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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dream a New Dream

I have learned that we all have dreams.  It doesn't matter what age we are, or what stage of life we are in.  We each have a dream for today or the future as we want it to be.  We each look at our lives and hope to change or add something to it.  That is the really amazing thing about life.  No matter what we have done yesterday or today, our story is not over.  Any single one of us can start today and re-write the ending of our own story.  We can decide who we are going to become. 
Life is amazing.  I have a friend who I would never have thought would ever embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She has had lots of reasons to never be involved.  Her family does not support her decision.  She had to wait until she was old enough that she could live on her own.  She joined the church in spite of her parents wishes.  It has been years since that decision was made and she still has no contact with her family.  They disowned her when she was baptized.  She had to leave the country of her birth and come to America where she started over.  She married in the Temple and has children today who have never known their grandparents.  As far as she knows, they never will.
She had a dream, she chose to follow that dream in spite of the consequences.  And there were definitely consequences. 
I think we all have dreams.  Whether or not we fulfill them depends, to an extent, on what we are willing to do to bring them to pass.  What are we willing to give up?  I have a daughter who wanted to be out of debt.  She wanted it bad enough that she was willing to live very frugally in order to make it happen.  She did without new things, she lived on a very strict budget, but today, she has brought that dream to pass.  Now they are saving for their own home.  I am so impressed with her willingness to sacrifice what she wants right now, for something that is so much better. 
I included the words to one of my favorite ABBA songs.  I have always loved it because it reminds me that the time really is right for me.  May we all have something that we have dreamed of happen in our lives.  May we all be willing to sacrifice what we want right now for our dreams of later.  May we feel loved and blessed even when we fail.  May we realize that the destination makes it all worth while. 

I Have a Dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness
Still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Serve One Another

"The way you treat your wife or children or parents or siblings may influence generations to come.
What legacy do you want to leave
your posterity? One of harshness, vengeance, anger, fear, or isolation?
Or one of love, humility, forgiveness, compassion, spiritual growth,
and unity?"
—Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "In Praise of Those Who Save"

Mosiah 4:15 
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

Friday, October 28, 2016

More Faith


I love the scripture from Matthew:
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”     Matthew 17:20
Just a little bit of faith.  Just a tiny amount, and we could accomplish so very much.  I think that He used the mustard seed specifically for a reason.   It is a very small seed, yet it grows into a very large tree.  I think that if we have even a small amount of faith, the Lord will help it grow within us until we can accomplish many great things in His name.  We have to plant faith through study and prayer.  We need to ponder upon the words and the scriptures.  We take those things into our lives and live as if we have faith.  We start to grow and learn and grow some more.  We come to know Him and as we do, our lives are changed.  We become blessed to see and to live and to become. 
There are so many blessings for each of us in these trying times.  It becomes easy to focus on the one big thing that is wrong, instead of the multitudes of small things that are actually right.  We become blinded by what we are looking at, instead of focusing on the other things that surround us. 
I believe that we all have just a little more faith that we think we have.  We have a little more belief, a little more hope, and a little more love.  Most of us are struggling, right where we are, to do our very best.  To become our best selves.  Many times we feel as if we are failing because we look to others to gage our own success. 
When I focus on where I have been, and what I have overcome in my life, I am amazed at the blessings that God has given to me.  His love and compassion overwhelms me.  It is only when I change my focus to "where I should be", that the doubts creep in.  I know that I "could've, would've and should've" myself right into the ground. 
I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me.  He doesn't compare me to anyone else.  I am loved because of who I am and whose I am.  I am cared for and appreciated.  I am blessed in spite of myself.  Since He loves me, I know that He wants me to succeed in this life.  I am not quite sure what success for me will look like.  You see, I think that is only something that He can judge.  The things that I do, just might look much different than the things that you do.  It doesn't mean that He loves me less and you more. 
I believe, that just as I love each of my children for their own individuality and their own unique struggles and commitments, that He also loves us.  He is a much better parent than I will ever be.  He knows each and every one of us.  He knows our thoughts, our minds and our hearts.  He knows the things we have done, and He also knows the why. 
I think, that as I struggle to find that teeny tiny bit of faith within my heart, I also struggle to become just a little more like Him. 
Perhaps that is what makes all the difference.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What I learned - Rise Up In Strength

To be converted covenant keepers, we need to study the essential doctrines of the gospel and have an unshakable testimony of their truthfulness.

