When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Faith Always Triumphs


I have lived through bad days.  So have you.  In life I have discovered that bad days do end.  Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes a week, sometimes even years, but they really do end.  I have felt exhausted and wrung out.  I have been betrayed and accused.  I am in good company.  It is amazing to me how people can be so cruel, and yet believe they are so right.  If we could spend us much time helping and building each other up, as we do in tearing each other down, the world would truly be an amazing place.  Maybe even fit for a king. 
I have seen how Heavenly Father always keeps His promises.  He has given me so many.  They might not be as soon as I would like, but they are kept in His time.  And I have learned that they always come at the right time in my life.  I believe that faith always triumphs in the end.  That it is essential to our development and our life.  Having faith makes me a better person.  It gives me hope.  Hope in His promises, hope in eternal life, hope for tomorrow. 
Faith gives me the strength to hang on when I want so much to let go.  Faith keeps me going.  It gets me through the hard times because I know they will end.  I know that I will find peace. 
And I am content.  He really is in control. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - 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, March 29, 2016

Tourettes is not an adjective


I would be remiss if I did not write about this.  I have two children with Tourette's.  It has been a hard road for them.  We have experienced first hand many of the negatives that come with this disorder.  Sadly, I have found there are many people who are completely willing to misunderstand.  Who do not want to be kind.  Who do not want to give these beautiful kids a chance. 
I have met some amazing kids with this disorder.  All of them struggling, many of them who feel friendless and misunderstood.   I have discovered that none of us are "normal".  We all have problems.  We all struggle.  Some of the struggles are visible, like Tourette's and some of them are hidden, sometimes deep inside.  I have learned that there are many worse things to have than a neurological disorder. 
Mostly those things which cause others to ridicule, to discourage, to condemn what they don't or won't understand.   Being Christ-like extends to how you treat others who are different than you are.  It extends to all of Heavenly Father's children, no matter what their beliefs or their way of life.  No matter how much more different they are than you.  No matter whether we understand them or not. 
We are all different.  We all have our own trials and heartaches.  That does not make us any less loved.  It does not take away from who we really are or who we can become. 
I know that Heavenly Father loves each one of us and that there is nothing we could do to take away that love.  Like the Prodigal son, he wants us to return home to Him. 
The choice has always been yours.  He will run to meet you.  No matter what your heartaches.  He knows your pain.  He loves you in spite of yourself.  I hope we can find it within our own hearts to accept those who are also His children, in spite of their differences.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Single Phrase of Testimony


A long time ago, I heard a very dear friend bear testimony of Heavenly Father's love for me.  It was during a time in my life when I felt totally unlovable.  He reminded me that Heavenly Father knew me.  He knew my difficulties, He knew my trials, He knew my heartaches and He knew my joys.  He knew all the things that I needed, but He also knew when to give me the blessings that I so desperately wanted. 
Hearing that testimony and then later seeing the promises come true, has taught me so much of God's great love for His children.  You see, I really do know that He is aware of us.  I know that He knows exactly who I am.  I know that He knows my name.  That one beautiful testimony, changed my life.  It taught me to have trust in God's timing.  It taught me that He keeps His promises. 
Often, when I want something, I want it right this moment.  I don't want to wait.  I think that I know what I need.  But some of the greatest blessings of my life have actually been the prayers that aren't answered. 
My friend quoted:  "The goal is not to win the race, but to run it in honor and dignity, in testimony and worthiness". 
I learned that we don't have to win the race.  It is not a competition between you and me.  Rather it is a trial between my best self and my worst self.  It is only through the grace and mercy of God that any of us can possibly make it back to Him. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Faith in God


To those who have strayed:
I know that life is hard.  I know that sometimes people we love make wrong choices.  I know that sometimes people we respect behave badly.  But I also know that people are not God.  They are not perfect.  They are simply doing the best they can at this moment to try and hold it all together.  Sometimes that means that we are really falling apart. 
We can all say that we know someone who is unworthy, or even hypocritical.  That person can also be ourselves.  I found a long time ago, that I am the one responsible for my own testimony and faith.  If I am doing the things that are right, what someone else believes or saysdoes not influence me.  I love it when people share the positive.  I dislike it when I am always on the defense with those I care about because my beliefs are different, but all the arguing in the world does not change my faith, my hope or my own belief.  Even when I can't defend those beliefs, it just makes me study harder so that I can be more prepared next time. 
I have learned that none of us have the power to convince someone to believe when their eyes are not opened and their hearts are far from Him.  Then I resort to the scriptures.  I especially love the one that says,
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like unto it; Love thy neighbor as thyself. 
I don't see anything there about only loving those who believe the same as me, or who are easy to love.  I only see that we are supposed to love each other. 
People in the church can hurt you.  I have had that happen to me in very hard ways.  But you should know that God always loves you.  Why in the world do we let others who might not even like us, determine our own relationship to our Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally? 
He is my anchor.  People are nice to have around, but I worship always to get closer to Him. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Follow the Savior Today


