"Oh remember, remember . . . I urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God's kindness."

President Henry B. Eyring

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


A friend of mine sent an email with this picture and story. It is a five generation picture and I'm sorry I'm not certain who the family is, but the picture and story are beautiful and I wanted to share it with you all.

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.
When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.
Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear strong voice.
'I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,' I explained to her.
'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I mean really looked at your hands?'
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them.. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.
Grandma smiled and related this story:
'Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
'They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.
'They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special
They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.
'They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.
'These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.
But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of God.'
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.
I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

I made Ron's first valentine cake 37 years ago when we were engaged, and I haven't missed a year. Yes, this year's cake is lopsided and wrinkly (kind of like Ron & I) but it tastes just as good as ever! Your Dad is still the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. I love you Ron!

More Wisom from Crochet

* FOUNDATIONS: Often a row will seem unremarkable at best and tedious at worst, but the next few rows will reveal that it was a foundation for something beautiful just around the corner. Sometimes the pattern book will instruct you to go over the row again and you think, “I’m doing this again?” Then as you keep going you realize it completed the seemingly plain row before and added texture and dimension and foundation for the next row. Life is like that. The routine, mundane things we do just don’t seem that important yet---but they will if we just keep doing them!

I just can't get this crochet wisdom out of my mind. I thought of another one a couple of days ago and didn't write it down. It's now lost. (That's what happens to 58 year old minds) It made me think of the cute things our babies are saying. If we don't write them down now, they WILL grow up and we WILL forget.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gospel Lessons I Have Learned from Crochet

I am finally starting a new crochet project! It has been months since I could sit that long due to my bulged disk. It still hurts a little, but I am learning how to cope. So, as I began to crochet this time, my mind reflected on all the lessons I have learned.

* PATIENCE: In my past I have never been known for having much, but I am learning.
* RHYTHM: The rhythm soothes my body and mind. I have time to think and pray. I started crocheting after my first open-heart surgery because I was going out of my mind! I found that the smooth rhythm would help my heart beat stabilize when it was in frib. Occasionally it still does, and it still helps.
* GOOD FOR THE MIND: I love doing the most complicated patterns I can find. I believe they helped my mind after so many mini-strokes threatened to take it away. Brian (who is a computer programmer) looked at my crochet instructions one day and said it looks a lot like computer code.
* OBEDIENCE: I love the precision required. It is like computer code, in that you must be absolutely precise or the pattern will be lost. Every coma, period, chain, double, single or triple crochet, every popcorn stitch etc, etc, etc, must be done with exactness!
* REPENTENCE: I love comparing it to the gospel. If you crochet one round incorrectly the next round becomes distorted. If you keep going like that soon the pattern is random and jumbled and out of shape without much meaning and not very pretty. However, if you "repent" by pulling out the mistakes and starting again, the pattern emerges and it is orderly and beautiful! That is like our lives. If we follow the “Plan of Happiness” our Heavenly Father has provided we can create something meaningful and beautiful out of our lives.
* CORRECT PATTERN: Sometimes I get a pattern off the internet. Too often the pattern has mistakes in it. You can imagine the trouble that causes. I’m grateful to have the restored gospel, with a plan I can trust! Our Father cannot change the pattern because it was "predicated" in Heaven before the foundations of the world, and because it is the pattern that works! But, He has provided our Savior Jesus Christ and because of Him we can back up, repent, and then go on! Also, whenever I have corrected a mistake in project, eventually it turns out beautifully and I can never tell you where the mistake was or even remember making one as I enjoy the perfect finished piece. I love that principle—though our sins be as scarlet, if we repent, they will be white as snow!
* PERSPECTIVE: Sometimes I like to try a pattern that doesn't have a picture, just to see what will emerge. Our lives are like that. We can't see the big picture, but I like to remember that our Heavenly Father can. If we keep following HIS pattern our lives will turn out just fine.
* ENDURE TO THE END: I love the good feeling of completing a project. Occasionally I put one away that I didn't have time to finish or grew bored with. At that point it is simply a waste of time, just knots tied into string, stuffed away in a drawer and of no use. But, if I complete the project, wash it, block it and use it; it is beautiful. It is even more satisfying if I give it to a friend! I have realized that too often for the last ten years since my son died, I have not progressed. I have hid behind my closed door. Lately, having been called to teach Gospel Doctrine and with a new calling at the Draper Temple to be an assistant coordinator, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone. I guess it’s time to share myself more and become what Heavenly Father wants me to be instead of all tied up in knots.
* IT BECOMES EASIER: At first a new pattern is hard. I have to really work at it to get it right, and it doesn’t look like much at first. But, as I try so very hard to read, re-read, check each stitch and really pay attention a beautiful pattern begins to emerge which spurs me on! Then as I become familiar with it, like when doing squares for a tablecloth that repeats, I can get too complacent. I don’t pay attention to detail and then find that I have made stupid mistakes. Life can be like that when we don’t pay attention!
* KNITTING: Knitting is usually more practical. (Remember the ALL the hats and scarves I knit a few years ago for Christmas?) But, you have to pay closer attention because it is sooooo much harder to unpick. Life’s big decisions like marriage and career choices are like that too.
* CROSS STITCH & HARDANGER DRIVES ME CRAZY: I had to give up cross stitch and I never did complete Kathy Samsel’s beautiful hardanger. It is just stress and not worth the price I pay to do it! I have learned that we cannot do or enjoy doing everything, and that’s okay too!