Friday, April 30, 2010

My week at a glance

As mentioned previously, I'm grateful for 24-hour pharmacies. (Extra points if you can figure out what book I took with me.)

This is my daughter's photo shared in a slideshow of student photos - a class project sponsored by a local photographer. (Had fun absorbing the photo tips myself.)

I love our fish. We recently got new ones, including "Little Leppy" next to "Leppy" -- short for leopard, since their coloring looks leopardish.

This picture came just a few days before we realized that our two goldfish were very sick. Did you know that when you get new fish, you aren't supposed to dump in the water from the store? I hate learning things the hard way. Now our whole tank is infected. Bleh. It was interesting to realize tonite how much the tank is usually a source of peace and tranquility for me. Not so much this week. 

I will just say that I'm proud of myself. I didn't lose it. Just took a deep breath and asked my husband to get the camera. It splashed as far up as the counter, over to the fridge and dishwasher. But the floor is clean, now, probably cleaner than it's been in a while!

I was excited to pick up this piece of furniture that I helped the furniture guy design. We are thrilled with it.

Not so thrilled with the fact that we can't yet put away winter coats, cuz, yeah, we still are getting snow around here.

Went to a couple of classes at Women's Conference. Awesome. More to come on some of my reflections, probably on my other blog.

Didn't get pictures of the funeral of my friend, or the garage sale preparations, but those have been big things this week, too. (Very big, actually.) And, I'm adding that I wish I had a picture of the pickup truck I FILLED with stuff for the dump. Losing that kind of weight is exciting in its own right.

What's your week been like?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On love and loss

Although they are bittersweet, funerals are, I think, important events -- a way to honor the one who has died, a way to get some closure, a way to support the loved ones in their grief. 

I got to know more about my friend, Sharee, today. We smiled (and laughed) as some of her children shared little things about her -- her love of sports cars and of driving fast, the long receipts from shopping trips as she spoiled her loved ones ("If you like a shirt in black, you ought to have it in all the colors of the rainbow"). We wept as we remembered her kind, courageous, loving, faithful ways.

Sharee was my visiting teaching companion for over a year and a half. I feel blessed that I had such an opportunity to serve with and get to know her. Truth be told, I think she served me more than anyone in our association as companions...she was there during some rough times in my life. I have precious memories of sitting in her car for hours after a visiting teaching appointment. We had some long phone conversations, too.

As I drove my children home from the funeral today, my youngest couldn't hold back the tears. (Sharee and she had quite a close relationship.) I shared with my children a quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson that has gone through my mind a lot these past weeks:

The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

This quote was shared at my grandma's funeral; it stuck with me and somehow gave me permission to grieve when my grandpa died two years later. The feeling I had was, "Bring it on!" -- let the grief come, I said to myself; it only matched the love I felt.

And so, we grieve, hard, today. Because we love Sharee deeply.

Rest in peace, friend...until we meet again.

Some people come into our lives
and quickly go.
Some stay for awhile
and leave footprints
in our hearts
And we
are never the same.
(printed on the back of her funeral program)

From chocolate candies to nutshells

Here's my new blog.

How Gentle God's Commands

I remembered too late that the choir was going to be singing her favorite hymn. The cancer had progressed enough that she was unable to come to church.

But I decided to run home and grab my audio recorder; the bishop had given me permission to do it for her.

I didn't get the whole song recorded, and I was standing too far away for it to pick up the sound well anyway.

But no matter.

The choir will sing it again at her funeral today. Assuming I can make it (oh, please, I pray that I can make it -- still sick and mornings are nearly impossible for me with my health issues), I think I am crazy to think I will be able to sing at all. (Nevermind the fact that I have very little voice due to this illness I've had.)

This is really such an understated hymn. I confess I was a little surprised when my friend said it was one of her favorites. But, considering the text more carefully, I can see why.  

How gentle God's commands!
How kind His precepts are!
Come cast your burdens on the
Lord and trust His constant care. 

Beneath his watchful eye,
His Saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard His children well.

Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste, to your Heavenly Father's throne,
And sweet refreshment find.

