Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Hail Out There . . . Among Other Things

Noah was a
prophet, a man who did not fear.

When he taught
repentance, the people would not hear.

So the Lord told
him to build a boat

That could hold a
ton and stay afloat.

Then Noah started
building and said within his heart:

“I will build an
ark before it starts to rain.

I will follow the
Lord and do all things in His name

I’ll prepare ev’ry
needful thing. I will walk in righteous ways.

When the rain starts
to fall on me, I’ll be ready for that day.”

I can be like Noah.
Yes I can be prepared.

I can build my ark,
and I’ll find safe shelter there.

I can do the things
I know are right.

I can learn and pray
with all my might.

And then when storm
clouds come, I’ll be safe within my ark.

I will build my ark
before it starts to rain.

I will follow the
prophet for he speaks in God’s name.

I’ll prepare ev’ry
needful thing. I will walk in righteous ways.

When the rain starts
to fall on me, I’ll be ready for that day.

Words and music
by Marianne P. Wilcock

That's the song {along with The Wise Man and the Foolish Man} that came to mind during the 24-hour period of time from Friday, September 16 through Saturday, September 17. I was amazed at how quickly we were inundated with moisture! Thought I'd better document the day our property turned into beach front property!

Just outside {almost inside} my basement door.

When the girls were dating, I threatened to put a moat around

the house to exercise some sort of control. This is the closest

I've come to having that actually happen!

Be nice if I could get to the boat! It appears to be

the only thing on high ground!

The culprit that made the 24-hour deluge even

worse. At least the swimming pool

by the basement door. Another byproduct

of Cal, our friendly contractor!

A small {very small} portion of the roots and worms and other

assorted gunk that the above identified culprit was providing

refuge to. Aiding and abetting is a felony, is it not?

What LOML thought was the last of culprit's holdings.

With further investigation, he found out it still isn't draining.

And here we are, 24 hours past the 24-hour deluge. The tide has receded and we are left with only a muddy moat base. And they say we live in the desert!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Where's the Pretty Girl?

Had fun with Amber's kids over the weekend. This was just a crazy little snippet of time that was too cute to ignore.

Where's Grandma's pretty girl?

There she is!

One of my favorite poses of my pretty girl by the end of the day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pure, Simple Enjoyment

Is this the perfect age to be? Enjoying simple pleasures as if they were life itself? Not caring about your next breath or how messy you were getting or what you looked like. Just naively, unabashadly enjoying.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Potato Salad and Forgiveness

Family function. Fifteen pounds of potatoes. Three dozen eggs. LOML likes leftovers but can we stand potato salad burps for a whole week??? Yeah, I overshot on the potato salad.

All these bits and pieces for the salad sit in their separate bowls and mock me, though. This is what my testimony looks like - a hodge-podge ingredient list daring me to make something substantial out of it. One bowl sits blaringly empty. If I'm correct then this bowl should be full of knowledge and understanding of forgiveness - not sifted or measured forgiveness, just filled to the brim. Well, I'll deal with that later . . . back to the potato salad.

I have the Mormon Channel on my phone where I can listen to old conference talks and articles out of the church magazines and other assorted radio programs. Trying to multi-task, I did a search for 'forgiveness', hoping to hear something that would enlighten me and help me fill my bowl while I'm mixing the ingredients for the salad. My search came up with three conference talks. So I proceeded, in a haphazard order, to listen to these talks while I peeled my potatoes and shelled my eggs and made the dressing for the potato salad, combining these individual bowls of 'stuff' into a substantial finished product.

I listened to the talks. The Prodigal Son - I love the story and it touches my heart every time I hear it or even think about it. But it's not what I need now. It's message doesn't apply. My situation is different. Other smaller stories and personal experiences. All of them touch me but I brush them aside because I rationalize, telling myself I need something different. Then I hear it.

The mob brings the lady to Christ. They say she should be stoned. Christ turns His back on them; doodles in the sand; thinking, I suppose. Or giving the mob time to think. The mob pressed Him. Christ says, "He that is without asin among you, let him bfirst cast a cstone at her." One by one they all left until only the 'sinful' woman and Jesus were left.

