Saturday, May 29, 2010

REFLECTION--OF HIM

Dad and I knelt down and he offered a sweet prayer this week. His words, though true caught me off guard. He asked the Father to “help us be a reflection of thy Son”. I have heard a lot of terms of how to be Christlike—the scriptures ask us if we have received His image in our countenance, songs ask us if we are a window to his love…but I have never heard it put quite that way. As I heard his words and tried to repeat them through my mind, I was moved. The prayer finished and I wanted to passionately say AMEN just for the type of prayer it had been, and the words given.

Same thing happened when a friend and I followed a girl home last night after an activity. The girl was worried about being safe and protected. As we left her house, we pulled over to offer a prayer of protection to be with her. Kristi prayed sincerely, full of real intent. Again I was touched and honored to be with someone that had learned how to access heaven through prayer.

And then my own self last night… struggling for years on things that nearly consume me on a day to day basis. Last night I felt I was to pray and give my struggles over to the Lord. I have done this in many situations. But this particular weakness I had not yet fully thought nor understood how to give it over to the Savior to carry.

Nykki taught me a profound truth once that has stuck with me ever since she shared it. I may have already shared it so forgive me for stating it again.

God has a mantle—think of a shelf. And he asks us to cast our burdens onto him (his mantle). Often times we are willing to put our burden on him, and give up worrying/fretting of the certain problem or situation. At times we place our care or concern on the mantle and then after an hour, day, week, month year---whatever it is, the weakness/need to fret or worry over the curtain situation comes back, and we (physically/spiritually/mentally/emotionally) go back to the mantle and pull our burden off the shelf and essentially say, “God, I am not done stewing over this burden. I am going to take it back and worry of it for a while”. And although we take back our burden, we forget that the Savior already suffered for such a weakness, and merely taking it back shows our lack of faith in allowing Him to handle it.

Nyk’s awesome analogy has never left me.

For my haunting burden I had no idea how to put it on the mantle since it is something I must deal with several times a day. How is it possible that the Lord could take it and make my very life long burden light?!

In listening to President Eyring book this week it reminded me that God CAN change our very nature. With that hope, as tired as I was last night, I knelt down nearly 1:30 AM. (I know for those of you who are mother’s and father’s this is nothing when you are constantly up with sick children during the night. But boy, the older I get, the less and less night owl I want to be.  ) The temptation was that I was way too tired to have the right spirit to ask the Lord to take such a burden away from me, but I felt to ask. So although tired I mustered all the courage and faith I could and told God that I was giving over this burden. That I no longer wanted to carry it. That I had no clue how he was going to make me okay with this type of challenge, but that I was done caring/worrying over it. I told him I saw no possible way for there to be relief in my life, but that I wanted it, and I had faith that he could make my situation able to bare…

I woke up this morning and the daunting, deep struggles I have been fighting – WERE NOT PRESENT. The situation was, always throughout the day, but the burden load of facing/dealing with my thoughts were gone. It was amazing. It was a miracle! It was mercy. It was only possible through Jesus Christ’s atonement.

Come cast your burdens at his feet. Or rather put your “stuff” upon His mantle, for he surely will carry it and lighten your load.

Found these two quotes tonight and I thought they were pretty profound.

“Don’t wait to be discovered.” --Gil Atkinson

“Come, give us a taste of your quality.” –William Shakespeare

Sweet quotes!

So in conclusion.. prayers are mighty!
Be a reflection of Christ
Discover yourself and share your quality (what you discovered about you) with others!

The church is true.

God’s mantle is amazing.

Jesus Christ lives. He is the master hole filler! Where we have lacking he can make up the rest. And he will… we just have to be willing to give our worries over to him.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"BROKEN THINGS TO MEND"

Felt I had to post this --


Yesterday morning had me driving around the south west end of Utah Lake. I have been over by the boat launching area, but I have never ventured any where further past that. And although the real reason why I was driving was just to find a back road I could go exercise on--the more I got into the country/farm parts, I was too mesmerized to get out and exercise. Ha! (I know that is not a good excuse!)


