Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hearts Inter-twined

As I have grown older I have noticed that there are those I get to journey with for a brief moment in time whose hearts are inter-twined with the same heartache that I have endured.
You meet as strangers but in one brief moment
 your souls are forever etched together.

For most people the month of Feburary is a happy and romantic month after all it is the month of Valentines Day and many have birthdays through out the month filled with happy and cherished moments.
Yet for a few the month of February a grim reminder of a tragic loss.

Actually that applys to any month of the year.

I remember there was a darkened period in my life where I just could not understand how so many could go on smiling and rejoicing, while I sat in the background filled with this unbearable pain and loss.
 You see their lives had continued but mine for a brief moment had come to a complete stop
 and even now those memories haunt me.

I believe a wise and loving Father allows those painful memories to remain and haunt us so that when He arranges for us to "bump" into one of His children who is fighting the same demon,
our tears mixed with theirs allows a type of healing  and allows two hearts to become inter-twined.

A wise friend knowing of the pain I was masking and knowing she could not do anything to help ease it invited me to a Time Out For Woman conference.
The speakers were excellent and the spirit of peace and love sunk deep into ones core. There was on speaker who had everyone in the room in tears.

 It was as if he knew personally each and every one of the pains we each had faced.
While he was talking the spirit whispered that I needed to visit with the lady sitting next to me
about my brother.
Now mind you this woman was a complete stranger to me, so me being me,
I started arguing with the spirit on why I could not talk to this woman about  my brother.
He persisted and I continued to argue.

When he grew tired of my argument he literally picked up my chair which knocked me to my feet stating


 I agreed under protest.

When the speaker finished with his comments I approached the woman and immediately
had her friend come between us protecting her.
I spoke around her friend letting her know that she had no idea who I was but if I could please have a minute of her time there was something I needed to share with her.
She kindly agreed; I shall  never forget the doubt in her eyes.

We stepped away from our friends and I blurted out,

"My brother took his own life in Feb 1994 and it is killing me!"

She started sobbing and asked, "how did you know?"

I was shocked, "know what?" 

She then shared with me that her only son had just a few weeks prior ended his life
 and her friend had brought her to Time out for Women to find some peace.

The tears flowed as we hugged each other and cried over the unexpected loss of those we loved so dearly.

For many years we stayed in touch via cards and notes.
 Her last note was sent years ago.
She had just wanted to let me know how much our Father had blessed her
and she was once again enjoying the sunlight.

Today I read the story of another mothers struggle with the decision of her son to end his life.
Though I have never met this remarkable women; my heart aches with her and I rejoice with her that our Father has allowed her to find some peace of mind.
As I read her touching article everything came flooding back as if my brother's death
had just happened yesterday.

The pain in your heart that never goes away and never heals,
which leaves your heart aching and tears flowing.

Like my friend my heart is forever inter-twined with hers. 

In my minds eye I see all us "Suicide Survivors" holding hands with our tears flowing freely as we wait our turn to approach our Savior and allow Him to forever wipe away our tears and once and for all heal that piece of our broken hearts,
so that we are no longer haunted. 

Then as we turn away from Him, standing behind him will be our loved ones that we will once again be able to hug and hold and our tears will then be tears of joy for like us they too were healed.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Savior Like Thee

I have always loved music.  I have been influenced by various types of music that either uplifted and edfied me or brought me down into the gutter.  All music spoke to my soul. 
Over the last few years I have been listening to various LDS artists and of course the Mormon Tabernacle choir; there is power in their words that truly calm my troubled soul.

 I can so relate when the Lord proclaimed to Sister Emma Smith, "For my soul delighth in the song of the heart; yea the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

I have always carried a "song in my heart."  As I have been reflecting, I have just come to discover what a neat blessing it has been for me that the "songs in my heart" speaks to me about the trials or adversity I am facing at that time.  It opens my heart to search deeper for the meaning of what my Heavenly Father is trying to teach me at that moment.

The last few weeks has been very trying.
 Just when I think I have overcome one trial another pops up in its place. 

Along with my music, I listen to a lot of speakers on CD.  Michael S Wilcox is one of my favorites but I have many more that have enlightend my mind and
 have inspired me in many ways. 

Today as I was driving home from work a talk Michael S Wilcox shared started running thru my mind. 
He was talking about being on the front lines of this great battle with his little sword of justice defending his own little turf when the Adversaries troops start flooding upon him and the Spirit whispers, "retreat, retreat, only for a little while and let me help you thru this battle." 

As I was scrolling thru my FB account to see if there was any interesting news, this quote posted from LDS Conference by Elder Neal A Maxell jumped out at me:

"...Let us expect that many will regard us indifferently,
others will see us as quaint or mislead.
  Let us bear the pointing of fingers
which ironically belong to those
       who being bored find the "great and Spaciour building"
 to be a stale and cramped  third class hotel.
Let us revile not the reviler and heed them not.
Instead let us use our energy to hold up the shield of faith
to quench the fiery darts aided by perhaps
a touch of spiritual teflon."

