"...but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." 3 Nephi 22:8







Friday, September 30, 2011

I Borrowed this post from Betsy Love.  Maybe someone that reads this can help!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Boy with a Mission-and a GREAT need

I know a boy, a very handsome boy,
who happens to be a miracle. His name is Isaac Sneed. He just got his mission call for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My family got to be there when he read the letter that explained where he will be serving. He is going to the Romania Bucharest Mission and reports to the Mission Training Center in Salt Lake City on Dec. 14, 2011.  




Let me back up about 11 years, a time I remember well. Isaac's mom, Theresa Sneed is my best friend. Her son started complaining about his "tummy". You know, the kinds of complaints all kids have. Only his ache never went away. 




Long story short--he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. This cancer is almost always fatal, and most children who get this kind of cancer are diagnosed by the age of 2.  By the time it is discovered, the cancer usually spreads to the point of no return. Through a miracle, his tumor was completely intact and the doctors were able to remove it. Isaac was 8.


As a result of his treatment (chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplant), Isaac's suffers from significant hearing loss.

So why am I writing today? Because Isaac needs hearing aids to be the best missionary he can be. Learning a new language is challenging for a normal missionary with a set of good ears, so you can imagine what Isaac's challenge will be with significant hearing loss. 


The cost of hearing aids is approximately $6500. His parents are currently without health insurance and cannot afford to purchase them. If you have a heart, and I know you do, would you please make a donation to get them for him. Every little bit helps. So far $110 has been collected in his behalf. But that's a long way from the total we need. Even small amounts add up. You can go to any Chase bank and deposit funds. The account number is: 2996079725. 


Thank you for your generosity and Christ-like love! Your donation may remain anonymous if you'd like.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

We Are So Blessed!

Ok, I must admit that I didn't attend the General Relief Society Meeting for The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I was out of town with family members.  I did not hear President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's message until after my last post.  A kind friend prompted me more than once by email that I needed to make his message a priority.  She was right, I did.  So much of what he said confirmed my belief that we should not be comparing and competing with each other.

I appreciate President Uchtdorf's council to be kind to ourselves.  I believe that he is right when he reminds us that we are often much kinder to others.  We forgive the people around us when they mess up, yet mentally replay our mistakes over and over until they are firmly imbedded in our minds and we think we deserve the firing squad.

His council to carefully consider the kinds of sacrifices we make also touched me.  It is probably pretty accurate that we have all made some less than stellar sacrifices, and then wondered why we didn't reap great rewards from them.  What a kind, wise man! 

If you haven't listend to this talk, please do.  His words are inspired. His words are powerful!

https://lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/forget-me-not?lang=eng&media=video

Monday, September 26, 2011

Comparing

The scriptures teach us that the earth is full and there is also enough to spare, yet the world teaches us that there is never enough. Often we also hear that we are not enough.  We aren’t smart enough or tall enough. You can never be to skinny or to rich.  Everyone else is more talented than I am and certainly others have more creativity. 

I really believe that comparing myself to others doesn’t help me feel better about myself or my life, but I seem to be so very good at participating in the comparison program. 

Here are some questions that I ask myself from time to time to see how I am doing on inviting scarcity into my life:

Am I comparing what I have to what others have and judging them because they appear to have more or less than I do? 

How much of my conversation to others is spent in faultfinding, criticizing, and comparing?

Do I say things like:  I don’t have enough time?  I never have enough money?  We don’t have a good enough car?  I have a lousy job?  I have crumby friends?  My relatives don’t do enough for me?

Am I spending valuable time complaining about all the things I don’t have to myself?  How about complaining to others?

When I hear of someone else’s success, am I truly able to rejoice with them or do I start saying things like, “they had it so easy?” or they don’t deserve that? Or why didn’t I get that?

When someone makes more money than I do, do I rejoice for them or do I find other ways to criticize them to make myself feel better?  Do I place expectations on them about how they should use their money and then criticize them when I don’t see them spend their money the way I would?

Stephen R. Covey said this,

“People with a scarcity mentality believe there is only so much to go around-only so much love, praise, money, and certainly not enough corner offices.  If one person gets a big piece of pie, that means you have to get a smaller piece.  And offering anybody a slice of pie results in less pie for you to enjoy.  They also believe that competition is an integral part of human interaction, that winning involves beating, and that rank and status (who has it and how to get it) are important things to be concerned about.  Thinking this way causes people to act out of deficiency: trying to make themselves appear better by comparing. Criticizing, complaining, and even competing with those who are around them, leading them, supporting them.”

Do we realize that the more we practice the principle of scarcity, the more time and energy we spend thinking about scarcity, the more time we spend comparing what we have to what others have, the more we invite scarcity into our lives?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You Getting Ready?

I love watching the semi-annual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I eagerly await the opportunity to enjoy being fed spiritually in my own home, sometimes wearing my pajamas.  It seems like such a luxury to turn on my television and hear the voices of prophets and apostles as they teach me what Heavenly Father wants me to know.

