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


Friday, April 28, 2017

Life - The difficult


 
This one has real meaning for me.  I know that in my life, I have spent too much time trying to copy the people that I admire and respect.  Cutting my hair like them, dressing like them, picking up on their words and phrases.  It was much worse when I was younger and so insecure with the girl that I was, and even more insecure with the young woman I was becoming.  
The sad part is that inside, I am still sometimes that girl.  I still want to be liked.  I want people to admire me and my family.  I want to be like the other families in our small community, that everyone looks up to.   I want my children to be liked, respected and popular.  Intellectually, I know that popularity isn't everything, but in this community, it really seems to make or break the kids.  People here think that bullying doesn't go on in our town or our schools.  We are talking really big city here.  My daughters graduating class two years ago was 31 students.  So, I think that bullying is even harder in a small town.  If you are not with the in crowd, than you are out, and no one will be your friend. 
It breaks my heart to watch my girls go through this.  It causes so many emotional problems.  My love isn't enough for them.  They want the acceptance of their peers. 
I have grown older (yep, think grey) and now it is not so important to me what "everyone" thinks.  The elusive "everyone" really does not exist.  It still matters what they say though.  For some reason, it is not what is done that is the most difficult for me to handle, it is what is said.  I remember the words long after the deeds. 
I am content with just a few close friends.  I think if I had any more than that, the guilt of not being able to be there for "everyone" would overwhelm me.  I am very grateful for my friends who support me and help me through the hard times.  I am not as grateful for those whom I thought were my friends, but they turned out differently.  I suppose High School lives on in some peoples lives.  As for me, I am so glad that part is long over. 
The reason I love the quote above is because it reminds me that Heavenly Father made me who I am.  He did not make me to be another Mary or Martha or Eve.  He made me and placed me in this place because I can do some good.  I can learn and grow and become more like Him.  He does not ever want us to be "everybody else".  He has always intended that we would be ourselves, with our own talents and blessings.  Most important of all, He loves us exactly how we are right now.  With our makeup off, our hair straight (or frizzy in my case), and our clothes wrinkled and worn.  It isn't the face that we show to the world that He sees.  It isn't how we did on someone else's test that matters.  It is who we are becoming and what He needs us to be. 
So, don't be a poor example of anyone else.  Be your own unique self and know right now that you are loved. 
 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What I learned - Gathering the Family of God

Gathering the Family of God

April 2017 General Conference

"You see, the names “brother” and “sister” are not just friendly greetings or terms of endearment for us. They are an expression of an eternal truth: God is the literal Father of all mankind;"
Now, I should tell you that a large part of the talk concerned Genealogy and  finding our ancestors.  Turning the hearts of the hearts of the children to the fathers.  I am trying to learn to do family research, but right now, I am absolutely sure that my daughters are much better at it than I am.  So, I am struggling to do that. 
For me, I loved the talk most because he mentions a loving Heavenly Father who really does want us to return to Him.  That is such a contrast from the angry God that I grew up knowing.  I love feeling like there is hope in my own journey. 
I love that we were not sent here in the dark.  That each one of us has an innate sense of right and wrong.  We may choose to ignore it, but it is there. 
We may choose not to be gathered "home", but it is a choice we will each make.  It doesn't depend upon our birth.  It depends on our own choices while we are here.  There are millions of Heavenly Father's children who have not had the chance to hear about Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us.  They don't know anything about the atonement.  But they are not penalized for that.  They also will be given the choice to decide. 
That is what I love about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It shows me, always and in every way how much our Father loves us, and also how individually He knows us. 
It reminds me, that He wants us to come Home. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Little Red Head




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, April 25, 2017

Touching Heaven



“To love another person
is to see the face of God.” 
- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables 
  
