Wednesday, October 21, 2015

he cut off their arms!!!

ammon I mean.

i teach sunday school for the 16-17 year olds in our church. this lesson happened to reference the story of ammon in the Book of Mormon. the reference was in alma 17:21-29, and as i was looking at the lesson, a greater lesson jumped off the page at me. since this blog is "for me", i want to write down what i learned, because i don't want to forget. the biggest question of all, is

"why did mormon include this story in the book of mormon in the first place?"

his people never saw these journal entries. unless they knew ammon, or knew about ammon, they didn't know his life story. so why is this particular story so important to us? well, i found out why it is so pertinent to me, and why it is so important to those that i taught last sunday. lets begin, shall we?

"And thus Ammon was carried before the king who was over the land of Ishmael; and his name was Lamoni; and he was a descendant of Ishmael. 

  •   the greatest king on our earth is of course our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  
  • Rev. 17:14

 And the king inquired of Ammon if it were his desire to dwell in the land among the Lamanites, or his people.

And Ammon said unto him: Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; and perhaps until the day I die.

  • "hey erlyn, do you want to go to earth and get a body and dwell there for a time, perhaps til the day you die?" 
  • "heck yeah i do!"

And it came to pass that king Lamoni was much pleased with Ammon, and caused that his bands should be loosed; and he would that Ammon should take one of his daughters to wife.

  • uhhh.... i chose brad instead because i'm already a girl. :) wink wink

But Ammon said unto him: Nay, but I will be thy servant. Therefore Ammon became a servant to king Lamoni. And it came to pass that he was set among other servants to watch the flocks of Lamoni, according to the custom of the Lamanites.

  • first, one has to ask themselves if they are the servants of their God and king. i am. i choose to be. ammon chose to be. are you your "brothers keeper"?
  • secondly, he was sent to watch the flocks. we are told in the scriptures that we are the flock of the good shepherdMatt 18:11-14

And after he had been in the service of the king three days, as he was with the Lamanitish servants going forth with their flocks to the place of water, which was called the water of Sebus, and all the Lamanites drive their flocks hither, that they may have water - 

Therefore, as Ammon and the servants of the king were driving forth their flocks to this place of water, behold, a certain number of the Lamanites, who had been with their flocks to water, stood and scattered the flocks of Ammon and the servants of the king, and they scattered them insomuch that they fled many ways.

  • man, isn't that how it always is? you bring yourself, or your children, or those who want to drink of living water, and there is always someone, or something in your way? 

Now the servants of the king began to murmur, saying: Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren because their flocks were scattered by the wickedness of these men. And they began to weep exceedingly, saying: Behold, our flocks are scattered already.

Now they wept because of the fear of being slain. Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he, I will show forth my power unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restorying these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that I may lead them to believe in my words.

  • why is ammon so happy? why is this story here? ask yourself? i know - for me. my answer i got for myself was that he knows the power of God, and he is willing to be God's servant, and he is willing to be the one to STAND. 

And now, these were the thoughts of Ammon, when he saw the afflictions of those whom he termed to be his brethren. 

  • keep in mind that these "brethren" are not of ammons culture, skin color, or upbringing. but he loves them. he doesn't judge them. he loves them. and he's going to show them the power of God; and how God can help them fulfil their mission that he sent them on, which was to bring his flocks (children) to the water (Christ). 

And it came to pass that he flattered them by his words, saying: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us.

  • ammon (nor we) should let the flocks (or children of God) scatter and flee before danger. he's going to go after them and return them safely to the king (God). 

And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water.

  • does this really need to be explained? read it again. what does it mean to you?

And those men again stood to scatter their flock; but Ammon said unto his brethren: Encircle the flocks round about that they flee not; and I go and contend with these men who do scatter our flocks.

  • look at this verse! they encircle the flock! they make them safe. they don't just leave them alone, or friendless, or helpless. they encircle them. that means they stand between the flocks and danger. wow. am i doing that with those i love? 
  • (note to self: notice it doesn't say that ammon looked over and noticed that the sheep were dirty and started to pick crap out of their fleece. he. protected. them. period.)