His goodness stands approved,
Unchanged from day to day;
I'll drop my burden at His feet.
and bear a song away. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Maybe I'm not a wimp. Maybe I am just really sick.

But after 12 hours with antibiotics in me, I'm back to being able to fake my way through much of the day.

I'm grateful for modern medicine. And for 24-hour pharmacies. And for the little mid-night thought that helped me remember that our local 24-hour pharmacy was actually Walgreen's, not Rite Aid.

Sometimes I feel like a wimp

I am sick. Again. And guess what? I cried in the doctor's office. I cried on the way to the pharmacy at midnight. I'm a mom. I should be strong and brave. But it's the middle of the night, and I am sure not feeling brave or strong. I'm feeling like I want to curl up in a ball and be mothered.

For someone who deals with chronic illness, I'm not a very good sick person.


About this site

When I was a teen, I read a couple of books that had two separate but interconnected halves. One half of the book was full of challenges for the reader to try, and then if you literally flipped the book upside down, the other half presented promises for taking on the challenges.

˙sıɥʇ ǝʞıן 'uʍop ǝpısdn pǝɹɐǝddɐ sǝsıɯoɹd ǝɥʇ

I'm going to do something a little like that with my two new blogs. This blog will be a place where I sort through and share some of the schtuff of life -- the hard, the awesome, the tedious, the funny, the crazy, the baffling, the frustrating, the amazing. 

And then sometimes, I'll link to my other blog, which includes reflections on the truths that keep me going and bring meaning to my life.

I'll spare you the upside-down text. Maybe.

I hope this can give some context to why the gospel of Jesus Christ means so much to me. I also hope to have some fun along the way.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

My friend died on Wednesday.

When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December, her oncologist asked her what her goals were, what she hoped to do with the time she had left. (I wonder what my answer would be.) Without hesitation, she said that she wanted to see her new little grandchild born, and hoped to see her grandson go on a mission.

The baby was born on Thursday.

Fortunately, her son and daughter-in-law foresaw the possibility that she might not make it to the day of the birth, so they took her to the ultrasound so my friend could "see" her granddaughter, at least in that way.

I can only imagine what the family is feeling -- such sadness at the end of the life of their mother and grandmother. But such joy at the beginning of a new little life.

Doesn't that sort of summarize the bittersweet nature of this mortal existence?

I can't imagine facing the bitter such as death, though, without the knowledge of the plan of salvation, the reality that we existed before we were born and that our spirits live on after we die. That Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to someday be resurrected and live with our families again. That this life has a purpose. That God is real and loves us.

My heart is breaking at the loss of my friend, but at the same time, I rejoice with her as she is reunited with her husband, her mother, and other loved ones who passed on before her. And I carry with me priceless memories and the example she was of faith, selflessness, and love.

Rest in peace, my dear friend, until we meet again. I love you more than words can say.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My new space

This is a quiet space for me to sort through my thoughts about life, to write about my faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to capture moments I have with family and friends so as to turn those moments into memories.

It feels a bit intimidating to start with this empty space waiting to be filled. But my life is full, rich, and challenging all at once. I'm sure I won't have a problem filling the space, if I can figure out how to get what's in my head and heart out in a semi-cohesive way. That's not a small if, but we'll see how it goes....

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I was trying to think of a clever title, but I'm not feeling so clever tonite.

I think it's time. I've been known to change my mind on something like this before, but I think I need to do something pretty significant, to draw a line in my sand for myself and see how it feels. I need to simplify my life, and I think the way to do that is to back off from participating in the 'nacle. (Whatever the 'nacle actually is these days...I'm thinking MA 'nacle, big blogs kind of 'nacle.)

Done blogging? Yeah, right, no, not. But I'm going to start fresh, at a new blog. I think I need a change. I think a lot of people need a change from having me out there commenting, too. :)

Being involved in the bloggernacle has changed my life in very real ways. I have found cherished, lifetime friends. (Just thinking about that alone takes my breath much poorer I would be without some of the friends I have made through blogging. Whoa.) I have spent hours mulling and musing about what matters to me most. (I think it's helped keep me from going insane while dealing with health struggles.) I've come to appreciate the gospel and my testimony all the more. I've learned from others, and about others.