As I came around a bend/heading on the west road of the lake, I was completely taken aback by how many birds were flying everywhere! You hear of dolphins dancing with boats as they ride in the ocean... well I was surely dancing with birds as I hugged the road next to the lake. They were EVERYWHERE! I was worried they were going to hit my car because they swarmed at all angles. It was breath taking.

I was intrigued by the yellow headed black birds! Although they are beautiful to behold, their song was less then beautiful to listen too.



There are 6 in this tree! Can you see them?


There were a few birds with a hint of blue in their feathers... I am not sure what they were?? They were defiantly not the mountain blue birds up at Dad's place.
And then I saw, what I now have come to learn is a Western Tanager (type of cardinal). These birds are BEAUTIFUL!! I mean talk about stealing away my heart!

And for the next hour it was my goal to get a good picture of them. As I drove by the side of the road, the Tanagers would stay fairly low to the ground and hop/fly from rock to brush branch. They were beautiful to watch. And then as if they knew I just wanted a shot of them, they would pause so I could take a shot!

They were everywhere! At lest 50 in one area and they were flying back and forth. (I took some video, that maybe I will have to upload sometime after this.) Not only were these birds beautiful to watch and look at, but their songs was equally beautiful! They call them a songbird for a reason!

After taking several videos I figured I had better get back to my place to start off my Sat. As I drove back, my heart dropped as I saw something laying in the middle of the road.


I became sick at the thought that perhaps it flew into my car. But I did not hear anything or ever question whether a bird hit me. Several large trucks passed me... well regardless, I pulled up to the bird and found that it was still alive. It just couldn't fly away.

My whole morning of joy was gone in an instant with seeing this little bird lay helpless in the road. I went to pick it up and it tried to move away but could not. (Although I love birds, I have this thing with touching animals--totally grosses me out...but nevertheless--) I pondered over if it could do any damage to me if it tried to peck at me (I know, I know I am a chicken!) I finally, as gently as I could, picked up the bird.



I could feel it's heart beating. It was very fast. Whether because a giant was holding it or because of being hurt...I don't know.

I wanted to cry. And of all times not to have my cell phone on me to see if I could locate a shelter. I did the only thing I had power to do--I found a high shrub off the ground, placed the bird on the branch



and said a prayer as I drove away. My giddy "dancing" with the birds moment turned into a very solemn drive home. I didn't feel much like being giddy, even though I later came to a tree with a hawk in it


and several more western tanagers dancing through the trees.


I was sick inside to see that little bird hurt--and as I drove home Elder Holland's masterful talk on "Broken Things To Mend" came to my mind.

Elder Holland stated:
The first words Jesus spoke in His majestic Sermon on the Mount were to the troubled, the discouraged and downhearted. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” He said, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matt 5:3]. Whether you are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or among the tens of thousands listening this morning who are not of our faith, I speak to those who are facing personal trials and family struggles, those who endure conflicts fought in the lonely foxholes of the heart, those trying to hold back floodwaters of despair that sometimes wash over us like a tsunami of the soul. I wish to speak particularly to you who feel your lives are broken, seemingly beyond repair.

To all such I offer the surest and sweetest remedy that I know. It is found in the clarion call the Savior of the world Himself gave. He said it in the beginning of His ministry, and He said it in the end. He said it to believers, and He said it to those who were not so sure. He said to everyone, whatever their personal problems might be:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matt 11:28-29]

In this promise, that introductory phrase, “come unto me,” is crucial. It is the key to the peace and rest we seek. Indeed, when the resurrected Savior gave His sermon at the temple to the Nephites in the New World, He began, “Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [3 Ne. 12:3 emphasis added.]

