Sunday, July 24, 2011

Words Spoken...Words Remembered

     A parishioner went up to the priest to unload his guilt about the act of gossiping ~ so what harm was done exactly, he asks … So the priest asked the parishioner to go back home … take a feather pillow & a knife with him up onto the roof of a high building.. Give it a slash and see what happens…
     So, the parishioner did as he was told … he took a pillow & a knife … went up onto the roof & slashed it with all his might… Lo & behold… there were feathers & more feathers flying all over …. The parishioner then returned to the priest to report the act done. The priest proceeded to ask the parishioner to go back up & the roof … to RETRIEVE each and every feather that escaped from the pillow
     Well, that sums it up beautifully doesn’t it… Each and every word, no matter how juicy (whether with malicious intent, or not) that escapes from our mouths … can never be retrieved fully …  So, the harm & the hurt is done. There no turning back. Food for thought.
                                                                                       Short Horse Tales  …. of the two legged kind….


     The first time I heard this story was in a ward sacrament meeting where gossip was a real problem.  Sad isn't it?  Words had been spoken that had caused hard feelings resulting in the formation of "clicks" and in a few cases, brothers and sisters not returning to church. 
     Something I overheard the other day prompted this blog.  A single young mother at her wits end with one of her children yelled at him that she had had enough and was going to sign him over to the care of someone else.  Stunned that she would say this, I approached her later and asked her what she was thinking of when she said that?  She very nonchelantly replied that it was okay, she had talked with her son later and they were okay.  I told her maybe that's what she thought, but he would remember those words in years to come.  They were words she could never take back.  Like the feathers in the feather pillow.
     What have we said without thinking that we can't take back...words spoken in haste without stopping to think.  Without engaging our brains, before putting our mouths into gear?
     I remember the little white lie I told my dad when I was 10 and when caught in that lie, my dad promised me he would not talk to me the whole next day.  He kept that promise.  I never felt so lost or alone.  Words spoken...words remembered.
     The little boy who stood in court during custody proceedings and heard his mother say she would take him only if she were paid to keep him.  That little boy was raised by his father and is now 80 years old.  He still remembers those words.  Words spoken...words remembered.
     I will never forget a Bishop who once said to a Relief Society group of sisters who were upset that they had to pay for their lesson manuals that year and were taking it out on the Relief Society presidency,  "Live sucks and then you die.  If you don't like it come and see me".  I love that Bishop, now a counselor in the Mission Presidency.  Words spoken...words remembered.

     The words we speak say so much about us as a person.  Are they kind words or hurtful words?
             Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
                                           ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta
How much is a kind word worth to your family, friends and strangers?
     Hairdresser David Wagner learned these answers from a customer who came to him regularly every month. One day she phoned David in between her regular visits and asked if he would style her hair for an important event that evening. David fit her into his schedule and gave her his usual loving attention. He talked amiably with her, laughed, touched her kindly, and told her how beautiful she looked. After her session, she smiled and thanked him.
     You can imagine David's shock when a few days later he received a handwritten letter from the woman explaining that the important event she wanted to look good for that evening was her own funeral. She had planned to commit suicide later that day. When she spent time with David, however, the kindness he showed her influenced her to change her mind. She decided that life was worth living, and she could go on.
     Never underestimate the power of a kind word or thought. It may affect one or many, many people without you even knowing it.
                                                                                                       No Small Meetings   Alan Cohen

     "Have I told you today that I love you?  Well, I do".  as he blows me a kiss.   I remember these words.  They come from my husband every day and I love to hear them.  Words spoken...words remembered.
     "...you are kind...thanks for the kind words. Gina".  Words spoken...words remembered.
     "Thank you for the beautiful music today",  Words spoken...words remembered
     Words spoken...words remembered that I personally will never forget was when Troy Dunn who was a High Councilman for our stake came to speak at in our ward.  I had no idea he was speaking, let alone that he was a renowned motivational speaker or the Troy Dunn of The Locator.  I had been asked to do a special musical number.  I chose to sing that day.  Brother Dunn spoke after my song.  The first thing he said was that he didn't realize that our ward had Mary Poppins or that he was going to be priviledged to hear her sing and how fortunate the ward was to have my talent.  After the meeting he came up and shook my hand and complimented me personally.  Talk about flying on cloud nine.   Words spoken...words remembered.
      
