Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Sky is Falling



Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? An acorn fell on her head, and she thought the sky was falling. She ran to tell the lion about it. On the way, she met Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, and Goosy Loosey. Telling each one that the sky was falling. They all ran to tell the King.
Today I put my feet up to rest my poor tired legs and listened to the news. Our world today is filled with distress. Everyone seems to be fighting and hurting. As the news ended a hymn that I love filled my mind. How Firm a Foundation
Text: Attr. to Robert Keen,
The third and fourth verses go
3.Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
In our latest General Conference
Reminds us. “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.
You will at times have your faith challenged by Satan; it happens to all disciples of Jesus Christ. Your defense against these attacks is to keep the Holy Ghost as your companion. The Spirit will speak peace to your soul. He will urge you forward in faith. And He will bring back the memory of those times when you felt the light and the love of Jesus Christ.
Remembering may be one of the most precious gifts the Spirit can give you. He will “bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever [the Lord has] said unto you” (John 14:26). The memory may be of an answered prayer, of a priesthood ordinance received, of a confirmation of your testimony, or of a moment when you saw God’s guiding hand in your life.
This is the goal that your Father in Heaven has for you, His precious daughters. It may seem to you like a distant goal, but from His perspective, you’re not that far away. So He visits you with His Spirit to comfort you, encourage you, and inspire you to keep going.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Believe Him










On Easter morning
I dreamed I was at the
Garden Tomb
Purple and yellow flowers bloomed
Carpeting the path
The air was cool and glowing
Birds sang joyously.
A little lamb
Sat quietly enjoying the sun.
I joined him, thinking--
Am I willing to suffer?
To give up my sins?
Can I live Christ’s life?
Can I believe Him?
Am I ready for hope?
And joy?
And forgiveness?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How Could There Not?


 







 OK, I confess. I’ve been on face book again. My cousin had a dream last night where he had an other worldly visitor. His guide in the next life was an atheist as my cousin  is. Among other things, He asked his guide,” What of religion? He almost angrily shakes his head and says "most dangerous invention ever! Imposing a value judgment on life, diminishes the experience, and damages the potential growth."
Another friend posted a site where you can find your Bible quote in your life. Curious, I tried it.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield. In Him my heart trusts.
I tried to look for the scriptural referencThe full quote is,
Psalm 28:7The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

The site went on to explain, ”The Bible has been your guiding light through all the ups and downs in your life. It has made you a strong individual and taught you that nothing is impossible if you believe In yourself. All true-Like most people I have had many ups and downs in my life and I do rely on my faith to get through them. I believe and trust in God for His help.
In this month’s Ensign magazine, there is an article by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf 
The Just Shall Live by Faith
In it, President Uchtdorf tells the story,

The Rabbi and the Soap Maker

“There is an old Jewish tale about a soap maker who did not believe in God. One day as he was walking with a rabbi, he said,
 “There is something I cannot understand. We have had religion for thousands of years. But everywhere you look there is evil, corruption, dishonesty, injustice, pain, hunger, and violence. It appears that religion has not improved the world at all. So I ask you, what good is it? ”The rabbi did not answer for a time but continued walking with the soap maker. Eventually they approached a playground where children, covered in dust, were playing in the dirt. “There is something I don’t understand,” the rabbi said. “Look at those children. We have had soap for thousands of years, and yet those children are filthy. What good is soap?” The soap maker replied, “But rabbi, it isn’t fair to blame soap for these dirty children. Soap has to be used before it can accomplish its purpose. ”The rabbi smiled and said, “Exactly.”
President Uchtdorf continues, “Faith is more than belief. It is complete trust in God accompanied by action.It is more than wishing. It is more than merely sitting back, nodding our heads, and saying we agree. When we say “the just shall live by faith,” we mean we are guided and directed by our faith. We act in a manner that is consistent with our faith—not out of a sense of thoughtless obedience but out of a confident and sincere love for our God and for the priceless wisdom He has revealed to His children.
Faith must be accompanied by action; else it has no life (see James 2:17). It is not faith at all. It doesn’t have the power to change a single individual, let alone the world.
Men and women of faith trust in their merciful Heavenly Father—even during times of uncertainty, even during times of doubt and adversity when they may not see perfectly or understand clearly. Faith motivates and, indeed, inspires us to incline our hearts to heaven and to actively reach out, lift up, and bless our fellowmen.
Religion without action is like soap that remains in the box. It may have wondrous potential, but in reality it has little power to make a difference until it fulfills its intended purpose. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of action. The Church of Jesus Christ teaches true religion as a message of hope, faith, and charity, including helping our fellowmen in spiritual and temporal ways.
I have several relatives and many friends who have left religion because of the wickedness that they see around them. How can there be a God if bad things happen? I plead with them, “Look around you. How can there not? Ask yourself, ”What Am I doing to help?”


