Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Broken

Broken - physically and forcibly separated into pieces or cracked or splitor legally or emotionally destroyed;


Marc and I attended a Kenneth Cope concert the other night. Favorite singer ever! He is probably in his 50's-I have been listening to him for 20 years, so doing the math...but he looks like he's maybe 30.



Anyway, it was great. I felt the Spirit and he played several of my favorite songs. One of my favorites is Broken. I have loved this song for a long time, and I especially love it now in my life. Not because I feel totally broken, but because I feel healed from some brokenness.

I rejoice in the fact the demons aren't controlling my mind anymore. (I know there's a more scientific way to describe my severe OCD and depression, but that's how I felt it). I'm glad that although I'm still broken, because I'm not completely healed- I look forward to the Resurrection for that-I am healed enough to function and most of all to live! I feel like I was given a new life and this new life makes me want to help others live as well. 

As I was recovering from illness, I watched General Conference and cried. I blogged about it  here, but I knew from that Conference I needed to help others, not only because of Elder Holland's talk, but I have felt the importance serving all my life. 

My point is this: Being broken  helps us serve. We are given trials in a large part because it gives us the tools to help others. More compassion, empathy, and understanding. Our "personal gethsemanes" are to succor in a small way  for others, the way Jesus succors all of us. He has suffered everything so that "that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." Alma 7: 11,12. I love Him for that.  I will show my gratitude to Him as I serve and love His children.  I am grateful he loves broken me.

We are all broken. That's how the light gets in. Ernest Hemingway: Paul V. Johnson - April 2016 LDS General Conference #lds #ldsconf #quotes: Yes:




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Good




adjectivebetter, best.

1.
morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious:
a good man 2. satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree a good teacher; good health. 3.of high quality; excellent.4. right; proper; fit:It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.5. well-behaved:a good child. 6.kind, beneficent, or friendly:to do a good deed. 7.honorable or worthy; in good standing:a good name.

My youngest child came to me the other day, upset by the events that happened at the high school. The story is here

Jaycie said, it's just too much for an 11- year old to handle. Honestly it's hard for me to handle. Yet this is what I told her. 

Good is what we expect. We expect to walk into school, or anyplace without being hurt. Good is normal.  Bad things are not normal. We are safe most of the time.

Why? Looking in the bible I found the answers.  In fact the word "good" is used 7 times in the first chapter of Genesis. The creation. God describes his creations as "good" seven times. Good is what was created. The world is good because God created it as such.

Yes we live in a fallen world where bad things happen,but ultimately we know good will overcome all the bad stuff, because we are God's. 

I was so touched by the aftermath of the tragedy at Mountain View. Good won. . Dr. Chun, the principal shares some of the good. 

Mr. Rogers told us after a scary event, look for the helpers. Or look for the good. Good will always triumph over bad. 

Yesterday, my family saw good triumph over bad. We served dinner to the homeless in Salt Lake.




 Such a sad thing to know many of God's creations live in such a bad state. My heart aches for them. Yet as I dished up the food, I looked around. There was so much good. So many helper.  I especially saw the good in the eyes of the homeless. We are all created for good.

Mother Teresa says, speaking of the downtrodden, "each of them is Jesus in disguise"




God is good. We are good because we are His.



A favorite from Chris Tomlin. Good Good Father. Lyrics here





Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Love


Realizing it was the Presidential debate tonight, I thought I would write about something that probably won't come up, but it is what our country, our world needs. Love. Simple yet so so necessary. 

This isn't just about two people vying for President. It is about the way our world is right now. 

It is difficult not to feel hopeless and even helpless as the events of the world seem to become more evil and dark. 

However, although I am unsure what the exact events will be  and how the world will continue spiraling downward, I know that there is  hope. In fact, I have found much comfort in the pages of the Book of Mormon. There is power as well as peace in that book.

Elder Holland expresses it so much eloquently than I in his talk -and apropos for these times-Safety for the Soul.  "Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends"

The Book of Mormon is that safe harbor, and that comfort. Yet it is also a beckon, a call to help share that very same message with everyone.  We can share love wherever we go each and every day. And although it may seem like a little thing, each act of love can perhaps brighten the dark world we live in. There is hope. The hope we know is in Jesus Christ who will,in time, make all things fair, beautiful and glorious. 

Although we feel we are sometimes wading through the muck of this world, there is so much to do make the world a better place. Again I turn to another talk by Elder Holland
"So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord."

We got this. Yes we need to vote. Vote our conscience, whatever that means to you. Read the Book of Mormon, as well as other scriptures and words from our prophets. Pray. Pray some more.  And  as His disciples, share Christlike love that can help bring love, hope, and healing to a perilous world. 
( see 2 Timothy 3:1)  




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Loneliness

lone·li·ness
ˈlōnlēnəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    sadness because one has no friends or company.



In Italy, the other day, sobs from an apartment building could be heard. An elderly couple lived there and the crying was so loud and intense, the police were called. No crime was committed, no one was hurt physically yet this sweet couple were crying, because of loneliness. (Washington post). 

The couple, a 94 year old man and a 89 year old woman, who had not had visitors for months, had just heard some distressing news on the television and just felt a surge of loneliness.

The story does get better. The officers on finding the couple in distress, cooked them dinner and visited with them.  Now those officers check in on them periodically. 

