Sunday, December 12, 2010

The simple math of the matter

Negative numbers are less than zero.
Zero is nothing.
Negative things are things that are less than nothing.
When we choose to be negative we choose to be less than nothing.
I choose to be something.
I choose to be positive.

My glass is not half-empty.
My glass is not half-full.
My cup runneth over, for it is God that fills me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On the mundane

Just posting this here because I think it's a shame the way Facebook sends so much of my good stuff into digital oblivion after a week or so.

A friend posted something like: There has to be more to life than doing the same thing every day.

To which I responded something like: Life is about taking little moments of joy and weaving them into the tapestry of your life in such a way that they make it beautiful. In every tapestry there is a base of unremarkable threads, but here and there is the silver strand of being there for your brother's big award, or the way your wife smiled when you told a joke, or listening to someone. Those moments make your life beautiful. People think that because jobs take so much of our time that they are something we should allow to define us, but they are really more like brushing teeth. We all do them every day, and it's a good idea to do them well, but they don't define who you are. You are not a _____ or a tooth brusher, you are _____, son of God, and I for one am proud to know you.

(I didn't put in his name and profession, because I didn't seek his permission to put them on my blog.)

The funny thing is, he's one of the best guys I know, smart, funny, spiritual, family oriented, hardworking, hard-playing, sweet, and thoughtful. No wonder his INCREDIBLE wife fell in love with him. He's the kind of guy that people say they can "expect great things from," but he is already doing great things, he just doesn't see it.

So I hope you, as one of my 6 readers, will take a moment and look at the tapestry of your life. Now don't look at what is there, first consider what you see. Are you seeing the banality? Are you seeing the mopping of the floor and the commute to work?
Well stop it.
Start DELIBERATELY looking at the beautiful things. Recognise when those strands are being woven in, stop to appreciate the glitter of that child's smile, the bright red of your sacrifices, the green of each new beginning, the gold of your service.

See what you are, for you are something great.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The voice we all know

My mother has a beautiful voice. She sings like an angel, and I grew up listening to her singing around the house, at church, and in choirs. I would listen to her up there on that stage and no matter how beautifully the choir melded together, no matter how many voices sang her part with her, I could always pick out her voice.

As I grew older I learned to pick out other choir member's voices. They would often be embarrassed if I told them, "I could pick you out," because they thought it meant they were out of tune or off-beat. I felt a similar case of self-consciousness when I sang with a choir a few years back and my dear friends told me they could pick me out. They insisted it wasn't because I was out of tune or off-beat (though, to be honest... I am a little off-beat.) They said it was because they heard me sing every Sunday. Across the aisle in Sacrament Meeting, or along with the children in Primary, they heard my voice all the time and knew it.

Similarly I have noticed that children can pick up the sound of a parent's voice. Even if several adults are talking, the other kids are screaming, and the toys are clattering away, little heads that hang in grief over the absence of a parent pop up at the slightest whisper of that voice they know. It's a sound that pierces the din of the world, a parent's voice, it carries straight to the soul.

Now if they had never known their mother's voice they would not have been able to pick it out. If I had not been so bold in singing in church my dear friends would not have known my voice from the others. If I had never paid attention, in rehearsals, to the voices of my mother and her friends I would never have been able to distinguish them amid the harmonies of the full choir.

I have concluded that two things determine how well we hear some one's voice; our experience of having heard the voice, and our attentiveness. I think these two factors play a role in our response to the voice of The Lord. He calls out to us, unfailing, but whether or not we hear him is another thing altogether.

Through revelation we know that each of us once knew the voice of The Lord. In the time before this life we heard Him volunteer to fulfill the crucial role in The Father's plan. We knew Jehovah and trusted Him enough to side with Him in the "war in heaven." We yearned to follow Him, and he promised to guide us if we will listen.

It's the listening that's hard, it's paying attention and giving Him our focus. Just as the child happily playing with his toys can be surprised to find his mother has been calling for him, we too, if inattentive, can fail to hear the voice of The Lord. If we do not shut out the other voices, the noise of the world, the bass singing low, the alto in her gentle glide, even the soloist in her bold and showy trilling all over the scale, we will not find that one sweet angelic voice.

