Saturday, April 11, 2015

Following Directions

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On the drive home from town today we saw a sign on a building we passed that said
“Having children doesn’t come with directions!” A little further along at a birthing center a sign said “But it does”
How many things in life do we do without reading the directions?
For diner tonight I decided to make chili. I have a good recipe that is fast and we like it. It’s a good last minute meal. However it never turns out the same because I don’t use a recipe for the exact amount of things- just toss and stir.
Red White and Blue Chili
1 lb. ground meat
1 can each red , white, and black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato  sauce                        some onion
some Picante sauce                        some chili powder
some water                                    some cumin
Brown meat and chopped onions. Throw in everything else and heat through.

Since my husband has retired he has been learning how to cook.  As a scientist he is better with a plan than a “humm try this”
On another subject I’ve been teaching some friends to quilt. I give them directions, sometimes verbal, sometimes written. But as a long time quilter I neglect to add basics that everyone knows. I know to use quarter inch seams, sew right sides together, press seams. “Oh did I forget to tell you that?”

As children in Sunday school classes I remember learning that we can learn life skills by reading the scriptures. There was also a popular diet a couple of years ago supposed to be found in the scriptures. And do you know anyone with a question they were pondering who flipped open the scriptures randomly and found the answer they were looking for?
I remember when my younger brother brought home a sign to tack on the kitchen wall by the fridge. It said, “ “if at first you don’t succeed, read the directions.

In Proverbs 3:5-6 we read;

“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”

I hope you have a lovely spring and plant something. 
But be sure to read the directions.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

WE WILL SURVIVE!!

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I have learned a lot in the last four weeks.
For twenty years I have been living in various levels of pain but have been afraid to do anything about it. I rejoiced when the doctors said “No you aren’t ready for surgery yet.” I had to get worse before I got better as the saying goes.  The perfect answer for the proverbial  procrastinator.

 But everyone tells me that once I do have knee replacement surgery I will feel so much better. Well- I don’t.

I think one of the attributes I need and don’t have enough of right now is patience.
I know that with work and time the pain will go away and I will be able to do the things I use to do more or less. Crawling on the ground to do gardening, sandwiching quilts or scrubbing brick floors will have to find different ways of being accomplished
To cheer myself up I looked up some quotes on patience. My favorites were….

"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."
Arnold H. Glasow
"It is easiesr to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience."
Julius Caesar

"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears."
Barbara Johnson

"The more patient we are,
the more understanding we become."
William Arthur Ward, Truths For Living

"Patience is the companion of wisdom."
Saint Augustine

"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in one ahead."
Bill Mcglashen
Another thought that jumped into my mind was a song by Gloria Gaynor , I Will Survive
The chorus goes
“No, not I, I will survive
Long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got my life to live
And all my love to give and I'll survive
I, I, I will survive"

A neighbor told me she is going to have the surgery next year when she turns 65 and will be watching me to see how I do. I’m going to have to learn how to be a better example. I have noticed though that ten repetitions of six simple exercises done three times a day have made a big difference in what I can do.  Like a gentle stream  flowing through the desert can over time dig a grand canyon, with a little patience, and consistence in simple exercises I will survive.
I hope this month you will choose something you have wanted to do but felt inadequate to do and patiently start working on it a little at a time. We will Survive!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

There Is A Green Hill Far Away




 















There is a hymn we sing in church

There is a Green Hill Far Away by
Cecil Alexander

There is a green hill far away,  Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there.

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin.
He only could unlock the gate Of heav'n and let us in.

Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too,
And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.

As the date for my knee surgery gets closer, I’ve been thinking
About the pain others who have had the surgery have described being in. And then they all say, “but it was worth it.”
I’ll be trying to remember, when I’m in the worst pain, that it is not even a small part of the pain our Savior bore for each of us. I’m trying to have a little empathy for Him and bear my own pain knowing it will be worth it.

Even with the surgery done by the doctor, I will have to do my share of exercises and care to make the surgery a success. That part depends on me. In the same way, Christ has paid for our sins and taken our pain onto Himself. But we need to do our share and exercise faith, and trust, and love to receive the best benefit.
But if you have a spare prayer for me next week, I’d appreciate it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rene'


 

I  love squishy marshmallows
Burned brown and crispy
Over an open campfire.

I love to go riding over the hills
With friends
In winter
Watching
Them smile
When I make snow angels after a fall.

I love the melodies
The children play
As their skills improve
Over years of practice.

I love family
And friends
And life
And love
I’m glad this river
Keeps on flowing

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Mission

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One of the things I have a hard time doing is keeping a journal.
This year my daughter gave me a five year journal that asks a question a day throughout the year, for five years. To start off each New Year, the question is “What is your mission?”

What is my mission? What plans did God have for me as I came to earth? What do we expect from me? I never wanted to be a great inventor, or orator. President? Me? NO!
My husband is a scientist. He loves seeing how things work, and tweaking them for the benefit of mankind.
My mother was a landscape architect. Her mission was to beautify the earth where she lived.
My daughter’s mission is to make people happy and feel loved and appreciated. She has always been good in schools and the retail market, helping others. But me? I don’t know.
All I ever wanted to do is be Suzy Homemaker.  I wanted to have six children; to cook wonderful meals; make their clothes; be a spiritual guide.
I remember sitting in an art class one summer talking to a fellow student about my late first husband who had recently passed on. “What’s the point of finding your dream, and then having it snatched rudely and painfully away from you?” After listening to my story he told me I was a comforter. I was put here to help those around me who are in need.
In Matt 25:35-40
We read
 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

And I sit in front of the fire stroking the cat on a cold wintry day.
And I take meals in to people in need.
And I make quilts. The ultimate comforter
And I smile.
I have found my mission.