Oh how I love this play!  It is amazing and this is one of the most sensitive and profound statements in the entire play.   It reminds me that He is very aware of us, and whether we admit it or not, He is in everything around us. 
How many of you remember holding your very first baby?  The love that filled your heart and mind.  The all consuming, I would do anything and everything to give her or him the best life possible.  The physical need to hold the baby close and protect them from any harm.  The look of absolute trust and love in that baby's eyes.  Those eyes that seem to see into a world you were not privy to.  Those eyes that looked into yours and drew the very breath out of your lungs.  Those eyes that reminded you of eternity and beyond. 
I am amazed when I look into the eyes of a child and they look back at me in trust and love.  I literally feel God's love in that small gaze.  I feel His trust that He would give me the responsibility for one of His most precious children.  I wish we could hold on to that.  How I wish I could remember that moment when the child is talking back, not listening, yelling or even calling names.  I wish, that for that moment, I could recall God's gaze of love. 
Life happens, time passes, and each one of us have bad moments.  Looking back, there are so many things I could have, would have, and should have done differently.  So many ways to show God's love for each and every child.  But there are also so many ways that I did things right!  So many changes that I made to give my children a better life.  So many sacrifices and heartaches in the name of love.  So many things that I will never regret. 
Maybe, that is why I love being a Grandmother so much!  This is my moment to appreciate the love that I have been given in my own life.  It is my chance to be what each of these precious gifts, needs.  It is to be old enough, and mature enough to recognize God's face in the face of others, even when they are cranky or challenging.  It is to watch my children become amazing parents and grow and learn and do so much better than I did.
When we look for God's eyes in the eyes of those we love, we will find His love for us gazing back.  
We will find His peace and His joy.
Most of all, we will find His healing and His Grace.     

Monday, April 24, 2017

Walking into a Church


Billy Graham has said many times: “Walking into a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than walking into a garage
makes you a car.”  

I love, love, love this saying.   It reminds me that we are made up of what we DO, and not so much because of where we ARE right this minute.  It also reminds me that Christians are more than just beliefs, they are designated by their behavior toward every one of God's sons and daughters.  It reminds me that my family is more than just my biological family or my church family.  My family encompasses friends, neighbors and even those who are hard to love.   
I suspect, that at various times in our lives, we are all a little hard to love.  I also suspect that there are times when each one of us behave in a very unchristian-like way.  We want to be a BMW, but instead, we are more like the common gremlin!  No matter how cool the outside looks, inside we are what we are.  And that person shows through, no matter how we disguise the outside.  Who we become, is the result of our choices. 
We all get to choose the person we become.  We do it each day through hundreds and thousands of individual decisions that we make.  We may not choose exactly what happens to us, but we choose how we react to it.  We might not get to choose the path we are on, but we choose what we see and what we realize.  We choose how we see the world that is around us.  Every choice we make brings us farther away, or closer to, the person that we want to become. 
So, maybe walking into the church doesn't make you Christian, but choosing to stay there, choosing to change, choosing to become, does.    And for me, the most wonderful part of this is that, although we can't change the past, every one of us has the ability to rewrite our futures.  We start today and use the Atonement for our good.  We repent, we grow, we change, we become. 
Isn't it wonderful, that we have a Father in Heaven, who loves us enough to provide a way for each of us to arrive home.  Our paths might be different.  Our pasts might be completely opposite, but none of us are forgotten on this journey.  He cares for each of us individually.  He gives us what we need to grow, and allows us to experience joy in our journey, no matter how rocky the path.   

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sabbath Day Scribbling - God Is....

1 Chronicles 22:18
Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Overwhelm the World

 
Today, I am asking myself what little bit of good is it that I am doing?  There is a part of me, that wants to do great things.  Sometimes, I really want to be an amazing person in this world.  I look at the people I admire and they have all done so much for the world around them.  Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks and so many others.  I love reading about women who have changed their own little piece of the world.  Women who made a difference in their lives by the many, many little things they did. 
I love the quote that says to "change your own small corner of the world".  I may not be able to change everything, or even most things, but if I can make it better for a few, than I will be a part of something that means so much more to me.  I believe that we each can play a small part in overwhelming the world with kindness and love, with goodness and righteousness, with hope and peace.  I believe that we can start to change things just by changing ourselves.  We can make a difference one single act at a time.  Together, we become overwhelming. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What I learned - My Peace I leave with You

 
The Lord promised peace to His disciples
as He was about to leave them.
He has made the same promise to us.
 