I have many regrets in my life.  I have to admit though, I don't have a single regret from the times in my life when I have followed the Savior's teachings.  I might not be able to do all things perfectly, but when I do the best I can, even I am able to recognize it.  I have done things I am ashamed of.  I have made so many mistakes.  I have sinned, accidently and even on purpose; all those things, I regret.  So many battles I fought against myself.  Far too often, I did not take the higher road or the better path. 
As I have grown older, I have noticed that the times of my life when I did not follow the Savior are some of the hardest lessons that I have ever had to learn.  I have also been blessed to have those lessons stick with me throughout my life.  I regret every moment I wasted not bringing myself closer to Him. 
I can testify that things go better and we have many less regrets when we choose to follow the Savior in our lives.  There is never a need to regret kindness, love, compassion, understanding, believing, helping, and gratitude.  There is never a need to regret feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and supporting those around us.  There is never a need to regret unselfishness or meekness or mercy.  There is never a need to regret forgiveness.  There is no regretting Christ-like behavior in any of it's forms. 
In my life, I am learning to seek Him in those around me.  I know that we are made in His image.  And even if I can't see Christ in someone, I know He could be there.  If only I try a little harder to see.  I know that He loves each of us, and the reason that He said, "Come follow me", is because that would lead us to happiness.  He never promised that there wouldn't be trials to face.  He only promised that it would be worth it, and that we would have no regrets from following Him. 
I can't possibly say it any better than Joshua did:

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 
Joshua 24:15

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Just Because We Cannot See


We live in a world where seeing, is believing.  A world that would have us cast aside those things we cannot see, understand or explain.  However, I have learned that just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there. 
The sun sets every night and rises in the morning.  It isn't visible to the naked eye in the darkness.  The storms will come.  The wind will blow.  The raccoons will eat my chickens!  Just because I don't see it right now, doesn't mean it is not going to happen.  So many people are so caught up in needing proof.  They need physical evidence to understand and believe. 
However, there are so many things around us that bear testimony of Him.  So many things to see and hear and recognize.  Just because you can't explain it, doesn't mean it isn't so.  I believe that when science is proven, it too will speak of God and all the creations that He has made.  I believe in choosing the best things for me. 
I can't see love either, but I know it is there.  My husband is amazing to me.  He is willing to work through things with me that are hard to deal with.  He can't see those things, but he can totally see the results in my own attitude and willingness to change.  You can't see a voice either, but you can hear the meaning in the words.  Ask any mother and she can tell you when her children are happy or unhappy, just by the tone of their voice when they speak. 
I can tell my daughter hates to do dishes, by the way she stomps her feet.  I don't have to see them.  I can feel the vibrations all the way to my room.  God speaks to our hearts.  He touches our minds.  He allows us to see through the spirit.  I Feel when something is right. 
I don't have to see in this world, I know that there will be other times and places in which to ask my questions and receive the answers.  It doesn't have to be right this moment.  I know that everything will be explained and we will finally understand the wonder and grace that are such a part of this wonderful earth upon which we live. 
I can't always see the why's, but I can see the consequences of the why not's.  I can see the difference that kindness makes in the life of a struggling child.  I can see His love in the actions of others.  I can receive answers to prayer in the words of his teachings.  I can find His gifts all around me.  I just need to open my heart and really see. 

Elder Charles W. Penrose said: “Some people will not believe anything they cannot grasp with their human reason or cannot see with their natural eyes. But blessed is the man of faith, blessed is the woman of faith! For by faith they can see into things that cannot be discerned by the natural eyes. They can reach out to the regions of immortality, grasp eternal realities and lay hold upon the things of God!”

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - My Sadie


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, March 22, 2016

Are You Nice?


This one, jumped up and bit me today. 

