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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Rear View Mirror

I think that I spend way too much time looking in the rear view mirror.  I look back because times were hard. I look back because times were happy.  I look back because times are sad.  I look back, and back again.  I am not sure what is so tempting about looking back. 
Yes, I was younger then.  Yes, my children were small, and cute, and cuddly.  Yes, there were good times then.  Yes I had to learn and grow and live and love and learn some more. 
Sometimes I dwell on the past.  Mostly on the could have, would have and should have part of it.  I ponder on what I can do to change it.  (That answer is always nothing).  I want to do whatever it takes to right those wrongs, or change the path. 
The past is not what is important though.  No matter how many good times were there, or even how many bad ones, the most important place I can be is in the here and now.  It is here that I will develop the relationships for the future.  It is here that I can make a difference in the life of another.  It is here that I can start to change and become who I want to be. 
The window into eternity is big and bright with promise.  This life is but an instant.  It is just a couple minutes in the eternities.  I spend all this time worrying and fretting over a couple of moments in my life! 
So today, I am looking through the windshield and moving on.  The future is right there in front of me, His light leads me onward and His promises have always been sure.  And so today, I take my eyes of the mirror and look ahead, through the glass and toward the future.   

Monday, May 30, 2016

Answers at the Beach

I am convinced that we are all looking for answers to something, but often, we just don't know where to look to find those answers.  I am also convinced that sometimes we need to think a little outside our usual box of life.  I love the ocean.  The waves crashing and breaking on the beach.  The sound of the seagulls and the wind that blows off the water.  I love the smells and the tranquility.  I pretty much love everything about the beach (unless it is crowded).  I think the point I am trying to make is that instead of being filled with anxiety and worry, maybe we should look for our answers in a place that provides us with feelings of peace. 
I know that when I am in a quiet place, those answers are more likely to come into my mind than when I am rushing and hurrying through my day without taking the time I need to meditate on my problems.  Although I don't live close to a beach, I do live close to the forest, the creeks and the lakes in the area.  I have quiet places in the beautiful outdoors.  I have a kayak to paddle to see the eagles soar.  My heart can still hear the beach inside myself when I take me out of the hustle and bustle of the world. 
I think that we CAN find answers at the beach.  And if by chance we don't, we can at least calm our minds and bring peace to our spirits by taking the time to rejuvenate our thoughts and hearts.  As I go through counseling this year, one of the many things he is trying to teach me is to do something for myself, even if it is only to go to the local park and eat my lunch. 
I am discovering that, as I do something as simple as that, I find within myself and spot of beach.  A place where I can rest and relax and escape.  A place of ponderings.  A place of peace. 
So, my challenge to you today is to find your own spot on the beach, even if you can't get to the real one, find a place of quiet and contentment.  Find a place to think and dream and ponder and pray. 
Find your own small spot of peace. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Be Strong and of Good Courage

Joshua 1:9 
Have not I commanded thee?
Be strong and of a good courage;
be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee
whithersoever thou goest.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Forgive them

This one is hard for me lately.  There is a part of my heart that does not want to forgive.  That part of me that is so tired of the drama and the fight and the wrongness of what others have done.  That part of me that wants to cry out, "this isn't fair!".  That is the part of my spirit that does not want to forgive.  It is the part that does not want to let go.  It is the part that wants to see Karma hard at work.  It is the unrighteous and impure part of my soul.  It is the small mindedness of revenge.
It is true that it steals your well-being.  I think that I haven't been well since the mess began.  I know that I am only hurting myself and I know that I can't change those who don't want to be changed.
I can't, but I know also that God can.  I know that only He can soften hearts.  I know that only He has the power to heal the aching.  I know that bruises fade, both on the inside and the out. 
Some people wonder how to forgive the bigger hurts.  I say, the only thing that has ever worked for me is prayer.  Pray for those who are lashing out.  Pray for those who hurt you, either accidently or even on purpose.  Pray for those who have left bruises and brokenness behind.  Pray for those who are vindictive and angry.  Pray for those who have wronged you.  Pray for them.  Pray for yourself. 
I have discovered as I continue to pray, even when it is hard, that my own heart is softened and it is easier to forgive.  It is easier to let it go.  It is easier to trust in God's justice and mercy.  As I pray, and I struggle and I overcome, I find myself letting go of the burden of hate and anger.  I find myself forgiving the offense.  I find my own heart is unburdened, my own sins are forgiven and my own soul is cleansed.  I find myself wrapped in the arms of His mercy and grace. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Believe in Miracles

