Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's the Doctrine, Not the People

Too many 'perfect' people in the church judging the rest of us struggling saints who still make simple, yet innocent mistakes. If the truthfulness of the gospel was based on people and not doctrine, I would walk away. So, thank heavens for the doctrine.
It's times like today that 'hell' looks much more appealing than spending eternity with those who judge so unjustly, so unkindly and so quickly. My husband is a good, moral and honest man, full of more integrity in his little finger than most men exhibit in their whole lives. Those who THINK otherwise have either never met him and/or have no idea who he is.
He happened to marry me, far from perfect, still making mistakes in life and still striving to figure 'the whole thing out'. But he loves me and supports me in my struggles and desires to become more perfect. He knows my heart and he knows my potential and through each days trials and small steps of improvement, he stays with me and picks up the slack, covering for the void I cannot fill.
So, it's days like today, that I will defend my husbands reputation when maybe some insignificant choice I have made reflects on HIS integrity. And trust me, my 'mistake' would only be judged that by someone who may not have made the same decision I did, not that mine was wrong, but different.
So, to anyone who doesn't already know my wonderful husband, I love him - and not another man will you find with more integrity, more faith, more obedience or more devotion to his Father in Heaven. And any choice or decision that his wife makes in this life, will ever change the man I just described to you. He is who he is and you could judge the church by this man if not by it's doctrine.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our First Texas Garden

From the minute we moved here over 6 years ago, we were told that unless you had a significant amount of land and a LOT of patience, you really shouldn't attempt to grow a garden, especially if you just moved here from Lindon Utah where our backyard was literally The Garden of Eden. So we haven't attempted anything, until now. This above picture is our attempt at growing green beans. We already had the pots from Del attempting to grow Christmas tree's??? I wanted some homegrown tomatoes - placed in a larger pot on the same day these three pots were planted. One day of the Texas sun and those littlest of tomato sprouts had withered and died. But I could tell, since Del is not a tomato fan, which of the pots were going to get the necessary TLC to survive the backyard heat. They don't look too bad for wear, but I'm not quite sure how we're going to divide the 7-8 beans it will harvest in 2-3 months between the three of us. I will venture that since Del is the favorite in the family, he will get the first bean..but after that, Kathryn and I are dividing the other 6 evenly; 3 and 3. I'm thinking that next year, we are going to make a SERIOUS and slightly expensive investment in making a raised/boxed garden - large enough for my tomatoes, some beans, green onions, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots and maybe some peas... just enough for one or two really good dinner salads. All that work will be worth it just to know that we grew it ourselves.
Happy Gardening!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We're Winding Down