I think that many of us have a testimony, but sometimes it get lost in our struggles to live in this crazy, mixed-up world.  It is getting harder to maintain our testimonies as the perilous days of these foretold times come to pass.  It is so sad to see people choose not to come to church because their hearts are offended, or they don't like the leaders, or someone took advantage of them. 
President Russell M. Nelson told us a year ago: “Attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase. Because of this, we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms. We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity. We need women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.”
I don't see anything changing for the better in the near future.  We live in a time where men and women turn their backs on the spiritual.  Where people question everything, and where they only are willing to listen to "proof" that they can see and touch. 
Sadly, our own families are often in the middle of the turmoil.  It breaks my heart to see others put their faith in men or things or even leaders.  The only sure way is to study the essential doctrines, to have a testimony that is firmly rooted in truth.  Not because someone told you, but because you know for yourself. 
There are many who struggle with difficult questions.  There are many who are searching for answers, and we can find them, sometimes it takes a while, but I believe the answers are there if we are willing to search, ponder and listen. 
This was a beautiful talk by Sister Bonnie Oscarson.  I loved every word of it.  It ended up being one of my very favorites for the entire conference.  You can find the entire talk here....
Rise Up In Strength Sisters in Zion

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Love

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.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What I learned - The Master Healer

You don’t have to experience the sorrow caused by sin, the pain caused by others’ actions, or the painful realities of mortality—alone.

The Master Healer by Carole Ann Stephens

I loved this talk.  It was a totally amazing example of what I need to do most. 

“Is there something specific that women should focus on?”
I answered, “Yes!” as President Russell M. Nelson’s talk “A Plea to My Sisters” entered my mind. President Nelson taught, “We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ.”
Nephi described the doctrine of Christ this way:
“For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. …
“And now … I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
“… This is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ.

I love that the Master Healer of us all, can help to heal the pain when others are responsible for our hurts.  He knows what it is to be betrayed by friends.  He knows what it means to feel all alone.  He knows our hearts and our minds and our grief.  I love that we don't have to be responsible for the sins of others.  We can have compassion for them and love them, but we don't have to take their sins upon ourselves.  We can turn it all over to Him who truly knows our hearts and our minds. 

I am sure that I am making this sound easy.  In reality, it is not.  It is hard to watch others stumble and fall, especially when we love them.  It is hard to forgive when our hearts are aching and angry and hurt and afraid.  I love that He can take all that away and provide peace in our darkest moments.  We do not have to carry our burdens alone.  Lean on Him. 

Wednesday, October 19, 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, October 18, 2016

Modesty, Are You Doing It?

I really like this one.  The world would have us believe that there is really no such thing as modesty.  With as many children as we have, we have run the gambit of what is appropriate and what is not.  The older I get, the more modesty matters to me.  I want to be modest.  I want to feel comfortable in my own clothing.  I want others to be comfortable when they are around me.  I don't want to need to worry about what is showing and what is not. 
We have raised our girls and our boys to be modest.  I have learned that when we speak of modesty, we usually mean girls and women, but there is immodesty in men also.  I hate the phrase that girls have to dress modestly so that boys don't have bad thoughts about them.  I don't believe it is my responsibility to control anyone elses thoughts.   It is my responsibility to dress so that I am comfortable in the presence of any one else.  If I would not be comfortable, I probably should not be wearing it.  I am a child of God.  I the daughter of a Heavenly King.  Who I am is so important to who I want to become in this life, as well as in the next.  If we remember whose we are, our choices become just a little bit easier. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

