Thursday, February 28, 2008

THE haircuts...

One time in college while I was visiting teaching, a sister complimented me on my hair, and rather than trying to plead humble by trailing off some little excuse or complaint, I simply said "Why thanks, I enjoy it". I think she was a little taken back. I would be lying if I pretended to be bothered with my hair or have some issue with it. The fact of the matter is, I am happy with my hair just the way it is.

I get my hair cut from a "professional" (we'll most of them are anyway) about two (maybe three) times yearly and trim and layer it up myself in between. Aside from two haircuts that left my hair ponytail exempt afterwards, I have had long hair (As my sister would joke "her one true beauty").

I haven't really ever had a bad haircut, mostly I think because my hair grows so fast it would cover it self up shortly (however, there was that one time it was cut into this crazily dramatic V-shape in the back, but once again, it grew out quickly and I was back to normalcy)

I digress...So, I have had the two highlights of my haircutting life experiences at salons here in Texas. One when we first moved here and the other tonight. I am really still cracking up inside just thinking about them. I think most of you would've been smart enough to run (actually most of you would've been smart enough to not even go inside this franchise walk in place just because you had a coupon), but not me...Once I was inside I was so intrigued with how my hair was going to turn out and how interesting the people were, I had to stick it out (plus I have a hard time thinking I could make someone feel badly or create an awkward situation).

Because I am completely exhausted and still need to take some time to "survey the damage" I'll spare you all the details. You won't really believe it anyway.

For now, here's to my hair stylist, front teeth missing (it actually became endearing) stepped in mid cut so the other girl could go home early, Ruby (which you were named because your "mother and father thought sarcastically after your difficult birth that you were a real 'gem') being able to read my future by the shape of my head (you got it, I am right handed and I already have children)... for the face frame I asked you specifically not to cut... to your daughter (who openly shared with me how she is more man than woman) who stood around, hovering, chatting with us and calling people for you on the your boyfriend who you say has short man syndrome because you are 5'8" your cute grand kids that you told your daughter to quit having (sad)... for being over 50 and having your stylist license close to 30 years, for cutting hair even with shaking hands...for telling me how to lie at the beauty college to get a free facial... for recommending Suave as your favorite brand...for telling me all the secret tricks to great hair ie: soaking it in vinegar before and after swimming...for spending so much time on my hair and doing such a thorough job.

Really Ruby, it was such a treat to meet you. You made my week. I don't know what other setting I would've crossed paths with you. It was so refreshing to get a reminder that there are such entertaining people like you with such intriguingly different lifestyles. You remind me that I am not the only person here on earth but that I share it with many wonderful, unique people I can learn from. Thanks for being willing to share so much with a stranger. The whole experience was a little miracle to me.

As for my haircut, I kind of forgot about it actually... I'm sure it's just fine. If not, it'll grow out in a few weeks.

Would I recommend her to anyone for a haircut: No. Will I go back: Maybe.

What are some of your haircutting experiences? I know you got some good ones...

(I hope someday I get to sport something like this hip style, but I'm wanting to lose some of the excess cheek business I got going on before I try and place emphasis on it.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spending My Time... Good Better Best

How rewarding it is to feel that you have used all the hours in a day productively. I have had such days these past few. I feel so invigorated...keeping the worthwhile, simple and essential things in my days and clearing out some of the clutter. A sort of spring cleaning from a few of the messy time wasters I've had looming around. Out with the good things, on with the BEST!

"Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do...we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources. We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.
ie:good to hold a meeting, better to teach a principle, but best to actually improve lives as a result of the meeting." (Dallin H. Oaks, “Good, Better, Best,” Liahona, Nov 2007, 104–8)

I have felt such spiritual encouragement as I've tried to refocus my days, and that has been a miracle for me.

Onto another day of sifting... to spend my time doing what is better than good. Even if that includes the dishes, again. :D

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Helpful Co-Shoppers

So I made a special trip to Walmart for one specific item, a stair gate. After Kamorah started crawling up the stairs I figured it would be essential for her safety and my sanity. After spending some time selecting between the two options, I followed my gut...I went with the cheaper one. Thankfully, I was behind Ms. Helpful in line who proceeded to tell me about the tragic events that took place in her home thanks to the cheapness of the product I'd already loaded on the conveyer belt. To my luck, she'd already tried 3 other stair gates before finding one that her child couldn't knock over. Unfortunately, the winning gate is much more expensive and not found at my local el thrifty warehouse. So, I'll scope the internet for deals before I make my way to the Babies-R-Us... fingers crossed that it might magically be on sale.