This was an address given by President Henry B. Eyring.  I loved the sweet promise of peace.  "My message tonight is a simple one. We have all felt peace tonight. All of us would like to feel such peace often within ourselves, in our families, and with the people around us. The Lord promised peace to His disciples as He was about to leave them. He has made the same promise to us. But He said that He would give peace in His way, not in the world’s way. He described His way of sending peace:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:26–27)."
 
I loved this entire talk.  He reminded us again and again that the Holy Ghost is a comforter, but often the comfort that he brings is done in the Lord's way and not in the way we might expect or think we need.  Often, we serve to fulfill the needs of others.  We become truly His messengers as we seek to follow Him.  We are guided to those who need the comfort of the atonement and of the Savior in their lives. 
He talked about charity and what it really means.  Basically, it is the pure love of Christ.  I think it means to truly serve others without expecting anything in return.  It is in serving that we learn to love.  It is in nourishing those whose lives are filled with sorrow, that we learn to become more like Him.  I love that he Holy Ghost affects what we see when we look at others and also what we think. 
It is not about judging.  It is about loving each other as our Heavenly Father loves us.  May we each seek to hold that unity and love in our hearts. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Happiness

 
 
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, April 18, 2017

Happiness is not a goal

Image result for happiness quotes
 
This was a different way of looking at things for me.  When I think of being happy, I tend to think of it as something I will be in the future.  After the kids are grown, after the bills are paid, after this trial is over.  I don't usually look at it as something happening right this minute.  In ways I don't always understand, we are all chasing a dream.  We all want to be happy, and even more important, we all want to be happy right this minute.
This simple quote made me think for a moment.  What if happiness really isn't the goal?  What if it is supposed to be something that we all experience along the way.  There are times when I have been incredibly happy.  When I felt really good about what was going on in my life.  There have also been times when I have been caught up in depression and despair.  Times when happiness seems to be completely out of my reach, and when I am absolutely sure it will never come to pass. 
What makes the difference between those two extremes?  I would have to say that it is my own state of mind.  It is how I am experiencing the world around me right at this moment.  It is what I am focusing on, what I am hearing, who I am being.  The difference is within myself.  It is looking at whether the glass is half full, or half empty.  It is realizing that it is the same glass and it has water to drink just waiting for me to partake.
So, if happiness isn't the goal, what prevents me from being happy all the time?  What is stopping me from experiencing joy right now in my individual journey?   That is an answer I am pondering and studying.  It is the question that I really want to know.  With all the trials in my life, I am pretty sure that they are not over yet.  So, there is going to be more times of anxiety for me to go through.  I would really like to change the anxiety into at least a few times of happiness.  I would like happiness not to be something I am chasing, but something that is happening right now, inside myself. 
Perhaps it is a matter of realizing that happiness isn't the same thing as "fun".  Happiness isn't necessarily laughing and giggling throughout the day.  I believe that happiness is that calm, peaceful feeling you get when you know you are doing the right things for the right reasons.  Happiness for me, involves faith and trust.  It is in knowing that everything will work out just the way it is supposed to.  It is the peacefulness that I feel after a trial has passed and I have survived.  Happiness, is a state of being. 
 
