Friday, June 28, 2013
Mom and I had a nice little conversation today... Funny it flows right along with all the political news over the judges ruling on same sex marriage. Before you get to freaked out, Im not going off on some political rant, another post for another day. No we were talking about the need to be RIGHT.
I am blessed to have a little sister that is absolutely righteous. She is a shining example of everything that I am not. She is a strength to us all and to be quite honest none of us are sure where she came from. My grandpa always said she was an old soul and I tend to agree. Now this sweet sister is leaving on a mission in a couple weeks and is a bit sensitive to the spirit anyway, but in the process can be at times a bit critical of others choices and is very sure of what is right and what is wrong. (I love you, girlie. I promise Im not throwing you under the bus. ) She came hardwired with lessons learned that I still fight to conquer daily. But I digress. In discussing the spats between her and my youngest sister, my mom and I talked about how sometimes you just gotta know when to keep your mouth shut and let people learn from their own mistakes. Sometimes you just gotta let people come to their own conclusions about right and wrong or even better or best on their own. No one likes to be told they are wrong, especially when it is on an abstract continuum that reads more like Really bad -- bad -- so so -- meh -- better than other options -- ok -- good -- better -- best. Well you get the point.
So the overarching question of this post is this: Which is the greater "sin" or the poorer choice?
A. To choose something that is on the lower 3/4ths of the continuum. Any type of thing really. From full on sin or crime to just a bad judgement call....
B. To confront someone for making that choice and instead of trying to love and understand regardless. To make sure that they know you are right and they are wrong or that you disagree and in turn cause contention between you and the person.
Now lets muddy the water a tad. If you are raised in the same household, you have a pretty good understanding of the expectations and what is right or wrong. (This is only partially true, all of us are so far apart we laugh that mom and dad were lots tougher on us older kids...) But if you come from different religious backgrounds, maybe none at all, different cultures then your view of the continuum may be far different than someone elses. Whats perfectly acceptable for one may be heinous in anothers eyes.
Still without a doubt my answer is the B.
Now this is the gospel according to Emily, so dont start referencing any scripture or anything. While it is our call to "warn our neighbor" it is not our call to judge them when they choose not to heed our advice. It is more important to show love, compassion, forgiveness and let God sort the rest out. (Easier said than done, I know.) But I see a world where its not enough to just say, "I dont agree with you, I believe...." It becomes a battle of who is right. IE: I am wrong for not wanting equal rights, I am bigot, I am a homophobe. (Actually, I am just trying my best to live what I believe to be right. I do not force my beliefs on you. I ask you to respect our differences and let me tell you about all the reasons I love you and I am grateful to have you in my life. ) I can respect and have logically thought the issue through, I see your side. In the end, my only answer is that I do not tell God what is right and wrong. I follow what his Prophets have taught through the centuries. Antiquated? Possibly... Wrong... Time will tell. Do I ache for you, that you feel the hurt of discrimination, absolutely. I also respect that my only defense may seem illogical and antiquated. But I stand firm in the teachings of the gospel that I know to be true. Luckily the these beliefs also include LOVING MY NEIGHBOR, NOT JUDGING OTHERS, AND NOT BEING CONTENTIOUS. Sometimes I think some of us in our quest to better ourselves and make the right choices forget the importance of these other tenets of the gospel. I think of those angry extreme religous groups that picket soldiers funerals and hold up hateful ugly signs. Its sad. I dont see the love of Christ in their actions... (But there I go doing exactly what this post is about avoiding.... eek. Its almost impossible to not judge.)
I love my liberal buddies that let me spar with them now and again. I love to pick their brains, exchange thoughts. I love that they love me even though they think I am wrong. I love that they dont assume who I am based on one difference of opinion. Thank you to all of you for being an example to me and reminding me that contention does not bring happiness, that we can agree to disagree, (when in Rome.... --sorry random movie quote. I couldnt resist. Name it and you win a prize). And now dare I quote Dr. Phil... (Dont get me started on that piece of work... bahahah) "Do you wanna be right or do you wanna be happy?"
Now with my sweet sister its something that is motivated by love and concern. It can be annoying at times and is something that we usually laugh off as Millie being Millie. But in a world that is encouraging us to be contentious and hateful to those with different viewpoints, how do we find a balance between standing firm in our convictions without buying in to the idea of, "if I am right, and you dont believe what I believe then you are wrong, and I can not like what is wrong." ? Being kind and finding reasons to love you doesnt make me weak, nor does it mean I condone your choices or want to participate. But being contentious is not justified when faced with someone that doesnt agree with us. I believe contention is one of Satan's most handy and over used tool in his toolbox to try to keep us from becoming what we should. (Just look at some of the comments on different facebook posts strangers judging strangers for differences of opinions on every subject from breastfeeding and parenting to which way to put the toilet paper on the roll. Who has time for this garbage? I felt accosted on a facebook post about common core. A friend of a friend who seemed to know exactly the type of person I was and that I must be narrow minded and accepting of any drivel dished out to me. That I didnt take the time to educate myself and come to my own conclusion. Anonymity in social networking... Grief... Another post for another day!) Anger and hate is stirred up everywhere and all over the dumbest of things. Because we all think we need to be right. And the Devil dances us straight to the gates of hell because we have bought into it.
