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

President Henry B. Eyring

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Love That Man

This is a funny thing to do, but so many times today I've thought about my sweetheart Ron. I smile each time and think how much I love that man! And, I felt the desire to record that here on my blog. I'm probably the only one who reads it anyway, and I want it recorded! I love my husband—I’m glad he's the one I get to live with forever—the one I get to laugh with and love—the one who still gives me butterflies when I think of him. Like today!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is It Finally Spring?

I remember the morning, in the year 2000, when I looked out my window and was startled to see snow! How could this be? Where had spring, which I love best, and early summer and golden autumn gone? And, I remember feeling astonished to realize those seasons had slipped by in that dark time of illness and grief. I remember for several years how I could not tolerate the scent of even one single flower, when before I had loved flowers of every kind and hue! I’d loved their tender beauty, their soft petals and their fragrance—how I’d always loved them until that month I found my house filled with gorgeous hothouse blooms wafting the cloying scent of funeral. I remember when spring came again that year, how painful my beautiful season of hope and joy had become. So every year for ten years, as soon as the first crocus would begin to push out of the cold earth, I’d begin to mourn. And, gradually over the last few years, by the time April came, Robert’s April—Robert’s month of birth—and death, there were no tears or sorrow by then because I had cried them out in February and March.

Eventually, I could not resist my former love—their soft petals and sweet fragrance wooed me again and I knew I STILL love flowers! And then spring—oh glorious spring, it came again to my heart, after February and March wrenched it so. And, then this year—this year as the crocus peeked through the earth, I was startled again. I smiled it a welcome! This is the season of renewal, the season of hope, the season of the Lord’s resurrection and redemption! And, the season that I have finally started to remember! To remember my firstborn baby boy—the boy I loved—the boy I still love with a mother’s heart. And so I started the “Remembering Robert” blog. It’s February and I’m not crying, I’m looking at his sweet baby pictures and reveling in memories—good memories! Though I know it’s hard, please, please share your good memories too—even the little scraps that might not seem like much are precious to me! And each story and memory is bringing a smile to my face this year instead, of a tear!

An Infinite Measure of Love

"[God] loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God's love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked."What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Love of God," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 22–23

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Voices From Empty Houses

I wrote this poem twenty years ago and I felt like sharing it this morning, with all the young, lonely, stay at home Moms out there! And, you might say with a little touch of nostalgia for a coming day. Can you have nostalgia for a future event?

Voices From Empty Houses

I somehow feel like a stranger here.
A visitor from another planet—
Or a time traveler . . .

I remember mother's soft cotton house dresses
And sturdy loafers with bobby socks.

The "Leave It To Beaver" days . . .
Of housewives sharing coffee
And the streets filled with childsong!

Now a lonely dog barks in echo,
As a stiff breeze clangs the chain,
Of an empty playground swing.

Distant traffic the only reminder
That people rushing away from the suburbs
will return,
To pick up empty garbage cans,
And unlock silent doors.
As I walk . . .
Flags, raised like sentinels on mailboxes demand,
"Who goes there?"

And voices from the empty houses,
Wearing linen suits with tinkling heels asking,
"And, what do you do?"

Incongruous isn't it?
A housewife in jeans,
And tennis shoes . . .

The voices
From the empty houses proclaiming—
Times have changed.

Echoing other voices from empty houses
Like Bolsheviks and Marxists,
Who changed times, for a season.

I see the faces of little girls in day care centers,
Behind their Berlin Walls—
Crooning to their dolls . . .

Of soft cotton dresses,
And sturdy loafers with bobby socks.
Housewives sharing coffee,

And streets filled with childsong!

© Bonnie Holt (1990)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Le Shanah Haba-ah b, Hadash Yerushalayim

Over forty years ago I first learned of the New Jerusalem in seminary. For some reason my interest was instant, and I wanted to know everything I could find out about that promised city. My heart just swelled with longing to be there — to be part of that future righteous gathering of saints. I thought my heart would burst when I read Moses 7:62-64 " . . . and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch; Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest."

At that time in my young life I longed for such peace, because my home-life was filled with contention and strife. I longed to love and be loved. How I longed to be there when the holy city of Enoch comes down from heaven and is joined with the New Jerusalem and for a thousand years the Lord will reign and peace will be on the earth! To be in a place where children will grow up without sin unto salvation and there will be no poor among us. Every few years this desire just starts to well up in my heart, and it's here again this year! About thirty years ago I heard the phrase "Next Year In Jerusalem" and immediately I adopted it. When we moved from Denver twenty-two years ago I longed to go east to Missouri, but I had to turn my face to the west. After we'd moved, for several years until it became faded and curled, I had a note on my bathroom mirror that said, "Next Year In Jerusalem!"

