Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The End of the World

I have always loved the song, "The End of the World."  Of course it spoke to me during the painful years of being a rejected teen-ager.  Her words of anguish resounded in our ears,

"Why do the birds keep on singing"
"Why does the sun continue to shine"
"Don't they know its the end of the world"
It ended when you said good-bye."

As I matured and have faced painful losses I was amazed at how quickly people were at moving on with their lives;
 leaving me behind in this dark abyss because my world
 had come to an unexpected end.

Those type of losses are always carried inside with a large jagged scar reminding you of the great pain and loss you felt.
 During those dark days of anguish it appears your cries went unheard as people quickly jostle by.
 After all, their reality had not been so crudely interrupted.

This past week I have spent some time in the temple with a good friend, whose world for him had come to a sudden and painful end.
He too watched as people bustled by not seeing the tears and great pain which filled his eyes.
His first trip back to the temple consisted of just him and me.
 Sitting there in that peaceful place I found my heart aching with him as tears started flowing down his face and I was reminded that there is one who never hustles and bustles by.
He is never so busy that he does not take the time to comfort His child when in need.

As my friend and I were visiting afterwards I shared with him that there was a time my sins were as scarlet and I had felt that there was no way I would ever be able to feel my Father in Heavens love for me let alone receive his forgiveness.
 Boy was I wrong.  I had no understanding what so ever about the atonement.

The day I first entered those hallowed walls I was surrounded by such love that it completely overwhelmed me and then there was this peace that settled deep down into the very core of my soul and these words ran thru my mind, 
"Thou thy sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool."

We are surrounded by many who like my friend and I who felt that their world had come to an end and even sadder as they watch those around them hustle by they feel lost and forgotten.

They have no clue that there is one who feels their pain with them and is waiting to be invited in so that He can wipe away their tears and heal them.

May we build friendships with those in need and let them know that along with us they have even a greater friend who is anxiously waiting for their call to Him.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I was Lost But now I'm Found

This morning I attended a session at the temple.
I was seated by a mother,daughter and sister.
I observed that this was the daughter's first time in the temple.

I remember so very well that overwhelmed look.
At one point, the father offered his hand and he and his little girl participated in the prayer.
It was a very tender moment to view.

At the close of the session I happened upon them and observed them hugging each other
and crying tears of joy.

This thought came into my mind,  "I was lost but now I'm found."
Not wanting to interfere with this very special moment I quietly walked past them.
As I was changing, I found myself thinking about the first time
I had entered the hallowed doors of the temple.

There was no family or friends there to share in my great joy.
Yet I have never felt so loved and supported.
I had family there, they were sharing my special day with me
 from on the other side.

Then my family and I returned and I shared in my mom and popper's great joy as they partook of that special blessing.
That day there were many hugs and tears of joy on both sides.

I shall never forget the great joy I felt the day my poppers was reunited with all his family on the other side.
He like me had been lost and had been found.

When my mother was called home I once again felt this great peace, abundance of love and great joy that she too had been reunited
 with poppers and her family.

Just as I stepped outside into the bright sunshine I once again in my minds eye saw that family embracing and sharing tears of great joy and then in a moment it changed and I was wrapped in the loving arms of my mom and poppers and we were shedding tears of great joy that we who once were lost had been found and were never to be parted again.

That Wonderful Mother of MIne

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I am finding myself thinking about and missing my mother.  As I was once again cleaning out our closet I found some Mother's Day gifts that I had given her.  
Memories started flooding my mind.
During my Primary years I would proudly and loudly (off key mind you) sing these words to my beaming mother:

"Mother I love you
Mother I do
Father in Heaven has sent me to You
When I am near you
I love to hear you
singing so softly 
that you love me to
Mother I love you
I love you I do"

As I started advancing with my piano talent my mother shared with me that one of her all time favorite songs was,
 "That Wonderful Mother of Mine." 
Mrs King (my piano teacher) worked long hours with me as I tried to master that difficult piece, so that I could play it for my mother on a Mother's Day. 
I finally conquered it and on Mother's Day, I surprised my mother 
by playing her beloved song in church. 
I shall never forget her face as tears rolled down her cheeks.
A trusted friend once again played that beautiful piece for my mother at her funeral service and her daughter sang these inspired lyrics:  

Writers Walter Goodwin, Clyde Hager

"The moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of that wonderful mother of mine.
The birds never sing but a message they bring
Of that wonderful mother of mine.
Just to bring back the time,
that was so sweet to me,
Just to bring back the days, when I sat on her knee.
You are a wonderful mother,
Dear old Mother of mine.
You'll hold a spot down deep in my heart,
'Till the stars no longer shine.
Your soul shall live on forever,
On through the fields of time.
For there'll never be another to me,

Like that wonderful Mother of mine.
I pray ev'ry night to our Father above,
For that wonderful mother of mine.
I ask Him to keep her as long as He can
That wonderful mother of mine.
There are treasures on earth,
that made life seem worthwhile,
But there's none can compare with my dear mother's smile.
You are a wonderful mother,
Dear old Mother of mine.
You'll hold a spot down deep in my heart,
'Till the stars no longer shine.
Your soul shall live on forever,
On through the fields of time.
For there'll never be another to me,
Like that wonderful Mother of mine."