     How about the words spoken to us through personal revelation?  Do we listen?  Do we remember them?  We are all entitled to personal revelation. I especially love it when I stop and listen to the "still small voice" in all things no matter how big or small.  I know I have ignored small things that I really should have listened to.  The Lord has told us that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.  

   "I have forgiven him. You can do no less".  Words whispered to me through the spirit in a moment of despair.  Words that confirmed to me that Jesus loves us and comforts us always.  Words spoken...words remembered.  
     "Stop!  Visit this sister now".  This whispered more than once as I passed an inactive sister's home.  I didn't want to visit her.  I didn't care for her very much and she didn't like visiting teachers.  Finally I heeded the prompting.  She let me in!  Several months later I sat in the sealing room of the Swiss temple and watched as she and her family were sealed for time and eternity.  We both left Germany at the same time both moving to Ft. Hood, Texas, where she became my secretary in the Young Women's presidency.    Words spoken...words rememberd.  
      "This is the one".  Words whispered to me in sacrament meeting when seeking a 2nd counselor for my Young Women's presidency and I didn't know her.  She had just moved into the ward and was the speaker.   I had been praying for a 2nd counselor for 2 months and always drew a blank.  Why?  Because she wasn't there yet.    Words spoken...words remembered.  

    Words we speak are words remembered and they impact not only those we speak them to, but to everyone around us.   They truly do speak of the person we really are and will be remembered.   Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24
Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live  And sunshine forever impart.  Let us oft speak kind words to each other;  Kind words are sweet tones of the heart.  (Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words)



 
      

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CAT FIGHT

Cat fight is a term for an altercation between two women, typically involving scratching, slapping, hair-pulling, and shirt-shredding as opposed to punching or wrestling (although this isn't always the case).

Today was my first.  Your first what you might ask.  The first time I saw a "cat fight"  between a 3 year old and a 9 month old.  Yes, I mean it.  There I was, sitting on the couch as the girls played on the floor near the front door.  "The parking lot" we call it because that's where all the big toys are parked...the baby strollers(2), the grocery cart, the toy cleaning cart which includes the most annoying vacuum cleaner, the push car - anything on wheels.  Our 3 year old, Anai. had just finished watching Calliou on the Sprout Jr. channel and the subject was big brothers/sisters helping take care of little brothers/sisters.  Calliou decides he wants to be a baby again like his sister Rosie so mom obliges him and treats him like a baby all morning.  So all morning he pretended he was a baby until nap time.  At nap time, he didn't think he wanted to be a baby anymore.  Naps were for babies and he was after all 4 and he wasn't a baby.   Well, Anai our 3 year old decided she wanted to be a baby after seeing this episode and was sitting in her sister's car seat which had been placed by the front door and Emileigh didn't much care for that- the car seat was hers.  She tried to get in her car seat as well.  Any other time she would be screaming her lungs out because she hates the car seat.  The next thing I heard was Anai screaming at the top of her little lungs ("little"  is a mild understatement) and as I look over,  here are my two little angels(I use the term loosely at the moment) with one holding her cheek screeching "she bit me" as she reaches out and scratches her sister on the face and the fun begins.  I have two sweet, loving  babies, my haloed angels actually rolling on the floor in what can only be described as a "cat fight".   Now mind you, this really isn't supposed to be funny, but  my husband who is separating them is laughing so hard while trying to scold them, that it was difficult for me to keep from laughing.   I remember my sister and I fighting once like this, but I was 18 and she was 17 and it was the day before my senior pictures.  I got my glasses broken, 2 weeks grounding and a visit to a vision center trying to find a frame my lenses would fit in. Wouldn't you know the only frame they had were cat eyes.   My sister received 3 weeks grounding for starting the fight in the first place.  What do you do with a 3 year old and a 9 month old?  Ground them?  I don't think so.  I can tell you however, that life in this household is never dull.  You just never know what's around the next corner. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tribute to Home Teachers

Home Teachers are a special group
They’re an assigned duo
Called into service as priesthood bearers
Representing the Lord Jesus Christ

A divine service, a divine call
To bring unbounded peace,
Joy and satisfaction to God’s children
To nurture and inspire, to counsel and direct

HOME TEACHERS
The home teachers knocked on our door
And said that they were sorry for
Not calling for an appointment before
Coming to visit our family of four.

