Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Being There

This week as I've been processing some thoughts and feelings, I found myself at the grocery store picking up some things for work when I ran into a woman from church. I know it was obvious to her that I had recently been crying (sorry, sometimes that's just how it is). She asked how I was and told her that, despite how I looked, I was fine. I quickly changed the subject and asked how she was doing. She said that she was having a rough time also. She didn't go into any detail, I mean, neither of us did, but it was a wake up call to me. If she had wanted to open up and talk, at that moment I couldn't have done anything to help, not even effectively listen. It was in that moment that I decided that no matter what I was feeling, I needed to get beyond myself. I realized that as long as I was harboring the pain I was feeling, the longer I would go without being able to truly be there for people, and that's what I need to do.
That doesn't mean that the pain disappears, or that somehow it doesn't matter (it also doesn't mean to hide it away- those feelings still have to be dealt with). Everything we go through is for our benefit and learning, good or bad. I've learned that I still have a lot of learning left to do in my life. I am so far from perfect, but luckily our Heavenly Father loves imperfect things. He can, but most importantly WILL, take the broken pieces of our lives and make a new and wonderful creation, if we allow Him to do so.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Right now

Thought of the day: Know who you are, know what you want, and live accordingly.

The reality: Tonight there's a hole where my heart used to be. I know it will heal, but in the meantime I wonder what I should have done differently.

As I struggle with this, I know who I want to become and feel quite an urgent need to get on the ball. So I know some of the doubt and pain I feel is Satan trying to make me falter, and I won't, I can't. But some of it, maybe a lot of it, I did to myself. But all of it can be used to help me help myself. I'm reminded of the verse in the Doctrine & Covenants that says that all of these things shall give thee experience and shall be for your good. All I can say is I sure hope so.

The fix: I took a few minutes and listened to an excerpt from Jeffrey R Hollands talk "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence". While the reality doesn't change, I have confidence in the future.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fun on the Fire

My brother and his family came to visit tonight. They had a nice fire built by the time I finally managed to get off work (once you hit a good stride you don't just quit). We roasted hot dogs and sausages, so good! But let's face it, it's all about the dessert. Two things we did tonight that I HIGHLY recommend...when assembling your s'more, put peanut butter on one side of your graham cracker before you add everything else. If you like peanut butter, you won't be disappointed. If you don't like peanut butter, you may make an exception.
The second thing you should do is buy a bag of Starburst candies. Put them on your skewers and roast over the fie. Watch them, the will just melt if you don't keep them moving. Let them cool just a bit, it will blister you if you're not careful (trust me, voice of experience on this one). Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What I Learned From TV

I was watching tv last night and I honestly can't tell you if it was on a show or a commercial, but this is what I learned. Life is short; you had better get to living it. So there you go.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Parables of Packing

I've been working on this analogy for a couple of weeks now (since general conference basically) and I feel like its time to put it out there and try it out. So, here it goes.
I've been dying to travel lately (I always get that bug when the seasons change) and have been thinking about the steps of preparing to travel. I'm not talking about deciding when/where to travel, I'm thinking specifically of the days just before you leave. If you're anything like me, you spend time thinking about what you need to take with you; things you want, things you need, things you think you need, etc. You start gathering things and perhaps you organize them neatly according to how you will pack them, or maybe things are just thrown into a big, messy pile. However you do it, I refer to it as the gathering stage.
The next stage is the actual packing of the bags. You have your pile of things, and one by one, each item makes its way into the suitcase. During this time you put EVERYTHING into it. Most times you find that the suitcase is too full and won't close. So you look at the things you've packed and start weeding out things you don't really need, the things that are taking up valuable space, and you repack. If you're like me, you'll get everything to fit, but then you'll weigh it make sure you meet the baggage weight weight requirements, and then you'll make some final adjustments, typically as you're walking out the door, which brings me to the third and final stage, the handoff.
You're being let off at the curb and you hand your bags to the polite and ever so careful baggage handler (don't forget to tip them). At this point you hand them your bag and whatever you put in there, or forgot to grab, it doesn't matter. The deed is done.
Preparing for Christ's second coming is much like packing for a trip. We have been warned for years that we need to be prepared, we need to gather the things we need, and do/become what we need to do/become. If you've noticed, many of those warnings have ceased. We've been warned, our time of gathering has passed and we should now be packing our bags. What do we have in our suitcase that is keeping it from closing, what is taking up valuable space from the things we actually need? What is going to cost us extra to try to take on the plane (or what will you find at security that you should have left behind)?
Now is the time to be making those changes. Now is the time to declutter our lives and make sure we are packing the appropriate things. When He returns, we're not going to have time to sort things out. That is the handoff. That will be the moment when what we have in our bag will be what we're taking with us (all figuratively, of course).
As I've thought about this over the last few weeks, I see need for improvement in myself. I want to have a perfectly packed bag, and it starts today (it probably should have started sooner, but you know, better late than never). I will be ready to hand over my bags and I won't worry if I forgot something. I'm taking this trip, will you come too?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Sign

