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



  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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Bread of Life


I love bread,
Warm from the oven
Spread with real butter
And homemade raspberry jam.
But this morning I sat on the deck--
The 2nd floor balcony
Eating oatmeal and a biscuit from MacDonald’s.
As I waited for the hot air balloons to rise from the midst in front of the Sandias I contemplated  “The Bread of Life”
Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.”(John 6:51)

“Jesus teaches us, his disciples, that we should look to God each day for the bread—the help and sustenance—we require in that particular day.” said Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“The Lord’s invitation… speaks of a loving God, aware of even the small, daily needs of His children and eager to assist them, one by one. He is saying that we can ask in faith of that Being ‘that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given’ (James 1:5).”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invites us “to join in the adventure of the earliest disciples of Christ who also yearned for the bread of life—those who did not go back but who came to Him, stayed with Him, and who recognized that for safety and salvation there was no other to whom they could ever go.”

As we looked to the South where the balloons were supposed to launch my husband suddenly gasped!  Two large black balloons were rising noisily from behind us, in a neighbors yard. Soon dozens of colorful balloons were flying silently from the North unexpectedly.
Life is always an adventure. We don’t know what will happen or like the colorful and black balloons, from which direction it will come.

Do we want to settle for the world’s biscuits or do we want to look for and taste the real thing?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In Your Dreams

Cried Brice, as he ran towards the tree
Come and look
At the garden with me.”

 The old owl said, “who?
Brice giggled,
“Not you!”

“There’s a cat, and it’s kitten
Stretched out on a limb.
Here’s a frog eating apples
And there’s juice
On his chin.

Little box turtle
Eating flowers for lunch
Stopped munching daisies
To say “I’ve a hunch.” 

The chickadees sang
Sitting out on the fence
A bird flying  by
Said, “that doesn’t make sense.”

Blue butterflies
Danced in the air
Towards the clouds.
I’ve heard that the butterflies
Do  not like big crowds

A family of owls,
Went to hide until dark.
The toadstools just
Stood there alone in the park.

“OK”, Mommy called
“Now it’s time for your nap”
They begged for a story!”
As they climbed on her lap

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Harvest

Hanging golden globes;
Swelling, rosy cheeked;
Juicy, ripe, begging to be eaten;
Falling to the ground
With a bounce in their step.
Yearning to gather them in,
Savor them.
Our Father
Providing our bounty,
Yearns to gather us too
In His harvest.
Some of us
Are in a pickle!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Overcoming our dragons


















I grew up in a small community whose major employer worked with science. From early childhood through adulthood Science was a large part of my life. One thing that surprised many was that it was a very religious town,

A couple of days ago someone wrote in a town newspaper letter to the editor, “ there is too much road construction here, and too many churches.”

I was taught that there is a God and he used science to create the world. It made sense to me.

The other day I got caught up in a conversation on face book. The subject was do you believe in science or God. Many took offense that I could believe in both.

Another topic was why would anyone prefer an anonymous spiritual being controlling their lives rather than being able to care for their own lives and happiness. Our brains were surely capable of that! 


I am grateful that through all the difficult life experiences I have passed through I have had the comfort of the Holy Spirit to comfort me and guide me through.

Jesus Christ promised, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” John 14:18 He will give us “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning” Isaiah 61:3. Because Christ suffered the Atonement for each of us, He will not forget us. “Our Savior has taken upon Himself … our pains and our suffering and afflictions so that He can know what we feel and how to comfort us,” said Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.
Knowing that Christ will comfort us can bring us peace and inspire us to follow His example by ministering to others. President Thomas S. Monson said: “Our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.”

“How does understanding that the Lord remembers you bring you comfort?” (Sept. 2014 Ensign magazine)
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" - and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Honeymoon

Creeping through the waves
Sifts between our toes
Walking, Laughing,
Sunshine Love

Friday, August 1, 2014

Be Not Afraid


What a crazy world we live in!


The other night my husband I were listening to the news and wondering if the world we live in is worse than any time in our personal existence or if we were just oblivious as we worked through our daily lives. I remember in the 50’s I was afraid to go outside if a plane flew over. Was I afraid of being bombed? In the 60’s there was a lot of turmoil in the world but I lived in an area of the country not affected by it. I lived in the Los Angeles area in the 70’s but the Watts riot was far away and not my problem. Now as I grow older, the world is my campus. Thanks to news coverage, wars, tornadoes and angry people are right there in my living room. 