I loved his analogy of a "stale and cramped third class hotel." 
How I love Elder Maxwell.
But what got my attention was "to hold up the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts aided perhaps by a touch of spiritual teflon."  What a great visual for me. 
So as I am reading his words and chuckling at his description, the words to" More Holiness give me" starts  playin in my mind with "More Savior like thee" being replayed over and over.

 So as I'm trying to put two and two together another post from LDS Conference pops at out me. 

This time it was an excerpt from a talk Elder Jeffery R Holland gave in 2007 entitiled

"The Tongue of Angels" where a piece of his counsel is to become, "more Savior like thee."

A friend loaned me a book called "The Peacegiver."
 I just ordered my own copy it was so good.
 Its pages were filled with traits of our Savior. 

I also believe I was being reminded that I have had a touch of "spiritual teflon."
 As images started running through my mind of moments that were so tender and
uplifiting they cannot be shared.

I believe in those moments my Father was saying,
"retreat, retreat, for just a little while and I will help you fight this battle."

He has allowed me to be a part of some amazing moments each and every day "I Stand All Amazed."
As I was reading the words to that beautiful hymn, I'm finding that the words from last week's blessings are tying right in with this hymn.  Still not sure what He's trying to tell me but I know deep in my soul I am on the right track.

                                  More Holliness Give Me
More Holiness Give me,
More strivings within
More patience in suffering,
More sorrow for sin
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer
More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord
More pride in his glory,
                                     More hope in his word
More tears for his sorrows, More pain at his grief
More meekness in trial, More praise for relief
More purity give me, More strength to o'ercome
More freedom from earth stains, More longing for home
More fit for the kingdom, More used would I be
                More blessed and holy, More Savior like thee.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission

When I was a young child in Primary I use to love the song, "I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two, by then I will be ready to preach and teach gospel the way that missionaries do."

Today a young woman who my mother was very fond of gave her mission farewell talk.  She was quite inspiring.  Just as I was impacted in primary with the song "I Hope They Call Me On a Mission;" she was impacted also in a different way.  She related that while sitting in primary and learning about eternal families and the love our Father in Heaven has for each and every one of his children she started proclaiming, "well whatta we doing sittin here! We should be out telling our friends and neighbors                      this important news!"  One of the Primary teachers turned and reproved her with, "Shhst!  That will come!"
And come it did.  This remarkable young lady is ready and willing to share the "good news" with all she comes in contact with.  At a young age, she had a missionary heart.  She will truly be an instrument in the hands of the Lord for doing much good.
Ever since I can remember I too wanted to serve a mission but due to the choices I have made I am serving a different type of mission.  Each and every day I am establishing friendships and laying the foundation so that one day when they are asked to hear a message, their hearts will be responsive and accepting. 
I have had the sweetest confirmation that many of those who journeyed with me for awhile have went on and have heard and accepted the good news of the gospel.  What great joy and peace that brings to ones soul.  There is no doubt in my mind this remarkable young woman will share that same joy and peace with those she will be journeying with.
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the stripling young warriors.  Their example of faith is so inspiring, "wherefore they did not doubt...for their mothers had taught them."  One of the greatest blessings and legacies this young woman and I share, we were both taught by valiant and faithful mothers who also taught by example.  Of course I am being partial because I so loved my mother and my mother called this young woman's mother friend; but I know there are many mothers who are just as valiant and faithful when teaching their families and what a blessing they are.
She closed with the song about the armies of Helamen, I first heard the song on a Janice Cap Perry CD and instanly loved it but hearing her and her brother and sisters sings that beautiful song took it to a whole new level for me.  The Lord truly loves the songs of the heart.
May we all continue to be example and strive to be like the stripling warriors and this young woman in knowing in whom we can trust and continue to go forward with faith and be not afraid to teach by our example and to doubt not.  Because our mothers taught us.


Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus

The last two weeks I have literally felt as if I had a huge bulls eye on my forehead with expert marksman taking shots at it.  It has been quite painful; espically since the marksman hit the target several times.
 As the target was hit, the tears would start flowing and these words would start playin out in my mind, "I'm trying to be like Jesus; I'm following in his ways. I'm trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say...Love one another as Jesus loves you, try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught."
At the time, still smarting from the hit on the bulls eye I would brush it aside. 
A few days later a good friend came to my ward and spoke about our Legacy and how quickly and easily we forget who we are and where we came from.  Then another gentleman took the stand and started talking about adversity and how he and his companion pulled through, "We decided long ago that whatever the Lord threw at us we would endure and trust in Him."  What Faith.  I was like WOW!!  I murmer at the tinist trial.  But I am going to try and do better.  What a remarkable example of Faith.  He is truly following in the Saviors footsteps. 
I once heard this comment, "Christ faced every temptation we face; the difference is He chose to pay no heed to them.  He did not even stop to think about it. He just left it behind." 
Me, I still find myself stopping and gawking then deciding well maybe I had better not.  I hope for the day I too can "pay them no heed" and not even stop but just keep plugging forward.
After the meeting I had the opportunity to visit with my friend and this humble inspiring man.  I related to my friend the actions of the last week and how it hurt so deeply.  He then smiled and related some of the reasons he loved me so very much.  The one that struck me was how he viewed my heart:  "You find it easy to love those around you and you strive to see the good in everyone even when it is buried so deep many give up trying and just like the Savior hurts when He sees His loved ones hurting, you hurt also and that is a very good thing."
 He and his companion then gave me the most beautiful blessing; there was not a dry eye in the room.  He gave me some counsel and I have been following it and when things came to a head this week, his promise came true, "You will be all right."  I was all right and vindicated.
Yesterday as I was sitting in the temple once again these words started playing out in my mind, "I'm trying to be like Jesus, I'm following in his ways. I'm trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say...Love one another as Jesus loves you, try to show kindness in all that you do, be gentle and loving in deed and in thought for these are the things Jesus taught."
Sitting in that holy place tears filled my eyes as a great peace filled my soul with the quiet acknowledgement that I was truly trying to live as my Savior had lived and the verses that were being played were whispered reminders that those were the characteristics I shared with my Savior on a daily basis. 
That was what He had tried to whisper to me when the target practice first begun but I was so engulfed in my hurt that I did not open my heart to listen.  That was what my friend was sharing with me during our visit and why there were tears in our eyes after the remarkable blessing.  But alas me being me I could not really hear until I was in my Father's house and truly listening.
My heart is so full of graititude for I know my Savior knows my name and knows me better than anyone and I know and have felt numerous times his great love for me.  Because of his love for me when He is unable to reach me, He sends friends that He has blessed me with to grab their chisel's and start chippin away at the barracades I have placed around my heart, so the next time He offers His comfort, my heart will be open and receptive to receive it.
But my greatest joy is that my I am truly trying to be like Jesus.  He is my mentor, my greatest example and most of all He is my Best friend.


Friday, February 10, 2012

What Love Looks Like To Me

Once again I am particpating in a Time out for women blog this months theme is about "love."

For me, love has many faces and each has a special place secured in my heart.  Since my husband and I were unable to have children we have been blessed with the four legged kiddos.  It is beyond me how one cannot feel their great love when they burrow their head into your arm and then peek up at you with their big brown eyes and you feel the gentle brush of their tail against your arm as they gently wag their tales.

Then there is the love that is shared between a husband and wife.  I find it funny that when my husband and I were much younger I just knew I loved him; yet as we have aged and been through some very painful trials I am learning that at my young age I was clueless what love was between a husband and spouse.  We are much older and I am just now starting to get a taste of that special love that binds a husband and wife together.  It is so very special and I know it will continue to grow.

Another place in my heart filled with love was the love my family and friends surrounded me and continue to surround me with on a daily basis.  First hand from my parents and extended family I learned of the special love that forms when one is in the service of their fellow man.  My mom and poppers taught me of that love at a very young age and I have had friends who when needed dropped everything to come to my aid.  Words cannot describe that overwhelming love and gradititude that fills ones soul when they or either the giver or the reciever.  Both my parents have long since been called home but because of their example I became a nurse so I could continue their legacy of service and love.

Which brings me to my next special face of love.  Each morning when I arrive at work I have one of my faves sitting in the hallway and when she hears my voice she instanly beams this radiant smile and asks, "Where have you been?"  Oh how I love that smile and the brightness in her eyes.  Another one that brings me great joy is when another such friend upon seeing me will say, "Aunt Bea, Aunt Bea."  All day long I hear Aunt Bea or I am surrounded by my friends radiant smile.  For me these are truly the faces of love.

But the greatest face of love for me, that has brought this all to pass and has increased my love and understanding of love is the gracious kind face of my Savior.  To be quite honest He is the one that placed me where He did because He knew they would build me a great foundation of love from which I could continue building on.

You see at an early age my mother taught me about our Savior and His great love for us; but she along with a great Primary President who also taught me seminary, taught me that He was not just my Savior He was wanting to be my best friend.  Looking back I can honestly say He for many years now He has been my best friend.