It hit me. I couldn't brush this aside. This is what I needed to fill my small bowl.

I pictured myself dragging people before the Judge and having Him turn His back on me and begin doodling in the sand. Okay. Point taken.

I understand now I'll be reaching into this bowl continuously, using a portion of its contents in every single recipe. It's not just one big dip or dump at the end of the ingredient list waiting to be gently stirred in. I realize that in every minute, every situation, every misunderstanding there lurks an opportunity for forgiveness - to let go, to move on.

Once the Spirit has taught you, there's no going back. You're a different person. I always like the movie "Pretty Woman". I know. I know. It's probably not the best movie overall but I love movies where people have 'ah-ha' experiences and come away knowing they're worth more than they've been giving themselves credit for. Julia Roberts goes dress shopping alone the first time and no one will help her and she basically crawls back to her hotel room. Then she goes shopping a second time, with a little more support, and everyone falls all over themselves trying to be of assistance. When she's done, she holds her head high and walks with self-assurance all the way back to her hotel room. That's what the Spirit does to you when it teaches you and testifies to you. In my mind anyway. It changes you and, even if you could go back to the way you were before, you don't want to because you know too much now.

We're all entitled to our special 'ah-ha' moments, too. I had one trying to throw stones while being up to my elbows in mayo and mustard and potatoes.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Information, Please

Nathan {I tried writing this once without the name but it was too confusing. Everyone knows which child it is anyway!} told me he wanted to go back to Heaven and pick another family. He was 2 1/2 then. More than 30 years later, I guess he's figured out he produced an impossible solution {there were days, however, . . . }. Instead {sour grapes?} he has come to the realization he was ill informed {or not given any information at all} when the time came to pick parents. Needless to say, I've been thinking about this a lot lately and there have been many circumstances and people cross my path which have . . . well . . . made me question my once strong belief in the choices we made before we were born.

When I try and picture Heaven, I picture joyful dancing and angelic singing and playing and excitement in the air like static electricity. It's light - the opposite of dark kind of light as well as the opposite of heavy kind of light. I can see to eternity and beyond because there's nothing cluttering my vision. Pinkie-swearing promises are abundant as everyone vows to help each other so that final reunion is well attended.

Then I see reality. I have a day at work {too many of them lately} that strikes me to the very core and I want to cry and scream and soothe and hurt somebody all at the same time. A friendly arm around my shoulder brings back a glimpse of my vision of Heaven.

I must have been sold on the whole "Free Agency" package with the misguided belief that it would allow us to only make good choices or else I missed the class on "Attached Consequences". Trust me to not grasp the whole picture - I tend to do that quite a bit. I'm not sure I would have really voted for it if I would have realized how misused Agency would be. Because what I see now is adults using their Agency poorly {to put it very mildly} and children footing the bill and ultimately faced with the Attached Consequences. I'm not trying to paint myself as totally naive here, either. My kids have paid for my poor choices, too. I know I'll never have definitive answers - especially in this lifetime - but I need to get a tighter grip on my beliefs so they're not so easily tossed around.

Then it happened.

I remembered Christ beckoning the little children to come to Him. He did not then, nor has He now, forgotten them. He gathered them around Him and He touched them and blessed them and wiped their tear-streaked faces while their parents stood around and watched. That will happen again. I know that. I'm sure it's happening on a daily basis to many. I have my visual now, my promise of redemption.

As for the adults, well, it probably would not be appropriate for me to give voice to my opinion of them. Most of the time I find it hard to remember that, just as precious gems are multi-faceted, so are human beings. And the only facets I see are the ones that are so easily and blatantly displayed for the world to see. I do believe in a loving Heavenly Father who sees all facets and loves and forgives in spite of, and because of, the flawed spots.I have a long way to go to be that loving!

As for Nathan, I think he was given the same book all of us were given. He just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he wanted me for his mom so he didn't read the book as carefully as he should have {or now wishes he would have}. That was a joke, by the way.