"It seems clear that the essence of our duty and the fundamental requirement of our mortal life is captured in these brief phrases from any number of scenes in the Savior’s mortal ministry. He is saying to us, “Trust me, learn of me, do what I do. Then, when you walk where I am going,” He says, “we can talk about where you are going, and the problems you face and the troubles you have. If you will follow me, I will lead you out of darkness,” He promises. “I will give you answers to your prayers. I will give you rest to your souls.” "

"Are you battling a demon of addiction—tobacco or drugs or gambling, or the pernicious contemporary plague of pornography? Is your marriage in trouble or your child in danger? Are you confused with gender identity or searching for self-esteem? Do you—or someone you love—face disease or depression or death? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma’s testimony is my testimony: “I do know,” he says, “that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions.” [Alma 36:3]"

"Brothers and sisters, whatever your distress, please don’t give up and please don’t yield to fear. I have always been touched that as his son was departing for his mission to England, Brother Bryant S. Hinckley gave young Gordon a farewell embrace and then slipped him a handwritten note with just five words taken from the fifth chapter of Mark: “Be not afraid, only believe.” [Mark 5:36]. I think also of that night when Christ rushed to the aid of His frightened disciples, walking as He did on the water to get to them, calling out, “It is I; be not afraid.” Peter exclaimed, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Christ’s answer to him was as it always is every time: “Come,” He said. Instantly, as was his nature, Peter sprang over the vessel’s side and into the troubled waters. While his eyes were fixed upon the Lord, the wind could toss his hair and the spray could drench his robes, but all was well—he was coming to Christ. It was only when his faith wavered and fear took control, only when he removed his glance from the Master to look at the furious waves and the ominous black gulf beneath, only then did he begin to sink into the sea. In newer terror he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

"Undoubtedly with some sadness, the Master over every problem and fear, He who is the solution to every discouragement and disappointment, stretched out His hand and grasped the drowning disciple with the gentle rebuke, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” {Matt. 14:27–31; emphasis added]

"If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended."
...If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended... I love that statement!

Whether we are broken from our own choices or by the choices of others or just the circumstances that life presents us with--Jesus Christ knows us completely.

My full compassion was drawn out for this little bird, that at the time was completely beyond helping itself. My love for for this bird


is not even a pinch of God's love for us. I just wanted to fix the bird, be gentle, and wait to make sure it could survive. Surely Jesus Christ wants to fix all that is burdening us. He is gentle with us and He has a way not only for us to survive, but to find joy and happiness in this life and in the life to come.

Elder Holland reminds us that we first need to go and walk where the Savior is walking, and then, as only so loving He can, Christ will then discuss about where we are going. But we must come first to Him first!

To anyone that is struggling with living the gospel or simply struggling to continue on or even start back up the habits of studying the scriptures, sincere personal prayer, going to church on Sundays--whatever our burdens are that we carry--we can place them on His shoulders! The moment we turn to Him, He comes with healing in His wings! (2 Nep 25:13) No one is too far from His grasp. No one has screwed up too much for His atoning sacrifice to heal and sooth. No one is too lost. There is no problem too big. Whether it be marriage, finances, work, no work, heart ache, physical limitations, monsters in the closet and under the bed...ANYONE who has felt like the bird laying helplessly on the road--the Savior is there! He knows how to make us whole!

Oh how I need Him in my life. My weaknesses are great, often times quite overwhelming--but I know in whom I trust!

Jesus Christ

--is MY Savior. He is yours! And in Him I can find healing, peace and rest. In Him I am made whole!


"...when sings my soul, my Savior God to thee--how great Thou art, how great Thou art"!

HE LIVES! -- I know He does.

Friday, May 21, 2010

INVEST

It was been a week of great reflection.

I have had many many thoughts. I hope to do the subject matter justice here.

Mom and Dad went to Lake Powell this week to fish. I was very excited to have a chance to be with them and my Nephews. They have been preparing the boat for a week now, getting everything in order. As I planned on going, I felt I should pray about going--and the answer was to stay home. Now someone may just say that it is just fishing, and I get that, but I haven't had the chance to do a family outing in a while. However, I have recommitted to God that whatever he needs me to do in this life, I will do it. Even if that means sacrificing time I would have loved to be with my family. (This all of course is worth sacrificing outings with my family IF I can live worthy to have them in the eternities.)

I know why I was to stay home.

Wed brought a lunch date with a friend that has decided to go back to the temple for the fist time in a year and 1/2! Oh I can't wait for our temple trip next week!