Therefore, they did as Ammon commanded them, and he went forth and stood to contend with those who stood by the waters of Sebus; and they were in number not a few.

  • COOL VERSE HERE! its a short one, but a good one. someone has to stay back with the flocks. if everyone went to fight the battle, the flock flees again. not good. but someone also has to go "contend". ammon was willing to be the leader and show the others how to lead. he was also willing to put himself in the most danger. then look. 
  • "and they were in number not a few". i asked my class what they thought about this. i loved what one young woman said. now this same young woman chooses not to come to class a lot, but she had some awesome insight into this verse. she commented that to her it might not mean that "people" were standing between us and God. it might mean that we were being overwhelmed with "things", or putting other stuff before God. that we were too busy, or had too many things that we were focusing on that weren't good. ahhh. a window into my own soul. i was oh so proud of her. good job "m". 

Therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not the that Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord; therefore they delighted in the destruction of their brethren; and for this cause they stood to scatter the flocks of the king.

  • satan doesn't care. and he does delight in our destruction. his will IS to scatter the flocks of the king. that is his goal. that is his delight. 
  • Jesus Christ himself promises us to go before our face with angels to bear us up. be of good cheer. you can fulfil your mission. 

But Ammon stood forth and began to cast stones at them with his sling; yea, with mighty power he did sling stones amongst them; and thus he slew a certain number of them insomuch that they began to be astonished at his power; nevertheless they were angry because of the slain of their brethren, and they were determined that he should fall; therefore, seeing that they could not hit him with their stones, they came forth with clubs to slay him.

  • now, for me, i could get the whole meaning of this lesson EXCEPT this verse! for the life of me i could not figure out "stone". what did the stone mean? so i asked the class what it meant to them. they came up with a lot of good answers, and ones that worked for them. for me, i was so thankful to have my daughter and her new fiance :) in my class visiting that day. sara brought up the following:
  • she reminded us that Christ is the Rock. He is the Stone. so if we cast our stones at the adversary, we are using those things that will bring the spirit with us, thus providing us with strength and his grace. we read our scriptures, say our prayers, do good, serve others, be good examples, love with charity, don't judge unrighteously, and do all that God has commanded us. those are the stones. that is how we slay the adversary. 

But behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword; for he did withstand their blows by smiting their arms with the edge of his sword, insomuch that they began to be astonished, and began to flee before him; yea, and they were not few in number; and he caused them to flee by the strength of his arm.

  • this is the verse that every little boy, big boy and man love. he cuts off the arms! until this lesson, that was all i had ever read also. until. this. lesson. that's when the power of this lesson hit me, and i went back and re-read it, then re-read it again. this is a pretty powerful journal entry of this awesome missionary from so many years ago. and here's why. 
  • ammon, first of all, did not make the first move. he never would have used the sling (or words of Christ) against them if they could have just watered the flocks. secondly, he wouldn't have raised his sword, if they would have let them forward to water the flocks.  now here is the awesome part! 
  • WHAT IS THE SWORD!!!???!!! 
  • for those of you in my classes you better know the answer! :) have you ever heard of the "armor of God"? look at Ephesians 6:12-17. the only offensive weapon we have is the sword of the spirit. everything else is defensive! ammon uses the only offense he has. the spirit. and not only that, but the sharpest part of the spirit. he was full of the spirit. he let the spirit of the holy ghost work through him to make his enemies flee from before him! he used the edge of the sword! he kept his sword sharp! he was a man of God!
  • this morning i was given another insight into this verse. he cuts off their arms. why not their legs, or their hands? or their heads? why their arms. what is the significance to us? how about this scripture? Alma 51:17. when one "takes up arms" he is willing to go to war, or to prevent war against liberty. could ammon be saying something to us? should we be fighting terrorism, atheism, apathy, and apostatism with STONES and SWORDS? i'm not saying not to protect ourselves, but maybe we're not doing all we should be doing. just a thought.