On the way home from work, I pass a church that currently has a great sign. It says, "Choice, not chance, determines destiny". When I read that the first time, and every time since, it was a lightbulb moment. Our future is up to us. A full life isn't a passive experience. The decisions we make are individual strokes on the canvas of our lives. If we want to see the masterpiece, we have to make the choices; hopefully the correct choices, though we all know that isn't always the case. Luckily, we can repent (or repaint, as the analogy goes) and make better decisions and fulfill our destinies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunshine

I am just a happy person-end of story. I drive some of my coworkers nuts because I am in such a good mood most of the time, and especially in the mornings. I'm not necessarily a morning person, but I figure if I'm up, I might as well be happy and share the joy.
I have one employee in particular that isn't terribly fond of my chipper self first thing in the morning. When I go in to the break room to make my boss's coffee, I cheerfully greet whoever may be sitting there. This man has commented more than once that I am simply in too good of a mood.
Today, I was at the copier and I hear someone at the cabinet behind me say "Good morning, Sunshine". I turned around to find this guy standing there. I asked him if he was talking to me and he gave the best response I've heard in quite a while. He confirmed that he was indeed talking to me; after all, I am the one in an "ever good mood". And then I laughed and went about my day, on a mission to spread my good mood.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Small Things

We received another letter from Hermana Crawford (more commonly known in these parts as Lori). She told of how she and her companion were walking in an area after not being able to make contact with the person they had an appointment with. They saw a gentleman pushing a stroller and stopped and introduced themselves as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The man said that his wife ha met the missionaries a couple of weeks before at the store and had gotten their number but it was the number for the English speaking missionaries, so she hung up and wasn't able to get in touch with anyone because she spoke Spanish. Lori shared how even though she had "slipped through the cracks" and no one knew how to contact her, Heavenly Father knew where she was. He knows each of us and where we are. He knows what we need, and He knows who to send to fill those needs.
Today as I was driving home from work, I had a very clear impression to take a certain road home. I've been trying to listen, realize, and act on inspiration, so instead of turning on the road I have been taking, I went down to the next one. Our down-the-road neighbors were out by the ditch near the road gathering pecans and I got to stop and visit with them. I haven't made time to go and visit them like I should, and while there didn't appear to be any great need or "real" importance to the visit we had on the side of the road, it meant a lot to me to see them, and I feel it may have brightened their day as well. Sometimes a quick chat is just what someone needs. Don't ignore a prompting. Just do it (it seems Nike was on to something when they came up with that).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eulogy: An Ode to PeeWee and the Rest of the Flock

We have a lot of chickens, but they can be classified in three categories: the big ones(Goldie is the only one worth knowing really, the rest are, well - they're birds (and I don't really love birds)), the little ones (this is about them), and the babies (Goldie hatched three babies several weeks ago - but really, I don't have strong feelings for them one way or the other).

The little ones are my favorite! With the exception of Frisky (the evil one - he tried to attack me every time I went in the pen), these are the best chickens ever - very personable and so much fun. There is Buffy (the brown one), Cory (the black and brown one - combination of the names Lori and Cristy), NaeNae, the snowy, white one (Lori's middle name is Renae - get it??), and my absolute favorite, PeeWee, the black little fluff ball.

Over the last several weeks, he and I have created a very unique bond. I can call him from almost anywhere in the back field, and he will come running when I call his name (also done in a very unique way). The other three were never far behind and as of late, Cory would come running/flying to me when I called PeeWee. We decided that we needed to get it on video before something terrible happened. As you know, life with animals, especially farm animals, is uncertain. So, two days ago mom and dad had "the littles" out of their pen and were letting them roam. We went out, I called, and here they come...

video

The next day, not even 24 hours later, I came home to find out that in the middle of the night, something (dog, coyote, bear, wolverine...) had somehow gotten into their pen and killed all five of them as they slept. I cannot tell a lie...I cried (and may or may not be crying now as I type this). Who knew that you could actually bond with, and become so attached to, chickens. A little piece of my heart died with them.

Luckily, we were able to catch this memory before their untimely passing. Our little part of the world definitely won't be the same without them (boy, it sounds dumb in writing...). Farewell my feathery friends...  :(