I find myself wanting to be nicer in my life.  I really struggle with trying and then having others mash me down.  I can't help but think that I am sometimes guilty of thinking that those around me should be nice back because I am nice to them. 
I want to get along, I really do.  It seems that most of my life, I was "that kid".  You know, the one who is by themselves on the playground, the one who doesn't fit in, the one who doesn't belong.  The one thing that is not like the others!
I really feel that way.  I have a hard time making friends.  I am very loyal, but I never have very many friends at once.  I don't know how to be one of the popular people, not even as an adult.  I only know how to be me. 
I always thought I was nice, but this is making me question that.  I think, if I am nice because it is something that I do, than that is ok, but if I am being nice because I want to fit in or belong, than it is not good enough.  I need to treat others the way that Heavenly Father would want them treated, not the way that I think they deserve. 
For me, that means that even if they are yelling or belittling, they deserve the same courteous treatment from me that they would get if they weren't behaving badly.  That one is hard.  If sends my mind back to my teenage years where that was common treatment and I don't respond at all well. 
This week, I am working on behaving the way I would want someone to behave toward me, whether I think, they deserve it or not.  I am not their judge and jury.  I am only another imperfect person trying to live in this crazy, mixed-up world. 
Kindness, just might go a long way toward changing things. 
If not for someone else, than just maybe, for me. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Brave


I love this simple quote. 
It is something that I forget.  Every.  Single.  Day
We all have trials, we each feel alone and forgotten from time to time.  Bravery is about seeing through all that and finding ourselves.  It is the story of overcoming.  It is the trial of our faith.  It happens all around us every day.  We have the power to decide what we are going to do with our lives.  We have the ability to change the world that is around us.  We get to choose to make a difference, (or not).  We hold our fate in the palm of our hand, we just have to be willing to see it and then, to live it. 
Being brave isn't necessarily about doing great things.  It is overcoming all the small and seemingly insurmountable things in our own lives.  Some days, getting out of bed might be the bravest thing you have ever done! 
The one thing I am learning right now is that we can be so very hard on ourselves.  We know our worst faults, or deepest, darkest secrets.  Sometimes, that is all we see.  We can't pull our eyes away for the faults.  We don't see the good that is within.  We don't see the amazing truth of all we manage to do.  We only see the should have's, would have's and could have's.  They haunt our thoughts and our lives. 
Being brave is moving through all of that in spite of ourselves.  It is reaching into those hidden places, and forgiving the human being that we are.  It is allowing ourselves to be imperfect and messy.  It is being kind to ourselves and recognizing our own individuality. 
Being brave is seeing beyond the crazy, upside down, inside out, messy moments of our lives and realizing the potential that lives inside. 

That spark of divinity that God placed there to remind us of who we are and where we are from. 
It is realizing that you, truly are,   His.   

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - The Joy of Forgiveness

 
Moroni 6:8 
"But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven".

Saturday, March 19, 2016

I Need God


May I never forget on my best day,
that I still need God as desperately
as I did on my worst day. 
 
Oh, how I need Him.  Sometimes, things actually go pretty good around here and then, I think, I might be guilty of not remembering Him as fervently as I should.  I never forget Him when things are going wrong.  I plead my case with Him, I seek His comfort and peace in my life.  But there are times when I am not as industrious in my prayers.  I think those times are when things are going well.  When all is quiet and calm.  When my heart is not troubled and I am not insecure. 
I suspect, that He is like a good friend, easy to be around when we need him, but easy to forget in the day to day things that can overwhelm us with their time.  I don't want to forget Him.  I want Him to know that I recognize His blessings in my life each and every day.  So, now at last, I am really trying to focus on the blessings.  I don't want to be just a friend in times of need.  I want Him to know that I need Him every single day. 
In this Easter season, my we each remember how much we need Him.  May we remember His greatest gift to us and His willingness to bear all for us.  My we remember how very much He loves each and every one of us. 
May our hearts be filled with His love and peace. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Gratitude for the blessings - What do you talk about?


Talk about your blessings
More than you talk about your burdens.