Meredith Smith asked me to tell Kathryn she needed to talk to her before we left after church today. So when I saw Kathryn, I sent her over to the Primary to find Meredith. Ten minutes later, Kathryn saw me going in to Sunday School and said that she was told they were' looking for a virgin and needed Kathryn to be one.'. Okay, THAT struck us both extremely funny when Kathryn said it and we bust out laughing as Kathryn kept saying 'I get to be a virgin'. Not that it would come very hard for her, as she's a 'natural' at that role, but we laughed as we realized the different significance to the meaning of the word now, versus in the Saviors day, and how few young women in the world would qualify for the role today. How sad, but how good for Kathryn. It will be a presentation that Kathryn will be involved in for girls camp.
Okay, so not so good in the blogging department lately...but neither has anyone else been very good!!! I have especially been slacking on the picture taking, as have others..., but as the school year comes to a close and the summer approaches, we find ourselves in 'survival mode' and on 'auto pilot'...basically, day after day, doing the same old thing...
Seminary did finish this past week - much to Kathryn's delight. She has NEVER been an early morning person and so we are not quite sure if her attendance percentage will allow her to graduate with credit this year or if she has a significant amount of make up hours to turn in first. Whichever it is, we have told her it is her choice to make, but what a silly thing to attend over the year, but not make it complete. It will be the same for next year, I imagine, as she starts to realize the importance of Seminary attendance when she goes to apply to BYU. This may actually come back to bite her in the rear end...Hopefully not.
And then school attendance...well, she has FINALLY found her good health again and hasn't missed for actually WEEKS at a time now!! Woohoo!! We have been in continual conversation with her vice principal who was able to get her 45 hours of missed school down to only needing to make up 24 hours...so she has been attending both morning and after school tutorials, plus late evening and Saturday morning make up time so that by the end of this next week, she will have made up all her necessary time to pass her Sophomore year!! With all A's and B's, no less. With her goal to graduate early, she will be starting an advanced English class in a few weeks to complete over the summer and then graduate after this final year of Junior/Senior credits. With all of her health difficulties and emotional meltdowns, it is amazing to me that she will still be able to finish her high school years at the age of 17; not necessarily what I would want, but it's what SHE wants to accomplish.
Having her back to the Kathryn we know and love for the past 3-4 weeks has been SOOO enjoyable and pleasant. She has made some pretty significant attitude changes about school and church and even more so, has made some very good choices as far as her desire to strengthen her testimony and relationship with her family and Father in Heaven. It has truly been an answer to our prayers, for which we thank our Heavenly Father. There is still much progress to make, but it appears so much easier now that we see her feeling and receiving promptings from the Holy Ghost and acting upon them in a righteous way. Good choices are coming easier for her and being 'active' in the gospel seems to be HER choice now instead of only ours. It is causing a very peaceful calm to come upon our home, for which Del and I are very grateful.

Jordan is struggling in Oregon. We have told him we will help him financially for the next 4 months so that he can solely concentrate on trying to sell church videos. He has had some good success but not consistent enough for him to feel that he is any good at what he is doing. But he's only three weeks in to this job...he still has time to perfect a lot of his skills. The van was only $200 short of being 'totalled out', so our insurance company is having it repaired...$4200 worth of repairs. That will cause our premiums to increase, I'm sure...but, Que Sera', Sera'...I'm not going to cry over spilt milk. Jordan feels bad enough...he's having to drive another mini van as his rental car...tee hee..keep the boy humble.

Work has gone remarkably well for the past..well, two months. I have been determined to have a new positive attitude about my job - mostly to help the other girls out in trying to qualify them for a bonus. I need to realize how lucky I am to have a job that pays well and helps us to meet our financial obligations. I work with good people, both patients and employees, so I need to not complain. There are so many out there that can't say the same. Del's job also appears to be stable, for the time being. We hope to be completely debt free by the end of next year, 2010.

So, we are blessed. At least, I feel blessed. It's nice, our little family of us and Kathryn. The pictures? Just Kathryn keeping us laughing while she helps to mow the lawn...and she and her daddy making homemade pizza on a Friday night. We love that she enjoys spending time with us - at home - even on a Friday night. She claims 'we have no life'. Right now, she IS our life; or at least a very fun part of it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Paying the Price