This is our little miracle boy.  He is an amazing testimony to me of perserverence and strength.  He has overcome so many obstacles to get where he is today.  He is now a welcome member of our family.  We can't be more pleased that he is with us. 
My life has been pretty difficult these last few years, but I look at him and realize that it doesn't really matter after all.  Families are what matters most.  Loving each other in spite of our differences.  Those are the things that are most important.  Because of things, I have wanted to back away and not participate in life.  A wonderful person gave me some much needed advice.  This life is but a couple of minutes in eternal time.  I am changing myself into someone I am not because of a few minutes of eternity.  I am just starting to glimpse how vast eternity really is, and although I still think that there are many things that are unfair, I am realizing that there are even more things that are great blessings. 
This person told me to cherish the blessings, to talk about them, be involved with them and to post all about them.  Only by being myself will the difficulties be overcome.  And if not in this life, I can have faith that in the next all will be revealed. 
I know in the next lift this little guy will be just as amazing as he is now.  He is perfect to us and a very long awaited blessing, one we have waited anxiously for.  My grand-daughter Sadie has been praying for a baby brother for years, even when her mom and dad told her that there wouldn't be one.  She believed in spite of the difficulties to overcome.  This little guy is literally an answer to a young girl's faith and prayers. 
What a beautiful testimony to me about the love of a Heavenly Father who absolutely listened to a small girls desires and found a way to bring them to pass.  We are eternally blessed with this beautiful baby boy. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What I learned - Standing With Our Leaders

The growing question of today is clear:
are you standing with the leaders of the Church in a darkening world so that you might spread the Light of Christ?

It can be hard to stand with our leaders.  Sometimes, they seem so far away, and they are so much older than many of us.  It is easy, in our questioning, to doubt their influence and knowledge.  It is easy to tell ourselves that they don't understand the way the world is today.  That we live in a different time and place.  It is easy to forget that they just might know the world all too well.
In my life, I have seen many things.  Some are amazing, and many are not quite that good.  I remember what it is like to be tempted and tossed about on the winds and waves of trial.  It happens nearly everyday for me.  I believe that our leaders know those trials also.  They are not perfect, but they are getting their direction from one who is. 
There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
[No one] goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.
Edwin Markham
We can send our support to our leaders, our sisters, our brothers and our friends. When we reach out to lift one another, we prove those powerful words: “[No one] goes his way alone.”
Most of all, we need our Savior, Jesus Christ. One of the accounts from scripture that has always spiritually moved me is when Jesus Christ walked out on the water to meet His disciples who were traveling in a ship on the Sea of Galilee. These were leaders newly called, many did not have the experience of being leaders.  They were common (or even uncommon) fisherman.  
The account is recorded in Matthew:
“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with [the] waves: for the wind was contrary.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
“And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, … and they cried out for fear.
“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
Peter heard that call of love and encouragement from the Lord.
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
“And [Jesus] said, Come.”
Pretty bold. Peter was a fisherman, and he knew about the hazards of the sea. However, he was committed to following Jesus—night or day, on a ship or on dry land, in stormy or calm seas.
In my mind I can imagine Peter leaping over the side of the boat, not waiting for a second invitation, and began to walk on the water. Indeed, the scripture says, “He walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” As the wind increased in strength and force and as the waves swirled about his feet, Peter became “afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried [out], saying, Lord, save me.
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.”
For me, this is a powerful lesson. The Lord was there for him, just as He is there for me. He reached out His hand and drew Peter to Him and to safety, Just as He has reached out His hand for me many times before.
In my life, I have needed the Savior and the touch of His hand so many times. I need Him every single day.  I have wanted to feel confident enough at times to leap over the side of my own struggling boat, figuratively speaking, into the unfamiliar places that I must go, only to realize that I could not and never will be able to do it alone.  And so, like Peter, Christ reaches out to take my hand and help me through the troubled waves of my trials.  And like Peter, I am not alone in my journey.  He does not leave me to sink and drown in my tribulations.  He is there for me and is willing to rescue one, even as imperfect as I am.   

