Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ten Random things I love

1. Oversized towels
2. Anagram solvers
3. Standing over the sink, biting into an oversized, freshly-washed, extra juicy strawberry
4. 5-year old grammar: Eden was teaching Teya how to 'hula hoop'. At one point, Eden said to me, "I think she's getting the hang of it!" For the next few days, Teya would hula hoop and say, "Watch me have the hang of it!" or "Mom, the hang of it is mine!"
5. The embarrassing fact that I spelled grammar in point #4 as grammer, and then spell check had to correct me... Apparently my grammar is in need of some help as well.
6. A sturdy pair of tweezers
7. Libraries: A few years ago when I was excitedly going across the street to our mailbox to get our latest Netflix disc, I marveled at the convenience of it all. I seriously thought to myself, "I wish there was a service where you could rent books and read them and return them and get new ones to read." ooops.... Sorry Library. I truly do love you. I'm there several times a month. I promise. I might even check out a book on grammar.
8. The sound of children laughing so hard they have to beg you to stop so they can catch their breath.
9. Random lists of things that leave you hanging....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Sometimes I steal fruit snacks from my kids' lunches...
Sometimes I wish I could just snap my fingers and the world around me would go instantly quiet, kind of like those clapper on/off lamps....
Sometimes I blow my nose so hard I see stars...
Sometimes I save all the socks from all seven loads of clean laundry until the very end, then I get a little giddy, sit down, and play my own version of the memory matching game with socks...
Sometimes I feel like I spend all my discretionary income on buying more toner ink...
Sometimes I sit down while taking a shower and just cry, letting the water wash away my tears...
Sometimes I sit down to play the piano and am shocked at how years of not practicing can really affect my ability to play the Children's Songbook songs...
Sometimes I wonder...
Sometimes I wander...
Sometimes I wonder as I wander...
Sometimes I feel like a good banana split really can solve all of my problems...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

In his own words: Josh's baptism

In case you can't read his writing:

I felt good, new, happy, loved, and great.

I took step by step going into the water my dad came in after. The water was warm and cozy. My dad took my hand. I was excited. My dad said a prayer. I was about to go under when, ppppppppppp I was laughing so hard trying to hold it and before I knew it I was under the water getting baptized. It felt good when I came out. It felt like I was with the holy ghost, which I was. And when I got confirmed it felt even better. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Single Word

After a particularly difficult day in the mission field, all I wanted to do was withdraw, retreat. It wasn’t just the lack of progressing investigators, I was struggling with my companion. And, even though the language was coming along, the intense fire and desire to shout the gospel from the rooftops I had when I first came to the field was cooling, requiring constant effort to stoke the dying coals. I had a year left on my mission, and I didn’t know if I was going to make it through that week.

I dropped my backpack, heavy with pamphlets, books, and defeat, just inside the front door. I didn’t say anything to my companion. The slightest wrong tone could lead to another argument. In my state of mind, I could not trust my tone. I kept my coat on, the chill of a foggy February day still present in our little apartment. I burrowed out of my oversized boots and wriggled up on my little bed. I lay there, hugging my knees, wanting to give up, at least until sleep could offer safe cover.

As I longed for rest, I started listing all of the things that were going wrong. Like kindling, my faults caught fire and spread quickly to every aspect of my life. I was a complete failure. I was self-righteous, judgmental and a hypocrite. The road before me was too steep and unknown. I would fail. I started mumbling to myself over and over, “I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it.”

And then, a single word pressed upon my mind so quietly, I knew it came from the Holy Ghost. “Alone.”

Stubbornly, I silently shouted to my knees, “I CAN’T do it!”

Again, I heard the forceful nudging of a single word. “Alone.”

“I can’t do it,” I said, again, but with an edge of curiosity. Why was the Spirit telling me that word over and over?

“Alone. Alone. Alone.”

And then, an understanding sigh, as I put the two phrases together and understood.

“I can’t do it alone.”

There are rare moments in life when learning takes place in an unearthly way. Where a principle taught is of such an eternal nature that it can only come directly from the Spirit. Such was this moment. I felt at once both the desire to jolt up out of my bed alive with new insight and the need to lay still, letting eternal knowledge etch its way into my spiritual DNA. The hot tears of frustration that were building up fell freely now, but they were tears of understanding, outlined in hope.

What a difference a single word can make! “I can’t do it” was the fruit of despair and discouragement, failure and forfeit. As I spoke those words, I was giving in to depression and defeat. However, “I can’t do it alone” represented humility and teachableness. “I can’t do it alone” implied that I could do it with help; that a solution was very possible. And it filled me with a desire to try.

I thought again of my current situation and realized not only that I couldn’t make it better alone, but also that I shouldn’t even try to do it alone. I needed the constant help of the Spirit. I needed the strength of my companion. I needed the power of prayer, always. I was completely dependent on others for any success. And, they were dependent on me. The Lord needed me to be His mouthpiece there. And I needed His help to want to be just that. I could not overcome my bitter feelings towards my companion without the help of the Spirit. But, with the help of the Spirit, that was entirely possible and achievable. The lessons and implications from that single word kept pouring in, and my soul opened up to receive them.

The very next morning, before the sun had even made an appearance, I apologized to my companion and, with a prayer in my heart, planted seeds of forgiveness. To this day, we are still close friends. And, not only did I make it through that week, I went on to enjoy my mission more than I ever thought possible.

