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

President Henry B. Eyring

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Gates of Paradise

"Mutual forgiveness of each vice,

Such are the gates of paradise."

~William Blake~

I love this quote and I love this picture I took a couple of years ago while we were at this fabulous hot springs resort, fed by the Arenal Volcano, which is the most active volcano in Costa Rica. We were supposed to be able to see the lava flowing out of the volcano at night, from our room, but there was too much cloud cover, but the wonderful hot springs it produced, sure looked and felt like paradise while swimming in those wonderful pools!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Radical Faith

A billion times more than the times, when a grandchild excitedly shows me a bug crawling on his hand, or expectantly shoves a crayon drawing at me, knowing I will treasure it with a hug and kiss and give it the center spot on my cluttered refrigerator! Or the times another child shouts, "Gamma, Gamma, look at me!" while she does a summersault or goes down the slide. Even more than we can comprehend, I KNOW the Lord cares for all the little things that we count important in our adult lives. And those times when I remember this---those times---mostly born of necessity, are the times when I have lived my life with real faith! How different from the times I have lived in fear. I know, and bear record that I know, from first-hand experience that it IS possible to have the spirit with us always! There have been times when I have lived each moment absolutely bathed in the spirit of the Lord, and I have known without a shadow of doubt, that He does care about every single, little thing that is important to us. I know the Lord loves us and cares for us with a similar, but incomprehensibly greater love, than we can possibly have for our loved ones as mortals.

I read another great article at Meridian Magazine that has reminded me of these things that I know, and it has reminded me of how much I desire to live this way---replacing fear with faith---more fully, more constantly.

"Faith that Lets in the Light: Experimenting with Radical Faith" By Wallace Goddard

"Look to me in every thought; doubt not, fear not (D&C 6:36).

"According to King Benjamin, God shows up in every breath we breathe and supports us in every movement we make (Mosiah 2:21; 4:21). He is woven intimately into every moment of our lives—if we choose to see Him there. Radical faith calls us to see God in every detail. God invites us to chat with Him about everything from our furnace to our children’s science fair projects (Alma 34:17-27). While He may not weigh in on our choice of brands for green beans, He is glad to sit with us at dinner and rejoice in the magnificent gift of good food (D&C 59:18)."

"Experimenting with radical faith means not placing our relationship with God on the shelf for large chunks of each day. It is inviting Him into all aspects of our lives. It is looking for His orchestration in the people and experiences placed in our path each week. It is accepting the gift we are offered when we partake of the Sacrament—“that they may ALWAYS have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77, emphasis added)."

"A person with radical faith chooses to feel blessed in every circumstance knowing that God presides in our lives. We count sciatica as a blessing that teaches us patience. We rejoice in miscarriages that teach us faith. We welcome misunderstandings that teach us patience and openness. Rather than believe that human failing and reckless chance are writing the human story, we are serene knowing that, as Robert Browning wrote, “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.”

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Something Extraordinary

I just read one of the best books I've read in a long time!"Summer of Light" by W. Dale Cramer. In fact it's on my list to buy. I'm not sure what drew me to this book at the library, except that it was on the shelf of LDS and Christian writers. I always know I can count on them to be clean fiction and I wanted a light, quick read, a page turner that hooked me from the first page. So I read a few pages, and was quite certain this book wasn't going to be my cup of tea, though I was struck by the honest writing style. But after starting the other four books I'd checked out, in frustration I started reading this one again. Then I got busy and thought I'd take them all back to the library.

Well, Ron works a lot of evenings and I get lonely, so I picked it up again. After a few chapters I realized I'd found a real gem! I'm impressed how this author wove his honest faith and down to earth wisdom into and around the humor that still has me smiling. It's a well written charming book, perfect for discussion at a book club! I'm not going to give any more away except to share a few quotes from the book:

"I believe every one of us was designed---in his mother's womb, before birth---to do something extraordinary. The trick if I may call it that, is in avoiding all the distractions, learning to hear and recognize the voice that guides you into your gift. God designed you and he had something in mind when he did."

"Yeah, well I wish he'd let me in on it."

"Oh, I expect he has. You just don't see it yet."

And, Barbara (just a little hint) you will love finding out what this mans gift is! It was described this way: ". . . my pictures were gut-wrenchingly real, starkly beautiful."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I love this quote from Theodore Roosevelt. Ron uses this often to motivate himself and others. For the first time in twelve years, I want to DO something! It is spring again and I am strangely okay. I feel more peace about my son's state of being on the other side, and I feel this incredible sense that some unseen hand is lifting me, helping me, motivating me! I'm not exactly certain why yet, but for the first time in forever, I can read this quote and FEEL again! In the arena . . . hummm. It brings to mind that dream again, of Ron and I being outfitted with armor. For what arena?

Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Broomsticks Are For Cleaning House

Maybe you've seen this one floating around on facebook: "Women are angels. And when someone breaks our wings we simply continue to fly---on a broomstick." (Author unknown)

I wish I'd never ridden on one, but I daresay everyone has. We all have bad days when we're hungry, tired, stressed, sad, etc. and then someone comes along and clips our wings. They may do it intentionally, but I think most of the time we don't intend to do that to each other; but then, in our righteous indignation and pride, we mount that broom. The scriptures teach us that "pride" is the thing that gives lift to our broom. The air gets thinner up there and it's easier to look down on others and blame everyone else for our misery. While we may not really believe that misery loves company, somehow we perceive it's easier to breath up there, when we share the pain!

The world defines a cronically proud person as a narssist, or someone who can't climb off their broom, because of their own insecurities and real or perceived pain and injustice! They have little tolerance or compassion for others, simply because they only see their own problems and pain. While neurotics on the other hand, after their pride flairs up, land their brooms way too hard! They are so hard on themselves that they conclude they must somehow deserve the wing clips. Why else would someone do this to them? So then they beat themselves up with their broken wings, trying to figure out what they did wrong.

I'm so grateful (there's that word again!) for the gospel of Jesus Christ that teaches us how to really fly, how to mend our broken hearts through the atonement, and how to give lift to each others wings! I want to be like the healthiest people, who are slow to take offense, quick to forgive those who hurt them, and don't spend much time on a broom, but instead use it to help their neighbor and to clean their own house with!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Hyacinth For Thy Soul

I have always loved this beautiful verse, written by MOSLIH EDDIN (MUSLIH-UN-DIN) SAADI (SADI), who was a major Persian poet of the medieval 13th century. I think this poem is so rich with wisdom! Today I just had to make this picture in photoshop as I think of my many, many, blessings!

In my book "Joy Outweighs The Sorrow" I stated, "The only REAL poverty in this world is spiritual." I believe that! And, I love what the Lord teaches us in Isaiah 55:1 "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." When I read this verse I realise that the Lord gives us the most important things in this life freely, and if we listen carefully, we can hear the Lord whisper, "Look up, see your "tender mercies" the Hyacinths I provided today---just for you!

I'm so grateful for so much beauty, so much good, and so many blessings all around me everyday that feeds my soul, when I remember to look for them!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Adoption/More Than Just A Shadow In A Picture

This is a picture of me as a baby at a picnic with my parents. I was told that the shadow in the corner was my father's leg.

I just read a facebook post about a young woman having the love and the courage to give up a child that will be born out of wedlock. I feel so passionate about this because I am a sixty-year-old grandma who should have been given the chance to have parents who loved me and who were prepared to care for me. My teenaged mother was pushed into a "shotgun" marriage by her father, and after the marriage didn't work out my father left when I was only two. I didn't see him again until I was twenty-one years old. I remember as a child I would touch the shadow in that picture and long to know what it felt like to have my own father!

I grew up in abject poverty, and my childhood was miserable after my mother married a man who was abusive. She finally abandoned me when I was ten, and I was raised by a grandmother who resented every moment of it. I remember when I was little my mother would tell me often about a couple she knew who couldn't have children and who wanted very badly to adopt me. Then she would add, "At least I didn't give you up for adoption." I think she was trying to say, that she had tried to do what she thought was right, but that decision to keep me ruined her life, and denied me the love of a mother and a father.

If you know of any young girl who finds herself in this difficult situation, please tell her my story. I have heard of adopted children who mourn their birth mother, feel abandoned, and wonder why their mother's didn't want them. If you know of anyone like that, please tell them my story! And then tell them the story of Soloman's wisdom in 1Kings 3 about two women who both claimed a baby as her own. When Soloman threatened to cut the baby in half, giving each a portion, the true mother offered the baby to the other woman to spare it's life. Tell the children who are lucky enough to have had a birth mother with such wisdom, and love, that to spare the life of her child, she gave them the gift of gifts, the love of a mother AND a father who desperately wanted them and were mature and prepared enough to give a child a happy life!

After my marriage of almost forty years now, I am truly one of the most blessed women on earth, but even with the love of my wonderful children and husband, I don't think I will ever get over a deep longing to know the love that only parents can give.

Please tell the children!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


My sister Ann is a school teacher and she posted some really good advice for parents, so I'm posting it on my site too! Thanks Ann!

Ann said, "I know that some of you who read my blog have kids in school. I just wanted to share this list of things that might be an indicator of your child being bullied. Schools are working very hard to stop bullying, but about 50% of kids being bullied don't ever talk to an adult about it. As parents, you might notice something that a teacher with a full classload of kids doesn't pick up on.

• Having few friends at school
• Afraid to go to school
• Having unexplained bruises
• Afraid to ride the bus
• Refusing to go to school
• Sudden drop in grades
• No interest in activities
• Frequent headaches
• Trouble sleeping
• Loss of appetite
• Anxiety or depression