Thursday, February 27, 2014

One Little Quote

“It doesn’t matter what you know, it only matters what you do.”  That thought has been going through my head all week.  We had an amazing Sacrament Meeting on Sunday and in one of the talks given by one of our missionaries he repeated three quotes that were his favorites.  One of which came from his father who would go downstairs hours after his mother asked her son to do a chore and he did not do it and tell that boy to do that chore.  The missionary would always say, “I know, I know,” like a typical teenager and his father’s reply was always, “I don’t care what you know I only care what you do.”

I know the scriptures and I know how to read them, but am I reading them and more than that am I living them?  My daughters know about modesty and purity but are they acting upon it when they are away from home and at school?  Sam knows how to be a good friend and a good student but is he doing it when I am not looking?

My niece Molly was over today and I was thinking on this when she climbed up to our big bar and sat down in between Sam and Steph.  They were having a piece of jelly roll so she wanted it too.  They were using a big fork so she wanted one too.  When she heard Suzy singing downstairs, the master of karaoke…yes, Molly wanted to play diva too.  Molly is almost two and like most two year olds she wants to do what everyone around her is doing too, including mimicking everything her brothers or cousins say, good or bad, cute or grownup.  I guess that is where the “It doesn’t matter what you know, it only matters what you do,” comes in with her. 

Let’s suppose my kids were throwing rocks through windows and calling the neighbors names when Molly was here.  You can bet your breatches that she would want to too.  Or how about something even more realistic…suppose my kids were fighting and calling each other names, not completely impossible I assure you, then what would Molly want to do?

Now Molly is only two, well almost two, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work the same way with everyone around us also.  I can say and say and say again that I have a testimony of the Savior, I can stand up at that pulpit at church during testimony meeting or preach to the youth in Young Woman’s that Jesus Christ loves me and loves them, but if I don’t behave like someone who is loved by their Savior and I don’t love them like their Savior does, then what difference does that make?  What do they know from my actions?

I guess that I need to try a little harder.  Politicians say one thing and do another.  They are the kings and queens of saying one thing and doing another.  Very few in fact live what they say and what do we do as a people?  We roll our eyes and complain to our neighbor but then we vote them right back in again.  Why do we do that?  Perhaps over the years we have learned that it is alright to say one thing but do another.  Heck isn’t that how the world is run?  So why should we expect them to be any different?  Why should we expect ourselves to be any different?

Why?  Because “It doesn’t matter what you know, or say, or claim to believe, it only matters what you do.”  The whole concept of who we are and who we are perceived as in reality is in what others see us do.  And probably the most important One of All is in what He sees us do, the Savior.  Now can you honestly say that as your children go to sleep at night do they know by your actions what you stand for?  Do they know in your actions that you love the Savior?  Do they know by your actions that their Savior loves them?  See how one little quote could get me thinking all week.  I guess that I have a lot of changing to do and a lot more of stepping up to the plate to do, so to say.

I think that I could almost see the Savior with the most tender smile but all too knowing expression on his face saying to me, “It doesn’t matter to me what you know…It only matters to me what you do.”  One to sleep on tonight, ponder tomorrow, and do better at every day thereafter.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day

From the time that I was a little girl I had the biggest imagination.  Living out on a farm far away from others as we did it was easy to let my mind wander and come into a great big world that didn’t exist outside my own mind.  Chores, down times, lonely times, any of them were filled with these great stories that I created around whatever I was doing.  It was easy to be in my own little world so to say, a different person entirely.  Perhaps the reason that writing comes so easily to me.  And on the times that I read, which was every spare minute that I could get I was those characters each and every one in those books. 

I’m still that way when reading is involved and when I wander around the day I still play out what I am doing in my mind as if I am writing my own story, but my alone time or work time or even my lonely times I can no longer imagine myself someone else in some amazing fantastic world.  I can still imagine the story there as if someone else’s life but no longer my own.  I’ve wondered over the years what about me has changed to make it so.  Have I grown so old that I have forgotten the magic?  No.  I’m still an insane story teller, just ask my little ones the stories that I have made up for them.  Has the hard world around me drawn me into cold reality that I have forgotten the magic?  No my life is more magical and every year more happy than the one before.  So what is it?

Revelation came to me the other day.  The light above my head lit so brightly I had to shade my eyes for a minute.  I can’t imagine my life differently, because I don’t want my life to be different or to be someone else’s.  I am so completely happy with who I am and what I am about that I don’t need to create these different worlds for myself anymore, not that I’m not still obsessed with crawling into a book and seeing someone else’s imaginary life for a while or creating them for others to read, but I am completely content with my own.

Why is that?  Because I truly have a novel or fairy tale or love story more beautiful and more filled with amazing happily ever afters than any story that could ever be written.  I realized this of course when I was at the very end of a beautiful love story that I was reading just the other day.  I found myself saying over and over, “That is exactly something Jason would have done,” or “Jason would have been so much better at that.”  The man in the story was strong, and in control, commanding and completely protective all the while gentle and kind and completely in love.  He was strong and a manly kind of man who didn’t go about life as if some game, but he was serious and the people around him respected him, but when it came to love he was a complete romantic.  The Darcys or the Edward Cullens (the book version so not the movie version…) type and I realized that even they couldn’t hold a candle to my Jason. 

One time I went to the movies years ago with my sisters and sister in laws.  Jason had known that we were going and he was more than happy to see me go with them, I believe we watched one of the first twilights and he was completely content to stay at work as did the rest of the guys.  He worked that day close by to the movie theatre and instead of going straight home when he was done, he went to the movie theatre which was up north of our little town and parked his car and waited for us.  When I came out still in the high that the movies bring, chatting with my sisters about what we had just seen, there he was leaning against our car, all six foot two of him, and his calm penetrating stare was filled with such intense love that I tingled from head to toe.  I remember at the time thinking that after all of these years of marriage he can still do that to me more than any movie or any book.  Of course he just came to say that he loved me and he wasn’t trying to interrupt our sister time together and gave me a kiss to tingle to my toes to then return me to my sisters.  He would have driven away right then not wanting to take me away from my night out, just needed a quick moment to say that he loved me, but I was still jello inside and jumped right into the car waving goodbye to the girls as we went home.