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Language most Foul



I had a terrible experience with this one today.  I had a customer come in and call me so many horrible names that it was just, well, insulting, as well as unnerving.  I don't think I have been called so many names since I was a child.  It flipped me back to the hurt girl that I used to be.  I am pretty sure I didn't even respond correctly. 
I am not someone that swears.  I used to could say that my children never heard me say a swear word, but I went through a time a while back that changed that.  I do know that it was a very hard habit to break.  It took a lot of perseverance and thinking about my words to change it.  I made me pause before I replied. 
That being said, I have never said the words that I was attacked with.  People who think words don't hurt, have never lived a life where they had to be afraid.  The words have always come, either before or during, abuse.  So for me, the words pack a little bit of a punch. 
It impacted every single one of us at work, and had the rest of the customers standing against the wall while this not gentleman engaged in a tirade. 
I was embarrassed for him as well as myself.  Number one, he doesn't know me if he thinks those words even begin to describe the person that I am.  Number two, well, his vocabulary is a little bit lacking.  Definitely on the side of baser things.  How terrible it must be if that is the only way he knows of to get his point across. 
So, just in case you wondered, a little swearing doesn't make me feel bad.  I get it that people are trying to make a point and sometimes a swear word feel better.  But, calling people names, especially the baser ones is not by any stretch of the imagination appropriate.  It is not kind.  It is not accurate.  It is not true.  And probably, the most important thing of all, it is not even necessary. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Afflictions



"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."  Psalms 34:19

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Seven Steps to Happiness





Happiness can feel so elusive at times, especially when you are going through something that hurts your heart.  Something that you never imagined you would ever be faced with.  I know that the Lord wants us to have joy, even in the times of trial.  He wants us to find happiness within ourselves and through the service that we provide to others.  Those others can, and often do, involve our families. 
It is easy for me to focus so much on the trial, that I forget to see the things around me that are indeed joys.  I found this little quote on the internet.  (What would we do without technology!!) and I really like it.  It reminds me that I can do something about the way I feel, even if it is only small.  I can make a different choice. 
The first time one of my grandchildren spent the night, he was a little nervous about it.  His mom never let him stay overnight anywhere and Grammys house was no exception.  We had a lot of fun.  We went sledding, we bounced on the trampoline, we fed the chickens and made dinner.  But when it came time for bed, he got a little bit teary eyed.  I let him call his mom to wish her a good night, and in a very quavering voice he said, "I think maybe I should have made a different choice".  He was not quite ready to leave the comfort of home. 
He slept over and had more fun the next day and by the time he went home he was fine.  He had a wonderful weekend, and he forgot about "the choice".  He remembered the fun time that he had with his brother and the things that they had done together. 
It is easy for us to focus so much on our sorrow of the moment, that we forget to find the joy that surrounds us.   Every single attitude in our life is a choice.  If I can just remember that when I am feeling a little on the less side, I will be able to find the more. 

John 16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Tip Toe if you Must


 
It can be so hard to change direction in mid-stride.  It is hard to change, it is hard to start over and it is hard to learn something in a new way that you have never done before.  I am trying to learn something totally new to me.  I suffer from anxiety and depression.  Sometimes, it doesn't seem so bad, and my head thinks about stopping the medication that I am on.  I feel like I should be able to handle this life on my own.  After all, I don't have any more problems than other people have in their own lives.  I even know people whose problems seem worse.  Then I feel guilty for allowing myself to wallow in this place.
For me, this life has been very much about taking baby steps.  One moment at a time.  I take a step, I breath.  I take another step and breath some more.  I pull and stretch and reach toward something that resembles sanity, only to be yanked back like a spring from memories and voices in my mind. 
We all have things that have happened to us in life.  Things that we hope never to have happen to another living soul.  Things that we struggle with and try to overcome.  My problem, is that it isn't the physical acts that have the tight grip on me, it is the voices that I hear continually in my head.  The ones that tell me I am a failure.  The ones that say I will never be good enough.  The ones that call me names like Sadsack and Frog and Ugly and Slow and Stupid.  So many names that I can't even write them all down. 
Yet, when I am really struggling with something in my life, it is not the actions that pull me away, it is the names.  It is the voices in my head that continually remind me of my faults and failings.  The more things go wrong, the louder those voices yell in my memories.  They sound as if they are right, even when I know they are wrong. 
So, today, my step in the right direction is simply to put aside the name calling in my brain and recognize that I AM HIS.  He doesn't tell me those things.  He never would.  I am going to try harder to listen to His voice and less to the voices that don't matter at all.  Today I am choosing to open up my heart to His love and tiptoe right into His arms. 
Today, I am going to take that step.   
 