We often hear about the “seven deadly sins” but do we know what they are?
I read in Somewhere I’ve Read by Lucy Gertsch Thompson 1957

“Seven deadly sins;
Knowledge without character
Business without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Pleasure without conscience
Politics without principle
Wealth without works

Yes, I agree! Every bad news moment can be attributed to one of these sins.
I am grateful for Jesus Christ and the life he gave for our redemption. I just need to live to be worthy of it.

“[Jesus Christ] is the Savior and Redeemer of the world,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “He is the promised Messiah. He lived a perfect life and atoned for our sins. He will ever be at our side. He will fight our battles. He is our hope; He is our salvation; He is the way.”

2 Nephi 25:17
And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.”

We can all live our  lives, choosing to avoid or help others correct their ‘7 deadly sins.” Bill and Melinda Gates are using their wealth to help others in Africa. People with moral values can run for political office. We can improve our worship by serving others.
Which one will you choose this month?

Hope the rest of the summer is good for you.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Debbies words


Building a Home

My life is a six-letter word
I’m excited,
Anxious for my new home;
For the health of my
About parents,
Across the pasture
Our new home smiles
Its toothy grin
Seemingly taking delight
In my 2nd guessing and
Delayed action,
We are
Over budget
Over worked
My Brain goes on overload
At the telephone call,
Another item
back ordered
In tears of frustration I fell into the sagging couch
In my Mobile home
A Hopefully temporary home.
And then he takes my hand,
Puts his head on my shoulder;
And closes his eyes.
My home is a four- letter word

Friday, July 25, 2014

Jemez Phoenix

100 degrees
dry, dry heat.
Green, touched by the flame
Blacken and die.
In golden glory
Aspen groves like
Phoenix, rising
From the ashes
Life starting

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Not Good Enough!

I spent this morning perusing the Internet, looking for various things. I feel an urge to start a journal. I would like to get a five-year journal where you write a sentence or two each year to see how your life had changed. But I don’t want to spend thirty dollars on something that may slide by the wayside. I have started a journal numerous times. I have at least ten journals with three pages filled. I lose interest easily. Still I have the urge. This year on my computer I managed twenty-three days
---a record.
Why do I have the urge to write when I don’t seem to be able to follow through?
I like to think that I want to learn so many things that I can’t settle down and do one.
But maybe I’m just lazy.
I have talked to a friend who wishes she could write a journal but she just “Doesn’t Have The Talent For It!”
Actually I have a lot of friends who wish they could quilt, or paint, or sew, or sing, or cook…but they aren’t “Talented”
Aren’t they? Or like in the parable of the 10 talents in Mathew 25:14-29 , do we have that talent and just not practiced or used it, but hide it.

In Doctrine and Covenants 6:10 (a book of scripture for the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) we read,

“Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above.”

“You need never feel inferior. You need never feel that you were born without talents or without opportunities to give them expression. There is something of divinity in you. You have such tremendous potential because of your inherited nature. Every one of you was endowed by your father in Heaven with a tremendous capacity to do good in the world.  Cultivate the art of being kind, of being thoughtful, of being helpful. Refine within you the quality of mercy, which comes as a part of the divine attributes you have inherited.”

We each have a God given gift. We just need to search, and study, and practice.
What talent do you want to explore this month?
I want to work on oil painting.
-And I just bought a travel journal for an upcoming trip in August.
Hope you are having a wonderful summer

I wish I could play the Piano!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Minister


Two weeks ago I made a friend cry. She is always happy when I see her. She exudes positive energy. So I was surprised when I teased her about forgiveness and she burst into tears.
As I listened to her story, as she told me she was at wits end, not knowing which way to turn. I knew! An inspiration hit me and I called my brother, a lawyer to ask if he could help. As he was talking to her, giving her legal advice, and recommending a couple of people who could help, I had another moment of inspiration. One of the people he was going to recommend wasn’t eligible and I knew before he even said the name.

‘As we minister to others, we become true followers of Jesus Christ, who set the example for us. President Thomas S. Monson said: “We are surrounded by those in need…. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and lift His Children.’”(June 2014 Ensign Magazine)

Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, taught: “With practice, each of us can become more like the Savior as we serve God’s children. To help us better [minister to] one another, I would like to suggest four words to remember: ‘First observe, then serve.’ … As we do so, we are keeping covenants, and our service, like President Monson’s, will be evidence of our discipleship.”
“We can pray each morning to recognize opportunities to serve others. “Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you,” said David L. Beck, Young Men general president. “You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls.”
As the Compassionate service leader in our church ward, I feel like my ears have grown bigger and my eyes brighter. As I look around me and listen to other people’s conversations, (accidently of course since it’s across a crowded room) I know there is someone who could use a little help.
“She’s having surgery on her foot next week”
“Her sister just died and she needs someone who knows what it’s like- to have empathy and comfort her.”
“He’s worried about supporting his family working just three days a week.”