Its been said that the most important lessons we learn here in life is to learn to repent and to forgive. These great lessons in life are learned by interacting with others. We are all Gods children. Ive said it before, I think a big part of judgement day will be spent looking at our relationships with others. I believe there will be a reckoning. We will come face to face with those we knew and will realize the damage we inflicted, we will realize all that we missed out on because we didnt have the relationship with them that we should have. We will understand the impact we could have had, but didnt. I dont know about you, but it makes me rethink those moments I am tempted not to "see" the homeless man or the girl that is in desperate need of a friend but is awkward or hard to befriend. On the flip side we will see the impact for good we had and rejoice in the frienships and family that blessed us and helped make us who we are.
So to go right back to where we started.... Cant we all just get along?
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
I love you today and I love you tomorrow,
I love you as deep as the sea,
I love you in joy and I love you in sorrow,
You can always come home to me.
Every time I've watched this I have kinda taken the perspective of being the prodigal. Heaven knows I've made my share of severely bad choices and have literally returned home with my tail between my legs begging for forgiveness and help. As a parent, I can even understand the reality of unconditional love and think I would celebrate just as much as the prodigal's father. But tonight was different.
This time, all I could think of was the "other son". The one that had done everything he should. The one that felt the envy and most likely the pain of his father immediately throwing a celebration for the return of his son. I think while a lot of us, (read ME), find ourselves relating to the prodigal and thankful for the love shown to us when we need forgiveness, we are more often put into the position of the "other son".
It seems the lost lesson of the Prodigal Son is the brother's reaction and how often our reaction seems to mirror it. Whether a literal sibling or just a connection of being another Child of God, its so easy to look on, thinking, "they dont deserve forgiveness, let alone a celebration." I think too many of us try to rate our sins on a continuum. "This" isn't as a bad as "that". But the reality is we must be perfect to be with God again, therefore, all must embrace the gift of the Atonement. All of us have sins against us. And for those who still like rate severity of sins to compare each other and think yours are more tolerable and more forgivable, the Lord says: thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. (Luke 15:31). Just like any family, adding another doesn't lessen the love available. All that He has is ours and all the better as more children are able to come HOME.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Things are different now. And doubt's a luxury we can't afford anymore. You have more power than you realize. Don't think and don't worry. If the time comes, you'll know what to do. It's in your blood.
So I'm not coming out of superhero hiding or anything. I'm just thinking we are much like Violet: unsure of our abilities, daunted by the tasks in front of us, wishing we could just disappear into the background at times. But it is in our very nature to be more this and our talents our individual skills are much needed in this world today. And maybe, just maybe I'm not the only one that needed the pep talk too.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I remember back in high school going to meetings about planning for college and taking excelerated class, they called it "the fast track". I feel like I have been on the life lesson version of that track. The only problem is, I'm not the disciplined scholar needed for the "fast track" to be successful. So if the next few thoughts come out muddled, forgive me. I'm a blogger outta practice and a student that feels like she has been cramming for the big final for the past few months with too little sleep and way too much caffiene.
Life took a sudden and very dangerous plummet a few weeks back. All of the sudden, all my little demons, all my insecurities came back to visit with a vengance. Its so funny how two little words can cause so much trouble. "Should have" should be outlawed. Another dangerous couple, "if only" also seemed to trouble my mind. Its amazing how in stressful times, we (ok I) think its appropriate to drudge up all the old mistakes, the guilt, the what if's of life. Last checked,(and very recent indeed), it still does no good. Never did before, still doesn't now. Doesn't change anything, except possibly skew ones perspective for the future. It was only a few days ago, when speaking to the sweetest man I have ever met, that I got a little reality check. After living more years in prison that out, he is free. His joy in the little things: relaxing in the dining area of a McDonald's, the ability to ride the city bus and the prospects of what to make of his next 30 years, all reminded me of the importance of moving forward.... and allowing others to do the same. It would be so easy to dwell on what was lost or the time wasted. Instead, he was sincerely grateful for the time he had now and for the opportunity to learn from his previous experience and be better for it.