This little guy, is my hero.  I wish that I could show you a picture of his beautiful face, but that time is not yet.  He was born with so many problems that it would have been easy to focus on all the things he was never supposed to do.  Instead, we focus on all the wonderful things that he is learning to do.  He is such a blessing and inspiration to our family.  His smile will light up my heart each and every time I see it.  This guy, only focuses on the blessings in life.  He reaches out for them and grasps them tight with both hands.  I am not sure that I can ever be that optimistic, but he is teaching me to do a little better every day.  
We all have blessings.  The surround us in every part of our lives.  For some strange reason, it is easier to focus our efforts on the problems and burdens than it is to remember and focus on our blessings. I suppose that is the pessimistic side of my personality coming out.  I am working on that.  I am seeking to find the blessings that surround me in every part of my life.  I have a job that earns enough money to support us, I have the most amazing family.  I have people who love me no matter what.  I have friends.  I have a home.  I have a testimony.  I could go on and on, yet somehow, when things go wrong, my eyes only see the burdens and forget to focus on the blessings.  That is what I want to change.  I want and need to be a blessing type of woman.  I am exhausted in the trials.  I need to be uplifted in the blessings.  
The Lord has promised us:   

"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".   Luke 11:9

I believe that that works even for the blessings.  If we look for them, if we seek them, we will find them always in our lives.  They might not be the ones we want right this minute, but I can promise that they will be the ones we need.  So, open your heart, open your mouth and talk about your amazing blessings. 
 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

CRACKS

 
THE CRACKS IN OUR
"PERFECT" FACADES
ARE ACTUALLY MORE LIKE WINDOWS WHERE PEOPLE CAN MOST
CLEARLY SEE JESUS.
 
I am still learning this one.  For most of my life, I have felt like a failure.  The problem with that is that I haven't been too happy about admitting the times when I am even more wrong.  As I learn that my imperfections are simply a part of who I am, it becomes easier to admit my mistakes.  Especially when I am reminded that my mistakes can help others to feel better about themselves and closer to Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.  I know that I am not perfect.  I am not sure who I was trying to fool all this time.  I think that I judge myself so harshly, that even the tiniest of mistakes feels like a really big sin.  It makes it harder for me to love myself, and therefore harder for me to acknowledge God's love for me.  As I am studying the atonement, I am learning that Christ already suffered for all of the sins I would commit.  He suffered for my hurt and my heartache.  He understood how very imperfect I am and how very much I would need His loving sacrifice.  The more I allow the fa├žade around me to crack, the more I let in the light of Christ and realize His amazing love, not only for me, but for each one of us.  
As I accept that love, I realize that none of us are anywhere close to perfect, and that is OK.  We can each start right here and right now and become who He needs us to be; cracks and all.  We get to choose to let His light in and let it shine right through those cracks into the hearts and minds of all those around us.  We get to share His mercy and His grace as we bask in the arms of His love.      

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - If it quacks like a duck....

 


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, March 15, 2016

Faith is learning to be OK


Oh yes, today this one is for me.  I struggle with this.  Once, quite a few years ago, I was struggling in my personal life, and someone at work asked me how I could profess to have faith, and then still be depressed and filled with anxiety.  Of course, that statement rather ruined my day, but later on, caused me to look really hard at faith in general, and especially my own faith. 
I do have faith, often times, lots of it.  But sometimes, it seems as if I struggle to exercise that faith when things go wrong.  I have a hard time putting aside worry, and a harder time putting aside the hurt.  I can look back at things and really be okay with the way they turned out.  To the point that I can accept those times in my life as the things that have helped to make me who I am today.  But when I am in the midst of trials, I have a much harder time maintaining the faith that everything will work out for the best, no matter what that might be. 
I have decided that it doesn't matter what others think about my faith.  As hard as it is, faith is personal, between me and my Savior.  What those around me perceive is not nearly as important.  I also know that I am blessed, often in unmentionable ways.  I know that my Savior lives, that He loves me and that He knows me personally.  He knows my name and my heart. 
I also know that I am not perfect.  But I do strive to get a little better each day.  I am truly working on having the faith to be okay no matter how things turn out in my life.  There is good and bad for each one of us.  Sometimes the most difficult parts of the journey are the ones that bring us the greatest lessons to learn, and eventually, even great joy.  So, although I can't always say that I am okay right this minute, if you give me a little time to think about it, I will, in time, admit to being okay with the way things have turned out.
Maybe, before the end of this crazy life I am living, I will reach the point where I can shrug it off, and move on.  I don't know everything, but I do know enough to keep in going in the direction that I am moving in.  I know that I am a daughter of God.  I know enough to believe.  I know enough to hold fast.  I know enough to desire to become. 


