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

President Henry B. Eyring

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cover Your Mouth When Yawning In Public

As I watched someone in church today let out a big YAWN (without covering their mouth) which of course, is contagious, I couldn’t stifle my yawn—but I DID cover my mouth! I covered my mouth because whenever I yawn, I hear my high school dance teacher Virginia McDonald’s voice, “Always cover your mouth when yawning in public!” She taught her students much, much more than dance. She also taught us etiquette and poise. I was so scared of that woman, but I will never forget some of the things she taught us—she had a great influence on my life.

“Don’t speak with your mouth full. Don’t cross your legs when sitting in front of people. Stand with your shoulders straight. When in doubt follow the lead of your host or hostess. Take a gift when invited to dinner. Don’t interrupt others while having a conversation. Always say thank you, and be grateful for what you do have and don’t waste time on what you don’t, as well as many, many others!”

It made me think of all the other voices I hear in my head.

I read the book “Dave at Night” this week, by Gail Carson Levine who is the author of “Ella Enchanted.” My daughter recommended it, but warned me I would need a box of Kleenex. I actually needed two, because it’s the story of an orphan, and for me “Dave” was my father, who really did grow up in an orphanage. Orphan stories always have a common theme running through them—nobody wants them, and they are always told how worthless they are and that they will never amount to anything. Boy, do I relate. I was raised by a grandmother who was orphaned by the time she was seven. She grew up as a “poor relation” and I’m certain she was fed all those lines—which she then passed on to me! I’m amazed at how often those old negative voices still try to haunt me, but we don’t have to be an orphan to feel inadequate. The world is filled and her cup literally runneth over with negative messages for any, and all, who will listen and entertain them! The negative voices who keep trying to convince us all, that we will never amount to anything—that we cannot possibly accomplish this or that.

Thank Heavens for the best voice in my head!

Thank Heavens for the voice of the Lord! Which I KNOW, though it’s a still small voice, can override all the other voices vying for attention in our heads and hearts, and saying, “You are my daughter and I LOVE you. Hang on. Keep trying. You’ll do better next time. I adore you! Your presence (while we are in prayer) makes me so happy, thank you for visiting with me today. Please come again tomorrow. When you get homesick, come to my Holy Temple and there I’ll give you rest and there you can remember my promises! This life is only for a little season, and then I will hold you in my arms again!”

I think Heavenly Father also wants me to show my consideration for others (which is really what good manners are, according to Mrs. McDonald) by covering my mouth when yawning in public, but so much more importantly remembering that truly, “I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me!”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Missionary Shoes

A Hampton Roads, Virginia newspaper asked a reporter to choose a "day in the life" and do a photo essay. He chose Mormon Missionaries. I loved this picture. It's what I want my spiritual shoes to look like, and it's a good reminder to me that every time I feel down, the minute I do a service for or lift another soul the sun comes out in my heart again! I've decided that it's not how many people have loved you in this life that counts—it's how many people YOU have loved! Lord, let me love like this missionary!

In the November 2000 Ensign Alexander B. Morrison said, "As you come to know 'that when ye are in the service of your fellow [men] ye are only in the service of your God' (Mosiah 2:17), you will seek to wear out your life in the service of the Master. He will wrap you about in the cloak of His redeeming love, and your life will be changed forever."


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Never Even Smile at a Crocodile

Ron took this picture when we were in Costa Rica last September while on the Tarcoles River. It was on the last day of our trip and I was tired and didn't really want to see croc's on this tour, but Ron said the river and surrounding jungle was gorgeous with lots of beautiful tropical birds. I'm sorry I missed the birds! It's kind of like this life. It's full of dangerous crocodiles, but also full of beauty and good things! We just need to choose the good! My lesson on Sunday was about Joseph, our progenitor who was a man so filled with honor that he could not disappoint or dishonor even his earthly master, but especially not his Father in Heaven! He had the good sense to run from Potiphar’s crocodile of a wife!

We've read that every year in Costa Rica someone is killed by a crocodile because they think they can outsmart or ignore all the warning signs posted everywhere. We all need to remember to turn off the TV, leave the movie, close the book---to run from evil when it blindsides us. But, we also need to heed all the warning signs along the way. We need to shun even the very appearance of evil, and not tempt the crocodiles so much as dabbling our little toe in the water!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tender Love

There is nothing like Mom's lap no matter who you are.

This is a newborn offspring of Taskin, a Gypsy Stallion owned by Villa Vanners of Oregon . These pictures were taken immediately after his birth on April 6 last year. The mare laid down, and then he trotted around and crawled right up into her lap.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

After The Still Small Voice

My sister has grandchildren adopted from Haiti, and my son Brian served a mission in Chile in the late 90's, so these recent earthquakes have really hit home for our family. Meridian Magazine has a wonderful article on "The Lord's Earthquake Warning!" Everyone should read it as it shares how the Lord warned and protected his servants in that land!

These days I have been thinking of these scriptures continually:

Helamin 5: 30 "And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul—"

1 Ne. 19: 11 "For thus spake the prophet: The Lord God surely shall visit all the house of Israel at that day, some with his voice, because of their righteousness, unto their great joy and salvation, and others with the thunderings and the lightnings of his power, by tempest, by fire, and by smoke, and vapor of darkness, and by the opening of the earth, and by mountains which shall be carried up."                                            
D&C 88:87-92 "For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree. And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people. For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in acommotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people. And angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying: Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come. Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."