What is your mission this year
?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christ's Love


 







December is a hard time of year for me. There were a number of years that I didn’t even want to put up a Christmas tree.
When he was fourteen, my nephew died from leukemia. I remember my sister saying, “How can we even celebrate Christmas?” I put my arm around her and told her that we did it for the other children.”
This came back to haunt me a number of years later when my own son died on December 14th. The last thing I wanted to do was decorate for Christmas. While we were away for the funeral our neighbors came into the house and left a little Norfolk pine decorated with candy canes, and little red ornaments. It was cute and it was enough.
I did decide that I wanted to put a little more Christ into our Christmas though and bought a small nativity; just Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus under our little tree. Every year for many years I added a figurine or two from the designer. First the shepherds, then the three wise men, sheep, a cow, a donkey, even three cats, till I had a complete set.

In the December 14 Ensign President Dieter F. Uchtdorf says

“When we think of Christmas, we often think of giving and of receiving gifts. Gifts can be part of a cherished tradition, but they can also detract from the simple dignity of the season and distract us from celebrating the birth of our Savior in a meaningful way.”

Think of the simple yet dignified way our Heavenly Father chose to honor the birth of His Son. On that holy night, angels appeared not to the rich but to shepherds. The Christ child was born not in a mansion but in a manger. He was wrapped not in silk but in swaddling clothes.
The simplicity of that first Christmas foreshadowed the life of the Savior. Though He had created the earth, walked in realms of majesty and glory, and stood at the right hand of the Father, He came to earth as a helpless child. His life was a model of modest nobility, and He walked among the poor, the sick, the downcast, and the heavy laden.

Though He was a king, He cared neither for the honors nor the riches of men. His life, His words, and His daily activities were monuments of simple yet profound dignity.
Jesus the Christ, who knew perfectly how to give, set for us the pattern for giving. To those whose hearts are heavy with loneliness and sorrow, He brings compassion and comfort. To those whose bodies and minds are afflicted with illness and suffering, He brings love and healing. To those whose souls are burdened with sin, He offers hope, forgiveness, and redemption.
If the Savior were among us today, we would find Him where He always was—ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. During this Christmas season and always, may we give to Him by loving as He loves. May we remember the humble dignity of His birth, gifts, and life. And may we, through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power.”

My sister and I have each been doing a project a month this year. We trade months choosing projects. Her choice for December was to do a service a day till Christmas. Even just a phone call or note to a friend counts. One of mine was to help a high school student in Virginia with a paper for a class. She was interviewing different age groups, economic groups etc. on “What’s the meaning of life” I said the meaning of life is to give life meaning.

May you enjoy the spirit of Christ this Christmas and make a difference in someone’s life.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gaining Stregnth



 






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  Last week I was taking a medical test. On the wall in    front of me was a Native American proverb, which I liked  so I wrote it down, and lost it. I remember that it was on adversity.  I have spent the week looking on-line for a quote like it. Some interesting ones I have found are:

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.
~ Horace 65-68 B.C. ~

Pain by itself is merely pain, but the experience of pain coupled with an understanding that the pain serves a worthy purpose is suffering. Suffering can be endured because there is a reason for it that is worth the effort. What is more worthy of your pain than the evolution of your soul?
~ Gary Zukav from "Seat Of The Soul" ~

The truth is, that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
~ M. Scott Peck ~

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
~Helen Keller ~

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Viktor Frankl - from Man's Search For Meaning ~

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.
~ Moliere

When it is dark enough you can see the stars
-Charles A. Beard, American Historian (1874-1949)

Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.
 Eugen Ionescu 1909-1994) French playwright & dramatist

It seems like there is so much adversity in our world today. Some mornings I think about pulling the covers back over my head till tomorrow comes. My sister told me of a dream that she had once.

“I had a dream sometime ago, still vivid. Youth and children were drowning in a pool on the side of an old volcano. The pool's attractive warmth, colors, and flowers stemmed from a very dangerous source deep inside the mountain. The youth seemed to know they were in trouble and their arms broke the surface of the water reaching up to be rescued. I had only to grasp their forearms and they were able to pull themselves out of the pool and run down the grassy slope to safety. But the babies on the other side of the pool didn't know they were drowning. Toddlers and infants lay below the surface in a complacent sleep. Adults enjoying the day and a picnic by the side of the pool didn't want to go into the water to help. Finally one woman in a white dress said she would stand by the side of the pool and hold the children as they were handed up. She hugged and nurtured the little one until it could stand on its own. I woke up before all the children were rescued.”

There are several interpretations one could give this dream, But I think I will choose, “ There are many people who are facing adversity in their lives today. I want to be one of the ones nurturing, comforting, and helping. We can’t do everything, but we can do something.”


The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears. - Tribe Unknown