I am not quite seventy, but there is not a day that passes that I do not miss the friendship, love, and reassurance that only my mother could give.
May our Eternal Father continue to bless all His Mothers, not only on their special day but each and every day and may we as His children love and revere our mother's for all the sacrifices they have made that our lives would be filled with love and happiness.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Excess Baggage

Last night I attended the evening session of our stake conference.
 I have found that the spirit at that evening meeting and the lessons taught are exactly
what I am needing to hear.
Each and every year I attend with an issue that I am struggling with
and each time someone directly talks about that issue and how to overcome it.

Last night was no exception.
All the talks presented were based on
the Atonement of our Savior.

Ever since I received that Priesthood blessing where I was counseled to "study the Saviors Atonement"
 I have found there is so much more to the Savior's atonement then I can even begin to comprehend.

In today's society the main theme is "Me, Me, Me."
I learned several years ago that it is not about me.

It was during that time I made a personal promise to my Heavenly Father
 (believe me He is good at reminding me of that).
He does truly give you what you ask for if your desire is sincere and no it is not always pleasant but if you continue forward trusting in Him you receive great blessings.

This past year I have learned that whenever I use an adjective to describe someone
 I am being judgmental.   (Ouch)
 The brethren have counseled that one should never turn their back on family to where a family member is "wrote off" and is not spoken to or spoken off because a mistake was made.
This action grieves our Father in Heaven.

Then there's the "contention is not of me but of the devil who is the father of all lies."
One of the first presidency made this simple yet profound statement, "Stop It!"
The lyrics of a song ties in so beautifully with the contention card, "if it's not love then let it go."

Last but not least is the power of forgiveness.
A conversation Simon Peter had with the Savior was running through my mind this morning,
"Lord how often should I forgive my brethren?"
 The Lord's reply, "Seventy times seven."
and "Of you it is required to forgive all men..."

Upon reading and hearing the above counsel one tends to think,
 "No problemo, I can do all the above."

I believe there is a address for that also called,
 "Pride" given by President Benson."
(that one is a real eye opener that cuts right to the quick)

A wise friend once told me that the Lord will stretch us and another great prophet penned these words,
"I show unto men their weakness that they may become strong unto me."
Last night I was shown some of my weakness and boy did they sting.
I was also invited to once again trust in the Lord and let Him tear down a weak beam and allow Him to replace it with a solid beam that would never fail.
Yet, here I am today trying to justify all the good things that I do and is that not enough?
Inside there is this turmoil because many years ago I asked the Lord if I could just put my little toe into an other's shoes.
One that has and continues to inspire me.
Silly me, I thought "oh just a little toe won't be so bad."

Boy am I learning how much stretching comes with that little toe.
For now I am going along murmuring and grumbling along the way hoping for the day when the Lord replaces that weak beam and I can go along and do because I want to not because I feel I have to.

I thank my Heavenly Father each and every day for His great patience and love
 in remolding this rebellious child.

In closing as I was drifting off into a restless sleep upon returning home this thought came into my mind,

" This is but a small moment, this baggage you're clinging to,
 is it that important that you will allow it to hinder your journey home to me? "
My response was, " No Lord, I want to return home with honor. "

His reply, "Drop the baggage."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

By Small and Simple Things

A few weeks ago I had lunch with my favorite Stake President who had been released in 2008; As we were visiting he made this profound comment,
 "Have you noticed that the Lord will place people in your path who you truly need because of their unique talents and gifts?"

Images of people who have walked with me started flooding my mind as I felt the truthfulness of his words penetrate my very soul.

A Primary president who taught me, "nothing with the Lord is impossible if you just believe."

A piano teacher who encouraged me to always play the piano because
I had " a God given talent to play music."

A humble Bishop who taught me, "Be mindful of your gifts.."

A Visiting teacher who despite my indifference continued to leave me gifts that let me know she was thinking of me and then encouraged me to, "Go to the temple."

An Institute teacher who upon meeting me took me and years later took my family and I under his wing and taught me to "truly love my fellow beings and Trust in the Lord."

A noble Stake President who cried with me and then went more than the extra mile to make sure my family and I were sealed.

A great Bishop who also went the extra mile with prayers and leg work making sure my family and I were sealed.

Then there are those true friends who notice when the chips are down, step in and give their all and ask nothing in return.

Last but not least my truest friend of all, my Lord and Savior who leads me to all those who with their unique talents and gifts make me a better person and truly contribute to my cup which truly "runneth over."