Now six of them had fallen by the sling, but he slew none save it were their leader with his sword; and he smote off as many of their arms as were lifted against him, and they were not a few.

And when he had driven them afar off, he returned and they watered their flocks and returned them to the pasture of the king, and then went in unto the king, bearing the arms which had been smitten off by the sword of Ammon, of those who sought to sla him; and they were carried in unto the king for a tetimony of the things which they had done. 

  • ammon completes his mission, waters the flocks (brings the children of God to Christ, and ultimately back to the king - Heavenly Father) and then stands as a witness against those that came against them as a testimony of what had happened. 
  • in the end, are we able to return to our king, so that He may tell us, "well done thou good and faithful servant. enter into the joy of thy Lord." i hope i can. it is my goal.

i am so glad that i was able to teach last sunday. i learned so much from this one lesson. i  hope that i remember to look for lessons like that with everything that i read! the scriptures are full of parables, journal entries, stories, psalms and proverbs, and histories of peoples that not much of the world was able to have because of illiteracy. 




just ask yourself why. 
and then don't be afraid to follow the answer. 
be more like ammon and be on the offensive. 

oh. one more thing my daughter brought up in class from her journal. hers was a direct quote from Jeffrey R. Holland that he told the missionaries in the Kansas Wichita Mission.
mine is what i remember her saying, so here is the gist of it. 

"The time to be on the defensive is over. you need to be on the offensive team now"

it's time to sharpen your sword. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

time to be creepy....

after spending yesterday looking like this and being my own creepy....

i needed some r-and-r! guess what i found while playing on the internet wasting time? creepy stuff! better than fat old men in speedo's creepy. yeah. you know what i mean. ok. maybe not that kind of creepy. but halloween creepy! it is that time of year! look at this!

they are called spooky crystal ball candlesticks, and here is the website on how to make it!

i am making these babies!
 i've got some awesome daughters that will be taking these creepy things home to decorate their own homes after our traditional family fall festival! 

(my way of seeing grandkids in their costumes before halloween, having family dinner - this year we bought an electric smoker and will be trying our own version of smoked pork shoulder. wahoo!  and then homemade apple fritters and donuts. of course there will be games and lots of candy, and a reason for the kids to get one more use out of their costumes!(we make their parents hide behind the doors in the bedrooms and the kids "trick-or-treat" to each door!)  brad and i wear our annual pumpkin shirts. that's our costume of choice. it goes well with our levis. . . hey. better than brad in a speedo.)

now the crystal balls are not the best part. while waiting for heat transfer vinyl to cut .... i know! what the heck is that? .... i was watching you-tube to know how to cut the stuff . . . this lady says "graphics fairy" and then shows how to cut vinyl, make a stencil for her own screen printing - which was awesome - and gets the graphics for free from this fairy godmother! what the heck? I totally had to check this out. after laying in bed all day yesterday from a fibro crash i have some serious making up to do! Since energy is limited, it helps if i can do something while i sit on my butt. the graphics fairy godmother is right up my alley! so off i skipped to her website. holy-freakin'-cow! if you love vintage stuff, you need to check it out! this is like pintrest on steroids! and you can follow them on pintrest! winner-winner-chicken-dinner! did i mention that it's FREE???? oh yeah baby!

so here are some of the cool things i found that i personally like....

and i could go on and on, but you get the idea of the things that are there! here is the website to the awesomeness above!

after yesterday, this was just what i needed to help me stay up til 1am  and start that insomnia all over again. no problem. at least i have something to do while i can't sleep! it's time to get the creepy on!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

sometimes me dumb...

or dumbererest. like today.

i have fibromyalgia. ok. i have a denial that i have fibromyalgia. my body knows i have fibromyalgia. my bones and muscles remind me (right now they are screaming at me) that i have fibro, but my brain -due to the brain fog that accompanies fibro - lets me forget that i have fibro and go on my merry little way and pretend that i don't have it. and so i keep repeating the same dumb mistakes over and over and over.