And so, I want to say Thank You to the dear lady who checked out in front of me. Thank you for speaking up, even if the checker girl was giving you a dirty look! Thank you for sparing me the hassle you already went through.Who knows what could've happened had I purchased that false sense of security.

You saved me more than money. My little unknown friend, my miracle today. Carry on! Carry on!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Reminder: The Challenge to Become

My brothers (sorry you were on your mission for the wedding Jake) have recently inspired me in my personal challenge to become. I have learned so much by watching them and listening to their experiences of coming closer to Christ. Something they shared today reminded me of these wonderful words from Elder Oaks about our greatest challenge.

"In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something...

Now is the time for each of us to work toward our personal conversion, toward becoming what our Heavenly Father desires us to become. As we do so, we should remember that our family relationships—even more than our Church callings—are the setting in which the most important part of that development can occur. The conversion we must achieve requires us to be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother. Being a successful Church leader is not enough. Exaltation is an eternal family experience, and it is our mortal family experiences that are best suited to prepare us for it.

Our needed conversions are often achieved more readily by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquillity, as Elder Hales taught us so beautifully this morning. Father Lehi promised his son Jacob that God would “consecrate [his] afflictions for [his] gain” (2 Ne. 2:2). The Prophet Joseph was promised that “thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high” (D&C 121:7–8).
...persons who are proceeding toward the needed conversion are beginning to see things as our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, see them. They are hearing His voice instead of the voice of the world, and they are doing things in His way instead of by the ways of the world." (Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 32–34)

These words motivate me, encourage me. This challenge to become, to change ourselves-surely a lifelong process, but today I am a processing and I am going to keep on the challenge! Thank you to my giving brothers for the reminder. I consider it a miracle to have such influences on earth to REMIND us, even unknowingly, what it is we are striving for. I need them.

Because...tomorrow I just may forget.
That dang veil.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Headbands, Food Processors and Our Digestive System

Headbands-A great encouragement when you don't do your hair. Last night I went to sleep with wet, uncombed hair. I woke up this morning and without even combing my hair, pulled it back into a ponytail and threw on a head band. Some luscious lip gloss and a quick coat of mascara- and we're out the door. I don't know how it works but the headband actually seems to hide the fact that your hair is untouched and womped. Here's to headbands and feeling better than frumpy...You deserve one!

Food Chopper- While there are many purposes for these, my recent engagement has been to feed my 7 month old. Let me just tell you how fun it is (and how much money you will save) making your own baby food. Sure I have bought baby food for outings, traveling and just plain convenience. But l love making up my own. It's so easy, so affordable. You start simple with plain steamed veggies or fruit, mix in juice, oatmeal, rice, flax seed...And the mixer I have, cost around ten bucks. So happy about this one!

The best miracle of my day is Kamorah's digestive system. She was acting a little unsettled and I realized why when I changed her diaper... Amid her bowels was an aluminum foiled candy wrapper. Yep, it had worked its way all through her tiny little body. And even though I felt so badly, I cheered at her bodies capabilities to recognize this was not something worth holding onto! Yesterday Addy had snuck a candy behind the couch and left the peelings...I thought I got them all, but that's my only lead as to where she got a hold of something like that. What a miracle the digestive system is!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taking a Walk

I don't know what it is, but taking a walk just makes me feel like a good person. Like I'm doing something great for the world, just getting out to explore and enjoy it's simple offerings. Tonight we took a 2 hour jaunt around our neighborhood and it's surroundings. It was in the high 70's with just enough of a breeze to offset the humidity. We found a hidden passageway between two neighborhoods, completely surrounded in trees, no cars or people in sight.

Going on a walk is time transporting. As we danced underneath the suspended power lines above, if I had closed my eyes, I swear I could've been 6 again. I was feeling the exact feelings of walking home from a friends house, a little worn out from a long day, huffing for breaths from the hill climbing (although there was much more huffing this time around). And then as I listened to the cicada's singing, I felt I could've been back on my mission. On one of those long country roads enjoying the (what seemed like) miles of walking between houses...the forced break from talking with people (much needed at times).