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Family

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, May 24, 2016

You are not a waste of time

I needed this reminder today.  It is easy to get caught up in what other people perceive me as.  It is easy to start to believe their perception of what I am, especially when they are particularly vocal about it.  I struggle daily with self worth and with even liking myself.  I see all the imperfections and find myself lacking from where I think He wants me to be.  Then I read something like this, from someone that I admire so much.  She has changed her life and turned it around to become who she needs and wants to be.  So today, I am going to keep repeating to my broken heart:
You are not a waste of time.
You are not a waste of time.
You are never and have never been a waste of time.
I hope that you remember always that you are loved.  He has placed you right where you are needed.  I know it is hard.  I know it can be heart-breaking.  I know it can be filled with anguish and even anger and hate.  But when I picture His face in my mind, it is always filled with love.  I truly believe that you and I are not a waste of anyone's time. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Guilt and Peace

I am sometimes over come with guilt.  I judge myself harsher than you or anyone else could ever judge me.  I find more faults with my imperfections than anyone else I know.  I don't look at yours that way, only mine.  I am so much harder on myself and my own mistakes.  Like, somehow, I should have seen into the future to know how a person would respond.  I should have worded things differently or seen what was going to happen.  I find myself guilty in everything. 
Perhaps, that is why this quote touched me so much.  It promises that even with my guilt, I shall obtain peace.  Peace is possible for each one of us.  It is something to be desired and sought after.  It is something that might seem elusive, but actually is not.  It will happen in God's own time. 
I have found peace in many instances of my life.  I have found comfort in the words of the scriptures and in the kindness of others.  I have found peace as I seek to follow the Lord's council, even when I don't understand.  I have found peace when I finally, after fighting for so long, let go of those things that are not mine to bear.  When I give them over to His care, and let Him carry the burden. 
Peace is the opposite of anxiety.  I carry so much anxiety about the past and the future.  It is only when I am willing to let it all go that the blessing of peace comes quietly into my heart.  Peace is knowing that He has it under control.  It might not be quite the way I want it to be, but it will work out.  Peace is trusting Him. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Service

In contrast to the narcissistic life, President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) offered a simple expression of the more excellent way:
“When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves! 

Matthew 10:39-40 
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
 40 ¶He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

No life so shattered

I can't be the only one who has ever thought that my sins are so terrible that there is no way back.  I can't be the only one who has felt the terrible grief and remorse for a life that is not the pristine one I wish it could have been.  I would venture to say that each one of us have skeletons that dance a boogie dance in our closets! 
There are so many things I wish that I could go back and have a "do over" for.  So many decisions that didn't work out the way I wanted them too.  So many times I should have, could have and would have, if I had only known then what I know now.
However, as bad as life has been sometimes, I really do believe that none of us are beyond His power to save.  Every single one of us are surrounded by His love.  He does not turn His back on us, we choose to turn our backs on Him.  We choose to put our heads down and not meet His eyes.  We choose to keep our hands behind our backs instead of stretched toward His grace. 
So, if you are someone like me, with a past that makes you regret and bow your head in shame, I hope you remember that you are of great worth.  You are still, and always will be, a child of a loving and forgiving Father in Heaven.  He has prepared a way for you to return Home to Him.  You might be broken like Humpty Dumpty and all the kings horses, and all the kings men, can't put you together again.  But your Father in Heaven not only CAN, He WILL. 
You are not broken beyond His power to save.
He loves you in spite of your sins.
He knows your name and He is calling out to you. 
He has given you the power to change.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Being a Victim

I have been a victim in my life.  It is not something I like to talk about or even remember.  I actually prefer to not think about those times.  So much so, that I really don't remember a lot of things about my childhood and even parts of my adulthood.  Occasionally I worry that I have a true memory problem because so much is a blank. 
But, because of it, I know what it is like to be angry.  I know what it is like to want others to suffer like they have made me and mine suffer.  I know what it is like to want life to be fair and just.  I know what it means to desire justice for someone who has wronged me.  Because of all I have been through, I also know what it is like to truly forgive.  I know how it feels when the burden is lifted off of my own shoulders.  I know what a miracle forgiveness can be, not only for the person who has wronged me, but for myself. 
It is amazing how much relief I can feel when I turn it over to the Lord.  If I can't trust Him, who can I trust?  I know that only He can know when someone has really repented.  If they do not, than it is up to Him to judge.  He will do it fairly and lovingly.  And isn't that all any of us can ask for? 
I know in my own life that I have also sinned.  I am sure that I have hurt someone else's feelings or caused pain.  I know that I want to be forgiven of my own sins.  I know that the atonement was for each and every one of us so that we can be forgiven.  I really believe that if I want the atonement to work for me, I have to also allow it to be utilized for those who have hurt me. 
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think that Heavenly Father expects us to pretend that some things never happened.  Even though there is forgiveness, there are still consequences.  The Lord does not take those away.  We still need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and secure. 
So, I use my own attitude to help me determine if I have forgiven or if I still need to pray and work harder on it.  If I can think about the person and the act without getting angry and hurt all over again, than I have finally let it go.  If I can love the person in spite of their shortcomings, than I have forgiven.  Then I can move on with grace and gratitude for His love and forgiveness in my own life.  If I still get angry and hurt, then I have found it helps to pray for the person, sometimes several times a day, until those feelings pass.
The one thing I have discovered is that usually the person who hurt me, doesn't care how I feel about them.  I don't hurt them to stay angry, I only hurt myself.  I tear myself up inside wanting revenge instead of turning it over to the Lord and feeling His peace. 
I don't know about you, but peace seems to be a much more welcome answer for me.  I am reminded of the words to one of my favorite hymns,
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