WARNING: this journal entry will be one of three things. either very entertaining to look back on and see just how dumb i can really get! . . . and i forget the other two. oh! or very boring to read (or hard to follow!) because it will give the reader a "real" view into how my mind works when this sweet little invisible disease / illness / trial plays havoc with my body. it's a peach of a trial i tell ya! or three, will give someone a glimpse on what living with fibromyalgia is like.

one thing when fibromyalgia gets going is that the less sleep i get the worse i feel. one problem - i also have insomnia; because of the fibromyalgia. another part of fibromyalgia that most of us have is chronic fatigue. chronic meaning it. never. goes. away. ever. nope! ever. this is a chronic illness. sometimes it goes into remission, but it is always lurking like a dirty little kid waiting to wipe boogers on your nice clothes right before you go out on a date  . you just wait for it because you know eventually it will come. that kind of remission. that kind of chronic. that kind of illness. wait. not a booger illness! one that sneaks up on you illness right when you thought you would get to go do something fun kind of illness. that kind of illness. yeah. i'd rather have the boogers too. . . and the dirty little kid. . . if i had the energy.

the hardest part about writing this post? remembering what i wanted to write. and sitting here. i'm going to be quite frank so you can understand those that you might know with this. you have been warned.

i cooked dinner for "a lot" (because i'm too dumb to count them today and actually get a number) of people yesterday. i made 17 loaves of bread and 3 kinds of soup. yes. really. and it was delicious, thank you. squirrel! . . . ummmm...  and people messed up my house. but that's ok. they left and now it's quiet. (yes this is really my brain. now you get it. I'll focus now. and erase and edit. and i really thought squirrel!) i personally liked stealing the fruit-by-the-foot with the grand kids and eating it in spite of dinner. smile.

so my plan was to go to sleep early after such a big and busy day. body was willing. brain said nope. and then to sleep in. nope again. seems lately i have what i refer to as "double-insomnia". it's hitting me on both sides. i'm burning the candle at both ends but doing it not by choice. and my candle isn't very big. i know when that candle is gone then i'm in bed for a few days. (again, not by choice) and i can feel it in my body. but my body fights me anyway.  i got about six hours of sleep. at least i didn't have to get up to pee. that's a plus.

i decided that since my body wanted to sleep but my brain was on party mode that i would get in the jacuzzi tub and let my body at least relax after that big weekend. what really happened is that i texted, called and talked to many people and planned things for saras wedding so much that my water went cold and my skin turned into a prune. . . and i got out of the tub 3 times to answer the phone and go check the door to see if i really did miss the u.p.s. man. i did. . . yes i forgot to wear my robe. you're welcome neighbors. sorry. brain-fog.

after 2 hours of this one would think i would get out of the tub, right? nope. i had to get back in - that's how i know the water was cold - colder than running through the house in my nakeys and peeking out the door! - because i forgot to actually wash my hair and body. whoops. (one would think that i could have gotten in the shower and made it quick. i was too tired for a shower.)  by the time i got out, three hours had elapsed and i was no closer to actually doing anything today than when i had rolled out of bed except that i now had to pee because i was so waterlogged from floating in the tub all morning.

one of the phone calls included a call to my oldest daughter. we planned an outing to gardner village to go see the witches and put money down on the reception center, a trip to the bank and to take her to the eye doctor. yes, this information is important to the story. yes, its a long story. i am a story teller. my brain is broken today. i am humored by my broken brain on days like this. no one else is, least of all my ever patient / impatient-with-stories husband. . . which might be why i was in the tub so long. he was trying to get information from me. but i digress. . .

as the time came to leave, i still hadn't called my daughter back. she finally called me to see what was taking so long. in all honesty - i couldn't get dressed. i was pretty much standing there in my underwear- by now just looking at my clothes, wishing that my favorite levis were clean. i told her that i needed a mom today -  and here is why i love my daughter. . .   a direct quote from her. "mom, pull your levis out of the dirty clothes and put them on, put on a white t-shirt and tennis shoes and come to lunch". so i did. . . and then i got behind the wheel of my car and drove it. yikes! thankfully that is a right-brain activity. . .