Going on a walk is Heavenly. There's something about walking away from the world for a bit. No phones, televisions, clocks, computers...away from your everyday surroundings...finding a place outside to meditate, be Holy. Some of my greatest promptings and spiritual pleas have been outside the doors of my home. There is just something freeing about being outside, amid God's creations, that makes it easier to see Him and hear His voice.

Yes, that walk today was absolutely pleasant. In fact, if there were a interactive dictionary that could transport someone to an actual place, moment, or feeling to be able to catch the full description- and you looked up pleasant, you'd have joined us on our walk. It was enough to be a miracle for me today. Taking a walk...If you haven't in while, I strongly suggest it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sun Bathing With Barack

Well...I'm getting warmer. As I make my way through the Presidential Campaign rallying taking place here in the Lone-star State I seem to be getting closer. Since I gave Hillary a "cold", I'll give Barack a "warmer".

After miraculously making it to the 5th row of his town meeting downtown (okay, so it was more like finagling than miraculous) We spent the afternoon in the sun with the hippest of the pre-nominee's. I still think no matter what I do, Obama will be President. He's too exciting for people. Not for me personally though. He comes out cracking jokes and building up the country. The focus on 'The time is NOW', 'We can do it, YES WE CAN"! and the "UNITED States of America".My Miracle today, the side pack that comfortably held sleeping Morzy's weight, so my back didn't have to.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hilarious Children

Surely I am not the only parent who finds their children completely hilarious. Several times a day I laugh out loud at their honest, unintentional cuteness. I wish I had their ability to be so carefree.To enjoy more the simplicities of life. To not be caught up in others opinions. To let go of worry and just live sometimes...regardless of how silly I may look.

The entertaining humor they bring and find in their everyday exploring is a miracle to me. One which fills my day with delight! How I want to be like them!

"Humor is in the way we see things, the way we think. It’s an attitude, not an event. Perhaps the key lies in becoming more childlike...

Laugh more, play more, swing out of familiar places, be more the way you were when you were a child."(The Power of Laughter,Gary K. Palmer,Teaching Professor of Recreation Management and Youth Leadership, Brigham Young University).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Power of His Love

I think I could write about this miracle everyday. I am so amazed at the power and influence of Love in our lives. Given from God and shared between mortals, love has to be the most penetrable force for good in all the earth. The most significant event of all time, Our Saviors Atonement, our greatest example- the ultimate act of perfect Love.

Nephi shares his personal witness of the supporting, leading, preserving,consuming power of Christ's love by saying:

" O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily abeset me.And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins;

nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep."

"He hath filled me with HIS LOVE, even unto the consuming of my flesh".(2 Nephi 4:17-21)

I am amazed that at this moment, when I have much more need than Nephi to exclaim my own "wretchedness", I too feel consumed by the love of the Lord. In all my weakness, in all my shortcomings and disappointments... somehow I have been given such an undeserved gift- the unconditional Love of a Perfect being.

The challenge: Inviting that love to change my heart, daily. And to share, unjudgingly, part of that love with all I meet. How I wish all the worried hearts of the world could be met with His resolving, (and waiting) love.

I've sure got to do more.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other"

So Wednesday night Hillary Clinton came to San Antonio. I am not a Hillary fan, yet I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be in on the action. So Sally, Morzy and I ventured down to that south side of town "In an effort to educate ourselves and be a part of history in the making...braved the westside streets of San Antonio, uncomfortably drove through a throng of protesters with pictures of aborted babies[giving our acknowledgment that we were on their side], strutted our stuff by the press hoping to get interviewed, and cut in line in front of a fraternity of college kids that were just happy not to be carrying a baby--all to see Hillary Clinton in person"(Sally's blog)

It was a strange feeling being there. I was anxious to share my opinion and rose out of my seat and "cheered wildly-- to the consternation of all around --when one of the pre-Hillary speakers asked if there were any Republicans in the house!"(Sally)

The introducers "would get everyone excited and cheering, so as to let Hillary know that 'Texas is Clinton Country' and then nothing would happen. After about 23 times of the roaring excitement ending in disillusionment, her real entrance was a bit anti-climatic."(Sally)

I'll spare you the details of what she said. If you've watched her on TV at all, you've heard it.

Most of it I disagreed with, some sounded nice but has slim chance of coming to fruition. She was very political, playing to her different audience of voters. While I don't think she is evil(or at least I hardly know her well enough to decide that) I was even more convinced that she wouldn't lead the country in the direction I hope for.
Kamorah and I were on the same page with Clinton's speach, bored.