Listen for it. Do you hear Him? He's calling to you right now. He speaks of His love for you, He sings of His longing to grasp your hand and lead you home. He aches to dry your eyes and hold you close as His love makes up for all you have ever done wrong, and all the wrong that has ever been done to you. His song is the song of love, of healing, of joy beyond comparison. Listen for it, pick Him out from the noise of the world and follow his every note until his melody fills you. Listen for the voice we all know.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jesus Street

Tonight was the RS Talent show. I debated on what to do for a while and finally decided to sing the song I wrote a while ago, "Jesus Street." Definitely not a polished performance, but oh well.
Now to see if I'm tech savvy enough to post it!

Thanks to Rachel for holding the camera phone, and to Joe for making me get a snazzy complicated phone instead of the el-cheapo I usually insist on.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Three Day Weekends

are now going on my list of favorite things. Why? You may ask, and I shall answer.
I like them because this three day weekend gave me a day when I didn't have to do anything... except finish a certain project.
Yup, first draft, 68 thousand words, printed off and bound in a nifty neat folder ready for eager fingers.
I'd ask who gets to be first, but I kind of e-sent it to England this morning (after all a conversation with her DID inspire the whole thing), and after I read the paper copy through I'm taking it to work. So the real question is, among my specially selected pre-readers, who wants to proof an e-copy and who wants to wait for paper?
(BTW YA Fantasy Romance, again)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Chapter Left

I'm one chapter away from finishing the first draft of yet another book. I'm just waiting on an email from my source on all things Wildlife Biology, and I can crunch it out. The scene, the whole book really, is on my back burner while I wait.

That leaves my front burner empty. I'm not used to having an empty front burner.

All the talking that I have done over the last few weeks about my previous book has the sequel to it trying to move up to the front burner, but I know I can't really move it up yet. I've just turned up the heat and I stir it a little more often.

I guess this is how people have clean houses. I vaguely remember what a clean house is like. It was nice. Maybe I should put that on my front burner, getting my house in order. There is plenty to do, finding the shoes I know I have for Jordan, hauling the stuff up to the attic, picking up the fabric scraps on the floor in my craft/formal living room. I could empty the dishwasher BEFORE the sink is overflowing and BEFORE we run out of forks. I could file the paid bills and shuffle the stack of papers that I never really know what to do with. I could put away the laundry that is in baskets on the couch, I could make my bed, or even wash the sheets. I could kill spiders. I could bathe the dog, trim his nails, take him for a walk. I could make a meal and freeze it... if there was room in my freezer.

I could do so many things, and I will, but right now my burner is glowing in front of me and what do I do? I put my ear buds in, turn on the Coldplay and Joshua Radin I just bought, and write. I write because no matter what I think, no matter what I do, words spill out of me and I have to write them.

Some people have to cook, some people have to talk, some people have to run, I have to write.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Okay, I know, I'm posting like crazy, silly me.

I just had to write this because it was just so special. I don't care if no one reads it, I just want to remember it.

I work with kids. Some kids love me, some kids like me, some kids barely know me, and some kids... I wouldn't say they don't like me but they are shy so they kind of keep to themselves and it's hard to get through to them.

These shy ones, I have learned, are like gold in the hillside, and if I can just get through the shell, oh what a treasure I find.

One of these shy ones was there when I went in the room today. I was just stopping in, and he looked up as I opened the door. I smiled at him, winked, and stuck out my tongue.

For ONE INSTANT there was this gleam of laughter in his eye, a twitch at the corner of his mouth, and BAM I saw the gold. He closed back off right away, but I got a peek and I'm so jazzed that he let it out even that long.

Hot dog, I love that kid. I can't wait to make him smile again.

Three days later

and I'm still frustrated that I was misunderstood and didn't have the chance to fully state my position in Sunday School. This is dis-jointed and rambling but sometimes I just have to let it out before I explode.


I think that most people labor under a false assumption that life is supposed to be easy. It's not. It's supposed to be hard, it's supposed to make us learn and grow.

And what I would have added if given the chance:

It is through the process of constant attrition that we find true joy and not the shallow temporary happiness-es that so many think are joy.

Joy is not in money, fame, ease, comfort, or HDTV. It isn't in checking off the list of the ways you are perfect.

