, the Lord is so real to me that I can’t believe I don’t hear Him all the time. I can’t believe that I allow the noise of all the things that aren’t important to drown out the whispers of everything that is most important. I have learned that the Lord doesn’t stop whispering to His children, we simply stop listening to that still small voice.

He loves us. He wants us to know that. He knows your face. He knows your name. He knows exactly what you need. I have found that I am more willing to listen when my heart is aching; when my future seems uncertain; when I have tears upon my cheeks. His whispers bring me comfort and help me to change; they bring me peace in the turmoil of the world.

Hope whispers whenever we have difficulties; whenever we face trials and adversity. Hope whispers with a gentle touch and a heavenly breath. His is always the voice of Hope. He would never whisper discouragement or anger. He whispers hope, peace, love and trust. He whispers kindness. He whispers, every single day, He whispers.

Now it is your turn.  What can you write in just five minutes?  Don't forget to link up over at Kate's Place.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Be a Message

Too many times, we try and preach our beliefs, instead of just live them.  It doesn't matter what religion you are, it doesn't matter whether or not you have faith, it doesn't matter what you think I need to believe.  What does matter, is how are you living?  It is easy to preach at people, to tell them the things you think they should know.  But if you really look at the teaching of Jesus, he didn't preach much.  He lived by what He taught.  
One of my all time favorite parables is about the good samaritan.  It is found in Luke 10:25-37.
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, andwounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gavethem to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

He taught us to be kind to the Samaritan, that the samaritan was our neighbor even though the common belief among the jews of that time was that the Samaritan was inferior to them.  Someone who was hated and despised.  Yet, the parable is that a man of Samaria was kind and helped when no one else would, not a Levite or a Priest, both of whom were esteemed men.  
I know that it is easy to judge.  It is easy to see others as the Jews saw the people of Samaria.  It is easy to see people with differences as not being good enough.  There are many around us who look or act differently than others and it becomes way too easy to think that they must not be as good as you.  But the problem with that is that we are all sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us.  
I have learned in my life, that when the hurting was more than I could bear, God always, ALWAYS, sent someone to me who would be a message for me.  Someone who would be willing to bear my burden.  Someone who would listen.  He sent them to be His mouth and His hands.  He sent them to show His love.  
All the sermons I have ever heard have never meant as much to me as the times that those children of God have spent just being there for me in my pain.  Sometimes, most of the time, we have to do more than preach at people.  We need to really learn to love them.  Only when they cease to be Samaritans in our minds, will we find those things the Savior taught.  Only then, will we learn what love really means.  That it transcends all things.  That it is not about who someone is right this moment, but about who they can become that matters.  
The message has always been about His love.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Hey Mom!

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, September 2, 2014

Chicken Mites

Who ever heard of chicken mites? Not me, that is until this weekend. We have chickens in our backyard. They lay eggs, we eat the eggs and sometimes we eat the chickens, although, I must admit that it is a hard thing to kill them and we don’t like doing it. I think I need to find someone else to butcher the chickens. The chickens have stopped laying and we have been talking about getting new ones, but the ones we have are not that old yet. Then, my husband went out to the chicken coop and for two days in a row got eaten alive by something very small.
I, being the internet expert in our family, (that is not saying much, believe me) got online and discovered chicken mites. Sure enough, our chickens had all the symptoms.
Now, these pesky critters are really small. They are smaller than the head of a pin. They come out at night and suck the blood of the chickens. They can cause them to stop laying, then they can cause anemia and even death. I had no idea. In the several years of backyard chicken roosting, we have never even seen chicken mites.
So, we did what the internet recommended on several sites. We had to clean the coop (not a fun job). First we had to spray it to get the mites so they wouldn’t bite us. Then we had to clean and scrub and put down a pesticide dust into all the cracks in the wood and into all the nesting boxes. They we covered everything with new straw. We cleaned all the water and feed containers and last, we cornered the chickens and “dusted” them with the pesticide.
I don’t like pesticide and prefer to do things naturally if possible, but I read that the natural stuff only works as a preventive and not once you have an infestation. So, pesticide it is.
You would think, since we were trying to help the chickens, that they would be appreciative and let us help. Not even close. Chickens are fast!! They run like crazy and we finally had to get out a fish net to try and catch them.
It was crazy and I did not take pictures. My husband would have definitely not been happy as he was the one chasing the chickens. Once they are caught, they have to be dusted on their vents and under each wing. Then we put them in the newly cleaned chicken house, so that we could tell who was dusted and who wasn’t.
They were not happy about the entire process, especially the roosters. Those guys are pretty mean and they are not safe with their pointy feet and beaks.
I could never have imagined the work involved in trying to get rid of a teeny, tiny bug. We put diatomaceous earth down for the chickens to give themselves dust baths in and got out of the way once everything was done.
We were exhausted, and the best part is that we get to do it all again in seven days and then in seven days after that.