We’d been inactive for quite a spell
It had been some time since home teachers had rung our bell.
Seeing them standing there made my heart swell
And I felt the emptiness in my soul dispel.


Our home teachers came rain or shine
We were given a message every time
Then they would come again as if by design
To gently help us toe the line.

Tenderly, compassionately they nurtured us
And then one day they did request
That we put on our Sunday best
And return to the Lord’s sweet house of rest.


Because they loved us unconditionally
They also fed us nutritionally
With messages of spirituality
And helped to show us our own accountability.


They loved us back into the fold
And blessings we’ve received have been fourfold
All because home teachers did uphold
A calling considered more priceless than gold.


Home Teachers will never know
The change that a family can undergo
By ministering with love that overflows
From the seeds of compassion that they sow.


Home Teaching a divine service, a divine call
To minister to members one and all
To nurture, inspire, council, direct even the small
As sacred standard-bearers meeting God’s call.
Mary L. Walling 5/2011


     Tonight our home teachers came to visit.  Instead of the message from the First Presidency, they followed the spirit and gave a wonderful and beautiful lesson on our own individual worth.  This was a lesson that I felt our family  needed.  We have been going through some stressful trials and tribulations and I know that several of us have wondered "Why me"? or "What did I do"?   I know that the Lord does not give us trials and tribulations as punishment for things we do or don't do.  The scriptures tell us that He will not give us any trial or tribulation that He doesn't think we can't handle.  Trials and tribulations are given to us to help strengthen us, to help us grow spiritually and temporally.  One trial may be preparing us and strengthening us for the next trial or tribulation.  That explains to me why when I feel I am getting one step ahead, something happens that puts me 2 steps behind and at times makes me say to the Lord that enough is enough and it's someone else's turn for a change.
     My sweet daughter who is going through a particularly stressful and trying period in her life right now asked for a blessing of comfort while the home teachers were here.  In that beautiful blessing, she was admonished several times to humble herself in daily prayer and in secret prayer to the Lord and there she would find the peace and comfort that she needed to get through her time of trial.  As if this weren't enough to bring not only tears to every eye in the room, but the sweet holy spirit, our sweet and beautiful 3 year old granddaughter asked for a blessing of her own which the home teachers did not hesitate for one minute to give her .  There is a beautiful hymn that I have always loved called "Where Can I Turn for Peace"


Where Can I Turn for Peace?
1. Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?

2. Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

3. He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

Text: Emma Lou Thayne, b. 1924. © 1973 IRI

     Our home teachers also discussed with  us that even though we go through  trials and tribulations in our daily lives, that it doesn't make our worth any less in the sight of the sight of God.  It may in the sight of man, who focuses in this day and time on the material things in life as the worth of man, but never in the sight of God.  At this point one of our home teachers quoted from memory "The Touch of the Master's Hand" one  my favorite poems.  But this is the part that was the focal point:
And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

Myra Brooks Welch

     The trials and tribulations that we go through daily are to help humble us and to teach us and to prepare us for what is to come.  We need to ask ourselves not "Why me"? or  "What did I do"?, but how am I going to handle this?  "What am I going to do about it"?  Search, ponder and pray.  Seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opened" (Matt 7:7-8).  All we have to do is humble ourselves enough to lay our burdens at His feet and he will pick them up.  Is the worth of our soul and the change that is wrought worth the touch of the Master's Hand?   
   