Friday, March 10, 2017

Making Mistakes

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 May 2000 When the forest service set our town on fire







I noticed the other day that it was the International Woman’s Day. Then I found out that March was National Woman’s History Month. One site had a list of quotations for each day of the month. For March I could choose quotes on the weather or mistakes. I didn’t think much of that pairing. My mother was a pioneer in her own way, in the thirties, for women’s rights. My daughter, in this century, is still fighting for many of the same rights as her grandmothers did.
In some countries in this world, it is considered a mistake to give women many rights. Even in this country some consider us property or chattel. A book I am reading this week with a Genealogical theme mentioned that in the 1800’s women’s names were not indexed in marriage records because wives were considered property
A Woman’s organization that I belong to is also celebrating its 175th anniversary this March. We are taught that we are creations of God and that He loves us.
I remember one quote from long ago that I always enjoyed.
Roughly it said that I am a creation of God, and God does not make mistakes.
So, looking back at my quotes:

Mistakes are a fact of life It is the response to error that counts.
--Nikki Giovanni 

To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.
--William A. Ward

Half our mistakes in life arise from feeling where we ought to think, and thinking where we ought to feel.
--John Churton Collins

and hanging on my studio wall is a sign I found in and antique shop in Wisconsin
which says, “We don’t make mistakes. We do variations”
Did you know that if you take a traditional quilt block and make a slight variation (or mistake) you can give it another name and it becomes a new block. If you change a recipe in a couple of ways, you can claim it as your own invention
(Rocket scientists didn’t quit when the first rockets blew up at ignition. They kept at it for ten years and put a man on the moon. In the mean time they created materials we use in everyday life.
I had a totally unsatisfactory day the other day and wrote in my journal that I had
Another failed day. I need to make an attitude adjustment. Humm Today I had another opportunity for growth and learning?
So, if you don’t do something you wanted too because you might make a mistake, get over it and go do it. (cut into that beautiful batik. Paint something on that odd canvas. My husband just brought in a beautiful 10x10” frame that Fedex put into our garage without saying anything. I’m off to use that saved canvas!
Don’t make a mistake. Go fulfill a dream, large or small.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Chaos to Creativity


Saturday, I attended a conference for women sponsored by our local church. There were several classes or lectures which were meant to inspire and encourage us as we took opportunities to serve and inspire others.  One which I chose to attend talked about the creative process. That was my thing! I love to create new things from something someone else had already started. My mother use to tell us always, to leave our world better than we found it.
The leader told us that when we think of creating we should start at the beginning-In Genesis.
What did God do? He found unorganized matter, chaos, and he created our world. What does this have to do with our creative powers? You should come see my studio—total chaos—unorganized matter in every corner. My husband thinks I’ve taken this too far!
Elder Robert D Hales pf the Quorem of the Twelve apostles writes;

Creativity is a Spiritual Process

"As a child growing up on Long Island, New York, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles learned many lessons from his parents. He particularly recalls one experience when his father taught him about establishing the proper atmosphere for creativity.
“Father was a commercial artist for a large advertising agency in New York City,” Elder Hales explains. “On one occasion he was under tremendous stress to produce an advertising campaign. He had come home on a Friday evening and worked most of the night. Saturday morning, after a few hours working in the yard, he retired to his studio to create an advertising campaign for a new product.
“My sister and I found great delight in chasing each other round and round the dining room table, which was situated in a room directly over his head. He had told us to please stop at least twice, but to no avail. This time he came bounding up the steps and collared me. He sat me down and taught a great lesson. He did not yell or strike me even though he was very annoyed.
“He explained the creative process, the spiritual process, if you will, and the need for quiet pondering and getting close to the Spirit for his creativity to function. Because he took time to explain and help me understand, I learned a lesson that has been put to use almost daily in my life.”
 “We have the ability to produce creative works in our daily activities. Creativity can also be used to find solutions to everyday problems by developing new ways of approaching the problems. I have seen such creativity during my lifetime.”
Like Elder Hale’s father, we can learn to create as a spiritual process. I remember years ago being asked by the primary presidency to come up with an idea for a Primary special event. I was so tired that I asked for fifteen minutes and then I’d call them back. After a prayer, I lay down on the couch and took a nap. The whole program was laid out for me in a dream. I awoke, wrote down the program and called back. I still create in my dreams. I dream of quilting all night. I wonder if sleeping under four quilts that I made is affecting me!