I confess that I have not always appreciated the spirituality that conference brings as much as the break from regular church attendance and the laziness of the day.  I also remember the many years that my children made it difficult to learn from General Conference.  It was often difficult just to hear some of the talks over the din of small, noisy children who were definitely not thrilled to be watching my choice of television programming. Our family tried a myriad of methods to entice these little ones to be quiet, including out and out bribery.

I find it amazing that during every general conference there are talks that seem like they were given just for me. When there are millions of members of the church listening to conference, how can there be things that seem to apply so perfectly to my own situation?

I can't wait until the talks appear on lds.org so I can listen to the talks again or be able to print them and begin to study the inspired words of these men and women who have studied and fasted and prayed, that they will be able to teach the truths of our Heavenly Father. Sister Sheri Dew spoke about the overwhelming task of preparing to speak in General Conference.  It is work!

The truth is that I have found that it also takes effort for me to prepare myself to receive the messages from General Conference.  Praying for those who will speak to me seems very basic, but often General Conference sneaks up on me and I realize that I have nearly missed that opportunity.  Just as important is praying for me.  My mind and heart need to be open and prepared to receive.  Dropping the attitude of being too busy all the time helps me be more focused. I find that feeling stressed out by the cares of the world impedes my ability to focus and learn.

Preparing my home is also important for me.  I don't focus well in clutter.  I am easily distracted by messes and projects in my physical world just as I am in my mental, emotional, and spiritual realm. Errands need to be taken care of and grocery shopping done. Meal planning helps and food preparation needs to be quick and easy.

Right now my mind is cluttered with unfinished projects and temporal choas.  Since General Conference is October 1st and 2nd, I guess I better take my own advice and get busy getting ready for conference!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Was it Really Good Advice?

Our stake president was quite concerned about appropriate use of the internet and spoke about it from the pulpit as well as in personal interviews.  On two separate occasions, he asked my friend if she knew what her children were doing when they were on the computer.  He also asked if she knew what her husband was doing when he was on the computer and internet.  Even though her computer was downstairs, she thought that she had a pretty good idea what each member of her family was interested in and therefor what they were doing on the computer or on the internet.  The stake president counselled that she should always know what her children and her spouse were doing on the computer.  My friend tried to be more aware but also not to be a overbearing about her families computer use.  She arranged to be around the computer more, trying to watch over and protect her family.

Several years later after their children were gone from home, in a discussion between my friend and her husband, my friend reminded her husband of the advice of the stake president. At the conclusion of this discussion, my friend's husband agreed that the stake president's council was good and promised my friend that he would not be on the computer anymore when she was not in the room with him.  My friend had not asked for this commitment but appreciated it and felt good about this decision.

The next morning, my friend's husband jumped out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and headed straight for the computer without dressing, leaving a surprised wife upstairs.  My friend was shocked and confused when this occurred. Her mind flooded with unnawered questions.

What was really going on here?  Was the stake president's council really valuable to her husband? Should she expect him to keep his agreement with her?  Was it really a big deal?

As I have pondered this experience, I have wondered about how seriously we take the advice of our church leaders. If their advice is good, what do we do with what they teach us.  How long should we ponder the words of our church leaders, before we accept them into our lives?

What advice would you give to my friend?  What do you think - Was it really good council after all?

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Miracle of Life

"When you consider all the things that can go wrong during pregnancy, every baby that is born healthy is a miracle.” These words spoken over 30 years ago by a kind physician came back to me as we anxiously awaited the birth of our most recent miracle.  He joined our family just over ten days ago, welcomed by anxious parents who waited impatiently for nine months to see his tiny face. 

We could hardly get to the hospital fast enough to greet and hold our newest grandson.  For nearly a week, I lingered nearby waiting for each turn to nuzzle and kiss his tiny neck and head.  I tickled his little pink toes and examined his long, slender fingers.  I smiled as I changed his diapers and bathed his adorable little body.

Recovery was a little slow and painful for his mother, but her complaints were few and minimal.  All she experienced was well worth it for she had received this miracle in her life. Even in these early days, she knew she would be willing to do this all over again.  "It was so worth it."

This tiny newborn also struggled with a few minor glitches as he adjusted to his new world.  But the miracle continued as his God given ability took over with the help of the medical community to self-correct and allow him to thrive.

More than 300,000 children are born everyday in the United States of America.  Each baby born is a miracle sent from our Heavenly Father.  All of them are not as healthy as our Greyson, but each is still a miracle.

When we think of each of these tiny individuals, fresh from Heaven, how can we focus on the scarcity of miracles around us? 

Every thing we have is a gift from Heavenly Father.  Every breath we take would be our last without his watchful eyes upon us. None of us is any less miraculous today than we were on the day of our birth. Yet for many of us it is so hard for us to remember that each day we live is truly our own personal miracle of life. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scarcity

Recently I bought a new bottle of moisturizer.  That may not be a big deal, but in a way it was.  It had been on my shopping list of for more than a month, but I just kept wrestling with myself about spending the money. I struggled with trying to identify whether it was a need or just a want. I agonized about it enough that you would think I was buying a million dollar home.