We brought it with us

In all the chaos that surrounds me, with all the trials that I am "blessed" with, I find myself often forgetting that I have worth.  It is easy to see myself through, what I perceive, are the eyes of others.  It is easy to feel down on myself and to feel like what I think and what I am doesn't matter.  I can get lost trying to find myself through what others believe about me. 
Society would tell us that we have no worth unless we are successful as far as others are concerned.  I am finding out that society doesn't have a clue as to what I might really be worth. 
There are those in each of our lives who love us.  There are those who could not replace us, and would not want to.  There are those whose lives we touch, every day, who enjoy being around us.  Our value, is rather what our worth is to HIM.  We can not judge how very much He loves us.  We can not possibly know what He needs us to do here.  What plans He has made in our behalf.  We brought a wealth of love with us when we came to earth.  We have angels cheering us on.  We have more support than we can possibly imagine. 
Remember, no matter what is going on in your life right now, no matter who is talking about you, or hurting you, no matter what others believe about you, there is one who will always love you.  He will always care for you.  He will always support you and be concerned for you.  He will always, always be there for you.  Our worth is eternal.  It comes straight from Him.  Remember not only who you are, but Whose you are. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Good Cheer

How can we find peace in this world?
How can we endure to the end?
How can we overcome the difficulties and trials we are facing?
The Savior Jesus Christ said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Live With Grace


Love, love, love this.  Far too often, we seem to think that happiness is something we all deserve.  We imagine it all served up on a platter like a Thanksgiving Dinner.  It is there for the taking, whether we have done anything ourselves or not.  Some people think all they need is more money, more things, or more time and they will be happy.  They completely miss the point that happiness is not external.  It is what is inside.  It is the entire experience, in spite of  heartaches, trials and disappointments.  Happiness is available to each on of God's children here upon the earth.  It is not something that is saved for the elusive future.  It comes from the small everyday moments of living.  It is not for when I have become skinny, or rich, or inherit a ton of money, or any one of the myriad of ways that we confuse ourselves with the possible meaning of happiness.   
Happiness is always found inside ourselves.  It does not happen just because someone else wants it too.  It is not and never has been anyone else's responsibility to "make" us happy.  It is not what your children do, or your husband, or your neighbors or your church.  It is a state of mind.  It is a spiritual experience.  It is a gift we give ourselves in spite of our circumstances.  I love that love, grace and gratitude all go together to help us find the happiness that is within. 
Happiness is possible.
Happiness is always possible. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Let Go and See What Happens

Single Life Mandy Hale Quotes

Let go.  What wonderful words.  And something that is so very hard for me to do.  I cling to things like there is no possibility of ever letting go.  The problems of others, bother me as if they were my very own.  Letting go requires action on my part and it is so very difficult to do. 
Once, many years ago, in my crazy time, I was climbing a cliff for the very first time.  Now, you should probably know that the reason I started climbing cliffs is because I was terrified of heights.  Somehow, I got in my head that climbing would help me to "let go" of my fear. 
The very first cliff I climbed, I got stuck about 3/4 of the way up to the top.  I hit a spot where I could not make the reach to go forward and I could not find the hand and footholds to go back.  I was on belay, but I did not trust the rope or my partner yet.  The fear of heights overcame me and I clung for dear life to the face of that cliff, fingers digging into the rock above and my toes clinging tight to the small ledge. 
My friend at the bottom yelled up to me "let go, Patty, just let go!"  But I could not do it.  So he sat at the bottom and waited for my fingers to give out.  When they did, I slammed into the rock, knocking the breath from my body and severely bruising my ribs in the process.  My friend slowly lowered me to the ground and helped me pick myself up.  I was unable to climb again for two more weeks because of all the contusions on my ribs and side.  But as soon as I was able, I went back up and tried again.
I have never forgotten that painful lesson on letting go.  It is so much easier on me when I make the choice to let go, rather than wait for my limbs and heart to give out in the process.  When you climb, knowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hang on.  You have to trust that your climbing buddy has your back.  That they are paying attention and will minimize any damage by catching you with the rope when you fall.  Because fall, you will.  As surely as day turns into night, you will have falls and injuries. 
It is an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you climb.  When you struggle to overcome a fear and succeed in spite of it.  It is wonderful to sit at the top of a difficult climb and admire the view. 
Climbing isn't only about going up, it is also on how to take the safest route back down. 
Sometimes, you just have to breathe, trust and let go. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bringing Light - Women's Conference


