Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Dresses

Growing-up we 'celebrated' Easter in a way that was very meaningful to me.  We didn't ever do the 'Easter Bunny' (for which I am actually very grateful) but we did go on a family picnic and 'roll Easter Eggs' down the BYU Hill.  (If you wonder about that tradition we found out later that our future sisters-in-law had the same tradition in their family.  I don't know where it started but, we weren't the only ones who did it.)  :)

But, even that wasn't what Easter was about.  Our Sabbath worship of the Savior was.  I remember a few times where I got a new Easter Dress for the day.  It was a real treat in our home of eight children on a teacher's salary (Dad taught at BYU) and, for some special reason has stayed with me.

In our home the Sabbath was a special and important day.  We tried to always keep it holy.  We didn't go outside and play like some of our friends did, rather it was a time to be home with the family and to study the scriptures, ponder, pray, have father interviews from time to time, serve others' and do sabbath activities and family dinner together. Mom usually had hymns playing in the background as we went about our day.  Often we'd congregate in the living room and read and study side-by-side.

The reason I share this today is that it's Easter Week; a very meaningful time for many of us.  It's a sacred time to ponder more deeply on Christ, His life, His purpose, His mission and His death and Resurrection.  Sometimes we cannot express in words the depth of our love for Him but we can honor him by the way we live our lives and the things we do to emulate His example and remember Him this week, and always.

To me, a simple Easter Dress as a child was the beginning of my understanding of the holiness of the Day and the sacredness of our worship.  The dresses were pretty to me and Sabbath appropriate but also simple.  They weren't to 'show off' - rather to remind me of the specialness of the occasion and to walk to church reverently with thoughts of Him and the renewal of life that He had provided.

I love my Lord.  He has provided the means for my 'escape'.  He has overcome all things and given me the opportunity of new Life.  I honor revere and reverence his Holy Name.  My we think of and worship Him during this Holy season.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Oh, Those Aching Bones… :)

I don't know if bones can really ache but….many other body parts seem to be able to.  :)  Today is one of those days for me.  I can't even begin to share all that has happened recently, but, today, after many needful things being attended to, I'm ready for bed early and it's not even 6:00 p.m.  :)

I think that somedays are just like this.  We have to get things done in order to get ready for other things needing to be done.

We try to live simply and to reduce the workload with our 'maximizing' skills and letting-go and balancing etc. yet, perhaps these challenging days are the reminder that we're not always in control and…trials may come even when we're trying to do the best that we can.

I'm teaching an adult Sunday School lesson this week on Moses and the Exodus.  As I've prayerfully studied and pondered the material and the scriptures I've learned some personal and profound lessons.  I'm still learning them as I go but…one thing that I'm really thinking about are the Israelites.  Why did or didn't they heed their great leaders' inspired counsel.  Why did they need that refining time for so long?  What happened that caused them to obey or neglect weightier matters?  Were they aware of what was really going on?  Or, is it only us, in hindsight and with scriptural documentation, that we know the full story?

Are we like them?  Do we heed Prophetic counsel?  Are we willing to give up everything to enter into a greater and far more promised land?  Or, are we hanging on to things that are keeping us trapped on stuck in the things of this work?

Perhaps my own 'aching bones' today are an additional resource for my own understanding.  How well am I doing at all the things I know to be true?  Am I willing to let some things go in order to focus on the weightier matters?  I hope so.  That is my sincere and continued quest.

Maybe my tired body is just wanting me to rest so that I can think about these things; the ones that matter most and that mean the most to me.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

We Moved....AGAIN :)

So, yes, we made our 15th move in 15 years.  It wasn't our first choice but, then, what really has been in our lives?.  :)  Yet, we're extremely grateful for the Lord's guidance and know that He always has a plan for us, always, even if we can't see it or don't know quite what it's going to be.

Over the years of trials and tribulations I've come to receive a beautiful gift from the Lord.  It's that of being able to be more at peace despite the challenges and to have a greater understanding that all things will work out.

This gift has actually taken a lot of hard work to attain. 

Some gifts seem to be natural abilities.  Others are talents or interests to be developed with hard work.  This particular one seems to be the latter.  The efforts go unnoticed to those around yet, 'in the silent heart' are the workings of the Spirit and many hours spent in meditation and prayer.

As a family, and individually, we don't know what is ahead for us.  But, we do know that we haven't been forgotten.  And, we do hope to provide a labor of love to those around us wherever we go and whatever we feel to do.

The greatest blessing in life is the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  He truly is our companion of peace, strength, compassion, understanding and....hope.  We always know that we're going to be okay when we feel His peace that 'passeth all understanding".

Friday, March 21, 2014

Andrew is Off to Youth Activity

Do you ever wonder, when you send your child off, if they'll return safely?  Sometimes we know they will and we feel peace. But, other times, we just can't be so sure.

Today is one of those days for me.  Andrew, 18, is off to a church activity up the canyon.  It's an overnighter in the girls' camp cabins and…I'm sure it will be beautiful and good.  But, it's going to be very cold and…Andrew isn't as prepared as I'd like him to be.

But, being a mother is also a balancing act of knowing when to say things and what to say.  Andrew is a good boy and he is usually quite responsible.  Yet, being 'tough' he thinks that he'll be fine with his sleeping bag - when I wanted him to take two (putting one inside the other.)  I also thought he should take the recommended foam pad but he didn't want to appear to have too big of a bag to haul around.

Aren't we funny as a people sometimes?  We'd rather be miserable and cold and uncomfortable - than to lug too much stuff around and maybe be mocked?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Simplify Your Home

I've been an 'organizer' for as long as I can remember.  As a child I wanted things to be neat and orderly.  I'd spend hours organizing things, labeling drawers and cleaning out containers.

My Mom loved my help and has, to this day, expressed appreciation for my skills in that area.

Well, as I've raised my own children and lived in various places and homes, I've realized that the BEST and most important thing any of us can do is to SIMPLIFY the amount of work.

This means that when a child outgrows clothes, toys, books etc. we pass them along to someone else who can then use them.

It also means that we get rid of as much clutter as possible.  We do that by reducing the amount of mail that comes into the home (call and cancel unwanted magazines etc.), find places for things and put them there.  Hang up shelves or racks for book bags and coats.  Get a laundry basket for each bedroom and a garbage container.  Teach children to put their things away.