I think the lessons on lessons are the hardest lessons to learn. (I swear that makes perfect sense in my mind....) See, some of us struggle to be humble enough to admit to mistakes and learn from them. Some of us struggle to forgive ourselves and realize that mistakes are a part of the overarching plan for our time here on earth. Some of us struggle in allowing others to learn their lessons on their own timeline and not on the timeline we wish they would learn them. Some of us struggle in allowing others to move past their mistakes and consider them better for the experience. And some of us struggle with all of the above... (pay no attention to the big flashing arrow above the writers head.)
So I guess in a quick sum up, Im sorry its been so long since the last post, Ive been learning about learning. Learning to be patient with myself, trying to be less critical of others who haven't yet learned,looking forward to the future with courage and smashing the hell outta the shoulda's that weasle their way into my thoughts.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
My lamp has been a little, ok -- a lot, empty recently. Workings Sundays is a tough gig. But I was able to catch the first session of both Saturday and Sundays General Conference and was glad I had made the effort.
After just a few minutes listening, I came to a conclusion. Only one of two things were possible. The first, that this conference was meant entirely for only me. It seemed to speak to everything I was feeling. All my doubts, all my frustration, all my weariness was recognised and addressed. The second, that Im not the only one out there wondering how much longer I can continue. I am now convinced the second is correct.
Its funny how when in our low points of life, when doubt creeps in, we start to look longingly at others "so called" trials and think, "they have it so easy. I could handle that, no problem. Why can't my life be like theirs." I admit, this has been my attitude as of late. Being dismissive of others troubles, being impatient with others gripes. My response has mostly been, "I wish I had it so bad...."
The conference retaught me something that I thought I had mastered a long time ago. Compassion. We are all struggling. None of us has is "easy" right now. It didn't help for me to rate others trials against mine. It didn't lift me or them. It didn't help me learn my lessons any faster. It didn't make my load any lighter. But most importantly it didn't provide the strength or love to friends that they needed and that was my responsibility to give.
So here is my public apology, an owning up of sorts and a thanks for sticking by me. Im not gonna lie and say I will be Sally Sunshine from here on out. But I will be working on keeping a proper perspective and not getting so lost in my self pity.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
A few weeks back I was at a funeral for one of my boys. Kale Clay was 25, just recently returned from Iraq and was a passenger in a head on collision. It so strange to lose another one of "my boys." Granted, I had not seen him in a long time, but its funny how the memories seem like they were yesterday. The nighttime lemonade stands, cooking dinner at all hours of the night, his stupid jokes and his sweet cuddle hugs. I was doing ok -- with the news and at the funeral. Its amazing how much stronger one is when you know this life isn't the end. But then the closing hymn at the funeral was God Be With You Til We Meet Again. I knew I was in trouble.
We got to the line...
When life's troubles thick confound you, put His arms unfailing round you...
And I fell apart. I was there. And part of me was envious that Kale was finished, part of me wanted to be back home, part of me wanted to not have to continue to push through the "thick" perils that seem to have moved in. Guests that have long worn out their welcome, but just dont seem to leave. Or when they do, they are quickly replaced with another. But I knew that I still have lots to do and lots to learn.
I have been in "robot mode" since. Just pushing through to the next day off... Doing my best to keep up with laundry, dishes, and Reed. I dont want to read people's blogs and hear how happy everything is in their life. I dont want to read their facebook posts and hear about the great things they do with their kids during the day. I dont even want to hear them complain either.... cause most the time I just wish that my problems were as easy to deal with as theirs are.
Oh, crap, the kids woke up at 530 this morning? Well, lucky you, you can have a nap when they do. I cant. Oh, darn, youre kid has the barfs? Mine too, but I get to clean up the mess after a hell day at work. Oh, you have a migraine? Me too... every day about 2 pm since they removed my thyroid. (Who knew a thyroid effected so many things? I sure as hell didn't!! Dry skin, sore muscles, exhaustion at all times, no appetite, nausea... Blah blah blah.)
Ok, so I realized this is a total downer of a post. Completely unintentional. This is not was I was expecting to write. It was supposed to be more of a focus on the ...put His arms unfailing round you... part of the song. And I promise, I am ok. I am just continuing to push forward and spending lots of time praying for strength that feels a little slow to show up.
Reed is my sunshine in all of this struggle. Its amazing how kids tune into what you need. (Granted he wants to act up more when stress is high, but he knows when to be sweet.) He cuddles and will pet my hair. His sweet face lights up when I get home from work. He keeps me focused on whats important and keeps me going.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
-- All labs came back good. My hormone levels are in normal range, further indicating that there has not been a spread.
-- These levels also indicate that the cancer was an isolated incident and no just one of several of a "family of tumors" that often happen with my specific type of cancer. (It likes to grow in clusters... cancer parties)
-- The labs also show that there is no evidence of a genetic link. Reed will not need to be tested and he will NOT need surgery for removal of his thyroid.