 on days that i am "really" exhausted, i don't go places. i stay in bed and sleep all day. . . and all night. (that is the crash i can feel coming. not good. that is why people that suffer with invisible illnesses cancel plans with people. we try to avoid those crashes. they take days and sometimes weeks (yes, that's plural) to get over.)

in the end we decided that we both wanted to be lazy. we brought lunch up to my house so the kids could run around and dump theirs on the floor while we ate ours. we didn't do anything we had set out to do except eat at cafe rio. . . and get dressed. that was nice and fit in well with my energy levels today.

for the normal person that would take what? 1 hour? 2 tops? it took me until 6pm. and i'm exhausted. but i'm too tired to sleep. which is why i'm writing this. in my dirty levis. with my feet wrapped in a blanket because they are freezing but i'm about ready to take off my shirt because the top of me is sweating. my back hurts, my shoulders are tight and i feel like i have the flu all. the. time.  not just for a day or a week like normal people do when you get the flu. i feel like that everyday. i have another pounding migraine, and i usually have some sort of headache 9 out of 10 days. and they are usually migraine headaches.i sleep on a heating pad every night. even in the summer.  i'm tired of hurting, so i just ignore the fact that i hurt. i have to. if i think about it, then my body acts like a squeaky wheel and different places in my body compete for attention on what area hurts the most. so if i ignore it, i can deal. if i ignore it, i can function. but don't confuse ignoring pain with my awareness of my body. i am very aware of my body and what is "right" and what is "wrong" for me. i've been on this medical roller coaster for too many years. i know more than my doctor and neurologist. i tell them what tests and medicines i would like to try and they help me. most seasoned invisible illness sufferers are the same.

i have learned to function at a high pain tolerance level. i find that i don't complain about hurting until the pain levels reach about a 6-7. usually that's when normal people head into the emergency room. for me, that's when i stop ignoring the pain signals.

hopefully this will help someone someday. i hope that it will help you understand what people with an invisible illness go through on a daily basis. this is a . . . very . . . "mild" post. i am one of the lucky ones. i can move. i can function. i can get out of bed. i can fight. there are many who can not. there are many who don't have my support system. there are many who can't afford the medicines that it takes to make it through the day. (I didn't even touch on that subject! for your information i take at least 31 pills every day. that's on a good day. if i have a migraine it could add another 8 to 12 pills, and if my asthma flairs also then add in the inhalers too.) sad huh. and i'm a healthy fibromyalgia sufferer. there's an oxymoron for you.

we call fibromyalgia, or lupus, or chronic fatigue, or multiple sclerosis or depression or bi-polar and many others "invisible illnesses" because they are illnesses that people have with symptoms that you can't see, so you don't think of us as "sick".  if    i have a broken leg, people see that broken leg and are willing to help. if i walk with a cane, or am blind, or have an animal companion people see that and are compassionate. humanity is not so compassionate with invisible illness. they think we are fake or hypochondriacs. so we do the next best thing. we fake being well. and we do a dang good job of it. did you read that? we don't fake sickness. WE FAKE BEING WELL. wow. my brain caught that one. that brought tears to my eyes. that's hard to admit. wow.

so if you know someone who has an invisible illness be kind. be understanding. they don't want your pity. they don't want your "medical expertise". ( some of our doctors don't even know as much about our conditions as we do. ) they don't need you to tell them that you understand what they feel like because you had the flu too. (trust me. you haven't had this). they just want you to not get mad when they cancel plans again, or seem forgetful, or have to only do one thing a day. sometimes we have to take care of us. truth is, we spend a lot of our time - too much of our time probably - taking care of everyone else but ourselves until we just cant go anymore. and then we just cant go any more.