Friday, January 6, 2017

52 Stories


 









2017 already. I remember sixty years ago thinking about people who had lived in two different centuries and how exciting that must have been. Also, I thought about how old they must have been.
Now at my ripe old age, I am one of them. Isn’t it amazing the things that have happened in our lifetimes.
I was reading an article on the internet about journal writing. This is something I have always had a hard time with. I have twenty some journals with the first few pages written in and a lot of blank pages. This article encourages us to just write a story about our family, our lives, our childhood, whatever encourages us to leave a record for our children. I have a few treasures from my Mother’s life by oh how I wish I had more. I wish I knew more about my Grand- parents.
The article said we should try to write a story a week, fifty -two stories. That sounds easier than a daily journal doesn’t it. And it sounds more interesting than a daily “I didn’t do anything interesting today.”
A couple of years ago I asked various people for first lines to use to write a story . This is from my sister and made me think about my Uncle Jack, my dad’s brother
MEMORIES
So, you take about forty nine cling free peaches, two and a half cups sugar, and about five cups water, unless you don’t like them quite that sweet.”  She probably said more in detailing the recipe but my mind had already drifted back to a summer day and the sweet juicy goodness associated with it.

                  We sat on the wide porch together in the warm sunny afternoon. Bees buzzed lazily among the trumpet flowers and columbine in the front yard; the yellow and black bodies darting in colorful splashes in and out of the deep yellow and red of the flowers.  In the grass the children were blowing bubbles with the large flowers, dipping them in the soapy water Judy had made.

The little girls giggled as the large light bubbles lifted above their heads. Who would ever have thought of blowing bubbles with flowers?

Looking out over the yard, I saw many small peach trees hung with the rosy golden fruit. My mouth watered thinking about the peach cobbler Mom would make from Erma’s peaches. I could hardly wait till we could go home. But, that would be hours –days.  We were here to visit.
                  In the driveway Dad, Uncle Jack and the boys were working on the car. Uncle Jack loved to work on cars and enjoyed having the boys around to share the fun.  Uncle Jack was a happy man. I never saw him when he wasn’t smiling.  He spent most of his life working for the poultry company. The smell alone would keep me from smiling.  But then again when dinner was ready I could enjoy that crispy fried chicken as much as the rest of the family

In the living room behind us a long, low table was filled with Erma’s African Violets.  I didn’t know they came in so many different colors, pinks, purples, rose, even a variegated one. The blossoms smiled shyly through the dark velvet leaves.  Erma was proud of these violets. They are hard to grow—at least I’ve never been able to keep a plant alive and blooming much less a whole table full.  Hanging overhead was a large Christmas cactus. Although it wasn’t blooming yet, I knew it would be filled with red flowers in time for the holidays. It always did. Mother had taken a cutting home with her once so we could have flowers during the cold winter months in the mountains.
                  I don’t have many memories of Uncle Jack and Aunt Erma. But I remember sitting on the porch, eating peaches and fried chicken. I remember the magic of the flower bubbles and the happy smiling family I belonged to. I took a cutting of my mother’s Christmas cactus, Erma’s cactus to continue the tradition. I hope it blooms!

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Birds!




             


Sometimes I feel like they are ganging up on me
Those birds of mine.
Its comforting to hear them call
At seven in the morning,” we’re here, where’s breakfast?” Outside the bathroom window. Or “ bye see you tomorrow “.in the late afternoon.
Last week though it was scary as hundreds descended onto our orchard grounds.
Row after row would spear an apple off the ground and throw it into a tree trunk, breaking it into smaller pieces and consuming it bugs and all. As more rows of large winged, long legged dinosaurs of birds landed, scenes of Alfred Hitchcock’s. “The Birds” flicked through my mind, and I got slightly nervous, retreating to my sewing machine to calm my nerves. I was alone…. with dinobirds.

Today was a cold and overcast winter day. The orchard grounds were clear; it was quiet. As we got into the car to drive to Albuquerque for breakfast with the kids, we saw our army of cranes in the neighbors’ yard. Looking up the “general” a larger, grayer bird, ruffled his feathers, and lifted a wing in a salute or a wave. Bye, We’ll be waiting when you get back.
And they were.