-- My wonderful surgeon is double checking that radiation will not be necessary. (Past studies have shown that my type of cancer does not respond to traditional cancer treatment (ie: chemo, radiation). He just wants to make sure that he is completely up to date with current treatment protocol, as the cancer is so rare. But for all intensive purposes, I should not need it.
This leaves me safe to say: I am cancer free!!!! I will continue to have lab work done every couple months to make sure it doesn't pop up anywhere else. And will shortly begin the journey of thyroid replacement therapy, which will be gladly welcomed as living without my thyroid has become quite a challenge. (Although I hear maintaining that is a whole bundle of fun, I am feeling much blessed to finally have more answers than questions for the first time in a long time.)
Again, I just want to take a moment and thank all my wonderful friends and family that have supported me through this trial. It has been a helluva past few months. And while Im sure there will be more on the way, it is so amazing to have so many people caring, offering and providing service, praying, and just plain "stepping up" on my behalf. I am so blessed.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Flash forward over ten years later as we watch the very foundation of our country being demolished piece by piece. Some look on cheering, some with shock, some with horror, some with complacence and some are just too busy to watch. I look on saying, where are all those who seemed so tough, so quick to fight against the status quo, the political machine, the traditional education. Where have all the bad asses gone?
Maybe they are the ones cheering. I dont know. What I do know is this: No matter what politial affiliaton, no matter what spiritual or logical tenets one subscribes to, NO ONE should be looking on saying, "this is good". Back away from your wants from government. Back away from what you think is justice and fair. Back away from all the rhetoric that gets us all fired up and fighting against each other. That just keeps us occupied so we dont see whats really happening.
I dont care if your views on politics are completely opposite than mine. The pendulum continues to swing from one extreme to another, leaving us all a little motion sick and none of us better for it.
In then end, uncontrolled and unchecked, government is a dangerous thing. Far more dangerous than any extremist, whether they fall into Napoletano's definition or any other.
See, what we dont seem to realize or what we forget in the heat of the moment of trying to provide all for the the people is: for every power we give the government, we lose a little more freedom. You cant have it both ways. Unfortunately, we are living in a society that believes the promises of everything you ever "needed" will be provided, IF ONLY: you trade a little bit of your freedom back to the government. The problem is, we have been doing this for far too long and now we have no control. We are no longer considered the "free-est market in the world". Did you know that?
So now that over a decade since our rebellious teenage years have passed, I believe it is time to resurrect the simple statement of QUESTION AUTHORITY. Not to be subborn or cause trouble, not just to thumb our noses and act like spoiled teenagers again, but to remind us of something we have forgotten along the way or something maybe we liked, but didn't truly understand.
There is power in questioning authority. There is a sense of responsibility in questioning authority. It lets government know that we expect them to do what they say and say what they do, that is means is, that blatant lies during state of the union addresses are not acceptable and that if they cant do the job with integrety, they cant do the job.
Im not calling out one political side, Im calling out all politicians! So quick to point the finger when the other fouls up, but doing exactly what they are pointing the finger for when they think no one is looking. All are guilty. I say start from scratch. Get rid of the whole bunch, cause if you think that they care whether you have insurance or not, they dont. They care about you handing them over the responsibility for it, the power. If you think they care about your right to choose or a baby's right to life, they dont, the like the power to make that decision for you. I could go on an on. In the end, suffice it to say: If something is important to you, that is your responsibility. Not the governments.
Remember: A government big enough to give you everything you ever wanted is big enough to take everything you ever had.
I was reading George Orwell's 1984 a couple days ago and my stomach churned at some of the things that mirrored today. History suddenly changes, words that are no longer allowed -- like terrorist or illegal alien, being punished for thoughts. (IE: hate crimes FYI: A crime is no more or less punishable no matter the reason behind it...) Its scary to see our society turn into that of Orwell's. It also guarantees one very important truth if we come to it: POVERTY. We keep hating the fat cats, but they put food on the table for most of us. Their success is our success. Just ask those who were laid off because of the recession. Big business is cut, so is our way of living.
Just a little glimpse of where my mind goes when it cant sleep at night. I promise to not be quite so far between posts. Its been a rough last little while. But life is good, insane and a bit frantic, but good. Just one more time for all you bad asses in disguise out there.... QUESTION AUTHORITY!!!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The good news is, I wont be needing radiation. The bad news is, I have a big lab work up that has to be done. But has to be momentarily put on hold til my new insurance begins on Tuesday. The labs are because:
About 80% of the time, this is sporadic, its just a fluke that just starts growing.
About 20% of the time, there is a genetic marker that kinda predetermines whether you are going to get it.