Joy is in the journey, in hard work, in the peace you have deep down even when you are going through trials. Joy is your testimony, is love, is the touch of a child. Joy is abiding and sure, it can be masked for a time by emotional upset, but it isn't gone, it is always there if you reach through the mists and hold on.

Joy isn't what we find at the end of the road, it's the companion that held our hand the whole way through. It is as doggedly determined as a Marine and as gentle as a butterfly kiss.

Yes, "Men are that they might have joy." That's the whole point of life, not to earn the joy in the end but to be joyful, to find out that we ARE joy.

We ARE light.

And if you AREN'T joy yet, if when you look at your core and you don't find a pillar of light connected straight to heaven, well then you don't know yourself very well, and I hope your next trial helps you find out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Moth

P1020366.jpg picture by teljchall
Do you see it? Do you see the moth that is flying with all his might against my curtain? He is trying with all his might to get out there to the light.

As I sit here at my computer in a reflective state of mind I realise how much smarter that moth is than me.

You see, he is not beating his head against a flashy computer screen. If it was the only light in the room perhaps he would be drawn to it, but no. He sees the greater light, and struggles to attain it.

How often do we focus on alternate forms of light? How often do we see reflected light and think we are on the right path? When we have become accustomed to the dark, do we shrink against the light that busts upon us, shielding our eyes, blocking it out.

Or do we run to the greatest light, hungry for it's warmth. Do we seek out true light to guide us? Do we even remember how it feels on our face?

Remember, remember the Light of the World. Bring Him into your day, every day. Let Him warm you, let Him guide you, let Him fill you with His light.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beauty from the wreckage

When hurricane Katrina blasted her way into the Gulf Coast she left behind her a depressing display of wreckage and devastation. There are still vacant lots and skeletal remains where grand buildings used to stand.

My friends met and fell in love in Biloxi over ten years ago, and are stationed there now with their family. When we visit them our conversations in the car are sprinkled with "used to be" and "was." The city is working hard on it's recovery though, and each visit we find it more beautiful and the beauty is a testament to the efforts of the locals.

As I drive down Highway 90 to get to the base where they work and live I very much enjoy one particular effort, and I would like to share my reflections on it with you.

The highway has a tree lined median, where grand oaks towered, deeply rooted in the Mississippi sand. All of them lost limbs and leaves during Katrina, stripped bare and stung by the wind driven rain. Many of the trees never recovered, and they died slowly.

Then someone had an idea. Instead of tearing the trees up the government contracted with an artist to make them into sculptures, so the trees could continue to beautify the land where they had stood throughout memory.

So the work commenced. The artist sawed and hacked, carved grooves and took out whole chucks of the once proud trees. I am sure they protested, I am sure the wood whined at him as he worked, but he lovingly continued shaping them until this is what was left:

IMG00046-20100812-1612.jpg picture by teljchall

We live in trying times. Each of us is surrounded by people who have been buffeted and stung by the winds and rains of life. They clung to their roots while the floods washed around them, and sometimes they have been through so much that they have lost all hope of being what they once were.

Some would say there is no hope for them, that they are unsightly and should be removed from our view so that their devastation doesn't devastate us more. However, I think we should be like that Mississippi visionary, and like that artist. We should see the value in a soul. We should see the potential when there is little left of what once was.

The greatest artist that ever lived was Jesus Christ, for he made things of miraculous beauty out of the most damaged and destitute of souls. I'm no Monet, but he's made something beautiful out of me. He sent artists with rough tools to shape me, they've knocked off whole chunks off me and whittled and gouged. It's been a painful process.

Now as I stand here and the wind blows around me, flowing like music through beautiful lines I never knew I had, I understand. I understand that Jesus always sees the beauty in me, at all stages of my life, and that if I trust him I can see it too.

If we trust him we can see, and reveal the beauty in all of us. Sometimes all God needs is an artist.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Personal Growth

A teen I know posted something on her facebook last night, and it was one of those rare times where the response just hits you and you feel you must say it. It seemed to hit home with her, so I thought I'd post it here as part of my ever growing collections of spiritual thoughts.

She asked, "Why is it that being who you are was good enough at first, then continuously being who you are just isn't good enough in the end?"