After the first week of Jordan trying to sell to predominately LDS people, he has come to the same disheartening reality that I arrived at today. When it comes to money, we, meaning most LDS people, are stingy and even many times, feel entitled to not having to pay full price, or asking price of anything... I believe in trying to get the best product for my dollar..but I find it very unattractive, the person who always tries to 'wheel and deal' everything in life - tries to get sellers 'bottom line' to be only advantages to one of the party's - or tries to always 'get a steal', emphasis on the word 'steal'.
Last week, I had a mother and daughter come into my office for a consultation for braces. After the initial exam with the doctor, I learned that they were LDS and in our stake. I have been given the privilege to, at my discretion, give discounts to family members, best friends and/or LDS members and have many times, used that prerogative to help out some people I know. But I don't do it all the time, usually only with those I know well. But these members happened to be serving in the stake with a dear friend of mine , and because it was a dear friend of mine, I felt inclined to extend the discount. The original case fee was $5800 - I gave an initial discount and then also added an LDS discount, just because I could. It took the fee down to $4700 instead. Today, that mother called me and disappointingly said that I hadn't given her enough on their discount, claiming that I had initially told her the fee was $5300 and then should have discounted off the $1100 dollars, making the case $4200 instead. I looked in my notes as she asked me what the initial quote had been. I usually just write down the final quoted fee..as I did this time. I was stunned..feeling very awkward at the position I was being placed in. I told her we didn't even have a $5300 case fee - only $5800 and $5400.. We ended up hanging up after about 5 minutes and her saying she must have misunderstood the amounts of the LDS discount, but expressing she expected it.
Okay, the poor patient after that phone call should have NEVER said 'is that all you can do for me?' AFTER I gave them a $500 discount. It didn't help that they were Indian (dot, not feather) who traditionally ask 2-3 times for more discounts..so when asked the question, I politely said ,"This is what I offer you" and I went back to the original price without a single discount.
I stewed over the situation for the rest of the day. Do you go to the grocery store, take a gallon of milk to the counter and ask, 'what discount can you give me on this?' Or do you go to the hospital and say 'can I only pay this much on an MRI?'
Today, I gave my last discount. At the end of the day, I closed up my books, came home and called the member of the stake..had to leave a message from 'SISTER' Lott saying that I would go ahead and give the additional $500 discount and hoped this would be satisfactory to her. I most likely will not have many discussions with her as she comes in to the office.