Wed night came with some inspired visiting teaching and hanging out with a dear friend. This friend and I laughed over our situation of being single. For we want to both hold out for a guy, that although he doesn't necessarily have to be "in" busy callings--but just the fact that he is worthy TO have a busy/away from the home calling--we laughed that although we long to be married, if we marry a man that the God uses in a busy calling, we will just be "single" (at home by ourselves) when we are married. But she and I both agreed, that that "single" life is worth holding out for. :)

Thursday brought someone who has not been praying to pray and kneel down for the first time in a long time. And then someone I love and have not seen for nearly 2 months opened her door and let me come in.

Today brought a shopping trip to DI for 3 hours with a mom to find church clothes for she and her sons. She has never owned a dress in her adult year life--and although I HATE shopping, I could have not been more pleased to search through clothes and shoes appropriate for church with her. My heart swelled at God's plan for his children. I smiled as I watched her squint because of bad eye sight, and knowing God has a plan to take care of her "glasses" needs too!

We called the bishop as she humbly asked if it was possible to get a TV stand so her old school big TV so it didn't have to balance on a 3 legged stool. The Bishop's immediate reply was, "sure no problem".

I have learned so much from this man of God. Just 2 weeks ago I was on an errand at Kmart for some markers for work and bumped into him. He testified to me about how we need to meet peoples needs and wants and by doing so through welfare, they will come to know /want to know their savior. This good Bishop was passionate with his desire to serve. He made the comment to me that he wished they would just release him from being the Bishop. Although it has been a 5 year calling, he just wants to be released so that he can do missionary work all the time.

I smiled at his passion and enthusiasm. It was completely contagious! And it is only now, 2 weeks later after being with this sweet single mom, that I am more fully realizing the truth of his statement. I loved my calling in RS--and surely did not think there could be a better calling. I was wrong! Although I loved my calling, and the women I had the opportunity to pray over and the priesthood men I was able to work with--I now have a calling that allows me to do the very thing that moves my soul. I love seeing Christ enter into people's lives! I love seeing someone build up faith enough to pray, or to go to church. Oh the wisdom of this Bishop who wishes he could be released just so he could work with the people/missionary work full time. I am living his dream right now. And this has become a more choice dream then I ever expected it to be!

My friend today asked me why there was so much confusion. Why there was so much oppression with different religions. She could not recall hearing the plan of happiness before... We had a discussion about prophets and how God does not leave us alone. Her desire to know what is right, were sincere. It was beautiful. I asked her if she knew about temples to which she replied she did not. I asked her if she had ever noticed the Provo temple or any temple before to which she replied she had not. I showed her a picture of the Provo temple, but she still could not recall ever seeing it before. I had taken a picture of the Florida Orlando Temple on my phone... Her eyes lit up as I told her about how there was a way for her to have her children forever. As she looked at the picture of the temple, I felt the spirit and I knew she felt it too. There was a hope that filled her eyes that I have not seen there before. It was the look of someone who registers truth for the first time. It was beautiful!

How choice that god gives us choice! We get to choose to live the gospel or not to. We get to choose the level we allow God to bless our life. We get to choose whether to follow commandments or not to. He will never force us. That was Satan's plan.

I have been listening to Pres. Erying's, "Because He First Loved Us". Amazing. It is very good! He talks about "time". What we do with our time is huge. The fact that God has given us "time" in the last time. Why is that? We must figure out what to do with our time. He then talked about investing our time. So instead of just going to church because that is what we are suppose to do, we need to "invest" when we are there. To invest means to:

1.to put (money)[time] to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.
2.to use (money)[time], as in accumulating something: to invest large sums in books.
3.to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something: He invested a lot of time in helping retarded children.

Stay home was the answer I got, so surely God had something for me to "invest" into. Whether I am investing in someone's potential, worth, my own salvation, mental-physical-spiritual health, friendships, hearts, homes--what am I investing my time in/with?! The question has stirred my soul all week. Staying late, or making a phone call that may take up more time, didn't feel so daunting. The lack of sleep or non time for myself seemed to melt away at the fact that I was investing my time into something or someone! The investment and hope of the results of that invenstment seemed to smooth away any selfish desires on my part. Even Brytt came over to my desk and made the comment about how when you are a young monther, you have about 5-7 years (depending on the age of your children) where you invest all your time, energy, resorses into your childs growth and development, because eventually one day that child will start school and will be off and not with you for the full day.