I responded, "It depends on your definition of who you are. You see, every acorn in an oak tree inside. It's all there and a wise observer will see it by its potential and not its current state. Now if an acorn chooses it can stay an acorn and either rot away or become squirrel food. That's the acorn's choice, and that will be its story. The wise observer however will be a bit sad that the acorn didn't send out a root, and put in the effort to become the tree it always had the potential to be.
Growth is part of life, and she who does not constantly try to grow is in danger of being overcome by the rot of the world or the dangers that would destroy her potential."

(Thank goodness it was well received.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Beauty of The Plan

I was driving down the road today and I saw a little girl running in her yard. The sun was shining down on her and her waist length tresses streamed out behind her, gold ribbons dancing in the wind.
It made me think about when I was a kid, how the wind would whip through my hair, and in my youthful innocence I imagined that the wind started blowing when I went outside, just so it could play with my hair.
I know, it sounds so vain, and I'll admit to a certain level of vanity, but perhaps it was not as vain as it sounds.
In Moses 1:39 it says: For behold, this is my work and my glory- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
You see, right there in black and white, it's about us, all of it. The whole focus of God's Eternal Life, the thing He Glories in, His greatest work, is US.
When I was younger I didn't understand that concept. I didn't understand why it would be about us. What could matter about us so much that God would care? I thought people loved for reasonS. I thought they loved you because you were pretty, or funny, or smart, or kind, or even because you were superwoman and were all of those things at the same time.
I didn't get it, I didn't get it for the longest time, after I became a mother. Then I understood that parents and God don't need reasonS, they have A reason. You are theirs.
God loves us because we are His. Not because there is something or a group of somethings about us that make us special. He loves us because we are HIS. He loves us because we are part of Him, the way our children are part of us.
When we love a child that child carries around a part of our very essence. We watch and protect that child, long to ease that child's pain, dream for that child, and feel the breath catch in our throats at the beauty of that child.
So when that little girl was running across her yard, I watched her and God watched her. I was awed by the beauty of the moment, but God was watching her and loving her, fluttering her hair with the wind He provides for her, warming her with the sun that He lit for her.
This is the constant, eternal, love of God, a love so great that it sustains us even when we ignore it. A love so great that it provides a way for us to begin to understand it, that we may accept it. God sends us children to teach us about His love, to teach us about how important we are to Him. He gives us these souls to show us how effective a parent can be even when the child seems to not be listening; to show us that constant care for those we love can be long, hard, and unappreciated, but that it is worth it. God gives us children to show us how the process of growth is not meant to be easy, on them OR on us, but that the growth is vital to success.
That is the beauty of The Plan, His Plan.
So next time your hair is whipped around in the wind, please know, that wind WAS sent for you. Your Heavenly Father just wants to play with His darling little one's hair for a minute, because He loves you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


In days when I
was young and thin
with sparkling eye
and flawless skin
I thought that I knew beauty,
but now I see more truely.

The gift of age
to me has been
a wisdom sage
and joy therein
for now I know true beauty,
is something that's inside me.

Beauty free, beauty light,
beauty fills all my sight.

A baby's smile,
a weathered hand,
the extra mile,
a wedding band,
I see it all around me,
for beauty shines so freely.

In skipping stones
and basket balls;
in telephones
and crowded halls;
In each I see such beauty,
for joy and love surround me.

Beauty free, beauty light,
beauty fills all my sight.

For beauty rare
is Heaven's light
it's shining there
in all that's right.
In you I see that beauty,
that look that says "God loves me."

In every heart,
in every flower,
there is a part,
that feels His power,
and that my dear is beauty;
the part of us that's Godly.