We have two young men attending our ward this summer as they attempt to sell pest control in this area. One is even married, here without his wife, trying to earn money to pay bills and pay for school tuition, much like Jordan in Oregon. I asked these young men over to dinner. I can't use their pest control as we are just renting and our landlord already uses another service. But I can help them in other ways by trying to reduce their expenses. I consider them just as the missionaries. They don't get paid weekly, bi-weekly or even by the month. They get paid at the end of their contract, which is at the end of summer. This too, is just like Jordan. And this isn't easy. They work 10-12 hour days, with 90% of the time being rejected by LDS mom's and dad's. I'm not saying we should be purchasing every product that gets brought to our front door. But many of these 90% members are saying they 'don't even have time to LISTEN' to these boys. That's not nice. No-one is THAT busy all the time. Maybe a day here or there they honestly don't have the time...so invite them back another day. By the end of a week of 90% rejection, they are feeling pretty worthless. Then as the mother of that 'worthless salesman' or 'discouraged missionary', we have a lot of broken hearts to try and mend.
Enough of my day...I feel bad that I no longer have the desire to give anyone, let alone the LDS patient, my kind hearted discount. You will have to catch me on the best of days or be one of my dearest of friends to save any money from me.
And lesson most importantly learned? I NEVER want to be one of those people known to others as 'tight wad', 'stingy' , or the one who only goes for 'the steal'. There are always two sides to a deal - I want the other person walking away feeling they too were treated fairly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Last year, we started braces on a young girl named Victoria, or Tori, as we now call her. The first time she came to our office, she came with her mother Christine and her youngest brother Jonah, who was in his stroller. Mom, Christine, is lovely - tall and slender, simple yet pretty face, soft smile, sparkling eyes and contagious laugh. I liked her right away. Jonah was hard to see at first, snuggled deep into his stroller with his blanket covering him. He was 2 yrs old, little boy haircut, brilliant blue eyes and a smile that went from ear to ear. Only his eyes were visible the very first time I saw him, but they were shining as I tried to talk to him and get him to uncover his face.
As the appointment progressed and the decision was made for Tori to go into braces, I kept Christine in my office while one of the assistants took Tori back to our clinic to start with taking some impressions. It was as Tori stood and began to leave the room that Jonah's Down Syndrome face appeared from the back of his stroller as he called out 'TOEWEE's' name. What an angelic child!!! Tori turned to him and quickly comforted his anxious look by telling him 'she would be right back'. He settled back into his stroller.
Over the next year, I looked forward to Jonah's monthly visits with his mom and Tori and I watched as slowly, Jonah came out of his shell. He couldn't walk yet, so I would take him into the playroom we have at the front of the office and sit him down amongst a box full of toys. He loved the blocks, the toy cars and the army men. The dinosaurs were some of his favorites, but most of all, he loved to play with this haunted house that made spooky, creaky noises as he pulled the side lever. Before, when I could hear that eerie sound from my next room office, I would cringe and curse whoever had provided the batteries for that terrible toy. But I would smile to myself when I knew it was Jonah that was making the house moan and groan.
Over the year, Jonah started to talk, saying just one word at a time and only words he knew. He wouldn't attempt anything new until I started applying it to the toys and then 'car', 'block' and 'spooky' came out in forms I had never heard before. He would start to make some of the sounds from the haunted house which would make me laugh...then his face would break out into that grin that melted my heart. He recognized me each time he came to the office and would wave and struggle with his 'hi' to me before running into the playroom. A few inches every other month started to give him some unexpected height so that when he came in a little over a month ago, I was stunned to see how much he had changed from just the two months before. He was now going to pre-school two days a week, was seldom, if ever, found in his stroller and was now starting to roam around the office, in and out of the playroom which had always been his comfort zone.
Jonah came in the office today with Tori and his mother for Tori's regular appointment. I went out to greet them in the waiting room and Jonah ran up to me with open arms. I walked him to the playroom where he immediately started his playing with his favorite toys. I got him settled in and went back to my office to finish up some computer work before I was going to return to cover for Christine while she went back with Tori. I smiled at my desk as I could hear Jonah in the next room making the noises of the haunted house and giggling his delight for everyone to hear. Before I could finish at my desk though, Christine entered my office and took a seat in front of my desk. She proceeded to tell me how Jonah had been sick in April, a rough month for him and rough enough to put him in the hospital for some breathing treatments. I could feel my eyes start to burn as she shared how the doctors had found some unexpected problems in Jonah's little lungs and how they feared he might have something very serious, even possibly life threatening. I could feel my heart drop to my feet and the immediate lump in my throat grow to huge proportions. I couldn't speak as she finished with a strained smile, expressing her appreciation for how we loved Jonah every time he came to our office and made him feel so loved. I wanted desperately to tell her that it was not ME who had loved Jonah so easily, but Jonah that had loved me with such ease and simplicity; but I couldn't say anything. I just let the tears fall.
I don't know how long Jonah will be here. It really doesn't matter because he cannot touch my life for good anymore than he already has in his tender one year that he has shared with me. I will enjoy the monthly smile and warm hugs for as long as he has to give them. I won't change anything except to maybe imprint a little deeper into my heart, the memory of his brilliant eyes, his clapping hands and fast little feet, his overpowering giggle and his tender hugs. I will enjoy each moment as it presents itself and try to remember that moment as vividly and bright as the instant it happened.
So today, I laughed as Jonah attempted to finish the 'in awhile crocodile' farewell, frantically waving his hand and then mirroring my 'blowing him a kiss' goodbye. I watched Christine strap him into his car seat and saw his laughing face as they drove out of the parking lot.
I went back to my office and cried.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It Literally Stopped