It was a bit of a conflicting feeling being there. At one point Hillary looked at me, Kamorah now asleep on my hip, and I know we made eye contact. Do you think she could've sensed my disagreance?

I must've stuck out, non-hispanic young gal with the only baby in the room, not smiling or nodding like everyone else, obviously unimpressed. While I felt like I was a cougar fan in a sea of Utes, I was filled with a sense of gratitude for the system. We live in a true democracy. A country that honors the gift and MIRACLE OF AGENCY with all it's accompanying benefits or downfalls. I felt the sense of how differently people think. What may seems so obvious to one person, another is oblivious to. And yet how similar we are. Sincerely concerned for our future and the direction of the country. Unexpectedly, I felt a bit happy for those enthusiasts that have found a voice in Hillary. No matter how much I may disagree with them. Again unfortunate for myself that the political voice I found to represent my views is no longer available. (Can we put our cards back in, shuffle and re-draw?). And even in the bleak alternatives, I have hope in America. Hope in the people.

I was happy when she was done talking. We lingered, taking it all in, hoping again that some media type might want to talk with a few "non-believers". One reporter did, but mostly just because she thought Kamorah was cute.

For now, I'm unfavorably voting McCain, although I am convinced Obama will win.

And I happily exercise my agency, thankful to live in a land where I can make my decisions for myself.

The Internet

The internet is definitely a miracle. Anytime I think of it, I just can't get my mind around how it can really work. We don't always have access to it, and the past few days we have been without it...both a blessing and a curse. I can hardly believe how dependent our society has become on it. I only have access to a computer when my lovey gets home from work...and since I'm usually in the thick of "home making" right then, my internet time is my late night treat. I've missed my news articles, hearing the latest from my favorite peoples blogs, and posting. But I've picked up my nearly dusted books on my end table and gotten more sleep.

Yes, the internet certainly is amazing. A "Net" for both good and evil. I am grateful to be a part of it's goodness.

Monday, February 11, 2008

To Those Who Fight My Mormon Faith

My heart is heavy right now. I wish I could respond to each of you individually and yet am unsure what would come of it. I fear I will not have adequate words to fully express my feelings and belief, but am compelled to make the attempt anyway.

I have recently stumbled upon many of your web pages, blogs and articles. criticizing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Some are written by skeptical members of the church, some by disillusioned members, some by former members, and some by people who have never been members of the church. Much to some of you alls dismay, my faith in the Restoration of Jesus Christ's Gospel has not faltered. While reading some of your harsh accusations and attempts at uncovering my eyes to your perceived truth, I have realized even more deeply my personal conviction.

You certainly are driven to share your opinions. Most of your sites are impressively organized,sometimes factual, and frequently updated with your research on the history of the church and its people. It is interesting the feelings I get when I enter one of your sites. I read a comment or post that so purposefully makes fun of something I hold sacred, I get upset, frustrated at your disrespect and misinterpretation, and then I feel sadness. Not because you are "opening my eyes" to the "real church" that I have been "brain washed" into believing in. Not sad for myself in anyway... Really, I feel sad for you. The motive of the information you share does not seem to be out of love. It does not seem to be shared for the purpose of helping others come closer to Christ, who Himself is LOVE. In fact, most of what I read seems to be driven by the opposite, hatred and disdain. I feel sad for what your life must be like, being filled with such hatred for something. I find it rather interesting that people can be so devoted to tearing something or someone down. I wonder what experiences you have had that have lead you to your conclusions. You make it very clear what it is that you do not believe, and because of this, it is hard for me to understand what it is that you DO believe. Your dedication to denouncing the LDS church seems to overshadow your personal convictions.

I believe that all men have a right to believe and worship how they desire. While I have strong convictions that differ from other people, I have no desire and no time to dedicate an entire blog to breaking down what's wrong with their beliefs. There is far too much truth for me to discover to take the time to meddle in all the untruths of the world.

Let's just say for a moment that my religion is what you say it is, a hoax. How are you personally drawing closer to God by spreading it's message of falsehoods? A Math teacher could not help students progress if she only taught the wrong answers ie. 2+2 does not equal 9. Why spend so much of your time focusing on what you consider not to be the way to heaven? Why not respectfully let us just carry on in our beliefs as you would allow any other church?