Monday, March 14, 2016

Your Words Matter


Be mindful when it comes to your words,
a string of some that don't mean much to you,
may stick with someone else for a lifetime.
 
It can be hard to mean what you say and say what you mean.  It can be hard for some people to be nice.  I had to deal with a customer the other day who is never nice.  He uses foul language, call us all names, and makes unkind and untrue accusations.  The only thing good about it is that he doesn't usually come out of his house.  Most of the time, his son actually comes to get the mail for him.  I remember when I first came to my small office, the son was having a bad day and wasn't very nice.  The other clerks told me that I would way rather deal with the son than the father.  It was a few years until I had to deal with the father, and consistently I get to deal with him about once every two years now. 
It is funny to me how people behave so badly and use such bad language that you never forget who they are.  The thing is, it doesn't change the service he gets a single bit, (well, it might make it worse because my employees come get me when they see him.  They don't want to deal with him.  He always has very bad things to say.) How sad is that? 
I have started to really pay attention to the way I talk to others.  I am not always as good as I would like to be, or as good as I should be, but I am doing better this year than I did last year.  One single step at a time. 
I don't want people to remember me because of the bad words I say, or because of bad behavior.  I want them to remember me because I was kind and gently and caring.  We don't get to decide what others think of us, but we do get to decide how we act around them.  We do get to choose our words and our deeds. 
I don't want someone else's memories of me to only include the bad without recognizing the good.  I don't want to be that one person in town that everyone dreads to meet.  So for today, and hopefully every other day, I will smile, I will be kind, and I will hope that the words I say inspire someone for good. 
Remember, we all get to make a choice.  What is yours going to be?
 
“My dear sisters, we believe in you. We believe in and are counting on your goodness and your strength, your propensity for virtue and valor, your kindness and courage, your strength and resilience. We believe in your mission as women of God.” 
Elder M. Russell Ballard

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Learn of Me


Matthew 11:29 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Leave the Past Behind


My past haunts me.  Some days even more than others.  I can't get the pictures out of my brain, no matter how hard I try.  The little girl that I used to be, still lives here inside of me.  There are days that I still feel her pain. 
I believe that life is hard.  I believe that Heaven weeps for our despairs.  I also have learned that, no matter how hard I try, the past is going to keep coming up in my present.  So, no matter how much I long to forget, I know it is not going to happen.  What I am seeking to do, is to learn from it and not make the same mistakes again, or go through those same experiences.  I am hoping that sharing bits and pieces of myself through my writing will help me to heal and let it go. 
I know that living for today brings joy.  When I am in the moment, I am happy, I am content.  When I think of the past, I am conflicted, I feel hopeless and helpless.  I can see why it is so important to learn to be in the present. 
The past is hopeless, we can't change it.  No matter what our dreams were, they are probably not our reality today.  When I live in the past, I find myself depressed and anxious.  I also find myself worrying more, agonizing over the smallest things, and believing that the very worst will happen.
The future isn't here yet.  It is ever changing and fluid.  Our thoughts and actions today will impact the tomorrow that we will see.  There is always hope in the future.  There is always the promise of becoming who we want to be, or even better, who we were meant to be. 
Jesus Christ Lives Again.  That is the promise of Easter.  The promise of hope.  The promise of becoming.  In my beliefs, I don't focus on His death, I focus on His life.  Both the life He lived and especially the fact that He lives again.  He provides the way to hope.  He is my light and my life.  Because of Him, I know that the past will be overcome.  I may not be there yet, but it will happen.  Because of Him I know that I am loved beyond measure and that the future is absolutely as bright as my faith. 
  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Nothing Will Change His Love


I love this quote.  Sometimes, I need to be reminded, just a little bit,  that I am lovable and loved exactly as I am.  This life is messy!  There are days when I feel completely alone.  There are moments when I relive my choices and my insecurities.  I dwell too much on the "has been" and not enough on the now.  My mind focuses on all the mistakes and the sin and the wrong choices and forgets that He already knows those things and loves me right through them. 
It helps a little to remember how much I love my own children.  No matter what has happened to them, no matter what mistakes or trials they face, I love them completely and absolutely.  In my own chaos, my love is unending.  I am not perfect, yet I love them completely.  If I, imperfect as I am, can love them so much, how much more is He, who is perfect in all things, able to love me?
As a family, we have been through some hard things.  We are still going through them, and I know they will continue to happen throughout our lifetimes.  Hopefully not quite so many at once though!
Life is full of trials.  I struggle not to get so lost in the effort of living that I forget the love that surrounds me.  I know He lives.  I know He loves me.  I know, no matter how inadequate I feel, that He still loves me.  I know He is reaching for each of us and that He does not turn away.  His hands are outstretched to help us in our aching.  We turn from Him in our own unworthiness and anguish.  We turn away because we are grasping at other things that seem to make sense right now.  We turn away because things aren't explained to us right this moment.  We turn away in doubt because we cannot see His love.  It is not tangible enough for us in our seeking.
For this moment, I am going to focus on His love.  I am going to just be content in the here and now.  I am going to let go of the questions and the needing and fill my heart with His grace. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

