Friday, February 22, 2013

"How Great Thou Art"

I just got done making over a hundred cookies for Jenny’s birthday party tonight…her belated sweet sixteen, and sat down at the piano to plunk out my favorite song from the “Hymns Made Easy” songbook…How Great Thou Art.  Now I’m no musician and I am definitely not a singer but when I am home all alone and no one is there to hear me I have been known to belt it out and in my own head it sounds pretty good to me.  Over and over stumbling across the keys but singing with every strength of my soul.  During that time I feel as though I am souring above with my feet only coming down to touch the clouds, the victor in a hard fought war presenting the spoils to my King.

                Perhaps that is why they say that a song can be a prayer unto our Father.  In those quiet moments when no one else is around I can express my “prayer” with all the energy that is within me without the fear or anxiety of being laughed at.

                President Ludlow sang “Lord, My Redeemer” in our ward on Sunday and it was so sweet and so beautiful that I of course being a woman sobbed right through it.  My brother Cullen was in Sacrament with us and leaned over and said, “Do you know what I think of when I hear that song?  You singing it over and over in the house when we were kids.  That was your favorite song.”

                He was right and I had kind of forgotten it over the years.  Of course I went right home and bought it off of iTunes and added it to my playlist.  Pour Cullen having to listen to his big sister belting through the house over and over with her less than beautiful voice that beautiful song.  But I guess even then my heart knew that its prayer would be heard and in God’s ears it was wonderful.

                Well onto a shower and the rest of my day but my heart is still soaring and today my spirit can accomplish everything until the day that I truly do go home and I pray that I can lay it all at His feet and He will tell me well done.  “How Great Thou Art.”


Monday, February 18, 2013

"My Day Off"

So my day off as I like to call my kids’ holidays from school did not start as wonderfully as planned.  I had pictured us having a nice breakfast, doing a quick clean and then watching a movie altogether.  Breakfast went fairly good but cleanup was screaming and yelling and all out fighting on behalf of my grumpy kids and then the movie that I wanted to watch with the kids, “The Librarian,” (a cheesy but cute kinda like National Treasure made for T.V. movie) wasn’t on Netflix’s even though the internet said that it was.  

                That having been said…zoom several hours forward and my day went pretty good.  Jason found the movie for us, later Jenny got to go to a fun birthday party, Nan went up north with a friend, Steph’s adorable friend Maddy and Sam’s cute friend Blake all came to play.  Before long I could hear the laughter giggling down the hall as Steph and Maddy and Sam and Blake all played a crazy game under the instruction of Suzy.  I remember those times when my sister Kari would direct us in one wild someone’s gonna get us game after another.

                Maybe not the way I pictured the day turning out but wonderful still the same.  I found time to write in my book while the kids screamed and giggled outside my bedroom door and I must say my writings today were brilliant, at least I’m going to say that they were, and now I’m off to make a lazy dinner.  Sometimes life is so mundane and so simple that I have to just bask in its glory.  I couldn’t be happier and my life couldn’t be more wonderful.  I know who I am, God’s daughter and Christ’s sister, I have a hardworking, amazing husband and the blessing of being able to be home with my awesome kids, even though sometimes I think they might kill each other.  Maybe I will never win mother of the year or have a novel on the New York Times Bestseller list but I have a pretty terrific life and I’m happy to keep it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I dreamt all last night that every time I stretched my knee in my sleep that it shot shooting pains up my leg.  Funny thing was that when I woke up this morning it wasn’t so much a dream as it was reality.  Same knee that I have always struggled with, same knee that years ago I had surgery on.  Today Stephanie gets the joy of once more going back to the dentist for the thousandth time in the last 2 ½ months.  Her retainer fell out once again and she gets the joy of getting it cemented back in.  Between a retainer that just will not stay in and will not do what it is supposed to do and the abscessed tooth that she had to deal with that would not heal despite whatever they did to help it heal and finally having an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin that she was on that little girl has gone through more than an adult would want to endure with the dentist.

                This morning in our family scripture study we talked about the war in heaven and how many of our brothers and sisters fell.  We have finished the Book of Mormon once again and we are trying something new.  We are trying to follow along with the new curriculum that the youth have in young women’s and young men’s and Sunday school.  It’s already proving a challenge because I don’t want to follow what is on site with the Church because I don’t want to repeat what is already being given them.  As we discussed the third this morning that went astray it was brought up that the whole war in heaven came because of Satan’s greed for all the glory and for one other thing…our agency.  I think that’s what we will focus on this week is our agency.

                Sometimes I wonder why we have to have pain in this life, my knee, Stephanie’s mouth, but I am always grateful that my pains seem to be so much less than so many I know.  Why does life have to be this way?  In the scriptures it talks about how everything has its opposites so we can realize the good.  Pain is there so we can understand how good it feels when we are healthy, but I also believe pain is there to test our agency.  Oh, yes, we all have agency and it may even be exactly what we call it when we say “free,” but our consequences to that agency is not in our control once the action is done.  Now Stephanie could complain, if anyone had the right to she does, but she doesn’t because she exercises her agency to be joyful even when she has every right not to be.  What are her consequences in return?  This nightmare of an experience for her although hard and seemingly unbearable at times has been bearable, and her heart has been light and she has been happy when maybe she could have been sad.  And what are men?... “Men are that they might have joy.”

                I often look at my children and see the strength in them.  Some of that strength they are learning as hopefully all of us are in this earth life, but some of it so clearly came with them from the world before, from the people that they were already struggling and learning to be before they came to this earth…Stephanie’s patience in difficulties and sweetness no matter what, Sam’s deep thinking and determination to do what’s right, Suzy’s brilliance and tender but very strong nature, Nan’s joy and compassion, Jenny’s strength and ability to take care of herself in every situation, and Luke’s hard work ethic and desire to serve others no matter the cost.  All of these things my children brought with them and I have the opportunity to learn from their strengths and hopefully direct them when the use their agency.  Oh sure they will fall at times, I do more often than I would like, but because our Heavenly Father loves us there is always a way back.  And pain, whether physical or emotional may be part of the consequences of living this life can become one of our greatest blessings if we exercise our agency so that the consequences bring us growth and ultimately help us to find our way back home.  After all, “Men are that they might have joy,” and what greater joy could there be then going home, home to our Heavenly Father, to our Savior, and to our loved ones who wait for us there?