a "good nights sleep" doesn't "fix it" for us. we don't have them. we wake up exhausted. sometimes too exhausted to even get out of bed to eat. sometimes we have to make the choice to eat or get dressed because we don't have the energy to do both. sometimes we are so exhausted from taking a shower that we have to go back to bed and rest. it's crazy. i hate it. but i cope. sometimes i cry to cope. a lot of the time i choose to pray. it helps.

just please understand that our "normal" isn't your normal. and whatever you do, don't think us as weak. we are some of the strongest people i know of. we are warriors. we fight every. single. day.

if you are reading this and suffer from an invisible illness, i have a lot of pins on my pinterest page. maybe they will help you. here's my link to my page. 

 and my very most favorite website for fibromyalgia is this one, because it's so positive! 

they have a lot of information and good ideas there.

the best thing that i have found for myself, and that helps me the most, is prayer. and scripture study. and service to others. here is why. i find that if i ask God for His help every single day, and am grateful for the things i do have that there is strength in that. i find that i am able to do more than i could physically, mentally and spiritually do on my own. (hence, the 17 loaves and 3 soups and feeding so many people all day and staying on my feet for over 13 hours. i don't do that.) He is always there. i just need to remember to go to Him. sometimes i forget. like today. today has been little prayers all day long. when i remember things i need, or that i am grateful for, and when i need to talk to someone. He is always there. i know He is. and i know He loves me, and that He loves you too.

i find in the scriptures there are many stories, examples and advice on things that i can do to make my life better not only for myself but for others around me. it helps me to get past me. its good to have another focus besides myself. it also helps with the strength. i find that on the days i read my scriptures my actual physical and mental strength increases. when i don't read i don't have a lot of physical or mental strength. its odd, but i've experimented. there is a correlation. it's not a coincidence. i've done the experiment too many times. there is strength in reading scripture.

finally service. it gets me out of my funks. even on stay in bed days. notes to people can be sent in the mail, or email. it's never a bad thing to make people feel good. on good days you can make 17 loaves of bread and feed it to people you don't know very well. i did. it feels good to do good things for other people. and it makes me realize that what i am experiencing might be hard but i am glad that i don't have other people's trials. i am thankful for my trials. they help me be a better person. they help me to be more compassionate and they help me to serve better. i love service. its the best thing to do on a pity-party day. it always works.

so that's my day today. it's one story of one day of fibromyalgia. it's not the medical terms, or what happens in our bodies, or why we get it and others don't.  but it might just give you an idea into the brain of someone that has it.

i apologize for the lack of editing on my part in this post. i know there are a lot of errors journalism wise, but my brain is struggling to complete this post tonight, and my eyes are seeing double and triple so it's getting harder to write. this post is my accomplishment today. it too has taken me three hours. not because of a lot of re-writes, or editing, or even leaving the computer to do other things. fibromyalgia steals energy. fibromyalgia hijacks my brain and my body. on the inside i know what i want to do and say, but on the outside that is not what always happens or gets said. so my apologies -to myself mostly - if this is hard to read, and to others should you be interested enough to read this far, like i said before. . .

i am not a weak person. 
i am a warrior. 
i fight every single day. 

this is what the "morning after" - read 12:15pm and i'm still in my pajamas and i'm going back to bed in just a minute - looks like after the past weekend and not being able to rest last night. i smiled because it was a picture. but look at the eyes. and the red in the skin. this hidden in plain view illness isn't for the weak at heart. no illness is. May you all have a wonderful day and do something nice for someone today. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

bear. born. carry. lift. deliver. . .

behold thy mother.

two days ago i asked to behold angels. i also asked in prayer to love my children again. and i was sent this message from a loving Heavenly Father through one of His living apostles on this earth today.

i spent the evening in my bed watching the dvr. i finally had time to watch when it was quiet. i didn't cry into my pillow this time. the tears flowed freely down my cheeks. no one can convince me that Heavenly Father doesn't answer prayers. He continually answers mine. and this talk is one of those answers.

today, i was able to mend a wounded relationship with one that i was able to bear. carry. lift and deliver. i was also able to spend the day with my own mother. she is 91 years young and has taught me so many things.