We have to determine which kind it is because Reed may also have that marker. If he does, his thyroid will also have to be removed as soon as possible. The surgeon said if it isn't tracked, he could be full blown malignant by 10. This is also important, because my sisters are starting to wonder if this little marker is possibly what has been causing havoc for them. (No cancer seen in any of them, but if there is a genetic link, this is important to know)
I will also have to be tested to see if it has spread. The tumor itself is out and the questional lymph nodes that they removed were benign, so that is really hopeful. I will continue to be screened for a specific hormone the tumor produces. The sooner that level increases or doubles the more likely it has spread and will eventually be fatal. (Oh that was hard to type...) But if my levels remain stable or even decrease I will continue to have a normal healthy life like most common thyroid cancer survivors. And again the surgeon is confident that we caught it early, because of the small size and the benign lymph nodes.
I will continue to update the blog and keep my facebook up to date as soon as I know more.
I appreciate all your concern, your love and prayers. I appreciate your own similar experiences that were shared and gave me confidence and increased hope. I know that I have already been so blessed through this. I also appreciate that I know that I can call in favors if needed. This is going to be a stressful next few weeks/months, but I know I am being strengthened through the love and blessing of a Heavenly Father and through my family and friends who continue to plea to Him on my behalf.
I know that He has sent me you to help through your prayers and service. My prayer is that I can learn what I need to from this experience and be able to look back on it as just one of life's many stepping stones that will eventually make me who I need to become.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Next, the fun stuff. For those of you wondering how I ended up having surgery so quickly. Here's a quick little overview of Cancer Watch 2009-2010.
-- Last summer my OBGYN suggested I go visit an endocrinologist because of one (just one) hormone that was outta range.
-- October, I finally got into see said endocrinologist. (Waiting list cause he is good.)
-- He ran a bunch of labs, everything normal. But palpated a nodule on my thyroid.
-- November, had an ultrasound of thyroid to find a 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 cm growth.
-- December 17, had a needle biopsy. Was told Dr was going out of town so I may or may not get the results back before the new year.
-- December 21, recieved a call from the Dr saying to be in his office Thursday at 8:30 (before the office opens) to discuss the results.
-- Christmas Eve, I was told:
Biopsy results showed abnormal cells -- but it was inconclusive whether or not it was malignant. Find a surgeon to remove half or all of the thyroid. (By then I had already texted friend to get her surgeon father to do the surgery.) As I left, the nurse said Merry Christmas and smiled and said: "dont worry, if you have to have cancer this is the best kind to have."
I then went back to work to finish off the rest of my day.
I dropped off all the notes at the surgeons house, talked with him a minute and he said his office would contact me about an appointment. I explained that it would either have to be before the end of the year or I would have to wait til March. (I start my new job 1/19/10 and cant miss the training at all.)
Enjoyed Christmas festivities, but all the time wondered what I would do. I knew from the start I would be ok.... I just didn't know what would happen that would eventually get me to well.
-- December 30, surgery day. Went perfectly. Thyroid completely removed along with a couple lymph nodes.
-- January 7, Dr Walker says its healing great and looks better than he expected it to. The bad news is: the pathologist couldn't tell what it was they took out. Its not common. My thyroid is being sent out to more pathologists to look at cause it is a "anatomical abnormality". (Mom and I laughed hard when he called it that. I said, "What's new, I didn't need a surgeon to tell me that!) So I still dont know whether I get to be radioactive or not. The good news is: its out!
I am hoping to find out Monday and will keep everyone posted. In the mean time:
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for your meals and visits.
Thank you for the texts of encouragement.
Its funny. I have been through lots in the past few years. And I used to complain and say, "I could deal with all these problems so much easier if I didn't have to deal with them alone. Its so hard to feel picked on and unloved." (Meaning, if I was married this would be much easier to bear my health problems. Keeping a positive outlook is tough without a soft place to fall or a shoulder to cry on.) This time I realized, I may not have a man to hold me and tell me its gonna be ok. But I have about a BAZILLION friends and family that are there. And no one person coulda given all the love and support that the collective have given during these days. THANK YOU ALL!!!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Bell ringing Ok, I know its for a good cause and I keep quarters in my purse for anytime I run into them. But honestly!! The ringing, its killing me. When I finally get rich Im gonna walk up to them with a big bill and say, Ill pay you $1oo to stop just until I leave this store...
Celebrity "save the world" Christmas songs Put your money where your mouth is. Stop singing your stupid songs. Just go do something to help and please don't tell me about it. But stop making me feel bad for enjoying my Christmas celebrations which are way less elaborate then some dumb celebrity's.
Las Vegas Lights Christmas lights should be tasteful. If I get an adrenaline rush from the thought of hitting the jackpot when I drop off your Christmas goodies, you should probably tone it down a bit. Nor should your lights inspire me to start singing Dave Matthews "Ants Marching".
The Christmas Shoes Song This kinda follows along the same line as the Celebrity Christmas song complaint. While this is a sweet little Christmas short story, this makes a mushy super sap song. Keep it in print. The song is way too much. And again, I dont wanna feel bad during Christmas.