Beauty free, beauty light,
Beauty fills all my sight.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother of My Son

My son has been giving me a lot of stress lately. (I really think it is closely connected with his upcoming 8th Birthday, if you follow me on that.) So today when he was missing as the announcements started in Sacrament Meeting I headed out to find him, again.
It didn't take long, much to my surprise he had been outside picking me a flower, having been denied possession of one of the typical Mother's Day carnations. He handed me this little beauty and wished me a happy Mother's Day.
0509000908.jpg picture by teljchall
After we sat down he reached over and ran his finger over the petal, then reached up and touched my face. "It feels the same," he said simply, and my heart just glowed.
I know he gives his Primary teacher a work out, I know his curiosity is going to cost me thousands before he is grown, and I know most days are a battle of epic proportions; but right there, that moment, that's what is so wonderful about being his mom. There is something pure and bright inside him, a sweetness hardly anyone else knows, and as much as I wish he showed it more often, it makes moments like this all the sweeter.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Now THAT'S clever

I enjoyed a movie recently that I really didn't expect to enjoy.
It was Avatar.
I know, everyone was singing its praises back when it was out, and when it was up for awards, but I didn't see it then.
We picked it up a few weeks ago. My husband watched it after I went to bed, and then insisted I watch it the next day. I'm glad he did (usually I don't trust his taste in movies, but here I am saying, "You were right honey.")
The graphics were incredible. Notice the period. Technology can be a beautiful thing, however, that isn't what impressed me. The plot was okay, just your basic remake of a historical favorite, typical "SciFi comments on history" kind of a thing.
What impressed me was the idea of a triple layer mind control in an alien symbiotic environment where the very nature of the planet lent itself to adopting an individual who proved not only instrumental but crucial to the protection of the environment.
The more I think about it, the more I think the author was a GENIUS.
I wish I was that clever. I mean, I can be clever, but WOW what an idea.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Dear Hollywood:
I just read a blurb that flashed up on my screen, inviting me to view the "daring" photo shoot of yet another screwed up celebrity.
What cracks me up is that you people still think that getting pictures taken of you in various kinds of lingerie is daring.
Sorry to break the news to you folks, but that's not daring anymore. We've reached the point in our society that whoring yourself for a camera and trying to buy approval with your sex appeal is MUNDANE! Who cares about your crack ravaged arms and fake DD's? Please, how often have we seen that? Give us a break.
You know what is daring? Having 15 kids, and raising them well, that's daring. Daring is having morals when everyone around you is throwing their soul away for cheap thrills. Daring is teaching your kids to pray, honor that which is holy, and read the word of God.
You think you can revolutionise the world by mainstreaming darker and more lascivious deeds? HA! You're not revolutionary, you aren't even unique, you're just another drop in the downward flowing tide.
You know what? I feel really sorry for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm really only posting this for me

I just want to put it down somewhere so I will remember it, someday I may need the reminder.

A girl who read my book (the second one) came to me a few days ago and asked if she could read my book again.

I write for me, I write as a hobby, and outlet. Getting published is only a tiny part of it.

However, it is immensely gratifying that someone, especially a shy someone, would ask to RE-read my work.

That is a true compliment.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Completion of a Quest

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my honor to announce that after 15 years of searching I have finally found the illusive desire of my heart.
Long ago a beloved friend gave me a rare and precious gift. Inside the deep purple bottle was contained a fragrance beyond compare. I loved it from the first whiff, and rationed the precious ounces out over the years. It was one of the few scents I could wear without feeling constriction in my chest, an unpleasant feeling I have known again and again in the intervening years.
For ration as one way, a few ounces will go away, someday, and leave one destitute and scentless.
Then, one day (as I waited for the children to pick up the toys at Grandma's before going home) I picked up a magazine. Flipping through the pages I came up on an advertisement for a new perfume. I took a cautious sniff, ready for my lungs to seize in protest, as they nearly always did.
Instead, I knew instantly that I had found it at last! That scent! It bore another name, it wore another bottle, but I knew it instantly!
My next trip to the store had me venturing boldly among the bottles I usually avoided, but alas, they did not stock it! So I found among the lotions one that had the tiniest whiff of the right scent buried under the other ingredients.
There you are, orchid sweet, I have found you, where have you been all these years?
I wore the lotion often, but though that one, perfect scent was there among the others, and I smelled so very nice indeed, I longed for a fuller experience of my beloved scent.
Then Friday night my husband decided we needed to go grocery shopping at 11:30 pm. I had my second wind (having just printed out the 5th draft of my second book) so I went along only a little reluctantly. We strolled along, enjoying the freedom that the kids regular Friday night at Grandma's gives us to be an old married couple. Then as we passed the perfume aisle a purple display caught my eye! Hurrah! My illusive scent, my passionate perfume, at last I have you! I can spray you on my arm and drink you in. At last my big nose is the hero of my body as it fulfills the role to which it was born!
At last, at last, I have found my orchid perfume.
Thank you Halle Berry.
(And by the way, the orchids at our Lowes are defective and have no scent at all, or I would own a roomful.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Scary Thought

I realised today how incredibly close I am to forty. I suppose it means I've turned a page in my life that I can look at a span of 9 years as "close," but all the same, yikes!