Mother Teresa claims that "loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible kind of poverty" 

The police officers observed that food was scarce in their house, yet managed to cook a simple meal to help their physical suffering. The companionship, time and attention had helped to ease their loneliness and spiritual hunger.

This story tugged at my heart strings. How many people in the world suffer from loneliness. Unfortunately, being around people does not always cure loneliness. All of us have felt lonely at home with family, at church or at school. That is tragic. 

So my little philosophical brain got working and wondering why do we mortals get lonely? Why the need for human interaction? Why can't we function alone without people? Why do we need each other so much?

I don't know the answers, yet I have to say it was the way we were made by our Creator. He wanted us to live in families, he wanted us to have friends. Our Creator is about relationships. Think about it. He sent His Son as a tiny babe to a family. And then His Son lived a life to make relationships last beyond the grave and into eternity. However, in order to have eternal relationships, He asks that we have a relationship with Him. John 17:3 When we die, we don't just go to our own little world and become perfect and self-fulfilled, we live in relationships.

Our souls yearn for the companionship of people. And not just warm bodies around us, but people that connect with us, help us and love us. Our very souls cry, just as that sweet elderly couple, cried out. 

So is there a cure for loneliness? 

Mother Teresa says , "There are many in the world dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love"


Love. Christlike love is the answer. M. Russell Ballard states, using a bee analogy as illustration "to pollinate the world with Christlike love".  Because, perhaps, our despair comes not only from a lack of love, but from a longing for Christ and that longing can only be fulfilled in this fallen world as we mortals share His love.





  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Compassion


com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən/
noun
noun: compassion; plural noun: compassions
  1. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
    "the victims should be treated with compassion"



As human beings, I think we are born with compassion. I think it is part of our divine nature. I have wondered however, how it develops over time. How does compassion as a noun change into a verb?

I believe our compassion, over time, becomes very unique to our experiences. The age old question of why there is suffering in the world- is answered partly,  because it develops our own compassion. Our trials, sadness, darkness can impel us to serve in ways that perhaps no one else can. 

"Healers are spiritual warriors who have found the courage to defeat the darkness of their souls. Awakening and rising from the depths of their deepest fears, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Reborn with a wisdom and strength that creates a light that shines bright enough to help, encourage, and inspire others out of their own darkness" (Melanie Koulouris)

There have been times when, as a parent, I have wanted my children to not suffer. I have prayed that the suffering would end and the pain would stop. I have been lovingly rebuked by the Spirit, that although I can pray for their relief, asking them to forgo pain and suffering may be denying them of becoming a compassionate human being molded uniquely and specifically to help humanity in some way.

 Our own darkness can become a bridge of compassion that would of never been built without our suffering.

Of course, we don't need to look far for a pattern. The Savior descended below all things in order to succor each of one us. He suffered EVERYTHING. He built a bridge of Compassion to each human with blood, tears, incomprehensible suffering, and pure love.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Refugee

ref·u·gee
ˌrefyo͝oˈjē/
noun
  1. a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
    "tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes"

Who are they?

 There are more than 60 million refugees, including forcibly displaced people, worldwide. Half of those are children.. (See “Facts and Figures about Refugees,” unhcr.org.uk/about-us/key-facts-and-figures.html.)

How can I help?  
  • Prayerfully determine what you can do—according to your own time and circumstance—to serve the refugees living in your neighborhoods and communities. (Linda K Burton)
  •  Go to IWasAStranger for more ideas
  • Be Kind. It's that simple. I love this song by Michael Mclean about how we are all refugees.


I did a lesson a few weeks on Relief Society on how to help the refugees. Although I didn't go into a lot of details about the refugees themselves,  we focused more on how to help them. I was awed and saddened by the pictures found in the Ensign of the refugees and felt they told the story better than I ever could. I put together a presentation with these pictures:


Tents in a refugee camp


Children in a refugee camp





Woman in a refugee camp


Family in a refugee camp
Aid worker surrounded by children in a refugee camp
Greeting a refugee family
Aid worker embracing a refugee




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Endurance

Endurance

  1. inˈd(y)o͝orəns,enˈd(y)o͝orəns/
    noun
    1. the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.



Last Sunday, we watched a video about the Atonement. It showed Christ's suffering and pain. I wondered what He was thinking as He went through everything He did. After the excruciating prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane where He suffered the sins, pain sorrow of all mankind, was there relief? No, He was betrayed and arrested. After the horrific scourging, was there relief? No, a crown of thorns was placed on his head and then had to carry his own cross to Calgary. And then was there relief when nails were driven in hands and feet? And even after all that unthinkable pain, we know he suffered for hours, and still no relief. He even felt His Father's presence leave Him, and we hear him cry out and question the Father forsaking Him. 

And then it was finished. 

After watching His suffering, and all that He went through, the word Endurance came to mind. Endurance isn't usually a happy word.  It's the hard, icky, we-have-to-go-through this stuff. We all struggle, we all have trials. They are unbearable and seem to last forever. 

I have experienced such trials.  And just when I cry up to the heavens asking for relief, it doesn't always come when I think it should. It doesn't usually come when I'm pretty sure I've suffered long enough and learned all that I need to know.

Endurance is what the Savior did and He did it perfectly.  He did it out of love for each of us. He has compassion for every hurt, sorrow a human can suffer and He succors us with His perfect love.

 As He did, we need to endure our own small proverbial crosses and  gethsemanes. And then, perhaps only then, can we truly  help others endure, victoriously, to the end.