Will Bring the Light of the Gospel into My Home
Jean B. Bingham
First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency
Oh how I loved this talk!  Since I  am now doing the music in primary, I was prepared for the talk to "speak" to me specifically.  I didn't plan on how very much I needed to hear what Sister Bingham was saying. 
I love how she states that it is our obligation and privilege is to embrace improvement in everyone as we strive to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I love that it is a privilege to embrace improvement and not judge.  I know that I have sinned in my life, I have children who have struggled with arduous difficulties.  It is a comfort to me to think of becoming more Christ-like in my own actions as well as watching as others work to become that way also. 
I especially loved her question, "As sisters (and brothers) in Zion, will we commit to “all work together … to do whatsoever is gentle and human, to cheer and to bless in [the Savior’s] name”?
Can we, with love and high hopes, look for and embrace the beauties in others, allowing and encouraging progress? Can we rejoice in the accomplishments of others while continuing to work toward our own improvement?"
These were and are wonderful questions to me.  I often feel like so many people are competitive, instead of kind and cutthroat instead of caring.  What a wonderful idea to embrace the accomplishments of others. 
Yes, we can bring the light of the gospel into our homes, schools, and workplaces if we look for and share positive things about others and let the less-than-perfect fade away. Isn't that what the Savior does with each of us?  Doesn't He focus on what is good about us?  What is worth redeeming?  If we all had to get back to Him without His grace and mercy, not a single one of us would make it. 
What gratitude fills my heart when I think of the great gift of repentance that our Savior, Jesus Christ, has made possible for all of us through His infinite atonement.  We who have inevitably sinned in this imperfect and sometimes very difficult world!
How grateful I was to hear these words of wisdom today to remind me to walk more closely with Him and work together one with another to become more like Him in all my ways. 
1. As sisters in Zion, we'll all work together;
The blessings of God on our labors we'll seek.
We'll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.
2. The errand of angels is given to women;
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity's name.
3. How vast is our purpose, how broad is our mission,
If we but fulfill it in spirit and deed.
Oh, naught but the Spirit's divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Looking for the Good

They say that the eyes are windows to the soul.  If that is true, than I want to make sure that my eyes are always looking for the good in others.  I have learned that each of us have both bad and good inside ourselves.  Each of us have opportunities to make the lives around us better, or worse, depending on how we treat them.  One thing that is obvious to me is that we never know what someone is going through in their lives.  We don't know how their heart is aching.  We don't know what their trials are.  We can't possibly judge them based on our lack of knowledge or compassion. 
I love the idea that beautiful eyes look for the good in others and beautiful lips speak only words of kindness.  What a difference we could make in this world if we could just take these few simple words to heart. 
I love how she reminds us that we are never alone.  We have someone else to walk with us on our long and seemingly lonely road.  When we remember that, we can walk tall and be believing.  We come to know in the depths of our soul that we are never alone. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Touching Heaven

I have some personal experiences with this one.  I used to really struggle with being grateful for my life.  I have learned that we all have things that happen to us.  We all have difficulties and distress.  We all have trials.  It is easy to get ourselves so wrapped up in what is wrong with our lives, that we forget to look at all the things that are actually right. 
When I changed my sight from the things that have gone wrong, to the blessings that I am surrounded with, things became a lot easier.  The more I focused on the good, the less the problems that I was dealing with overwhelmed me.  The more I looked with gratitude at the world, the more blessings I found and recognized in my own life. 
I have learned, that as hard as it can be to find something to be thankful for, right this very minute, the more blessed I realize that I am when I make the effort in spite of my trials.  There are so many happy moments that surround us.  It was easy to find the things to be grateful for when I started with the basics.  When I covered my family, my home, and the gospel, I continued to find even more in the world around me.  Our Heavenly Father did not place us here to be miserable, and as much as I really hate to admit it, the ability to wallow in misery is truly a choice. 
What a beautiful thought for me today, the prospect of touching heaven through gratitude.  It encourages me to go right now and focus on something else that is a blessing.  It reminds me that we can each touch our own small part of heaven right here and right now.  All we have to do is find something to be thankful for and focus on that which is positive in our lives.  What a blessing!  What a gift!  What a choice! 
May we all come just a little bit closer to Heaven on earth as we reach, and grow, and learn, and most of all, give thanks every single day of our lives. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - I Will Come To You

This one speaks to my heart.  He will not leave us comfortless!!  When we are feeling lost and alone, He is there.  He comes to us during the times of our deepest sorrow and despair.  He knows our hearts and He knows our names.  Hold tight to His promises.  May your Sabbath day be rich with blessings and comfort and peace.