Again, the investment of a mother into her children!! Into her marriage, into her calling--into her relationship with God. Surely the time we invest in the scriptures, in personal prayer, in FHE, in serving those whom we love--! The Savior invested a lot of time into us! Real drops of blood for the investment payment.

I surely don't want his investment in me to be in vain.

I have committed to be better at investing my time. When I partake of the sacrament, I am going to invest in remembering HIM while the sacrament is going on.

INVEST - !

I will!

The church is true! God's plan becomes grater and grater! How merciful He is.

PS. If you are investing time to prayer today--you can add my home computer to your prayers! When I turn it on it stays at a grey screen. I did all the trouble shooting I could find to do--nothing. I should be freaking out because my whole life/pictures/projects are stored on that machine for the last 3 1/2 years. But strangely I am not freaked yet. But a prayer for Bryndi's home computer would not be rejected by me! ;)

THE CHURCH IS TRUE! :D

I just found this article from JOHN H. GROBERG--amazing! It is about investing!

HOW TO DISCERN THE INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT

When You Have the Spirit When You Do Not Have the Spirit, or When Satan is Prompting You:

1. You feel happy and calm. You feel unhappy, depressed, confused, frustrated.

2. You feel full of light. You feel heavy, full of darkness.

3. Your mind is clear. Your mind is muddled.

4. Your bosom burns with love for the Lord and for others. You feel empty, hollow, cold inside.

5. You feel generous. You feel selfish, possessive, self-centered.

6. Nobody can offend you. Everything anyone does bothers you.

7. You are very forgiving and kind. You are always on the defensive.

8. You feel confident in what you do. You become discouraged easily.

9. You don't mind anyone seeing what you are doing. You become secretive, evasive.

10. You feel outgoing, anxious to be with others -- You want to be alone. You avoid others -- especially family members.especially family members.

11. You are glad when others succeed. You are envious of what others do and what they have.

12. You want to make others happy, even those opposed to you. You want to get even and show others up.

13. You bring out the best and say the best about others. You are critical of others, especially family members and those in authority.

14. You gladly and willingly perform Church work. You feel hesitant, unworthy, and unwilling to perform Church ordinances.

15. You feel like praying and reading the scriptures. You don't want to pray or read scriptures.

16. You wish you could keep all the Lord's commandments. You find the commandments of God and rules of the family bothersome, restricting, or senseless.

17. You feel you have control of your appetites and emotions: food and sleep in moderation, sexual restraint, recreation that is wholesome and moderate; you are calm and control your speech; you feel no anger.
You become a slave to your appetites; your emotions become passionate; over indulgence in food, sleep, sex, stimulating entertainment, loud music, strong anger, outspokenness all become part of your character.

18. You feel a deep desire to help others--usually in a way no one else will know about. You want to make sure all the help you give others is duly noted by them and the world.

19. You speak and think only good about others. You look for and find evil in others and broadcast it.

20. You feel sorrow when others have problems and sincerely desire to help them. You question others' motives and secretly delight in their problems, and say, "I'm glad I'm not that way."

You realize that your thoughts and your actions are open to God. You feel that what you do and think is only your business and no one else knows or cares.

I think that if we will listen to those types of spirits, we will have a clear understanding of when we're being guided by the Spirit of the Lord, by the Spirit of light and of truth, and when we're being guided by the spirit of the world. Investing in things that the spirit of the world guides us in creates uncertainty and will not pay off well. But investing in things that the Lord guides us in creates certainty and assurance and will pay off handsomely.

I plead with all of us, then, to invest our time in those things, in those areas, with those people, that the Spirit of the Lord prompts us to do.
AMEN!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

JUST TWO BANANAS...

I was blessed a few weeks ago to attend the most amazing stake conference! I will post my notes sometime soon, but I felt that this story could not wait to post. One of our senior Missionary's gave the story, and I was deeply touched.