The Happy Holiday Feud Im gonna say Merry Christmas cause its Christmas. I dont care what you are celebrating. Just cause you choose not to celebrate doesn't mean Im gonna hide the fact that I do. If you get offended cause you wanna celebrate Hannaukah or Quanza or whatever and not Christmas, Im sorry. If you were to say Happy Quanza to me, I might look at ya funny as I am the whitest girl I know, but I wouldn't get offended. Get over it!
Manheim Steamroller I hate, hate, hate Manheim Steamroller. I hear the concerts are amazing. But I am sorry.... I am not inspired by its John Tesh meets the Disney Electric Light Parade feel. Its lame at minimum and beyond obnoxious in general. So to that all I can say is:
Manheim Steamroller Sucks A**
Monday, November 30, 2009
DAY OF FASTING AND PRAYER FOR AMERICA
We, my wife and I, are firmly convinced that our elected politicians are incapable of representing the will of the American people – and incapable of adhering to the Constitution of the United States of America which they took a solemn oath to uphold and defend.
We are among the millions of U.S. Citizens who are at our wits end sending e-mails, faxes, telephoning, meeting with elected officials, demonstrating, rallying – and hoping – that those representatives will do the will of the people. They have failed. Have we, as well?
The United States of America is a choice land, a nation that was founded by our forefathers who were divinely inspired by God the Father Almighty.
This choice nation has been the defender of freedom throughout its relatively short history. We have led in the fight for freedom against many tyrants and dictators who have plundered and pilfered their citizens and have subjected them to great sufferings through blood and horror.
The people of those nations who suffered these great injustices knew that they could always depend upon the goodness, power and righteousness of the United States of America to extract them from their plights, and it was done – many times over. It was not done without expense – the expense of the blood and sacrifice of the members of our armed forces – and the suffering of their families.
As the year 2009 soon comes to a close, we the citizens of the United States of America find ourselves facing many of the challenges – which those nations suffered at the hands of their political leaders. We are being attacked from within!
Who do we turn to? To which great nation can we turn to help us keep and maintain our freedom? We do not have the same hope of those nations to whom we were benefactors.
We MUST turn to our Savior. If we are a righteous people, we will be deserving of, and receive of His blessings as He has promised. He suffered and died for us – He atoned for our sins; each one of us - individually.
We know that - as a nation – we can once again be the choicest of lands. However, we cannot achieve that blessing without our willingness to please our Lord and Savior.
We are asking that all who read this message that have faith in Christ designate Sunday December 6, 2009 as a day of fasting and prayer for America .
You do not have to march on the nation’s Capitol nor go to a tea bag rally. From the comfort of your home, you can get on bended knee and with a broken heart and contrite spirit, petition the Lord to bless this nation generously according to His will. Then, keep the fast for that day. Make that Christ-like commitment to our Heavenly Father. He will listen, He will answer. That has been promised.
“And whatsoever he shall ask the father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” (3 Nephi 18-20) “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)
Joe and Janice Hagen St. George, UT.
Friday, November 27, 2009
The past few years have been more healthy (as I am not snotting myself or delirous from fever) but have been a struggle to find my thankful heart. This year was no exception. Faced with struggles and frustrations that seem insurmountable, I find myself stirring the feelings of a glass half empty. But I know there is so much to be grateful for. So here is my list of some of the things I am grateful for when I changed my perspective:
-- A son who loves me, even when I am a less than stellar mom. All my mess ups all my inadequacies melt away when he hugs me.
-- A son with a major stubborn streak. I know it makes my job harder now, but I am hoping that I can harness it and channel it and he will be "firm, steadfast and immovable" as this world spins out of control.
-- A minor health scare that reminds me that my time is limited and that I still have a lot to accomplish. The reminder that life is precious and that I need to not waste any second.
-- A home. Its not the most ideal of living situations, but I am sheltered, safe and secure. Small as it is, its full of love (and hotwheels and trains).
-- Family. They make me crazy (or at least they genetically predetermined my high chances of insanity), but I wouldn't trade them for the world. They are the reason I survive the whirlwind that seems to be my life.
-- A year of struggles that remind me that I dont have to do it all, that I dont have to do it all by myself and that both are ok. (Cause Im good enough, Im smart enough and dog-gone it, people like me! Ha ha... I swear thats what that sounded like....)
-- A job that pays the bills, a good looking resume (that will hopefully get me job I dont hate.. that pays the bills), and a desire to get more of an education and continue to better myself.
-- A sense of humor that helps me laugh when I want to cry, makes me appreciate the beauty of Will Ferrell movies and enables me to change song lyrics so I walk around like Im in my own little personalized musical. It also allows me to drive my ugly truck and not comletely fall apart from embarissment....