I've always wondered if the phrases 'my heart skipped a beat' , 'my heart quit beating' or 'my heart stood still' were true or even possible. Today, I learned that not only are those phrases true, but I experienced them first hand.
Jordan called me at work this afternoon to tell me he had been in a car accident. That's the moment it happened. My heart literally stopped beating. I could feel it...the moment it stood still. I've never had that happen before- and I've thought once or twice , how I would handle a phone call like that. This is our first car accident with one of the kids.
Thank heavens Jordan started his explaining fairly quickly which helped me to realize he wasn't dead. I could breathe again. Seems he was distracted - about what? Plenty of possibilities, but he never was specific. But he rear-ended the car in front of him, driven by a young girl slightly older than Jordan. The van received the brunt of the impact leaving only slight damage to her bumper, but enough to our van that the police were called and a report was given. Jordan was sick. I gave him instructions as to whom to call for our insurance, what information to give and what to say to the police. Then I told him to call his dad. About an hour later, he called back crying, saying how sorry he was for what had happened.
You know...it happened again; the heart stopping thing. This time, for a much different reason than the first. I was realizing how relieved I was that he was safe, alive and talking to me over the phone. I told him the basics...we've all been in accidents before; we've all locked our keys in the car before (something he had done an hour before the accident and had taken him 2 hours to get back in), and we have all gotten a ticket before. Of course, not all on the same day, so THAT fact did make him unique, but he had no reason to feel that he was a loser or failure in life just because all of his experiences happened on the same day. He laughed...that's all I wanted. I told him I could handle just about everything he had dealt me that day, but NOT the 'self esteem' issue. I was going to have NONE of that. After a little more detailed conversation about accident issues, I told him I loved him and we hung up.
I now know how it feels; at least for this first time. Who knows what I'll experience the next time it happens - with Kathryn, Kylie, Del or even Jordan again. But I learned THIS time that although my heart stopped for one slight moment, it continued beating the minute I realized that nothing was more important than the fact that was Jordan was fine...although a little banged up, of which I'm not supposed to know about. He told Kylie - didn't want to worry me. But I guess he hit his forehead on the steering wheel and has a few cuts and bruises?? I'm trying not to worry out of respect for the great effort he has gone to to not let me know. But THAT emotion comes automatically , just being his mother and all.
Now, we pick up the pieces of today. A lot of details to be taken care of - insurance details, repair details, the other driver details and Jordan's mental state details. It's not enough for him to be far away from home again, alone, struggling to make money and now this. He's feeling pretty rotten. But he's a big boy - it's only temporary - nothing that can't be fixed with lots of love, hugs and kisses and support; even if it is sent long distance.
Why does it always have to be long distance?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I have several friends who have blogs that are the mothers of teen-aged children. In recent days, each of them has expressed the heartache and abundant love that we experience being their parents during some very difficult times. Of all of us, except one, I have the oldest of the children and so as I read some of the entries that are being written by these mothers, I reflect back on the exact moments that I experienced the same feelings, thoughts, heartaches and joys that they are now going through with their own children, as I did when those experiences were those of my older children.
Mind you, I have good kids - even Kathryn , through her struggles and trials, has been such an experience of happiness to raise. Jordan and Kylie were easier, yes, but they still had so many moments in their teenage years that caused the varied emotions from one end of the spectrum to the other...and the up's and down's of their tender years were as heartfelt and dramatic as any other teenager out there. They had broken hearts and broke a few of their own - they felt betrayed from some friends and unconditional loyalty from yet others. They felt both the pressures and expectations of being Mormon's like many of our youth and were often comforted by the strength of their dearest friends and leaders.
The hardest thing about being their mother, and the mother of any teenager, is when there is nothing we can do FOR them, TO them or WITH them to 'make it better'. Many of their situations insist that we remain on the sidelines, observing what we perceive to be painful and heartbreaking moments that they have to endure alone. Our motherly instincts to comfort and 'fix it' tear us apart as we recognize their need to 'learn the lesson from their own experience'.
To you mothers who don't have teenagers yet...you will. Those adorable toddlers without a care in the world become teenagers who have more drama than three hours of soap operas. To you mothers who have young teenagers, I'm right there with you still with Kathryn...we WILL make it through.
To those of us who have raised them past the teenage years....such a sense of satisfaction to see them using the years of 'learning on their own' and the few moments they allowed us to parent them to become the young adults that they are, with firm testimonies, a desire to contribute in the world and good work and moral ethics. Of course, it had nothing to do with us being their mothers, but thank heavens, there is one day a year, Mothers's Day, that at least allows us to THINK we had anything to do with how they turned out.
So MOM's....get ready to enjoy this Sunday, because after that, we are back to only being allowed to worry, cry for and pray about those wonderful children we hope to return to our Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The First Gift of the Spirit