One last thought about love, it has no age limit.  Many who know me cannot keep my parentage straight.  As an infant I was adopted by a young couple who had some problems, so this young man dropped me off at his Aunt's and Uncle's who had raised him due to his own mother had passed away when he was a toddler and his father just left him.  I was 16 months old when he dropped me off and his Aunt and Uncle were in their ealy 60's.  They are my mom and poppers and it is they who set the examples of love of neighbor, love of family, love of spouse, love of self and love of Savior.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Wilderness

Have you ever found yourself trudging thru what appears to be a dark and dreary wilderness?
Today I found myself thinking about Father Lehi's dream where he found himself trudging thru a dark and dreary wilderness and when he began to lose hope thinking all was lost he seen a field I believe opening up to his view with a tree that had the most precious of all fruit. 

I remember his desire to partake and then his desire to have his family partake also.
 As the story continues there are many that are seeking for that most desirable fruit.
Some make it and fall at the base of the tree and partake, others partake and then cast their eyes about as if ashamed and wander away to unknown paths and are lost and then there are others that never make it to the tree instead they find themselves groping to a "great and Spacious building" that appears as if it were floating in air.

In this building there are many well dressed people who are scornful and pointing their fingers and laughing at those who are attempting to make it to the tree and those who have made it to the tree and partaken of the fruit.  Their gaze is filled with disgust for those who are at the tree. 
I find it sad that many succomb to those pointing fingers and either join the crowd or wander off and are lost.
I feel that I was one who made it to the tree, fell at the base and partook of the fruit.
I have had many fingers of scorn and disgust pointed at me.
But I choose to be like Lehi and his family that partook of the fruit and, "gave no heed to them."
 But their pointing fingers do hurt.
I find myself on a daily basis choosing not to give them any heed and keep telling myself,
"self, you have partaken of the most precious fruit and look at the great joy and peace it has brought you."

I hope I have the courage and faith to continue to trudge along with head held high and continue to give no heed to those who prefer hangin in the great and spacious building because one day their building will fall and "great shall be the fall."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Tsunami

Mark Febuary 1, 2012 on your calenders.  Today a tsunami struck hard and heavy in the big city of Buhl Idaho at 7:00am.  I know you're sitting there in your easy chairs going, "say what?"  "Idaho is not even close to an ocean."  But lo and behold a tsunami did strike and it was a massive wave of neg-a-tivi-ty.

I once heard these words, "When a man or woman faces severe adversity they shatter like glass."
 I had always wondered what that statement meant but today I got to witness that shattering first hand.
I find it ironic that there are people who just plug along in a set pattern with no deviation from their chosen path.  I picture them with eyes down focused on each and every step they take.  Not one time do they raise their head to look at the scenery around them because if they did that they would miss a step and wind up off their neat and tidy little path.

Then there are others that surround themselves with heavy protective outer wear to protect them from the seasons of "what ifs"  For example, "What if it rains I had better be wrapped up and dry so I don't get wet and what if it snows, I don't want to get cold." 
They are so focused on the "what ifs" they don't take the time to un-layer and enjoy the sunshine.

When you throw change into the mix, boy howdy that's when their glass houses come tumbling down.  There's this mad scurry as they run to and fro shouting, "what if" and others whose nice neat little trails have turned to muddy landslides are horrified that they are going to have to step off their trail and go around or heaven forbid they get their hands and feet a little muddy. 
One who is watching can't help but smile at their crazy antics. 

Do you remember how the Isralites were always murmering because Moses had led them out of their great land of Eygpt, (where they were well fed slaves) out into the wilderness to lead them to a "promised land filled with milk and honey?" 

Well they started out on the trip fully supporting Moses but when they did not arrive at the promised land on their schedule they started murmering and complaining and wanting to go back to Egypt. 

A smile crossed my face as I thought of my day today and that Old Testament story and then I found myself wondering,
"Heavenly Father, how do you do it?
Murmer, murmer, murmer, whine, whine, whine. 
Wouldn't ya just like to once zap em with a lightening bolt and say,
"Hello down there!!!!" 
At least that was what I woulda liked to have done today.  I'm sure He just smiled and shook His great head.

 He had to listen to that for 40 years.
 I only had it eight hours but boy was it a long eight hours.
 (I'm sure in bibical times I was right at 40 years)

What is it about change that sends everyone into a tail spin?
Life is about changing and becoming better at who or what we are you would think; well at least that is what I think.

 But boy howdy when there is a change it is like a massive wave of destuction that just took out all life. 
Heaven forbid you give it a chance who knows by some silly measure it might work out in the end for the better; but no it's easier to whine, whine, whine, murmer, murmer, murmer and toss stones at the idea of change huffin and puffin, "that'll never work." before even attempting to make it work but alas that would require us to get our hands dirty and trudge thru some mud.

I blame it on my old age that I'm becoming philosophical and open and receptive to change.
My attitude is "bring it on" if it works great if not oh well better luck next time and the muddier the better.  After all life is one grand adventure if we would allow ourselves to enjoy the ride and not continously go borrowing trouble.

As I was admiring the Lords handi work on my drive home this thought came into my mind,
"The Lord can turn water into wine but He can't turn your whining into anything."