It's not the big looming number FORTY that people fear, because like I did with my thirties I and looking forward to my forties. I don't fear age and rather enjoy the thought that I am proportionately closer to catching up to my mom every day that passes.

No, it's something else that scares me. I look at my forty-something friends and I realise how much have to learn, how much I need to mature before I'm there. Knowing as I do that wisdom and maturity come through attrition, yup I'm a bit scared. That's a lot of hard-knocks.

I'll take them though, and try to learn as much from each to avoid re-peat blows. I'll do it because I want to be like them, and I know not all forty-somethings ARE like these beloved women. So I've got to do it right, as scary as it is.

I suppose this is kind of what it felt like walking up to the veil between the pre-earth life and mortal birth.

Monday, April 19, 2010

On My Birthday

Now that another year is done
And I am turning thirty-one,
It's time for me to celebrate
The blessing of a life so great.
I take my opportunity
To think of all God's given me.

Parents so dear, and far away,
Put so much into today
Labor to bring me to this world,
Remain I in their love still curled.
Formed and born, then raised up in love,
The first of blessings from above.

Then to flank me along my way
Came siblings in their vast array.
Though side by side the world we met,
We see it not the same, quite yet.
Oh the things I could only learn,
From the teachers that Mom has born.

Friends came, some went, but some did stay.
They cheer and bless down to today.
Some knew me back when I was small
Some got to know me grown and tall,
But each a gift, a treasure true,
Thank heaven I was given you.

Funny and sweet, and often kind,
And so complex I've come to find.
This man who walks along with me
May not see our eternity,
But helps me grow in his own way,
And works for me all night and day.

Then came a child, with much to teach,
Learned not I from her baby speech,
But from her quiet, gentle way
Found truth in all my parents say.
Though deaf to truth, for all those years
I've learned by crying Mommy tears.

A gift I gave, on Father's Day,
A gift to whom? I hear you say.
My son, a gift, to all he knows,
To all who shape him as he grows.
In helping him be still and reach
We find the patience that we preach.

More drama than should ever be
Confined in one little body,
The fairy that could rule the world,
Nations around that finger twirled,
This force of nature I'm to groom,
And help her in the light to bloom.

Yes, blessed am I, beyond the price,
I've paid, lo He has giv'n me twice!
Through time's wisdom I can now see,
The Lord is anxious to bless me.
So I trust in His constancy,
Wait and see what He makes of me.

I turn my thoughts from of happiness,
To pain with which I have been so blessed.
For change, progress, comes not in ease,
But in dark hours spent on my knees.
Lord, I thank thee also today
For the trials I've lived on my way.

In conquering each bitter hour
I've learned my strength, and trust God's power.
There is not formed an enemy,
That we can't conquer, God and me.
I know not joy like which is from
Each trial that We have overcome.

Blessed am I beyond all measure,
Blessed beyond a great king's treasure.
No mere candle could grant a wish,
To match my over flowing dish
Of family, friends, and victories won.
Just think, the fun has just begun.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Egg hunt

Perhaps I shouldn't have put the PINK egg there.
She is such a drama queen.

P1010865.jpg picture by teljchall

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I have found the lesson

Thank you to all who have so kindly, gently, and lovingly helped me. The comments on my last post and the ones on babycenter have been wonderful to read, wonderful to ponder, a balm on my heart.

As I watched conference yesterday I was filled, and only after reflecting on all of this combined have I concluded what I needed to learn. I should say re-learn, in a better an deeper way. It is something I have been taught for years, but now understand better.

The only opinion about me that matters is the Lord's opinion.

