Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Absolute Security or Freedom?

In the war in heaven the devil advocated absolute eternal security at the sacrifice of our freedom. Although there is nothing more desirable to a Latter-day Saint than eternal security in God's presence, and although God knew, as did we, that some of us would not achieve this security if we were allowed our freedom - yet the very God of heaven, who has more mercy than us all, still decreed no guaranteed security except by man's own freedom of choice and individual initiative.

Today the devil as a wolf in a supposedly new suit of sheep's clothing is enticing some men, both in and out of the Church, to parrot his line by advocating planned government guaranteed security programs at the expense of our liberties. Latter-day Saints should be reminded how and why they voted as they did in heaven. If some have decided to change their vote they should repent - throw the support on the side of freedom - and cease promoting this subversion.

Ezra Taft Benson
General Conference, October 1961 (italics added)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Friction Factor

The other day my six year old was very angry.

Temper Tantrum Angry.

And when she gets that way there is A LOT of friction that goes on.

So she and I sat down to talk about the "heat" that rises to the surface when we are angry.

And after a meaningful discussion, enough to calm her down, we ended up rubbing our hands together - as fast as we could - to be able to feel and understand the heat that comes when two opposing forces are up against each other.

And that's when I learned something about anger.

It comes when I pit my divine nature against my natural, carnal (wo)man.

And always  - not sometimes or even most of the time - when I submit to that friction, I come up empty.

And very, very warm!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Occupy Kitchen

Today is Thanksgiving.

I spent 99% of my time occupying the kitchen.




From start to finish.

And I find it interesting how excited everyone was to join me in the kitchen to help me create.

Squeezing the juice.

Mashing the potatoes.

Sprinkling the cinnamon.

Rolling out the pastry.

Tasting the cranberry salsa.

But how tired everyone was to help clean up when the feasting was all over.

Clearing the table.

Putting the food away.

Doing the dishes.

Wiping down the counters.

The creating part - fun.

The cleaning part - not so fun, but oh, so very necessary.

Which got me thinking about how grateful I am for a Savior, even Jesus Christ.

He who is Author and Finisher.

He who was there at the Creation.

And He who will be there for the Cleanup.

Our Friend to the end.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Maidservant

Because of goodly parents, I grew up observing the Sabbath as a holy day.

No work.

No shopping.

No television.

No playing outside.

And the wearing of appropriate Sunday attire - all day long.

I have always been grateful for my parents who expected us to live the fourth commandment.

And I do all that I can to teach and live the same for my children.

So today, I received an additional Sabbath tidbit - from above, mind you - when I realized that a load of washing hadn't made it into the dryer before the Sabbath came.

Boy, was I t.e.m.p.t.e.d. to place that one load into the dryer, casually throw in a dryer sheet, walk away and let it tumble dry.

So. little. work. for. me.

And then, almost immediately as the thought of temptation turned nigh into action, this part of the fourth commandment caught my heart:

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.
That's when I asked myself this curious question, "Could my dryer be considered a manservant or a maidservant?"

Okay, definitely NOT a manservant. . .

But I put down the lid to the washer anyway. I was being taught what I needed to know.

And I'll wait until Monday to get that maidservant to work for me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Widow, the Jar of Oil and Me

I have always loved the story of the widow of Zarephath.

She who obeyed - trustingly and faithfully - as she made her last meal, not for herself and her son, but for a weakened, famished prophet of God.

And in all my pondering in this story of pure faith and faithful obedience, it is the ending of that story I have pondered the very most.

How did that flour barrel never empty?

How did that cruse of oil never dry?

When the widow removed a cup or poured a portion, did it refill when she wasn't looking?

Or were the measurements always constant, defying the very laws of nature, because of the promise from the Lord?

Until today I had no answer.

Mind you, I am not a widow.

And I have much more than a cup of flour and a few drops of oil in my pantry.

But today, because of the compassion of others, my family and I were the recipients of mercy beyond my understanding.

And my heart filled with such a deep, profound perspective on this widow of Zarephath which I had never before taken into consideration.

Perhaps the widow's flour barrel never emptied and her cruse of oil never dried because of the selfless service of others.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anything other than NO is Y.E.S.

Today my husband and I discussed a little teeny, tiny problem we are having at our house.

According to our otherwise adorable, lively, energetic children, any response to their Yes/No question other than a N.O. - and I mean anything - means YES.

Today for example.

Our five year old asked if he could play a game on the computer.

"I don't think so," I replied, rather firmly.

"Woo Hoo," he skipped off, dancing a little jig and waving his little fingers in the air as a sign of victory. "Mom said I could play the computer."

"Get over here young man!" I ordered. "I did not say 'yes.' I said 'I don't think so.'"

"I know." he smiled. "And that means YES."

Then tonight.

My husband and I were in the kitchen when our teenage son asked if he could download an original YouTube video his friend's Deacon's Quorum made about being a deacon.

"Can I download it tonight?"

"No. It's already past your bedtime," I answered.

"Okay then, how about tomorrow after school?"

"Perhaps tomorrow . . . 'er ," I slowed my pace, got my brain into focus, remembering that anything other than NO is a YES and responded, "No. No you can't download it tomorrow afterschool! But you can do it on Friday or Saturday when your homework is finished."

"What?!" he stuttered incredulously. "But you just said YES!"

That's when my husband and I broke into harmonious laughter.

We now are looking for someone to teach English to our children.


The Modest, Monotonous and Mundane

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.

Because if I did, I certainly would have blogged about it.

But fortunately, it has been the modest, the monotonous, and the mundane that has completely overtaken my time to blog.

It has made me feel extremely blessed that life can be filled with just that – modesty, monotony, and mundane-ness – and the Lord is able to fill me with understanding and joy.

I suppose that is why it is the “small and simple things” that bring great things to pass. . .

Including dishes, dinners, diapers, dirty laundry and science fair projects.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - Adversity

"If you haven't been through adversity, where have you been?"

-Mary Ellen Edmunds

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Remember the Receiving

I will not lie when I say there have been dark times in my life when I was certain I couldn't go on.

Certain that no one really could know the depth my pain or the height my despair except God Himself.

And He did.

He always sent help.

His help has come to me in the kind, thoughtful service of others.

Those divine acts of love and mercy have made deep, everlasting impressions upon my heart. Impressions that can't be erased, but can only be remembered as I give in return.

That's why I've joined with so many others in supporting this month's cause to raise money for single moms. (See my sidbar widget!!!)

While there are lots of statistics out there about single moms (CLICK HERE),the bottom line is I want to show the Lord, in my small way, that I do remember His kindnesses towards me.

And this month this is how I'm choosing to do it.

Will you remember a time when the Lord has been kind to you. Perhaps even overly kind and downright merciful?

Will you remember how you felt?

How humble and how joyful?

In that same spirit of receiving, will you give?

Maybe today you can only afford to give a dollar.

Then just give a dollar.

Perhaps today you can give a little more.

Then give a little more.

Whether giving big or small, if we remember how our hearts felt in our times of humble receiving, I am certain that we will be filled with His love, even charity, as we bless the lives of single mothers who will be able to do incredible things for themselves and the ones they love!