Since that foggy February day so long ago, I have relied on the lessons learned dozens of times. Depending on the situation, I have cherry-picked the application of the difference that single word made. It has come as an impression to involve my husband in a particular decision. It has prompted me to teach my children household chores, knowing I do not have the time or energy to do it all alone. It has gently reminded me ‘they are called counselors for a reason’. And, more times than I remember, it has caused me to fall to my knees for a third or fourth prayer for help with a specific trial.

We were never meant to be alone in this life. We came as a part of family, immediately outnumbered by those watching out for us. Two parents for one child. We have siblings, friends, parents, and teachers. We are given the gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion as long as we are worthy. We have the light of Christ in us from birth to help direct our decisions. We have scriptures to teach us everything we ever needed to know. We have modern-day prophets to guide us with their advantageous viewpoints and insight. And, always, always, we have prayer and the atonement. Two reasons we are never, ever, truly alone. And, with those powerful tools, we can do anything that is right, anything.

A single word. Just five short letters. And, a lonely word at that. Yet, when coupled with the eternal knowledge of the Spirit, that single word has made worlds of difference.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Standard Works

Josh recently turned eight, so his grandparents gave him his first set of leather-bound scriptures. So, now he has the complete Standard Works that he takes to church each Sunday.

Guess which one he reads most fastidiously during Sacrament Meeting?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

100th post: A Beautiful Day

(My beautiful daughter, Eden)

In honor of my 100th post, I thought I’d just share a few things (no, not 100) that make an ordinary day a beautiful day for me:

  • Escaping into a good book
  • Hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet running to use my bathroom (since it is so much cooler to use Mom and Dad’s bathroom)
  • Filling my ‘extra milk’ up with a second helping of my favorite cereal
  • Having all the appropriate ingredients to make my kids’ lunches
  • Having my children remind me to say family prayers
  • Watching my children race each other down the street to school
  • Hoping no one else is watching me watch my kids race each other down the street to school (I’m still in my PJs...)
  • Catching my latest favorite song on the radio
  • Getting a spot next to a friendly face at gym class
  • Actually making it to gym class
  • Making a smoothie with one part protein, four parts fruit, and using two small hands so eager to help
  • Sharing that smoothie with the girl those small hands belong to
  • Getting good e-mail (not junk, bills, political agendas)
  • Getting good voice mail (not junk, bills, political agendas)
  • Getting good mail (not junk, bills, political agendas)
  • Taking too long of a shower
  • Wearing (again) that pair of shorts that is so comfortable, you constantly thank your lucky stars you bought them all those months (okay, years) ago
  • Catching up with friends (old, new, borrowed, blue)
  • Emptying a clean, slightly warm load of laundry, and inhaling the clean smell for a few seconds
  • Letting that clean, no-longer warm, load of laundry sit there for days and fishing out of it until it’s empty
  • Pretending not to be watching ‘Phineas and Ferb’ while I’m supposed to be cleaning the kitchen
  • Opening the garage door in anticipation of the return of the kids from school
  • Hearing the door crash open, a backpack slam against the floor, and the sound of my boy running to the bathroom as fast as he can (apparently school bathrooms aren’t cool either)
  • Asking that son where his sister is
  • Having him tell me she is talking with friends, again
  • Being incredibly grateful for such a friendly, social daughter
  • Being incredibly grateful for a son who is completely content to not be as social as his sister
  • Eating after-school snacks
  • Not feeling too-guilty that I ate more of the snacks than my kids did
  • Helping kids with homework
  • Being incredibly grateful that I can still figure out their homework enough to help them
  • Hearing my son play his piano pieces as fast as he can, and then faster
  • Pretending not to watch iCarly while I’m supposed to be getting dinner ready
  • Having an answer to the worst question in the world, “What’s for dinner?”
  • Watching my picky-eater of a son finish his dinner, despite his earlier complaining
  • Realizing I’ve become my mother when I tell him about all the starving children in the world
  • Having a husband who has a job, even though it means he has to work late, again
  • Having a husband who knows how to work, even though it means he has to work late, again
  • Having kids who don’t complain about reading scriptures together
  • Hearing what my son will pray about in our family prayers (that he won’t sprain his ankle, that the Wii remote will work right, that Mom will buy some of his favorite food at the store next time)
  • Sending my kids running upstairs to see who can get their teeth brushed and in their pajamas first
  • Realizing that brushing your teeth probably shouldn’t be a timed activity
  • Being in my pajamas by 8:00 p.m.
  • Turning on my DVR
  • Welcoming home a work-weary husband
  • Settling on a sugar-free popsicle instead of a bowl of ice cream (curse you diabetes)
  • Enjoying that sugar-free popsicle, because at least I have a sugar-free popsicle
  • Wondering where I’ll find my youngest daughter sleeping when I go to kiss her goodnight (she has fallen asleep in a myriad of random locations (hallway, under sister’s bed, brother’s closet, the couch in our bedroom)
  • Wondering if she’ll still have her pajamas on (she gets bored with clothes)
  • Kissing each of my sleeping children on the forehead
  • Escaping into a good book
Here's to hoping you have a Beautiful Day
Related Posts with Thumbnails