I've continued my thinking of Sunday's Gospel Doctrine class for days now...I've read and re-read the 46th section of the D&C AND the handout we received from Brother Shumway. I've prayed and asked the Lord to enlighten my mind as to the first gift of the Spirit I should desire and pray for.
As the handout shares, there is a story about a family preparing for Christmas dinner where one of the daughters is going to set the table with the much treasured silver rimmed china given to her parents for their wedding. She bumps her arm and drops the china shattering it across the floor. She is horrified and watches as her mother quietly leaves the room. Eventually, everyone gets back to their busyness except the daughter who is motionless with a tear trickling down her face. As she continues to cry, she finds the broom and dustpan and begins to sweep up the broken pieces. Within a few minutes, the mother returns and wraps her arms around her sobbing daughter saying, 'That's alright honey, people are more important than things.'

My first desire is to have the Gift of Spiritual Perspective. Joseph Smith said 'many gifts of the Spirit are not evident until they are needed'. In D&C section 46 verse 8, reads...'seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given...' I ask this gift not just for myself, but for Kathryn and how I can help her to see the Lord's plan for her.

Kathryn has wanted, for years, to graduate school early, home school so she can finish faster and move on her way in life. I have, at times, encouraged her desire for stretching her limits and wanting to move ahead, but I have never desired for her to go so fast through this phase of her life. I have pondered and thought over the past few years of Kathryn's difficult health situation, in that she seems to be continually suffering from some illness or another. I've been amazed , at times, to remember the epitome of health she represented during her years in Utah while she was a State Gymnastics's champion 3 years in a row. Since quitting gymnastics, she has suffered nothing but illness after lingering illness. It has been the most frustrating thing in her life to have to deal with and as her mother, I have not been able to help her figure it out as I take her almost weekly to the doctor with yet another symptom of some sort. It has been especially difficult this year, her Sophomore year, as she has been trying to double some of her classes and carefully fulfill some of the requirements early in order to be able to graduate next year as a Junior/Senior. It is as if she is being hit with illnesses that keep her out of school just long enough to put her in jeopardy of passing this year at all, forcing her to stay the extra year to graduate with her normal class.
My thoughts have drifted to the possibility that the Lord has a different plan for Kathryn and this may be His way of trying to just slow her down forcing her to enjoy this significant time in her young life. I'm not so sure that this isn't His way of saying 'you won't be ready to face the world as early as you think you can' and just 'take what I offer one step at a time'.
But my dilemma has been...do I ask the Lord to help ME teach Kathryn that eternal perspective, or do I help Kathryn learn it on her own?? What position do I take with her? The drivers seat or the passenger seat? How do I HELP or TEACH her to understand the ETERNAL perspective of her current decisions and the importance of being in the right place, at the right time, that being 'the LORD'S time?'
This is where I must understand the meaning of the passage in D&C 46 vs 8...'always remembering for what they are given'....my heart must be pure, my desires with an eye single to His glory and my will bent to His will.
Del gave Kathryn a blessing tonight from which I listened very carefully to her role in her recovering process. It was explained to her that she needed to be obedient in the directions given by doctors and her parents. That indicated to me that I needed to be in a position to give her guidance. To know what that guidance is will require much thought and prayer along with some good mothering instincts and some good old common sense. If I need the outcome of this past two years to be what the Lord desires, I need to make sure I learn what that is before I go shooting my mouth off with what I would want to happen personally, instead of the Lord's will first.
So the process begins - desiring the gift, praying for the gift, seeking for the gift, living worthy of the gift. And then the gift will come as it is needed....this is where I then exercise my faith.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Siamese Twins