What I learned - Drawing Closer to Him

That I might draw all me unto me.
This talk is from Saturdays morning session of General conference and given by Elder Dale G. Renlund

As we draw closer to God, the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ will come into our lives.

I have been thinking a lot about the atonement lately.  I am reading about it in the book titled,  The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister.  So, this talk struck home to me.  He spoke about how the further we are from Jesus Christ, the more we murmur, feel contentious and feel entitled.  The closer we draw to Jesus Christ, the more we appreciate his suffering.  The more we are grateful for His grace and forgiveness.  I think also, the more we want to be like Him.   Elder Renlund also talks about how our distance from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is important, but it is even more important the direction we are heading in our lives.  He reminds us that Heavenly Father loves the repentant sinner who is working on being closer to Him.  I loved the folk song that He shared with us. 

When Christmas morning gleams
I want to go to the stable,
Where God in the nighttime hours
Already rests upon the straw.

How good Thou wast to desire
To come down to the earth!
Now, I do not wish to waste
My childhood days in sin anymore!

Jesus, we need Thee,
Thou dear children’s friend.
I no longer wish to grieve Thee
With my sins again.1

I too, want to be one of the "Stable few".  I want to make sure that my heart is ever turned to the Stable and the babe who was born there.  I want to make sure that I don't grieve the Savior with my continued sins.  I want to be more like Him. 

“And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.
“But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall.”

I love how Elder Renlund points out that Christ does not say IF the rains descend and IF the floods come and IF the winds blow.  He says when.  No one is immune from life's challenges.  These things happen in all our lives and we have to be ready for the trials that we will surely face by drawing closer to Him.  I know that the Savior is standing ever near to us waiting for our hearts to turn to Him. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Sleeping Boy

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, May 17, 2016

The Lord's Trust

Oh, do I wish He didn't trust me quite so much! 
Seriously though, life is full of challenges.  The things that I struggle with daily, you might find to be a piece of cake.  The things you struggle with, might be harder or easier for me.  I have learned that every single one of us have trials.  And whatever they might be, they are hard!
But as I look at this, I am thinking how much He must trust us.  He allows us to endure those trials.  He doesn't step in and take them from us, even when we wish Him to.  He allows us to experience life, in all it's joys and sorrows.  He allows us to learn and to grow and to become.
As hard as that can be, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and change.  I would not learn near as much without the trials that I have experienced.  As much as I don't like them when I am going through them, I must admit that I learn. Oh how much I learn. 
I also must admit, I appreciate the joys so much more than I used to.  It is easier to feel them intensely after I have gone through the trials. I am better able to see the blessings among the sorrows.  I am better able to see His hand in my life.  I cherish every single moment of joy in my life.  I also have learned to recognize them.  I know that He does send blessings along our way to help us in our journey.  I know that He loves me.  I know that He cares.  And for now, that will be enough.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Best Things