He Will Wipe Away Our Tears


Oh how I love this quote from President Uchtdorf.  I am learning to truly love the atonement of Jesus Christ, not that I didn't love it before, but in my younger years, I used to believe that He only atoned for my sins.  It took me so much longer (and way more experience) to discover that He also atoned for my sorrows, my anxieties, and my aching heart. 
The atonement means to literally become "at one with" Jesus Christ.  How could we become one with Him if He did not understand us?  If He did not know our deepest hurts and anguish.  If He did not rejoice in our overcoming.  If He did know love us in spite of our faults and failings.  As I have struggled to understand the atonement, I have grown closer to my Savior and my Redeemer.  I depend on Him more.  I want to please Him more.  I love Him even more. 
The best thing about all this for me is that we truly can go forth with clean hands and a pure heart.  The past is not and never has been our future.  It is a path, and we get to choose the turnings in it.  If we spend too much time looking backward on our journey, we will stumble even more over the current obstacles.    We can leave every part of our past behind.  We don't have to forget it, but we do need to learn from it and then let it go. 
I am not trying to sound like that will be the easy thing to do.  I know from my own experience, that it is one of the hardest things any of us can do.  I am so much harder on myself than anyone else will ever me.  I judge me at my worst, and compare myself with you at your best.  I am hopelessly lost some days, yet seem to have it all together on others.   It brings me comfort to know and understand that I don't have to have it all together in order to be close to Him.  He loves me in my weakness and my messiness.  He loves me in my weeping and my uncertainty.  He loves me with my wild morning hair and my stubbornness.  He loves me just as I am. 
By myself, I would never make it, but with Him, I am starting to realize the potential in me to become just a little better each and everyday.  With Him, I am enough.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Patience to Wait


Since I haven't been writing until just recently, I decided it might help to explain some things.  When I first started writing on this blog, I wanted it to be all positive.  I wanted to write things that would help people to see the blessings of the Lord in their own lives each and every day.  As I have had pretty much some of the worst years of my life, I have grown to understand that my writing isn't always supposed to be positive, and neither am I.  Sometimes, the very best we can do for each other is to let others know that we struggle, that we question, that we cry, that we despair.  Only when we share those paths that are such an integral part of ourselves, do we help others on their own journeys. 
As I admit to my own failings, I start to understand myself.  I start to receive the answers that I was looking for.  They are not necessarily in my own time, but they do come.  I love the quote above because it is about patience.  The patience to wait.  The patience to ponder.  It is about being willing to accept, even when it is hard.  And believe me, I have learned that it can be so very hard.  Patience is not my strength!
It is kind of like the winter.  I love the snow.  It is beautiful.  But after a few months, especially when the snow gets dirty and muddy and just plain ugly, and when I am tired of all the cold and the wind and the forgetting my coat, I really, really want it to be spring.  I know that spring will come, but sometimes it takes so much longer than I want it to.  I know that the plants will turn green, and the flowers will bloom.  I know that spring on the mountain is just around the corner, but all the knowing in the world does not satisfy my wanting of it to be right now. 
I have to wait.  All things happen in their own time, and in God's time, not mine. 
So, for the past few years, I have had to struggle and learn that waiting is hard work.  It can feel like forever.  Dealing with unfairness and pain is not what I wanted to do at this time in my life, but it is what I must do.  All the wanting in the world does not change the mind and heart of others, only God can do that. 
So for today, I will strive just a little harder for patience in adversity.  Today, I will wait and see. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Great Adversity

Sandwiched Between their

"Once upon and time"
and 
"Happily ever after",

They all had to experience
great adversity.