Could this be because it is not just any Church? If it were it would simply be left alone. (see Acts 5:38-39)

I have met many people of all faiths who sincerely believe in Christ and are striving so honestly to know Him. The invitation to Come Unto Christ is given to all men everywhere. I would never want someone to feel degraded or disrespected in their efforts to worship Christ. I do however, invite the honest, humble seeker, to ask God for themselves about The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and it's claims to be Christ's church, one again on the earth. For having this knowledge has made my Coming unto Christ all the easier (although I am certainly still struggling and striving).

I would so much appreciate your respect and toleration of what may appear an extremely bold religion. It is an extremely bold religion.
I hope you will forgive the imperfections of the people who practice it.

If it is true, that Christ has brought back His authority on the earth, it's a miracle.

And It is true.

I wish you well on your journey.

"Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them..." (Alma 5:33)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Crib Bumpers, No Shopping & Carne Picada

Kamorah's crib bumpers needed to be washed and since the washer was preoccupied with Addy's-let's call it "accident" laundy, the bumpers were put on the back burner for a day. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal until Addy and I went in to check on Mora after her nap and found her like this... I call this picture Free The People. Sure am grateful for those normally overlooked bumpers

No Shopping. I think I missed out on the feminine "shopping gene". I definitely don't turn to shopping for therapy or comfort. I don't care to wander through stores one bit. My husband enjoys it more than I do so I'll send him whenever I can (especially if it's to Costco-love you Babe). I can't even remember the last time I bought clothes. Oh' yes I can. Clearance rack at Target when we first moved here. I bought a pink jacket and two shirts. Felt like I was really splurging. I know I know, "but sometimes you just need to treat yourself. It's amazing how good you feel in new clothes". Not me, seriously. If I were to go to some store in the mall, pick out a shirt that was not on sale, by the time I got it home I would've convinced myself that I didn't need it, and it would weigh on me until I returned it. Maybe it's a guilt thing. Maybe it's a pride thing. Either way, I might be fit for psychological evaluation on this one. I've come a long way since first being married and have let my husband win out on a few big purchases. The bottom line, I don't like shopping because I don't like spending money. In fact I take great pride in not spending money. It is a great source of satisfaction in my life. I feel so rewarded, so accomplished, so non-wasteful and free! Purchasing our necessities under budget is liking getting an 'A' in a hard class. It is hard for me to buy something that we don't absolutely need. Ask my poor husband. His selections at the store go through a rigorous trial of necessity vs. luxury before purchase.

I'm always buying in bulk, bargains, clearance,coupons... trying to save a little here or there. But every once in a while, I discover a cheaper way of doing something. Better than just a one time deal, a different way of living that can continuously put more money into our pockets. Just yesterday I came upon one such discovery.CARNE PICADA! So I thought I had discovered something when I realized how much more affordable it is to buy stew meat in bulk instead of a whole roast; tastes the same, already cut. Until I found Carne Picada at the store yesterday. It is the same tough beef as stew meat just cut in smaller shreds. You are not going to believe me, but I spent $3.12 on a family size 5lbs (which the man reduced while I was standing there because it needed to be sold by the 15th so I still had several good days left). I was a little hesitant, but after the meat man insisted it was the same meat just cut differently, I was accepting, for the price. So today I tested it. After spending a few minutes removing the small deposits of fat (which most people would probably just ignore, I do it on any kind of meat) I coated it with flour and threw it in with some other ingredients for some stroganoff.

...and the grammy goes to...CARNE PICADA, my new cheaper way to do some crock potting and mexican style meals. It was absolutely delicious and obviously affordable. I even have half of it left in the freezer. I can hardly contain my excitement.

So today my miracle
those little make-life-more-affordable finds
like you, CARNE PICADA. Here's to you, you money saving, great tasting, spanish version of a classic traditional.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Baby Steps- Inching Our Way To Perfection

What a miracle it is to watch children grow. We see them born seemingly helpless, with endless posibilities... and then day by day, they come to realize the power of their bodies and minds. Moving, Learning, Changing, Understanding. We marvel with each milestone. More than just watching our child, we are watching God's, and their growth seems to connects us to heaven. It is far too miraculous for me to even comprehend at times... conception, birth and growth of a human spirit and body. I find myself saying and thinking "can you even believe this is the same person that was kicking inside of me"?!