I really hate the bad things.  Sometimes they feel so overwhelming.  Sometimes I feel like they are going to last forever and that things will never be the same again.  Sometimes, I can't imagine that they could ever lead to something good. 
Life can be so very hard.  And there are terrible things that happen.  I have had to learn to trust through them.  People sin, they make mistakes, either on accident or on purpose.  It can be impossible to tell which.  But I know that I have made mistakes myself, and the more I read about the atonement of Jesus Christ, the more that I am aware of how much I need it in my own life.  For me, not just for anyone else.  I can honestly say, that as the years pass, I realize that the really bad things have brought me strength and blessings that I never could have realized without them.  I believe that there are always blessings that we gain after the trial is over.  We continue to be blessed by a very loving Heavenly Father.  He doesn't take away the trials, but He does provide the blessings.  I am learning to trust that He will give me the things I need to make it through. 
I have had some hard times, but those things have made me who I am today.  They have given me the strength and love and perserverence that I need to make it through yet more trials.  My dreams have ended up coming true, just not the way I planned.  Today's life is so much better than my own visions of the future. 
I have learned to weather the storms of life.  I wish I could say that I always did it cheerfully and graciously, but sometimes I go kicking and screaming through the trials.  Nevertheless, I am grateful to stand here today and to acknowledge the blessings. 
I know that some of the very worst things in life, lead us eventually to some of the greatest blessings that we will ever experience.  I am not saying that it is easy, as a matter of fact, it is really, really hard.  But I am saying to hold on.  To know that the light will come.  To have faith in tomorrow.  And most of all, the know that your Heavenly Father wants you to know joy.  He wants you to be blessed.  He wants you to be happy. 
And so, today, in the midst of trials, I await the blessings, and I know that they will come. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Asking for Whatsoever things ye stand in need

Alma 7:23 
And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saved From Lions

This is my new favorite quote.  I use it to remind myself that, no matter what I am going through or how bad life seems, the Lord still loves me.  We all have trials.  That doesn't mean that He isn't aware of us any more.  It doesn't mean that there is not something else in store. 
I have been to way too many Lion's dens in my life.  Times when I thought there was no way out.  Times when I was sure that I was unlovable and forgotten.  There was danger all around, but even though He didn't rescue me from the Lion's den, he did rescue me from the lions. 
I have learned that life is full of trials.  There are times when I really am not sure if I am going to make it from day to day.  I see "the lions" and  I don't realize yet that the Lord has "shut the lions mouths".  I can't see beyond the darkness of the den.  I know that danger is near.  I am afraid.  I am filled with sorrow.  I love the story of Daniel, but my favorite part is that the king went and fasted in his chamber.  He could not sleep because he was so worried about Daniel inside the Lions Den.  I love that an angel of the Lord came and closed the mouths of the lions so that they could not hurt Daniel.
In my life, I have found living angels as well as spiritual ones.  Those who are there for me in my moments of darkness.  Those who keep the lions from destroying me.  Those who reach out their hands and their hearts in my hour of need.  Those who fast and pray for my protection.  Those who truly teach me of His love and mercy.  Because, although He saves me from the Lions, he does not save me from having to enter the Lions den. 

Friday, May 13, 2016


Oh how I love listening to this man speak.  He really gives me hope.  I know that I have felt like my own life is shattered, especially lately.  I have even had times when I couldn't see how I would make it to tomorrow.  Not because of my own sins, although they are more than I would wish, but mostly because of others that affect me. 
This quote is my new mantra.  There will be better days ahead.  There will be cause for rejoicing.  All that is lost will someday, somehow be restored.  I won't miss out on it forever, just for this moment.  No matter what is happening in each of our lives, we need to know and believe that Heavenly Father knows exactly what we are going through.  He knows our heartaches, He knows our suffering, He knows what we need. 
We can all have hope in His love and His mercy.  We can all rejoice in the knowledge that He wants to bless us.  Somehow, in ways that we probably can't understand right now, everything will work out for our good.  The shattered windows of our life, will all be made whole.  I wish I could explain how I know that, but I do.  I absolutely believe in the truth of that marvelous teaching.  We will all be made whole.  All the wrongs will be made right.  All will be restored. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

What I learned - Be Thou Humble

One of my all time favorite Hymns is Be thou humble.  It reminds me of who I would like to be and what I am really working on.  This talk was also amazing.  I learned so much listening.  I love the idea that "some of the greatest sermons are preached by listening to the hymns." 
The hymn Be Thou humble is based on a scripture in Ether and one in the Doctrine and Covenants. 
Ether 12:27. The verse in Ether reads: “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; … for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
I really need the weak things in my life to become strengths.  I know that I need to not worry so much.  That I need to trust more and try and take care of it all myself, less.  Trusting is hard for me.  I never quite correlated trusting God with the ability to humble myself.  I am just trying to bother Him less and take care of my own problems. 
This talk has reminded me that those problems are not necessarily mine to take care of.  Sometimes, we all need to trust in a higher power and allow Him to bear the burden.  Humility is the willingness to admit that I can't possibly do it all.
I have had many experiences to try myself and make me more humble.  I have walked through the shadows and  tears.  I have felt my soul ache and my heart break.  Humility keeps it all real for me.  I know that there is nothing that I could possibly suffer, that Christ himself isn't aware of.  I know that He is willing to walk with me. 
As Elder Snow shared the story of His son, my heart ached with him and I could not help but remember my own experiences with my children.  There is so much uncertainty in knowing what will happen.  Whether they sin, or someone else does, whether life is fair, or it isn't.  I believe that we never stop worrying about their welfare and their spiritual well-being.  No matter what happens, they are my children, grown or small, it doesn't really matter.  I love them.  I know that Heavenly Father loves them and that He desires they may learn how to be humble and loving here upon the earth.
He desires to lead us safely Home. 