There is a good lesson in our experience with chicken mites though, I thought it might be good to share with you.
They are tiny and seem harmless, kind of like “little” sins. You might think that one or two won’t hurt you. After all, who would notice? The problem with sin, is that like the mites, it multiplies. It becomes easier and easier to do again and again. Soon, it can overwhelm you and you might even start to like where you are for a while. After all, one of Satan’s best tools is the fact that sin can seem harmless and even “fun”.
Soon, those “little” sins, lead to more and more. It becomes difficult to stop. Soon, what seemed like fun can become a habit. The more it becomes a habit, the harder it is to stop. The more it takes cleaning up and pushing out. The more help you require to do it. The more difficult it is because you have gotten so used to living with the mites of sin, that you might not even think you are able to get rid of them, or even worse, that you will ever be worthy of being loved again.
Our Heavenly Father loves us. Like the prodigal son in Luke, He wants us all to return. He wants us to be willing to come home. The gift is that He not only wants us too, He will literally run to meet us. He will celebrate with us. He will bless our lives and help us to live the way we should. He will be the one who helps us get rid of all the mites in our lives. All He asks us to do is come to Him. Partake of His grace. Feel His tender mercies and be free.

"The worst sin that you can commit
is any sin that you think
you can get away with."  
Elder David A. Bednar

Monday, September 1, 2014

Memoir Monday - Depression

So, it is Monday again and I am hosting a link up about your memoirs.  Today, I made it simple.  I would love to have you contribute and post your own Monday Memoir.  You can make it as long or as short as you want to.  Today the prompt is:

Describe one of your greatest life challenges

I have had many challenges in my life.  Some, I overcome with grace and perseverance, some, well, not so much.  I think the one that has been the hardest one for me is depression.  It is so much like the cloudy night sky in the picture that I took above.  The light is far away and hard to reach.  It is hard to see in the darkness too.  I focus so much on what is right in front of me, that I can't possibly see the bigger picture that I know is there.  
I have fought the battle with depression most of my life.  It started in my childhood and just kept getting worse.  I did not seek treatment until I was about 25 years old.  Mostly, I did not know what was the matter with me.  I was always sad, but never knew why.  I grew up being down and not smiling.  My parents always called me "Sad Sack".  It was not meant as a compliment.  
In our life, emotional difficulties were not allowed.  It was just a part of growing up and you needed to deal with it.  I don't want to talk about the possible reasons for my depression, or about the times that I really wanted to hurt myself.  Though they were always there.  
I do want to say that I am now in my 50's and I still fight with it.  I have been on medication off and on since my 20's.  Usually for about five years and then off for about three years and then back on again when I start recognizing the symptoms.  
I would always prefer to be off meds, but as I get older, that becomes harder and harder to manage.  My darkest depressions are always preceded by something that happens to myself or my family.  They are not something that comes out of the blue.  I can usually identify the incidents that started the cycle.  
Depression is not something you can tell yourself not to feel.  It is not something that goes away because you wish it would.  It is not something that has been healed by prayer in my own live, although not because I don't try.  Depression is like a dark hole that you cannot avoid, no matter how hard you try.   
Right now, I am struggling again.  I am on meds.  I take them without fail and they do help.  But when things happen, I dwell on the misery and can't seem to let it go.  I can't seem to put even the little things aside.  I am surrounded by the things I don't want to remember.  
Yet, even this challenge has taught me a lot.  I have family members who suffer from other forms of mental illness.  I have friends who also suffer.  I have a great compassion for those who suffer in these times.  It is not an easy illness.  
I heard a speaker once talk about how, in America, it is perfectly acceptable to be sick from the neck down.  But our bodies are made with organs.  The heart, the liver, the pancreas are all organs.  When your heart is sick, you develop symptoms of heart disease.  When your liver is sick, you develop liver disease.  When your pancreas is sick, you develop diabetes.  Your brain is also an organ.  It gets disease too and that disease gives you symptoms of mental illness.  Because there are so many different areas of the brain, there are also many different types of mental illness.  
I like that definition.  It reminds me that depression is not a choice.  It is not something that I picked for myself.  Being sad, is not something that I wake up and decide every day.  There is so much more to it than that.  
Depression is an illness that I am working on overcoming.  I might not make it in this life, but I know that I will be healed in the next.  And for now, that is enough.  I can live this, one breath at a time, one moment at a time, on step at a time, until the day when my challenge is over.  Until then, I will keep on enduring and keep on trying and keep on hoping for a change.