Sunday, November 29, 2009

Remembering the Thanksgiving just past

Over the past 10 days, we've celebrated Thanksgiving twice at my house. Yes... that means that I've cooked two twenty pound turkeys. Two of them. And got stuck with all the leftovers. Whatever happened to guests taking something home for turkey sandwiches later? My freezer is so totally stuffed that I'm afraid to open the door!

Alas, it wasn't all bad. We had two separate occasions to formally ponder all the things for which we are thankful. And there is so much! I asked each of my guests this year to help me start a new Thanksgiving tradition. New to my family, anyway. After the food was blessed, and before we started passing the food around, each person took a turn to name something they were thankful for. The thoughts were interesting and touching and sometimes even funny. It ran the gammit from a free country, a warm safe home, a lifetime of good memories, boys (cut her a break, she's just about to turn 13. And right now, boys are her world!).

I found myself thankful for each of the people seated at my dining room table... whether we were connected by blood or by love, they were all people who are important to me. They enrich my life and expand my heart and for each of them I am truly grateful!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some people should be removed from humanity

Can you even imagine pimping out your sweet little 5-year old? Can you imagine the kind of perversion that would allow someone to find a child sexually attractive?

I am saddened and apalled and disgusted. People never cease to amaze me with the horrid things they can imagine doing to each other. This makes me so sick, I can't even form coherent words about it...

This little girl was 5. And her mother prostitued her out to some equally twisted individual who killed her. Her own mother did this to her! Her mother!!

The death penalty is hard thing. I can't fathom the mental and emotional torture of being the one to decide or carry out the punishment. Sometimes, however, I think it is warranted. Sometimes people cross a line where their actions are just so antisocial that they need to be removed from humanity. If even half of this news story is really true, this is one of those times!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My favorite Gooseberry Patch cookbook

Gooseberry Patch is having a giveaway for 3 free cookbooks if you'll blog about your favorite. Check out this link:

If that link doesn't work (and it doesn't for me) just go to the Gooseberry Patch main site at:

My favorite (so far) is Mom's Favorite Recipes. Love the recipes, artwork and craft-ideas. These are the kind of cookbooks I wish I could write and illustrate. Maybe someday...

Friday, November 6, 2009

The blessings of less than perfect health

"My patriarchal blessing promises me the health and strength I need to live to fill my life's mission. It does not promise me the strength to win the Olympics or run marathons or even work at the cannery — but to fill MY life's mission. The Lord knew perfectly the genetic weaknesses and super sensitive nervous system of the body he was sending my spirit to live in. He also had foreknowledge of the accidents, illnesses, and emotional traumas that would affect that body. What if all those things were not obstacles to me filling my mission, but part of it? What if each illness, limitation, and emotional challenge has given me the exact experiences I needed to learn what I need to learn in order to do what the Lord wants me to do?

In response to Joseph Smith's prayer of pleading from the Liberty Jail. the Lord said, “All things shall give you experience and will be for your good.” Can I think that my experiences are exempt from that promise?

D&C 122 profoundly describes a time when Joseph Smith was imprisoned and kept from carrying out his work by the bars and walls erected by his captors. It is a passage of scripture that I have always found highly and personally meaningful. But I had always looked at these verses in terms of some current event that presented me a challenge. Things like relationships, money, job woes. I’d truly never thought of health in this way even though it has (and sometimes still does) present very real challenges. Instead I’ve always thought of it as, at best, an inconvenience, or worse, an unfair punishment. And I have resisted it and, at times, railed against it fiercely.

What if, instead of obstacles, limitations are part of the tutoring process, part of the humbling process, part of the refining process that make us more fit to do the work He has assigned us? Joseph was a different man when he emerged from Liberty Jail. Deeper, stronger, more humble, more aware of the Lord's constant care in spite of circumstances. I am a different person when, after all I can do, I accept life on the Lord's terms and trust the Lord's plan for me.” (both quotes by Darla Isackson, Serenity Prayer for the Chronically Ill, Meridian Magazine 11/6/09)

Maybe there is something I need to learn instead. I’m not sure I’m ready to embrace a chronic illness as a blessing, but maybe I will calm down and look for something good to take away from it. After all, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

So what could I possibly learn from sickness and pain that will be for my good?

Perhaps there’s a lesson on humility and not only professing to rely on the Lord, but trusting Him enough to rely completely and unreservedly on His mercy, might and wisdom. To stop trying to control my environment and force it to be what I want and instead learn to enjoy what God created it to be. To seek understanding of my life’s mission and step forward confident that I will have whatever I need to fulfill it… not necessarily all that I want, but what I need.

That punishing and hating my body and thinking of it as defective are not only harsh, but counterproductive and wrong. Darla makes the point, if I “lack compassion and love for myself, I disrespect the Savior.” I need to forgive my body for its perceived wrongs and learn to love myself in a way that I feel convinced that it’s real and deserved before I try to reflect that love toward anyone else. Otherwise, it feels fake because it is insincere. And in that I disrespect myself, my Lord and everyone else with whom I come in contact.

That, perhaps, a better way to look at the times when I feel kind of cruddy is to see them as an opportunity to slow down and have meaningful prayers coupled with enough quiet time to really listen for answers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

House For Sale

This is a big step for me... I've bought houses before, but this is the first time I've ever sold one and part of me feels nervous and uneasy with the whole situation. Part of me doesn't really want to do it and is at war with the part of me that knows it is needful in order to move forward with the next part of my life. And it's a part I'm really looking foward to with excitement. I think the part of me that doesn't want to do it is still feeling some emotional ties to the place I lived for 16 years and put blood, sweat and more than a few tears into repairing and redecorating. Even as much as I was thrilled to be moving into my new place two years ago (and I LOVE it here!) leaving there was difficult. Much more so than I ever imagined it would be. And this feels like I'm reliving that whole trauma. Even as I write that, I feel kind of silly about it. I mean it's just a house...