I'd like to think I've grown a little through it all and become a little better. I know, too, that I've also made some mistakes along the way. But that's part of this messy, messy life. Thank heaven for the Atonement. I feel the reality of the Atonement perhaps more strongly in my life than I ever have. That's a good thing, because I feel like I realize how much I need it -- need the Savior -- more than I ever have.

Yes. The more I live, the older I get, the more I experience, the more I realize how very, very much I need Christ.

To those who have respectfully engaged and listened, thank you. To those I have offended, it may not sound like much, but I'm sorry. To those who know me well, you know how to find me. :)

Thanks for the ride.


p.s. Archives will probably stay up. We'll see. Email above will still stay active.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I heart Sister Beck II -- Great talk about the power of womanhood

Sister Beck is a woman of power, a fabulous, fearless leader. I love her. I feel her calling to us as women to also be women of power and fearless leaders as well, by increasing our faith, strengthening home and family, and being of service in providing relief. I hear her reminding us of the power in personal revelation as well, inviting us to live our lives so as to be connected to heaven every day, every hour. I also feel it's essential for us to trust in the worth of women in God's plan, to know who we are. It's clear Sister Beck doesn't doubt one bit our worth before God. We need to not doubt. (That quote from Eliza R. Snow was awesome.)

Again, we are reminded of similar themes taught a couple of years ago when she gave her "Mothers Who Know" talk and when Elder Oaks talked of "Good, Better, Best" -- the need to prioritize, to actively resist distraction and the dilution of our roles as nurturers.

I am moved by the reminder of the power of personal revelation in our lives. Pres. Packer talked this morning of men living beneath their privileges in the priesthood. I can't help but feel that we as women often live beneath our privileges by not doing what it takes to really have the power of personal revelation in our lives. I know I do, anyway.

I loved what she said about how the power of revelation can be a constant source in our lives that makes it "possible to feel bathed in help even in turbulent times."

Speaking of Pres. Packer, it was awesome to listen to Sister Beck talk right after Pres. Packer's talk on the power of the priesthood. There is also power in womanhood!

There is power in the sisterhood of Relief Society. Being a faithful member of of Relief Society we can "be trusted and relied upon to make a significant contribution to the Church." I think it's important to realize, again thinking of Pres. Packer's talk, that our contribution is different from that of men. We don't hold priesthood office. But our power and influence is REAL.

There is power in Relief Society. I loved how she talked about the "combined spiritual power of all the sisters." The thought that I had is that as we each seek to tap into the power Sister Beck has talked about in being in tune with God and living up to the mission of Relief Society, we contribute to that combined power. Sister Beck taught that through Relief Society, "sisters can receive answers to their questions." As we catch and live the spirit of the Relief Society, we can be instruments to "lift...women up and out of a troubled world and into a way of living that prepares them for the blessings of eternal life." Relief Society can help us be "strong and immovable."

I think we are being reminded in this Conference about the "way of living" -- centered on Christ, Christ-centered living, and faithful family life -- that can point us toward our eternal goals.

In addition to the things listed above, Sister Beck reminded us that nurturing is also a source of power. I have felt that in my life. Listening to Sister Beck talk renews my desire to turn my heart to my children and to others to try to develop more of that gift of nurturing that God is telling us repeatedly through His leaders matters so much.

I love the reminder that our success and our worth is not measured by "outward credit or praise." I think that ties into us seeking a sense of worth in the Church, too. Again, as important and sacred as the priesthood is, priesthood office and position is not a requirement to have worth, power, and influence in God's work. I think it's essential for us as women to know that in our hearts, through the Spirit, in order to be women of power.

As Sister Snow remarked, we need to " the world judges.....We know the Lord has laid high responsibility on us [as women]." We need to know that! Sister Beck reminded us that, "In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources.... Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly." We can feel and know of our worth and success through the power of the Spirit and through honest self-assessment with God's help and through doing all we can do to be righteous we give our heart to trying to be the women God needs us to be and live so as to have the Spirit with us.

There is power in truth. I am grateful for Sister Beck and how she reminds us often of truths that can free us to be the women God needs us to be. There is power in her teachings.