From the 16--Church News - week ending May 21, 1988:

Several years ago a volunteer worker at Welfare Square in Salt Lake City shared a true experience with her associates at a devotional meeting. It is a story worth re-telling in her own words:

"A few years ago while on a trip our family stopped in a small town to visit a friend we had not seen for a long time. As we drove up in front of her home, she was just going out of her gate.

the first thing we noticed about her was that she had two bananas in her hand. We got out of the car and chatted with her for a moment. When I asked her where she was going with two bananas she explained that she had made a fruit salad the day before and had borrowed two bananas from her neighbor and was now on her way to return them. She said she would wait and return them after we left so she could visit with us.
As that point, my 6-year-old son said he would be glad to return the bananas. He said he ran errands all the time for me, and would be happy to explain who the bananas came from. My friend was impressed by his eagerness, so she gave him the bananas, pointed out the house, and off he went across the street.

We were in the house visiting when my son came bounding in, and with excitement said to my friend, 'Hey, that guy said to tell you thanks a lot. He loves bananas.'

My friend looked puzzled, and said 'He? My friend is a widow and has no husband.' She thought for a moment and then said, 'Oh, I'll bet it was one of her sons. They come to see her often.'

I thought my little boy might have gone to the wrong house, so I asked him to come outside and point out the house where he had taken the bananas. He said he had taken them to the white house with a bush in front of the window.

My friend became rather upset, saying that of all the houses on her street that was the last one she would take anything to. The man who lived there was very repulsive. No one could stand him. His wife and family had left him, and he had lost his job. The only person who ever came to see him was his daughter, and she only came to see him because she felt sorry for him, not because she loved him.

As we walked back into the house, listening to her tell about the man, it seemed to me that he had no redeeming qualities at all. I wondered to myself what he must have thought about suddenly getting two bananas.

We continued to visit when my little boy looked out the window and said to my friend, 'You know that guy I took the bananas to, well, he's coming through your gate right now.'

My friend was uttering a few inaudible words when the knock came at the door. She opened the door, and her neighbor stood before her, tears in his eyes, finding it difficult to express himself. He finally was able to thank her for the two bananas, and said he was glad that someone cared enough to think of him. He thought no one even cared about him anymore. He handed her a sack of freshly picked vegetables from his garden and some plums from his tree. He told her that he had not been a good neighbor, but from now on he would try to be better.

About two years later we again dropped by to visit our friend. We told her we couldn't stay long because it was late in the day and we wanted to set up camp before dark.

My friend begged us to stay and meet her home teacher who was coming by that evening. She said she had the greatest home teacher. 'You remember that man your little boy took the bananas to? Well he's my home teacher now and I have never had a better one. The whole direction of his life changed when he thought someone cared about him.

She went on to explain that he had gotten his job back, his wife and family had come back to him, and everyone in the neighborhood liked him. She said she wished he could always be her home teacher, but she was afraid he would be released because two weeks ago he had been sustained as a counselor in the bishopric of their ward.

This touching story reminds us as we keep the second great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves that even small deeds can produce great results. Even two bananas!"

I was moved by this story. I was moved the the little six year old that was taught to volenteer service at such a young age. I was moved by what love can do.

My dad and then Wendy stressed again yesterday at our event the need to see someone for who they can become. When we believe in someone, miracles happen.

I sure felt this way with Brother Madsen. He saw in me things that I surely was not yet, but he never stopped telling me that I was already them. So much that I wanted to change my life to become the things he said I already had/was.

The power of believing in others. For seeing their good and focusing on that.

Love is beautiful! Belief in someone and seeing them for the child of God they are, is beautiful.

Two Bananas!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

TO MOM

video

Thursday, May 6, 2010

LIFE IS TOO SHORT

I passed the Provo cemetery on my way to the temple last night. I looked out at the grounds and was thinking to myself how beautiful all the flowers were along the graves. I wasn't prepared for the emotion I felt next when I saw one wiser-in-years man standing alone on the grass staring down at a tombstone. His car was parked several yards to the side. There he just stood, silent and still--looking down. A small flag was sticking out of the ground and there was a humble flower near the flag... the image of him standing there is still in my mind.