I believe this one is true with all of my heart.  My own life has been filled with great adversity.  Sometimes more than I ever thought I could bear.  Thank heavens, I never had to bear it alone, even though sometimes it felt that way for awhile.  I had to learn very young that my own happily ever after, was something that would wait for a while to show up.  I think that I needed to experience things in my life before I could appreciate what happily ever after really meant. 
I have learned that it is not something that just happens.  It takes work, lots and lots of work.  It takes being willing to compromise, and to make allowances.  It takes change and sacrifice and loving and giving and even being willing to receive when you might not want to. 
I had to learn that "Once upon a time" was the dream.  I had to let the dream go in order to find the bigger promise of "Happily ever after".  I had to learn to let go of what I thought I wanted, and be willing to be led to what I needed. 
Great adversity is somehow a part of our lives.  My adversity is not the same as yours, it is unique to me.  We don't experience things the same way.  We learn differently and we grow differently, and that is perfectly the way it should be.
Life is never quite what we wanted it to be, but it ends up being so much more than we could ever have imagined.  I am grateful for the adversity in my own life and the lessons and love that it has brought to me.  I may not be the person that I imagined I would be when I was a girl, but Heavenly Father has blessed me to be so much more.


   

Monday, March 7, 2016

We had a special Baptism!


My sweet Sadie was baptized last week!   I was so very excited for this event.  I was able to fly all the way to Georgia to take part.  It is always such a special day for my grandchildren.  They learn a lot before they get to be baptized.  This is a day when as many members of the family as possible gather together to celebrate and share in the happiness.
I was asked to give the talk on the Holy Ghost.  My sister, Aunt Sandi, gave the talk on Baptism. 
Here talk was on the "Three Bears of Baptism".  Sadie loved it.  She has named all three of her bears and it was really fun for her.  I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. 

You are now starting a journey and will need a guide and some things for this journey. Your guide is the Holy Ghost and he will help you in these special ways: 

Flash Light-  When you are confirmed, you receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. That gift is like a light that you can keep on all the time, like a flashlight -- a constant companion.  The Holy Ghost can light your way and help you know the light and truth of the gospel.  We can keep our "batteries" charged and keep the light of the Spirit in our life by attending church, serving in callings, obeying the commandments, and living worthily.   Just like the flashlight,  if we do not recognize the Holy Ghost, if we do not keep our batteries charged, we will lose the light within our lives.  

A Compass- The Holy Ghost is also like a compass because he will guide you in the right direction and help you make good choices. He will help you find your way home if you are lost. The Holy Ghost will help you find your way home to your Father in Heaven.  Remember the story of Nephi and the Liahona?  This compass only worked when they were righteous.  If they weren’t living the commandments, the compass quit working until they repented.  The Holy Ghost works for us the best when we are making good choices and trying to be like Jesus in our daily lives.  

A Protector – The Holy Ghost is a protector like this umbrella.  The umbrella protects us from rain and helps to keep us dry.  The Holy Ghost protects us from the things of the world that would lead us away from our Heavenly Fathers path.  He helps us to be in the world, but not of the world.  Glasses- Like these glasses, the Holy Ghost can help you to focus and see clearly when you might feel confused.

A Teddy Bear- Holy Ghost will remind you to "bear" one another's burdens and "bear" your testimony. 

A whistle – Sometimes the Holy Ghost will warn you of danger, almost like a whistle in your mind.  His still, small voice will prompt you so you will be protected spiritually and physically.”

A bell- If you listen closely the bell will ring with a soft beautiful sound.  You also have to listen closely to hear the Holy Ghost because he doesn't speak to us in a loud
voice. He speaks mainly to our mind and heart and spirit and if you aren't paying attention, the noise of the world will drown Him out.  

A Blanket/comforter- Another name for the Holy Ghost is the comforter. This comforter is warm and soft and when you wrap it around yourself you feel safe and secure. This is the same feeling that the Holy Ghost can give you. You can have a warm, peaceful feeling inside and feel safe when you listen to the Holy Ghost.

The Savior – One of the most important functions of the Holy Ghost is to testify of the Father and the Son. The Holy Ghost will testify and witness to us that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our redeemer.  
 I would like to testify to you that the Holy Ghost will help you make the most important journey you will have during this earth life, to return to our Heavenly Father.

That was my talk, I think she really enjoyed her day.  I know that we did.  I love the fact that this sweet young lady is already making covenants to obey the commandments.  She is amazing.