Two of the best men in the world...Hermanos, comrades, amigos....my daddy and Uncle Floyd. They have been through a lot together. I am so sad that Uncle Floyd lost his dear Aunt Alice last year. It still just breaks my heart. I am so glad my dad is there to be with Uncle Floyd. They are so close.
These two men worked as dentists together for over 40 years, along with my Uncle Ron. They raised their families together, took vacations together, served in the church together, and now have moved to Utah to be together again in continuing to help raise their grandchildren.
Both have served as mission presidents and the first and only time in church history, both served as Temple Presidents at the same time - daddy over Los Angeles and Uncle Floyd over the San Diego temple. They both serve now as stake Patriarchs and sealers in the Timpanogas Temple.
I love these two men and the great lives they have lived and continue to live. Great men. They have each assisted their wives in raising large families...daddy with 12 children and Uncle Floyd with 14. They come from a large family of 17 siblings that love and serve the Lord diligently. I am so proud to be part of their heritage.
They remain close - eternal brothers and friends.

Just Like Peas in a Pod

There's one dear sister missing - Sheila, the oldest. I love her too, but she just wasn't there this trip. She's 9 years older than I am, a big spread. I didn't know her really well growing up but have become better friends with her as we have aged and raised our families. She lives in Arizona with her husband Steve, who is a dentist. Sheila is a dental hygienist, a profession she achieved in her later years.
Us other five sisters are a little closer in age - and we had such fun together up in Utah just this past March.
Elaine, to MY right, lives right here in Plano with her husband Mark. She and I are probably the closest, mostly because we live so close to each other. We both have such busy lives though that we don't spend near the amount of time together that I wish we could.
Rachel, to my first left, lives in Ogden with her husband Mike
Rebecca, next, lives in Highland with her husband Lance
and then Jennifer, the youngest, lives in Sandy with her husband Paul.
I love these girls - each and every one of them in such unique and different ways. They are so near and dear to my heart.
Today, I am just grateful for my sisters.
Just because their my friends...then my sisters.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

D&C Section 46

Today, in Gospel Doctrine class, we discussed section 46 of the D&C - the asking and seeking of gifts of the spirit. There was a specific quote given in the lesson that caused me to stop and want to ponder it's message. It was as follows:
"I fear that some members of the Lord's Church 'live far beneath the privileges' with regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost." - Joseph B. Wirthlin.
It was emphasized, the importance of both SEEKING and ASKING for the gifts of the spirit; and in this section, it enumerates what some of these gifts are. And contrary to what many think of as 'natural spiritual gifts' we are GIVEN, we are not blessed with these gifts unless we seek, ask for them and then develop them in addition to all the rest. Orson Pratt is quoted as saying "Spiritual gifts are distributed among the members of the church, according to their faithfulness, circumstances, natural abilities, duties and callings; that the whole may be properly instructed, confirmed, perfected and saved."
So, in answer to my questions the other day in my blog - why can't I just be a spectator from the sidelines of life??
I guess this section of scripture answers that question for me...what spiritual gifts should I be seeking and asking for the Lord to bless me with, so that I can bless others in the kingdom. What contribution am I supposed to be making that I am falling short on? Who is having to do without, as far as blessings from MY life, because I'm not stepping up to the plate and sharing with others the gifts of the spirit that I am to share??
This has been an enlightening day for me; a good Sabbath. Being Fast Sunday, I prayed that I would hear and feel something that would touch my heart to change my desires and attitude in wanting to give more of my life. This has been a direct answer to my prayers. This past wanting to just 'sit back and let everyone else do the work' attitude has been very easy for me to live. I justify myself by saying I work full time, I have issues and challenges that are so difficult and that I have already given so much., but in actuality, it justifies nothing. It only shows my lack of testimony and faithfulness in the Lord's work.
So, I thank my Father in Heaven for this awakening - realizing that I will need it more than just once or twice, but continually through serving in His kingdom.
A very good Sabbath and discussion of D&C 46.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Too Much