The past few weeks we've enjoyed seeing the freedom that has come to Kamorah as she has refined her crawling techniques. For a few months previous, she has been on the brink, but instead of full out crawling she would take just one or two crawls and then lunge forward with all her might, flopping to the ground at her destination. While it seemed to work for her, I knew that if she would only give the actual crawling part a chance she would realize she could reach a better result using less energy (and less rug burnage). I tried to help and coach her but knew I couldn't force it or the lesson would be lost and she would not develope the skills and strength she needed through the process.

Surely Father in Heaven must look down at me sometimes and wonder..."why must she insist on "lunging"? Come on girl, you can do it! If only you knew how much more efficient "crawling" would be." Yet He is patient with me, knowing I need to learn the lesson and develop the strength I need in order to move on to my next milestone.

One could find it rather daunting that we have been commanded to "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). But Thankfully Moroni clarifies this call to perfection by saying “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; … and love God with all your might, mind and strength, … that by his grace ye may be PERFECT IN CHRIST.” (Moro. 10:32.)

What a reassurance that we are not alone in our progression to perfection. That our call is not to be perfect on our own, but Perfect through our Perfect Mediator. Also, Father doesn't expect that we walk at birth or that we are ready for exaltation upon the first trial we encounter, He gives us time... baby stepping our way to perfection. Each milestone building upon and preparing us for the next.

“Nobody becomes perfect in this life. Only the Lord Jesus attained that state, and he had an advantage that none of us has. He was the Son of God. … Becoming perfect in Christ is a process.
“We begin to keep the commandments today,and we keep more of them tomorrow, and we go from grace to grace, up the steps of the ladder, and thus we improve and perfect our souls.” (1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1977, pages 399–400.)

That we have the baby steps to get there...a miracle

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Friend Mitt, Thank You

In case you missed this, I consider this suspension of campaign by Mitt Romney a practical and honorable decision and, although I am extremely disappointed, I couldn't feel prouder. Over these last few months I have had such hope, such excitement over Mitt Romney running for President, and yet also such stress and concern. I feel a strange sense of relief for myself and everyone involved. A good feeling that they did all they could.
...And with this comes a optimistic dream for the future (Mitt 2012!)

Since he will still be on the ballot for the primaries, he has my vote. As for November, I'm sure trying to be okay with McCain, we'll see. For now, Thank you Mitt, Ann and Family. All that you have done for the cause of America has not been in vain. Your voice has been heard and I am happy to have had someone share my values publicly. Thank you Mitt, it's a miracle to me that you have been able to remain steadfast under such trying circumstances.

"The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography – even celebration of it – and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today's grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school and in life. A nation built on the principles of the Founding Fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.

The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through Constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it." (Governor Mitt Romney Addresses CPAC Fabruary 7, 2008)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Self Mastery- I AM DOING IT!

If I hadn't signed up 3 weeks in advance for the missionaries to come over to dinner tonight, I might not have.

After all, for little obsessed me, tonight is a big night: Super Tuesday. We already knew that tonight would be intense for me but I couldn't have predicted the other little tests that accompanied it. It started with little Adelaide wanting to be awake at 6 am when I went to bed after 3am with a teething kamorah... Miss potty trainee going to the bathroom in her bedroom (twice) and then trying to clean it up(bless her heart) by spreading it all around her room, rubbing it into all sorts of things... the pen marks on the couch...the long hold on the phone over being wrongly billed, etc... Oh' today the drama came out in full force. Anything to try and get me to loose it, to give over my control. No way, nope, not this gal, not today! I AM IN CONTROL!

So, I did sign up for a missionary meal and they did come over. Don't get me wrong I always anticipate them coming over it. Not only does it give me an excuse to make sure my house is extra clean but I love the challenge to be more involved in missionary work (which I swore I would never let myself lose sight of when I became a "member missionary" instead of "full time"one'd that slip?). However, with only 30 min before their ETA I found myself on the third of five loads of laundry (not exaggerating, see previous paragraph for details) my own clothes (now raunchy from the days unanticipated cleaning) needing desperately to be thrown into the bunch, a bag of cheerios spilled all over the entire kitchen floor, a dining chair with legs that mysteriously just broke off, a baby who wanted some milk, a meal that was half prepared, and a cute toddler still in the bath. I know (or at least hope) many of you share these types of days with me.