-- A truck, even if ugly, that gets me to work and teaches me humility.
-- Friends that always seem to know exactly when to call, text or show up, that always seem to know exactly what to say and more importantly what not to say. (THANK YOU!!!)
-- An understanding of the bigger picture. A knowledge that I am watched over by a loving God that wants the best for me, even if it includes the painful process of "becoming".
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, "sometime I'll try,"
But go and do something today.
'Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love's labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
Before you all stop reading and wonder when Im gonna get to my point... Ill get to it, I promise.
This was a common hymn choice growing up but I spent my whole childhood and into my early adulthood singing it WRONG! I know! How is it possible? The lyrics are right there typed out, but I sang it wrong every single time.
I did really good through the verses. But for some reason I got the Chorus and messed it all up. See the chorus reads:
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure,
A joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
I know its pretty simple, but please say I am not alone in messing this one up. See I always sang it as:
Wake up and do something more.
THEN dream of your mansion above.
And while some of you are saying, "Umm, yeah, and...." Really if you think about it, its kinda a HUGE difference. (In fact read it both ways again, I was singing the exact opposite of the message the good Will Thompson was intending.... OOPS! My bad Will.)
Never once in this or any other hymn are we allowed any time to sit and think about how great it will be when its all said and done and we get to be in heaven... There is not time for that. There is so much we need to be doing. And honestly if a dream of our heavenly mansion is our only motivation, I think we still have lots to learn and have kinda missed the overarching point of it all. As reads in the second verse, "Love's labor has merit alone."
So next time you sing this in church, you all can laugh at how silly I was to be singing this song wrong for the majority of my life....
Friday, November 6, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
I have decided that the current set of challenges are God's current lesson plan to teach me how to be happy, no matter what. Bishop empathized with me and said that this is probably one of the toughest lessons to learn. I assured him that God was not scrimping on the lessons....
So I woke up today, exhaused, but happy for Friday. I had a renewed goal to be happy, to be grateful, to be content.
This was going well. And then the physical therapists started in on me at work, and have been relentless. Close to tears before I ever made it to lunchtime, I thought what a stupid day to choose to start being Pollyanna! Unfortunately, I dont think circumstances at work or in life in general will change anytime soon. So, in an attempt to help my attitude, I will work on my current "life theory".
The grass is always greener on the other side.
We hear this a lot. What I have only started to ponder on is:
How did "their" grass get so green?
- Rainy Days
- Manure (I promised mom I would not use naughty words for this one...)
- Lotsa yard work
If this is the case, Im gonna have an amazing lawn!!! And eventually people will being looking at my greener grass with envy. Cause contrary to the 2009 Almanac, there has been an abundance of rain lately. Add to that, a load of manure spread evenly throughout the year.
So now I just got some trimming and some yard work to do. (See Dad's lessons on the $5 yard.)
Friday, October 23, 2009
A few years back, while in NY for my sister's wedding reception, we took a quick little trip to visit his home town, Chittenango, NY. (ps I voted to take a trip to the city, but it never happened.... I was not happy.)
That should say it all... I should end this before I even begin. Cause honestly, the name fits the town. Its a tiny town that has only survived by clutching onto the fact that "the" Mr. Baum was was born there. Otherwise, it would be only what its name suggests. A rest-stop. To Sh** and then Go.... Anyway, this is all neither here nor there. It just helps to accent my disgust for Mr Frank Baum and his self importance.
The quote of the day read: I am convinced the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.
PALEEZE: Who the L. Frank Baum do you think you are? Give me a break.
Now I could go on and on about the power of one and give many quotes that conclude that Mr Baum is full of what tourists leave behind in their visit to his hometown.
So in response to Mr Baum's opinion on the common man, all I have to say is: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN, HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT....
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The good news is that the bad news is not health related. Although I have developed a head cold and the bad news may eventually effect my health....
But No, nothing so severe as that. As I mentioned before, at any other time in my life this wouldn't even be a blip on my radar. I woulda bitched about it for a day and then moved on. But not so. Its funny how all of the sudden things change when ya got a kid in tow. All the sudden you jump to how things effect them. Sure, at most its an inconvenience for me, but for Reed... its a complete change in routine. Which for a two year old is no small thing.... As some of you may know.
Anyway, work gave me a kind of ultimatum. I could move to the Central Phoenix office or I could get laidoff. When I asked for some kind of monetary compensation. They said no, I was just lucky to have a job.... ASSES!!!
So instead of the posh set up I had working 2 miles from home, working 4 days a week, working with people I like.... I now have a 45 minute commute (on a good day.... 25 miles from home), I work 5 days a week, with another front office girl that seems to be quite unhappy that I am here. (add to that the financial aspect.... another day of daycare to pay for and a whole lot more gas to pay for. And with the disappearance of child support, Im feeling a bit pinched.... More like sunk....)