There are times when life just becomes too much; in both the good and the bad. And then I can't write...there is just too much to write, so I don't.
I made a new cake last night...a recipe of my nieces Ann Marie...Lemon Poppy seed Cake. Okay, so how do I explain eating a ginormous piece of cake this morning and then drinking my Herbal Life shake for my diet? Who does that? And I wonder why , for the past three weeks, I haven't gained or lost a single pound yet half the container of my Herbal Life shake mix is gone???
I've had some of the most amazing spiritual witnesses and moments at the temple and in my scripture study the past two weeks, along with my prayers that have born such sweet peace and joy to my life, and yet the Sunday last, I packed my bags and left home for four hours before my heart was softened and I crawled humbly back home to the arms of a very forgiving and loving husband. Who does that???
I make good money at my job, work hard and feel very successful in what I do. There are days at work that I love the patients and accommodate them in every possible way - give them financial deals they can't refuse, bend over backwards to meet their needs and come early or stay late to help their lives be easier; then I have a week off of work while the doctor is gone on vacation and decide to give my two week notice to my cousin Chad, the boss. Who does that? (I took the 2 week notice back - again).
I'm friends with everyone one week, no-one the next. I stay home all week hibernating, reading, cleaning, sleeping, watching t.v., writing, cooking etc and the next week, I'm 100mph running errands, taking Kathryn here, there and everywhere, going to dr. appt's, hair appt's to the bank, to the store, to anywhere I need to go. Who does that?
The swine flu - overrated? Some say yes, some are in panic mode. I take Kathryn to the dr. yesterday - she's sick - again - always sick. I mean, she's always sick. They test her for strep throat...negative. They test her for the flu - comes back positive, so they want to test again before drawing blood to test for swine flu. 2nd test comes back negative but now the strep throat has developed to positive. I just stare at the two nurses and three doctors that have evaluated the tests to double confirm each other's diagnosis, and I shake my head. I really don't even care anymore. Just give me the prescription Kathryn needs, give me the school excuse note she needs to not fail her sophomore year and let me out the door after paying over $300. Who does that?
Am I normal? I understand up's and down's - mood swings, hormonal roller coaster's and all that other stuff...but is this my 'normal' for the rest of my life? Do most people have this many good and bad days all in a month? It just seems to me that there needs to be an even playing field - a leveling out of life's events. There needs to be..just not soo much of everything. Not too much 'boring' yet not so much '10o0 mph'. Not so much 'mundane' yet not so much 'over the top'. Not so much 'blah blah blah' yet not so much 'high maintenance'.
I'm extreme..in both the wonderful and the terrible. My 'spiritual' is humbling and enveloping...my 'worldly' is overwhelming and suffocating. My job is fulfilling and rewarding, my job is burdensome and tiring. My family is stable and my safe place, my family is my worry and heartache. Who is like this?? And how long will I be like this?
It seems that there is opposition in all things, but why does there need to be always the bad with the good? I can appreciate the good life without having to have it's opposite - I really can. I can enjoy 'normal' in most things in life. I can enjoy being 'off' the roller coaster and watching the ride from the ground. I'm a good spectator; why do I always have to be 'in the game' instead of on the sidelines? Can I just be an observer for awhile without there being a penalty for just watching? Will I really miss out on THAT much in life if I just choose to sit back for a spell? What eternal consequences will there be - or what will I lose eternally if I just WATCH this day, this week, this month, this year??? "All my time, talents and whatever the Lord has blessed me with"...
It's May 1st - the start of a new month...the start of the roller coaster, the start of the work month, the start of the diet month, the start of the family budget month, the start of spring cleaning, etc etc..
I guess I'll go make my Herbal Life shake for lunch and set the cake off to the side; get chicken out of the freezer for dinner, pick up Kathryn's prescription for strep throat, gather medical bills to submit to flex spending, start the laundry, do last nights dishes, walk the dog, read my scriptures, finish my book and then tidy up the house so tomorrow's Saturday will be a little more restful before the Sabbath,
Who does that??