Lyrics to Be Thou Humble

  1. 1. Be thou humble in thy weakness, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee,
    Shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers.
    Be thou humble in thy pleading, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee,
    Shall bless thee with a sweet and calm assurance that he cares.
  2. 2. Be thou humble in thy calling, and the Lord thy God shall teach thee
    To serve his children gladly with a pure and gentle love.
    Be thou humble in thy longing, and the Lord thy God shall take thee,
    Shall take thee home at last to ever dwell with him above.

    Text and music: Grietje Terburg Rowley, b. 1927
  3. (c) 1985 IRI

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Adoption Joy

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, May 10, 2016

Cheering you on

I have felt alone for so much of my life.  Alone in a room full of people, alone in a town, alone in a city, alone in church.  Just alone.  I have felt and believed that no one could possibly understand what it is that I am going through.  I have felt like I had to keep the bad secret from everyone.  Like I had to showcase the good. 
Slowly, with a lot of effort and energy, I am learning that is not the case.  I am learning that the only way I am really alone is if I choose to believe it.  I do have good friends, although they are pretty much as busy as I am.  I have my family in my life, even if their needs are different from mine.  I am learning that I am really only alone when I choose to be.  I just haven't been aware that it was a choice. 
I love thinking about having heaven cheer us on.  Just to know that someone is rooting for me through all the hard times, and the hurtful times.  Just to know that someone has their arms around me even when I fail.  To know that they are calling for me to get back up and try again.  To know that mistakes are not the end. 
It does my heart good to feel like I am not in this by myself.  It reminds me that Heavenly Father wants me to succeed in all that I do in His name.  I believe that He wants us all to return to His loving embrace.  I believe that He doesn't want us left behind in this crazy, mixed up and very messy life.  He wants us to embrace each other and keep moving forward, even if it is one wobbly step at a time. 
Heaven is cheering us on. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Thoughts of Peace

Jeremiah 29:11-13
  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
   Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

I have thought about this scripture a lot lately.  I have been pondering on how the Lord thinks of us.  He wants us to have peace.  He wants us to have joy.  He wants us to pray to Him and seek Him.  He wants us to know and really understand that we are loved.  
I have some children who don't believe the way that I do.  I have learned that my job is to love them anyway.  To wait for them.  To find them.  To be happy for them.  To accept them.  I know that if I can love those kids as much as I do in all my imperfectness, than our Heavenly Father, who is so much more perfect than I am, loves them even more.  He wants each of us to return to Him.  He waits to welcome us home.  He has promised that He is listening to our prayers.  He knows our hearts, and we WILL find Him.  
Some people believe that their can't be a God because bad things happen to them.  I have learned that bad things happen for mostly three reasons.  
1.  It is a part of life.  We are here to experience everything, and that includes trials.
2.  It is because of our own sins.  Every single sin has consequences, and although the Lord forgives us our sins when we repent, He doesn't take away the consequences of the sin.  Some things we just have to endure because of our mistakes.
3.  It is because of someone else's sin.  Sometimes, the choices others make can hurt us.  It can cause us physical or emotional damage.  It can leave us gasping for breath and unable to understand "why".  
In His love, the Lord gives us blessings even in the pain and tribulations of life.  He teaches us things that we need to know.  We learn to be more compassionate and loving.  We learn to have joy.  We learn to endure.  We learn kindness and love.  As we deal with consequences, we also learn forgiveness, not only for others, but for ourselves.  We learn to trust that the Lord will judge perfectly, each one of our hearts.  We learn to trust in His Mercy and His Justice. 
We learn to find Him.    

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Mothers

A quote by Elder M. Russell Ballard written in script surrounded by an illustration of flowers: “There is no role in life more essential … than that of motherhood.”
 Alma 56:47-48

  Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Into our hearts!