As I drove by and took in the view, I was deeply moved. For a moment it was as if Provo City stood still and all I saw or cared about was this man standing alone in the cemetery starring down at at a tomb and the only movement came from the flag swaying in the breeze. There seemed to be a literal bubble all around this scene. My rush to get to the temple paused. My busy day--my worries and cares seemed small in comparison to this lone man standing in the cemetery. I almost turned my car around to take a picture.

What is it about someone who takes a moment to pause in life and reflect about those who have gone on be for them. This is meant more of a statement than a question. Life is too short to carry grudges. Life is too short to hold hurt feelings. Life is too short to not take time basking in all God's beauties. Life is too short to emirs oneself with "self". Life is too short to walk fast all the time. Life is too short to be in such a hurry that there is no time to wipe the tears of a friend, or to take extra time to kneel and pray. Life is too short to hate or be bitter. Life is too short for unkind words. Life is too short for ugly or belittling thoughts. Life is too short wishing there was more time. Life is too short, with out God...

My Dad introduced me to an amazing little clip that talks about the date on a tombstone. Usually tombstones have the year of birth " " to the year of death " " = 1905 - 1961 . The most important thing on the tombstone is the "-" = (dash). Why?! Because it is not how someone is born or how they died (although how we leave our mortal body can say who we were in the end) the most important thing is how one lives their "dash".

To the man in the park, whoever he was standing there remembering, he must have known that person's "dash"...

Life is too short to not laugh. Life is too short to be rude. Life is too short to get angry with freeway drivers. Life is too short to not say I love you. Life is too short to have fear. Life is too short to have gloom and doom lingering.

Life is too short to not trust God and have faith in Him and His plan.


I love this picture! It isn't even the most amazing shot, I admit. :) I have no idea who the guy is. I don't even think he was playing the guitar when I walked passed. But he, like the man in the commentary, seemed to be caught up in a bubble of pause and reflection. I see this picture and think "ponder". It wasn't until looking at this picture today--when I noticed the words engraved on the bench. -- IN THE ARMS OF MARY --. Someone loved/was impressed with Mary's "dash".

--

Life is long enough: to love, to laugh, to play, to hug, to sing, to dance, to listen, to repent, to hold one's tongue, to ponder, to work hard, to reflect, to smile, to pray, be kind, to forgive, to trust, to lead, to follow, to obey, to be joyful, to have fun, to have faith, to honor, to serve, to BE and to DO!

Random, post, I know. But felt I needed to share my moment with a man in a cemetery I never met. But his pause, has caused me pause.

It was beautiful to witness. It was beautiful to be reminded.

"...hear [God's] voice while it is called today..." D&C 45:6

Life is as long as and as good as we choose to make it--if we will choose to live it while it is "called today".

Jesus is the Christ!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

...DID FALL UPON THEM

...when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire. 3 Nep 19:13
The disciples had been praying for that which they "most desired"=the Holy Ghost. And being in the right place at the right time--"the Holy Ghost did fall upon them".

How beautiful this parallel is for me. For I have truly witnessed this all week.

Catie invited me to go with her to the temple on Tues. In preparation for this weekend, I thought not to go to the temple until later in the week, but when Catie invited me I felt to go.

On the way to the temple I saw my favorite UTAH pedestrian! I think I have blogged about her before. This woman sits in her wheelchair and with feet and arms she wheels along the streets of Provo. I once jumped out of my car a few years ago to offer her a coat on a very cold morning, but she kindly declined. I always study her and her dedication of wheeling along. Then one morning as I was watching her I wept as I saw deeper into her life. My trip to the temple had me stopped at an interception to wait for her to cross. Can you see?
video
I do not know the story of why she only has one foot, but seeing her going through the journey, despite challenges, I can not help but take courage for my own life! This woman is doing it with 5 toes and a metal pole. This temple trip allowed her to "fall" right in front of my camera so I could document such a dedicated daughter of God.

Then in the temple, I was absolutely filled. And I wept over the things that happened in the temple. Just small insights that do big things for my soul! I was grateful for Catie's inspired invitation.
The invitation, the woman's street crossing, and the temple visit were blessings that "fell" upon me.