So if you have recieved an email regarding my current job hunt. YEAH!!! Please keep an eye out. If you haven't, its probably cause you dont live in AZ. But if you have any out of state prospects worth looking into feel free to send them on. I would probably consider it at this point.
So to sum up. No, Im not dying. Im just really good at finding new things to bitch about.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
You maintain a sense of balance in the midst of great success.
I dont quite know what to make of it. At first I found it funny cause you know I am sooooo very successful. Then I realized maybe its not my success that I am in the midst of. Kinda like being the middle child. Studies show that middle children are the most well adjusted adults basically because they get ignored. (Ok, ok that isn't really the reason. ) Maybe I should say they are a bit overshadowed by the precedence of the oldest and the rotten monster shenanigans (that are considered cute, BTW) of the youngest.
But I dont have issues....HAHAHA.
So then I decided to list my great successes that I gracefully float through with a sense of balance. But after a couple I decided it was way too sarcastic and self depreciating... even for me.
So then I decided to brainstorm who else may be providing the surrounding great success that I manage to be surrounded by..... But I realize I surround myself with crazy more than anything else... So I scrapped that.
So.... I finally just decided to read said Fortune cookies thus:
You will maintain a sense of balance in the midst of your great success.
Dont worry, I wont forget all the "Little People" that helped make me who I am. HAHAHAHA
Monday, October 12, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The "funk" that I was experiencing a few weeks back has never really subsided. I am struggling against my natural tendency to become "bitter party of one". Now I know we all have our seasons, I know we all have our struggles. I get it. But guess what. There are only a few of you who get to go through those trials with no help meet. There are only a few of you who know what its like to not have a "soft place to fall." There are only a few of you who really get what its like to be celibate. (Especially after a season of not). So before anyone quickly responds with sweet condolences, dont. Cause honestly. It would test our friendship. I would get ugly, really ugly. Im just venting and taking the long way round to get to my point.
And to be quite honest, the point is more a reminder for me. Readers are just along for the ride. You may read and be sympathetic... BUT DO NOT TELL ME AS MUCH!!!! If I have one more pitiful look, I will scream. And again it will not be pretty. (But again, I digress....)
So while listening to the IPod, the waterworks turned on and I had a bitter, but healing cry. I think that sometimes music is the only way I survive and keep hope up when everything tells me there is no reason to hope or to try or to even bother. Since hearing the hymn, it has been constantly running through my head. Probably saving me from doing something really, really stupid.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through clouds and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
If there was ever anyone watching the darkness deepen, if there was ever anyone feeling completely helpless and without comfort, it is me....
I see glimpses of comfort, but no long term answers to my pleas for help. So I will just keep singing my hymns and having a good cry now and again.
-- What seems mundane and trivial is the very stuff that discovery is made of. Edward Lindaman
-- Better to write for yourself and have no public, than write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly
--Never hope more than you work. Rita Mae Brown
The last is now vinyl on my wall. But in order to be more "positive" its reads: Work as hard as you wish. I like it. (Although I think some days I tend to read and say, "I do not wish to work today....") But it got me motivated enough to open up my files and read the little I have already written. Now I just gotta commit to getting more down. Thanks to Amy for continuing to kindly remind me that I need to get to work.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I know I said I would wait a while, but I couldn't help myself. If you like Jane Austen, let me introduce you to my new friend, Elizabeth Gaskell. She is a contemporary or I suppose you could call her the next generation in English lit. And I have fallen in love with her writing. (And also with the BBC adaptations of her writing.)
"Margaret, do not dispise me; I have a heart, not withstanding all this good-for-nothing way of talking. As a proof of it, I believe I love you more than ever- if I do not hate you- for the distain with which you have listened to me this half hour. " North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell.
I think I am so infatuated with these authors because not only can they write a great man speech, they also write amazing man speech rebuttles, AKA: the refusal. Maybe next post Ill enter a few of the refusals. They crack you up. And when you aren't laughing at them, you are screaming back at them for being so stupid for refusing the diamonds in the rough.
I have now just realized I live too much in fantasy.... I need a real life.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
But in an attempt to rekindle my hope and to "get my fix" so to speak, I will now share with you a favorite "man speech" and we can pretend together that it is directed at me. (Sigh)
"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant." Jane Austen - Persuasion
For those of you not familiar with Persuasion. It is my favorite of all the Jane Austen stories. Go find the 1996 (I think) Cyrian Hinds version. And have a good cry for/with me. Cause maybe just maybe, even though all you smug marrieds are not suffering from the plague of being single, you may just be needing a romance fix as much as I do.
FYI: I enjoyed this so much, I may just have to have a "man speech" periodically.
Next time, I think I will pull it from North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell) or Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen). There are tons to choose from....