i'm pretty sure that God knew what he was doing when he created mother eve last. we're complicated little beings. we're also a lot more complex than fathers. he knew that we would love our children with a fierceness that would protect them from all things evil. he knew we would give our very lives if they could have theirs. he knew that same feeling would never leave us no matter how old we got.

i see this complexity in my granddaughters with their baby dolls, in my daughters with their children, i still see it in myself with my grown children and my in laws joining the family - yes, i feel to protect them also . . . i'm the mom. it's what i do. . . and i see it in my own mother.

my own sweet mother. she makes me crazy. she makes me smile. and i'm so happy and blessed i can still hug her and kiss her and serve her. i am still learning from her. i am finally learning from her. my fault. not hers. i took her home tonight after having her out to my home for the day to watch conference with my family. i had to call her when i got home so that she could make sure that i was safe. . . she's the mom. it's what she does. . .

with all the crazy things going on in this world with planned parenthood killing innocent babies and selling their body parts. it makes me so sad that such evil people are in the world. i was born at the time that all this was becoming legal to do. abortion. it would have been legal for my own mother to take my life. her marriage wasn't the best. she was 38 years old. but she didn't. she carried me, and allowed me to be born. she was there for me through many struggles in my life. probably more than i realize.

one came with a great sacrifice in my young life. she had to work when i was young, and i was a latch-key kid. for years i was angry at that. like . . . y.e.a.r.s. .. . i didn't realize that her sacrifices then are what put food on the table. and shoes on my feet. my sacrifices as a child are what put my mom in my life when i needed her there the most. it was because of those sacrifices that she was willing to make in her childrens behalf, that i was able to take care of my own children when i was so sick myself. . . for years. . . my mother was by my side for years. she is still here. when i can't go to see her, i hear her voice on the other end of my phone telling me it will be ok this week if i don't have the strength to come see her. she understands. . .  that i should take care of myself. who does that for people? oh. wait. moms do. thanks mom. really. thanks mom. you never get mad. disappointed maybe, but never mad.

tonight i heard someone else talking about the marines and the reason that they make such excellent warriors. it's because they never fight for themselves, or to preserve themselves. they fight for the person next to them. they are their brothers keeper. the man asked, "who is fighting for you"? two people came into my mind. moms. and my savior, Jesus Christ.

and so there it is. and this talk by elder jeffry r. holland. it made it a great day today. it made it ok to enjoy the nine extra 20 year olds i had in my house, along with my grandchildren, my children, my sweet hubby and my mom. i fed them all till they were going to explode, (3 kinds of homemade soup and 17 loaves of bread) and when they couldn't eat any more, i packed it up and sent them home with the leftovers.

i like what abraham lincoln said. "all that i am, or hope to be, i owe to my mother". i agree. without our mothers, we just wouldn't be. thank you mom.

and lest i sound very ungrateful, i would like to add just a little bit to the above. -
"all that i am, or hope to be, i owe to my God and my mother - they both love me."

isn't my mom cute? can you believe that she is 91 years old? man, i hope i look that good!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

the last white dress...

i will buy for my baby girl to wear. that was today. but it was a joyful day. an exciting day. an exhausting day. and a beautiful day. her eyes were more beautiful than her dress. and her countenance more beautiful than her eyes.

the first white dress i bought for her was just after she was born. it was her blessing dress. some people would call it a baptism dress, but we are not them. we belong to the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. . . you know. the mormons. we bless our children when they are just a month or two old. . i have her blessing dress in my cedar chest waiting until she has her own little girl.

we save baptizing our children until they are eight. that was her second white dress. she wanted to have a matching purse and gloves. . . so i made her dress and the purse and we found some gloves to match. i found it still hanging in her closet the other day. she's kept it all these years. it made me smile.

