Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ere You Left Your Room This Morning Did you Think to Pray?

Visiting Teaching is a wonderful thing that happens in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.  Each sister is assigned to visit and teach other sisters each month.  This visit is to build each other up spiritually and physically.  There are numerous accounts of people receiving rich blessings both by visiting and by being visited.

Sometimes the grief that I'm working through leaves me feeling quite powerless.  I feel unable to reach out, to be vulnerable or to help someone else.  Wanting to be totally, completely alone is new to me.  I
generally gain a great deal of my strength from my relationships with people.

This morning it took every ounce of strength that I had to get up, get ready, and go to church.  The Relief Society sisters were warm and inviting.  They always make me feel loved and supported (why do I hesitate to be there with them?)

A sweet sister rose to give the Visiting Teaching message.  I cringed, and wanted to run right out of the door.  You see this wonderful sister is someone that I am supposed to Visit Teach.  I have been
THE very worst Visiting Teacher.  I think I've physically visited her once or twice in this last year.

In the last month I have at least started to reach out through email.  Then one day I felt inspired to tell her that I was praying for her.  I really was praying for her, and for her family.  You see, I LOVE this wonderful group of people.  My inability to Visit has nothing to do with her lack, and all to do with my feelings of inadequacy.

Now can you imagine that she shared my attempt to Visit Teach.  She told that she was having a very rough time in her life.  One day the spirit told her that the people who love her are praying for her.  The next day I sent her a message and told her that I was praying for her.

The Holy Spirit knows our hearts...he knows what we need, and what we NEED TO DO FOR OTHERS.  I'm so grateful that I felt that inspiration to reach out in prayer.

The other thing that it reminded me was the power of prayer.  It is not some ethereal words that we mumble into an uncaring universe.  Prayer when uttered with faith, even as small as a grain of mustard seed (have you ever seen how tiny a grain of mustard seed is?) can move mountains.  In this case it linked my heart to this beloved lady that I Visit Teach, and reminded her that she is loved, and it also connected she and I to our beloved Heavenly Father.  Mountain moved.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Elephant Jokes

One of my beloved sister-in laws LOVES elephant jokes.  She loves the simple, black and white humor that is to be found in them.  She is NOT simple.  My dear sister more than in-law, is quite brilliant.  She raised seven children....the first six of them boys.  She was an exchange student to Greece, and has been nominated at different times for honors due to her scholarship.

I have always thought Elephant jokes were ridiculously simple, and too silly to be funny....UNLESS...unless it's my sister-in law telling me the jokes.  I've tried to decide if the jokes ARE funny when she tells them because her laughter is so deliciously contagious to me.  Just by the action of laughing it feels like she's inviting me to a delicious feast....a feast of humor instead of food. her honor....although I am not going to give her name publicly (she knows who she is) I am going to list a couple of elephant jokes....laughing is optional....but it feels SOOO GOOD!

"Why did the elephant fall out of the tree?  Because it was dead."  "Why did the elephant paint her toenails red?  So she could hide in the strawberry patch."  "What is red, gray, and white?  Campbell's cream of elephant soup." it's your turn.  I love my blogs to be a forum for discussion.  So please, if you know any elephant jokes, share.  You know you want to!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Romance and other mushy stuff

The water warmly welcomed me as I slid into the Caribbean. The color of the water was vivid. I adjusted my snorkle mask and effortlessly put my face under the water. I gasped, and almost pulled water into the snorkle tube.

I swam around fascinated by all the life, and movement in that underwater environment. Coral, waved gently in the watery movement. Tiny, vivid fish darted to and fro. Other creatures were there as well.

Then a bump, and my hand was enveloped by a much larger, more masculine hand. The touch of that hand on mine was as familiar to me as my own body. My heart began to race. I smiled and realized that my husband couldn't tell I was smiling, I had a snorkle mask on!

Holding hands we flippered our way about the cove close to Cabo San Lucas. It felt completely right to be sharing the beauty of this other world. It was the greatest of adventures because I shared it with my beloved.

We were both very sad when our time was completed and we made our way back to the ship. Forever I will remember the feel of Nyle's hand engulfing mine. I will remember the coral, the fish, the newness and unexplored feeling that was just beneath the watery surface. I will remember the love that is stronger even than death.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Social Media

I foresee a future when my grandchildren will be simply aghast at the notion that in my childhood there were NO COMPUTERS! I remember with great fondness listening to my beloved grandma Cheney speak of riding in a wagon, even a covered wagon! I thought that she was ageless, old as the dinosaurs, old as the mountains. I simply could not even imagine a world in which we used buggies, wagons, and horses for transportation.

Each era of time has a particular tilt of life that is difficult to be understood by the future generations. Yet the basic humanity of life remains the same. We all need to eat, drink, and love and be loved. It used to be much more difficult to communicate that love. A letter, vs, a Facebook message sent and delivered almost simultaneously, even across the globe!

I remember living in Minnesota. I had a beloved Great-Uncle who used to send me letters from Idaho. It took almost a week for me to receive one of his treasured letters. Now I can send a message to a beloved part-time daughter in Azerbaijan and know that she will receive it instantly.

So...the realization is that in each time of life there has been good, and bad....and it seems as though often we learn the best things in the worst times. What an interesting life it is.

I wish to avoid spending the rest of my life looking back ALL the time. I wish to embrace and look forward to the future, with whatever marvelous changes it brings!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Splashing in the Sunshine

Bright, chubby, and absolutely adorable four year old Sarah was full of excitement.  The words repeated themselves over and over in her mind, "We're going to Tryon Creek Forest, we're going to Tryon Creek Forest."  She could hardly stay in her seat belt.  She wanted to get out of the car, and just RUN to one of her favorite places in the entire world!  No, she corrected herself, "The entire UNIVERSE."

Now granted, in Sarah's four year old mind the Universe consisted of a great deal less space and matter than it does in the minds of adults, but size is relative, right? 

Arriving at the forest Sarah was the first out of the car, the first helping with getting the baby in the stroller, the first to lead the parade of children through the forest.  The path was paved, and the trees caused the sunshine to dapple the path.

Sarah gleefully jumped from one spot of sunshine to the next.  Joy filled her and she felt like she was so happy that it was just leaking out of her ears! 

Then the idea hit with the enthusiasm that only a four year old person can create.  "Mama....I'm splashing in the sunshine!!!"  Yes I did just put THREE exclamation points. That is because she stated this precious idea with fulness of thought and happiness.

Forever, and ever, I want to remember the look of sheer wonder on her face as she hopped from sunshiny spot to sunshiny spot.  Her joy was pure, and sharing that joy filled me, her Mama with joy as well. outside and "Splash in sunshine!"  Will you please?  You'll be amazed at how good it makes you feel!