Well, wonderfully, it all worked out. Spence came home in time to help, the missionaries came, we ate, we shared, we felt the spirit... and I laughed inside at how wonderfully crazy life can be. Now, instead of biting my nails in front of a television, stirring up negative feelings as I listen to people I disagree with babble on, being emotionally challenged by disappointment in results...I find myself so happy and peaceful. Pleasantly situated on my bed, occasionally checking the CNN results, calmly concerned, but content and proud. Proud that tonight, after what could've been a disasterous roller-coaster of a day, I made up my mind I wouldn't let it be. And I go to sleep having mastered (for at least today) myself and my emotions.

Not only is SELF MASTERY a challenge, but it is miracle.

'What an exciting life is available for each one of us today!... One of the requirements of life is to be able to make choices. In order to do so, one must know how to look at things and at oneself. One must also learn that to live means being able to deal with difficulties; problems are a normal part of life, and the great thing is to avoid being overcome by them.

The battle for self-mastery may leave a person a bit bruised and battered, but always a better man or woman. Self-mastery is a rigorous process at best; too many of us want it to be effortless and painless."(Thomas S. Monson, “In Search of an Abundant Life,” Tambuli, Aug 1988, 3)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Monday!

It is amazing to see the difference between how Father in Heaven does his business and how we mortals do ours.

In a quiet, reverent setting, He calls His Apostles together to set apart a new President for His church. Following the order outlined through Priesthood Keys, and dependent upon the confirmation of the spirit, they all unanimously agree. There is no campaigning, no polling, no media speculation or invitation, no back biting, no advertising,no analyzing, no fundraising, no debating, no commercials, no money spent on the process...

No, the calling of the President of the church takes much less from the world, but much more from heaven.

The new Prophet is simply presented to us as such. And somehow, miraculously, we can all get that same confirmation that this person, chosen even without our input, is to be our leader. And in this simple process, I have more trust. More trust than in all the millions of hours and dollars in research and coverage spent on presenting highly educated professionals to capable free Americans for the choosing.

As I feel in recent times, discouraged with the deceptive and cunning ways of man portrayed in politics and the media, and on the eve of a very important (your vote is needed)Super Tuesday Primaries, today I feel in good hands. TODAY was the Super day. I feel safe. And no matter the outcome of tomorrow, even though I care deeply, I am confident in the direction of my future...because I have a Prophet. And He comes with the ultimate of Endorsements.

The process, a miracle.

Just FYI:

It was 80 degrees today. We had the AC and fans on at church. In early February...seems a miracle to me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Wind Chimes, Truth Tellers & No Pass Along Cards!

What an incredible week. The emotions and spirit that I have felt have lifted me to higher heights. I'm determined I need to be better and...that I can be. Because of this wonderful feeling it has been easy to see myself surrounded in miracles.

WIND CHIMES-We never had one growing up. They seemed the kind of thing you'd see around my grandma's neighborhood or being sold randomly on the side of the streets on a road trip.

One day after I layed Kamorah down for a nap, I opened her window to allow a breeze to come through. Later as I poked my head in to check on her, I heard the delightful song of a wind chime singing through her open window. I peered over her crib, gazing at her, feeling the warm breeze blow through her curtains and hearing the sweet lullabye of the wind. Looking down at her, peaceful, tender, calm. It was so pleasant, so still, her slow breathing in and out, the perfect temperature, so serene, so beautiful. I wished for a moment that I was her and I could curl up in her little crib and leave every burden there. In a way,I guess I did. After taking the moment in, I left her room feeling carefree.
I am thankful that the neighbors have a wind chime...otherwise I might need to go find one of those roadside markets.

TRUTH TELLERS-Something I greatly appreciate, are people who just tell you like it is. The real friends who want to "help you out" by letting you in on their perception. There are the traditional classics: "You have something in your teeth", or "your zipper is down". Sometimes we even ask for it starting our questions with " can tell me the truth..." Some of my personal favorites have included,"your hair looked better longer", "woa, you got the pregnant nose", or "I think those jeans are fitting you tighter". Children seem to be the best at this no nonsense truth telling. They have no concept or intent to offend. They also delight in small discovery and pointing it out.

On Saturday morning Adelaide woke up and came and jumped into bed with me. I love snuggling up with her and just starting our day off hugging. I wrapped myself around her and leaned my face right up against hers, talking right in her ear, asking about her sleep and making our plans for the day. In the middle of my talking, she pulled away from me, looking at me a little puzzled. I could tell she was trying to figure out how to say something. She looked at me intently, jumbling a few words together until she happily got it out.