I have been blessed, truly, deeply, abundantly blessed with people in my life that love me. I rather adore myself too, which is sometimes not such a good thing... but you are all right. I have set far to much stock, for far to long, on what others think of me.

Perhaps this harks back to my childhood, when others proclaimed me ugly. Those who loved me said otherwise, but for some reason I believed the negative others. Or perhaps it was an extension of my knowledge that people are likely to be rather blind to their own faults.
Where ever it came from, I was wrong to allow others to challenge the whisperings of the spirit.

God loves the stuffing out of me, and I'm so thankful that He does. He is acquainted fully with all of my shortcomings, my secret thoughts, my desires, and my potential. He knows me better than I do, and He tells me I'm a good person. So I'm going to trust that, and try again to see the good person he sees in others. I AM going to continue to look for the good in them, I am going to assume good intentions in them. I am going to continue to see God in every face I look on.

Thank you all for helping me find my way through the fire. This side of the trial feels lovely.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I need some advice

Sorry this is so long, but you know me, I have to write it all BOOK length.

Some of you may know that I have, of late, had the opportunity to reflect in some depth on the way I handle my real-life relationships with other people.
Online I'm great. I put myself out there and don't usually see where people snicker at me, think little of me, speak badly of me behind my back, etc.
The trouble is, in real-life I've been having a lot of trouble lately. So let me explain where I'm coming from and I would appreciate some honest advice.
I have held for the last several years a strict policy of assuming the best in others. When something happens I have trained myself to look for the possible good intentions of the person who did it. I try to put myself in their shoes and give them every opportunity to NOT be a villain.
For the most part, I have found that this makes me see things from a more Christlike perspective. (Not that I'm bragging, I know I am far from perfect in this... esp with my kids, sigh.) With practice it has become my nature to think of 3-4 good motivations for an action, even if the action is "bad" by popular standards. This has made it easier for me to see others in a good light and love them in spite, or even because of their mistakes. I even get along with my mother-in-law pretty well (which will shock anyone who has known me long.)
I think I am right in this choice, most people are not cruel by nature. They are God's children, and whatever their mistakes they do things thinking they are doing the right thing. Why would anyone hold a perspective they do not really believe? Why would anyone stand for something unless they feel it is right? They wouldn't, people who know or suspect they are wrong re-think, adjust their stance, try to be more right.
The only cases of cruelty or ill-intent I have seen have been cases where it is obvious to me the person acts out of misinformation or anguish, and how can I condemn them for that?
My trouble lies in my recent experiences with people assuming the worst intentions IN ME. Somehow in this quest of new thinking I have apparently lost touch with the way others think (yes, even while trying to understand how they think. I'm not as smart as I think I am sometimes.) They assume ill-intentions of me all the time, think I do out of spite things I do out of logic and trying to balance the demands upon me. Even when I make a special effort to explain my intentions, they think I am a liar and really mean to injure them.
I really try not to make mistakes, I try to be kind, loving, and thoughtful in all I do. This recent rash of railings against me has left me teetering on the brink of depression and feeling lost.
I have realised that this is a something I really need to learn from, that something in my actions, or perspective must be lacking. This is another refining fire for me, another chance to become better, a chance to more closely align myself with the correct path. It just pretty painful right now, and I long for a sage verse of scripture to spell it all out for me. I need that ah-ha moment that suddenly clicks something inside me and unlocks the view of my next stepping stone.
So tell me, am I really supposed to live my life constantly choosing every action based on the myriad of bad-intentions others will imagine for me? Should I be adjusting my thinking to "How will someone think badly of me for this?" or "What choice will have the least amount of people angry with me?"
How do I live like that? How do I balance having a forgiving heart with living in a world where people seem to WANT to think badly of others? How on earth am I supposed to function thinking along that many paths at the same time, and all the time? My brain is already strained trying to juggle everything I've got going on.
Any thoughts? There has to be a simple solution for this. Something plain and precious, that's how God works, isn't it?
I guess I'm looking for the line between naive and truly wise, can anyone point me the right way?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Who I was ten years ago

Someone threw the questions out: "Are you the same person you were 10 years ago? Have you changed?"
Naturally this caused a bit of reflection, and I thought I'd post my thoughts here so they don't get lost.