After reading scriptures in the temple last Friday, that phrase started playing in my head again, and I got the most unreasonable, but strong desire to know what it is in Hebrew. I researched and found the Hebrew phrase: Le shanah haba-a b,Yerushalayim or Next Year in Jerusalem. At the Jews yearly passover feast, they fill their glasses with wine, with one for the prophet Elijah with his empty chair, and for the last two millennia, at the end of the feast they raise their glasses and repeat together "Next year in Jerusalem!" All during their long dispersion in the world they spoke these words with the passionate longing to go back home to their holy city. Now that Jews are once again in Jerusalem, they speak these words with longing for the prophet Elijah and their Messiah to come! It's with that same longing that I added "hadash" or "new" to the phrase and lately it's been like a mantra to me — Le shanah haba-a b, hadash Yerushalayim, as I give thanks that the prophet Elijah has already come and as I long for the Savior Jesus Christ to come again!

And so I pray — "Next Year In New Jerusalem!"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Big Crochet Giveaway

I have had some ups and downs with health the last month or so. It seems that whenever I don't feel good, I crochet. It is a throwback to when my son died and I had open heart surgery two months later. I went crazy just recovering, with tooooo much time to think and cry. So, I took up crochet. I made a million doilies, several table cloths and temple envelopes.

Well, I have some new doilies, and honestly, how many can you put around your home. (I used to think they were silly, so I understand if you think so too. I still think it's kinda' nuts to sit around tying knots in string, but they make some pretty designs.) Oh well, it's great therapy, it helps the little bit of arthritis I'm starting to get and I figure it's not too bad for my brain. The harder and more complicated a pattern is to follow the better!

Bottom line — if you'd like a doily, let me know. I'd love to give you one!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Be Still And Know That I Am God

This is just a glimpse of the stories coming from faithful Saints in Haiti! If you haven't started reading this series you are truly missing out! Click the link on my sidebar for Meridian Magazine to read more and find out why these homeless Saints are dressed so beautifully! (It's NOT what you think!) But do think of last month's visiting teaching message!
Guerby Pierre was one of the more prosperous members who is now homeless and each night as he lays under the stars, it reminds him of what is really important in life. He said, “In one sense I have nothing, but in another, I have everything because I have the gospel, and this earthquake has only augmented my testimony. My life is changed. The earthquake simplified it. Since the earthquake, I could all of a suddenly think clearly.” Here he is holding up his temple recommend, which with his scriptures were one of the few things, he salvaged from the quake! When asked if his scriptures, which had all of the gold gilding worn off, were damaged in the quake, he grinned and said no, he just loved to read them! (My scriptures don't look like that!) No wonder he has such faith!

Charles Marie Murielle “From time to time the earth would shake again. I was continually scared. I was the only member of the Church nearby, and I felt like I was alone. People from other religions were making a lot of noise and were screaming. I found myself in silence because the Spirit told me exactly what to do. I knew it was not the end of the world. (Her story makes me think of Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God . . .")

I have often wondered, since we live in the last days, if we will not one day find ourselves in similar situations! What faith! What an example these people are to all of us!

Read of their remarkable sacrament meeting talks, and of their other classes on Sunday, and their songs "How Firm A Foundation" and "Come, Come Ye Saints!" Truly THIS is Zion!

LDS Volunteers In Haiti!

Check out the link I added to my sidebar for this special edition of Meridian Magazine! Note that they post the latest story on top so you should scroll down and read the last story "Meridian Joins an Army of LDS Volunteers Heading to Haiti" first so you can appreciate and follow the journey of these selfless volunteers now in Haiti!

I have been following this amazing story and I know all of you will want to read and help! As I have followed the story of how the spirit of the Lord has touched each of these people, called only by the sweet quiet whisperings of the spirit, to do so much good ON THEIR OWN, it has been a powerful witness of the Lord’s hand in all of our lives as well as my own! I testify that He WILL help us through these last days, and that He is in charge, and that now is the time to redouble all of our efforts to follow the prophet and get our lives in order! God lives — Jesus is the Christ, President Monson is his living prophet and He is guiding his Church and all of our lives! D&C 58: 27-28 teaches us this principle: "Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward." These wonderful volunteers are perfect examples of this, and faith like theirs, is the reason MIRACLES still happen!

Makes me want to do more good in the world today!