Suddenly it hit me again that I was creating a mentality of scarcity again. I’ve been doing it for years so I am very good at it.  I might even have it down to near perfection.

The truth is I didn’t realize that was my mindset for a very long time.  I was just reacting to life’s circumstances.  I became very good at realizing what I didn’t have enough of.  I didn’t have enough time.  I didn’t have enough money.  I didn’t have enough creativity.  The list goes on and on.

Scarcity may also rear its ugly head when I find myself looking around at someone who has more than I do:  more in terms of things that I can see like a bigger house or a newer car or more friends or more of whatever.  Rarely do I see the whole picture – the bigger expenses or other trials that may accompany what they have.

I also find myself feeling a lack of youth and energy.  Sometimes I may feel I lack meaningful things to do.  I have mourned a lack of friends, books, clothes, and the list goes on and on.

If any of this sounds familiar to you – maybe you are also experiencing a bit of scarcity thinking in your life.  How is it working out for you?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Miracle of the CDs.

My cd wallet was missing. I desperatey searched for it all through the van.  I opened the stow and go compartments, looked under all the seats, and even dug in the too small jockey box.  I was heart sick.  My husband and I had traded cars for a few days and I wondered if he had 'hidden' the cd's to protect them.  Of course, he was clueless as well to the location of some of our favorite cds.  I was convinced that one of us had left the car unlocked and someone had helped themselves.  Oddly enough, I had made a list of the fifteen cds lost with the small Jazz wallet and sadly I read over the titles.

I mourned them for a few days and then moved on, hoping that whoever had stolen them would at least enjoy them and not just use them for frisbees or simply throw them away. I discussed my sorrow with Heavenly Father.  I explained that I knew that they were definitely not a need but would really appreciate it if they could be returned to me.  I felt better but was still sad for a time. After a week or so, I forgot about the missing cds until a son asked for one specific cd by name.  It was gone with the rest from the car. I was reminded of my loss and pulled out the list of cds missing in action from the car and sorrowed over it once again.  I know - it sounds silly but I was pretty sure we would never spend the money to replace them.

Several months passed by and thoughts of the stolen cds disappeared as life moved on.  One summer day I knocked on my neighbor's door for some reason that I can't even remember.  We chatted for a few minutes and my friend's visiting sister joined the conversation.  As I moved to the door to leave, my friend's sister asked if I might know anything about the cd wallet my friend had found on her front lawn several weeks earlier.  I was stunned.  I knew that it couldn't have been my cd wallet since it had been missing for months but I was certainly very curious. My friend mentioned that she only thought to ask me about the cds because there were LDS hymns and songs titles.

My friend disappeared for a few moments and then returned with my black and purple Jazz cd wallet.  I stood there in amazement as I gazed upon my lost property.  I opened the wallet and discovered that all the cds were present and accounted for.  Not a single one was missing.

I have no explanation for the dissappearance of the cd wallet.  Neither my husband or I have any idea when or how they disappeared.  There is certainly no earthly explanation for the its return.  It totally makes no sense that it just appeared on my neighbors front lawn, late one night in the dark, in tact and undamaged.  My neighbor had no idea where they had come from or who they belonged to.  It was a mystery to her.

It is no mystery that we have a kind Heavenly Father who loves us and surrounds us daily with miracles.  Some astound and amaze us, yet others seem to occur in ordinary ways, and by ordinary means, and by ordinary people.  Some are easily explained away and others defy description or explanation. 

The only one who can sharpen my senses to recognize more miracles is me. Are you seeing miracles in your life every day?  How often do you look for them? Will you join me on the daily search for miracles?  I would love to read dozens of miracles that you share by posting them to my blog. 

How many miracles will we look for today?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vision

Every day should be a great day because we are so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who loves us.  He provided us all with a Savior who was willing to Atone for all the things that we have done that we shouldn’t have and all the things that we should have done that we didn’t do; if we are willing to forsake our sins, repent and come unto him.  We have a beautiful world abundantly filled with opportunities to learn and grow.  We are surrounded by miracles and blessings.  Yet my vision so often becomes clouded by other things.  At times it is so narrow that all I seem to see is the opposite. As my view narrows, it is easy to focus on the challenges and hardships and frequently I find myself missing the joy and happiness. 

As I read 3 Nephi 22:8 last April, I was struck forcefully by the words everlasting kindness.  I realized a much greater need to work hard at changing my vision.  I am responsible for creating what I think about.  I am responsible to create my own happiness.  I am responsible to look around me for the miracles and blessings that are ever present because Heavenly Father is looking out for me and for my family.

For some, this view is easy and natural, a part of their nature.  But, for me at this season, it takes a great deal of mental work and effort.  I have found that I am strengthened by others who share their view with me.  I am blessed as I hear the experiences of others.  I am spiritually fed by others miracles and blessings. 

I never expected to be a blogger.  This blog isn’t just about me. It is about sharing our faith and our testimony.  It is about sharing our trials and our struggles.  It is about sharing our miracles and our blessings.  It is about sharing our sorrows and our joys.  Please share your blessed moments with me on this journey to creating a new vision.