we've been planning this "final" excursion for the last two weeks. it's a big one in her life. so big that she not only included me but invited all her sisters and sisters in law, and four of her best friends. not everyone showed up, but most of us did. we weren't allowed in the room with her to help put on the dresses. she wanted the wow factor. it was. we laughed at the fact that there were tissues in the room - like someone would cry. please.

after at least a million dresses and as many hours... ok, maybe 30 dresses and five hours... she finally found the one that she felt beautiful in. the one that would make him look at her twice, or three times, or maybe forever. while everyone was focused on what others would think of the dress, she was focused on what he would think of her in the dress. she was focused on the day that she would finally be his forever. she was focused on finally having the biggest dream that she's ever dared to dream for herself so close that she can almost touch it. almost.

so while everyone watched her in her dress, i watched what was in her eyes and in her heart. i heard the nuances that were in her words, and after so long the desire to be done so that she could just get back into his arms again where she likes to be. she's safe there. and he keeps her safe there. i like that.

as she looked at herself in that final dress, swathed in lace, with a cathedral veil framing her face, she softly told me that this was the one. i asked her if she was sure. and when she answered in the affirmative, we both started crying. i didn't know that being at the end of this mommy journey was going to be as rough as it has been. but it's joyful too. (grand-kids from older children are awesome benefits) but there is just something about your own baby growing up. bittersweet. but more sweet than bitter. after all, i just look in her eyes, and then i look in his eyes, and i watch them watch each other and how can i not want that for my daughter? that is exactly what i want for my daughter.

so i bought her last white dress today. i did it with joy. because i love her, and i love him because he loves her so much. alek will marry my baby sara in the oquirrh mountain temple in december. and i'm pretty sure that she will be the most beautiful bride that december has ever seen. and i'm pretty sure that when alek sees her, that he'll agree.

Friday, October 2, 2015

my heart hurts...

...because i'm a mom.
if i wasn't a mom, it wouldn't hurt so bad, but it does. that's the price of being a mom i guess. your heart hurts sometimes. and because i'm a mom i hide in the bathroom and cry until i can hide the tears and then i go out and put on a happy face, or at least a stoic face, and make dinner until i can cry into my pillow. 
i remember thinking and feeling this way 20, even 30 years ago when my children were small. i feel the same way again, but the hurt is bigger now, because the children are bigger. they have little ones of their own now. and they probably have mommy tears too. but my tears now are different. they are more full and ripe, and they are felt more harshly, if that's possible. they are definitely hotter and more frustrating because you just cant tell grown up children what to do! (they don't like that! ... neither did i. ) 
my tears are for the frustration over having taught my children how to be good people. how to trust in and Love God. how to be patriotic and to choose good things. how to serve others, and have fun, and lead out. how to fly. 
i didn't realize that some were going to fly into a net, or a wall, or danger. or what i perceive as danger. i didn't realize that some were going to lead people in the opposite direction than what they were taught, or that they would be entitled, or question their love of country, their love of God, or even the existence of God Himself. i don't even know if i believe they are still good people. at least not today. maybe tomorrow. hopefully tomorrow. please God, let me believe they are good tomorrow. 
as i drove today, i said a prayer and asked God to please let me see angels around me today. i felt like i needed the strength, and i know that faith can bring about miracles. i have no doubt that if God wants me to or needs me to, then i can see angels. it's that simple. (that's part of the problem between some of my children and myself. they think my faith is false. it is not. it is real. i do believe in miracles, for i have seen many come to pass.) 
as i pulled into my granddaughter's school to watch her run in the fun-run, i arrived early. i was able to watch the kindergartners run. i was also able to watch the special needs and down syndrome kids run. i started to cry, for i believe that down syndrome kids are truly angels on earth. you see, within less than 30 minutes, God answered my prayer, and reminded me that he loved me, and that he answers prayers so quickly if we will just open our eyes to see. . . and i have had a very tender heart ever since. 
so why does my heart hurt if i am happy that God loves me and answered my prayer? well, i'll tell you. it's because i have some adult children that don't realize that God loves them too, and that makes my heart hurt. i'm not crying for me today. i am crying for them.