I think it is easy to struggle with this one.  I have watched so many others try and reconcile their heads and their hearts.  Sometimes, we think we know something with out heads, but we just can't feel it in our hearts.  But I don't think belief is something that we find in our heads.  It is something that grows in our hearts. 
I have had people that I love ask me how I can have faith in spite of this or that being "proven".  I really feel like science is all about theories.  Anything that science finds as fact will show there is a God.  People who don't believe in God spend too much time in their own heads and not enough time in their hearts.  All good things, and I really do mean all good things, bear witness of Him. 
Evolution is a theory, it is not a fact.  Man coming out of fish, or apes or anything else is a theory.  You can't find a single thing in recent history that proves beyond any doubt that evolution is currently happening across species. 
In order for us to believe anything, we have to think about it, then take it to heart.  I believe because my heart and my head bear witness to me.  I don't have to see all the facts in order to accept it.  There was a time in my life when I wanted someone to tell me what was true.  I wanted to understand all the mysteries.  I wanted to know all the answers.  And I wanted answers that could be irrevocably proven. 
Here's the problem with that, faith can not be proven.  That is why it is faith first.  As things change, I believe that faith can become knowledge.  But first, you have to believe.  As I have gotten older, it is easier for me not to need all the proof that the world requires.  I have learned the value of prayer and that answers do come with a still small voice and a burning in my heart.  That is enough for me to keep the fire of belief kindled even when I don't know all the answers.  Even when I lack certain proof. 
As you struggle with your own questions and concerns, remember that faith in something comes long before knowledge.  Just because we can't see in the darkness doesn't mean something isn't really there.  I wish that I had the words to explain how deep the feelings run in my heart.
Instead of looking for reasons why you shouldn't have faith, maybe we should look for reasons why we should, maybe as we strengthen our faith we can overcome our unbelief.  I love that Heavenly Father knew we would struggle with belief.  He knew that it would sometimes, be seemingly impossible for us.  And so He councils us to turn to Him.  He shows us how to gain belief in our hearts. 
Or, as the scriptures word it:

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

Friday, May 6, 2016



Conflict is not my friend.  At least, it hasn't been for the past several years.  Perhaps, just perhaps, I have been looking at it the wrong way.  For me, conflict has been the bringer of anxiety, worry and stress.  I haven't been able to look past that to see that an opportunity might exist anywhere.  My problem is that I can't escape the anxiety of life.  It overwhelms me.  It bites into me and won't let go.  I don't just worry about the things I can help, I worry about everything.  I stress about having a job, how my children are doing, how my grandchildren are doing, and why people are the way they are. 
So, this year, I am trying to look at conflict differently.  I am trying to look at is as a chance to change.  I need to change.  I need to learn.  I need to put this behind me and lose it.  I need to embrace conflict in order to actually let it go. 
I am going to look at this as the opportunity I need to become more like Him.  This is my chance to practice.  I can do it.  I can embrace the opportunity.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

What I learned - The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness

If I had to pick a favorite talk from this past conference, this just might be it.  I loved the message about how forgiveness heals us.  The quote from this talk is: 
Forgiveness is a glorious, healing principle.
We do not need to be a victim twice.
We can forgive.

Isn't that amazing?  We live in a world that is filled with darkness and confusion.  It makes perfect sense that we would all suffer in some way for the actions of others.  Sometimes it is on purpose, and sometimes it is an accident, but we still suffer from another's choice.  I love the idea of not being a victim more than once.  That no matter what has happened, I can turn the judgement over to Him and He will take care of it for me.  It doesn't matter if it is in this life, or the next one.  Only He can make a completely fair judgement of any of us.  I love knowing that He can Heal my wounded soul. 

"I am convinced that most of us want to forgive, but we find it very hard to do. When we have experienced an injustice, we may be quick to say, “That person did wrong. They deserve punishment. Where is the justice?” We mistakenly think that if we forgive, somehow justice will not be served and punishments will be avoided.
This simply is not the case. God will mete out a punishment that is fair, for mercy cannot rob justice (see Alma 42:25). God lovingly assures you and me: “Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. [But let] peace be with you” (D&C 82:23). The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob also promised that God “will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction” (Jacob 3:1).
As victims, if we are faithful, we can take great comfort in knowing that God will compensate us for every injustice we experience. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin stated: “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. … Every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.”  Quoted by Kevin R. Duncan