I'm not very old, I'll be 31 next month, but I find as I age I'm kind of making a circle and coming back to be the person I was when I was very little. I'm re-learning to trust God more completely, to think well of people in the world, to love everyone, to think vividly, to give with my whole heart.
Elementary school kind of messed me up, sigh.
When I complete this circle I'll be older, more seasoned, but my ultimate goal is to get to the point where the real me is out there for all to see and not buried under all these layers of pain, sin, and worldly things. She's here inside me, and she is who I really am, I'm just not being faithful to who I am because I've let the world jade me.
There are things in my past that I am ashamed of, sigh, there are things from a few hours ago, yesterday, the day before that, I wish I hadn't done or had done better.
The thing that encourages me is that regret. It means that even though I'm not doing everything right, my intentions and desires are good, I still hunger and thirst after righteousness.
That hunger is the real me, she has always been there, and I'm proud to be her.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another moment worth recording

My kids did not fight, argue, or yell for 30 minutes today.
I told them we would use my water color pencils and do art, but they had to be very polite to each other or the art session would be over. They were very good, used please and thank you, took turns with the single set of pencils.
Once they had finished the paintings they immediately started fighting again, but for 30 mintues we had love at home.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Small and Simple Things

I have a friend who I admire very much. She's like me, she has to create to stay sane. She is 10 times busier than I am with work, and yet she still finds time to be creative.
I noticed recently that there is a difference in our approaches to creativity, and that I have an important lesson to learn from her. You see, she does a lot of small things, little crafts. She doesn't undertake dragon costumes, doesn't stress herself over sculptures (oh dear... I have another post I've neglected to do). She doesn't burn herself out with her hobbies.
I tend to burn myself out being creative, I'm obsessive really. I know a part of it is because I crave affirmation of my talent via the compliments of others. Another part is the challenge of going bigger, doing better, than what I (or often others)have done before. The rest is the way it feels to funnel my energy into something and make something new out of raw material.
That last part is really the part that matters though. The others are my insecurities, my frailties, but that last part, that is the spark of God within me, is it not?
So I have decided to start finding some little things to do. Small projects, simple projects, little ways to put that spark of creativity in my day to fill the gaps between my big projects.
As King Benjamin said, "for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength."
Also, as Alma said to his son, "behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."
So if you are ever on my other blog and see something non-astounding, this is why. I'm pacing myself, at least I'm going to try.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Do you know this song?

This post is going to be a little odd.

Okay, I was reading something on Random Acts of Kindness today, and all of the sudden this song popped in my head. I could hear the tune playing, and the words flowed with it, but... to tell you the honest truth I'm not sure if I was writing it or if I've heard it somewhere.

You've got to understand this is the way things come to me sometimes, they just flow, so maybe it is mine. However, if anyone can point me to a place with a song just like it I'd be grateful someone gave it a better chance than my musical talents ever will.

I've tried googling some of the key phrases to no avail. The verse is low, with emphasis on the last two word of each line. The chorus has two kind of bouncy lines at the front and then the rest is passioned.


Got myself in a real bad jam.
I knew my soul was all but damned.
I'd lost my faith, I'd lost my way.
knew my debt was to much to pay.
Then I hit bottom hard one day,
knew I had no course but pray.

And then in swooped my Brother,
He was there like no other.
Lifted me up and helped me stand,
and of me plead, did not demand,
"Follow me and learn my way
and all your debt I'll gladly pay."

Every day now I see the dawn
and can't believe the night is gone.
My burden's light, and I am free,
livin his way and I'm happy.
I walk this road, just move my feet
and keep on walkin' Jesus Street.

People ask why I try so hard,
and try to do more than my part.
They think maybe that I'm some saint.
I tell them all, hey, no I 'aint.
I'm just a sinner, freed from sin.
I'm just showin' my love for him.

Because in swooped my Brother.
He was there like no other.
Lifted me up and helped me stand
and of me plead, did not demand,
"Follow me and learn my way
and all your debt I'll gladly pay."

I know I can't really pay it back
but I give even though I know I lack...

Because in swooped my Brother,
He was there like no other.
Lifted me up and helped me stand,
and of me plead, did not demand,
"Follow me and learn my way
and all your debt I'll gladly pay."