Thursday, April 13, 2017

What I learned - Certain Women

 
 
"Our sisters across the ages have demonstrated the faithful pattern of discipleship that we too strive for. “The New Testament includes accounts of [certain] women, named and unnamed, who exercised faith in Jesus Christ [and in His Atonement], learned and lived His teachings, and testified of His ministry, miracles, and majesty. These women became exemplary disciples and important witnesses in the work of salvation.” 
Consider these accounts in the book of Luke. First, during the Savior’s ministry:
“And it came to pass … that [Jesus] went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
“And certain women, … Mary called Magdalene, … and Joanna … , and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him.”2
Next, following His Resurrection:
“And certain women … which were early at the sepulcher".  “… When they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had … seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 
How did I miss these passages about "certain women"  How did I not know of their importance and their faith?  I have read these scriptures several times, and until now, I never noticed.  The Lord does acknowledge His followers.  He may want to have spared their names, but I am sure that the people of that time knew exactly of whom he was speaking. 
Consider these synonyms of one meaning of the word certain as connected to faithful, certain women: “convinced,” “positive,” “confident,” “firm,” “definite,” “assured,” and “dependable.” Oh how I want to be numbered with them.  Oh how I want to help others to find His light and love and truth. 
"Sisters, when we have become distracted, doubtful, discouraged, sinful, sorrowful, or soul-stretched, may we accept the Lord’s invitation to drink of His living water, as did the certain woman at the well, inviting others to do the same as we bear our own certain witness: “Is not this the Christ?”  My favorite part of the talk is the following quote:
When life seems unfair, as it must have seemed to Martha at the death of her brother—when we experience the heartaches of loneliness, infertility, loss of loved ones, missing opportunities for marriage and family, broken homes, debilitating depression, physical or mental illness, stifling stress, anxiety, addiction, financial hardship, or a plethora of other possibilities—may we remember Martha and declare our similar certain witness: “But I know … [and] I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.”  A "certain woman" is one who is a believer in spite of the trials she is given.  She raises about herself to serve those around her.  She is kind and compassionate and understanding.  May prayer is that we may all strive to be "certain women" in the eyes of the Lord. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - 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, April 11, 2017

Sweet and Simple


 
Newsflash:  Life is not made up of going from one big thing to another.  It is made up of going from small things with as much grace and dignity as we can muster.  Sometimes, I am dragged from something, sometimes I can skip and jump away, but really life is the memories of the small seemingly innocent moments that we live. 
 Today I want to remember:
The smell of a new baby's hair and skin as you count every one of their fingers and toes to make sure they are there.
The day I got married.  After all the hoopla, it was really just about the two of us, forever.  I wish I could have learned that so much sooner!
The smell of rain on the flowers and earth in the spring.
The sound of waves crashing on the shore.
The bugle of an Elk.
My baby's first steps.
My baby's first word.
The way it felt to rock them even when they were a little bit older.
The fierce love in my heart for every single one of them.
The joy of accomplishment.
The little arms that go tight around me neck and exclaim "I need to hold you!".
My point is that there are hundreds and even thousands of little things that are the real reason for going on.  Don't let that one big disappointment stand in your way.  Don't let the discouragement of a single moment pull you away from reality. 
Remember the little things and breath them in.
 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Take One, Please



Image result for happiness quotes


Do you need one of these today?  I have often thought about putting this on my quote board at work for people.  Life can be so stressful and sometimes the stress just goes to my face and does something ugly!  For some reason, this month has been one of the worst.  I find myself feeling so unlovable and so very unworthy to be loved.  I also find myself flipping a switch in my mind to the difficulties of the past.  And so, when I look at this, I think how much easier it would be if we could just smile at each other a little more often. 
In my role in customer service, I see the best and the worst in people.  The best is so good.  It uplifts my heart and makes the day easier to get through.  The worst is so bad sometimes that I become a 12 year old child in my mind, and I don't deal with it well at all. 
I just need to find a place where I can breath.  It amazes how truly badly people can behave when they want their way.  It continues to surprise me, when they yell and throw tantrums like giant two year olds.  I wish I could say it only happens once in a great while, but surprisingly, it happens way too often.  Nearly everyday, I have to resolve someone's crisis that they made and now has become my emergency.  The hardest thing for me is that there are no apologies or kindness from those people.  Just aggravation. 
So today, I am smiling through it all.  No matter what happens, I am going to keep myself grounded in the things I know.