When I think of Valentine’s Day I can’t help but think of love.  The whole day is centered around it after all, and when I think of love I think of Jason and not just about how much that I love him, which is to the moon and back and beyond words I guarantee you, but I think of how he loves me.  Some of me gets a little sad because it feels as if I have it all, beyond what anyone else can comprehend and I feel as though I’ve stolen some of the glory that maybe should be spread around.  No marriage is perfect but I know that ours has something more that even the best marriages have and I don’t quite understand why I deserve that, or how I will ever completely understand it.  My heart aches it is so full and I don’t quite know how to give that to someone else, but somehow Jason found how to give that to me.

The world can change and roles can change and people around us can change but love this deep is unchanging and unmovable and unless you have it, completely undecipherable and it’s mine and it’s wonderful and my big strong, serious man has found a way to give it to me every second of every day even when we are apart for the last 21 years.  Why would I ever need to imagine another’s life as my own?  Nothing this beautiful could ever be made up in one’s own mind.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Tree Hugger in Me

Maybe if I close my eyes tight enough I can pretend that it isn’t cold and dreary outside.  I hate winter.  Let me reiterate that…I HATE WINTER.  Every moment and every second I count down until spring.  This year has been the worst year yet because of how badly the inversion was, even drifting down to little old Nephi making my lungs feel like someone had put a vice grip on them and clamped down hard.  Ridiculous that the thought of a storm brought absolute joy to my heart, because remember I HATE WINTER…but that meant the alleviating of the inversion and the freedom of my lungs.

Now I have several thoughts on why I hate winter so much, the main one being that when I was fourteen our youth group went cross country skiing in Beaver’s mountains and got caught in a freak blizzard resulting in me nearly losing my fingers on my left hand followed by months and months of physical therapy and rubbing the dead skin off resulting in me finally getting feeling back in those said fingers about 6 months later to only be haunted by tingly fingers every day of my life henceforth not to mention since that time I shiver so hard in the cold that my back and legs charlie horse and my core temp never seems to be able to rise back up even when I get warm again.

Yes I would think that would be a very good reason for me to hate winter, but in reality I think that it’s the fact that it is so sad and gloomy when the sun doesn’t shine and the roads are black and dirty covered in salt.  And perhaps all of this I could live through if I thought that in some way winter was helping the ever present drought that seems to live and breathe and thrive in Utah.  But I can’t think that, not this year.

Why is water so important, you ask?  Other than the fact that we can’t drink it without it this summer my lawn will be very crispy and my garden will die and my kids will have no sprinklers to run through and quite frankly our poor farmers will go bankrupt resulting in less food for us and thus increasing grocery prices on produce.  Grain and hay prices will skyrocket resulting in an immense increase in the cost of meat…etc. etc. etc.  Get my point.  We need snow and lots of it.  Those mountains above me need to be floating in it and the water table below me needs to be filled to brimming.

The other day I was at a restroom in a McDonalds in Beaver.  I was taking care of my business in my own little stall listening to a mother by the sink talking to her little girl who was about two while she washed her hands.

“Make sure you wash them good, sweetie…” or something along those lines.

“I am Mommy.”

“Sing your ABC’s.  Remember?  Like I taught you.”

On comes the water.

“Abcdef…is that enough, Mommy.”

“No sing the whole song.”

Water still running.

“Abcdefghi…how bout that.  That enough, Mommy.”

“No, the whole song, gotta get those germs away.”

Water still pouring full blast.

“I gotta start again.  Can’t do it otherwise.  Abcdefghijk…what comes next, Mommy?”

Water still running.  At this point the tree hugger that Jason says I am wanted to say, “Turn off that water.  I know germs are scary and all but teach her another way to learn that song.  Slather her hands with all of the antibacterial soap in that dispenser and let her learn the ABC’s to sloshing the soap around instead of the water.  Jeez man, we are in a drought and water doesn’t grow on trees.”

But instead I just finished my business and washed my hands while I watched the little girl (cute as can be by the way) and very high maintenance mommy dry their hands.  You know what she said to her little girl as I washed my hands?  “See, watch this nice lady, I bet she knows the proper way to wash her hands so the germs won’t get her.” 

And you know what I did?  I slathered those hands with soap, no water at this point, and with exaggerated effort rubbed it between every nook and cranny, every joint and under every nail and then after an exaggerated amount of time I very quickly washed it off with as little water as possible.

Then she said, “See, look how good she did that.  No germs are going to get her.”

And I wanted to say, “It’s antibacterial soap, lady.  Your daughter is as sterile as they come.  Lay off the water all ready.”  But of course I didn’t.

At this point I would have explained the whole process of properly washing my hands that my Medical Biology teacher taught me all those years ago had those two people been my daughters, but of course I didn’t.  But this is what my girls have heard a million times.  Put the soap on first before the water coats your hands so that the water doesn’t cause a thin microscopic barrier between your skin and the soap therefore thwarting the whole process.  Then, add the water to distribute it and rinse away.  See even science says soap first, soap good, then rinse away.  Science is water conscious.

What has this got to do with anything, you ask?  I’m not real sure.  Just that twigs and berries, hippy kind of gal that Jason says I am coming out on a rant again.  Probably time for me to go dehydrate something or make yogurt in my crockpot again.  Anything to calm my tree hugger rants.