I believe that as we seek to see others as our Heavenly Father sees them, that it will be easier to forgive.  For me, I do not want the poison of hate in my own heart.  I do not want to be a victim twice.  For me, I will trust that the Lord will use justice and mercy in His righteous judgments.  It is not necessary to see it all come about right now.  May we each have to desire and power to forgive.  I know that I have sinned and I want that forgiveness in my own life, how can I choose not to give it to another?  Forgiveness does not mean that you have to pretend nothing happened.  There are things that make someone untrustworthy in this life.  However, forgiveness does mean that you can think about the person without anger and hate.  It does mean that you can put it all in the Lord's hands.  It does mean that you can move forward and live your life. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Desert Beauty

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, May 3, 2016

Life's Not Fair

It's probably my job
to tell you life isn't fair,
but I figure you already know that. 
So instead,
I'll tell you that hope is precious,
and you're right not to give up.

Bad things happen to all of us.  I wish they didn't.  It can be so hard when you are living deep in one of the valleys of despair.  It can be so easy to want to give up.  This past few years, I have been able to experience first hand how unfair life can be.  I used to tell my kids that "fair is the place you go when you want to see the pigs".  Now, I find that I need to keep reminding myself of that. 
It seems as if I get to experience life in all it's unfairness lately.  Or at least, all I can handle at this point in my life.  Hope is precious.  Hope can sometimes be all that we have left when every part of what we thought was fair is gone.  My heart aches for those who have made decisions to hurt others.  
It aches for those who are blind to the good that is in others.  My heart hurts when I think of all the love that choices have caused people to miss out on.  Most of us just want to be cared about.  We want to be  accepted for who we are.  There are those who only accept us for their own made up opinions of us.  Or maybe, they just pretend until the time comes when they don't have to pretend any more. 
I don't know any of the answers anymore.  I just know that I desperately want life to be fair.  Just for a little while. 
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

So, even in the scriptures, we are counseled to have patience.   We are told to bring forth fruit with patience.  Nothing happens exactly the way we would wish it to.  We get to till the ground, plant the seeds and wait for the harvest.  It doesn't happen in a moment or a day, or even in a month.  It takes time and the harvest happens when it is supposed to. 
So today, I will wait and trust that God knows what I need.  He knows what is fair and what I have lost.  He knows who is really to blame.  And that will be enough.  I will trust His mercy and His love.  I will hope and believe with all my heart that I am right not to give up.  That, in time, all things shall be made whole. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

I Am A Light

We forget this simple truth.  We forget that there is nothing the dark can do to us without our consent.  We let the dark in, we choose to give it a foothold.  We forget the power that we have within us.  The light that shines brighter than any darkness.  We forget to let ourselves shine as a beacon on a hill. 
“I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”
Doctrine and Covenants 6:21
So, how to we walk away from the darkness?  How do we find the light?  First, we start where we are, right now.  Isn't it wonderful that we don't have to be perfect to enjoy the blessings that He has promised us?  Isn't it wonderful that He wants to help us change?  Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to be perfect all in one afternoon.  We need to start one step at a time.  Start today to make the changes that lead you into the light.  Prepare yourself spiritually for His feast.  He is waiting to welcome you in. 
Second, turn your heart toward God.  If you are like me, you probably already know the changes that you have to make to have that happen.  One of the things I have found that helps me the most is to start looking at the positive side of life.  Find the blessings instead of the trials.  As I acknowledge the blessings that I do have, I find my heart softening and turning even more toward my Savior.  The more blessings I find, the more I acknowledge and the more my eyes see.  It has been a great way to draw my heart toward my Heavenly Father.  When we seek the good, we will find it. 
Third, walk in the light.  Don't let your mistakes discourage you from trying again.  Heavenly Father knew that we would all fail.  He knew that we would need encouragement.  He has given us the gift of repentance so that we can turn aside from our mistakes and walk again with Him.  He wants us there.  He is waiting with arms outstretched to help us in our journey. 
Light overcomes darkness, little by little, ray by ray, moment by moment, until at last we see that there is no need to be afraid.  That in all reality, the darkness is overcome by the light that burns within us.  Yes, sometimes life can appear to be surrounded by darkness.  Our hopes can be extinguished, our hearts can be wounded, our life can be filled with oppression.  But, with Christ, darkness can not succeed.  It cannot win.  With Christ, you are protected and held safe in the arms of His love.  Hold on, just hold on.  I promise the light will come.