Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Perfect Moment

I've been thinking about something that happened while we vacationed in Maui a couple weeks ago. A perfect moment. Have you ever experienced that perfect moment when everything is peaceful, tranquil, amazingly beautiful? Or tender, sweet, lovely? I experienced a moment just like that as we were on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Before we boarded the plane to come home we booked a reservation for a dinner cruise where we would watch the whales and see the sun set. At first the ocean was a little rough. Even so the whales put on quite a show spouting, upending with their tale fins seeming to wave at us, or breaching so we could see their huge bodies and then a tremendous splash! We watched three whales swimming together, one rolling on its side, another's back coming out of the water, and yet another blowing it's spray. It was a glorious sight. Although that was pretty neat and the dinner was surprisingly good, it wasn't until the captain of the boat turned so we could watch the sun set on the horizon that everything felt just right. As the sun set over the edge of what seemed like the end of the world and the clouds lit up in glorious colors of orange and red and yellow this overwhelming feeling of peace came over me. My perfect moment. The feelings  and thoughts that went through my mind at that time are too sweet and tender to adequately describe. I teared up at the beauty of the moment and I looked over at my husband and thought that this perfect moment was perfect because I was sharing it with the person I love most in all the world.

Since then I've put my thinker to the thinker test! What other perfect moments have I experienced in my life? Not surprisingly there were to many to write about! But they all have one thing in common. They happen when I am with the people I love most in this world. The birth of a baby. When all the children are getting along. Watching all the children running ahead on the hiking trail, playing, teasing, sharing the wonders of nature surrounding them. Chadwick stories. Sally and Joe stories. Watching the birth of a grandchild. Surviving Engineer Pass (Hannah and Ben know this one.)Getting down from that Pass really was a perfect moment! Or watching your child bear testimony for the first time or their tenth time... it is always the same. A perfect moment. I could go on and on.

The perfect moments we experience are different for everyone. The thing about those perfect moments is you don't know when the next when will come. But I am particularly grateful I just experienced another one to remind me about those of the past. 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Be Thou an Example of the Believers

1 Timothy 4:12 "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in purity."

I love this verse in 1 Timothy! It doesn't just tell us to be an example but goes on to explain how to do it. A believer is a follower of Jesus Christ. We want to be like him. The things he taught have meaning for us. Pres. Monson gave excellent counsel when he said, " Make every decision you contemplate pass this test: What does it do to me? What does it do for me? And let your code of conduct emphasize not, What will others think? but rather, What will I think of myself." He gives us a place to start as we try to emulate the Savior.

What kind of words do we speak? Are they uplifting and kind? What is our tone of voice and are our expressions ones that reflect a happy person? A smile comes naturally when we speak good words.

The Greek word for conversation refers to our conduct or behavior, If we were to repeat the scripture inserting the words conduct or behavior for conversation, the meaning of the scripture expands.

We all know that charity is the Pure Love of Christ. Charity is not something we do but it is a characteristic we want to acquire.

What is spirit? Spirit is what strengthens testimony and builds faith. Pres. Monson taught, "When firmly planted, your testimony will influence all that you do throughout your life." Faith is action. The Apostle James in the New Testament said, "I will shew thee my faith by my works." Faith is something we do. So then testimony and faith go hand in hand.

And last is purity. If we apply the simple meaning of purity which is without fault or sinless, most of us would say it cannot be done. But if we apply Pres. Hinkley's invitation to "Just do the very best you can, but be sure it is your very best", things would look much different.

So let's apply our definitions.

We will be an example of Jesus Christ, in the things we say, in our conduct or behavior, applying the love of Christ, with testimony, with action, and doing the very best we can.

It is my sincere desire that through this sacred season you may be comforted with this simple definition of how to be an example. I hope it helps in your callings, through your service to home and family, and with friends and neighbors. May the sweet blessings of Christmas be with all of you.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

SURPRISE!!!! And 10 months later.... My intent in starting this little blog was to inspire and bless my family with ideas or commentaries on life or from gospel learning. Because this year has been particularly busy with babies and their blessings and baptisms and family gatherings and visits and playing together, well, it is time to get caught up. I can't promise I'll  write every month (as the past year has certainly shown) but I will strive to do better.