Tues and Wed I was working quite late and Patti made a comment that changed/enhanced the project I was working on--making the ideas I was working on, come easier! Then Thursday night, I felt to go visit a friend, then to the church where a met a mother of a sister, then as I was driving to see a single mother, I saw a car that is never home and the spirit said to stop. I did. And low and behold this amazing girl was at her place and allowed me to come in. We talked, and I was filled. Then to the surprise visit of someone in the family ward. We discussed praying and it was clear she was not sure how to pray. How sweet it was to share the principle of prayer.

I left overwhelmed with gratitude that I would be able to witness God's mercies so much. A couple of phone calls topped off my night as I friend shared that she was had been fully fellowship and a sister who although sick and way to later her time, wanted to call to say she loved me.

Then Friday morning, off to see Yannie get her endowment! One of the workers came out of incitory weeping. She said it was her first time assisting with an ordinance for a live session. She was deeply moved by the chance of getting to look in the eyes of the patron. And her "moved" moved me and we both hugged rejoicing. Then to the celestial room when I spoke with a woman that had just gone through the temple for herself in Oct, and she and her husband are now striving to be sealed. I felt her dedication to God. She spoke of the long battle it had been to get to the temple, but how sweet the fruit was of finally being there. Again, weeping and rejoicing.

After that it was off to a lunch date with Yannie's future in-laws-- and I was impressed with how much love and respect the couple showed for one another. Such consideration.

As I left lunch I received an inspired text from Lizi asking me to name 10 things that make me ridiculously happy. As I listed my 10--I learned somethings about myself. She then text me asking "what would be the most important thing you want your future children to know?" Another question that just solidified everything I had just experienced in the temple. Thanks Lizi girl!!

Then last night brought Sam's surprise phone call and then skype session from China! What a kid! After that it was off with a 100 cookies to the Hodges house for today's wedding. I pulled up to find Elder Hodges on his lawn mower. He motioned for me to just go into the house. As I walked up the stairs I could hear his whistling over the sound of the mower. Truly a "whistle while you work" moment and I could not stop smiling at the musical display of his joy and inner peace--even while he was working!

Then this morning, a beautiful picture Sam shot with his new camera in China! I had to throw it into photoshop to add a saying that came to my mind as I viewed the picture. And as I typed it I was moved by the thought of the great song. (FYI--I did not tweak his picture at all in photoshop - so kuddos to you Sam! Great shot!:)


And now, God led me to read about how the Holy Ghost did "fall" upon the disciples.

...!!

Physically speaking, if something falls and I am not there--I will miss whatever is falling down! Whether that be: blessings, impressions, angels, revelation, guidance, promptings, the spirit, insight, peace, comfort, someone's heart, a brother or sister, a family member, a stranger. Those disciples--had they chosen to sleep in that morning and not be there at the water, the Holy Ghost would have "fallen" down, but not in their bedroom! Spiritually speaking, I don't want to be sleeping in my bedroom when there are things of the spirit to catch or people to rescue from falling. And even times like with dad--when he passed out in the parking lot and I held on to him as long as I could and then with no longer arms or strength I had to let him fall the rest of the way to the pavement--God had allowed me to be there. And although I could not keep him from falling, I was their to at least lessen the angle of the fall and then right after run for help.

Rain drops keep falling on my head seems maybe a better title for this blog. :) Or rather, blessings keep falling on my head. :)

My re-occurring lesson this week is rather more recommitting than anything. I just want to be about my father's business. Whether that is at home, at school or at play-- I just want to do his will and bidding. For that is where my greatest joys in life are.

D&C 64:29 says --
"Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord's errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord's business."
-- Oh I so want to do the "Lord's business". And like President Monson, I too say to the Lord, "If there is an errand that needs to be done, send Bryndi Cloward--I'll do it!" Whether in the walls of my home/family or outside at church, work, WHEREVER.. here am I, send me.

--still a work in progress! I have so much to work on, but the battle is worth fighting.

ONWARD AND UPWARD!!