How can prayer lead us to be instruments in the Lord’s hands?

If our home were going to be hit by a tornado we would want to be warned, but what about a prompting that inspires us to call a friend just to say hello? Or a prompting to buy a package of diapers when we don’t have small children. Following such promptings likely won’t lead to dramatic outcomes, but they’re still important.
The friend you call might be having a hard day. A phone call could cheer him up. Or the next-door neighbor may have used her last diaper and be out of gas just as you get home from the store. This happened to another friend and she had to turn around and go back to the store because she had ignored the prompting.

President Monson has taught: “We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. We do not postpone following promptings of the Spirit.”
Sometimes spiritual promptings are urgent. More often, however, they are gentle. Heavenly Father has promised to instruct us “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Crazy Cats


Someone’s knocking at my door.
I wonder who it could be.
Thunder rumbling
Under the bed?
Flying Walendas in the kitchen?
Teens racing, chasing round the entry circle
Up and down the staircase,
 Jumping and flying the last 6 steps
Doing trills on the piano
Demanding breakfast at 4:30
“Oh weren’t you up yet?
Playing hide and seek,
Sneaking outside in a burst of energy!
Crazy Cats
Finally feeling at home

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rolling in Sunshine


Rolling in Sunshine
Laughing at rain
Happy to be
Quilting again
Giving a joyous
Reason  for fun
Love to be rolling
Out in the sun
I’m just a cat but
I do my share.
What good’s a Quilt 
Without some cat hair?

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Chance, fate, destiny, karma,

Whatever you want to call it, is the way I quilt.
Some quilters I know plan, and prepare, think and draw, plan again and go shopping. They worry and line up their colors—“How much do I need? What color goes with this? What if? Maybe I should? Or they start, toss and begin again in search of perfection.
I on the other hand, think, “That’s a cool block! Oh I love that fabric! I’ll take a half-yard. I’ll use it somewhere. I am still learning, still deciding, still practicing.
I have a bin of unrelated blocks, drawers full of half-yard cuts, rolls of many colors.
Serendipity was waiting to happen.
Two years ago I took a pile of black and white 2,1/2 inch strips sewn together and cut them on the diagonal.  I sewed them in blocks of four making diamonds and packed them away for New Mexico. This month they magically surfaced crying, “My turn! My turn!”
The top was finished except for a second border and laying across my sewing table when a couple came to give us an estimate for some work on the house.  My ever-proud husband shows off my work whenever he gets the chance. Seeing the black and white quilt top, she squealed and called to her husband, “My quilt! My quilt!
But can you make it a little bigger?” I spent the evening searching for just the right fabric which I knew had to be in my stash, somewhere.

I finished sewing the binding on today, and now we’ll see if she wants it. But whether she does or not I have a new friend.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spring Into Action


My sister and I are sharing goals this year. She called me in February to renew an activity we did many years ago. We each get to choose activities for six alternating months. These are things we use to do and have forgotten how or run out of time for. They are things one of us enjoys and hopes the other will learn to. They are things we always wanted to do but never got around to. My six were more selfish than hers were because that’s the kind of person she is. Hers include make 3 handmade cards and mail them to someone, Do twenty-five acts of service, one a day from December1, to December 25, make three handcrafted Christmas presents.
Even when she is having fun, she is helping others.

In the April 2014 conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, Ronald A. Rasband taught us,
“Reaching out to rescue one another, under any condition, is an eternal measure of love.

Often we are given the opportunity to help others in their time of need. As members of the Church, we each have the sacred responsibility “to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light,” “to mourn with those that mourn,” and to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
“Brothers and sisters, how grateful the Lord is for each and every one of you, for the countless hours and acts of service, whether large or small, you so generously and graciously give each day.
King Benjamin taught in the Book of Mormon, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
Focusing on serving our brothers and sisters can guide us to make divine decisions in our daily lives and prepares us to value and love what the Lord loves. In so doing, we witness by our very lives that we are His disciples. When we are engaged in His work, we feel His Spirit with us. We grow in testimony, faith, trust, and love.”

“… Never, never underestimate the spiritual value of doing temporal things well for those whom you serve.… Be their servants, and you will love them. And they will feel your love. And more important, they will
feel God’s love” --President Henry B. Eyring

In the words of a much loved hymn
“Then wake up and do something more…”

I hope this month that you will find someone who needs a little extra care… a little service…a little love.

Spring into action!