"Mom, you need to brush your teeth?"

The laughter consumed me as I realized she was trying to figure out a way to help me out with my morning breath. What a sweetheart. I hope this is only the beginning of s lifetime of honest truth telling from her. I could really use some more of that.

I don't always pray to have missionary experiences. I know if I did, I would have them. As I contemplated President Hinckley's passing (I like using that word because it makes me feel like he just walked into another room) I was saddened to think of all the people in the world who didn't know him. This thought as well as the words I have listened to from the Prophet, have lit a little fire with in me. I have felt the yearning pressing feelings to open my mouth more so that others can know we have a Prophet today. Obviously Heavenly Father was aware of these feelings when he sent a painter to our house on Wednesday. From the moment I answered the door, I knew I had to share the gospel with him. I am not normally afraid to talk about the church, to mention things to friends, to talk to strangers, I rather enjoy it actually. But when Heavenly Father makes me feel like "you can't let this person out of your house until you share something significant with them" ...then I feel the pressure.
As he painted different rooms in our house (he was here to paint over repairs that had been done), I was searching for a pass along card. I was nearly frantic about it... we have a million of those things. I looked everywhere and couldn't believe that I could find no pass along cards. That meant I couldn't just give him a card, try to pass that off as "sharing something significant", and hope for the best. This was going to be a bit more difficult. What could I do? The pressing feeling continued. I recalled a picture of the Savior that my sister had just sent me (thanks jamie, wink wink) and decided that I would write the church website and telephone number on the back after I non chalantly asked him if he went to church.

I heard him coming down the stairs and in his steps I heard another "you have to tell him".

I stumbled over something about him being done, not really caring now about the work he came to do but how I could get past that. Then I just cut right to it because it seemed like I would feel uncomfortable until I did. I prefaced it by saying that I hoped he wouldn't find it strange of me to ask, but "are you Christian?" He said yes and told me that he knew I was because of the pictures in the house and how nice I was (this certainly made me feel good). I asked if he went to a church. This stirred him to open up about his life... trying to raise 3 children, his teenage son who is struggling, how they found the church they attend, and how they have found hope in Christ. He seemed to really trust me with the details of his life and I knew that was probably a sign of the comfort that the spirit brings. I felt so much love for him and his family, I was genuinely interested in hearing about him and his life. I felt a bit like a missionary. Those moments when you are able, somehow, to love someone at first meeting. It's as though the Savior lets you borrow some of the love he has for them and you seem to feel it beyond yourself.

I don't remember exactly what I said but I had a calmness come over me as I shared with my church with him and how I have been able to learn more about the Savior through restored truth. I couldn't tell if he was interested. I only know that he was listening and that I felt so good saying it. He very graciously accepted the picture, telling me they had been wanting to have one up in their home. And with a smile, he was gone.

I was on a cloud. Rejuvinated, full of joy.I wanted to just find someone else to tell, that minute.

I know that we need to share the Gospel because people in the world so desperately need it. But I also know that we need to share the gospel because WE so desperately need it. I needed to have that lift ,that increase of testimony, that thrill-that only comes when we share our witness and testimony with others. I feel like I haven't had that for a little while. It was a miracle to feel... that feeling that you have possibly opened the door, even just a smidge, for one of the Lord's children.

"To be part of that miracle, you must not wait until you feel closer to Heavenly Father or until you are sure that you have been purified through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Pray for the chance to encounter people who sense there could be something better in their lives. Pray to know what you should do to help them. Your prayers will be answered. You will meet people prepared by the Lord. You will find yourself feeling and saying things beyond your past experience. And then in time you will feel yourself drawing closer to your Heavenly Father, and you will feel the cleansing and the forgiveness the Savior promises His faithful witnesses. And you will feel His approval, knowing you have done what He asked of you, because He loves you and trusts you." (Henry B. Eyring, “A Child and a Disciple,” Liahona, May 2003, 29–32)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Share the JOY!

I had a tender experience this week in sharing the gospel and then today -My little brother Seth (Seffy) was called to serve in the Jacksonville Florida Mission!

As I had the opportunity to testify, and as I think of all that awaits my soldier of a brother, I am reminded of how sweet the promptings are that lead us to share the Gospel. A Miracle.