"You is kind
You is smart
You is important!"

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Hope maketh me not ashamed




Romans 5:3-5
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Face of God



One of my very favorite musicals is Les Miserables.  I love it for the story and the teachings that it provides.  I have seen the movie, the musical and read the book.  It is an amazing story of mistakes, judgments and forgiveness.  This is a line from one of my favorite songs in the musical.  It is sang at the finale with so much compassion and love.  This is the story of a man who steals to feed his sisters children, who is given 20 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread.  Who escapes and starts a new life when a priest changes the life he was living and gives him the chance to be an honest man. 
For me, it is a story about life and the mistakes we all make, and the judgments we all pass on others without knowing their story.  Sometimes we become so involved in justice, there is no room for mercy.  I believe that mercy doesn't take the place of justice, when we act, we are also choosing our consequences and sometimes those are most grievous to bear.  But I also believe that true change can take place in anyone of us and that our past should not hold us back from the possibilities of the future. 
There is not a single one of us that hasn't made mistakes, and if we could only see others as God sees them, I think we would behold all the difference. 


Friday, April 7, 2017

What if your blessings?


Today I am sharing with you one of my all time favorite songs.  It has really touched my heart and I hope it touches yours as well.  Feel free to google it to hear the music that goes with it.  Someday, I think I would love the sing it. 


What if your blessings come through raindrops?
by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel you near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if each promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win, we know
That pain reminds this hearts,
That this is not, this is not our home…

What if my greatest disappointments,
Or the aching of this life,
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy.
What if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

What I learned - The Beauty of Holiness



“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name:
bring an offering, and come before him:
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

This talk was given by Carol F. McConkie, 
First councilor in the Young Women General Presidency


She used one of my favorite bible stories.  It is the story of Mary and Martha, and I often feel like I am Martha when I should be Mary! 
When Martha received Jesus Christ into her home, she felt a tremendous desire to serve the Lord to the best of her ability. Her sister, Mary, chose to sit “at Jesus’ feet” and to hear His word. When Martha felt burdened about serving without any help, she complained, “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?”
I love the words of the most gentle rebuke that I can imagine. With perfect love and infinite compassion, the Savior admonished:
“Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Sisters, if we would be holy, we must learn to sit at the feet of the Holy One of Israel and give time to holiness. Do we set aside the phone, the never-ending to-do list, and the cares of worldliness? Do we set aside our busy lives, if only for a short space of time to ponder and feast upon His words?  Prayer, study, and heeding the word of God invite His cleansing and healing love into our souls. We have to actually make time to be holy, We have to choose to have that sacred time with Him, that we may be filled with His sacred and sanctifying Spirit. Holiness isn't just a goal, it is a choice.  One each one of us must make as we seek Him in the world today.  Oh how my heart wants to sing the Hymn, More holiness give me.  I can't even think of the words without tears coming to my eyes and my heart yearning to be nearer to Him.

1. More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff'ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.

2. More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.

3. More purity give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be.
More blessed and holy--
More, Savior, like thee.

Text and music: Philip Paul Bliss, 1838-1876
 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Our Very Own Walmart Baby





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, April 4, 2017

The Blessings Will Come




Deuteronomy 28:1-2
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.