Lately I've been studying about parables. We know that is how Jesus taught. It is how our General Authorities teach too. Parables can be examples from our lives that teach a gospel principle in a way that is meaningful and leaves a lasting lesson or impression. So here is one for you.

The Meridian Library sits on an old farmstead. When the machinery was being moved onto the property to demolish the old house, barn, and shrubbery, I decided I would go over and save some of the flowers from being destroyed. I saved some oriental poppies (which bloom in profuse orange every spring) and a climbing rose bush that decorated my apple tree with it's lovely red flowers. I dug up tulip bulbs and ivy. During my mission to save what was soon to be destroyed, I also found a small white plate with a chip in it. It had a sweet floral print in the center and a decorative lace like pattern around the edges. I decided to save that too. I cleaned that little plate up and displayed it in the girls bedroom with the chip side down. No one knew about the chip unless they picked up the plate. Fast forward to Hannah's wedding. One of her colors was a bright coral/pink and I had some left over ribbon I decided to thread through the lace like edges of this little plate. The ends of the ribbon met over the chip. I tied a pretty little bow over it and now display it prominently on the side table by the bed. No one knows how or why or when this chip or sin occurred and I guess it doesn't really matter. What is wonderful is that the Savior "covers" our sins, like that ribbon, as if they are no more. He makes us whole.

I'll never think about my little white plate as something with a chip to be hidden, but as something beautifully made whole by a ribbon.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Love's Pure Light

For the last couple of Christmas seasons I have wanted to write about a phrase that I heard in a favorite Christmas carol a couple of years ago that really impressed me. I told mom last year that I would write about it but I ran out of time. When Hannah sang beautifully Silent Night in sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago and the phrase sunk into me again I promised myself I would write about it this year. 
In the last verse of Silent Night are the words "Son of God, love's pure light". This time of year we experience the extra love of family and friends as well as the beautiful lights and decorations. The first Christmas had the brightness of the new star and lights and wonders in the heavens that announced the birth of our Savior. However love's pure light does not refer to either of these. In this case love is in reference to our Father in heaven. John says that God "is" love. 1 John 4:8. This is because everything he has done or will do is out of love for us.  The best example of this love is that he sent his son to save us. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life".  John 3:16.
Light is in reference to Jesus Christ the light of the world. John 8:12. When we have light in our live's we can see the correct path, see clearly to correct our errors and make correct choices. Christ's light is pure. It is perfect. He is perfect. We can never error when he shines the light for us and follow him. For this reason Satan loves darkness and everything he does is in darkness and deception. He is the opposite of pure light. The world was truly in darkness and sin before he was born.
Therefore this Christmas I encourage you to ponder God's great gift to us, his son Jesus Christ and do our best to follow him. He truly is love's pure light.

Love, Dad

 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blessings

Last night Tim and Brian gave Dennis a Blessing. Dennis hurt his back a couple weeks ago and yesterday was particularly bad. He was in a lot of pain. Today I have been thinking about that Blessing and the words spoken, the meaning behind them, and how God communicates with individuals differently. Some people need "flowers" and some people need to be "knocked over the head". This particular blessing was a combination of the two. I was glad I could listen because as you know Dennis does not hear everything. Today we were able to talk about what each of us heard and in my case, fill in some blanks as well as discuss impressions that were defined by the Spirit.

The experience has made me reflect on other Blessings that have been given to me personally, what they meant at the time, and how they have influenced my life since. Blessings are like that. They last. The answers, the comfort, the peace and the knowing that comes from them, and the opportunities that open because of them, are real. In remembering, those feelings come back and once again I feel God's love for me, just as He intended.