Sunday, July 10, 2011

YOU NO LOVE JESUS

YOU NO LOVE JESUS
Today our lesson in Relief Society was "Eternal Marriage".  It was a beautiful lesson given by a beautiful sister.  She successfully taught us how important it is that we be married in the temple and at one point in the lesson asked what we could do to help as parents to help encourage young people to set goals to be married in the temple as they are growing up.  How can we help prepare them for this?  The answers were many from hanging a picture of a temple in our home for the children to see each day, hanging a picture of Christ, setting the example, etc.  I listened to my daughter tell how she and her husband had made the conceience decision that they would go once a month to the temple as a family taking their 8 month old and 3 year old daughter with them.  Once having been to the temple with her parents and walking around the temple grounds and sitting in the foyer watching the brothers and sisters and youth come and go doing the ordinances for themselves and for the dead, she begs every month to go back to the temple.  Her favorite song is "I Love to See the Temple" and at 3 knows every word by heart.  She has a picture of the temple in her nursery and a picture of Christ who is her best friend.  One day when her parents were planning a trip to the temple, her aunt was invited to go.  Because her aunt had made previous plans, she was unable to go.  Little Anai looked her aunt in the eyes and said, "You not going to the temple"?  "No", her aunt replied.  Without missing a beat, Anai replied, "You no love Jesus".  It took us all quite by surprise.  A three year old child knew in her little heart how important it was to go to the temple and felt that if you didn't go you didn't love Jesus.  It made me stop and think about being sealed to my parents in the Swiss temple.  Coming out of the temple, my mother said that I looked at them and asked how I could be married like that.  From that day on I set my goals to be married in the temple and 39 years ago this month I was married and sealed to my loving husband in the Provo temple. Yet, how many times have I made excuses for not going to the temple as often as I should?  The drive is too long (4 hours), my back and legs hurt( I have seen those who can barely move in the temple), I can't afford the expense right now(we have brothers and sisters who make the trip in bus loads and travel for many hours to go to the temple and sacrifice much to do this sacred work).  This work is so important and there is no excuse.  "You not going to the temple?  You no love Jesus".  How much do we love Jesus?  What is our excuse?  Temple marriage is worth any sacrifice.  It is a way of obtaining eternal blessings beyond measure.  Are we willing to make the sacrifices necessary to obtain blessings beyond measure?   To be an eternal celestial family?  Out of the mouth of babes...
"You not going to the temple?  You no love Jesus".   

Saturday, July 9, 2011

DADDY

by
Mary L. Walling
As a little girl you were always there for me.
You held me in your loving arms as I sat upon your knee.
You joked with me, teased me, and showed me how to play.
You constantly taught me how to work and tenderly to obey.
I looked into your face and saw a man that I adored
Someone I would certainly give “Best Father of the Year Award”.

All though our family was split religiously
I was always taught lovingly and consistently.
You loved me enough to teach me about Baptist Divinity
While Mother believed and taught in the Blessed Trinity.
Then the time came when I questioned, “Just who is God”?
And you looked at me with loving eyes and gave a knowing nod.

The time had come for us to be
A family of religious harmony.
So the journey and search began
For a better religious family plan.
A plan that would bring us all together
A plan that would keep us together forever.

The search was not easy, the journey seemed long.
One church after the other something was always wrong.
Then a wonderful man that you knew
Asked if he could talk with you
He and his wife had a special message to share
A plan showing Heavenly Father’s tender loving care.

At first you were skeptical and unsure 
And it was certainly more than Mother could endure.
“Mormons!  Absolutely no way”! She said.
But the more you thought about it, you didn’t feel you’d be misled.
Mother wasn’t happy about them teaching the discussions
But happily there were not any serious repercussions.

A few weeks later you were baptized
Followed by Mother.  Are you surprised?
My sister and I followed a few weeks later.
We were now a one religion family. What could be greater?
A year to the day, you took us to the temple to be sealed
As a celestial family for time and all eternity just as the Lord revealed.

As a little girl you were always there for me.
You held me in your loving arms as I sat upon your knee.
But the best thing that you have ever given me
Is an eternal celestial family.
What better love could there be
Than to receive this gift from my daddy.




I wrote this for my dad for Father's Day, but did not want to post it until he saw it first.  He is the hero in my life.  He has always been there for me and for my family.  He has always been faithful and strong not only in the church but to those around us.  He raised us to love the Lord and to walk the strait and narrow.  He has remained true to and honored his priesthood.  I love him with all my heart and am so glad that he is my daddy.