Sometimes, it feels like blessings are never going to come.  It is like my life is in the chaos of an endless winter.  I can't see the blessing that surround me because of the feeling of cold and snow that is so prevalent in my vision. 
I like this scripture because it reminds me that, just like spring, the blessings WILL come.  Not only will they come, but they will completely overtake me.  That is a pretty amazing promise. 
I am struggling with trusting the promises of the Lord.  That is a terrible place to be.  My heart knows His promises are sure, but my head keeps telling me "what if".  If only I could get my heart and my head in the same place, maybe I wouldn't worry quite so much. 
We each have things that are hard for us.  We all have differences and blessings.  I think that sometimes we focus so much on the perceived blessing of others, that we forget to find our own. 
So, since it is my head that has the problem, I am working on listing the blessing that I do have, and ignoring the ones that I think I want.  I know that as I focus on gratitude, my life will be more in tune with that I really have.  I also know, in ways that I don't yet understand, that my life is filled with blessings given from God. 
He has not left me out just because (for now), I cannot see. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sabbath Day Scribblings- Unnecessary Burden



JUDE 1:21-22

21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22 
And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Take joy in your trials


James 1:2-5
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

This one is so very hard for me.  It is not that I don't want to be joyful, but sometimes I can't see myself out of the hole that I seem to be in.  You climb a mountain, only to find a bigger one waiting for you on the other side.  Sometimes, there really is joy, but often, my spirit only sees the difficulties. 
I can honestly say, that if I had to do it all over again, I would probably do most of the same things.  I might not wish those trials upon anyone else, but they have helped to mold me and shape me into the person that I am today.  If I changed those things, my question would be, would I somehow lose the essence of myself. 
I like the person that I have become most of the time.  I strive not to hurt others, I volunteer to help, I work hard at improving the lives of others.  I still do a lot wrong.  I don't want to sound perfect because I am not.  I still have days and hours where it takes every bit of my energy just to go to work, and when I come home, I can only fall into bed.  There is no strength left for anything else.  There are nights when I can't sleep.  There are times when the past reaches out and holds me tight in it's grip of "if only's and what if's".  Sometimes it gets overwhelming, yet when I look at the person I have become, I am grateful for my trials.  They gave me my strengths. 
I am not sure that I like working toward patience very much.  It always means more trials, but I would like to have patience in faith and understanding.  I would like to not need to know everything right this moment.  I would like to wait upon the Lord's time.  And so, although joy sometimes escapes me, I will look for it in all my temptations and short comings.  I believe that Heavenly Father sent us here to have joy.  He wants us to find that joy in the midst of whatever place we are in.  I don't believe that joy only comes in the life hereafter.  I think it is supposed to be for us, here, today.  
So today, I am going to find joy in the small moments.  In the things I don't want to take for granted.  Today, my cup will be full.    

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What I learned - Trust in the Lord

 
In Proverbs 3:5–6, we read this counsel:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
“In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.”
 
Every six months, we have General Conference.  One of the sessions the week before is a session for the women in the church.  This was the first talk and was titled Trust in the Lord and lean not.  It was given by Bonnie H. Cordon who is the second councilor in the Primary general presidency.  I loved her entire talk, and couldn't help but ask myself if I am leaning away from the Savior. 
She first described what leaning means:   "In English the word lean has a connotation of physically listing or moving to one side. When we physically lean toward one side or another, we move off center, we are out of balance, and we tip. When we spiritually lean to our own understanding, we lean away from our Savior. If we lean, we are not centered; we are not balanced; we are not focused on Christ".
The words touched me and taught me.  I love that leaning means we are not centered, that we are off balance.  That very much describes some of what I am going through. 
She then suggested three ways in which we can increase our knowledge and trust of the Savior. 
 
1.  First, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him as we “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
2.  Second, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him through prayer. What a blessing to be able to pray to our God! “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart.”
3.  Third, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him as we serve others.
 
Three simple things, yet they can be so hard to do sometimes.  I struggle with finding the time necessary to do everything that I think I "should"  be doing.  Perhaps, I am just doing too many of the "Good Things" and not enough of the "Best Things".  Perhaps, it is time to go back to the basics and try just a little bit harder.  Instead of trying to leap, I need to do baby steps.  In stead of trying to do everything, I need to just focus on a few best things.  I need to work on trusting Him and little bit more and not leaning on myself quite so hard.   