I think all of you have experienced the same at one time or another. Blessings given to us individually are tailored to what we need to hear or even what we need to do. Because of them we are able to move forward. We are so fortunate that through priesthood power we can know of Gods love for us, that He knows what we need and wants to help us reach beyond ourselves and trust Him.
Today I ask you all to remember Blessings you have received. Reflect on what you learned then and how your life has been blessed since. Take the opportunity to include your children. I promise as you do those sweet feelings you felt long ago will come to you again.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yowza! It's been tooooo long.

This is terrible. My last post was December 2013 and not that I have anything earth shattering or super important to say but... for shame. Surely there was something good to impart or think about. As you know life has really changed for me. I'm a 9-5 girl with an occasional odd schedule thrown in. As much as I love my new life and the opportunities it affords there are some things I really miss. Talking to my kids on the phone during the day just because. Seeing the grandkids more often. Playing with my family. Going on vacation whenever we want. Helping. Serving. Being available. It takes a lot of planning and coordinating now and sadly having to say no when I want to say yes. Some things I haven't got used to are doing house work when I come home from work or squeezing in a grocery shopping run. I have great empathy for working mothers and understand the exhaustion that our husbands feel after a long day beating back the hordes and fighting to make enough to support their families. I finally get it. You don't want to work after work. You are tired. You are hungry. You want relief and someone else to feed you. That's why I really love El Tenampa. Good quick food and I didn't have to think about what to fix or if I have groceries in the house to fix what I want anyway. And then throwing in a medical issue...it can get complicated.

I guess what I am saying is how much I love and appreciate you all. You work hard. You love your families. I see what you do and think what a wonderful job you are doing. There are always hick-ups but by and large you are doing some really great parenting. Seeing you play together and caring for each other, giving relief and sharing the load. And throwing in some medical issues too, well, you are doing the best you know how and when you realize that may not be enough then you figure something else out. GOOD JOB GUYS! Life is not always easy but you are doing well and your dad and I are so very proud of the people you are. We love seeing you live the gospel in word and deed.
We are so grateful to have a family that includes you. We love you all.

So until next time and hoping it won't take another 8 months for another message from home...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Oranges

My father passed away in October 2001. And with his passing my mother began to think about her own mortality and the people she would meet again. At the same time she felt compelled to write my fathers and her personal histories. I became her scribe and story after story unfolded. One of the things she was most concerned about was her relationship with her father. He had been dead for 40 years or so and she was still angry with him. This was one meeting she dreaded. However, as she began to recall her past and through questioning her perceptions, she began to see the choices her father made in a different light.

Her family owned a ranch near Cody, Wyoming. During the winter months my grandfather worked at Yellowstone Lodge in Yellowstone National Park as a cook for the tourists. This created great hardship in maintaining the ranch but at the same time the money earned from this side job provided much needed necessities. He saved every penny he made except for one Christmas treat. Every year he brought home Christmas oranges. Often those oranges were the only thing in the children's stockings.

I asked my mother if this was why she bought a box of Christmas oranges every year. And one always found its way into our stockings. She carried on the tradition from her fathers gift of Christmas oranges and she had not realized it until that moment. And in fact I carry on the tradition too because that's what mother did. She thought of her father as a hard man, lacking in compassion or even love. Surely, I said, bringing home oranges as a Christmas treat showed his love. This she could not accept.

Later that evening I was back at home preparing our family dinner all the while thinking of my grandfather. And it just so happened that I decided to make a fruit salad which of course included an orange. As I peeled the orange the aroma of it was so strong and sweet, it literally enveloped me. And just then I felt an overwhelming love so grand, so sweet, so tender, so kind reach through the heavens and I knew his offering of Christmas oranges was more than just a fun treat. It said what he could not verbalize, " I care about you. I love you."

No matter the season I cannot see an orange without being reminded about that heavenly hug. Every year during the Christmas season I continue the tradition. I buy oranges. Not only will they end up in our Christmas stockings but I like to share them as well. Because oranges, well, you know what they mean.