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Kansas City



 
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 28, 2017

Stop Worrrying

 
It is not easy for me to stop worrying.  I worry about everything:  Being late, being early, having money, not having enough money, work, school, the cars, the phone, the bills.  You name it, I have probably worried about it. 
It is sad to me to even try to think about how much of my life has been spent in worrying.  My stomach in knots, but brain whirling, my heart beating fast.  I think I may worry just a little too well!
Take this week for example; I have an 18 year old teen.  She is a really good girl.  However, she went to see a friend in Holbrook.  The road there is a good one, but there are way too many accidents along it late at night.  I planned on her being home by 9:00.  In reality, it was after 1:00 in the morning when she came in.  She did text, so it is not like I didn't know where she was or what was going one, but I couldn't sleep. 
Finally, after tossing and turning, I went out on the couch and watched a TV show.  I stayed up until she arrived home (safe at last!) and then was up for about 40 minutes later to get my anxiety under control.  Six hours of sleep later, and it was time to get up to start the Sabbath day. 
I was exhausted!  Then 6 hours of sleep Sunday night and back to work.  After a very long day (about 14 hours) I came home and finally went to sleep at 9:00 again, only to wake up at 3:00AM to worry and not go back to sleep.  I really have to find a way to stop this!!
Worry is not my friend. 
I know this quote is true, even if it is so hard for me to remember.  I have seen the Lord's hand in my life when things don't work out the way I always planned they would. 
I had so many dreams as a child.  Ones where I was a surgeon, or a rocket scientist, or an astronaut.  I dreamed things that did not come true.  Somehow, I never saw myself quite where I am today.  Yet in all my dreams, I could never have seen the blessings that I would be given instead.  I think that I am right where I need to be.  So, when plans don't work out, when the road is uphill, when everything and everyone seems to conspire against you, have faith.  I believe the Lord's plans for us are so much bigger than anything we could dare to dream. 
 

Friday, March 24, 2017

No Act of Kindness




 
Oh, how I love this one.  I love the way that it puts love and kindness together in one simple explanation.   I have come to learn in my life, that it is impossible to have real love without kindness; and the more kind we are to those around us, the greater our ability to love increases.  I have been growing and learning my entire life, and sometimes, kindness still eludes me.  It is easy enough to be kind when others are kind in return, it is so much harder when we are in the position of making a point, or needing information, or wanting control.  There is a part of me that is starting to see most unkindness as a means of control;  Over others, over our environment, even over life itself.
I may not be capable of, or even have the opportunity to do great things in my life, but I am capable of doing small things with great love in every aspect of the life I am living.  Even a smile can warm someone else's heart on a bad day.  Life is hard for every. single. one. of us.  Maybe at different times and different places, but it can still be very hard.  My new goal is to not make anyone else's life harder than it needs to be. 
When I think of great acts of love, I think of those who have dedicated their lives to healing the hurt of others.  I think of Jesus Christ, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Joan of Arc, Madam Curie, and there are so many others that I can't even begin to name them all.  But none of them did one thing for one day.  They spent hours, days, weeks, months and years in the service of people.  So acts of great love don't usually happen in one moment.  They are happening around us every day through the small acts of kindness done toward others. 
I want to reek of kindness in everything I do and every action I take.  I am tired of being hurt and angry.  I am tired of being depressed and anxious.  I am tired of worrying and stressing over the next good thing I need or want, or even that someone else needs or wants from me.  For too long, I try and be kind to those who are in and out of my life, but somehow I miss out on being kind to those who put up with me and love me in spite of myself.  They need to come first, not last.
I wonder why it is so hard to keep them in "first place" in all my doings?
So, I am going to keep trying to be a little kinder and a little gentler to those around me.  I am going to try and treat them the way that they deserve.  I am going to try not to give them the leftovers of life.  I am going to try to give them many small acts of kindness with great amounts of love thrown in.  I am going to remind them of what they really mean to me.